Friday, May 27, 2011

B is for BABIES...I mean Butterfly

We have just completed our two week home preschool unit on the letter B, number 5, and word "they". Out theme was butterflies and it was fun learning about their life cycle and doing some crafts.Keanan is constantly surprising me and did so again during this unit. He is a master with the dot paints and today painted all the capital B's red and the lowercase b's yellow in a story we were reading, all by himself, like it was nothing! He was still loving to cut this unit, and lace up a B and b I printed out of card stock and punched holes in.

We are doing our school time 3 days a week for 1-2 hours each time, it just depends on the day. All three of us look forward to it and Keanan and Kyla stand outside the school room door waiting for me to ring the bell! =)

In other news: my May and June doula clients (whose due dates were exactly 5 weeks apart) ended up BOTH having their babies this week, within 3 days of each other! My first birth center, and home birth! I was very tired by Wednesday. But now I don't have another client until August (on vacation in July!) and am looking forward to the break from being on call. However, my doula partner and I start teaching our first round of childbirth classes in June! So if you know any pregnant women in the Yelm or surrounding area, let them know. We still have spots open =)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I have never owned a scale.

And I probably never will. For me, it is not about weight. I could really care less about how much or little I weigh. What is important to me is that I am healthy, fit, and not flabby.

In the last few years I have slowly been turning more and more "green". With this I have been more conscious about what we as a family put on and in our bodies. We eat way healthier than we did last year. I have also switched out all our cleaning and body/beauty products to natural ones. So I'm doing pretty good with the healthy part.

It's the fit and not flabby parts that have caused me some troubles. I have tried and tried to be good about doing my Pilates on a more regular basis - but it seems that something else of more importance comes up (like sleep!). Then I got really motivated...

My parents are taking our entire extended family to Hawaii in July (I know, they are crazy and awesome all at the same time!) My sister and my mom have been joined a gym and been attending a "Booty Camp" class (well, really just Mom at the moment as Ann is recovering from DOUBLE knee surgery - which she lost a bunch of weight from, but that is really not a suggested way to slim down!) Mom is doing great! And looks great! (she reads my blog, so I just scored some points =) )

I came home from visiting on Mother's Day bound and determined that I would not be the only one in Hawaii with a flabby post-baby belly! And so...

For the past 2 weeks I have gotten up at 6:15am at least 4 days a week to run! It's only about 2 -2 1/2 miles, but it's something! I feel awesome and am actually enjoying it! It is a great way to de-stress and start my day. I have been running around the Cougar Mountain Airport and it is soo beautiful in the morning. I have yet to see another person. Just me and my friend Mace (makes me feel safe =) ).

This is quite a miracle for me. Since Zac and I have been married anytime I would attempt to run, or even walk fast, I would breakout in horrible itchy hives on my legs. It was awful. I ran track and cross-country in high school so this did not make sense. I even went to the doctor, but they had no idea. I just resolved that I was allergic to exercise. But in the last 2 weeks, no hives! Not even a little itch! I prayed like crazy before I took off for that first run. God is so good!

So I am feeling healthy, fit and not near as flabby! Bring on Hawaii! =)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Preschool: Our First Unit!

We have spent the last 3 weeks studying the letter A, the word away, the number 7, and Spring! Usually we will do a unit in 2 weeks, but we moved up to the school room in the middle of this one and I was not happy with our routine before that.

Note: I purchased our letter curriculum from here (best $10 ever spent!): http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/ and am also using the free curriculum from here: http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/ They are FANTASTIC and Christian based.

The Friday after we moved into our schoolroom our Kindergarten Teacher friend, Chirsty, came over to check it out. It was great to have some feedback and suggestions about what we are doing. I scaled back our sight words from 4 to 1 per unit after talking to her, and am glad I did since that was the part Keanan liked the least during school. He can now "read" a little book called "Who Ran Away" (away was our sight word this unit) =)Here is our door of A at the end of the Unit. Keanan picked a bunch of things to glue on to some cardstock paper for his ABC Book. We had so much fun with this! There was tons more that we did that didn't make it up on the door. Even Kyla got involved:Our verse was "A soft answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15: 1 We talked a lot about what that meant and did a craft about our words. Keanan cut them all out and glued them to the correct side, happy/mad. One thing I learned in the last 3 weeks is that this boy LOVES to cut. And he is really good at it!We also made a Spring lapbook and started our Garden book, which we will add to as we plant more things in our garden. Right now we have peas, beans and spinach. Still growing in Grandma's greenhouse is our tomatoes, carrots, and green peppers. We also planted sunflowers and will be graphing their height each week. Today they are at 2 inches!

Did I mention that we are loving this?! I feel like we are thriving not just surviving with this new setup. I am not watching the clock (as much) for 5:30 when Zac gets home. Keanan's behavior has improved as well with the structure. Not that he was a bad kid or anything, just the number of 2-almost-3 year old meltdowns has decreased a ton!

I knew from 4th grade that God had called me to be a teacher, I just never thought it would be as a home preschool teacher and a childbirth educator/doula! I LOVE IT!

Monday, May 2, 2011

School Room!

Here is a picture tour of our school room! Today was the first day, and we had so much fun! The kids are not allowed in here without Zac or I. This helps keep it a special place and the toys that stay in there stay more exciting.

Next to the door, memory verse, weather chart, book case (the top few shelves hold my supplies for the day)American flag wall hanging that my Grandma made, Keva plank table (inside are Keanan's Highlights magazines), stamp chart on closet door (closet contains the masses of stuff/junk for a garage sale, and will eventually be where school supplies are kept), up on the wall are my weekly school plansTelescope and work tableReading corner where we do our bible time and morning review (cards up on the wall)Activity shelf with Keanan's work boxes and learning toys (mostly for Kyla while we are working on something)Keanan's work boxes loaded and ready for the morning. There are three drawers for three activities and then he gets a stamp on his chart when they are done. We then do other crafts/games/songs/reading... of his choice for the remainder of "school". I load the boxes again during nap time for three more activities before dinner.And up along the ceiling are his letter crafts that we spent last year doing!

Between our "school" time, library time, Sunday School, the kids weekly Bible Study Fellowship classes starting in the fall, and the weekly free preschool class at the the children's museum starting in the fall - I think we are good to go!

The most productive Sunday EVER!!

We worked so hard yesterday and did not stop until 1am! Some things that were accomplished:
- lawn mowed
- garden weeded
- birdhouse hung
- toddler bed moved to Kyla's room
- big bed set up in Keanan's room
- garage sale items loaded into closet (think tetris)
- bookcase, little table and chairs, end table, and short bookcase moved upstairs into our schoolroom!!!!
- office completely reorganized (it actually looks like a semi-professional office!)
- school room decorated, organized and ready to go!
- laundry done
- kitchen clean

Whew!!! It was crazy but soooo good! We have decided to homeschool Keanan for preschool next year so the school room is really exciting for me! More to come (with pics) on that later.