Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's on!

Vacation, I mean. :) Tracy and I, and the four boys, made it down safely on Wednesday. Jen and K arrived safely on Thursday and finally, the hubs and Scott showed up safe and sound on Friday.

Here are the four boys before we took off on Wednesday 

And here is the sweetest little K when she and her mommy landed at the airport on Thursday 

Yesterday we enjoyed the first day with our whole group together, and today we are making our way to the beach for the first time (we always wait until everyone is here before we do that particular activity).

We have a lot of things planned for the upcoming week. Ever the homeschoolers, we always find something educational to do...even on vacation. Although, it will really be more like unschooling. No bookwork or anything, just learning through activities and places. :)

There is an art museum in Vero Beach we are going to hit. Bailey has a genuine interest in all things art and art history. We first noticed this when he asked to go through his art curriculum a second time, lol. It showed even more when he started Masters this past year. I don't know that everyone is that excited about the art museum, but I know he is.

Another museum we are hoping to make our way to is the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum. This one is really cool! But then again, who doesn't love treasure? Part of our group has been here several years ago, but not all of us, so I know that will be great fun.

And finally, we hope to hit the Brevard Zoo. We haven't done a zoo lately, and none of us have been to this zoo, so again with the great funs.

Written down, it seems like a lot. But, we always make sure not to over-schedule. There is always pleeeeenty of time for the pool and the beach in our planning!

Ok. Getting off here and heading to the ocean. Life is good, huh?  :)

Have a great week, errbody...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beach bound!

Well, almost beach bound. We will finally be heading down south at some point this week. Yay!

As always, we are very much looking forward to our annual trip to FL. Like last year, we are going down with Tracy's crew and her sister-in-law and niece are joining in on the fun again as well. I've mentioned before how much I suck at packing, but I'm going to hopefully knock it out of the way tomorrow.

The boys had a good week. One of their soccer games got rained out, but they both played a couple of games this week. My mom came up to visit for a few days, and for the first time since the boys started playing (way back in 2005), she got to see them play! They were very excited, and she enjoyed herself.

Bailey wrapped up his writing class with a final score of 93% and a total of 16 credit hours. I am of course proud of him, but more importantly, he is very proud of himself! We aren't keeping up with credit hours at this point (Ugh. Since this whole homeschool middle school thing comes to a close with the 2012-2013 school year, then he starts his high school journey...I may want to get used to "credit hours." Gulp.), but I thought that sounded all official like, so I threw it in there. ;)

Both of the boys spent a lot of time on their iPads this week. Bailey is flying though The Hunger Games and Braeden is making really good progress with his first Magic Tree House book. They have also had a lot of fun with apps. The hubs likes to take them outside with the app Star Walk, and they have enjoyed watching learning videos with the Khan Academy and How Stuff Works apps. As much as people give me grief about our gadget addiction, I can safely say that I have no regrets about my contributions to Apple over the last year. :D

Now, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my Saturday. The laundry is already done (shocking!). Bailey is making homemade eclairs for the fam (yep, from scratch) and Walter and Braeden are curled up on the couch watching Hellboy. For the gazillionth time.

I'm putting together some last minute stuff for their roadschooling packets they will have for the 9-10 hour drive we're making on Wednesday, then I'm going to get lost in a book. I haven't done that in a while and I have Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest release waiting for me. :)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2012

35. Whoa.

Considering that in my head, I think I'm somewhere between the ages of 18 and 22...saying I turn 35 today seems weird, lol.

Yesterday we celebrated my big day with dinner, a movie and Rockband. :) The hubs and some friends set everything up and I had a wonderful day with those friends, and all of my boys.

Now today I get to go fork over $200 for car tags. Gah. I know I shouldn't wait until the last minute, but...just...gah.

This week should be a good week, same as last. Soccer several nights, but the weather has been really nice. Not too hot, not freezing. It's been very enjoyable on the fields. We will also spend part of the week trying to start getting ready to pack for vacation.

Yeah, we have to prepare to pack, lol. I suck at packing. Really suck. I try to remember everything; I even make lists. Then I pack everything. Then I unpack everything because I think I can load it all up better. Then I repack. Then we get to where we are going and I have to run to the store to pick up things I forgot to pack when I repacked. :/

For school, the boys have no special plans. This is the last week of Bailey's first homeschool online writing curriculum course. I've been keeping up with how he has been doing over the last eight weeks, but I'm looking forward to seeing a final report on how the course went for him overall. He still maintains that he has really enjoyed it and would like to start another one when we return from vacation in May.

Braeden is all but done with his second grade program, but he is going to continue to put extra focus on spelling and vocabulary. The improvements he's made in reading were really seen yesterday when we were playing Rockband. Tracy, who gets to spend a lot of time with the boys, looked at me when Braeden was singing (for those not in the know, the lyrics to the songs scroll across the TV and you have to be able to read and keep up with the scrolling lyrics) and said "Wow, he's doing awesome with his reading!" It was a proud moment for him, but for me as well...negates a lot of the negativity I received from people at the beginning of the school year when everyone was quick to tell me they thought he was behind because he wasn't reading what they thought he should have been reading. :)

He just recently started reading the Magic Tree House series (this is's the first thing he's read that wasn't equal parts pictures and words, lol), and surprisingly got sucked right in. He reads on an iPad, and has the ability to highlight words that he struggles with. So I told him when he finished a chapter, I can go through and plug the words he's highlighted into the flashcard maker we use on VSC so I can make flash cards to help him with those words and their definitions. Cool, ain't it? ;)

I hope everyone has a great week! Oh, and don't forget...for those of you who are like me and wait until the last minute for things, the tax deadline is tomorrow!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We just got home from a great weekend with family. We were able to see my nephew for the first time in a decade, I got to hang with a couple of beautiful nieces, lots of time with family. So much fun! Believe it or not, we do actually have some pictures. I just need to find time to get them on my computer so I can post a few. :/

Since spring break is done around here, our week will return to normal; soccer, soccer, masters and more soccer. We've enjoyed the little bit of extra time at home in the evenings, but the boys are really looking forward to getting back on the soccer fields.

As far as school goes, they are going to keep plugging away. We are really gearing up for our vacation in a couple of weeks so it's going to be hard to stay on track. For both the boys AND myself, lol.

Bailey has two weeks left in his writing course, so he will just continue to focus on that. Both of the boys are going to work on their vocabulary this week as well. With game play, of course. :) VocabularySpellingCity, the website we use for spelling and vocabulary, has some really good matching vocabulary games. I like MatchIt Definitions because I can use word lists that are grade level appropriate for each of them.

Braeden has made so many noticeable and fantastic improvements this year, but handwriting is still really a very sore subject between us. He hates it. I know it's necessary. And of course I've told him (repeatedly is an understatement) that it's necessary. But sheeeesh, the battles we've had! :( Even though he's 7 and in the 2nd grade, he hasn't yet shown a dominant hand. Not in handwriting, but not in anything else either. He draws, eats, grabs; all with either hand. Just whichever one he feels like using I guess. That being said, I think a huge part of his problem is he simply isn't comfortable holding a pencil. So this week our focus is going to be getting him more comfortable with a pen/pencil. Instead of working specifically on handwriting, we are just going to focus on activities where he can concentrate more on using the pencil and finding a good grip, rather than trying to make sure he's printing correctly. We will do some drawing/tracing and will work on some worksheets (I can print a good printable word search, and do so using some of his spelling lists. Two birds. Go me!)...get him away from the keyboard a little. :)

I hope everyone's Easter weekend was as nice as ours, and I hope your upcoming week is just as good!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Aaaaaand it's April...

And again, I have no idea where the time has gone!

Last week, Tracy and I had a wonderful weekend scrapping. It was some much needed time for myself, and I'm mostly done with all the guilt that came with leaving the boys for the weekend, lol. 

The week went well. Soccer has consumed us, as usual. School is going fine. The boys are getting antsy because it's been a while since they have had an extended break (an official break, anyways). Since it's the beginning of April, we have started our Florida countdown. Less than a month and we are beach bound!!!

Bailey's Time4Writing is still going strong. April 20 will be the last day of this particular eight week course. Even though he isn't quite finished, he has already said that he is looking forward to the next course. Whether it's another mechanics type course, or that blogging course, we don't know yet. We will let him decide that when we get back from vacation.

As far as what the coming week will hold for the boys, they will probably have a light week. It's spring break in the area so they won't have soccer this week, nor will Bailey attend Masters. I don't want them to have a whole week off, but I also would not mind some extra time with them, so we will compromise with a little lighter work load. Bailey has been talking about how much he enjoyed the art curriculum lessons he did in T4L, and would like me to seek out something "artsy" for him to do soon. There is a pottery place in Athens and they do classes/workshops, so that might actually be something all four of us can do.

Braeden will be playing some compound word games this week. He has worked with compound words several times this year and he always enjoys them. Sometimes he gets a little whacked with them, lol, but as long as he's learning, I'm good. He's also going to put a little extra focus on math over the next few days. 

Bailey just returned home from a weekend camping trip with the Scouts. He's sunburned, tired and in * desperate* need of a shower, lol. Once he's all unpacked and cleaned up, we are having a family movie Sunday. The playlist? Hop, the new Muppet movie and the latest episode of Big Bang Theory.

Good times. :D