Monday, May 27, 2013

Home again..

I made it home early saturday morning.  I did some serious shopping on the way home though...ok not serious...but some.

Since we are homeschooling a gaggle this next year, we have graduated from the dining room table.  As it is, Keith's projects take up most of the table...protractors, mechanical pencils, magazines and all things 11 x 17.  My ingenious hubby is building us a super school table.  The super sturdy base is built and the top is put together, but it isn't finished yet...sanding, staining.  Apparently, lots of sanding is on the horizon.  Anyway, on the way home I found some great chairs at target on sale.  Yeah. 

The chairs are now all together in the reading room...not in the way at all (sarcasm).  The school room is going to be in the library upstairs and I can't wait until the table is done and everything is ready to throw upstairs.  I am really excited about the new school year.  Of course, we have lots of summer to make it through first and the kids are out of control!

Today, I had a long talk with all of the kids about the insanity in our house as of late.  We decided that we literally have too much free time on our hands.  The kids want to make a daily schedule of things to do so that they don't end up with nothing to do but get into trouble.  So, a schedule we have concocted.  We also made new chore charts today so the kids could earn some extra money.  Well, we talked about them and I bought all the supplies for them, but they didn't actually get made yet.  

Perhaps I better go do that! haha.  Or maybe I should work on the 6 loads of laundry I have done in the last 48 hours.

Today, I did feel like a pretty good mom.  The kids and I  sat at the table and talked about scheduling the day, worked on chore charts.  Then the girls and I baked cookies and chocolate cake. I was good, patient mom for that activity...yeah me!  I think today was a good mom day because I think today was a day my children felt like they had a voice.  It seems like so often my parenting is all about following the rules, getting places and getting though our list of things to get done.  It is nice when I feel like the kids have really talked to me. 

I gave Lily the bag I made and she has been carrying her new purse everywhere.  It look freakin' adorable on her.  She throws it over her head like a messenger bag.  The girls and I are going to make that bag for an art project later in the summer.  I am going to let all the girls pick out material to make their own. 

Oh...Violet has started praying and it is so unbelievably cute...at evening bible study she bows her head and says  "thank you god, amen".  At dinner tonight she said  "thank you God dinner, amen".  Adorable.  Oh and equally adorable is Benjamin who prayed tonight "Thank you God for Violet, I love love love Violet, thank you, amen".  Usually Ben thanks God for his yellow blanket, violet and me...but tonight it was all about the little sister! haha. 

My big family is such a big blessing!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Just dance 4

Just watching it makes me tired! 

Summer


I had so much fun adding the pictures of my tote bag...I thought I would upload pictures of our first hot summer day.  We are having some animal crackers under a beach umbrella in the back yard......Summer.  Not quite hot enough for the pool....yet!

Sew....what's new...

 It has been so long since I put a picture on my blog I don't even know how to do it!

I got a sewing machine for mother's day.  It has literally been 15 years since I have sewn anything.  The last thing I made was a halter top out of dukes of hazard sheets I bought at Thrift City (what's up NOLA!)

No, I don't have a picture of that halter top...but I wish I did!

This week I was out of town and I brought my new sewing machine and a book of projects....meet my first project...I call it polka dot shoulder tote with striped lining....ooh it could be reversible too, I suppose! haha.

I wanted to find some sewing projects I could figure out and then do projects with the kids. 






I was starting to get worried the first night when it took me almost 2 hours to remember how to load up my bobbin and thread the machine...but I think it turned out ok!

Totes, pillows, stuffed animals and wrap around skirts here I come...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Homeschooling

About 2 weeks ago we made the plunge.  For the last 3 years we have been homeschooling Lilianna..and only Lily.  Two weeks ago we pulled the babies out of Wesley Christian and decided to homeschool them too.  I am so excited about it and let me tell you why.

1.  I am the world's most selfish mom and now I get to see my babies so many more hours of the day!  Yes that is right...I like my kids and I like hanging out with them.  Even though they drive me banana's on a pretty regular basis.  My babies will be babies for about 2 years...then they will toddle around for another 2 years, then they will be big kids for about 3 years...then they are acting older than stated age for a couple of years...tweens for a couple of years, teen agers and then gone.  Well, you know what I mean.  They are grown ups and as cuddly as my babies are...a 17 year old Ben is not going to crawl onto my lap with his yellow blanket and hug me no matter how many times I make him promise at 4yo that he will still do that when he is 17.   This time is precious and I want every possible minute to spend that time with my babies before it is gone.  Yes I said I was selfish!  In addition to wanting every minute, I want that time to be quality time...not overtired, worn out from school, finish your homework, rush around to extra curricular activities  grumpy kids only time.  I want that time to be well rested, learning, engaging, mind/heart/soul present and participating time.  Yes, that's right I want quanitity and quality time with my kids and school can't have that time with my babies...I get it!  Yes, I said I was selfish.

2.  Guess what...some parents might find this hard to believe....but kids like to spend time with their parents.  A week ago (roughly), Ben said that he wanted to be an Engineer when he grew up so that he could help Daddy with all his work.  That is a huge change for Ben who was pretty sure he wanted to be Captain America when he grew up.  He had stuck with Captain America for almost a year...then out of the blue he is going to help Daddy when he grows up.  Zebby infomed me recently that he and Daddy do all the work around the house (an opinion that may have been added to by daddy...I'm just sayin...aaahemm..).  Zeb just wants to spend time with us and soak up everything we do.  He always wants to help me fold clothes and clean and he constantly follows Keith around to help in anyway he can.  Zebby desperately wants to learn how to be a grown up and he wants to soak up Keith's character and learn how to become a man.  It was Zeb's spongelike behavior that was the tipping point for me.
I love my husband and I have often said that I want all of my children (especially the boys) to grow up to be just like Keith.  Who I think is totally and mindblowing-ly awesome.  How can my babies grow up to be like Keith if the only time they see us is when they are mindnumbingly exhausted and we are taskmasters with to do lists or chauffeurs. 

3.  Don't even get me started about the skewed priorities of classrooms where being quiet and following the rules is more important than unbridled enthusiasm and joy of learning.  I have been slightly radicalized by John Taylor Gatto's books which I read recently. 

Keith is building a special homeschooling table we are going to put up in the library and he has been getting lots of help from the kids.

Next year we are going almost 100% Sonlight for Zeb, Zoe, and Ben we will be using Core B..it is the core we bought when we first tried to homeschool Alex and failed! haha...we ordered consumables for everyone already and are ready to go.  We haven't gotten our math program yet...the kids are doing dreambox (which is totally awesome) and I think we are going to do Singapore math with Miquon math thrown in for good measure...MR engineer dad wants to emphasize math in our curriculum...not a bad idea.  We have lots of critical thinking company fun books and will work on cub scout belt loops etc.

Lily is going to have a full sonlight curriculum next year too..we will be doing core F with Singapore math and critical thinking company stuff...love the mindbenders, balance benders, math detective etc...it is great.  We are also going to do unit studies with American Heritage Girl badges.  I also plan on Lily doing some of the read alouds for the little kids.

Oh yea...I  just finished giving Lily the 4th grade Iowa Test from Seton Hall Testing...they send you the test, you give it, send it back and they post the results on your online account.  It was much easier than I thought it would be.  I had thought about driving everyone down to greenville to test at the BJU testing center...but this was sooo easy.  I am probably going to just do testing at the end of the school year for everyone.

We will either be insane by the December or.....oh wait we already are insane...mwahahaha!

Gotcha moments

Ok..first of all, I know it has been like 3 months since I actually posted something.  I am turning over a new leaf....really...I mean it.
I so LOVE looking back at my posts and pictures over the last gulp...7 years...yes.  That's right...I started this blog 7 years ago.
I especially love looking back at the really important moments.  I am currently all alone in a hotel in Alabama and just finished watching a short marathon (no pun intended...wait for it....) of the Little Couple.  I don't have tv at home and don't really follow any reality shows....so imagine my surprise when I find a reality show of a couple in the meat of an adoption from China...love it.   It was like a little gift to me from the reality show "man".  I snuggled up on my bed, ate a ton of M and M's and got into the adoptive mommy zone!
The show is basically leading up to the big Gotcha.
So, of course, I start thinking about my own Gotcha's and first meetings.  I very clearly remember the first meeting of Zoe, Alex, and Zeb.  I am also pretty clear with Zoe and Alex's Gotcha.  But Zeb's gotcha is kind of a haze.  Maybe because I am getting senile, or I was really tired or maybe it was because I was kind of in a daze and confused like the entire time we were at the babyhouse!

There were people dressing, redressing Zeb I didn't know for sure if he was coming with us or staying one more day and then we were leaving with him.  It seemed way more surreal than when we adopted the girls.  Maybe it was because he was a baby.  I remember thinking at the time of picking Zebby up that it felt like I just signed this big book and went home with a baby.  Yes...I know ...what about the previous 9 months of paperwork, hoops, travelling and a ton of fees etc...but when the moment came - you sign a book and take a baby.  Very surreal.

Zebby is such a hilarious big boy who just soaks up our love.  He is usually so darn sweet and I just can't get enough of him. 

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power