August 26, 2009

Caleb reads Luke 5:12-13.

A clip of Caleb reading God's Word. He is becoming a more confident reader. He will be finishing his phonics instruction very soon and will receive his very own Bible as a gift.

August 25, 2009

School Plan

Yesterday we started a new school year at our house. And so, this post is for my family who loves to know what we are going to be working on...

Caleb 1st Grade:

Copywork and dictations for handwriting

Language Smarts B for grammar review

Lots of chapter books for reading practice

Horizons Math 1

Mind Benders and Thinker Doodles for logic


Nature Journal


Handwriting Without Tears

Rod and Staff ABC Series for preschool skills

Zoologic and Can you Find me? for logic intro

Kumon Mazes Books

LOTS of preschool activity bags and other manipulatives


Five in a Row Volumes 1 and 2 (for reading, social studies, science, art and applies math and language arts)

Spanish vocabulary and oral practice

Music (mostly Baroque period)

There you have it! It looks like a lot but we don't do all of it every single day.

Looking forward to blog more about our learning adventures this year!

August 23, 2009

Meerkats Lapbook

Noah chose meerkats for his animal study. He was fascinated with these little creatures after our last visit to the Houston Zoo. We did not use all the printouts from Homeschool Share but he still had a lot of fun folding, cutting, coloring and choosing where to paste the minit books.

Posted by Picasa

Wild Dogs Lapbook

We are going to do animal studies once a quarter. The boys will get to choose the animal, I will gather book that we can read together and they will create lapbook to copy all they've learned.
This week Caleb chose to learn all about wild dogs. We used the reading suggestion and printouts from Homeschool Share.
This was very special lapbook for him because for the very first time he did all the writing parts. I will post later this week on my videos a clip of Caleb sharing what he learned.

Posted by Picasa

August 22, 2009

Silly Brothers

Poor baby Sarah...she was already a victim of her brothers' prangs!!
Posted by Picasa

Beating the heat pt...I lost count! :)

Some shots of the boys having fun with their water guns in our yard. ;-)

Posted by Picasa

August 19, 2009

On Being a Servant of God

This weekend our church will launch their new ministry year: promotion Sunday, next Bible study groups begin, ministries resume program, etc.

I don't know about you, but I get very fired up about a new year of ministry. Even when we are merely servants (our pastor in Chicago used to call us "unpaid ministers"), my heart truly rejoices at the beautiful privilege of serving the body of Christ. Brad and I have been praying for the Lord to help us discern where to serve at our church in Texas and that he will use us to stir up others toward love and good deeds and grow us in compassion and meekness.

There's one little book that I LOVE to read and re-read every time I am starting a new season of service for Christ. It's called "On Being a Servant of God" and it's written by Warren Wiersbe.

Here's an excerpt I posted a year ago and wanted to share again....

A great reminder for those who serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope it blesses you as much as it did to me!!

Excerpt from "On Being a Servant of God" by Warren Wiersbe, chat # 9:

"A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God". (Robert Murray M'Cheyne)

Certainly God wants to use our talents. After all He gave them to us. But along with the developing of our talents and spiritual gifts is the perfecting of our character. We are God's weapons; and if the weapon is to be effective, it must be polished and sharp.

You may not think of yourself as a weapon, but the metaphor is quite biblical. In Isaiah 49:2, Messiah is compared to a sharp sword and a polished arrow and "the sword of a mighty man". Paul used the image in Romans 6:13 where he admonished believers to yield their bodies to God "as instruments of righteousness"; and the word translated "instruments" means "tools", or "weapons".

Christian service means invading a battleground, not a playground; and you and I are the weapons God uses to attack and defeat the enemy. When God used Moses' rod, He needed Moses to lift it. When God used David's sling, He needed David's hand to swing it. When God builds a ministry, He needs some body's surrendered body to get the job done.

There's no substitute for Christian character. No matter how much talent and training we may have, if we don't have character, we don't have anything. A holy life is a useful life. And life is built on character, but character is built on decisions. The decisions you make, small and great, do to your life what the sculptor's chisel does to the block of marble. You are shaping your life by your thoughts, attitudes, and actions and becoming either more or less like Jesus Christ. The more you are like Christ, the more God can trust you with His blessing.

A holy life isn't the automatic consequence of reading the right books, listening to the right tapes, or attending the right meetings. It's the result of a living, loving union with Jesus Christ and a life marked with godly discipline.

You are important to God, so keep your life pure: "A holy minister (servant) is an awful weapon in the hand of God".

August 18, 2009

Beating the Heat-Crayon Melts

I saw the tutorial to make these at No Time for Flashcards and decided to try it. They turned out so cool and with the HEAT we got going on, the crayons melted in about an hour. Then we had fun coloring with our "new" crayons.
Posted by Picasa

August 17, 2009

Sarah is seven months old!

Trouble with Blogger and Picasa this morning but hopefully you all can see these pictures of Sarah. She is 7 months old today. Her first year is just flying by. She is such a happy baby and it's starting to be very active sitting up by herself and starting to crawl and making funny faces.

Posted by Picasa

August 16, 2009

Beating the Heat pt. 2

Another way I kept the boys busy indoor was doing science experiments. We had a lot of fun usingUsborne's Science in the Kitchen activity book. The boys loved to watch raisins sink and float on a cup, try natural dyes on a shirt, test for acids on food and lots more fun experiments.

The best part of using this book is that all items needed you can find at home!!

Posted by Picasa

August 14, 2009

Beating the Heat pt. 1

When you get 100 degrees outside (with heat index) every single day for a few months in a row and you have 3 little kids at home all MUST get creative. Our friends and family in Chicago are always asking "how do you survive the heat?"

So I will attempt to answer that question here...

Back in the Spring I purchased a few fun hands-on kits for the boys to use during the summer. These have been great sanity-savers for me and they've proven to be a great investment so I wanted to share them here. I purchased all these from

1. Wooden Pattern Blocks and Pattern Animals Puzzle Book

Caleb is working slowly through all the puzzle pages, trying different ways of building the animals. The book includes some challenged that reinforce sorting, graphing and other skills but we have not tried those yet. One thing I find interesting is that he refuses to place a block on the face of the animals. Just like in the picture above of the spider. He always leaves that one blank. ;-)

2. Basic Cuisinare Rods Tub & Alphabet Book Puzzles

Both boys are enjoying this one. Building letters and objects. There's little puzzles to solve on each page as well.

3. Zoologic

This one is a one player board game. A gentle introduction to logic and spatial skills. It has 60 problems to solve. I got this one for Caleb but Noah is enjoying it very much as well. He got thru half of the problems without my help. Caleb says it's a little easy for him (he already got the end of it) but he doesn't mind doing them all over again...for fun.
Posted by Picasa

August 13, 2009

Did you know I love 'table time' ?

"When the boys are doing their table time activities, my Mami let's me be near them and I smile like in this picture and bounce up and down the entire time. Thankfully they don't mind me at all. But what they don't know is that I cannot wait to get my hands into their stuff!"
Posted by Picasa

August 10, 2009

Few more favorite pics...

Love this picture of our kids with their grandparents

Daddy and Noah at the pool

Boys + trees =FUN

Faith following a BIG bubble
Posted by Picasa

Sweet Pics from our Chicago Trip

Sorry to disapoint those who wanted to see pictures of the city, but on our last visit to Chicago we did almost no sight seeing. We miss our beautiful city but for our time there we just visited family and friends.

Still, I wanted to post some sweet pictures from our time there.

Caleb at the park...this boy LOVES the outdoor.

Noah and Alyssa with their bag of "Jelly Belly Flops" (the rejects!)

Sweet Sarah with "Auntie Laura"

Noah and his ball

Posted by Picasa

August 09, 2009

My Unit Studies At Homeschool Share

This summer I had a chance to write two unit studies for the Homeschool Share community. I have been so blessed by this site and groups of ladies for the past 3 years and so I wanted to give back a little bit as a way of saying THANK YOU!

There are so many great new units at the site! Here are the links to the ones I helped with....

Goodnight, Gorilla


I'm working on two more units: Big Red Barn and Hush!, A Thai Lullaby. Hope to submit these by the end of September.

Kids Workshop at Home Depot

A few months ago, Brad started bringing the boys to Home Depot's Kids Workshops. We have been so impressed with this award-winning program and our boys love their projects that I decided to blog about it.

If you've never had a chance to attend one, you should give it a try!!

The FREE kids workshops are held in all Home Depot stores the 1st Saturday of every month, between 9-12 noon.

Every child gets to use real tools and materials to prepare the wooden project of the day. All the projects are very useful items, such as Tools Sorter Box, Message Board, Window Birdhouse, Fireftruck Toy, Leaf Press Box, etc.

Our boys have had a chance to learn how to safely use real tools. Participants receive an orange apron to take home and bring every time to the workshops. They also receive a pin for each completed project (that they can put on the apron), stickers and a certificate.

You can check out what their upcoming projects will be at the Home Depot's website.

Here's some shots of the boys making a picnic caddy last July.

Posted by Picasa