Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Working on the House


When we first looked at this house, we joked that the great room was so huge we could cut part of it off and have another room.


That's just what we decided to do!  That end used to be "play room," but with fully half of the kids in the house being teenagers, we're feeling the need for an extra bedroom these days.


Paul framed out the wall on the floor.


And then we stood it up to test fit it.


You can get an idea how big the original room is by the corner of our 10 person dining room table on the right in this shot.  There's one window in the new room, and two more windows in what's left of the dining/play room.


Test fit looks good!


From inside the new room, looking through the dining/play room, toward the kitchen.


It was a group effort, with everyone from Jack to Josiah lending a hand or taking pictures.  While not "homeschooling" per se, it is helping the kids see what goes into making a house.


Sam and Paul take some measurements to make sure it's straight.


Okay, this part was actually fun.  I got to cut the carpet and padding, following a laser line.  I think all my years of cutting things for sewing came in handy for this.


On the inside.  Adding insulation and sheetrock after anchoring the wall.


It's looking like a construction zone in here!


From the outside.


Okay, guys, come over here and LIFT!


Hopefully, I can post some PAINTING pictures soon!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Roller Skating


Recently, Zach talked me into taking the kids skating with him.  I'm so glad he did!


Hannah, who wears a full prosthetic leg, had an understandably difficult time, especially at first.


Brianna, who hasn't been skating in years, did really well.  I was surprised to see her doing big and small circles and jumps.  Part of me would love to see her in lessons.


Brayden, in the stripes, also surprised me with how well he does.  He's 3, and he was out there for a good chunk of the 2 hour session.  When he asked why I wasn't skating, I told him, "Nai Nai doesn't roller skate; I only ice skate."  Now I'm thinking we need an ice skating date!


This was Jack's first time on skates, so he fell several times, but he kept trying.


This is Jack in the blue camo shirt.


The girls started out thinking that it was not very fun.  The building was hot, and they kept falling.


That's Eli on the left.  This was his second time skating, and he did well!


After a while, the girls decided to stand on a carpeted platform so they could watch.  I took each of them around the rink once, and even with me walking in street shoes, Hannah almost knocked me down.  Katie did better, and I think with practice, she could get the hang of it.


Katie and Brayden are so cute together.  She always asks, "Brayden coming o-fer today?"  She loves having him here to play with, but she's not great about sharing, so there's usually some screaming on her part.


I missed the smile.  Hannah really did have more fun than it looks like from this picture.  By the end of the evening, she could walk back and forth along the carpeted wall, and more importantly, she'd learned how to get her "real" foot/leg under her first, and balance as she straightened up, to pick herself up from a fall.

Brianna and Eli both want to go skating again soon.  In fact, Brianna wants to bring The Boy next time.  I'm pretty sure she won't let me get any pictures of that.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

VeggieTales Beauty and the Beet


We recently got the opportunity to review Beauty and the Beet for Family Christian Stores, and decided to make it a family movie night. 


My kids were so excited about a NEW VeggieTales movie!  We've been Veggie fans for many years now.  So long, in fact, that some of our VT collection is on VHS!


Beauty and the Beet was a nice adaptation of the classic story of sweetness triumphing over crankiness.  One of the features I enjoyed the most was the high quality soundtrack.  We have many favorite Veggie songs in our house (Oh Where Is My Hairbrush, and I'm So Blue, being two that immediately spring to mind), but this DVD is different because Mirabelle can really sing!  Instead of just the fun, fluffy, sing alongs we're used to, this DVD had some "real" sounding music.


You're in luck, because through December 14, Beauty and the Beet is on sale for only $7.49 special doorbuster price!  If you miss the doorbuster price, it will be on sale for only $9.99 from 12/15-12/24.  After that, it goes to the full price of $14.99.


Check out the trailer and see if you think your family will enjoy this new and endearing DVD from VeggieTales and Family Christian Stores.

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Our Homeschool Week


Has another week gone by already?  I don't feel like I've gotten a week's worth of stuff done!  Maybe it's all the Christmas prep I'm trying to get done.



We read about the amazing mosaics of the Byzantine Empire, and finished the box of mosaics that we started earlier in the year.


Jack's was appropriate, because we were recently reading about a scary sea serpent in our Pirates book.


If you missed the review, click here.  Really a neat resource.


The ever popular pop beads were requested again this week.  I need to rotate in some of the lesser asked for items, because I think she forgets about them.


The pop beads were also used as a decoration for our felt tree.


Still plugging away at our lovely grammar program.  This week we learned reasons to start a new paragraph.


In our current art program, Drawing Unto Him, we learned about shading.  In one exercise, we practiced several different ways to shade (dots, cross hatch, blending, etc).


On another day, we worked on getting to know our pencils a little bit more, and tried out light, normal, and high pressure lines & squiggles.


This was our last week of co op, boo hoo!  The boys made pastel Christmas trees in art.  We'll miss getting together with our friends every week!


Only one more week of school for Luke, Hannah, Sam, and Brianna.  Which means only one more regular week of school for us, too.  We'll continue to do fun things, but we'll skip the "boring stuff."

This week we hit the year 610 and study the beginnings of Islam.  In science, we'll be hitting germs, and it just so happens that I have a Magic School Bus science kit all about germs, so we'll get that out and see what we can discover.

Linking up with Yes, I Homeschool and:
For the Display of His Splendor 

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Knot So Fast



We've reviewed a few of the Think Fun games, and they're all a hit around here.  Knot So Fast is no exception.


Small enough to keep in a purse or diaper bag as a waiting room diversion, Knot So Fast consists of a spiral bound booklet of knots, a metal ring, and a little over a yard of rope.


The rope has a neat feel to it, and is great for those who love a tactile fidget.  The 40 knots in the notebook range from simple to complex, and you can work through the notebook, progressing in difficulty.


Although I initially thought of this as a "boy" game, since sailors and such use knots, I realized there are many knots in crafting, too.  This would be a great warm up for someone wanting to learn how to make Chinese ball buttons, or do some of the amazing complex Chinese knots made from silk cord.


Knot So Fast sells for $14.99.  See also our reviews on Think Fun's Rush Hour and Square By Square, two more fun brain games.


When Paul was in the fire academy, he used to have a length of "practice rope" he used to work on the various knots used in firefighting.  This would be a great gift for a teen interested in going into the fire service or the Navy or Coast Guard.




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