Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Curriculum This Year

The core of our day will be centered around our Five in a Row curriculum. With FIAR you read a book (Classics, Caldecotts etc) five days in a row and you pull out social studies, math, language arts, art, science etc out of each book. This can be a complete study with the addition of math and phonics. We add several extra components......since mommy usually likes overkill!!

This is Madelyn's Phonics program. She will begin with the Get Ready...Get Set and Go for the Code and then continue with Explode the Code. Carson will be switching back to Math-U-See this year. Madelyn will begin with MUS. We will supplement with Saxon.
Carson is reading very well and is spelling well so I am beginning him on Wordly Wise, an excellent vocabulary program. He will use Just Write to begin his creative writing.
In co-op Carson will be taking a Botony class. This is written by Jeannie Fulbright. This should be interesting because this is a tough course! We will do most of the reading and notebooking at home and the experiments at co-op.
This is just a stack of free books I picked up at the local homeschool conference. I was so happy:)
Madelyn will also use Dolch sight word worbooks, Rod & Staff Kindergarten set and Handwriting without Tears.
Annastyn is using the beginning Explode the Code, Rod & Staff preschool set and Handwriting without Tears.
Carson also uses First Language Lessons for grammar, spelling is A Reason for Spelling and Handwriting without Tears (he wants to begin cursive this year).

We have a great art program that we use once a week by Barry Stebbing, How Great Thou Art.

Details from the first couple of days of school to come......

Our new house....

We decided not to make a move until next year after the adoption and our lives are settled down! Soooo here is my new house for now!! LOL We have spent several weekends now at the lake enjoying the boat. The kids love just parking in a cove and jumping in OVER and OVER......the older two enjoy tubing!

Of course Carson has to be silly. He gets on his knees, makes faces, waves....always a ham!!
My uncle is famous for his flips....the kids are amazed!!
Here is little Miss.....

Okay for those of you who know Teaque....you know that she takes a huge stand against hair bows for babies!! So this is for Heather and myself!! hehe!! I had a blast playing girly girl with her.....just wait until I get her hooked on the princesses in Disney!!
Love you girl!!! Please ignore all the clean clothes in the background!!

Isn't Corynn just gorgeous!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Okay I have to tell you about a really cool program. My older two children are participating in a camp for children with autism. The program is based around the idea of teaming up "typical peers" with the autistic children. This week the children have attended the camp from 9-2pm and working one on one with an autistic child.
The workers have been so impressed with Carsons persistance and patience while working with his buddy. His buddy does not speak and it is very hard to get her attention...he has worked diligently over and over saying her name..etc. Some of the children do not speak so they must use word cards to communicate.
I am just so proud of them and their acceptance of what could be scary to many children (or even adults).
The news covered the camp yesterday and the Courier Journal will be out this week too!

The program itself has been successful oin the past, with the autistic children making significant progress in a short amount of time!
I love the conversations that occur in the car, this one went something like this:
Mommy: "Madelyn, what do you want for your birthday?"
Madelyn: "Hmmm, let me think....I want a house"
Mommy: "Do you mean a dollhouse?"
Madelyn: "No a real house, just for me..."
Carson: (interrupting) "Madelyn you can't have a house, it costs too much"
Madelyn: "Oh I want necklaces....lots of necklaces....
and a ring....a wheel (real) ring!"
Carson: (interrupting)Madleyn you cannot have a real ring...do you mean one made of gold and diamonds...they are too expensive especially if they come from Kays....
Madelyn: I can get a wheel one....right mom?
Mommy: "Well Carson she is right she had a real baby ring that Aunt Sara got her, so she could get a real one.
Carson: From Kays....is she getting one from Kays? (I have no idea where this Kays thing comes from???)
Mommy: Anything else you can think of Madelyn?
Madelyn: I want a puppy!
Mommy: A real puppy? Or a stuffed animal?
Madleyn: A real puppy..
Carson: (interrupting) No Madelyn you cannot have a puppy...we don't have a fence...
Madelyn: It can stay in my room...
Mommy: (interrupting) What about when it pees and poops...you room will be awful stinky?
Madelyn: It will poop in the garbage can...
Carson (interrupting) Madelyn dogs do not know how to poop in garbage cans....
Madelyn: Mom, can dogs poop in garage cans?
Mommy: No sweetie they cannot reach their bottoms up there...
Can you think of something other than a house, a real ring or a puppy???
Madelyn: Oh yeah I want Doras mom? (figures for the Dora dollhouse)
Carson: Oh yeah and Madelyn we need the dad...
Madleyn: And the dog....
Mommy: Dora has a mommy and daddy and a dog.....but she is always alone?!?!
Carson: Oh and her brother...Boots.
Mommy: Isn't Boots a monkey??!?!

and on and on the conversation goes......until I can't stand it any longer and I crank up the Taylor Swift song and we all sing along.......

Oh and can see how it is to be the little sister...he has to comment or correct her on EVERYthing!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Coveted I-797!!!

This is the form from immigration allowing us permission to bring a child/children into the country... Very important piece of paper in this journey!!!

We also had our first evening of adoption class tonight. It was fun to meet the other families and hear their stories. There were several countries represented in the room from Ukraine to Haiti....it is so neat to see how God works in each family and the path that we are lead down!

It is late and I have no kiddos in the house (they are at the lake with the rest of my family) so I think I will relax and watch some old tivo'd shows!! (pretty lame huh!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

How do we pay for an adoption??!!?!?

We are still in the process so it is still very "real" as we pay for the adoption.

I think you find that the money comes out slowly and there is not a big check written at once. Many times added into the fees you see are the following: doctor co-pays for physicals, $10 background checks, $10 birth and marriage certificates, immunizations for travel, fingerprinting etc.

Our agency has $2,000 chunks due...so $2,000 for the dossier translation, then $2,000 when we accept a referral, then $2,000 at travel...so these are all a few months in between.

There is also the federal tax credit for incomes up to $100,000 (I think) so this can come back to you over 5 years I believe. Many employers also have a grant that they give making many adoptions virtually free.

Although ultimately you must TRUST in God! We did not have $20,000 sitting around the house and yet we have continued on and not even noticed the money went out this month! I know it sounds crazy but God will carry you through! Adoption is a true test of our faith and we are tested in different ways. For many of us, this is financially.
As a cancer survivor I ask you to consider signing this petition.

The insurance companies are trying to make a mastectomy an outpatient surgery.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through' Mastectomy where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I got a call today from the Adoption Stork who works in DC and she personally takes the dossier to every important somebody in DC to get it ready to send to Ethiopia. She was out for a week (the week I sent it!)so things took a bit longer than we expected. However she was a complete doll and explained that her father is dying so the entire family spent the week camping and sightseeing with him...it was so sweet!

So she mailed it on Monday so it should be in Ethiopia by THursday!! How cool!

BTW This is the part of the adoption that seems surreal. When I was chasing down important documents and signing stuff it seemed real. Lately I even forget about the children from time to time! (Which I also did while I was pregnant many times!)So I cannot wait for our referral and PICTURES oh my goodness!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

These are the Days of Our Lives.....

Madelyn has been making lots of laundry with several outfit changes per day!
Madelyn loves to dress...loves to put outfits together...loves to accessorize....loves to pose!!
These pieces belong to other outfits and the hat is Annie's......
Mommy has been scrapbooking. I never do random pages and rarely use only 1 photo. I did use scraps of leftover paper (good girl) and I did like my ribbon thingy in the corner but I have decided that I need a Cricut....I had to struggle to find letters and I wanted bigger letters.... Oh and since Teaque is sure to gag at the frilly hat she is wearing. I have to tell that she insisted on wearing this old Easter hat to Madelyns soccer game in the fall!! (Oh and her hair is greasy because she put baby lotion in it!!) The eyes are still gorgeous!!
Scraplifted this one of the cover of a magazine (nothing is my own!!)
Mommy has been shopping. Below are some Basic Grey goodies I found cheap! Not pictured are all of the books I have been scouring Goodwills and yardsales for (I have bought over 100!)
Carson and Journey having their light saber battles.
The neighborhood kids hanging out in the basement. (notice my sons attire...in hot weather he still wears long pants and shirts)
Carson showing off his tattooes (Mommy took a quick nap and I awoke to all the kids with lots of tattooes!!)
Madelyn and Annastyn have been having a blast in our backyard pool!
Annastyn learned to jump in the pool, She has to have all this though!
Carson loves to jump, run and flip. This pic shows him trying to jump onto a boogie board!

A wise mother of three gave me this excellent idea! She had her childrens names embroidered onto towels and they use the same towel for several days....this cuts down on laundry. I found the towels at Target and a lady from church embroidered them. I love them!!

We are completely paper ready adoption wise. Homestudy done and dossier being translated in Ethiopia. Below is a pic of the dossier certified (county and state). Madleyn was nice enough to take the pic for me!!
Did I mention all of my children are dare devils!!??
Love this action shot , the girls have a blast jumping off the side!!

Madelyn shows off our first tomato from our plants. She has been so good about watering them when I forget.

Here is the Little People village in my living room! Every few months I let the kids set this up for a few days. It is something out of the norm so it keeps them busy for days! The mess is worth it!!
The neighbor kids are ready for VBS, it was Hawaiian theme of course!!
The girls are ready for the Hannah Montana party at the library!
Overall I have been staying home alot the this summer, with gas prices so high! I am also having a great time organizing and relaxing after the school year. I have also been planning for next year of course.
I also need to update you on our adoption process. The orphanage has ended up with an extra 85 kids from another placing agency. They have to go through them all and make sure they are all paper ready. Due to this extra load it will probably be late summer before we get our referrals and we will probably not travel to pick up the children until November or December. This was a bit later than we had hoped but the timing will work great with our homeschool calender. If we finish by Thanksgiving we can have until January free.
We have decided not to move until next year or later, so now I am ready to get new bookshelves and re-organize our school room and complete my scraproom. Then we will be re-doing kids rooms before I know it!! I will take some before pics soon!
Have a Happy 4th!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In 65 Days......

We will be hanging out with this cutie patootie!!!
Oh my goodness how time goes by!! That also means I will have a 3 year old girl and 5 year old girl......and school will be starting!!