Tuesday, November 11, 2014


We didn't do much of anything for Halloween this year, although we did Trick-or-Treat! Our church is very small (as in, 60 adult members) and doesn't have a "fall festival" or anything. On Halloween day, we had a small party with our homeschool group - which I have no pictures of, since I was trying to keep a curious toddler busy ;) - and at night, we went for a very short Trick-or-Treating walk in our neighborhood. Very short because it was about 30 degrees and insanely windy! Even with coats and hats everyone was cold! (It's just as well in my opinion; I'm not crazy about Halloween anyway!)

Anyway, our kids did have some cute costumes, which they picked themselves. Russell wanted to be Turbo the snail (from the Pixar movie), so we had to make that costume, as it's not readily available to buy:

Meredith wanted to be Tinkerbell - we were able to find that costume at a consignment sale (although it was a bit big) - score!

And Paige was our little ladybug (in a costume I found on clearance last year)! She liked the costume and especially liked holding her pumpkin bucket!

A few more pics:

The great thing about the weather, of course, is that we don't have too much candy hanging around, but the kids still got to have their fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pops and Mimi visit!

We had such an awesome visit with my parents a couple weeks ago. We miss them SO much. We got a lot of quality time, especially with Mimi and Bogie!

We went to Giordano's, of course, so my parents could get a taste of real deep-dish pizza:

We also spent some time visiting my mom's family, and we got to check out another children's museum (for free because of our reciprocal membership) - the kids had a blast.

My dad had heard about an event called Open House Chicago, where 150 buildings were open for free to the public. Of course we stopped at the bean:

and we stood on stage at Millennium Park (the kids pretended they were famous dancers and musicians):

We hated to see them go! Paige especially got attached to Mimi :)

We miss you!

Homeschool and Everyday

We are having a really nice fall :) I love this time of year! I get so lost in the summer when there's no schedule to keep me on track. Right now, our schedule is working well. We're busy, but we're having fun and definitely getting school done, so that's what's important!

I am learning a lot about what works and what doesn't with our family for homeschooling. I am not thrilled with all of my curriculum choices for this year and will do a lot differently next year. Russell (and Meredith) is learning a lot - which is wonderful - but it's taking a lot of prep time for me, which is draining and it's difficult to find the time.

This (below) takes zero prep time - reading lessons and review on ReadingBear.org. Russell loves it.

We've done some character lessons - below, we were learning about patience (and how it takes patience to wait for an apple tree to grow apples). The kids know that our definition of patience is "waiting with a happy heart."

This sweet girl continues to add joy and laughter to our days!

I bought a Lite Brite for the kids - they love it! Russell is very good at it; Meredith has to be watched or she'll stick lights in anywhere ;)

We learned about bats in science one week, so the kids painted some egg carton bats.

Paige got her own bat to color; she loves coloring!

Below - sorting by short vowel sound

Handwriting Without Tears; no complaints about this curriculum! 

There's definitely no perfect educational choice, but we are really enjoying homeschooling and finding our groove. We're particularly glad to be able to seamlessly incoporate Biblical teaching into our everyday academics.

Pumpkin Patch

Wayyyyy behind in blogging - so I'm diving in, because I don't want to get further behind! Here goes:

On October 10, we visited a farm with some of our homeschool friends for a fun fall activity. It wasn't the same as the one we usually go to "back home" - definitely much more crowded than I expected, and colder! - but we had a good time. We'll probably find another one next year - live and learn! Anyway, the kids did enjoy seeing all the animals and petting and feeding the goats, and of course getting to go with their friends.

I'm honestly not sure whether Paige was crying about the leash or whether she was crying about goats - she didn't like either one!

I was there - see?! Moms never get in the picture :)

Our whole homeschool group (minus the 2 babies!)

The kids enjoyed a little hayride! (It had finally started to warm up from the 38 degree morning temp.)

Our kids don't ride the school bus, but they do ride the Cool Bus! ;)

And of course, I always have to get fall pumpkin patch pictures. I really like the way these turned out! The light was perfect, and the kids were cooperative!

Glad we got in our pumpkin patch trip - our fall tradition!