Monday, September 28, 2009

Our 2 Year Old


We should have known you would be a little stubborn with being breech and 2 weeks overdue! God knew this too, so He made you extra cute and joyful. You bring such life to our family, and we all love how silly our Ellie Bellie is. Today was D-Day for your binky, but you were very brave and said you were a big girl as you threw it in the garbage. You weren't as happy when nap time came around, and you remembered that binky was still in the garbage. You launched WW3 and scared mommy a bit, but as quickly as you got angry, you quieted back down and fell asleep. You are such a fun little girl, and daddy and I are overjoyed to see your relationship with your Sissy blossom. You two are alike in many ways and will be special friends. We love you and are so thankful that you are ours!

This picture cracks me up because Ellie gets so mad at us if Emma needs help or is crying. She gets a really whiny MOMMEEEE, EMMAAAAAA. This is a picture of Emma's last hurrah in the bouncy chair without being strapped in. Ellie ran over to save her.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Okay, okay, I will finally admit that I have been in total denial about homeschooling. I have a friend who has been researching, reading, and contemplating all things homeschooling for years. I now see the wisdom in some forethought about a subject so important to my children. Yes, I have thought about it and knew the day would come when I would have to get really serious about it. I have been homeschooling Bennett for over a year now and have come to the place where I can admit that I need a plan. I am a planner by nature. I love schedules, lists, spreadsheets and the like, but I have been putting off figuring out homeschooling until I HAD to do something about it. I think the enormity of the task and knowing how much of my life it would take up has caused me to put off any real decisions until I had to make them.

Bennett is really smart. He always has been ahead of the game which forced me to get into the game before I thought I would need to. I taught him to read, write, and do basic arithmetic without any formal programs or specific curriculum. I used some fun workbooks in there too that he really enjoyed doing. (That boy likes workbooks so much that once he finished half of one in a day!) The kid is easy to teach. He likes to learn and do worksheets. He is a perfect firstborn and first student for mom. He is ready for more. Uh oh. I don't have a plan.

Enter internet research and lots of book reading (probably the years worth I should have already read in a matter of 2 months). Charlotte Mason, The Well-Trained Mind, the Bluedorns and their Trivium, Beechick's books, loads of blogging mommies, dozens of curriculum websites, countless phone calls to homeschooling friends asking, "What do you do for.......?" What did I conclude? Nothing yet, but I need to jump in and do SOMETHING anyway. The fear was paralyzing. Curriculum is expensive, what if I don't like it? I can't just keep buying more until I find something I like can I? A wise friend told me to just buy something and try it. I will make mistakes, but that is okay. I might not have figured everything out, but I have come to some conclusions about the different philosophies. Some are completely not for me, some are a bit too secular, some I like part of but not the whole thing, some won't work with having a large family. Because I am only teaching one child right now, unit studies are too much work, but I can see how that will help when I am teaching 4 or more at the same time. That marked off My Father's World for now, but I think I will revisit it later.

What did I end up buying? Rod and Staff curriculum- reading, phonics, worksheets, math, and art. Since Bennett was 3/4 of the way through first grade, I just bought the second half. I just looked through it all and I love it. I wanted a Bible based curriculum that emphasized our family values, and I am so pleased with it all. I would still like to purchase curriculum for history, geography, music and art, but I am going to hold off for now and finish first grade, hopefully by Christmas.

So, I did it. I made a decision that looks like it was the right one (at least for now). Bennett is excited to get started, and so am I. I will still read alot to the kids along with Scripture memory, hymn singing and Bible reading. It feels like a weight taken off my shoulders. I am sure I will have to reinvent the wheel when Rachel starts homeschooling because she is absolutely opposite of her brother, but hopefully I have learned my lesson that denial doesn't make anything go away. (Maybe it hides for a while, but it eventually finds you and forces an answer.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lake Siskiyou

We drove down to CA over labor day weekend because we are INSANE. Actually, my mom planned a family reunion at the Lake and we had family come in from as far as Alaska. It was great fun. I also got to visit with a friend from junior high that lives in Redding. It was so much fun to reconnect and meet her 4 kids too. We didn't stay as long as we had planned because camping with four little ones is just plain hard, but we at least did it! (Staying at a campground with a Harley Davidson club is a BAD idea too!) We drove overnight to get there but were so worn out afterwards that we decided to not do that again on the way home. We left Mt. Shasta at 4 in the afternoon, but got a flat tire, had to find somewhere to get a trailer tire at 7 pm, stopped for dinner and didn't get home until 4 am. It didn't work out like we planned :)

The kids had so much fun and would have moved in permanently if they could. They explored the woods, rode bikes, playing in the lake, and enjoyed the campfire complete with smores. I remember loving camping too as a kid, but it was because I wasn't the one having to do all the work! I didn't get very many pictures because my hands were always full and busy, but enjoy a few we did manage to get.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Fair '09

Our annual tradition of going to the fair started the year before Jeromy and I got married. Our run almost ended this year when Jeromy was scheduled to go out of town for work the week of the fair. His class got canceled at the last minute, so the kids were very excited for the special day they get to have with daddy. Jeromy took the day off of work, and they got to the fair at 11:30 am. I picked up dinner and we met at 5 pm outside of the fairgrounds to eat before we all went back in. We looked at the animals and then the big kids went on more rides before the rodeo. Now, in years past the kids go to the kiddie ride area and ride all of the kiddie rides all day, so that is what I was expecting to do. Little did I know, Jeromy took them to the little kid rides for a few rides and I guess they were bored on them, so he took them to the big kid rides to ride the ones that they were tall enough to ride. I was in horror to see my small little children ride these rides that teenagers were screaming on. They were 2 feet smaller than anyone else on these rides. I could not believe it! Their favorite ride was what I knew growing up as The Gravitron. I can't remember what it was called now, but it spins so fast that the boards you are leaning up against move up and down the wall. Barf! They even went on The Drop Zone which is a ride that goes up 50 feet or so and then drops straight down. That one scared even them. Bennett told me that next year he would be tall enough to go on The Zipper. Jeromy said he was getting a wrist band so he could go with them next year. My kids are so funny. Enjoy the evidence!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where Has the Summer Gone

We've enjoyed our baby who is not a little newborn anymore. She rolls over, sits up, plays with toys, and LOVES jumping in her johnny jump up.

We canned two peach trees worth of peaches, jelly and peach halves. (Boy that was ALOT of work!)

Enjoyed lots of outside play time.

Tried to keep up with an almost two year old who likes to get into alot of trouble.

It has gone by so fast!!!