Monday, January 22, 2007

More twenty questions

You would only ever get this as a present from one homeschooler to another...

First question should always be, "is it alive?"


2. Is it bigger than my toddler?

Thank goodness, no.

3. Is it smaller than a crayon?

Unfortunatley, yes.

4. Does it crawl around?

yes.... ewww!

5. Does it have 6 legs?


5. Three body parts?


6. does it have wings?


7. Does it look like a stick, grow bigger every day eating the scraps of lettuce you keep feeding it, and look so sad in the tiny little jam jar you have it in?

I wonder if the humane society has any rules about insects? stay tuned for more adventures with our new colony of stick bugs. What am I supposed to do with these guys?

Twenty Questions

One evening it was far too early for bedtime, the kids had far too much energy to let them run around the house unsupervised, and mom and dad were far too tired to do anything besides sit on the couch, so we began a game of twenty questions.

Try playing it sometime with a handful of children all under the age of reason.

First it was mommy's turn to think of something: (a fork)
E asks the first question, setting the tone for the whole game, "ummmm is it a mouse?"

"No, don't guess what it is, ask about it!", explains mommy, thinking maybe this game is too old for her.

"Ok," she says, "Is it alive?"


"Does it have feet?"

Mommy shakes her head with exasperation, "It's not ALIVE!"

"oh right!" E says, " is it a cat?"

Later (much later) it was E's turn to think of something:

"Ok, I'm ready", she proudly proclaims.

Mommy guess first. " Is it a person?"


"Is it a thing?", daddy asks.


"Is it bigger than you?", asks mommy.

E looks over a the front door, and sizing it up says "ummm.. yes!"

"Is it the front door?" mommy asks with a smile.

"YES!!" she says very excited that mommy guessed it so fast.

"you're cheating!!" daddy exclaims. (he was just jealous he didn't get it sooner).


Z was the funniest by far, however. On his turn he thought for a whole 3 seconds before he picked his and then before anyone had a chance to guess he began with:

"Ask me if I'm thinking of a train"

Totally thrown off by this start, we burst into laughter and had nothing to do but ask him.
"Is it a train?"


More hilarious laughter from the adults.

Then mommy had a stroke of genius and remembered the book that he was reading all afternoon, and asked "Is it a helicopter?"


Do I know my kids or what?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Lapbook information

Here are some of the resources that I have found online about lapbooking. THere are lots of other places I'm sure, but this will give you somewhere to start from if you are intersted in making your own.

Literature Amidst Roses
Cay Gibson's wonderful site about lapbooking (and if you have time, check out her blog too)

The HomeschoolMom
A good general overview of lapbooking, with lots of links

What is Snow

Scrapbooking to Learn
Beautiful looking site with lots of information.

Sophia Christian Academy Lapbooks
One mother's website of the lapbooks she's done with her children

More artwork and a foray into lapbooking

Where has my time gone? It seems like ages that I've had a chance to sit at the computer for more than 4 minutes. Life with little kids all around is definately exciting, that's for sure. The laundry and dishes alone make for very busy days.

We've been having lots of fun making artwork over the last few weeks. On the weekend we took the time to organize what we've been learning about insects into a lapbook. Lapbooks are a fun way of visually organizing information. Typically you take a file folder and fold both sides towards the middle like window shutters, and then you decorate the whole thing with little books or pictures about what you've been learning. Sort of like a report that an older child would write.

This was our first try at a lapbook and we all had fun making it together (wow, does it ever make the house messy making all those crafty things). We are going to try doing a little bee book this week.

You can click on the album below to go see our pictures of the lapbook. There are also other pictures there that E has been working on over the last month or so.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Outings with the littles

Haven't done much posting this week because I haven't had a lot of time to myself. We're starting to do more schoolwork again and have been working on learning the 8 facts in addition, and list F in SWR. E always surprises me with how fast she picks up both spelling and math. I hope all the rest of my kids are this easy to teach :-)

I actually got out of the house with all five kids by myself again!! This is quite a feat, because as most of you know, I have to juggle two 3 month old babies, a toddler (20 months) who thinks running away is the best game invented since her other favorite game of climbing out of strollers and highchairs, a 3 year old boy with enough energy at times to power the Internet, and a very distractable 6 year old.

I am determined to make use of our very expensive stroller, however, so each week I have been trying to get out of the house at least once. A worthy goal to shoot for, I think. Last week we went to the library and it was very successful (if you go by my new expectations of what successful means), and the week before that we went to the grocery store to buy some chicken nuggets (how could any family with littles survive without a box of chicken nuggets in the freezer?? I HAD to go!). This week we made an extra special trip to the local science centre and children's museum. Our dear friends, the godparents of the twins, gave us a family pass there for christmas (thank you!!) and we had so much fun!

I love getting out of the house with all the children at once because it gives me so many opportunities for adult conversation. Mind you, it is usually the same conversation each time, but when you live my life, that's ok. Nearly every other adult I walk by wants to talk to me because they can't believe they are all mine LOL. You can literally see them counting each child in their head as I walk by.

I must be getting a lot of prayers from people though, because I have a great sense of peace most of the time. In fact, when I was at the science centre, I ran into a mom who had her 18 mo old twins with her (her only children), and she was amazed that I was out of the house and how I 'look so happy', she said. I just laughed and told her I was happy because I was out of the house instead of sitting at home with my chaos. She said she would remember me when she has bad days. Glad to be the 'someone always has it harder than me' person for her :-).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Back to school with... insects!

A new year and a fresh start to school. We started on thursday, and for this week we have learned lots about insects, making a craft about bees and their hives from this book which is part of a great series of science and nature craft books.
The hive is made out of six paper hexagons that we cut out of cardstock, folded into shape, painted, and then glued together. I used the template from here, but next time I would try to get a smaller, deeper hexagon to make it more realistic.
This is Z's bee.. he drew it, cut it, and painted it himself!!
We have also done two lessons in spelling, started to learn our 8 facts in addition, and read many many stories.
It feels good to be doing regular work again. When the babies were first born it seemed like it would take at least a year to get started, but here we are at 14 weeks and we're doing great! Of course, my expectations of what makes for a good school day have been significantly lowered since then, but hey, we're learning and we're having fun!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ten things I love starting with the letter D

Thanks to Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight for giving me a letter for this fun post. If you want to do one, leave me a comment and I'll give you a letter too :-)
My 10 favorite D things:

My Dad
What girl couldn't love a daddy like mine? He's gentle and kind, funny, strong, a great hugger, and smart. He kills mice, fixes things, cleans my house when i'm overwhelmed, moves furniture and always tells me he loves me with a wonderful smile. Love ya dad!

My parents always bring over a box of doughnuts when they come visiting on mondays and I love them!! Too bad they have Dairy in them (a D word that I despise because it always causes problems with my breastfed babies).

My favorite sunny flowers. They are so cheery, and bring a smile to my face. My neighbour generously donated some last summer to be planted along my picket fence out front, and I hope they survive and take over!!

My little cousin Douggie was so much fun to play with when I was a kid. He is like the little brother I never had. When we were playing hide-and-seek with him, we could always find him by yelling out the word 'NUTMEG!' because sure enough he would start giggling away. What a cutie-pie!

I love baking, although I don't seem to have much time for it these days. There's something so satisfying about doing everything by hand. I have a fancy mixer, but it's always more fun to mix the dough with a wooden spoon, or knead things with your good clean hands. THe kids think so too!

When it rings, I know that there is someone there to break up the monotony of the day and give me some adult conversation... even if it just the vegetable delivery man. Since the twins came, I have come to love the sound of the stomp, stomp (on the porch), ding-dong.

Dating my dh
We don't do this enough (wonder why? anyone want to watch 5 kids under 7 for me tonight?) but I sure do love spending one on one time with my sweetie. Movies, bookstores, coffe shops, grocery stores... whatever, as long as it's with just him.

One of my favorite things is going for a walk just at dusk. I love the way the sunlight turns golden and casts everything in a soft warm glow, looking like it had come fresh from the makers hands.

Dinner time
Although there isn't a lot of food that actually gets eaten during dinner time, I love that it is a chance for all of us to be together as a family. It's a little overwhelming to look around and see those five little faces that we are so responsible for.. especially when we can't seem to get them to actually eat anything (how are they going to grow?), but we know they are all such blessings to us, and we are richer than any king and queen.

Of course! Chocolate, cake, chocolate cake, pie.. yummy.. i'll have seconds!

Dainty things
Anything feminine and pretty, light and delicate. I'm not elegant, and I wouldn't consider myself beautiful.. but I would love to be pretty and delicate. Gentle, and sweet.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So that's why she's so picky

E, on why she doesn't want to finish her pasta:

"I just don't want to eat it because the spit from my mouth keeps getting on it when I chew it and it makes it taste yucky"

How do you respond to that??

copycat brother

Z loves to copy his sister. A good chunk of his creative play involves following what she does, immitating her voices, singing her songs. Today they were playing knights and princesses:

"Where's my princess?", the king bellows.

A sweet voice calls out from behind the chair, "I'm over here! I was just getting my crown and my earrings".

"Where are MY earrings?" The knight says, in an equally sweet, high voice as he runs over to the princess.

Laughing, the princess tells him " YOU don't wear earrings!", and the play dissolves into silliness with lots of giggles and silly faces.

I'm sure things will change when the twin boys grow up and start playing with Z. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Feast of Saint Basil

We started using a calendar this year with stickers for all the feast days of the church.
Each day E has been putting the new sticker on and practices reading the day of the week and the month. She's also learning about each saint as we come to their feast day.

Today we celebrated the feast of St. Basil who is one of the great saints in the history of the church. You can read more about him at Catholic culture. From the same website, we read about the Greek custom of baking a cake (called a Vasilopita) in honour of St. Basil, in which you hide a silver coin. Whoever finds the coin is believed to be especially blessed for the next year.

We had fun baking the cake together. Because I was nursing a fussy baby, E got to do almost all of it herself with me instructing from my chair. She measured, poured, cracked eggs, and stirred. In fact, she did such a good job that I think I need to give her more jobs in the kitchen.

We were a little worried about how the cake would turn out, because it rose pretty high (with the yeast), but in the end it was beautiful!

E was the lucky one who got the coin in her piece of cake. She was so excited. I told her she could keep the money and go buy something, or save it up for something bigger, but she has decided that she is going to give it to the poor like St. Basil, and is now going through the house trying to find money laying around so she can give even more. Her generous heart never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 01, 2007

happy new years!

My sister joined us for the evening and we had a very enjoyable night. Despite the babies being sick with colds, they gave us smiles, and the three other kids were all in good spirits too.
We played our own version of pictionary for most of the night, and then daddy read us a bedtime story *(hillarious).
After bedtime for the kids, the grownups watched a movie... we brought out the big monitor for our special guest instead of using our regular laptop pulled up to the couch on the coffe table.

Below are some of our pictures from the game. Can you guess them?

John Paul getting his diaper changed
Knight on a horse standing in the river
baby crawling