Friday, May 31, 2013

More Irene Pictures: Now With More Siblings!

My ladies!

She is such a caring and love big sister. She can carry Irene easily, comfort her, and is learning to change wet diapers (she says she will leave poopy ones to us).

It's too bad they don't stay like this for long. We just have to enjoy it while we can. Love, love, love baby snuggles.

Emma is sweet to her sister. She points to her and babbles away. She likes to sit with Rebecca when she nurses. She is a bit territorial and protective.
The boys love their new little sister. They ask to hold her frequently, although it only lasts a minute or so. They are very concerned for her, always asking her where-abouts and telling us if she is upset.

Ezra is fascinated by the cord stub...

and her little toes, too. (Ezra does 'This Little Piggy' with her.)

He's very sweet and gentle with Irene. We are truly surprised at the patience he has shown with her.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our Musical Children

The kids have all been taking some form of music instruction this spring. The boys have been going to Kindermusik with Miss Maggie and have had a wonderful time. Ezra sometimes is reluctant to participate, but when he's at home, he is singing the songs and doing the motions that they learned in class, so we know he's picking it up.
this last week marked the end of the spring session and the last class was a family day, so all the kids got to participate. 

Ezra can be particular about which activities he does, but when he picks one, he really has fun with it.

The kids just adore Miss Maggie. 

The great part is that Maggie also does private piano lessons, so we signed Olivia up for lesson at home. She just had her first recital the evening before Irene was born. She was a little nervous at first, but, since she was in the middle of the program, she saw the other kids doing it and had no problem when it was her turn.

She will certainly be continuing her practice and lessons this summer and fall.

Monday, May 27, 2013

This Year's History - Part 1

As we've mentioned before, we have been studying history from Creation to the Greek civilation. While a large portion has been spent on the Egyptian kingdoms and the Greek civilizations, it has all been done in the context of Bible history. So even when we've talked about nations like Persia, the Greek City-States and places like India, and Assyria, it has all pointed back to how it relates to the stories in the Bible. The My Father's World curriculum actually assigns specific Bible passages that go along, historically, with whatever we are studying that day. It's been really interesting, even for Rebecca and I, to see how the cultures related to stories we've known for years.

One of our projects this year was to paint a pot with scenes of everyday life, break the pot and bury it for a couple of weeks. Then we were to dig it up as if we were archaeologists finding it many hundreds of years later. So back in December, she painted her pot...

and dropped it.
We buried it in the garden

What was supposed to be two or three weeks turned into months as Olivia forgot all about it. In April, I asked her and gabe to come help me prep the garden beds and specifically told them where to dig.

They were surprised to find a piece Olivia's Pot!
All work on the garden stopped as we carefully got down and started unearthing the rest of the pieces

We used the paint brush to carefully brush the dirt off the pieces.
When we had dug them all up, we laid them out as best we could. Unfortunately, the time in the ground had worn away the painting except for some smudges of color.
Even the chicken got into the action, looking for pieces in the other bed.
 As part of our history, we looked at what daily life was like for the Jews.

We talked about how their calendar is based off the moon phases and, because they were an agricultural people, how life revolved around the seasons.
We talked about how they were primarily shepherds, dating back to Abram (Abraham) after he left Ur.
Olivia got to try washing some dirty socks like a Hebrew woman would have and decided it was much easier with a washing machine.
Finally, we talked about their religious practices and how they fit into their daily lives, even down to how the festivals and feasts were based around the moon phases, harvests and planting times.

Olivia made her own Temple Breastplate.

Olivia made her own set of 10 Commandments just like Moses'. She actually carved in the Hebrew numbers herself!
We've had such a fun time doing this curriculum this year and we feel like Olivia has really learned a lot about the history behind the Bible, not to mention how much I've learned, too!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

More Irene pictures

Yes, we are going to inundate you all with pictures of the newest little one, probably for a few more days. :)
Mom and Baby are doing great. Waiting on the discharge paperwork to come through so we can take them both home.
She got her first bath yesterday and, not surprisingly, was not a fan. Juana, the tech, called it "going to the spa." :) This was 10+ hours after birth. So nice that the hospital doesn't bathe babies right away and does it right in the room. She only left us for her hearing screen. Nothing else.

Sleeping peacefully. She has spiky hair (Olivia's hair looked like this at birth) and often wears Ezra's "scowl". It's so cute. She is a little peanut...very small, petite features.

Olivia's Art Curriculum

This year, we are using God and the History of Art, which came with The My Father's World set. It's had some really good activities and exercises that have challenged Olivia to try new techniques in her drawing. The latest activities involved colors and color mixing. 

Back in January, she and Gabe both did color wheels with food coloring and water. It was an activity that Rebecca found by Mama Jenn (via Confessions of a Homeschooler). 

Over the last couple of weeks, Olivia had to explore and experiment more with creating her own colors in both pencil and paint. She could only use primary colors (red, blue, yellow and white) to create the rest of the colors in between.

Olivia's color wheels

She then had to use what she learned to replicate a painting by Albrecht Durer called The Stag Beetle.

Once again, using only red, blue and yellow, she had to blend all her own colors to try to match what she saw on the card. Let me tell you: mixing black is no easy task...

We've enjoyed the projects we've done in this particular art curriculum, however, there have been quite a few that we'e skipped over because we didn't think the content was appropriate. We skipped doing the things that involved nudity and also especially dark, heavy church imagery. We just didn't feel like these things were really appropriate for a 7-year-old to be copying or attempting to imitate. There were also a lot of lessons involving Egyptian and other cultures that we were selective about, especially if they involved idols or foreign gods. In all likelihood, we would not have purchased this art curriculum on its own, but since it came with the MFW package, we decided to try it out.

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Baby Pics

Here are some pics for everyone to "ooh" and "aah" over. :)

A couple of months ago, Olivia expressed that she would like to be there for the delivery. After some thought and discussion, we decided that it would be ok. She was a trooper. We got her up at 3:45am to come with us and she waited patiently for her new sister to arrive. She asked questions of the midwife, nurses and, of course, Rebecca and I. She wanted to know about the contractions, the monitors, the pool and just about everything else. She thought it took a long time for Irene to come. I had to explain that 2 hours in the hospital is nothing compared to most people.
Olivia making the call to tell the boys that they lost the bet. the prize was a set of bunk beds. :)

Irene is our smallest baby, but she's probably the loudest. :)