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Baby is here!


Born at home
attended by Daddy and Jordan
8 pounds 7 ounces, 20 1/2 inches

Homeschool Highlights ~ Weeks 15 and 16

I'm not supposed to be writing this post. I fully intended to do a monthly highlights post next time instead of my normal bi-weekly highlights. . .

I thought I would be holding a newborn baby by now ~ which means I am still pregnant. I am due the 22nd (3 days away), but I usually go a week early. So, this is the longest I have ever been pregnant!

At my 39 week midwife appointment, baby had dropped (which brought some much needed relief from some pelvic/sciatic pain) although not engaged yet, was head down, centered and anterior ~ in perfect position.  I started a Baby Stats Game to help me pass the time (thank you to all who played! ~ it was fun to read!).

I was up two nights this weekend taking care of Jordan, who had a fever and sore throat, and after a day of fighting it off, I am feeling better. Hallelu Yah! (Praise Yah!)

And now I am waiting. Patiently. All in His good time!

And writing this post. :-)

Days in school: 64

Highlights from the last 2 weeks ~

  • Grapevine: "The Kings of Judah," "The Kingdom Divided", Review
  • Victor's Journey Through the Bible: "Josiah Repairs the Temple," "The Story of Jeremiah," "Judah Falls"
  • Holman Bible Atlas: "Manessah's Long Rule," "The Kingdom of Josiah"

Read-Aloud: Luke finished reading Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court (The Knights of Arrethtrae)

Nutrition 101/Science:

The Heart and Cardiovascular System ~

Blood Typing

"A"  Positive

Learning to Take Blood Pressure

Making a Homemade Stethoscope

Jordan finished Module 12, Energy and Life, and started Module 13, the Digestive System.

Math: Review ~ one final bridge per week until the new year.

ELA: Completed 2 lessons in All About Spelling, Regular/Irregular Verbs in Easy Grammar, and plugged away in Language Lessons and Daily Grams.  The boys have finished their Writing Strands for this semester. Jordan has been writing on topics of his choosing ~ so far he has written a description paper on How to Change a Flat Tire and How to Drive a Stick (Manual Transmission). He is enjoying this kind of writing and I can see him applying the techniques that he has learned from Writing Strands!


We completed Lesson 1 in Visual Latin and began Building Thinking Skills Book 2 and Book 3 from Critical Thinking.

The boys have started Dodgeball. They are having play-offs this year and the competition is fierce (Nathan and Dylan are on a team playing against big brother). This is the second year Luke has had this program and the boys are super excited about it, keeping stats and all . . . and getting their school done if they want to play. ;-)

Little Ones: We are on much needed break from Five In A Row as I plan for the coming year.

Eliana and I have been having some informal (all oral) letter picnics. For example, "we're having a "T" party, what should we bring?" Tea, our teddy bear, tulips for the table, etc. We have also been working on letter recognition with the foam letters during bath time and reading books together.

Malachi is still working in Explode the Code Book 1, is reading his Bob books and his Bible ~ the most important book he says. :-) He has been making imaginary maps ~ a hobby he learned from Nathan and we have also been playing games as a family ~ mostly Sorry and Farkle. Malachi is doing quite well with adding 100's and 50's and keeping score in Farkle!

He also completed a bulletin board game {Dollar Tree} that I set up for him.

Hope you had a great week!

Delightful Links:

T.O.B.Y Homes-Cool Highlights @ Hearts in Training

The Snowy Day {Before FI♥AR}

~Eliana is 3 years, 10 months and Malachi is 5 years, 9 months~ 

What fun can a child have on a winter day?

We followed along with Peter and his delight in the first snowy day of the season in this Caldecott award winning book by Ezra Jack Keats.

Peter's story takes place on a snowy day ~ I asked the kids which season this is? and what season comes before and after? (We need to spend more time on seasons!)

Our list of fun things to do in winter:
  • Play in the snow
  • Make snowballs
  • Climb a snow hill
  • Make tracks in the snow
  • Make hot cocoa
Many of the same things Peter did! ;-)

It was a perfect snowy day to start this book! We took a walk to the library . . .

We walked with our toes pointing out like this. . . and with our toes pointing in like that. . .
. . . just like Peter. 

And caught falling snowflakes on our tongue. 

"The day is cloudy and the wind is bold. Dress up warmly, you mustn't get cold!
Put on your coat and zip it up tight, put on your left boot, put on your right.
Put on your scarf and put on your hat, put on your mittens and clap-clap-clap!
Go outside and play and play. Come in again, and then we'll say-
Take off your coat that was zipped up tight, take off your left boot, take off your right.
Take off your scarf, take off your hat, take off your mittens, and then take a nap!"

{Ever notice that it takes longer to bundle up than to take it all off?}

The kids have been outside almost daily playing in the snow!

Snowy Day Lap Journal Activities

Malachi's First Paper Snowflake (I helped him). 

"Way up high In the winter sky , 2 little snowflakes caught my eye.
Down to the ground they fell without a sound.
And before very long, it was snowing all around."
A Snow Covered Tree. . . like in the book.

Our lapbook pages. 

Creamy Hot Cocoa and Snowball Cookies
Hot cocoa tastes better on a snowy day! 

This is the last Before Five in a Row book we will row! I had a few more activities planned, but I was too tired this week. Our first Five in a Row book will be Katy and the Big Snow, so we will do them then.

We are taking a winter break from formal activities until after baby is born. . . or until I rest up and have some more energy.  In the meantime, I will be doing some planning ahead for our FIAR adventure! 

Delightful Links:

For more Snowy Day fun, see my new row with Bo! 

Snowy Day Lapbook
Snowy Day Lesson Plans

Homeschool Highlights ~ Weeks 13 and 14

56 days in school.


History:  Learning about the prophets (Isaiah and Jonah), Kings of Israel and the Syrians.

Read Aloud:

Luke has been doing the History readings as well as the read-aloud.

Nutrition 101: Started Unit 5 Chapter 1, Circulatory System

I usually read this aloud, but I had the boys read this themselves this week and will complete the projects next week.


Nathan and Dylan are studying the Life in the Blood.
Jordan is studying Energy and Life.


Jordan completed and passed his final bridge (test) in Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology! He scored a 20/21. I still need to figure his final grade, but he has to get a 9/10 to pass a bridge and he usually makes sure he passes on the first try, so I suspect he has done well. Fred has been a huge success and has not only increased Jordan's confidence, but also his ability. He also says this was the best book so far and insists that I read it. :-) He is taking a week off of math and then will either start Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics now or complete one final bridge per week until January (just to keep it fresh) and then start.

Nathan and Dylan are trailing right behind and will take their final bridge next week in Life of Fred Fractions.

ELA: We completed 3 lessons in All About Spelling, worked on contractions in Easy Grammar, and plugged away at Daily Grams and Writing Strands.


Jordan has been participating in noon-ball (soccer) occassionally, Homeschool P.E., Ice-Skating and Swimming these last couple weeks. He also put in a few hours at the Y working (he helped out with Pancake Breakfast, helped with the basketball program and helped work on a machine in the weight room).

Dylan is spending a couple hours in the afternoon once a week playing cribbage with an elderly widow that lives next door. He is such as wiz at adding that I thought he would enjoy this. . . and I know she loves the company. We bought a cribbage board this week and Dylan is teaching us to play.

Dylan also participated in Archery at the Y ~ it is offered once a week for 30 minutes. His first time, he scored 8 out of 10 in accuracy. He has also been shooting hoops with Pop for 30 minutes at a time here and there.

All ~ Dodge-ball or Soccer one night a week.

Tonight they are playing chess ~ gearing up for when Chess starts up at the Y in about a month.


With a short week last week and with baby coming, we tried to get in a couple extra days this week. I didn't have as much energy to do some of the projects that go along with extra school days, so we will have to make those up.

5K and Preschool:

We rowed The Snowy Day and did some book work.

This sweet thing has been asking me daily to do her math book.

We are using the textbook and the activity book and she enjoys both.

We did a few lessons in the ETC primer, but she is not as interested in this yet, so I won't pull it out again for a couple months unless she asks for it.

I don't think I have caught her trying to use the pencil sharpener on her own before! 
And yes, she is wearing her infamous "tot school dress" with purple pants since it is winter and too short for a dress now. This dress (and one other like it) was her sign that she wanted to do Tot School when she was 2 1/2!

Baby on the way: I am 37+ weeks! I have never gone past 39 weeks, so it could be very soon. I have received emails asking me more about my pregnancy and plans to homebirth and I am working on a post to share on my family blog ~ here it is: 37 Week Checklist, Pregnancy Update and Plans.

Giveaway: I am giving away a 32 ounce bottle of Household Traditions All Purpose Cleaner ~ 2 days left to enter!

Hope you had a great week!

Delightful Links:

T.O.B.Y Homes-Cool Highlights @ Hearts in Training

Katy No-Pocket {Before FI♥AR}

A story about a kangaroo without a pocket to carry her baby in. . . and how she gets one. 

Kangaroos, Animals of Australia and a Little Geography

Found Australia on a map.

Read about Kangaroos @ Kids' Answers: Kangaroos

Talked about how animals carry their babies. Since we have a baby coming soon, we talked about how mama's carry their babies. . . in our arms, just like monkeys! Or in a baby sling or carrier. :-)

Sang: I'm a Little Joey - (sung to "I'm a Little Teapot") ~

I'm a little joey,
Oh so small;
Deep in Mother's pouch
So I won't fall.
When I start to grow up
Big and tall,
Out I'll hop like
A bouncing ball.

And hopped like a kangaroo!

Crisp meringue outside with a soft marshmallow like center. . . topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. 

Since kangaroos live in Australia, I thought an Australian national dessert would be a great tie-in for our special treat.
One word ~ yum!

Thanks to Christine @ The Home Truth, who lives and blogs down-under, for the suggestion!

I explained that the man Katy met in the city is a carpenter and that carpenters build with tools.

Malachi colored the tools. . . 

And Eliana matched them up. 

Building with tools. 

Animal Classification Cards

Naming all the animals in the book.

Apron {and a pocket}

I had (high) ambitions of sewing a "bunch" of pockets on the blue apron when I bought it, but the energy and motivation evaded me this week, so I flipped the bottom up and sewed it into a pocket.  Eliana's pink ruffly apron came with a pocket (phew!). 

Narration and Illustration

Illustrating his narration using Draw Write Now. 
"Katy No-Pocket doesn't have a pocket like the other mother kangaroos. She went to some animals to know how they carry their babies. But all the other animal's ideas didn't work. But the owl was the only one who was right. He told her to go to town. Then she got a pocket from a tool guy. All the animals that needed being carried, Katy let them. And Katy No-Pocket had a pocket now for her baby. The End." -Narrated by Malachi 11-28-10

After he does his narrations, I always read it back to him so he can hear what he wrote. This is the first time that he asked to edit his narration so that it made more sense. :-)

Note: Jane Lambert, author of Five in a Row, mentions that when we love a book, our children will come to love and cherish it too. I didn't love this book. Kangaroos are marsupials (non-placental mammals who have shorter gestation periods) thus the joey (baby kangaroo) requires the pocket to survive. This made the book nonsensical to me. Sigh. That or I am just tired. Only one more book to row before baby comes. . . then we are taking a break! 

Next row: The Snowy Day (Yay! We are getting lots of snow!).

Delightful Links:

1+1+1=1 (More ideas for ages 1-3)
Preschool Corner & 5K too! (More ideas for ages 4-5)
Katy B4 Archives @ FIAR
Resources at HSS
Baby Animal Songs and Fingerplays
Kids' Answers: Kangaroos
Expedition Earth: Discovering God's Animals ~ COAH

Recipes from Christine:
Anzac Biscuits

Household Traditions All Purpose Cleaner Review

I was planning on cleaning the downstairs tub when this arrived, but since I clean that one regularly I thought I would give it a try on the upstairs shower/tub ~ the one the boys clean.

I won't show you before pictures ~ I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone. But, I don't think it has been really cleaned since the last time I cleaned it.  But, Household Traditions All Purpose Cleaner would be ideal for the boys to use.

You just spray it on, leave it on for a few minutes, (cleaning the toilet while waiting would be ideal), then wipe off. It took a little more this time to remove the soap scum (a good spray and a little elbow grease), but if used regularly it would be easy for the boys to keep the tub clean. Note: I did not like the smell in such a small enclosed area, but didn't mind it in the kitchen. 

But that is not the reason I wanted to try this.

You can wash fruits and veggies with it.

Washing Parsley

With an all purpose cleaner?

Check out the ingredients:

A botanical solution comprised of:
purified water, amino acids,
minerals and other ingredients
derived from leafy green,
edible and seed-bearing plants.

Did you catch the part about leafy green, edible and seed-bearing plants?

I love that it is safe to use around food!

I went a little overboard. I used two-thirds of the bottle the first day - in the bathroom, in the kitchen, on walls, counters, and more. I wish I could blame it on the nesting instinct (only 4 weeks until I am due), but I think it was trying something new.

That, and it works great!

Want to give it a try? Check it out here. You can also leave me a comment for a chance to win a 32 ounce bottle! 

Contest has ended ~ congrats to agodlyhomemaker! Commenter #3. 

Thanks to all who entered and to TT for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

For additional entries:
  • Subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter. {Watch for the free shipping coupons!}
  • Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a link to your status. Use this tweet if you like: @dlhomeschool is hosting a giveaway for @Troptraditions All Purpose Cleaner. Enter here: http://goo.gl/fb/EHOQX
Note: to keep it simple, I will update this post with the winning info, tweet the winner, contact you by email and expect to hear back from you within 48 hours. U.S. shipping only. Enter until Dec. 5th, 2010.

Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt {Before FI♥AR}

"We're Going On A Bear Hunt," by Michael Rosen is a fun, interactive story of a family on a journey. The family will travel through the deep grass of a meadow, across a river, wade through oozy mud, journey through a dark forest, experience a snowstorm and explore a cave."

This video of the story, as told by the author, is great!

We watched it several times.

Story Sequencing Cards:

Motions to act out the story:
  • Grass in the meadow - rub hands together to create a swishing sound
  • Crossing the river - do the breast stroke with your arms
  • Going through mud - slowly pull feet (or arms) up as if stuck in mud
  • Going through the forest - climb a tree
  • While in the snowstorm - pretend to shiver (we used the sign for cold)
  • While in the cave - pretend to feel carefully in front of your face with your hands
  • When you find the bear - feel the fur on the bear's face
(I must have gotten these from the FIAR archives).

Animal Classification Cards:

I pulled these from all the B4 titles that have bears in them.

Bear Hunt Sensory Tub:


  • grass - green foam cut to look like grass and rolled to look wavy
  • water - blue paint bag
  • mud - brown paint bag
  • forest - pipe cleaner trees stuck in styrofoam
  • snowstorm - cotton balls and curled pipe cleaners (for the swirling, whirling)
  • cave - brown foam rolled up with black ends
  • bear in the cave

Much to my delight, they added the house (with stairs) and Elli's "Go Anywhere Girls" and acted out the story.

Thick Oozy Chocolate {Mud} Pudding

Bear {Cookie} Hunt

I had them each count out 20 bears and tied them in a sack. I turned the dog house from Angus Lost into a bear cave and hid them in the cave, then left clues to find them.  Then we ate the cookies with the pudding.

Real Bear Hunt?!

I asked them if they wanted "go on a real bear hunt" and make a trip to Zoo Montana to see Bruno or Ozzy ~ the resident grizzly bears, but they both said no! until I told them that we would be safe because the bears can't get out. We always have so much to do when we go to the "city" that we would have only had 30 minutes at the zoo, so we didn't go. Soon, 3 grizzly cubs will be available for viewing, so we hope to make it up again when we have more time. Zoo Montana is unique in that it only inhabits animals that normally live in our cold climate. 

Of course, after this, we discussed the concept of being “brave,” and why we should be careful but never afraid ~ "We're not scared!" because YHVH is always with us.

Lap Journal

We discussed the concepts of “over,” “under,” and “through” and did a few lapbook activities.

I love little hands and feet. . . 
. . . hard at work. 
More Sensory Play
Squelch Squerch

Splash Splosh
The chunks after soaking over night! 

These are a couple of the free samples of "Yuck" that I requested from Buckets-O-Fun after seeing several Crew reviews on it. I thought it would be a great sensory tie in for the "icky sticky mud," "deep cold river," and "swirling whirling snowstorm!"

I had several other sensory ideas that would have tied in nicely, but I think I will save those for when baby is born for some ooey gooey messy play. 

Delightful Links:

Homeschool Highlights ~ Week 12

Technically week 12 lasted 2 weeks. . .  2 fairly easy weeks, school wise. So, we are up to 48 days in school.

We rowed Homer Price the first week while Jordan was out of town and caught up on independent work and did a few projects around the house the 2nd week (a big one was raking, blowing and bagging up leaves ~ just in time ~ it is snowing.)

Working at the table. . .

Note: I plan our lessons in a blog post and will often use it as a reference and also add notes ~ that helps me remember what we do and also doubles as record keeping (which I am terrible about otherwise) and results in a detailed blog post. (Now you know why they are so detailed). I usually sit at the table with them, but get up to do other things while they work.

Biblical History:
  • 1 Kings 17-22 (Elijah)
  • Victor's Journey Through the Bible: Elijah
  • Holman Bible Atlas: Assyrians (during the time of Elijah and Elisha)
  • Who's Who in the Bible: Elijah and Elisha
  • Luke is also reading Proverbs daily to the boys
I was asked about our core History program ~ and the simple answer to that is that we use the Bible as our main curriculum for Biblical History.  Our primary resources are Grapevine's OT Overview and History Revealed: Ancient Civilizations and the Bible to tie in Ancient History. We also regularly use The Victor's Journey Through the Bible and the Holman Bible Atlas.  I also add living history books (historical fiction) to read aloud. You can see more of what we use on our curriculum page.

Basically, we are going though the Old Testament doing Biblical History using Grapevine and picking up History Revealed to tie in Ancient History once we get to that time period in the Bible. Currently, we are on Ancient Israel in HR and working through the lessons in Grapevine. Our main goal is to make it through the Old Testament and pick up other ancient civilizations as they relate to Scripture. For example, we studied Ancient Egypt when we studied Abraham through Moses.

Read Aloud:

Luke finished the books started in my last HH and started Terrestria Chronicles ~ The Quest for Seven Castles.


Jordan went elk hunting with his grandpa and got a 5 point bull elk his first day. The elk was lying down when Jordan shot it and it never moved.

They went with his grandpa's son-n-law, Jim, who is a professional guide. They hunted about an hour outside of Cody in area 64 (Yellowstone Park is in the upper left corner).

Normally a guided trip like this, with room/board/meals, costs around $3,000 ~ Jordan really had a good time, ate well, and learned a lot!

He has salted the hide and is storing it for now ~ until we pick up some borax. Then he will soak it and follow the instructions for tanning in Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills.

Elk Processing 101

Back at home, this same day (11/8), we were given an elk from the Game and Fish. When they called they said they had quartered the elk and was going to divide it between four families (since it was so big), but when we got there to pick it up they gave us the whole thing!

Luke cut the meat outside in the shop (with Dylan's help) then brought it inside on half sheet trays. Nathan and I soaked it for 30 minutes, rinsed, salted it for 1 hour with course kosher salt, rinsed (our first time "koshering" meat ~ we followed the directions on the salt container) and then cut and packaged it. It took me ALL day! (Literally) I was so tired. It is a little gamey, but better than deer.

When Jordan got home later that week, he processed his elk with his grandpa. Because the elk never moved, the meat doesn't have a wild-game taste at all. I have a feeling we will eat his before ours.

Preschool and 5K:

Mali finished lesson 4 and 5 in ETC 1, read from Bob Books Set 1, started Early Bird Book B (text book and activity book).

Eliana started Early Bird Book A and Get Ready for the Code A ~ at her repeated request and we did a few lessons in Language Lessons for Little Ones.

We rowed Corduroy and started We're Going on a Bear Hunt ~ I lost umph about half way through this week, so we haven't finished yet.

We took a road trip to see the midwife and to visit our property in Montana (a 6 hour drive in one day), shopped, remembered the anniversary of Nathan's birth day (he is 12 now), did a test run on the birthing pool and more. No wonder I lost umph! I also knit my first baby booties, but that was the relaxing part!

Delightful Links:

T.O.B.Y Homes-Cool Highlights @ Hearts in Training