A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

...And In With The New

I've finally put away Mr Jingle Pants and Sassy Girl's toothbrushes.  
To make room for these toothbrushes instead.

We got a special delivery last night.  

Fluffy, on the left, is 2.  And Sparkle, on the right, is 4.

They may be here for a few days, or a few weeks.  We don't know.  And that's okay.  One day at a time, right?  

This morning, I left the house carrying 3 OJs and 3 snack cups of banana puffs.  
Hannah loved it.  Usually, I make her wait until after we drop the big kids off, if she hasn't gotten ready in time to have breakfast before we leave.  

Sparkle likes the play kitchen.  They both like the trampoline.  That thing is a real ice breaker with the new kids.  :)  

We left to take Hannah to K a little early so we could stop and play at the park for a little while and get some fresh air.  I feel a little guilty complaining about being quite warm pulling the wagon when I know so many people are affected by Hurricane Sandy.  

Somehow, I suspect we're not going to get all our school work done today.  
And you know what?

That's okay, too.

Not every day, of course.  But sometimes, it's okay to just go with the flow and give myself an extra measure of grace, realizing that we can make stuff up over the weekend.

We did some oral reading this morning (me, trying to holler project over the sound of the littles playing while we were all in the playroom).  And my students can do spelling and handwriting and math on their own during nap time.  But if we don't read Properties of Ecosystems today, the sky isn't going to fall.   I hope that my kids are learning something, anyway.

Uh oh!  We've slipped to #42!  
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012

I had been lamenting the fact that we weren't part of a "group" this year that was going to the pumpkin patch.  I thought about taking the kids by myself, but really didn't want to spend the money if we weren't going to be hanging out with friends.  

Last week, I got a phone call saying we missed an appointment.  Oops!  I hate it when I do that!  I rescheduled, and was asked, "Hey, do you want some tickets to the pumpkin patch?  Someone gave me a whole bunch, and I thought of you guys."  LOL!  Do we?  Of course we do!  Thanks, God.

Guess what was the WRONG color to dress Jack in?

Yeah, orange.  Go figure.  

We had a great time playing and enjoying hay rides and nature and picking out pumpkins.  

Another picture?  Really, mom?

Back to playtime!  We love action shots.

My kids are the "bad examples" for all the toddlers in the hay maze.  

Bri decided that the post needed a pumpkin on top of it.  

My boy loves me.

The cow train!  I think my kids took about a dozen rides on this thing.  It was pulled by a tractor.  

Uh oh!  We've slipped to #40.  
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Homeschool Weekly Wrap Up - Week 12, Norway

I had a whole blog post written before nap time, and posted it, and somehow, when I got back from the afternoon school run, it was gone.  So here we go again.  I'm sure it will be different than the original, but you get the idea.  

The boys got Plants vs. Zombies trading cards from the dentist.  They kept them busy for hours.

Hannah got her school pictures back.  
They're awful, aren't they?
The 3 teens pics were bad this year, too, so I'm thinking Lifetouch has a new photographer in this area.

This has nothing to do with Norway, or homeschooling, for that matter.  But the kids were playing with Monopoly money recently, and I found these pictures on my camera and decided to share them. Materialism.  It starts so young, lol.   

Actually, we looked up Norwegian currency online this week, and printed some out for the kids' binders.  That reminds me, I'm about out of colored printer ink.  We're really going through ink & paper this year!  

Eli poking at the camera with his flag of Norway.

I love that by the end of the year we'll know so many flags.  

Last week was a light school week, since we took a trip to the pumpkin patch.  (Pictures coming soon.)  I'm hoping to dive a little deeper into Norway this week.  We picked up some library books to supplement, as there is no Little Passports package for Norway.  

Uh oh!  We've slipped to #40.  
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Sunday, October 28, 2012


Sassy Girl and Mr Jingle Pants are gone.  They've actually been gone for a while, but I thought they'd be coming back.  Now, it doesn't look like they will.

Even though they were here less than a month, they made a huge impact on me.  Do you remember when you were a kid, dentists would come to the school and give little dental kits with pink chewables you were supposed to gnaw and spit after brushing to see where you'd missed?  All the spots that you didn't brush well enough were bright pink.  In the same way, Sassy Girl and Mr Jingle Pants served as metaphorical disclosing tablets to me, personally.  It was easy to say, "I brushed," or "I'm compassionate and have a heart for children."  And yet the bright pink areas soon showed in my own selfishness and impatience.

Their toothbrushes are still in my bathroom.

Sassy Girl and Mr Jingle Pants went for a weekend visit with mom and never came back.  For the past week, I've been coming across their things in the laundry and wondering.  Waiting to hear from their mom, either to arrange for them to come back, or to get their stuff to them.  Wishing they were in school, where they should be.

Someone said, "Think of the impact you've had on their lives."  Only, I'm not sure there was any.  This was just a place they had to stay when their mom couldn't take care of them for a little while.  In a year, they won't remember our names, and in 10 years, they may not even remember the hosting experience at all.  I'd rather think about and learn from the impact they've had on MY life.

I hope I won't be so quick to take my things for granted, now that I've seen them through the eyes of kids with next to nothing.  I've gained a new perspective on the reality that not everyone grows up in a traditional, typical family situation.  Sassy had some grating behaviors.  But they were a result of her cumulative experiences in the 7 short years of her life so far.  Just like we learned with Hannah that not every child has someone sit down and teach them colors when they begin to speak, we've now realized that not every child has someone teach them the same standards of behavior.

For someone who thought they were compassionate, I've learned that when the rubber met the road, I wasn't very good about putting my faith into action.  Oh, I can go from pillow to driveway with 9 kids in one hour.  I can do the tasks that encompass parenting easily enough.  But on the inside?  I have a long way to go.  I realized that when I was not happy about having to get up 15 minutes earlier to get everyone out the door to get Sassy Girl to the bus on time.  15 minutes.  Really?  So much for eternal perspective.

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The Life Of Faith     Blog Button Final    Covered in Grace

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Don't Blink, Mamas

Seriously.  I know it's a cliche.  "It goes so fast," say all the gray haired ladies that coo over your baby in the shopping cart.

Dude.  Stop and listen.  It really DOES go fast.

Oh, I know, when you've got two preschoolers duking it out over a toy and the baby just spit up all over your only clean shirt, you're thinking, "Yeah, right.  Feels like eternity to me."  Been there, done that.

This is me with my daughter, Annaliese.  I put in the boot camp years.  I had a bunch of littles all at the same time.  I remember the exhaustion, the squabbles, the mundaneness of the sheer amount of work involved in running a houseful of small children.  

Only thing is, it's not so very far from the picture above to the picture below.   

That's a driving permit.  Proof that, in the eyes of the state, at least, my little girl is growing up.  

Even though I sometimes still see her like this:  

The reality is, my little Guppyzilla is almost all grown up.  And those days that I foolishly wished away were the only chance I had to prepare her to be the person God designed her to be.  

A picture with Dad before leaving for Homecoming

I wish I had baked a few more batches of muffins with her when she still needed a step stool to reach the counter.  I wish I had read her one more story when she asked.  And although I'm proud of the person she's becoming and I know she'll do great at whatever she chooses to focus on in life, there's a part of me that grieves the loss of my little girl.

It goes so fast.  What will you do, today, to pour into your future grown ups?


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Homeschool Weekly Wrap Up - Week 11, Brazil

Brazil is the first country we've spent 3 weeks on.  This week we learned about Mission Aviation Fellowship, which coincided with our reading (and sobbing through) the last chapters of our Nate Saint biography.  We're going to watch End of the Spear now that we're done with the book.

Cardstock planes included in the MFW student pages.

MAF supports missionaries by air in many countries around the world.  

Hard to tell, but the kids are watching a video about MAF on my iPad.  

I was told no study of Brazil was complete without sampling some brigadeiro.  

So, of course, we had to try some!

It was yummy!

More milky inside than I expected.  I guess I was thinking more "truffle-ish."  

Eli is painting a feather with vegetable to illustrate the way ducks produce oil for their feathers to help them shed water.  

I love homeschooling.  I love having these guys around and watching them play throughout the day.

Even when they're supposed to be getting ready for lunch.  ;)

Another craft failure.

It kind of looks like a cross between a worry doll and a mummy.
It's supposed to be a carnival dancer.  

My cute boy hole punching his Brazil flag to put into the South America section of his binder.

And my kinder-twins.  I pulled out the autumn shaped foamy beads and had them sort them and make bracelets.  Kept them busy for a while.  

Hannah's at that in between stage, where she doesn't need a nap EVERY day, but she needs one often enough that she's tired without them.  One day, she decided she'd had enough and she went upstairs and went to bed all on her own!  

The dress hanging on her dresser is something I just finished, but it's been too hot for her to wear it (it's corduroy).  

When studying the Amazon rainforest (or doing math), you just have to eat Jungle Animal cookies, right?  

It's all about the food around here.  

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