Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Introducing Gilead Lewis

He was born safely at home by the warmth of the fire and the twinkling of the Christmas lights. With the support of 3 midwives and our close friend Terra by my side, it was a delight to finally meet my 9 lb 9 oz baby boy!  Welcome here Gilead!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bee Tree Continued

We continued our rowing of The Bee Tree this week.  One of the characters in the story had just came back from a Klondike expedition, so we took a look at the gold rush in the Yukon, Canada.  We read several books from different perspectives.
We did a collage of things that are made from gold.  The boys paged through magazines looking for gold things to cut out.

While the boys cut and pasted, I read them a story about King Midas and his greed for gold.
Micaiah's collage on gold on the left (blue paper) and Abishai's right (orange paper).
We enjoyed this chapter book on the gold rush.  I can't believe the effort people went to just to get to Dawson City in the Yukon.  I was tired out just reading about it, never mind doing it.
Abishai's last gym class.

Our Christmas book selection from the public library.
Micaiah doing Christmas sticker fun. 
While Micaiah played with stickers, I made story disks to place on our world map for all the around-the-world adventures we're going to have through FIAR.
 Asher quietly played Ninja Turtles, cars, and nativity.
Abishai is working on common nouns of things right now.  He drew a picture of common things in our house.
Abishai shovelling the driveway.  Micaiah was out there helping too, but he came in before Abishai.
Asher pulled his pants and diaper down around his ankles and then waddled, tripped, waddled, tripped––full of giggles all the way to the bathroom. When he reached the toilet, he asked Daren to help him on.  Asher at 25 months has started his self potty-training. Since he's initiating this interest, I went down to the storage room to retrieve a potty seat so he wouldn't fall into the toilet.  He's pretty excited about his "new" seat and carries it around from toilet to toilet putting it on and taking it off.
Asher finding his own hiding spot during a game of hide and seek.
Micaiah resumed reading lessons after about a 6 month break.  He has known his letter sounds and how to sound out words for a while now but had difficulty blending those sounds to figure out the word.  After a bit of maturing he now has no trouble blending.  He's progressing quite nicely.
The boys helping to get ready for the new baby.

 Asher practicing his scissor skills. 
Waiting for the banana bread to be done for snack time. I found a healthy, but yummy recipe online.  I was going to share it with you, but couldn't find the blog where I found it.
Continued adventures with Batman and Robin.
In addition to Truth in the Tinsel for Advent, we added Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent.  So far it's really engaging.  Love it! 
Story time with Daddy!  I love the closeness of our family at Christmas time.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Three Sons

The other day I sent the boys out to play.  When you're a mother of three sons you almost need a house the size of a castle and just as immovable, to not go insane from all the wrestling, chasing, horse play, and destruction that happens every single day.  Here's a saying I spotted last year in a book called The Mother's Almanac.
There must be a special place in heaven for mothers of three sons. You certainly can tell them on earth.  They’re those ladies with amused, bemused faces and an amazing tolerance for disaster – for they have learned that shouting doesn’t help.
No other combination of children, not even twins, can create so much chaos or camaraderie.  Even the most introspective child will join the team – them against you – and like all good players, they encourage each other to bigger feats of daring.
We recommend the advice of so many successful mothers of three boys. Give them as much outdoor playtime as possible, and indoors, set up two rooms: one for sleeping, with nothing but beds and bureaus, and the other for playing, with much climbing equipment.  With three children, one is bound to be quieter than the others and he probably will need a corner somewhere else.
You will be frazzled in the early years but when your boys grow up, we think you’ll find yourself perhaps more treasured than most other mothers.

On days when little Asher causes chaos, making lessons hard to teach, I take a deep breath and remind myself that these chaotic moments are just that––moments, and then they are over.  After crying to high heaven and making it impossible for the other two boys to hear me read to them, Asher sits quietly by himself, paging through a Christmas book. Peace on earth.

In our Bible lessons we've begun the Life of Jesus.  We're reading about the three Wise Men and the gifts they bring baby Jesus.  While I read the story and then played and discussed the lyrics to the carol We Three Kings, the boys made three bowls out of play dough.  The first for gold (represented with round balls), the second for Frankincense (represented with baby powder) and the third for Myrrh (represented with scented lotion).

After, we sat down and looked at Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi.  Botticelli painted people that he himself knew into his scenes.  I asked Abishai who he would choose to put in if he were painting this picture.  Abishai named a gentleman from our old neighbourhood and some of his family and friends.
We did some reading on Hippopotamuses.  We read some fun poetry, and watched a film based on a true story about an orphaned baby hippo who lost his family in the 2004 Kenya tsunami.  We learned the relationship between hippos and turtles and saw some wonderful pictures of hippo life under water. Of course we had to sing I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.
We switched our curriculum from Story of the World back to Five In A Row and started "rowing" Volume 3.  Story of the World is a great curriculum, but it wasn't for Abishai at this time in his life.  He just wasn't enjoying it, which made me not enjoy it.  I will try it again once he is older and more able to appreciate it.  Since we started rowing FIAR again, Abishiai has shown more interest in schooling, Micaiah has joined in on the fun and I've come to life again with the excitement of all the fascinating subjects we get to explore.

Our first book from Vol.3 that we rowed.
Micaiah, "lover of animals" got right in there and started drawing his own beehive picture on his own initiative.
While Abishai worked on math, Asher stacked pattern blocks.
 Micaiah playing with hexagon pattern blocks.
This is Micaiah's hexagon/bee comb picture.  On the right is his beehive with the orange honey flowing out of it.  The top middle is a flower where the bees get their nectar.  The bottom middle is a bee and the left is honey making its way to the bee hive.
Some of the bee books we read.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Play Dough Messes And Other Life Moments

Micaiah is not old enough for Kindergarten, but he likes to be included in our learning times. If Micaiah asks to do math then I let him.  Here he's learning place values.
Asher playing with his play dough.
Cleaning up.
Abishai having a blast in gym class. I wish I could be there in these last few weeks to watch him, but I physically can't walk the distance with 3 kids from the university parking lots to the phys. ed building.  It's quite the walk for a pregnant woman, even the distance to the shuttle stop feels far enough to send me into labour.  For the last 3 classes, Abishai has been driven to gym while I stay home with the other two.  But I miss it––seeing his excitement, watching him interact with his friends, and having the chance to talk with the other moms.

Learning about Platypus's.  The book on the left was fun to read and educational.
A weeks worth of laundry washed, folded and ready to be put away.
Another week at gym.  Dodge Ball is a favourite.  Abishai is even starting to run into his homeschool friends outside of gym class.
An afternoon snack in the warmth of the sun brings on brotherly love. What I love about this new house is that it has so much light.  
Daren and I working side by side in the evening after the children have gone to bed. Daren's writing a sermon and I'm preparing the boys lessons for the week.