09-16-2014

2014-2015 Students

Something we have always done is school pictures! This year I decided to do something a little more fun, and a lot less formal. I let the girls choose whatever they wanted to wear (which is a rare thing, I’m pretty picky about picture clothes.) Then we set up a desk and some of Papa’s smart looking books and went about being silly, telling jokes and just having a great time.

I’m pretty much in love with these pictures.

Audrey

Sydney

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09-07-2014

School for Two

I have to admit I was really nervous about adding Audrey to our school, I had previously been able to devote all my time to Sydney’s education and was worried about how it would change with Audrey in the mix.

I often compare it to adding another baby to the family. The emotions are exactly the same.

Audrey has surprised me a lot! We’ve only completed two weeks of school but she’s doing really well! I think it’s the only time I’ve seen her sit still, and she’s listening so well!

What’s surprising me as well this year is how I’ve changed things a bit. I thought I knew what I was doing, as this is our fourth year. I should probably just realize that like all parenting related things; I know VERY little. Last year we implemented a binder system. A binder for every subject. This worked okay, but I didn’t really have space to put all the binders while they were being used. I like everything needed for the day on the table, ready to be used.

To start with I bought a planner. This probably isn’t necessary but it helps keep my disorganized brain organized. I can see everything that both Sydney and Audrey are suppose to be doing at a glance. Key words; at a glance. This is NOT a detailed lesson plan. Just the gist of what needs to be accomplished. As we go through our subjects for the day I check each thing off. I really like checking things off!

I bought The Well Planned Day planner and am pretty happy with it. It’s the only one I’ve ever tried. I found another that I think I’ll use next year, but for now this will work great.

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I am also using a box shelf that I got from Target to hold all of our homeschool books and supplies that are needed for both girls.  The self below their blue bin holds their parent manuals that I need as well as their textbooks. The black bins hold Audrey’s file folder games and Sydney’s books that she will be reading this school year.

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My mother bought each of the children a Washington State license plate with their name on it. As soon as I figure out how to attach it to the bin, that’s where it’s going!

As I said, each box has their needed supplies. In Sydney’s I have her Math-U-See manipulatives, her DVDs for science, math, and art. Her clipboard stays in the box when it’s all ready to go, along with her book she’s currently reading, her super cool bookmark, All About Spelling box, and her purple sticky notes.

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I also have an Ikea bookshelf that holds our miscellaneous homeschooling supplies. Calendar parts, history books, yearbooks, Sydney’s kindergarten hand print, pens, ect. But it also holds 4 binders containing Sydney’s detailed lesson plans for science and reading (as well as the worksheets for science), and her math and writing worksheets. Science experiment supplies are also on that shelf.

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I got a small binder to put all of this weeks work in. I already owned the binder so this was not an extra expense. On Friday (or Sunday) I pull out the math, handwriting, writing, history, reading and science binders and take out the things that are needed for the week. Then I put the larger binders back on the shelf. At the end of each day I pull out the next days work and have it ready.

The final thing I added this year were clipboards. Both girls have their own, and when I take the work from the weekly binder I put them on the clipboard. I add sticky notes that say things like “Come Get Me” and “Stop” where they are needed. The science worksheet is for the whole week, but you only do a few problems a day, so I show her where to stop. Work like math and handwriting (sometimes writing) can be done independently. Sydney knows that if I’m not at a place where I can come help her (because I’m teaching Audrey or fighting with Zachary) she can move on to the next independent worksheet or read her reading assignment for the day. She’s really good at this.

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I had always planned on “color coding” my children to help me easily identify whose books/papers/school stuff is theirs. But this is the first year I’ve implemented it! All of Sydney’s binders are purple, along with her sticky notes. Audrey’s binders are (mostly) pink with a pink sticky notes. I might have to buy colored high lighters too, just for fun.

I always wanted a workbox station for my kids, but the method never seemed like it would work in our space. I love this method I seem to have made for us, it helps keep everything organized and ready to go!

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09-01-2014

Goodbye, House!

I never thought I would be so emotionally attached to a house, besides my Grandparents house. I’ve never stayed in one place long enough to get all that attached, I guess.

But that is definitely not the case when it comes to our townhouse that we’ve rented for the past four and a half years.

We moved into this house in March 2010 when I was 6 months pregnant with Audrey. We brought home our baby Audrey to this house. She took her first steps here. This is the only house shes’ ever known.

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Zachary was literally born in this house, all of his firsts took place here.

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It was really sad to think that we will never be coming back. Sydney was only two and a half when we moved in here, so she barely remembers the apartments we lived in before.

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But it’s on the next grand adventure! Living with my in-laws and saving up to buy our own house.

Goodbye, house! You’ve been good to us! :)

PicMonkey Collage

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08-25-2014

First Day of School!

Today was our first day of school for the 2014-2015 year!

And what a year it will be, not only is Sydney now in the 2nd grade but AUDREY is joining us at the table for preschool!

Lets take a moment to reminiscence about my babies, shell we?

Baby Pictures

Aren’t they cute? Well, they grew up into these beautiful young ladies!First DayToday went extremely well! I’ve always had great luck when it comes to the first day of school, they leave me feeling excited and ready for the new school year! Unfortunately, there are days which make me doubt my decisions, my abilities, and my sanity. So it’s good to blog about those days that are awesome, and try to forget about the bad ;)

I’ve been worried, nervous, excited, and very anxious about how school was going to work this year. Not only this Audrey’s first year in “official” school, but in February I’ll be nursing a baby while I teach math (and other subjects, of course!) While this was a breeze with master-champion-nurser Zachary, I was only teaching Sydney and preschool only took 30 minutes.

Oh, and Sydney is very good at sitting still. She’s extremely patient.

I love it when I pass down traits that I do not actually posses. It’s a great thing.

This year we have preschool with the girl who shares more than just my nose and my name. She also shares my lack of patience, and my inability to sit still. Maybe not inability, but she and I share a mutual disinterest when it comes to sitting still.

But much to my surprise and delight the first day went really smoothly! Audrey sat still (mostly), she was thrilled to do her Letter of the Week curriculum, she even sat still during the prayer and scripture study. When her school time was over, she played nicely by herself until Sydney was ready to join her. What a blessing!

Zachary on the other hand….well let’s just say he got banished to naptime when he decided to draw on the wall.

As my Gramma would say, “We made it!”DSC_0161

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08-20-2014

Baby #4!

Despite my excitement about this sweet baby, this post has been really hard to write. I’m not interested in going into details of everything that happened with the loss of baby’s twin, or even what I went through to get pregnant in the first place. A sweet friend from church who also experienced the passing of her son’s twin said something to me on Sunday that meant a lot. She gave me a hug and she said, “It doesn’t mean you don’t want THIS baby, and that you aren’t excited for THIS baby.”

So, I’m ripping the band-aid off.

WE ARE HAVING A BABY IN JANUARY FEBRUARY!

(We all know the truth, my January due date will definitely be a February baby.)

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WHOO!

Our baby GIRL is healthy, doing great and she is a mover! I can’t wait to hold her in my arms.

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I am so thankful that she’s kicking like crazy, it helps to keep my fears at bay.

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08-06-2014

2014-2015 Curriculum

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This year is going to shake things up a bit in the Sherman household. This year I’ll be adding a new student, AND adding a new baby! This is something that I’ve spent a good deal of time and energy worrying about. How am I going to juggle both girls’ educations and the demands of a newborn? Will one of them not get enough attention or time? Of course these emotions, worries, and thoughts are very similar to the ones I had when I was pregnant with Audrey. So I’m hoping the answer will be exactly the same. Everything will be great, nothing will be the same, find the new normal.

sydneyI still can’t believe that Sydney is already in 2nd Grade! What?

Gospel: Studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Baptism Prep (more about this later.)
Art: Home Art Studio 2nd Grade
Math: Math-U-See Beta
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 2 and up
Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Level B*
History: Story of the World Volume 2: Medieval
Writing: Writing With Ease Level 2
Grammar: First Language Lessons Level 2
Science: Sonlight Science C (Geology, Meteorology, and Mechanical Technology)*
Read Alouds: See here. *
Readers: Sonlight Readers Level 4/5

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Audrey will be doing preschool this year! She will be doing Letter of the Week curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler. She will also be doing bits and pieces of Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten and All About Reading Level 1 and up.

*Personally when I’m reading someone’s blog and they’ve switched curriculums I always wonder why. So here are the answers to the whys:

From Handwriting Without Tears to A Reason For Handwriting: Sydney really enjoyed HWT and had no problems with it. It’s a great handwriting curriculum. My only problem with it is simply that they teach writing on a different set of lines, this didn’t confuse Sydney at all but Audrey was VERY confused by the paper. How tall do you make that letter A? I had also noticed that when Sydney was doing her copywork or narrative exercises for Writing With Ease she didn’t know how to form her letters because WWE uses traditional lines, which differ from HWT. So to help keep things all uniform, we are switching.

From Apologia BACK to Sonlight Science: We used Sonlight’s science curriculum for Kindergarten and we really enjoyed it. I planned on using it with Audrey when she was in Kindergarten. My reason for switching last year was because I wanted a curriculum I could easily do with all the children at once. Apologia fulfilled that. However, there were many theories they discuss that I don’t agree with, some paragraphs that I wondered why they were included those were things I could ignore, and censor out. However, what I couldn’t ignore was when Apologia came out with an anti-Mormon statement. It was uncalled for and I refuse to support such a company. I was really sad about this because I did love Apologia, I loved the rich pictures it provided and the easy experiments. But I feel like going back to Sonlight is a good fit for us!

From Sonlight Read Alouds to my own choices: This is simply because there are SO many good books! I poured over a few lists (including Sonlight’s) when choosing our readers, and added a few childhood favorites!

nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2014I’m participating in the Not Back to School Blog Hop!

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07-31-2014

Sydney’s Birthday!

As usual we threw two parties for Sydney, one with friends and one with family. Because of our church’s Pioneer Picnic being on the 19th we didn’t have both parties on the same day, so she got TWO birthday weekends!

My friend, Chelsee, made her a gorgeous cake (Chelsee has been making my kiddos’s cakes this year, aren’t they darling?!)

And then we had a Little Mermaid themed party!

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DSC_9998 In our family we have this rule about kids not chewing gum until age 5, it’s a special treat for them. Well, when Sydney turned 5 I gave her gum, and she got it in her hair about ten seconds later. So no more gum until she was 6. Well, when she was 6 she spit it on and I stepped in it. I’m thrilled to announce that at age 7 Sydney’s gum ban was lifted and she enjoyed Zebra gum, and no gum ended up in hair on on the bottom of mama’s shoes. Yey!

Happy Birthday, my darling girl! I love you! <3

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07-29-2014

Dear Sydney | The End of First Grade

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Dear Sydney,

This year was tough. But you overcame some incredibly obstacles. Sometimes I feel that your biggest obstacle is having me as a mother. I tend to push you too hard at times, over schedule and under prepare. That was very much the case with this school year. Add into that being tired, unmotivated and then ending the school year with being exhausted because of pregnancy.

But you overcame them all. You are such an incredible person, and as always I am humbled that Heavenly Father sent you to me. You are the sweetest girl I know, and you are so smart! You are flexible, and you put up with me. Usually with a smile on your face. I spend hours planning and working on your curriculum, and you make it totally worth every second.

At the beginning of this school year you tested at a 4th grade reading level. For being six and only reading for the past year and a half it just blew me away, as you always do! By the end you tested at a 6th grade level. I enjoy watching you devour books. Especially books that I enjoyed when I was younger. This year you read so many Magic Tree House books there’s no way for me to count them. You ended the year by starting The Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician’s Nephew. You learned about space, and loved hearing about planets. You took the debate about Pluto being a planet seriously, and still sided with your mama. Hearing you spout off addition and subtraction facts brings a smile to my face, you do it faster than Daddy! We did something different this year for history, and you made the transition well. Just recently we watched The Prince of Egypt and I was thrilled to hear that you still remember about the two kingdoms of Egypt. You were brave and tried a bunch of new foods this year from China, Japan, South Korea and India.

You never cease to amaze me, darling girl. You are so brave! This year you lost your first two teeth, but you did so in an unconventional way. Both teeth needed to be pulled because your permanent teeth popped through but didn’t make the baby teeth wiggly. The second tooth the dentist removed, which included getting laughing gas, which you did all by yourself! I think I was more nervous than you were.

I love and adore you, my Sydney Capri, and I look forward to next year with you. Second grade, are you ready?!

Love, Mama

[Here are some page stats for you! During school this year Sydney and I read a total of 2,762 pages together. And by herself Sydney read 3,381 pages!]

Dear Sydney, Kindergarten Edition

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07-17-2014

Happy 7th Birthday, Sydney!

My sweet girl turned 7 today! How in the world did that happen?

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At her 7-year-old check up Dr. E asked the exact same question. We’ve been blessed with a truly amazing pedatrician who bends over backwards to make sure my kids are healthy, and she humored me during my paranoid-first-time-really-young-mama phase. She’s such a blessing to our family and I am glad we’ve gotten to work with her for the last seven years.

Anyway, enough with the ode to Dr. E (who totally deserves and ode.)

I started to make videos of my kiddos for each yearly birthday when Zachary turned one. It was easy to backtrack and make a few videos for Audrey but I hadn’t done many for Sydney. She requested some of her younger years. I didn’t get them all done but I hope you enjoy the ones I did complete! The fun thing about her being older is she picked the songs.

Sydney’s First Year:

Sydney As a One Year Old!

And now for some “Sydney As a 6 Year Old” Moments! <3

-Sydney lost TWO teeth as a six-year-old. Unfortunately both had to be pulled because her permenant tooth popped through, but her baby teeth were still firmly in place.

-Favorite TV shows include My Little Pony, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Pokemon. Don’t ask.

-She is an incredible reader! She finished 1st grade with a 6th grade reading level. She blows me away!

-Last July, when she had just turned 6, she got to travel with Audrey and her Grandma and Papa Sherman to Utah for a week. We missed her like crazy but she had a blast! This was the longest we’ve ever been away from her.

-When Audrey refused to get out of the car Sydney told her, “Audrey, just don’t. If you stay in the car you’ll burn up and die.”

-After we studied China we ordered Chinese take out (’cause it’s really authentic that way!) Sydney asked, “How do we get Chinese food? Does someone go get it for use from China?”

-Jordan: Are you having fun playing with the heater?
Sydney: Are you speaking Spanish?

-Whenever you write “Syd” on something she goes over with her own pen and adds, “NEY.” Apparently she wants to be called Sydney.

-Jupiter is her favorite planet. She also agrees that Pluto IS a planet.

-When Aunt Roo came to visit with her fiance we went over to my in-laws house and the whole house was quiet, Sydney wandered upstairs to see what was going on. She came down a few minutes later to report, “Aunt Roo is taking  a bath, and everyone is helping her.” Now, my in-laws have played some pretty weird made up family games, but this would have to be the WEIRDEST thing I’ve ever heard of. Turns out that Aunt Roo was having her hair dyed, but sitting on the edge of the bathtub. Everyone was watching her ;)

-She LOVED the song Hey, Jude. It was replaced a few months later with What Does the Fox Say. Clearly we are failing as parents.

Happy Birthday to the sweet girl who made me a mama. I love you, Sydney Capri! <3

Sydney

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06-22-2014

Happy 4th Birthday, Audrey!

My sweet little Audrey Thyme turned 4 today!

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I absolutely cannot believe that it’s been 1461 days since that sweet baby came into our lives. It seems like she’s been part of our family forever, babies are awesome like that.

Every year this child turns another year Jordan and I give ourselves a pat on the back. Whew, we’ve kept her alive another year! This use to be a joke we made with Sydney. But with Audrey it really is an accomplishment! She doesn’t make it easy, at all.

Compared to age 2, however, 3 was a pretty good year for Audrey! Worst thing that happened was her tonsils were removed in September.

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She’s been talking about her birthday since January, it’s been a LONG 6 months for her. I’ve been chuckling during these last 6 months because her impatience almost perfectly matches mine when I was waiting for her to arrive! Because she had been waiting for SO long, and she had to watch all of her Joy School friends have their birthdays first we decided to celebrate a week early, so her party was June 14th.

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In case you don’t know who she’s dressed up as, we had a Sofia the First party! Audrey seriously looks just like Sofia, in my opinion. We had two parties on the same day, a friend party and a family party. Yet again, the amazing Chelsee stepped up and helped me with the cake and cupcakes!

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She got a tricylce for her birthday, one that is small enough to fit her and she can easily peddle all by herself! This is a huge thing for my small girl :)

web4Parties were a success, and she had so much fun! We are so grateful for all the family and friends who came and celebrated with our girl, showering her in so much love!

And now, for my favorite part! Audrey stories/quotes from the last year:

-”There’s a hot dog in this stick!” (talking about a corndog)

-”I put my eye on you!” (instead of “I’ve got my eye on you!” something she heard often!)

-”You driving MY crazy!” (instead of “you’re driving me crazy!” also something she heard often!)

-”Don’t say stupid! It’s actually rude!” this one she would shout across the room. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

-We watched someone skydive on TV and I asked Audrey if she wanted to do that when she grew up. Her resonance was, “No, I falled out of a window, dat hurts. These people are crazy!”

-She would request the “light colored” bowl/plate/cup. And would throw a fit if hers was dark.

-We met a friend at the airport who was returning home from a 2 year mission in Chile. His name is Peter, when he left Audrey was only 18 months so she didn’t remember him. Right before we left to go meet him she told me, “I’m so excited I finally get to meet Peter Pan!” I corrected her and said no, it’s not Peter Pan, it’s just a friend named Peter. She replied, “Mama, you said he was FLYING in!”

-”I can’t wait any longer!!!!”

-”I SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO hungry!”
How hungry are you?
SO!

-She is ALWAYS singing!

-After Grandpa Sherman’s funeral there was a luncheon and Audrey had a cookie that Zachary wanted. She held it above his head so he couldn’t get it. He grabbed her shirt, pulled her down and stole the cookie. A few minutes later she went to take his cookie and he put it above his head. He’s 3″ shorter than she is, but she didn’t try to get the cookie, she sobbed and threw herself down saying that she wanted a cookie.

-She got her finger caught on the bow on her leotard in dance class. Teacher Annie offered to cut  it off. Audrey though Annie was talking about her finger. She came screaming, crying and running as fast as those little legs could carry her from the dance room.

-”Mama, is Cotton Babies far away? Far away like Utah? Utah is VERY far away!”

-She overuses the words “always” and “never.”

-When she turned 3 she decided that she would never wear jeans again. So she wore a lot of leggings. 10 months later Jordan made her wear jeans while she went bike riding. She cried and said, “I ALWAYS wear jeans! I NEVER get to wear leggings!”

-Audrey: Pretend I’m Sleeping Beauty and I’m asleep ’cause I touched the spindle. I need a kiss!
Sydney I’m not kissing you!Audrey: Then I’ll DIE!!!!

-Audrey was putting powdered sugar on her plate, but had no pancake. Grandma Sherman told her she needed to eat a pancake with it. Audrey’s answer: “Why?”

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So here’s  to 4, my beautiful ball of energy! Let’s make it awesome!

(Let’s have a goal this year of no ER trips, no surgeries, and no ear infections!)

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