Thursday, January 28, 2016

Big Boy Status

Yesterday afternoon, my very first boy lost his first baby tooth. Talk about milestones! Just a flash ago he was learning to crawl after Gerber puffs and now he's writing notes to the tooth fairy.

Of course I had to document the momentous occasion...
This bottom tooth of his has been loose for quite a while, and was waiting till it was good and ready to fall out. To be honest, I was completely dreading the moment. Based on the recent dramatics over teeth brushing and apple eating, I was sure Evan would fall into the whole "freak out" category over the "this is cool" school.

Thankfully, he proved me wrong.

I was sitting downstairs at the computer with the baby(it was quiet time for the big boys) when I heard the chourus of "you were right, you were right!" marching down the stairs. He was beaming with pride as he held out his tooth to me, and let me know that "I was right, and it did'nt hurt at all." No big deal he said with a new smile. I asked how and when it came out, and in that moment really did feel just as excited as he was. He replied very simply that he was practicing his math on the computer, and plop it just fell out. A little underwhelming after weeks of fuss, but I am thankful!

I'm happy to report that the tooth fairy paid his pillow a visit last night and left a note with two dollars. He was sooo excited to open his letter and man did his eyes pop when the two dollars feel out. His immediate response to seeing two separate dollars was "look Bennett can have one too!" The first dollar he picked up that had fallen to the ground went straight into his brother's hands. I wish I had caught the scene on video. My mama heart swelled with pride. I even explained that the money was special for his tooth and he could keep all of it, but he insisted that Bennett have the dollar. I was'nt surprised per say, but this is especially big and re-assuring to me as Evan is not my natural "share-er." It was a genuinely sweet moment,  full of kindness and thoughtfulness and care. The work of parenting is hard and often tiresome, but oh the fruit is sweet. Truth be told it was sort of an afterthought to include that extra dollar. It worked out. :-)

(We'll probably go the half dollar coin route for future teeth, you can imagine how expensive the tooth fairy could get with three boys and give or take 20 baby teeth to loose!)

Evan is already looking forward to loosing his second tooth, and I'm counting my lucky stars that #1 was so easy and not traumatic. Now, what's a brand new tooth fairy to do with this pearly white?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2 months, a Haiku

Peach pink, smiling son.
12 pounds, 23 inches.
Our perfect piglet.

...because sometimes it's fun to wax poetic. :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 Yearly Membership Review is the online curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Whether you're looking for preschool alphabet activities or to print a high school transcript, a Yearly Membership to this site offers a wide variety of quality homeschool resources-including complete online courses. Over 200 of them! Visit to explore for yourself. At the beginning of our homeschool journey ourselves, I'm so impressed and encouraged to see amazing homeschool helps like this available at my fingertips-this yearly subscription offers so many resources and does not disappoint!

How we used our membership:
In the weeks spent reviewing this online resource, we mostly hung out here...
I feel like we've barely scratched the surface-so.many.choices! Spelling, copywork, Spanish, history, electives and so name it and it's available. For those of you homeschooling older children, I've read some pretty awesome reviews on the quality and variety of courses offered in the middle and high school arenas-economics, architecture and web game design to name a few. And bonus-academic weighting for transcripts of many high school classes is included.

Our favorite stops on the site far have been the Elementary Art and Explorers courses, as well as the Figures in History lessons.
The figures in History unit serves as a great complement to your regular history studies. Each characater portrait includes a printable standing cutout(paper doll style to be used for plays/ reenactments ), a coloring page or word search puzzle, and an "accent on art" lesson comprised of a project relating to the life of that historical hero or heroine.
Here is Evan with his cut out of Robert E. Lee. The "accent on art" lesson in this unit was a map of the battle of Gettysburg with corresponding questions. I'll definitely be revisiting these weekly lessons once we get into the Revolutionary war.

The elementary art units each focus on a different area of art such as color theory, primary colors, famous artits and more. We took a dive into the Renaissance and enjoyed lessons on Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci(inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of course). These lessons came nicely in printout form and contained a short biographical sketch as well as art project ideas and book recommendations. For Michelangelo we read about how he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and did a bit of upside-down drawing ourselves as our art project.
The art project suggested under Davinchi's lesson was to sketch a portrait in the style of Mona Lisa. Now my Bennett is no Mona Lisa, but his expression was pretty right on.  ;-)
Also, most all courses I've seen come with a printable course completion certificate, which is a pretty big deal when you're five. Here's an example I'm hoping to present to my own little learner soon.
In addition to the quality course content and Applecore record keeping software(a topic for another blog!), another huge perk of a subscription is access to the RightNow Media Library. RightNow Media offers the golden ticket to over 10,000+ streaming video recourses. I'm especially excited to watch the "Torchlighters" biography series with both boys. I downloaded the app to our ipad and let Evan watch his selection of videos on our breaks or for an extra special treat-this is especially handy since we've taken the dive to drop our cable connection this past year.
And in case you've graduated Kindergarten, there's a great selection of instructional videos and biblical historical documentaries I can't wait to dive into myself. 

How much does it cost?
You can subscribe to monthly for $12.95 each month or save over 10% on a one-year membership for $139. One fee covers your entire family, and you have the option to cancel anytime. And, special pricing is available for small groups and co-cops!

Even better news? Drumroll please....You can buy a subscription for half off thru Jan 31 with the code CREWFOLLOWER!
 photo 50 percent Discount Code Schoolhouse Teachers 2016_zpseei1h818.jpg
You can see what my fellow Review Crew Members thought of it by checking out the Crew Blog Post for this product. It's a fun window to look through and see how other people used the same product in their homeschools, especially as it applies to different age groups. I've already made several mental bookmarks of new places to visit and courses to research based on these fellow reviewer's notes.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Lucky 7

Despite my best efforts to freeze time, our Asher Elliot will be 7 weeks old tomorrow and is
growing every day. And when I say growing, I mean I'm pretty sure he's doubled his birth weight. Our little piglet is a champion eater and it shows. It's a good thing too, because I love me some sweet baby rolls!
True to his name, Asher is our happy boy. Thankfully he's incredibly chill and laid back, and seems to be enjoying the ride alongside our family circus. As my two big boys testify, time goes by much to fast and so this time around I can truly say that I am enjoying every bit of him in all his newborn glory. My mantra for 2016 may simply be to slow down, because these precious baby snuggles are just too sweet not to savor.

Little man has naturally fallen into a nice schedule.  His favorite place to nap is in my arms, and that's okay by me. He has been a great sleeper from the start and continues to bless us with a good nights sleep(save for his feedings of course). During the day he eats just about every 3 hours starting at around 7:30am. Our record stretch of uninterrupted nighttime sleep has been 5 hours, but more often he makes is just over 4. Yes, I'm still a babywise mama because I know that having a structure gives you the freedom to be flexible. At the same time I feel so much more confident and easy going in my parenting this third time around that I'm not nearly as stressed or laser focused on setting a schedule- it will fall into place. In the meantime, I'm letting this little guy take the lead. I repeat, establishing the perfect nap routine will not get the best of me!
(See, picture evidence of that one time I put him down for a nap in his crib. Just kidding, he's slept in his crib more than that-maybe 3 or 4 times hehe!)

In other milestone news, we've caught a few real(non gas related) smiles this past week and can't wait to see more. He's much more alert during his wake times and though he's been nicknamed Evan's mini-me, I'm almost sure his eyes are turning a greenish blue hue unlike big brother's brown. He is supporting his head and neck more every day and really enjoys tummy time. He enjoys it so much in fact he often tries to fall asleep there. A perfect portrayal of his "go with the flow" disposition.

And, he makes for a super cute skunk. Who says little boys aren't fun to dress?
 I adore him.
 P.S.-He rocks this penguin hat. :-)