Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My daughters team rocked it out this past weekend in the Petoskey Autumn Blast Tournament! They won the U16 Female Division and have a very nice trophy to show for it!! You go girls!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School Room Tour

Our schoolroom is still a work in progress but I still am going to share some pictures! When we finally decided to try keeping the kids home this year one of the things that we were both pretty set on was having a room that we could dedicate to schooling (and more than likely a craft room). After a bit of discussion we have decided that the boys would move into the spare bedroom upstairs and that their bedroom would become the schoolroom.

That's when the chaos ensued! Brenna, who has been saving up to buy herself a Kin*le, made us a deal. Basically she promised that everything would be moved up 2 levels into the spare room, from the boys downstairs room, put back in good working order and that the downstairs room would be clean enough to set up our school stuff. She enlisted her brother and with the offer of 10 bucks a piece went to work! She learned a hard lesson pretty fast. Something along the lines of HOLY CRAP I AM DOING A LOT OF WORK FOR NOT NEAR ENOUGH MONEY! She quickly tried to renegotiate but her dad and I decided that this was a good life lesson for them!

It took them 2 days! Whew, good times!

So this is what we have, sorry my pictures are terrible! First is our awesome new desk! An Ikea special that seats four. It consists of 2 table tops on top of 4 of those drawer units. Each unit is turned so that the person in the chair can reach their own supplies. It's pretty big and takes up A LOT of space, I really love it though! I have to admit that I totally stole this idea from the Confessions of a Homeschooler Blog (she breaks it down much better over there). I think I get point for being smart enough to steal it though!

This picture shows our other IKEA special. We went with the 4x4 shelf unit so we could build it in the closet and save some floor space. This will hold all of my curriculum and some stuff for the babies (who are both 3 and kinda not babies anymore). And whatever else comes up. Notice my little monster guys! We are going for the "Monsterously Good Year"theme. I also grabbed a cheap wall clock @ the Mart. The white board in this picture is for the babies to use. And the drawer carts that you see are what "they" call workboxes. Which we scored for FREE from my mother-in-law. Thanks! It's a pretty cool system that I will do another post on later. On top of those are a bunch of little metal pails the I bought in the dollar spot @ Target. I am using these for crayons, twistables, markers, dry erase markers, scissors, glue sticks, etc.
Then we have our "big kid" white board, all ready with the morning Boggle game that they are going to play. Our monster calender, weather board, month and days of the week boards. I was sort of surprised at how fun this all was to set up. Everyone including Brian really got into it!
We picked up the map of the U.S. and the map of the world at the Mart for like 5 bucks. Also we have the color signs. The words are in both English and Spanish. And there is a small white bookshelf for the babies books.
The trays and bucket that you see on the desk are my first version of what they call Tot Trays. Basically they are just fun little ideas (busy work) for Emersyn and Maximus to help them with motor skills and to keep them occupied. I will probably do more on those later too.
That's all we have at the moment but I am hoping that it will help give us a good start. I plan on doing a few posts about homeschooling with the idea that many of my readers don't and might be interested in seeing how it goes or may be waiting for me to bomb horribly!

'til next time

Monday, September 5, 2011

Starting a New Chapter

Wow, it's been FOREVER since I blogged! I need to renew my commitment to this blog. It is a great way to chronicle what's going on around here. I just tend to get so caught up in everything that I don't make the time to write it all down. Time for that to change!

With a family of 8 there is always a lot going on, a lot of it is just the mundane running of life stuff but one big thing that is happening around here (starting tomorrow) is school starts. Things are staying the same for the older 2, they will be heading off to 8th grade (last year of Junior High) and 10th grade in the morning with all of their new school supplies, ready to see their friends and get on with another year of public school. But for Kieran, Alainna, Emersyn and Maximus we are going in a new and different direction.....this year they are staying home and we are going to homeschool. To say that Kieran and Alainna are excited is an understatement and I am also pretty excited and a bit nervous!

There is no huge major motivation behind our decision. It is something that we have tossed around for a couple of years and now just felt like the time to do it. I wish I had a bigger better reason to share but the truth is that we love our schools and the people in them and the kids were doing just fine there, so that's not it. Mostly we just felt like time was passing us by and we weren't getting that time with our kids we wanted.

We have invested a lot into making a "classroom" in our house (pictures soon) and trying to bring in the right curriculum. Oh and schedules are flying around like crazy! It got a little intense around here for a few weeks until I got some good advice on a Yahoo! group. :) Basically I was told it's not going to be perfect and that we will constantly have to figure out what works for our family and to not make myself crazy trying to get it "right" from the beginning! I decided to take that to heart and wow, it's really lowered my stress level!

Today we are just going to enjoy the last, cloudy rainy, day of summer vacation and then tomorrow....we start our new chapter.

'til next time

*Much harder to blog than I remember, hopefully if I keep it up it will flow a bit better!