Saturday, January 29, 2011

Commander College

As most of you know I am the Commander for the Awana Club at our church. This is our 2nd year of club and I was blessed with the opportunity to be able to attend Commander College as it was held here in AZ. What a blessing this 2 and a half day conference was!! There were 25 commanders attending from around AZ . We all got a chance to share and bond and learn from one another. Our Awana missionaries here in Az coordinated the entire thing and they did a wonderful job. We even got to go bowling (which I haven't done in years.)and out to Red Robin for dinner one night. It was so much fun.

The sessions were great with wonderful speakers. I was excited that Larry Fowler was one of the main presenters. He has written several books that I have/am reading....... Raising a Modern Day Joseph and Rock Solid Kids. Two excellent books that speak to my heart. Each session was informative and convicting for me as a leader. I was able to really evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses and came away with a lot of useful information. I was also able to learn more about Awana's history and founders. It is such an incredible program whose central focus is the Gospel above all else.

At the end of the class we were each awarded with a certificate and I am now a Certified Commander ;). I can't wait to attend college 201. I didn't have my camera with me to get any pictures but here are some pictures of happenings at our club.

Our Cubbies


Award time. Joshua is wearing his vest backwards for backwards night.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Co-op this month

I am co-teaching again in co-op this month and I get to be in Joshua and Savannah's class. We decided to do a unit study on Rocks and Minerals. It has been a lot of fun and a great unit for this age group because they LOVE rocks! We based our study from the lap book Rodney Rockhound's Rocks and Minerals from Hands of a Child.

As you can see from this picture even Jadon loves rocks! hehehe :)

The kids got to eat rock candy......

Paint prayer rocks
Make rock candy
Make gem stone bracelets or necklaces
And we even made a way yummy rock dessert that showed how sedimentary rocks are formed.

The last week they put all their work together into a lapbook.
I actually missed that class due to staying home with some sick kids. But Jay took Joshua and Savannah.

Anastasia's class is continuing with their art lessons and critical thinking. For literature they have started reading Caddie Woodland. Anastasia likes this book. They read chapters at home and then do activities in class. They will read this book for two months because it is longer so in March (when I get to teach in there) we will choose a new book.

Alexa only got to go to class once this month. The first week she was home sick then the 2nd week she went and the third week they had to cancel her class because of too many sick kids and moms. Yucky sick bug is going around.
It was another great month of co-op. I am not teaching in February but Jay and I are helping with the Pink Pancake Lunch so watch for future posts on it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Workboxes work for us

Back to school this month and I was wanting to change up the kids work boxes some so it was time to go back through the red cabinet and pull out some fun things. Of course they have their standard math, language and Bible then the rest of these activities are in between.

I pledge allegiance to the flag....

These are two great activities for Savannah and Alexa for practicing letter recognition and making words.

These were for Anastasia and Joshua. I have multiplication and addition flash cards. When Joshua got to the work box with the addition cards in them Anastasia would take a short break from her work and do them with him and then vice-versa when she cam to the multiplication ones in her box. The mat pictured above is laminated and used with a dry erase marker.

We have used these many times before but not for awhile and now I had Savannah use the Think it Through for the first time and she really liked it and did really well.

All the kids love the link it chains I have a gallon sized bag filled with them in about 5 different colors. I have them make patters and they try to make jump ropes lol/ The big buttons are for Natasha to string together.

The kids love rolling the big dice. I have made some laminated sheets for number recognition, addition, multiplication, and fact families. Just a pair of dice can be used in so many ways at all different levels. Then of course ink pads and stamps. This is mainly for Natasha and Alexa. I have a basket full of stamps that they love to use.

Puzzles are always a big hit around here and matching games as well.

I got Anastasia and Joshua a subscription to God's World News so they can take some time through out the week to read the articles.

My crazy girl stringing her buttons.

Alexa matching the animal lotto cards.

Savannah working on a wrap'n' learn.

So this month we are back in the swing of school and plugging away. If you use work boxes what are some extras you are adding in? I would love to hear your ideas.


What a Cutie Patootie! Our little guy is 14 months old now. He is not walking yet, so that makes him the latest to start. But why should he walk when he crawls super fast and everyone wants to carry him all the time.

Jadon loves this little car that he got for Christmas. I thought it was great for about a week we would put him on it and he couldn't get off. So I would put him on it in the middle of the family room and he was "stuck" there for awhile. :) But of course now he can get on and off like a pro and even "drive" it backwards.

Jadon can say "da da" "ma ma" and "mmmm" for food. He is learning to sign "all done" He is a very busy boy who loves to get into everything. He is not much of a napper and will go and go and go all afternoon so by 6:30pm it is bed time! He loves playing peek a boo and roly poly bear. He also copies and mimics all of our facial expressions it is so funny!

Love you buddy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Calendar

Jay and I sat down to get our calendars together and get some things planned out. I joke and say we just turned in our "plates" for "platters". We are going to be quite busy this spring and summer but I am so thankful to God that it all works out and does not overlap to stress us out (too much).

We are making these choices so I am very careful not to complain that we are "soo busy" because that is all you ever hear from people is "I am SO busy" and that drives me crazy. We all make choice how to spend our time. Somethings can't be helped but there are a lot of things we can say "no" to. And say "yes" to the things that are important like kids and family.

What is keeping us busy this spring and summer? Well for starters Jay has now also become the Youth pastor at church and he is also going back to school to start his MDiv (at Golden Gate Seminary). His first two classes are weekend intensives so Fri-Sat every other week for 3 weeks and then 4 weeks. Then he is planning lots of youth activities. This is on top of all his things he already does as the Worship Pastor. The kids are starting their activities; Joshua, baseball (which Jay is coaching), Savannah, gymnastics, Alexa, dance and Anastasia will be doing track but it doesn't start till baseball is over. We have added that to all our other stuff.

This is all just one more reason I am so glad and blessed to be homeschooling. We are all home together in the mornings doing school (including Jay now :) ) I couldn't imagine all going our separate ways day and night. NO WAY!

So dear hubby is going to have to learn to live by his calendar. If we follow the schedule we will be fine and fit everything in including plenty of family time and even a couple of trips!

One thing I am very excited that we have added to our schedule is a daily Bible reading. Friends of ours from church gave us the Bible pictured below as a Christmas gift. It is the Bible in chronological order and divided into 365 readings with devotional insights. It is awesome. Jay is reading it in the morning and I am reading it to the kids at night. So far we have stayed on track (for the most part). I am praying that at the end of this year we can humbly say we have read through the entire Bible in a year.

(I am sure you can find this Bible on Amazon or any Christian book store)

Please pray for us as we begin this new/continuing season in our life. Pray that we will continue to follow God's lead and direction. Pray that we can bless the youth of our church and be a shining light to them. Pray that we hold strong to our family time and not let that get pulled away from us. Pray that we can be a blessing to others in our service and ministry.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday (Tuesday for Us)

My kids absolutely LOVE when I do Muffin Tin Monday (Tuesday for us). I don't do it every week and some weeks there is no theme just whatever I have on hand and can go into the muffin tins!

This week for lunch one day I made some dip and searched the pantry and fridge for food they could stab and dip. I used gingerbread cups and toothpicks and they loved it!

A goal for me is to follow some of the themes and try and get a little more creative but right now I am glad my kids are simple and just get excited when I pull the muffin tins out to use.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Afternoon at the Park

The weather in AZ has been beautiful the last couple of days and so it was time to take the new scooters and head to the park. Jay was gone most of the day registering for his seminary classes (which I will post more about later). So the kids and I loaded up the scooters and headed out.

I pushed Jadon in the stroller and Anastasia helped Natasha on her scooter, which she actually did really well on. It was a beautiful Arizona winter day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Zoo and Zoo lights

Papa Jack and Grandma Donna once again got our family a zoo pass, good for the whole year, for Christmas. We LOVE this gift. We only have to go twice a year for it to pay for itself and we go at least 6-8 times a year. The kids love going to the zoo, it has so much to offer and is a great outing and field trip! And right now there is a new Koala exhibit that we have not seen yet.

We had not been to zoo lights yet so we were going to make a day of it. We went to the zoo in the early afternoon, we brought out lunch with and stayed till the zoo closed at 4:00. It would then re-open at 6:00 for zoo lights. So while it was closed we ran some errands and went to Del Taco for dinner. (You can't beat .39 cent tacos for this crew)

We packed our warm jackets and hats for the evening and the weather was beautiful, chilly but not too cold.

Right now till the end of January they have these great "Polar Slides" The kids loved it. There is an extra cost so they each got to try it just once, but oh so much fun!

Thank you Papa and Grandma! We are very excited to enjoy the zoo for another year!