Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Maezy Faith!

Yesterday was our sweet Maezy girl's second birthday! I can't believe she is two already. It is so bittersweet. I do believe she will be our last baby. That makes it kind of hard. But then it is so much fun to watch her grow into the little girl God has created her to be and that it takes away a lot of the hard part. 

Maezy at age two is: chatty, adamant, persistent, gentle, sweet, attached, loving,

She loves: singing (a lot), her siblings, her Leapster, stealing her sisters LeapPad's, Brown Bear Brown Bear, reading to us!, noodles, our animals (though, this may not be mutual), going to the movies, dancing and baby dolls.

She is such a sweet girl. God has truly blessed our family with her. We are so thankful to Him for trusting us to raise such a precious life.

Present time! Mega Blocks!!!

She loves the "Mouse" books!

Birthday dinner, loaded potato soup. Yummy!!

Someone brought silly string to the party for each of the kids! I wonder who that was? Well, at any rate I think they loved it!!!

Eating her birthday cupcake! She used the candle end as a utensil. That poor candle never even got lit. She grabbed the cupcake and went to town! We sang while she devoured!!!

Birthday bedtime stories. She loves to be read to (actually, they all do)!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Highlight of the Day!

Every night at dinner we sit down to eat, pray over our meal and then everyone starts shouting about sharing their "highlight of the day". We pick a kiddo...they start off, then we go around the table. When we ask the babies, they reply with something that doesn't fit the conversation at all, which makes everyone laugh. When the kids are done Chad and I share ours. It's a great way to find out what was important or special to everyone. It often is something small, like snuggling on the couch with Momma or helping with dinner. I see it as a tool. It is how I know what is most important to them. I strive to make time for the things that they consider important after they have shared their hearts with us. It's a small thing but in a large family I believe that you have to pursue your children or some of them (especially the easy going ones) could easily get overlooked. My plan is to make a "Highlight(s) of the Day" binder and fill it out every night at dinner. So far, it's just a plan. I would like to have it all set to start by February. Each Saturday I will be sharing some of my favorites from the week of mine, Chad's and the kids. Since I haven't officially started I am just going to share mine from today!

A love letter from Bella:

Watching Chad and the babies playing their "dancin's"

New nerf gun fun! Seeing the fruit of my sons labor.
Tristin worked awfully hard to earn the money for his!

Hudsyn thought it was especially funny to shoot hers at the ceiling and jump off the back of the couch to retrieve it!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Even The Best Laid Plans....

Today I woke up ready to tackle the mess that our homeschool cabinet has become. It's really hard to have a successful homeschool day when you are afraid of opening your cabinet! Yikes!!!

I decided the best way to clean something out when it seems a little bigger than your ambition is to start at the top and work your way down. As I started cleaning out the top shelf the rediscovered treasures that we had forgotten about. I dumped out some pattern blocks for the babies so they would stay close to me and out of trouble.

The big kids watched some educational movies while they snuggled with each other and their animals.

I did have to stop a few times to look for a busy boy who was a getting a little silly!

But for the most part I was doing well...on the first shelf. Hudsy started getting bored of the movie, she is not much of a TV person. She wanted to play in the water with her tea-cups. Since I couldn't be in the bathroom upstairs watching her and the dining room downstairs cleaning out the school cabinet that plan was shot down. Her Daddy thought she might like a sensory bin to play in instead. We put some oats in a bowl, and later a bin and she was thrilled to play with her tea cups in there for quite some time, as was Maezy!!!

We were all enjoying some no-bake cookies that Kait made last night!

Then Kait started feeling yucky...

At 10:30am and just two shelves in I realized that my organizing day was over. Kait was in so much pain that we had to take a trip to the ER. Thankfully my step-mom works there and was (as always) wonderful to us. It made a crazy situation so much better. While we were waiting on a room (they were packed) Kait snuggled in Miss. Carlyn's office. She got her a pillow, warm blanket and a heating pad. :) Seriously...so thankful. Just as we were getting a room Kait started feeling better. Lovely. Needless to say, they couldn't find anything wrong with her. I was just happy she was better and it was nothing serious.

I was so happy to grab some dinner and come home to my family! My hubby was so sweet to keep the babies up past their bedtime so I could spend a little bit of time with them before they went to bed for the night. So I will wake up in the morning, thank the Lord for new beginnings and (hopefully) clean out the rest of the school cabinet. Even though it wasn't how I saw my day going it was how God saw it going and that's good enough for me!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heart Issues

This year God has lead our homeschool in such a crazy direction I never saw it coming. School had became a great source of tension and frustration in our household. I really started searching out my motives for homechooling. When I really dug deep, beyond my perfectionist side, I found Jesus at the root. I was so focused on getting everything done that I had began overlooking their hearts. I was yelling ugly at my precious son, yelling ugly at my sweet little girls who were talking just a bit loudly, disrupting their brothers lessons. I was the issue, not my kids, not our curriculum. It was my heart. I just wanted to get the work done so we could check it off our list, I wanted to feel like we were accomplishing things.

It wasn't until I began really contemplating stepping off the homeschool carousel that God showed me that my expectations were way off. Not just my expectations to get the work done but more importantly I was expecting more than my son was capable of. In the process, I was crushing any love for learning he had left. I hadn't taken into account that my son has some vision issues far beyond what we originally thought. He has always had some issues with number and letter reversals but I hadn't realized that it might actually be dyslexia. For some reason, this year it has became very clear. Not only are there written reversals but blending reversals. Ahhh....the root of the reading issue became crystal clear. I have been pushing so hard for something that without the proper tools I wasn't even able to teach him. All this sacrificing of heart and self confidence and my flesh was the issue. Not that I have been some crazy lady,he never expressed that he truly was not able to do it, just that he didn't want to read. I took him at his word (you know, because he is eight and all) and thought it was a battle of will. Oh how I wish I had let some things go and truly dug into the heart of the problem much sooner.

I am so thankful that God has brought us to where we are now. We are learning as a family with very little curriculum at all. We are still going to be using MFW for reading and we will be working through some written math. Beyond that we are going to be spending time reading the Bible, reading good literature, working off of their interest lists (more on that later), baking, taking nature walks and going on learning based field trips! I can't believe that just a few shorts months ago I had been stubborn enough to almost walk away from something I have always been so passionate about. I am so thankful that God always pulls me back in when I get off track.