Lincoln's 10th Birthday

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Here I am, a month late again.  For some reason I just can't get these birthdays blogs out in a reasonable amount of time.  Better late than never, I guess.

My middle son, Lincoln, turned 10 in June.  I really cannot believe this child is 10.  He acts way older than his age, so he seems like he should be older, but the idea that I now have 2 out of 3 children in double digits is mind boggling to me.   They really need to stop growing up so fast!

Lincoln chose to go rock climbing for his birthday. The day before his birthday we headed to Mall Sport, which is a mall totally dedicated to sports and outdoor activities.   They got to to climb on the bouldering wall for 30 minutes and then had two attempts to climb the tall vertical wall.  They have all improved so much since taking rock climbing classes.  I am always so impressed at how strong they are.

He wanted to show me that he could hang from the top with one hand.  

After rock climbing, we went out for Lincoln's birthday dinner.  He chose T.G.I. Friday's.  It is so funny that they have so many  North American food chains here.  They are such a novelty to my kids. They love that they can get club sandwiches and chicken fingers there.  You would think growing up in Asia, they would want rice & noodles, but nope they still want the things that kids from the USA eat. It makes me laugh.  

Birthday morning!  He chose pancakes for breakfast.  

 Time for presents!

 He was very surprised to get the next Fablehaven book.  We had it sent from the States.  It just came out and the library doesn't have it yet. He couldn't wait to start reading it.  

Even in Chile, the fidget spinners are a craze. He was also very excited to get this. 

 Birthday dinner: Chicken kebabs and cheeseball. 

And we finished off his birthday with a Harry Potter cake.  

Happy 10th Birthday, Lincoln. I hope this year brings all you wished for.  
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Curriculum Choices for 2017-2018

Friday, July 21, 2017

A new year has started and this is the time to see if all the new curriculum choices I've been researching for months will actually be a good fit for our family.  It's funny because I feel like this is our first real year of homeschooling.  I've been homeschooling for 9 years now!  I'm excited about our new history & science curriculum's this year.  These two subjects I have felt like we needed to add a little more substance to and I think our new program will help with that.  I'm looking forward to seeing how much the boys accomplish this year and what goals we will end up meeting.  Here is what I have chosen for this year.

Greyson is in Grade 7 & Lincoln is in Grade 5
Both of the boys work on the same level for each subject except math.

Daily Virtues & Manners

We choose Virtues
We Choose Virtues

365 Manners Kids Should Know

History, Language Arts, Poetry, & Art

Build Your Library

We will be using the grade 5 curriculum with both boys.  I love that this curriculum can be used with multiple age children.  We started with this grade because I felt that if we skipped, there was just too much history we would miss out on.  We will cover from the first Americans to the Civil War in history this year.

We will be studying american Artists and American poets, such as Emily Dickinson & Robert Frost.

Language arts will be reading an amazing selection of books.  I'm excited for this part!


Elemental Science-Biology for the Logic Stage

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All About Spelling

All About Spelling Level 3


Teaching Textbooks level 6&7

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Spanish for Kids: Risa y Sonrisa

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Typing Club


IEW- Level B


Britton is in 2nd Grade:

Manners & Daily Virtues

We Choose Virtues
We Choose Virtues

365 Manners Kids Should Know

Language arts & Phonics

Explode the Code
Explode the Code Book 1

Hooked on Phonics (We also use the app)

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Writing with Ease
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All About Spelling 

All About Learning Press Logo

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History, Art, Poetry, Language Arts

Build Your Library- Grade 2

Britton will be learning about the Medieval period from knights to the Crusades to the Vikings.  Art will be focused on artwork from this time period, as well.

Science will be focused on Earth and Space.


Spanish- Risa y Sonrisas

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Computers- Typing Club

Extra Curricular Activities

Spanish Lessons with tutor (all 3 boys)
Forest School (all 3 boys)
Homeschool PE Class (all 3 boys)
Rock Climbing Club (All 3 boys)
Boy Scouts (Greyson)
Robotics Team (Greyson)

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What we are reading this week

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's been a couple of weeks since I last shared the books we were currently reading.  If you want to see the books I missed posting about, check out this link.  It has all the books we have read for the past 4 years.  There are so many good ones on that list!  We finished the Bunnicula series.  My 7 year old just loved those books.  And another new favorite is Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White.  It was such a beautiful story of friendship.  It tackled quite a few tough topics, but was just so beautiful.  This week we are on to 3 new books.

After Lunch Read Aloud- All 3 boys

The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

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The boys and I started this book a week ago and are about 3/4 of the way through it now.  I have heard so many great reviews of this book and was really looking forward to it.  It is even written by an author that is from my area in the United States!  I think I may be "series-ed" out.  Every book is series today.  I just want a wonderful stand alone book.  So I think this may be where my review of this book is coming from.  We will only be reading the first one together and if they boys want to continue, they can finish the series on their own.

It's a story about a boy and his two friends that are searching for his sister.  They start to notice strange activity at their local zoo and begin to think the zoo may have played some part in the disappearance of his sister.  It is a cute story so far, but I think I am just really craving some good historical fiction.   Needing a little change from magic, kingdoms, and animals.

Nighttime Read Aloud- Britton

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
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This another series that I have heard wonderful things about.  It's only two books, plus a prequel, so I think I can handle this one.  Again it is about animals and kingdoms, but we honestly are not far enough into it to give a good assessment.     It is recommended for middle grades and I would agree if the child was reading it alone.  I have had to explain a few things to Britton to help him understand what is happening, but so far he seems really interested in the story.  I'll have to tell you more next week because I can't even give you a summary of it since we just started it.

Nighttime Read Aloud- Greyson and Lincoln

The Ranger's Apprentice: The Icebound Land by John Flanagan

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We are on book 3 of the Ranger's Apprentice series out of 12.  This really is a series where you have to read all the books.  They do not end with closure at all.  So if you start, you will be committing to all 12.  But they are pretty fast reads.  We can get through them in about a week and a half.  The boys are really enjoying the story of the apprentice ranger, who has gotten himself into a little trouble in this book. I like how brave he is and how he never gives up no matter how beaten down he is.  I also like the relationships he has and how the characters will go to extreme measures to help out their friends in need.  It is a really positive story with positive role models for the boys.  I am interested to see where this series of 12 will take us over the next few months.

That is what we have been up to this week.  This is also our last week before school starts!  It was a short winter break, but I am excited to get back into the swing of things.

Any great books that you would like to suggest?
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A look back at our first year in Chile

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's coming up on our one year mark in Chile and I decided to look back through our photos from this past year.  I'm not going to lie, this year was hard.  To say we miss Thailand would be an understatement. And adjusting from an Asian country to a South American one was a lot to handle.  I have felt very alone in this country for a good part of the year.  I miss our friends, our Thai lives, and our community.  But we have made it.  Year one.  The hardest year after a move.

What have we accomplished this year?  

We managed our first international shipping container arriving safely with everything intact! We completely furnished a house.  Ben started building most of our furniture again.  We adopted a dog. We learned to drive again after relying on public transportation for the last 5 years. We started Spanish lessons. We had visitors from the United States and Thailand.  We saw the Milky Way.  We saw a city covered in amazing street art.  We tasted the best wine.  We made it to the Pacific Ocean. We experienced multiple earthquakes.  We have adjusted to seasons.  My boys saw snow for the first time.  The boys learned how to rock climb.  They went camping. We look in awe at the mountains everyday.  And we have made friends.

It's been a tough year, but things are starting to fall into place.  And I am sure that year two in Chile will bring many more frustrating moments, but hopefully more contentment to my heart.

Hope you enjoy the slideshow of our first year here.


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What we are reading this week

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


We finished Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and all four of us really enjoyed it.  It was a fun, light-hearted book that we moved through pretty quickly.  I really enjoyed the family dynamic in the is book.  The children had complete trust in their parents no matter what crazy situation they were facing.  I really felt that they were kids that were very loved and not let down by their parents.  It was nice to read a book that didn't have any family turmoil, just lots of love and adventure.  I think all three boys would recommend this book.

We also finished reading the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice Series.  It took most of the book to really get moving, but I really think this book was meant to set the scene for the rest of the series and to start introducing the characters. I really enjoy the way this author writes.  Everythings flows together really well.  Some books are good read alouds and some are not, and this one has been a really enjoyable read aloud so far.

Britton- Nighttime

Bunnicula Strikes Again by James Howe

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Britton and I will be starting book six in the Bunnicula series tonight.  I thought he might start getting a little tired of this series.  All the books have the animals in the story solving a mystery, but he is still loving them.  Britton laughs through every chapter and is excited to see what situation they will come to next.  He especially likes the cute little Dachshund, Howie.  He is full of jokes, many of which I have to explain to Britton, but he is hilarious.  I am really glad we were introduced to this series because it has been great fun to read with Britton.

Greyson and Lincoln- Nighttime

The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 2: The Burning Bridge

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We will be starting book two in the Ranger's Apprentice series tonight.  I am not sure if I will read the whole series with them or just a few of them.  I guess it depends on how much starts to happen in this next book.  I do really like the characters we have met so far in book one and there are quite a few other characters that we still need to get to know better, so I am looking  forward to seeing further character development.  This book is so different than what I would typically choose to read, so I'm just telling myself to give it a fair chance. Now the boys have been begging me to keep reading, so they are really enjoying it.  We will start tonight and I will give you an update next week.  

All 3 Read Aloud

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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This book has been on quite a few book lists that I have looked through and I finally ended up ordering it because I could never seem to find it at any of the libraries we were going to.  I had no idea what this story was about and have actually been surprised as I have started to read it to the boys. We have a castle and knight theme going on at the moment with this book and the Ranger's Apprentice books. The main characters are 3 siblings who live in a magical castle.  Their parents (the king and queen) and the their brother disappear and the siblings are determined to protect their castle from other kingdoms trying to take over while trying to uncover what really happened to their parents.  We are only a few chapters in, but I am really liking this book so far.  I'm curious to find out what has really happened, because something is not adding up and I am sure there is a secret we will discover.

This week my boys are reading some great stories too.  Britton (age 7) is working his way through the Henry & Mudge series.  He loves them and they are the perfect level for his beginning reading journey.

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Lincoln (age 10) has been reading the 39 clues series for the past few months and has 2 1/2 books left in the entire thing.  There are 25 books in the entire series and he is determined to finish them all.

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Greyson (age 12) is starting the I Funny series by James Patterson.  Finding a book or series that he likes is always a difficult task, so I am very happy that he is enjoying this book so far.  We also want to try James Patterson's Treasure Hunter Series too.

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That is what we are reading this week!  What's on your list?

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