"E says eh!" like in "egg shells"!

In homeschool, we're currently working on getting very, very familiar with the vowels and the short sounds they make. The boys know them all well, but not quite well enough yet. When they are fluent, I will introduce a consonant and start some blending. I'm very excited...and trying to be patient. :)

If you'll refer back to my goals, this lesson had my goal (as the teacher) in mind as well as the letter/letter sound goal for my 4-yr. old.

I know, it is sort of weird that we used old egg shells...But, it was a way to take a mundane task and spice it up a bit. Plus, the kids get excited about gluing....so that actually satisfies another of my goals for the kids. :)

The egg shells idea was not mine originally...I got it online. You can use the idea too, if you want.

We have other activities we're doing to get these vowels ingrained in our brains. I'll share them later.

My 4-yr. old is currently saying, "Mom, I want to do a lot of homeschooling!"...so...gotta go!

A Nice Weekend

Last weekend, our oldest, oldest...big, big boy...the big brother of them all...came to visit.

He plays football.

And he wrestles.

And he likes UFC.

And he likes Rock and Roll.


...he really and truly loves his little brothers and sister. He plays with them and fishes with them and talks about how he is going to protect them as they grow up.

As you can imagine, the little ones adore their huge brother just as much.

We had a good weekend.

Come back soon, Big, Huge, Enormous Brother.

Team Work

I put this alphabet up on the wall last week. While its intended purpose is to expose my boys to the letters at every turn, my baby girl is trying to learn along with the big kids.

She's showing off here, and then she's giving her big brother a little encouragement.

It's so darn cute.

Why I "Need" a New Camera...I Think

I believe the proper term for the problem I'm experiencing is called "overexposure". It rears it's ugly head especially in the summer time, since I take a lot of pictures outside in the sun.

I love this picture, but my poor baby's skin has the radiance of the sun. :) I've tried a little bit to remedy the issue by messing with Photoshop...but it makes her look unnatural in a more...orange way. :)

Of course, it doesn't help that my kids are such toe heads. Just that much more opportunity for reflecting the afternoon sun.

Look at the tops of the blondies' heads.

The background is what seems too bright in this picture.

Background again.

Maybe I can fix this with my high-end point and shoot. Does anyone know how?...or how to fix it with Photoshop Elements?

I'm pretty sure that if I had a DSLR, it would be a little easier to control the amount of light I allow into the lens...and maybe reduce the glare. Is that true?

Psalm 23

First Day of School

I'm so excited to homeschool, but I've always been intimidated by the idea of tackling these early childhood years. I sort of just want to skip to calculus with the boys. :)

But, I have determined to start an easy, fun regimen with the boys this year. Preschool, if you will.
The first day of school (2 weeks ago now), we started by decorating these little apples with cut up construction paper and glue.

They both loved it, and it was just what my oldest needed to get a little excited about homeschool. That, by the way, is one of my goals for the year: For my 4-yr. old to have good feelings about homeschool. So far, it's going well. :)

Other goals for my oldest:
  1. Identify all capital and lowercase letters
  2. Fluently recite short vowel sounds and basic sounds for all consonants
  3. Blend letter sounds to form words
  4. "Read" numbers 1-20, and order them correctly.
  5. Recite questions and answers to the first 20 questions in the Kids' Shorter Catechism.

Goals for my 3-yr. old (oops! ALMOST 3-yr. old):
  1. To have fun and learn as much as he wants to alongside his older brother. :)
We are working on shapes and colors and fine motor skills... but I've found most of that comes with time anyway.

Goals for me:
Oh, my...
  1. To provide a learning environment that is stimulating. :) That's general, but I'll figure out the specifics as I go. Right now, I'm trying to just be flexible and offer a variety of activities and mediums as I teach a lot of similar concepts.

Pray for me. :) I'm excited.

PS-I'm not using a purchased curriculum. I'm finding stuff online or making my own stuff as I continually review my goal and objectives. I'll share valuable resources as I go.

Are any of you readers interested in my homeschooling journey? :)

The idea for the apple craft was found here:

The printable I used is here:


We visited Hubby's family a couple weekends ago, and I so enjoyed watching my boys enjoy their cousins. We went on a picnic/hike, and I couldn't resist catching my oldest with his arm around my adorable niece.
It was not intended, but so pleasing, that I also caught my other precious niece mid-skip. I love it. I think I'm going to post this, and then I'm going to open up my Photoshop and crop that little Skipper right out and see how cute she looks all by herself...with her bouncing ponytail.
A moment later...no hugging or skipping. The effects a camera has on kids. :)

7.5 minutes later....
She is so darn cute. I cant' decide if I like it better, though, when I can compare her skipping with the other 3 kids' non-skipping... :)

A Big Boy

We have a birthday in our family this week.

This kid is going to be 3. I can hardly believe it.
What a great smile. I've decided his face is my favorite to take pictures of.

It's just perfect.

More birthday news to follow...