Friday, March 25, 2011

Custom made Homeschooling

  We started back to school this week!  We took a 3 week break so we could get moved and settled.  It's always hard starting back after that long of a break, but everyone was excited and we only had a little melt down one day.

  I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that on the worst days of homeschooling I HAVE thought about shipping them off to school.  Some kids really do thrive in a classroom setting.  However my children might not.

  Jesse is all boy! If his diet isn't properly controlled he can't sit still for more than 2 seconds. He himself will even admit he can't control what he does when he eats too much junk.  He MUST stay away from food dyes, processed foods, HFCS, and sweets.
He is a very bright boy!  And for the most part we are able to do all our classes together. Math is one of the ones he has a hard time doing.  Not because he has a hard time with it, he's great in math! When Jesse does math he likes total quiet. He is the reason there aren't brightly colored learning posters on the walls, there is no window by his desk, and no one is even allowed in the room with him but me.  I stay with him so I can kindly remind him "eyes on your work please!" when ever he starts to lose focus.  He has to be in a setting where there is nothing else to take his mind off his work.  We have tried to have our lesson together and Kathryn will have all her work done in minutes and Jesse will have a blank page.  It just does not work!  I am happy to announce that he is a grade ahead of where he should be, and that it is very rare if even one problem is wrong!  He is thriving because I have made it easy for him to keep his focus where it needs to be.

   Kathryn on the other hand is more like me.  She does math best when it's loud!  She likes an upbeat tune on the cd player blasting.  I know why that is, the beat in the song helps her keep beat in math .  She adds to the beat of the tune.  Jess would be out of his seat dancing a jig with her methods! :-D But this works for her. She is 3 grades ahead in math and also rarely gets any of the problems wrong.

  One of the best things is we are able to go into a deep study when someone has an interest in a subject.  We can really give a hands on approach to what ever it is we are learning about.  Not only is this more fun, but I have found that the lesson really sticks better.

  I know my children better than anyone else on the planet.  It is wonderful being able to understand that they are all different and not except them to learn the same way, or even at the same pace. I can let them speed up in things they are great at, and slow down and really take our time and work through the things that don't come as easily.  It makes learning easier when they don't feel threatened by something that is harder for them to learn.

  Homeschooling isn't for everyone.  It takes a lot of work on mama's part and understanding that I am going to have a bad day too on the child's part. :)  This is what works for us though, and honestly, I really wouldn't have it any other way!

Our school room! It is also our play room (toys are on the other side.)  In the middle of the floor is Jemima's "school" and her juice box. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Daddy's little princess!

  The other night at bedtime we were trying to get Jemima to sleep in her room with Kathryn.  We haven't really pushed it, but we thought we would give it a try so that we only have 1 baby in our bed in May. :)  Kathryn really wants a room mate anyway, she says she's lonely now that they aren't all in the same room, but she does like being away from the boys.  The big kids made up their own minds when we moved into this house that they liked it enough to NOT sleep in Mama and Daddy's room anymore. Yes, I do really miss them!!

  So we did our normal bed time routine, we got Pj's on, brushed teeth, prayed and sang with everyone, and tucked them in.  Not 10 minutes go by and the little princess is at the top of the stairs saying "I no go night night!!" and this went on for maybe 5 minutes.  Ryan went up there and told her to lay back down and that we would be up to check on her when we went to bed.

  Another couple of minutes go by and she's back at the stairs, but this time crying a little.  "Daaaadddddyyyyyy, hold me! Daaaaadddddyyyyy rock me!!!  Daaaaaddddyyyy, I wanna snuggle!!!" (she knows she can't nurse while it's still dark, so it's Daddy she calls for if she needs something in the night)  So once again Ryan goes up the stairs.  I had thought to only tuck her back in. But he came down the stairs with a little girl in his arms and she had this huge grin on her little face, her little head was on Ryan's shoulder and she was clinging to him.  He sets her on the floor next to him and tells her he still had some work to do, but she could snuggle as long as she laid quietly.


  The rotten little girl knew she had won. :-D She had this sweet little smile on her face for awhile. For some reason, this little one likes to sleep with her shoes on. We take them off as soon as she falls asleep, but she won't let us while she's still awake.

  It wasn't 10 minutes later I went to check on them and I found this!

  Ryan carried her back to her bed and she slept soundly the rest of the night.  And I am pleased to say that since then she has slept in her room every night, but she has to have her snuggles with Daddy after nursing  before going to bed.

  Spoiling her? NOPE!!! She's about to lose her slot as the baby in less than 60 days! And she knows it. We want to hang on to her being the baby as long as we can. :-D

Monday, March 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

I am sitting here at my computer desk in my new home! We moved in yesterday.  I am thrilled to report that even though we aren't 100% done moving, most of our stuff is here... And the house looks EMPTY!!! :-D  The goal I've always longed for.

Yesterday was rough.  I knew not to push myself and over do it, and even though it seemed like in my mind I didn't do enough, my body was pretty mad at me and I was up half the night with back and leg pains.  My Father in law and soon to be brother in law came down all the way from Ohio to help.  I don't know what we would have done without them! It would have taken Ryan days to do what the 3 of them did yesterday.

Today I was warned to take it easy, I guess someone is either worried OR just wants a better nights sleep without my flopping around all night.

I got up, fed everyone breakfast, and scrubbed the kitchen.  Everyone needed baths because the kids spent most of yesterday outside playing with the new neighbors.  So after breakfast I turned on the tv just while I could scrub out the bathrooms.  They were sooo gross!!!  I am a freak about my bathrooms.  There may be toys all over my living room floor, sewing stuff everywhere, school books scattered (I am NO Suzie Homemaker, that's for sure!!!)....  But my toilets and sinks you could eat off of.  I scrub them at least every other day. Bathrooms freak me out, so I keep mine clean! They must have had a ton of boys here, pee all around the seats and on the floor around the toilet. YUCK! So glad I bought the bleach cleaner... I only use the green stuff that's safe for kids to use (because I make them clean the bathrooms too!) but I figured going into a new home with someone else's germs, we needed the big guns.

Anyhow, after that I scrubbed the kids and took a shower myself and then it was lunch time. Everyone took a 3 hour nap and then I went back to my scrubbing and even got 6 boxes unpacked, then Braxton Hicks kicked in and now I'm taking a break.  I might even be done for the day.

I love it here!  For the first time in a very long time, this feels like home! I will be hanging pictures here (something I haven't done in any home that we owned!) and I plan on being here a good long while.

I can not believe how nice the neighbors are.  Seriously, this seems like Stepford or something! The lady next door has three children, same ages as my bigs.  Mine spent yesterday afternoon over in their yard playing and had a great time.  3 men (who were either pushing strollers or following toddlers!) stopped by while Ryan was unloading the truck just to welcome us. WOW. Funny, we spent almost 7 months in the apartment and I couldn't tell you the names of anyone and our homes were touching!

I'm happy!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WE GOT IT!!!!

It was placed on the market on Feb. 28.  Homes like this don't last more than a week, so I jumped on it the second I saw it on Craigslist.  I still wasn't very fast though because 15 other people called BEFORE me wanting to see it.  Somehow we were 2nd in line to see it in person. They had us back to back viewing yesterday and as we were leaving a sweet family of 4 was pulling in.



We filled out the paperwork in the car and turned it in right away.  Twice last week we found a home we wanted, but we were just a day or so away from being too late with the paperwork.

I couldn't even bring myself to think about it.  All day I'd start to wonder if we'd get it, but I'd push it out of my mind because I was afraid to even get my hopes up.  I wanted this house much more than I wanted the others!!!  But other families are smaller than ours. Yeah we may have been first to turn in the papers, but it still all comes down to the owner picking who he wants to live there.  Who in their right mind would want to rent such an amazing home to a family of soon to be 7?!

It's nearly 2500 sq ft, 4 bed rooms (I get a room just for my sewing!), 2 1/2 bathrooms, very open.  The laundry room alone is larger than the bedroom all 4 kids are sleeping in together right now.  We are living in less than 1700 sq ft, and I know there are people that have a family as big or bigger and are living in a smaller space... But this house is really an apartment, it's built strange, and we have no place what so ever to play outside. NONE.  There are too many cars in and out all day, too many people, it's NOT safe.  So we have to stay crammed in the house all day, the walls were closing in on us.

Also, we have peeping toms for neighbors.  I've caught someone across the street with some sort of telescopic peeping in on us at least 4 times already! 

My kids were sold with the yard alone! This picture only shows about half!!!

And it's all only 10 minutes from Ryan's job!!!

I was in the middle of making dinner (Ryan's favorite, we both had a hard day and I figured a nice meal would be a good way to end a bad day... so the bad ends with the day and we truly start fresh tomorrow!) and he comes downstairs with a goofy grin on his face, saying he had good news!  We were so excited, all of us had a hard time eating! :-D

We move next week!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Busy is an understatement!

  Once again, it's been forever.  Things are crazy at the moment!  Sorry, but I don't have any pictures this time! :)

  First, we have been sick, AGAIN.  Another stomach bug.  I am getting so annoyed.  Ryan "forgets" to tell me when someone at work is ill, and when someone gets sick he's like "oh yeah, so and so had that at work"  It started with Jemima. It was gross.  Then it hit Liam, passed me and the big kids and hit Ryan.  This better be the last of it.  I have had to do so much laundry, it's not even funny!

  Pregnancy is going well, I entered my 3rd trimester last week and now we are down to 11 weeks to go!  I have ordered my diaper fabric (baby will be in organic bamboo!) and it should be here any day now.  However I can't even think about starting that project till at least next week.  This week is PACKED.  In fact, the past few weeks have been packed.  I feel huge.  In a way this one seems to have flown, but in another, I am wondering how I am going to make it another 11 weeks.  This little boy moves around so much and he's either on my bladder or in my ribs. I am not very comfortable!

  We are moving, AGAIN! Ryan is being hired on full time when his contract ends.  So we are staying in Lexington for awhile. (I've got one child that is VERY upset we aren't moving to Florida!)  The townhouse/apartment (whatever you wanna call it!) is OKAY, but we have no yard what so ever, kids really have no place to play, and we can't just walk to a park because the closest is sort of far away (too far too walk).  So it simply won't do through the summer.  I mean, sure we could make do.  But I would go insane if I couldn't throw the kids out of the house.  Jess also needs his space to run and ride his bike.  He's too active to be cooped up in this house everyday.  It's not going to be easy for me to load everyone up to go to the park with a new baby... SO, we have to move.  We have to have a house with a fenced in yard, the land lord has to let us put in a play set, wood floors in the living room and either wood or tile in the kitchen are a MUST, I want more than 1700 sq ft of living space (because well, I'm spoiled).  So, as you can imagine, the house hunt has been interesting!  We found two houses last week we liked, but someone beats us to the contract signing every single time. I know that just means it's not meant to be, but I'm starting to worry we will be stuck in this place forever.  I found another house last night that is perfect.  It's with in 3 miles of work, huge, everything on my list.  Price is right... I talked to the owner and told him right out about all these kids, what we were looking for, how we've missed the contract just by a day twice now and he told me that he doesn't go in the order of contract signing, but who ever has the check for the deposit in his hand first gets it.  I told Ryan to have his check book ready. We did a drive by last night to check it out, yeah, I'll be upset if we miss out on this one.

  Liam turns 3 Sunday!! I can not believe it.  Seems like just yesterday I couldn't wait for him to be 3, 3 was the age we were told we would know for sure how he would be, and now here we are! I've got a perfectly normal 3 year old.  I'll go more into how he's doing these days on his birthday.  I will say, I've met my match with this one! He is a handful! I love him dearly, but that one wears me out. :-D  We are taking him to a monster truck show (we got tickets for next to nothing!) Saturday night, he's really into that sort of thing. And then he keeps saying he wants to go to Chuck E Cheese on his birthday, so we will probably go there for lunch on Sunday. He doesn't know if he wants a car cake of a toy story one yet, so he had better make up his mind or I'm picking. (Cars, I already have the pan!)  He is so excited! He asks just about every day how many more days till his birthday.  I know at 3, it seems like it takes forever the another year to pass.  And he's had to watch so many celebrate a birthday, I know it must feel like forever to finally be his turn!

  Sewing, I've been sewing a lot!  First I had a few diaper orders to do and I got them over pretty quickly.  Then I started on a dress for each girl.  I want to make them each 5 before the baby is born so they are set for summer. Kathryn informed me she wants most of her clothes hand made because she likes the fact that they are one of a kind.  Jemima just likes that I make them, and she tends to want what Kathryn does.  It's easier for her to go potty in a dress anyway.  I also finished one hand knitted longies for the new baby. (pictures coming, I promise!)  My first ever knitting project.  They turned out pretty good for my first try!  I've got another set on the needles about half done, but they've been that way for 2 weeks now, I just don't have the time! I am working on two scrapbooks for the girls at the moment too.  This project will be the death of me.  I am no "scrapper", it's sooooo boring for me.  I just can't get into it, and it cost too much, and I could complain an hour!  But they have to have them for Saturday's pageant, which I am also sewing for!

  Saturday the girls are going to their first ever Semi Glitz pageant.  This is Semi, so it's not "quiet" like the ones on tv.  Honestly, I'm not 100% what it really is.  I've googled it and the meaning tends to change depending on who's running it.  From the looks of it, they want more glitzed clothes, but a more natural face and hair.  Wigs, tanning, and makeup ARE allowed, but from what I gather they want it more natural looking. Natural girls are allowed to compete and I've been told they have just as good a chance at winning.  They are looking for personality, pose, modeling, and a beautiful face.  We've gone back and forth over this one.  I was going to let Kathryn get a little hair piece just for fullness, but after looking we both agreed it's not for her.  And I won't do tanning because I don't think that dye is very healthy.  So we both decided she will do everything the same she's done for other pageants, but we might go a tiny bit heavier on makeup.  Jemima will have on lip gloss only.  We shall see how this goes!
  It's St Patrick's day themed.  So after formal wear the girls go into St Patrick's day wear.  I have had so much fun putting these outfits together!  I would love to show a picture of Kathryn's, it looks amazing and I worked really hard on it.  But I am under orders that NO ONE is to see it till pageant day.  She almost didn't even let Ryan see.  I think she's worried someone will take her idea? Whatever, I'm not allowed to show it. :-D
  I'm also not allowed to see her practice, it's a "surprise."  One can only imagine what she's planning.  I am allowed to watch Jemima practice, because I am the one bring her up on stage and I "have to know" what she's suppose to do.  This is all truly fun and games for the girls.  I am in no way the pushy pageant mom, more like the PUSHED (or bossed around! haha) pageant mom if you ask me.  They are having a blast, it's fun watching them. Seriously, Kathryn isn't some spoiled monster, she's a very sweet girl. This pageant thing is HER thing though.  It's more like putting on a play for her.  This is why she's so good at it, she loves it! I just get to sit back, sew their clothes, and enjoy the ride. :-D
  I am interested to see how Saturday goes!

  Well, kids are starting to wake up and I'm just guessing they want breakfast.  Keep your fingers crossed about this house!!!