Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lots to catch up on

The kids and I recently got library cards to the Altamonte Springs Library. We've had county library passes for the past couple of years, but getting a city library card opens up a whole new collection of books to check out (and DVDs, too!).

Joshua read us the sign about how the building site was formerly home to a hotel.

The kids had a great time picking out books in the kids section of the library.
On Wednesdays (which is early day from school), the library has crafts. So fun!

Last week, we met up with Shandra and her family for dinner at an awesome little hole in the wall Mexican place with a buffet! It was awesome to try something new and have fun with great friends. Megan and Bradley were in the same classroom last year and were so thrilled to see each other!

We've been challenging each other with Battleship, and it's so funny to see how intense Daniel is when he's playing. I think his ear protectors are on because I was making smoothies and he doesn't like the blender.

On "Fat Tuesday" we were at the mall going to Barnes and Noble and we found a clown in the food court. So we just had to get Megan's face painted, and stop for some dinner, and then continue our quest for books. We finally used our Christmas gift certificates from Uncle Paul and Aunt Nessa and bought a bunch of great books. Megan and I are reading Anne of Green Gables together.
Coming back from Adventurers on Wednesday night, the rain encouraged some of the frogs to come out. Joshua when to pick up this frog, and it instead leaped onto Daniel's leg and Daniel freaked out screaming like a girl. Megan was cracking up the whole time. Of course, hyped everyone up so much that bedtime was delayed by about 30 minutes.

Daniel made this awesome sponge-painting of Keith during Adventurers this week. It was such a great lesson - the kids learned about Alphabet and Sponge Painting.

Today at church we had a fire-drill. And then it seemed as though Sabbath School got out a little early and we were home pretty early. We had some sandwiches and then went to go play in the park, since the weather was fabulous today.

We left the first park (the fishy park) and went to Eastmonte Park.

"Hey, Daniel, can you pick up that ball?" Never one to turn down a challenge, the boy tried with all of his might until I thought he was going to strain something.

We had a blast on the playground. We are hoping to get things planned for an upcoming birthday party at the park.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

We finished the book we were reading each night and have moved onto the Story of the World. Friends of mine that homeschool using the Classical Conversations recommended this book and the accompanying study guide when I mentioned that we were reading an ancient Greek book. We're now reading the section about the Ancient Egyptians and journaling about it.

We're enjoying the Egyptian history and have found a few great National Geographic videos streaming on Netflix to watch.

Keith and the kids came to join me for a quick lunch Saturday, since I was working. Sadly, I work every Saturday this month, because I needed to take some week-days to head over to Ormond Beach to attend doctor appointments with my mom. She has been diagnosed with Stage III Small Cell NeuroEndocrine Bladder Cancer. We are taking things one day at a time and this week and next will be busy with CT Scans and a full body PET Scan and then the follow-up to determine if there are any other cancer sites in her body. For now, she looks great and feels great, so it's hard to think that she's "sick" when she's just the same as she's always been.

Our usual weekend plan is for me to take one of the kids with me out for breakfast on Sunday morning. With three kids close in age, I rarely get to spend time just one-on-one with anyone. Last week, it was Megan. This week, I talked Daniel into coming with me to Einstein's for bagels. It was very cold, but not too cold for the new baby ducks to be out behind the store.

That's Daniel's shadow. I can to redirect him into the store, he wanted to go catch a "fuzzy, yellow one" for Megan.
Back in the car with our bagels and coffee. Yikes, it was cold.

Monday morning continued with the cold streak. The kids all wore hats and gloves to school. Then amazingly, today the high was 80 degrees. I actually sat out in shorts and a t-shirt by the pool reading for a little while.

All dressed up for Valentine's Day.

Me: Joshua, why aren't you wearing your red shirt?
Joshua: I decided to go with brown, like chocolates. I'm still Valentine-y.

I left my honey a card on his computer, since he usually studies in the morning while I take the kids to school and hit the gym (on the days that I'm off work). Then we met up for a fabulous lunch at our favorite sushi place.

The kids all came home with all sorts of candies, trinkets and note cards. My favorite was this craft from Daniel that says "I love my dog because it's a dotsine" Which should be dachshund.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kicking off February

This month started off with the fun anticipation that Groundhog's Day brings. The kids' teachers are really into celebrating every single fun little holiday.
Above is Daniel's classroom project. He came home and told me we had 6 more weeks of Winter. Well, if 80 degree days and 60-ish degree nights are Winter, sign me up for 6 more months of Winter!

SuperBowl Sunday was very eventful. Megan and I left the house at 7:30am to go to the grocery store, since we knew it would start getting really busy. We got all of our shopping done and were home in time to make breakfast about an hour later. Then the kids played and Keith studied, while I went to the gym to burn off some calories before indulging in way to many football snacks.

Megan was all geared up for the game. Although, she misplaced her Patriots shirt, so she put on her Georgia Bulldogs shirt.

Daniel helped make the snacks and he snacked so much during the cooking, that he ended up just eating some celery and eggs for dinner.

Joshua loved watching the game and some of the funny commercials. I was pretty pleased with how family-friendly the commercials seemed this year. Megan liked the dancing during the half-time show and then it was bedtime for all the kids. It was an intense end of the game, and sadly, the Patriots lost. There's always next year.

As I was driving the kids to school yesterday, Joshua and I had a funny conversation...

Joshua: Mom, we're learning a new Ozzy song at school.
Me: Oh, really? (Inside my head: huh?? Ozzy? Really? Like Ozzy Osborn?)
Joshua: Yeah, in music class we are working our way around the world and are now in Australia.
Me: Aussie song. Like kangaroos and boomerangs and stuff. I gotcha now.

Their music teacher is really fabulous. The kids all came home and told me about Chinese New Year and how they played drums in music class. So fun!

Art is a favorite for all the kids. At their school last year, they didn't have a designated art teacher, as it was incorporated into the classroom curriculum for the main teacher. This year, I'm loving that the kids are learning about different artists, different types of art mediums and are being allowed to try out their own art creations. Daniel tells me that the kindergarten kids are learning about sculptures and that he's been working with clay.

Megan's artwork above is from her art class. She's been learning about the impressionists.

Another thing that's new for the kids this year is the media teacher. Their last school had a great library, but didn't have a designated library class for the younger grades. Here at the new school, the kids each have Media mixed in with their LAMP rotation.

L = Life Skills (teaches things like community involvement, responsibility, anti-bullying, the DARE officer talks about drugs, it's really fabulous that they talk about these things on a repeated basis)

A = Art (each grade level has a different emphasis, starting with Kindergarten, it's Megan's favorite class)

M = Media (the Media teacher teaches the kids how to behave in the library, use the computerized card catalog, some computer skills, and the kids get to check books out of the school library to bring home)

P = Physical Education (PE has 1 coach and 2 teachers that help the kids work towards the goals on the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, and teach organized games like Capture the Flag, so fun!)

I love, love, love how broad their knowledge base is becoming this year. Everyone kept telling me that public schools do nothing but "teach to the test". The test being the FCAT, part of No Child Left Behind. This has not been our experience, but I can imagine a lot has to do with each teachers' individual teaching philosophy and this year we've been blessed with awesome teachers. Joshua will take the 3rd Grade FCAT this year, and other than soccer practice being cancelled for FCAT week, he's really not too bothered by it.

With Daniel's reading coach at school, he's been reading Mo William's books about Pigeon. I love these books, they are hilarious! Daniel picked out two at the Altamonte Springs Library today after school.