Thursday, January 30, 2014

Budget Family Home Evening

Ok, so this next Monday we have been talking. It is time to do our budget, but we want to get the boys in on it. But we knew we couldn't go into to much detail because our oldest is only seven. But what we do know is that we can teach them the simple concept of living within their means.

We decided to go with a vending machine idea. Since we don't want to drag all six of our kids out of the house JUST to use an overpriced vending machine, we are going to create our own. We are going to have things priced from five cents to a dollar twenty five. Our kids LOVE candy bars, and we are going to tempt them with a king size snickers in the dollar twenty five slot. But the problem is, they only get a dollar. There will be some candies that are tiny that only cost five cents, but nothing as big, and as shiny as that king size snickers.

There are a few ways this lesson can go. All of the kids are disappointed they cant afford the snicker bar, but they all buy other candy that is within their dollar limit. Or, one boy decides to be nice and give away some of his money so his brother can have the snicker, then be disappointed because he started with the same money but ended up with less. Or two boys can pitch in together, get the snicker bar, and any other candy they can afford and split it all even down the middle.

I kinda wonder what choices they will make. I will keep you updated with what happens on Monday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Lesson with Life of Fred: Apples

Can I just say, I LOVE this book? I admit, when I was reading it by myself I wasn't too sure about it. It seemed maybe to move a little slow. I started by reading the first chapter to my boys ages seven, six, and five. I had never read it before. It wasn't fantastic. The boys weren't in the mode to listen and were antsy to get outside.

Today, however, I was prepared. Last night I read all the way to chapter eight so that I would know the story line in my head. I had decided to let the boys draw Fred and whatever else they heard about in the story as they were listening. I had my white board, they had their notebooks, and we all sat in a circle. I drew key points of the story on the whiteboard in the middle and they took notes in picture form as they were listening. Then when it came time for questions they just wrote their answers in their books. Reading the chapters before hand helped me move the story along and I was also able to get some props from the story for the boys to look at while I was reading.

All in all, with squirly boys I still got through four chapters in one sitting. I know they actually absorbed the information because every time they pass me I ask them another question from our reading today. They always get it right. The chapters are really short and you can do one chapter in a short amount of time, which is fantastic for boys who are ready to be outside doing things. They go outside or go play for half an hour and can come back for ten minutes to listen to a story and then go play again.

Also, I love that the drawing of Fred is so simple. Even my three and a half year old was able to draw a pretty good representation of Fred. And they each drew Fred doing things that he had done in his story. All in all I'm hoping that as we use these books they will grow to enjoy them even more. I will keep you posted.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dirt/Soil Crossword

Today we are doing Science and it is going to get DIRTY. Yep today we are talking about dirt. Among other things we will be doing here is a Word Search I drew up. Feel free to use it. We are spending the majority of the day on dirt and rotting things. The Boys should love it. Here is the crossword and the Answer Key I drew up. It took for freaking ever, so I hope someone else can use it. Update tomorrow on our Science Dirt Day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Letter

Though I know everyone's letter to santa posts are in jest, all I see EVERY time is people talking about gifts that they want. What about the gifts they have already been given? The first gift of Christmas was a child. A Child given to the world from our creator and Heavenly Father. That child was our eldest brother, and His only begotten son. How many of us parents could do that? Give our oldest child for the good of the rest of our children? Christ volunteered to be our redeemer. Christmas is in celebration of his gift to us, his life. What more could we put on a list, then that which was already given?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fan Fight, letter sounds edition

Oh my word, that was serious fun. Days like today make me freaking love homeschool. It didn't start off that way. We have decided to dedicate each day of the week to two subjects so we can focus and internalize our subjects for the day. Our hardest subjects are Language Arts and Math, as they traditionally require a lot of writing. I have four elementary boys who detest sitting still. Naturally, Language Arts and Math are our hardest subjects. Im fairly new at this homeschooling thing so when I have a win like today it is TOTALLY worth celebrating.

Today was not a good start. We had scripture study before breakfast...and the kids were WAY too wiggly. Lots of Mom and Dad yelling at kids to be quiet, real spiritual lesson. : / Then we had breakfast, more fighting over who got what bowl, and so and so got more cereal than I did. I make them all rinse their bowls and put them in the dishwasher. While I continue to load the dishwasher and start it, the boys are playing with the fans they made yesterday. [We just accordion folded card stock and put stickers around one end to keep it together to make a fan.] I could not get them to put the stupid things away. We had to study letter sounds and practice our reading. That isn't exactly a high energy thing to do. The boys were driving me nuts so I sent them each to a corner in the room with their fans. Then the wheels started turning.

Ok, here are the rules. You each have to answer my question. When you get the question right you may either bring an arm up [arm your self], bring an arm down for a hit, or move one step in any direction. If you answer wrong you do not move. The object of the game is to get one hit in on someone else and to not get hit yourself. If you go in for a hit and miss, then you will have to use one move to re arm yourself.” 

For the fun of it, anyone who got hit was no longer eligible to be the winner, but they could keep answering questions and get other people out. [I think being out was actually more fun because no one was after you, they were all just trying to avoid you.]

Then I would give them a letter and they had to tell me what sound it made. For the older boys I would give them a sound and they had to tell me each possible letter it could be, or combination of letters it might be. They played it for an HOUR. And, we were whacking each other with paper fans so there really was no harm done. They loved it. YAY! We actually got our entire lesson in with me asking the questions to each kid. Yeah...I'm going to be using this same game again for other questions or weekend review. The boys even got me to play a round. When it was my turn to move, they would each take turns asking me questions about whatever they wanted. I got all the questions right, but they moved better than I did, and I was the first one hit in that game. I know this game wouldn't work for some households, but it worked WONDERS for us today so I thought I would share. Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Before I was born she was waiting for me.
A special part of my family tree.
My oldest sister for me to know,
and to be my example as I learn and grow.

Then who could have guessed, as I started to age.
Another sister of mine took center stage.
How lucky was I, to be close to these girls.
One with straight hair and one with curls.

We all shared a room for the longest of years,
Sometimes it was good, sometimes there were tears.
We had days that were happy and days that were sad,
But we stuck it out, through the good and the bad.

Then another sister came, who was tiny and frail,
we all wanted so bad, for her to prevail.
But now shes an angel who lives in the skies,
and watches her sisters with her angel eyes.

We became older, and as friends we did thrive,
and who would have guessed, came sis number five.
The silliest one to join us to date,
She plays and she giggles and really is great.

Just when I thought this was the best there could be,
A new sister joined into our family.
A friend we had known for a very long while,
Married our Biggest Bro and that sure made us smile.

Then I married out to a family, whats more.
There were more sisters there. I had sisters GALORE.
What fun life was now with these sisters of mine.
The way family works is the greatest design.

The days progressed on, and what do you know?
My Hubby's family added a sis to the show.
She married the youngest, now that side was complete.
Full with Funny, and Smart, and the Crafty, and Sweet.

I knew sisters were great, but I hadn't a clue,
that they would enrich my life with the things that they do.
The kindness they show, the talks that we had.
Filled me with joy, and they made my heart glad.

I love all my sisters, and then guess what I got?
In a few short months TWO more joined the lot.
One with bright purple shoes, and a smile so pretty,
Another with skates, and a brain that was witty.

Sisters, oh sisters, you enrich my life so.
The world is brighter, as together we grow.
But we cant forget, my brothers the misters.
Because when they get married, I'll have even MORE sisters!

My Dearest Sisters,
Some of you I have known my whole life, others I have only known a short while. But I want you to know how much you ALL mean to me. Each of you, no matter how long I have known you, have touched my heart in ways you cant even imagine. Each of you is precious to me. Praying for you all by name this past week has, even though we aren't physically together, brought me closer to each of you. All of you are always on my mind. Though I may not be able to see you as often as I would like, just know that I love you. And no matter what happens, or how far apart we may be, you will ALWAYS be my sisters. And that means SO MUCH to me.

I love you all dearly,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I have officially decided that a mother coined the term Good Grief. Because seriously, all I have gotten from my kids today is grief. Its not the older ones, its my three year old and eighteen month old. Shall I make a list of a few of the things they did? Unrolled the parents toilet paper all over my bedroom and bathroom while I was teaching math to my oldest. I say parents toilet paper because I expect them to do it in their bathroom so we buy low quality TP. But they got into the soft Charmin in my bathroom. While in the bathroom, they dumped my garbage can, and colored on the walls with one of my husbands good pens.

Then, because it is math day and I have to teach each kid a different thing, I ignore it because, that in itself isnt so bad. So I lock my bedroom door so they cant do it again or make it worse. Put my eighteen month old in his bed, and I head downstairs to do the lesson with my second oldest. I figured it was mostly R who made the mess, so putting him down for a nap would solve it. NOPE. While doing my lesson in the basement with A, my five year old and my three year old are in the kitchen. Yeah....I JUST went grocery shopping. They found one package of each different kind of cracker and opened them all. Then they woke up R and let him out of his room. So now all the spilled packages of crackers were now crunched packages. I heard Rs voice and knew they had gotten him out of bed, only to discover that him being woken up from a nap wasnt the worst thing to happen to my kitchen. There is not one inch of floor without some crumb pile on it. They also took my highchair, hid the cushions for it somewhere and flipped the thing upside down and were using it for a race car. Just as I begin to get them in trouble, the four month old girl wakes up. So I leave yet another mess unattended to. I had to change a poopy bum.

Mom is busy changing a bum, lets do more bad stuff. So someone moves around my furniture in my front room to make stepping stones. Pillows from couch, ottoman, piano bench, and rocking chair, all in a circle to include the couch and chair in the corner so they can run around the room without touching the floor. I get the boys in trouble and start making them clean it up and I hear a container pop open and lots of little somethings go flying across the floor. That container was a brand new thing of raisins. And while I was directing my older ones to clean up their mess, my baby boy got into the raisins and tried to open them resulting in the violent pop off of the lid and raisins ALL OVER my hallway. I go to put him in his room and then sit in my room for a good ten minutes. That was another mistake.

While sitting in my room collecting my thoughts, my three year old finds my modpodge and decides to dump it all over my livingroom floor. YAY. I just got that clean and told my three year old he has to be in bed. Is he? no. Should I be worried....yes. If you will excuse me, I'm probably going to make brownies for the third day in a row this week.