Tag Archives: Family

On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Click Here for On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only.

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans

Continue reading On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

And Now He Calls Me Momma

Hey ya’ll I know we’ve been really quiet here at Kirby’s Kabin but we haven’t forgotten about everyone. Things have been really busy and crazy. We have a couple of BIG things going on and hoping to share some big news soon… so please say a prayer for us as we are awaiting some news to let us know which direction we will be taking in the future.

I realized a while back that I’ve never really told our story to you and I have posted it on another blog I started a while back… that one hasn’t gotten very far at all with our crazy schedules but here is a quick start to our craziness…

First published August 2, 2018

kids swing

What you are about to read has never been published on any site before. It is not meant to be a pity party or anything of that nature just a background of who we are and how we came to be where we are now. It is a bit lengthy so be prepared.

 

Our special needs journey began in the Fall of 2010. We had just learned we were expecting after being told by a doctor I would never carry another baby again because of health issues. It was late one evening when I got the call saying that Child Services needed a place for my nieces and nephew to stay.

‘It is only temporary’, the voice on the line said, ‘just until she can get herself straight’. I took a deep breath and agreed to let them come stay with me not having a clue of the chaos I was getting my family into.

I informed my four children ages 11, 13, 15, and 17 of what was going on so they would know what to expect. The girls were super excited as they loved their little cousins. The boys were not so excited but were happy that we were in a position to help. I was a little unsure that our house was even big enough to ‘pass inspection’.

Later that night the worker appeared with 2 of the 3 babies and some McDonalds in hand. It was kind of a blur as she went through form after form and so many instructions! I signed and initialed and signed some more. I added contact numbers to my phone and wrote down many reminders before she left.

Then later that night I had to break the news to my husband who wasn’t quite as excited as I was as he had been through this scenario a time or two before. (I wasn’t able to reach him beforehand as he was at work.) The next few days and weeks were full of running here and there, filling out more paperwork, going to doctor visits, specialist visits, and many interviews of all sorts.​​

Let’s just say that the next few months (and years) have been a roller coaster in more ways than one. The oldest, William, was born with Down’s Syndrome and had been diagnosed with ADHD along with several other issues. He was 8 at them time and had not been potty trained and was not very verbal at all.
The next in line, Caitlyn, was 3 at the time. She was diagnosed with ODD (Oppostional Defiant Disorder) and later diagnosed with ADHD like her brother. She was not immediately placed with me for reasons unknown but eventually made her voice known and was reunited with her siblings on full time basis later on.
The littlest of the bunch, Isabella, was just shy of being 2. She was extremely shy and labeled as ’emotionally disturbed’ by some of the specialists. To say we had our hands full was an understatement. Then we had to deal with a lot of emotional relatives while trying to keep the children’s best interest in mind at all times. It did get quite confusing, stressful, and overwhelming at times along the way.
Just a couple of months after having the precious kiddos placed in our care I suffered a miscarriage which was the fourth one I had had since my then young child had been born. This was a very traumatic event as EMS had to be called and I spent a bit of time in the hospital but my older kids all pitched in and helped out.
We made it through that event and lo and behold a few months later we found out we were expecting again. All the while I was so busy trying to figure out the special needs of our special needs children. I had to take a crash course and gather as much information as I could from the doctors, teachers, and specialists.
With a lot of hard work and dedication we had some major triumphs in helping each of the kiddos flourish. William became Mr. Personality and was potty trained in a matter or months.
Ms. Caitlyn became a very spunky young lady which earned her the title of Ms. Attitude. Little Bella quickly found her voice and we couldn’t get her to stop talking!  The changes in just a few short months were unreal!

Then in early 2012  I delivered a baby boy who we call Joey. This again proved to be a very trying time as we spent several days in the NICU which was over an hour away from where we called home. Soon enough he was able to come home and join his 7 other siblings. Somewhere around this time we were offered the chance to officially adopt the three little ones who were now calling me Momma.
During the Spring we worked hard to get all of our paperwork submitted for adoptions. There were more doctors appointments, specialist, psychologists, and tons of interviews to complete before were could be officially approved. We also worked hard on the place that was to be our home for the next several years.
Then in the Summer of 2012 all three of them were made official members of the ‘Kirby’ family. We were all so excited. It was a very special occasion for us but a sad event for others.
There were some family members who didn’t agree with our decision and made it known. Part of the reason we moved before the adoption was due to circumstances related to the way some relatives felt.
While this event brought some of others closer together it also caused a huge rift with some of our extended family.
Looking back on it I know that we did what was in the best interest of my children, all of them, and I wouldn’t change a thing. OK, well maybe I would have changed a couple of things but we won’t discuss that here.

Time Out, Please Press Pause

This is another one of those posts that never made it to be Published so please forgive me as this is a little bit late…

Have you ever just wanted to find the remote for LIFE? Maybe just press the PAUSE button for a bit. We could fast forward through some parts and go back to others and replay them again and again. While this would be such a great idea it’s not possible.

The past few weeks and month have felt like some parts have went by in fast forward while others have been going in slow motion. I would love to go back a replay a few parts over and over again. There are definitely others I’d like to skip completely but I can’t.

In August I made a trip to PA to see my Mom-mom (grandmother) and Pop-pop (grandfather). My Mom-mom had been in and out of the hospital and was in the nursing home when I went to visit. She was dying and it was hard to see her knowing that it was probably going to be our last visit together.

She was in good spirits when I last saw her and she was still trying to make sure everyone else was taken care of. She also made it known that she didn’t like it where she was and that she really didn’t like her view out of the window, especially the fence. While there were times she understood why she was there she would still ask to go home. Other times she talked of ‘going home’ in more spiritual sense.

That last visit is one that I have replayed in my head so many times. What more could I have said to her? What more could I have done? I wish I had been able to spend more time with her and I really wish my kids had known her better but there isn’t a thing I can do about that now.

Fast forward to September 27th when I got the call. I already had a feeling and was ready to call my mom but she called me first. Life stood still for a moment and I had a good cry. Then I know it was time to take a DEEP BREATH and make the calls I needed to make. Once the calls were made I had to decide whether I was going up or not. I had already been talking about going back but just hadn’t set a date. That call set the date for me.

I didn’t tell many people of our travel plans. This was partly due to the fact that I didn’t want drama and partly because I wasn’t even certain that we would be able to make it there. Up until the time we actually left I wasn’t sure if I was going alone or taking the whole family.

The 15 hour ride was a blur. Much of the driving was done at night and went fairly well. The morning we arrived I had actually spoken to my mom for over an hour and hadn’t told her we were just a couple of hours from seeing her. When we finally arrived at our destination we suprised everyone.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know if there would be a lot of family there already or if they would even be at home. My aunt was in the driveway and I said a quick ‘Hello’ before going in the house. I met my cousin inside and went in search of my mom and Pop-pop. I looked downstairs, out on the back porch, and listened for their voices at the basement stairs.

With a quick phone call I asked my mom what she was doing. She told me that she and my sister-in-law were changing sheets upstairs. I quietly went up the stairs talking to her on the phone. I was spotted when I reached the top of the stairs but put my finger over my mouth, Shhhhh!!!!

The look on their faces when I walked in the room was priceless. I wish we could have caught it on video but we didn’t. She was so happy to see me but I told her there was a bigger surprise waiting downstairs. Seeing her grandkids was the ultimate surprise for her as she hasn’t seen them in a while.

Then Pop-pop came down to see what the fuss was about and he was totally surprised as well, once he figured out ‘which one’ I was… lol. The kids really helped to cheer him up and made my heart happy.

The next couple of days were a bit of a blur also. The funeral service was beautiful and she looked so beautiful and peaceful. The funeral home had put together a DVD of family photos which was a wonderful reminder of the long blessed life she had and the multitude of lives she has touched. I had been running on autopilot up until we arrived at the funeral home. When the word cemetery came out of the director’s mouth I lost my composure and everything I had been holding in started to seep out. Even now I am tearing up thinking about that day.

The time spent with family will be a memory that we will replay again and again and even though these were some very sad memories and they bring tears to my eyes now I am glad that I have these memories.

A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

So a few days ago I posted about my goals for 2019. I’m not waiting until the New Year to get started because there is no time like NOW to get started on these goals. You don’t have to wait either and you can follow along with me on my journey to finding a simpler, happier, and better functioning lifestyle here in our little cabin.

It’s so easy to get discouraged with LIFE at times, I know because I’ve felt myself falling into a HUGE pit of discouragement lately. It feels like I just keep hitting walls in so many areas of LIFE and I just don’t know how to get past them. The one thing I do know is the GOD is in control and if there is something in my way HE can help me overcome it.

I also know that a lot of times our failures come from inside of ourselves. We get unhappy with things and want to change them but sometimes the change must come from us first. This can be hard to do and sometimes it can be hard to admit that we aren’t PERFECT.

Over the holidays so many people are posting pictures of their families. Many of these pictures seem to show PERFECT homes and families but behind the scenes can be a different story. In reality LIFE is MESSY in so many ways. I can tell you that my LIFE is MESSY for sure with so many kids and special needs not to mention that we HOMESCHOOL and LIVE in a TINY CABIN. Boy can it get MESSY. Don’t let those pictures get you feeling depressed or down. You can follow along with me, a normal (well, somewhat normal depending on you definition of normal) Momma, as I tackle some of this crazy mess we call LIFE.

Continue reading A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

Happy St. Nicholas Day 2018!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use.

Well the countdown to Christmas has officially started here. The kids are super excited after St. Nick stopped by sometime late last night. They had left their stockings on the table before bed and woke up to a big surprise!

They had been talking about our previous St. Nicholas Day celebrations and how they forgot to put their stockings out last year… Oops!

Don’t worry… that heater was not on ‘HEAT’ as we only have the flames going this morning  but it has been doing great job at keeping us warm and cozy so far.

St. Nick did not disappoint with a variety of small toys, coloring books, and other holiday items plus a tiny bit of candy. He also left a couple of new books and a holiday music cd for them. They are looking forward to a midday snack of gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa too!

He didn’t forget about the grownups either and even left a small gift for Nanny J and Papa O. He left Momma some much needed kitchen items, some holiday jewelry, and CHOCOLATE!

Santa had even decorated a little bit and put these cute covers on the chairs.

And he must’ve met up with the UPS man at some point to grab our new Advent wreath for us. It had been stuck in delivery status as the driver couldn’t locate our house.

It is so much prettier than it looked on the internet! I had a hard time deciding what color to get but thought this was a good choice even though it isn’t the traditional Christmas colors. Now we are just waiting for the candles to arrive. After all this excitement it was time for breakfast:

This year I added the chocolate chips to the pancakes while on the griddle for our Santa Claus PancakesI forgot to pick up some fresh strawberries and blueberries so we made do with what we had here. I also didn’t realize that Mr. Jacob had added a couple of extra chocolate chips to Santa’s beard… lol!

The kids thought they were cute and very yummy. Later on we will be watching a few videos about St. Nick and taking a little about the history of Santa Claus.

If you want to check out some other activities please see St. Nicholas Day 2016 for some additional links.

Happy St. Nicholas Day everyone!

Don’t Keep This Secret!

As many of us know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but you may not be aware that it is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic abuse is often one of those things that we keep silent about because of a stigma that goes along with it.

Some just accept it as a normal part of life while others refuse to admit what is happening. It can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, or social status. It can also happen in a variety of ways that we may not even be aware of.

Here is one story:

High School Sweethearts

There was a young girl who married her high school sweetheart. They were happily married for a while. Then after the second child came along things began to change.

She didn’t know what was going on but somehow she was always made to feel like it was her fault. His words were sharper than any knife and would cut her deeply time and time again. Continue reading Don’t Keep This Secret!

Help! I’m Drowning, Or At Least It Feels That Way…

I started out this morning with over 2,000 emails which was a bit overwhelming. I had cleared a few hundred of them on Saturday but it barely made a dent in the pile.

Then today as I was catching up on emails and such I happened to see that we have HURRICANE MICHAEL headed our way. Just another thing to add to the list of things to think about. While we are not on the coast nor have we been put under the ‘State of Emergency’ the counties right next to us are so that means we do have potential to see some damage. This also means that we need to make some emergency preparations and be prepared for when the storm hits. As we have learned in the past the storms don’t always go along their predicted path.

**Update: The state of emergency has been expanded from 26 counties to 35, including ours, since this post was written. Our prayers are going out to all of those in the affected area as well as the first responders, National Guard, and all of those working to keep everyone safe. Continue reading Help! I’m Drowning, Or At Least It Feels That Way…

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Resource List

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

We read Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography before starting our study.

NOTE: My kiddos were 5, 6, 9, 11, and 15 at the time we created study unit. Some ideas may need to be changed/adjusted for older kids.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


Introduction:

We have been using the Little House on the Prairie Books for our homeschool this year and my kids are loving it. I have scoured the internet for resources to make our learning experience as fun and exciting as possible. This series of posts is a compilation of different resources we have found and used in our home. Please note that some of these may have been FREE at the time I found them and prices and/or availability may have changed. Feel free to leave your own links in the comments section below.

I also want to take a moment to thank all of these wonderful people who put together so many wonderful resources for all of us to use with our children. I know that many hours, blood, sweat, and tears went into these projects but your work is greatly appreciated!


Answer Key found HERE**ANSWER KEY password: momsrock (highlight blank area)


Language Arts:

We will be completing this Lap Book project as we read through this book.

Reading:

We will be reading the noted selection for the week as well as discussing what we have read. I may come up with other questions as well. Kids are curious and I know we will have many questions which may lead to some research in other areas.

We will also be working on reading through a few books, see Kirby’s Kids Grade by Grade Homeschool Reading List , for each different grade level. The older kids will have some independent reading while the younger ones will have a mixture of read alouds, read alongs, and independent reading.

You should keep a record of the books read. You can do this in a notebook or using this printable HERE.

Handwriting:

I did not list handwriting in the weekly work tasks as my kids are using the Spencerian Penmanship for handwriting and will practice this every day.

Vocabulary:

We will be doing various activities for this area. We will be looking up definitions, matching words, putting the words in alphabetical order, and a variety of other activities.

Writing:

There will be a variety of creative writing ideas as well. I have tried to vary them and offer choices to help encourage writing. We will also be doing various writing assignments in some of other areas as well.

Check out PRINTABLE WRITING PAPER- TWENTY FREE TEMPLATES FOR KID’S WRITING for some FREE writing resources!

Other Activities:

These are just some of the other activities that I am incorporating into the lessons with my kiddos as we are all at different learning levels. I put these in here to keep me organized so I don’t ‘forget’ something.

I will add links to worksheets I find or make as we go through the unit. For a general guideline of skills your child should know by grade level click HERE.

I have pulled a lot of the material from the book for the worksheets listed down below.

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

Other resources used:

The younger kids will also have access to various Read-Along books and puppet books. I will update links to those as we go along.


Math:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

Note about Ray’s Arithmetic Books: These can be a little confusing at first but the Parent/Teacher guide is so useful! I have found that the books are in order as follows:

  • 1st/2nd grades: Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic
  • 3rd/4th grades: Ray’s New Intellectual Math
  • 5th/6th grades: Ray’s Practical Arithmetic
  • 7th/8th grades: Ray’s Higher Arithmetic

I have used a lot of the examples from the book to create the worksheets you will find listed below. **ANSWER KEY password: momsrock (highlight blank area)

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:


Social Studies:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:


Science:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

  • We will also be studying different lessons from Mystery Science which is a site that the kids LOVE! We have found a lot of FREE lessons on this site. (You do need a membership to access all of the site.)
  • YouTube can be a great resource for educational videos.
  • Itsy Bitsy Bear Book via KidZone
  • We will also be studying different lessons from Mystery Science which is a site that the kids LOVE! We have found a lot of FREE lessons on this site.
  • FREE Zoology Lessons at Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool.
  • FREE Physics and Chemistry Lessons at Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool.

My kids also enjoyed reading:

 Bears on the Brain (Science Solves It!)


PE/Health & Safety Resources:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons ideas with these links:

We often have some ‘Free Play’ outside whenever the weather allows as well.


Life Skills:

This area contains our lesson plans for a few different areas that I have included with our ‘Life Skills’. You will find lessons on cooking, cleaning, and organization as well as bible memory work and character training. All of these will go together to help raise our children into the responsible and caring citizens of tomorrow.

You can find a FREE printable log for keeping track of memory work here:

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

We will be focusing on OBEDIENCE this unit. If you don’t have the book we used you can go HERE and download a lesson plan guide to use in your home.


Music, Arts & Crafts:

These lesson plans include Music, Arts, and Crafts. Choose one or two ideas/day as desired.

Many of the ideas have been pulled from the following resources:

You can also find FREE Lessons with these links:

We have also bought the following books/products for use with this series:


Remember: These are the lessons and activities that we used while doing this study but you can do anything your heart desires to make this a great adventure for you and your kids!

 

 

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Click Here for Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
    • Read Chapters 1 & 2
    • Discussion
    • McGuffey Primer Lesson
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing Activities
    • These week we learn about fiction vs. nonfiction
    • Make a Pioneer Journal
    •  Mother Goose Phonics: Pat A Cake
  • Math:
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: Wisconsin
    • Research Pioneer Life
  • Science:
    • Learn about Bears
    • Learn about Panthers
    • Research Microbes and Bacteria
    • Learn about Density
    • Bonus: Why does fire burn different colors?
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Chores
    • Making our bed
    • Interrupting
    • Memory Work
    • Fun activities: Make Butter
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • Stranger Danger
    • Play Little Brown Bear
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Hog’s Bladder Balloons, Corn Cob/Husk Dolls, Snowflakes, and Paper Dolls
    • Art: Bulldogs, Jack Frost
    • Music: Yankee Doodle Dandy, Butter Churning Song

Continue reading Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

A Trip Down Memory Lane!

I survived my first plane trip and wanted to share a little bit about my trip down memory lane with all of you! Be prepared because as my Pop-pop would say, ‘This might take a while’.

Last week proved to be one of the most stressful weeks I can remember. I have been trying to refocus my life in so many areas. And on top of the everyday stresses of a large family and back to school worries I got the call that I really needed to head back to my childhood home.

While I call Florida home right now I was born in Pennsylvania. I grew up about an hour from Philadelphia in the mushroom capital of the world, Kennett Square.

mushroom

Funny the things you didn’t know, huh? We were also very close to the Amish and Mennonite communities. In fact several of my siblings were delivered by an Amish midwife.

amish.jpg

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash Continue reading A Trip Down Memory Lane!

Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

Hmmm… have you thought about what you’ll be feeding those hungry learners? If your kids were in public school you may not have had to think much about it before. If you plan to homeschool then you will be feeding them at least three meals a day and maybe a few snacks in between.

This can turn into a chaotic juggling act if you aren’t prepared. How do we prevent meal time chaos in our home? By meal planning. I even plan out snacks sometimes so I don’t forget to include them on my grocery list. Check out this link for some Healthy Snacks to Go.

10 snacks your kids can make star (1)

It might seem like a lot of trouble but when you find a system that works for then it is so easy. It will actually save you time and money in the long run. This is also a helpful thing even if you don’t homeschool.

Check out this post for some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help you beat that morning chaos and fill those tummies with a nutritious breakfast to start their day off right. Here is another link for even more ideas: The Healthy Breakfast Book. Continue reading Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

I can remember how excited I always was on my first day back to school. I loved school as a kid and I was always so eager to learn. My best memories were of the teachers who let us play games or gave us special treats on that first day. Maybe they were just trying to bribe us but it was something I remember.

As a homeschooling Momma I can find ways to bring that excitement into our homeschool. I try to keep things fun and interesting and sometimes do something a little crazy. Check out my new Pinterest board, Homeschool: First Day Activities. Continue reading 13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas