Homeschool {Week E}

Oh my word.  I feel so behind in these.  But I’m gonna keep truckin’ along.  (At the very least, this will be a great way for me to look back over the years and see what we learned each year!)

E Calendar

*Also, let me note that not everything on our “to do” schedule gets done all the time.  These are all activities that I think would be fun and helpful but if the boys particularly like one activity, I let them spend longer on it, or some activities take longer than anticipated and we don’t get all the way down the list.  I usually try to list the activities in order of preference.


The boys are fascinated by eggs so I knew it would be a good choice for letter E.  Dinosaur eggs, bird eggs, chicken eggs – they love to eat them, seek them and read about them.

We have a few books about eggs already at home, but I found a few new ones for us to read from the library:

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I had pre-filled 12 Easter eggs with black beans numbering from 1-12 and hid them around the playroom.  I sent the boys off on the hunt to find them all.

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Once collected, I had them one by one open them up and count the beans.  Then they had to match the number of beans inside the egg to the correct number in the egg crate.  We’ve been really working on recognizing numbers 1-20 with the boys, so this was a great activity for that!  They loved it.

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After this activity, I swapped out the beans in the eggs for little slips of paper that had a variety of egg laying animals printed on them and hid the eggs for the boys to find again… simply because they are 2 and 4 and love egg hunts. ;)  After they found them all again, they opened the eggs one by one and called out the animal tucked in their egg.  Zeek, who knows MANY things about MANY animals was even surprised at some of the animals that he discovered were egg laying.

Then we took those slips of animal pictures and used them in our craft next.

I cut out two large egg shapes, one for each boy.  We had an egg poem (from here), glued it to the egg, and then glued all the animals around the poem.

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A few days prior, we had gone to our favorite little Asian foods store around here – Wing Wa.  We picked up some duck and quail eggs!

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We hadn’t ever had duck eggs and these were a little too salty for us, so we lovingly passed them on to our neighbor-friends who are also homeschooling, doing letter E and EGGS! ;)

We DO love quail eggs though!  They are so tiny and cute – we’ve been getting these for years because they are the perfect bite sized protein snack for little hands.


We most often hard boil them (though they do make the most adorable little fried eggs you’ve ever seen!).


Aren’t they cute!?  Just like mini chicken eggs, but an even creamier yolk, in my opinion!


We finished off the morning having some lunch and tasting our eggs.


Dad, reading their state book to them.  Delaware and Florida this week.



Zeek ended up being sick one of the days this week, so we lumped Eyes & Ears together into one day, which seemed fitting anyway. :)

After our normal morning activities, (Pledge of Allegiance, Godly Character Trait/Bible Memory Verse, Letter E Nursery Rhyme, Weather, Calendar, Ee Journal), we read several books about eyes and ears!  We had a couple … uh, “graphic” surprises as we turned some of these pages and some some very detailed looks at these body parts… As in, cadavers that were flayed open and photographed!  But thankfully, the boys were really into it.


Eye to Eye was a really fun book that showed different eye shapes and functions of a variety of animals.

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And for a special treat, MAGIC EYE books!!  Oh my.  I had completely forgotten about these little gems until I spotted one at the library.  These were my favorite back when I was in about 2nd grade… And I should probably bust them out around that time again for Zeek, because he was too young to be able to grasp the concept of what he was supposed to do and these books ended up being a major source of frustration to him because he couldn’t quite get the hang of it and couldn’t see the hidden picture.  Many tears were shed over these two books… :)


After we learned all about eyes and ears and their functions, we sifted through several magazines and cut out any good photos of eyes or ears that we could find.  Then Asher took on gluing the ears in a collage, and Zeek took on eyes.

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Then we did a couple of hearing games (which I didn’t photograph).

1.  I had previously recorded different sounds around the house on my phone (the microwave beeping, the garage door opening, the signal on the washing machine, markers being shaken in their container, the paper cutter arm being moved up and down, etc.).  I played each one and had them guess what the noises were.  I was pretty impressed with how quickly they got them correct!

2.  I took a wind up timer and hid it around the house in a few locations and had them try to hear the soft “tick tick” of the timer and see how close they were when it went off.


I was super excited for Earth!  I knew that Zeek would enjoy learning about it, plus I had a Magic School Bus movie on the agenda – holla!  I personally have always loved Magic School Bus (I mean, LILY TOMLIN! Come on!) and keep trying to push it on Zeek, but he’s not super interested.  I am determined to make him a lover of it! ;)

Before the flick though, we read some books and learned the basics about Earth and also briefly about the solar system.

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After learning about the Earth and it’s layers, we colored and labeled our own worksheets.


To be expected, Zeek understood slightly more than Asher….


Then we made a “Where We Live” craft of Earth.  We started out with a picture of Earth…


Then zoomed in to our continent…


And our country…


And state…


And county…


And city…


And finished off with a zoomed in shot of our street… which I didn’t photograph because, you know.  The internet.  :)

The boys each made one of these books, which they thought was pretty great.  They have them stored in their desks.  I love when they love an activity that we do so much that they keep them with their “special” school stuff.

And that about wrapped up Letter E!  We have had Letter F & G weeks, and are currently taking a break this week for Thanksgiving and just doing some fall related activities.  Letter H will resume next week – and hopefully I can get F & G posted sooner than later!

Hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving break with your family as well! :)

Ellery June {9 Months}

Baby Girl, I am seriously sucking at this posting thing.  Forgive me.  There are three of you little folks now.  Enough said.  Also, photos.  I couldn’t choose just one.

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9 Months

  • You are a super fast crawler now!  You still crawl funny with your right foot on the floor, but you are fast regardless.
  • You say “mama” and “dada” but only as the moment comes to you – not on command.  You do sit in your crib and say “mamamamamama!” when you want me to come get you after naps.
  • You love just trailing along behind your brothers.  You love to follow their steps and do what they do.  Glad you are so easily doing life with two brothers!
  • ^^ That said, you know all about trains, cars, dinosaurs and nerf guns.  I can’t wait to show you the world of dolls, Calico Critters and kitchen.
  • You are getting a bit more cuddly.  In the mornings and after naps you like to snuggle with your head on my chest.  I eat it up.
  • You have started pulling yourself up on furniture to stand!
  • You are eating more and more “real” food.  You devour eggs on the regular and even scarfed some ground elk the other night.
  • You’ve had the typical 9 month sleep regression/teething which has SUCKED.  You have been wanting to party for a couple hours every night.  One night, mama even went to bed before 10 and still only barely scraped 3 hours of sleep out of the whole night.  You may stop this at ANY moment, my darling.
  • Nicknames: Sweet Thing Buttercup, Honey Girl, Elle Belle, Ellie June.

Despite a rougher month with you for lack of sleep, you are still a gem and happy girl when you are awake and for that, this mama is incredibly grateful.  You COULD be awake AND grumpy.  I’ll gladly take awake and happy.  :)

Love you, Elle!

Everyone’s Over Pumpkins, but We’ve Got One More.

I know, I know.  “Pumpkin season” is basically over now, but I wanted to share one more pumpkin patch we visited!  I would’ve shared it sooner but between an epic wipeout which left me with a broken toe, bruised up body and jammed spine AND a newly 9 month old baby pulling a few all nighter’s because them darn teeth trying to break through… well, I very much had blogging on the non-existent back burner these last couple of weeks.

SO.  That said.  Hey, guess what guys?!  We went to a super fun pumpkin patch and I wanted to tell you about it so you can visit it next year because seriously?  It was SO good.

Every year, everyone I KNOW on Facebook posts pictures of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival of their sweet babies in the rows and rows and rows of Tulips with Mt Hood in the background looking all gorgeous.  Like this:



Well, every year for the last 7 years, I have insisted we go.  But we haven’t gone and for no reason other than we just haven’t.  When I saw that had Wooden Shoe Pumpkin Fest tickets available for $1.50 each, I snagged enough for my family and my mom and dad to be able to go.

I had NO idea that they even had a pumpkin fest but I figured for that price, we needed to go!

There were literally 2 other families there the entire couple of hours we spent there.  For kids my boys’ age, this pumpkin patch was one of the top!  SO many activities for young kids, as well as hay rides, cow barrel rides (pulled behind a small tractor), and corn maze – none of which I pictured.

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You can’t have a pumpkin patch without duck races:

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Little Elle couldn’t give a rip though.  :)


Cute little cow wagons they had which you could pull your kids around the pumpkin patch in.  Asher loved these.


Pumpkin cannons!  These were frightening to the boys at first, until they saw just how far the pumpkins flew and how destroyed they were when they landed.  :)


There was no limit to how many you could do.  We probably blasted 10 pumpkins.  Those suckers flew far!

They even had paintball!  Each of us got a bag of paintballs and we were able to shoot at several targets (tulips, pumpkins, ghosts).  The boys loved this!

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While my guys played, I caught dad giving this John Deere a thorough checking out.  You can’t take the farm out of the farm boy.  :)


The boys loooved these horse tire swings.  We could hardly get them off.

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You can see in the background of this pic below an area set up for archery.  Except the arrows had big foam ends and you could shoot them at each other.  (Also not pictured).  It was really fun and I tried archery for the first time in my life.  I will admit, I understand why Skyler loves it so much now!

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The boys found some “golden hazelnuts” which they were able to turn in for some prizes.

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Grass seed and corn sensory play areas.


It was a lot of smaller activities, but for this gal who had just broken her toe, and for my two young boys – this was the perfect kind of pumpkin patch.  Especially since it wasn’t crowded!

We will be back next year to this one!  (And hopefully we’ll be there in time for the TULIP fest this coming year!)

Homeschool {Week D}

Although Week D was cut a little short, we had a great three days that we did do school!D Calendar


We started out our morning doing our normal routine of Pledge of Allegiance, learning our Godly character trait for the week, our weekly nursery rhyme, the temperature, and weather & calendar.

Then we read through our duck books (not pictured: 10 Little Rubber Ducks and a Duck themed backpack from the Library with 5 more duck books and a duck puppet).


Then we hopped in the car and headed south to meet up with Grandma at a park in Albany!  We enjoyed a nice sunny picnic and then the boys and I wandered around the park and pond and gathered items to include in a duck habitat sensory tub.


I let them collect whatever of nature that they wanted to include in their habitat.  ;)

Then before we left the park, we gave the boys a chance to feed the ducks!  Zeek was pretty into it (though a bit timid because the ducks knew we had food as soon as we approached them and they ran up the bank to greet us).

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(AKA, here Grandma, YOU feed them!…While I stand back here in safety.)


Asher wanted nothing to do with these aggressive ducks.  He found safety behind his little sister… up on high ground… *laughing tears emoji*


I mean, to be fair, there were a bajillion ducks.


After the ducks were fortified and wandered away, we took our nature bag home and Zeek created a duck habitat using his collected items, our glass beads and Grandma’s hoard of rubber duckies.  :)


Asher took the whole “nature” thing very seriously.


Then he went all Joey Tribbiani on me and needed to “step into the map”.  When we do sensory bins around here, Asher really likes to make sure all of his senses are in use.


They had fun playing with the tub.  The metal canister was his “nest” for the ducks.

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Our Godly character trait (Obedient) and nursery rhyme for the week.

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We did a few worksheets to work on penmanship, found on

I had also printed and laminated several sheets of dog themed block pattern pictures from for Zeek and Asher to use their tangrams pieces with.  They really enjoy these kinds of puzzles and Zeek is often with them in his quiet time.

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On the Seven Thirty Three blog, I found some fun dog number matching game, which I printed and laminated also.  I am trying to grow my box of quiet time activities (since they have quiet time two times a day, morning and afternoon) and things like this are fun for them to figure out and take up such little space and I can have several little baggies filled with these kinds of activities!

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Dinosaur day of school was highly anticipated after Zeek saw what I purchased from the Dollar Tree to use for activities.  :)


I bought a pack for each boy and they loved dissolving them in hot water and seeing what type of dinosaur was in each capsule.


Once they were out, we would compare them to the pictures on the back and determine which dinosaur we were looking at.

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I picked up this pack of dinosaur bones but instead of piecing them together, we did a bone dig.  Skyler grabbed some dirt from outside to fill our sensory tub and we buried all of the bones.  The boys worked as Paleontologists and dug up the bones with spoons, aka shovels.

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The last thing I picked up at the Dollar Tree were these fossil eggs.  Inside each one was a dinosaur.  I felt like I really scored at the Dollar Tree for some fun hands on activities for the boys!

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I suppose I never took pictures of the end result, but there were cute little dino’s tucked inside.  :)

And THAT about wrapped up our short letter D week.  I also had a day of “Dad’s and Donuts” planned for Saturday but we ended up going to the pumpkin patch last minute.  While Zeek was thrilled to go to the pumpkin patch, he also admittedly was quite sad about missing out on donuts.  He, in perfect timing, asked us if we could get some donuts as we were just leaving church on Sunday.  We couldn’t resist the sweet request, so we enjoyed some family donut time.  Man,  I love homeschooling.  ;)

The Creepy Clown, Grumpy Cat & Stone-cold. AKA Family Photos 2015.

Remember how I told you a couple weeks ago that we had some family photos taken by Katie Guaschino Photography?  (She’s done our family photos for 3 years now!  You can see the last two years here and here.)  And how standing in the photos with Skyler and I were Creepy Clown, Grumpy Cat & Stone-Cold Ellery?

Well, I got them sent over to me a couple days ago.  I have spent the last two nights LOL’ing over them, screenshot’ing them to one of my BFF’s to share the love and laughter, and laughing tears with Skyler about our pathetic looking children.  Especially Zeek who pulled a Chandler Bing and must have had a lapse in recollection of how to smile as soon as a camera was pointed at him.

“What is the matter with your face?!”  You ask a good question, Monica.

You ready for this?  This is good.  Real good.

AndersonFamily_2015-4 AndersonFamily_2015-33 AndersonFamily_2015-51 AndersonFamily_2015-56Child, what is wrong wit yo’ face?!

AndersonFamily_2015-26And then we got Gru-hu-huuumpy Cat Asher.

AndersonFamily_2015-73My little weirdo.

AndersonFamily_2015-7Stone-cold.  All of them.

AndersonFamily_2015-16This is Asher, after us telling him to smile. “But I already DID smile one time.”

You know how in the last post about these I said that I hoped when I got these photos back, I hoped I cried tears of laughter and not real tears?  I’m so glad that was true.  And you’re welcome for these.  I hope you treasure them as much as I do.  (Man, I wish you could put emoji’s in blog posts!!  Because I would totally use the crying tears emoji right here.)

Also, I cannot wait to show these photos to Zeek’s wife someday.

And now, for some cute photo’s despite my uncooperative children:

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AndersonFamily_2015-45LOVE this one!!  *heart eye emoji’s all up in here*

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Oh my word, I love having a daughter.


So thankful for these pictures capturing my family exactly where we’re at in life, even when the boy(s) are being wild turkeys.  :)  Thank you Katie!

Airlie Pumpkin Patch 2015

I’m not sure if everywhere else in the United States is like the Willamette Valley here in Oregon, but we have pumpkin patches everywhere.  It’s hard to know and choose a good one as some mom and pop ones are great and some are obviously thrown together to see if they can earn an extra buck, while the huge farms are great because they have the resources but also very crowded because they’re so good.  We try to pick and chose the one(s) we visit each year carefully and we always measure against Bauman Farms, which is just one of the best (though also a bit spendy).

This year, Skyler had heard good things about Airlie Hills Pumpkin Patch from a co-worker, so we decided to check it out!

It was clean and organized (a must for me!) and definitely not just thrown together.  It was a little on the spendy side in comparison to Bauman Farms when you’re comparing the activities available, but for as long as we spent there, it was still worth it!  We paid $9 each (ages 2 and under were free) and spent almost 3 hours there.

My sister, her husband Brad and kids Kaily and Kaiden joined us for the afternoon.  It was a gorgeous day that turned out to be hotter than expected (and we all had the sweat to prove it)!


Ellery’s first hay ride!  She loved the wind in her hair.  :)


Daddy bought the boys caramel apple suckers and they were in heaven!


We trekked through the hay maze which at first glance didn’t look like it would be much.  The maze was about 7 ft tall so you couldn’t see over the sides and the kids all ran into it ahead of us.  The boys were all together and Kaily and Ellery were together, and us 4 parents all followed.  Then we quickly realized that the maze was actually fairly difficult and it took some time to find everyone! :)

Everyone was a bit pooped and hot after running around finding the exit:

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We enjoyed the pedal cars, though they were definitely too big for my kids to ride.  Skyler, Brad and I all raced each other and I was the obvious winner in that one… :)  My sister even has video to prove it.

The dark maze was hot and humid (as it was essentially in a greenhouse covered in black plastic).  It wasn’t so much of a maze (no blocked or wrong ways), but you had to feel your way through the correct path.  Brad had opted to hold Asher through it and poor Brad had him crying in his arms the whole time!  We all exited hot and sweaty.  Zeek thought it was the best thing ever though.

Then, onto the corn maze.  It was quite large and we were in there for some time!  I even stumbled upon a good friend of mine from high school that I hadn’t seen since high school 11 years ago!  Very random, but very fun to run into him in a corn maze of all places, haha.


We let the kids lead the way… which may be why it took us so long… ;)


Family Photo! 


After finishing all 3 mazes, we were pretty pooped!  We headed to the big hay mound slide where the big kids played some more and us old parents rested our weary feet.

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My brave guy going down face first!


The group shot!


 We ended with playing inside the barn in the wheat pit and going down another slide, while us parents did some more of that resting business.

While, again, it doesn’t quite compare to Bauman Farms, it was still very fun, clean, organized and worth a visit.  We enjoyed our time there and left wiped out yet satisfied.

Thanks Airlie Hills!

Homeschool {Week C}

Week C was a really fun one for homeschooling.  Have I mentioned that we’re really enjoying this?!  I keep thinking, “man, why haven’t I done more things like this with the kids?!”  It’s all very simple things, it just takes a little planning (which, this Planning Girl loves).  I should add though, not everything on this schedule gets done.  I try to guess how long things will take and fill up our time accordingly with these activities listed, but if the boys are particularly enjoying one activity or the baby needs more attention, or heck, if daddy’s home and he wants to take the boys outside to work, we don’t stress about every last thing on the list getting done.

C Calendar


C is for Cars was one I knew the boys would really enjoy.  We started off with our Cc Journal after our normal morning board (of Pledge of Allegiance, Godly character trait & memory verse, nursery rhyme, weather and calendar).  The journal is a composition notebook where Zeek practices his letters every day.  So for this week, he is practicing C’s every day.  I write out Cc and the word of the day on the top of the page.  He then copies the word and does 4 big C’s and 4 little c’s.  (We chose 4 just because that’s how old he is and what we went with).

We had several car books to read from the library.  I chose ones that were non-fiction because I knew they love learning about the mechanics of things and cold hard facts.  :)

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We learned about Indy, Nascar and Formula One cars and tires.  SUPER fascinating to the boys… mildly fascinating to the mama.  ;)

Then Zeek did a few worksheets to practice the letter C a little bit more and practice writing numbers.


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Then we did some tracing of numbers with these cool number tracing mats that I found, using a Hot Wheels car to drive on the roads.


Then we worked on letters.  He’s starting to recognize his letters a lot better, but we definitely need to work on upper and lower case letters.  This upper and lowercase car garage game was perfect for it!  He had to sort the cars and park the right letters in the right garage.  (This has also been a fantastic addition to our Quiet Time activities!  He actually has it in his Quiet Time as we speak.)


Then I let the boys watch a movie that we recently bought which is part of the “All About” collection.  There are many topics – cars, monster trucks, recycling & garbage, boats, trains, etc.  So, of course, I let them watch the cars one which talked about race cars and regular road cars, how to change the oil and tires, how to put gas in the car, learning about car washes etc.


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The spent some time before lunch driving their cars around their car mat too:


After Quiet Time, the boys got to do a REAL LIFE car wash.  And Mom says, “WHOO HOO!”  :)  Skyler was in charge of this portion of it and after about 20 minutes outside comes in to find me in the house.  “Come take a look out the window,” he said to me.  “Take a look at the empire I built.”  I go and peer out the living room window and not only do I see our two children happily washing the van, but I see FOUR more neighbor kids washing my van too!  WHO KNEW washing cars was such a neighbor-kid magnet! ;)  I’d say we definitely ended on a great note that day with a shiny clean car!


We had some unfinished worksheets from past days and I had a lot of laundry to catch up on, so we had an easy day.  We did the worksheets we had missed, some manipulative fun with jewels and links, and then a few cat worksheets and books:

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A puzzle that they have to put together to get the right numerical order – YES, they are missing #7, which he realized as he got to the end.  The tricky part for him was figuring out where it went after he thought he had them all in numerical order.

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I think clouds has been one of my favorites so far!  This one was definitely more hands on and daddy had his hand in helping too.

We started off learning about different cloud shapes: cirrus, stratus, cumulus and nimbus.  Then Zeek had the chance to create his own clouds out of cotton balls.  I was so impressed with his creativity to manipulate the cotton balls to get them shaped right.


Staining his nimbus clouds black on an ink pad.


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We recently learned that our library has some cool backpack kits for a variety of subjects.  You can check them out just like books and inside each backpack are a few books, a movie or cd and a toy (puppet or sound maker, etc).  We found one on weather and enjoyed going through the back pack!


We did a fun science experiment where we made “clouds” (shaving cream) on top of a jar of water.  The boys each had an eye dropper to take turns squeezing some blue water onto the cloud.  It took a bit, but once the “cloud” got full enough of “rain”, the “rain” started falling!  It was pretty cool!

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First, here’s a little glimpse into how our everyday morning school routine goes.  This is Zeek working on the nursery rhyme.


We say it together once or twice and then he circles any upper or lowercase C’s that he can find, and then he counts them and we write the number at the bottom.


On to camping!  There are so many of these different preschool worksheets in Pinterest-land for every topic imaginable!  Tracing letters in words that coordinate with the theme, line/zig zag tracing (getting the campers to their tent, in this case) and many other worksheet activities to choose from.


A fun song:


For this worksheet, we got out the Bananagram tiles and they had to find the right letters to spell out the words.

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We read some books about camping:

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Daddy brought in some logs so they could practice stacking them for a fire, and they had free play pretending to go camping!  (Which, for these boys, also includes fishing!)

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The fish are from the Melissa and Doug Catch & Count Fishing Game.


Honestly, school didn’t go as planned for this day which is the fantastic thing about homeschooling.  I had planned it purposely as a fairly loose day anyway.  The unfortunate thing is that you cannot plan weather and on this day that was to be about chalk, it rained.  So, we read our book about chalk:


Did some of the worksheets I had laminated (basic ones of tracing letters, numbers and colors), did some pattern pages with Tangrams and learned about the state of California:  DSC_0175

We’ve been getting these great America the Beautiful state books from the library for each state we’ve been studying.  We don’t do a heavy reading of it yet – I just go through and pick out the things I want to point out to them.  The state flag and seal, different animals, lakes, rivers, national monuments, etc. in each state, and we check out the state quarter for each one also.  I have almost all of the state quarters (thanks to dad collecting them for the last few years!) so we always find the page in the book that talks about the state quarter, study what it looks like, and then see who can find it first in our tub of quarters.

Once we find it, we add it to our state quarter map:


And THAT was how we learned all about C and various C words over here in Anderson School.  ;) We are wrapping up Week E here today, so I need to get caught up with Week D and show you both!

** This post contains some Amazon affiliate links at no cost to you.

Ellery June {8 Months}

Little Lady!  I figured I’d better get your 8 month pictures and stats up here before you turn 9 months!  Better late than never….

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When you sleep in bed with me, you roll over away from me and kick your leg up over top of mine.  Every.  Time.  :)


This is how I most often find you after nap time.  Sitting up in your bed, smiling and playing with your bunny.


You and your Great Grandma Grace.

DSC_05358 Months

    • You started army-crawling (but really looked more like a porpoise swimming) and less than a week later started legit crawling.  Except that you do this weird thing with your right leg where you put your foot on the ground every 3rd or so move and use your foot to push off.

  • You also started pulling yourself up to stand at things just a couple days after really crawling.
  • You are wearing size 3 diapers, but only because we still have some of a box left.  You really need to be in 4’s.  Which blows my mind because Asher wore 3’s until about 4 months ago (at age 2.5).
  • You are wearing mostly size 12 months clothes.  Some 18 mo. and very few 9 months.
  • You are such a good sleeper.  We just lay you down with a binky and you roll to your side and close your eyes.  Say WHAT?!  I had no idea children like this existed.  You still wake up at night a few times at least to nurse.  But you make co-sleeping hard.  You don’t like it.  You don’t want to touch, cuddle or be near anyone else while you sleep.  You just want your own bed.  You make me have to get my lazy butt up out of bed to put you back in your room. :)
  • You LOVE to laugh!  Your brothers are #1 at getting you to do so.  You SO love them and their crazy antics.

  • Your hair is getting so BLONDE!  I love seeing it compared to Zeek and especially Asher’s darker hair.
  • You love going shopping with mom.  You love sitting in the shopping cart and smiling coyly and giggling and anyone and everyone who notices you.  You are a people magnet for sure.  The other day, an older woman came up to you and was chatting with you for a few minutes before looking up at me and saying, “boy, I bet she’s never met a stranger, has she!?”  Which is exactly what we’ve always said of Zeek.  He’s never met strangers, only friends.  (The same can NOT be said of Asher, haha).
  • You have been eating more and more foods.  You are still mostly nursing but you have dinner with us.  There has been once or twice where you’re on the floor playing while we’re at the dinner table and you look up and notice we’re all around and start yelling at us until we’ve gotten you pulled up to the table in your high chair and eating some food too.  You do NOT like to be left out on this family affair.  :)
  • Here’s a pretty spectacular video of Grandma feeding you and you hating it.  Broccoli is not the worst thing you will ever eat, my dear.

  • You love LOVE dancing.  Any time that you can remotely hear music or even just a beat, you start rocking back and forth in dance.  It’s the sweetest thing.
  • You are such a happy baby.  Smiling and giggling all the time.  Even in the nursery at church the other day, some guy was holding you as I went to pick you up and as he handed you back to me he told me, “She is just the BEST baby!  She’s so happy and smiley and so CHUNKY!”
  • Daddy and the boys love playing with you.  I suspect you will be quite the tough little rug rat.  :)  This video is of the boys at their favorite place ever – Get Air.  They insisted that you play on the trampolines with them.

We love you Baby Girl!  I overheard daddy the other day, as he was propped up over top of you laying on the ground, saying to you, “Thank you for being my daughter!  I had no idea how much I would love and enjoy having a daughter.”  The boys love love love you.  As soon as they see you have woken up, they smile, drop whatever they’re doing, come smother you in kisses and ask how you slept.  You are so loved and we are so glad to have you in our family.  Keep growing big and chunky, just the way we love it!

Even when they don’t cooperate.

Yesterday we took some family photos with a photographer friend of ours.  The kids, who are TOTALLY used to their fauxtographer mom all up in their face, didn’t so much cooperate this time.  Like at all.

Standing next to Skyler and I in the photos were Creepy Clown, Grumpy Cat and Stone-Cold Ellery.  I was discouraged.  Even my happy, smiley baby cracked exactly one smile the entire morning.  I’m calling it an “off morning” and trying to convince myself that these will be the photos I’ll treasure the most because they show the personalities and realness of kids.  I am looking forward to getting the photos back and seeing how they turned out.  I hope I cry from tears of laughter and not sadness. ;)

After the planned photoshoot, I was determined to not let the clean and well dressed kids get away without a single smiling photo.  So, I grabbed my own camera out of the van and followed my cute little family around the park.  I sure love my fam, even when they don’t do things as I would hope.

Here are a few of the moments I caught:

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Don’t worry.  She loved this.  She laughed each time.  :)

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Love my family, even when they’re stinkers.  :)

Mr. Fix-It-All and His Shop

If you’ve been around here a while, you know I’ve talked often about my dad – especially when it comes to projects and redoing furniture.

My dad is Mr. Fix-it-ALL.  Really.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him not come up with a solution for how to fix something.  It’s a skill that I would love to glean even a little bit of.  Dad is my favorite person to have by my side when working on projects because whenever a project is daunting and I don’t know what the next step (or first step) should be, dad does.  Or he at least has an idea of something we should try out.

He has always been a saver of things.  Old parts, parts that were taken off and removed, parts he found in places.  I even remember many times walking the short trek down the road from their house to Home Depot and him stopping to pick up random nuts or bolts that were dropped alongside the street and putting them in his pocket.  “Ohh, I can use that…”

His shop is proof of his saving of every.single.thing.  BUT, his saving of things has so many times been useful even just in the projects I’ve had with dad.  If I ever need a random part, I ask dad and often he will say, “I think I have something for that.  Let me look.”  His shop is one of my favorite places in the world.  I have spent so much time in there with him and have so many memories of being a child and wandering out there to find dad and see what he was working on currently.  That space, though cramped, is well loved, and though looks like a hot mess, it’s really an organized hot mess.

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I remember as a kid that dad was quite into drinking International Coffee but now I see that this was really just his master plan:

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If this shop of his could tell stories, it would have many to tell.  Many projects with a back story and many hours spent giving new life to them.

Some of my favorite projects to come out of this shop are:

The Toddler Activity Board


The Toy-Cabinet Refinish


Retro Inspired Play Kitchen


Wine Stave Shopping Cart

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And most recently,

The 100+ Year Old Secretariat


And finally.  FINALLY, after 5 years of sitting in the backyard shed and waiting to be made pretty again, this lovely little piece is in dad’s shop.


Oh man.  Can’t wait to get to work with dad on this little beauty!  I’ll figure out where it can fit in my house later. ;)