February, the calendar’s middle child. The month that is greeted with a sigh and is usually seen as a hurdle that needs to be conquered so we can all just move onto something a bit closer to spring and warmth.

From where we sat, though, this past month was so very nice.

Miss Maybe.

Boy, she would be ohso happy if we just woke up each day and lied on the floor with her until it was time for bed.

The girls celebrated the first Tooth-Doctor Day of 2019! So far, they still enjoy going to the dentist and have no cavities – that could have something to do with the joy.

I wrote a bit about February’s weather back here. Very exciting.

Rae has required several naps and Mae fell asleep on the couch one afternoon. I think they’re going through growth spurts. The tights she is wearing in that photo are at least one size too small. (We bought them one month ago!) I purchased two new jeans for her at the beginning of the month, I hope they prove useful through the spring.

(Hooray for healthy, growing kids and four dollar tights!)

(This day feels like it occurred months ago.)

We were able to borrow the boys for a day here and there. We’ve missed them so much. As soon as they left, we began missing them again.

G instantly asked for popcorn that first morning and quickly began grabbing the stool, pulling the bag of kernels out of the pantry drawer and showed me where to get the pot. Ha! Quite the second breakfast…

Little A had grown SO MUCH in a month and a half! He grew six beautiful teeth, about 78 inches taller, and now has hair! Strawberry hair!

G is talking so well and so much. He’s at that stage where it seems he has nothing left to learn (aside from, like, mathematics). He can help with everything and does. He can hold conversations and soaks up information like a sponge.

We made progress on the girls’ bedrooms!! It will still be a couple of months until their rooms are complete, but it’s exciting!

Helpful lady filling up the furnace. She wore this dress most of February.

I started a painting that involves buffalo, and as a result, Mae has been drawing them as well. This one would like a pizza, please.

Two of our favorite people, Bob and Paula, took us out to lunch after church one day! I didn’t get a photo of our time together, but I did get a photo of the girls from inside the car in front of the restaurant…

I wrote a couple of school-related posts – here and here.

Waiting for their breakfast. Chop chop, Ma!

Zack and I took the girls to a small (free!) petting zoo – put on by the FFA students, who brought in their own animals!

^ Photo by Rae ^

We took the girls to the London Tea room again and to Lolli & Pops (schmancy) candy store.

Mae looks so big! or V looks so little. Either way, the difference surprised me.

We also visited the Hibbelers! for an afternoon/evening. Lynn made us some of the most incredible food (Seriously, so good!!) and the girls got four solid hours with their best friend, V.

Thanks, FEB. Like all middle children, you turned out to be a real joy. You brought an abundance of ice and snow as well as many of the birds out of hiding.

Also! OUR BOY TURNS 31 TOMORROW! He is enjoying his final day as a thirty-year-old at home with us, celebrating a wonderful (but hopefully the last) snow day!



I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone who knows us, but our days are typically on the quiet side, save for loud laughter and the occasional thunder of rollerskate strides. Five years of formal, daily homeschooling and I am over the moon with how our life together is unfolding. I can’t imagine a better childhood for them.

A benefit from our homeschooling I can’t capture in an image?

Their love for one another.

It is incredible (At this age. It may be more of a struggle in the teen years. Struggle that will be no less beautiful and necessary.). Their constant encouragement for one another is stunning. I am so grateful they have this time to get to know each other and form knowledge of what it means to love a peer/sibling/possible future spouse unconditionally and develop a habit of lifting one another up at such a young age.

Alright – let’s get on to more formal lessons, yeah?

^ Photo by Mae ^

We were able to have school outside on occasion and chicken chores became a thing again!

The girls and I haven’t paid much mind to these new hens. Zack has pretty well been their sole caregiver. Switching roles wasn’t planned, I just really dislike the cold this year and have enough responsibilities as it is (not that he doesn’t, they are just “his girls”). I am hoping we have a warm spring and my interest in the ladies is rekindled. For now, the few and far between not-so-cold winter mornings will have to do.

The cold days really dragged on, though, and we spent more time than usual learning via computer and educational television…sometimes while wearing aprons or scarves…

We did read an awful lot as well which was also a great way to fill our days stuck inside.

Computer lessons consisted of –

ABC Mouse

Khan Academy math, art history, and Pixar in a Box – storytelling lessons

Typing through

Supplemental piano lessons using Hoffman Academy on YouTube

Worksheets! Rae really likes those. I really need to find some fresh books. With all of the time indoors lately, we’ve worked through all! of our multi-subject workbooks.

Mae has been asking to paint a portrait of me for two months now, and we finally found a good time to make that happen.

She was really generous with my eyelashes – so luscious! – and my shoulders…and what she calls my ‘skinny nose’ and ‘wild hair.’

Both girls spent most of their time reading (anytime, anywhere, and everywhere). Mae has a stack of books she’d like to read through soon (by that, I mean, RIGHT NOW!) and has even taken over our Bible and devotion time (the only thing she wasn’t reading before…reading me right out of a job…).

Rae tends to stick with her favorites and read them over and over and over. In true Rae fashion. She finds something she likes and loves it fully until the life is sucked right out of it (See: Star Wars, portrait drawing, and the beloved tiny figurine phase.) At the moment she is into Elephant & Piggie and the Pigeon books. She can read one of them in about two minutes, but she reads them appropriately. No exclamation points printed in vain on her watch. No sir.

^ Drawing Luke 7:11-17 ^ Love her little homes.

Playing with Mad Matter while I read aloud.

^ Mae’s are on the left, Rae’s on the right ^

The final two weeks will be spent, mostly, reading through The Magician’s Nephew and working on a project for it as we go (and will continue into March). Once we finish the book, I’ll put up a post all about our time reading through it. (It’s so fun already!!!)

During that time, they will also practice the piano and their weekly spelling words, and we will hold our normal Bible lessons each morning.

We took a small field trip to Pet Smart. Ha. Very small field trip. It was a kind of fun way to start off the new month.

This chameleon stole the day and nearly came home with us. We could use another class pet, right??

We are taking a larger (our largest!) field trip next weekend, which will be written about in its own post in March.



As I wrote the monthly school post, I noticed it was way too long – twice as long as my normal posts! Can you imagine?!

SO. I am going to break it up this month into two posts – for myself, and anyone else who cares to keep up with this sort of thing.

This one is solely about geography, and for geography, we began learning about Egypt through our Little Passports subscription! It has always been one of Penelope’s favorite places.

Below are some lessons we tied into our study.

A poem from Eric Carle’s Animals Animals.

“Penelope’s Room in hieroglyphics. She plans on hanging this in her completed new room – when that day comes.

Model Magic made an appearance. Mae created a Great Sphinx of Giza replica (*with nose*).

It turned into a good color mixing lesson as well. We color the white with Crayola washable markers – Zack’s instructions – and blend it in by squishing and kneading, adding more color to make it darker if needed. She used brown, which has a lot of red in it, so she knew to add green to balance it out and make it more tan than pink. She also used a bit of yellow.

Little Passports also sent an excavation kit (shaped like a pyramid) that housed a mummy toy and a tiny bust of a pharaoh.

With LP, came a recipe for Aish Baladi – tiny whole wheat bread loaves – which they compared to pita bread. We learned Aish means life in Egyptian Arabic. They forgot to flatten them before they let them rise – well, I suppose another version is I forgot to remind them…but they baked perfectly.

Our Story of the World history lessons just so happened to line up with our LP kit this month, and we relearned in greater detail about pharaohs, mummies, pyramids, and Joseph.

Next month, we’ll learn about Australia through Little Passports and Ireland, on our own, for St. Pat’s Day.


Zack is off for his second “ice day” this week! It’s so great having him around!

In honor of such an oddly scheduled week, I thought I’d take the opportunity to dump a load of photos off into a weather-related post.

We had a warm day followed directly by a very cold day. Not so unusual for where we live, but I took photos, so into a post the statement goes…

During the snow/ice storm, we irresponsibly took the girls thirty miles away to watch Lego Movie 2, The Second Part. There were a couple other (literally, two) crazies who also took their kids to the theater that night.

The snow day also allowed for plenty of time to build and build with Legos (which they’re continuing as I type this, days later).

…and they played in the snow.

They came back with the sweetest rosy cheeks and noses.

(we also still had school on these days.)

Katie has dubbed herself an outside cat. We’ve tried bribing and force (on the below freezing nights) and always kennel Maybe before inviting her in. Nothing works.

As a result, she is always underfoot when we walk outside and we often find her sitting just outside the door looking in. I hope it gets warm soon so we can spend plenty of time with her! (But, the snow is lovely.)


We spent the better part of an afternoon making each other valentines…and one invite for Dad, who didn’t make it, ’cause he was at work (so we brought him lunch). He set up a hunt for us that morning that led to treats!