Thursday, August 18, 2016

Back to HOMESchool!

I'm so excited! We still have a few weeks of summer left, which we plan to wholeheartedly enjoy with plenty of trips to the pool, the movies, the museum, the park... lots of play dates and fun still ahead!

BUT... we've also officially started our THIRD year of homeschooling! LO is now in 4th Grade and my sweet Chase is now in 1st Grade! And of course my littlest one, E, is in Pre-Pre-K -- haha!

It's been a great start to school... once I was finally able to get my classroom in order! I'm such a neat freak and have such insanely ridiculous OCD tendencies that it seriously must take me about 12 times longer to do a few simple things than your average person. I seriously have issues. But at least I admit it, right?? ;)

So I took a few minutes today to take a few pictures of my classroom now that it's (A) clean and (B) set up for our new year. I know it won't stay this clean and organized for more than a few days hours, so I had to document it while it wasn't embarrassing!

I haven't edited the kids' first day of school pics yet, but I hope to share those really soon!

Enjoy a little glimpse of our Home Sweet Homeschool!

First up: The reason I do what I do. These three are my heart.


This year we will be focusing on learning to tell time on analog clocks, so I decided to hang one above our white board.


I'm not afraid to reward hard work with candy, so here ya go! Skittles are also super helpful with our math games! Yum.


I love my rolling cart from IKEA! I'm using it as individual bins for the three kiddos. Can you guess which one belongs to each kid? Shocker: You may notice -- Chase is phasing out his Mario addiction!


I love organized, color-coded paper. Special props to LO for her mad sorting and organizational skills!


LOVE artwork by LO. Such a fun addition to our schoolroom.


Classical Conversations timeline cards! We love these things!! And I'm madly in love with them in these binders!


And all the organizing Type A OCD folks unite in glorious song! Check out these art supplies, my friends!


{{deeply inhales}} Breathe it all in, folks. The glorious goodness of organized Crayola. Is there anything better?


Lots of art supplies! I may be hating myself for this later, but last year I kept all of the art supplies out of sight in my homeschool cabinet. The kids (LO) were constantly getting into it and (LO) leaving the door open and (LO) making it a disorganized mess and (LO) never putting things away, so I decide to embrace their (LO's) huge love of all things crafty and create an art center right in the middle of our schoolroom in plain sight. I'm hoping I'll have the ability to keep an eye on E to make sure these don't end up drawing on walls, curtains, furniture, etc., but we'll have to wait and see!


I'm literally in love with these storage canisters from Oriental Trading of all places. Math games beware! We are stocked in the ping pong ball, marble, and math die categories! Bring on the fun!


I {heart} organizing!


Whew. This one is gonna be a biggie this year! LO will be adding Essentials afternoon classes with our morning Foundations classes with Classical Conversations. I don't know a thing about it yet, but I did know enough to basically leave an entire bookshelf free for all of the materials we'll be using. :)



I decided to add a few things on the walls this year -- just for fun! LO & Chase already know the Presidents, and LO knows all of the states and capitals (assuming she remembers them all from when I taught them to her in 2nd grade), while Chase knows all of the states. I guess it's time to start teaching E his US geography now!


I LOVE LOVE LOVE this ginormous laminated map I hung up outside of our pantry (there was no room for it in our schoolroom). I found it at Hobby Lobby for like $9.99 I think -- but I used their 40% off coupon and it was literally the best homeschool purchase ever! I'm excited to start working on our European geography this year!


Never one to shy away from the camera, I had to include a goofy pic of my silly E! This pretty much sums up how I feel about finishing the prep work for a new year of homeschooling, knowing that all of my hard work will soon be destroyed by eager little learners! I couldn't be more thrilled!!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

LO's 9th Birthday Extravaganza: Part I

Happy 9th Birthday, LO!


We had such a wonderfully busy weekend celebrating a certain little girl's 9th birthday! She's been planning her party for several weeks now, and was responsible to oversee several of the details.

I'll include a bit of commentary with these images below, but just a heads up... this is mostly a montage of photos from her big party!

Here she is decorating the sea star cookies we made for one of the party favors.


Beautiful sweet girl! This is one of the pics I took of her in the seashell crown she designed for her party.


Her custom mermaid artwork!



The sea star cookie favors!



A lovely centerpiece project we worked on together. I loved the added homeschool lesson that came from this project!


Easily my FAVORITE centerpieces. Thanks, Pinterest!




Artwork also designed by LO. She and I worked together on the "9" covered with mermaid "scales."






My first attempt making homemade marshmallow fondant for a cake!


I was rather pleased with how the cake turned out. I learned a lot about what I did wrong, so that was super helpful! She designed the cake bunting herself.



Cupcakes with custom cupcake toppers using the birthday girl's artwork!


Chocolate seashells in "sand" (a.k.a. Golden Oreos).


Loved this punch recipe! Hawaiian Punch, pineapple juice, and Sprite!


LO decided to "bedazzle" the water bottles... ;)


Because every birthday party needs a Sundae Bar!


Yes, we bedazzled the forks and spoons...


One of her favorite decorations: the seahorse from Hobby Lobby!


My birthday princess!


Silly girl!


She wanted to light her own candle {very first time ever!}.




Yummy sundaes!




After the party at the house, it was time to head to the pool for more fun! Here's crazy Chase doing his thing!


LO with her sweet cousin!


More Chase!



And of course E had to get in on the action!



LO had a great time at her party and I think all of her friends had fun, too! It was such a wonderful day and was so much fun to focus on and celebrate my sweet girl. I just love her so much and I am so happy that I get to be her mom!

Stay tuned for Part II of her birthday extravaganza!