I’m posting again.  Let me sum up.  We had a quiet summer here.  B got some freelance work here and there, but not an internship, and nothing that made significant money.  That was disappointing for him, but it’s not like he didn’t try.  We got out and picked strawberries and blueberries, got our fruit and vegetables at the farm every week, cooked a lot!  I taught Musikgarten classes at the local community center on Saturdays, but decided it wasn’t worth continuing once B’s school started again.

In the Fall, the girls’ and my schedule picked up a bit.  Monkey started Musikgarten classes with a different teacher, since she was ready for the pre-keyboard classes that I’m not trained to teach.  That’s really been fun for her.  She’s continued in her gym class and loves it.  Her teachers love figuring out ways to challenge her, and I love that it’s fun and low key.  I joined a Community Bible Study that meets at a church just down the street from me.  They have children’s programs for the girls as well.  It’s been good for me to have a kick in the pants to be studying the Bible again.  Then, the girls spend Wednesday nights at B’s parents’ house and go to Bible Study Fellowship with B’s mom on Thursday mornings.  These girls are going to know their Bible stories!  And B and I enjoy having a date night each week and a morning for me to run errands or just sleep in.

Monkey and I do only about 30 minutes of lessons a day: a reading lesson from The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading and a handwriting lesson from Handwriting Without Tears.  We do other stuff informally: play with the abacus, Cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, update her magnetic calendar each month, as well as plenty of read-alouds.  We’ve been reading through the book lists from a unit study curriculum called Five in a Row.  I’m not a unit study kind-of gal, but we’ve enjoyed reading the books from the library.  Monkey can count to 100 now and recognizes her numbers up to 100, and she’s working on skip counting and counting by 5’s and 10’s.  I think she’ll do fine with Kindergarten math next year!

I’ve been planning for Kindergarten now that it’s not too far away.  We’ll focus on continued reading instruction, letter formation, and math.  For math, I plan to use Singapore Earlybird and supplement with Miquon.  Then, I’m considering this to use for nature study.  And we’ll focus on developing the skill Charlotte Mason called narration.  I’ll have her narrate – with words, pictures, etc – fairy tales, paintings, and classical pieces.  We’ll read other literature too: poems, AA Milne and Beatrix Potter stories, plus some chapter books.  Then, we’ll probably do an overview of history with an “exclusive” timeline song, reading a book to learn about each event on the timeline each week, while we slowly create the timeline on the wall.  I think that will give her some “pegs” to hang future history learning on, which is really all you can expect for Kindergarteners.  I’m still waffling on what to do for Bible, but likely I’ll read The Child’s Story Bible each day and let the girls use the coloring pages I got from Hold That Thought.  We’ll probably memorize these ABC Bible verses (there are lots of these out there, but for some reason I like this list), some Catechism questions and answers, and some poems.  This sounds like a lot, but I don’t expect us to spend more than two hours a day on school… maybe a little more for read alouds.

I hope to get most of that figured out and loosely planned in the next few months.  Because, as it’s been six months since I’ve posted to this blog, in about 6 months from now, we’re going to have a new baby!  I’ll be 14 weeks tomorrow, and the due date is in mid-June.  We’re excited, of course.  Because I know this will be your first question: gender-finding-out will happen in January.  So, next summer will be filled with nursing and napping and spit-up-cleaning and getting to know the newest member of our family!  The girls are thrilled.  Chicken thanks God for baby every night when we pray before supper.  Monkey likes to think up possible names for the baby and ask increasingly detailed questions about how the baby got in there (yikes!).

I am feeling 75% improved from the first couple of months.  Unfortunately, just as I was getting over the constant nausea and exhaustion, I’ve been getting back-to-back colds.  So, there’s my excuse for being a terrible blogger the past 3 months, at least.

B is almost done with this quarter.  He’s doing some awesome work.  Here’s a bench (it’s actually a swing) that he designed and built:

He’s been doing web work for his department, and starting next quarter will do some admin work for them as well.  We are praying that God would provide the means to get through his school without having to take out any loans.  B is doing an amazing job of doing school, finding work, and still being a great husband and father.  We are so proud of him!