Sunday Naps, A Thing Of The Past

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Naps have got to be VERY, VERY close to the top of my 'favorite things to do' list. I am sad to report that I almost never get to enjoy this pass time anymore. But every once in a while, on a Sunday afternoon, Darren will say "Why don't you go for a nap". I don't need to be told twice. Tate, who no longer takes regular naps, will come and join me. I am not one who enjoys sleeping with kids, but I LOVE this. He goes right to sleep and does not move, at all! I love seeing his sweet face when I wake up, I love that boy!

There's A Frog In My....Uh Brain?

Today Bergen was reminding me that I had, yet again, forgotten to get the sleeping bags out of my closet before I put Nya down for a nap (yes, she sleeps in your closet) so that they could slide down the stairs in them - one of my favorite childhood activities! I told him that he was right and that I was sorry and then I asked him, "do you know what my brain is like sometimes?" I was about to answer, "like a colander", when Emma says, "pond sludge!" Ouch...................but true enough.

Fast Sunday

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This morning was fast Sunday- next week being General Conference. Noelle is now 9 and I have never felt the need to 'tell' her that she should probably think about fasting. She sees us fast every month and asks us lots of questions, but has never fasted herself. This morning she came up to me and said that she is going to fast today and that she got her tithing all ready to go. I felt so excited for her and I thought that maybe she would fast until lunch and I was o.k. with that- it is a start. She asked if she could go to church early with Darren, he was called to be the Elder's Quorum President last Sunday and now goes for the early morning meetings. Shortly after they left I noticed her sandwich bag of tithing on the bathroom counter and expected a call. Two minutes later Darren called and asked if I could bring it with me when I came later. Noelle sat during Darren's meeting drawing and reading her scriptures. Later she filled out her form and handed her tithing in with pleasure and she fasted until 6 p.m. and NEVER said a word of complaint. It has been one of those days, for me as a parent, that is so rewarding- seeing your children willing do the things we try so hard to teach them. I am so grateful for the example of little children and for these seemingly small successes that keep me going as a parent and fill me with hope.

An Apple A Day

Friday, September 25, 2009

There was NO taking this apple from this baby!

The Whipping Boy

We finished another novel today, entitled 'The Whipping Boy'. It goes along with our medieval theme this semester. Funny little book, great moral.

Knights And Ladies Of Freedom

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well today was the first day back with our homeschool group down in Sidney. I get to teach the 6-8 year olds. I have such a great group of kids and I feel so privileged to learn with them this year. This semester we are studying the middle ages.. Tracy Pringle is helping me and Kirsten Schafer has the class up from mine, the 10-13 year olds. We will be doing some very fun activities together with the children. Today we discussed the Feudal System and how it works and then we made a shield and a princess hat. The kids all had a great time and I love the support and the association that I get from all the other moms. Thursdays are definitely a high light in our week.

Never Under-Estimate The Power Of A Grandparent

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today I got a phone call from my dad saying that his childhood friends, Tony and Angela, were up visiting from California. He asked if they could come over and see us and if they could take the older 3 kids with them on a field trip up Mount Provo and then to the falls. I enthusiastically answered YES! My mom is still visiting friends in Alberta and this would be a first for my dad, to have 3 of my kids by himself. It's not that he's not capable, it is just my mom is always around so there really was never an opportunity like this. So we tied on some good shoes, packed a lunch and off they all went. I put Nya down for a nap and Tate sat beside me at my desk and colored while I planned my lesson for the next day (Sidney home-school group). The house was heavenly quiet. Later that afternoon everyone arrived back, safe and sound, and Papa said they were so well behaved and they all said they had a fantastic time. He also told me that 2 of my kids have a very good sense of self-preservation and one does not. It took me no time at all to figure out who he was referring to. If you know my kids well, you will know who the little dare devil is and if not, a picture says a thousand words.
The older I get, the more I realize that I, as a parent, can't do EVERYTHING for my children, I can't teach them ALL they need to know, I can't be EVERYWHERE all the time - I am only one person. I have learned (and I have had to learn this) to value the contribution of those I trust to help me teach my children, grandparents can be a great resource. Darren and I are truly spoiled when it comes to having great grandparents for our kids. We have both sets within minutes of us. They love their grandkids and they are such good examples for them. My children don't even always realize how blessed they are as this is the norm for them, but some day they will know how much more enriched their lives have been because of the grandparents they have. Some of my very BEST childhood memories are of those times I spent with my own grandparents.
Dad thank you for the fun field trip and the wonderful memories! And thank you Noelle for all the beautiful pictures, you are an awesome photographer!

Hey, Has Anybody Seen My Headband?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I bought sweat pants yesterday, sweat pants! The last time I bought sweat pants I was, well I can't even remember. Normally I am a pajama girl, but since I am homeschooling and some days I don't really have a reason to get all dressed up, I thought I would at least buy some sweat pants, so that at 2 in the afternoon if someone comes to my door I look like I actually did get dressed and ready for the day instead of showering and then putting p.j. bottoms back on. I like to be comfortable. They are SO comfortable, I may never take them off again. I even went to Walmart in them today and I even felt cute, although I must say that it did cross my mind that today would be the day that I would get caught by Stacy and Clinton and be told that there are comfy clothes that are still fashion forward and that I didn't need to or shouldn't ever even wear sweats out in public. But for little me in small town Duncan I choose the sweats. And I paid $3.39 for them at Old Navy and they are REALLY cute, you can't beat that! I LOVE a good deal.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

Just a funny thing.....last night I thought I would paint my nails. I got out all my nail polishes so I could pick which color I wanted to use. Does it really matter? It reminds me of that phrase, 'whiter shade of pale'. How the burgundy ever made it into my shopping basket, I'll never know. Actually, it is probably a hand me down from my mom.

The Sound Of Music

Tuesday is piano lesson day. Noelle, Bergen and Emma are taking lessons this year. Thank heavens our teacher comes to our house. It works so well- I can send out whoever is going first and do something else with the other children and keep rotating or I can send them all outside (which they never complain about) and get something done that I need to. Nya is usually napping during this time as well and it is a welcome change for all. Our piano teacher is so wonderful, we could not have asked for better. I love hearing the kids play the piano, I can't really explain it, it just seems like one of those sounds that makes a house a home!

A House Of Order

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today I organized my office, well my half of the office. Darren and I share an office. I like order, he is one who functions in organized chaos, so earlier this summer I went and got my own desk and computer. I have order, and Darren's papers are left where he leaves them. I am one of those people who organize for fun. I love it! It feels so great to know that things are there when I need them. I have a little left to do and then I will be all done. I want to get it to the point where I will have a place for everything, every paper, and know where to find it when I need it again. When I am done organizing a room I love to stand back and just look at it. (I know, I am a nerd, but I love that too!)

Nya had a doctors appointment in Victoria in the afternoon so the children spent the afternoon outside with Grandma McCullough. They played in the backyard and went on a walk.

For Family Home Evening we made a list of all the things that we want to learn about this year and all the field trips that we want to take. I think we are going to have a fabulously fun year!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today my brother Justin stopped in to say good-bye. He is moving to Alberta tomorrow. This will be a great change for him and he will be moving in with Keb, another brother (I have 3 younger brother's, no sister's), good for both of them, to have family. I forgot to get a picture of us all before he left - wish I had remembered. To a brother that may never see this post, to a brother whom I love very much, to a brother who is greater than he knows, I wish a fond farewell. May you be blessed and find happiness, wherever you go! Until we meet again.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A new year has started for dance. Emma had her first ballet lesson today. We discovered that her teacher was going to be Mrs. Broadway (can you imagine a more perfect name for a dance instructor), she had been Noelle's teacher her for her first couple of years in dance and we love her! Emma was especially excited as last year we decided as a family to take the year off as I was going to have a baby and I wanted to have a simple, quiet year. Emma had a great time. Is there anything cuter than little girls in ballet tights?

Guess Who?

Tate and I played Guess Who? together today, well we played on one side and Bergen played on the other for us. I would tell Tate the questions to ask Bergen and tell him which ones to put down. One of the questions I suggested to Tate to ask Bergen was, "do you have a moustache?"
It came out of Tate sounding like this, "do you have a moosesplash?" Too funny, every one in the room had a great laugh at that one, even Tate!

Going Bananas!

Today we decided to make banana bread, as we had several overly ripe bananas and a few too many unwanted fruit flies. I have tried and failed, as is the case every year, to keep them out of the house (the flies not the kids). The kids love being in the kitchen making something yummy they can eat and besides with the bakings skills they learn they also learn fractions along the way as well. They are learning and they don't even know it!

Dust Buster's

Monday, September 14, 2009

One of my greatest challenges is going to be house cleaning. I like a clean house. So today we cleaned the house for school! If you are familiar with Leadership Education, you know how important it is to have your little ones learn to work right along side you as you work. I have been reading a book entitled The Potentially Sane Mother's Guide to Raising Young Children by Tamara A. Fackrell . I am really enjoying the book, although she does seem to have a very fun way to do everything and sometimes I just don't feel like being fun. Some people just are FUN, I have to work a little harder at it. It has helped me remember to be a little more creative and have a lot more fun. So today, inspired by her, we became the Dust Buster's on Mission White Glove! We cleaned every surface upstairs in our home (we did not get to the downstairs). The kids earned tickets for every job they performed. The tickets would be used later that evening for f.h.e. when we were going to have a movie theater night in our home. They not only got to use the tickets for admittance, but also for gummy bears, licorice and popcorn. They thought that this was a great idea and worked very hard with almost no complaining. Darren has always wanted a projector, I didn't care either way, in fact I think I may have even tried to dissuade him a couple of times, but I am now so glad that he got his wish. It has turned out to be very fun. When it was time to begin the movie I asked the kids to get their tickets ready, Bergen could not find his. The other kids all pitched in to 'pay' his way for him. They were all very generous and because of their generosity I told them that if they each handed in all their tickets, they could have what ever they wanted. I am happy, I have a clean house, well half a house. The kids are happy, they got a great night in at the movies!

The library, new teeth and a bump on the head

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today we started as usual with devotional and then we did some workbook work. I then threw a bag of lunch together so that we could go and meet Darren at 'the door store' to pick up the new door for our school room, which we were able to get, hung, for a 3rd of the price that they wanted every where else we looked and it would have to be special ordered in. It is a beautiful door; just what we were looking for and they had it ready to go for us in 15 minutes, check. The sales lady we delt with even gave us an additional discount as her name is Lael, which we told her is our daughter Emma's middle name. It is not a very common name and she was thrilled to meet Emma. We then headed over to Superstore in search of dance clothes for the girls. I found everything but. I did however pick up the hotdog buns for our Ward corn roast tonight, check. Off we went to the dance studio, which is more expensive but they have what we need. They were closed. Walmart here we come. We found stuff for Noelle and I think that we have enough bits and pieces from Noelle's years past for Emma, check. We popped in McDonald's quickly for an ice cream cone and then off to the library, which by this time, Nya is crying, tired, hungry, hot and teething. I get everyone out of the van and those who go in the stroller in and the rest are sitting on the sidewalk, waiting as I feed Nya her lunch. On the last bite she decides that she needs to sneeze. I am now covered in a sprinkling of orange carrot juice. But she is happy enough to make our entrance into the library. All went well until we were at the self check out, when I pulled the stroller back, not realizing that Tate is standing up in the front. He of course, fell out and banged his neck and head pretty hard and is now screaming pretty hard. We quickly finished with our books and head for the door as a nice librarian comes over to us and hands Tate a very cool book bag for his troubles. Home please, I want to go home now. While driving home, I start to think about what we are going to make for dinner, when I remember about the corn roast, Hallelujah! Nya was put for a nap as soon as we got home and we were able to practice our piano and make a 'seasons' poster to hang up in our school room. I can hear Darren's truck coming up the hill now. I LOVE that sound and I LOVE Fridays; it means that tomorrow is Saturday and I get Darren for 2 whole days, Hallelujah again!

Through Rose Colored Glasses

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blogs are so funny. For the most part we blog about the happy, funny, cute moments of our lives, not the times we thought that at least 1 of us in the house, if not more, might not make it through the day in one piece. It can be a very surreal experience, especially when you read other's blogs and wonder why they live such hunky dory lives. As I look back through my own blog, I feel like Harry Potter as his friends are describing all the incredible things that he has done and he says, "It all sounds great when you put it like that, but I didn't know what I was doing half the time and I nearly always had help." Plus, as people, I think we want to remember the good and not dwell on the bad. But the adventures I write about, especially when it comes to home schooling should be taken as described by Harry Potter. I write about the things we did, not necessarily that so and so screamed the whole time or that the children fought like cats and dogs that day or that I had a teething baby and between her and the 4 others all wanting my attention to help them with something, they viewed as more important than what I was already doing with someone else, I felt like I couldn't even think straight. This is, I am discovering, going to be a balancing act like no other, an experience that will stretch me in all area's, particularly in patience. I love it some moments and in the very next I wonder how in the world I am ever going to teach 5 people all they need to know. So when you read my blog, I hope you will keep in mind these 2 things; first - that I WOULD NOT change this for the world, even though it is hard it is also SO wonderful and second - it all sounds great when you say it like that, but I didn't know what I was doing half the time and I nearly always had help!

My Goal

My goal is to write about something everyday, so that I can look back and not only remember what we did and when, but also to feel like I did accomplish something with the children. Today we started with devotional, as usual. We read the scriptures and after that we read a story from the friend, read a value tales book or something like that. Lately we have been reading an illustrated book on the Articles of Faith. The book goes through each of the Articles of Faith, explains it and why we believe that and why it is important. We are on the 4th one now. The children have memorized the first 4, even Tate can do them with minimal help (he actually gets quite upset if he is helped too much or when he doesn't want help). I love these books. Next we did some workbook activities and we made a scrapbook page for our binders about our trip to the museum yesterday. Then it was piano practice and now outside free time. Nya is teething and she got her arm pinched in a piece of furniture, so she has had a hard day. The house is now quiet as the kids play outside and Nya naps. Now, what to make for dinner?!

Give A Dog A Bone

Today the kids were talking about 'the bonus room' and Emma says, "what is a bonus room, the place where you store all the bones?"


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We went to the museum in Victoria today and we were able to see the treasures exhibit. They have different parts of the world represented in different sections: Egypt, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, early America. The kids really enjoyed the 'hands on' section. They tried on jewelry, felt primitive tools and got to hold a 2000 year old oil lamp. It was very cool to be able to tell the kids that 2000 years ago, when this lamp would have been used, Christ was on the earth. Tate's favorite parts were, of course, the escalator and the 'furry elephant', a.k.a the woolly mammoth. On our way out of the museum we realized that it had started to rain, hard, and we were parked a couple of blocks away. We ran most of the way back to the van, stopping for a minute in each bus stop shelter to wait for Darren and the little ones in the stroller to catch up to us. The kids thought this was terrific. We were pretty soaked by the time we got back to the parking lot. All in all, we had a FANTASTIC time. I am grateful for the rain, as it caused Darren to have the day off and allowed us as a family to have this memorable day together, showing my treasures some of the world's oldest treasures.

School Is In

We have already been having a ton of fun getting ready for and doing school. Darren and I have been working very hard to get the school room finished and we are close, I will post some pictures soon, but for now if you are interested in what we are up to you can take a look on the link to the right - A Family Education. Happy September! 

Through The Looking Glass

Is there anything more snuggley than a baby who has just had a bath. They smell SO good! Nya loves her bath time. As soon as I sit down on the edge of the tub, she actually tries to leap out of my arms and into the water. Tonight she discovered her reflection in the mirror!

Our Origami Attempts

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mom's stingray

Bergen's dolphin

Emma's turtle

Noelle's angelfish

I picked up a ocean amimals origami kit at Costco during the summer and placed it on the shelf at home for the kids to see. They asked all summer long when we could do it and I told them that we would do it when we started school in the fall. So today, the first day back we spent the day learning all about origami. We learned about the 1000 cranes legend and the inspirational girl named Sadako Sasaki. We learned that some experts believe that origami most likely originated in China, not Japan. (Funny side note: as I am sharing this information with the kids, Bergen says to me, "EVERYTHING comes from China!" Too cute!) We learned that it was a recreational activity for the extremely wealthy as paper was very rare back in the 1st or 2nd century. We did our best and the kids were happy with the results. Origami is truly a form of art!

Origami, Who Knew?

What I learned on our first day back to school; origami is a lot like yoga, it's much harder than it looks.

Chalk Board

Darren and I make a great team. I have a vision, I tell him, he makes it for me and I do the finishing work. One of my most recent requests was a big chunky chalk board for our school room. I told him what I wanted and I could not be more pleased with it. It turned out exactly as I had hoped for. Thank you Honey!!!