Saturday, August 30, 2008

A typical, not-so-typical Saturday

This is a typical Saturday for us... me painting at the bar, Alan mowing the lawn, piles of laundry on the couch to fold, family outting to lunch and the grocery store... We LOVE the weekends! (who doesn't)
But this Saturday is a little atypical as well...
1.) Alan is upstairs with the kids "doing school"
School on Saturday isn't really the norm, plus Alan is the one doing the project with them. A week or so ago he started talking about the Earth, Sun, planets, stars, etc. with them, and he told them he would help them build a model of the Solar system. We would then spend some time learning about it.
So today they dropped me off at the grocery store to shop by myself (much rejoicing!!!) and they went to Hobby Lobby to begin their search.

Here are a few pictures of their fun little project. They each painted 3 planets. This was right up Selah's alley, of course, and the other 2 got into it too. Bryson came down the stairs and said "Mommy, I just painted Mercury, Saturn, and Mars." Charis piped in saying "Yeah, and I made-ed... celery-eee, and carrots-ssss, and carrots!" (ha! she did paint 3 of the planets, just didn't quite remember the names).
Alan said Bryson said "Since there are 9 planets we all got to paint 3 of them. And if there were 12 planets, then we could each paint 4!)
So there we have it! Science, art, and math, all in one!

2.) Another "typical"... football on Saturday. But not-so-typical... getting to watch football with Matt and his family. They all came over to watch football and have breakfast for dinner~ Alan's famous omelets.

So, Alan teaching the kids, football with family, breakfast for dinner. What a great Saturday (which, by the way, is typical).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Concerts Utica Square

One of our very favorite things to do in the Summertime is spend Thursday nights at Utica Square, enjoying the summer concerts. We bring dinner, drinks, lawn chairs, and a big quilt for the kids to sit on (for the few minutes they actually sit). Tonight was the last concert for the 2008 summer season. Since Matt, Janice, Drew and Nathan are here from Chicago, we took them with us! It was so fun. The kids had a blast playing and jumping around on the rocks that were right in front of us. They got really hot and tired, but never complained, only asked for lots of water. Dad ran into Lynette and Rick, so they joined us for a bit. And of course we saw the Rowden's there (seems like our families like to hang out at the same places).
One of my favorite things about last night was watching Dad and James lay on the quilt playing with the kids. Wish Daniel was here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've Got BANGS!!!

Well, here's the new "DO" and I have bangs! I haven't had bangs since... maybe 8 years or more ago. It is a little too short in the back, but in about 2-3 weeks the length will be good. Everyone keeps saying they like it, but I have a hunch everyone's just being nice ;)

Anyhoo, I kind-a like it. The bangs seem kinda hip for the fall season.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Breakfast in Bed

Last Saturday morning Alan and the kids made me breakfast in bed. I love Saturdays! Alan always makes breakfast, and I usually get to sleep in. This Saturday was extra special, since they brought me breakfast in bed. However, the kids didn't quite get the concept... they thought it meant we ALL got to eat in the bed together. Oh well, it was still fun and a sweet surprise! (and not too many crumbs in the bed!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Flashback Friday

One of my favorite pictures of the kids. Beginning of fall, 2 years ago. I took this picture in Alan's Dad and Mom's yard, Springfield Mo.
Selah, 4
Bryson, 2
Charis, almost 1

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Yeah! My first time to participate in the Tackle It Tuesday! This summer has been tackle it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and every other day of the week with all the house reno. So, this is my project.

Here is our kitchen pantry before, which wasn't too bad...

And here it is after... about 1 hour later!

Handmade Soap

Today Selah and I made hand soap. The soap-making kit was a birthday gift from her Grandma Lou Lou and Grandpa Gene. It was fun, and it smells like yummy apples. She made one dispenser for her bathroom, and the other one she wants to keep in her room. Anytime she makes or gets something, she always wants it in her room... even if it's a soap dispenser~ ha! It does look very pretty, and she is proud of it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olypmics Lap Book

Bryson, Selah and I started our week out learning more about the Olympics. Okay, truth be known, we started the morning out jogging all the way to the pond at the front of our neighborhood. It works!?!?!? I thought they would want to ride their bikes and I was going to run, pushing Charis in the stroller. They wanted to run too, and they ran ahead of me the whole way. We came home, (took baths) and watched some Olympics on T.V. We were watching the divers flip and dive into the water. They were enthralled. Even Charis. Then we put together our very first "Lap Book."
Lap books are kits (some to be purchased, some printed from on-line) that the kids cut, color, paste, fill-in the thoughts/answers,ideas, etc, and much more to create a "book" full of info about whatever the subject is. I chose the pieces I thought were "interest appropriate" for them, and we spent the whole afternoon making it. It's perfect for us since we all love crafts so much. They can embellish or add to in whatever creative way they want, to the basic pieces I had printed on-line.

They learned about:
~Where China is in reference to the USA
~The China flag
~Wrote ideas of what an athlete's diet might be, and what our diet consists of
~Selah drew a picture of the American flag and another of the shape of the USA
~How the time is different around the world
*** when we talked about this, Selah asked "how are we able to watch the Olympics on TV right now if they are still asleep in China?"
~The torches, the value of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze metals, etc. etc. etc.

Fun. Fun. When I went to the homeschool convention last May, The only things that really struck me as far as homeschooling "stuff" I thought we would use, were the lap books. Since we don't really use a curriculum, and since we lean pretty close to the "unschooling" philosophy, these Lap Books are a great way to get "hands on" with whatever it is we are engaged in at the time.

To cap it off, we memorized 1 Corinthians 9:24, "Do you not know that in a race all runners run? But only one will get the prize. Run in such a way as to get the prize."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When You Have A Big Sister...

Well, sorry Buddy. Someday you'll be mad at me for taking this picture. But I just had to. Daddy and I cracked up when you and Selah came walking into the living room. You and Selah were supposed to be in her room cleaning. No wonder it was so quiet in there. I know, she told you to do it. I guess that's what happens when you have a big sister. I remember dressing up my brother Matt one time. He was in a red dress and a wig! Trust me... these really are "the days!"

(that is Bryson in the pink tutu, not Charis)

Red Neck? Maybe.

Today Alan had to fix some shingles that blew off in a storm that went through last weekend. I walked outside and saw his "redneck" extension ladder. An antique ladder I used to have as decoration in my kitchen, baskets and garland hanging from it. And a 2x4 with a towel wrapped around it for a little extra reach. I actually do see a red neck. Sunburn.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nothin' Sweeter

This afternoon I was sitting at our bar painting a platter. I heard Alan ask Charis if she wanted to go play "doll house." (She has a wooden doll house and the Loving Family dolls and furniture. She has really been playing with them alot again lately)
So I sat and painted and listened to Charis' raspy little voice and Alan's oh-so-lovely high-pitched "doll house" voice as they played together in her room. There's nothin' sweeter than listening to a Daddy play with his little daughter.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Week of School, 2008

We started school this week. Most of you know I was pretty ambivalent this summer, up until about a week ago, as to whether or not we were going to educate at home again this year. I can already tell you, one week into it, that I'm so glad we made this choice again. The kids did great this week. We all had fun together, and they were very excited each day to "do school" as they call it.
Bryson is not officially kindergarten age until next year, but he hangs right behind Selah. One day this week he opened up a book, turned to the first page, looked at the word at the top of the page, and sounded out the word 'acknowledgements' After I recovered from my astonishment, I told him to go get a book with 3-letter words and I would help him learn to read it. He read 4 stories, with little help from me. He wants to learn to read. Each day he has brought me the book and asked to read.
Selah is doing pretty good on her reading too. We didn't read this summer (OBVIOUSLY!!) so she needs a little reviewing on vowel sounds, but is doing good! She really likes the Math exercises we do. Other than that, we just "do life" and they learn as much as possible along the way. Whatever they are interested in, be it weather, our body and how it works, pirates, etc, that's what we focus on. We do lots of reading, puzzles, and crafts. I have a fun idea for this week... Believe it or not, I have not watched ANY of the Olympics yet (I'm telling you... we very rarely watch TV). Anyway, this week I want us to spend time learning about the Olympics. Bryson and Selah both like to watch sports on TV, so I think they'll find it interesting, and hopefully we can have some fun "couch potato" time watching it on TV this week. I've got the popcorn and candy ready!
One of my favorite things in life is watching them learn. Right now they love to learn. They are eager and curious, and they soak it all up. I want to cultivate that in whatever way their little brains and bodies are leading.
And one of my favorite things about learning at home is the fact that we can just be "us". We get up and around whenever we feel like it. Bryson did school one day dressed up in his dragon costume (wish I would have got a picture!). One day they wrote spelling words in sidewalk chalk on the driveway. One day after lunch we had friends over to swim. One day we met Papa and Daddy for lunch. One day we played at the gymnastics gym with friends. Every day we enjoyed being together.
I love most of all that I can keep their hearts just a little bit longer. I love that I don't have to give them up for 8 hours a day. As long as it works for our family, I am enjoying this "extra" time with them.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back By Popular Demand

Okay, after many requests, here's the finished product, er..uh... project! I LOVE it. Turned out just the way I had hoped. Maybe even better. Enjoy!

ps. *New is the vent hood, walls, and back splash. Everything else we built back exactly the same.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Beginnings

Alan started a new job this past week. He was with his previous company for almost 5 years. Even up until the night before, we wondered aloud, "Is this the right thing to do? Should we really go through with this? The old company would probably still have him back?!?!?" It's always such a scary thing to do, ya know? Moving from one company to another. Is it going to be more stressful? Is the company secure? Will they try to make him work more hours than he usually works? What will his colleagues be like?
Well, the first week was good over all. The controller before Alan left him absolutely nothing to spring from. No notes, no idea of where things were, nothing. That was really frustrating for him. But the people were nice. Alan said the company President is pretty cool. And the most important part to us, everyone pretty much leaves around 5:30 or so. Alan said it seems like everyone likes to have a good time. This week (his first week), the Pres. brought in Merritt's donuts, TCBY quarts complete with waffle cones, cookies, and maybe another day of more donuts. Sounds like a fun guy. Fat, maybe?? But fun! (Ha~I crack myself up!!!)
Upon meeting Alan, one guy made a comment, "So, what, do we hire 'em right out of college now?" Later the guy said "So how old are you?" Alan told him he's 35. "How old are you?" Alan asked him back. The guy said "the same age... but I don't have people reporting to me!"
Another new beginning in our journey, and we hope and pray this will be a successful and peaceful one.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally Lost It

Selah's first tooth came out today. Alan pulled it out tonight by wrapping a piece of dental floss around it and just pulling a little. She has been waiting for several months now for her teeth to start getting loose. Several of her friends have been loosing teeth, and she frequently would ask us to check to see if she had any loose ones yet. A week ago we discovered the 2 bottom ones were pretty loose.

She was anxious to get it out and she was very brave about the whole thing. We went across the street to our neighbor's house, who happens to also be our friend and the kid's dentist. Selah wanted to show her the tooth and how loose it was. Our neighbor offered to pull it right there, but Selah wanted to do it at home. She told us it was for sure ready to come out! She gave us several different ideas of ways to pull it, and Selah chose the floss method. It was pretty painless and really pretty calm. Maybe she was distracted with me hovering over Alan's shoulder with the camera clicking away. (I doubt it.)

Before we came home and pulled the tooth out, Selah and I were walking outside. Out of the blue she said to me... "Mommy, do you want to know one of the reasons I think you are the best Mommy in the world? Because you tell me secrets like about the game with the Tooth Fairy."

We decided long before we had kids we would not do the whole Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc. thing. I will admit, in the beginning this was 100% Alan's conviction. In fact, we got in a HUGE fight about it. It took me quite a while, but I ended up agreeing with him. For us it's about being honest in everything. Believe me, I understand how fun and exciting it is. I believed in Santa until my cousin Heather broke the news to me in the 4rd grade. I was devestated. After I got over the shock of there not being a Santa, I remember feeling foolish for believing it in the first place. "And the good in that is???" said Alan in the middle of our tiff.
For our family, we have told the kids that it is a game people play with their kids. Selah obviously feels pretty cool that she's "in on the secret." We still do all the same stuff, gifts under the tree Christmas morning, Easter baskets full of goodies, money in exchange for the tooth under her pillow. The only difference is they know it's from Daddy and Mommy, and they still think it's great fun. It has since become my conviction, 100%.
So, about 9 years after one of the biggest disagreements in our marriage, I get that reminder that in times like this, trusting Alan's convictions and his leading of our family is a must. My 6 year old confirmed that in her declaration. In the end, listening to my husband not only led us down a path that we are most at peace with in this aspect of parenting, but to her it has made me the best Mommy in the whole world!