Dad Carter has been starting to seed a variety of different plants, and it won't be too long now before we start transplanting seedlings, something I really enjoy doing. A few years back, a green house was added on to the farm house with a swimming pool in it...it really retains the heat and is excellent for starting plants while the weather outside is still frightful.
The kids have really been enjoying the pool and are starting to turn in to little fish. Luke is really careful about water safety; however, Susanna doesn't have too much fear at all. She'll just jump off the steps when she wants to get going....even if there is no one around. Tony and I have both rescued her as she landed on the bottom of the pool -- she's been chewed out thoroughly, and this last time I stressed to her the importance of never going in without us right by her, otherwise she could easily die. My kids both have a healthy fear of the words "dangerous" and "die," so hopefully this has sunk in to her (excuse the pun!). It's time to seriously start teaching them to swim. I'm planning on getting the Red Cross swim manual since all the step-by-step lessons I used to give so long ago are a bit rusty to me (and they don't start giving swim lessons until age 5 here and only in the summer, when it's next to impossible for us to commit time outside of the farm!). I do have to admit, she was very apprehensive about even putting her head under the water with me holding her hands after our latest talk.....
This is Rudy. He's been growing from when we first got him. Luke still occasionally calls him Sampson, but he more often than not refers to him as Rudy. The other day he came home from the farm all excited about playing with Rudy and giving him kisses before they came back home. (Yes, Mom, I remember about Ron....)
Susanna has lately been loving when I make her hair like "Laura's" on Little House on the Prairie. Here she is looking like "Laura" (while watching Laura) in one of her pretty dresses. She is SUCH a girl! Today, though, she has decided she is Pippi Longstockings and informed me her monkey is off riding on her horse. We love watching that movie, and I'm trying to find a good kids copy of the book series.
This is Luke with his cousin Laura (Rita's daughter, before they returned to the Phillippines) and his friend Nikki (who still claims she is going to marry him when they get growed up) at Cubbies. Luke still goes to Cubbies hoping Laura will be there since she isn't at her house any more!
Our nephew Clinton (Mark and Beth's oldest son) came back to town in the early morning hours on Sunday via train. He'll be staying at the farm helping Tony out with a few things before leaving for a week long trip to Guatemala to visit Dwight. It'll be a Carter excursion -- Mama (Grandma) and Clinton will be meeting up with Tessa (Clinton's sister) and Paul and Carrie (Paul is the oldest Carter son, Carrie is his college-aged youngest daughter) along the way.
I've also been pretty busy with Watkins parties lately and have several more scheduled between March and April as well as one the first weekend of May. I've not spent much time lately with Greenstar things, but my mind is still thinking of what all to do. I'm very thankful I have another local (to me) customer for Greenstar, and there are a few other businesses I want to present to within the next week or two.
One of the other big things that has been going on is starting to look at what we'll need to do as we plan on home schooling Luke and Susanna....while we don't "officially" start for more than a year, I've been working with them on the alphabet. They both love learning, Luke especially, so we've been focusing each week on a different letter of the alphabet, the sound(s) it makes, and how to write it. We'll be working on "k" this week, and I'm starting to finally put together a list of words that Luke will be able to sound out. He told me again last night that he wants to be able to read by himself, which is great motivation for both of us! We have a book series called "My First Steps to Reading" -- one book for each letter. They all start out similar...."Little a (b, c, d, etc.) has a box. I will find things that start with my "a" sound and put them in my box...." and it goes through several different words. Both kids love the books, but I wasn't sure exactly how much was REALLY sinking in until a couple weeks back, I got several empty boxes, labeled them with letters A-I, and dumped a bunch of the kids' toys in the middle of the room and told them to put them in the correct sound boxes. Everything Susanna picked up went into the "b" box, but Luke asked me to say the word for each toy -- I did, over-emphasizing the first sound, and he put every toy in the right box! I was really impressed!
It intimidates me, though, as I realize I'll need to start looking for circula soon -- will I find a good fit for our family? What will the costs be? There is SO much out there! Thankfully, two home-school mom friends of mine told me about MACHE, or Minnesota Association of Christian Home Eductators. They have an annual conference each year, and this year it will be in Duluth. They have a special session for parents who are starting out as well as two days of conferences and workshops on all kinds of things, including identifying learning styles, working with right-brain children (WHAT is a right-brained child????), etc. After talking about it and praying about it, we decided that I'll go this year, take in several of the different sessions, and start looking at the myriad of materials out there for home schoolers. The conference will be in April.
Let's see....what else is going on? We still don't have a definite "adult in charge" for the market this year. There is a lady moving to this area who is considering the job...and who would be PERFECT for it...but she isn't ready to commit yet. Please keep this in your prayers, as it will be hard for me this summer and possibly next summer until the kids are old enough to be of some help while tagging along with Tony and/or me.
Tony continues to teach the 3-year-old class at church, much to Luke's delight. This past Sunday the story was on the little lost sheep, and Tony asked an unsuspecting Luke if he wanted to bring one of his sheep to church that day. Luke eagerly picked out his favorite sheep....which promptly disappeared causing a bit of concern for Luke who would every once in awhile comment about his missing sheep. Tony was telling me that, if time allowed, he was also planning on playing "Lost Sheep" in class, with one child hiding while the others hid their eyes. Yeah, I had to laugh at that one. Get a group of ten or more 3-year-olds to all keep their eyes closed so another child could hide? However, it sounds like it worked. When Simone's mom came to pick her up and asked her what the story was about, Simone eagerly told her about "him going under the table and no one could find him" as she pointed to Luke. Sharon, not really understanding what her daughter was talking about, quickly took her to task for playing during Sunday School and not paying attention....boy, was she surprised when I informed her Simone really HAD been paying attention and just told her the Sunday School story! Tony was in a bit of a quandry Sunday as his helper didn't show up and he wasn't able to get word to anyone else to come an assist. I still wish I could've seen him as he led his entire Sunday School class to the bathroom when one child had to go! And watched his face as the girls started taking entirely too long in the girls' bathroom! (Thanks, Brit, for coming along when you did!)
We also had a fun evening at my in-laws Sunday evening as Mama threw a big bash welcoming Clinton back to Minnesota.
I have some yummy new recipes that I'm planning on posting, too...look for them within the next day or so...unless I have time later today to post them!
That's all for now....