Submitted by Eliana on Thu, 06/23/2011 - 11:26am

We haven't had ball this week because of the rain, but I'm having fun with it! I was very shy at first. It still takes me a while to warm up to the game. I sit on the bench until my coach puts the pink helmet on my head and the bat in my hand and then the smile comes on my face! I even field the balls when I'm not too busy digging in the dirt or preoccupied with getting my giant glove to stay on my hand. I love it when the crowd cheers for me. I'm the only girl on my team, which is a big reason why I'm so shy at first. But three of the boys are friends from ECFE and one is a friend from daycare, so I certainly have a big cheering section. There are plenty of other girls on the field, just not on my team. Here is a video of one of my first at-bats. Enjoy!

Submitted by Homeschool on Thu, 06/23/2011 - 10:27am

We are completing our paperwork to join a homeschool co-op that meets twice monthly for classes like Phy Ed, Folk Songs, and book discussions. We have to sign and date almost as many times as we did for our mortgage, it's a little nutty! But they definitely cover all their bases from liability to statement of faith. It's a Christian group, but doesn't seem to focus a whole lot on faith. While it's not the case for us, one of the reasons many families homeschool is so they can teach religion at home. But they may sing some hymns and celebrate the holidays with the co-op. The co-op has also pushed us over the edge regarding preschool for Eliana next year. I was concerned about sending her along with 4 & 5 year olds for the three-day a week program when she's only 3. She is perfectly capable, but she's tiny and slow-to-warm up to new situations. I love her daycare and she was very comfortable there. She was always off and running as soon as she got through the door. So I talked to her daycare mom and she can take her again next year! That way she'll be free to go along to the co-op, which has a class for the younger ones. I'm hoping to help out in her room - it would be a perfect fit for me. It's a big change for our family, but things are shaping up.

Today we are enjoying yet another rainy day with no sports activities. We've been to the library for new books and church for bible study. We've played some Wii for exercise, Number Rings for math practice and Doodle Dice for fun. Now we are mass producing pipe cleaner caterpillars and playing dress-up. We have learned some interesting facts about William's stag beetles (or stag beetle, as I think the other two have died). Thinking they might be hungry or thirsty, we put a few fruit pieces in their cage to see if they like them. Our learning continues...

Submitted by Homeschool on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 1:25pm

The adventure has just begun, but it's feeling great! We joined our first homeschool group at the park today for fun at the splash pad and playground. William renewed an old friendship and I got to meet lots of homeschooling moms. Everyone was kind and friendly. I even met one mom who was in the same hospital having her son on the same day that William was born!

Our most recent study has been a unit on origami. RobH has many great tutorials on YouTube. The ninja star has been our most often played tutorial

He uses a lot of geometry terms for the various shapes and it's great for fine motor and direction following. The reward for hard work is a lot of fun!

Submitted by Homeschool on Sun, 06/05/2011 - 5:01pm

We recently committed to homeschool for William next year. He is bright and self motivated to learn, but he's young for his grade and this school year left him a little burnt out. Today he asked when second grade starts at his old school and said that he should start homeschool then. He is obviously excited for summer vacation. But we told him that maybe he should start homeschool today. He was apprehensive about that until we detailed his homeschool achievements for the day:

Art - He created a little tent, a figure and a pillow using card stock, tape and markers before I even got out of bed this morning. It's Sunday :)
Religion - We went to church. Again, it's Sunday.
Writing - He dictated a blog entry.
Social studies - William asked for a US map to trace the route we took on our recent road trip.
Science - He developed a curiosity about queen ants. We googled queen ant to find out that they start as regular ants and are nourished to become queens that will fly off to mate and start a new colony.
Math - This is an area that we'll need to be more deliberate about to keep him challenged. But yesterday we made plans for his weekly allowance and today we discussed our homeschool budget.

Last night I subscribed to two magazines, which I decided will be the bulk of our curriculum - Ask and Appleseeds. I am really excited about the unschooling approach. I feel that's best for us at this point. We need to nourish William's natural love of learning which has already taken him so far. "School" was not a good fit. He obviously learns a lot when left to his own devices. I'm excited to see where his schooling will take us. I have no doubt that these two magazines will inspire learning if we are ever in need of inspiration.

As for Eliana, our current plan has her going to preschool three mornings a week next school year. She thrives on social interaction. The letters she knows are all letters in people's names... what does that tell you? Personally, I predict that she will love school and excel there. But we're taking things one step at a time and doing the best that we can for each of our kids. I'm excited to blog about our unschooling experiences starting now, not in the fall :)

Submitted by William on Sun, 06/05/2011 - 4:17pm

Look at the map. Do you see that thick line? That's where we went. We went from Minnesota to Arkansas. Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and then Arkansas! Here's some facts about the states that are in the middle, which are Iowa and Missouri. Here are the facts:
#1 When we went to Iowa, we stayed at a hotel.

#2 When we were done with Missouri, it was only a little ways to go to get to our cousins' house.

Vroom-vroom! We're at our cousins' house! They are outside playing! I'll go play on the playground. I'll swing on the swing. Whee!

It's time to go to bed. Zzzzzzzz.

It's morning! I'll go have breakfast. I'll have rice krispies. Yum! Parker wakes up the earliest in his family. I wake up when Parker does.

I like their dog, Bella. I like Jordan, too. Jordan is the nice kitty, Lilly is the mean kitty. You can tell which one is Jordan by her color. Jordan is gray and Lilly is black, white, and light brown.

Let's go outside! Auntie Leah is making a happy place out of a box. We can go in it all the time. We'll color it - chht, chht, chht. (That's the sound of the markers.) The markers are red, black, pink and dark pink/hot pink.

Parker has a birthday party. I get a ball and a squirt gun. We eat cake outside and swim in their hot tub and pool and we play with our squirt guns.

Now we are going fishing. My dad and I first put a cricket on the hook. We catch nothing! We put a worm on it. We catch a fish! Abi pretends to be fish duty - she is watching for fish. Faith is on bait duty - she is giving bait to everybody. I am on fish duty, too. I saw a fish, but nobody caught it. And then dad catches another fish! Two fish now. We see a water snake! It is swimming by the rocks. My uncle John tries to catch it, but first he didn't catch it. Then he wrapped the line around its neck, but he didn't catch it. Too bad. We dump the two fish out and go back to our cousins' house.

It's time to go home. We bring Abi. She sleeps over at our house for one night. And then between 9 and 9:30 Grandma Barb gets here to pick up Abi and brings her to her house.

We go see Abi and go on a boat ride and swim in the Mississippi River. P.S. Eliana calls it the Mississippi Lake.

The end. That is a true story... and long story.

Submitted by William on Sat, 05/14/2011 - 3:39pm

Eliana started singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and then she went on to "You Are My Sunshine" and we laughed and laughed and laughed. Even Eliana laughed. It went like this:
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again
... with raindrops on his head.

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You'll never know, Dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Now I start singing "You Are My Moonshine." It goes like this:
You are my moonshine.
My only moonshine.
You make me happy when ...
(You can make up what to sing next.)

The Nukie Fairy

Submitted by Eliana on Sat, 05/07/2011 - 10:55pm

I'm a big girl now! On Thursday I decided to hang my nukies in a tree so the nukie fairy could come and take them. I knew she would bring me something special in return. And my teeth, despite all my persistent wiggling, were refusing to come out. So I finally resorted to the nuks. We put them in a bag, along with a dandelion for the nukie fairy, and hung them on a tree in the backyard. I left them hanging there all night. When I woke up, the bag was on my pillow, but instead of nukies inside there was an electric Hello Kitty toothbrush, princess jammies and princess stickers! It was very exciting. I brushed my teeth a lot of times that first day. But at bedtime the newness wore off and I got sad and mad. It helped to think about the little babies who now have nuks. I like to think of the story Mommy told me when I asked her what happened to my dandelion. I made sure to ask her to tell it again so I would remember it for you.

"The nukie fairy brought the dandelion home and put it in a special place where she could always look at it and remember, 'That special girl, Eliana, who gave me FIVE nukies last night! What a haul!'"

One day I'll figure out how to fall asleep easily without my nuk. But right now, I'm getting pretty tired. Wish me luck! Good night!

jennie_lanz

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 9:12pm

Good job Ellie Bellie! Now there are more nuks for Baby Jack and Baby Lily! Although Jack might need to give his nuks to the Nukie Fairy soon, too. You'll have to teach him how.

Submitted by Eliana on Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:58pm

Sometimes I say things the wrong way and it makes my family laugh, especially William. He asks me to say it again and again. My mommy wonders if I don't keep saying it wrong just to make him keep laughing. Here are some recent ones:

Did you know that "Jesus dived on the cross?"

"Elianas don't like chickens and chickens don't like Elianas."

William wanted to know how old you had to be to drink wine. I said, "I don't like whined."

My imagination is also growing. Here is a video of me telling the story of Sleeping Kitty (this happens to be the Hello Kitty version of the popular fairy tale Sleeping Beauty - I love both versions) using my new fairy tale castle that I got from the Easter bunny. Don't miss the brief appearance of Princess Lea Ellie after the story.

Submitted by William on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 3:56pm

Here is my bakugan's information:

Color: Yellow and white
Attribute: Haos
Name: Robozyrus
Class: Robottalian
G-power level: 800Gs
"That's the last of my information."
"What!" Mom says, "That's all your information!"
The end.


Me and Robozyrus

Royal's Funeral, April 1, 2011 / The funeral series

Submitted by William on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 8:14pm

I hope Royal wasn't playing an April Fools' joke on us. But we had a funeral for him because he wasn't. It was a toilet funeral. We flushed him down the toilet and I sent him a kiss in heaven. All of us sent him a kiss into the toilet. Eliana was really sad that he died. Eliana thought, "Maybe a storm trooper killed him." I think he was too old and then he died. He was 3, 2 or 2 1/2. I got him when I turned 4 and he died on April Fools Day. I might bury his fish rocks. And I wanted to keep him in a jar. And I holded him for a little bit to see if he would flop around, but he didn't. So he was really dead. The end.

The new blog in the funeral series that we haven't made yet is Hero's funeral. So far we have Royal's Funeral, A Sad Farewell (Belle's funeral), and Bye Bye Tasia (Tasia's funeral). A Sad Farewell is about Belle dying and us burying her and marking it with a cross that says, "I hope my dog is safe in heaven. Signed, William." Bye Bye Tasia is about me saying "bye bye" to Tasia, our cat, and my dad taking him to the vet. See you next time to see the next funeral in the funeral series, Hero's funeral.

jennie_lanz

Sat, 04/02/2011 - 7:52am

I hope a storm trooper didn't kill Royal. You'll have much bigger problems on your hands if that's the case! Sorry to hear about your fish, William.