Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Texas Style Sledding and the Poo Poo King of Harris County

As you probably know, we don't get much snow here in south Texas and I've been mighty jealous looking at everyone's sledding pictures. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and do a little Texas style sledding. By the way, Taven's crying in the background because he wanted every turn to be HIS turn.

Speaking of Taven, I now call him the Poo Poo King of Harris County. He poops, not kidding, about eight times a day. Now I think if my girls pooped this much I would remember. He's almost two. Does your two year old poop this much? It's not some short phase either. He's been doing it for months. My main concern is the whole cloth diaper thing. I've almost given up. I use them rarely. I only have eight diapers and I do not have a dryer. I can't keep up!

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Pants!

I finally got to sewing again! I moved the machine downstairs into my room which has been great. I really don't know why I didn't do it sooner. That's where the ironing board is and I can leave the double doors in my room open while the kids run around outside. Unfortunately, Taven is growing out of my favorite pattern. Guess I'll have to make some Quick Change Trousers for the new baby. Going to try a shirt/dress for the girls next...
Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and Sew Cute Tuesday

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Photos From the Week

We made it to the library! We had planned on going for a nature walk after, but I could tell it was about to rain. So I told the kids to go run in the woods by the library real quick. No trails, just thorns, lol. We did see some rabbits though.
We finally got our shell encyclopedia and were able to identify our shells.
And we made it to the Swap Shop at the zoo to trade them in!

It poured all day Wednesday.
Our t.v. watching was down considerably this week! It worked out wonderfully. When I first told the girls no morning cartoons they quickly created a game where they pretended to watch t.v. Poor souls. However, I will say that their attention spans improved dramatically as far as listening to longer stories goes. So happy!
The t.v. watching game proved to be quite boring and fort building commenced. Taven is never allowed in the forts/palaces/tents, etc. 
We ate healthy! With added olive oil, butter, and salt, of course.

 Well I did go out to eat Chinese Wednesday with my parents and my husband brought home takeout on Friday. But check out my fortunes!
When the weather cleared, we got outside.
 I finally let Naia open up the play dough kit she received for her birthday (in October).
We melted crayons and made some new Texas ones!

See you next week!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Top five goals for the week (keeping it simple) 1/30 - 2/5

So my list of goals helped last week (only the rain prevented me from accomplishing one) so I figure I'll keep it up.

  • Fix camera - Like I said in a previous post, Taven broke my nice camera. Around Thanksgiving he threw it down on the floor, and well, it doesn't work. So now my pictures suck.
  • Read a book, for myself, a novel. (I've been reading nonfiction lately, and mostly skimming).
  • Get rid of plastic bowls and buy 3 bamboo bowls (for kids).
  • Tell stories (made up ones) every day, kids too.
  • Sew something - I really want my girls to wear the nice pretty clothes I make but so far they only want to wear their hand me downs and stuff they picked out from the thrift store (like leotards over and over). I know Taven (and the new baby) will wear what I make but I have mostly girly fabric...I need to find a pattern of something the girls like and make that over and over. Unfortunately, they always want to wear pants and they always want them to be stretchy tights. Not the easiest to sew...and neither are leotards for that matter.

Here's a beautiful skirt you might remember I made last year sometime. They've worn it maybe twice, with a leotard of course.

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    This Moment

    A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. Thanks Soulemama.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Butter...and it's a boy!

    It was a little weird. Yesterday morning we decided to read Around the Year by Elsa Beskow and one page is entitled:
    It was weird because on Monday we went to the local dairy farm to pick up some milk, cream, and stew meat.
    See all that green grass. I think that's why our butter turned out so nice and yellow. Anyhoo, Wednesday, was churning day. 
    I let the kids shake the cream a bit and then I finished up.

    There was no way we were waiting until Friday to bake, so we made some bread.

    I would show you a picture of the bread, but my son broke my (well my mother's) nice camera a while back and the picture is awful.The bread was great! I promise.

    Oh yeah! I went to the doctor yesterday and it turns out I'm having a boy! Yay! Taven will have a little friend. So happy. Also, it solves our room dilemma.  If the baby was a girl we were not sure where her room was going to be. The older girls share a room already and Taven has a room. Other than that we only have our loft area. So we were going to build a wall there and create another room. Don't have to do that! Taven and the newborn can share...after the baby moves out of my room of course.

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    A Kindergarten Curriculum

    The great debate! Does a Kindergartener need a curriculum? In my opinion, no. Not mine at least. A parent knows best concerning their own child. However, I, as a parent, do need a curriculum. I'm not talking about a structured curriculum where Eaden sits down at her desk (she doesn't have one) and learns a certain lesson for a certain amount of time. I'm not even talking about time management such as lessons after breakfast, then lunch, then free time. I'm talking about ideas. Ideas for activities we might do that day. Having them already planned out and ready to go. I'm talking about turning off the t.v. I think that's the main aspect of our Kindergarten curriculum (turn off the t.v.!)...and read more! Maybe we'll have themes, maybe not. Eaden will never know because she loves the activities I plan for her. It is not the so called drudgery associated with compulsory schooling. She doesn't even know she's learning. It's all fun and games to her. I have a plan, but she hasn't a clue.

    So as I think about next "school year" I look to a lot of resources. Parents who do have a "curriculum" are a help as are parents who do not. Everyone has great ideas! It's exciting to homeschool, isn't it!? Teaching Eaden to read is a focus for me, but I figure I will only do as much as Eaden wants. She has her moods where she's all about it (sounding out words and such), but then there are times she likes to stick with what she knows (writing her alphabet and numbers over and over). We'll go with whatever she wants at this point. There is no way a 4 (soon to be 5) year old will learn something they do not want to learn. You can talk, talk, talk, but they do not listen. What point is there in that? If she only wants to read about dinosaurs then so be it. 

    Here's a picture from the other day to make things more interesting. I love it! Notice the t.v. on in the background. We're trying...

    My aunt has "accidentally" bought Taven onesies a couple of times, lol! He loves to model.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Top Ten Goals for the Week 1/23 - 1/29

    I'm afraid this "new" blogging style of mine is going to bore people to death, but it's my way of record keeping...sorry. I will try to add pictures to make it more interesting.
    • Read to the kids a lot and keep track of books - I am a former librarian and avid reader and yet I have a hard time reading to my kids. If there is only one kid, everything is fine. I read, they listen, we talk. If there is more than one (which there always is), they fight about who will sit closest to me, the book is too long or too short, one gets mad when the other points to something and blocks his/her view, etc. Anyone else have this problem?
    • Get to the zoo to trade our shells (they have a swap shop).

    • Turn off the t.v. - This is going to be a hard habit for the kids to break, but we will break it!

    • Pick up holds from the library and return long overdue book to other library system (you can do it!)

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Honest account of where the kids are now - January 20, 2012

    Taven - Age 20 months
         Taven doesn't talk much, certainly not as much as his sisters did as his age. If I ask him to say a word he might try. It usually sounds pretty close to what he is trying to say. On his own he will say "thank you mama/dada," "juice," "hello and bye bye," and "no." He makes some animal sounds when you ask him to. I might be forgetting some things...He will sing songs such as Twinkle Twinkle with the correct melody and made up words. He can point out pictures in a book when asked. For example, if I ask "where is the bear?" he will point to the bear.

    Naia - Age 2 years and 3 months

    Eaden - Age 4 years and 10 months

    I keep losing followers LOL

    I keep losing followers because I keep making my blog public and then private, public and then private. LOL! I can't make up my mind! I changed the name of the blog to The Freedom Five to include myself and the baby on the way. My husband is not included because he is a slave to his job, and therefore NOT FREE! Anyway, I'm going to have this blog become more of a personal homeschool planning tool and a way of record keeping. Hopefully, down the road, it can become an inspiration to others. I find other homeschooling blogs very helpful especially when they include their plans. My oldest will be kindergarten age next year and I need help. What better way to get help than record all my failures (and hopefully successes).

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012


    I've recently come to the conclusion that if my house is not clean when I wake up, then myself and the kids will not get much done. I tried to come up with some sort of cleaning schedule inspired by a Homeschool Day in the Life post at Simple Homeschool (which I cannot seem to relocate).
     The plan kind of worked last week until we went for a nature walk on Thursday,
    another nature walk on Friday,
     and took a trip to the water wall.
    We didn't do much over the weekend (including clean), and again went out for the day Monday. 
    So, now, on Tuesday, the house is a wreck. I have to spend the whole morning cleaning. On top of that, as I am cleaning my son decides to do this
     I stop washing dishes and give him a bath...and if he has a bath, the girls want a bath. What I think needs to be done is a little night cleaning. Make sure the house is ready when we wake up. Thankfully, my kids are young enough that we haven't started "real" homeschooling. I'm still trying to figure everything out especially how our day will go and how I will keep records. I know everything will change when the new baby comes in June too...oh well.