25 June 2015

Day 143: Making a Cake

One of my favorite memories of summers with my aunt are baking lots of cakes and being allowed to lick the batter. Of course, back in the day, nobody worried about us eating the batter full of raw eggs and such. So today, the girls got to help their grandma making a cake. She had baked it last night, so the only thing left was making the frosting and decorate the cake with it. Of course, if you can't eat the batter, you've got to try the frosting.
Munchkin liked it but she said it was too sweet. Now the frosting on the cake was only half as sweet as she thought, but she sure enjoyed stirring that mixer around and around making the pink frosting that she had requested. I love making memories for them.

24 June 2015

Day 142: Water Fun

We are spending some time with Grandma and Grandpa, and today, we hit a local water park. Coqui just spent most of his time waiting in line for the big, tall water slides. He had no fears. Peanut was brave enough to go down a few times with Daddy. Just little Munchkin was too scared and spent her time on the lazy river with Mami and Grandma.

All together, we lasted for four hours before heading to the ice cream store to cool down. We made tons of memories and the kids want to go back already. Summer is here and we are having fun. We are not having formal school right now, but we are still learning something new every day. Today's motto was 'conquering your fears'.

22 June 2015

Day 140: Small Road Trip

Road trips are lots of fun, especially when you stop for gas for the car and for the humans. We love this place and it's cute mascot, and we always pick up some fudge and some sausage and some coffee. Yum yum.

21 June 2015

Day 139: Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to our Daddy.

20 June 2015

Day 138: Friendships for Life

We had a little get-together with some of our friends today. Those are friends that have become like family to us. They are our network, our support system, our lifeline. We can count on those friends, and they can count on us.

Here is a picture of Coqui with his friend Zoodle. They have known each other since Zoodle's birth. It is a special friendship that we hope will last for a long time. It was raining the entire time, but those kids didn't care - they played for hours in the mud. The boys created a boys club with Coqui as the leader. They built a circle of huge rocks, that was their clubhouse.

Stuff like this makes life worth it. Friendships and bonds. We are so thankful for all of our friends that have come out to be with us. Great conversations and tons of fun. We love all of you.

19 June 2015

Day 137: Enjoying the moment

Tonight, we went out to dinner with some colleagues from Daddy's work. While waiting, the kids had so much fun running in the shade of this beautiful building.Sometimes, you just need to let them be free and enjoy the  moment.

18 June 2015

Day 136: Friends are the whipped cream of life

This week, both big kids are participated in a local VBS (vacation bible school). They are having a blast while Munchkin and I are spending some quality time together - which we haven't had much, ever.
They are in different age groups, but they are with their friends, and they love it. Once it is over, it will be a bittersweet goodbye, for a while at least.

17 June 2015

Day 135: Girl Time

Today's homeschool adventure consisted of dressing up with friends during a playdate. I love how the girls have their own friends. Peanut and her friend know each other since birth - they are only weeks apart. I love their silly giggles and their loud girly screams. Making these memories is so precious.

15 June 2015

Day 133: A Day on the Lake

Friends of ours invited us out to the lakes. We had never been and it was an honor to be over there. We got to go on a boat ride around the lake. Then we swam in it. And then Coqui got to ride in a tube that was pulled by the boat. It was so much fun.

But the highlight of the trip was when Coqui learned to go on the water skiers. It took him a few tries until he got the hang of it. But at the end, he stood on the skiers and rode for about ten seconds. I love that he was determined to try and succeed. Super proud of him.

Thank you friends for an unforgettable afternoon and evening.

14 June 2015

Day 132: Car Bingo 2

It's been five years since I last posted about Car Bingo, but yep, we are still playing it. All the kids love it, Grandma loves it when she visits, and even my parents got pulled into it before.
Today, we found a new addition to our growing collection. Our very first license plate bingo. Coqui already played on the way home from the store and was mad that he only found cars from our state. Well, we are going on a small road trip soon, so maybe he'll be more lucky then.

13 June 2015

Day 131: Clean Girl

Trapped inside the house for most of the day, because they were quarantined for at last 24 hours, we were antsy to get some sunshine in the late afternoon. The big kids did lots of chalk pictures, hop scotches, and other games. My little Munchkin preferred to clean, including the chalk drawings of her siblings. She is a girl after Mami's heart.

12 June 2015

Day 130: A House full of sick Chicks

It is confirmed: now we all have Strep.

We went to the doctor to get them medicine prescribed. Thankfully, they are not having any "symptoms" like I did. They are quite cheerful, and loved that they got donuts two days in a row. (I went to the doctor with Munchkin yest.) To explain this: we have this 'rule' that whenever we go to the doctor, the kids get Dunkin Donuts afterwards. So now no matter who has to go, they all get to have a donut.

I guess I am glad that we are not sick very often in our house.

11 June 2015

Day 129: Buttons Buttons Buttons

Munchkin loves to be independent - sometimes. Lately, she has taken to dressing herself. The pants are pretty easy - two legs and put them in the holes provided, not a big deal. Now the shirts are a bit trickier but with a little help, she can manage those, too.

Her newest 'trick' are the buttons from her button pajamas. She has been practicing for a few days, but tonight, tonight she did all those buttons by herself! I won't tell you how long (!) it took her to get there. But I have to tell ya..... this girl has determination. She buttoned and buttoned, and when she realized it was wrong, she undid it and tried again, until it was all the right way.

Proud Mami.

10 June 2015

Day 128: VBS Family Night

Day Three of VBS is completed and tonight, they had Family Night. The kids got to go up on stage to sing their VBS songs. There were games for the guests. And before that, we had hotdogs and lemonade. We also got our picture taken in a photo booth, and the big kids got their faces painted. It was a great night for all.

09 June 2015

Day 127: Summer Reading

For the summer, Coqui has to read for at least half an hour every day. For Peanut, I told her to pick one of those Number One books and we would be working on getting her to read. So far, she's been quite rejecting the idea of reading independently, even though she can...... Let's see how successful we will be when these stories are words that interest her.

After Peanut got to read her book out, Munchkin grabbed it and pretended to read, too.

08 June 2015

Day 126: Mami's sick day and Munchkin on the Balance Bike

I feel awful, so I went to the doctor this morning. The diagnosis is, to no surprise: strep. So I am on antibiotics. Due to this, I've been in bed for two days straight and I really hope I feel better by tomorrow.

So I am going back to a picture from a few days ago. After many tries, Munchkin finally can do the balance bike. This is the same bike that my parents brought over many years ago for Coqui. All the kids learned to balance ride on this. I am excited that she can finally reach it. She was a little wobbly at first, and scared, so I had to hold her the entire time. But I know before long, she will fly down the street by herself.

07 June 2015

Day 125: My little Dictionary of Herbs from long ago

Today, I am so sick. We tried to go to church but I just couldn't sit through the entire service, so I pulled the kids out of their classes and we went home. I have since been in bed and will stay in here until I am better.

This is a picture from yesterday's study. I found this book and I am so happy I did. I must have gotten it as a kid, the tag states it from 1986 from East Germany. It is a little dictionary for kids about herbs. Since I have gotten into the essential oils, I am finding information about natural remedies everywhere. The reason why I got into them was because it made sense to me. I always grew up with these natural remedies, my grandmothers knew a lot and m y mother knows even more. She knows which herb is good for what, like the says that cherries reduce fever, blueberries can cause constipation, and we always have peppermint around the house for inhalation when we were sick.

So I started reading this little jewel yesterday. It is full of great information, not only for cooking, but also about essential oils. It has pictures of the plants, where they grow, how it smells and tastes, and how to use it. I feel empowered when I stay informed and can make good decisions for my family in case they have a little booboo.
The kids have gotten quite good at smelling the different scents, and what to ask for when they hurt. Like peppermint for their tummies, and lavender when they have a scrape. I am so glad we can learn together. 

06 June 2015

Day 124: Home Depot Truck

This morning, we went to one of the local Home Depot to have the kids do a project. We have never done this before, so the kids were eager to start hammering. It is such a fabulous idea. The two big kids were completely able to build their trucks all by themselves. Little Munchkin needed much help, but that's okay, at the end she was confident enough to swing the hammer herself.

The real cool thing about it: the trucks are completely done when they come home. Painting done, stickers done, everything done. They got a certificate and an award pin for their aprons. We will definitely return.

05 June 2015

Day 123: Taking a Break

We decided to take a break from our studies and enjoy the summer for a little while before we go back to the books. This is how we celebrated today, with lots of water fun with friends in the sun. After some much needed time at home, we went out for frozen yoghurt. What a relaxing and yet eventful day.

04 June 2015

Day 122: The Spell of the Spelling Words

We are using BJU Bob Jones University for our Spelling curriculum. We really like it and we will continue to use it for the years to come. It works for us, both me as the teacher and Coqui as the student. One list per week, and the kids learn to use the words in context, proofreading, and dictionary skills. It shows that those spelling words are not just words put into a list but that spelling has a purpose in life.

So for a while, we've been working on learning to think about the way the words are spelled, and why. I keep telling him to think about the root word and what else has happened to the word, like a prefix or a suffix or a tense change. So today, for the second time, during a spelling test, he's taken to a piece of scrap paper and trying out different ways to spell a word that he is not sure about. And for about half the time, it has worked for him. He spelled it correctly.

This is it! These are those little milestones that make me jump for joy. When our learning has reached a new level. I don't want him to drill the spelling words for one week and then forget about them. That would not serve him for life. But thinking why and how..... YES! This is it.

Super proud of him for this. And for being able to skip spelling lists here and there, because he already knows how to spell all the words. We are down to our last list of the year. We are excited about finishing the book and taking a break.

03 June 2015

121: Chess Partners

Yesterday, while at the park, I found Coqui inside the building playing chess with one of the boys. I asked him afterwards if they really played and he confirmed. Wow, I was a bit taken back because I had started teaching him how to play but we never got to play a real game together.

So today, the first thing he did after getting up was to pull out his chess game. It was a gift from last year's birthday (I think), and it is a great teaching tool to become a better chess player. It's called No Stress Chess, and teaches the rules by having the players draw cards randomly from a pile. So yes, you can not move freely as in a regular game, but it shows which move each piece can make by playing it. The more he played it this way, the more moves he learned and experienced a ton of different scenarios. He got pretty good.

So after playing with me two games, he decided to teach his sister. They also played two games before Peanut gave up. She is such a free spirit, she has a hard time following any rules in any game. But they still had fun, and she was exposed to something we all like to play.

02 June 2015

Day 120: Water Balloon Fight

We met some friends at the park today. It was a hot day, so the kids enjoyed a water balloon fight. Usually, this excites my son greatly, but the girls are too shy or too timid to get in with the big kids. Not today! The girls kept going at it. When the kids ran out of the pre-filled balloons, they went into the bathroom and started filling the empty ones. What I love most of it is that the bigger girls helped my little girls with the filling. I love that homeschooling teaches the kids to rely on other kids of any age, and that they don't focus so much on peers, or what school tells them their age group is. Great experience.

01 June 2015

Day 119: Happy Kindertag

In East Germany (and all other east block countries), we celebrated the children's day on the first of June. (And apparently, Germany is still having two different international children's days.)

It is a day dedicated to the children, their protection and their rights. Usually, we would get little gifts from our parents and maybe some at school, too. Bigger towns would put together festivals for the kids to enjoy, with rides and good food. It was a great day.

Of course, I have to share those special traditions with my own children. So today, they got some German treats to eat. And to their question of not doing school on such a wonderful day, I simply pointed out that one of those rights that children have is the right to a great education.

What a great day. We are so blessed with awesome children.