Kindergarten A to Z: Weeks A and B

This year is a first. The first school year without a preschooler. Paul is official now: a kindergartener. We did Sonlight kindergarten for Adam many years ago and unfortunately or fortunately, depending on whether the glass is looking half empty or half full in the mommy guilt department, Luke, Rachel, John and Isaac pretty much unschooled their way through kindergarten. That included lots of reading aloud by me, some messy spur-of-the-moment crafts, playing, playing and more playing. Those were the good times. The down-side was too much chaos brought on by not enough structure.

I wanted to have a fun, good year with Paul and finish my kindergarten teaching years well. I was very pleased to find an alphabet-themed year on Elizabeth Foss’ blog. I won’t be using the bulk of her ideas, as her plans include studying the Catholic saints and fairy stories. I have theological differences with the saints study, as I am not Catholic, and not using the fairy stories is purely personal preference, as I just don’t enjoy them.
However, she completely had me with the apple pie with letter “a” cut-outs for the crusts.

I used a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby and bought the Wilton alphabet and number bucket last month. It was hard to keep it in the closet!
I gave Paul the “A” last week and the “B” and “P” for Paul this week. He enjoyed them so much that I gave him the whole bucket and he has been carrying it around the house.
He wasn’t particularly interested in making a pie, so we tweaked the star cookie recipe (the first time using it) from Elana’s Pantry and used the “A”s and had applesauce on the side. ๐Ÿ™‚
This week I chose brownies, and we again used (and tweaked) one of Elana’s recipes.

“A” cookies and applesauce at the dinner table.

“B” is for brownie on the banister. (Stair view).

Facing into the kitchen. (Enjoy the clutter). ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll write more about what we’re doing for kindergarten next week, plus the other five grades in the next few weeks.

1 Corinthians 10:31(ESV)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Furniture Feature Friday: A Tool Box Makeover With My Boys

Furniture Feature Fridays

Last month, we volunteered with my mother at her town’s food pantry. It also has a thrift store, so we stopped in when we were finished. It was my first visit and for the most part, I didn’t see anything I needed. Then…I saw it. A dusty, dirty old tool box. I didn’t know what I would do with it, but thought I really needed it.

It sat under my desk for about three weeks. While we were on our latest adventure to Virginia, I read several issues of Country Living magazine. I saw a picture of a tool box that was filled with children’s books and instantly knew that was what I would do with my box. Voila!

Tuesday afternoon, my youngest was looking at it and I told him I was planning to paint it. Ever the type-A, seize-the-moment kind of guy, he replied “Now?” So, we got started!

I forgot to take a before picture, but after vacuuming and scrubbing, we were ready to paint:

My two youngest boys and a neighbor’s grandson helping.

My oldest (celebrating his birthday) and youngest sons polishing the handle after sanding.

Paul, the youngest, finishing the job.

The inspiration for the project.

Paul again, posing with our field guides, science and nature books.

Completely Full.

I used the same Olympic, low VOC, latex paint in apple red that I have alternated on my stairs.

Proverbs 30:5 (ESV)
“Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

When A Cuddle Is Just What You Need: Out Of The Blue On Thursdays

I was feeling out of sorts yesterday morning, anxious about an afternoon doctor’s appointment, when Paul asked if we could cuddle. He doesn’t do that as often anymore, he’s almost five and can usually be found tagging along after an older brother or two or chatting with his sister. So, when he asked, I knew that was the ticket.
I needed to quit mindlessly wandering the house going from task to phone to task to iPad, to interrupting the engineer’s work, to worrying.
We cuddled. We read a stack of library books. He enjoys the children’s non-fiction animal books, so our stack included an armadillo, cotton-tail rabbit and buffalo. All short and sweet, like Paul, and full of great photos.
Cuddle time lasted maybe 15 minutes before he was on to an activity with his brother, called out to the bonus room to see some fun invention, but it was just what I needed. A great gift to get my day back on track.

Telling me a story last week at the park in Glen Allen, (plain old) Virginia (as opposed to West VA) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Matthew 18:1-6 (ESV)

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, โ€œWho is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?โ€
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, โ€œTruly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 โ€œWhoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[a] it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

First Quarter Re-Cap

Since I am not on the fast-track for any blogging awards, not attempting to woo advertisers with my impressive content and feel the need to document the first three months of the year, I have made a list of what I consider to be the top 25 events of the first quarter.

In some cases, they may be “top”, as in most out-of-the ordinary, in other cases, it would be the fun factor and in others, just because I wanted them on the list.

My List:

1. Luke’s seizure
2. Rachel’s pneumonia
3. My bladder infections x 2, wacky hormones and possibly thyroid issues
4. The Superbowl party sickness everyone but me caught and kept for almost two weeks

Books read aloud:
5. Me: Jonathan Goforth
6. Me: Wilfred Grenfell
7. Me: Nothing Else Matters
8. Kyle: Little Britches
9. Kyle: Man of the Family

Educational Activities:
10. Rachel, John and Adam–Springfield Speech tournament
11. Rachel and Adam–St. Louis Speech tournament
12. 4-H group and 4-H Robotics project meetings

Outings enjoyed:
13. Kyle– trip to Denver
14. Almost weekly date-nights
15. Youngest four boys and I–St. Louis zoo
16. Youngest three boys and I–Blackburn park
17. Youngest three boys and I–Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
18. Laumeier Sculpture Park
19. Askinosie chocolate factory tour for my birthday
20. Me–Singing at a nursing home and Miss Bernice’s house with church friends
21. Me and four: Helping with a birthday party at a different nursing home
22. Rachel and I–Overnight trip to Branson

23. Good Morning Girls Bible Study
24. Sunday school on 3/31
25. The Easter service on 3/31

I’ll have to add a bonus because I almost forgot one just for me:
26.Finally joining in to write for Five Minute Fridays.

(This list was written for me and by me. Oddly formatted by me. Links and photos left out by me.)

Philippians 4:4 (ESV)
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

Library Books Waiting To Be Read

These are the books that have been calling my name for a week:


Now, to get my act together and:
A) Get up earlier.
B) Stick with the “peace and quiet time” each afternoon that was working so well at the beginning of January. I let it fall by the wayside when Rachel got sick and wanted company.
C) Remember how much I like to read. To myself, that is. I read every day to some or all of my lovies ๐Ÿ™‚

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ”
John 15:5 (ESV)