Sunday, August 31, 2008

Christian's First Birthday

It was a very busy weekend! The highlight was definitely Christian's party - he had a ball! I was running so far behind when everyone got here that I wound up putting everybody to work...but they all pitched in and we had a great time.

Christian was less thrilled with taking his very first picture on the steps but at least he didn't cry:)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

At my house this week...

So far this week seems to be going pretty well. I'm getting a lot done , although you'd never know because the living room and toy room are still a disaster. Those will be the last rooms I clean because the kids are hanging out there while I clean everything else.

I'm planning on finishing up the cleaning this afternoon. I, of course, bit off more than I could chew. My beginning list took up three pages in my notebook! But I think I got more done by starting with a big list and crossing off the less necessary things than I would have if I started with a list of what I thought I could get done. And it was very handy to be able to look at the list and assign a job to whoever popped there head and asked to help. Levi and Brenna have both actually been big helps, but it is almost impossible to do anything with all of them "helping" at once! It was much easier to start them playing and then call one of the older kids to work a shift.

We got a lot of reading done this week. For every book we read (or Levi reads) we add a part of our flower...

Lovely, isn't it? When we've read thirty books I'm going to take them to Pizza "Hunt" for lunch, but that's a surprise for now. They just think we're making a flower:)

Also, Christian really started pulling himself up on everything! He's been pulling up on the rails of his crib for awhile now, but he hasn't really done it anywhere else. This week, though, he seems to have discovered that there's a lot of fun stuff on top of these tables!

The kids' clothing sale was postponed so I haven't had to worry about that this week. It's looking to be even bigger this fall and in a larger building, too. I get so excited about this sale but it is full of really great clothes and, provided you get there early, there are some great deals. Most of the time I sell enough to at least cover the amount I spend.

Well, I'm off to finish up in the kitchen. My curtains are clean and ready to be pressed! It really doesn't take much to make me happy:) Making things pretty is my favorite part of cleaning, so I bribe myself with little projects like ironing the curtains or rearranging the pictures to get through the scrubbing. Sometimes we have to make our own rewards.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The week ahead

This week is going to be so busy. For one thing I'm going to do my big fall cleaning. A smarter person would've planned this for next week after Labor Day when we're going to take off from school, but Christian's birthday party is this weekend and since everyone is coming over to grill out I want the house to be clean and shiny. And at least this way I'll be able to really relax and enjoy our break next week.
Besides the big clean up and preparing for the party, I'm also trying to get clothes together for the big kid's clothing sale. I usually spend about a week getting all of that in order, but it sort of snuck up on me this year. I had hoped to volunteer to help with the sale this year, but I won't have time. Maybe next spring.
It's also my Grandpa's birthday so we're going to go to his house on Friday night for his party. I can hardly wait - I love going to my grandparent's house!
Let's see, what else...there's library day tomorrow and preparing for the class I'm leading on Wednesday night. There's school and let's not forget the requisite grocery shopping expedition. And I'd like to squeeze haircuts for me and Brenna in there sometime...
But I'm oddly excited about getting all of this done. Something about the change of the seasons always gives me a boost. And I love fall. I'm already trying to figure out if we can squeeze in a trip to the mountains and making plans for our annual field trip to the pumpkin patch. I'm hoping to list what I get accomplished on here later today. We'll see!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How we've spent our summer

Someone in this family has been sick all summer long. Since April. Jack ran a fever off and on for the last two days and now it's hit Brenna. I had to call and ask my pastor's wife to fill in for me leading my adult class at church tonight...again. I'm actually feeling like I should just give up trying to lead this class. I do really enjoy it, but I just hate having to ask someone to fill in all the time!

On the up side, I got to snuggle on the couch with Brenna and read her favorite book. Well, one of her favorites anyway...she's kind of like her mom- we have lots of favorites:)

It's called Elizabeti's Doll and it's one of my favorites, too. I love that Elizabeti makes her own doll and I love that she wears her baby just like her mom wears her baby brother. Brenna does that all the time. It's a really good story and the pictures are just gorgeous. I know, again with the artwork:)

And I'm back

I finally got my computer home yesterday. I had no idea how much I would miss it! Who knew that I used it for so much? Thankfully they were able to save everything on it, but I will be backing up everything from now on.
In the meantime, school is going really well. One of my favorite parts so far has been all the reading we're doing. I've always read a lot to the kids, but it's usually been books that they choose - whatever they bring me, basically. But now that I've been planning out so many books to read as part of our curriculum, I'm really enjoying it even more. Our librarian's are so helpful. I can get online and request as many books as I want from our local library or any library in the state and they email me when I have a couple waiting at the desk. Which means I don't even have to go upstairs to get myself a book when I take the kids in. Now if they'd just install a drive through...
We're making every other Tuesday Library Day. Tuesday's are storytime and we used to go every week, but I'm really committed to staying home a few days a week. Levi is learning his way around the stacks. I made him a "laminated" (with clear packing tape) card listing the kinds of books he has to check out each week. I think I got this idea from The Well Trained Mind. I tried to keep the categories to a minimum for this year. He chooses one book from each category - social sciences (which I help him choose because there are a lot of books in this category that he's not ready for...Coping with a Gay Parent for example...sheesh), science and technology, arts and recreation, and literature. I, as always, have final veto power, but I'm trying to let him choose for himself as much as possible. For example, last week when he chose a book about Christmas (in August, y'all) I didn't say a word.
One book he picked out last week was really great, though. Thunderstorms by Nathaniel Tripp. Levi is fascinated (and terrified!) by thunderstorms so I thought knowing more about them might help. Children's books seem to focus on how kids feel about thunderstorms, though, and that seems to reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of. This book was wonderful. It's the story of a big thunderstorm passing over a farm. There are lots of scientific explanations about what's going on with the weather, but there's also a lot of story about farm and animal life. I also liked the way it shows neighbors helping one another and the art work is lovely. I'm a sucker for the artwork.
I've read some other great books lately so I'm planning on writing about some of those in the next few days. And I've got to get some of our homeschool plans up on here soon. But first it's time for Brenna's medicine...we all seem to have summer colds.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Away from my desk

My computer is in the shop. I had no idea I'd miss it so much! Thank goodness hubby doesn't mind sharing his:)

Monday, August 04, 2008

First Day of (Home)School 2008

This morning went really well! We stuck to our schedule for the most part and I think it's going to work out pretty well. Casey brought home Krispy Kremes for breakfast - yum! They were still nice and warm. I think this might need to become a tradition:)
They were all so excited about their lunchboxes that we included them in the official first day of school picture. Jack chose batman. He's a little obsessed. He spends a pretty good bit of each day wearing some sort of cape.
Brenna is a kindergartener! She's only four but she does so much with Levi that I thought it would be neat to have them just one year apart. If we need to add an extra year in there somewhere that shouldn't be a problem, but I'm afraid it's going to be the opposite problem - that she grows up all too fast for me! Already she looks so grown-y!
And now my first grader. Oh my word, I can not believe how fast he's growing. Look at those legs! Every pair of pants he owns is suddenly at least an inch or two too short. My baby boy. Not such a baby anymore...

I have so much I want to post about. I love the books we're using this year and I put together a good sized list of activities to keep Jack busy while we do school. I've read lots of good books I just need to tell you all about. I'm planning a wedding shower with my aunt for my cousin. Facilitating a class at church on Today's Disciple. Lots of stuff to chat about only I have to make some time to chat!
Maybe tonight, blogging always helps me get my thoughts in a row:)