Friday, January 13, 2017

Birthday and Lava Lamps and Snowmen

Our week began on Sunday with a great day at church. Our bishop challenged everyone to read the Book of Mormon in the next 90 days. I love taking any opportunity to read the scriptures more. We are taking the challenge as a family. That means each day the 11 of us gather around the table or on the couch and we read. Each person who can read aloud just goes until they want a break, be that 1 verse or 10 and then the next person begins reading from there. When we come to the younger boys who are not reading yet they have a helper and repeat the words of a verse after them. We also decided to read a little bit extra most days to try and get 'ahead of schedule', that way when days come where we just don't get to our reading we don't end up way behind. (Though really there is no excuse - we have the scriptures as an audio book too, so we can listen any time.) We are also continuing our own personal scripture study wherever we already were. So, for example, most of my kids are reading the New Testament right now, my husband is studying the Doctrine and Covenants, and I'm reading a little bit of everything.

In the evening we celebrated Mason's 5th birthday with cake and ice cream. He chose chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and chocolate ice cream. With sprinkles on the cake. It was delicious! He enjoyed opening gifts as well.

Monday had chores and school of course. Today's end of the module science experiment was making our own lava lamps. Who doesn't love that?

This day also saw the oldest 4 children beginning piano lessons. Makayla can play piano already, she took lessons a few years ago and then spent time rotating with other youth to play prelude and postlude music at church services. She's missed lessons so she's taking them again, along with first lessons for Joseph, Emma, and Daniel. We have always told our children that our goal is that you will become comfortable enough playing piano to accompany singing at church if asked. Once you reach that level of proficiency you can choose to continue or stop lessons, so long as you maintain your skills. Makayla also has plans to begin guitar lessons soon.

Tuesday was cold and icy. It was also filled with music because kids were doing their piano practice. I finished my Reading Challenge book and posted about it. Tobias was a bit clingy with a runny nose so I applied some essential oils to help clear that nose up and we snuggled and looked at some books. Other children did school work at their own pace. I have done a pretty good job of remembering not to nag. We do morning basket work and science each morning and then I pass out their daily assignment list. After that they are responsible for doing their work, getting help as needed, or choosing not to do their work. The consequences of each choice are set and enforced.

Wednesday Mason officially turned 5 years old. I interviewed him over on his blog about some of his favorite things. The day started icy and then warmed up and rained all afternoon and evening. The day was filled with many of our usual things - school work, chores, cooking, cleaning. Mason also had physical therapy. He's working on using a walker, learning to fall, and doing exercises to strengthen his core and hip muscles.

Thursday we had a day off pretty much. Our only plan was to have friends over for art class. I shared an entire post about that with pictures, so I'll only share one picture here. Snowmen - on a day when our crazy Ohio weather got up in the 60s. By Friday morning it was below freezing again.

Friday you could see everyone's determination to plow through the entire day's work as early as possible. They just kept going from subject to subject instead of taking breaks to play or read or draw. One thing I finally captured on camera was Emma doing math. At the beginning of this week she asked if she could do her math work on the dry erase board and she has happily done so every day since. 

Oliver is still reading aloud to me every day for 15 minutes. He's more than halfway through The Cat in the Hat. It's always interesting to see how each reader develops differently. He's not independent yet, but he is well on his way.

Also in the reading department now is Caleb. This week we started building words with our letter tiles and he's reading them. The first few days we stuck with a word family each day. Monday was -at words, Tuesday was -op words, and so on. Thursday and Friday we started playing change one letter. We built a word, he read it, and then we started changing one letter at a time to cycle through a lot of words. For example you could go in this order: hat-ham-pam-pat-sat-sit-bit-big-pig-wig-wag-bag-bug. He's figured out blending of these CVC words so it's officially time to pull All About Reading Level 1 out of the attic and start it with him.

Shows and Movies this week:

Last week I shared books we enjoyed, this week I'll focus on shows. We watched these either on DVD or through a streaming option like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
  • Paw Patrol
  • Mythbusters
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass with Johnny Depp (this was a bit hit)
  • Gummi Bears
  • Zootopia
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
  • When Calls the Heart
  • Brain Games
  • Trollhunters
  • Cake Boss
Tonight or tomorrow we plan to introduce the kids to the Disney movie Newsies. It should be interesting to see what they think!

That's all for me this week! I'm linking up at Weekly Wrap Up, Homeschool Blog and Tell, and Homeschool Highlights.


  1. I always love doing the Book of Mormon challenges like that one. Our Stake Pres. challenged us to read it in 30 days and that was a very inspirational month!
    Your snowmen art is a great idea, and what a crazy weather day for it!

    1. I've done 30 day challenges myself but never with little kids along. Definitely inspirational to dive into a book of scripture and plow through seeing the whole span of events.

  2. I love the idea of a little birthday interview. Sounds like you had a very productive week.

  3. what did you think of Trollhunters? The snowmen are cool :)

    1. The kids like it, they compare some of the joking to those you would find in the Shrek movies. I have only caught bits and pieces to be honest.

  4. Thanks for the list of shows/movies to watch while we're sick. :) It's been quite the ride.

    Those snowmen turned out so cute, and we've had wild weather here, too. Snow, sun, freezing rain--temps jumping from 6 to 60 and then back down to single digits again. What a crazy winter.

    Hooray for Caleb reading and for Emma doing her math! Those small moments are actually just huge!!!

  5. Love it! The snowmen are so cute. Love your list of documentaries and shows.
    Blessings, Dawn

  6. I can't believe Mason is 5 years old already! Where does time go?

    The snowmen really are cute!

  7. Cute snowmen! And making your own lava lamps is definitely a fun activity. My kids loved that when we did it years ago. Thanks for linking up at Homeschool Highlights!


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