Happy 8th Birthday, Norah!

From this:

to this:

(photo courtesy of Dorinda Peyton Photography)
Eight really seems grown up. . .too grown up sometimes. Six years old to seven was a rough year at our house. Thankfully, seven to eight was significantly better! I is enjoyable to watch Norah make the right decisions based on something else she was already taught. While she certainly gets a kick out of loving on her sisters until they scream, she is also incredible helpful. She is usually very willing to help Daphne with something or teach Lucy something new.
Norah’s favorite thing to do right now is read. She ALWAYS has a book in hand. . . and she can’t hear or see anything going on around her when her nose is in a book. Certain school things are so much easier now that she can read directions to herself!!
We are so thankful for Norah and are excited to see what God has in store for her over the next year!!

Where To Begin

Well, as usual, life has been crazy. From talking to everyone else around me, this seems to be the norm. Some days, I wish life would slow down, but I don’t think that is possible with 3 kids!
We have had a lot of fun over the last several weeks/weekends – but we are looking forward to several weekends at home!!
Some brief updates –
Norah continues to LOVE reading. This girl spends HOURS a day reading! She usually reads about 30 minutes during our school day, then at least an hour during their independent quiet time and then about an hour before bed. She totally zones everyone and everything out while she reads (gets that from me!!). The tricky part is finding books that are challenging enough, but has age appropriate content for a 7 year old. She loves the Boxcar Children! She insists on reading them in order so she often has to wait for one to be returned from the library! She also has read several books from the Classic Starts set and Illustrated Classics.
She also continues to question the need for spelling in her school day. I am constantly telling her that spelling is one of those things that you just have to do to be a better writer. My question – would anyone really say that spelling was their favorite subject? However, it is still important!!
Norah is really into sewing right now. My mom bought her this book for her birthday and Norah read through it cover to cover. She made a pin cushion and has
her eye on several other projects to make for gifts for people. She is surprisingly patient and doesn’t get too frustrated when she makes a mistake. I
hope this continues!!

Norah is really into making tents or forts. She often has blankets draped over pieces of furniture! Kevin made the girls a teepee this year so they play in that often too!
Lucy is slowly adjusting to her school schedule. 5 days a week has been a major adjustment for her – by Friday she has lost a lot of focus and really doesn’t want to do much school!! She loves math – totally the opposite of Norah! She is really doing great with her reading. She has read all of the Fun Tales and is working her way through the Bob Books.
Lucy’s most recent fascination has been with making paper dolls. She literally makes them from scratch on cardstock and they are so cute! She has about 40. Yes, 40. She worked so hard!!

Lucy is 3 nights in to breaking her finger sucking habit. . . again. This time seems better already! She seems to get it this time and is really trying – even during the day. She is wearing gloves – just like Norah did. I know it seems cruel, but the dentist confirmed that this is the best way to go about it and knowing Lucy is probably not far from losing teeth, we knew we needed to start working on it.

Lucy LOVES to dress-up and dance. She usually has a princess dress on and is twirling to the music. Her favorite cds right now are this one and this one. Let me tell you how funny it is to watch her twirling to God Bless America in her princess dress or leotard. She belts it out as she sings too!!
I don’t even know where to begin with Daphne. Wow – she is a spit-fire. She has tons of personality and she is constantly cracking everyone up!!
Some recent quotes:
“Mom, you go to p**pcamp today?” She says this everyday and cracks herself up every time!
“You not feat me. I mustateer!” (quote from Barbie “you cannot defeat me for I am a muskateer”).
“On guard. Huh-uh” while pointing anything resembling a sword
“I not weawy hungwy!!” – She tells me this at every. single. meal. not kidding. However, when you are almost 3 and still only weigh 21 pounds – we do not negotiate at meal time!
“I not have to go p** p**” – She tells me this whenever I tell her to sit on the potty. every. single. time! Oh, and she screams it!
“You want bwaid or pigtails?” Brushing my hair is one of her favorite things to do right now – and she is surprisingly gentle.
“I don’t like it. I LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it.”
Daphne LOVES to pretend and by herself. If I try to play with her or talk to her while she is pretending, she usually tells me, “I not talk you. I talk to my peoples. I play myself.”
Funny story – this morning our church had its annual serve day. We were at a local park painting picnic tables. The kids helped part of the time and played part of the time. When we finished painting the kids were all playing and I was trying to round them up. Daphne didn’t want to leave so I told her, “Let’s go see what daddy is doing.” Kevin was down a little hill under the pavilion. I picked her up and started walking toward him. She started yelling, “Not that way, this way” while pointing the opposite direction. I said, “Daddy is down here.” She replied, “I not see that daddy. I see my other daddy” and she points at some random man playing with his kids.
This picture was totally not posed!! I walked into the living room and saw Daphne like this. No one else was even watching yet!!
I have tons of pictures to post from the last couple of months so I will hopefully get to those soon!!

2011-2012 Curriculum Choices

Here it is – our curriculum list for this year.

I will start with Norah:
My Father’s World for History, Geography, Bible and Science
Spelling Power – spelling, obviously:)
Writing will consist of a little bit from Writing with Ease and Games for Writing
Art – A little from here and a little from an Art textbook a friend gave me (this same friend is an art teacher and she often blesses the girls by giving them art lessons!)
Read alouds – many of them are recommended here and here (a list of 1000 – that really narrows it down for me, right?)
My Father’s World for reading and Bible. We are also using this to help with sight words.
Lucy will also do a few activities suggested in Games for Writing.
Lucy is joining Norah for history, art, and science.
Her read alouds come mostly from this list.
I think that about sums it up – although, I keep thinking I am forgetting something. Our history this year is American history – the girls are excited about it. They can’t wait to learn about the pioneers!
I will save Daphne’s plans for a post of its own.

First Day of School

We started school on Thursday and because no first day of school would be complete without pictures:

Lucy – Kindergarten (ahh! when did this happen!)

Norah – 2nd grade
(look here and tell me what the most noticeable difference is from last year)

Daphne – not to be left out of the “first day of school” pictures
(look closely at her eyes – she was actually running a fever of about 102 on that day)

. . .and they are ready to go! Poor Daphne tries to keep up even when she feels miserable.

Memorial Day Weekend (Weekly Check-In)

We spent the weekend in Indy with Kevin’s family. His mom’s 60th birthday is this week so we had a little surprise party for her. She knew we were coming over, but didn’t know there would be a party when she got home from work. The kids loved surprising Linda! They were giddy and giggly while we waited for Linda to get home!!

Saturday morning – everyone headed to the parade for the Indy 500. Well, everyone except Daphne and me. Daphne didn’t nap on the way to Indy on Friday and didn’t sleep well Friday night so she needed to stay home and nap. And nap she did – she slept for almost 4 hours while the others were gone.
Sunday – all the girls headed to church while all the boys went to the race. We had Monical’s Pizza for lunch – can’t pass that up when it is an option. Shawna and I headed to Half Price Books while Linda played with all the granddaughters. Ummm, I love this bookstore and so wish we had one in STL. I bought a bunch of chapter books for Norah – 12 for $21. Love it!
Sidenote – not sure what the deal is but one or more of our kids get sick whenever we go out of town. Ergh. Norah is wheezing and running a fever, which means we may be heading to the doctor in the morning. Hopefully, this won’t last long!!
Oh – and I am potty training this week. Daphne is ready so we are going to go for it.

Happy 7th Birthday!

(I actually wrote this on Norah’s birthday – but needed to upload some pictures and then forgot to post it. Oops)

Today is Norah’s 7th birthday!! Wow! 7 seems so much older than 6. We are hitting that phase of being somewhere between a little kid and a bigger kid. Norah is still very much into pretend play – I think she could pretend all day long. Maybe she will be a writer someday. She is always creating new and different scenarios to pretend.

The biggest changes for Norah since her last birthday are:
All the teeth she has lost. Since turning 6, Norah lost 5 teeth (plus the 2 she lost before that – wow – 7 teeth). Most of the permanent teeth are in or almost in – so she is well past the period of having multiple holes in her mouth. (update – she lost her 8th tooth is Florida this week)
She is a reading machine. I love it!! She had a hard time switching from reading to me to reading independently, but with some suggestions from Heather (for me) and some encouragement (or forcing), Norah has officially transitioned to reading chapter books completely on her own.

Norah is riding her bike without training wheels. We actually wondered if this would ever happen. She had zero interest for awhile and then all of the sudden this spring she wanted to try and is doing great!!
Norah decided about this time last year to grow her hair out to donate it. It was a LONG year for me letting it get so long (and tangly!), but she did it and the day after her birthday she had it cut off. She looks adorable, although she wasn’t so sure if she liked it at first. I am loving that she doesn’t have any tangles!!

Before (I know the quality isn’t great but it was the best picture to show how long her hair was)

Norah is a great helper with Daphne and Daphne adores her! Norah often enjoys picking out Daphne’s clothes and playing with her when I am busy doing something else. Norah and Lucy play great together as well. We certainly have our fair share of sibling squabbles, but those moments when the girls are playing so well are heavenly.
Norah has a very passionate personality which can certainly be a good thing and a bad thing. Her passion can get her into trouble but she often doesn’t understand why. However, her passion also gives her a zest for doing things she loves.
It is so fun looking back at Norah as a baby and toddler and it is so fun to watch her grow up! We have been so blessed and look forward to seeing what God has planned for Norah as she gets older.

Valentine’s Day Bust

Norah spent Valentine’s Day sick with strep throat and an ear infection. She was quite upset because that meant we couldn’t host/attend our homeschool friends Valentine’s Day party. Daphne and Lucy were at Mother’s Day Out so Norah was able to rest in a quiet house – never happens!! She had a hot chocolate and watched Ramona and Beezus. She also just turned a corner when it comes to reading chapter books all by herself (she has been reading chapter books for awhile but always wanted me there right next to her) so she read Piggy Party off and on throughout the day.

Even though we weren’t able to host the Valentine’s party, I still decorated a little for the girls. I hung balloons and cut out heart snowflakes to string around the dining room. The girls enjoyed eating dinner in the dining room that was overflowing with hearts!!
Really – looking at this picture you would think that none of the girls felt that great! Norah really is the only sick one!!