Just a Normal Day...

Here are some pictures from yesterday during a portion of our "school hours"... 


Looking for birds

Still "looking for birds".

Language Lessons

Still doing math


Leaf art activity.  Really hoping that those leaves that look like poison ivy...aren't.
Linking up to the Hip Homeschool Hop.


'Twas the Night Before Wednesday School

'Twas the night before Wednesday school, when all through the house
All the creatures were stirring (except for the mouse)
The bags were all packed and the lunches were made
but everyone was feeling crazy because...

Forget it.  I'm no good at poetry.

So, it's 5:30 on Tuesday night and I'm getting the kids into the car to head out real quickly when I realize that I have no idea where my keys are.  The thing was, I remembered having them in my hands and then...not in my hands.

I searched the entire car.  I searched the garage: under the car, under the tractor, in between and under the myriad of bikes and scooters and toys (good grief, do we really need all this stuff??).  I searched the bathroom.  The kitchen.  The living room.  I had the kids help.  All to no avail.  No keys to be found.  Anywhere.

It's getting later, and Matthew, who knows we needed those keys to be able to go grocery shopping tomorrow, begins to panic and cry, "We're never going to be able to get food!  We're going to starve!!!"

If I hadn't been so bothered and panicky myself about the fact that I can't find the keys that I need to take the kids to their first day of Wednesday school early the next morning, I would have found his statement to be a bit more humorous.

You may be thinking, just use your husband's keys or car.  But, alas, I couldn't.  He had just left that afternoon to go on a work trip.  A work trip that I was planning on meeting him at the following day, after picking the kids up from school, with the car and the keys...that were still missing.  He had the only other set of keys for both cars.

It also happened to be the case that both sets of our parents were out of town.  And by out of town (because they both happen to not live in our town anyway), I mean Alaska and Out West.  Who told them they could go on vacation?     

I know of no one who lives fairly close to me who works or takes their kids to school near where I needed to be going at 7:50 the next morning.

I messaged some friends who homeschool and who also have older kids that could possibly watch the younger ones while their moms dug me out of this mess, but that didn't seem to be working out so well.  

Then, headache growing as the time is ticking away, around 9pm I called my new neighbor to ask if I could borrow her van.  I told her to think about it and let me know.  She didn't even hesitate.  "Come on over and pick it up right now."

All those pent up thoughts of, Holy cow!  I can't believe I'm going to miss the kids first day of school and miss going on vacation with my husband all because I can't remember where I put my stupid keys!!, came rushing out and I cried right there on the phone with a lady I barely know.  

She hugged me tight when I came over and again let me know that I can ask her for anything.  "Don't worry about it, honey.  You use my van as much as you need."

She is a blessing from the Lord.

When I got back home, feeling so worn out and tired, but so relieved, I put all the exhausted children to bed, and then I heard,

"MOM!  Come quick!!!"  With how the evening was going, I was sure something bad must have happened.  I ran into the boys' room and there was Jonny sitting on his bed pointing to the lost, now found (almost 4 hours later) keys.

I sat on his bed and we all laughed the laughter that comes when you feel relieved and puzzled and so happy all at the same time. 

I kissed and hugged my "Finder Boy" (an affectionate term for Jonny who, seriously, finds everything that is missing whether you knew it was missing or not) and then returned the van to a chuckling neighbor.

The next day, I used my own vehicle (thank you LORD!) to drop my oldest two off at their first day of Wednesday school.

Jonny clung to me and cried.  I finally had to pull him off and tell his teacher to take him.  I spent all day praying for him to have a fun day.  I was curious when I went to pick him up what the verdict would be.  He was all smiles, and his teacher said he was sad for about two minutes before he perked up and had a great day.  YAY!

I had told him, when he was feeling nervous about attending school, that if he was missing me he could ask the teacher for a hug and maybe that would make him feel better.  When he got in the car, I asked if he ever needed to ask his teacher for a hug.

He answered confidently, but sweetly.  "Nope.  I didn't need one because I didn't miss you.  Actually, I didn't even think about you all day.  I don't know why..."

Laughing, I told him, "I know why!  I prayed for you!"

I'm so glad his day went well.  I wanted him to have fun without feeling sad and missing me. 

When I went to drop off Emilia, most of the kids in her class were already at their seats, so she went right in and hung her stuff on a hook.  I had to get her to pose for a quick picture, and then she was off.  She even forgot a hug, which was (mostly) fine with me after being mauled in Jonny's class.  ;)

She also had a terrific day.

They were full of stories and new facts and information when they came home.  They had fun, learned new things, met new people.  They seemed a little taller maybe...a little older...a little more secure.

Right after I picked them up, we headed up north to meet Nate at the hotel where his conference was held and had a really fun mini vacation that included a spontaneous overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge.  The kids were thrilled (okay, I was too - those water slides were fun!).

It was a fun way to welcome in our new school year!



My kids need "recess" so that I can regain my sanity.

I'm only half way joking.

It gets rather loud and/or busy in our house on a regular basis, so a time spent in a larger outdoor space is good for everyone.

As my grandma used to say, "Change refreshes."

I was outside with the kids today for a little bit, and when I came in I accidentally locked the door.

Jonny came a-knock'n soon after, and as I went to open the door (to tell him, for the I-don't-know-how-many-times that he couldn't come inside yet) I laughed at what I'd done. 

I wonder if it really was an accident.  I'm not exactly sure what was going on there subconsciously.  ;)

All joking aside, it really is good for kids to be outside.  

Why is this SOO hard for my kids?

 I have a friend who's kids play in the woods constantly.  They want to eat outside.  They beg to be outside.  They'd probably build their own little houses with their scrap wood and nails and live in the woods if their mother would let them.  Mean momma.

My kids aren't this way.  We have woods in our yard (granted, it's full of poison ivy), but getting my kids to STAY outside without me there with them is a huge chore.

Emilia would rather play/read inside.  The boys would rather wrestle/run inside.

We're working on this because they really should get outside more without me (I'll still be watching them from inside).  We do go outside together fairly often, but it's good for them to imagine and play and just be out there without me orchestrating what's happening (bike rides, walks, etc).

I think we need to have 3 "recesses" every school day.  

For at least a half hour at a time.

I'll give them water.  

And I'll try to remember not to lock the door.

Now, I just need a Recess Supervisor.  ;)

Linked up to Hip Homeschool Hop.


Our First Day of Homeschool

I'm linking up to iHomeschool Network for "Day in the Life".

While no day is the same in our house, I thought I'd write down what happened today (I took notes, and here and there I remembered to jot down the actual time).  

It was a fairly typical homeschool day, give or take some subjects.

I don't wake my children, nor do I get up before they do (usually).  I think it would be nice if I was that organized and determined to wake at 5 and get stuff done, but I'm not.  I'm mostly just tired.  ;)

We started by reading in Proverbs (this is something that I did for about half the year last year, but eventually let it slip because we have family devos at night...I'd like to stick with our morning Bible time this year).

Then, the kids got ready for the day.  They made their beds, got dressed, and came out for breakfast.

8:15 - We had breakfast.  We have cereal or oatmeal most mornings.  I let them choose what they want.

Clean up from breakfast - Emilia and I did dishes while Jonny folded clothes and the little boys fought over their cars.

Tommy got sent to his room.

8:45 - Emilia, Jonny, and Matthew at table to do Horizons Math.  Tommy, not to be left out, colored.

The little boys left to play (i.e. fight, wrestle, run) as soon as Matthew was finished with his math.

Emilia and Jonny did Sequential Spelling with me.

9:35 - Emilia and Jonny did Language Lessons with me.

Snack break for the boys because they were "starving!" (By the way, who else feeds their kids shredded cheese because they want it, but then - every time - remembers what a horrible idea it was?  Cheese.  Everywhere.)

10:20 - Kids started folding the MOUNTAIN of laundry (we camped over Labor Day) while I ate a tomato (the best huge tomato, from someone else's garden since I have no garden...yummy!) 

I read the Mystery of History to the kids.  We learned about Ivan the Terrible.  By "we", I mean "Emilia and I" because the only time Jonny listened was when I read that Ivan gouged out someone's eyes.  Now, that got his attention.  Go figure.

Then, I got a phone call to discuss our new homeschool group, and all craziness inside my house broke loose.  Emilia was folding clothes while the little boys ran through her piles because Jonny was (allegedly) encouraging them to do this.  She wasn't happy.  Fun times.  

When I got off the phone, I declared that we were finished with school.  We then left for celebratory ice cream and a trip to the library.

It wasn't a perfect day.  It wasn't planned to the tiniest detail.  But it was a good day.  And, even better?  I didn't get stressed (like I have been known to do) about the MOUNTAIN (this picture isn't even showing the huge pile near the laundry room) of laundry staring at me in the living room.  

I just continued on with our studies and finished folding the laundry later.  (Thank you Lord for that.  :) )

Hope you all had a good first day as well!

Our Hope is in...Homeschooling?

(I think it's appropriate that this article is posted on our first day of school.  :) )

We chose to homeschool our children for various reasons, the main reason being that we started out our parenting journey with not agreeing on the type of schooling for our soon-to-be-born daughter.  Nate wanted private school, and I couldn’t see sending her anywhere but public school.  God changed both of our hearts and drew us toward something completely different.

After we decided that homeschooling was the way in which we were going to educate our children, we were inundated with all of the studies, statistics, and “evidence” that said what a phenomenal education they would have.

They would be brilliant because we could take advantage of whatever curriculum/tutors/classes that were offered, making sure we were teaching each child based on their “learning styles”.

They would be able to think outside of the box since they weren’t stuck inside a box (traditional school) all day.

They would be able to interact well with all ages since they wouldn’t be socializing only with kids their own ages all day long.

They would be well-rounded since we could take advantage of the vast array of real life learning opportunities throughout the days and not only in the couple hours each evening after school.

Our family life would be enriched as we spent day after day together bonding over various learning adventures, able to pick up and go when the educational opportunities arose...

To read more of this article and find out what I think, go to Heart of the Matter where they've graciously allowed me to post yet again.  :)


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