Sunday, September 7, 2014

First Day of Second Grade

August 18 marked our first day of school and Nathan's first day of second grade. We continue to homeschool but this year we joined our church's homeschool private satellite program. The boys attend classes on the campus of our church every Friday. So far we all love it. While the boys are learning I get to take part in a "mom's time". We basically have a 4 day school schedule at home, which makes our days a little longer than what we were used to but so far it's going well.

Nathan thought 2nd grade would be really hard but so far he says it's pretty easy! He's also enjoying homeschool P.E. and Science at our local YMCA. Thursdays he takes tumbling classes at the YMCA also.

It's going to be a busy year but we are all looking forward to it.  Lately I've been asked a lot about  our curriculum so I thought I'd post it!

MATH: Saxon 2
SCIENCE: Class at PSP and the YMCA
PHONICS: Explode the Code 5 and Phonics Pathways
BIBLE: Sparks AWANA handbook
SPELLING: Natural Speller
READING: He reads various books each week depending on what he is studying
HANDWRITING: Writing With Prayer
GRAMMAR: First Language Lessons
GUITAR: Lessons with daddy
SOCIAL STUDIES: Rod and Staff's Understanding Our Community
P.E.:  Classes at the YMCA

The best thing about homeschooling is that if something is not working out then you have the freedom to make some changes! So far it all seems like a great fit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Water Fight Party

We celebrated Jojo's  birthday with a Water Fight Party! It was our first "party" in America. Thankfully it was a big hit and Jojo and his friends had a fun time.
The party started off with a good old water gun fight.

We also played some water games.

We also had a slip n' slide. Some of the boys got real competitive.

The boys were hungry and enjoyed some pizza.

Of course it's not a party without cake!

Such a fun group of boys! So thankful for them all.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pine Mountain Club

Last week we were able to head up to our local mountains and get away for a few days. My husband's boss owns a darling cabin and he was gracious enough to let us use it.

The cabin is located west of Frazier Park in a small town called Pine Mountain Club nestled in the hills and surrounded by pine trees. The cabin itself is a true "log cabin"! One of the best parts is that we were pretty much disconnected from our electronic devises since internet usage was very limited. I have to admit it was pretty nice!

We played Jenga.....

we also discovered Apple to Apples....

Nathan spent most of his time on this swing.....

no explanation needed.......

the boys were arrested.......

we enjoyed some amazing pastries at the Bear Claw Bakery.....

and best of all we just took it easy!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Los Angeles Public Library : WHY WE LOVE IT!

When we returned from Russia last year one of the first things we did is to get the boys acquainted with our local public library.
The boys were so excited to have their own card.

I have to confess that we have pretty much been at the library every single week since! Sometimes we are there twice or even more a week. So, here are some reasons why we love the library so much.

I know, I know. That one is obvious. Not only do the boys have a blast finding books to read but I do too. I've expanded my reading genre quite a bit this past year and I am really enjoying all the books I'm able to borrow. The boys check out a lot of story picture books since daddy reads every night to them. Sometimes we bring home over 20-30 books!

2. DVDs
There are so many great DVDs we're able to check out. You can only check them out for 2 days but you can renew them online for an extra 2 days. Educational DVDs you can have out for 7 days. We've recently discovered that the other local branch in Porter Ranch has a way better selection of DVDs.

LAPL.ORG is so convenient. Online I am able to search for books that my local library doesn't have on it's shelf. If I put the book on hold it is then delivered to my library. I then get a reminder email to let me know the book is waiting for me at my local library. I also get reminder emails when a book/DVD is going to be due. Plus you can renew books online.

Every week or so the library has a special movie, craft time, and even reading to the dogs on the first Saturday of every month. We don't really go to the movies but Jon did take the boys to a puppet show one time. And last month the boys read to the dogs!

Naynay reading to a dog

Jojo doesn't love dogs but he was happy to do it anyway.

During the summer the library puts on a reading program for children and teens. This year it's called "Paws To Read" and the boys received a chart to fill in as they read along. You color in 1 paw for every 1/2 hour of reading and you color in 1 ball for activities that you do. I'm proud to say that the boys have completed their chart early! YAY!!! It's been a great incentive to encourage them to read.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mason Park-Splash Pad


We recently visited the Splash Pad at Mason Park in Chatsworth. I didn't even know it was there.....I found out about online somehow. When we first arrived there weren't so many kids playing in the Splash Pad but there were a ton of "summer camp" kids hanging out in the shade. Around noon all the kids invaded the Splash Pad!

It's actually real clean!

Just hanging out.

There's not a whole lot of shade but we found a decent spot to sit and eat our lunch. The boys were a bit cold so they asked to sit out in the sun.

The boys and their friend.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Camp

Last year for summer camp our church put on a one day summer camp but this year they had an overnighter! Thank God it was just one night because I was a nervous wreck.....I can't imagine if it was a whole week. When I was Josiah's age I would go to summer camp for a whole week. I don't know how my mom was able to send me off for so many days.
Jojo and his roommate. 

This is Jojo with his Sunday School teacher the amazing Mr. White. He's going on 82!
On Saturday Jon got to hang out with Jojo all day.
There were several sessions with skits, worship, and teaching.

Game time!

Jon was sweet enough to Instagram the whole day for me so I could see what they were doing. Jojo had a great time of course but he was absolutely exhausted by the time he got home.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Celebrating Nathan

Nathan turned 7 on July 1! My little baby is growing up. Our transition from Russia to California hasn't been an easy for him unfortunately. About once a week he cries that he misses Russia. When we ask him what it is that he misses the most he always says his friends. Needless to say it has been a little difficult for him to make some new friends. I think he is a little confused or misguided about what a "friend" means. We are trying to shepherd him through this and as parents we are trying to be wise how we come alongside him.

On his birthday he really wanted a party but wasn't quite sure who he would invite. So, I suggested we have a special time with one of his Sunday school friends. So, on his birthday we picked up his friend and headed to the movie theatre to watch Rio 2. It was really funny and the boys loved it.

Bright flash.......oops!

After the movie we headed to TGI Fridays and had a yummy lunch.

Thankfully both boys had a lot of fun.  I made a collage of Nathan throughout the last few years. He was such a dark baby when he was born! He has changed so much. I especially miss his curly hair days.

Nathan through the years.