Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Than the Landscape is Changing

This past Friday Alex stayed home from school. His class was going on a 5 1/2 hour field trip that I declined to send Alex on because of his cathing and medication schedule and no one was there to watch him. So I kept him home and he and Dennis had a play day.

Dennis scraped his chin so we put a pickle band aid on it-- because we all know how pickle band aids make owies feel way better than plain ol' band aids, just ask Dennis.

Anastasia and Sveta have most of the same curriculum, and this is where they do their work.

Here is there most recent work in Wordly Wise.

It was fun teaching Jonny, Sveta, and Anastasia how to use a calculator. Afterwards, we set up a store and played with real money. I made grocery lists which would have a non-specific item like snack or drink on it and they would have to choose Pop tarts, or peanuts, or crackers depending on how much money they had. They each rotated being the shopper, clerk, and bagger.

I love how we have the freedom to do things like this with home school. The kids love it too!

Julia was working on an Algebra puzzle book I chose for her with her educational units and she found some mistakes. I encouraged her to write her first official business letter to let the publisher know. They were pleased that she would take that initiative so they let her choose something from their website for $15.00. How cool is that?
Here is our rock river that we are laying. The water from the yard naturally drains through this area, and we have so much rock in our yard that I thought it would be a neat thing to add to the landscape.
Today I went with a few kids to the local nursery with a 20% off coupon in hand. We got seven new trees, some free flowers, and a couple of shrubs. The guys who work at the nursery took pity on me when they saw how I planned to transport all of our trees home so they offered to deliver them for free. What a totally unexpected blessing!

We spent the late afternoon planting them as John reminded me to think of this time as bonding with our new home since he knows that I still miss our old one. What a sweet husband I have.

As a way to spend quality time with just a few kids at a time, I had the kids vote on which type of restaurant they liked best-- Chinese, Mexican, or pizza. Then I had one of the kids draw a restaurant. Mexican won and so all of those who chose Mexican food as their favorite went on a date with John and I out to dinner. The other kids will go on a different night. They dressed up and had fun picking out John and my clothes too!

We shared each other's food, giggled constantly, and enjoyed our special date night through and through!

Anna got the Shrimp Marisco.

Julia got the Super Nachos minus the sour-cream, onions, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, and salsa. In other words, Julia had the Un-Super Nachos! And of course, I didn't want all of that yummy stuff to go to waste so I topped my rice and beans with them.

Anastasia couldn't believe the size of her giant chicken burrito and neither could we. Too bad she preferred my fish tacos, so of course I shared with her and she with me.

Galina was in the mood for something spicy so she ordered the Shrimp Diablo.
After dinner, we went for ice-cream. We were so excited with all the new flavors. Galina had carmel apple, and I had Lemon Head, and I sampled Red Hot ice-cream too! As we drove home eating ice-cream, I commented if turning on the heater was a good thing. Yes, it would keep us warm while eating cold ice-cream, but would the heater make it melt faster? Dilemmas, dilemmas.
I just love our family.
P.S. Three years ago, I would never ever in a million years have allowed eating in the car let alone sticky, icky ice-cream. I don't know what has gotten into me, but whatever it is, I think my kids like it.


  1. Looks like a great night out!!
    love the pickle band aide
    and if i may many of your children do you home school?

  2. Looks like such a wonderful time was had by all at dinner!!! I'm always amazed how much food is served at Mexican restaurants! I notice Anna has what looks like pink/purple in her hair?? I'd LOVE a post about that!!!


  3. Fantastic post! I always love seeing Alex's smile"! Dennis's bandaid it too cute on You know...I've been following your blog a long time and even commented once that both Rachel and Alex look like you...but it never occured to me until this post and the picture of Anna, how very much she looks like your husband John! It's amazing! :) all of your children in many ways look as though they could be biological siblings, it's amazing that no matter how families are brought together they seem to blend and just "fit" so well together! (didn't want that to sound strange...sorry if it did) glad you had a great time on your date night!

  4. Hi again Christine, I just saw your comment on our old blog...the address to the new one is you need a password to view it but I think I already have you listed. :) let me know if you aren't able to and I will invite again.

  5. I'm the one who said you shouldn't feel like you're being graded, and to lighten up, but I gotta say, I'm really impressed by your homeschooling projects. I never did anything as formal as what you're doing, and all my kids have turned out to be awesome students, and able college students (3 so far, and another next year.) Imagine how your kids will take off! Keep up the good work. Just wanted to encourage you.

  6. Your rock river is soo cool!
    Are You adding a little chineese bridge on it?

  7. Oh, what a great idea for eating out and spending time with just a few kids at a time!!!! I LOVE this!!!

  8. In the picture at the resturant, it looks like there is a small child standing on John's arm in the background!ROFL!! It looks like she is wearing a little skirt and white tights.

  9. Good idea with the restuarant and that food looks good! Think I need to go find a snack....

  10. Your homeschooling does look like fun; I loved homeschooling, though I didn't do such special stuff, either - then I just had one at a work.

    The Mexican restaurant photos make me want to go out!!! I'm with Sarah on those large portions! I think I don't put out as much food for my whole family at dinner, as Galina got on her plate, but that's always nice for take-home.

    What a fun idea to put the kids into smaller groups....and Gee - I guess you and John get three nice dinner's out!!! I think Craig and I need to try that.

  11. FUN, FUN, FUN!! I just adore your family...thanks for sharing your life with all of us...the ups and downs~we benefit from them all!

  12. I LOVE the "date" idea!! I think we may try that! I would just be afraid that my family would all pick the same and it may backfire :) I guess with a family your size it is pretty sure that they all won't :) Thanks for the idea...


  13. I liked your blog post!You all seem like you always have alot of fun!Do you homeschool your children?

  14. What a great idea! We will have to try this for our kids! The food looked yummy and y'all look like you had a great time!


  15. What a wonderful night out - your children will treasure these memories!
    You're doing so well with your landscaping - what kind of trees did you end up getting?
    I'm sure Alex had fun playing with Dennis for the day! Dennis sure is growing up quickly!
    Have a wonderful day

  16. Hi! I feel it is important to have pleasant events in ones children lives. Meals are a great time to bond with family members. Christ in the Bible used meals as a bonding time with the imporant people in his life.Meal times can create a pleasant family experience and increase bonding between parents and children and sibs,Your children will remember all these postive meal outings and may want to continue the tradition on when they have chidren of eating out. Pat

  17. What a fun idea...we treasure our time with just one or a couple of kids, as well.

  18. Ok, so since finding your blog I've always admired you, and your parenting/family style. Now I'm getting a bit jealous of your homeschooling greatness in such a short time! LOL I've been at this for 4yrs and struggle where you make it look so easy :) We tried the Worldly Wise a couple years ago but I don't remember the drawing exercise, did you come up with that on your own or is that part of their revised edition? thanks!

  19. That shopping exercise was a great idea! I bet it was so much fun! And WTG Julia for writing such a great business letter. Great lessons!

  20. Mom2four, for the Wordly Wise, I ahve the kids draw the vocabulary words that they learn from the story. Just this last lesson I began having them write a sentence using the word too. They really enjoy it and I love how it thoroughly teaches them new words like section, monument, attach, and utensils.

  21. mommytoalot, I homeschool all my girls and Jonny for a total of eight plus Dennis is home too.

  22. Sarah, the colored hair was from a doll that Grandma and Grandpa bought Anna for Christmas. She asked if she could put some of the doll's hair dye in her hair and I said yes. Normally I would not allow her to go out with hair like that but she didn't have time to shower. Galina and Anastasia had it in their hair too.

  23. Marzenka, I want to add a bridge but don't know if we will buy it our build it. Only time will tell.

  24. De-- you are right-- there is a little girl statue behind John. :)

  25. I love that you guys are doing this, taking just a few kids at a time. It's a great way to spend time with them and they'll remember this forever.

    That Mexican place serves HUGE plates! I think my entire family could eat Galina's food. :D


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.