We started Monday morning with only one tablespoon of peanut butter, two waffles, and ten goldfish crackers. I guess I failed miserably in the planning/preparation department. It was a long day.

Sassafras (1st Grade):

This week Sassafras completed week 9 of Tapestry of Grace Year 1. We are now at the end of unit 1. Woohoo! We looked at the Jewish feasts of Sukkot and Shavuot and read stories of the children of Israel wandering around in the wilderness for forty years. In geography, she worked on how to read a map key and a map scale. In science, she completed her study of arthopods by learning about arachnids, crustaceans, and myriapods  (centipedes & millipedes). The rest of the invertebrate world now lies ahead!! Cnidarians, here we come!

In language arts, we started All About Spelling Level 2. In Writing With Ease, she did narrations with passages from Charlotte’s Web. We continued our study of nouns and began memorizing a new poem in First Language Lessons. For read-alouds, we finished Mountain Born and started Mr. Popper’s Penguins. (I cried like a baby at the end of Mountain Born. Sassafras laughed at me. She said “The sheep’s not real!” Oh, have a heart!!! ) For her reading, she started Third Grade Detectives: The Clue of the Left-Handed Envelope. No other tears were shed.

In Scripture memorization, Sassafras memorized Romans 1:21a and 1 John 2:15-17. She also memorized question 110 of the Baptist Catechism, which asks “What rule has God given for our direction in prayer?” The answer is “The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer, but the special rule of direction is that prayer, which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.” The remaining eight questions of the Catechism will center on the Lord’s Prayer. We’re almost to the end!!!

In art appreciation, we talked about still life paintings and continued to work through Art Fraud Detective. In How to Teach Art to Children, she made a color wheel with tertiary colors. In Drawing With Children, she’s still working on drawing from graphics. This week she tried to draw the  bunny from Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny. She made three attempts and each time we talked about what she liked and what she didn’t like. I’ve included pics of all three attempts.

Last Saturday, we all went to a birthday party at Putt-Putt. It was actually the first time she played miniature golf. Does that sound bad?? Like maybe she should have had this life experience before the age of six?? Oh, well. She had played hockey in her Gym & Swim class the week before at the Y. So, she was anticipating being pretty good at golf…or so she said! Anyways, she scooted the ball around and had a great time. My friend Audrey sent me some pics of our kiddos at the party and I’m including some here. (Hint: These are the pictures taken with the really good camera!)

Sassafras also had another first this week. She poured milk from the milk jug all by herself. She just pranced over to the fridge and decided to get her own milk. After she got comfortable with that, she also tackled the apple juice. Today, she said “Momma, I’m gonna pour out my water and get me some apple juice.” Uhh…no, you’re not! For some reason, she erroneously thinks she now has free reign over the fridge. I swear if she learns how to slice a piece of cheese from the block, she’ll go through 2 pounds of cheese in 3 days. I’m gonna have to watch her!!

Z-man (K4):

The Z-man worked on the letter V in Go For the Code this week. Three more letters and he will be finished with the Explode the Code primer books. Woohoo! He’s also loving Singapore math and always asks to do it first. (In contrast, his sister would probably be burning math books in the backyard if given the opportunity.) I’m also enjoying going through Sonlight’s p4/5 core with him.

He finally finished memorizing question 17 of the Baptist Catechism, which asks “Did our first parents continue in the glad obedience for which they were created?” He’s still working on Proverbs 1:10, which says “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” It’s a short verse, so you would think he would learn it quickly. However, you would be surprised at all the variations of “entice” and “consent” that I hear from him! If sinners WHAT? Do not WHAT?  The good news is that he knows what the verse means!

The Z-man does not get along with his little brother. I know that isn’t earth shattering news. Little Man is two….and stubborn…and he doesn’t communicate that well. The situation is complicated by the fact that the Z-man is a screamer. He can’t just cry when he doesn’t get his way. He screams. He screams as if someone is trying to kill him. The boys were playing outside this week while Sassafras was doing schoolwork. I hear this blood curdling scream come from the backyard. Is someone hurt?! Of couse not. The boys were tied up in knots while the Z-man had his foot squarely planted on an acorn that he was trying to shove into the ground to grow an oak tree. Little Man was Little Man. He wanted the acorn. That acorn. Not the other 372 acorns lying around the backyard. I just knew the neighbors were going to call the cops. It sounded that bad. Sigh.

The Z-man asked me today if I’m thirsty after I nurse the baby. HaHa! You betcha! Mommy needs a Diet Pepsi!

Little Man (2 yrs):

Is that picture on the left not sweetness made over?! I could just eat him up with a spoon!

Little Man is working hard in speech therapy. We practiced the same words again this week: mommy, daddy, baby, hippo, happy, bunny, etc. Some of the words I still have to remind him of the first sound, but overall he’s improving on these words.  He even started using the words on his own. For example, he now calls me “Mommy” instead of “Mama”. He received three more words to practice this week: hat, boom, and man. For his therapy session this week, he talked out loud for the first twenty minutes or so and then after that he just whispered. I noted that the whispering came after the therapist was trying to get him to say “shoe”. I guess he took the ‘shhhh’ part seriously! Actually, I’m not sure why he whispers at times. It usually always happens when he’s around someone he doesn’t know all that well. He’ll either not say a word or he’ll whisper. At other times, I think he’s not feeling very confident in his ability to communicate. Up until recently, he wouldn’t talk at all to most of the nursery workers at church. Now I’m getting reports that he’s starting to whisper and he’s using sign language a bit more.

His therapist may take him in a different direction next week. He has a hard time getting the first sound in many one-syllable words. He usually puts the ending sound first. So for example, bike sounds like ‘kike’. Milk sounds like ‘kook’. He seems to get beginning H words when given a visual cue, so he may work on more H words next time. One problem that the therapist and I both noted is that he doesn’t round his mouth very often. I tried practicing in front of a mirror with him today to no avail. It may just take some time. I can get him to round his lips when I ask him to pucker up and give me a kiss. However, I can’t get him to stop kissing me long enough to practice making his sounds! Oh well. We’ll keep working on it! A few extra kisses from Little Man will be worth it!

Doodlebug (6 months):

Well, my little Doodlebug has two and a half weeks left in her cast. Her cold-weather wardrobe is a little sparse, so hopefully the colder weather will hold off until then. I did find some things for her to wear in my bin of 12-18 month girl clothes. I even found a couple pairs of knit pants that would stretch enough to get over her cast. Of course, she looks like Grandpa Jones when she wears them! Pants to her chest and no teeth!!


Here are the highlights: I interfered with the planting of an oak tree in my backyard and I cried about a dead sheep. That’s all I got…. Oh! Wait! Wait! For those who read my report a couple of weeks ago:  R.I.P. Mousey. I said you were going down.