Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Stephen

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The Bough Family Homeschool Blog has an overhauled look for 2009 and now 2010. I have discovered the world of digital scrapbooking and LOVE it!! I hope you will enjoy my new creations and the story of our year in 2009. Just click on 'older post' at the bottom right to see more or click on the month to the right.

This year has been a great one for the family. Tom now has tenure and we are almost done with round one of paperwork for the adoption. We hope to be done soon so grant writing and fundraising can begin for the international paperwork process. We are very excited and would love for you to keep those prayers coming in that area! Stephen and Rhea are progressing in school and are beginning to become more involved in activities outside of home. The both attend co-op on Friday's were Stephen does Karate and P.E., while Rhea does tumbling and a Dr. Suess class. Stephen will also start swimming lessons again next week!! Calvary church has provided us with many activities for the kids such as soccer, Royal Rangers and Junior Bible Quiz, while Tom and I have been involved in the Children's and Music Ministry. All in all, a great year and we are looking forward to the adventures of 2010!!

First up, Stephen's Star Wars birthday! Yep, the boy is now six!

Stephen Birthday

Click the lower left hand arrow and not the center of the frame to view video.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas

Stephen Christmas

Rhea Chirstmas

Click the lower left hand arrow and not the center of the frame to view video.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Silver Bells

I wanted to do a page that included the special moments that we spend together as a family during the holidays and here's what I came up with. I think it is safe to say that Christmas is our most favorite holiday and we LOVE to decorate. The whole house is decked before Thanksgiving except for our Christmas trees. Each one of us has our own tree which is why there are four trees in the picture and we make a big deal out of decorating them together. Rhea, of course, has to put on her first of several holiday dresses and away we go. Yes, we actually have enough ornaments to completely overload four trees and no, we don't have a huge house. If we are blessed with snow that day, we proceed to the outdoors for sledding after convincing Rhea that she needs to wear something warmer. I tried to use the wording segments of the song "Silver Bells" to represent sledding down a hill. Silver Bells is a wonderful song and really describes our family during the holidays. I titled this page MY Silver Bells because of the precious three that make up my life and I am so thankful to have this time of year and our memories to share with them.

Silver Bells

Riley and Santa's Candy Shop

Santa's Candy Shop

Illinois Dog

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grandma Rosey and Fall Festivities

We were back in St. Louis for fall festivities and were fortunate enough to visit with Grandma Rosey. My first instinct was to just use her face and cut out the dog on this page, the newest Grandchild to date. However, to cut the pug, is to cut out what is one of the most important things to my Grandma. If there is a newborn baby and a newborn puppy in the room, she will dash for the puppy. She says she hates kids, but she also drove a school bus for 25 years, so not so much (mother of 5 and endless grand/great grandchildren). We know she loves us very much, but don't ever come between Grandma and her dogs or her colony of birds! The cops already tried, but that's another story for another time that we of course remind her of when we get the chance. She was also quite the artist, so I tried to include some brush strokes. The flowers are for her crafty side since she could make almost anything. We love our Grandma and we know she loves us along with her beloved animals.


We had so much fun on this trip starting with a trip to Eckert's Orchard. This is a place that we used to go as kids, so it was fun to take them back. We picked apples first, followed by all sorts of kid fun. The evening ended with a haunted hay ride. Stephen didn't know what to expect and I think he did OK since he was with his cousins. Rhea, however, could have skipped that part and she has already asked to go home when it gets dark next year. I'm glad I brought a blanket with me since she wanted to be covered up the whole time. She survived and the ride was actually quite good.

apples with cousins

apples with cousins 2

The trip ended with a visit to the Gateway Arch on the way back home to Illinois. The kids were tired, but really enjoyed seeing more of where Mommy grew up and doing the things I did as a kid. I was even able to show him the stage that I played on down by the riverfront during the 4th of July celebrations. Both kids passed out in the car on the way home. Ahhh, nice and quiet..........
St. Louis 1

St. Louis 2

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patch

Apple Picking 1

We had a BEAUTIFUL day for apple picking this year. It was slightly cool, but pleanty of sunshine and no need for a jacket. The kids, mostly Rhea, were in an extra spunky mood. Stephen was just trying to do the right thing and give Mom a good picture so she would leave him alone for the rest of the day.

Apple Picking 2<


Royal Rangers

Fall 2009 Royal Rangers
Since Stephen officially entered Kindergarten this year, he also entered into Royal Rangers. Royal Rangers is an Assemblies of God boyscout troupe where they earn badges for everything from bible memory verses to camping badges. He LOVES it, especially since the camping trips are without Mom, and he doesn't have to bathe or brush his teeth. Their next camping trip is in January! Burrr...... In the meantime, he is working on his bible badges.

Royal Rangers meets on Wednesday nights, and he is also involved in another program on Sunday mornings called Junior Bible Quiz. He is by far the youngest in the class, but loves the challenge. We memorize about 4-6 verses each week and another half dozen bible facts. He is then quizzed on these each Sunday. I would honestly rather be singing songs and playing with the bible puppets, but he seems to enjoy the intensive environment and the older kids don't seem to bother him. He actually has several homeschool friends in the class which is another reason why I think he likes it so much.


Stephen started Karate this year with a Pastor. Yep, a black belted Pastor. It is an amazing experience. The first line of defenses taught are prayer and the bible. We are very happy with his instruction and he has already advanced to his gold belt!

Stephen Karate

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The kids had a very Happy Halloween this year! Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa, Stephen enjoyed adding his scary mask to his cute cowboy outfit this year. There was at least no blood involved, so even Daddy approved. You could say that Halloween was big in my family growing up and we enjoyed everything scary. Grandma and Grandpa still see to it that the kids have an acceptable time on Halloween. Rhea, however, gave Mommy one more year of cute, but I'm sure that will change next year. I tried to get a picture of them together, but it was way too cold and they were not amused.


Friday, October 30, 2009


One of my best memories of college was coming home to my two kitties. I would always see them sitting on the balcony of my third floor apartment when I came home and I looked forward to spending time with them at the end of the day. Caly was my snuggler. She didn't like to be kissed, but she loved to be held. Next came the husband that didn't like cats and she of course adopted him. Over time, two kids and a master's degree later, she preferred him to take care of her. He was at her side in the end and purred herself to sleep in his arms. We love you, Caly.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Rhea

Rhea Birthday 2009

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Day At The Field Museum

This was a day full of surprises. We had intended on going to Shedd Aquarium downtown to take advantage of the last free day of the season, but quickly found out that we were not the only ones with that idea. The sign coming into the parking garage said 3+ hours wait to get into Shedd. For those of you that don't know, waiting for the Shedd is outside. Did I mention that it was raining? Well, after already paying our $25 to park, we decided that we might as well do something, and ended up at the Field Museum. I had a lot of fun with these pages and the kid's personalities really do shine. Stephen's dinosaur page reminds me of the book Dinotopia where dinosaurs coexist with humans in a good and peaceful way. Rhea, on the other hand really is our Pirate Girl. Oh, the dinosaur in the background is Dinosaur Sue. I tried to explain to Stephen that we were the only ones in the whole world with a complete T-Rex. I think he just wanted me to finish taking his picture so he could move on. Oh well, he will appreciate it later.

Field Museam 1

Field Museam 2

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rhea's Bike

Throw Rocks in the River 2

Summer 2009 Bike Ride 1

When I Grow Up

Rhea Summer 3

I was able to get Rhea alone for a day and took her to the Arboretum. I love the taking pictures of her when she is just doing her own thing. She loves the water and isn't afraid of getting dirty as long as there is a dry set of clothes when she is finished.

Rhea Summer 4

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan1

We had a trip planned to the Lincoln Park Zoo and across the way to the Lake, but almost cancelled due to the temps. So, middle of the summer, be packed our sweatshirts and extra clothes since it would be too cold to have swim suits on. As you can see, the cold waters didn't stop us (or at least Stephen). The water wasn't really that bad once you were in it for AWHILE.

Lake Michigan2

Lake Michigan3

Since Lake Michigan was pretty much the same size as an Ocean in the chidren's eyes, we talked about sea animals this month. Below is a sample of Stephen's Ocean Notebook.
Ocean Notebook

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Warm Day

Sunny Day 2

Ah, a warm day at last. I took Rhea to Phillips Park today and enjoyed all of the flowers followed by a trip to the mini-zoo and the playground. I love this garden because it's different every year. I lucked out on the dress choice. It went great with the flowers!

Sunny Day

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer Trip to St. Louis

We had an opportunity to visit the Transportation Museum over the summer while seeing Grandparents, cousins and aunts in St. Louis. Stephen LOVED seeing all of the many trains and had a great time with his cousin Ryan!


While Stephen's favorite part of the weekend was the Transportation Museum, Rhea really enjoyed the Magic House. I don't think we missed ANYTHING. This was one of the first things that we saw. It was a huge wheel with tonal bars attached to it so that once you turned it, you would hold a mallet next to the bars to make music. I didn't blow up the wheel that she is turning. It was really that big!

Summer 2009 Magic House

Monday, July 6, 2009

Stephen Camping and Fishing

June Fun has finally set in as it FINALLY got warmer. Well, mostly warmer. We had a few really hot days, but it has otherwise been our usual enjoyable summer.

Stephen's reward for his sticker chart in May was to earn a backyard camping trip with Daddy in hopes to earn another trip in June to the "wild." His behavior was all of a sudden amazing and we have had two months of super-kid on a mission. Hey, whatever works! The trial camping trip in the backyard went quite well except for Daddy's sore back in the morning. We managed to involve Rhea that night in a good ol' marshmallow roast followed by girl time with Mom while the boys settled in for the night.


Stephen and Tom then tried their luck in the "wild" forest preserve where they would let you out if the "wild" didn't agree with your kiddo. It was great that we didn't need to take them up on their middle of the night exit offers. Stephen had a GREAT time and caught a ton of fish, including a 12" bass. Daddy caught a few fish too including one with teeth that he discovered after it was too late. Ouch!




Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Animals and Cultures in God's World

Welcome to our new curriculum, Animals and Cultures in God's World. Last year was my first year with a schedule that I bought, and this year is my first year with my own schedule. I was finding that I was spending more time than I wanted tweaking a purchased schedule, and then adding a ton of stuff due to our very busy kiddos. Stephen was also requiring more in depth studies that can't be found for his age level. So, I spent a few hours developing a program for him that he is loving. We will travel around the world this year visiting animals, people, music, dance, art food. Stephen has been especially interested in the geography portion and enjoys building his own replicas of monuments and animal habitats. I have included a few samples from his notebook as well.




Outerspace Notebook

Time to land on planet earth now and start exploring our world from the ground. We first started with introducing maps. I had already been working with Stephen on map skill for about six months, so he had an understanding of where continents and oceans were as well as general map reading skills. I was fortunate enough to end up with these incredible maps. Each day, Stephen locates the country on the big wall maps as well as his globe.

Woodlands 2

Woodland 3

Woodlands 4

Woodlands 5

Woodlands Notebook


Ocean Notebook

The kids made some puppet videos with the animals they created. Click on the lower left hand arrow, not the center of the frame.