Monday, June 30, 2008

10,000th visitor!!

Sometime during the day today, my visitor ticker quietly passed the 10,000 mark. The 10,000th visitor was someone from Washington state, and their internet service provider is clearwire. I *think* I know this visitor personally, but I'm not positive. If you are from WA and your isp is clearwire, please send me an email at I have a gift for you!!!! This email account is my junk email (so I don't mind sharing it publicly), but I will be sure to check for your message. If this person is not who I think it is, but you are willing to give me an address to send your free gift to, please email me anyway!

Thank you, dear readers, for visiting my blog. When I started blogging it was primarily to share our daily lives with faraway relatives and friends, but God has allowed it to encourage others that I will probably never meet face to face. For this I praise Him! If there is any good or any encouragement here, it is God's grace.

So everyone do a happy dance and we'll imagine a really fun online party to celebrate this milestone!!!

Weekend at the cottage!

We had a great weekend at the cottage visiting with our cousins, despite the fact that it was overcast most of the weekend, rained quite a bit, and my hubby lost his glasses during a jetski ride (very expensive jetski ride!). Here are some pictorial highlights:

Oldest cousin there, doing what he loves best....reading!

Mid jump!

Little Man on the jetski with daddy.

The girl cousins with Uncle T.

Playing Zooreka. Fun game!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Off to the cottage!

We are going up to the family cottage tonight, for the first time this summer. The kids are so excited! It's just for the weekend, but I'm sure it will be a blast. We are going now to have some overlap with my hubby's sister and her children who are visiting from out of state. Lord willing I will have lots of fun pictures to share on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Record Keeping and Storage (part 9)

Thankfully, we live in a state that is currently very friendly toward homeschoolers and does not require record keeping or reporting of any kind. We know, however, that this could change at any time, so we have chosen to keep a record of the work we have done should we ever be legally required to show it. It's also good for our own benefit, to be able to look at a record of our work and say, "oh, that's what we did all year!"

In our family, we don't keep official grades for every subject until sixth grade (as in, writing down the grade of all assignments in a grade book of some kind and giving a letter grade for the class overall). Since our oldest just completed fifth grade, I have not had to keep a grade book yet. That will be something new this next year.

This past spring I was able to purchase a comb binding machine during a really good sale, and I made a comb bound book for each of the three older children of all their daily assignment sheets for the entire year. Each book is literally 36 pages that shows what they did each day in every subject.
I also made comb bound books of all their work in history, geography, literature, and writing. We used file folders for the front and back covers, in each of our children's assigned colors of course! :-)

These books hold everything from mapwork,

to coloring pages,

to writing,

to homemade charts. This is a homemade flow chart showing the 3 branches of government as set forth in the constitution.

Our daughter has a separate writing notebook where she has chosen to keep all her completed writing assignments, but our son G has his writing for the year in this comb bound book. Here is an example of a key word outline, which we learned how to make from our excellent writing curriculum, Institute for Excellence in Writing.

After making his key word outline from a paragraph in one of our history books, he closed the book and rewrote the paragraph from his outline. Here is his version of the paragraph:

Each of our children has completed a writing book called All About Me during their third grade year, and I think these books are destined to become treasured keepsakes! Each page asks a question or two about the student's life, and when the book is finished it is a record of many of that child's favorite sports, memories, things to do, vacation spots, family activities, subjects in school, and daily habits.

These comb bound books, plus the All About Me book, and the colonial lapbooks we did earlier this year are the sum total of what I am keeping as a record of this past year. It takes up this much space:

I have a labeler which I will use to label all the comb bound spines so that I can tell what they are when they are sitting on the shelf (in our basement). All of the workbooks go in the paper recycling bag, and all the hands on projects, once they are properly photographed and oohed and aahed over, go in the trash!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

End of Soccer Season

Our son G's soccer team finished their spring season and tied for first place in their division! They and the other first place finishers had the exact same record, 7 wins, 1 loss, 2 ties. Here he is with his coach (who was FABULOUS!) and his trophy. Way to go G!!!

Playing in the Rain

We are having a gentle rain right now, without thunder and lightning (which we've had a lot of lately). The kids are all outside happily playing and getting all wet! I love summer!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Changed my blog settings

To my dear readers, I have changed my blog settings to no longer allow anonymous comments. This means that you will need to create a (free) blogger account before being able to leave a comment. When I started this blog nearly a year ago, it was primarily for long distance family and friends to keep up with our daily lives, and I tried to make things as easy as possible for those of my relatives who are not computer saavy to be able to leave comments. During this past year my blog readership has grown considerably and there are many readers that I do not "know". Most of you are read only guests, and that is fine! (though I welcome your comments and would love the opportunity to get to "know" you!) Most of the faithful few who comment on a regular basis already have blogger accounts, so this change will not affect them.

While I do welcome negative feedback, as long as it's honest and thoughtful, I do want to know who is leaving it. So no more anonymous comments. Sorry for the inconvenience! :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008


My hubby and I spent a delightful afternoon on the porch swing yesterday, talking about lots of different things. For much of this time we were joined by several of the neighbor children. Sadly, we have several children on our street growing up without their dads, either because of divorce or because their parents were never married to begin with and are no longer together. It is therefore somewhat novel for these children to see a younger (as in, not the age of their grandparents) married couple enjoying each other's company. Here is part of our conversation:

Neighbor girl S: Why are you and him still married?

Me: Because we love each other and we made a promise to each other and to God that we would stay married.

Neighbor girl T: My dad makes lots of promises but he breaks them all the time.

Hubby: Well, sometimes adults mean well, but they don't think things through carefully before making a promise, and they should.

Neighbor girl T: My dad was going to marry his girlfriend, but then he dumped her.

Me: Oh?

Neighbor girl T: He found out that they don't really have that much in common. He's going to take back the rings he bought. Can I see your ring?

(me, holding out my hand with beautiful wedding ring on it)

Neighbor girl T: Oooooh, that's so pretty!

Me: Thank you! I love it. Mr. ____ gave it to me when we got married, and every time I look at it, it reminds me of the promises we made that day.

Neighbor girl S (who has climbed up into hubby's lap): I'm going to marry Derek because he's really cute. But A (our little man) is really cute too.

Hubby: Well, just because a guy is cute doesn't mean he would be a very good husband. Can you think of what would make a man a good husband?

Neighbor girl S (holding her chin in her hand and gazing upward momentarily): Nope. (then, changing the subject) I sometimes kiss A (our little man) but I keep it a secret because I know you wouldn't like it.

Me: Well, we don't want you to kiss people right now that aren't in your family, and we don't want our boys kissing people that aren't in their family.

Neighbor girl S: But I don't kiss him on the lips! I kiss his cheek.

Me: I'm glad to hear that, but we still don't want either of you to kiss people that aren't in your family.

(note to self: talk about kissing with the kids again! And pray like crazy for these precious children growing up with a skewed image of marriage and romance).

Sunday, June 22, 2008


This was C's year for a friend party (every other year), so we had a fun time celebrating with siblings and 4 of his friends. Here are the party goers looking fairly normal.

And here are their funny faces:

I had sent out a desperate email asking for help with this star cake because it was a double recipe and very thick. It turned out pretty good!

The party eventually got rained out and we had to bring it indoors. We had to be veeeery careful with the pinata in the family room because the "bat" was a metal rod! Thankfully, no injuries to report or broken furniture.

Now that he has been thoroughly celebrated, C can settle down to the business of being six!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday!!!!

To our sweet son C:

Six years ago today you were born, and that was such a happy day! As you know, you were born in a special way ~ by the doctor cutting a little hole in mommy's tummy for you to come out (he stitched it closed afterwards). That was an operation and so we knew ahead of time what day it was going to be. We looked forward to that day so much, and were so excited when it finally came!

You were born very quickly, and I was fully awake for your birth. It was amazing, as all births are. The first thing I noticed about you was that you had very fine delicate facial features and you had a beautifully shaped head. No cone shape for you! You cried a little, but settled down quickly when you heard our voices.

Your siblings were very excited to come meet you. We had a happy time in my hospital room introducing you to each of them! Those are very special memories for me.

Since then you have grown and changed and learned things, just like God has made you to do. You are a wonderful son! I love how much fun you have, how you approach life with zest, what a great brother you are to all your siblings, and what a dazzling smile you have! You are a joy to our hearts. I love you as high as the heavens. And I will always love you no matter what.


(if you know our son L, this picture of him displays his personality to a T!!)

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of our older three sons. The birthday boy was 2 then.

(with new webkin from Grandma B and Grandpa Dean)

Riding on his new scooter!!

Park Day

In honor of C's 6th birthday, we spent the entire day at a playplace/sprayscape today! We took a picnic lunch and just played all day. Fun!

Happy Birthday sweet birthday boy!!!!!