August 28, 2004

Sophie's New Skill

Sophie has just learned how to ride a bike by herself sans training wheels! She is using Matthew's bike to learn, because we need to buy her a bigger bike.

Posted by melissa at 05:37 PM

Fit to Print

We've read several books about Johannes Gutenberg in the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, the boys and I did potato printing. We used our letter shaped cookie cutters and pressed them into potatoes. I cut off the potato around the letters with a knife. ( I had to trace "S" and "L" backwards, b/c they couldn't be flipped and so that they would print the right direction.) The boys had fun printing posters that said "I LOVE BOOKS" with a heart shape. Sophie was playing with two little girls we were babysitting. When the girls went home, the kids finished up the project and Sophie made her own poster by painting the back side of our shape cookie cutters and printing them on paper.

The boys are finishing the book Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes. I finished it myself yesterday. I like this opportunity to read excellent kid books again and read ones that I never read as a child. We bought this Newberry Award winning book at a garage sale.

Matthew decided after the boys' recital a few weeks ago that he wants to play piano now instead of violin. I've agreed that it is a good idea, because piano is a little easier and he is in a stage where he doesn't concentrate easily. I'd like for him to pick up the violin again at some point, though.

Matthew also seems to be over his fear of "torpedoes" in swimming and even puts his face in the water. Swimming lessons are done for now (the teachers have school), but I have the kids signed up for a "homeschool swim class" in Sept. that will last for 5 weeks.

Posted by melissa at 12:39 PM

August 26, 2004

Odyssey Atlasphere

James and I decided to buy an Oddysey Atlasphere off of eBay. It is a computerized globe with a pen that you can touch on the globe and learn facts about the world. It also has games where you can play with more than one player, competing to find places on the globe. It is a hit with the kids. Matthew even twirls our "regular" globe around during Evan's turn and finds the places that the voice tells Evan to find. It is a hit with the big kids too... James and I had fun playing against each other the other night after the kids were in bed. He he.

Posted by melissa at 07:16 PM

August 23, 2004


Ana and Baby James, my niece and nephew:


Posted by melissa at 06:29 PM

Sample of Evan's Work

Evan wrote a narration today about some of what we read about Martin Luther. I was pleased that he did it with minimal complaining. In fact, he seemed happy with it when he was done and read it back to me:

Martin Luther narration Ev.jpg
" door to say that the church was wrong."(on back side of paper)

P.S. I sat with him to help him with spelling.

Posted by melissa at 06:21 PM

August 20, 2004

School Starts

We began school this week. I haven't added every subject in, yet but we did: Bible, Math, Handwriting, Reading, History, Science and, of course, music practice and swimming lessons.

I began a program called Cursive First with the kids. Admittedly, it isn't cursive FIRST for Evan and Matthew. Evan learned cursive last year and Matthew started last year with manuscript, but Evan can benefit from more practice and Matthew will transition into cursive. It is cursive first for Sophie. She has such good small motor coordination that she can handle it. I'm hoping to work on handwriting solely with the kids, as far as Language Arts goes, for the next two or three weeks and then move on into spelling, and grammar and composition for Evan as well.

Actually we began with just numeral formation this week which isn't exactly cursive, but see how well Sophie even can write...
Sophie writing Aug 20, 04.jpg

Posted by melissa at 01:44 PM

August 12, 2004


NEWSFLASH! All three kids earned "ICEES" today for doing all that their teachers told them to do at swimming lessons!

Last night, James and I asked his mom to babysit Evan and Sophie, and we took Matthew to the rec center. We had him do torpedoes to Jms off of the side, over-and-over. At first he fussed and refused, but I nudged him off the side and he had to float/splash/paddle to Jms. After a little nudging, he started doing it on his own. When we left, he thanked us for taking him (I think it made him feel special) and said that he'd do the torpedoes for his teacher. He did it! He admitted that he was still a little afraid, but I pointed out that he was brave, because being brave means doing what you need to do in spite of being afraid. I also consoled him that it would get less scary the more he did it.

If you prayed for him: Thanks!

Sophie enjoyed her "Squishy" as she called her drink!

Posted by melissa at 03:05 PM

August 11, 2004

The Latest...and Pictures

Matthew is a geography buff. He requested that we decorate the boys' room with maps. That was easy to accomplish! I have a slew of maps from my National Geographic subscription in the 90's. The boys and I took down the bunk beds yesterday for a change. Evan chose a political world map to hang above his bed and Matthew chose a political map of the United States. Matthew asked me this morning if we could switch the maps after he has memorized the states and capitols (his idea). We are going to hang more maps around the room as well. Matthew told me that he spent some time this morning when he woke up looking at his map.

Please pray that Matthew will be able to be brave in spite of his fear and learn how to swim. At swimming lessons, he puts up a mental block and decides that when his teacher moves a certain distance away, that it is too far and too risky for him to try to "torpedo" and swim a little to her. I even offered him a slurpy at 7-Eleven if he would just try and say "I think I can" instead of "I can't", but even a SLURPY is not incentive enough. James and I are going to take just him over to the rec center tonight, hopefully, and have him try swimming to James while I stand right beside him (but I won't touch him. If he needs help; I'll let Jms do the helping to reinforce to Matthew that his teacher would be able to help him in that similar situation if he has problems.) ...Sophie says that at her next lesson she'll bob and put her face in the water without fussing for a Slurpy. We'll see!

We thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Martha and Jennifer and Randy and family on their way home from a visit to the mountains. The kids got along famously. After they left, I noticed Sophie sitting very subdued on the couch. I asked her if she was okay and she replied that she missed Tori and wished that they lived here.

I wonder if Martha will be able to resist the urge to go out and buy a guinea pig after meeting ours? Hmmmm...

Anyway, here are some pictures that we just got developed...

Home on the Range.jpg
This is our former house in Hays. The picture isn't that great, but it is painted a nice beige color and the shutters and front door are a wine color. Very nice. The garage door is a new white one with windows and the fence is painted white now.

The kids playing at a water pump at a rest area on our recent trip

On a recent hike:
Btwn a rock and a hard place.jpg

Copeland Falls.jpg

Evan Explores.jpg

Classic Sophie:
mischevious giggle.jpg

Whose eating gilbert grape.jpg

Posted by melissa at 11:20 AM

August 04, 2004


"Daddy is my best guy."

Posted by melissa at 08:27 AM

August 02, 2004

No Surprise Here

Check out this interesting article:
Deceit Exposed

Posted by melissa at 01:42 PM