Thursday, August 21, 2014

Homeschool - Week 1 {The Journey Begins}

Well, we have complete 2 weeks of our homeschooling journey for the bigger boys. It's been interesting, fun, exciting, stressful. It has been pretty much the same mixture of feelings for all of us. Whether we had decided to continue to send them to preschool or do this homeschool deal, it's been the same. We are just working off of our schedule instead of someone else's. Which is nice in some ways. Of course, we have had a day or two in which I wondered if that shiny yellow school bus wouldn't mind taking these monkeys to the big kids school for...a field trip? Kidding. Kinda. (They will never ride the bus. I've already burst that bubble. I mean, come on. I rode the bus. I know what happens on a bus. And, these buses...the high school kids ride with the elementary kids. Um, no.)

So, before I share the start of this new school year, let's take a look back at the first day of school last year!

First day of PreK-3 - August  27, 2013

First day of PreK-4 - August 4, 2014
Look at that. Where did that big kids come from? The glasses are just awesome. We go in for a check-up in October to see what's next. He will be 5...FIVE YEARS OLD!!! next month. Gasp! He is such a bog boy... No longer wants anything to do with Thomas. He just wants real trains. Real tracks. He is loving his Legos and will sit at the kitchen table for HOURS building all sorts of things. And, this is killing me just a tad...he no longer can fit in anything that has a "T" at the end. Yep, we shop in the big boys department now. No more's all XS and 4/5/6 for this guy. And those feet! Those shoes from last year's picture...Alex can't even wear those anymore. Just amazing how much they grow in a year, right?

First day of Mom's Day Out/PreK-2 - September 3, 2013
First day of PreK-3 - August 4, 2014
Yes. I know. This guy doesn't just think he is awesome. He knows he is awesome. He is hilarious. We still have the "terrible threes" days (because everyone know that the terrible twos is just a load of you know what...two was NOTHING compared to three. Especially with this one. Oh. Dear.), but mostly he is still my sweet little snugly guy. He talks nonstop. Wants to know everything about everything (Which I'm sure is all thanks to Sid the Science Kid - which is fine by me. Sometimes.).

Time for school!!

Curriculum: We are using Five in a Row (Volumes 1-3) and Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven (the link goes to another favorite blog that reviews this curriculum and sold me on it. Love Carrots for Michaelmas)

WEEK 1: How to See the World and Make Apple Pie / Letter A

This book was great! So much fun! We "saw the world" via the ever-awesome iPad and made our apple pie.

On the "beaches" of Jamaica having a French baguette and a crisp not-so-Vermonty apple!

Learning about Italy
Making our homemade apple pie - the recipe was from the story, too!

And that apple pie, my friends... That was think that made me realize that I have to have patience to homeschool because OH. MY. GOSH. The flour...oh, the flour... Yes, I knew it could get all over the place. And, it did. So, we also added in a lesson about science. As in, mommy's brain is going to explode all over this kitchen JUST like the flour if y'all don't cool it with the rolling pin. Good thing I had a little bit of Italy left in my fridge for later in the form of my favorite wine... It was fun overall, really. The boys learned about some amazing places and I learned that I need patience. Which I don't have. Can you buy it at Target??

For Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven, we learned about alligators (Which included...wait for it...a trip to the zoo! You had no idea, right?), made some "A" crafts, and did a little something for St. Anthony!

"A" is for alligator! Chomp-chomp!
Made the letter A out of cheerios...which starts with C...better luck next week! Haha!
Are you wondering where St. Anthony fits into the other than the fact that he is our letter A saint of the week?? So, here is the crazy story...

I had originally wanted to do both Saints Andrew and Alexander, but realized that being a mom there is ALWAYS something lost in this house - a forgotten action figure, a set of keys (or two), jump drives, name it... Something is always lost. Well, perfect. Let's learn about Saint Anthony and the little "prayer" that goes along with him:

Tony, Tony look around
Something's lost and can't be found

Maybe there is more to it than those few words, but that is all I know so that is what I taught them. And, really, if does give a little patience and calms one down enough to actually think where the lost item would be.

Only, I promise there is much more than that. At least for me - and now Jason believes it, too! He had lost his key to the van and some other item I can't think of right now. Well, I was helping him look every where for these things and I had not a clue. So, for kicks, I said the little diddy and suddenly I thought to look under the computer armoire... Why? I have no idea... But, jump back! BOTH ITEMS WERE THERE. Jason is just is complete shock and we are both laughing. Cracks me up still. Catholic "voodoo" what can I say? Kidding. Thank you, Saint Anthony.

Another thing that we did - almost completely accidental - for Saint Anthony was recommended by one of my favorite authors, Lisa  Hendey of In her book, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, Saint Anthony was highlighted. For the activity she suggested baking a loaf of bread and bringing it to your favorite priest as a thank you for his service. Well, not only did we bake a load of banana-blueberry bread for him to take home, but we were able to have Father Jaya over for dinner! We have been working on a night that would work for him all year and we finally found a great weekend that worked out. And!! It just so happened to fall on this week! Crazy! Maybe this homeschooling thing is exactly what God's wants us to do right now. Interesting how things just work out like that, huh? The stories he shared with us are just absolutely amazing!! So, so glad that we were able to do this and get to know one of our favorite priests a little better.

Have you had a priest over for dinner? Or your pastor and their family over? I was nervous to begin with, but we had a great time! The stories he shared with us about India, his family back home, and his life as a priest are just absolutely amazing!! So, so glad that we were able to do this and get to know one of our favorite priests a little better.

Father Jaya and Andrew - winners of round 1 and 2 of Go Fish!

Don't worry! I didn't leave out the smallest one! Austin gets to play, play, play with everything he can get his hands on while we get our school work done. Luckily, I have a few tricks I pull out when I need him to be occupied. These magnet toys from Uncle Justin and Aunt Kate are his new favorite things to play with. He has figured out where I keep them, too (in the pantry behind him...). So he will actually go over there and bang on those doors for me to get them out. So funny. Love that little guy!


There you have it! The first week of our preschool homeschooling journey! Lots of changes going on here, but were are having fun and learning something new each day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

9 Months!!

Ha! Did that title shock a few of you?!

No, there is not another Woyak in the picture. But, this little guy of ours hit 9 months old this month!!

Can you believe that?! I can't. Time flies faster now that I have three of these monkeys.

9 month check up - and bigger than all of 'em at this age!
He had his 9 month check up at the beginning of the month and he is doing FANTASTIC!! Remember me talking about the Ear Band-It that I got for Austin back in June? Well, thanks to having the best doctor ever - who doesn't just jump to surgery for a phase that we are going through and cares about his patients' needs/concerns - we NO LONGER need the ear plugs!!! Austin's ears are PERFECT!! We had a very thorough check-up and our doctor said to give it a try in the water without the ear plugs as he should be out of this funky stage. Guess what? We have been having a blast at the pool and everything for the past week and NO MORE EAR INFECTIONS!!! So, happy that we went with this solution (don't get me wrong...should he truly have needed the tubes, we would have gotten them...). And, I am very thankfully to have a happy baby who is back to 100%!

Praying...I mean playing...with his Rosary during our Religion part of our school mornings

Mad at Mama for locking all the cabinets...
This child gets into everything. Everything. It it opens, he takes whatever is in there out. If it closes, he almost always gets a finger stuck. If mommy says, "no," he laughs. If it is dangerous, interesting in any way, can break, or has something that catches his mischievous little eyes... He. Will. Get. It. The stinker doesn't quit. Sure, Andrew messed with a few things from time to time, but overall left it alone. Alex liked to mess with the outlets (How a Lego got stuck in one of the outlets and how he didn't get hurt is still beyond me. Clearly, his guardian angel rocks). But, this guy? Everything. EVERYTHING.
Loves to eat
And, when he isn't into everything... He is eating everything. Yes, we have added another bottomless pit to our family. And, yes, I know that this pit will only get bigger over time. Which is why we are now Costco members... Oh, my.

Loves the big boy toys
Loves being outside
Joined the "Got Milk" club this month :)

We just love this little guy. He is growing so fast! He still cruises while hanging on to things, but has recently added "brave" to his list of traits. He is starting to let go and stand for a few seconds. Only a matter of time. Only a matter of time... Stay little for just a bit longer, Mister. Or, at least don't let your first birthday sneak up on me. Speaking of that, I better get cracking. Three months. No, less than three months?? Oh, my. Time to grab a pencil and notebook!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Through Andrew's Eyes {and Alex's!}

A few months back, just before our road trip, we purchased Andrew the Leapfrog Explorer GS. And, at the time, I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to have the camera option or not. But, now that I have emptied his folder and updated his system, I'm glad I did go with the camera! The pictures are so funny. They are in no order and they may not make much sense. But, I just had to save them and share since it is so cool to see what he sees! Enjoy!

 First selfie
(by the way...I really can't stand that word...)

 Figuring out the camera functions

Say, "Cheese!"

 Gave Alex a go

 Alex like to show off his cool socks LOL

 How we pack for grandparents' houses - they thought it was cool to document that, I guess. :)

 Found out how to do a screen shot!

 At the doctor's office
(They are only allowed to have these games in the car for trips OR at places I need them to be occupied, such as the doc)

 A picture of the sunrise on our way to Minnesota - He must have had Alex take it since the sun rose on that side of the car. The file date is from our trip, too. I love that they wanted to take a picture of that!

 Alex staring off...must be getting tired

 Another screenshot

 Getting silly!

 At the doctor's office. This is so funny, too. Because it was not Alex's appointment. We took Austin to the doc just before leaving for our trip. I guess Alex was worried about just being there. 

 We took out the middle seat for our road trip and they thought it was awesome!

 Denise and Grandma laughing and wondering if the picture was taken or it was still a video LOL!!

 Train station at Grandma's house

 Alex fast asleep with all his stuff

The view from Andrew's window

A video was taken, too! So funny...that is SO Alex... That was taken at the end of May - we were headed to Christopher's graduation then. 

I loves these pictures he took! Can't wait to see more the next time I empty the folder!


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