Thursday, October 27, 2011

Not Still Life


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We're Expecting...

new additions to our Brood...


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homeschool 2011~2012

Most of you know that my journey as a homeschooling Mama started last year, and while there were the normal newbie snags {mainly my time management & gusto!}, I'm so excited to say that we've started back up this past Monday with a fresh year! Even though I may not technically be a "brand-newbie" anymore, I sure feel like it. There's a few changes here at home that will make this year more challenging than the last to find "quiet, uninterrupted" time {or heck, just plain time!} for lessons.

Firstly ::: I'm not pointing fingers, but a certain 10-month-old, ahem, has decided to enter toddlerhood early. Full-on walking {yes, walking!}, destructing, attention-pleading...  It's for this reason that the start of our school day is on hold until 9:30ish, otherwise known as morning nap time. :) Morning lessons finish shortly before lunch, and afternoon lessons pick up around 1:30-2ish, otherwise known as afternoon nap time. :)  

Secondly ::: Again, not pointing fingers, but we do have a crazy-cute blond preschooler here still. While there is an afternoon nap break most days from the random "ahoy, mateys" and new-three-year-old meltdowns, morning lessons are a bit boisterous at times. {Also, I will proclaim this 'til my grave, but three is sooo much harder than two. Anyone concur?} But really, Brigham's great for the most part and does like to practice on the dry-erase boards. :)

Truly, I do love my little boys being around and learning from the get-go with the "big kids", and if buckets full of extra patience & prayer is what it takes to keep my kiddos at home learning with me, bring it!  

Here are my two school-aged learners and what we will be using for curriculum this year.

Bella {7 yrs} ::: 

Ultimately, I decided to go with MFW First instead of Adventures in MFW. I didn't want Adventures to get too hard too quickly, even if Bella is a great reader. I'm sure that all there is to do in First Grade will keep us busy and learning enough, as it looks pretty "beefy" so far. Also, she's a young 7-year-old {less than a month ago}, and we'd rather not push too much.  My Father's World First Grade deluxe package also includes the following that we will be incorporating daily and/or weekly with the daily lessons in math, reading/phonics, & Bible.

  • Science using Things OutdoorsScience with Water, & Science with Plants.  
  •  Art using Drawing with Children, Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children, and Come Look with Me: Exploring Landscape Art with Children
  • Music by introducing the orchestra using classical CDs that are included with MFW curricula
Lincoln {5 yrs} :::
Lincoln is very excited to be doing school work of his own this year, and I'm pretty excited that I'll be able to teach him MFW from A to Z after just finishing it up with Bella last year. In a way it will be tough to do this program all over again so soon, but I have so much new material with Bella that it will be nice to have something I'm completely comfortable with. Lincoln's pace will also be different than his sister. I am anxious to see everything *click* for him over this year.
We still have some kinks to work out, and I'm sure there will be some speed bumps {or sinkholes!} along this long road ahead this year, but we feel so blessed to be home again learning. Even with all the stop-and-go traffic of homeschooling a 1st grader and kindergartner amidst a toddler and preschooler... ;)


Thursday, August 4, 2011


After we found out that we would have a big, private backyard here in North Carolina following our tiny sub-divided yard in Texas, one of the things I looked forward to the most was putting up a line for the clothes. Yes, I knew it would take more time and effort {we hung clothes growing up}, but I wanted to give it a go in an attempt to move towards a more simple lifestyle.

I'm so glad that I made it a priority, as we have been hanging the wash for a couple of weeks now. I look forward to my twice-daily jaunts to the line, for there I can slow down and enjoy the fresh air, chirping birds, and towering pines surrounding me. {See the tall, lanky pines in the picture?} I'm always so blessed and rewarded when we take the extra time and make an effort towards a slower lifestyle.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When Motherhood Parallels Crimefighting

He comes quickly, with the impending *slap, thud, slap, thud* of swirling arms and legs barreling closer. Lip bit in concentration, the mischievous glow of his eyes lock and load onto his next target.

Nothing is safe in his path. Every room has a "hot spot". Classic pots and pans and spice cabinets in the kitchen, mess of TV cords and cable box in the family room, stairs in the hallway, crinkly papers and Daddy's deer mount in the office... The list goes on and on. "Moooommmeeee! The baby's in the trash... again! Ewww, he's eating an eggshell! What's that stuff on his hands!?" {this morning's sausage gravy, FYI}

He scales along the edges of the couch and kitchen cabinets with grace and ease. New developments have him turning to run away while belly laughing and squealing, forgetting that his legs carrying his petite 18-pound frame aren't quite on the same page as his scheming head. Slower, more deliberate steps have him getting further.

The crib, stroller and I? Yeah, we're like *this*. The crib and I have forged a deal during nap times. {Though the crib is still holding out for higher pay during the night hours.} The stroller answers the call of duty as I hang laundry on the line. Sweet deliverance.

{Surveillance of The Offender: 10 months}

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Emerging out of the blue and in a new place...

Well, that was a very, very big lead-up to this post. What, it's been like 6 months since I've last wrote anything on here!? I'm not even sure if I remember how to post. I'm not even sure if any of you remember me or are still out there waiting for the monotonous cricket chirps to burst into my infamous ramblings. Either way, I've missed you all and have decided to spend a part of my Saturday and the baby's naptime catching up on here.

We live in North Carolina now. There. I said it and just got it out of the way, ha! Remember that I told you we were moving on to our new state in June for Mark's Phase II schooling? Think waaay back. Well, we moved cross-country and are here now. We like it and so far so good. There's lots of sand, lots of pine trees, and lots of lizards where we are. It's quiet and secluded, and I can walk around outside in my pajamas 'til my heart's content without anybody looking at me funny. We can hear the bugs and birds chirp and my hubby has named the tree frogs that frequent our front porch at night. The children ride their bikes and scooters up and down the looong drive that leads to our stone road that leads to the dirt road. This is so much more my style. Our style. Don't get me wrong, living in a subdivision has its good points {a pool!}, but for us, it's just not our style. Here on our chunk of land in North Carolina, the only things missing are chickens and a clothes line. {Although I'm still working on that.} Oh, and my hubby for some many extra hours of the week... It's okay, though, as he's finally doing what he's been waiting for. He's started in the OR {or "operating room" for those of us that don't live at a hospital or have a spouse that does} practicing all of his anesthesia know-how. As much as we loved Mark's time off while moving and settling in and having him home all the time, we must admit that it's always nice to get into a routine again. There's still a lot of tweaking of the schedule that needs done on my end {especially with school starting up again next month!}, but I think we'll settle in nicely for these next 18 months.

So, that's where we are now on this adventure as a military family. Now, how in the world have you all been?! Tell me what's new with you and your adventures...



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thoughts From This Day

I have many random bits {swirling} in my ponytailed head today. Here are just a few.

Is there anything cuter than a two-year-old running around in underpants? If it's a two-year-old in boxer briefs, you bet! :)

I almost made it through my day out with the kids without somebody telling me that I "have my hands full". {The kids were behaving beautifully at the time also...} Does having four children automatically qualify me for having full hands? I honestly feel that four {for us} is no harder than three was. Moms of "many", any thoughts?

I adore going to the library with my kiddos. There's just something about them getting so excited about finding the perfect book for the week's school lesson or read-aloud time that makes me feel so proud inside. I always think how wonderful it would be to be able to keep all the {20-30} new library books we check out each time. Just think how our at-home library would grow! I am thankful for the books we do have, though. What a blessing!

I feel so "caught-up" and accomplished at home if my laundry is {mostly} done, the kitchen is clean, and the playroom is tidy with everything in its place. If one of those three things is off, so am I.

How is it that I feel I have more patience lately? Does patience multiply {like love} with each new baby? In a way, it doesn't make sense to me. Yet in a way, it makes perfect sense.

My wonderful, cute bloggy friend Lenae is so, so close to meeting her fourth little blessing. {and first girl!} She's having an online baby shower this weekend. How wonderful the blogging community can be, huh!? For goodness sakes, you can not only have a good friend {whom I've never even met} through blogging, but a baby shower too!?

We've found out where we'll be moving to next for Mark's Phase II residency! Can you believe that we only have 4 1/2 months left in Texas!? Surreal. Any guesses as to what state will soon be our new stomping grounds? {Those that know, no cheating!}

That's it for now. Have a blessed weekend! Oh, and by the way... What's on your mind? :)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sooo Big!

Griffin is growing so fast!! It's hard to believe that he'll be {four} months next week. I thought the time to gush and gush about him here was way overdue, so here's an update!

G)rowing bigger... He just hit the 13lb mark over the last few days, having doubled his birth weight now.

R)olling over... Finn loves to roll from back to tummy now as of a couple weeks ago.

I)rresistible smile... I don't think this one got a dimple (other than his chin) from Mama and Daddy, but his smile is just as drool-worthy without!

F)inally a sleeper... After 3 naughty sleepers as babies, we now have a baby that sleeps up to 12hrs straight! Thank you, God!!!

F)ound his talking voice... He's a loud one too!

I)mmersed at birth... Finn was born under water at home and still loves his baths.

N)ever in a bad mood... Seriously, Griffin's such a wonderful, happy baby. What a little {angel} to add to our brood...

I also realize that I never got around to posting about my homebirth. It was amazing in every way, and we wouldn't have changed a thing. I'm still throwing around the idea of writing it out. Anybody interested??


Monday, January 10, 2011

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days. (Yet NOT one of those days...) It wasn't a bad day by any means, and actually, it was a pretty good day overall. There wasn't too much yelling, or too much drama, or even too much stress. Instead, it was one of those days that really make you think, "Man, this parenting thing really is no joke." I mean, really... I'm tired tonight! Like I've said before, sometimes being a stay-at-home-mommy seems like it merely consists of squashing squabbles over who will win the last yogurt tube, finding that elusive sippy cup, or wiping four hineys of various sizes for the millionth-jillionth time. These are all important in our little world's existance, but not really important, you know? Today, though, we conquered truly important things. Childhood-shaping things...

Potty training began this morning for Brigham. We've been wanting to start for the last month or so, but with Christmas, visitors, and travels, it just wasn't a good month to start. I didn't want to set him up for failure before we even began. In the realm of potty training, that's never good. Today was the day, though! Brigham did a fantastic job, as I knew he would. (When a two-year-old is driven by promises of M&Ms, can there ever really be failure?) Every two minutes this morning, we were crawling to the bathroom. Oddly enough, Briggs chose to crawl to the bathroom every.single.time instead of his usual toddler-like sprints. Maybe he was trying to hold onto his babyhood, but again he just wanted those prized M&Ms. Who knows? What I do know is that I don't care if he rode a mule to the bathroom as long as things went well inside. All-in-all I'm happy with how the first day went, but those who have potty trained before know that one should almost physically train for the million back-and-forth bathroom jaunts and whooping and hollering to follow. It's physical work, People, especially now that I've turned *cough*thirty*cough*. Also, not to forget the other three children to take care of amongst the hoopla... ;)

Moving on to the homeschooling... Bella's been doing great in school, but it's to the point that I'm seriously second-guessing everything that I'm teaching her with our kindergarten curriculum. I've been worried that she's bored and that the lessons are too easy for her now that she's really taken off with reading. (For a brand-newbie of homeschooling, I'm thinking that second-guessing is normal. This just adds to the insecurities, though.) Before I ordered the materials, I considered both the kindergarten and first grade curriculums, but decided on the kindergarten. She's a late-summer birthday and had barely six months of kindergarten before moving last year. After much consideration and reading from veteran homeschoolers, though, I've now decided to speed up her lessons and do two to three lessons a day instead of one. Condensing or skipping some of the activities and speeding up the phonics beef of the lessons will allow us to move onto the first grade studies sooner. I'm excited about this, and so is she. I know it's the right thing to do now. I think. Praise the Lord that we were able to start and complete this new schedule of two lessons today when Brigham was napping. I could barely do school from the edge of the tub in the bathroom where I'd been camped-out for much of the day.

Well, another busy day in the books. Today, though, was full of victories aside from yogurt and sippy cups. I'll take it any day. I love my job...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Now Stop Your Whooping...

Well, I think it's finally happened... Now don't get too fired-up yet, though. "It" simply refers to the fact that I just may have gotten the blogging bug back. This news is probably not exciting in the least bit for most of you other than my hubby and family members, but that's okay! You see, I couldn't sleep last night and made great use of my time by catching up on some of my old favorite blogs. Surely some of you all reading now were visited! (In other words, y'all here in the south... I think that's the first time I've ever typed or written that, although I've found myself saying it some lately!) I was inspired to pick the virtual quill and ink back up. (I'm thinking I can't use a preposition to end a sentence, and those that know me well know I'm a stickler for proper English...) Anyways, I suddenly miss writing my thoughts down, even if it's nothing important or fancy or pretty or cute or profound. Come to think of it, most of my posts don't routinely fall into those categories, as I leave that all up to you more often than not. It's been way.too.long since I've regularly posted, and since I don't know what to clean in this near over-cluttered house first, I took the easy way out and sat down at the computer. That never happens to any of you, right? I didn't think so. I guess what I'm trying to very long-windedly (totally not a word) say is that you just may be seeing more of me coming up. Maybe. Probably. Hopefully.

P.S. I'm pretty sure that was my worst post ever, but nevertheless I'm hitting publish. Sorry. Furthermore, I used way too many parenthesis. Sorry again.