Follow our family as we journey through life.

Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Oh the dollhouse. I was hoping for more progress this week than I got. I am beginning to stress out about it a bit. She will get it for 12th night, but between now and then I have lots of normal Christmas stuff going on and won't be able to work on it for the whole time. I sure hope it's completed enough to gift to her. Here are a few photos:
Middle Right Room Before
Bottom Middle Before
Bottom Middle After

Bottom Right Before
Bottom Right After

(and yes, I did spill blue paint on this real-wood dollhouse floor. Because I am just awesome like that)
Bottom Left Before
Bottom Left After

Drawn on side before
Drawn on Side after

Not great, I know, but better. 28 year old crayon and marker is really, really difficult to get off. And yes, I own and tried all those helpful solutions you are currently thinking of.
I completed a huge milestone for myself this week. I ran two miles without stopping! My speed was 12 minutes a mile. Those of you who are runners are smirking right now, but I must remind you that the first time I ran a mile without stopping IN MY WHOLE LIFE was a mere three months ago. So this is a huge breakthrough for me. To say that I am not athletic is a huge understatement, but I am blessed with a patient exercise partner. Michael and I run in the evenings and I think it has saved our marriage (you know what I mean). And for all you shape watchers out there (hello Mom), no I have not lost any weight. In fact, I have gained some. But muscle weighs more than fat, am I right?
So I have started following through more with Malcolm in hopes it'll improve his horrific behavior. And you know what? After only a week we are already seeing improvements. At first when he would disobey I would tell him he had to go to his bed and he would go there. Now I just have to ask him if he needs to go to his bed and he'll shake his head and the behavior will correct itself. Usually.
So I'm thinking all high of myself because I feel like we are making real progress with him instead of just getting by and waiting for his to "grow out of it." And then one of my favorite bloggers posted about their personal struggle with a strong-willed child a little older than Malcolm. How perfect is that timing! Read the post over at Testosterhome.
I have been following the story of little Tripp Halstead who was injured when a tree branch fell on his head at daycare in Atlanta. Having lived there for five years I remember all too well the destruction of those falling limbs. His parents are just so much stronger  than I could ever be. There are so many fundraisers right now down there to help the mom be able to stay by his side through the long recovery. The accident happened October 29, and so far this precious boy has opened his eyes, cried a lot, raised one arm, and I think pressed a button once or twice. It may not seem like much, but it's a lot considering this boy was not expected to live. Here is a photo:
You love him right? Who doesn't love this little boy? Head over to Facebook to follow their journey to recovery and find out if you are able to help this precious family.
Tomorrow we begin our Advent calendars. There was so much crying and fighting and whatnot over the chocolate ones last year (yes they each had their own but that didn't help), that I said they wouldn't get one this year. And I followed through. Only Malcolm gets a chocolate calendar. The other kids get Lego or Playmobil Advent calendars. Yeah, I really let them know who's boss around here.
It's like the Quick Takes that never ends! Head over to Conversion Diary to read more.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Workbox of the Week

This week's workbox feature can be found over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.
 I really like these ABC Letter-Picture cards for several reasons. The pictures are colorful and fun. The letters come in both capital and lower case formats. The color of the letter matches the circle it belongs in, allowing for self-correction. The child can work on both letter identification and letter sounds in one box.

Activity: Letter-Picture Cards from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Materials Needed: ABC card templates and letter templates found on this site
Level: Preschool and up
Cost: under $15.00 for the whole Pre-K curriculum, plus the cost of copying and laminating
Fun Factor: 4 out of 5 for my girl
Work for the Teacher: Buying, copying, laminating, cutting out, the your done!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

A bonus to being one of us

Margaret alerted me to the fact that a neighbor friend was stuck after scaling the banister and wall.

"You can't climb that," I told her after helping her down. "Only Krom kids can climb the house."

Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes

We had a  great Thanksgiving and I can't begin to tell you how many things we are thankful for. We had over 25 people for dinner, and it was decided by all to be one of the best Thanksgivings ever!

Dollhouse progress is slow and steady.

Just waiting on even more supplies before I can continue.
A friend and I went out last night to experience Black Friday for ourselves. Not what I expected at all. I thought there would be amazing deals everywhere, and there were deals, but not on items that interested me. It was kind of weird to see people with four large TV's in their buggies. Four? Really? To each his own, I guess. I only bought what I went for: a $40 Blu Ray player since we have no movie watching abilities right now.
On that note, I have already taken one load of toys to the Toys for Tots drop off, and hope to gather another load this weekend. Having a large family, we often get more than we can use and if I notice something isn't being opened and played with, I tend to sneak it away. If they never ask for it again then it's a great item for Toys for Tots. The toys stay in our community, which I like.
Just read in the paper that over 54,000 families in my area live on less than $10,000 a year. Think about that for a moment. Our minivan cost more than that. Now ask yourself, how many TV's did that gal at Walmart need?
I am not trying to be judgemental, I just think this whole "buy buy buy" mentality is really gross.
On that note I will end with a cute photo of a baby in a box, or rather a shoe bin.
Check out more Quick Takes over a Conversion Diary

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Product Review: Dayspring Christian Academy


Dayspring Christian Academy is a Christian school in Pennsylvania that educates children from Kindergarten to grade 12. What makes Dayspring unique from other Christian schools is that it employs the Principle Approach to Education. The Principle Approach is a historic, classical approach to education that is helping to equip young people to restore America to her gospel purpose. Principle Approach students are taught to think and reason from biblical principles and apply them to every area of life.

Although Dayspring Academy is an on-sight school, they have designed some educational options for homeschoolers. They currently offer three self-paced on-line classes: How to Teach Literature Using the Principle Approach (intended for homeschooling parents), A.P. Statistics (for grades 10 to 12), and The Pilgrim Story.


The Pilgrim Story is a self-paced interactive history course designed for grades 3 to 6. It focuses on the founding of America using Christian morals, character, and other Biblical principles. The course includes five units covering a total of 17 lessons. Included in the course are ideas for crafts, application, map-making and more. Each 30 to 45 minute lesson has students thinking and applying their learning to real life. Their work is recorded and managed in a notebook, an important element of Principle Approach Education. Additional notebook pages are available within the lessons.

The instructor for this course is an experienced teacher at Dayspring Christian Academy, Mary Stauffer. Ms. Stauffer has led more than 20 guided tours of Plymouth, MA and uses the actual words of our forefathers to teach The Pilgrim Story.


Since this product is designed to be used independently by the student, it is a perfect fit for my already over-crowded homeschool schedule. The course is self-paced and lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes (enrichment activities require additional time). James can log in, obtain necessary paperwork, and complete the lessons entirely on his own. All that is required of me is to make sure there is a vacant computer and a reliable Internet connection. Having one child complete a subject independently is a wonderful bonus to our schedule, since I am often struggling to be able to homeschool four children at the same time.

The Pilgrim Story course is available from the Dayspring Christian Academy Website for $99. It will be available for you within 48 of purchase, and your student will have access to the program for 6 months. In addition to The Pilgrim Story and the other self-paced courses mentioned above, Dayspring also offers homeschoolers a selection of live courses. Check the website for more information regarding the availability of the live courses.
Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew also reviewed The Pilgrim Story. Click here to read their reviews or click on the banner below.
Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received free access to The Pilgrim Story in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I received no other compensation.

Workbox of the Week

Since everyone is super busy with Thanksgiving stuff right now, I thought I would throw out a super easy workbox idea: Paint!
You can buy a pack of washable paints for around $5.00 at the big box stores. Add some brushes and paper and you're ready to go! I don't even use special paper, just whatever paper we have on hand.
You can have something ready for them to paint, or just let them paint their own thing.

Activity: Paint
Materials Needed: Washable paints, brushes, paper
Level: Preschool and up
Cost: under $10.00
Fun Factor: 5 out of 5 for my girl
Work for the Teacher: Depending on your child, there could be a medium level of clean-up to a outrageous level of clean-up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

K is for Keyboard Kids

Blogging Through the Alphabet
I am blogging my way through the alphabet with Ben & Me. Come on over and join the fun! 
K is for Keyboard Kids which is what our piano teacher calls her group of students. Sunday November 18 was our first piano recital with the new teacher. The boys did great and it was so much fun to hear what all the students could play.


Friday, November 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes

There is no update on the dollhouse progress this week because there hasn't been any progress. I am trying to beat a terrible cold that seems to be going around. Not only does it make my voice sound like a frog's croak, but every unnecessary movement is exhausting. On top of that I was waiting for more paint to arrive.
Malcolm has a new favorite hang-out spot:

What kind of side dishes does your family enjoy on Thanksgiving? No one in this house likes the side dishes that I grew up with and love, and I am just curious about what people are eating with their turkey and stuffing. I am not a picky eater and enjoy all food on Thanksgiving, but sometimes I do miss the green bean casserole my Mama makes.
They are draining the lake we hang out at during the summer and hike around during the rest of the year. As a result there are all sorts of "goodies" for the kids to collect. See that concrete block on the right of the photo. That is one of the swimming barriers in the deep end of the swimming section. Neat! The kids collected all sort of gross things that will probably sit on my porch for most of winter until I throw them out.
When do folks decorate in your area? For some reason folks around here think that since Halloween is over we should get all set up for Christmas. I'm not complaining about all of it because I adore Christmas lights. But it is the other things like the giant blow-up gizmo's that I detest. Or the plastic lawn garbage that folks put out. My theory is that either people are really upset about the election and they are decorating to bring some cheer to their lives, or they are really happy about the election and they are celebrating by decking the halls.
Speaking of Christmas, I would really like to give handmade gifts this year and since I can't make everything I am looking for ideas of inexpensive handmade items that I can purchase. And by inexpensive I mean at the most $20 and it would be great if they were really under $10. Okay, I need them to be in the ten and under catagory. And by purchase I mean things that I can get on etsy.
So I have three different things that you can leave a comment about in these Quick Takes. Are you going to comment? If not... YOU'RE OUTTA HERE!!!
I know only one person in the entire world will fully get that besides me, and I'm okay with that.
Check out more QT's over at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Workbox of the Week

This week's workbox is super easy and has endless possibilities. I purchased one of those one-dollar little notebooks from the dollar section of a big box store like Target or JoAnn Fabrics. I placed it in the workbox and that was all. Margaret created the rest!
Here is the notebook. Cheap and cute. Perfect for Margaret and for the Workboxes!

And here is the story, as told by Margaret:
"Your Grandmother is sick. You must go see her."

"I will bake her some things."
"Oh la. I am in the woods."

"The wolf is in the woods."

"Here is Grandmother lying in her bed."
"The Wolf is at the door!"

"Little Red Riding Hood is at the door!"
And that's the end of her story. She likes to end it before anything happens.
Activity: Story creation
Materials Needed: Little notebook and pencil
Level: Preschool and up
Cost: $1.00
Fun Factor: 5 out of 5
Work for the Teacher: None


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brothers are Awesome

Especially when they send birthday flowers.