Friday, May 29, 2015

Tapestry of Grace: Year One, Unit 4

We have officially completed our first year of Tapestry of Grace. You should know by now how much I have enjoyed this curriculum. It has blessed us so much and I can't wait to dive into Year Two in the fall.

Unit 4 took us through Ancient Rome. I will admit that we kinda blazed through this last unit. It's the end of the school year, our minds are mush and we are just trying to push through. We are like the little engine that could.....I think I can, I think I can....

Since we just wanted to chug along quickly on this home stretch, we didn't tackle as many activities.

We did make our own crayon etchings.
First the boys colored firmly on white paper.

Then painted over the coloring with black paint. Let it dry.

After the black paint dries you can scratch it off to make a design. You can see the crayon underneath.

We made a simple catapult. Notice Caleb sneaking a marshmallow into his mouth.

These are Roman Standards. The Ancient Roman army always had a standard bearer that would carry something like these while marching into battle. 

We made a Roman aquadect using paper towel tubes and tin foil. The boys loved this because it was messy and wet.

Benjamin made bridges to support the aqueduct using his connecting blocks. You can't see it in the photo but we even had a public bath house at the bottom of the aqueduct, complete with Play Mobil figures in a tupperware container. 

We did some other activities that I just didn't get photos of. I was slacking by the end. We studied the city of Pompeii and we made a volcano. We also created our own currency with paper.  

And we completed our fourth and final lapbook of the year. 

Even though we moved quickly through the unit, it was still a rich experience. I have learned right alongside the boys this entire year. I have so enjoyed going through ancient history. It has truly been fascinating. I can't wait to journey through the Middle Ages in Year Two of Tapestry!

To see more about our Tapestry of Grace experience:

Another homeschool year wraps up!

McLelland Academy wrapped up another successful year of homeschool today.  Woot-Woot! Even us homeschoolers take the obligatory end of the year photos....

A little photo blooper for your amusement. Brought to you by Caleb's hand.

On the first day of school back in August, I had the boys fill out these sheets.

Benjamin's questionnaire on the first day of school.

Benjamin's questionnaire on the last day of school. 
Did you see what he wants to be when he grows up? A service dog trainer! Oh my, I love that boy.

Caleb's questionnaire on the first day of school.

Caleb's questionnaire on the last day of school.

The boys had completely forgotten that we filled out these sheets at the beginning of the year. They loved going back and reading their answers and seeing how things have changed over the last school year. Benjamin's favorite food is still mac 'n cheese, and Caleb's is still pizza. Some things never change. 

I made a certificate for each.

It really has been a great year. I was nervous about conquering Kindergarten with Benjamin because teaching him how to read and write terrified me. Turns out I didn't need to be scared. He has made so much progress this year and it has been a privilege to play a role in his learning. He is a busy boy so I really had to learn how to let him go at his own pace and give him lots of breaks in between. We found a good system that kept both of us happy. 

I loved doing Tapestry of Grace with Caleb (and Benjamin) this year. Choosing that curriculum was so intimidating but I'm so glad I listened to my gut and jumped in with both feet. I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to journey through Year Two of Tapestry of Grace next year. 

Even though we did wrap up our main curriculum for the year, we will have "mini summer homeschool". The boys will continue to do the 3 R's (reading, writing, and arithmetic) throughout the summer. I have learned that taking long breaks from those three things is a really bad idea.

For review and for those of you that care, here are the different curriculum we used this year:

Math-U-See Beta and started Gamma (for Caleb)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fun at MeMe's

We headed to MeMe's over the long weekend. We were overdue for a visit since we haven't been since Christmas. The boys love it there. MeMe has a huge backyard with a tank. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate most of the weekend. We had storms off and on but managed to catch a few moments of clear weather.

MeMe has a huge wind chime that Benjamin just couldn't resist. He had to give it a good shake at every opportunity.

I'm getting this look from him a lot lately. I'm not sure what it is. It's like a smile and a smirk mixed together. Notice his hair isn't spiky. So he's decided he wants to "grow it out". I don't know what that means exactly and I have no idea what to do with his hair in the meantime. 

A little bow and arrow shootin'.

After some heavy rain, we headed down the street to the storm drain to watch the water flow.

The boys had a blast racing leaves down the rushing water.

 After watching a small curbside waterfall...we decided to check out a BIG waterfall.
Crazy fast water just rushing over the dam. We have had so much rain recently. Benjamin tried to throw rocks into the water. This is as close as I would let him get.

Daddy and Caleb headed to the top to see the dam from up high.

I don't often take photos of food but I just had to for this. What is "this" you ask. This is a funnel cake sundae! Yummy funnel cake smothered in ice cream and sauces. Yum ya'll. 

Both boys were quite smitten with MeMe's cat. Benjamin pretty much followed this cat around everywhere. 

Caleb got a cap gun at the Dollar Store. This is a boy that hates loud noises and these cap guns are loud! I guess he was cool with it since he was in control of the noise. He had a blast.

My boys.

Free range Benjamin. He likes having room to roam....and run.

A little fun over the water.

My little tree climber. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dallas Jr. Wheelchair Mavericks Video

Caleb's wheelchair basketball team ended their season recently. We now have our Saturday mornings free for the next few months!

Here is a little video I put together for the team:

Sand Sculptures, oh my!

Last week the boys got a sneak peek look at an upcoming sand sculpture exhibit in our area. The Wizard of Oz was the theme. The sculptures were quite impressive, although I think it would have helped if the boys had actually seen or read The Wizard of Oz. They weren't familiar with the story at all. Mom fail. I guess I'll be getting the book from the library.

Benjamin politely said "No thank you" when asked if he wanted to stand next to the Tin Man for a photo.

So...this is made out of sand. Sand. 

It was dark in the exhibit tents so it was difficult to get good photos. But I think you can get an idea of how impressive these creations are.

The boys weren't too sure about this fellow. I had to get at least one photo that shows the size of these sand sculptures. They were huge.

Again, this was made out of sand! I have no idea how you even go about making such a thing. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015


A few pictures from WCMX this past week. As usual, both boys had a blast on the ramps.

Practicing wheelies. He's kinda a pro at this already. He scares the mess out of me daily.

My little scooter boy. 

He's getting ready to sail down this ramp. I just close my eyes and hold my breath.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


We have been fighting tightness in Caleb's legs since he had tethered cord surgery 3 years ago. This was never a problem before but has been an ongoing issue since. His legs are never relaxed. Never. Even at night when he is sound asleep his legs are tight, so tight that I can't move them. It's like his nerves are constantly firing. The nerves just fire and his leg will shoot out uncontrollably. We have done everything we can to keep his legs from getting contractures. I use his KAFO's daily to get his legs as straight as I can for at least a couple of hours each day. I feel like I'm fighting a battle I can't win. I've noticed things have gotten just a little bit worse in recent weeks.

This cute toe is moving forward for some reason. The other toes are kinda curling downward. His big toe is super's weird. 

The right leg is crazy tight. This is as straight as it will go and this photo was taken AFTER I had him stretched out with his KFAO's for two hours. 

While the tightness isn't new, I do think it is worse even with everything we are doing to stop it. Caleb has even noticed that the tightness is worse and it is starting to bother him. Of course tethered cord is my first thought. So, I called his neurosurgeon and he said that tethered cord is a possibility. Caleb will be having a full MRI on June 3rd to see how things are looking. We'll go from there. 

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