Friday, October 21, 2011

First Week of School!

We made the decision to homeschool awhile ago, but I never really thought about when we would officially start. I figured he would be in public school when he turned 5, so we would start sometime around then. I had decided that after he turned 4 we would probably start that year in August when the regular school year began for everyone else here. We have already worked on letters, numbers, colors, etc just for fun, but nothing intense or structured. I started looking into homeschool curriculums and felt completely overwhelmed with all the choices. I have many friends who homeschool their kids and they have different curriculums they use, but I didn't want to pick something just because someone else was using it. I wanted to get something that would match my teaching style, keep my son engaged, and cover the state standards for what a child should know in each grade of school. A tall order for someone who has zero experience with homeschool curriculum. As an elementary teacher for 5 years before staying home with my kids I'm familiar with curriculum choices, but still felt in over my head without having been to a curriculum fair where I could get my hands on materials. As I was considering all these things a good friend of mine, who also homeschools, offered me a couple of different kindergarten curriculums. This happened just as I had started my research, and was one of the ones I had been looking into. I happily (and gratefully) accepted it! I needed to order the student materials, but had the teacher guide and entire curriculum plan for a year. I still wasn't going to start it right away, but as I looked through it I son can do this. So, we began our journey into homeschool this week. And he LOVED it. We are taking it slow. If he doesn't feel like doing it one day, then we won't do it that day. Like I said he wouldn't even be starting kindergarten in pubilc school until he was almost 5 1/2 (2 years from now) because of where his birthday falls, so we don't need to be in a hurry. But I have a feeling we won't be taking many days off. He loves to learn, and hasn't complained once about anything we've done. He even gave me a huge hug when I told him he was going to start school and said, "Thank you mom! Thank you for doing school with me!" I know it's only been a week, and we just in the introduction stages but I'm having a great time too. It's nice to have a routine during the day, and get back to teaching. I guess I really have missed it since I've been home. Here are a few pictures of how we spent our week.

Getting ready to start our day of learning!

Here we played a game where I showed him capital and lower case letters. If he knew it, he got to keep the card. If he didn't, I got to keep it. That's his pile and my pile. Oh, you only see one pile there? That's because I didn't get any.

Each day we focused on a number that corresponded with a day in the creation story. For example on the 3rd day God made the trees and plants. After he learned about the number he would look for it in the grocery store ads and circle that day's number.

He wanted to cut out all of his numbers by himself. He does pretty well. Still needs a little help on some of the more detailed cutting, but overall not bad!

As part of the letter recognition the curriculum includes this ABC chart. I would tell him a letter and he would cover it with his coin. It's nice to start school out with activities he can be successful doing. He liked this game, especially when we found the first letters of the names of all his friends.

This is a game we played on the last day of school this week. He would pick a card out with a number on it. Then count out that many cheerios. He did great!

Goofy kid!

He counted all the numbers we learned this week. (We doubled up on numbers a couple days. He wanted to keep going, so we did!)

And for those of you wondering what baby brother has been doing while we're in school. Today I put him in his crib with some books and toys. When we went in to check on him this is what we found. Long week of school for all of us! :)

I'm so thankful I have this opportunity to stay home with my kids and teach them as well. I know it won't always be easy, but I look forward to watching my children learn and grow. I'm already so proud of both my boys. We'll all have lots to learn as we go; from choosing the right curriculum, to sticking with it and not giving up! But I know with God's help we can figure it all out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


For all my MANY (hahahahaha) followers in the Phoenix area Our Jacobsen Family is offering a free manicure and pedicure for 2. Check it out and enter...I just did. But don't enter too many times because I wouldn't mind winning this :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Grandad's Hat

Handsome little man sporting Grandad's cowboy hat, and let's not forget the Spider Man pj's! In the weeks following the passing of my father in law we've been slowly collecting some of his things. He wasn't a man of many worldly possessions, but everything he had carries with it fond memories for my husband. He has a story for each item and has spent time sharing them with our sons as each new item was brought into our house. Some brought laughter. Some brought tears. But all brought joy in their own way, helping us remember time spent with Grandad. Even though my boys did not have much time with him, they will be blessed to hear his stories from their daddy. When we finally get Grandad's "things" sorted out we will have some of them to later remember him. And the stories will continue to be shared. The legacy will go on not because of a cowboy hat, but because of the memory of him wearing it. I am proud of the man my husband is, and the father he is to our sons. His example is one I would gladly, and gratefully, have my children follow. And I know I owe that in part to the example his father set for him through his successes and his mistakes. So today I remember time spent, and enjoy looking at this picture of the next generation as it shares a memory, and creates a new one to add to our family heritage.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We've been swimming a lot this summer and the boys have loved it. I would've put some of these pictures up sooner, but I didn't download the pictures right away and then I lost my camera for awhile, but thankfully it has been found. Thanks to my oldest son who found it between the front seat and the door of our car. I thought I had looked there, but apparently not well enough. Here are a few pictures from earlier this summer. I didn't take any during VCS when all the kids were swimming because why would I remember to do that? Anyway here are just a few of my boys and a couple of their cousins.

The sweet goggles on my neice!

My little guy got cold pretty quickly. He'd warmed up enough after getting out of the pool to lose the blue lips, but his teeth were still chattering when this picture was taken.

My newest nephew's first time in the pool. It made him very tired, and he was soon asleep in his mom's arms. It amazes me he can fall asleep like that in the pool, especially with all those kids out there!

As soon as he threw the first kid the line began to form. He tossed those kids pretty high a few times and they had a blast. Hard to get the action shots, but this one definitely shows how much fun this was!

Getting ready for take off!

He got some definite height in that one, and pretty impressive distance. Almost a perfect 10!

Jumping in the pool to daddy. My little boy is growing up so fast. He started swimming lessons this year, and is doing so well. He can swim quite a good distance, but now we just have to get him to remember to come up for air!

The slide is always a favorite!

My three favorite boys ever, and all so handsome!

Thankfully I was the one weilding the camera so there are no photos of my in a swimsuit! Works out nicely for all of us that way :) Glad we still have some more hot days of summer left to spend in the pool, and thankful for family and friends with pools close by! I don't have to worry about my kids getting into one in our yard, or keep it clean. Pretty much a win win situation!

Monday, April 11, 2011

(Note: I redid this FIVE times and it still has the pictures and words all lined up weird, and refuses to put a space in between my paragraphs at the beginning. I have no idea why, but obviously it isn't going to work correctly so I give up. It also doesn't show two of the pictures I uploaded. Don't know where those disappeared to in cyberspace but they're gone. Maybe this is blogging karma coming to punish me for ignoring it for too long!) I have been seriously slacking in my blogging lately. You know it's bad when your last post was four months ago! Joining facebook has sometimes made my blogging seem redundant. But I definitely miss being able to tell the whole story and not be bound by maximum character number restraints. Fitting everything I want to say inside that tiny box can sometimes be a challenge for someone like me. We'll just call me someone with a love of words. That sounds much nicer than some of the other descriptors for a person who enjoys talking. I'm sure my husband sometimes wishes he could honestly tell me "you say it best when you say nothing at all". Really though, I'm not giving him the credit he deserves. He's very good at letting me gab away and then responding with more than just a nod or a single word. I'm blessed with a husband who actually enjoys talking with his wife. But I digress, this isn't supposed to be about what a great husband I have. Even though it's true! A few weeks ago I was able to take the boys to the Luke Days airshow. It was my first time there and I'm so glad we went. Unfortunately dad didn't get to come with us because he had to work. But we got to take our best bud Shell, and met up with Uncle Gary, Aunt Sissy, and the cousins while we were there. It was a long day and all of the kids, except the oldest, ended up in tears at least once but we still had a good time. And even took some naps in spite of all the noise. I of course in my hurry to leave left my camera on the kitchen counter, but luckily Shell saved the day and got some cute pictures of the kids since I was ill prepared. We started out here in a very long line waiting to get through security into the base. Not only did that take forever, but I forgot I had a tiny kids backpack in the bottom of the stroller from church and since the rule is NO backpacks they threw it in the trash at the entrance. I was a little annoyed by that, but guess not much I could do about it. Although dad later said I should've called him and one of his buddies would've come and taken it for me to give him later. Easton was a little stressed they threw his bag away, but he didn't freak out which was good. They also tried to throw away all my food for the baby, including the plastic containers it was stored in (that was a little much I thought) because no outside food or drink. But their online rules specifically said you could bring in food for infants. I had to put my foot down on that one and they finally let me keep it. Then later we saw people who had packed sandwiches and brought them in. Guess we picked the wrong entrance line!

When we FINALLY made it inside we found our friends and set up chairs where we would watch the show. This is a helicopter that did some amazing tricks. He's even upside down here. Which was pretty cool considering how much power it takes to turn back around compared to an airplane.

Trying to keep Asher's ears covered was pretty much futile. He didn't care for the earmuffs, or the earplugs we tried later. He had his tongue out in almost every picture. (He got a new tooth the next day so he was constantly moving his tongue and lips over the spot where it was about to come through.) Still cute even with the long tongue action. All the kids had these earplugs at first, but Easton couldn't keep them in his ears so we eventually swapped them for the earmuff style which he thought were pretty sweet. They were obviously pretty effective since he napped in that chair during some of the loudest parts of the show. I love the skinned knees. He was bouncing around all over the place that day and kept falling on the asphalt, and went home with skinned knees and hands as souvenirs. The boys got antsy during the show so Shell and I took them to see the airplanes. They LOVED being able to touch them and even go inside some. Here we are waiting in line to see an F-16. The line only had about 5 people ahead of us when we got in it, but it took almost an hour to see the cockpit. The pilot literally talked to each person for 15-20 minutes each. It was awful, but the boys were set on seeing the inside of that plane so we had to find ways to entertain ourselves in line. This is us jumping and spinning in circles. It entertained us and the others in line with us :) After jumping got tiring (for me!) the boys got their turn with the camera. They got several interesting shots, including these of each other. (In the background of this one you can see the very wordy pilot) And I'll end with another of the cool stunts they did for us at the show. This was awesome, one plane flying upside down over the other in perfect formation the entire time. Definitely a good day!