Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Schooling: Knowing What Works for Each Kid

Recently I took the boys to get their new glasses and they look so good and they can see better.  One question I have though for all doctors and dentists.  Why do you schedule people for 10am but don't even call them back till 11am?  Just wondering because I think it's kinda rude.  I know you like to cram in as many people as you can but you also lose quality of service by doing that.  Thankfully, there were other moms sitting there I could talk to and keep each other company.

Yesterday I finally broke down and bought an electric griddle.  I'm always standing over the stove just to cook one hamburger at a time or one cheese sandwich at a time.  It was normally $30 but on sale for $20, then I used a coupon for $6 off so I paid only $14.  :)  Good deal, eh?  I was able to grill eight hot ham and cheese sandwiches at the same time.  Yes!!!

I washed all the girl clothes yesterday but this time instead of putting it away, I went through and got rid of a ton.  They just got two more bags of clothes from a friend and right away I went through it to see what we wanted to keep and what would go.  Also, I needed to get rid of a lot that they already had like the faded, stained, outgrown, or just what was excess.  Here is the pile I got rid of and that's only half of it!  I had already donated another pile the day before.  I'll be doing this for all the boy's clothes today.  It's a big job but needs to be done because I'm tired of washing anything that is excess and mediocre.  Only the best of it should be kept.  Not only that but they need to have a limit of clothes.  Basically each kid gets 10 shirts but with four boys that's 40 shirts.  So yes, there is gonna be a lot of laundry in this house but that's why I need to keep a limit.  My poor washing machine deserves a hug.  I collapsed in bed at midnight last night after finishing the girl clothes.  

Homeschooling has been going so well!  The kids are really soaring and working at their own pace.  Kyle is really flying and surprising me by wanting to always work ahead.  He's so self motivated and rarely needs my help on anything.  Chaz is really smart but he gets overwhelmed easy and I have to calm him down a lot.  It takes him twice as long as it should just because I have to keep telling him he can do it and it's okay.  He KNOWS what to do and he does well at it but he tends to want to give up before trying.  He comes in thinking something is going to be more difficult and it takes a long time to calm him down to see he can do it. Once he gets started he goes really fast.  Ryan and Ivy have major ADD issues and always have.  It's very, very hard to keep them focused. They have no problem wanting to do their work but I have to snap them back into reality every 10 minutes and remind them what they were working on.  It's funny how each kid has their own personality and issues.  Once I can figure out what works best for each of them I'm sure our days will go smoother.  They really are hard workers.  We are generally homeschooling between 10am-3pm.  We fit lunch time in the middle and once they are done they go straight into chore time.  Work before play is my motto.  We all wake up at 8:30am and I feel like a lucky woman!  I know, I have it soooo good.

I'm fairly new to schooling at home so I feel like I'm constantly having to watch out and experience what does and doesn't work for each kid.  I want to take the time to really understand them and not rush them through their schooling.  I don't care about getting them way ahead, just that they'll learn well at what we do.  It doesn't matter if they are ahead or behind other kids, just that each kid GETS what they are learning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a New Mom

1. I wish someone told me I could nap with the baby and not feel guilty about it. 

2. That I really didn't need most of the "stuff" being advertised for babies-just a few clothes, a car seat, diapers, and help with breastfeeding.

3. You really will never sleep the same again.  So get the extra rest before your first child is born because after that it's over!

4. To speak up when you don't agree with what's going on.

5. Hold that newborn all you want.  You can't spoil them when they're not yet old enough to understand how to manipulate situations.  They are only that little for such a heartbeat in time that you can't get back, ever.

6. That it doesn't make me a bad mom if I need a break and leave the baby with my mom or husband for a couple of hours.

7. To put down all the parenting books and just go with my instinct.  To not sweat the small stuff and 98% of it's all small stuff.

8.  To write down everything about this special time with your child.  Lack of sleep and time will get the best of you so it's just a great way to remember.  I still write things down and I still absolutely love going back and reading things.

9. Nothing last forever.  Labor pains, crying, etc.

10. Love and enjoy it, newborns grow up way too fast!  Also, adopt the phrase "this too shall pass".  It is true for almost all problems with babies!

*These were shared from Yes, They're All Mine on Facebook.  I'd love to hear yours in the comments!  :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

28 Weeks Pregnant!

So today I am officially 7 months pregnant with baby Juliet!  Wow, does time fly when you really aren't paying a lot of attention.  Lets see... I've been married 13 years and have been pregnant basically ever other year.  After I gave birth to my first one I got pregnant almost immediately.  I used to be obsessed by the calendar but then I figured if I'm gonna be pregnant so much I might as well just live life normally.  Took me 7 pregnancies to figure that one out.  Hope it didn't take anyone else as long.  Haha.  Anyway, she is over 2lbs now and safe and sound.  The kids are counting down more than I am so whenever they ask me how many days I just round it out for them.  I tell Kyle that when his best friend has a birthday then Juliet is ready to come out.  I still battle morning sickness and yesterday, while doing baby nursery at church, I had to stick tissues up my nose to change a poopie.  A mom walked in while I was changing the baby and started laughing seeing all this tissue hanging out of my nose and heaving.  I didn't want to be lazy so I wanted to just change the diaper rather than make the other ladies do it.  I guess one of my pet peeves is people using pregnancy as a handicap and excuse to get out of doing some easy stuff.  "Get me this, get me that."  I would rather just stick the darn tissues up my nose and hope I don't throw up rather than sit on my butt not pitching in.

Juliet is so mellow and doesn't abuse me in my stomach like my boys did.  Well, Charles doesn't get to feel her a whole lot but last night while he was sleeping with his hand on my stomach, the baby was kicking his hand like crazy.  LOL, he didn't even know!  It was funny seeing his hand jumping from her wild kicks. 

Thank God it's Monday!

I know it sounds weird but.... Thank God it's Monday!  This weekend was just so odd.  It's not like we did nothing and just sat around, we went to the zoo, ran errands, went to church on Sunday morning and Sunday night.  I think because I'm so used to being busy and teaching all week long and then things just seem so quiet on the weekends in comparison.  Usually I welcome the break but this time it was too quiet and the house was already clean.  Well, now my work is back, the house is messy, we have to homeschool, and I'm happy.  :)

I spent a good part of Saturday morning looking up fun things for the kids to do throughout the year.  Wow, I found some great stuff!  The Sea Life aquarium close by us has programs just for homeschooled kids.  You can even print out worksheets for the kids to bring.  You have to prove you're a homeschooler and you bring kids every day for a week to learn about sea life.  Another one I found is the Science Center.  You can pay for your kids to do experiments.  I'm trying to get Chaz and Ryan signed up for dissecting frogs.  The classes only hold up to six kids so hopefully I'll get them signed up in time since I'm waiting for them to call me back.  Science just sounds so much more fun when it's hands on rather than just reading about it all the time.

Anyway, back to the wonderful busyness of the week!  It's with my family rather than in some ol' stuffy job somewhere that has all kinds of crappy office politics to deal with.  Every day I thank God for my husband who will do anything to have his wife be able to stay home and raise the kids.  :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Scheduling in Weekend Activities

Kyle and Ryan
This morning I had to run errands so I took Chaz with me to the chicken feed store.  It had partially burned down but they still had business going while it was being rebuilt.  So we looked at the chickens but since there were only roosters available to buy we didn't go home with any chickens.  After that we went to Sam's Club and I got very few things because I know not everything is a good deal there  We get some pretty basic items there and are in and out real fast.  Since I had only one kid with me no one paid attention to us.  Usually we're stared at and/or people start counting our kids. It was kinda nice to not be a focal point.  Chaz really is not a shopper by any means so he was itching to get home.  All my kids talk to friends on the phone now so he really wanted to call up his friend.  That's gonna be odd since we have only one phone line and 6 kids.  I'm not getting any of them a cell till their teens some time.  Seriously, that's like handing them a weapon for all kinds of trouble so I seriously don't know when it's gonna be allowed.

Ashley, Ivy, Kyle, Ryan, and his friend Georgie at the zoo
I dropped a happy-to-be-home Chaz off and picked up 5 other kids to take to the zoo.  My dad found out I was going and met with me.  I can't go with my whole family because our van is in need of some major repairs.  It feels so odd to be with only some of the family going out places.  Once we got to the zoo we just went straight for the train and it gave me a break of too much walking since I'm 7 months along and it's starting to get hot out.  There is just so many exciting things to know about the animals and I think we're gonna do a study at home about them for a bit.  

I took this pic of the giraffe drinking.  So cute!
This morning I had seriously tried to just chill out at home and not do much of anything.  Since we had worked hard at home all week I just really needed to get out.  The house was clean and there wasn't much work to do.  Getting out with the kids was great!  :D

Ashley fell asleep on my dad's lap
during the train ride at the zoo

Friday, February 24, 2012

For the Sake of My Heart, Time Please Slow Down

Today the kids went to the school they go to on Fridays.  It was the first Friday I actually spent at home without the older four in sooo long.  Usually I use the opportunity to run errands and get stuff we need.  Since I was home I just did some tasks around the house.  I have to say, I hated the quiet.  Ugh.  My 2 and 4 year old were still here of course but it still was way too quiet in comparison.  The hours went by way too slow and I found myself completely unmotivated to work around the house.  My friend was here that is recovering from her surgery so that helped some.  I don't know, it was just so weird being home and having them gone.

What will it be like in the future?  My heart already aches thinking about the home being empty.  I can't imagine just being home with almost nothing to do.  I would HAVE to get a part time job or volunteer somewhere.  Most likely, knowing me, I'd want to work in a plant nursery or take care of a big garden. I'd have to be nursing or taking care of SOMETHING.  I seriously don't want to think that far ahead right now and just enjoy each and every moment of every single day I have....

My great aunt lost her husband a month ago and they were married over 60 years.  It's the first time she's ever slept without her husband by her side she said.  She asked her daughter to bring over some clothes to wash so she could have something to do for someone.   :(

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Blogging Has Blessed Our Family

Ivy 6 years ago at 8 months old
Isn't it funny how when you start a blog you find different blogs to follow but there are just some that you stick with no matter what?  My 6 year blogiversary is coming up next month and I follow some of the same bloggers from 2006.  It's been fun seeing their kids grow up and hear all the neat stories, encourage each other through trials.   Some people ask me how I could have so much to write about each day.  I don't know!  It's so much easier for me to write than talk on a phone.  I'm just not a phone person.  Give me a journal or the computer and I can write away.  Anyway, here is a link to my first month of blogging.  Boy, my posts were short!  Haha.  I wasn't sure how much to share at first and you can tell.  You have to scroll to the bottom and then go up to see them in order.  It's kinda fun to see how much has changed since 6 years ago.  I only had 4 kids and we lived in an apartment while our house was getting built.  Chaz was going through a diagnosis and it was a really hard time for us.  Blogging has helped me learn through others and has definitely helped in making certain decisions such as homeschooling and family size.  Believe it or not, I wasn't gonna have more kids than 4 but because of visiting blogs, getting more encouragement from other Christian bloggers, and seeing that it is possible to have a large family, that's how it became less scary for me.  I didn't have any encouragement at all from anyone else in my life so blogging has been a huge blessing for us.

We hook up the computer to a screen
to watch history or science videos
on BrainPOP.  It's fun for them and
not super boring.
My days are so much harder since homeschooling four kids.  It's long, hard work, rewarding, crazy, exhausting, and wonderful all at the same time.  First off, I have my kids with me every day so that's the best!  So many moms ask me why I'd want to have my kids home with me every day.  Um, that's why I had them you silly person!  :)  I would never keep having kids unless I truly enjoyed being around them.  Technically I don't "homeschool" I "school at home" which is fine by me.  It's not a status I'm going for it's just that I want to be with my kids.  I use boxed curriculum's but only ones that allow us to be flexible.  Ones where I can mix and match according to what we prefer.  I prefer boxed curriculum's because I'm still learning so much myself and I love learning right along with them.  I never did fifth grade in school. I jumped right from fourth to sixth so now that my son is in fifth grade, I'm learning some stuff myself that is long forgotten or was skipped over.  It's truly exciting for me.  My kids don't get why I'm so excited when we search and find answers together.  Learning can be so fun.

Ivy painting
The kids have been asking if we can finally break out the paints and have some fun with them.  I kind have been putting it off because I was worried about getting paint on things that shouldn't be painted.  Then I remembered that it's washable, thank goodness, so it shouldn't be a problem. I just happened to have a new plastic covering that I've never opened so they had fun on the patio painting away.  It WAS a huuuuuuge mess to clean up and it took us a long time but they were happy and seeing their smiles and painted pictures made it all worth it.  Usually I take them places where they do this kinds of stuff rather than here.  I'm glad we did it though.  :D

Ryan and Ashley

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Worst Homeschool Mistakes & Homeschool Sanity

Yesterday ended on a really good note after I found this fabulous link.  It's about Homeschooling--how to reduce stress and then I ordered this book called Homeschool Sanity to put on my Kindle.  The kids and I really had a rough day with homeschooling and I just felt like something needed to change.  I love what we use for Language Arts, Math, and Bible lessons but I felt like History and Science was a bit hum drum.  It's no fun learning those two subjects the way they were set up so we decided to pull both from their curriculum and make it more hands on.

I found another fantastic book to download onto my Kindle that only cost 99 cents.  It sounded interesting because it says, 

"We recently surveyed over 800 homeschooling families about what has worked well and not-so-well for them in their homeschooling activities. We got some remarkable answers from this survey. One of the most intriguing questions we asked was this: “What was your worst mistake in homeschooling your children... and if you could do it over again, what would you change about how you have homeschooled in the past?” We got some great responses to this question, with some tips and suggestions that are well worth considering by both newbie and veteran homeschoolers alike."

Hey, there is nothing wrong with learning from others who have gone before us.  Many, many said to not feel pressured into doing a particular curriculum just because someone says you should or because it's popular.  Learn what is good for your family, what works.  It's okay to mix it up a bit and that's exactly what we are doing.  We will be looking into getting a membership at the Science Center because I found out they have hands on classes for homeschoolers.  We already have a zoo membership and they have classes there for homeschoolers also.  I'm super excited and I feel like the weights been lifted off my kids.  When I told them we could drop two of the subjects and find something else that works they all cheered.  I'm cheering too.  :)

I can't believe how many fantastic learning adventures there are for kids who homeschool.  Sheesh!  I wish I had that experience rather than always sit in a really boring classroom.  I love having my kids with me every day and they get lots of time with other kids.  The difference is I get to pick the group of kids they are around.  They go a school every Friday that is only for homeschooled kids and the difference on the playground is shocking.  Have you ever seen a school playground where there is little to no bullying, kids say "please" and "thank you", and there is respect for the teachers?  Yeah, it's awesome.  So yes, my kids are socialized but with healthy kids I want them to be around.  

In the past I was so back and forth about everything because I cared about everyone's opinion of my life.  If people discouraged me or disagreed with me I worried about it.  Nope, not anymore.  I have a close relationship with each of my kids.  I know their strengths and weaknesses more than strangers or even family does.  I live with these kids.  They don't.  The day I decided to give all those worries to God rather than listen to all the negative is the day I started being stronger for my kids.  There will be bullies when you are young and unfortunately when you are old.  I have bullies send me nasty letters, hate mail, or anonymous comments on my blog.  Does it matter what they say from somewhere around the world?  No, it doesn't.  What matters is what God's Word says, what my husband says, and what my kids need.  Thank God I stopped allowing myself to be bullied.  There will always be people that disagree with you.  I think correction can be a good thing when it's done in a constructive manner rather than tearing someone down through insults.  That's not how God would want us to correct someone nor is it how we want to be treated.  More importantly, kids watch how we respond to bullies.  Actions speak so much LOUDER in how we handle a situation.  Life is full of lessons.  I never want to stop being teachable.  We make mistakes, says things we shouldn't say, stumble in our Christian walk.  It happens.  Instead of being self condemning, I've learned to just brush the dirt off and keep going. I'd rather finish the race with bruises and scars than quit in the middle.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crappy Days Have Their Purpose Too

Today I am 27 weeks along in the pregnancy and my morning sickness has not let up AT ALL.  Today I have tried every which way to alleviate it.  One problem was that I woke up to fresh made Tamales that a friend brought over.  Usually I wake up slow, get sick first, THEN have my morning coffee.  If I don't do that then the day is a bit more of a struggle and I fight the queasiness a lot more.  I just ate the tamale without getting sick first and so now I'm in a major battle to keep all food and drink down today. Argh!

Today was the hardest day I've ever had homeschooling.  Ivy was not understanding math and neither was Kyle.  We did the assignment over and over and over hoping it would help and no matter which way I explained it they didn't understand.  It's days like this I want to bang my head on the wall and stomp any ants I find on the ground.  Usually we breeze right through each day but this does happen every now and then when we hit a wall.  I was just hoping I wouldn't have two kids hit a wall at the same time. 

7 months pregnant in a few days!  My son
snuck this picture of me.  Passed out with the
phone and iPad.  lol
I've loved being pregnant but I've been really tired.  I will be in the 3rd trimester next week so I guess it's expected.  The 2nd trimester is known for having more energy.  Well, that plane has departed so I just need to get more rest.  My husband is super, duper gracious about this and since he is home in the morning, he will let me sleep as much as I need.  I love that man!  Sigh.

Ashley playing on the iPad with a
diaper on her head and on her foot.
Tonight Chaz and Ivy's friend from out of town is spending the night since they don't get to see them often.  At first I was gonna say no because we have homeschool every day but then I had to remind myself that these are really loved friends that we don't get to see often.  It's times like these that I loved the freedom of homeschool.  I just need to quit being a drill sargeant and slow down a bit.  

Even in really cruddy days like today where I felt like I got nowhere in homeschooling, zilch in cleaning, and bad morning sickness I know that we can't always have fantastic days.  There will be the bad days where I'm reminded how much I need God's strength.  So much I forget and try to rely on my own strength.  My flesh is weak but but He is strong. Humbling days like these remind me that I am only human and everyone has their limits.  It's days like these that I'm stretched just a bit further.  Instead of seeing them as a flat out failure, I remember that we CAN BE stretched.  How will I grow otherwise?  How will I learn patience?  Gosh, how I don't like learning patience sometimes.  It sure comes in handy though when needed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday School Dilemma and Homeschool Challenges

Another Sunday morning and I can't go to church.  Since our van broke down we have been having to take turns in our car.  He usually takes four or I take four of the kids.  Also, Caleb got a bug and his nose just won't clear up so he can't go to nursery.  Nothing major but enough to keep him out of the baby nursery.  The nursery has strict rules but for very good reasons.  I wouldn't want to put my healthy baby in and they constantly get sick from other babies.  Sooo, here I am on Sunday morning with my 3 little ones at home.  

Another complication I have is with Ivy.  Some might remember but back when Ivy was in Kindergarten in a brick and mortar school she wasn't doing well.  However, the teacher didn't enlighten me till February, six months after school started, that Ivy had learned diddly squat and has day dreamed most of the time.  Why, oh, why am I being told so late in the year?  I pulled her as soon as I was shown this and began to homeschool her.  Because we had to start 6 months behind she is that far behind everyone else her age.  That teacher was actually let go at that school.  Anyway, when July came around all the kids at church were put up to the next level in Sunday School without my knowledge so I had no warning.  I figured it wasn't a big deal that Ivy is in a first grade class being that she is only six months behind in her schooling than her classmates.  It's been seven months now and they are telling me they want to switch Ivy back to the Kindergarten Sunday school class since she can't read yet.  What?  Now?  She's made friends in this class, she's almost seven years old.  To go back into where it's five year olds is very embarrassing to her.  No matter how I feel they are going to do it and that's that.  So I have kept Ivy out since she is begging me not to have to go.  She is incredibly embarrassed about it.  I don't blame her so she is home with me today until we can all go to church together and then she'll be sitting with us in the adult's class.

I've already tried talking to the leader.  What do you think?  What would you do?  I asked why being in the first grade class is a problem and they said it's because they want each kid to be able to read one paragraph during the lessons.  I just started homeschooling Ivy for the first grade this past week so she will be learning to read soon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kids Tooth Brushing Chart

Whether I'm a mom of two or of six I know that having charts can be very helpful.  Something that makes things a bit easier around here is always welcomed.  :D

Well, I have one for you and it's free! You can print a free chart for your child or for kids in your classroom.  I love anything that promotes positive reinforcement and this definitely works. 

First go to and click on "for kids" or "for teachers" if you have a classroom you'd like to use this for.  I did for kids so I typed in my son's name.

Then I printed the chart.  Super easy and I know your kids will love having a visual of their progress!

Living the Life of a Traditional Wife

My dog feels like he should be
included on these food adventures
I was so happy to put Friday behind me that I was even happy to go to bed.  I just drug my tired bones to bed, flopped down, and passed out within 5 minutes.  I woke up remembering that today was free breakfast and coffee at IKEA day.  Free breakfast?  For my whole family?  We are so there.  I met my dad and and we all sat together to eat.  At least they did.  I got up constantly to either take kids potty, get drinks for everyone.  Oh, you need ketchup?  I'll be right back.  Or need napkins.  Someone needed butter and more french toast.  Hmph.  And people wonder how I keep my weight off.    I get it done with quick or I'm taking one bite in between getting up.  As frustrating as that can be sometimes, I had an elder gentlemen approach me at a buffet one time while I was getting the little ones their food.  He said he was watching and loved to see a mom serving her family.  He said it's so rare these days.  Really?  I guess that's true but I've really known no different.

My mom always made dinner for us and she truly served us.  I had no idea how hard she worked because she was always taking care of the house, sewing, or doing projects while we were gone at school.  I just assumed the house kept clean on it's own.  Duh.  My mom was a homemaker and my dad worked.  My mom found ways to make side money at home while my dad mainly supported us financially.  For me, there are no blurred lines.  I tend to see household duties in black and white.  I feel like I'm extremely traditional but I love it and it makes it to where there are no hard feelings.  We each know our roles in the house and that's that.  Basically, my husband makes a living for us, takes care of the vehicles, yard work, and takes out the trash.  I take care of the home and all the kids in it.  :) 

I've never expected my husband to get up in the middle of the night to feed my baby.  I've just always felt so blessed that he would lovingly provide for us.  I could never imagine depriving him of rest before being gone all day.  I've never expected him to change a diaper while I'm home.  If he does, you bet he gets a big hug and kiss from me.  I see those extra acts of kindness as just blessings but never expected.  Life is so simple and wonderful this way because I never feel like the lines are blurred and because of it, there is no hard feelings festering inside.

I've never once in 13 years asked Charles to wash the dishes, the clothes, or mop the floors.  He never pressures me to go get a job and I've never heard him ask me once in 13 years.  Often, even several times a week, we express our gratefulness to each other.  Basically, he provides the home and I take care of it.  You can't get any simpler than that!  So many times I've seen couples fight over who does what in the house and I can see why there is resentment.  It's so hard when the lines are blurred and even if couples want that line blurred, it's good to write down what is expected of each other.  Every family is different in how they happily operate and I know my way is considered extreme to some but that's okay.  We are all different.  Thank goodness God gives a free will and we are all not robots.  I do love this life and I know we had discussed this before we even married.  The funny thing is we hardly discussed kids but somehow we ended up with seven.  :)  We figured we'd have two more more but if you told me I would have seven I would've probably fainted.  LOL.

Some call me ULTRA traditional but I just feel ULTRA blessed.  ;) Learning Activities-First Month Free-Click Here!

Friday, February 17, 2012

When a Bad Day Increasingly Gets Worse

I had a really, really, really cruddy morning.  It was NOT okay.  Sigh.

It's Friday again and my kids attend a school for homeschooled kids so we needed to get there by 8:30am.  Well, recently our transmission in our van went out so my dad kindly offered his car.  My husband needs our other vehicle for work.

What I felt like inside
I woke up with plenty of time to get ready but because I had such bad morning sickness I was stuck in the bathroom for half hour.  By the time I got out the kids only had 10 minutes to finish getting ready.  I didn't have time to dress the two little ones because I didn't want to be late and the kids have a field trip today.  I put Caleb in with just his pajamas and Ashley also.  As I'm loading up the car seat for Caleb I realize that the straps are so tight I can't fit Caleb in them.  Since it's a new seat I couldn't find the release button anywhere.  I searched all over and just couldn't find it. By now I knew we were going to be late to school.  I finally put a booster seat in the car for Caleb and I hated doing that because it's more for kids one year older than he is.  All the way to the school Caleb was trying to escape his seat so Kyle had to hold him down. Well, Caleb didn't like that so he was pulling his big brother's hair.  I was on the freeway so there was nowhere to pull over.  

Finally we pull into the school and after I wave goodbye I started to drive off.  One of the kids must've not shut the door all the way because the side door flew open. The lady behind me is hocking like crazy to tell me.  I had already noticed so I immediately flew out of the car to shut and lock the door.  Caleb then realize there is a lot of neat buttons on the door he can unlock and open.  Oh man, how were we gonna get home?  I put my review mirror right where I could see Caleb the whole way home.  As soon as we get driving Caleb escapes out of his seat.  I pull off the freeway and onto a main road to rebuckle Caleb. This time I reposition his seat in the middle and discover this seatbelt locks in place.  Well, as soon as I got driving again he tries to escape so I reach behind me and hold his leg the rest of the way. He's screaming because I'm doing this and Ashley tells me that she's carsick and gonna throw up.  I look down at my nice cup of coffee that is still half full and wonder if I need to give it up so Ashley has something to throw up in.  It's my dad's car and there is no way I want to return it with a throw up smell and a stain.  I give her my cup of coffee just in time because she filled it to the rim.  Then I started to heave so I rolled down my window and drove with my head sticking out.   Ashley's behind me trying to balance the cup so no throw up spills out of it.  As soon as I get to a stop light I opened my door and emptied the cup.

Finally..... FINALLY, I pulled up to my house.  I had made it home.  I felt like crying I was so happy to be home.  Then it dawns on me.... when I left with my dad's keys I had forgotten to grab my own so that means we were locked out of the house.  Sigh.  "Why?  Whyyyyyyyy?!"  Charles usually comes home around that time so I was pleading with God to not let him run lots of errands or anything like that.  Caleb pooped his diaper really bad and in the rush of just getting the kids to school (and thinking we'd be right back) I didn't grab anything.  Ashley starts to dance because she has to pee.  About an hour later of just sitting there I finally just get out and starting thinking about hopping over the fence to at least let the kids play in the backyard.  I didn't want to hurt my pregnant tummy so I began to "build steps" so I could climb over the wall rather than jump.  It had already been an hour and now I needed to potty.  Out of frustration I wiggle the front door and it opens right up?  What?  "AGgggggghhhh!"  First I thought someone broke in but then I remember that the boys had went out the front door to get something and forgot to lock it.  You mean all this time I've been sitting out here I could've just walked in my house?  Oh man, the frustration and joy were all mixed together. As soon as I discover the front door was unlocked my husband comes home.  Sigh.  I walked in and just sat on the couch.  I didn't want to do anything.  Not wash clothes.  Not wash any dishes.  Nothing.  I was just so happy I  made it home.  It was only 10am and I was completely burned out.  I laid the kids down for a nap so I could nap but the phone wouldn't stop ringing.  It rang about every 5 minutes and so the kids only napped for about 15 minutes.  Sigh.

Oh well.  What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.  Next time someone asks me where I get so much patience, I'll share this story or one like it with them.  Yeah, you learn patience through experiences.  That's the only way.  :)  We all have some to share!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Learning Bloopers and Homeschool Misconceptions

Oh man, I've had such a fun time schooling at home with the kids.  I have forgotten so much but each day I am learning right along with them.  It's tiring at times but I wouldn't trade all those hours I have with my kids each day for anything.  I used to waver between the homeschooling and wanting my kids to attend a school somewhere.  The behavior change, whether they are going to a school or schooling at home, is so dramatic it's almost like watching a personality change.

Caleb playing with preschool app on iPad
There are funny parts to schooling at home and the kids and I have a good laugh with them. Recently I posted some funny answers my son had written on my blog HERE.  This one below is from my 5th grader and when I went to look at his work in Science, this is the lovely answer he gave.  I read this and laughed so hard.  Then we all started laughing.  I asked my son if I could share it online and he said yes. After we laughed about 15 minutes I made him look for the right answer.  Tee hee......

It really is a challenge every single day to get them disciplined in doing their work.  They would rather do ANYTHING than do what they know comes first every day.  I always tell them that work comes before play.  That's something important in life and it will be like that when they have to get a job someday.  The older ones sit down with their Switched on Schoolhouse and the younger ones work in their workbooks and online work.  Then we go straight to chores and get that over with.  By the time we are finished they happily run off and play but I have to take a break.  I love learning with them but after doing 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th with my kids, my brain feels full and I just want to lay on the couch for a little bit.  Usually we homeschool between 10am-3pm and then chores from 3pm-5pm for me.  They finish theirs in about 30 minutes.  By 5pm I have to start making dinner.  By the time that's done, we eat, then dishes, I'm ready for play about 7pm.  Play for me is reading a book, reading blogs online, or just vegging out with my family.

Yes, it's a full day for my family and I'm tired.  The only thing is many people in my life think that since I'm a homemaker and school my kids at home, I must have tons and tons of time to goof off.  I rarely answer the phone during homeschool time or chores and never during dinner.  I've gotten phone calls where friends or family are offended thinking I'm ignoring them.  I've seriously thought about not having an answering machine just so I don't have to hear all the upset messages.  Sigh.  Another thing is when I have to stop and do a favor for someone, run errands, or go to appointments, that wasn't free time I had, that means I had to replace homeschooling for that day.  That's not always a good thing because one more day we miss is one more day we have to work into the summer.  With baby Juliet coming, I especially want this summer to be free of all the work so I can rest with the new baby.  Rest meaning no homeschool and just chores to worry about.  With homeschooling four kids and next year five, it's a lot of work.  Thank goodness I use different curriculum's because I looooove having it all set up for me each day what we need to work on. I don't really care whether I'm "homeschooling" or "schooling at home", I just care that my kids are home with me.

Do I love to have 6 kids at home and have to work so hard?  YES!  I love it!!!  Even in the most tiring days where I just collapse in exhaustion the end of the day I do not regret it.  I feel like the most blessed woman in the world and there is no job out there that would tempt me to give this all up.  I love waking up each day at the time we want and snuggling my babies who crawled into my bed after daddy went to work.  Sigh. :)