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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Friday, Jody and I took the kids up to mom and dad's. I decided while Chloe slept to take Lillie and Jack on a nature walk. Mom was still at work and Dad (who usually takes us for tractor rides) was in South Carolina (much to Jack's dissappointment.) We gathered leaves to do some leaf rubbings and then identified them back at the house. Here are the pics.

Doin' Man Stuff

Jody spent the good part of daylight yesterday trying to wire fog lights to the back of our Durango so he can see when he loads up the mowers or has to back the trailer at night. Jackson and Lillie decided to lend their expertise, but Lillie soon grew bored with all the testosterone hovering in the air. It made for great bonding and cute pics.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Keeping God on Schedule

Last Wednesday at church, I heard an elderly lady (and a real big blessing everytime I see her) testify and she said something that really resonated. "God isn't as concerned about time as we are." For some reason, those words have played themselves over and over in my mind. And I got to thinking... is that really true. Yes is the answer I came to very quickly. The Bible says in Psalms 90:4 , "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." And the apostle Peter said in his second epistle chapter 3 verse 8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." So, that tells me that God's concept of time is not like ours. So, back to what this dear saint said. Why would God, who knows all and controls all, worry about time? He wouldn't. But me and you? We care a great deal about time. And more specifically, our time. Take prayer for instance. I have a prayer request I have offered up on a daily basis for the last 4 years. I see small evidences of the Lord working in the situation, but nothing earth shaking. And many times, I have found myself slapping a time constraint on the Lord. This is what I say: "Lord, I pray for [aforementioned request]. I don't see you working, but I'm trusting you to work your will in the situation." And this is what my heart is really saying: "I just don't get it. I have prayed and prayed and I don't see any real changes. Small ones maybe, but nothing like I expected."
Okay, raise your hand if you've been there. What we really mean is "Lord I'm gonna trust you until next Monday at 3:00pm." Isn't that the truth? Come next Monday at 3:00 pm we stand ready to take over for the Lord. God's timetable is not our timetable. His ways are not our ways, his thoughts not our thoughts (praise the Lord for that). Full trust means that you keep on praying even if it doesn't seem to be doing much good and be faithful, believing that God will bring it to pass . One way or another and sooner or later, God will answer your prayer. Maybe not the way we'd have worked it out, but answered all the same. We have this promise from God that all things will work together for good to them that love him, to those he has called, to those who have answered [Romans 8:28]
Galatians 6:9 says "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." I Corinthians 15:58 says "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." And finally, in Psalms 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Coming To Our Senses: Part Threee

The day of jubilation has arrived! I now know how to post my home movies from YOU TUBE onto my blog without getting any "related" content that's anything but. Thanks so much to Jim Erksine over at for his help. I emailed him yesterday and this morning when I woke up, he had already replied back! To be honest, most time I email a complete stranger, no one ever answers back. Now, if I email my dad, I expect him to write back, but I was so surprised to see Mr. Erksine's message in my Inbox that it renewed my hopes for improved email ettiquette in the world ! Check out the Erksine's family of great websites. They have invaluable homeschool resources for free and for purchase and you can tell they have a real heart for homeschoolers! My home movies will not have sound, but you will want to pause the music box on the right in order to watch any videos that are not my home movies so you don't get a sensory overload. So, go on and disable it, so you don't forget. Done? Now, onto the post.
We have slacked on our unit study the last couple of days. Basically we've covered the basics to keep our head above water. I don't like to push Lillie Anna. Right now she's just 4. So, because she has many of her Kindergarten standards under her belt, I don't shove "school" down her throat. I want her to develop a love of learning and I think that happens early on in a child's life. I also want her to get used to setting a time aside to do "school work", so that she's at ease next year when we will have to start doing school seriously. But for now, we cover the basics of math and reading and science through nature, I read to her alot everyday, and if she feels like doing workbooks or extra work, by all means I let her.
But, our unit has been covering the five senses. So far, we've looked at touch. Thursday, we learned about our sense of hearing. Buckle your seatbelts, there are lots of links and videos (yeah!)
Our book for the day was "The Cello of Mr. O " by Jane Cutler. A wonderful story about bravery and love for your neighbor set in a besieged city during WWII. I showed them a diagram of the ear and read a short paragraph summarizing our sense of hearing. You can find a great diagram at The Learning Page, but you have to sign up. It's free, though, so I'd do it as soon as you finish up here as they have tons of great printables and worksheets! Under their basic worksheets (once you get signed up) they have a whole section on the senses.
Next, we played "Name that Sound" I found a website with free sound effects. I played a wide variety of sounds, some easy, some not so easy and had them try to guess what it was. They did pretty good and loved it! Then , we learned that some people can't hear (Like my kids, sometimes :) ) and that they use sign language and lip reading to communicate. Here is a video of Lillie signing her name
Her fingers stuttered a little at the end. We surfed on over to Classics for Kids next. Charlotte Mason was a fan of exposing little ones to a variety of good music, classical and hymns. I love classical music because it leaves so much to the imagination and I love the complexity of it. We listened to a show about the life of Beethoven, who was deaf by the time he was 30. What is so amazing, is that he wrote some of his best compositions after losing his hearing. We then listened to his Symphony 8 and Symphony 5 and I let the kids shout out all the different instruments they could hear. Then I let them watch this nice little video of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which is one of my favorite piano compostions. This video is nice because it shows pictures of Beethoven. I never would have known how he looked. He was pretty scary looking, actually. I don't know if I could have watched him conduct without shrieks of terror.
For craft time, we made and decorated shakers out of two paper plates stapled together with beans inside and made lots of noise for daddy to sleep by.
Now, it's time to showcase Chloe's new trick. She is trying to master eye-hand coordination. Notice how she puts her whole body into it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Great Educational Resource of the Week!

I can't draw. Though my dad is an artist, alas, I climbed out of the gene pool before I got that trait. I would like to be able to draw. Who is with me? Does anyone out there have that problem too? Well, I have a website for you! has free drawing lessons broken down into Beginner,Intermediate,and Advanced. From what pencils to use to perspective to drawing peoples faces, this website tells you all. Set up an account for free and then click on whatever lesson interests you. This will be great for kids who may not have access to someone to teach them drawing. So, surf on over and begin the journey from stick man to excellence!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tree Huggin' and Leaf Rubbin'

Today we headed off to Oak Ridge for our first field trip. We visited the UT Arboretum today to take the kids on a nature walk and sketching trip. Thanks to my dad for driving me and my crew today. It was overcast and slightly cool... perfect weather to take a walk out into God's creation. I was reminded today of the blessings that God has given us. So many ugly things in this world today, it's easy to focus on the bad and overlook the good. I was reminded today of the beauty of God's handiwork. The kids did unbelieviably well today considering it was a fairly long walk (as far as out of shape mothers are concerned). My sister, as usual, did a wonderful job "teaching" the kids here and there. Chloe slept in the carrier the whole time, which has wrecked my back. I didn't even realize how long the walk was because it was so pleasant. Here are the pictures. Thanks to dad for letting me use his camera, as the batteries in mine were dead.

We had a pretty good collection of dwarfs ourselves. Hah!
Chloe looks broken in this picture, but she's just asleep, folks. I assure you

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bovine Update!

Cow was revived and is home recovering. Her loyal owner Jackson vows to feed her cornchips until she makes a full recovery. We are currently exploring fluff transplant proceedures and are just hunting for a suitable donor. I have an old pillow in the closet, but not sure if the fluff type will be compatible.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Who Says Us Davis' Don't Know How To Have Fun?

The following are from the "Davis Candid Camera". I didn't stage these, I couldn't come up with this kind of stuff.

Don't Even Ask...

Coming To Our Senses Part Two

Today, Lillie was off to visit one of her cousins for the day, so we didn't do any schoolwork. Yesterday however was one of those full days that leaves you feeling like to you've accomplished something. We started with the two basics, math and reading. Lillie Anna is working on reading the first stanza to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Autumn Fires". We are using the method of one word on a post it note and then she arranges them and I quiz her randomly on the words. This has worked wonders. Mostly this is sight reading, but we do some phonics as well. Then we moved onto some addition practice with our "counting jewels" which Lillie picked out last summer at WalMart when we were working on counting. They are really the glass smashed down marbles you buy at the craft department that you shove down in vases. But what Lillie doesn't know won't hurt her. I give her two cups. In the first cup she counts out the number that is the first in her addition problem. Say 2+2. She counts two into the first cup, two into the second (I make her count out loud) then she dumps (adds) them onto the table and counts them all together. She then reads me the problem back saying "2+2=4". We talked about how the skin is the organ responsible for our sense of touch. I read the story of "King Midas and the Golden Touch" to them. We talked a little about greed to incorporate some character study. Lillie Anna said she wished she had "The Chocolate Touch". I say "Right On, Sista!" Then we went on a nature walk around the house, picking up items and describing how they felt. I tried to engage the kids in a game of "King Midas Tag" where they would run around and try to "turn" each other to gold. They soon lost focus and just proceeded to run around like crazy.
Then we made some sand art pictures. You just draw a picture on the paper with glue and then throw some sand on it. Let it sit a minute and then shake the sand off. It makes a nice scratchy picture. It is , however, better done outside, as a bowl of sand is an irresistable temptation for children. It would be cruel not to let them dump it all out.
Well, told you we did alot. But it was great fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Coming to Our Senses Part One

We embarked on a unit study of our five senses today. Actually , last night on the way to the grocery store, I had the kids call out things they touched, tasted, heard, saw or smelled. Today was basically a general overview of the five senses. What they are and what parts of our body are used for the different senses. Today, we read "The Livingstone Mouse" which was a nice book about a mouse that uses all his five senses to find a place to build his future nest. It was cute. We glued strips of colored tissue paper to a coloring page of a mouse that I had cut out the eyes, ears and tummy to make a stained glass-like project.

We played a nice little math game called "Feed The Mouse" which was great to practice counting and number recognition for both Lillie and Jack. I printed out the mouse template and added a small paper plate to the back to make a sort of mouth to hold the cookies better.

Saturday, I had a "day off". Pam had the two oldest and my wonderful mom kept Chloe. Dad and I took off on a photo expedition. I'll post a few of the pics that I took here...

If you'd like to see all the pictures, check the link in the post below for my photo site Image Remix Studio
Finally, here are two pictures of Chloe...

My Favorite Hobby

I love to take pictures! I also love messing with my pictures using my Photoshop program. As long as you have a photo editing program, there is no such thing as a bad picture. I have had a photography website through Shutterfly for a year or so. Here is the link if you want to check out some of my "artistic" attempts at photography.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How Now Brown Cow

Today, we continued to read stories from Clara Dillingham Pierson's "Among the Farmyard People". Today's story was called "The Oxen Talk with the Calves". I was so surprised how much scientific information is packed into these stories. It told in good detail how the cow digests it's food, that it has four "stomachs" (now considered 4 digestive compartments contained in one stomach) and what it means to "chew cud". Lillie Anna had a great time demonstrating how the cow sounds when it "regurgitates" it's food. The story also had a great moral to it as well. The Baldwin Project has all of Mrs. Pierson's books on animals and they are delightful to say the least. We made a cow puppet out of paper plates.

Lillie played two computer games, one for reading practice and one for math.

Boy Meets Bovine

This is Cow. Cow is the object of affection for Jackson. Lillie recieved Cow on her 2nd birthday and , in Cow's younger days, she sang "Old Macdonald Had A Farm". But as she grew older, Lillie tired of her. Enter Jackson Cole. He sorta adopted Cow. Jody, in a desperate attempt to keep his sanity on vacation, did emergency surgery in the car to remove her voice box. I stitched her up as best I could. But she has been thrown into the washing machine so much, that she has lost most of her fluff. But, true love is blind and Jackson doesn't seem to mind that she isn't what she used to be. The relationship between Jackson and Cow is... cute. One morning, I caught him laying in front of the door in the sunlight telling Cow how much he loved her and that she was a good "buddy". He was so charming, Cow was rendered speechless. Cow eats with Jack, sleeps with Jack,rides in the car with Jack. They are inseparable. And if you think I'm exagerating... check out these pictures.

See, told you it was cute!

Some Good Books About the CM Method

I thought I'd do a short post for anyone who might be interested in locating some books that instruct how to apply the CM Method into your homeschool. Several of these I have read, the last two, I have not, but have visited these ladies websites and they seem to be noteworthy also. These links take you to which is the only place I will buy a book these days. They have almost everything known to mankind at great prices, alot less than bookstores. Check out the links and enjoy!

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

A Charlotte Mason Education: A How To Manual by Catherine Levinson
More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levinson
When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What a Hoot!

I am going to combine what should have been yesterday's post with today's because, not a whole lot went on yesterday and I slacked. Lillie Anna didn't do anything really structured yesterday. She played her games on the computer. I did let her play with her foam beads. I got a bucket of 250 of them at the Dollar Tree. I gave her a barbecue skewer and printed off a page that had sequences of the beads and she had to thread them onto the skewer in the order that they were shown on the worksheet. She liked it and it was fairly simple to put together. It gave her some practice on patterns and sequencing.
I can't even remember if we did anything else school related (shame on me). Jackson got busted doing something I can't stand...
And here is a picture of Jackson with his Daddy.
Now, onto today's happenings. Lillie did some reading practice and did a math activity book I downloaded off of Nick Jr. Then Jack joined us for a game of Spell Fun, which I found on clearance at Wal-Mart last month for $3.00! It gives Lillie some needed phonics practice and Jack gets to work on his letter recognition. You may notice in this picture that Lillie Anna looks mad. You're right, she was. Jack was trying to help her and nothing makes her madder than Jack thinking he could possibly do something she can't.

After the "school work" was completed, I read them a story by Thornton Burgess I got off the Munsey's website I discovered the other day. It was called "How the Eyes of Old Mr. Owl Became Fixed". It was a delightful little story that was just packed with zoological information about owls. I didn't know that owls couldn't roll their eyes and that in order to look around they have to swivel their heads and that they can turn their heads all the way around. Freaky. Go to Munsey's and download the book "Mother West Wind How Stories" to find this little gem. Well, then we made an owl craft from DLTK-Kids using their hands as the wings of the owl. The project called to use construction paper cutouts of their hands, but I thought it would be more interesting to use their hand prints. The owl on the left is Lillie's and the owl on the right (with it's foot where it's wings are) is Jack's.