Friday, August 21, 2009


We just completed our third week at our little school... I just wanted to share with you some of the things that are going on around here.

The Big Apple is always reading. She loves it. Sometimes I go check on her late at night and find her still reading a book. I have to give her a page limit at night so that she will actually get enough sleep.
The Middle Apple's curriculum is very slow at easing the children into reading. The Middle Apple is doing very very well and can read most of her assigned pages without help. I'm so proud of her. Her handwriting is coming along great as well. She amazed me this week by completing 100 addition problems without complaint, and only missed 6. Not bad if I do say so myself!

She has also been learning about the different names of God in her Bible studies. Jesus means "The Lord Saves." We made some beautiful pictures to hang in the window using crayon shavings and wax paper. I love kid art!
We made alot of them.
This week, The Big Apple was learning about the Jamestown Settlement, so we decided to try to create a model of one. We read that the houses were created out of mud, using the wattle and daub method, so that's just what we did. We made a playdough mixture, and colored it with real Louisiana mud. Then we smooshed it into the wood frames and dried the mud walls in the dehydrator.
Daddy lended a had with the thatch roof, since I really have no architectural ability whatsoever.
Okay, soooooo it came out looking a little strange and not too authentic. Sue me. But The Big Apple had a blast, and isn't that what learning is supposed to be about?
And what post could be complete without a Little Apple update? Well, here is your gratuitous picture of The Little Apple eating so prim, proper, and neatly with fork.

Well....maybe not.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Columbus sailed the ocean blue....."

".....inFourteen Hundred Ninety-Two!"

Also heard at my house....."Land Ho!"and "To the first man that spots land, I promise a velvet robe!", and " I claim this land for God and for Spain!"

This week, we have been studying Christopher Columbus and his voyage to The New World. We recreated his journey in our very own backyard with little more than some aluminum foil, some chopsticks, and some index cards. Oh yes, and The Little Apple's long since abandoned baby bathtub.

Our ships were very seaworthy, and bore the names of the three ships that journeyed across the ocean. The Big Apple, who was in charge of creating the Santa Maria, insisted that the sail had a Santa hat on it. Not in real life, but just for this pretend voyage, of course.
We also studied a little bit about air, wind, and how it moves things. What a perfect tie in with the unit. The Middle Apple really enjoyed demonstrating how the sails work. And insisted that Christopher Columbus needed a wife, who looked like a Polly Pocket. The Big Apple quickly corrected her and told her that the wife died before he left Spain. It's amazing how much information she absorbs when she hears a story. I didn't think she was paying attention.
They spent a long time this morning recreating the story. I simply sat back with a cup of coffee and enjoyed watching the learning unfold.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Up, Up and Away, In My Beautiful Balloon!

On Saturday, we had the time of our lives over in Baton Rouge at the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Here are just a small sampling of some pictures from that day....of course, mainly because my kids happy faces are in them. Another reason....rain. A big thunderstorm threatened to take over the event....we had to dash to our cars to stay dry, grab a bite to eat. Then we went back and enjoyed a GORGEOUS time.

The girls got to walk around, and meet some of the pilots of the balloons, and collect their trading cards.
And in one instance, they were allowed to step inside the basket and witness a burn. kids didn't think it was a good idea. However, their little friend covered her earns and showed her bravery.
I love this next basket. It was either "HI MOM" or "WOW IH", it's all in the perspective, you know.
Then it was time to look to the skys...we got to watch skydivers hurling towards the ground at 120 mph. Very cool. The Middle Apple thought so too.
One of them brought our great nation's flag....and we sung The Star Spangled Banner.
Then the balloons began to inflate....we have been told that balloons do not "blow up." Blowing up is for bombs and require explosives. Balloons strictly inflate. ;)
The girls watching and playing with balloons of their own.
And I flew a balloon of my own. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any of the balloons take off, the storm caused the event to happen too late, and it was actually getting dark, in spite of what you see in these pictures.
Here is one of my favorite pics from the was all just so colorful and beautiful
We were so glad that the weather cleared up and that we were able to return to the event. It was a great day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy 219th Birthday, Coast Guard!

Did you kiss a Coastie today? I did. It's the Coast Guard's birthday today, and what better way to celebrate than a PAR-TAY!!!! And party we did. There was way too much food. But not nearly enough cold drinks to quench the thirst from the (did I hear that correctly?) 103 degree heat.

My favorite Coastie got asked to be on a volleyball team....he's so cute when he's playing isn't he? I love my hot, sweaty, coastie hubby.
There was facepainting....who can resist a cuddly pair of tigers?
There was much bouncing with friends and losing of flip flops.
There was a boat available to tour and Coasties galore to answer your questions.

There was a rock climbing wall. And The Big Apple actually made the 40 lbs. weight requirement this time so she decided to give it a try.
This is about as high as she got....before she claimed that she was afraid of heights. Did I mention she sleeps in a bunk bed?
I was asked if I wanted to give the wall a try. Sure, why not?!?!? I was told that I was the only wife/mom that climbed that day. But you do have to admit...I totally rock the helmet.
Mind you, I haven't touched a climbing wall since a month or two after The Big Apple was born. Then, I got pregnant AGAIN....and wasn't able to climb . I made it a little more than halfway up before sweaty fingers made the handholds impossible. Yeah, that kid next to me in the picture climbed higher than I did. But you don't need to rub it in.
And I swear, I did NOT post that last picture because I have lost more the 20 lbs, and I am totally loving the size of of my rear end in this picture. I would never ever do something like that. Really.

It was such a fun day....we had a blast. Plus, it was a nice reward to The Apple Dumplin's for such hard work in homeschool again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Our First Day of School

When I was a little girl, I loved playing school. I had a little chalkboard that I kept behind my bedroom door, and I would use it to teach my little classroom of stuffed animals. I knew when I was little that I wanted to be a teacher. A really awesome teacher that made a difference in kids' lives. A teacher like the ones that were so wonderful to me growing up.

Now, I am a big girl. And I can do a bit more than just "play" school. I can open my own school. This is my first year as the principal of the very exclusive Wilson Christian Academy, my very own private school, officially registered with our beautiful state. Today, was the opening day of classes at our little school, and it was a day that buzzed with excitement. The pencils were sharpened, the posters were hung, copies made, and the lesson plans reviewed. Everything was ready and in it's place.Our little school is located in the hallway by our front door. Not as perfect as having a whole room devoted to just homeschool stuff, but this suits our little family's needs wonderfully. I can still keep an eye on the baby as she trashes the whole house with out school out in the open like this. I had found these great kid desks in the garbage earlier this summer outside the Catholic School in town. I made off with about 12 of those desks in the back of my van, and they got distributed to some other homeschool buddies. The carpet remnant is a product of our water issue in the baby room a couple of weeks ago. The easel and stools are from IKEA, and the kids love them. I still need to cover one of them, but am waiting on The Middle Apple to chose her fabric. Of course, The Big Apple chose purple leopard print. I mean, what else is there to cover a chair with if you are 7?

I was greeted at my bedside this morning at 6:30 by 2 eager little girls that were begging to get started with their schoolwork. (Note to self: pull out some lessons for telling time and put them in the extra credit folder) They buzzed through their breakfast and threw on some clothes. I commented that some days we were just going to have to have pajama school, and the Big Apple was thrilled that she wasn't going to be wearing a uniform this year.

We worked our butts off for the next hour or so...mostly because The Little Apple decided that today would be a great day to sleep in until 9:30. This worked very well for all of us, and we got alot done. We did spelling, phonics, reading, handwriting, and Bible and History. The Big Apple is starting Adventures in My Father's World for 2nd grade, and The Middle Apple will be working on MFW for 1st grade this year. We had to leave our math lesson until the baby went down for a nap because math class requires many small manipulatives.
I would like to point out the cute little buckets hanging on the wall here. This was an idea that my friend Stephenie had (THANK YOU!!!!). This works so well. We didn't have one spilled pencil box or misplaced scissors at all today.

Once we had tackled the big subject and done a few other impromptu lessons, we took a break to eat some leftover brownies (Thanks Granny!) and do an art project. I threw out the art lesson for today, which was basically drawing straight lines, and had much much more fun with this. Especially when you add glitter.
Since the girls worked so hard today, and I barely had to look at them with so much as a raised eyebrow, I treated them to an afternoon out at the Spray Park, Library, and Snowball stand.
The Big Apple commented to me as we were driving home that "This is the best day of my life!" as she was slurping a snowball and reading a book about Vikings that the library had put on hold for her.

Hehe...I don't know about the best day, but it certainly was a great start to our new school year.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Baby...Missing In Action

"Mama, can I take my baby outside for a walk?" the Big Apple asks innocently.

"Sure honey...just stay between the stop sign and the mail box." I replied absentmindly.

I heard her open the front door and roll her baby doll stroller outside and slam the door closed.

A few moments passed, and I realized that the house was quiet. Too quiet. That always means something or that someone is up to no good. I got up from computer and went to account for all of my little monkey children. The Middle Apple was watching a show in my bed. I knew the Big Apple was out walking her baby doll in the stroller. Then I quickly figured out that one monkey was missing. The Little Apple was missing, and she wasn't in all her usual hiding places.

I found her.

Somehow, the Big Apple had managed to load the Baby Apple in her babydoll stroller and gotten out the front door with her.
The Little Apple was loving every single minute of it. The baby doll stroller, on the otherhand, was struggling under the weight of that little monkey.The Big Apple is going to grow up and be a terrific mommy some day.