Friday, August 28, 2009


Have you heard of Sue Patrick's workbox system?

One of the ladies on my Weaver email loop mentioned them, and I was intrigued. After reading Ms. Patrick's book - honestly, I was nervous about the extra time it might take, but I also thought it would work well for our family.

I used it with just Punkin for the last few weeks of last year, and have been using it for the first 3 weeks of school with both of them, and it works really well for us.

The basic idea is that you organize the work into boxes.

Because Weaver is multi-level, I have 3 colors of labels - one for her, one for him, and one for both of them.

And then, I arrange their schedule strips for each of them each day.

The pink one is for Punkin. The blue one is for Little Man.

I love the schedule strip. It helps my highly-visual Punkin stay focused, and to refocus her all I have to say is "What's next on your schedule strip?" She does really well seeing what comes next, and knowing how much she has left.

My favorite part is a very subtle shift of the responsibility for finishing her schoolwork - it's now hers. And she has taken ownership of that. I definitely still help her with most of the boxes, but I'm helping her complete her work instead of her doing what I need her to do. It is a subtle difference in how it looks, but I love it.

It is more work. No doubt about it. But it is worth it because I'm so much more focused on them and relaxed during our school time. Actually, it probably isn't more work - it's just that I do more of it ahead of time instead of on the fly during our day. And because Little Man is taking my attention when she is working independently now, there is not as much "prepare on the fly" time in our school day anyway.

'Course this is still Little Man's favorite thing to do:

Gotta love that boy and his cars!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Front yard visitor

We have a snake that lives in our front yard. Punkin is working on a speech about him, so we were in the front yard yesterday trying to get a picture of him. We never did find the snake, but look at what we did find:

Thursday, August 20, 2009


This is our 3rd week back at school, and we are deep in a long history unit going through U.S. History from Washington to Lincoln.

We are currently studying Thomas Jefferson's presidency, and one of the topics was the invention of the steam locomotive in 1804. I wanted to build a little steam engine, but it just wasn't possible to do by myself. My mechanical ability is pretty laughable.

But, I can do crafts! And I found this really cool printable at the Family Fun website, and we made these steam engines today.

Aren't they cute?? (yeah... I'm a girl. *wink)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Big Girl

I'm so proud of my Punkin.

I have 2 extra kiddos here today and my daughter has been so helpful. She is cheerful, kind to the little ones, not whining about things "not being fair." And right now, she is giving the littlest one a mohawk.

I love that girl!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When it's really late...

It's late. There is already no way that I'm getting up for my morning workout, so I might as well stay up a little later and blog.

'Cause I miss blogging. There just never seems to be enough time to write out what I'm thinking.

So, here's my list of what's been going on lately. I'm hopeful that if I can "catch up", maybe I'll get back in the habit of posting every other day or so. Check back soon!

1. We've started school. We started a big history unit and have already learned about George Washington and John Adams.

Did you know that the White House has a dentist office?

2. I've decided to run a 5K. I'm on Week 3 of my training, and I'm really excited about how it is going. And even more excited that it looks like I might actually be able to do it.

3. Little Man is reading! He is doing so well with his Bob books. He is enjoying school, and begs to do his math workbook.

4. Punkin is doing 3rd grade work, and I've been amazed at her this year already. Her attention span is much longer and she is caring about the quality of her work, which makes teaching her so much easier.

5. The kids are full on in the bickering stage. They still get along remarkably well, but Little Man's answer to every perceived offense is to scream at the top of his lungs. Punkin responds by trying to outscream him. It makes me want to leave the building.

6. WeaverDad's job is... uncertain these days. The company is unsure whether they will find or be able to procure the funds for the next phase. One day it is on, one day it is off. We are not really worried about this job going away - having been through 2 layoffs, we are not unprepared. He even has a couple of good possibilities to pursue. But the not knowing is a little unsettling. I'd appreciate your prayers that we will continue to be secure in the knowledge that we are engraved on God's hand and He will not be unconcerned with little ole us.

7. I'm starting a new bible study in the fall. I've been going to one associated with our church, but I'm the only homeschool mom and now that Punkin is 8, she is starting to feel like there is no one her age there and she feels lonely. So, I'm changing to a Community Bible Study that will have a class for both of the kids. I've heard that there are a quite a few homeschoolers there and that the classes are amazing. I'm excited for Punkin and Little Man! The topic this fall is Revelation - just a little light intro to the group. Um... yeah. I'm a little nervous and also excited to study the book of the bible that I probably know the least about.

7. I think I'm going to start a "God-sighting" topic on my blog. At VBS this year, the leaders talked about "God-sightings" as times when you knew God was working things out in your life. I tend to be a control freak and have trouble just letting things work out on their own.

I've been doing Beth Moore's Esther study, and she talks a lot about how Esther just did the next thing, and she really had no idea how things would turn out. God asks us to do the next thing, and trust Him to see the big picture and watch out for that. We don't have to make it all work out, we just need to do the next thing. Freeing!! And incredibily hard for me.

Lately, I have intentionally tried to let some things go, and I've been blown away by the result. They have been relatively trivial; in fact, extremely trivial by most standards, but still made me feel so ... cared for, I guess is the right phrase. And I don't want to forget them.

Here's an example:
WeaverDad was traveling recently and I decided to take the kids to a local art festival. It was a perfect day for it - the weather was beautiful, we had nothing on our schedule, and the kiddos were well rested. I wanted to take some cash with me, but I don't have cash. Ever. I usually raid the husband's pockets on the rare occasions I need some. But, as I mentioned, he was out of town.

So, I raided the kids' allowance money stash. Which is money, but it's all in ones. So, I grabbed a wad of ones and was concerned about how this was going to work. Typically, at these types of events, I don't want to carry a purse around, but I'm wondering how I'm going to carry a wad of ones in my pocket without becoming a pickpocket magnet. I started to stress about it, and tear the house apart looking for any spare forgotten birthday money. But, that would take time and I had already stalled the kids for a couple of hours doing "just one more thing."

So, I took a deep breath, told myself it would all work out, and went with my big ole wad of ones.

It was already lunch time so we stopped at McDonalds.
Just as it was time for us to place our order, the guy yells to his manager "I need ones!"

Well, guess who just happened to have a wad of them?? So we traded, and it worked out great for everyone -me, the kids, the guy, the manager, and the people behind us in line who didn't have to wait for the manager to exchange the money.

Have you had any "God-sightings" lately?