Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vacation Part 2: Big Cedar Lodge

After a few days in Branson, we headed about 20 minutes away to Big Cedar Lodge. This place is stunning!
We hiked, rode horses, ate wonderful food, roasted marshmallows for smore's, and did tons of swimming.

This was really one of the most beautiful places.
Especially for people who love to be outside :)







After a nice little hike we had lunch in this adorable cottage cafe. I could've lived here!





We played some miniature golf. (I whooped them all!)



The next day the boys got to ride horses. Brighton just loves animals, he couldn't leave this one alone haha.






Every evening I enjoyed the walk from the pool, back to the lodge. The glory of God just had me in awe.






I kinda love it at the end of the day when the boys are completely worn out, and we came to this cozy room and ordered room service. They even had a little patio we would just sit out on and enjoy.


But, not every night. The last night they had a bon fire and smore's. Yum.



And lawn games.


And amazing sunsets.


And. Movie night. At the pool.



We sure were sad to leave this place. The boys made lots of new friends that they enjoyed swimming with in the evenings, they hated saying goodbye...but...we actually already set up another trip there very soon. Yay!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vacation Part 1

Last month we packed up the car and headed to Branson, MO! It was quite a drive, but we have tons of audio books, coloring, and snacks to keep the boys happy.

When I was little, my family went to MO. The thing I remember most was the drive there. My dad is a back roads off the map type of man, and it really was the most gorgeous drive ever. So that's the way we went.

We went through the sweetest town in Arkansas. Eureka Springs. If I didn't have such antsy boys, I would have loved to explore the whole town!




We did get to stop in and see the Thorncrown Chapel. Made of glass! I had been in it when I was a little girl. It sure is a stunning place.






On our way out of town, we stopped at one more place just to take in all the beauty.


And this beauty was amazing to sit and watch!
The Pileated Woodpecker



We spent our days exploring and swimming! It was low key and very fun.
Jaiden sure had his moments though ;)



Brighton is terrified of heights and didn't want to join us climbing this wood tower. Its melted my heart to see Tristin encouraging him to do it. He helped him all the way to the top!




And we found a little friend :)


Be sure to check back for the 2nd part of this trip! It gets more beautiful than you can imagine!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Reading List (not for homeschool)

Last week I posted our reading lists. One for the kids, and then one for me as a homeschooler.
This week I wanted to share what is on my list for spiritual growth and my just for fun reading.

We read the Bible as our daily devotions with the boys and have just started Created for Work with them.

I have already started reading Anything and joined the online Bible Study over at Good Morning Girls. I'm actually doing this with a wonderful friend of mine!

I also started Cold Tangerines. I relate so much to this book. You know, I'll start living when... we have the money, I lose weight, the boys are a bit older etc..

Follow Me. I really like when I can feel Jesus in an author's book. I've read Radical, so I'm excited to read Follow Me now.

I'm finishing The Kitchen House. Really enjoying this. It's such a well written story. I love it when a story draws you in so much that you can feel the air, smell the smells, and really feel the emotion.

Cleaning House. I am on a huge kick to get organized and have a place for everything in our home and want for nothing. No more stuff.

The Paris Wife. Because I've always wanted to read it, and I just may be the only person left who hasn't read it yet.

The Lost Husband. Because really I can't pass up a summer story based in Hill Country can I? Must be the Texan in me :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Summer Reading List and Lectures: Homeschool/Parenting

Yesterday, I shared what books we will be reading this summer together, as well as what school will look like for the next few months.

Today I wanted to share what is on my list. I love a whole range of genres, but am feeling right now in the mood for home school encouragement and spiritual encouragement. As well as some books related to a few goals I have, so let's get started!

Home school:

The 3 R's is a big one on my list. I've had moments to go through it, but have read it completely. I'm looking forward to using her ideas to teach (and focus) on the 3 R's with Brighton (Kindergarten). After looking through it, I really could of used this for Tristin (my little guinea pig).

Charlotte Mason Companion is one of my favorite books that I dabble in all throughout the year. It is SO full of the most inspiring reflections of learning. I set some goals, and read the chapters that will help with those.

The Well Educated Mind. This book is a guide to the classical education you never had. How to train your mind for classic literature. Something I was never taught, but really enjoy now.

Deconstructing Penguins. This book helps you to teach kids how to get the most of the books they're reading. I read it last summer, and can't wait to read it again!

For the Children's Sake. I've read this one a few times and am ready to tackle it again. I really love this book. If you love the idea of Charlotte Mason, you must read this!

I'm right in the middle of Simplicity Parenting and boy do I love the common sense in this book. It hits the nail on the head about what the effects of too much stuff (toys, media, activities) is having on our children.

When Children Love to Learn. I have never read this one, but have wanted to for so long...don't you just love the title? Also based on the Charlotte Mason method.

For homeschooling, I also love to listen to lectures, conventions, or read articles that keep me going. Some on my list are:

The Circe Institute. See the one down there on teaching boys who would rather be playing in forts?? Eh hmm

The Society of Classical Learning has some of they're recorded sessions from past conventions available for free. A ton of great info here.

The 21 videos from Ambleside Schools International (based on Charlotte Mason) are something I will be listening to again this summer for sure!

And Dr. Cyr's videos called The Pursuit of Maturity (though I haven't listened to all 3 hours) really made me think. You'll be inspired not to raise an immature child, and know the effect video games have in this roll. Plus a whole lot more I'm sure.

Summer is a great time for parents to reflect and get inspired to teach our children in a way God has placed in our lives.

What is on you reading list?

Next up: the rest of my summer reading.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Reading: Homeschool

I'm still stuck in May. Does that surprise anyone??
We went on vacation at the beginning of May so you can bet I have a lot of pictures to share. Soon.
I have (for the past few months) been preparing for our summer schedule.
We are almost done with our Math and reading programs. We already finished spelling, but I'm debating whether or not to keep it going through the summer on a new level or not.
For now we will just review, at least until mid July.

Our summer schedule is going to be short and sweet. For math we will review with games and activities.

I'm bringing out Family Math. A wonderful book with games for helping in math for all levels. The boys have always loved this book, and I can't wait to see what new games are in store for us this summer!

I'll be reading Ray's Arithmetic aloud to the boys while they work on our chalkboard wall. You can use it for free here.

I'm also going to purchase a few games to play weekly with the boys.
Speed, for multiplication review.
Zues on the Loose
and I'm bringing our Sum Swamp for teaching Brighton to add and subtract. Tristin loved this game at his age!

And then we have reading!!
I am so thrilled about this summer and all the reading activities we have lined up. I mean, really excited about this haha.

First of all, have you heard of Thriving Family? It's a magazine from Focus on the Family, and this summer they are offering a summer activity called Around the World in 60 Days. It's a free "trip" around the world! You'll have the opportunity to explore 27 different countries on six continents. For each day of the trip, they have a biblical lesson and an activity that will give you glimpse into another culture.

Along with that, I came across a FANTASTIC summer reading list all about adventure at Redeemed Reader!
Seriously, you do not want to miss this! They have a wonderful list of books and alternate books for all ages. Be sure to check out the current posts like this one, that include activities and journaling ideas.

I am going to buy or make a summer reading notebook for the boys. Hopefully it will be full of interesting and wild adventure by the end of the summer. And they would have learned history, geography, art, science, writing, and reading without really even knowing it! Pretty sneaky ;)

Some books and activities we will be reading and journaling this summer are:

 We are going to read The Green Ship, and along with creating our kid friendly backyard I will be using Se7en's green ship inspiration. Oh my!

Around the World and will be doing the discussion questions and note booking ideas that I mentioned already.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Toot & Puddle Top of the World

Dodsworth series is so much fun.

The Middle of Somewhere (after Around the World)

The Penderwicks :A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (bedtime reading)

Mr. Poppers Penguins Audio CD

The Wind in the Willows

Mercy Watson (we sure love this pig!)

Library Lion

Nate Saint

Continue our reading through Little Pilgrim's Progress. Tristin LOVES this book.

How God Used a Thunderstorm for family devotional.

Pippi Longstocking

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Capitan

My Father's Dragon Series


The boys are very big into constellations right now, so we will be spending most nights sitting outside looking and seeing what all we can find! I may pick up a copy of Find the Constellations.

They are also loving learning about birds (part 2 coming soon). I have an incredible bird app that we love to explore and listen to. And we will be reading the Burgess Bird Book on our kindle. Cards to go with the book. And these beautiful birds would be wonderful for nature journals or hanging on the wall.

If you follow me on instagram (Jeana B) you know that we were observing the sky one day. While doing that we talked about the clouds, rain, and then how a rainbow is made. It was so much fun just to sit on the back porch and discuss all of their interests! We then got the hose and made our own rainbow. They just loved it!
A Drop of Water look like a beautiful book I'd love to get my hands on.

On lazy days I am thrilled to have found The Magic School Bus episodes on netflix. Woohoo!

What are your plans for the summer? What's on your reading list?

I'm working on a book list for myself. I'll share that one when I'm done!

Have a great summer! Grab a glass of tea or lemonade, sit outside in the sunshine, and bring some books along!


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