Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
::
I had every intention of blogging when I took this picture this morning. Best laid plans, right?

I am thankful:
:: for a lot of things, one of which being our heater for the house. We're being hit with an arctic blast, and the windchill in some areas is -30F.

I am thinking:
:: the ancestry DNA results came back and it wasn't TOO surprising, except for the percentages. It's fun to see where I came from and thus what exactly the kids are.

I am working on:
:: tackling the laundry. Our missing mate sock pile is gigantic, and I swear I lose socks every time I do a load. I found a couple socks in the kids' bedrooms but come on, where are the rest??

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: for a happy and healthy pregnancy of a friend's fifth baby
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
::

Around the house:
:: Greg is waiting on a break in the weather in order to install a gas water heater that will be way more efficient for our family. Once again, my laundry room is a construction zone. :P

Clicking around on the web:
:: Sensus Traditionis - amazing homilies and talks.
:: 15 Fun Facts from Archbishop Fulton Sheen's FBI File - in case you wanted to know some pretty awesome trivia

Living the Liturgical Year
:: Tomorrow is the feast of St. Nicholas, Thursday is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, and Friday is the anniversary of the death of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen.

One of my favorite things:
:: Nugget's many, many smiles. He is such a smiley little guy.

This week's plans:
:: dental appointment
:: OT appointment
:: Immaculate Conception Mass
:: Sacrament of Penance

Friday, December 2, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up, Week 12

Peanut
We are continuing on with good momentum. Peanut is doing exceptionally well, cruising through everything nicely and is reaching the end of the third grade phonics book. She wants to do the fourth grade book, but only because "it has fun pictures". Her reading is strong so I'm not really inclined to purchase another level of phonics when she pretty much has everything down.

Phonetic Zoo continues to be a hit, and she is improving with each test she takes. Her confidence in spelling is improving and she is much less resistant to spelling other words, such as when she's writing a story. Spelling isn't a dreaded torture chamber anymore, hooray!

Other subjects like Latin are coming along nicely - she received a perfect score on her Latin test today, which covered five chapters.

Moose
We switched from Math Mammoth to Singapore Math for Moose, and it's like night and day for him. He really appreciates the bright pictures in the Singapore text and the workbook is easy for him (although sometimes I need to do writing). He begins structured OT just for the sake of writing next week. I asked his OT about cursive vs. print first; and both have their pros and cons, of course. We both agree though that cursive first may be easier on Moose, so that's what we're starting with. I'm excited to see how he does.

He is about halfway through his phonics workbook and also wants to continue on to the next level. That I will purchase because it's helping him so much and he loves it.

Wok
She is still enjoying her preschool. She has mentioned frustration with being unable to read but doesn't seem to be too overly interested in learning how to read. She and Little Miss Sunshine are in the "super helper" phase which is FABULOUS, I can breathe a little bit.

LMS... is in the crazy two-year old stage. So far she's unrolled multiple (Costco!) sized rolls of toilet paper into the toilet, tried to manhandle the dog, etc etc. She definitely is in a contained area when school is in session (either next to me or napping). I noticed her stacking the glassware {which the Olders had lovingly left behind after lunch} so I found the wooden blocks for her to make her engineering marvels with instead.

Nugget
Earlier this week I mentioned some sort of ridge on Nugget's forehead. Turns out it's a metopic ridge that will need some "watching". Most kids who have them grow into them, so we're hoping he's one of them. He's progressing perfectly in his development, he's about 8 pounds lighter than LMS (and almost as tall as her), and is *so close* to rolling from back to front. It's not easy moving that much weight around! He babbles and coos all the time and is extremely mellow (just like when he was in utero). He's delicious.

* * *
The checklists are saving my bacon in school and I have one for household chores in my planner. I love my planner and I am loving the checklists, and I love that I can combine both into one handy book.

Happy weekend, friends! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: our neighbors lit their giant pine tree with Christmas lights last night It's gorgeous as always, but the lack of snow makes it seem like something's missing.

I am thankful:
:: Moose's attention span took another leap, so now I am able to add in some Mater Amabilis books for things like fairy tales and whatnot. Extra snuggle time = win.

I am thinking:
:: We've had a few skiffs of snow but usually we have much more. Will we be having a white Christmas this year? I am looking forward to going sledding again, after being side-lined by Nugget last year.

I am working on:
:: CHECKLISTS. I whipped up some checklists into my life so that I can stay better on track with the kids' lessons and the like. Love me some checklists. Each year I think I can live without them but come on, I really can't.

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: for a happy and healthy pregnancy of a friend's fifth baby
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
::

Around the house:
:: Not a whole lot beyond basic house maintenance ... I have an urge to purge junk again, so that may be happening in the near future.

Clicking around on the web:
:: The Chant of LeBarroux - if you like your Liturgy of the Hours chanted, here you go. It's breathtaking.
:: A Spiritual Christmas Crib - I just can't squeeze this into our lives but I love love love it. Maybe next year.

Living the Liturgical Year
:: We're in Advent now. I made up a planner, so to speak; of what I want to get done during Advent - movies to watch, crafts, etc.It's a glorious data drop combined with ideas pulled from the web. This week's Saint of the Week is St. Andrew the Apostle - we'll be having fish and chips in honor of St. Andrew's trade. ;-)

One of my favorite things:
:: Coming to a decision about some things that needed to be discussed. Now we need a whole lotta grace to execute the decisions.

This week's plans:
:: Nugget's doctor appointment
:: Speech therapy
:: Advent tea at the parish

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: a balmy Thanksgiving week. It's been sunny and rather warm, given that it's the end of November. Most of the time we just need coats. The seed bugs are still rampant but all the other wildlife (well, except the urban deer) have gone.

I am thankful:
:: relaxing Sundays, good tea, good books, and being pretty much set for our Thanksgiving feast this week.

I am thinking:
:: about Moose's math. Math comes easy for Peanut and she has had so much success with Math Mammoth. I thought Moose would be just as successful but it's really not working for him. Back to the drawing board. A friend at the parish gave me about 5 years of Singapore Math textbooks (and workbooks and testbooks and guides and....) so I think we're going to give that a shot for Moose.

I am working on:
:: this week we're shelving most of the books (except for the non-essentials) and doing more hands-on learning. Peanut will continue on her Phonetic Zoo, Moose will continue reading lessons, that sort of thing. We went through an extremely stressful 72 hours right at the end of last week (hence the missing wrap-up post), thus it's time to do some family bonding.

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: for a happy and healthy pregnancy of a friend's fifth babies
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
:: This lovely book, See You in Heaven. It's so inspiring to me as a wife and mother.

Around the house:
:: We reinforced our massive bookshelves in the basement to ensure structural stability. Greg and I have also been looking for a new water heater (our energy assessment shows we spend 40% of our electricity bill on our water heater, and it's only a 40 gallon electric heater that is completely inefficient for a family of our size) for quite some time now. We were at Lowe's getting supplies for an additional security light, when we came upon a Rinnai gas heater. It was a special order return, as it was too big for the person who ordered it. It was marked down insanely low, so we had to snatch it up. It was Greg's 'dream model' that he never thought we would get because it was too pricey.

{I suppose we're officially Adults now as I'm way excited about that Rinnai, hence it showing up here as well as on my Instagram.}

Clicking around on the web:
:: The Road Less Traveled By - a reminder (that I need) to stop looking back as well as to stop being afraid about the future.
:: Have you seen Celeste's amazing paper post? Schedules, chore charts, checklists - it's all so lovely and well-done.


Living the Liturgical Year
:: This week we will be celebrating St. Andrew Dung-lac and Companions. Their feast day falls on Thanksgiving but we will work them into our celebrations.

One of my favorite things:
:: Moose has a really cute dialectal thing going on - words that have a "ng" ending he truncates to "n". Swimmin', fishin', Thanksgivin'.

This week's plans:
:: THANKSGIVIN'
:: Neighbor's Christmas party

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: We've had warm days lately, but Mr. Weatherman says a cool-down is headed our way. And snow, even! Not a lot but enough to remind us that we're not in the summertime anymore.

I am thankful:
:: Moose's handwriting is improving! I am so thrilled. We're only about ten days into working on specific techniques and already a major improvement. BEST DECISION EVER.

I am thinking:
:: about habits. It seems bad habits are creeping in, which I think explains a majority of the less than smooth sailing we have around here.

I am working on:
:: getting the laundry caught up. It backed up again for who knows what reason.

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: for a happy and healthy pregnancy and birth of two friend's fifth babies
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
:: Still working on the Venerable Fulton Sheen book from last week. I was hoping to get it finished by now, but see also: bad habits.

Around the house:
:: well, the fence installer quoted our fence job way too high. It looks as though Greg will have to build it himself (as usual). I'm not sure if he's going to try and get it up now or wait until the spring time.

Clicking around on the web:
:: Paper and Salt - You guys. You guys. Go to this blog and be prepared to cook up delicious deliciousness based off of writers and books. There's gingerbread + chocolate frosting (Laura Ingalls Wilder), Apple Slump (Louisa May Alcott). And more. So much deliciousness.

:: Dog-training videos. These videos are incredible and very enlightening. We're working on "leave it" with great success. And here's a great online book about dog training, as well!

:: What's your family's "spiritual style"? Lots of great questions to think over and pray about. 

Living the Liturgical Year
:: This week is the feast of St. Gertrude. I found my book about celebrating {most of} the Saints feast days and found a little craft to do for St. Gertrude's feast day. We'll see how it goes.

One of my favorite things:
:: watching Nugget grow and do fun things like grabbing and playing with his toys. And his incessant "talking" is so stinking cute.

This week's plans:
:: Speech therapy

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up, Week 10

Peanut
She finally earned two 100%s in a row on Lesson 1 of Phonetic Zoo, so Monday we can start Lesson 2. Her excitement at learning she had moved on to Lesson 2 was amazing. I think she is feeling really good about spelling in general and that it's not something beyond her reach. So, so grateful we switched to Phonetic Zoo.

Additionally, she's about halfway through the third grade Math Mammoth book. She has been consistently getting almost perfect scores on every math test - I'll be taking a look at the rest of the book, skipping what she knows, teaching the rest and then moving on to the fourth grade MM book. She is so good at math - light years ahead of where I was when I was her age.

We reached the end of the Handwriting Without Tears Grade 3 book, so we're starting it all over again using the tips from Moose's OT about handwriting. I thought she was going to balk about restarting but she's enjoying it, because she knows the strokes now and can work on precision in her letters.

Latin she absolutely can't stand and has the most amazing stalling tactics when it comes to doing it. Usually I would chuck something out of the lineup if there's that much resistance to it, but Latin is so important that it's going to be done regardless. I'll have to expand how I teach it in order to circumvent some of the blowback, but I think she also needs to develop the virtue of doing something that's not fun because it's what is expected to do.

Moose
Where Peanut shines in math, Moose shines in reading. Honestly, he picks it up so incredibly fast. Phonemes are hooked together without issue, sight words are memorized on one pass through. More and more signs are read-aloud by him (really grateful the political season is OVER). He really wants to be a fluent reader so he can read books on military planes, emergency vehicles, and other things that interest him - so he is working fast and furious to get there.

Math is a weak point, but our trusty abacus and slowly moving through Math Mammoth First Grade is working well. There is also blowback from him regarding math but like Latin, it falls into the camp of "suck it up, buttercup". I try and do fun math games with him and the motivator of Mini M&Ms helps. His attention span is still minute so we do a lot of bite-sized chunks through the day. Doing math with Moose has forced me to re-examine how I approach schooling because I still end up locked into a 7 hour day for 180 days mindset. We have so much more freedom than that and I'm doing all the kids a disservice if I fall back into that mindset.

Handwriting is coming along, thanks to the OT's suggestions. He is actually drawing more now, whereas prior to the OT he was practically allergic to it!

Wok
This child still enjoys her "preschool" and asks for it every single day. She's progressed to writing two letters of her name (4 more to go!) and drawing all the stinking time. Her favorite thing to do is writing, you can give her an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and a pencil; and she'll provide you a sheet of paper covered in A's. Despite her (loud) tantrums, four is turning out to be a fun age for her.

Little Miss Sunshine
FINALLY has learned to talk more. Thank you, sweet Jesus! The most fervent prayer of this household was for LMS to get some words going. Last week she said "baby". This week she said "me" and "bye-bye". I hope the trend continues, because it's SO MUCH BETTER for everyone if she's not screaming in shrill tones for milk.

Nugget
Nugget is almost four months old (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). He weighs almost as much as LMS right now (who, in her defense, is petite like Peanut). Nugget weighs more than Moose did at this age. He is still in that delicious stage where he'd prefer to grab at toys and smile constantly. The one thing that is concerning about Nugget is that he has a ridge down his forehead (from his soft spot to his nose). It doesn't seem to be bugging him and he has a doctor appointment coming up so we'll be asking about that.
It's hard to see in this picture, but it's there.
It's time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Advent, as they will be here before you know it. We purchased our big bird yesterday (at $0.78/lb, our 20 pound bird was only $16), and we'll need to go to Costco for the rest. You know you're a large family when you need to hit up Costco for Thanksgiving sides ... and you're not having anyone over.

Happy weekend, all!