Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well we have had our first set of stitches as parents. I honestly thought that I could sneak through this parenting thing without any. 5 kids+no stitches=slim chance. Last night during a game of freeze tag outside, for family night, Bergen ran into a bird feeder, while running away from Darren. I, of course stayed cool and calm and collected, ya right. I screamed and cried and I panicked all the other children who were up until this point not screaming and crying. It is quite a sight to see your child bleed from the head and although logically I know that head wounds bleed ALOT, reason doesn't always register when it is your child. After we all calmed down and the bleeding stopped, Darren and Bergen headed off to the Emergency room and I knew that I wouldn't be seeing them again for quite some time. 3 hours, 2 stitches and an orange gatorade later, he was as good as new. Now we have a couple of very cool blue stitches and a great story for a little boy to tell when he is asked what he has been up to lately.

Book Worms

Monday, March 23, 2009

My kids LOVE books and I love to read, so together we can have all sorts of adventures through books. Since coming home in January we have read more books than ever before. Along with all the different books we have read we have completed 3 children's novels.
The first one we read was Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I have very few wonderful memories of school, but the one that stands out as my best elementary school experience was when my 3rd grade teacher read us Charlotte's Web. I fell in love with that book then and have continued to love it ever since. It is rewarding to be able to share that with my kids and no matter how many times I read it, I always cry when Charlotte dies. I know how hokey that sounds. I think, as I am approaching that part of the book that I won't, but as I get closer and closer my voice starts to crack and I do. The words, "No one was with her when she died", breaks my heart every time. That is when you know it's a classic.
Next we read The Tale Of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo , lent to us by our friends the Schafer's. I was not familiar with this book at all, so I was excited to read it. If a book is hard to get into, chances are good that I won't finish it. This book had me from the first page. I love how the author writes as if talking to the reader throughout the book.
Third book we read was James And The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. I love Roald Dahl's writing. Some people think he is very strange, but I like him. I think that his books have some pretty good messages if you look for them and I love his poems within the books.
I love seeing the kids think, cry and even laugh out loud at the funny parts. This is definitely one of our favorite things to do as a family and I hope that this will instill a lifetime of book loving and reading in my children, that they will associate reading with excitement and fond memories of their childhood. I know that for myself I will always cherish these times.

A Family Education

I have started a new blog about the happenings of our homeschooling. The purpose of this blog is so that I have a place to document all the things we are learning and doing along the way and for anyone who may be wondering what we are up to as we seek to educate our family. or the link is in my list of family and friends.

Our Beginning

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Well, we finally did it. The kids have been out of the public school system since Christmas break. It took an incident at school to force my hand and yet in retrospect I needed something like that to happen. I don't know if I would ever have been brave enough. I have always loved the idea and wanted to do this with my family, but quite honestly I have never felt smart enough, good enough, patient enough, strong enough, it was never the right time, I was never ready. It took a GREAT leap of faith for me to do this, the process was 4 1/2 years in the making and I could always justify putting it off. I know that this is right for my family, others may have a different path, but this is the way we are to go. I know it. I feel it everyday more and more. The choice was so hard because I was so scared. Once we made the choice, then came the peace that I had so desired before. Now that the choice is made, there is no going back. I can't believe that it took me so long. Every time I drive past the school I am so glad to be on this end of things, not because something so terrible happened but because I knew that I was not living true to myself. You can only go on like that for so long. When you know that there is something you should be or want to be doing and you don't do it for whatever reason, the choice seems to get harder and harder to make and you can feel it inside. Self- deception. And Although I am still scared, there are a few things that I have learned in the beginning of this adventure.
First of all, I had to ask myself, do I care more about my children or what other people think? Are you crazy is usually the first thing that people say or at least think when they are informed about our decision. I am sad to say that there have been moments when I cared more about how I looked in the sight of others. I want to be an inspiration and a mentor to my children and not a model of pop culture to those around me and I know that through this process I will find those who believe in and will support our choice. I have also been surprised to find that many do think that this is such a great venture. From mothers whose children are already raised, to the people Darren meets at work, to those who have not yet entered their children into the public school system, to past teachers.
Second, I was fearful that I am not smart enough to home school my kids. That someday they would discover that I had no idea what I was doing and that they are in fact smarter that I am. A friend who has been helping me along this path said to me, " We don't always know what we are doing in life, but we have kids anyways don't we?" There was a time (prechildren) that I thought I knew it all and mothering was going to be so easy as long as I did everything right ( are you laughing yet). Since then I have been humbled sufficiently. But I am not preventing it from stopping me or quitting in the middle of raising children. You just take one step at a time and hope in faith that you are doing something right, seek for inspiration and pray that Heavenly Father fills in the blanks. He gave me these children, that alone qualifies me to be the best teacher for them.
Third, "I wish I could do that, but I just can't". I have realized in saying that that I have actually been saying that the idea is nice, but I just don't want to do the work involved. I have come to believe that I can do anything that I want to do!
Forth, The other day I was out with all 5 kids by myself, at the library of all places! It is one thing to behave, it is quite another to behave and be quiet! The kids were well enough behaved, but still and always little children filled with energy and excitement. I felt a little like there were those looking at me and judging. This is not the first time I have ever felt this way, but in this case a thought entered my mind that never has before, I'm not finished yet. Meaning, come back in 20 years and judge me and my children then, when I have finished the job, don't judge me in the middle of my life's work!
Fifth, is there anything that I don't know that I can't learn? The answer of course is no. That is the hard part, to be the person I want my children to become.
Sixth, I thought that learning happened at school and life happened after hours. I have since dicovered that learning happens all day, everyday and how much more fun it is to learn while living. Sometimes it only takes a few extra words, a couple more minutes to turn something very ordinary into something of lasting value.
So far this has been pretty much what I had expected. I am loving it, I am sooooooooooo tired at the end of the day, as there is no down time, I want to pull my hair out sometimes, I feel like crying the next, sometimes from exhaustion, sometimes from the joy I am finding in my children. The one thing that has surprised me the very most though is that more than ever I feel like I don't have enough time with the children to teach them all I want to teach them. The days are flying by faster than while they were at school. I thought the days would seem longer with them here. I am so grateful for the inspiration that Darren and I have always felt and the baby steps that we have taken in order to get here. I am grateful for the peace I feel in knowing that this is right for us and I am grateful that I have the chance to be stretched farther that I ever thought I could be without breaking. So far I am the one doing all the learning. I pray that I will be able to become the person that God sees in me and for the part that this plays in that, I am grateful.

Kids Say The Darndest Things!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some conversations that I have had with the kids lately;

Me: Noelle would you read me the rest of that book we started this morning?
Noelle: (discouraged) Uh, but that book has WORDS in it!

Me: Bergen, I would really appreciate if you could please talk to me with respect and not act like a rude boy as you are NOT a rude boy.
Bergen: Well.......... I might be!

Me: (after a visit from Lisa Burbank, her 2 girls and twin boys, as I was tucking Emma in bed) Emma, do you know what, today I asked Lisa if her boys thought that they looked alike and she said that she wasn't sure because she had never asked them before. So she asked them and can you guess what they said? They said No, they didn't think that they looked like each other at all. Isn't that funny?!
Emma: giggle, giggle...Maybe they should look in the mirror.

Me: Tate could you please go out of my room. I am trying to get Nya to sleep. (repeat over a dozen times) Tate could you please go out, I have to get Nya down so that I can get to work.
Tate: Oh, mommy (with amusement in his voice) you don't go to work!
Me: Well, what do I do then?
Tate: You stays home and goes to stores.
Thank you to Shannon Wight for the photos!

5 Months Old!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Laughing, grabbing, chewing and drooling. Believe it or not there is some hair, if even only a little, on top of that cute head! Nya Emery, 5 months old.

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

Friday, March 6, 2009





We took advantage of the annual 'Be a tourist in your own town' event that the city of Victoria puts on every year. We went down on Wednesday and Thursday. The sun was out, parking was abundant and the streets were pretty bare. Maybe because it was mid-week. I had expected a few more people out and about than there was, not that I am complaining. Some people thrive off the energy of crowds. If I can avoid them, I will.
We went to the Pacific Undersea Gardens, which is always exciting for the kids. They didn't have a diver show running the day we went and yet when we got to the aquarium that they perform this in, the octopus was out and right up against the window. It was a very cool sight, to say the least.
We went to the wax museum next, which my kids have never been to and I haven't been since I was 11. The kids thought that this was pretty neat. They did remark however, that Cleopatra was immodest and that she should put some clothes on. I had to agree; at least some longer hair to cover things up. That is the world of art, I suppose.
After that we made our way over to the petting farm in Beacon Hill Park, which is always one of our favorite things to do. We were able to see a VERY new little goat. So sweet. I love that my children love animals.
The last thing that we did on the Wednesday was Miniature World, which was fun, but also frustrating. When we arrived, they people at the front desk informed me that I was not allowed to take any food or drink in, absolutely fine, except that they said this upon seeing my wee little baby's bottle. They informed me that I could come back out of the exhibits and feed her and then go back in again, which I proceeded to do, a few times. I am not sure what the difference was, but I obeyed.
Thursday we got a late start. We decided to spend our day at the museum and the imax. My kids LOVE the museum, but the imax on top of that was just too much fun. We saw Ocean Oasis. There is something about the sea and the creatures in it, we all love anything to do with it. Good time, great memories. We will be back next year.

A Facelift

I have been experimenting with new looks for my Blog and finally with the help of my fantastic sister-in-law, I think I finally got what I was looking for, minus a few black and white family photos to be added later, that Shannon has offered to take for us. I am truly spoiled to have her around. Thanks for your help Shannon!