Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Last Tuesday we spent most of the day in the car driving to Arlington National Cemetary where my family was gathering to have a service in memory of my grandfather. We had a 4+ hour drive to get there, so we decided to crash in a local hotel for the night with a pool to give the kids a chance to swim... and they DID!!

The Kids: When do we have to go home?

Me: In a little while, before lunch.

The Kids: Could we live here forever??

Me: No we can't...

Lydia: If we lived here forever, I would fwim everyday!

While helping Lydia with a "doesn't belong" math worksheet, Anna approached me for help. "Mommy, Lydia and I are really smart, but we can't figure out which one of these doesn't belong. Can you help us?"

I looked at their choices. In the box was all cosmetic/make-up items... tweezers, nail file, etc...

My girls don't have a clue, just like their mother :)

I hope to have some of the 500+ pics I've taken in the last 2 weeks, of our trip to Disney World, Chris' many birthday parties, Thanksgiving and more Nate... we just can't enough of Nate cute-ness around here!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for my BOY:)

Yes, today we get to celebrate a lot... Thanksgiving

And Chris' 5th Birthday!!!! Just amazing that he's 5!!!

The night I went into labor with him was Thanksgiving night or the wee hours of Black Friday (which my mother-in-law and I had planned to do!!).

I remember calling my midwives to ask if I was laboring enough to go to the hospital.... I think I confessed to them that I had eaten a LOT of turkey... he heee heee!! But they told me to go in... the rest of his birth story is HERE!

While Chris seemed like a "laid back" baby... the hardest part of his early days was getting him to sleep (finally resorted to running the vaccuum cleaner and white noise) and nursing. But we made it through...

and he was just too cute:) Still is:)

Chris is our very animated and funny kid. He is always thinking of the next thing to do that will cause laughs (or his sisters to scream!).

Chris is our very creative artist. We have ooodles of his monster, dragon, dinosaur and other battle scene drawings. We love all the spikes, the stories and the smiles on everyone's faces!

And of course his creativity and vivid imagination leads to all sorts of stories and adventures (with his sisters playing parts as well). Some days I see Chris being a playwright... other days he's a paleontologist:)

Chris is also very compassionate! He worries about his sisters when they are hurt or sick. When watching movies he gets very emotionally involved and will dart in and out of the room:)

He also soo smart, an auditory learner for sure!! He challenges me as his mommy-teacher to give him more challenging "work" although I usually have to push him hard to get started... when he does, he zips through it and asks for more;)

I wouldn't be giving an accurate picture of our family if I didn't share that Chris pushs me to be a better parent EVERY day... I have been taught soo much by being his mother!

So to remind you of some of our adventures with Chris, I pulled a few of my favorite pics of him (some you'll probably remember)!!!

1st Year

2nd Year

3rd Year

4th Year

And now he's 5!!!!!!

We did a list of favorite things for Anna's birthday this year!! SO I'll have Chris share his favorites this year:)

  • Color : Blue
  • Food : Hot Dogs
  • Treat: Bubble Gum
  • Subject : Math
  • Animal: Elephant
  • Do inside: Play Pretend w/Sisters
  • Do outside: Swing
  • Toys: Tool set
  • Song to Sing: "dinosaur songs"?????
  • Restaurant: Old McDonalds (lol... so he can get two hamburgers!!)
  • Book: orange Bible
  • Movie: How to Train Your Dragon (of course!!)
  • PBSkids Show: Dinosaur Train, Curious George

Goals for his 5th year: Ride a bike with no training wheels

And when you ask him what he wants to be when he "grows up", he says a "paleontologist"!

Happy birthday to my Amazing BOY!!
We adore you and are soo thankful for the giggles and silliness you bring into our home!!

Dear Lord, Thank you soo much for all that you give us. And thank you for Christopher. We know you have such special and fun plans for him. We pray that we can encourage his strengths in ways that worship and serve You! May Chris grow to be a young man that loves you with his whole heart, soul and mind.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Table Manners, Puuters & More

Last week while getting the kids settled at night after spending the days at various Disney parks, I'd ask the two middle kiddos what their favorite parts of the day were. One of the nights, Lydia told me her favorite part was going on "Water Fountain"....

better known as "Splash Mountain"!!
And this is what the fearless crew looked like after:)

I"m sure all kids go through a stage when they refer to a computer as a "puter". I really thought Lydia had already been through this stage, but this week (and last) I had to hold in the childish giggles when I heard:
  • Mommy, are you using Miss Alicia's puuter??
  • Daddy, you put you puuter upside down.
  • Does this puuter have PBS kids on it?

Monday I attempted a little bit of schooling (since we have another crazy busy week!), but we centered it around Thanksgiving and why we celebrate Thanksgiving. I pulled out some leftover Thanksgiving crafts from last year, a little Thanksgiving poem and read from Story of the World.

I wrapped up our little Thanksgiving lesson with the question, "When we eat turkey at Thanksgiving, what should we remember?"

Chris(5 yrs old on Thanksgiving): "To cook the turkey!!.... [must have heard my sigh]... Mom, you have to COOK the turkey before we can eat it!"

OK!! He's right! So I remind them about some of the history we had talked about. And really wanting to see if they had really gotten ANYTHING... I asked again. "What should we be "remembering" when we eat Thanksgiving dinner?"

Chris, again: "To use our forks!!"

Yes, he's got the table manners down!!! LOL!!! But it was THEN that I dropped the question and we started making our "thankful" turkeys!!

Ohhhh .... and while I'd love to list what the two older ones wrote on each of the feathers... always interesting:) I will share that Chris copied "family" and then used another feather to write only the word "brother"! So sweet!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is What Vacation Looks Like....

Can you find my husband (AKA Daddy the Pastor)???

And popsicles.... anytime!!

after dinner
afternoon snack
and the REAL treat.... after breakfast:)

The kids really liked these popsicles that were totally "safe" for them!! They were soo excited to eat them. I"ll have to share about being on the Disney "Meal Plan"... but one of the HUGE benefits was that when the kids asked for these popsicles we could easily say "YES!!". Which was a nice "treat" for us, too:)

I have plenty of more pics to share about our trip. And I DO want to share about eating at Disney with food allergies since it was probably our biggest concern in planning the trip.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trying to "just" Keep up

Some have asked "how I've been"... you sweet friends!... you've noticed I've been a little absent on the blog:)

We've been great..... I just feel like I"m always trying to just Keep UP with everything that needs to be done... around the house, for the kids, with their school work, with our church/community, trying to keep up with Brian (whose pastoring, working 20+ hrs a week at a local community college & teaching 2 online courses!!!), etc! Added to that is lack of sleep and my body's efforts to keep up with Nate's "milk demand"....

and you've got one tired Momma who can't quite get the thoughts into sentences at the end of the day!

This homeschooling year has been soo much busier that I expected!!! Keeping three kids intellectually simulated, at their own levels, for hours each morning has been very challenging!!
(kids painting- learning about monks artwork in caves in India.... no I didn't pull out the plaster of Paris.... maybe next time)
(Lydia working on her "ad" family words!!)
In fact, I share some of the doubts as Erica that I'm "not doing enough".... but I praise God that He made their minds like little sponges at this age and they are soaking in all in, regardless of my teaching and failures!

In the craziness of the day, I am soo thankful for the helpers I have:)

(Anna helping Lydia with reading)
(Lydia putting on Nate's shoe and Chris teaching Nate about sticks...
Nate's really taking it all in)
And I am going through the challenging process of taking out the things of my day and week that "can wait" because....

I sure DON'T want to be too busy or sleepy to miss these moments:

One of my new goals (which I am totally BREAKING to get this post up) is to go to bed earlier!! Getting just an extra half hour or so of sleep at night has done wonders to my attitude and sleepiness during the day. I appreciated this post by Momopoly about her need to sleep to be a better mom!!

So maybe sneaking to bed at 10 might help me not "just" keep up, but join them on the trampoline while dinner is in the crock-pot and couch is free from "needs to be folded" laundry...

but I'm totally willing to leave the laundry and have breakfast for dinner, too!! LOL!!

Minor "house keeping"... someone asked what curriculum I was using this year with the kiddies... I posted about what we use HERE!! The only changes have been that I have found some "writing"prompt books targeted for pre-k and K that I have added to Chris and Lydia's weekly work. And after Christmas I hope to start all of us memorizing number families.... HOPE is the KEY word there!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

6 Months

The Stats:
  • Height: 27 1/2 inches (85%)
  • Weight: 17 lbs 1 oz (50%)
New "tricks" :
  • Sitting alone
  • Picking up foods and trying to get them into his mouth!
  • Moving in a circle on his tummy
  • Acts bashful by looking down when we say his name (sooo cute!!!)
  • Starting to STAND in the walker and move forward

Favorite things to do:
  • Sit up and reach into the toy basket
  • Munch on ANYTHING he can get his hands on
  • Watch the kids play while in the stroller or swing
  • Hold a spoon while eating
  • Roll around while getting changed
  • Play with grass
  • Giggle at the kids when they try to get him to laugh
  • Nurse throughout the night!!!
  • Play with the wipe box

Favorite foods:
  • Cheerios (eating them whole now)
  • Peaches and Peaches w/ blueberries
  • Banana Puffs
  • Definitely prefers chunks to mashed up foods

"Normal" schedule:
  • Wakes at 7ish, nurse, little eating at 8ish
  • Nap 9/9:30 - 11/11:30 (huge homeschool time for us)
  • Wakes from nap, nurse, lunch
  • if the morning nape was short, Nate does a cat nap at lunch
  • Plays until the older kids nap, quick nurse
  • Naps 2-4ish
  • Wake, nurse, playtime, sometimes a cat nap
  • Dinner with us, clean up/PJs
  • Nurse, Bedtime 8-9ish
  • Wakes 10-11ish, nurse, back in crib
  • 2ish, nurse, in bed with us!
Momma's thoughts:
It's so fun to see Nate's little personality coming through the baby-ness each month! He can be soo content when all his needs are met and he's sitting playing with toys. And then he's very opinionated about food and how brother tries to play with him. He's getting SUPER wiggly when it's time to change his clothes and diapers... is almost a wrestling match:)

Nate seems to be our most "outgoing" baby. It's probably because he's the youngest and always has attention, so when he doesn't see them he looks for attention!

And one of our favorite times of the day is right before Nate goes down to bed... he gets into a very "silly mood" and he giggles at almost anything we do. So funny!

To see him interacting more and more with his siblings is great!! I love how much the kids love one another and how much we are growing together!! Definitely the best part of having 4 kiddos! A great memory is the kids wanting to hug Nate before bed or taking turns pushing him in the swing:)

While I'd LOVE to have more sleep, I am thankful for the extra snuggle times even at night;) Each baby stage passes so quickly and I will definitely miss having a little baby to snuggle with in just a few months. One day he'll sleep through the night, right???

When he was only 17lbs at his check up, I worried a bit!! The pediatrician wasn't worried at all, but mentioned that having fatty, nourishing milk was important.... that is tough!

I am still trying to figure out if he is sensitive to soy or not!! It's really hard to know for sure!! Anyway, that will cut even MORE food out of my diet... grrr!! ANd it makes eating healthy and full for both of us, that much harder! Another stage that seems hard, but will be REALLY missed!!

You can remember some of our last 6 months HERE!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WW: Vikings, Vikings Everywhere

Hiccup in the TUB:)

Gotta love some clearance halloween costumes;) And thanks to the Coopers, my kids are hooked on everything about How to Train Your Dragon and vikings.... will make our history lessons in a couple weeks a little easier;)

You can find some other picture posts at Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

TIny Talk Tuesday

sorry for the lack of blogging.... a bum computer, busy days schooling, even busier nights feeding and bathing kids or keeping up with laundry!! I DID get to write down a few funny conversations from my house this last week!!


Anna (6 yrs) and Chris (almost 5 yrs) were at the kitchen table, Anna helping Chris write the names of our family members. From the table I heard, "Brian... B... R... I...A...N" and "Lydia.... L... Y...D...I..A".

And then I heard "Baby on the way.... B...A..B...Y..."

Does she know something i DON'T !!! LOL!!


I was heading out the door for my monthly Mom's Bible Study (the sweet mom- refreshing moments of my month!!!!). I stood at the door going through my mental checklist to make sure I had everything and I said aloud,"Oh, I need my cell."

Anna piped up,"yes, in case you go to jail."

Me: "what???"

Anna: "Well, we need to know, just in case"


We had a church member stop by this week. They stayed for a few moments to visit with us.... LOL... with one kid in a bathing suit and another just in shorts... gotta love homeschooling and wearing basically what you want!

Chris (4 yrs old): We're moving to a new planet!

Church member: oh, really? You're moving? I sure hope not!

Me: No, were not moving. Chris, what are talking about?

Chris: Yes, we're moving to Disney World!

LOL!!! I guess Disney World DOES sound like a "new planet"! And he was a little disappointed that we'd be visiting there for just a few days and not moving there:)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WW: My Brother Ate...

....My School Work!
And once we took it away, he kept reaching
and reaching for it!!!
**The Story- I was distracted during some Anna/Mommy "school time" and had to tend to something at the church really quickly. Nate was left in the living room... sitting in the middle of the room playing with toys almost 3 + feet from Anna's map work.

Still not sure how he got 3 feet in seconds!! Sheer determination!!

Whoo- hooo we are going to have our hands BUSY with this little rascal... I see it already:)

You can find some other picture posts at Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Look What I'm learning?

During a recent visit with Grammie I heard Lydia (3 yr old) say,"You happy for me, Grammie? I not get FARKLE!"
I always worry that my kids have too much "down time" during our school days, but with three kids on different levels and a baby needing feeding and naps.... that's just what happens. (Thank goodness we're in the early years!)

Lately though they've been playing "school" during their "down time". Its soo funny to hear from the other room:)

And it's actually been productive. Anna has taught Chris his double addition facts.
Chris (4 yrs): Mom, do you know what 8 plus 8 is?
Me: Hmmmm, let me think?
Chris (excitedly): 16!!

We've making breakfast the last few mornings (versus just eating cereal or toast...lack of good cereal!).

SO as I was fixing breakfast, Chris was at work making a menu....

You want to take a guess at what we were having??? He threw in a couple extra words, too:)