Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Photo Shoot in Old Sac

We recently went on a field trip to the Train Museum in Old Sacramento, and while we were there, Brianna and I had a little fun taking pictures.

I'm calling them "not senior" pictures, since Bri is a junior this year.

But we enjoyed the experience enough that I might do her actual senior pictures next year.

Old Sac has plenty of "props" and backdrops to make taking pictures there interesting.

Pretty much the only obstacle is people passing by.

Which is when editing comes in handy.

I took over 200 pictures that day, so we both ended up with lots of favorites.

It was nice to work together and try many different ideas.

Brianna prefers a serious expression.

So we did lots and lots of serious look shots.

But every once in a while, I asked her to smile.

The weather was perfect.

Not too warm.

Not too cool.

Not too windy.

Just the right amount of sun, streaming into this shot.

The trains give both the sense of travel and of times gone by.

Speaking of time gone by... did my little toddler Brianna turn into such a lovely young woman?

In the blink of an eye, I tell you.

And before I know it,

instead of blowing kisses,

she'll be waving bye bye like her older siblings,

and stepping out into the big, bright world all on her own.

I'm glad I have these photos to remember this fleeting in-between time.

Definitely not a little girl any more, but not quite a full fledged grown up yet, either.

It's almost as if she's waiting for her train to come and take her away to adulthood.

I look forward to seeing who she becomes,

and where she goes in life.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Math, How I Loathe Thee

This week, we're talking about numbers on the Virtual Curriculum Fair.  I always hated math when I was in school, ever since timed multiplication tables in Mrs. Perez's 3rd grade class.  I was the kid stuck on 3s when everyone else was doing 6s and 7s.

I've tried not to pass along my own biases to my kids, but none of them really enjoy math, either.  Some programs we've tried have been better than others, though.

online programs
CTC Math - Eli used this program here at home, and when he got to high school, he kept saying, "I already learned this."  I love the advantage that gave him, so Jack is using CTC this year.  Here's our more recent review.
Standard Deviants Accelerate
Time 4 Learning

book programs
A Beka
Math U See

workbook programs
Math Lifepacs
Math PACEs

math games and enrichments
dice games
Valentine Math
Super Teacher Worksheets
Xtra Math - basic operations online drill
Multi-bandz bracelets
Times Tales visual learners story based multiplication

Whether math is the subject your kids want to do first, or whether it's a necessary evil, it's nice to have many options to choose from and be able to get the best fit possible for your child.

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Discovering Patterns: Math and the Mathematical Sciences this week:

Finding Our Math Equilibrium: Our Plan for 11th, 7th, 5th, and 2nd Grades + Free Printables! by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Math Resources and Programs for All Ages by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Math (doesn't) Stink! by Jennifer King @A Peace of Mind
When Math is NOT Your Thing by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
Math U See and All the Supplements by Laura H @ Four Little Penguins
Discovering Patterns in Our World: STEM Studies by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Junior High Math by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Science & Math for Struggling Learners by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
Maths: a subject in progress by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Taking Mathematics out of the Textbook by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acre
Maths for a Very Maths-y Boy by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Practical Math by Annette @ A Net in Time
One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Math, How I Loathe Thee by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Math and Logic in Early Elementary and Preschool {virtual curriculum fair 2017} by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos
Low Stress High School Science and Math by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Are these toys or manipulatives? This is math? by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully
When You Don't Have a Math Plan by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Clear Horizons by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
A Few Thoughts on Teacher Math by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

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Our Week with Less People in the House

I don't know who said, "The only constant is change," but it certainly seems true for our house.  Our household shrunk by 3 people in 12 hours time.

Hannah and Katie (and Paul) said their goodbyes to Sam at home.

Paul stayed home with all the small fries while the teens, the preteen, and I all took Sam out for a goodbye dinner.

Josiah was there, too.  He took this picture for me.

Then Tuesday came, and it was back to the grindstone.

Eli made another beautiful omelet, and I made a second batch of "hard boiled" eggs in the Instant Pot.  If this keeps up, Paul's going to have to start buying the huge packs of eggs at Costco again.

Katie and I were playing Connect 4, and I realized I had to pay more attention to strategy and less attention to my cell phone when she beat me!

Sam's room is all emptied out.

Paul and Josiah are working on cleaning it up and prepping it for paint.

Right now, the plan is for Josiah to move in here when it's finished.

When we moved into this house, this was Annaliese's room.  After she moved out, we shuffled Josiah and Sam in here.  Josiah later got the room we created by splitting the great room.  When Josiah moved out, Eli got that room, so Josiah will be moving back into the front downstairs room when it's done.  At some point, Paul would like to have this room as his man cave.

I just realized I never showed a "finished" picture of Jack's room.  Here it is in all it's unmade-beds glory.

The walls are a pretty dark blue.  When Jack and Eli shared this room, they had beds Paul built fastened to the walls.  Those came out when he did paint prep.  When Josiah came home unexpectedly in November, we made a trip to Ikea to buy not one but two beds for this room.  Part of me wished we would have left the old beds in there, but I realize it will be more versatile to be able to move one of them downstairs when that room is freshly painted.

I'm starting to think about Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day, and I asked Jack to look through a book basket to find any Valentine books we have.  I turned around and saw the floor covered in books!  Several years ago, when Brianna was our youngest daughter, and it looked like our family was complete, I gave away all the girly readers.  (We've obviously accumulated plenty more since then.)  It occurs to me that I should probably start thinking about passing down all the little boy readers to Brayden, since Jack will be 13 this year.

I made Hannah a (different size) dress from the same pattern as last week's Valentine dress.  I liked it so much I spent last night tracing off Katie's size so I can make her some dresses from this pattern, too.

Had a rather embarrassing moment at school involving the van, some mud, 2 pickup trucks and a tow rope.  All's well that ends well, right?

Brianna's need for a "free reading" book for school spurred us into a much needed trip to the library!

We're working on making a big book of dinosaurs!  You can't tell in this photo, but Jack and Hannah have written information about their dinosaurs on their papers already.  I still need to draw lines for Katie and write out what she needs to copy.

Chinese New Year comes soon, and we're saying goodbye to the year of the Monkey and hello to the year of the Rooster!  Today we painted wooden rooster cutouts.

I found this wooden puzzle in the girls room this week.  I think it was from Christmas 2015.  I don't see them playing with it, so I pulled it out and dumped it on the school room floor.  Voila!  Interest renewed.  There are challenge cards that go with it, but to start, Katie enjoyed just doing her own thing with the blocks.  I like hands on, brain food, type toys, so I'm glad to see it getting some use.

I'm late getting this posted because we took a field trip yesterday!  I'll share that with you soon.

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