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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Stuff...

Well, I feel like I've gotten zilch accomplished so far this week. I did get my hardwood floors scrubbed, as you'll see later on. Lillie helped me. I've printed her out a chore chart and now she helps me sweep and do Kitchen Duty. In return, I pay her and she can buy something uselful with it or save it. We've started studying famous people of the American Revolution and so far we've covered Paul Revere , Patrick Henry, and Emily Geiger. Okay, I have to vent a little. How in the world am I supposed to teach history when they change it every day. When you were in school, who were you told made the first American flag? Betsy Ross, right? NOpe, now historians say it is unlikely she had anything to do with it and that a man named Francis Hopkinson (a congressman from New Jersey) actually designed it. What were you taught about Paul Revere? He rode through the streets warning colonists that the British were coming, right? Well....I read an article the other day that said he never made the ride at all, that his two partners actually did! This is just two examples recently I've found , debunking what I was always taught in school. So, how do you teach history, when history is very uncertain? Betsy Ross's story is 50 times more interesting than what they say to be the truth. Paul Revere is so much more entertaining if you picture him risking his life on horseback to warn colonists of impending danger. Oh, well.

Click this link to see a short video on The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Click here to go to a site that has some great short films of events and people of Early American History.

So far, we've read two Jean Fritz books as the basis for our study. "Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May?" and "And Then What Happened , Paul Revere" . Jean Fritz writes and illustrates great living books on history topics and my kids love them! Yesterday, we read a story of Emily Geiger from a book we got from the library called "Patriots in Petticoats." We will be studying famous women of the American Revolution for the time being before moving onto more notable figures. We will be making a Famous People book, as well.

Yesterday, we read about Emily Geiger who was a spy for the Patriot cause. She was captured while trying to get a copy of battle plans to General Thomas Sumter. While the British soldiers went to find a female loyalist to search her, she memorized the battle plans, tore the letter up and ate it. She was released and managed to get the battle plans to their needed destination. Pretty gutsy, I'd say. We attempted to write some letters using homemade invisible ink, but none of them worked. Here's the link for the recipe, maybe you'll have better luck. Throughout the week, we will be making different sorts of spy letters...should be fun.

Lillie and Jack have memorized five bible verses a piece and Lillie knows her OT books Genesis-Lamentations. I'm very proud of them both. We're reading about Gladys Aylward, a missionary to China and we added China to our Places I Know Folder. For math, Lillie continued working on counting nickels and the kids worked some Chinese Tangram Puzzles I got here, here, and here. I printed these out, lamenated them and cut the tangram pieces from craft foam. I let Jack lay the pieces directly on the puzzle, while making Lillie copy the picture onto a separate surface. They really like them. But let me tell you, I worked a couple online interactive tangrams and those suckers are HARD! Definitely not as easy as it looks.

Well, no post would be complete without some pictures, as I am a picture junkie to the core.
A Boy and His Dog...Hey! I told them to stop, but only after snapping a picture.
A Dew Junkie already...are you happy Pam?
Lillie is always saying how she wants to be like Cinderella...Well, who am I to deprive my child of a dream...
Not exactly what she had in mind. Hey, kid, Cinderella was a servant before she hit it big...Patience. Notice the fancy dress shoes.
Here's a pic I snapped at dad's last week on a nature walk. Of course I ran it through some filters, but I think it turned out very nice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm Not Looking For Pity, Okay?

Okay, so Lauren is here and I've had Sophia and Taylor here with my three for a couple of days. Took the girls back home today to see Baby Lauren. Yes, I survived. Between Jackson and Sophia bickering constantly , the assembly line at mealtime, the diaper changes and "accidents" Jackson so eagerly had the entire time (Being around all these women makes his bladder weak, I suppose) and a run to the market for Laundry Detergent, I think I did pretty well. Just in case, you're not impressed... 5 children ages 4 and under. My minivan, packed to maximum capacity... what? Not impressed yet? Five babies in a shopping cart???? Man, tough crowd. Anyhow, I survived to keep house another day and actually enjoyed having my nieces around (did I mention that Hannah and Kasey came up to eat supper Thursday). So that was all seven are you impressed?????? Here are some pictures that I took while I was roughing it in babeland.

Here she is...the girl of the hour. She's a doll and has, like, instant tele-evangelist hair!Our family has truly been blessed with so many great kids!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lauren Rebecca Cook

Welcome to the 5th Cook Girly!

Officially the Latest Member of the Family

Lauren is finally here. She was "baby chunky" (I'm quoting her daddy, so don't think I'm being rude, kay?) 8 pounds, can't for the life of me remember how many ounces and 21 inches long. A low end whopper. No pictures as of yet, cause I hain't seen her. Sure she'll be pretty , though. She's got good genes :) Will post pictures as soon as I get some. Thanks for your prayers, Leila is doin' great and they'll probably kick her out of the hospital tommorrow. (So much for your paid vacation, sis :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Latest Member of the Family (No, it's not Baby Lauren, either)

Now, look. I realize that people love their dogs and everyone thinks their dog is the best. Well, I don't know about everyone else's dogs. I just know that mine is the best. Hands down, no one email me to convince me otherwise. I'm stubborn and set in my ways... (However, if your dog can juggle flaming batons while barking the national anthem, then I MIGHT could be persuaded to change my mind.)
So, without further delay...this is Tucker. He is two months old and a boxer. This dog has it all. Looks, personality , and most importantly( when it comes to how badly my kids like to aggravate animals) patient. Everyone loves this dog. He is just about nearly housebroke. Loves to snuggle. No one loves him more than Chloe and you can tell Chloe is Tucker's Favorite...
If ever there was a dog that had the patience of Job, this is the one...

Alrighty, I've been kinda under the weather this last week, so we stuck to just math and reading and some history, though I've not delved into any big projects. I have about decided that schooling year round is good for us, gives us a little more flexibility and I have made the executive decision to take Monday's off as a planning day. Sunday's are so busy and we are often a ways from home at different churches that it's a struggle to get everything back into shape to start school on Monday. So, Monday's will be used for planning and cleaning with any extra time devoted to school work like math and reading, if we find any extra time. We have started studying the American Revolution, so stay tuned for updates on what we're up to.

Well, I have got a mish-mash of pictures again, so here goes...

Something I have never seen and something I can't look at without getting the creeps...

Okay, now I know the Bible is true, if for no other reason than in Genesis, after Eve's sin, God said he'd put enmity between her seed and the snakes seed. Well, I think enmity sounds a little docile compared to how I feel about a snake...any snake. Don't give me that, "it's not poisonous, it's harmless." I came out a couple weeks back with a big bag of trash and almost stepped on one just lounging on the front steps. Man, I tossed that trash and can't remember how I got back up the stairs, but I did. I HATE a snake!

Well, onto something more pleasant...

I declare, the older Chloe gets, the more photogenic she gets. Is that true for all kids?Hey, kid...Didn't your momma ever tell you it's not polite to point?AWWWWWWWWWWWW!The future of our country... why do you look so sad?

Will let you know when baby Lauren gets here, I know several of you are curious and feeling very sorry for my sister right now. Just say a little prayer for her, kay?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

O Say Can You See...

Last week, in observance of Independence Day, we launched into a small unit study of the American Flag. Last Thursday, we read "Betsy Ross" by Alexandra Wallner. I didn't realize that it was possible that she didn't actually sew the first flag. I was always taught that as fact in school, but apparently there is some evidence to suggest she didn't, in fact sew the original 13 star flag. Oh well. It's alot more interesting story anyway. We added Betsy of our lapbook and our Book of Centuries. If you aren't familiar with the Book of Centuries, it is great. I don't feel pressured to study history in order because it arranges historical events in such a way that you can observe time relationship between those events. You can print your own FREE at Simply Charlotte Mason.
Here is the first American Flag.

This is an artist rendition of Betsy sewing the flag...Love the Hair!

Now, one of the neatest parts of the story is how Betsy made a difficult five point star with one snip of her scissors. Fiction? Apparently not. Here's instructions for how it's done. Here's Lillie with the finished product. I had to do it twice and it still didn't come out perfect.

Our craft was a popsicle stick flag.Now, today we read "By the Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star Spangled Banner" by Steven Kroll. Beautiful illustrations, by the way. We added Francis Scott Key to our Lapbook and Book of Centuries. The original poem was four stanzas long , but we only sing the first stanza as our national anthem. We watched a short documentary of Francis Scott Key...

Now, I've heard alot of people sing the National Anthem over the years, but the best I've heard is not some famous star. Nope, it's this kid. Hands down. I love the way he's moving his leg and I want you to pay attention to the players and coaches in the background...their reaction when this kid hits the high note.

Alright, now I took the words to the song and wrote each on an index card. I shuffled those cards and laid them out. As I read the song to Lillie, she had to find the write word card and assemble the song. She did great. This really showed me alot about the progress she's making in reading. Her sight words she knew right off, but just by me sounding the harder words out that she had never seen, she managed to pick out the right cards.

Reading today was from Hubbard's Cupboard. Here's a link to some free printable readers. They are really neat and FREE! Speaking of FREE (quite possibly my favorite word these days) add this site to your favorites and make it part of your routine to check it DAILY for free homeschool resources!

Lillie is working on money for her math right now. We've mastered pennies and now we're onto nickels. I set up store with Lillie because it's a lot more fun than drilling facts into her, which tends to make her buck up since her attention span is like...zilch. Here's some great resources I've found on teaching money...

Kindergarten Coins

Great Math Lesson Plans

In my Above Rubies newsletter, I got a great quote. "Live every day so that when you wake up in the morning, the devil gets shaky and says ' Oh no! She's awake!" I thought that was pretty good. Have a great day!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Picture Catchup

Two weeks ago, we took a nature walk at the local recreational park. They have a super nice walking trail, and I needed the exercise. Kids just ran around and it made me tired just looking at them.


This is Chloe fixin' to rip into a cheeseburger. This girl can handle her fast food, let me tell you.

Here's a great picture of Jack playing peekaboo with Chloe.

This is Lillie making Bit O' Honey candy for our unit study on bees, which we finished up last week. Our lapbook turned out good. I might post some pics of it if I get a chance.All I can say is, "Poor Little Debbie!"

Oh! I can't look! All the carnage and ... cream filling...

A trip to Nanny and Poppy's...

Jack and his...sculpture, I think. Crayon on Playdoh...very...Jackson.What happens when you fall asleep on the battlefield. Cute...very cute.Lightnin' Bugs at Mimi and Papa's

Crabtree Family Reunion

Chloe, proving once again that my children can fall asleep anywhere.
Tractor Ride at Papa's...

And that's it for now, folks.