Thursday, May 21, 2015

They Did It!

We were talking about school work and how tomorrow was going to be our last day of school over breakfast and Aliza had the genius idea that if she worked really hard she could finish today. It was cool and rain was forecasted for the entire day so Josiah was game too. Aliza and Josiah both did a ton of reading to finish up for the year. But they did it--before supper even. I did absolutely nothing else today.

It was a bit tricky to supervise so much reading and keep two younger ones happy. Isaiah found the bookshelf.
Anna settled down with paper, stickers, pens, glue and paper flowers.
It's going to feel really great to wake up tomorrow without school on the agenda!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Making Some Healthy Habits

I'm really good at keeping a flexible schedule, but I'm not so good at controlling my children's every movement. I'm really good at putting reasonably nutritious meals on the table three times a day, but I'm not so good at limiting snacks in between. Since I've made some mistakes I'm at a point where I'm trying to teach healthy habits to the older children and make changes with the younger children.

I gave my children apple juice (100% juice, no added sugar) at an early age. I know why I did that, but I did not anticipate that it would translate into them not drinking water. It was pointed out to me how if a child drinks 3-4 cups of juice in a day they are taking in 1/3 of the calories they need in a day just in juice. Some of my children outright refuse water so it was then suggested that I use Crystal Light flavored drink mixes. These mixes have 5 calories in a serving as opposed to the 110 calories in a serving of apple juice. (I still have a mental struggle with going from the natural fruit sugar in juice to the sweetener in drink mixes.) Nonetheless,I made the switch. It took a few days to adjust, but there is no more complaining and now everyone is getting water in their bodies!

I think the fact that we are basically at home lends itself to different eating habits than if the children were in a traditional school setting. The kitchen is always available to them. They like to grab a snack whenever the thought strikes them. Aliza and Josiah watch their lessons on the computer so a snack is always a temptation to keep them busy while they are watching. (Of course a snack would have been nice to have in school when my teachers were less than exciting too! ha.)

After a day where eating habits particularly alarmed me, I came up with the idea of an "eating schedule." This chart works especially well with Aliza, but the concept is in effect with everyone. I was a bit hesitant to present the idea--to Aliza--because I wanted it to be all about health and making good choices and feeling energetic and not regretting what you had just eaten. I did not want it to be about looks and weight.

I set up six times in a day when food would be available. Aliza can record what she eats. She chooses a snack based on whether her "tummy is telling her it's hungry" not on how she is feeling or what she is doing at the moment. If she decides not to have a snack, she puts a smiley face in the box. Once the box is written in, the snack or meal is over.
Aliza loves this. She bought into the idea as soon as it was presented. I made the third rendition of the chart today. The first day it was implemented she came to me and hugged me more than once telling me she loved me and then she would add "The eating chart makes me feel so grown up."

Here's the thing. Children love structure and boundaries. It makes them feel secure. It took me next to forever, but I finally figured out a way to give--especially Aliza--structure and boundaries for healthy eating habits. And you know what? Weight has not come up a single time.

Monday, May 11, 2015

just be you and live original

This is great and wanted to share it with some of you without putting it on facebook.

My girls are more than welcome to look to Sadie as a celebrity role model!

I wish I could blog about my struggles in raising my girls to have confidence and self-esteem. It's not like writing about temper tantrums and crawling for the first time!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Isaiah--7 Months

 Today Isaiah scooted himself across the toy room--to Josiah's Legos. The inevitable has happened! He's not quite up on his knees, but he gets himself around. Two teeth have come through and he loves his squash, sweet potatoes and carrots! He has zero interest in anything like Cheerios to eat yet. And I don't know what the deal is with his napping...he's been waking up almost exactly one hour into every nap. Crying. I know he's still tired. I think Babywise calls it the 45 minute intruder. I need to look it up again. (I'm pretty sure I've looked it up with every child.) I'm also pretty sure it's time to turn on the air conditioner fan in his room for white noise. That being said, he can wake up from those short naps and recover and smile and scoot around and be generally content. Definitely a youngest child!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Joy Dare::April

2307. Another Mom and I agreeing to pray for each other
2308. Shortened school days for Easter week
2309. Long evening with Chrissy
2310. Great Grandparents enjoying Isaiah
2311. Lydia loves on Isaiah by keeping him constantly well stocked with toys
2312. Surprised Josiah and I got a huge hug
2313. It's Friday and it felt like a Friday
2314. Fresh cut daffodils for Easter
2315. Anna's confidence
2316. Lots of outside time
2317. Easter morning---the joy, the music, the fellowship, the hope the comes from Jesus rising from the dead
2318. The Easter egg hunt
2319. A full day with family
2320. Introduction of long division went smoothly
2321. Cooperation at the Dr office
2322. Walking around the yard to check out new growth
2323. Another cooperative Dr appt
2324. Aliza's excitement over a new library book and begging me to finish my work so we could sit together and read
2325. (More) daffodils
2326. Celebrating Easter with family who share faith
2327. Helping in the preschool Bible study class
2328. Looking through pictures from years gone by
2329. An outing with Gramma
2330. Taking a risk on an opportunity
2331. Isaiah lights up with his Daddy walks in the door in the evening
2332. Motivation to clean up the bedrooms
2333. Arriving at Grandma and Grandpa's house
2334. Being in a house with plenty of help when Jeremy got sick
2335. Raspberry vanilla ice cream cones
2336. Greeter at church made sure they greeted me in spite of my full arms
2337. Well behaved children, good sermon and a baby sleeping in my arms
2338. Master's Tournament=TV watching all weekend
2339. Gorgeous warm afternoon
2340. Frisbee with the kiddos
2341. Sun kissed cheeks
2342. Safely home
2343. My mother in law, knowing how tired I was, praying for our safety (I had to drive the whole way since Jeremy was still sick)
2344. Early bedtimes
2345. Josiah loving the poems in "Where the Sidewalk Ends)
2346. Teeny tiny green leaves
2347. Making the most of changed plans
2348. A little time away--much needed
2349. Jeremy is feeling better
2350. "Mom, I know you don't feel very good" dandelion bouquet.
2351. No cough with my cold
2352. Kids strong and healthy to fight colds and coughs
2353. One moment at a time and making it through
2354. A couple children old enough to "get it" when I don't feel good
2355. Aliza happy about her dance performance
2356. Bead weaving art project
2357. A turkey walking across the yard
2358. Feeling considerably better
2359. Spring cleaning the yard
2360. Restful weekend
2361. Thinking about how to make my life really count for something
2362. Flowers in hair
2363. Sisters singing at the top of their lungs
2364. Incredibly smooth day of school
2365. Retired neighbors to put bike chains back on when they come off in the middle of the day
2366. Open windows
2367. Laughter, singing and general happiness coming from children playing outside together
2368. Hearing what my heart needed and realizing my heart still needs work in that area
2369. Praying thanks and nothing more
2370. Excited to feel able to do something for someone else
2371. Excited about possibilities
2372. My Thursday evening ladies--and chai!
2373. Full days at home
2374. All of my sisters (and our husbands, parents and grandparents) visiting together
2375. Aliza's excitement over a new-to-her bike
2376. Cleaned out closet and dresser
2377. Lazy day of rest
2378. Getting my thoughts on paper
2379. Multiple bike rides today
2380. Saying no is so hard but it feels so good to keep my focus in the right place
2381. Before dawn this morning I had to choose to have a good attitude about the day
2382. A house full with 6 children playing happily
2383. Took it to God first
2384. My computer survived a baptism
2385. Embraced the mess
2386. Mobile baby
2387. Accomplished feeling of finishing another year of Bible study and dance
2388. Brian brought Dad's mower up--and shared it. I got to chat with my brother.
2389. Mothers dancing their daughter's recital routine. It was epic. #thismamacantdance
2390. Kept my mouth shut
2391. Maybe too relaxed about company coming
2392. Pink and red azalea blooms

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Family Dinner Book Club--April

This month's book was Where the Sidewalk Ends. I was excited because my kids would have never chosen a book of poems. I was super excited that Josiah totally engaged in this book. It's been a while since I've found one that has really captured him. Aliza, on the other hand, declared it "stupid." I think she secretly liked it.

I took all my ideas from Daisy at Home who shares on Growing Book by Book blog. The idea was to have a backwards, silly, out-of-ordinary meal. So it was breakfast for supper on the living room floor with pillows to sit on.

A stack of pancakes--and we reread the pancake poem.
Juice in bowls. (Josiah thought that was just over the top and insisted that his drink MUST be in a cup.) The Band-Aid name tags are from the Band-Aid poem--and we reread the Band-Aid poem.
Eggs and bacon served in glasses. Daisy at Home also suggested dry cereal on plates with chopsticks. I made cinnamon rolls instead.
We used the conversation starter questions which included that everyone choose a number between 10 and 140 and then read the poem on that page. That was fun. It was a memorable meal and book for sure!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Play House

It was 10:00 this morning and I was feeling very tired. And I thought to myself, "Why are you so tired at 10:00 in the morning?" I started looking around and there were messes everywhere and that's why I was feeling so tired. A clean, tidy, prettily decorated house sounds so appealing and relaxing and invigorating to me. That's not my life at this point in time! So let me entertain you with some pictures of the mess.

Play-doh. The cousins left it after being at our house yesterday. I'm not sure if it was a mistake or part of the toy trading that took place.
Paper in massive amounts! This will be one of my first projects after school is finished. This is not schoolwork, it's projects and drawings.
Anna's busy box. Exploding.
Isaiah now army crawls forward...and sits alone. I still surround him by pillows!
The girls busy playing.
A princess neighborhood apparently.
Legos. Only a fraction of the legos.
Various princess schedules on the living room wall.
So what did I do? Sat down and looked for some legos Josiah was searching for. And then I washed dishes. And then school. And then...and then...and then...and tonight every single one of these messes is still a mess. However, everyone was fed and educated and they played with cousins and played outside tonight.

This is my life and I count it all joy and craziness!