Saturday, December 27, 2008

Leitch Christmas

On Wednesday we headed up to my parents' for Christmas.  We went to church Christmas Eve and then my dad's side of the family came over after that.  The kids were up REALLY late and then had kind of a hard time settling down for bed.  

Christmas morning we opened presents with my family and then had brunch with my grandma and my great-uncle Dewey (he flew in from LA to spend Christmas with us).  After naps we headed to my Grandma Jacob's house for Christmas with my mom's side of the family.  

The kids had a great time playing with cousins and opening presents!  We came home yesterday and are ready to get back into a normal routine - for the next couple of weeks atleast.   

Here are some pictures of our Christmas in Morton.
my sister-in-law, Denise and my niece, Contessa
my brother Rick, sister Alison, great uncle Dewey, me, and my brother Max
the girls opening presents
Alison and Will
Contessa - just chilling - she was probably over stimulated by her crazy cousins!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Swinigan Christmas

Kevin's parents were in town last weekend to celebrate Christmas.  Shawn, Shawna, Jackson, and Janelle came out Saturday morning to open presents.  The kids had a great time playing with each other and their new toys.  Norah watching Jackson play a new game on his Leapster.

Lucy playing with her new Little People toy.
The 4 cousins - getting ready to open presents.
Norah and Jackson singing "Jingle Bells."

Christmas Fun!

We have tons of pictures to go through before I post about our Christmas.  Our big gift was a new camera!!!  We also are trying to find a place for all the girls' stuff!!

For now, here is a picture of the 4 of us from yesterday.  Several people have asked for a belly shot of me.  This is probably the best you're going to get - 35 weeks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Norah's Drawing

Here is Norah's most recent drawing.  She says it is Lucy, the baby and her - all with Santa hat stickers.  

One of Those Nights

Last night was one of those nights where both girls were awake at different times.  I think Lucy was awake 4 different times in the night (2 of which we were still up).  Norah was awake once - crying.  Now, it is 8:00 and both girls are still sleeping.  In fact Lucy is in our bed sleeping.  She came into our room about 6:30 and climbed in bed with us.  Neither Kevin nor I could fall back to sleep so we got up and there lies Lucy - sound asleep.  

I should be doing something productive - instead I am blogging!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Much to Blog About

Not a whole lot to blog about.  We had my nephew's birthday party yesterday - my sister blogged about it.  The girls had a great time with their cousins!  

Lucy is as feisty as ever.  Can she sense that her life is about to drastically change?  She is wearing us out!!

Norah is napping again almost everyday.  If she misses - she is fine, but she seems to crash pretty quickly if she is in her bed.  

We might be a little closer to names for the baby.  Well, for the boy we are probably down to 2 or 3.   If we have another girl, I don't know how we'll choose.  Our list is atleast 5 long.  We don't have middle names either.  

We have less than 6 weeks to go - hard to believe.  I know I haven't posted any belly pictures.  I may have Kevin take one this week so this child knows that I did in fact carry him/her.  I just try to avoid too many pics of myself when I am pregnant.   

Had dinner with the Morrison's.  It had been a while since we had seen them - sad, I know, since we live 4 minutes apart.  The kids played great together!!

That is about all the randomness for now.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book Suggestions

To follow up yesterdays post, I could use a few suggestions to add to our book list.  If anyone has any suggestions for first chapter books that your kids like (would especially love suggestions from teachers).  Obviously, for now, I will be reading the books to Norah.  Some of the books I have to start with are:

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden (this was one of my favorites)
Pocahontas by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire (this is a lengthy picture book with excellent illustrations)
Meet Christopher Columbus by James T. de Kay 
The Adventures of Bobby Raccoon by Thornton W. Burgess (good for teaching about animal life)
Van Gogh and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt

As you can see I want books that cover a wide variety of subjects - art, science, history, as well as just good fiction books.

As I said I am open for suggestions to add to our list.  The books above vary in length - 20 some pages to 100 some page.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just Gathering My Thoughts

We are just a few weeks away from finishing up the homeschool curriculum that we have been using and I am trying to make a few decisions about what to do after the baby comes.  I may have mentioned this before but in the end I haven't loved the curriculum.  There is so much busy work/worksheets.  Obviously, my background in early ed was in a play-based classroom.  I want to enjoy teaching the girls and at this point, I think Norah and I both dread the table work.  I have done TONS of searching for other activities that fit with the theme, but don't require us to sit at the table.  I have cut out a number of the worksheets and made games that teach the same thing - just more fun.  It is interesting to me because My Father's World is supposedly a Charlotte Mason style of teaching, but the more I read about Charlotte Mason, the less I see the connection.  Maybe I would see it more with the older grades.

The main idea of Charlotte Mason was teaching with living books - not textbooks.  The idea is that you can teach anything (math obviously needs a supplement) by using whole books.  Table work is very limited and it is focused around the books that you are reading.  
A fellow blogger recommended 2 different books that I have read and gained quite a bit of insight.  One, which I had bought a year or so ago, is Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson, and the other is an E-Book called A Charlotte Mason Primer by Cindy Rushton.  
What I love about this style of teaching is that school happens all day, not just during "school time."  Obviously there is a set time for table work, which now I refer to as "school work."  This idea seems to imply that school only happens at the table - which is not the case.  There is also an emphasis on reading - LOTS of reading!  
Anyway, there is a lot more to it, but I have just begun my research.  I think I am going to attempt to teach with a Charlotte Mason style after the baby comes.   I still have to decide on a math curriculum - I am leaning towards Math on the Level, but still need to research this a little too.  

Barbie Dolls

So the girls are getting a doll house for Christmas.  It is one of those 4 ft doll houses for "fashion" dolls.  As in fashion - I think that basically is a Barbie or something of the same size.  I'm not sure that I am ready for the girls to play with Barbie dolls - after all, they are only 4 and 2.  However, I don't know what other dolls to get them.  Any of the doll houses at Toys R Us that come with dolls are quite a bit littler - I don't think they could even sit in the furniture .  There are the High School Musical dolls that are the same size as the Barbies, but I think I would prefer a "family."  

I am looking for opinions.  Do your 4 year olds play with Barbies?  Any suggestions for other dolls?  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Home Alone

I spent the weekend home alone - the entire weekend.  Kevin took the girls to Indy to see his parents and grandma.  The girls hadn't been there since May and with the baby coming, it will probably be a while before get there again, so he wanted to make the trip.  They left right after lunch on Friday and they are just a few minutes away.  I don't think I have ever spent this much time alone!  

Of course, I had a list of things to do, but my priority was scrapbooking.  I wanted to get caught up before the baby comes - and I was about 9 months behind.  Friday evening and most of the day on Saturday, I scrapbooked.  I ended up scrapbooking about 25 pages!!  I realize that if I would just take a couple of hours every couple of months, then I wouldn't get this far behind.  It is hard, though, because I prefer to spread out all over the living room floor to work.  I  left the house twice to run to Michael's for more supplies (thankfully, Michael's is less than a mile from my house).  I think cleaning up was more overwhelming than all the scrapbooking!!
I did accomplish a few other things while home alone.  I finished a couple of homemade presents and wrapped all the presents that I have.  I also cleaned the upstairs level of our house.  
I had hoped to catch up on some sleep, but I am getting a cold and I couldn't breathe very well in the night.  Between that and going to the bathroom every few hours - I didn't get much sleep.  I still feel more rested than normal - probably because I wasn't responsible for anyone but myself.
*Kevin and the girls are home - he said they did great in the car!  It's funny because we have commented several times recently that they are both finally at good ages to be able to do certain things (like travel) and we are throwing a new baby into the mix soon!  
Before putting the girls to bed we realized that both girls are running fevers - which means no Mother's Day Out tomorrow.  I didn't think Lucy would go willingly after being apart all weekend.  

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Haircuts

Wednesday we had 'haircut' day for all 3 of us girls.  Norah decided a couple of weeks ago that she wanted to cut her hair to her shoulders.  I was all for that - her hair was starting to look stringy.  Blah!  Lucy's curls had sort of disappeared because her hair was getting too long and their is no humidity right now.  I just needed something easy!  My hair is so think that it takes FOREVER to dry and I don't have forever these days.  Norah can't stop staring at herself - she loves her haircut.  I think it is adorable - Kevin likes it but thinks she looks shorter (I don't know if it is possible for Norah to look any shorter than she already is).

Once we got home on Wednesday, Norah says, "I like my hair the best, Lucy's the second best, and Mommy's hair the third best."  She asked me to post pictures of everyone's new haircut.  She took the picture of me (ignore the fact that I have spots on my shirt and no make-up on - really, I can't believe that I am posting it!!!)
Note:  Norah posed herself and then thought Lucy and I should also be in front of the Christmas tree.

The Gingerbread House

For school this week, our story was The Gingerbread Man.  We read a WIDE variety of Gingerbread Man and then compared all the books.  We made a gingerbread house - I just bought a kit from Michael's.  Sometime maybe I will attempt to bake one, but not this year.  The girls did a GREAT job decorating it!  I thought there would be some arguing, but they had a blast!!  Sorry the lighting in the pictures is so bad - we have so many windows in our kitchen that it is very difficult to take decent pictures.  

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Family . . drawn by Norah

Here are a couple of pictures Norah drew recently.  Obviously, with 5 people (including the baby) we are too big of a family for one piece of paper.  

This first picture is Norah and Lucy.  When we asked her why she had a sad face, she responded, "Can't you see that Lucy is hitting me?"
Nice, huh?
This is Kevin and the baby - nothing too exciting, but prepare yourself for the next one.
This is me.  I realize that I am pregant, but I didn't think I was that big.  I'm almost 32 weeks and have gained about 17 pounds - do I really need a WHOLE page for myself.  And if you remember right, the baby is in the previous picture.  It looks as if I will have my work cut out for me losing the baby weight.
Side note:  Norah also told me yesterday that I "looked really big" in the shirt I was wearing.