Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Because We're Happy

I'm not going to say that I am bad at getting pictures of the children.  It's really that the children are bad at getting ready in good time to take darling photos.

And really as cute as those "first day photos" are, I find myself rolling my eyes at them a little.  They bother me: the perfectly coifed children holding the perfect, little slate, with "first day of school, X grade" written in pretty cursive.

I'm just one to want to live in the moment and relish it as it is and not because I'm going to take the perfectly posed keepsake photo during that moment.  It kind of makes life feel forced.  I guess if I'm going to take a picture I want it to be natural and photos almost never are.

First Day of Home School Co-op

I would have liked to have a picture of all my children dressed neatly in their Co-op uniforms.  But, it just did not happen, because they were all busy having a great time meeting with there friends and learning new things.  I took a couple posed pictures, but their with other children and I do not feel right posting them without parental permission.

We made a model of the layers of the earth at Co-op

Claytonopolis School

Our first week of school was very smooth.  I made chore cards for each child to carry around.  I made cards for morning, noon and night.  We have done pretty well learning morning and noon chores, which made our home school day go very smoothly.  We have not begun the night chores yet.  I figure those will come in time.  The chore cards have helped because both the children and I know what they ought to be doing at all times.  If something is left undone, we all know it.

After working all summer, we decided to begin Kristiana on first grade material.  I was a little skeptical as to whether she could do it, especially in spelling.  But, she performed like a star the first week.  She even impressed me by proving she could write her very long name.

The second week she is having a little trouble wanting to finish all the work.  My solution, give her a big long play break; and of course, she can have no T.V. or media time unless the school work is done.

Annie, has enjoyed some preschool time too.  She wants to do what Kristiana is doing, which Kristian never wanted to do what Alex was doing.  Annie has also spent lots of contemplative time with our preschool manipulative.

Lucy does her own things and almost never bothers us.  We're super lucky with this baby--going on big girl.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Making of a Passport Photo

I am totally amused at the making of my passport photo:

-two side tables
-three table lamps
-one child sized chair
-poster board
-masking tape
-three giggling kids
-one pseudo-photographer husband

We ended up having to get our five year old daughter to crouch behind my chair holding a lamp behind my head so there was no shadow behind.

What amuses me so is these two photographs are the same picture, same moment.
One is chaos, the other peaceful.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


We went to see the Cataldo Mission one Sunday after Liturgy.  It's the oldest building structure in Idaho.  It was built by the Jesuit missionaries between 1850-1853 for the Coeur d'Alene tribe.  It was built in the Italian style.  All of it was handcrafted.  Wood was carved and painted to look like marble.      The paintings were hand painted. The candle holders and chandeliers were carved out of tin cans.  This place was clearly created by people with great devotion and reverence.

Mno Hiya Lita!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Just One

It's been a busy week of swim lessons and home school.

The kids have swims lessons each morning Monday through Friday, and we stay in the pool extra time for fun.  I believe it has tired them out.  My son professed he is actually burnt out on swimming.

On the other hand, Annie began the week crying through her swim lessons and now she smiles through them.  Her teacher was very patient about her crying.  She did not baby Annie.  She only reassured her.  The teacher also made Annie do all the swimming activities even though she crying.  Annie finally realized she was just going to have to suck it up, because she wasn't getting out of it.

For the past two weeks Kristiana and I have been working on her Kindergarten materials for an hour each day.  In that hour, we work on religion, reading, nursery rhyme memorization, writing and art and math.  It sounds like a lot, but it's pretty low key.  I teach her a lesson and then I ask her to demonstration her knowledge of the lesson.  If she cannot demonstrate, then that day we spend more time on it.  

A lot of the time, Kristiana seems a bit ADD to me.  It's a struggle to get her to focus on one thing.  She does not learn very well by just listening.  In fact, she does not even acknowledge being called, very well.  Sometimes I have to yell very loudly before she acknowledges being addressed.

If I can occupy her hands, then I can often get her attention better.  Sometimes I draw what we will talk about and ask her to color it while I teach her the lesson.  Today, I started thinking up hand motions for her religion lesson.  I am going to call her a tactile learner.  I do not know if this is just her age or her method of learning.  She also talks non-stop from morning to night.  She often talks herself to sleep at night.  She's also very creative and artistic.

I have a feeling Kristiana did not accomplish much this year in her lessons because she has a special learning style that I need to grasp and put in order for her.  But, since I have been able to work with her one-on-one without interruption for the past two weeks it has felt more like it was with my son.  Kristiana has made big progress.  Now I need to figure out how to do this with more than just one.

This is our favorite book for Kristiana right now, "Draw, Write, Now."  Alex did no like it as much.  He's not the artist type.

Mno Hiya Lyta!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Washington Trek 2014

Ready to Ride
This little girl is the worst traveler of our family.  
We had to entertain her the whole way.  It was a pain. 
Then she would cry for an hour before she would nap.
At night, she played up. 
But, she was funny too.  She learned a lot of new words on our trip.
At one point she started screaming at a big rig hauling cars.  
She yelled, "Get down! Get down!"  She thought the cars were up where they ought not. 
It was a riot. 
We told her it was okay.  They were stuck up there.  Then she starting saying, "Stuck? Stuck."

Good travelers.
All on one bench seat, taking care of each other.

We saw hundreds of giant windmills all across the prairies.

We visited at Grandma's house in Wyoming.
Grandma set off fireworks for us!
Fun times.

Alex built a castle out of the broken bedrock on Grandma's property.  Mommy helped.

Lady loves Grandma's property, because she can run and sniff and explore.

The kids can too.

And it is very peaceful.

We visited Uncle Adam's tomb, and laid flowers there.

We watched the trains go by at the downtown Laramie bridge over the tracks.  
They blew their horns for us.

Artists have painted the buildings down town.  This is new since I was a child.

This happened here.  It's the pride of our state. "The Equality State."

My mom found this statue in a storage unit somewhere.  
I'm convinced it's the statue from my first grade classroom at St. Laurence Catholic School.  
If it is not, it is at least a replica. #nostalgia

Then we drove 1,000 miles more through Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, taking in fresh mountain air and huckleberry ice cream and finally arrived at our final destination in Washington.  

Now is the time for Washington adventures.
Mno Hiya Lyta!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2013-2014 Home School Year

The month of May went by quickly and was marked by travel.  I have not had much internet access for a couple weeks.  This is a post I have been meaning to do for a while.

Here are pictures from the beginning of our school year and the end.

Kristiana is continuing her work through the summer, because she did not work very hard during the school year.  I was okay with that, because she is not technically school age.  However, I am taking advantage of the fact that older brother is off for the summer and I can give her some one-on-one time.  Reading without sounding out is just starting to click with her.  It's nice to see her progressing and succeeding.

Alex did very well, up until the end of school and then he seemed to check out.  We will do better next year not to check out. :-)  He is still doing marvelously well.  He reads now without be told to; His best subject is religion.  He's pretty good at spelling too.

I tried to think who I thought had grown and matured the most this year.  I could not pick one.  They have all grown so much and matured in wonderful ways.

Fall 2013

Spring 2014