Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our Pledge

The boys have been doing Bible class with Evan, so they are there when we doing our little opening for our school day. They have all been learning the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the pledge of allegiance to the Bible. Amazing how a little 3 year old can say all those big words and remember them all. Wish I could memorize things as easily as they do! They got a little intimidated with the camera on...when they're just repeating it around the house, it is word perfect.

video

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Other First Day of School






Today was another first. Evan and I had our first day at homeschool co-op. He has been so excited about this. It is an all day event, but for this first year, I chose to have him just take 2 classes. That way I could leave the younger boys with Nana, and not be stressed about taking them all, and trying to keep track of their 3 different class grades for 6 different sessions.
Evan's taking a Science class, and the second class is Math for 6 weeks, and then will be Spanish for 6 weeks, and the other 12 weeks topics are to be announced. I am a hall monitor for both sessions. It was so quiet in the halls. Next Friday I'll take a book....I haven't had the time to sit and read book in years. This might turn out to be a nice break for me! :-) I did get to sit and chat with another mom for a bit this morning, which was so nice. There were over 100 students there today (nursery through high school)...I was shocked...I expected more like 30 - 40. More home-educating families here in this little area than I thought there were. His teachers for the classes are very nice.
Evan had a great time. I'm thankful for this chance to provide him the opportunity for social interaction and to make some good friends. This morning he said, "I want to make friends with a girl...like Chloe." (his cousin....he misses her.) "I want to have a girl friend." He told me he made a friend today. I asked him what his name is. "I don't know." Well, next week, maybe he'll actually ask his friend what his name is. :-) I think Evan thought the best part was that he got to do something that the kids that go away to school get to do....wear a backpack! He didn't want to take it off! Of course, it is Lightning McQueen....nothing else would do. Thanks, Gramma B, he loves it! I asked Evan afterwards if he had a good time. He said, "This was the best day EVER!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Love Yourself

Carter proud of himself after climbing the rock wall at Moreau Lake



Ok, sometimes, my need to be hugged or kissed doesn't necessarily coincide with when my husband's in a huggy, kissy kind of mood. I'm always in that kind of mood. He is not always in that kind of mood. After 12 years of marriage, we've got that pretty well figured out. There was a time when he actually told me to hug myself. Can't remember the circumstances, but he thought he was funny, and as you can imagine, I was NOT thrilled. I'm over it now, and occasionally since then, to be funny, he'll tell me to hug myself or kiss myself, (playfully of course....he knows not to say that seriously!). Actually in the last dozen years, Ben's become a much more affectionate person. I'm wearing him down..... oh I mean bringing out that side of him. :-) I'm assuming that Carter must have heard him say something like that at some point, or perhaps he really is just his father's son as I have asserted all along.





I was saying good night to Carter and Derek. I tucked them in and climbed in bed between them. A few months back they ditched their toddler beds and they share a full size bed now (which used to be our guest bed....now that we converted the basement to a classroom...we have no guest room. Now our guests get to sleep in a toddler boys' room with cars and trucks and motorcycles decorating it.) Anyhow...I did the usual....pretended to be a giant and said "Fe Fi Fo Fum. I love kisses...me gonna get some!" They pull their covers over their faces, and I pull them off and kiss their precious cheeks. Yes, it's a little strange, but they love it. In fact, as soon as I lay Owen's head on his pillow he says "Fo Fum!"




Well, Carter (our moody child) decided last night he doesn't like kisses (oh ya? too bad, I say!). I don't know what particular issue had him in a rotten mood, but instead of returning my kisses and big hugs and I love you's, he told me he didn't love me. What? Now, though it hurts to ever hear your child say that, I know from experience that it isn't true. Usually it's to get a reaction, or because their spirit is encumbered by the disease of a rotten attitude, usually inflicted by not getting their own way, or perhaps just because they are 3 and one never knows what a 3 year old is going to say. I told him how unkind that was, that he should never say that to anyone, especially his momma, and how hurt that made me feel. He said "I guess you're gonna have to love yourself." Ok, it's not cute or appropriate to be unloving to people, so I had to hide the smile that wanted to bloom on my face. I immediately knew which set of genes this boy is operating on!




Well, good news, after I scolded him for being so rude and told him I was going to go straight to bed and cry myself to sleep, and was heading out the door, his face lit up with a sweet smile, and he said, "Momma, I want to give you a kiss and a big hug." (He likes to play with my emotions...something I'm going to have to train out of him before he gets married someday!) And then as he was wrapped up in my arms, he said the most beautiful words any mother can ever hear......"I love you!" Good, I said, now I don't have to go cry myself to sleep! I love you too, my boy. Sweet Dreams.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E

I'm so proud of my little Sunday School class. There are 5 kids, 3 of whom are my own (the boys of course)....ages 6, 5, 4, and two 3 year olds.


Today, they did something new. They recited their memory verse and sang their song from last quarter for our church family.



They did really well! And I believe it was absolutley beautiful music to the ears of God.

video



Our last quarter was on how God helps us. One of the units was God helps us to obey.



Jeremiah 26:13 "Obey the voice of the LORD."

"Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe,

Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily.

Action is the key, do it immediately,

Joy you will receive.

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe."

I sang that song when I was a little girl...today I got to watch 3 of my children sing it in church.



We can learn alot from children. Almost all of them were excited to do this (one was a tad shy), they didn't worry about whether their singing voice was good enough, or if they sang on tune, or if they remembered how to spell obedience, or if they looked cute enough. I didn't have to coerce them. Children lack the inhibitions and "what will other people think of me" kind of concerns that we adults seem to get hung up on. They simply sing for Jesus.



I love how Derek was moving through the whole song. He gets that from his momma. In fact, my family after I got married, purposely fast forwarded through our very long wedding ceremony on video, because I was moving the whole time, and apparently it looked pretty funny in fast forward. :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Not Easy


Kids say the funniest things:

Tonight at supper Derek was taking a really long time to finish his stuffed shells. He was told he couldn't have any of the ice cream Nana brought if he didn't finish his meal. Then he tells us he thinks he needs to puke. Daddy totally not believing him said "no, you don't... keep eating". Next thing we know, he does the act. I'll try to spare you the gorey details, but all I can say is I am so thankful for these Baby Bjorn bibs!
http://www.babybjorn.com/en/American/products/Kitchen/BABYBJORN-Soft-Bib/ . (If you have a baby or toddler, one of the best products I can recommend is these. They have saved us many extra loads of laundry and from having piles of stained ruined clothes. Only wish I'd found them when Evan was little. Got mine from Target.com)

After Daddy cleaned him up, he got upset because he wanted the ice cream, but we explained that he couldn't have any ice cream since he was sick. Owen didn't want his, Derek assured us that he was fine, and so he ate his brother's. His face lit up with a smile. Then the story came out.

As he's enjoying polishing off his scoop of mint chocolate chip, Derek says "I tried to puke."

Me: "You tried to puke?"

Derek: "Yes."

Me: "You made yourself puke so that you wouldn't have to finish your supper?"

Derek: "Yep."

Pause.....he takes another spoonful of ice cream and says matter of factly, "It's not easy."

I couldn't say anything more...I was laughing too hard. Oh these kids. How will I ever raise gentlemen?!



The little faker.

Nana took this picture yesterday on their first day of Nana's Preschool. Derek is really good at putting this puzzle together. If only he could put away a meal as fast as he puts a 25 piece puzzle together.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's finally here...the first day of school! The day nearly every child looks forward to with anticipation, and the day all mothers dread and hope to stop time before it arrives...the day their baby starts Kindergarten. Lucky for me, we decided what was best for our child was homeschooling, so I didn't have to go through that whole ordeal of leaving my child at school and crying all the way home!





The day started out pretty good, despite the fact that this momma (who is not a morning person) can't sleep in anymore while my children slumber....I'm on a schedule. Those days of snuggling under the covers while my boys slept late are over. They've spoiled me. We got ourselves in gear and got Daddy off to work and everyone ready and in the classroom at 9am. If you know anything about my family, you would know that that is no small achievement!

Evan has been pretty excited about homeschooling, after he got over his disappointment that he wouldn't be riding a bus. So, he had an idea that he wanted to go to school this morning a special way. So, I was the bus driver and the boys all followed me....out the back door we went, down off the deck, around the side of the house, and to the side door which opens into the stairwell that goes from the kitchen to the basement. I did tell him that I don't plan on bundling up in the winter and trecking through drifts of snow to do that. :-)









We had our little opening to the school day with prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and a few rules about school.
Then we had Bible Class. The 3 younger boys are joining us for this class. They each have a Bible coloring book, so they have an activity to do, too. It went fairly well, since the twins are used to sitting through Sunday School and Children's church. Owen on the other hand, is going to be challenging. He did not want to sit in his chair,

and as I'm teaching the lesson on Samuel listening to God, I hear "I think you got a screw loose." Owen had pulled out the toy tool box, and was playing with his talking drill.
I had pulled out of hiding the keyboard Ben bought me years ago, so we have some accompaniment for our Bible songs.

Owen climbed right up on the seat, and hit the button for one of the prerecorded songs that came loaded on the keyboard...."Livin la vida loca". Now as I think back on it, perhaps that was a sign! :-) (Some might say I am living a crazy life.) Then as I'm playing Holy Bible Book Divine, he sneaks over and hits the D.J. button. So, as I'm attempting to play the song and sing, instead of notes, I get this male voice saying, "DJ". Priceless, huh? Finally, we made it through Bible Class, and the boys headed off to Nana's house next door for what my mom calls "Nana's Preschool", and Evan and I got work



on Phonics and Reading...learning all about the letter Aa. After a snack break for Evan (laundry break for mommy), we delved into our first Math lesson.

(Evan's first worksheets displayed on our bulletin board after class.)

Then it was time for recess. We grabbed the brothers and took a walk around the block, counting all the spots of flowers we saw....Evan stopped counting after 51. And then our day was complete. It was a good day, and went pretty smoothly, minus the Owen distractions. Evan loves to learn...it's going to be a joy teaching him.

Yesterday, in my quiet time I was reading Proverbs 8. It was a great reminder as we started our new adventure in home education....it is wisdom first and foremost that my son needs to learn. He can get knowledge anywhere, but only someone who loves and cares for him like we do is going to teach him how to get wisdom as well. No matter where our children are taught their ABCs and 123s, it is our responsibility as parents to instill in them wisdom...the discretion to know right from wrong...the desire to use knowledge for good. Wisdom is prudence; knowledge; discretion; the hatred of evil, of pride, of arrogance, and of evil and perverted speech; counsel; sound wisdom; insight; strength; justice; righteousness. (Prov 8) These are not the things society will teach my son. I felt God urging me to remember not to lose sight of that when I'm engrossed in the 3 Rs. In that passage Wisdom says, "my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.......blessed are those who keep my ways, Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." That is my goal for my sweet son. Not that he grows up to be a doctor, or engineer, or lawyer. But that he has a foundation of wisdom, so that he will apply himself to learn all he can, and that he will know how to use that knowledge to do and to be all that God has already planned for him.

Though I always said I would NEVER homeschool, I now can say I'm embracing the privilege to be my son's teacher, with consciousness of the huge responsibility it is, and anticipation of all the joy it will bring.


I love you, Evan! And I'm so proud of you!




Friday, September 4, 2009

You're a Great Squirrel

Putting the boys down for their nap today, Derek threw his arms around my neck and said, "Mommy you're a great girl!" I thanked him for being so sweet and told him he is a great boy.

Carter the family comedian and fan of all things rhyming, grabbed me and said, "Mommy, you're a great squirrel!"

Now what do you say to that?

Only 5 days left until my first-born starts school, and I begin my new role as teacher. I found some exciting new bargains today for supplies for our home classroom. Who new the dollar store would have such great finds?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Daddy's Dessert

The boys LOVE it when Daddy pulls out dessert after supper. This of course means it's a night when Mommy didn't prepare a dessert. After all, kids (and adults!) don't need dessert every night, right? Wrong, according to my guys. So, what on this particular night did my husband choose to feed to our kids?

Mini Marshmallows, of course! Nothing like eating pure sugar! Well, if you use your imagination you might just be able to picture what happened. It went something like this:

Marshmallows flying around the room as 4 little boys attempt to imitate their father, who is throwing the little sugar clouds into the air and catching (or shall I say trying to catch) them in his mouth. At this moment of sugar-induced insanity, no one remembers the well-taught lessons about not eating food that has touched the floor. Nope, not a one. And no one recalls being told that we don't play with our food, or throw food at each other....nope, not a one. And no one is mindful of the rule that you stay in your seat at the table, or use inside voices. Not a one! All kinds of laughing ensued, and I will admit, I joined in the laughing (but not the eating of contaminated marshmallows!). Simple moments like this, just having fun with your children, and (temporarily) forgetting about all the rules...these are the moments to cherish. These are the moments that make all the not-so-fun "follow the rules" moments worth it!

Later, I was sitting with Ben in the recliner, trying to spend a "quiet" moment with him while the boys played, and Owen could not be left out. After moaning and grunting and complaining and whining (him, not me), I pulled him up in the chair with me. Ben said to Owen, "She's mine!" Owen didn't miss a beat, and remembering how he has heard that word used between his twin brothers, piped back, "Mine!" Which of course, elicited a like response from Daddy, and back and forth it went. How nice to be fought over!

And, I can't resist posting this picture of Owen. What after all is a blog post without a picture? Owen was taking a long time getting around to putting his PJ pants on. And he is very adamant at times, that he dress himself...you know, he's too old now to have his momma dress him. (Ya, right!) I asked him, do they belong on your head? So, we tried it out to see. And, no, it turns out they do not belong on his head. But what a cute little head it be.







Oh, and speaking of the little "angel".... the other day, we discoverd Owen's talent. Most people are much older than 2 when they discover their gift. Apparently, he is an artist, and his medium of choice is chalk on furniture. I found this:


and this


and this

along with a few more scribbles on the loveseat, and some on the floor. Precious, huh? Now to channel his talent onto the right canvas....preferably sidewalks.
(Yes, in case you are wondering, that IS a plywood floor, and no it ISN'T part of our design...another one of those long-term house projects that has taken an unexpected turn!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I had opportunity to witness a sweet moment between my husband and the boys the other day...Daddy teaching his boys to golf! I don't think we have the next Tiger Woods in our family, but I did enjoy watching them eat up the chance to learn to do something Daddy does.

This reminded me of a song that Ben and I found a little while ago. It hit a chord with him, and seemed to be speaking about his life. It's a great reminder for both of us...what our goal as parents is. What will our children remember? How hard we worked, how clean our house was, how much we had...or will they remember how much we loved God and how much we loved them?

JEALOUS LOVE
By David Bush

I've got four boys looking for daddy's love
My best intentions aren't good enough
My choices lead to a legacy
A daily tale of priorities
Nothing's hidden from the eyes that follow me







Friday night - am I working late?
Something only the boss will appreciate
Saturday morning - what will it be?
A tee time or a pancake feast
To show I value these gifts You've given me








For they will love what I love
Treasure all that's dear to me
They will weave my heart's desires in their life's tapestry
I'll set my mind on things above
Guard my heart with what is true
So they see a jealous love for You







Four sets of slippers comin' down the stairs
Are my eyes on the paper or closed in prayer?
What's important - they'd like to know
A bedtime tale or a tv show?
Oh, I'll reap a harvest with the seed I sow today





For they will love what I love
Treasure all that's dear to me
They will weave my heart's desires in their life's tapestry
I'll set my mind on things above
Guard my heart with what is true
So they see a jealous love for You





So I'll walk the narrow road that leads to Jesus
And I'll try to say the things that He would say
So little time... And it's blowing like the wind
And it will carry them away
So I'm praying for today that I will...
Count the cost of the life I live
Treat their momma like the queen she is
Pray for tender hearts that will hear Your call
Walk by faith, trusting through it all
I'll find in them the new life You've given me





For they will love what I love
Treasure all that's dear to me
They will weave my heart's desires in their life's tapestry
I'll set my mind on things above
Guard my heart with what is true
So they see a jealous love for You




Speaking of the love of God, He brought this song to my mind this week and I found a recording of it on YouTube. It's a beautiful song, and the words...well, they speak for themselves. I'm thankful that God reminded me of this song, and has given me the chance to meditate on the words. It puts life into perspective! I played it for the boys, and they were all quiet! And they said that it was beautiful, and I caught Carter trying to sing it. Check out this link, I hope it blesses your heart today and puts life into perspective for you, too!

♫ "How Deep The Fathers Love For Us" - Stuart Townend ♫