Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wildlife Prairie Park

I had never been to the Wildlife Prairie Park, so when a friend invited us to go along with their home school group, I eagerly accepted the invitation. It is only about an hour away, but we still just hadn't made it there before. We ended up knowing 3 of the families in the group, met several more, and had a wonderful time. We all agreed that we should go again, and bring Papi with us next time. :)

JA and her friend K

JT & JMC with their friend Z

The whole group

It wasn't easy trying to keep a group this big quiet around the animals! :)

JMC enjoyed getting up close to the farm animals

And trying to work the water pump

JA and her friend M

JT is such a gentleman! He held doors open throughout the day.

JT (with his friend E in the background)

Mrs. A lent her binoculars to JMC & JT for the day. (This is JMC)

"How did they get this statue to look so real, and so wet?"

My 4 with a couple of friends thrown in the middle

Mrs. A and JL

JMC wanted this picture with the turtle statue for Uncle A

Mrs. A and JL walking around at the park.

4th & 2nd

We are approaching the end of the school year, and I realized I haven't posted too many pictures. So, here is a catch-up post. :)

This has been a wonderful year of studying world geography & cultures, along with the ecosystems of the world. As we studied each continent, we also learned about missionaries who have served there, tasted some of the foods, learned a little of the language, and other cultural facts.

JA's favorite part, by far, has been the addition of the "Wildest" documentaries on Netflix. There was Wildest Latin America, Wildest Indochina, Wildest Middle East, Wildest India, Wildest Africa, and Wildest Arctic. JA loved how they focus on the ecosystems in each area and the plants & animals that live there. She has wanted to work with animals for a long time, and seeing documentaries of animals in their natural habitats was very interesting for her.

JT's favorite part was reading Kingdom Tales, by David & Karen Mains. It is an allegorical trilogy similar to the Chronicales of Narnia, but there aren't any talking animals - people are the focus. :) We read 1 book in the series and then took a break to read other books, and whenever it was time to read the next Kingdom Tales book, JT was so excited. We are currently working our way through the last book.

The art projects and science experiments were a big hit, and always made for a fun end to our school day, especially because JMC was able to participate in those as well. All of the kids also enjoyed watching the Families of the World series, that shares 1 day in the life of 2 children (1 rural, 1 urban) in various countries.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


JT celebrated his 8th birthday today. We all enjoyed a wonderful time together, even if Papi kept insisting the celebration was in honor of his being off work. :)

Our birthday celebrations have some consistency to them. Papi takes the day off work (yes, this uses up a full week of his vacation time each year, but it truly is worth it.) Breakfast always includes pancakes that make in the shape of each person's age. When it's your birthday, you get you new age in pancake numbers. The rest of the day is planned (to some extent) by the birthday boy/girl, unless they are too young, and then Papi & I plan the day.

The activity of the day was to play min-golf, however when we got to the park, mini-golf wasn't open. So we played soccer (JT & I against Papi and JMC) while the girls walked around the field picking flowers. The Papi & JT played some more soccer and practiced some new skills while I took JA, JMC, & JL to the park. Then all 4 kids plaed hide-and-seek for a bit. We had a delicious lunch at a local vegan/gluten free bakery/restaurant and then came home for the little ones to nap.

Opening birthday cards. JA made him a card from herself, as well as from JMC & JL. He also received cards in the mail.

Papi pretending to swipe JT's birthday money.

I baked JT's requested chocolate birthday cake, while Papi took JT for birthday pictures and to run some errands. When they got back, we headed back to the park for mini-golf. Then home for spaghetti and meatballs with melted (dairy free) cheese, and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Such a fun day! Even JMC (4 years old) kept thanking JT for his wonderful birthday fun choices. :)

JMC - big enough for a real min-golf club.

JT looks so grown up!

Someone REALLY enjoyed the cake. :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

19 months old!

I missed JL's 18 month birthday here on the blog. We took note of the day as a family, but we don't really celebrate half birthdays, and I just didn't get a chance to post here. Anyway, Papi & I tend to really enjoy the stage of 18 months-their 3rd birthday. Not that we don't enjoy other stages of child development, we love all of our children at each stage they are at at any given time. (I now have 2 who like to read over my shoulder, so I have to cover my bases here.) :)  For some reason, though, we really enjoy watching the children as they develop their vocabulary and their vocabulary tends to explode when they are between 18 months and 3 years old.

In the past month, JL has learned to climb up and down stairs (though we still get nervous about letting her), climb onto the sofa, jump on the bed, jump along the sofa, open the baby gate walk through and close it behind her, and just today she learned how to climb up onto the dining room chairs.

Her vocabulary is truly exploding, too. In Spanish she can say agua, hola, alo, gato, leche, suave, si, no, & gato

In English she says hi, bye, uh-huh, & wow

In baby sign language she says more, eat, please, & soft

And she knows the names for Mami, Papi, JA, and Hurley (her cousin's dog).

(This post was written in January, and I just never got around to posting it. Oops!)

JL loves to imitate her siblings! 


JMC & JL are as thick as thieves. They mostly play well together.

JT reading to JMC & JL

JL decided to join JMC in timeout. 

For about a month or so, this was her favorite reading spot. She would take all of her board books out of the box, and sit in as if it were a recliner. Then she would look through her books for up to half an hour at a time.

After visiting cousins for New Year's, JL searched our house for Hurley, their bichon friese. JA came to the rescue when she brought out her white FurReal Friend puppy dog. 

I've never known someone who can wink at such a young age!

Papi, Mami, & JL