Friday, May 20, 2016

Hodge Podge Post

I thought I would just pop in with a little post of  little bits and pieces of what we've been up to.  There are NO pictures at all in this post!  Yah - boring!  I love posts with lots of pictures too...but there you have it. You can't have everything.  Ha!

  • Currently, we are in our last stretch of the school year.  We will most probably be working right up to the end of June, but then will enjoy a full two months off from the usual routine!  Hooray!  With this pregnancy whizzing by at an alarming speed, I will need all of that time to get my to-do list checked off!

  • Speaking of school, Meg is doing SUPER in her reading lessons.  She is a sharp as a tack and finds processing the sounding out and saying the word the "fast way" very easy.  We use "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" for our reading curriculum, and find that is is an invaluable resource.   

  • Amy recently sat her level 7 piano grading for the Royal Irish Academy.  Any mothers of musical kids will know, that the week before exams, you hear each piece and scale HUNDREDS of times!  It is lovely of course...but can grate on ones nerves a little in the end!  Despite having a great exam practice and lesson beforehand, she was still very nervous!  Amy feels as though she has passed, but was disappointed to feel that it wasn't her best performance.  It is normally a 2-3 week wait for the results to come.  Hopefully then she will be satisfied with her result. :)
  • Recently, I have been getting to grips with online scrapbooking.  It has been fun, but SUPER stressful!!!  I hopped about from site to site, based upon recommendations, but couldn't settle on a program that I was happy with.  Then I found Photobox!  It is a simple program, that *I* think is actually easy to use.  I haven't ordered anything yet, but am going back through our years (with the help of the blog) and doing a page or two at a time.  A lengthy process, but it will be well worth the time investment, when we have a physical copy of our photographs/memories, instead of here on this blog, which may crash or be closed sometime.  

  • In the last few weeks, we have implemented a new family schedule. It has been working very well!  I am surprised actually, as I have tried the same scheduling system a couple of times now, and it has never really worked out.  Even though, we are generally busy and productive people, chaos was reigning supreme, and it was becoming obvious that, that needing to be fixed!  Encouraged by several posts on "Large Families on Purpose", I once again tried the Maxwell MOTH system.  However, this time, I did not radically change our normal routine.  I have the kids and myself getting up as the same time as usual and also allowing the time limits to be more along what the DO take, rather than what I would LIKE them to take!  Hahaha!  For example, in the past, I always scheduled for dinner to take a half hour, whereas now, I have scheduled a full hour.  I would like it to take less, but our little kids are sloooooooow eaters and we do like to chat and relax at the dinner table.  Making a more reasonable time allowance takes the pressure off of everyone and allows the scheduling for be more successful, in my opinion.  I may blog about this topic in greater detail soon.  

  • As for pregnancy news - I just blogged about the news of our finding out that the baby is a boy!  Aside from that, all is going well with the pregnancy and he is growing well and seems to be a chilled out sort of chap, if his kicking pattern is anything to go by.  Very much like big sister Abigail.  :)  As for me?  I am having a tiny bit of discomfort due to varicose veins, but not much.  I they think they LOOK worse than how they actually feel.  Also, I am feeling quite a lot of sciatic pain.  Last week, I visited a chiropractor for the first time.  However, I was disappointed to still be in pain when I do pretty much any kind of bending work: gardening, vacuuming....etc.  I am due for another visit tomorrow and am hoping that this time, she can work a little more on my pelvis.  I *need* to be able to work physically, as I have a list as long-as-my-arm of work to do before this baby arrives!    

  • I am still working on Abigail's birthday post.  The pictures are all uploaded, and so I am just needing to do the write-up. :)

  • Our whole family is looking forward to a series of conferences that are coming up!  Next month, is the Irish Christian Home Educators conference, which we will be attending for the second time.  They have several speakers lined up that we are looking forward to hearing.  We will be staying away for one night and driving home after the conference the next evening.  Considering that we will be staying in a hotel, it worked out much cheaper to just stay for one night, rather than two.  Though we were blessed to find a nice hotel, close to the conference location, that would sleep all six of us (miracle!!!) in two interconnecting rooms, for a very reasonable price. 

    After that, Amy will be going away for ten days, to our church's Youth Bible School, which is open for anyone from age 16 and over.  She will be staying with church friends and we will see her every few days during that time.  Many of her church friends are also attending, as well as friends from the U.K and America.  She is SO looking forward to it.  This year has been HUGE for Amy, in the area of her faith and growth as a Christian, and so it is an exciting time for her and this Bible School will be a great opportunity.

    Following Amy's return, we will then be enjoying our church's Family Conference.  We attended this event last year and it was GREAT!  We are most certainly looking forward to attending again this year.  :) 

  • Sometime around the end of June, Amy's Yorkshire Terrier "Penny" will be due to deliver her first litter of puppies!  We are all excited for that!  She plans to offer the puppies up for sale to friends and family first, to have a better chance of the little ones getting a great home with a loving family, and if there are any puppies left, then she will list them.  

  • Of late, I have been learning to sew a little better and more.  It has been a learning curve to say the least, but I have enjoyed the process.  So far, I have made two dresses for Meg, one for Abigail, one for Amy and jammies pants for Dylan.  Again, I hope to post about this separately, once I get some pictures, other than the grainy mobile phone ones I posted to my Facebook.

Okay, so now I must go, because I literally can't think of anything else to write, though I am sure there *is* more.  Thanks for bearing with this long, no-picture-post! ;)


Gail Crooks said...

Hi Sarah, love reading your blog, my little girl is starting to read , I've heard of teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons, but don't really know much about it.I see you use it. Will you be using the Ace paces as well with her. Any advice would be great thank you. Hope your having a good pregnancy x

Nikki said...

There may not have been any pictures in this post but I enjoyed it very much. :) It was fun to read what you are all up to. I especially enjoy hearing how your pregnancy is going. Kinda close to my mind. :) hope things continue to go well for you. You sound super busy too. Fun times, busy days.

Sarah in Ireland said...

Hi Gail! The "Teach Your Child To Read" book is awesome! Though I don't have tonnes of experience with teaching a child to read, but I do like this book! Dylan (8) is a good reader, and Megan (5) is well on her way to becoming a free reader, with the help of this reading program. With Dylan, we didn't even read the whole 100 lessons - I think we got to 60-something, before we started other reading materials and then moved onto ACE.

I found that it was helpful for me, because that book was clearly laid out, lessons were short, and detailed *exactly* what to say to the child if he/she gets it wrong. The last point was really key, I think. There is no (or very little) frustration on behalf of the parent, because the book tells you exactly what to say. :)

With Megan, I plan to do things pretty much the same way. Though she is "getting it" much faster than Dylan did. Then either this September (or next?) we will switch her onto ACE.

I hope that helps? If you have any other questions, you can comment here, or drop me a line on FB. :)

Sarah in Ireland said...

Nikki ~ Hahaha, I am glad that *you* enjoyed it! I think it is fun that we are expecting at the same time, this time. :)

Sarah in Ireland said...

Gail Crooks ~ I just checked the book today, and noticed that with Dylan, we actually went up to lesson 86, not 60ish like I though. :)