Tuesday, June 14, 2011

March, April , May and part of June!

Once upon a time there was a homeschooling mom who loved to blog.  Sharing the adventures that she had with her children and their friends was a great delight.  Then, she found out she was pregnant and she got tired and nauseous for 2 months and didn't do anything.  After about 3 months she began to feel better and just when she was about to get caught up with all the things she neglected, BAM, her home town got slammed with a terrible tornado and she was so sad and overwhelmed that she could think of nothing but helping those whom she loved.  Almost 2 weeks later, she realized that she did still have to get caught up on the many things she has neglected and thought maybe blogging could help with that (and even help the people of her home town Monson, MA).

I am not including any images of the tornado here on this blog.  There are many and they are terrible and they don't even begin to capture the devastation.  If you would like to see some you can visit the
Monson Tornado Relief  website at  From there you can view photos and on the right side of the page there is also a paypal link for donating funds to the Monson Tornado Relief Account.  Below that link you can purchase bracelets to show support.  There are also many pages on Facebook that explain ways that you can help.  Click on the links below if you are interested in more information.
    Monson Tornado Watch 2011
    Berkshire County Helping Hampden County
    Adopt a Monson Family 

So, in other news, we have a lot to do before this baby of ours arrives in November!  Finishing school for the year was first on the list and it is now completed.  My last blog was in February so here is a brief (but not actually brief) synopsis of some of the things we accomplished.

My boys did some woodworking with Jason this winter while we were all still snowed in.  They made me this beautiful napkin holder.

The girls had a fun assignment this winter.  They had to read a biography of a famous woman and do a cereal box report on her life.  Bella did Anne Frank, Hannah did Mary Lou Retten and Lexie did Harriet Tubman.  The reports came out great and the girls were very proud of their work.

We also did some really fun science experiments with regular household items.  The girls played with chemistry a bit by combining different solutions of things to create different colors and reactions.  They then had to figure out which substances caused the reactions they saw.  It was pretty neat. 

My beautiful niece Madi turned 4!  This was the lame cake I made her.  It was yummy...but I know I could have done better.

After that it was Easter.  My kids and I visited our Germain friends one day and my sisters came up for the visit too.  We did some pretty eggstrordinary egg coloring if I do say so myself.

Tie dye
Leaf prints
Crayon melting
double dying with stickers
On Easter my friend left me this delightful family of miniature pancakes with sharpie faces.  They were on my porch.  I might have been expecting something egg like from the Easter bunny...but I got pancakes from a curly college girl instead.  They made me smile, they still do and I find them incredibly blog worthy.

We had an egg hunt too.  Glad the snow was finally gone!!
Back on the homeschool front, we have continued filling my house once a month with some terrific homeschool students who come for our Art Club.  Here they are listening to one of their friends give an extraordinary presentation. 
Fun with pattern blocks
We had a terrific unit on birds and we dissected owl pellets.  Very interesting.  My family has really taken to bird watching.  Isaac, in particular, has become quite the "bird nerd".  He loves to identify them, knows their calls and never has his bird book far from reach.

Congratulations to my favorite swimmer!  She received the Sportsmanship award for her swim team and also received an award for completing her first Individual Medley(IM) in a swim meet.
Soon after swimming ended, baseball started.  Isaac is playing on a Rookie League team this year for 7, 8 and 9 year olds. He's holding his own with the big kids and we are very proud of him.  Like his birding, he takes his baseball very seriously and it shows.  He's had some great hits this season and the night of the tornado he pitched his first game.  He struck out two batters before the game was called because the sprinklers came on.
Lexie celebrated her 11th birthday just before school ended!
On Lexie's birthday we also hosted Egg Drop Day at our house.  It was the brainchild of a friend who couldn't host at the last minute so we took it over.  The kids had a great time building contraptions to protect their egg when it took a fall from our deck to the driveway below...
Many friends came with their egg contraptions too.

There were awards for best contraption, best free fall and best mess!
We also had an egg toss
That ended with many situations like the one below...
We also had an egg spinning contest which would have been much more fair and accurately judged if the table wasn't on a hill lol.

One of our homeschool activities for the year was Research Group hosted by a children's librarian a few towns away.  We traveled there once a month and she led us through the process of developing a research paper and final presentation.  There were about 16 children in the group and last Monday they all came together to give their presentations.  Isaac did his report on the Saber-Tooth Cat. 

Hannah did her report on Robotics and she made her own robot for the presentation.  She has an amazing talent in this area.  I am lucky to get a hair dryer to work and I'm pretty sure she could take one apart and put it back together to make it walk. 

Isabella's report was on the Aztecs. 
Lexie did her report on Dolphins.
Ian and Miles didn't do research group with us, instead they did a building project with Miles' mom and dad.  They built some spectacular bird houses and they used an awesome skit to show us the process during our TLC presentation night.  Isaac helped them with the skit by playing the roll of Miles' dad.  It was very well done.

The night of our TLC presentation the kids took turns telling their families about something they really enjoyed learning about during the year.  It was fun for me to see the things that they chose. 

The children had learned a number of hymns over the year and they performed some of them for their families.

On our very last day of school we were able to go to a Colonials game!  It was great fun and a great way to and a great year.

Although school is technically over, things don't change all that much around her in all honesty.  We'll still be learning everyday!  I have some things to wrap up; portfolios, letter of intent to homeschool for next year, summer reading plans etc.  I'm hoping to get most of that done by the end of the week (yeah right!!).

My waistline is ever expanding right now and I am just beginning to have a cute pregnant belly (instead of just looking chubby).  Maybe I'll post a picture of my pregnant self next time.  We have our big ultrasound on Thursday!!!!  Can't wait to find out who this baby is and really start serious consideration of names.  It is so different this time around and I am truly enjoying it so much!