Sunday, August 24, 2008

John the Shark

John and Mary love to watch their Gymboree videos during the morning school session. They sit surprisingly still and quiet during this time. I love the fact that they sing along with the cute music. It makes them happy;-).

I thought this was so cute of John-John. He was threatening his big brother Casey with a shark attack!!! Casey was pretending to cry with fear of the "big bad shark"....ha ha.
Then John-John jumped in to eat a few victims which included his sister Annie. I am so proud of the way John is swimming with greater strength as the summer comes to a close. Speaking of summer ending, gives me a sad feeling, as we do enjoy playing outside so extremely much. Plus, it is such great exercise for the kids. Casey is doing much better since his cast came off. However, we do tease him just a little about his crocked arm. Just having the cast removed, he is still unable to straighten his arm. So we all sing "Walk like an Egyptian". Thankfully, Casey has a good sense of humor and plays along with the taunting. Hopefully, he will eventually be able to straighten it out. The ATV accident did not stop him from riding as a passenger with little Trish this weekend. They had a blast!!! Here is a picture of an Egyptian;-).

Underwater sea monster....Mary Blueberry;-)
Here we have our own little ornery stinker....Mary Blueberry!!! She has discovered that she can see so much better with goggles under water. Of course, this leaves her siblings at a disadvantage since she can see to attack them underwater!!!! Well, God blessed us with Mary and we are thankful. There is never a dull moment with her. As a matter of fact, she keeps the entire house on the move to keep up with her. It is amazing how strong she is in her arms, shoulders, and back. I have seen her do chin ups on our monkey bars without even using any effort. After watching much of the summer Olympics....I wonder if she would train into a great athlete with her strength and ability to concentrate on what she wants with a passion. She is also blessed with a tiny stature and powerful strength. We are going to put her into gymnastics classes soon. I just know she will do a great job!!!!
AWE!!!! Little Trisha is so beautiful. I took this picture as we went outside to swim on Friday. She is growing up way too fast. I love having her in my Catholic home-school and she loves it, too. Trish is a hard working student. She is learning much this school year and amazing me every day.Happy Christian got his head buzzed today!!! He is such a beautiful little boy!!! He rather threw Duane and I into a shock this soccer season;-(. He announced to us that after playing soccer since age 4 y/o....he wants to play football!!!!! I just couldn't believe it, as he has been main string team member on his soccer team, for three years in a row and has not sat on the side line during this time. I watched him the other day with his soccer ball as he danced with the ball across the yard. My heart was breaking as I watched him so gracefully moving the ball in a little zig-zag pattern. However, I am resigning myself that no matter the sport, he will play with gusto. So his football coach called over the weekend to say he will have practice twice per week and a game every Saturday night after the second week of September. Oh My Goodness!!!! I'll keep you posted. Karissa has decided to continue in soccer this year....yeah!!!! She is playing some real hot ball these days and with a mind set to win. Both Christian and Karissa are very competitive in their sports. So we should have an exciting season this year and I will certainly take some pictures and keep everyone posted on their progress.
Now for my beautiful Arctic Princess!!! She has decided that she is a ballerina and will be trying dance this winter. Yes....she will be registered in Little Trisha's dance school and hopefully with Trish as her student teacher. Trisha is teaching this year again as she did last year. Only she will be teaching the older children's classes. So I am hoping Katie will be in Trisha's class. Trish is such a good dancer and is in a traveling dance group called "Dance Trax". They have won many trophies and travel to various big cities to compete. AWESOME!!! I also want to mention that Katie is very smart with her school work and I believe she will be grade age appropriate during this year. She not only knows the alphabet's names, she knows the phonetic alphabet and can think of words that begin with particular letters. Her math skills are very good as well.

I want to take this opportunity to mention that Katie Aunna was very close to a little girl in Russia by the name of Vika. Little Vika is a couple of years older than Katie. But, during our visit with Katie, Vika came into the playroom to meet us. She is such a delightful little girl and would make a family such a sweet and loyal daughter. I wish with all my heart that we could afford to go and get her. But, unfortunately we are unable to since we just got home three months ago with Katie Aunna. We are truly praying that some one will listen to God's whisper in their heart to take an older child and choose Vika. Like Katie, she is of a very loving and sweet personality with a loyalty seldom found. She is destined to greatness with the right family to call her own. Please, consider Vika and pray for her with us. If you should want more information about her, feel free to contact me and I will get you in touch with the right people!!!! This is a uniquely wonderful little girl.
Katie Aunna wanted to take a picture with she and I. The only problem was that everyone was busy and so I took it of us myself. Katie liked this picture very much;-). My how Katie Aunna loves her Mama. She may have started as a Papa's girl.....but, the closeness she and I have developed is stunningly marvelous. I am so extremely happy God chose us to be her parents. In this photo Mary Blueberry and Annie Bananie are making friends after a big Barbie doll fight. It was quite sweet as Annie and Mary got into their chairs for lunch. We said Grace together and I asked for Jesus to please touch the hearts of my children with love and kindness for one another. When I looked at Mary and Annie who had been throwing Barbie dolls at each other half hour before....I grabbed my camera. Annie said to Mary "I do love you Mary Blueberry" and Mary answered with "I love you too Annie Bananie". SWEET PICTURE!!!!!
Katie Aunna is very sweet with my Yorkie and loves to give her a scratch behind the ears and a kiss to the top of her head.
John-John is working hard for me in school this year. He was working with the stacking blocks and refused to give up when he reached the more difficult level;-).
He asked me here "Is this right?" I just said "Keep trying"!!!
In this shot I got the feeling my Yorkie had her sunglasses on her head and was just a little bit too good for the rest of us around here. My dog is so stuck-up!!!!! Gracie Belle ranks just a little better than everyone else in the house;-).

I have had numerous people ask about the set up for the school here in the house so here I have included some pictures of students all hard at work!!! zone!!!! In this set up I can teach three groups....Jr. High, second grade, and kindergarten. I am thinking that Katie is so smart she will graduate to first grade work by Christmas. If she knew English fully, she would be able to do the work of first grade. I am thinking she will read very soon as she is sounding letters out in simple words. WOOHOO....go Katie Aunna!!!!

I hope this was an enjoyable post and, as time allows, I will continue to add the changes which are occurring with our darling children. They are so much fun and such special young people. The world should eventually, have society members in the children, who will greatly contribute. I am continuing to challenge them to be the best they can be with God's help. So far, I am not disappointed. Many blessings until next time.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Week of School

Just wanted to give a quick update about our Catholic Homeschooling. We have all been getting up very early this week so that we could have our chores out of the way, along with breakfast and getting dressed, by 8:00am. By 8:10am we are in session. My grand daughter, Trisha, did not want to attend the public schools here anymore and has joined us for class this year. She is also very involved in dance as a student and student teacher of dance. She is serious about her dance and is on a competition dance team who travel. She needs some flexibility with her academics. But, Trisha has found that she must work even harder in home-school so she can get her work out of the way quickly to allow her time to practice dance. Trisha spends 4 to 5 hours each evening dancing and every Saturday...all day!!! Many times her dance team meets to practice on Sunday afternoons as well. So when I said dedicated, I mean, she wants a dance career and works hard for it. But, she goes to a wonderful school (The Dance Academy) where her mother danced as a child!!! So, I guess you could say both my girls (Kisty and Trisha) have grown up with Ms. Jeffie at the Dance Academy. Anyway.......Now, my job is to assist Trisha through her core classes, and ready to dance by mid-afternoon. I have to commend her for the hard work she puts into her dance since the age of 3 years old and for being an excellent student for me. All the kids are doing very well with this curriculum. It is not an easy one either. There is much challenge with it and requires four full class days (8:00am-3:30pm) each week to meet the requirements. I do love it more and more as I use it. Guess we will see as the school year moves on. So, now we are getting up very early, and our previous days of sleeping until late, has come to an end. I seem to have great energy until between 3:00pm and 5:00pm. Then, after the dinner and the bath routine, I seem to find a second wind and want to watch some of my TV shows. But, the kids have been a little crabby with the changes in bedtime and rising early in the morning for chores and dressing. So, I end up getting one child or another to sleep and see half a show here and there;-). The children have been enjoying the Olympics this week and have learned many new things about China. I also chose China for their Social Studies and Geography. It is working in nicely with the games. They seem especially interested in what types of foods the Chinese eat and how they educate their children with so much structure and self discipline. I am hoping it will make an impression on my kids. I do have to brag that they are all eager to learn and very little complaining has occurred over the new schedule and the greater challenge in the curriculum. Katie is doing amazingly well and is even helping the younger kids with learning numbers, colors, and shapes. Her English is awesome!!! Katie and I seldom have communication difficulties any more;-). She is extremely smart in her scholastic abilities and it is transferring from Russian into English very very quickly. I'll post pictures on Monday!!! Many Blessings!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Katie's First Birthday At Home

The Arctic Princess celebrates her first American birthday and is now 7 years old. Now my children are...John 3 y/o, Mary 4 y/o, Annie 5 y/o, Katie 7 y/o, Karissa 7 y/o, Christian 7 y/o, and Casey 14 y/o. Of course, the two grown children are, Kisty at age 31 and Weldon at 27 years old. Katie was so extremely delighted and her pictures speak louder than words!!!

Katie Aunna was so excited when I told her that her birthday would be on Sunday. She asked immediately if she would also have a birthday party. Of course, you know I told her that she absolutely would have a party. She was so thrilled she was jumping three feet off the ground!!! She picked out the birthday crown from my collection (having 2 grand daughters and five girls...I have a nice tierra collection). So, this morning I dressed her and put her Birthday Girl Crown on her head.
Our next objective was to get her cake. I took her with us as it seemed she should say what she wants for a cake and so she picked it out herself. The cool part is that she wanted a chocolate cake. All the cakes said yellow or white;-(. But, there was one cake with pretty pink roses on it and she loved it. Well, lo and behold...when we cut into the cake it was CHOCOLATE!!!!! What a nice surprise;-).
Then when we got home with her cake I brought out the gifts that I had bought for her the night before her party. It was so cute as I asked her what she would like for Mommy to cook for her on this special day and she said "Borscht"!!!! Then she got very serious and looked at me and asked "Can you make this food, Mama?" Her face looked like a light bulb when I said "Oh yes, my darling, and I can make it with beef or chicken!" She was thrilled. How much better could life be than this??? A party, with gifts, and Russian Borscht. Katie slurped her Borscht this evening like a little pig;-)...Ha Ha. The whole time she raved about how wonderful was HER Mama's Borscht. We also had a nice loaf of sour dough bread with butter. Oh YUMMY!!!
Here is a picture on Mary Beth high on chocolate cake...OH MY!!!!!

This is my cousin's daughter...Maddy. Katie Aunna loves her so much as she is the sweetest and most thoughtful young lady!!!!

Katie was so thrilled with her party that she was jumping up and down and laughing. It was so cute. After, we ate our yummy Borscht and cake, Katie opened her birthday gifts. I think her pictures tell the story far better than I ever could. So, I present my beautiful Arctic Princess, Katie Aunna, opening her gifts of love from her family. Have I mentioned that my family is the greatest!!! They always are there for the kids and us, too. They show their love for us freely and we are greatly blessed by them!!!! Well, here are Katie's pictures of joy and happiness;-).

Katie Aunna was the happiest little girl ever!!! She had asked for Barbie and she really got many Barbies, clothes, and a special storage container from her big sister Kisty. I also, wanted to take some pictures of Katie after her party, as she place all of her gifts on the counter top before she went out to swim with her cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters. She loves her family so very much and has bonded to us beautifully.

So, my beautiful little girl is set just a little more securely in the family and she loves her new life so very much!!! We love and adore her more than I can express. After her swim last night, she ate the last piece of her cake for bedtime snack, with a glass of milk!!!
Now about school starting soon.....I have received my Catholic Heritage Curriculum!!! I absolutely love it and we will be starting school on the 11th of August. Although, we school year round, we do take flex days and breaks. We have been out of school for almost two weeks now. I have been familiarizing myself with the new curriculum and reviewing the children's books. I am very impressed. Lesson plans came with the curriculum along with many enrichment inserts and so I am now tailoring the lesson plans. I'll let you know how things go with this process and share my experiences with you as we progress through the year.

One last cute thing about Katie....the kids made birthday cards for her. On one of the cards it said "Katie A." I don't think, Katie has ever heard her name shortened, as we often do here in America;-). This was something new to her. She has learned the alphabet and now I am teaching her the sounds for each letter in the alphabet. When she read her name she said "Awe, for me, Katie " in apple". This is not my name....Katie (short vowel sound) A. She cracked up laughing thinking that one of the children did not know how to write her name. Isn't that cute???

Well, this is our little girl's special day. I hope you enjoyed sharing this with us as much as we enjoy sharing with you. Until next time....Many Blessings!!!!