The Mommy

The Mommy

about us...

I'm The Mommy, a SAHM to Maggie & Ellie. I'm married to Big Daddy, an engineer, grad student and our hard-working provider.
I blog instead of scrapbooking in hopes of preserving a part of our life for the future.
We enjoy beach trips, going to Church and spending time together...all as a family...because that's what we are.

our VP miracle, Maggie

our VP miracle, Maggie
loves homeschooling, sign language, Jesus, reading, church, writing songs and dancing

our sweet Ellie

our sweet Ellie
loves her sister, going to church and the library, singing, babies, chocolate and being naked

Monday, February 11, 2013

Learning Space

So...I am finally sharing the room where we do most of our school work.  We learn everywhere, though. I promise.  One of the things that I have learned from hanging out with homeschooling families is that we often over-explain things in an effort to teach our children something.

This is the view when you get to the top of the stairs.  We moved the most comfortable piece of furniture we own love seat up here, shortly after we moved in and bought new living room furniture.  To the left is our desk and to the right is our "preschool center".   Big Daddy's desk is behind the love seat and holds his laptop, any project that he is working on and our printer.  He has the option to work from home at times, so he needs to have a space to keep work stuff that is NOT close to our things.  The bookshelf to the right of the window was my grandmother's.  It is FULL of Big Daddy's books.  My little desk area is on the other side of the easel.
 I had picked out a super economical desk option and then we got to IKEA and Big Daddy decided that this would be better.  This was on my original idea board, but I nixed it in favor of something cheaper.  I like that there is a big work surface with two separate seating areas.  It's actually from the dining collection, is real wood and could be painted in the future.  We picked out the red folding chairs, so that we could easily store them or carry them downstairs for extra seating.  I need one more for my desk and maybe another just because.  Right now, I move Ellie's chair across from Maggie or Maggie's chair beside of Ellie when we are working.  The child that is NOT doing school work can play, read or draw in another area.  We have our calendar board and some magnetic boards that we can display current art on.  The bookshelf holds some of our curriculum and manipulatives are stored in the wooden crate on the floor.

 This is our "preschool center".  We have a kitchen, doll house, bench with books and pillows to create a comfy reading spot.  This area is out of view from Maggie's seat.  Ellie can play quietly and it doesn't distract our learning.  The giant easel to the left, was a Christmas gift from 2011.  It was in the living room for nearly a year because it is much bigger than it was in the store! :) The toys that we moved upstairs are a little more special, since they are sort of out of the way.  Going upstairs just to play is such a reward.

My "desk" is a kidney-shaped vanity table that I bought at my aunt's yard sale at least 15 years ago.  I used it as my nightstand and it has been used as a sofa table upstairs.  It's perfect for using my iPad/laptop, writing out my lesson plans or keeping a few papers that I need to file away or any of our school paperwork that needs to be sent in. I have around 15 binders of different colors and sizes that are used for organizing supplies.  After two weeks, I am still putting things in their place.

I can only imagine how we may change this room as time passes.  Right now, it is a fun place to learn, play and create and we are finding that it serves our homeschool well!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ikea and Pinterest Love

I feel like Pinterest is such a blessing to our homeschool.  It is so nice to be able to find people to "follow" that you have things in common with.  Even though I need to (and I am working on) organizing my Pinterest boards so that I know where things are a little better. Of course, it's not just helpful for our homeschool!  We have lots of things around the house that were inspired by Pinterest or that I found out about because of Pinterest.  We also have lots of little Ikea things around!  We have been to Ikea three times and have purchased things two times.  We haven't been disappointed and love the price and quality of all of our purchases.

IKEA-We recently bought this step stool.  We haven't painted it yet, but Ellie uses it when helping me in the kitchen and Rainbow likes to use it to see outside.

IKEA-The lantern on the left was purchased on our most recent trip. I have an obsession with lanterns. (You will see!)
Pinterest-The window above the table was in the house that my dad was raised in.  I have had it hanging somewhere for the past 10 or so years.  I saw Looking Glass spray paint on Pinterest and decided to try it out.  It turns glass into a mirrored surface or you can spray it with water/water and vinegar for an antique or mercury glass look.  (The hymn page wreath was made by my aunt and she probably got the idea from Pinterest.)  The "frames" on the table are cheap wooden plaques from Hob Lob and I painted them and then used Modge Podge to affix and seal the pictures on them.
 Pinterest- I got the idea to make silhouettes from Pinterest.  It started out with the Maggie & Ellie (at 9 months old) and I added the one of Big Daddy holding each of their hands from a photo I had taken on one of our beach trips.  Just last week, I added a silhouette of Rainbow!
IKEA- The lantern on the left is from Ikea, but I painted it on the outside and used Looking Glass spray paint to create a mercury glass look.  I have had this one for about a year.

Pinterest- I saw this idea on Pinterest, but changed it up a bit.  Of course, I used Maggie and Ellie's hand and footprints for this.

Pinterest- I started wanting a kitchen island because of Pinterest.  We have plenty of cabinets and plenty of counter space.  We have a small section of cabinet on each side of the stove and sometimes I have helpers or need a little extra room without going across to the longer section of counter.  We looked at lots of options and Big Daddy decided that we needed it to be somewhat portable.  Most of the things that I wanted in an island were not going to work for our space, so I have filed them away in case we design a house someday.
IKEA- I saw some cute island/cart option on Ikea's sight.  Big Daddy couldn't get on board with my idea until I saw the cart that I had picked out painted a very similar color to what our kitchen table already is.  So...I showed Big Daddy the picture and he finally understood what I had in mind. I stained the top and drawers and painted the rest with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Duck Egg, dark wax) to match our table and chairs in the breakfast area.  We can also roll this into the dining room if we are having a party to put food or drinks on.

I am also using Pinterest  to help with picking out paint colors, as well.  We have lived here 3.5 years and our walls have taken a beating...thanks to two sweet kids!  We chose a light neutral for the common areas of the house.  It matched one of the rooms in our old house and was a safe option since I picked out paint colors 48 hours after giving birth and while still in the hospital.  We chose Sherwin Williams Stucco.  We like it, but I want something...with a little more pigment. (Suggestions appreciated!!)

Next up, a quick tour of the homeschool room!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Long time, no blog

I feel like it has been forever since I have posted anything and then I realize it has been nearly a month!  As much as I want this to be our virtual scrapbook, I feel like it is hard to keep up.

As soon as Christmas was over, I started planning for our next school year.  Since we choose to school year round and take days off as we need them, our curriculum is running out. Maggie would be in first grade (based oher age) if she were in traditional school.  We are currently finishing up first grade math, but everything else is second grade.  So...most of what we will be doing when we finish our current work will be third grade. It has never been our intention to be ahead.  We are much more interested in following her lead and doing what we need to do.  Which explains why we/I decided that doing another year of first grade math would be best.  Maggie was getting so frustrated with math, so I went with my gut and decided to try another curriculum.  She still gets frustrated, but the different curriculum is a much better fit for us.  I ordered ALL of our curriculum last night, so I feel like I get a little vacation from planning.  Once all of it arrives I have to decide how many days a week we will have each subject, with the core subjects being daily.  I also have a list of different things that I want to implement from journals and book reports, to art studies and manners lessons.

Once we made the decision to be a homeschooling family, we knew that our upstairs bonus room would be our future classroom.  I had thought we would wait a couple of years, but we found that we were outgrowing our kitchen table.  Our kitchen table has an unfinished wooden top (due to the fact that i stripped the finish off) and we feel completely comfortable with getting markers, glue or paint on it.  I thought about moving us into the dining room, but I try to keep that table looking nice.  Big Daddy always tells me that we will do what I need to make things better.  I shopped around online and picked out several different desk options, created a secret board on Pinterest with everything that I wanted, made a ton of lists and then we set off for Ikea.  We LOVE that place!  It's about an hour and a half away and the weather was not in our favor, but we made it there in back in snow and freezing rain and my sweet husband bought everything on my list.  We are extremely happy with our purchases!

I will share pictures of our classroom tomorrow!  Stay tuned!

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