Thursday, May 12, 2016

What "really" happens on a typical homeschool day.

I recently went through my pictures and couldn't help but to laugh. I took some pictures during our "school time" and man I tell you it sure does not compare to the Pinterest perfect homeschool pins. 
And that's ok! 

Here is what I visioned ( feel free to bless my hart at any time). 
We all get up in the morning in a happy mood with great attitudes and have breakfast together, while reading a devotional and sharing ideas for the day. 
We then all meet in the bonus room , where my little girl will sit by my side on the floor and does some sort of building blocks activity. A.J. Would be learning his letters and be all quiet doing i,t so I can give Zachary instructions on his lessons for this morning. 
After an hour we would all proceed to play a board game that lines up perfectly with today's lesson and even my 2 year old will love being part of rolling the dice. 

Are you smiling? Me too, well now I am after giving myself lots of reality checks, talking to other homeschool moms and praying for wisdom and guidance. 

Here is the reality. 
I should wake up before the kids but this rarely happens since I never go to bed on time. The kids wake up and usually are not so fond of a formal breakfast at the table but after lots of please and let's do it we manage to sit all together. Each of my 3 kids have a different cereals they prefer (did I create that? ). Devotional time is usually interrupted by spilled milk, getting up about 10 times, reminding kids that the chair is not a jungle gym and trying not to laugh because my daughter is making special noises with her empty cup. 
Well we do meet in the bonus room with attitudes and all. It's like the battle of attitudes. 
And all those great educational activities I had planned, well after a while they turn into modern electronic activities. "Yes dear you may have your iPad, yes even 2 year old little sister". While the little ones have their iPads for the remaining time, Zachary and I get through the more focusing part of our lessons and some days we might have to postpone them to nap time, but most days we get them done.
The board game, well you can start laughing now. 

Back to the pictures, that I browsed this morning....... I wouldn't change a thing. We learn everyday in some great way without even noticing we do until later, until questions come up.....natural curiosity and a gift to wanting to learn. Yes that is peace. Some days I have to go back to that place and be reminded of that peace, because doubts show up in form of comparisons, measurable progress that doesn't look all that progressed and questioning myself. But that PEACE it comes with reassurance, with a warm hand that holds yours and guides you back onto the path and a whisper that tells you "it is well". 

He did some letters and asked brother about every letter while I was trying to do a worksheet. In the end it was actually really interesting to watch my oldest teaching his younger brother. It's almost like I got an "on the spot" evaluation. And I got my average 3% raise. More kisses and hugs to come. 

Uhmmmm, well that happens once in a while when I loose the attitude battle and cannot take it anymore:) 

We have a birds nest in our bird house and have been following them since the bluebirds started building their nest. It doesn't get better than that. Thank you bluebirds for choosing our home. The kids love learning about you. 

And we have lots of those days where our hearts and attitudes are aligned and where Mama might have prayed a little harder than usual. 

Thank you United States of America for the freedom of homeschooling. This Mama is beyond grateful. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fast forward a bit.

Hello everyone, it seems almost a tradition to start my blog with "it has been a while". But that's true it has, and I didn't make time to write in my blog. I recently thought about how much I really miss writing and sharing our lives with others on the virtual web. 
So here a just the highlights since last year July. 
Fall was beautiful as always in the South. We enjoyed. Endless Pumpkin patches, Hayrides, hikes and just loved the outdoors. Our boys started to collect frogs and they spend a winter with us....and yes they came with the whole enchilada of crickets and worm feeding (yikes). 
Zachary started kindergarten, but during fall break our desire to homeschool deepened and our calling  to do so was mapped out in front of me. I was "dreaming" about homeschooling since he was 3 years old but never thought I could. Let's say God equipped me and our circumstances allow us to homeschool. Which I am beyond grateful for. 
I left for a quick visit to Germany and to check on my daddy who suffered some real bad health scares and for the first time I noticed a shift in my life. The moment when you realize you a not just a daughter but also become a bit of a decision maker for your parents and that role feels strange to me but I can see the nessecity and it is out of love for him. The visit was good we moved my dad closer to my brother. 
Winter: oh I am always so afraid of the cold month were we do life mostly inside. Chuck e cheese, Monkey Joes, indoor playgrounds and bouncy places become a reality. 
Energized kids who start bouncing of any surfaces in our house and than this happens......SNOWDAYS. This year wasn't too bad. We had two days of beautiful fresh snow and all the neighbors kids were playing outside including ours. Snowball fights, hot cocoa, sledding, tubing, snow angels and lots of laughter. 

A few weeks ago I woke up all excited because I heard birds chirping outside my window and it was the most beautiful sound. Spring is on its way. And it has. We already enjoyed hikes, endless hours of trampoline jumps, slip and slides, sand boxes, beaches at the lake and of course having meals outside.

We are looking forward to a fun filled summer making lots of memories, enjoying our family and friends 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Stop wait a minute

The other day I was folding laundry and my kids where either asleep or resting quietly. The load I was folding was mostly gathered laundry from upstairs which is entirely occupied by the munchkins. After determining whose superhero undies belong to whom and trying to fold a big fluffy tutu i stopped reaching into the dryer for more clothes. It's like the clothes started to remind me, tell me a story....! 

Zachys pile of clothes reminded me of a great time we had just past week at a super fun nature hike and how much he loves his bugs. Also looking at his shirts you won't find the cute Dino's or sea animals anymore they have to be a tad realistic now....he is telling me frequently that this is too baby. I think I need to start to take him with me when shopping for new clothes from now on.

AJ's clothes it's a interesting mix of new and hand me downs from big brother. He is wearing some of the same clothes that brother was wearing but their personalities and looks are so entirely different. His new batman underwear is a sign of concurring the potty beast. We are getting their people:) He is doing such a good job. On a side note, just because mastered to potty train your first child doesn't make it any easier with the second child:) don't be fooled by numbers here, be aware of personalities and temperament traits. I had to learn this lesson rather messy and quickly. 
AJ's pile also shows me how passionate he is about life, he lives his emotion out so intensively and has such joy in life. 

Julia's clothes, yes my little girl. We now welcome pink, fluffy and glittery things into our home. So exciting:). Our little snuggle bug. When she first gets up she wraps her little tiny arms around our necks as tight as she can. Folding her stuff is such joy, I can relate to pretty patterns, vintage jumpers and cute tutus. 

Putting away the clothes now reminds me how big they are getting, we now have to place the clothes strategically in their dressers so they are able to access them easily since our oldest gets dressed by himself and our youngest is getting there. 

Yes laundry can be a mundane but I am thankful for my laundry piles, they tell me stories, give me memories and let me know that their is such precious life in our homes. 

Piles of evidence of precious life on our home 

Pink cute stuff has now entered the boys domain and is slowly invading:) 

 This is one of his dinosaur shirts that barely pass as cool, no more cute stuff Mami:) 

My little buddy full of life 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Celebrate A.J.

I am a bit late with my post about A.J.'s Birthday. We had a great day on his actual birthday. He started with cupcake galore and Happy Birthday songs over and over from his siblings. A.J. loves when you sing to him. 

Facts about our A.J. 
He was our first child to be born in Tennessee! His birth was quick and easy, which was no indication of what he would be like as a baby. He was very colicky and had acid reflux so pretty much his first 6 month of life, he was miserable. 

Because of AJ we now own a minivan:). He was so unhappy in his car seat that we had to stop all the time and take breaks. The minivan is so roomy and helped us out quiet a bit. 

He is so blond like his daddy was and his beautiful blue eyes get him anything he wants:). 

He is very passionate, gets excited more that others and just loves life. He does not get hung up on little things. 

AJ comes up with the funniest moves and songs, and when he is a Grown up he wants to be a Country-Sinner (Singer):) 

He is a snuggle bug. 

on Saturday we finally had his party and he had such a great time. The best part of his day was that all these kids came for him to celebrate with him. It made him feel so special and that feeling lasted all day. 
We had lots of water fun, a squirter standoff, little tsunami like water battles and grown ups that got in the way were considered collateral damage:) 

When we came around to do the Pinata we ended up with a decapitated spiderman, not sure how appropriate its is for a 3 year old birthday party but it really did happen. 
Candy and more candy was collected from the ground:) 

AJ loved his superhero birthday cake and enjoyed the Happy Birthday Hymn. He is still smiling when we talk about it. At the end we opened some very nice presents and enjoyed his little eyes getting wider and wider with each awesome present reveal. 

Brother got a little upset (and what 5 year old does not). AJ was so sweet and offred to share his toys which put a big smile on Brothers face. The party was fun and we were still sliding into sunset. 


Monday, June 1, 2015

Rainy Day Monkey Love

All my three monkeys are napping and I am sipping on a grande coffee.....yummy! The house is clean, laundry is all done and dinner for tonight is ready to go. WAIT that is just happening in my make believe world.
This is what my reality looks like. House is pretty messy, counters are sticky, dishes are scattered in the sink. Laundry made it out of the dryer and folded but for some reason can't make it into the many many closets in my house. and for dinner, well the chicken is defrosting in a water bath for tonight's dinner. 
This doesen't stop me from sitting down though and capturing some amazing memories that were made today....and I am quiet at peace with my mess. 

Todays weather was not in the forecast at all and it threw me for a loop. See I knew I should have gone to bed earlier than I did but I had the day planned for tomorrow. Splash pad in the morning and errands in the afternoon. Mother nature said no no not today. 
So we had some really special fun this morning. The kids are all at very different stages right now and it becomes challenging for mr to keep them all engaged at the same time and be involved in everyones play. 
First thing in the morning we had some music fun, I wish I could say we played the flute, played the violin and composed a masterpiece on a piano. Our orchestra was made of a half broken flute, a miniture xylophon with notes dangeling of to the side. The fun though that was our masterpiece. All three added their talents. Julia is a great shaker, Zachy is a multitalent on the drums and the flute at the same time and A.J. on the guitiar while holding the mic. 
After some arts and crafts we went for the shortest walk yet, rain poured on our parade but we got to jump a few puddles before running back home. 
I was resting for a minute on Julia's bed while calming her down from her mean teething pain when the boys came in and asked to join us which turned into a cuddle session. 

And we finished our morning of with meeting daddy at work for lunch, while packing our "work bags" since we had importatnt meetings to attend. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer is here!

I am starting to realize that the transition of spring into summer in Tennessee is close to none. After a week of rain and cool temperatures we slipped into high 80's and no rain for 3 weeks. My closet and my kids closet weren't ready quiet yet. 
But hey no complaining over here time to start those summer days. We started our summer bucket list and here is what they came up with: 

- find bugs.....and more bugs 
- find a turtle and keep it for a day 
- eat lots of watermelon 
- swim swim and swim
- go to the lake 
- have a water ballon fight 
- catch fireflies 
- bonfires 
- and play with friends 

- eat cheese sticks 
- ride quads 
- throw rocks 
- squirt water shooters 
- swing 
- eat Popsicles 
- go to chuck e cheese 

- whatever brothers Doing, I am in. The messier the better.

We decided to mostly stay home this summer and take a few excursions to Waterparks, the aquarium, dinosaur world, a cave tour and so on. We have so many visitors this year and during the summer that we decided to explore the beauty around us. 

The last few weeks were filled with good memory making "stuff"! Our first graduation!!! Ok it was preschool but it definitely gave me a good preview of what's to come, when Zach was standing up on stage, performing their songs, my crazy mommy instinct wanted to run up and squeeze him so tight that I stop very cell in his body from growing any further, so he can stay my little sweet boy forever. But my rational (hey you a grown up) side and the fact that my husband was siting right next to me did stop me. 

Last days of preschool approached so fast and we said goodbye to some awesome teachers that had such a huge impact in my kids lives. 
Zachary registered for kindergarten and it feels like such a big step. I don't feel ready but He is and I am praying for him every day that his heart and mind will be ready to concur this new world. My little warrior! Watch out world! 

A.J. enjoys spending now more quality time with his brother. They found a good groove right now to play together. Now little brother is bringing some to the table:))! A.J. 
Is a passionate about music and has such great rhythm. Music gets this little boy moving. 

Julia is growing so fast, she loves being around her big brothers and puts up quiet well with their silliness and boyish noises, you know what I mean:)! She doesn't see any need in walking, even though we saw her taking steps but being the boys little princess and producing a little squeal that means " hey brothers come and entertain me" is jsut right for her. 

This summer will be different, shorter, more intentinally and filled with joy. Because after this summer my little boy will be loosen his grip on Mommy's hand just a little and it is so bittersweet. 

May you mommies all enjoy your summer. 



Told you it looks like it could be high school graduation. LOL 

My loves.