This is a two week update! Mamaw and Granddaddy came to visit last week, so there was no time to write our report. We headed to the NC State Fair last Friday. The highlights included the kiddie rides, the ferris wheel, face paintings, milking a cow, and deep-fried Oreos. A great time was had by all!

Sassafras (1st Grade):

Last week was a light week for Sassafras. She only covered history and math. This week we were back full swing. History over the last two weeks covered the Indus Valley civilization and ancient China. We particularly enjoyed the China books this week and loved learning about the Great Wall of China. We even looked at the Great Wall with Google Earth. We read two literature selections by Ed Young entitled Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China and Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China.

Math and language arts carried on as usual. Nothing too exciting to report. She’s almost done with Rod & Staff 1st grade math, and she’s working on dividing multi-syllable words in spelling. In reading she started The Chalk Box Kid, and we began Goonie Bird Greene as a read-aloud.

In science Sassafras covered Echinoderms (starfish, etc.), sponges, and worms. This finally brings her to the end of the section on invertebrates. For the sponge lesson, I let her do some sponge painting with real and artificial sponges.

We had a great week in art! For art appreciation we read Suzette and the Puppy: A Book About Mary Cassett and looked online at several works by Mary Cassett. In How to Teach Art to Children she started learning about the art element of value. This week she worked with shades of gray. In Drawing with Children, I asked her what she wanted to draw and she suggested flowers. So, a quick google image search yielded this simple image of a bouquet of flowers. Sassafras’s version is below. I think she did great with no instruction from me. When she was done, we talked about what she did and didn’t like about her drawing. I was happy that she was happy, especially since I tend to stress her out sometimes when she’s trying to draw.

Sassafras is doing great in her extracurricular activities. In her gym&swim class at the Y this week, they asked if she wanted to swim with the big kids. She declined, but the offer does show how much she has improved in the pool. She even does a nice backstroke! In piano, she finished Primer A (for young beginners) of the Bastien Series and started Primer B. I also bought her a book of hymns and she has already learned “Jesus Loves Me”. And finally, in her soccer game tonight, she scored her first goal of the season! She was so excited! I’m glad progress is being made!

Z-man (K4):

The Z-man has been plugging away in his schoolwork. He only has one letter left in the last Explode the Code Primer. I’m anticipating reading lessons to begin in a week or so. I let him try counting up to 30 this week. He’s been begging to do it, but I told him he had to get to twenty consistently first. We’ve also been reading through Sonlight’s p4/5 core. In the Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of the Science and Nature, we started reading about simple machines this week. We demonstrated a lever by lifting the ottoman with the broom. He thought that was pretty cool!

The Z-man has lately become fascinated with the dashboard in the van. He’s constantly asking questions about what does what. He also religiously watches the gas gauge. He starts to fret when we get to a quarter of a tank. He has also become interested in the names of roads and interstates. He’s starting to memorize the names of local roads. However, he tends to get confused about what constitutes an “interstate”. His first question, regardless of where we are, is always “are we on the interstate?” “No, honey, we’re in the driveway.” OK, it’s not quite that bad…but close.

Little Man (2 yrs):

I truly believe the croup is from the devil! Little Man woke up last night with the croup accompanied by bad stridor. It was probably the worst we’ve seen of all of our kids’ bouts with croup. Fortunately, I had a couple of doses of steriod from the last time Little Man had croup. Our doctor had intentionally given us a little extra. Anyways, about an hour and a half after the steroid, he was breathing quietly. I’m not sure what tonight holds.

Little Man is still doing well in speech therapy. This week was his best session yet. No whispering! Woohoo! He received several new words for his book this week, so we have our work cut out for us! He’s also been getting better at saying his siblings names. Little Man is his own number one fan. Anytime he says a word correctly, he screams “Yay!” and claps and commands everyone else to clap for him!

Worn slap out!

Doodlebug (7 months):

3-2-1 CAST OFF!! Tuesday was cast-off day! Free at last! Free at last! Doodlebug did really well during the cast removal.  The cast tech let her wear some little ear muffs to muffle out the sound of the saw. It took what seemed like forever to get the cast off. Since she had managed to crack her first cast, apparently the doctors were determined she wasn’t going to crack the second one. So the cast was layered on really thick. What should have taken only 5 minutes took 20 minutes instead! Doodlebug wasn’t very happy during the whole process, but she wasn’t hysterical either. We soon discovered that she had some hunk-chunka legs hiding up in that cast! Oh to be a baby and have socially acceptable chunky thighs! Her x-ray results were great. Her left hip angle (the one that was operated on) was in the normal range and her right hip angle was just above normal with mild dysplasia. We were delighted to hear that she only has to wear her rhino cruiser brace during naps and at night. This makes life so much easier for us now. She fits in a highchair! Yay! She fits in a regular carseat! Yay! We don’t have to use our cadillac stroller everywhere we go now! Yay! She can now learn to sit up and roll over and be a normal baby! Yay! I get to cuddle my baby all the time now without a cast or contraption in the way! Yay! Yay! (Insert backflip if I were ten years younger.)

The day she got her cast off, I spent the whole afternoon cuddling with her. As a result, I neglected to plan and cook supper. We claimed it was a celebration and went out for pizza. I took a picture of her sitting in her first restaurant highchair. We then wheeled her into the store to buy her a new girlie pink carseat. I took another picture of her in the umbrella stroller. 🙂  And then we did the best part….a BATH!! A real BATH!! She hated it, but I loved it! Aaaahh! Life is good! I’m so happy to have my baby back!

Well, believe it or not, there are a few more things to mention about Doodlebug that don’t include the cast. I’m suspicious that she may have a rice intolerance. We had three occurrences where she had bad vomiting an hour and a half after having a tiny bit of rice cereal mixed in with some fruit. After giving her a two week break from trying solid foods, I finally tried to offer her some applesauce last night. Well, it didn’t make her sick, but as you can see from the picture, she clearly vetoed it! Sigh. Maybe I should just toss her a chicken leg. She now has her first two teeth coming in!


No, I do not regret eating deep-fried Oreos. I only wish I had discovered the deep-fried Chips Ahoy cookies first. Well, there’s always next year!