Hat Creek Ranch

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Emily hunted for Arrow heads and made a necklace from one.

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Gunslingers!

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Dr. Who …

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Pigs!

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Stage Coach Ride!

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The girls loved the native village tour

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Great day for a field trip!

First Week of School

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Garden Sensory bin.We are doing Five in a Row book Peter Rabbit.

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Back to School Pics! Aren’t they getting big? Grade 2 and Preschool.

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Happy School Cake from Co-op.

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Charlotte Mason and Workboxes go together now! So awesome for having Em know what she needs to do.

 

Summer Pics

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Grade 2 – Curriculum

Planning for grade 2 has been super difficult. We lost our beloved homeschool teacher and are switching to a new lady who seems very nice. We have changed our plans so many times already. I needed to decide what to do and how to teach. It took 2 years but I finally figured out that Emily’s learning style is auditory! This whole time I thought she was a hands on learner because she needs to touch everything. Yet all along she was an auditory learner who needed to touch everything. How exciting it is to finally know how to teach her.

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So here is my plan!

Our main program will be Five in a Row. I can’t remember if I blogged about FIAR before and I’m too lazy to look, so it’s a program where you read a beautiful children’s book with rich vocabulary and imagery each day for 5 days and discuss different things about it each day. It encompasses all the subjects. Then you do little art projects or write about what you’ve learned or bake something related to the story. It’s a very beautiful way to learn and include Avery too.

Then we are doing Math Lessons for a Living Education! It’s Charlotte Mason Style math where there are plenty of stories to set up the usefulness of the math skill being taught. I’m very excited about this because Emily really needs to know the point of doing something. I know we will be reading Life of Fred books too!

We will be doing copywork of different quotes or Memory Verses from the day and working on spelling in them. Emily will read as much as possible and I’m going to read to her as much as possible. She is about at level 2 for reading and super into Calvin and Hobbes. Not my personal choice for her, but I’m content if she’s reading! I’ll have to add the book list we are going to work on later. Audio Books are becoming our best friends.

I am going to work at teaching Emily to have a strong discipline and deep joy for reading the bible in the mornings and praying on purpose. I’m not sure exactly how thats going to look yet, but I’m working on it.

We are going to stick with Story of the World for history and geography because it is simple to follow and Emily really enjoyed it. I love the style and it works for us. I really wanted to do Tapestry of Grace, but its just too big for us and really not the right style for Emily. We will do Heroes for Young Readers from YWAM too. She loves their missionary stories.

We are doing Apologia Astronomy for Science and continuing with our awesome Co-op for other Science lessons.

We are still using the Charlotte Mason Organizer and we’ve also made the switch to using a Workbox system for this year. I think it will help us keep motivated and give Emily a realistic expectation of how much work is to be done. I’m hoping it will include many more fun activities too! I haven’t fully decided how I’m going to do the system for Charlotte Mason Style, but I’m sure I’ll blog about it when we get there. Or at least blog about what isn’t working!

We will still have plenty of fidgit toys during reading and sensory bins to explore. I’m hoping to get a wiggle seat for Em for this year too.

Now that I have a pretty big plan set up, I’m excited for school to start. I love the lazy days of summer, don’t get me wrong, but this is going to be a great year!

 

Emily’s Birthday

For anyone who has actually read my blog all these years, I apologize for not blogging since last november!! To everyone else, no apologies just some lame excuses about business in parenting and a lack of nitroglycerin. nevermind.

Im feeling particularly whimsical today, so I felt like blogging. I miss blogging. I dont miss feeling the necessity to blog, but I miss writing silly things. Also I’ve stolen Morgans laptop and can type in peace and quiet rather than in the playroom with chaos. It turns out writing in chaos is chaotic. Maybe I’ll actually be able to work on my book. I’m halfway through the 4th edit! So here’s hoping!

It’s Emily’s birthday today. My big Girl is 7!!

I can’t believe she is so big already. She lost 3 teeth so far, which is super crazy for her being so sensitive. She has to wait until they are hanging on by a flea’s whisker before they can be pulled out. I finally bribed her with candy for the last one because it was grossing me out.

We’ve been working pretty hard on sensory and focus things with her at school and finally having success. Homeschooling is both the most rewarding thing we have tackled and one of the toughest things too. It certainly isn’t the walk in the park I was imagining when we started this whole journey a year and a half ago. I’m hoping to blog more about what things are working for her and what things aren’t so anyone who is looking for ideas might have somewhere to go!

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Happy Birthday Emily!

Owls for Orphans

I’ve started a new ministry for Orphans! I’m sure you all know how dear orphans are to my heart, and I had been looking for a way to raise awareness and funds for orphans around the world. Well I found one! I met this great lady named Amy from Definingcrazy and she started this project called Owls for Orphans. She had been using crocheted owl stuffies to send to orphans and raise money for their adoption.Talk about a great fit for me and my love of crochet! So I randomly emailed her and now we’re  working together to tell the world about Orphans and what people can do and help bring home as many kiddos as we can!

I will be sending little owls to our orphanages in Mexico and making big ones to raise money for Mark from Reece’s Rainbow!

So here’s how you can help. You can talk to me directly about buying an owl or donating one to an orphan. You can make a donation direct to Mark here. Or if nothing else you can like our Facebook page and show your support!

Adoption Q&A #8

This is a continuation of this converstaion:

Adoption Q&A #1
Adoption Q&A #2
Adoption Q&A #3
Adoption Q&A #4
Adoption Q&A #5
Adoption Q&A #6
Adoption Q&A #7 

And on to more questions!

How do you feel about adopting transracially?

The idea definitely excites us. We were at a very interesting seminar about adopting transracially and it piqued a lot of interest and questions that we’ve been discussing over the last couple months. We can’t say we don’t care about skin colour or that love is colour blind either because that isn’t a God glorifying statement. He created each person different and he created different colours and shades of skin too. I am 1/32 Shuswap First Nations. My triple-great Grandma was Shuswap. Not enough to be anything but a Scottish Caucasian girl. BC doesn’t place First Nations children with Caucasian families unless there are special circumstances, so we probably won’t have a child of First Nations decent. We would definitely love being a colourful family.

If you adopted transracially would you keep the child’s culture?

Culture, yes. Religion, No. We are Bible believing Christians and we can include cultural things in our family, but not other religious things. We would make an effort to help a child feel connected with their culture in whatever way we could. This is another area where we would definitely be doing our homework and making sure we knew good ways to include culture or language into our everyday life.

You should read this article on why Love is not Colour blind. 

Adoption Q&A #7

This is a continuation of this converstaion:

Adoption Q&A #1
Adoption Q&A #2
Adoption Q&A #3
Adoption Q&A #4
Adoption Q&A #5
Adoption Q&A #6 

And on to more questions!

What about your girls? How will adoption affect them?

This is a big concern for us, for sure. We already have two beautiful little girls and we have a huge responsibility to them. They will have to share more, they will have less one-on-one time with Mk and I, they will have to sacrifice their time and love unconditionally. I really don’t see those as negative things because those are the kind of things that form a character of compassion. Emily is already so excited about adoption and has been for a long time. She’s been telling people about her little brother that will be here soon for years. She even told me he would be “special” and she doesn’t even know that could mean special needs. Look at this picture she drew:

It’s a picture of her and Avery and their little brother! How cute is she!!

We are taking into consideration dangerous issues too like violent tenancies or teenagers who could be sexually inappropriate with our girls. Those are things we really don’t want to bring into our family. We won’t be chasing “what if’s” but we will be very cautious for our girls.

Can you love your adopted children as much as your bio babes?

Love, YES! Be bonded to…not necessarily right away. We don’t expect that the attachment process will go so smoothly like it did with the girls, but we are learning so much about attachment and how to approach it that I am confident we will be on the right track. If you havent read or watched anything by Gordon Neufeld, you need to. I learned so much about parenting transplanted kids and it has hugely impacted how I parent the kiddos that are already here. We will be watching and attending many more seminars from him. His work in the field of attachment is phenomenal.

Adoption Q&A #6

This is a continuation of this converstaion:

Adoption Q&A #1
Adoption Q&A #2
Adoption Q&A #3
Adoption Q&A #4
Adoption Q&A #5 

And on to more questions!

Will you home school your adopted child(ren)?

This is one I can’t actually answer. I would like to say yes, but we home school on a child by child basis. If we don’t think AV is going to do well as a home learner, we would consider public school. The same would go for any and all of our adopted kids. For us, the ideal is to home school. Even with special needs. This is a very tough question. The homeschool academy we work with has a great special needs program and extra funding so you can set up anything you need. We would really have to look at the specific child and decide then.  In case it is in your head to ask, even with home school, we would make sure a child with special needs gets the support they need. Anything from therapies to tutors.

Will you change the child’s name?

Again, it depends. It depends on the age of the child mostly. I think it would be hard to change a child’s name if they have been called that for years, so we will see. It also depends if we like the name and it’s meaning. If the child is a baby, but we love the name or it fits, we would keep it. We have a boy’s name and a girls name and several middle names we like, but we will see if we get to use them! Most likely we would change the child’s last name. Makes me wonder if we will have a child with one of the super popular names like Jayden, Aiden, Kaden, Anna, Olivia, Sarah…etc or if We will end up with a sweetie named Keeshonda!(I love this name because that’s how my phone auto corrects my friend Leesh’s name!) We know that God know what our child’s name is!

 

 

 

Adoption Q&A #5

This is a continuation of this converstaion:

Adoption Q&A #1
Adoption Q&A #2
Adoption Q&A #3
Adoption Q&A #4 

And on to more questions!

What is the cost for your adoption?

Financially, physically, mentally, spiritually…Ok I know you mean financially, but that’s the easiest of those “ally’s” to answer. When you adopt internationally it costs between 25 and 50 thousand dollars! Astronomical! When you do direct placement it costs around 10 thousand! When you adopt through the ministry it costs you to have you physical exam done, which was in our case $55 total. What? Yep I said that right. It will also cost us more if we have to travel to do meetings with our child(ren) and they live farther away in the province. So financially speaking this isn’t super costly. That’s part of why I spend so much time advocating and fundraising for families who cross the ocean. It really shouldn’t be so expensive for them to ransom a life from the heinous conditions of mental institutions and orphanages, but it is. So I will continue to pour out where I can and be thankful for the ministries decision to fund so much of this process.  As for physically, mentally and spiritually, those are kind of hard to calculate, but I’m imagining costly!

What about the costs post-adoption?

Depending on the child(ren)’s special needs or if they are a sibling group, the ministry will help us out financially. As well as the costs for therapies ( speech, oral motor, physical, occupational…etc),  eye glasses or hearing aids, leg braces…etc. We will have greater costs for some things too. Food and clothing and things like that. We already bought a bunk bed, but we are looking into getting another one so we have lots of space. We have a van, so we have room for more passengers. We can only prepare soo much to start with.

Are you hoping for a baby?

The answer to that is Yes and No! A baby would be a great! The amount of time for early intervention for special needs would be maximized and there would be great opportunity in that sense, but otherwise, no we are not looking as a baby. We are willing for any age really. It is very child specific. We are willing to go beyond the age range of our girls and disrupt birth order if the specific child fits our family. We aren’t seeking to do that, but we are willing. The largest group of children who are available for adoption are age 4 and up and the largest group of parents willing to adopt want ages 4 and under.

You are seriously willing for a teenager?

Yep! MK and I have spent the last 10 years plus working with teens and we still love them. Someday our girls are going to be teens too. Trust me when I say that would be a very serious decision to make and a huge transition, but in many ways I think it would be easier to transition with a 13 year old than a baby. Also remember that children with special needs can be chronologically 14 years old  and globally, emotionally, academically, socially 5.