Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas and My New Favorite Cookies

I think I have found my NEW favorite cookies! I saw these on Pinterest and they looked so yummy. They are a cookie, but the texture is almost like a brownie. It's like two great things combined.  I made a double batch the first time and we ate every one! I made a second double batch and gave out to neighbors and friends.  Here is the site with the recipe I used. Classic Crinkle Cookies

Christmas was nice, not too hectic.  Our youngest was up at 2:30 trying to wake his sister to find a gift that was suppose to go into my stocking. By 3:00 he was in our room trying to get us to wake up (LOL) He went and got on the couch and slept until 6:00. That's a very reasonable time to me to wake up, so we all got out of the bed. The oldest child was the hardest to get up! He thought it was crazy to get up at 6:00. I tried to remind him what it felt to be nine and want to be up early.  By 7:30 all the gifts and stockings had been opened and the traditional cinnamon buns eaten. Here are some pictures that followed, before it was time to eat.

The middle child wouldn't let me take any pictures of her. I hardly have any pictures of her lately:( The inside cat jumped out the middle's window and ended up on top of the tree house.  When I called his name he ran across the top and climbed down the front (LOL) Issac helped my husband with some of the cooking. We ended up having ham, smoked & grilled turkey, mac & cheese, scalloped potatoes, green beans, cooked mixed greens, rolls, sweet potato, apple, cherry & chocolate pecan pies. It was a nice day and a very nice dinner.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Life without therapy

Issac has been in some sort of therapy since his first birthday. At some times it was all three, ST, OT and PT and other times it was just two or even one. Today I got the call that they are releasing him from OT because he's met all the goals he has. He just went back to OT about two months ago after not having been in for almost two years. He had met his goals then, but his handwriting was still hard to read. He didn't seem to be progressing at that point, so we decided we'd just keep moving forward. We went to see a Developmental Pediatrician about 4 months ago and she felt that Issac absolutely needed to be back in OT. It was amazing to see the progress he made so quickly. People will often say that kids will read or learn other skills when they are ready. That's almost what this seemed to be, that he was ready to be able to write. When my mom saw his writing shortly after he started back to OT she almost didn't believe it was his writing! He's been working on typing and that is coming along slowly. He's a little frustrated that he can't type faster, but I explained that right now it's better to be accurate than fast.
For almost nine years we have been going to therapy one or twice a week. The older kids grew up in some ways at the therapist. They've always packed a bag with school and taken it along with them. It was a huge part of our life. It's great that Issac has done so well, but to think that there is no more therapy just seems odd.  I know without a doubt if Issac hadn't been in therapy all these years that he wouldn't be where he is now. I hate to think about the kids that don't get therapy.  We have had so many wonderful therapist. They've all connected with Issac in different ways and on different levels. He's even had two different ST's with the same name!
We've got some things we'll keep working on to help strengthen his hand muscles. The plan is they will call us in six months for a visit. I feel good about this because we've had lots of regression issues in the past. This way there is already a plan to check on him. If he's started regressing then we can go back and if he's doing well then we'll continue to move forward. It's strange to think about no therapy anymore, but it's a good strange. I guess this is the start of our new normal :)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Update on us

It's been a busy little time around here.  Trying to get our school done before the holiday break started.  Also,  trying to find some "fun" things to do to help celebrate the holidays.  the kids have a few things for school to finish next week because they were procrastinating a bit this past week. I'm anxious to relax, read, bake, etc.  Issac and I have been reading Bartholomew's Passage A dear friend introduced me to and gave me Jotham's Journey probably 10 years ago. Ever since we've read a different one each year.  We have finally gotten our tree and manger put out.  My husband redid our daughter's bedroom floor and she painted her room right after Thanksgiving. We've been delayed getting our decorations out!

I received some exciting news yesterday.  I was asked to be part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew and I'm so very excited about this new journey.  This is a chance to meet new people, be able to experience curriculum that we might not otherwise be able to and do something that is totally different for me :) Issac is loving geography right now, so I'm hopeful that we might find something he really loves through this experience.

I also received a call yesterday from the UDN asking me to be part of their Participant Engagement Group.  This will be a year long commitment and the first meeting will be in Boston!  Here is Issac's page from when he participated in the study back in November 2015.  I'm very excited as well as anxious and nervous to go to Boston. I have NEVER traveled alone before and I will have never met any of these people either (LOL) I think this will be an amazing experience.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: A Path Among Ancient Rocks

I recently applied to be part of a homeschool curriculum review team, Schoolhouse Review Crew This past week we have been using A Path Among Ancient Rocks-Everyday Easels Book 1 from The Old Schoolhouse 

 This item can be found at The Old Schoolhouse Shop I used this with both our 9 year old son and our 15 year old daughter.

My son and I used this item every day this past week.  I really liked the way it included different subjects. We were looking at pieces of art while also doing bible, science, geography and english.  We don't typically do much art because I feel we just never have the time. It's a sad excuse because I do feel that art is important. This was a week to incorporate art while still feeling that we get all the "basic" subjects done.  Our son really enjoys anything related to geography, so that was his favorite part. He can spend hours looking and talking about maps, interstates and looking at a globe.  The english was harder for him.  He has struggled with reading and comprehension, so I really believe that was part of his struggle. It was also a little hard for him to come up with the details when asked about the different works of art.  I had to coach him for the answers more than maybe the average parent would need too.  Our son really enjoyed the art projects. There was one where you used painter's tape to make trees. You then painted everything not taped with blue paint. When it was dry, you removed the tape and painted the trees brown.  Here is a picture of his work of art.

Our daughter didn't seem to have any struggles, but she is older.  She was able to compare the different works of art without issue.  She was able to do the other subjects easily and come up with lots of interesting responses. She was able to do the work on her own and didn't need my help.  She doesn't really enjoy unit studies, so this study wasn't a favorite of hers. In general she likes all her subjects separate.  I do feel that unit studies could work very well for our son. It might sound strange, but I felt more productive this past week knowing that we included art in our school week. This study made me realize that we can incorporate art into our everyday life in an easy way.  If you are interested in checking this unit out head over and check out A Path Among Ancient Rocks

If I had to say anything negative about the unit it would be in having some type of schedule.  I briefly skimmed the unit and then we started from page one. Before I knew it we were done with the unit sooner than I expected. I would like to see some type of a schedule that would have a "recommended" plan for the unit. It might be nice even to have two options as a suggestion for ways to use this study.  I know everyone doesn't always follow the plan, but if there was a suggestion of the best way to do this unit that would have been great. I think we did more each day than we were suppose to have done.I also didn't really care for having english included.  That is a subject that seems to have a much larger range of usage, so I think it's harder for that to work for a larger range of people. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this unit. Like I mentioned previously we typically don't do art because it just always seem hard to fit it in the schedule. I enjoyed sitting with my son and looking at these works of art.  I felt like he really enjoyed this unit because everything was around a main theme. I've not typically been a unit study fan and that might be why my daughter didn't care for it. This study has opened my eyes to them again and I'm going to bring more of them into our school time. I'm thankful to The Old Schoolhouse for giving me this chance to use and review A Path Among Ancient Rocks.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Update on us

It's been a crazy few weeks here. My mom came a few weeks ago because my aunt had to go to Duke for another pancreas procedure. Things went well for my aunt and my mom was here to visit for a few days. It seemed like we just got back into school and our routines when it was time to go to my mom's for Thanksgiving. We drove up, enjoyed Thanksgiving with our family, and back home again we came :) Trying to get back into our routine when dh decides he'll fix our daughter's floor that's been needing to be fixed for a while. She wants to paint her room while everything is out, so that became the plan. The only negative is that we already have very little space, but now everything from her room is out in the house :( The painting is done and he's hopefully getting the floor finished today, so we can get it all back in place. I feel like anything I touch or any place I move is going to cause some pile to fall (LOL) DD's 15th birthday is next Sunday, so my mom will be arriving for that on Friday, if all goes well. The kids also have their drama play this week, so that adds to the normal crazy that is our life :) Somewhere in all this we need to try and get out the Christmas decorations. Hopefully this week will be a great one!

Review: What's New? What's Missing? What's Different?

Homeschooling is hard and often times I've found my kids just need something fun to break up the day.  Even though Issac is in 6th grade...