School and Other Stuff

We have finished school for the year, save a few math lessons for Caleb and Ella.  I am excited to try Florida Virtual School next year.  Caleb and Ella will have to take the FCAT, but I am not opposed to standardized testing and am not against the idea of traditional school curriculum. I just like to have them doing their work in an environment where it can be done more efficiently (and therefore in less time).  So I think this will be a good fit - and I am thrilled beyond belief to not be spending any money on curriculum this year.  I was pleased with Sonlight and Saxon Math, just not the price tag, even used.  If it's free, it's for me!  I will most likely supplement with some of  the readers and read-alouds that Sonlight suggests. They always pick great ones!  We will definitely supplement a Bible curriculum - for the past several weeks I have been going through the book "Parenting With Scripture" with the kids - we cover a topic a day and it has led to some really great discussions.

Caleb (8)
Caleb LOVES science and is an amazing reader.  Math drill sheets are not his favorite thing to do, but once he gets going on them he always does well.  This year his math and language arts curriculum were both 3rd grade (a year ahead).  He is loving the Geronimo Stilton books right now, and we just finished putting together a summer reading list for him with some great chapter books.  After taking a placement test last week for FLVS, he has been assigned to Gifted and Talented Math and Language Arts.

He loves legos, comic books and action figures.  He loves to help in the kitchen and can make fruit salad and cook scrambled eggs, toast and waffles with no help from a grown-up.  He played soccer this year but also loves football games with his friends at Parker Street every day at the park.  He is a compassionate, thoughtful and helpful son, sibling and friend.  He is quick to apologize when he has acted poorly and is not embarrassed to be affectionate with anyone!  He will also change Noah's diaper without me asking him to!  We are definitely making progress in the "not provoking your siblings" department, now if I could just get him to put his dirty laundry and shoes where they go  :) 

Ella (6)
Ella has accomplished so much this school year.  She placed in the National level her first time participating in Presidential Physical Fitness Testing and has learned to ride her bike with no training wheels.  She is really excelling in her school work as well - sailing through her first-grade math curriculum and already reading chapter books.  Right now she is obsessed with the "Because of Winn Dixie" book, one of the books on her summer reading list.  She was tested recently and placed at level 2.2 (2nd grade, 2nd month) for reading and 2.3 (2nd grade, 3rd month) for math.  She has started reading Thea Stilton books along with Caleb while he reads Geronimo Stilton, and loves them.

This girl loves to sleep and snuggle!  She is also a night owl like her daddy.  There is a light in our living room that shines through a window into her bedroom and she loves to read by it at night.  She consistently comes in our room in the middle of the night and climbs in our bed, and most always sleeps in later than all her siblings.  She would watch TV all day if I would let her, but she doesn't get too upset when I redirect her to other things. She is definitely our little people pleaser - loves to do the right thing...  or point out when other people don't :)

Lillian (4 1/2)

Lillian is 4 going on 18.  She loves doing her school work and is very adamant that she wants to go to school (VPK) next year.  She knows all her letter sounds and can write them all without help, and she can count to 50, higher on a good day.  She loves to color and make special drawings for people.  She is fantastic at putting puzzles together and is always working in one of her workbooks.  She has recently developed a real interest in helping me cook and prepare food, and she is asking to watch shows on Food Network.  She would eat potato soup everyday if I would let her.  Her smile lights up her whole face and she loves to make people laugh.

Her most recent accomplishment is learning to ride her bike with no training wheels - she has even graduated from the backyard to the road!  She is also thrilled that her hair is long enough now for me to do a "back braid", as she calls it.  She loves to perform and is just full of personality.  I love for her to brush my hair - she is so gentle and it is really relaxing!  She will also rub your back when she is sitting next to you, almost as if it is out of habit.  She likes to lay in bed with her sister at night and be read to.  

Jackson (3)
Jackson's favorite activities are Starfall, painting, play-doh, and whatever we will let him play on the iPad or Scott's phone.  He has an unusually keen sense of smell and really enjoys music.  He hears a song and can recognize where he has heard it before.  He will play in the bathtub as long as you will let him.  He has to help make coffee every morning - he starts by smelling the beans, then pushing the button on the grinder, then turning the coffee pot on.  He is definitely a creature of habit and likes things to be done a certain way.  We are working on the whining issue, but it is very easy to overlook because of what a sweet, genuinely thoughtful boy he is.  He loves to share parts of his snack and will always look for things he can do for other people.  He doesn't like being told to do something, but if you ask for his help with something he will happily oblige.  He is a really fun kid and makes us laugh all the time with the things he says and does.

He loves to be outside and spends a lot of time on the front porch with his momma.  He doesn't like the stroller - he always tells me "I want to walk with my feet."  He is great about staying right by me, usually with one hand on the stroller.

Noah (1)
I am enjoying this little man so much.  I thank God everyday for giving him to us - it is so mind-boggling to think that we (by "we" I mean Scott - lol) were done after Jackson.  What an amazing surprise and blessing to our family that God had a different plan.  Noah is the sweetest, happiest, most content baby I know.  And he is so stinkin' cute!  He has only just recently started sleeping through the night, which I know should have been happening a long time ago, but I wasn't fighting him because I secretly looked forward to hanging out with him in the wee hours when the house was quiet.  He loves to wander around the house independently and look at books or play with his toys.  He will sit very quietly in my lap for me to read to him and he loves to roll a ball back and forth.  He is saying quite a few words already and it is so sweet to hear him talk.  Whenever he wakes up from a nap, his siblings take turns going in his "room" and sitting in his pack n play with him reading, playing or singing to him.

I love to snuggle with him in our bed and smell his little sweaty head - babies have the sweetest smell!  He is a very hearty eater and light sleeper.  Just like his siblings, he loves to be outside.  He does nothing but laugh when we let him take a bath with Jackson.  He gets giddy with excitement when Daddy walks in the door from work.  He likes to lay his head on my shoulder when I get him out of bed and just let me hug and hold him for a while, and he gives the best slobbery kisses!

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