Sunday, August 28, 2011

Motherly Love

Austin bumped his head rather hard on the corner of a drawer.  I asked him if he wanted a kiss as it my motherly duty.  He replies, "MoooOOooM.  I'm over that".  ::sigh::  And so begins the times of being embarrassed by his mother's love. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

They're Lucky They're Cute!

I have to keep telling myself that some day, these children will be adults, raising their own children, and will have their OWN messes to clean up.  That some day, I will clean my house and it will remain clean.  That day is NO WHERE IN SITE!

Back up a bit to last week.  We woke up to Natalie running into our room, tattling on her little sister.  Leah had gotten into the bathroom closet and picked out a few items to decorate her room and air with.  It was Todd's 'man spray' and deodorant.  I cannot describe how terribly saturated the air was with this stuff.  Leah wiped the deodorant all over her, her bed, a box and her walls.  I could literally TASTE this stuff in my mouth.  Blech.

Sadly, it happened again the next day, even though I put these items up a shelf.  Leah was creative and got herself the bathroom stool.  At this point, we realize she's not going to stop.  We put a 'lock' on the door to keep her out.  Keep in mind that EVERYONE ELSE in the house is sleeping when this all happens.  It's early in the morning and they are VERY quiet.  Eerily quiet.

Yeah, this lock made her get a little more creative.  Again, Natalie was our wake up call, tattling on her little sister.  This time, I *know* she was partially at fault.  She saw what her sister was doing and didn't try to stop her. How do I know this?

Because it's hard to miss someone dumping out bottle upon bottle of bath items

They even got creative, using their tea set. This just happens to be lotion.  

Todd had the task of dealing with them first thing in the morning as I was nursing the baby.  He did surprisingly well, taking into account the last two times something like this happened.  

It took me roughly 45 minutes to steam clean all this junk up.  I used a LOT of water and did a LOT of passes to make sure it was all up.  The lotion was the most difficult to get out.

This was her arsenal

It was not something she grabbed out of the cupboard, but simply left in the tub/shower.  They were each somewhere between 1/2 and 1/4 full.  Don't judge the non-organic nature of the items (I love organic but LOVE to save our money, too).  ;o)

After all was said and done, I do have to say that there were a few pros to what happened.  1. Their room now smells girly instead of the smell of the 'man spray' from last week.  2.  Their carpeting is nice and clean  3. I now know exactly the kinds of things my girls are capable of.  

See the greasy mess in her hair?  

Yeah, she's lucky she's cute!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nate's 7th Birthday

My little Nate isn't quite so little any more.  At 3:45 pm, he turned 7 years old. 

Nate has the only summer birthday in our family.  It's for this reason that we don't mind having a large crowd over for a birthday party.  In our 1300 square foot home, we had 19 children, 9 adults and 1 cat.  Thankfully, our backyard is HUGE (it's a shared yard and maintained by our association) so we made good use of it.

I left the guest list up to Nate, as he's not the most social kid.  If he asked for someone to come, I made sure to invite them.  On the list were our good friends, the Theis'.  Their family and ours accounted for 15 of the 28 people we had over.  Nate also invited my friend Kelly, and her lovely peanut, Isabelle.  

Aren't they cute?  Izzy is roughly 4 months older than Ian. 

As the guests arrived, we shooed the kids outside to "hang out".

They played "Ships Across the Ocean"

And "Red Light, Green Light"

Some people were giving it their all and getting caught mid stride with a "RED LIGHT".

After a few games we brought them inside to sing happy birthday and to cut the cake. Knowing how much of a mess 5 children make in our house, we quickly served cake and ice cream and had the kids sit out on the patio. 

Mitch decided to make himself comfortable on the couch.  Unfortunately, this particular seat was already taken.  

Present time!

Apparently, Mitch was tired.  :P

All in all, I think the evening was a success.  We had a lot of children over, sugared them up and sent them home.  Isn't that what birthday parties are for?  Nate really enjoyed himself and was happy to share his day. 

My little Nate, you are such a ray of sonshine.  We love your sense of humor and gentle nature.  What a joy these last seven years have been.
At seven years old you:

~ LOVE to build with blocks and legos

~shake your booty like no one else we know

~have a mouthful of new teeth

~a happy helper

~are well on your way to becoming a contortionist

~tell jokes and love to make people laugh

~like to make your own board games from scratch paper

~enjoy playing monopoly and monopoly deal

~are a great problem solver

~like to eat pizza and cheeseburgers (only ketchup!) and you're STILL the last one at the table

~enjoy quiet time by yourself to build or to create


Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011 HEY Fall Rally

This past Thursday, August 18th, was the annual rally for our local homeschool group, Home Educated Youth (HEY).  As a board member, I helped to plan and work at the rally. I took reservations for table sales for the used book sale.  We had 43 tables of used curriculum, games, books, and local organizations or homeschool groups.  WOW!  It was an AMAZING turnout.  It was also a LOT of work. 

 This year we had over 100 people in attendance of the rally.  There were even MORE people who showed up specifically for the book sale.

For this evening, we had two breakout sessions planned:

Christina Friedman presented "Helping Your Child Love Learning"

And a panel of homeschoolers, either homeschooled themselves, currently homeschooling and one who was both homeschooled and is currently teaching her own children, took part in a Q&A session.

It was wonderful to see that there were women who have taught children of all ages, who have gone on to do wonderfully as adults.  To see these young men on our panel and know that they are attending college, raising their own families and LOVED that they were homeschooled!
One thing that I personally took away from this meeting was an answer from a wonderful woman in response to the question, "What makes you qualified to teach your children?"  Her answer?  "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called" 

THIS is what we, as homeschoolers, need to hear.  We also need to hear that it's okay if we don't have all the answers.  That it's okay to say you need a break.  That taking a break doesn't mean you're not learning or teaching.  Teaching happens OUTSIDE of textbooks and workbooks and the dining room table.  

Most of all, I've learned that homeschooling is more than just our family and what I'm teaching them.  It's our community and those around us that encourage us and challenge us. 

I look forward to 2012, when HEY celebrates 25 years of supporting and encouraging homeschooling families.  Thanks to all who helped and volunteered to make this event a success!