Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer time P.E.

Violet willone day be a teenager...and she is perfecting her look at pool time

Ben and Zeb think that wearing fairy wings will make them better at baseball.

This is my husband.....it is really the flag on back that pulls the whole look together.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday

We had a good day today.  I was still tired from my week of nights so I took a little nappy-nap!  We still had a very productive day.  Started off with chores and breakfast.  Then the little kids and I played sight word baseball (letter baseball for Violet) ben was the winner with 6 points.  We moved into the kitchen for science.  We are working on water and did a guess if this will float or sink experiment with toothpicks and clay..then made little boats.  Tomorrow we are going to make egg carton sailboats for art.  Today they played with a mega bendaroo set while I took my nap!
Don't anyone freak out...I also cleaned the house today.  It is so nice to have a clean house..it happens so rarely, I don't want to go to bed.  When I wake up tomorrow it will be gone!
I am so excited to have this week off, I love spending the time with the kids.  We have been having really, really good days since we put our schedule into effect.   I feel like Alex and I are really connecting a lot more these last couple of weeks and she is spending a lot of time and energy on learning.  Even though it is not school, she is reading a lot of books and asking to do dreambox.  When i went up to tuck her in tonight, she was hiding under her blanket with a flashlight reading a book.  LOVE IT!

Tomorrow, I am hanging at home again.  Wednesday, Keith and I are heading to Lexington for a dr's appointment and then to Frankfort to try to get birth certificates for Alex and Zoe...we still don't have them because of some logistical things..ie moving after our USCIS approval but before the stinkin' state department issued their immigration visa's.  No family should have to wait 8 months for a visa for their daughters...I'm just sayin.....  

Thursday night I am heading out to get lily from her dad's house and home again on Friday.  I can't wait to get Lily home again.  It is lonely without her!  I am hoping I can get her and Alex's new curriculum here by next week so we can unpack it before everyone heads to camp. 

Off to bed...although I know when I awaken tomorrow morning - my house will be messy again!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

High School and College at the same time?! What!

I was recently directed to a website called Homeschool College USA .  Ummm.....what !!  It is a website that totally educates on how to use cheap and free curriculum and college level testing to design a high school curriculum that can then be transferred into college at the end of high school.  While many schools will take some of the courses they recommend, there are only a couple of regionally accredited colleges that will take an inordinately large number of transfer credits.  WOW.  These "top three" only require a capstone to be done enrolled with their institutions.  That capstone can be completed the summer after "graduating" from high school. 

I have done lots of school.  I loved my experience in undergrad at Smith College, but mostly for the experience, not necessarily the academia.  I worked my hardest and learned the most academically when I was getting my medical school pre-requisites at University of New Orleans.  I didn't have the stress of required general courses..I only took what I needed to take because I already had a degree.

I grew a lot at Smith, but if my kids get their BA or BS the summer after they finish high school, they could do their growing on the mission field, or on a campus only taking the courses they want to take or need to take to get into their masters/doctoral program...or grow while in a master's program.  Maybe they take a couple years off to just work...who knows.  What flexibility they would have!  Dave Ramsay says "The only thing that matters less than your degree, is your pedigree". 

While that website has lots of advice for finding a path to facilitate a college degree, there was also a ton of information about creating High School transcipts and a learning portfolio.  Reading through that section was completely worthwhile even if we decide not to use the college part. 

If you are a homeschooler and haven't seen this website it is pretty cool.  There is so much out there in terms of resources for high school homeschooling that is cheap or free and Homeschool College USA has links to them all!  haha...well maybe not all of them!

This is going to be fun...now I just need a child in high school!  Only 3 more years for Alex and 4 more for Lily! haha.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our Routine

So in a an attempt to calm down the kids (who officially joined the ranks of completely out of control monsters about a month ago)...we developed a schedule for the day.  I brainstormed with the kids last week and came up with a collaborative list of things we wanted to do during the day.

I took the list of things the kids suggested, tweaked it a little bit and made a nice color coded schedule that is about to be hanging in the dining room.  We started using it last week - almost everyday and this week we followed it almost exactly on Monday and Tuesday.  I noticed a couple of really interesting things....

1.  Alex was about 80% happier (right like I can quantify the 80%...you get what I mean though!) and more joyful during the days we followed the routine.  Yes...yes...I know we knew before we brought our girls home that we needed more routine.  The girls didn't freak out or breakdown from our somewhat unregimented lifestyle so there was never any immediacy to making our routine.   But I could kick myself now for not starting something this regimented years ago!

2.  When I am focussed on following our schedule and getting the educational/fun activities going - I really lose most of my get everything done freak-out ness that I am so famous for in certain circles (ummmm meaning with my husband!). 

Today, our babysitter came and I took a nap when I got home (I am working nights this week),  then Keith and I went out to lunch and ran some errands so we dropped the ball on the schedule.  Alex asked about the activities she missed today....no art time or geography.  Ben was very concerned about missing morning snack.  I think it is pretty sad that it is our biologic son that has a dysfunctional relationship with food!

I am going to head to bed tonight as early as possible so I can get back on the schedule for tomorrow.  It is really, really working out good.  I am so excited to start our full on homeschooling in August! 

This schedule thing works so much better than I thought it would!  Amazingly it has helped me too.  I have more patience with the kids when the kids know what is next and they move on to it with less chaos.  I am able to let go a lot more of the millions of chores I just can't get to in a day.  Historically, I can overlook undone mom chores for a couple of days but it makes me anxious to see the pile of clean laundry I have to put away or the books sitting on the floor that need to be put up.  I get anxious when my house is messy...I just do and with the schedule I can handle it a lot better.  I don't feel that constant underlying anxiety of chores undone.

I know I can't get to everything I have to do in a day....all my chores, all of the things I want to do with my kids.  In the past, without a schedule I think I did more chores and let go of the plans I had of things to do with my kids because it is easier to quantify a chore being done.  I can see that there are no clean clothes sitting on the couch waiting to be put away.  You can't see the hour you missed out on watching you tube videos of the national anthems of the African countries whose flags your kids just drew and colored.  Having a schedule where the intangible is made tangible has really changed my life.   I feel like a better mom!  LOVE the schedule!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Keith's Birthday

My super - haaawwwt husband had another birthday today.  I am so totally lucky to have him as my husband.  He is seriously wonderful.  He is funny, empathetic, serious, really smart, unbelievably  handy and able to fix anything, he loves me and makes me feel like a treasure. 

I wake up everyday and just ooze gratitude for my life and most of that joy is because of my husband and the family he has grown with me.  Nothing is hotter than watching your husband be an amazing father to your kids!  I pray I get to celebrate at least 42 more birthdays with him!

Dance Recital time

Last week was dance recital week.  Lily danced in 5 dances and Zoe had one dance.  I am not one of those moms that think their babies are the best at everything.  I especially am not one of those moms that thinks their daughters are the best dancers!  Lily really likes dancing and I know she loves it.  She is a little ball of energy...and when I say little, I mean little.  She is definitely the smallest girl in her age group.  She got a brand new pixie cut for recital (yes..that's right I fear the ballet bun!).  Seriously, she loves short hair.

I was sooooo surprised at how much Lily has improved with dancing since last year....even since the nutcracker in December.  I used to dance many, many, many years ago and so it is really hard for me to not jump into the perfectionist role...just trying to help you know.  But I managed it again this year! yeah me!

Zoe rocked the 4year old ballet.  I would say if you combined all of the  7 4 year olds and added up all of the dance moves that got danced...it would equal ummmmm 8 and a half actual dance motions.   The girl standing next to Zoe cried out loud with the uber dance mom mascara pouring down her cheeks all through dress rehearsal.   Zoe only looked like a deer in headlights and remembered one part of the dance...go Zoe!  There were 2 shows and the second show was on Zoe's birthday.  She is 5 years old...wow.  I can't believe how fast these kids are growing up.  Seriously!  Wow.

Next year, Zoe is going to do more dancing...ballet, jazz and tap.  Alex is going to start taking dance lessons too.  Lily wants to keep with it next year and little Violet has 2 more years of mommy and me dance...yeah me!  We have an unlimited number of classes our kids can take because we maxed out the cost of classes.  I think maybe we should adopt a couple more kids just for the money we can save on bulk dance lessons! haha...just kidding keith!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power