Saturday, February 28, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday Josiah!
You are such an awesome kid. I am so proud of you!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Lord's Prayer

There are a handful of Scriptures that every child should memorize--the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23 are two of them. I gave quite a bit of thought to how we could memorize something as a family and realized that we are all together three times a day at meal time. The children each pray--the same--rote memory prayer which is usually done is a "less-than-holy" manner. A couple weeks ago after their meal prayer I started saying the first sentence of the Lord's Prayer--"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name." By the third meal they were saying it with me and we were on our way. A couple meals later they wanted to know the next line. We have progressed to the end of the Lord's Prayer now. Aliza, Josiah and Anna have it completely memorized. Usually we all say it and then at least one and sometimes three little people want to say it by themselves. It is particularly cute to hear a 4 year old try to get their mouth around some of those old King James words. (A few passages, like the Lord's Prayer, just must be memorized in King James.) My heart thrills to hear our 5 voices blend together at each meal as we recite the Lord's Prayer together.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Found a Gem on the Shore

It's amazing how one can live in a place for years and not know everything that the area has to offer. A Mom at dance talked about how her girls love the drop in art class at a local museum and my ears perked up. Art is a class that I need to outsource and I'm not in a position to pay the going rates for art teachers so I was super interested in this free once-a-month art class at the Ward Museum.

Each month a local artist provides a self-paced, mostly self-directed, art class based on their expertise. I was assured that the teachers were comfortable with any age so I took Aliza, Josiah and Anna this past Saturday. I was hoping that Jeremy could take them as he is much more artistic (he had some art classes in college and one of his pieces from high school hangs in the Worcester County Board of Education) than I am, but Saturday morning our pipes were frozen so I figured it was best for him to stay with the house and Isaiah.

This month's class was Relief Printing. I don't have pictures of every step, but first they used a dull colored pencil to draw a picture or design in a piece of styrofoam. Then they painted, what was supposed to be, a thin layer of paint over the design and pressed it on to a paper. The design was supposed to be white and the rest of the page the color of paint chosen.

After a try or two, Josiah started to figure out the technique.
After her first try, Aliza decided to go back and retrace her design to make the indentations deeper. She also used less paint. She was very pleased with how her Frozen design turned out. Aliza even signed her name backwards on the styrofoam so that it would be forward on the print. I think she ended up doing about four different designs.
Anna is up for anything. She was the only one who was really excited to go. Every day Anna asks me where we are going. True to form, she whipped out a design in 10 seconds and was ready for paint. She had lots of fun with the paint...brushing....mixing colors...getting it all over her hands. I stopped her after three designs because I just couldn't keep up with everybody's needs.
We saw a preview of the project for next month and it is pretty cool. I think Aliza and Josiah will be more excited to go next time. And Jeremy gets to take them! =)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Snow Fun

Six inches of snow fell Monday night and it has closed schools all week. It has been bitter cold, but Josiah and Anna have gone out several times every day. Aliza goes out for a little bit, but she prefers to stay warm. I don't blame her! This year I have Isaiah to keep me year I'll be out playing in the snow too.

Josiah and Anna have been building an igloo. They had plans for a roof, but so far that hasn't happened.

And when they are too cold to be outside, they bring snow inside to eat.
One afternoon I heard someone singing Let It Go. I went to investigate and found that Anna was outside singing at the top of her lungs. She had her Elsa costume on over her clothes and they were acting out Frozen. (Apparently Else leaves her coat open and doesn't wear a hat!)
Anna usually comes in crying because she is so cold and then they all require a warm bath instead of hot chocolate.

And when they fussed the first snow day about having to have school, I assured them that they would rather have school now when there is snow outside than when it is sunny and warm. Mama is almost ready to count down to summer...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Heart Party

It's been a week here! Jeremy made a quick trip to New Mexico for business. It was a quick trip, but it didn't feel like a quick trip to me! I prefer for my husband to have both feet firmly planted on the ground. I didn't sleep well, but the children were fed, clothed and educated while he was away so I consider that a success. Jeremy came home with more work so that is a successful trip for him too.

We had our traditional heart party for Valentines Day.
I made our heart shaped pizza this year.
Aliza, Josiah and Anna were wildly pleased with their $5 Webkinz animals. Today they are all playing hide and seek with their Webkinz. Makes me happy!
Josiah was particularly thrilled with his hedgehog.
Isaiah was too thrilled with Valentines. Aliza thought he should have been much more appreciative of her Valentine for him.

The children were all excited and felt loved. A strong, cold wind started by evening. It howled and rattled the windows to the point that the children had a HARD time falling asleep. It actually sounded a lot like hurricane wind. The last one didn't go to sleep until after 11. Thankfully, any day can be Valentine's Day for Jeremy and I. ;)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Isaiah::4 Months

Smiles come so easy now. His siblings love it when he smiles, talks and almost laughs for them. And then his lip comes out and chin quivers when they leave him for something else. He's still baby snugly and I'm loving it. Today Isaiah weighed 15lbs 4oz. He's healthy and growing!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Review

Earlier this week I had my first homeschool review with the Board of Education. After last year's experiences I was pretty confident, but it is always a bit unnerving to "defend" something that I pour my heart and soul into every day.

I sat with two reviewers, the closer-to-retirement gentleman took the lead. He was soft spoken, kind and willing to give out advice. I pulled out my lesson plans and handed them my filled out papers while he asked what curriculum I use. I answered Bob Jones University Press and was getting ready to explain distance learning when he interrupted with "Oh! That's great! I graduated from Bob Jones University. The rest of the review was a walk down memory lane for him. He told me places on campus to make sure we see when we visit. He checked the textbook authors to see if he recognized any of them. (One he did.)

He pointed out that Josiah shouldn't use large circles to dot his i's. (I know! Why does Josiah think he needs to do this??) They were impressed with 3rd grade cursive writing. They were impressed with the reading level of the Reading textbooks. They want more pictures of music, art and PE. I knew I would get that. I usually go in with lots of pictures. I pulled the I-just-had-a-baby-in-October card and also pointed out that we missed exactly 5 days of school for baby's birth. (I left out that fact that I birthed that baby via c-section).

Now we just need to plow through these winter days so we can get to spring! All I want to do this week is sleep and I just feel blah!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Joy Dare::January

2052. My Gramma just so excited to order pictures and see her great grandchildren
2053. When I was overwhelmed, Jeremy pitched in to help
2054. Grandad and Gramma celebrated 63 years of marriage today
2055. Mastering the rubber band bracelet loom
2056. Moms Night Out evening and movie
2057. Accomplished what I purposed to do today
2058. Grandad (my Dad)
2059. Pulling the chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer
2060. Talking to my friend on her birthday
2061. Finished a project
2062. Spent an afternoon with Aliza
2063. A new niece born healthy
2064. Three big kids enjoying playing board games together
2065. UPS truck finally arrived
2066. Conversation with Jeremy while washing dishes
2067. A warm house
2068. Holding Isaiah all morning
2069. Checking on my mother-in-law just because I consider her my Mom
2070. School is better in a cave
2071. Well behaved children while they waited through my (long) dentist appointment
2072. Being in a moment where I rocked Isaiah to sleep and listened to Aliza talk
2073. First music class went smoothly
2074. Josiah doing his best--with a good attitude--in composition
2075. It's Friday! There is nothing special happening this weekend. I just feel like I've conquered something by getting to Friday
2076. Saturday morning spent filling children's love tanks with attention
2077. Grocery shopping with Anna
2078. Aliza wearing a maxi skirt
2079. Epic cleaning
2080. Epic playing
2081. Feeling ready to take on a new week
2082. Found a book series that captures Josiah's interest
2083. Isaiah happy to lay on his playmat--just hanging out watching his siblings play
2084. Smiled, laughed and handled the hard stuff calmly
2085. Mommy growing pains--teeth lost, bigger clothes, developmental milestones
2086. Jeremy noticed a more tidy house
2087. Dreaming with Josiah about an outdoor playhouse (that would double as his office)
2088. Snow day=cooking baking and lots of clothes changes
2089. Went to a friends house even when I didn't feel like it and was glad I went
2090. A male cardinal sitting on a branch--makes the perfect picture on a winter morning
2091. My brother's boys joining us for supper tonight
2092. Little girl hair brushed smooth
2093. Such an easygoing baby--or am I now such an easygoing Mom? Either way I'm grateful
2094. Getting to know a couple moms at music class
2095. Going with the pace of the day
2096. God's protection
2097. Josiah: "Mommy, when I grow up, expect to see me in a pickup truck."
2098. A nap this afternoon without knowing that it looks like I'll be up with a congested kiddo a lot tonight
2099. Aliza had a good time playing with Renee
2100. Sorting, throwing away and organizing--one space in the house feels a lot lighter!
2101. Making an out-of-the-ordinary evening happen for my family
2102. Watching Josiah shoot his bow
2103. My first solo evening and bedtime with 4
2104. Josiah's photoshoot with Isaiah
2105. A really long conversation with my sister
2106. Talking homeschooling with a curious Mom at the library
2107. Surprised by an inquiry
2108. Huge snowflakes falling
2109. The Wednesday routine of Bible Study and dance
2110. Some extra time to visit with some Bible Study friends
2111. Another 4 year old well check under my belt
2112. My Gramma's faith and love for God and people
2113. Putting church Bible Study back in my routine
2114. A gift card that covered meal and dessert
2115. Giving the balance on the gift card to the table beside us
2116. Hanging out with my hubby while he golfs
2117. Getting some chilly sunshine in January while reading a book in the golf cart
2118. 40 hours to relax
2119. Knowing my kids are just fine with my parents
2120. Love noted
2121. Working hard on writing a play
2122. Family performance of Aliza's play and everyone was fully invested
2123. Happy to have my baby in my arms again
2124. Noise, drama and normal chaos
2125. Making a video for a too-far-away Grandma and Grandpa
2126. Packing a box of sunshine for a friend
2127. Jeremy washing the dishes tonight
2128. Another mom had a brand new pacifier in her bag when I had forgotten one
2129. I keep learning from my parents
2130. This smile and sparkly eyes
2131. Anna took a nap
2132. Josiah's reading
2133. Aliza's most recent interest--writing play scripts and practicing them
2134. In addition to lollipops the kids got chocolate at the bank today
2135. A few moments without electricity--no computer white noise, reading books, playing
2136. Scrapbooking and having Isaiah with me
2137. Waking up to sunshine
2138. A Daddy to lay down new living room rules