Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thinking About Virtual Academy and Fast Pregnancy

 I think it's funny how just before I had friends move in, I wondered if I could handle having 8 kids since I'm pregnant.  Okay, I'm no longer worried.  10 kids are living here now and it's working out with our schedule.  Also, Charles and I decided to go ahead and enroll Chaz and Ryan into Connections Academy.  I hated K12 Virtual Academy so much that I said I'd never do that again but this place is different and I've had friends tell me a lot of positive things about it.  My two older boys are in Junior High and very close to going into high school and it's important I can get them into college easy.  I have some pretty amazing moms that know how to do homeschool on their own and get them into college.  I would love the help so having them be able to call their teacher when needed would take a huge load off my shoulders.  :D  I still will be homeschooling 5th grade and younger on my own the the older boys will homeschool alone in their room with a teacher they can call whenever.  :D  Yay for me. 

Well, I'm 19 weeks pregnant and all is well. I love feeling little Jaxon move in my tummy.  It assures me that he is okay.  I can't believe I'm almost half way done with the pregnancy.  I feel like I just found out I'm pregnant.  Man, time is flying so fast it makes my head spin.  In a week I'm going in for a 3D ultrasound so that'll be fun.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Learning to Solve Sibling/Friend Rivalry

Boy, I don't think the timing could have been better to have a family with 3 kids move in suddenly. I'm learning to stretch my limits and I have to admit, just a week prior to them moving in I had asked God to help me learn hospitality.  Coincidence?  Our costs have definitely soared with extra people in the house (water, electricity) but I'm content.  My only weakness (maybe a strength?) is no matter who's kids are over, I always treat them as my own.  I mean, completely as my own.  I'll hug, tell them I love them, involve them in daily chores, talk to them, spend time with them, think about them, pray for them...just as my own.  It's hard for me to realize that, ummmm, the parents are living here as well and might find it offensive for me to correct their kid when they could have.  I need to explain better, it's never okay to go to someone's house and boss their kids around in my opinion.  I guess maybe it's different because the kids are living, eating, and sleeping in the same room as my kids. It's such a fine line and I'm always worried I'm crossing it.  I do love these 3 kids as my own and tell them often.  Ack.  If I do cross the line, it's never because I'm against the kids, just that I love them as my own and treat them as such.  Things like "no koolaid in the rooms, you need to finish your chores, pick up your mess, bed is by 8pm, etc." Things I would say to my kids.

I think the hardest thing sometimes would be the arguments.  If I'm not careful, I can get pulled into he said/she said type stuff all throughout the day.  Usually my rule is no tattling unless someone is being hurt or is being a pervert.  Sometimes I'll think someone is being outrageously bad, get all over their case, but then once I hear the other side of the story I feel bad because I didn't hear the other side first.  And sometimes, the stories are so wildly different I have to just walk away and tell them to just separate. I'm learning really quick to choose my battles very carefully.  If I don't, I'll be settling fights all day long. Sometimes I realize the tattling comes from boredom and a need for drama from the kids.  Sometimes it looks like I don't care to the kids but I've learned the worst thing I can do is when a case is brought to me, to look at the accused and rebuke in front of the offended.  Sometimes, and it's completely human of us to do this, kids find satisfaction in seeing another kid punished.  Dr. James Dobson has always suggested to take the accused aside privately and ask their side of the story.  If both sides are wildly different, separate them.  But don't lash out at the accused in from of the other kid.  I love that advice.  However, people that see me acting completely calm in the middle of an argument, it's because I'm listening to both sides and mulling it over in my head.  Once one of the kids goes back and plays, I'll quietly have a talk with the other one whether it's to ask more questions or correct their behavior. Not an easy parenting task, dealing with arguments.  Alas, it must be done.  Ha.

Terrible photo. Cell cam is messing up
Another common argument is who has got the hardest chores.  I try really hard to be fair.  The older the kids, the harder their chore.  Naturally, I'm not gonna give the harder ones to the younger kids.  There will always be someone that thinks they have the hardest.  That's when I look at them and ask if they'd like my chore.  Often I wake up to watching a sermon, get up, get ready, homeschool and do my chores, wash lots of clothes, feed everyone, and by dinner time it's the only other time I get to sit down.  I looooove my job.  I wouldn't trade it for any other in a million years.  But moms have the hardest job for sure.  I never believe in just giving all the work to the kids.  I'm working right alongside them.  If I really feel like a chore is just too much for a kid, usually it's because there is just too much clutter and a lot needs to be tossed.  I did that today in the girls room because my girls just couldn't clean it up everyone day.  There was just too much stuff hidden in all kinds of places. This picture is it.  My girls are so used to not getting attached to stuff, they wanted the room to look just like the picture below.  I wish my whole house was that clutter free!  Their chore is going to be much easier tomorrow. :)  I think if I had to pick a kid, Ryan has the hardest because it's the kitchen.  OH MY GOSH.  That poor kid.  Haha. Lots of cleanup in there.  He's fast though so he's the perfect kid for the job.

My girls have learned to love less stuff because it means less stress

Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting Adjusted to an Even Larger Family

With the added family here and the extra kids (and 2 more adults), I'm truly surprised how much as human beings we can stretch without breaking.  I literally expected the worst.  I did have a family living with us back in 2009 but it was a different situation and I was also different.  I couldn't handle a whole lot of stress and I really did feel I was gonna break.

As soon as the 3 extra kids moved in, we added them to the daily chore list.  Just to make the transition easier for them, I took the easiest chore from each of my kids so they can just get used to everything.  It's working out well so I don't think I'll be changing it at all.  I'm not saying their chore is like picking up one piece of paper, I just didn't want to overwhelm them and give them the hardest ones right off the bat.  My kids are keeping their main chores as is.  

I figured I was so stretched I couldn't possibly have any more kids after this 8th one.  After seeing how it's been with 10 kids I realize, it's very possible to have a lot of kids without going insane and finding myself in a corner sucking my thumb.  It is a little bit different because my kids know the routine.  Usually we do the same thing daily.  We eat in the morning, bible study, homeschool, lunch, chores, play, dinner.  Then at night after dinner they were always in their room at 8:30pm sharp.  They learned to never come out unless they are quietly using the restroom and going straight back to their rooms without talking to anyone else in another room.  It was mommy and daddy's quiet time.  I think that's the main challenge and getting the kids that aren't used to that routine, used to it.  As of now, we'll get them into their room but they'll come out for 4 hours straight with requests.  That's the main thing I'm hoping will change over the next few months.  :)  But if that's the only problem I'm facing (except house gets way dirtier faster), then I'm a blessed lady.

Today I'm 4 months pregnant.  Wheeeeee!!!!  My little boy is growing, has a very strong heartbeat, and I've only gained 4 lbs so far.  Hallelujah.  Ha ha.  I'm still thinking his name will be Jaxon but don't you think Dash is more appropriate for a boy name in this family?  Ha.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Family and Van Upgrade

Wow, my life has changed in the last two weeks.  You want to know why I haven't written?  Oh, let me tell you....

Washing blue van to sell so we can buy newer, bigger van

  • We sold our large 12  Ford passenger van.

  • Bought a newer 15 passenger Chevy van.

  • Take new van back and forth to dealership several times to have to fix minor interior issues.  We noticed the seat belt adapters were missing and some of the kids couldn't buckle.  Actually, the dealership has been going above and beyond, even after we signed papers, to fix anything needed.  So all small parts are on order.
  • Moved in a family of 5 into our house till February or March.
  • Rearranged bedrooms to fit the extra kids and give newlyweds their own room.
  • My washer broke so I've been running back and forth to laundry mat.
  • Bought a washing machine today used for the same price as going to the laundry mat only one time.
  • Had to come up with a new chore list to accomodate the new members of our family for pitching in.
  • Train the new kids on the updated chore list.

  • Dig around for Halloween costumes for some kids in the family and extended family we didn't get prepared for.

  • Dress 10 kids for Halloween and take them all trick or treating in the neighborhood.  Collapse in bed.

  • Try to take and get new members of the family's car fixed so they have their car back and I won't have to help them get around.  (I only assisted, they paid.)  Smile big when their car if repaired. Ahhhh....

  • Try to get all the kids to realize that yes, their friends are spending the night every single night but that doesn't mean it's party every night.  Train kids on bed time and not coming out a million times.  If each kid came out twice to tell me something, that's 20 times I have to chase someone back to bed.

  • Etc....

Posing with my kids and our added family living here in front of new van

Ohhhhh, list goes on!  Ha ha.  Usually I wake up, get a cup of coffee, and just go, go, go till bed time.  With homeschool and sharing computers, I rarely get on one.  I love to blog too!  Lately I just haven't even sat down and watch a good show on TV.  My favorite is Duck Dynasty or 19 Kids and Counting.  Everything else is boring as heck and I don't have time for fiction stuff.  I guess maybe I just like to learn from others and if I'm not learning about something then it seems like a waste of my time.  Same with books.  It's so fun to always be learning and putting it into practice. :D