Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Micah

Micah turns 1 today. When I think back to this day last year it is filled with so many emotions. That first week I was on auto-pilot. That caught me off guard. My husband, in his wisdom, knew that is what would happen and arranged for me to stay with strangers at the time, now great friends.He did not want me doing it alone. They kept me going and fed and everything else.They will never know what a blessing their hospitality was to me and the peace that it gave my husband knowing I was not alone during all of that. That day and the few days after were so emotional for me and it was hard to function in that when you do not know anyone. They knew that and helped me along.And then to come home to the news that everything was different than we had been told was well, overwhelming. Anyway, as I think back over the last year I am thankful for new friends, for an awesome relationship with the birth mother, and most of all, the great gift that we have. Micah definitely lives up to his middle name, Makana, meaning gift in Hawaiian.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Did You Hear It?

Did you hear that very loud sigh of relief coming from the Etter home? Yesterday has come and gone with no one appealing the judges decision on terminating the parental rights. We are in the home stretch now. Everything from here out is just a formality. We have a finalization date of April 16.

In other adoption news, we had a great time at Medieval Times last night. Isaac was so proud when it was announced that the Etter family was celebrating the adoption of Isaac. The boys did not know what to do with themselves. Micah sat mesmerized by it all. Zach was a little afraid in the beginning but soon warmed up and was cheering our knight along and booing very loudly at our enemy. Jack was hilarious. Every time someone was "stabbed" or "whipped", he would scream with laughter and say,"That is funny!"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Busy Times

We have a big weekend coming up. My sister is coming to town to celebrate Micah's
1st b-day. I cannot believe it has been a year. With all of the struggles it felt like and eternity, now I want that time back. Sunday is Isaac's Adoption Day. He never lets me forget that I was in Hawaii for it last year, so we need to do something really special this year. It really does not bother him that I was in Hawaii. It is just his excuse to celebrate big. We are going to Medieval Times Dinner Theater tonight to celebrate. He is excited.Actually everyone, except Zach, is excited. He is not happy that he will have to eat with his hands. He is so much like is father. And last but not least, today is day 30 of the termination of parental rights appeal process. At the end of today we will let out the biggest sigh of relief ever.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finding Out Something New Everyday

Today Zach decided I needed to be filled in on how you dance to hip-hop. He is 5 so
I thought this would be rather interesting. He broke out in a full force break dancing routine. I commented on how he really is his father's son. Well, my husband took issue with that little slam and informed me that he was part of a break dancing club in high school. When I asked what friends were in this little club, he told me the football players. I do not know which is more out of character- the break dancing or his being in a club with the football players. Wow! I thought I knew him! I laughed until I hurt.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Curriculum Choices

It is that time of year again for homeschoolers. We are all asking ourselves, "What are we doing next year?" Things are pretty much set for us. I made some changes in
Isaac's curriculum this past year with good results so we are sticking with it. He will more than likely do:

Math U See This was new this year. He has done much better. Math has gone from tears and frustration to one of his better subjects.
VP Grammar & Writing Online (Shurley Grammar and IEW)
VP Literature Online as an auditing student. -I went back and forth on this one. I did not want him as a full student. We tend to pick and choose between the Lit books and the Historical Lit books. I am afraid he would struggle to keep up and we would have to give up a lot of the Historical Lit. I do however like the idea of him benefiting from the teaching of a Literature teacher while going through these classics.
VP Latin Online (Latin for Children)
VP Explorers to 1815 Online
Sylvan Spelling- This was new for us this year and we LOVED it. WE will continue with it and I think VP will even be putting in the catalog.
VP Handwriting

I am still struggling with Sarah. She does great with Saxon, but I am wondering if it would be easier for me to have them in the same curriculum. The same is true for spelling. She does fine with Phonetic Zoo and is a great speller. But would it be easier on me to put her in what Isaac is in? I am thinking we will stick with what is good for her. They are not on the same level so, I would be working with them separately anyway. For now her curriculum looks like this:

VP 3rd Grade LitShurley Grammar with a small amount of IEWPhonetic Zoo A/B
Song School Latin
VP Handwriting

Zachary will be doing:

Phonics Museum
Saxon Math
We will read through the Child's Story Bible in our family devotions.(I am also working on a project for this.)

All three children will be doing Memory Work, Poetry, Art, and Music. I am working on a Memory Work project. More on that later. I usually do Art in the summer when we have more time to makes messes.:) I am looking at Atelier Art. For Poetry we work through Writing Poetry and I also have different poems and verses they memorize and spend weeks copying for copy work. Music comes in the form of instrument lessons, studies on different composers from different genres, and possibly choir.

That is how things are looking to shape up here. What is on your mind for your children?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Menu for the Week

This week is nothing special. It looks like I am heavy on slow cooker meals. But, it is what I have in the freezer.

Monday- Ham loaf- mashed potatoes-Peas
Tuesday- Slow cooker pork chops and gravy-brown rice-green beans
Wednesday-Chicken Tortilla Soup-Salad
Thursday-Pot Roast with Vegetables-Rolls
Friday-Pizza (Movie night with our homeschool group)

Since the kids have basketball all day on Saturday, we have been having our Sabbath meal on Sunday. I have a turkey breast in the freezer. I think I will find a good glaze to put on it and do brussel sprouts. I am not sure of my other sides yet.

What is on your table this week?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Willie Ain't Half Bad

Alright, Willie puts on a good concert. We were pleasantly surprised at the fun time we had. He has really put together a group of high caliber musicians. Then there is Ruby Jane. Can I just say that girl is awesome!?! We went backstage and met her before the concert. She was your typical 14 year old girl so excited to meet her crazy online teacher. When we asked if she was nervous she acted like that was a word she had never heard of before. She seriously is having a lot of fun. After talking with her mom, we realized she picked up a violin at two and basically started playing and has not stopped since. At 10 she was the youngest person to ever be invited to play at the Grand Ole Opry. Anyway, it was blast to meet her and hear her play. She had several solos and the crowd went wild every time. On her first solo they introduced her as as 14 year old little girl. After she was done everyone around us was all "Wow! 14!" It was funny to hear my husband saying"Yeah, she's my student!" Lesson learned? Concerts with talented people are good even if it is not your style.
And no, we will not make you compete against her in the Vertas Press Online Academy Talent Show at the End of the Year Gathering.

Ruby Jane during a solo

Ruby Jane on stage with Willie Nelson

Bruce and Ruby Jane

Friday, February 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

Alright, I know I am behind in the blogging world. I think it is a combination of busyness and lack of my creativity at coming up with blogging material. So, here are 7 quick takes of things that have been going on around here.

1. We have been crazy busy answering questions and giving guidance for the Veritas Press Online program and the new diploma program that was just announced this week.

2. I have been reading the book Of Different Minds. It is a book which explains teaching children with learning differences. It is from a Christian perspective and I am loving it. I have already used some of her suggestions at home and in my online classroom and am impressed with what I have seen.

3. Guess what concert we are going to tonight? Don't laugh! Willie Nelson. I said don't laugh!!(No offense to Willie Nelson fans. I am more of a U2 or maybe James Taylor kind of girl. So, going to a Willie Nelson concert has never entered my mind.) Bruce teaches Ruby Jane Smith in one of his Online Omnibus classes.He knew she was a musician, but did not realize she was the fiddle player for Willie Nelson. So, she is touring with him, and they play in Lancaster tonight. It will be fun to meet her. You should YouTube her. She is phenomenal.

4. Bruce and I booked tickets and are going on an adult vacation! We promised ourselves we would do Hawaii for real when all of the adoption mess was over. No, it is not all over and yes, he could still appeal but, we feel confident enough to celebrate. I guess if he does appeal, we still need time to unwind and REST. We can't wait to see our friends there!

5. Micah will be walking soon and his trying to talk. He definitely knows who Mama and Dada are and he waves and say bye-bye anytime anyone enters or leaves the room. He also claps every time he stands up or sees anyone laughing. He is almost like the first again. When the third and fourth hit milestones, who had time to acknowledge them? Micah has 4 siblings whose worlds stop every time he even looks or sounds like he is doing something. It is pretty funny to watch 4 children scream HE'S WAVING. HE'S WAVING! And then they all mimic whatever he is doing just encase he forgets.

6. Zach(5) shot a ball from "downtown" and made it in the hoop at last week's b-ball game. I was not there, but he says downtown means half-court.

7. I paid a lot of money this week to have my hair highlighted and does not look any different. She says if I come back within the week she will re-do it for free. I am going back.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grocery Fund

It is a really bad sign for the grocery budget when the 11 month old eats more than the 4 year old and 2 year old combined. In the past, we did not start seeing a change in the grocery bill until the kids were about 4. Well, Micah eats a full serving of everything we eat plus 2 snack times throughout the day. So, in an effort to make sure we can feed him, I am sending you here. The Etter family thanks you for any contribution to our grocery fund by signing up your children to take classes from Veritas Prss Online Academy.

Seriously, registration has began for current families and already by the second day we have more than half of this years number of registrants. Registration is open to the general public starting Monday. There are classes which will more than likely be full by then. So, if you need specific days and times, I would suggest registering pretty quickly.