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.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Our First Week of School

School has started!   With a slightly crazy first day for us, since that seems to be how we roll.

I've got a Senior, a Sophomore, and a Freshman in private school this year.

"179 days of school left.  Ever."

"I get to see all the friends I didn't see over the summer!"

"This is a little bit scary."  (Eli's first time in classroom school since kindergarten.)

Although my teens look slightly less than thrilled with this picture, it's mainly because it was a rushed thing.  I was going in one direction with the Little Ones, and Paul was taking the teens to school, leaving at just about the same time.

Because I was taking the Little Ones out of town, Paul offered to do some homeschooling with Jack, Hannah, and Katie for me.  Bad homeschool mama, I missed the first day of school!  But he did a great job, and finished everything on the list I left for him.

Eli had a birthday last week!

He got a couple new K'nex sets and a new t-shirt.

Or should I say "tank top"?  He likes the shirt, he just wasn't delighted about me taking his picture.

Lots of busy with our Little Ones.  Playing, eating, learning, visiting...

Lukey got new turtle jammies.  I've been doing some shopping since his clothes didn't come back, and he's grown a bit.

He got a new crib toy, too.  It plays music when you press the big fishbowl, and he's figured out how to kick it to make it work.

I worked on fork training with the 3 youngest kids in the house this week.  (I should be losing weight for all the time I spend feeding people other than myself, right??)  If I do hand over hand with him, we stab the ravioli together, and then he can get it into his mouth.  The Small Fries are catching on a bit quicker, but it's still quite the process.  I tried spoons and applesauce with the two Little Ones today.

Another new toy for Lukey.  He liked the little activity table we sent with him, and since it didn't return, I replaced it with a similar one, but I actually like this one much better.  It's more musical, and plays classical tunes.

Without the hair fluff, Luke has a few inches on the Little Ones.  One of them is quite fascinated with him.

New therapist this week.

I made them take a Second Day of School picture because the day one pics weren't smiley enough for me.  The cat had left a gift on the porch, and as I stood near it, I said, "Imagine me stepping in cat puke."  They all smiled.

Sigh.  I think Katie is going to have to go to school for K next year.  At least, if this week is any indication.  I just don't have the patience to lay a good foundation with her, and I don't want us both to be frustrated.  Maybe things will change as we get further into the year.

Here's the girls enjoying Lukey's new activity table now that it's out of the box and set up.

And this picture got tons of response on Facebook!  Everyone is happy to see our little guy, who was so miserable when he left in April, smiley and happy now.

I mentioned that one of the Little Ones is fascinated with Luke?  She will sit right next to him, on him, lay in his lap.  Luke looks at us like, "What they heck?"

Paul has been super helpful with keeping an eye on our Little Guests so I can teach, and helping Jack with his math.

It's a challenge, getting everything done.  I think it's going to take some time for us to find our school groove this year.  The dynamics are so very different from last year.

We made mammal cootie catchers.  Someone wasn't paying attention to the words he was coloring.

This was Jack's first experience with a cootie catcher.  That's what kids miss out on when they don't go to classroom school!  :giggle:

I can't believe we're almost done with August!  Time is zipping along.  Before I know it, it will be time to visit Apple Hill and the pumpkin patch.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mighty Mug

I was recently approached by the folks at Mighty Mug about doing a review for their tip-resistant drinkware products.  Initially, my thought was, "But I have a water bottle that I like."  However, with a houseful of people, I figured we could always use another cup around here, so I decided to go for it.  

I'm so glad I did!  

Many of the products in the Mighty Mug lineup seem to be geared toward the coffee drinker or commuter, neither of which apply to me, so I decided to try the Mighty Mug Ice in purple.  This is more of a "tumbler" design, except the whole point of these products is that they do not fall over!  

I chose the purple, and shipping was super fast!  When I prewashed it, the kids were curious about my new cup, and we had a lot of fun setting it down and picking it straight up, or trying to slide it (good luck!) or tip it over.

Pretty soon, my Mighty Mug became a regular fixture on my desk.  What I discovered is that I use my other "water" bottle with tea packets, so I wasn't getting straight water.  The Mighty Mug has been a great way to keep water on my desk without worrying that one of the kids is going to knock it over.  The Smartgrip Technology keeps the cup in place when bumped, yet allows you to pick it up easily when you lift straight up.

Less spills?  Yes, please!  Mighty Mug Ice sells for $19.99 and also comes in blue.  The Mighty Mug team is working on getting barwear launched, as well.  Check out their Kickstarter Campaign!

You can connect with Mighty Mug on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

I'm Getting Old

My morning shower is a place where I psych myself up to face the day.  Amidst imaginary conversations with people who aren't there and bursts of song, I let the hot water wash away the stress and chaos of the prior day and equip me to start the new day fresh.

This morning, as I was about to shave my legs, I looked down and saw a squiggly line.  Assuming it was a hair from my head, I reached down to brush it away, not wanting it to get tangled in my razor.  Only to discover that line was not brown, but purple.  It was a vein.

Awesome.  My legs are getting ugly and my eyesight is going.

Bring on the day.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Week - Last Week of Summer

Tuesday night was high school orientation for Sam, Bri & Eli.  After they came home with all the syllabi for all their classes, we raided the school supplies bucket and got all 3 backpacks filled up for the first day, which will be Monday!

I ordered a pad last week for the changing table/dresser we were given, and it arrived on Saturday, so I made a flannel cover for it.

It seems to serve it's purpose well.  On the left in the pic above, you can see a little bit of the results of a little bit of "retail therapy" I did the day after Luke came home, since we got several pairs of shorts and a few s/s shirts back, but no church clothes or pajamas.

One of our small guests asking me to take the cardboard tag off one of the toys.

I raided Katie's drawers for some shorts, including these.  Fortunately, I buy the little girls' shorts in the boys department, since they are longer than girl shorts.  The panda shirt is one that got left behind in the laundry when Luke moved.

Paul took some time off work to help get Luke settled, finish the wall, and generally help out with all the little ones.

This gave me the chance to get out a couple times with the older kids.

Eli is still making planes.

We had a birthday this week!

Sam's been busy with football practice and such so it was nice to get a chance to celebrate him and all the humor he brings to our lives.

And how are things going with Lukey?  Well, his biggest change is that he transferred his ability to scoot himself around on his back, to being able to scoot himself around in a seated position.  This is huge, and encouraging.  He is scooting around touching stuff with the back of his hand, and seems "right at home" but of course we have no way of knowing what he remembers or doesn't.

I got a wee bit crazy this week and decided to let our Toddler Guests try painting for the first time.

It actually went better than I expected it to!  I gave their finished masterpieces to their Mama.

One night, I escaped for a little time out with my big boys.  Josiah got some driving time in, picking Sam up from football practice, and we went out for a pizza.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught their "Let me take a picture, and I'll give you quarters" faces.

Our Little Guests have been very accepting of Lukey.  They're a little curious about him, but they're pretty happy to have someone dropping food off the high chair that they can come along and discover later!  (unfortunately, I usually have to take it away, since they're gluten and dairy free)

A friend with small ones the same age as our Small Ones offered to watch them for a couple hours so Paul and I could have lunch out.  We had a nice, quiet lunch, where I didn't have to feed anybody but me, and nobody whined!

Afterwards, since we were in the neighborhood, he took me to see his new baby.  He headed up the apparatus committee for this ginormous fire truck that is being finished for his department.

Poor Wheelie!  He's getting old.  He looks at the baby gates and meows at us.  His former hiding place was Paul's office, which is now Luke's new bedroom... with a gate across the door to keep the Little Ones out of Paul's bookcases.

Made it into the sewing room a second time to come up with the hat and pants for a brand new baby I got to meet this week!

A tiny little bitty one!  I hope to get the matching shirt done in the next few days and give it to the new mama next time I see her.

Our Small Ones are at such a fun age, where they're learning new things all the time.  Recent accomplishments include picking up a couple new signs, and learning to say a couple new words.  We're working using forks now, and when we get the hang of that, I'm going to transition them from trays to the table with the rest of us.

Katie and I have been reading the continent book (affiliate link) over and over and over, in the hopes of giving her a basic idea of geography before we get going with school next week.

We managed to do another spelling lesson.  It's going to be interesting to try to fit in a full school day next week!

We also started a new book that we will be reviewing next month.

I printed the kids some Columbus crafts from a teacher worksheet website that we'll be reviewing, as well.

Jack and Hannah colored, cut, and assembled their bendy Columbus guys while I read them the first chapter of our book.

This was Hannah's first time doing brads by herself, and we had to tape poor Columbus a couple of times, but with a little help, she got it.

Jack is way more into the cookies Brianna baked than the craft Mom insisted on.

Whew!  Not as "summery" a summer as what I was hoping for, but ready or not, here comes school!  I'm looking forward to getting back to our school year routine, but I'm worried about getting everything done and taking care of Luke and the toddlers.  One day at a time, I guess!

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