A lot of our conversations in this house revolve around poop.  Yup, not kidding… Poop.

We have one baby, one toddler, and two preschoolers, so poop is a neverending source of conversation.  Some old-time favorites are always size, color, smell, body parts, and the list goes on.  Mom’s least favorite poop topic is location.  Mostly because the conversation always begins with, “Me poo…. or I pooped…”  And ends with me screeching, “You pooped WHERE?!”  It’s not pretty, but I’m convinced it’s normal. 

My oldest daughter, on the other hand, is positive it is NOT normal and we should all pretend as though no one ever poops.  It should not be mentioned.  Ever… That function which shall not be named.   Following one of these conversations you’ll hear her take a deep sigh and mutter, “It’s not okay.  It’s just not okay.  I can’t believe we’re talking about this again.”   And she’ll quietly slink away, pretending not to be listening to the conversation.

Well, I just want to say, “Thank you Tim Hawkins!  I now have the reassurance  I needed to know YES, we’re normal!” 

We got to see Tim perform last weekend in Galena, Illinois.   I’ll admit to being a little giddy at being alone with my husband overnight for the first time in approximately 13 years, but I thought he was fantastic!

His skit on his three year old ds and poop was priceless and I was laughing way louder than I ought according to my husband.  But, gosh, it’s so nice to relate to someone! 

It was with GREAT relief that I came home the next day and reassured our almost 13yo dd, “We’re totally normal!”

She broke my heart. 😦

“No mom, we’re NOT normal.  It’s just that he’s as twisted as we are.”

Sigh.

Whateva’.

It’s Tuesday.  I’m fairly caught up.  Or at least as good as it’s going to get.  The kids are ready to settle down and work on school so I’ll be making yogurt and tortillas today for those interested parties.  I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

Oh yes, we did.   We DID indeed buy the silly pancake puff pan.  Not only did we buy it, but as cheapskate parents, we bought it for the child who was absolutely OBSESSED with the idea of pancake puffs.  Happy Birthday Rebecca.

It’s not as easy as the infomercial makes it seem – go figure.  But there are tips and tricks all over the internet and I think I got it figured out!

Pancake Puffs with Sausage Centers

Pancake Puffs with Sausage Centers

 

Golden Puffs

Golden Puffs

Happy Little Girls

Happy Little Girls

 

Now, the normal me would have made these with a whole wheat, multi-grain, from scratch recipe with turkey sausage.  Tired Me, (the new me) TOTALLY used a mix and the yummy bacon sausage.  Tired Me, being from THIS family, was completely convinced I must be pregnant, but alas, no.  Not yet anyway.  So, apparently I was just being lazy.  Or maybe not as I had to go back into the store to buy the mix.  But sometimes you just want easy!

You know the sick and wrong thing about all of this?  Go out and milk the goat, strain the milk, pour the milk into the batter.  The kids?  Not entertained.  Go out and feed the chickens, you can gather the eggs, you can use those very fresh eggs and are the kids amazed?  Nope.  Pour non-chemical wheat berries into your mill and “magically” make flour for the mix…  The kids?  Totally unfascinated by the process.

BUT, add water to a box mix and they are flabbergasted!   The kids, “WOW!  You can make pancakes just by adding water??  That is SO cool!  WOW!”

Um, yeah.  No justice.

That’s right.  It’s February.  It’s when all of us stereotypical homeschool moms expecting a large tax refund because we have a dozen children buy our curriculum. 😛  It’s said tongue in cheek but there is more than a little truth to it!

So after MUCH torture, a lot of research, even more second guessing, I’m made a decision.  (Drum roll, please.)

 

Tapestry of Grace Year 2

Tapestry of Grace Year 2

It was no easy decision.  My criteria was stiff.  We’ve followed The Well Trained Mind (loosely) for years.  I firmly believe the Classical Method of education has much to offer.  I prefer it in a more Charlotte Mason format than how Susan Wise Bauer outlines it in TWTM, but all in all, I think it offers children the best education.  That said, I’ve found it more and more difficult to accomplish.  Could the six children being born in just under eight years have contributed to that?  Possibly. 

I will say that I chose this curriculum based on my oldest two children.  Last year we did Sonlight.  I’ll say right now I think Sonlight is excellent.   I had drooled over it a lot before we bought it.  But, when it got here and I had chosen three different Cores because my children just weren’t able to combine.  We had a VERY academic 12 year old, a 9 year old, and a 6 year old.  It just wasn’t working because I wanted to discuss the books, do all the read alouds, and do it at my pace.  Sonlight is VERY well laid out… down to the day as a matter of fact and I’m not that organized.  I don’t like daily plans, they are very constrictive to me.  And I didn’t like reading aloud 3-4 hours a day. 

What I’m hoping Tapestry of Grace will offer me.  Well, for one, they offer weekly plans.  Their discussion lessons are loose, based on a general subject, not specific, so that you can supplement books to their program and not just use only their spines.  It’s really MEANT to be supplemented and I love that as we are constantly getting books from the library on every topic that comes up.  Second, it is the single most combinable curriculum I’ve ever seen.  When you get to Lampstand Press which is their bookstore, it’s going to ask you what year.  And then it will show you ALL the books for each learning level.  This is one year, customized to each level, and they all fit together.  The weekly suggestions are all right there for you in the single curriculum, by level.  Which means, that at a glance, I’ll be able to lay out plans for my 7yo, my 9yo, and my 12yo. 

I’m NOT thrilled at making my own lesson plans.  But I have such great Excel spreadsheets drawn up from doing it for the past eight years, I’m sure I’ll manage.  More importantly it’s about tweaking it to our family.  And it’s really built for multi-ages, not just an after thought. 

 

I am NOT doing this with our little ones.  I think like most Moms of Many (MOMYS) we often feel pulled in two separate directions.  We have to do school with the olders and middles by necessity.  And it feels as though the littles don’t get the same Mama Time that the first half did when they were little. 

Little Hands to Heaven by Heart of Dakota

Little Hands to Heaven by Heart of Dakota

Little Hands to Heaven is a complete preschool program that includes:

  • letter recognition
  • letter formation
  • letter sounds and motions
  • early math skills
  • Bible activities
  • devotional topics
  • art projects
  • dramatic plays
  • active exploration
  • finger plays
  • music

More importantly, it’s just plain fun and gives me a chance to play with and giggle with my littles.  Rebecca is just at the very top end of the age range and I know it won’t challenge her much, but she’ll enjoy the stories and the songs and the Mama time and Abigail and Timothy will be able to do it as well.  Rebecca is a little girl that LOVES to “do” school and while I’m not fond of workbooks, she loves them.  So we’ll round her out with a little Italics workbook and with Explode the Code and of course, we always use The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.  

I’m still up at arms about Science, but quite honestly we do a LOT of hands on science and science reading, so I’ll figure it out.  Right now it’s just a relief to have a decision made.  Now, we only have to get through the wait for our boxes!  Time to clear a shelf!  Uh oh…….