Friday, December 23, 2016

Books and Banana Muffins

I get asked a lot how I get all my kids to sit still for long read aloud sessions. The answer is "I don't!" We're currently in the middle of reading "Gladys Alward: The Adventure of a Lifetime" by Janet and Geoff Benge. It is an amazing and inspirational biography, and even though I wouldn't think my wiggly little ones are listening at all (see the video!) I know that they are hearing because of the questions they will ask or comments they make about it at some random moment much later.

Also on this video...making banana muffins in a busy household, kids with the camera, and normal shenanigans of a day with the Krekes.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Meet Pepper! (video link)

Grandpa and Grandma drove to the Ozarks last week to bring the Kreke kids a Standard Poodle puppy! Week #1 was a lot of fun and a lot of work. 
Click here to see interviews with the kids to get their take on Life With A Puppy...










The Krekes...on the big screen :)

"Life With Krekes" now has a YouTube channel. I'm quite an amateur so I've been learning as I go, recording some "A Day in Our Life" videos here and there. The kids really love to watch these and have been begging me to do more. If you want to check them out, you can visit our channel through this link, and if you're signed in with a free YouTube account, you can click the "subscribe" button to make sure you see any new videos we post.

https://www.youtube.com/user/jkreke1


Monday, December 5, 2016

Preparing for Christmas

December is part of the reason we homeschool year round, rather then taking a long summer break. There's something about this month that just makes "normal" schoolwork hard to do! So we are switching gears and doing things differently this month. 

The day after Thanksgiving is Decorating Day at the Kreke house! Grandpa stopped by to read books to the little ones and hold a fussy baby while the rest of us worked. The big kids decorated the tree themselves again this year. They do such a great job! I don't have any "off limits" Christmas decorations. All of these little hands are so excited to help, I'd rather risk having a broken decoration or two than to turn them away. 

 Setting up the manger scene.


 Grandpa reading "The Best Present" book by Dave Ramsey









We also had a fun "Allie Day" with our favorite teenager. She helped the kids make snowflakes to hang on the front window, and taught them how to make origami paper balloons. We just love when Allie comes to visit!





I listened to the latest Sally Clarkson video today and it made me stop and think again about the Christmas traditions we've developed for our family, and gave me some ideas for new ones to add. I'll write some more about that later! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A season of thankfulness

I just love this time of year! We celebrated our first Thanksgiving dinner today with some of our wonderful family. We are blessed to have so many people in our lives who love us!




















Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Krekes take on the Universe...

Has it really been almost a month since I blogged last?! Where does the time go?



Yes, yes...on the table again. The littlest Kreke is a super climber! (eek!) It's a good thing he has siblings like this cutie to help keep him out of trouble: 




I wanted to document briefly how things are going with the science curriculum we're using: "Our Universe" from the Answers In Genesis "God's Design for Heaven and Earth" series. The book is designed to be easy to use with a group of multiple aged children. Each chapter has a simple explanation for younger children, then the same information presented with more depth for older ones. There are hands on activities in the book as well that get the point across without taking up too much time. We do a chapter or two a week, and with each lesson the kids make a simple entry in their Science Notebook. 




They designed their own notebook covers with pictures they cut out and glued, then we added plain paper inside the covers and had the local copy shop spiral bind them (for just a dollar! We love our copy shop).



My younger ones do part of the writing themselves and I write in the rest of the details they want to include; older kids write their own information. 








The demonstration from Lesson 10 helped the kids to understand how craters form...we used flour and blocks to represent houses and earth, then took turns dropping salt, a marble, then a golf ball to see the differences in the impacts. The golf ball was pretty exciting! 



We're currently on the section about the planets, and I found some printable mini illustrations of the planets that they colored and cut out so that they could add their own mini solar systems to the notebooks.





I've been pleased with the book so far. In addition to growing in their scientific knowledge, my children are also being strengthened in their critical thinking skills as the book walks them through different worldly viewpoints on some of the topics, then provides references to show how science supports the Bible. I'm learning a lot as well, which is one of the blessings of homeschooling! 



On a completely unrelated note, I found the summer pajamas in the boys section at Walmart marked down to $1. There were some REALLY excited boys at our house when they found out they now have matching jammies. My kids all love to wear matching clothes! 
Look out world...I believe that one day these boys are going to make some serious golf ball sized impacts! :)





Monday, October 17, 2016

A decade of mothering

"The days are long but the years are short"

This saying has been told to me many times. It's true, but I'm trying to not let it be so. 
I'm really trying to cherish the hours and days, even the frustrating and exhausting ones. I love this season of life that we're in: learning how to love one another better, expanding our minds, practicing grace, eating meals and reading books together, growing in our love and knowledge of God. It really is a beautiful thing. The other night I remembered back to those first messy years of motherhood when many days I could not wait for bedtime to come. "Mothering well" felt so overwhelming. 
Oh, how good God is. He has brought me into this wide open space of enjoying what is before me...He has surrounded me with encouraging voices from women who affirm what He is doing in me and through me...and He has helped me to hang on to the truth that learning how to be like Jesus is a life long journey, and it's ok that I don't have it figured out...and that my kids don't either.


We celebrated TEN this week. Ten years of growing and learning. Ten years of living! I'm so excited to see what is in store for Isabella. God is going to use her to do some mighty things.






Isabella's request for the day was a big family breakfast with presents followed by a family day. Jason took the morning off work and we all went to Purina Farms, which was a great outing for an animal loving girl.