Saturday, September 22, 2012

Resources and memory work CC week 2

We are on our second week of Classical Conversations and love it so much!  It is amazing how much my girls love to practice their memory work songs and go to their CC class!  Here are the resources I am using this week.   I will be adding to them as we read our books and decide on our favorites.

Week 2:
 Timeline:  We are doing THESE motions to the CC song and the girls love them!  We are also listening to the corresponding Mystery of History audiobook and reading books at the library relating to the topics are the girls doing their motions: 

Ten Commandments (same as last week):
hand motions to go along with the CC song to help memorize. I slightly changed a few of them to suit us better. - a great coloring book for only about $1.50.  It explains the ten commandments in easy language as well as quoting the verse in the same version as our CC song.  Here are the girls doing their song: 
Classical Conversations History weeks 1 and 2: Ten Commandments song from Meagan DeLong on Vimeo.

Geography:  I love the song we found on CC Connected and it really helps the girls remember all the locations:  
Classical Conversations weeks 1 and 2 geography from Meagan DeLong on Vimeo.

Prepositions: We are doing the fun CC preposition song with these motions and continuing to read books containing prepositions for the girls to find.

Skip Counting: Great skip counting mazes and worksheets!  The CC songs really help my girls as well: 
Classical Conversations week 1 Skip Counting and Grammar from Meagan DeLong on Vimeo.

Latin:  I downloaded a chant from CC Connected that h as really helped the girls learn the noun cases:

Classical Conversations week 1 latin and science from Meagan DeLong on Vimeo.

Don't forget to check out 
Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Upfor more great CC ideas!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Day of Classical Conversations!

We were so excited to start Classical Conversations last Friday!  The girls got up early and got dressed even before I had breakfast ready.  They chose their "traditional" cinnamon roll first day of school breakfast and we quickly headed out the door.

My Big Preschooler and Kindergartener!
 Mark snapped this picture of them while I was still getting ready...  It made me laugh because Abbi was still brushing her teeth.
 Karlie was the only one who would pose alone for the first day but I sure do love that big smile!!!

Karlie's thoughts on the first day of school: (Karlie is currently in the toddler class with Abbi, but after Christmas we will move her up to Karis' class.  She could easily do everything Karis is doing and learns the same material at home, but we thought Abbi could use the help since she had never been in a nursery before and we didn't quite have the money to put Karlie in CC for the whole year.)
"I liked playing with the toys most of all.  Especially the food and the babies.  I liked to play with Abbi the most.  I loved playing with Miss Karla.  I really loved doing snacks.  I loved playing "escape from the boys" with Meri (a new friend).

Karis' thoughts on the first day of CC:
"I had fun.  I made friends with Sarah and Meri and another Sarah.  Meri and I were most of all playing "escape from the boys."  My favorite thing we did in class was take apart the beans.  I liked my teacher.  She was wearing purple."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yes, it's true!

It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I put my big girls in matching shirts and took a picture like this:
 And now my sweet Abbi has become one of the big girls and can wear her own shirt!
 She is quite proud of her new shirts and has no idea how those words will change her future...

But I cannot wait to see what a great big sister she will be!

The baby is due exactly on Karis' birthday (May 22) and she thinks that is ever so exciting!  I'm about 4 1/2 weeks along and in that wonderful "everything I love tastes absolutely divine but everything I hate makes me gag" stage.  If prior trends continue, I have approximately 10 days before morning sickness hits.  Let the batch freezer cooking commence!

So far the names suggested include characters from favorite books:  Eliza Jane or Alice from Farmer Boy or Lulu or Bumblebee Boy from Ladybug Girl.  They haven't quite made it onto the approved list, so we are waiting for the next read-aloud to find a replacement :)

The girls are determined that Abbi move into their room and they get bunk beds, which is probably what will happen unless God miraculously provides a bigger house for us.  But moving Abbi will not take place until right before the baby is born and she will stay by herself for nap time.

I'm kind of thinking about not finding out the gender of this baby until the birth...  I know that the odds of having a boy are not in our favor so we might as well keep up the lacking suspense for a while longer, right?  :)  And in case you are wondering, we did not want to have another baby just because we are hoping for a boy this time. It would be great fun to see what a boy of ours would be like but we love our girls and would be every bit as happy with another one.

I know many of you might think we are crazy for having 4 little ones so close in age but we are very excited and know that the Lord will provide for our needs.  These children are all gifts from the Lord and even though we know that this means we will live the sleep-deprived, penny-pinching, crazy life for  quite a while longer, we feel incredibly blessed and can't wait to meet this new little one!

Here is a video of how we told the girls... Mark and I made them a cute little book that shared the good news, but even after reading it, they did not understand that it was true!  So funny!  But I loved seeing how excited they got when they finally understood.

I went to take a picture of them in their matching big sister shirts and Karis asked me to video her sharing the news.  So here are the girls talking about it once again.  Warning -- she is quite the rambler but if you make it through to Karlie talking it is pretty funny to hear why she thinks it is a boy...  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Abbi Grace at 19 months!

 19 months is such a fun age!!!!  This girl has started jibber-jabbering all the time and tells the funniest nonsense monologues!  It just makes my day to listen to her!  And she definitely wants an audience, let me tell you.... if I am not paying attention to her story, she will yell, "MOMMA!!!" over and over and pull at my shirt until I look at her and tell her I am listening and then she will just smile sweetly and proceed with quite a story that I really wish I could understand.  So entertaining but we definitely need to work on patience!  Her "real" words have also taken off and it is fun to hear her pick up new ones everyday.  She will repeat just about anything you say and just grin so big because she loves to be able to talk.  I just love this stage!

The poor girl got gypped with the sign language stage because with 3 little ones running around, I just couldn't remember to teach them to her.  So Abbi decided to make up her own most important ones.  If she looks like she has a crooked neck and has her hand between her neck and shoulder, that is because she desperately wants her beloved softy blanket.  And if she looks like she is devouring her fingers, that just means that she is thirsty and wants her sippy.  Poor thing.  But very cute.  I'm just hoping the softy request doesn't mess up her posture too much.  Good thing I love my chiropractor!

Between giving up the paci and two big traveling trips that messed up her naps, Abbi gave us quite the fit with her sleeping the past month.  But she is back on track now and even decided to keep that morning nap!!!  Wooohooo!  I cannot tell you how much easier it is to do school with the big girls than when she is awake.  And I am not planning to take any more trips for quite a while.  The girls and I are loving a great routine and I have no desire to mess it up anytime soon!

Abbi seems like such a big girl now rather than a baby and of course she definitely thinks that she is! She tries to do every stunt that Karis and Karlie show her and even wants to help walk the dog (who could pull her down in a moment if she bolted).  She is quite stubborn and we are having to buckle down with discipline this month.  She doesn't care as much if I discipline her but is highly offended if it is her precious Daddy!  She is still very obsessed with her Daddy and yells his name all day long.  But she knows that he is at work and just grins at me when I ask her where he is so I guess she just likes to talk about him loudly. 

Abbi talking from Meagan DeLong on Vimeo.

She is super affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses.   as long as she gets her naps, she is the happiest little thing you will ever meet.  She walks around singing and dancing just like her big sisters.  I love it!  And boy do we all adore sweet Abbi Grace!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Preparing for Classical Conversations!

Our Classical Conversations group is getting off to a later start than most.  Friday will be our first day and we are all just counting down the days!  I've been trying to gather my resources so that I will be ready to answer all the girls' questions about what they are learning and also have fun activities to go along with their memory work.  I have several friends embarking on Classical Conversations this year as well, so I thought that I would share my resources.  My plan is to try to give my girls a brief understanding of the topics before going to CC so they they will have an idea of what they are memorizing.   My biggest way of doing that is by reading books to them.  I probably ordered about 70 different books from the library that relate to what we will be studying.  We have just started to read through them this week, so I will be daily adding to my list the books that we like the most.  This will probably be an ongoing post for several weeks.

I decided to go ahead and invest in the audio version of Mystery of History.  It is kind of pricey, but well worth it for my my girls.  They listen to audiobooks everyday during nap time so this is an easy way to give them background knowledge on everything they are studying.  I love the thoroughness and Biblical perspective of MOH.  (I came close to ordering Story of the World, but thought that MOH was much better at giving the Biblical perspective and that is important at this stage of my girls' learning.  Once we have established a Biblical worldview and they are old enough to evaluate literature and think more for themselves, I will probably order SOTW for them to listen to as well.  But since they are at a stage where they simply accept everything they hear, I decided on MOH.)

One of the best resources I have found for CC is The Half-A-Hundred-Acre Wood blog.  The author constantly blogs about CC resources and hosts a weekly link-up for other bloggers to share.
Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Up
Week 1:
Ten Commandments -- hand motions to go along with the CC song to help memorize. I slightly changed a few of them to suit us better
-- a great coloring book for only about $1.50.  It explains the ten commandments in easy language as well as quoting the verse in the same version as our CC song.

Timeline:  My girls are extremely familiar with most of the Biblical events so we are not spending as much time on them as we are on new topics.  We are focusing primarily on Egypt this week.  We are doing THESE motions to the CC song.

Creation -- read from children's Bibles and listen to MOH, The Story of Creation by Rae
Flood -- Read from children’s bibles and listen to MOH, Life In the Great Ice Age by Oard
Tower of Babel -- read from children’s Bibles and listen to MOH
Mesopotamia and Sumer -- MOH
Egyptians -- Usborne Time Traveler, MOH, Miss. Frizzle’s Adventures: Ancient Egypt, The Egyptian Cinderella by Climo
Indus River Valley Civilization -- MOH
Minoans and Mycenaens --  MOH

Prepositions --  I explained the definition with a doll and then asked them to tell me the prepositions when I read them in the following books.  I was surprised at how quickly hey figured it out and could guess the prepositions!
Go Dog Go!  By P.D. Eastman
Behind the Mask by Ruth Heller (more for older children but my girls enjoyed it also)
Oh, Look! by Patricia Polacco
Joey and Jet by James Young
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! by Rosen

We are also doing the fun CC preposition song with these motions

Classifications of living things -- there are several printables on CC Connected that I have for my girls as well as a puzzle.
Shoe Classification as suggested on THIS post -- the girls had great fun with this!
What is the Animal Kingdom byKalman
Tree of Life:  The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth by Strauss

Great song to learn to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic  (You have to scroll down the page a bit to see it but there are other good ideas to read while you scroll.)

Science Experiment extras: One Bean by Rockwell supplemented the experiment nicely

Geography:  I downloaded a cute little song from CC connected that described the parts of the map we need to memorize and we sing it while pointing to the map and outline the points of interest.

Latin: Say the noun cases with different voices (Nominative - hands over mouth and say loudly, Genitive - singing, Dative - high voices,Accusative - stern voice with finger pointing, Ablative - clapping to rhythm of words. (thanks for the idea, Urban Momma)

Skip Counting: Great skip counting mazes and worksheets

Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Up


My best friend from high school lives far away now and has a little daughter who is 4 years old and is homeschooling this year.  She recently asked if Karis would like to be pen-pals with her to help practice their writing.  To say that my girls were excited would be a huge understatement!  We had just finished reading "Boxes for Katja"(and our library actually has it on CD so the girls listened to it at least 25 times) so the timing could not have been more perfect.  Karis got her first letter in the mail on Saturday and spent a long time writing her back.  Karlie also wanted to join in the fun, so both of the girls made pictures for their new friend.  Karis has asked repeatedly to check the mail ever since and is ever so excited!

Here is a picture of the girls with Nadia's letter and everything they are sending back to her:

Karis dictated the letter and I wrote most of the sentences but left blanks for her to fill in the important words.
We are so excited about our new pen-pal!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby's first soccer class and ice skating!

This Saturday was pretty special.  Not only did we start the fall sports session at Mark's work, but Abbi was finally old enough to join the parent-child class!  It was so funny to watch her excitement (and stubbornness when she wanted Daddy to give her something he was using to coach).   Mark and I had a lot of fun with her while the big girls did their class right beside us.  I didn't get any pictures because I was chasing Abbi around while Mark tried to keep control of 15 18-24 month old kids :)  But once she (and the other kids) get the hang of all the games I will probably let him have her and step back to take pictures.  

Next, we had to hustle and change clothes super fast and run up to the ice house for skating lessons!!  The girls were pretty surprised at how hard it was to skate on ice, but they had fun and want to do it again next week.  The big lesson for the first day was how to "fall well" and get back up and they definitely practiced that one over and over!  But by the end of class, they were moving around a little bit.  Karis said that Karlie got the hang of it better than she did but she was still a very good sport :)

We brought warm clothes for the big girls, but not for Abbi and I so we couldn't stay and watch for very long.  Next week we will bundle up and take more pictures!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Mark's family took us to Gatlinburg for Labor Day weekend and we sure had fun!  It happened to be the first iphone trip; I hardly even pulled out my camera!  Almost all of these pictures were taken with Mark's phone.

Downstairs there were movie theatre seats and the girls decided they were perfect for "playing school." Caroline and Karlie were so excited that Lily and Karis allowed them turns at being "teacher."  Karlie told me "they even obeyed me!"
They were tickled about the apples that Nina put on the table and they could get whenever they wanted:

 We celebrated Nina's birthday and everyone was so excited about the ice cream cakes!

Caroline wanted to wear her gymnastic outfit....

And Abbi wanted to wear everyone's goggles:

 The big girls were finally old enough to go on a fun trips with the Daddies during naptime.  Karis was very excited about riding with Daddy on the water bumper boats, but Karlie stayed on shore with Papa.

They rode on a train!

 and gave a hug to this cute guy:

The kids enjoyed some pool time, but we did not take too many pictures...

Tired out and ready for lunch!

Karis and Karlie missed the hiking trip last year because I made them take a nap and they had been talking about it ever since!  So they were very excited to be a part of the team this year!

Nina and all her big grand-kids:

We love Aunt Mel!

 Karlie was brave enough to do the merry-go-round with Karis:

They even enjoyed the gondola ride up and down the mountain!

We sure do love our cousins!