Thursday, September 26, 2013

iPhone Special

I have some great pictures on my phone that I sometimes post to Facebook or Instagram but, I thought my blog would be a more permanents and fitting place for them! These are all September happenings! It was a busy month! 
the boys can't wait to show their moves after they watch American Ninja Warrior! Hmmm, wonder where Blake got his moves from?!?
When Isaac is at school there are a lot of costume changes going on at home!

Baby Thor!

Life skills: Helping to change the oil on daddy's truck!

This kid is intense... And strong... And did I mention intense?!

Pictures prior to Shaun buzzing Parker's hair!

A few silly faces from Blakesters!

Team Stripes all ready for church!
10 years ago on September 6th Shaun proposed. It was a good excuse to go out on a date and celebrate! No, the red 10 years ago was not planned. Yes, the red this year was... Except Parker HAD to wear orange!

We took a trip to LEGOLAND! The Star Wars exhibits were AMAZING!!!

Daddy got a rhino! Not sure mommy ever fully gave her approval but, now she doesn't have to hear him talk about getting one all the time!

Field trip: "Worms do What?"
UCR was there with their bug collection so it was an added bonus! Parker is the brave one in our family! Yuck! Millipedes and leaf bugs!

Winter ball started and Isaac is on the A's again.
And yesterday we enjoyed a day at the fair! My little piggies had so much fun! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

California Boys

Right before school started we took one last trip to the beach! I don't think I can even count how many times we went this summer! As the boys get older, the easier it is to go. This particular time we met up with three of Shaun's friends from work. At one point we had two footballs, a soccer ball, and a frisbee going at the same time! Big kids and little kids running like mad all over the place! Non of the other guys have kids so it was chaos to them... Just a typical afternoon for us!

These kinds of pictures have become the "normal!"

The boys with Shane!
(Dean and Harry were surfing)

It took this kid the longest to fall in love with the beach. Even up until last year he wasn't so sure... Judging by the smile, I'd say he's figured it out!

Blake would rather run in the water than search the rocks for starfish with his brothers!

And again Blake would rather bury himself in the sand instead of climbing the rocks with his brothers!

Blake naturally gets more pictures because we have to keep such a close eye on him!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

His mercies are new every morning...

You know those days when the two year old wakes up way too early and no matter how hard you try he will not go back to sleep. Then, when everyone is finally up three hours later and it's time to rush biggest brother off to school you have to fight him (the two year old) to take off the motorcycle helmet because it will not fit on his head in the car seat.

Once home from drop off it's your day to get things done because you're down one child and that should make it easier. Except, the two little ones have runny noses that you have to wipe every few minutes and they constantly need you. You think you'll catch a break by letting them take a bath but, instead, they won't stop splashing uncontrollably, spraying each other in the face, and drinking the dirty water.

Finally, it's nap time. However, the two year old only naps long enough for you to get your Bible study done and the three year old is bored and can't decide what he wants to watch... No relaxing!

After picking up biggest brother from school you have just enough time to eat and rush off to baseball practice. But, it doesn't happen without a major meltdown because the new shoes are all wrong. Once forced in the car and to the field, you inform the five year old that his screaming and crying through the parking lot is causing a scene. After you encourage him one more time to join his team you start making your rounds to collect money because you're the team mom. On top of other moms looking out on the field and asking which one is yours and you having to point to the child sitting on the side in his flip flops, three things happen. 1. You realize the 40 bucks one mom gave you on your way in fell out of your pocket and you have to searching the big grassy field and parking lot for it. Thankfully the wind blew it against the fence and a curb and no one else found it! 2. You feel your feet getting attacked by ants and look down to see you are inches from an ant hill. 3. You're trying to have pleasant conversations and not look fazed by how upset you are on the inside that you don't realize the two year old, in his brother's helmet, has taken off. You panic and when you've looked all over and can't find him, you tell another coach. Right when you think your heart can't beat any harder, you finally spot him a field over and in another team's dugout trying to find a bat to hit with.

When everyone has suffered enough at the field, you head home for a quick dinner and straight to bed time routine. Daddy calls and lectures the five year old and he apologizes for his behavior. The three and two year old also get to show off and be silly for a parent that isn't so upset and tired. Then, when you think you're only minutes away from peace and quiet, the two year old decides to put up a fight and it takes over an hour to get him down! The tears are flowing and you can't help thinking this has been a long 15 hour day with the little monster.

Flooding with frustration you pull out the one resource you know will give you the rest your soul needs...

You turned to Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord's great mercies we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  
His mercies are new every morning!
That is exactly what I needed! Tomorrow is a new day... I can start fresh! My boys and I can start over! Hallelujah! Now, does this mean I won't ever have a day like this again? No! Does it mean tomorrow will be hard and long like today? I sure hope not! But, if it is... I'll be ready!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homeschool Update

Homeschooling has turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be AND exactly what I thought it wouldn't be. I knew there would be good days and bad days. I knew I would have to review standards and then plan and prep each day. I knew teaching Isaac, while dealing with two little ones would be a challenge. What I didn't expect was that we would still be so busy and there would be daily interruptions that would keep us from doing work. I know homeschooling is meant to be "flexible" but, Isaac and I both appreciate a routine. Change is not something Isaac does well with so knowing what to expect makes life a little smoother.
Thankfully, things that I dreaded about homeschooling have been the most fun! For example, teaching Isaac to read! If Isaac isn't good at something right away he gets frustrated and shuts down. Seeing as how the written English language doesn't always make sense, I feared there would be a lot of "shutting down." Isaac has a great memory and catches on to new concepts fast so he has been able to excel in a short amount of time. It's been just recently that he WANTS to read and it's not me forcing him.
Finding the balance between disguising learning and making it fun and pushing through when he wants to give up has been hard. We're improving everyday and maybe by Christmas we'll have it mastered! HA!
Proud of his first assignment!

Making shapes by connecting marshmallows and toothpicks

Isaac loves to draw/color/create so you'd think that the meltdown with these four assignments would have come with the writing... Nope. Isaac is also a perfectionist so when the ducks' beaks weren't the exact same size or the turkey's arm wasn't the right length OR the squiggly line that connects the cone from the ice cream wasn't the right "squiggly," disaster happened!

The school room at the beginning of the year. It's now a little messier with books and supplies!
 I used this calendar in my classroom when I was a "real" teacher. However, some of the numbers are missing so Isaac has to fill them in by hand!

The little boys like to color and use scissors... Not a fan of the scissors for Blake but, he's actually pretty good at it.

First day of...
Kindergarten, Pre-Pre-K, and I just wanna Party!
Isaac adjusted well to going to school on Thursdays from 9-3:30. It's a long day for him but, it's been good for everyone. He gets to play with friends and learn from someone other than me. The little boys get some extra attention. AND I don't have to do lesson plans that day! Woohoo! It's usually hard to get any information out of him but, each week he opens up and tells me more. This week he told me they do too much sitting on the rainbow rug. It makes his legs hurt and the back of his knees get sweaty. He likes when they work at the tables. He talks a lot about two of his classes (World of Art and Stars and Planets) but, he's still leaving me hanging on what they do in I CAN Learn to Read and Noodling with Numbers! Hmmmm....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Colossal Coaster World

For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
Or a more simple version for the little ones...
God helps me. I will not be afraid.
Hebrews 13:6
I can't believe I forgot to blog about Vacation Bible School because it was AMAZING!!! These pictures were hiding on my phone and when I realized it was time to start deleting, I found them!
Other than helping with crafts last year (and running to nurse Blake in between groups coming in), I haven't experienced VBS like this since I was little. When I went to Belize in 2002 we did back yard Bible Studies but, nothing compares to the "American" way of doing VBS. Our whole family gets excited for this special week in JULY. Rollercoaster school, as the boys called it, was an adventure that required a lot of energy. Shaun worked first aid (for three days) and I taught first grade! Parker enjoyed his pre-K class, Blake was in with six of his little friends, and Isaac was with me. FYI: Isaac has had a group of buddies at church since he was in the nursery. However, they are all a few months older, which puts them a grade ahead. Instead of splitting him up, we just bumped him up a grade. So, at school he's in K but at church he's in 1st.  
Anyway, the theme was a carnival and the message was to trust God when you have to face fears (like riding giant rollercoasters). This was a lesson I needed the week prior. It was extremely convicting teaching a class of 30 kids that we don't have to be afraid because God gives us power. If only I had taken my own advice... Lesson learned.
I had a great co-teacher, Jodi Cope, that probably did most of the work. My classroom skills are a little rusty whereas she's still teaching. :) 

A few of our classroom creations.

Craft time with Gabriel and Caleb.

Did you read my previous post? Here's Parker doing his thing... Glad I was able to capture this moment between him and Cassidy. Blake excited to go to VBS and Isaac enjoying his first experience of eating cotton candy!

Carson and Isaac sharing their little brothers.

Boys vs. girls
My boys counting their money to take to VBS in hopes that they would win. Sadly, the girls won and pastor (the boys representative) got a pie in the face. The money raised went to South Asia.
Yes, that is TP in our yard. Already? I wasn't expecting this for at least 10 more years. Thankfully it wasn't much and it was a quick clean up and we weren't late to VBS!