Thursday, November 28, 2013

so much thankfulness

Our first official Thanksgiving here in America as a family of 4... has come and gone. For the last few years, Thanksgiving was spent cooking up 1 or 2 dishes to contribute to a pot luck, where deep fried turkeys were plentiful. We've had Thanksgiving over 6.5 years overseas, and to celebrate this sweet holiday in America, was wonderful.... not that I didn't appreciate past Thanksgivings... I loved each and every one of them (although last year, I was TERRIBLY nauseous because I was pregnant... hated that I didn't get to enjoy all the yummies everyone made, but was secretly smiling inside), but this year it was nice to keep it low key even with having a dear friend over.

It was pretty important to create a yummy meal in our new home... It was the first time we ever cooked a turkey in an oven... I know, crazy. You know me, go big or go home... so I brined the turkey... even though I had NO idea what I was doing at first (I channeled my inner Pioneer Woman). We created simple but tasty sides, and our friend cooked an amazing ham and cornbread. Everything was delicious. Now that we can check that box off the list of things we wanted to accomplish in our new home, we can create new traditions next year... something tells me it'll involve a shelter, and servant hearts.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


With Thanksgiving being this Thursday, we're having a really laid back schooling week... like mostly play, and that's about all. Tons of crafting, catching up on penpal writing, and just imagination play time. Marley loves it... it means she gets extra attention from her sister... and she'll take that any day. Today, was the first time these two girls had a tea party, created by Charlotte of course... and Marley just about enjoyed tummy time (which she already loves) more than anytime before. She remained on her tummy for 45 minutes, before complaining and wanting to be flipped... it was a record for her. I love seeing how they interact with one another. The giggles that come out of their mouths, the way they look at each other, the way Charlotte teaches her sister how to "properly" pour coffee... it's fantastic. These two... they were meant to be sisters.

And then, the tea party quickly ended, because Marley drooled over every single tea cup she was given.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

School Sessions: Chapter 1

So, I've decided to sort of blog about my homeschooling weekly/biweekly adventures... that way I can document things that have worked, haven't worked... progress.... trials and tribulations, etc... for future use with Charlotte, and also as a reminder for when I homeschool Marley (thankful it's not for many years).

I've mentioned before how I homeschooled Charlotte during pre-K, and documented some of my experiences on the blog, on a week by week basis. The updates fell off the wagon, because we moved out of Korea, I got pregnant, and moved into a house... the learning never stopped, but the blog posts did. I'm hopeful these will continue. We've been having a blast adding many experiences to our day to day schooling- we visit the zoo, the science museum, seasonal outings, and one of a kind experiences (like last week's visits to the State Capital)... and starting next year, we begin gymnastics again, as well as attend weekend PE with other homeschool children.

We start off most mornings the same, before breakfast and getting dressed, Charlotte writes in her journal, and colors a related picture:

Shortly after breakfast, we get started on our day.... outfit on... and first up, Math... 

Typically after Math, we put Marley down for her morning nap... and while I was rocking her to sleep, I came out, and caught my student sipping on my coffee... yup, it's her thing lately... and NO, I do not encourage it... she just tried it one time, and loved it (and I don't put sugar in there... so it's definitely the coffee taste that she enjoys.)

Next up, we review sight words, write out sight words (for the spelling aspect), and begin reading/phonics. 

This usually takes us a good hour to get through, as we usually end the session by reading a sight word book together. Other things, like science, history, or art/music... come later on in the day, depending on what we have on our agenda in the way of errands and what not. Charlotte has begun writing her penpals every other day, and just adores all the mail she has coming in. It's such a sweet time for her, to see her smile as we read postcards and letters that arrive... and the writing, is really helping her when it comes to phonics. She has a heart for creating as well, so this week, we worked on some painted wooden bead necklaces for her new penpals all the way in England. She's SO excited to put this package together... I think her favorite is mailing everything off. Marley is usually awake at this point, and LOVES joining us on the table on her bumbo seat now... at this point, I like to play catch up on reading blogs, writing back e-mails/messages, or even do some photo editing... Marley loves watching Charlotte, and Charlotte loves creating without me directing her in anyway. 

This week's highlights:

- Charlotte mastered counting by 10's... she's so impressed with her skills, that she asks me to ask her to count by 10's, all.the.time.

- She was introduced to consonant digraphs, and was tickled pink when she realized her first name began with one, "Ch"

- She was introduced to proper nouns, and is starting to grasp how to identify them in sentences.

- She received 2 penpal letters, and was ecstatic to put them in her new pen pal box (details coming soon) after reading them a few times.

This week's lows:

- Concepts of addition not breaking through quite yet. She understands when I bring it to life, but she doesn't grasp writing out an equation yet.

- Many distractions that make it difficult for Charlotte to focus on work, without me constantly redirecting. Going to have to put a sign on our door, "SCHOOL IN PROGRESS"...

- Mommy's patience were a little thin this week, because of lack of sleep (note to self, GO TO BED EARLIER).

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

National Adoption Day

Adoption is near and dear to our hearts.... we are reminded of it everyday when we stare in awe at our little Charlotte. We celebrate today, and all the orphans that found forever homes, and pray for those that haven't... yet. We are so thankful that our hearts were opened to the idea of adoption years ago... I can't even stress enough how Charlotte was meat to be a "Davis" through and through.

This past summer, my mom passed along this poem to me. It's from a "Dear Abby"... and basically is a poem that is treasured by adopted children... it was too sweet, to not share on this day:

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.
 Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love.
The second was there to give it.
 One gave you a nationality.
The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent.
The other gave you aim.
 One gave you emotions.
The other calmed your fears.
 One saw your first sweet smile.
The other dried your tears.
 One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.
And now you ask me, through your tears, the age-old question unanswered through the years. Heredity or environment, which are you a product of? Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.

- Author Unknown
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Marley Wren { 4 Months }

Dear Marley,

I'm one day late in wishing you a happy 4 month birthday... but that's okay, I don't think you grew too much in 1 day... but you did grow a lot since your 3 month birthday... that's no lie. We pick you up, and we feel it in our backs... holding you for countless hours, forget it, our arms feel like they might fall off. And lets not even talk about your length... you outgrew 3 month clothing, before you even had a chance to wear it.... skipped right to 6-9 months. But it's a healthy grow, and we love seeing all the changes. Your thighs are thickening (they're super scrumptious to us), you have little dimples in your fingers where your knuckles should be, and the sweetest little double chin. 

Your fingers are constantly in your mouth... wouldn't be surprised if we see some tooth nubs within the next few weeks. You're a drooling mess... but the cutest drooling mess we've ever seen. 

You found your toes this month... and they're your best friend. You can sit and play with them for hours, especially if you're wearing some sort of bootie bottoms that have an animal at the bottom. You stare at them, and want to stretch them all the way to your mouth. 

Your expressions are ridiculously cute, and we try and get you to laugh every moment that we can. You love when we surprise "boo" you, or make blurping sounds. You love being flown up into the sky, and adore rib tickles. 

We've had a little set back in your nightly sleeping schedule. You're not sleeping through the night again... and we think it's because you're going through a growth spurt. All you want to do is eat and play, and giggle at the wee hours of the morning. Your goal is to have Mama grab you, and cuddle you back to sleep... you love sleeping on your Mama, and we think it's because you're a tummy sleeper... but we'll still listen to the doctor, and not let you sleep on your belly until you're a little bigger. You have been napping in your crib on occasion, and you don't seem to mind it. We're still trying to get you on a regular napping schedule... it's the one thing you're not a fan of. We think it's because you're scared of missing something. You want to be a part of every moment, and we don't blame you sweet girl... life is fun, and especially fun with you in it. 

We love you, 
Daddy, Mommy and Charlotte 

Take a look back at 3 months, 2 months, 1 month, and birth.
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Celebrating 106

Yesterday, Oklahoma turned 106 years old! Charlotte was so excited about our adventure into the State Capital to celebrate, especially once she figured out, that it meant that Oklahoma was a century... 100 years old... older than her. A few weeks ago, I was reading Oklahoma City's newsletter that goes out with the garbage bill, and made note of the fact that there would be a Reading Day celebration for children between the ages of Pre-K to Grade 5, on the front lawn of the Capital building, to celebrate Oklahoma's birthday. Sounded like the perfect field trip for the week, and it definitely was.

There were tons of school there, but we didn't feel out of place at all... in fact, I LOVED the fact that I was able to bring Charlotte and act as her Mom and teacher... and Marley LOVED the commotion of it all as well. 

She thought that the storybook characters were just as entertaining as Charlotte, and loved looking up into the trees and watching them sway, as Charlotte sat at the stations and listened to the books. There were so many volunteers there reading to children... some stations even had the actual authors there, reading their own books. 

I love that our state celebrated it's birthday with a reading celebration... Right now, with school, my main focus is to get my little girl to read like no other. She's doing so well, I couldn't be more proud. Her whole world is on the verge of changing... with reading, her imagination is going to hit even greater heights, as is the rest of her learning... and again, I get to sit by her side, and watch... best job ever. 
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