Sunday, February 24, 2013

Her loves

I have spent so much time talking about reading and phonics and oh my word, I have worn my own self out thinking and talking and typing about it, so I have decided to show you some other parts of Ada.  Her strengths, if you will.  The things about homeschool that are going well.  Because, at the end of the day, I really am so thankful that we are doing this. 

 Okay, she loves, loves, loves math.  We are using Saxon Math, and I highly recommend it.  We opted for Saxon K, and I am very glad that we did.  If you are a math person, or your child has a really solid grasp of basic stuff, I am sure you could skip to Saxon 1, but I knew I would be more confident if we started at the very beginning.  Here we had a store, and Ada was having to buy things with pennies--so learning about numbers, the value of money, the cents sign, etc. etc.  Very basic stuff.
 Batman was also shopping at our store that day

 Another Ada strength--she is my free spirit, artist.  She adores ballet, dancing her way through life.  Just today, as she was holding on to my grocery cart as if it was the bar, and she was practicing some ballet move, I mentioned to her that a crowded Kroger was not the best place for ballet.  She loves to dance.  Loves it, and she cried and cried the other day when we had to miss ballet because we were all sick. 

Ever the artist, she also loves to put together outifts, accessories, etc. etc.  She loves to put on fashion shows, and her combinations are crazy.  The other day she layered two dresses, and when I asked her why she chose those two dresses, she said because it was two different patterns.  We weren't going anywhere that day, so I gave her free reign with it.

 And she loves actual art, as in drawing, painting, "sculpting" with play-doh.  I am impressed that she has realized on her own to try to copy things when she draws.  The other day, I found her sitting in front of the mirror drawing a self portrait.  And below is her drawing that she did from her copy work.  (For handwriting, I have her copy sentences from books that she can read.  To make it more fun for her, she is allowed to copy the picture as well--her idea, not mine).

 More math.  We do lots of graphs.  Who knew that graphs were such a big deal in kindergarten ;)  Ada loves it when we have to do graphs because they always involve glue.
 John is never far away.
 Here she was graphing her favorite winter activities--comparing indoor and outdoor.  It made me laugh because all of her favorite activities involved snow.  You know, all that snow we get every winter.
 What did we learn from our graph?  She had fewer outdoor activities.  Why?  Because there were only five outdoor activities.  Like I said, it's very simple math ;)
 Okay, I don't do anything at. all. official with John.  We do a lot of counting objects, picking out colors, etc. etc. as we move throughout our day.  Lots of reading books.  Well, what you see above is a brand new toy from Ann, and John loves it, so I highly recommend it.  Thank you, Ann!!!  It's a magnetic board with pattern blocks--by Melissa and Doug, fyi, and it comes with sheets that John has to fill in with the pattern blocks.  It makes a big mess, but it's one of those things that you can clean up really easy because it comes in a neat little package.  What I mean to say, is John can clean it up really easily, and he likes to clean up, so that works out.  And since I now know--one of those things I was clueless about--there are lots of pattern blocks and copying patterns in Ada's kindergarten curriculum, so I assume the above activity is a good preschool thing?

 And more art.  This is Ada's go-to throughout the day.  I keep plenty of plain white paper, and the crayons are out where either one can get to them on their own.  I keep the water colors where Ada can get those on her own, and she knows how to set all of that up by herself.  Any other paint, I keep up higher, of course. 

 Excuse the can of pringles in the background, Scott keeps pointing out to me that I need to "observe the background" before I take a picture.

And lastly, photography by Ada.  John, after baths and ready for bed, reading some of our new books from the library book sale today.  I got a bag full of books for 3.50.  I mean, lots of good books, Little House on the Prairie, Box Car children, and others, for 3.50!!  I am a bit of a book hoarder, though, so I probably need to stop going to these book sales. 

I am trying to see Ada as who God created her to be rather than who I imagined her to be.  I was also reminded this past week from a friend that Ada is only five--I don't really know what kind of student she is going to be, she's five.  So, I am praying for wisdom and discernment as I try to encourage Ada in the areas where God has already strengthened her, and as I encourage her to always do her very best, but not require her to be something that she isn't.  Right now, she is an emerging reader--who knows what that will look like in a few years--but here we are, and I have got to calm down about it!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: What Mama Did

Five Minute Friday:  "What Mama Did"

Five Minute Friday

She was there.

I specifically remember sixth grade.  The year of an onslaught of hormones and mean boys and feeling incredibly uncomfortable inside my own skin. 

I wanted to hide away from the world until I got to the other side of that awkward adolescent year.

I didn't know anyone in my class that year.  The teacher was unfamiliar in my small town where everyone knew everyone--it was her first year there.  My own body and all that was happening was unfamiliar, and I was not graceful in the change.

I remember the end of those school days.  Those awful school days.  I would wait in that school yard, underneath those hundred year old trees, searching for the refuge of my mother in our hunter green van. 

I would climb in, so relieved to be somewhere safe.  And my mom would turn around, a smile on her face, and she would hand me an ice cold glass of sweet tea.  In a mason jar.  With a straw.

I loved sweet tea in much the same way that I love diet coke now, and she knew that.

And when my eyes swelled up from my horrible allergies, and I was a sight, not a good one, she curled my hair and applied a tasteful amount of make up to my swollen face to lessen the "damage" and even made appointments with allergy specialists.

And she was there.

She knew about the mean boys and the crazy, uncomfortable 11 year old changes...and I felt like a very young eleven year old on the inside, which only added to the confusion, and she didn't try to make it all go away.  She didn't go talk to the teacher about the mean boys or even try to make it seem unimportant or not a big deal.  She was just there. 

And she brought sweet tea in a mason jar.  And it helped.

p.s. oh how I wish I could now post my sixth grade school picture.  The very picture my mom took to the allergy specialist to show the doctor just how bad it could be ;)  I think that was the picture that went in the yearbook that year, which was just so appropriate.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


My blog is so silent these days.

It's just that if I did blog, it would probably go something like this

reading, reading, phonics, complain, complain, potty training, complain, reading, more phonics, potty training, potty training going really badly, complain, complain, phonics, analyze the phonics and the reading, get the what do I do?

We are on winter break, sort of, this week?  Not really, because we are still doing school, but I didn't have to prepare for class this past Tuesday (do ya'll know that I "teach" once a week, which we call tutor, in Ada's class at Classical Conversations?), which was a nice break. 

I really can't think of anything else to say.  I think the things that I am mostly thinking about are either phonics and potty training, and along with that, how much I HATE being out of control ;).

or it's just stuff that isn't really blogging type stuff. 

We were also all sick for most of February, and it's been a lot of cooped up inside.  I might be feeling the wintery blues just a bit.  And isn't it supposed to rain tomorrow?  And I'm hormonal.  It's a fabulous combination, all of these emotions, that make me just a delight to be around.  Be very jealous of my husband and children and my in real life friends.

Tonight, while Scott and I were cooking pancakes and bacon for dinner (Scott is the pancake cooker here, and I needed a dinner that was cheap and that my kids would eat.  Sure enough, they cleaned their plates), Scott even made me list things I was thankful for.  Something we make Ada do when her attitude stinks as mine did.

I am thankful for Scott, Ada, and John.  This warm, cozy house.  Food on my plate.  Scott's job.  Classical Conversations and my homeschooling community.  Homeschooling.  Being at home with my kids.  My friends, who get to listen in person to my never ending analysis of Ada's reading ability.  They are all so patient with me.  Friends and family; I mean, I could list those two over and over again.  That right now, I am not experiencing any persecution.  Sometimes, at night, when I climb into my warm, super comfy bed, I think about Christians around the world who are in the midst of severe persecution and are separate from their family and their beds.  I am thankful for the comfort of my bed at the end of hard days.

So, really, phonics and potty training?  These aren't big problems when I look at the big picture.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Birthday Party, sort of

Okay, I am going to post a few birthday party photos (really bad photography, really, really bad), and then we can move on from the birthday ;) 

I planned to invite a few of John's friends over for a little Toy Story themed party, but I have been sick all week with a sinus infection and literally no voice, so I cancelled that, and we opted for just the four of us Moores.  We had dinner at Chick-fil-a, where Ada and John played on the play ground, and then we went home to a Toy Story cake and a few presents.  And, you know what, John was as thrilled over the evening as if we had thrown a huge shindig.  Seriously, he was, so lesson learned in keeping things simple!  Especially when they are as young as three!!  Okay, the photos and then a few things I want to remember about John at age three.

 His only request from the very first mention of his third birthday was a toy story birthday cake, so that is what he got.  And he fell asleep tonight with the Buzz and Woody figurines from the cake clasped tightly in each fist.

 John wasn't too thrilled about the whole party idea at this point
 Like I said, we kept it simple ;)
 But a little sweet tea perked him right up

 these are out of order, but above he is clapping because he blew out his candles, and below he is grinning so big because we were singing to him.  He loved it.

 Jessie!!  he said

And above is Mac, purchased with money sent from the grandparents and my aunt (plus Rex, pictured in the bottom corner).  He LOVED this Mac truck, which Scott picked out.  It was a last minute decision, because we were looking for a tricycle.  However, the tricycle shelves were rather bare, so we went a different route and will look again closer to summer.  The Mac truck holds his cars, and he can drive them around, but it also unfolds into a ramp which he can play with.  He ended up not even eating his cake because he wanted to play with the truck. 

And what do I want to record about my John at age three?

It seems that he is going to be quite the introvert.  His favorite thing right now is to climb up into his bed and play with his cars and toy story characters, and he prefers that none of us be in the room with him while he plays.  He can do this for a while.  He does love to play with Ada, though, and they are very, very close.  At home he can be very outgoing--silly, making us laugh, excited, but around other people he is much more reserved.  Even around extended family, especially when it's a large crowd.  He continues to love his blankies, and he now wants both of them.  It was supposed to be a back up situation so that I could switch them out if one needed to go in the washing machine, but he has managed to attach himself to both. 

He likes to read books, usually sticking with one in particular for at least a week.  He likes to count and can count to ten and some after that, missing numbers here and there.  He knows his colors, but I confess, he definitely doesn't know any letters.  He LOVES television, so I have to really, really monitor that, as it is easy for me to use that as a baby-sitter. 

His imagination is really taking off, as he begins to create little pretend worlds with his cars and toy story characters, and he often makes me have conversations with his toys ;)  He does love Kate Harman, as he mentioned in his birthday interview, as they spend lots of time together.  He also loves his cousin Andrew, who he calls Washer(?!), but he obviously doesn't see him a whole lot.  He talks about him, though.

He is still very small for his age, bless him.  He wears size 24 month pants and 2T shirts, and I will be glad to see what the doctor has to say about his size.  He is very active and fully of energy, though, so I don't really worry about it.  He really doesn't eat much, but then he'll have like three days in a row where he will eat three really good meals a day.  I try hard to stick to the no snacks between meals on the days that he isn't eating much, so I am trusting that it's true that he won't starve himself ;) 

He still takes a good two to three hour nap everyday, which I am super thankful for.  Ada and I enjoy that down time.  Or at least I do, Ada rarely enjoys any sort of down time. 

He is super attached to me, and I want to work on his getting more attached to Scott.  He loves Scott, but always prefers me over anyone else, which can be exhausting.  We are starting to have discipline issues with him, so Scott and I need to "crack down" on some things.  At age three, he is starting to resist us on just about everything, which I guess goes with the age.

Most importantly, though, we love that little guy.  He is my cuddle bug, and so, so funny.  And I pray, of course, that God turns John's heart towards Him.  That John will love God with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength, and that God will direct John's steps all the days of John's life. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Birthday Interview

It is time for the annual birthday interview.  Last year John was too young to answer the questions himself, but this year I gave him complete freedom.  And he ran with it.  He answered every question below with strong conviction and gusto, seriously.  It was as if he had been waiting for this moment in time to share his opinion on these things.  Here we go...

What is your favorite food:  French fries (this is so true.  John wishes he could live on french fries, potato chips, any type of snack cracker, and candy)

Favorite television show:  Toy Stories (he said it with an "s") (he also loves Dora and Diego)

Favorite thing to play:  Buzz and Woody (and his cars, and that is about it.  John really knows what he likes and sticks with it.  Right now, he loves to climb up in his bed and play with his cars and toy story characters.  He will occupy himself like that for a long time)

Favorite thing to play with Ada:  puppy (they take turns pretending to be the puppy)

Favorite thing to play with daddy:  monster (basically, John runs and Scott chases him, but John pretends that Scott is a monster.  John LOVES this game)

What do you want to be when you grow up:  monster (said with much gusto and in a "scary" voice), pause, ummm, no, puppy, yeah, puppy

Favorite thing to play outside:  pause, then with much expression, "ants, dirty ants on the floor that have wings" and then he proceeded to 'fly' around the room (I assume he was telling me about the ants that are outside?  He has never "played" ants before.  Really, he just follows Ada's lead outside--digging in the dirt, "playing soccer," running races, etc. etc)

Favorite snack:  applesauce, which he says, "sauce" (the things I can count on him to eat--strawberries, blueberries, any cracker, yes--applesauce, chips, french fries, any sweet, usually pb and j, usually yogurt, and that is about it.  We have a rule right now that he has to eat one bite of everything on his plate.  He is getting better about that, but there is still at least a small battle at each meal.  He eats a suprisingly, shockingly, small amount of food each day.  I just keep telling myself that he has a small stomach and doesn't need much food)

Favorite drink:  milk (which is really milk with carnation breakfast essentials mixed in.  It's his daily breakfast that assures me he is getting some sort of calories and vitamins each day)

Best friend:  Kate (true, but he is also starting to mention other little friends--Lincoln and Braden from church, and Bennett from CC)

Favorite book:  Toy Story (we don't ever read a toy story book, actually.  His favorite this week is a "Maisy" lift-the-flap book; last week we read Corduroy and Runaway Bunny many times every single day; it switches each week)

Favorite song:  I don't know (and he said that like it was a ridiculous question.  He has a teddy bear that sings "Jesus Loves Me," and he loves to lay the teddy bear on the floor, stomp on its stomach as hard as he can to make the song play and then dance around the room, other than that, he doesn't really know many songs.  My Bad!!!)

Coolest person on earth:  Kate (he said this immediately, no thought required)

If you could anywhere on earth, where would you go:  church (good to know he likes it)

Favorite Color:  Black

When you were little what did you do:  cooking

What is your favorite season:  spider (these were both answered with as much gusto and confidence as the others; he is living under the philosophy of, act like you know what you're talking about and people will think you do)

If you could have one wish what would it be:  chocolate (that sums up John's thoughts on food.  That is what he dreams of.  A life of chocolate).

This is already so long, that I will end it with just the interview and come back with a few more thoughts on my John a little later...

Thursday, February 7, 2013


He's turning three tomorrow.  Of course I ask, how is that possible?  And how has it been three years since I was pregnant? 

Anyway, I will be back with more words, of course ;) but for now a quick look back at the past three years.

 my sweet newborn John

age one

  age two

 and now ate age three, well, back in the fall, but you get the picture.

Is there really any way to say how thankful I am for my John?  No, but I will give it a go anyway in a few days ;) 

Happy birthday to my little man!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Before I was Mom

Tonight, as Scott watches the Super Bowl, and I look for ways to kill time, I started looking at old pictures on facebook.  Just for fun.  And I stumbled upon these.  Life, a long, long time ago, or so it seems, before I was mom (except I guess was already a mother, really), when I was a newlywed, teaching American and British Literature to students who really didn't like literature.  But, oh goodness, did I love those students.

That job was so stinkin' hard at first.  And I cried and I stayed late and I prayed and I figured it out as much as a first year teacher can.  I don't know what they learned that year.  Sometimes it seems I imagined the whole thing.  But, thank the Lord, I took some pictures one day towards the end of the semester, so that moment is frozen it time.  It really did happen.  Scott sometimes asks, if the sky was the limit and you weren't a mom and you could do any job, what would it be, and I honestly, honestly, honestly answer, "it would be that one.  The job I had for that one year."  I would teach high school English to those kids. 

Here is the evidence that I did teach.  Once.  A long time ago.


p.s. lots of different classrooms are pictured.  Because I was a first year teacher and low on the totem pole, I was a "floater."  In other words, no classroom of my own.  Just me and my rolling cart, with stuff piled high and falling off.  I was no more organized as a teacher than I am now ;)  And when my stomach kept getting larger and larger, I had lots of kind male students who "took care of me" and met me in my office to help me get up the stairs with all of my stuff.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Hello, internet friends.  Are you out there?

We Moores have been dealing with sickness all week, mostly Scott, with a little bit of John and Ada thrown in.  And, thank you, Lord, I have not been sick, but I am just exhausted as a side effect of being wife and mom to the sick ones.  You  understand, right?

We have a new, wonderful, feature with our insurance--teladoc, for those times when you just need a quick conversation with a doctor.  So last night, when I was a bit at my wit's end, all it took was a phone call and John had a prescription waiting for him at CVS for his goopy eyes.  Not really pink eye, but pink eye sort of.  More like, his eyes overflow whenever he gets a cold. ( Remember his eye procedure over a year ago?  During our "crazy" year?)  I was so very thankful for that phone call.  No doctor's appointment, no germy waiting room.  All I needed was some eye drops, and we got them.  And then later that night, when Scott realized he still wasn't well, a week into his sickness (and he had already been to the doctor earlier in the week, testing negative for flu and strep), we made another teladoc call, and Scott had an antibiotic and cough suppressant waiting for him at CVS.  And just like that, the Moore men are on the mend.  Miraculous. 

I am hoping and praying for lots of sleep this week.  I just want some sleep.  And for everyone to be well and to stay well.

Also, I have been looking up some articles on what a kindergarten reading level even is, and it looks like we might be more on track than I realized.  So, we are really, really, really focusing on vowel sounds, and I am reminding Ada to "think of the pictures" every single time (you know, e-e-elephant), and we are making serious progress!!  yay, yay, yay.  Pinterest is also really coming through for me with lots of fun worksheets for short vowel practice. 

And we have a big birthday coming up on Friday--John turns three.  I confess that Ada was mostly completely potty trained by her third birthday.  John is not.  Mostly because I dread the whole thing.  But, I think we are just going for it this week.  This is what I can't figure out.  With Ada, we just stayed home for several days and did nothing but focus on potty training, and we got it done (except for the issues she had for months after that, but I won't go into that), but we don't have that option now.  We really don't have any days in the week where we don't have some where that we have to be.  How do I potty train when we are on the go so much?  We have chunks of time that we are at home, but how do we not have set backs when we're not at home?  For example. on Tuesday during CC, John is in the nursery from 9-12, and I can probably take him to the potty once during that time.  There is only one adult in the nursery, with no attached bathroom, so she can't take John to the potty because she has to stay with the other kids.  Any advice?  Do pull-ups really work, or is that the same as letting him still wear diapers?  I am a fan of going cold turkey.  With Ada, we took the diapers away and never went back, but we were at home when she had "accidents" and those only lasted for about three days.  I don't know how to potty train not using the "cold turkey" approach.  Any advice on that, anyone?  Moms who work, how do you potty train with your kids in daycare or with a baby-sitter?  Advice please!!  Also, John doesn't seem to be bothered by accidents, where Ada was very bothered by them, which worked in our favor.  Bottome line, I don't want to do this!!!

Anyway, that's all.  Just checking in really quickly.  It's an exciting Saturday night over here, as you can see ;)