Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It is miserably hot here. So hot that the only things I have any desire to do with enthusiasm are showering and napping. Today I'm even breaking my self imposed "no shorts" rule, although I'll probably change into a long, pretty skirt before Darren gets home. There are certain things to which I simply cannot, in good conscience, subject my poor husband. Natural childbirth? Perfect and beautiful. No problem! Pasty white legs in dire need of a good, sculpting workout regimen? Ugh. Not a chance. Not intentionally, anyway. At least not in the middle of the day! ;)

Monday was my birthday. I feel a little silly mentioning it now, and I probably wouldn't even say anything at all, except that I promised my mom I would post a picture of the cake I made with my kids. :) It was yummy (Hershey's chocolate) and the design was inspired by the delightful gift I received from my sister-in-law and brother. So. Thirty one years old! I've been whoopin' it up by listening to all my favorite hits of the 90's. (New Kids On The Block, anyone? Please don't tell me that you're not just as thrilled as I am by the news of their reunion tour and soon to be released album.)

June is fading so fast. I've got some serious planning to do with regards to next year's homeschooling curriculum, but I just have no clue where to even begin. The thought of a carefully structured unschooling approach really excites me, but does such a thing really even exist? I guess what I mean is, I'd love to just select a few key areas of study (astronomy, I'm thinking, and early American history, perhaps) and really just submerge ourselves in those topics. Dylan absorbs so much and just loves learning when he really takes an interest in something, and, while I liked the workbooks we used for Kindergarten, it felt so much like I was just forcing him through the process, robbing him of the pleasure of learning. I hate that. My vision for him is so much greater than simply sitting and doing loads of busy work just to have something to show at the end of the day. I'd love to have one key area of interest around which all other subjects could revolve (vocabulary words selected from astronomy, for instance, and copy work selected from related text.) My head hurts. This is so much for me to think about.

Moving on...Dylan lost his third tooth last Saturday! His top two have been loose for a while now, and while dining with Darren's dad and step-mom, one fell out with his first bite of grilled corn on the cob! His new smile makes me smile every time I see it. :)

Speaking of smiles, Kristen has reached an adorable, very social stage and we are all just so much more in love with her every day! It is so cute to see her respond to us with true delight, and we never tire of prompting her big smiles!

I brought out one of our old play mats a few days ago, and all of my girls were so excited to have a turn! They are so silly; I just have to share these two pictures in particular:

Priceless! But don't worry, Kristen is getting plenty of her own time to explore her "new" toy, too. She really likes it!

My brother and his family will be here for the 4th of July weekend and I can't wait! My brother and sister-in-law are Kristen's godparents, and, since she's already been baptized, she'll be anointed with chrism and presented to the congregation at Mass on July 6th. This is so huge for us. We were still so anxious and scared when we asked Fr. Ray to please baptize her on Easter Sunday (which he did gladly and which we so very much appreciated). I just can't believe that so much time has already passed since then and that Kristen is doing so very well! We are so very blessed.


Jamie said...

Happy Birthday Melissa!!!!
Many Blessings to you!!

You are SO young! (I'm 38)

I know what you mean about the leg thing...somehow a tan helps though, since the workout is not going to happen too soon.

My girls have all worn that same purple outfit Kristen is wearing in those last pictures and they also have all worn a red tye died onsie that we made!! Fun to see!

Have a great 4th! We are going on vacation soon, so we are baking up a storm, banana bread, pumpkin bread for breakfasts and monster cookies for snack! It seems so wierd baking on a warm/hot summer day!

Frances said...

Your cake looks gorgeous and delicious, too! Happy birthday, belatedly. :)

Your learning plan for Dylan sounds like it's off to a good start. He's such a good sketcher that I wonder if studying the basics of art - color wheel, medium, famous pieces - might appeal to him, too.

Lillian said...

I LOVE Kristen's tye dye shirt!! Did you make it?

As for your plan, you could always just cover the basics in small chunks of time (math, phonics, art) and then just spend lots of time pursuing a favorite subjecdt or two like history and science.

He's so young that doing 15-20 mins. of math, 10-15 mins. of phonics and art once a week would be VERY good! And then you could go from there.

And handwriting. Maybe 5 mins. a day 3X's a week.

You could cover the basics in 30 min.s or so and then have the rest of the time for whatever you want to plan out. And then it wouldn't be so workbook heavy.

Just my $.02. ;-)

Matilda said...

Happy Birthday! You and I and almost birthday buddies. I hope you had a wonderful day. What a delicious looking cake! Enjoy your special weekend!

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday!

Jen said...

Happy Birthday love! First, your kids are just beautiful! I can't believe how big Kristen is getting. Seems to be no problem in the breastfeeding department!:-)
In regards to school next year, our kiddos are similar in age, and I did the textbook thing last year and almost went bonkers. I was stressed beyond all belief and really felt like we missed a lot of creative learning time just for the sake of getting stuff done. No real learning in that. I'm going with Mater Amabilis next year, not totally, but I love their approach. I think I've seen them linked on your blog. Just remember that your oldest is in first grade, so don't be too hard on yourself. I've been told this so many times by seasoned home schooling moms and families. They say that you have plenty of time to stress when you get to high school. :-) You're doing a GREAT job momma!

Celeste said...

Happy Birthday dear one! I can't believe I forgot it. Last year I even wrote it on my birthday calendar - some good that did! It sounds like you had a lovely time.

My first thought for your school year as you described what you said was unit study! You might look into some of the unit study progrmas. Konos is a big one.

Much love!