Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding peace

My word for 2010 is peace. I have been thinking and learning about this word all year. I have been seeking peace in my choices, my feelings, my thoughts. I have learned so much about peace. But so much of it feels so deeply personal to who I am. It becomes hard to put into words and know how much I am comfortable sharing.

I have found peace while doing mundane household chores. I have learned to seek peace in choices about what to do with my time. I have learned to feel around in my heart to find what is preventing me from feeling peaceful about decisions. I have found peace in trials and in the knowledge that I am growing and improving. I have learned to slow down and not cram too much into a day or I will lose my peace.

I can't explain it but there is so much I have learned by focusing on peace this year. There are three more months of peace seeking before I choose a new word, but I am always thinking I should write an update and tell you how this word picking is more than a once a year thing for me. I really do think about it all the time throughout the year.

Peace.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Munchkin

Hamburger a la munchkin
This is what happens when you let her design her own hamburger. She knows what she likes. Cheese and ketchup.

I love seeing her personality come out. She talks to us a lot, though its mostly babble. She sometimes refuses to use words and other times she says all sorts of things and it makes sense. She knows signs, but only uses them occasionally.

She loves to help with cleaning and sometimes is overly helpful. I have to check the trash. She loves to color. She knows where the crayons and coloring books are and gets them out when she pleases.
She loves shoes, headbands, and changing clothes. She does not like bows. She tries to pull them off of dresses and does pull them out of her hair. She puts on everyone's shoes.
She brings me clothes to change her outfit several times a day. She knows where the ice cream and other goodies are kept. She is a girl. Yet with two brothers, she has a tomboy side too. 

She loves to go outside and play in her little house. She loves to read books. She tries to steal her brothers' violins. She plays the piano and sings. She has a video game controller to hold and play with when her brothers play video games. She is insulted when I tell her she can't do something. She makes sure she gets equal treatment as her brothers.

She tries to add bubble bath to the shower. She insists on getting in the tub or shower with everyone. Bath time is the best! She LOVES to go for rides in the stroller. She loves to go for rides in the car with her dad to the hardware store. If you call her on the phone, she'll blow you kisses.

She loves to do puzzles, but gets frustrated if they don't go in right away. But with some help she's learning to rotate pieces. She loves to grab something when you say "No" and run away laughing.

She hates potatoes. She loves rice and noodles. She LOVES pizza. Grapes aren't her favorite but raisins are extremely delicious. She eats the filling out of a sandwich first and then if she wants to, eats the bread. She only likes the whites of boiled eggs. She loves popsicles and ice cream and chocolate. She eats salad, but mostly licks the dressing off the lettuce.

 She loves her brothers and her dad. She loves me. We have a lot of love here. Kisses and hugs every day. Hope you enjoyed this little view into the fun person that Munchkin is becoming.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Terrible or Terrific?

Dinoguy age 20 months
So did you know I was opinionated? (grin). Have you checked out any of my posts on parenting at Notes on Parenting? (You can also click on the parenting tab and I've direct linked to them.)

Today's post is a fun one. Read it! Leave a comment.

Link: Terrible or Terrific

Friday, September 17, 2010

Big girl bed

Munchkin has now been in the "big kid" room for a week and a half now. We put her toddler bed in, I deep cleaned and put things away and moved her in. She seemed very excited and the transition has been pretty good. She has her brothers to play with and snuggle up to if she wants.

The boys beds had to be put back into bunk beds for this change. With just a month to go before we have a new infant in our bedroom, it was definitely time to help her get used to going to bed in the kids room. It may have been harder on me than her. I'm not sure.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mayan Art

We traveled to the art museum for a special Mayan exhibit yesterday. It came with an audio tour phone that was a lot of fun for the boys. Trainboy insisted on seeing each numbered exhibit in order. There was also a fun interactive table that taught you about different symbols in mayan culture and art and writing that involved swishing your hands on a big flat table. It was very neat.

Of course, no photographs allowed in the exhibit. I tried to get a group photo outside but Munchkin would have none of it. :) Munchkin enjoyed it a bunch too. She rode in her stroller looking at things, and enjoyed the interactive table.

Ask Dinoguy what he most learned about the Mayans, and he said "That they had a giant green toilet seat they decorated." I had wondered why he was laughing at that item. Potty humor is in full force here.

I really enjoyed seeing them walk around looking at the art, listening to their tour phones. They are so cute. Of course we were the only kids there since it was during the day. But my kids do so well with being polite with adults and interacting with them. I may be a bit biased about how wonderful they are though. :)

Then we had violin lessons and the first group class lesson. I was exhausted by the time we got home. Huge reminder that I am very pregnant. I have had to rest most of today.

Today was the first day of the home school group classes we do. Dinoguy & Trainboy are taking geology and history heroes in addition to a kids club. Today they "mined" for chocolate chips in soft and hard cookies, learned about the Wright brothers and made model planes like the first plane and built octahedron boats out of straws and twine. Of course they didn't want to leave and go home for lunch!

Munchkin was quite independent after we first arrived. She participates in a "littles club" and learned about penguins. They made penguin eggs to carry around in their feet, played with clay, decorated and ate peanut butter playdough, had outside time, story time, sign language time... I was helping out with Dinoguy and Trainboy's class and she was off in her group, happily doing her thing. She is growing up so fast. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our homeschool week

I blogged a few weeks ago about us starting to use a routine/schedule this year to try and help things happen. It's been several weeks of trying it out so now is a good time to talk about how it's been going.

I think I followed the "ideal" schedule exactly for one day. And then made some effort the rest of the week. I knew it was more of a guide than a schedule, so I was okay with this. But it was clearly in need of some major adjustments, so I did that. It helped some.

What I can't figure out is why I do better at checking things off when they are in that schedule format instead of just a list format. I just procrastinate things on a list indefinitely while the schedule format (which I use more as a loose routine guide) keeps me more on task. Not sure why.

The past week has been very loose and yet we've still done our things each day happily. Just spread out. The most important thing is getting cleaning chores and violin practice done in the morning. Then the rest of the stuff happens as the kids request it (they reference the schedule as a list of ideas I think) or as I suggest it.

Typical day: Wake up, breakfast, cleaning jobs for boys, violin practice, laundry, dishes. Lunch, put Munchkin down for nap. Then we did read aloud time, language arts with Dinoguy, handwriting practice, science, history, math, phonics, etc. Late afternoon brings dinner prep if its not in the crockpot, tutoring several days a week for me during which the kids can play computer or video games. Dinner time, family time, scripture time, bed time, (online tutoring for me).


Repeat. 

Mondays' focus is cleaning the house and FHE in the evening, Tuesday we have violin lessons and group lessons every other week, Wednesday we have clubs and classes with the homeschool group and Dinoguy has cubscouts, Thursdays' are park day (for 2-3 hours midday) and Friday is library day. Friday night is family movie night which we pick out at the library usually.

We're busy but not rushed and busy feeling. Plenty of down time, plenty of time for games and reading and outdoor playtime.

I haven't figured out the best day for errands/groceries though. It used to be Tuesday before Violin lessons started again, but that isn't going to work.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Phonics word sort fun

Trainboy sorts pictures based on the initial consonant sound of the word.
Dinoguy sorts pictures based on the initial digraph (two consonant) sound.
What is this a picture of?

We've done the consonants and digraphs. Now I need to cut up all the pictures and we can do vowels. It's been fun and like a game. And the knowledge is sticking.

It takes longer for me to copy and cut out the pictures than it does for them to sound them out and sort them. Munchkin wishes she could play too.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Outdoor science

Yesterday a break in the rain in the early afternoon allowed the kids to go outside and play. Then it started to rain again and then during dinner the tornado sirens went off. We're fine. The front of the house has a mud smiley face on it. I'm very pregnant. That is all.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Weather

Current radar view of Hermine
As Tropical Storm Hermine tries to drown us, I think it is a good time to reflect upon the three weeks in August when we had 110 degree weather and NO rain. Hermine is helping make up for that.

Current views from the office window:
Maybe you can't tell but the water completely covers the right side of the yard.
Ever want to trampoline over a lake? :D

A month ago when we were playing at the pool with some friends:
Dinoguy with water gun
Trainboy on the waterslide with a lifeguard who's job is to make sure he doesn't go under. He loved it!
Which do I prefer? Probably the hot weather. It was hot but we ate a lot of popsicles and did a bunch of swimming to stay cool. The rain is fun too - but after several days I'm ready to see the sun again.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Library books

They are taking over my bookshelves.
See - it was a display bookshelf, with room for large books at the bottom and a few library books on the second bottom shelf. But now the books have filled that shelf and started taking over the next shelf up too.

Not that I'm complaining. If they are on the bookshelf, it's because I put them there. My kids are always reading and enjoying books (and leaving them all over the house). I love library elf because it keeps us from forgetting to renew or return books (as long as we can find them). Which is the point of the libary bookshelf. If all the library books make it back to the bookshelf each night, they don't get lost. Of course there is always the one they take to bed with them to read and it has to be searched for under the bed sometimes. Or the stack they take in the car to read on errands or trips. Have to keep track of those too. But we come out usually with no fines at all.

And yes, Munchkin can access them all. She loves to "read" and be read to. And she frequently empties the shelf. But I only pick them up in the evening right before bedtime unless they are being stepped on or mistreated.

We are the family at the library every week, returning tons of books and then checking out tons of books. There is a 100 item limit per card. Luckily we have 4 cards. Not that I think we've ever had more than 120 total. But with all the homeschooling resources I check out and all the books each person checks out for personal reading as well, it adds up.

Anyway, we love the library. :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Electromagnets

What we learned: Small tiny smoke detector batteries pictured in the book don't work. Big giant drill batteries shoot sparks but make an awesome electromagnet from the short time the circuit is connected!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Scouting

The adventure has officially begun! Dinoguy is a cub scout. He has earned his Bobcat already. He's very excited and has told me several times that I won't see him for a while because he's going on campouts without me. I'm ready to support him and help him as a scout. I used to resent scouts when I was a teen, but I've seen how important the support of the mom is in having a successful scouting experience. So I've worked past all that and am a proud cub scout mama now. Poptober starts soon. Want to buy some popcorn? :D

Munchkin also has caught the spirit of scouting so to speak. She demanded to wear this shirt and happily pranced around in it.
 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

May Song Duet



Dinoguy and Trainboy play May Song as a duet - Dinoguy plays the harmony, Trainboy the melody.

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