Friday, September 25, 2009

Myra Annette, born Sept 24th, 5lbs 15oz 20in

Our baby girl was born two days ago by emergency c-section. She is currently in critical condition in the NICU. The doctors are saying her situation looks grave, but we are praying for a miracle. Please join us in prayer for our little Myra.

Isaiah 29:14 "Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder..."

Once more for Myra, Lord.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Johnny Appleseed Festival

My kids have been looking forward to this Festival for weeks! We went last year and even my three-year-old remembered very clearly what happens there - face painting and toy buying! Though we have only studied through the 1600s, and this is set in the 1800s, it was easy to explain that this was later when more towns were established in the Americas. Plus, they love the story of Johnny Appleseed and know it well, so they understand this is how Johnny Appleseed's friends would have lived. I'm kicking my own butt for not taking more pictures of the displays we saw on things like spinning wool into yarn and cooking soup in cauldrons, but oh well. Such is life. I'm due tomorrow, so forgetting such things I at least have an excuse for!

Face painting!! Two butterflies and an Indian....

Abraham Lincoln (who seriously is almost as tall as Abe - he is used often around here for different historical events) signed the Gettysburg Address for the kids. It really looked like Abe's signature, too! This will be a fun memory as we start studying Lincoln this winter.

Later we found another station that also gave out Indian headbands, so we painted our faces again...This is John Chapman's real gravesite in the center of Johnny Appleseed park in Fort Wayne, IN. Apples trees are planted all around the fenced area.

The kids made a beaded necklace in the Indian section of the park. We just did this with dyed macaroni noodles, but these beads were more fun. It took me a while to get up off the ground after this. Angelica Pickles just played in the beads most of the time and Boo Boo wanted to eat them...

Here they are decked out in their headbands, face paint, necklaces and with their new toys. The girls each picked an Indian doll (Angelica Pickles had one from last year) and Sid the Science Kid got a bow and arrow. He did pretty good shooting it, too!

Mommy and Daddy rarely get in pictures these days, so I made a point to take one of us with Boo Boo, since he was in the stroller observing most of the time. I did sling him for a while, but when I started moving like a turtle, he went back into the stroller. He just needed a little cuddle time since he took a late nap.

Why I thought to get the kids a chocolate sucker on the way out, I'm not sure. But, Boo Boo notices when he is being left out anymore, so I had to give up mine.... Oh the mess! I can't believe how quickly he ate it either! The perks of being the fourth kid, I guess....

Well, if anything is gonna start labor, a four hour walk through a park should do it! Unfortunately, I've had no such luck in past pregnancies. I wonder what my widget will do when I'm overdue tomorrow....ha!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pregnancy Photos 39 weeks 4 days

Mr. Prince and I went to a wedding reception last night at the the same reception hall we had our wedding reception 7 years ago. It was a nice stroll down memory lane. I wore this black dress, which is NOT maternity by the way, and found it amusing that I didn't look pregnant at all from the front or back view. I was comfortable, but my shoes were a little snug and I was limping on our way out to the car at the end of the night. Unfortunately, there wasn't dancing. I'm not sure why so many weddings exclude dancing these's quite disappointing to me. Anyway, it was a quiet night out before baby comes. The kids were horrible for the babysitter, but I also feel our babysitter was too lax in their discipline, also. So, maybe we won't go out any time soon without an adult watching our children. Bummer. Such is life.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

MFW Homeschool Week 7 Review

I made this a light week for us. Mostly for my own sanity. I started getting pretty tired the end of last week and was needing daily naps in the afternoons. So, school can now be done in 1-1.5 hours and I'm going to start cutting out some of our school subjects for a few weeks.

This week we still did bible, character training (gentleness), and history but I didn't do any formal Preschool or science. Instead we are reading lots and lots of "new baby" books together and talking about the changes that are coming to our home. The children are so excited, but I have a feeling when our "countdown" for baby ends and I'm still pregnant, they are going to be quite disappointed.

With my last baby, I couldn't find very many good books on welcoming a new baby. All the books were about the jealously of the older siblings and about how much they hate the changes the new baby brings. Why anyone would want to read a story like that to their child is beyond me. But, I was luckier this time and found a handful of good picks for my family. Here are some great "new baby" books I've found:

Big Sister Now and Big Brother Now by Sheldon - I LOVE these books, great illustrations and a cute story about how special the "big" brother and sister really are
Welcome With Love by Overend - a beautiful picture book about a homebirth
The New Baby by Mercer Mayer - explains what you can/can't do with a new baby
How You Were Born by Cole - great explanation to how a baby forms without actually teaching the birds and bees
Waiting for Baby and Talk, Baby! by Ziefert - books about waiting for baby to appear and waiting for baby to talk
Hello Baby! by Rockwell - a sweet story about a little boy being excited to bring home his baby sister
Big Brother, Little Brother by Dale - cute story about an older brother understanding his little brother
Why is This Day Special:A New Baby by Powell - how babies are welcomed in different countries and religions - edit for your preferences
Love That Baby! by Lasky - great thorough book about baby habits and very positive
Someone's Come to Our House by Appelt - sweet illustrations and a nice poem
The Baby Dances by Henderson - beautiful illustrations and discusses what babies do as they grow
What to Expect When the New Baby Comes by Murkoff - very thorough book about new babies
Hoe Kids Grow by Marzollo - great multicultural photography about a growing infant/toddler
Baby Talk by Hiatt - a sweet book about a brother understanding baby talk

So, besides working through these books the next few weeks, we continued to read more stories about the Pilgrims and started a new book called The Courage of Sarah Noble by Dalgliesh. It's another great read-aloud like Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Bulla. I didn't plan any projects for this weeks, and probably won't for the next few. We did finally finish our wampum necklaces from last week.

I was going to stop history and science for a few weeks, but I went ahead and planned next week to learn about Benjamin Franklin anyway. What else will we do with our time? I'm going to pick up on some Sonlight Science K for these next few weeks too, since they are short and sweet read alouds and maybe a worksheet or two for Sid the Science Kid. If I shut everything down I'll just pay more attention to the days drifting by...

Oh, the waiting.....

Friday, September 11, 2009

BKM week 39

Well, I am almost 39 weeks along! Looking at this picture I feel SO much bigger than I look here. And looking back at photos of myself 40 weeks pregnant with Boo Boo, I am smaller this time around. Or maybe black is just extremely slimming...??

My OB estimated my baby at 37 weeks to be only in the 13th percentile for size, so I don't have a big baby. But, my two babies that were 10 days and 14 days overdue were only 8lbs 6oz, so I just don't have big babies in general. So, I definitely expect to go overdue again this time. How long, though, I have no idea...

I really thought I would be able to figure out what gender this baby was by this time. With my two boys I gained 40 and 50+ pounds and was pretty sick in the first few weeks. With my two girls I gained 18 and 23 pounds and wasn't very sick, just minor morning sickness. This baby is NOT remaining consistent with my pattern. I was pretty sick early on with this one and I've gained just under 30 pounds. It leans itself toward maybe a boy, but I have a slight "feeling" it is a girl. So far I've thought all of my babies were gonna be boys, so I'm not that accurate with my "feelings" anyway. But, this feeling does seem stronger this time than with the last three kids. I almost knew for sure our first was a boy and never really even considered having a girl first. But, the last three were just forced guesses really. Do I have some kind of mother's intuition....who knows!

Well, still no names have been picked. We have a small running list, but I almost feel like the name isn't on the list yet. We need to make a point to talk about this more in the next week. I don't think the kids will like having a sibling without a name from the beginning. Though, we did learn that Indian babies weren't named but 2x a maybe I can incorporate school into this....ha!

MFW Homeschool Week 6 Review

Well, we had a very shortened week this week because of Labor Day. Silly me forgot the library was closed most of the weekend and wasn't able to pick up my school books until Tuesday evening. I did do bible, character training and Preschool on Tuesday, just not history and science.

Right now my focus is to stay on track with My Father's World history, science and bible because those are the subjects I will be taking a 4-5 week break from in a few weeks. My children will not let me get away with doing no school, so we will continue Sonlight Science K, Horizons math, All About Spelling, First Language Lessons, character training and bible. All of these I can pick up on a whim and do with little to no planning. That is about all we will be able to accomplish in the first few weeks after baby, if that. Angelica Pickles will be disappointed we won't be doing her Preschool activities, but I plan to add some extras to science and maybe do mini unit studies on topics for those weeks, and have my library put together unit collections for me. We'll see.

So, this week we learned more about Colonial Days and Pilgrim children, we studied the seasons and Fall in Preschool/Science combined with the older two kids, we learned about responsibility and work in character training, and we finished our study on Jesus being the bread of life.

I have some Preschool kits I got through the mail a few years ago that I decided to pull out for Angelica Pickles this week. They are by Brighter Vision Learning Adventures and are little unit studies that include a living book, a 20+ page workbook with hands-on activities, a CD of music and usually some other toy or physical activity that goes along with it. I had one on the seasons and since I wanted to cover fall this week, I thought it would be perfect. It had some pretty simple stuff in it even though it was geared at 3-year-olds, but she really did learn the seasons well and I think has a better grasp on them.

Sid the Science Kid and Princess Pea almost always include themselves in Angelica Pickle's Preschool, so I decided to combine science and our Preschool topic for this week (and last week with Johnny Appleseed). I won't be able to do that as much when I'm following Sonlight Science K, but for now it works and it's less work for me. We did some beautiful leaf rubbings this week, made some fall pictures gluing real leaves to the picture, and also made some colorful leaves out of coffee filters and colored water (which didn't turn out as well as I would have liked). The kids really enjoyed the activities and are so proud of their work on the walls of our home. Here are some of the books I used:

I decided to frame their leaf rubbings for some fall decor in our living room. I'm not a decorator, so this really spruced up our walls!

Here the kids are coloring fall pictures and then gluing some torn leaves onto their picture. They turned out so cute! Princess Pea drew the whole family plus the cat...

Angelica Pickles actually drew two people and a tree...

Sid the Science Kid.... I love the deer and jumping rabbit!

I planned the children's character training these first weeks of school very purposefully. We did manners, obedience, patience and now responsibility and work; topics I thought should be covered before baby comes. I will need their cooperation greatly in obedience, patience and work in these next few weeks, so I think being able to refer back to stories we've read and examples we've talked about will be helpful when someone doesn't want to cooperate. Here are a few book selections I used this week, besides my volumes of Aesop's Fables and collections of stories about virtues:
The kids really enjoyed the stories and generally do a good job helping around the house. I started "Helping Habits" a number of month ago and the older two enjoy doing their part most of the time. I've included room clean ups twice a day in their Helping Habits, so that is the only part they grumble about some days if the house is pretty messy. Boo Boo is making more and more messes each day and they are learning that they have to help clean up his messes sometimes, too. Sid the Science Kid enjoyed reciting his "Work" poem all week for the girls that he had memorized for his First Language Lessons. I believe Princess Pea can recite it now, too! Hopefully they will have good attitudes when they have to instill these character traits full-time in a few weeks.

I was disappointed with My Father's World this week. Their reading selection in American Pioneers and Patriots was quite dull and there wasn't much to science or bible this week, either. We skipped the reading they suggested and I just read some books on Pioneer children and we did a few projects. We made some corn bread and used our homemade butter from last week, we made homemade applesause (a project we hadn't completed from last week), I made each of them a "hornbook" which was the school books used in Colonial days, we played games like Hide the Thimble like the Pilgrim children would have played, we died macaroni noodles and made some wampum that the Pilgrims and Indians traded for food and furs, and their absolute favorite project were the "poppets" that they made, or dolls made out of socks that represented the type of dolls the Pilgrim children might have had. We spend all this money on toys and these kids have not put these poppets down for two days!! They were made out of our unmatched kid socks! Oh, children are so funny sometimes.

Here the kids are pretending to sit on a bench and listen in Dame school with their hornbooks...

I made each hornbook appropriate to what each of the children are currently learning; the alphabet, new reading words and a recited poem.

Wampum "beads" still need to be strung into necklaces. Today we had to wait for them to dry...

Here the kids are stuffing their socks to make the "poppets." Yeah, they are funny colors, but that is what made them fun!

I hated that they had "Old Navy" across their tummies, but I didn't choose which socks we would loose!
I think this is the most I've seen Princess Pea play with a "baby doll" for a long time...

Today I got out baby wash clothes for them to "swaddle" their poppets in. Oh, another full day of fun with them! Boo Boo loves his "baby" too....

Princess Pea is really enjoying her Explode the Code books and I think Level 1 is perfect for right where she is at. She does a number of pages each time we pull it out, and often by herself! Her handwriting is improving daily, too.

Sid the Science Kid is really having a hard time doing any work without me being next to him full-time, which is why we haven't done math or grammar most of the week. By the time I'm done with my afternoon "block" of history, All About Spelling, Explode the Code, Bob books and math with Princess Pea, I am exhausted and don't want to do grammar and math with Sid. I'll get more done these next few weeks with these subjects since history and science won't be taking up most of our time.

So, school week 6 is done! I really only planned to do one more week of My Father's World, but if I'm late again, I might continue until I have the baby. We'll see if I get to the library next week to plan...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

MFW Homeschool Week 5 Review

This week we learned about the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower, Jesus being the Bread of Life, and Johnny Appleseed. Here is a picture of my school bookshelf. The top row is our Pilgrim/Mayflower books, second row is our bread books, third row is our Johnny Appleseed and apple books, and the fourth row will be new baby books for the next number of weeks.

The children love the story of Johnny Appleseed and are looking forward to the Johnny Appleseed Festival this month. We'll celebrate his birthday on September 26th and Kyler is hoping the baby is born on his birthday....ha! Instead of doing some separate topic with Angelica Pickle's Preschool, since all the kids participate anyway, I decided to do Johnny Appleseed with all of them. I didn't have too many projects, but we read about apple trees, read The Giving Tree by Silverstein, colored a picture of Johnny Appleseed, ate apples for snack, and made homemade applesauce. I'd like to take them back to an apple orchard this fall like we did last year. We'll see if we get there...

Well, the kids seemed to be a little bored with the Pilgrims this week, but still had fun with the projects and remember many of the details. They just weren't as interested in the way they dressed and lived as they have the other people we've studied. We made little Pilgrim paper dolls (like our Indian paper dolls here), I showed them how oiled paper makes a great waterproof window, we made butter and we still need to plant our corn and make our Mayflower boat. We got a little behind with appointments this week, but have a long weekend to make it up! We also made our own "Kellogg Compact" like the Mayflower Compact. The kids came up with some agreeable behaviors and signed the document saying they would try their best to adhere to the compact.

Here is what the Kellogg Compact said:
We will obey our parents happily.
We will be nice to each other and play nicely.
We will share.
We will clean up our toys.
We will avoid fighting.
We will put away our dishes at meals.
We will do our Helping Habits happily.
We will keep our rooms clean.
We will not say bad words. (like poop, naked and crap)
We will speak kindly to each other.
We will ask nicely for things and say please and thank you.
We will ask Jesus for help.
We will try our best to be like Jesus.

We talked about Jesus being the Bread of Life this week and discussed stories like God sending manna to the Israelites in the desert and the feeding of the 5000. We read many bread books about how bread is made, did some yeast science experiments, and then made some bread of our own. I didn't have time to made bread from scratch with yeast and all, so we decided to make some monkey bread and I explained that the biscuit dough we used already had the yeast in it. I think they still got the idea of it. And the monkey bread was good! Everyone got involved, even Boo Boo!

I got Princess Pea's Explode the Code books in this week and we started right in on them. She loves these books and I can understand why so many homeschoolers rave about them! She did probably six pages by herself one day and then just showed me later! We are going to put our Bob Books aside for now (she flew through sets 1 and 2 but I think set 3 is significantly harder and requires more knowledge of "rules") and we are going to do All About Spelling and our Explode the Code books everyday. We'll pick up the Bob Books again when I think she's got down some of the new rules, so she isn't frustrated trying to read them. I'm really liking the All About Spelling program so far, too. We are taking our time learning the sounds of the vowels (since each one has 3-4 sounds) because I want her to know them well. So far she knows all the phonograms she's supposed to know for the first Level except e, i, o, and u. She should have them down in the next two weeks, though. She is really excited about all her school stuff.

We went to town on projects for the house this weekend. My friend Cherry came over and helped me clean out my mudroom, add a new dresser upstairs and move Boo Boo's stuff into the boys' room, organize and put away many totes of kids clothes in the attic, clean out my changing table drawer, and clean out my front foyer closet. Paul moved my "hobby table" downstairs into our already-crammed office, but we will get good use out of it there by me and Kyler. I have since reorganized my whole computer desk area, the drawers of my "hobby table," and all of my fabric and sewing collection and also collected all my homebirth supplies in one place. It was a busy day! It was nice because Pop Pop and Grandma had us over for dinner, and we didn't have to cook after all that work either! I'm exhausted! And my list is growing shorter everyday...

Here is a photo of Sid the Science Kid reading in the office because it is a quiet place. Boo Boo found the door cracked open and brought in his own book to join Sid. Boo Boo loves to sit on the floor in my office and read his board books and show me pictures he recognizes while I'm on the computer or planning school stuff. He has his own little bookshelf in there.

Here is a video of Boo Boo saying some of the famous things he's known for. My personal favorite is when he signs and says "giraffe." It's usually super clear, too. He says more than this, but it's what I could think of in the moment. I really should video tape him more, but my video camera has not been working properly for a while now and all I have is the video on my camera.