Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Canine Companions Dog Fest

As you know, Caleb recently found out that he will be receiving a Skilled Companion dog through Canine Companions for Independence. CCI is currently building a new training facility here in Texas. We are raising money for CCI as part of the their Dog Fest Walk'n Roll. You can click the link below to make a donation. Caleb would love to have your support.

Monday, August 17, 2015

First day pics, homeschool style!

We officially started our 2015-2016 homeschool year today. I can't believe this is my third year to homeschool. Time flies folks.

Us homeschoolers have to take the obligatory first day of school photos too....even when our kids don't want to continue this tradition. I will make them hold up these signs when they are in highschool even if they roll their eyes in the photo.

I'm so excited to see how he grows this year. Last year really laid the foundation for reading and writing so I think he is really going to take off. 

First he turns 10 years old, now he's a 4th grader. Stop it.

Just like last year, I had the boys fill out a "first day" questionnaire. They will do this same questionnaire on the last day of school to see how things have changed.

The first day of school is always a nail biter. I never really know how it's going to go. Let's face it, I've let these kids vegetate the last few weeks. There has been a lot of video games, television, and other mindless entertainment. We've just been lazy and having fun. So I kinda threw them back into a routine today without a lot of warning. Surprisingly, they did great! We got off to a great start this morning and both boys had all of their work done by lunch. Truly a perfect homeschool day. 

Given their awesomeness and complete cooperation this morning...they got a sweet treat this afternoon. They deserved it.

I got the "first day of grade" signs here.
I got the "first day of" questionnaire here

And for those of you who are interested, here are our homeschool curriculum choices for this year:

I loved, loved, loved TOG last year and have no plans to switch. This will be Caleb's main curriculum. I will pull Benjamin in on some of the activities and lessons as well.

Essentials in Writing
I discovered this complete grammar and writing curriculum at a homeschool conference last spring. I loved it. It is a DVD driven curriculum with a workbook.

This is their first grade curriculum. By the end of this year Benjamin should be a solid reader and writer. This will be my last year to use MFW as Benjamin will be using TOG full time next year. 

I'll be doing this with Benjamin because MFW doesn't seem to address grammar directly and I love the ease of FLL. I used Level 1 and Level 2 with Caleb and had great success. 

No changes here, Caleb is doing Gamma and Benjamin is doing Alpha. 

Noeo Science: Chemistry (by Logo Press)
We did Noeo biology last year and enjoyed it. This curriculum has a Charlotte Mason approach with reading and daily notebooking. There are also experiments, which the boys love. I like the simplicity of this curriculum. 

That pretty much covers our core subjects. We will continue to do plenty of nature walks this year as well. The boys will also do a monthly book club and the one day a week co-op/Mother's Day Out they did last year. 

I feel excited and blessed! I can't wait to see what our school year brings. 

Benjamin and Basketball

Benjamin played on a basketball team this summer. It was a small team with a short season. Benjamin has pretty much grown up around basketball since Caleb has played for years. This was the first time we signed Benjamin up to play on a team.

Things were a bit bumpy for Benjamin, I'll admit. Benjamin likes to do things perfect and if he feels like he isn't doing a good job or he doesn't understand the directions, he gets upset. I've seen this play out in our homeschool day as well. 

He definitely had moments when I could tell that his confidence was struggling and he wasn't feeling so sure of himself. He struggled a bit. We had to push him to keep going and we began to see more and more confidence and good moments.

He looks so little! He was one of the smaller kids on the team.

He is very proud of his medal. 
I'm proud of him for pushing through even when he didn't really want to. 

Monday, August 10, 2015


So I am officially the mom of a ten year old! Ten, ya'll. I can't even. My squishy baby turned 10 years old yesterday and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all that. Caleb didn't want a party this year. His request: Hawaiian Falls and Pizza. Easy breezy.

We hit up Hawaiian Falls on Saturday.

He woke up Sunday to presents, his favorite thing.

I think he is happy with his gifts.

A decorated table.

The traditional birthday donuts.

 For Caleb's first birthday we asked family to contribute some kind of keepsake to his time capsule. I set the date to open the capsule on his 10th birthday. At the time that seemed like an eternity away. I couldn't even begin to picture my then squishy baby as a 10 year old. 2015 was a year I couldn't even fathom. Then I blinked....and it was August 9th, 2015. My baby was 10.

The contents of the time capsule. 
It was fun to see what family had put in. There were several notes, some pictures, money, and all of his NICU bands. Everything was really thoughtful and sweet. 

The infant cap from the NICU still fits!!


Happy birthday to my favorite 10 year old.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Port Aransas: Day Five, Last Day

We tried to squeeze as much fun as possible into our last day at Port A. We hit the beach that morning and had the best beach day of our entire visit.

Ahh...one last cup of coffee on the balcony. I really need an ocean in my backyard. 

We practically had the beach to ourselves.

This kid cracks me up with his snorkel goggles. 

He's part fish or something. 

Seriously, he barely come up for air.

Looking at the shells he collected. He was so proud of his collection.

Benjamin found 2 living sand dollars. I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like it.

The back of the sand dollars. Did you know these are actually a type of sea urchin?

We also found a ton of hermit crabs our last day. The boys were so excited. We hadn't seen a crab all week so we were tickled to find so many.

We probably found at least 20 crabs. We watched them for a little while and then put them back to the water. 


Laughing gull and Sandpiper. 

After a few hours of beachin' fun, we got cleaned up and headed to town for one last dinner out.

Name that movie.

Caleb's foot long corn dog.

My boys.

That's it! A full week of Port A fun. We had an amazing time and we are so thankful that we had the opportunity to go. We just may have to make this an annual trip.

In case you missed it, or just want to relive our Port A experience, here are all the Port A posts.

Port Aransas: Day Five, Bird watchin' and Alligator spottin'

Apparently the coast is the place to be for hard-core bird lovers. We went to the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center for a guided bird tour.

We were on the look-out for gators.

Not the gator we were hoping to see.

The center was fully accessible which was so nice. 

A Purple Gallinule.
Caleb was so excited. He knew exactly what this bird was the moment he saw it. He's never seen it in person, only in his bird books. 

We also got to see Roseate Spoonbills and White Ibis.

An American Coot with her babies. Caleb was beside himself over this. He loved seeing all of these birds. He impressed some of the hard-core bird lovers that were on the tour with his bird knowledge.

We actually did see an alligator in the wild. It was so cool.

This guy was right below our feet. We could have touched him...but we didn't. Obviously.

After our birding tour, we headed into town for shopping, lunch, and ice cream.

Can you find daddy?

Playing pool after lunch.

We ended our day with a quick swim in the condo pool.

Stay tuned...only one more day left!!
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