Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"I got it! When I grow up, I can be your girlfriend! Sound good?" me: "oh, yes! It does!"
"Mommy, you need to change your underwear. If you do not put on new underwear, then you need to change it. You really should change your underwear." (What?? I think she's heard this recently, directed to her.)
"Excuse me! I'm not going bananas over here, but I did ask for some cocoa!" (Leah calls warmed soy milk cocoa.)
"Let's turn our house into a museum!"
"This says 'word', right?"
"Oh! 12 take away 7 is 5, and 12 take away 5 is 7!"
"Catch this, Mom!" (Meaning, look at me while I practice a dance step or some other physical feat.)
"If I have enough money when I grow up, I'm going to be a mommy just like you."
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Today we started to clean the house. (Sorry, no pictures.) After being cooped-up inside for three days, it felt stifling. There was crazy follow the leader that left things turned upside-down. The toyroom floor was submerged in, well, toys. Lego ziplines connected every surface in the toyroom. The Playmobil had a party in the bedroom. And the living room saw charades, puppet shows and a museum. Time to clean-up! (Oh! do I love our yard!)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The answer was pretty clear - no. There was some variance, but not enough to sway the results. She did find a substantial difference in agreeableness. After sugar, kids willingly picked up (and were more pleasant.)
Monday, November 9, 2009
me: "Do we have any books with igloos?"
J: "That polar bear one. They live in an igloo."
me: "Well, a den in the ice. But it's cute, and we made dens last week."
me: "Do we have any books on ice?"
J: "What about that one where the boy puts ice in his pocket and it melts? Ezra Jack Keats."
me: "Snowy Day. Yeah. We have it."
The best part? He knows what's on the shelves better than I do. I forget. There's too many. However, I know exactly where every book is and could grab these as soon as he described them. He doesn't have a clue. Together, we're complete.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I think that is what happened to the blog here. Life got so full my thoughts were all mush by the end of the day. Having a goal to write everyday helps me to retain a few bits of what I want to get out. I think it would also help to have a laptop to carry around the house and some wireless going on, or at least another computer for the kids, but none of that is going to happen any time soon. And having a theme keeps eating away at me. Maybe that would help. I know some blogs do, some don't. The fact that mine doesn't shows that I started it to keep in touch with family, perhaps build some community, but more a space to remember things. The fact that that is bothering me (lack of coherence here) shows that its time to get focused. But on what??
- present parenting
- natural living
- living frugally
Now is when I get stumped and decided to just keep writing about life and perhaps a common thread will appear, somewhere.Yesterday began with Anna's "Aaiaheeeee!" She always wakes with a smile. If I'm already up, she'll lay and talk to herself for some time, just like Leah did. If I'm still in bed, like yesterday, she'll wake me up to nurse. What a joy-filled way to start the day! (I just love the family bed! [well, most days.])
2 month old Anna
I went to Bible study with Anna. Jesse stayed home with the others. We're reading Scott Hahn's A Father Who Keeps His Promises. Yesterday there was a guest speaker who shared a bit of Hahn's history with us and her ministry. You could feel the Spirit flow from her. It was nice to feel that again, and come home excited rather than drained.
I needed that excitement for the rest of the day. We had the second and final sugar experiment play date. I cleaned the kids room for the occasion. Well, as clean as 20 minutes with three helpers and a baby could get it. After the day's observations, it was very clear that if you want kids to help pick up, give them candy. Seriously. The house looked better when they left than when they arrived. I joked that I was doing it for the sake of Sarah, not Science. But we had a great time! Every single one of the 13 kids here was awesome. The moms were pretty awesome too! Thank you again for coming out and subjecting your children to sugar for the sake of Science (and Sarah.)
Then it was off to Sarah's dance class, dinner and shopping in the evening. ToysRUs had a few items on sale, namely a Razor scooter, and now my holiday shopping is done! I got Anna to sleep on our bed before I left. At bedtime Leah told Jesse that since Anna was sleeping in his bed, that he could sleep in hers. so sweet and thoughtful...
Thursday, November 5, 2009
We, the allergic mama and papa, the severely allergic although she screams if you suggest it four year old - we have a cat. We thought this would never be, could never be, and never became too attached to all the sweet kitties who crossed our path. Somehow, we were waiting for Kitty-Kitty, (Yes, the kids named her.) and Kitty-Kitty was waiting for us.
She was waiting at a rest-stop on I-95. Yes, this beautiful cat was there. She looked healthy, young and thin. She was friendly, cautious and hungry. We fed her. Our dog travels with us on vacation, and she liked dog food. We all felt an attachment. She got in the van easily enough. I did not want her left at the rest stop. We decided to take her with us to the family farm in PA.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The conversations we've had, the things she's thought of are simply amazing. She wanted various ages. She listed the variables she could think of. She listed what she wanted to use to identify "hyper". She also explained to me in detail why she did not want to use children who were actively nursing in the study. They may like their breast milk more than the candy. The breast milk may interfere with their behavior. (Makes an LLL leader proud!)
Today was the first of two experimental playdates. 6 kids, ages 3-9. 2 bowls of candy, one full of sugar, the other sugar free. 2 hours of observation. Sarah was so excited! So excited in fact, she was the most hyper kid in the house! Volume, Activeness, Agreeableness all were duly noted. She hasn't drawn any conclusions yet, so I cannot say much more. However, I did make some observations of my own. My favorite was that before the sugar/sugar free was introduced there was a tussle. The children involved held discussions with their mothers, but were not ready to interact with each other. Soon after the candy, they apologized, heard each other out, dialogued, etc. "I'm sorry. I did it to get your attention. I just wanted to play with you." "But that doesn't make me want to play with you! It makes me want to play with you less!" "Oh, OK." That was between 9 and 6 year old boys, and was enough for them to go on playing for another two hours.
With those kind of results, I may just serve sugar at all future playdates!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Yesterday Leah read the entire first book, the A book, in the Sing Spell Read and Write series. I used a process to teach Sarah and David how to read. Leah taught herself when she was three. Now she yells at me, "I want to read!"
Sarah peeked in the older Presidential class at co-op today. She was invited in and loved it. The teacher sought me out to let me know that she's always welcome, in a class geared towards the 13 and up crowd. (Now I want to take the class!)
My girls are growing up! (David too. I promise to post about him later this week.)
Monday, November 2, 2009
the knight who was a cowboy earlier in the day
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
When I said my wish this morning was to run errands, with his help, and he said yes. Oh my! I can run around everywhere, all over, with four little people, but I prefer not to. So this guy of mine put aside a day at the office sitting in front of the computer, for a day sitting in the van. With me.
First stop - the bank. This is simple enough. However, somehow he knew to get more of his extra summer paycheck in cash. It certainly came in handy at our next stop - the local home school shop. They gave you 5% off your purchase if you paid with cash or check. We had the cash! We also had the place to ourselves for a bit. We arrived a half hour before they opened. I said my husband had come with me to help with the kids. This was our first stop. My other errands were far away. She let me in. *Thank you!* Jesse stayed out in the van and read "The Horse and His Boy" to everyone for 15 min. before joining me. Having an extra set of child holding arms, an extra set of child checking eyes, a partner to discuss education choices with was simply thrilling. (Sarah too was thrilled to find the next four books in the Narnia series.)
Next was the health food store for gluten free lasagna noodles. Again, he sat and read while I shopped. Our kiddos are great here. However, I'm always rushing. I want to grab my noodles and bulk foods before someone skips/bounds down an aisle a tad too enthusiastically or "helps" a bit too much with the bulk scoops. Also, it can be a challenge to find enough helper tasks for everyone - you get the bag this time, you write the number, now you get to relay the number to the number writer, will you get the twist-tie for mommy? And with Anna having her hands in everything now? Am I ever grateful I was rushing on my own!
On to lunch and Trader Joe's. I took Anna with me this time. Jesse walked everyone else over to their first Sonic visit. Strolling along with one little hand helping me push the cart was a delight. Plus, searching for the catfish, up and down the aisles, three times, high and low, wondering *loudly* when near an employee where oh where he could be, hoping for a hint - that all is getting old for me.
Last stop was the pet store. This one needed some focused time from me for a tricky return, purchase, then exchange. Attempting this while keeping everyone from petting every dog, playing with every toy and darting back to observe every fish was daunting. Instead, my transactions were seamless, and we all got to enjoy the fish together.
Simple, really, but today spelled love for me.
(PS For those of you in the "know", he also mopped the kitchen floor last night. *swoon*)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Here's my favorite commercial, from back when we had TV. This is what I've been up to. Only, I don't look this good, even when I do have the chance to shower. I haven't been writing, so I'm removing that feature for a bit. It's depressing, since I know I'm forgetting things left and right. What have I been doing? Living. Diaper changes. Pillow fights. (Yes. I get Anna happy in another room, and we have at it for 5 minutes.) Breakfast. Shopping. Lunch. (No peanut butter here of course, but I have the same cutting board.) Baths. Dog. (and a cat now.) Dinner. Diaper changes. Outings. Walks. Bedtime. Stories. (*heart* how the baby sneezes here.) and Laundry! (Only, I don't use the dryer anymore.)
I do all that (and a few other things) holding Anna. She's asleep now, but when she's awake, she wants her mama, and she does not want her mama to sit at the computer. That is boring. A teething baby wants some entertainment to ease the pain. She also wants whatever you are eating or drinking, so beware. She may grab a handful of rice and stuff it in her mouth faster than you can respond. She may pat her hand right into your bowl of soup. (ouch! poor baby! It wasn't very hot, but still hurt.)
And that is where I've been. Living life.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I have had many moms marvel and ask how I home school with four children, and one of them is brand new. (Anna Claire joined us on February 28, 2009. This explains the absence of an article four months ago.) For those who have accomplished this, it may seem simple enough. However, for those of us trying it for the first time, it may appear daunting.
I trusted. A lot. I trusted myself. I trusted our children. I trusted our family and friends. Approaching our next "step" with the mind set that "everything will work out" helped the transition go so smoothly for us, it was almost effortless. Looking back, I realize that I actually had numerous things in place beforehand that supported us as we grew. Three of those that stand out for me now are: curriculum, consistency and co-op.
We used a curriculum this year. http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com/ It was just what we needed. I could open a book, know what materials we needed, know what books from the library would enhance the lesson, and have questions ready to help my children stretch their thoughts when my brain was too tired to think. For math we tried Miquon. This is something that Jesse and his brother used when they were learning at home. We all loved it! David started his Sing, Spell, Read & Write journey. Sarah finished this last year. Now Leah cannot wait to begin. In all, school was a pile of books. I learned that although curriculums are not my favorite thing, (I like to be a bit more creative.) they are the best thing for me to teach certain subject areas, and for me to use when I am pregnant and have a newborn.
Two days after Anna was born, we were doing school on my bed. I had prepared for everyone to take a long break, but they craved the consistency of our days. This is something I have always done. We find a rhythm that works for us and stick with it. I have seen our children thrive on this consistency. They know what to expect, usually. With the unexpectedness of a new sibling, our regularity became even more important. This year we began our days with math, followed by reading, curriculum work in the middle and ended with music. Our days of the week also held a pattern: Sarah's piano lesson on Monday while David, Leah and I did lots of school in the car, parking lot and grass, (One of my favorite memories is Anna on a blanket surrounded by buttercups. Leah building a fairy house. David reading me a story about a Bike Hike. Sarah inside practicing Brahm's Lullaby.) Tuesday co-op, school on Wednesday, more school and dance classes for Thursday, Friday relax. It all worked well for us.
Tuesday's co-op was the highlight of our learning with a new baby that was preceded by a tired, pregnant mama. There was friendship, fellowship and learning, oh! so much learning. Whenever a worry entered my mind about what we may not be accomplishing, I remembered our co-op. David and Sarah were content and thriving in their classes. Leah loved my preschool class. Anna was always along for the ride. (You can see a picture of myself and part of Anna here: www.hsobx.org/2009/05/hsobx-spring-finale.html )
In writing this, I realized another "C" we've had all along, connectedness. I believe that leaning at home brings us closer together as a family. We are a stronger unit. Adding a new member strengthens that bond. In a twisted way that I still marvel at, homeschooling helped us welcome Anna and welcoming Anna helped us home school.
Our home school journey will never be the same. Both daunting and exciting, "everything worked out". Welcome to learning at home with the four C's and four little ones!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Leah: "I'm going to make a pizza and store it for winter. Isn't that a good idea?" prancing about Grandma's kitchen with a freezer storage container
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
herb - basil, cilantro, rosemary, dill, a volunteer gourd in the back