One Week from Today!

One week from today, August 7th, we find out if we are having a boy or a girl! My appointment is the first one of the day because I can't imagine having to wait all day to find out! :) I will be exactly 18 weeks.
I polled the speaking members of our family and 5 think it's a girl and only 1 thinks boy. Henry is the only one who thinks we are having a boy. He keeps insisting that our family NEEDS 5 boys (Rick is included in that.)
Sweet Claire keeps saying that we NEED a girl because she has never seen a baby girl. This is the same thing she said when I was expecting Sims. A few days ago, she said, "I don't know what I'm going to do if I don't get a sister"!!!!
Kate says she really, really wants a baby sister but if not it will be OK because Sims is cute.
All of the "old wive's tales" and all of my symptoms (except for 1) say BOY but I'm still going with GIRL!


Ready or Not.....

We started school today!!!! Here's our school crew: Kate - 2nd grade, Claire - 1st grade, and Henry - K4
We're all pretty excited about getting started so I'll enjoy it while it lasts. :)


What We Do

This post is for a friend who asked about our activities during the day. I'll give it a shot but I will say that it changes frequently. There are people much better organized with their time than I am with our time. This is an area I really struggle with. Everyday I think at least one of these questions: Am I doing enough, am I doing too much, am I lazy, am I spending enough time with the children, am I spending too much time with them, do the children have too much free time or not enough, am i teaching them what they need to know, are they playing outside enough, are we home too much, are we not home enough, should I cook healthier meals, should I clean the house more, am I being patient, am I living and speaking the gospel to my children, etc. Ok, you get the picture. Eventually, it boils over and every few months I have a talk with Rick about it all.
I desire to be a good steward of what the Lord has given us and I desire to work heartily for the Lord and not for man. (Col 3:23) However, I fail and just hope that when I do, the kids see the grace of God to forgive and sustain.

Here's our basic shell. The kids all go to bed at 7:00. (Kate through Sims) Kate (7) is allowed to read in our bed for an hour if she wants to do so which she normally does. Claire will be allowed to do so at some point this year. She still needs the sleep right now. They all wake up between 6:30 and 7:00am. Morning nap time for Sims (13 months) is from 8-9:30. He will probably drop that nap in the next few months. Afternoon nap time for Jack(2.5) and Sims (13 months) is between 12:30 and 1 depending on what we have to do that afternoon. They normally sleep between 2 and 2.5 hours. Kate, Claire and Henry have to rest quietly for 1.5 hours at the same time. This gives me time to get stuff done or nap if I'm tired while pregnant or have a newborn.

We eat lunch between 11 and 11:30 and dinner around 5:30. Yes we are early birds when it comes to eating. Rick and I will be all ready when "retirement" comes around. :)

The girls are in ballet during the year on Tuesday afternoons (late) and Henry will have soccer this year on Tuesdays at 6. The girls will also take piano from my mother at some point during the week. We do not have any other scheduled activities. During the summer, we just play! :) We go places (zoo, etc), go to my parent's house, go swimming (with Rick-can't take everyone by myself yet), go to the gym, play outside, play inside, read. They do watch TV. We only have 1 TV, 1 Ipod, and 1 computer (for the kids and me) so we learn to share those things. I don't want everyone going off by themselves to watch TV or play on the computer so it all stays in the den. We don't watch a lot of TV only because there is really nothing good on to watch. It's basically Playhouse Disney, Nick Jr or something on Netflix.

I like when school is in session because it does give more structure to our day. This is why I lean more towards year-round schooling with frequent breaks. The majority of school works gets done in the morning before rest time because the kids are still young. I know this will spill over into the afternoon once they are older. So during the school year it's, school in morning, rest time, play time (ballet, play with friends etc) dinner, play with Rick, family worship and then bed.

That's basically it. Normal, probably boring, but good.


Names that could have been...

Because I'm not the greatest at keeping up baby books, I like to try and record things on the blog that I want my kids to know/remember. When I was younger, I always wanted to know what my parent's almost names me. It was Amanda, by the way, but my dad had a bad association with the name so Peggy it was. I am named for my mother's mother.
Anyway, I thought I'd list out names that were on my list for each of the children so they can look back on it one day.

Kate - We didn't discuss names until we knew she was a girl. I remember telling Rick I liked Ellen and Kate. He immediately said, "Kate." That was it! Easy! Never thought about boy names.

Claire - My first choice was Elizabeth, nicknamed "Lizzie." However, Lizzie McGuire was a popular kids TV show at the time and Rick thought people would think we named her after the show. :) We kept Elizabeth as her middle name. We went back and forth between Audrey and Claire. Rick changed the  screen saver on our computer to say "Claire Elizabeth" one day and that settled it! Never thought about boy names.

Henry - We debated on whether or not Henry would be a junior. I left that decision up to Rick. Once he decided he did not want a junior, the only name on my list was Henry. Rick was taking a church history class at the time and a lot of men he read about were named Henry. Thanks to all of that reading, Henry it was. We carried down Rick's middle name and his father's middle name, Scott, and gave that to Henry.
Girl names on my list were Alice and Lillian.

Jack - Because his gender was unknown until birth we only loosely discussed names. He actually wasn't named until about 24 hours after he was born. For girls, we tossed around Alice, Lillian, and Sophie.
Once I knew he was a boy, I wanted his name to be John which means, "God is gracious." We had Jack after a miscarriage and the meaning of his name was important to me. He was almost named John Elias but we went with John Richard (Rick's name). Other boy names we discussed were Paul and Miles.

Simon - Simon was named Paul for about 3 weeks before we changed our minds. Then, we went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth between Simon, Oliver, and Levi. We finally picked Simon Oliver and it was perfect. Again, girl names on my list were Alice and Lillian.

Baby #6 - We will know in 2 weeks whether it's a boy or a girl and then the name will be picked! I can't wait!!


Gender Prediction

There is an old wives' tale that the baby's heart rate can predict gender. Statistically, it has been proven to be correct 50% of the time. How do you like those odds??? However, in our case, the 14th week heart rate has correctly predicted every single one of our children's gender. Both girls' rates at 14 weeks were in the 170s and all the boys' were in the 150s.
It has only been correct during the 14th week though. After the 14th week, the rates have all fluctuated. So needless to say, I was looking forward to the 14th week appointment. Guess what, we were out of town during the 14th week. I did have my appointment today at 15 weeks and the rate was 153!
I don't know what to make of that but I guess there is always a 50% chance it's right. :) Thankfully I don't have to wait long to find out. We'll know in 2 weeks and 6 days.


School Plans 2012-2013

I have several things "against" me in homeschooling. First of all, I like to be alone. Second of all, I like things quiet. And finally, I'm not a crafty/projecty type of person. The Lord has given us a house full of people to teach, all of whom like to talk a lot, and most of whom like projects. :)
I look popular curricula start twitching....materials like: 2 apple seeds, plaster, 4 balloon, 2 cups of cornmeal, and a button are needed for 1 day. Sorry sweet kids, I just can't do it. :)

I suppose our method of homeschooling is a mix of Classical with a little bit of Charlotte Mason thrown in. I've made some changes from what we used last year because I'm still trying to figure everything out, which will never happen. 

I had plans to use Mystery of History but we are going to hold off on beginning the classical 4 year history rotation until Kate is in 5th grade (unless I change my mind on that again next year.) Another obvious break from the Classical method is that we have decided not to teach Latin. We will do a Latin root word study in high school if we make it that far. :) We are teaching Greek instead. That's what you get when your dad is a pastor and your mom always had secret dreams of being a bible translator. 

Also, I buy everything I can used or reuse anything I can from year to year. 

Henry K4
Phonics -   The Reading Lesson and Explode the Code
Math - Singapore Essentials A (possibly B too)
He will also participate in Bible and Science

Claire - 1st grade
Bible - Veritas Press Genesis through Joshua
Phonics - The Reading Lesson and Explode the Code
Math - Singapore 1a/1b and Ray's arithmetic
Grammar - First Language Lessons 1
Writing - Writing with Ease 1
Reading - Heart of Dakota Emerging Reader Set
Spelling - Spelling Plus with Dictation Book
History - D'Aulaire biographies - she will narrate/draw
Science - Apologia Astronomy with Jr notebook
Greek  - Hey Andrew - Level 1
Cursive - Pentime 2

Kate - 2nd grade
Bible - Veritas Press Genesis through Joshua. Will also read through the New Testament
Math - Singapore 2a/2b and Ray's arithmetic
Grammar - First Language Lessons 2
Writing - Writing with Ease 2
Reading  - she will have both assigned and free reading time each day - will use some comprehension guides from Veritas Press and Memoria Press
Spelling - Spelling Plus with Dictation
History - Abeka 2 - this is neither Classical nor Charlotte Mason but I'm using it anyway. :) She will have to write about what she reads. It's going to work for us this year.
Science - Apologia Astronomy with Jr notebook
Greek - Hey Andrew 2 and Elementary Greek
Cursive - Pentime 3

Between February and June of her 1st grade year, Kate read the first 3 Harry Potter books (we won't let her read the other ones yet) and the first 6 books in the Chronicles of Narnia series. It's difficult to find books for her to read because although she is able to read almost anything, not everything is appropriate or comprehensible. I have a list of books for assigned reading for her this year. These she will read aloud to me and we will discuss or work through comprehension guides/do projects. We will read literature, missionary biographies, and books from history and science. She will also have free reading time each day from a list I've pulled. If anyone has any "don't miss" books, please let me know.
I'm most excited about reading The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook. It was written in 1925 and is such a cute book. I've been pre-reading. :)

So that's it! We're starting next week!


Charlie's Wedding!

I am the oldest of 4 siblings. I have a sister Sarah, brother Charlie, and our youngest sister Emma (she just turned 21 in March.) My brother was married on Saturday and here are some pictures from the big day. I do not have any with Charlie and Lindsay!! I did grab this picture from their facebook page. I did not take it but I wanted to show them since this post is about their big day! Their photographer was Kevin Roberts. 

They were married at Rancho de las Aguilas Estates in Birmingham. It was a beautiful venue even if it was 106 degrees and the wedding was outside. We were HOT!!!

Here is a picture my sister Emma took. I LOVE, LOVE it!!! How sweet are the little ring bearer and flower girl. :) This was after the wedding. They were beat!!

Here is a picture of the my sisters and me. I love having 2 sisters. :) Quite frankly, I was just glad my dressed zipped up. I could hardly breathe. Obviously the dress was ordered before we found out about the new baby and I was almost 13 weeks here. 

Another one of us before the ceremony with Henry.

Finally, one of my honey and me. :)

Kate was there too. Can't believe I don't have a picture with her. I'll look again. She and Claire were the flower girls and Henry was the ring bearer. Rick's parents kept Jack and Sims for us which was a HUGE help!

I'll be posting about our Hilton Head trip, give a baby gender prediction, and list our school plans this week! We are starting school back next week. Between Christmas, 3 December birthdays, and a new baby, I have a feeling we'll be taking some extending time off of school end of the year/beginning of next year so I want to get a jump start on things!