Monday, June 30, 2014

Wrapping Up Another Year

Life is full of surprises.  At age 22, I never would have dreamed that at the age of (almost) 40 I would still be spending my days at home schooling my kids.  That would not have sounded appealing to me.  But that was before I was a mother, and before I had five boys.  Now I love each and every minute that we get to have together.  Well, maybe not every moment, but most moments.  Childhood is fleeting.  It's there and gone in a moment, and for right now, home schooling fits for our family.  I love that we are all together most of the time.  We enjoy our cozy days at home learning together.

We did it.  We finished another year of school at home.  This year was a good one, but it wasn't easy.  We worked hard.  Let's face it, I worked hard.  From the moment I get up, there are little people needing me pretty much until the moment I go to bed.  But we are learning together about how this "homeschooling older kids thing" needs to go.  Graham and Asher had to step it up a bit this year and become more independent.  This was also our first year of Classical Conversations and they had to jump into a program that is probably best done from the time you are younger.  We had lots of talks about working hard and about WHY school is important (because it certainly isn't always fun for my boys).

On to some pictures...
These pictures were from their research papers.  Graham was William Wallace.  He read his paper is full accent and loved every minute of it.  Getting up in front of people is his thing.  

Asher was John Calvin.  Luckily, we have a couple people in our lives who went to Calvin College who could lend him a "costume."  He did a great job too, but was probably more happy when it was over.

The older girls are so sweet to my little boys.  And Nathan is quite smitten with them.

He even got a lesson from Robin Hood ;)

And the whole 4-6th grade class.  It was a great year.  

But now we've moved on to summer.  And summer is just the best, isn't it?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Saying Good-bye

My parents spent a couple of months living with us this winter.  They are becoming snow birds, leaving the cold, wintery frozen tundra of Minnesota and spending those harsh, winter months with us.  It's a wonderful time for all of us.  My parents get to experience a bit of our chaos.  My kids get the individual attention that they don't always have.  I am able to retreat to run an errand or hit Starbucks by myself more than I often than I normally do.  

But all fun must come to an end and it's hard to say good-bye.  
As you can tell, Samuel already very unhappy in this picture.

A comforting hand from an older brother… I love this picture.

I think it's good that they're so sad.  It's good to be missed.  I remember being so exited when my grandparents would come and visit.  And being so very sad when they left.  

Thanks for blessing us this winter, Mom and Dad!  Come back again soon :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ten Things

Well, it's been quite awhile since I've written on this blog.  There's much to say and it makes me overwhelmed to think about writing it all down.  And then I don't feel like blogging because I feel like I need to catch up on the last couple of months.  So I won't.

I'll just write about a few things that are happening right now.

1.  Nathan has been sleeping in our room lately, not every night, but he's been falling asleep faster away from his brothers.  He's a chatty little guy, so he goes to sleep better when he doesn't have anyone to talk with.  Then we move him to the couch when we go to bed.  We find him like this is the morning.  And every morning my heart melts.  Every morning I also think about how I might freeze time and sit and watch him sleep in all his cuteness forever.

2.  Speaking of our room, Chris did a DIY project for me this month!!!  He painted the legs gold on this table and now we have the raddest (and cheapest) desk in our room right now.  I love it.  Now I need chairs.  And I need to figure out what to put on the wall above the desk.  This is Chris's little office space so I guess I'll give him some say in the matter ;)

3.  Graham is my reader.  We have that in common.  When I was his age, I was reading everything I could get my hands on.  We bought The Hobbit a couple of years ago expecting him to dive into it, but it never caught his fancy.  Then he saw some clips of the movie at Costco last week.  He wanted to see the movie and I told him he has the read the book first.  A few days later and he's all done… now he's ready to start the next book.  I love it when my motivation schemes work, because most of the time, they don't!

4.  Texas has had the most lovely spring.  It hasn't been "Texas hot" until this last week.  That is perfect because the pool opens next week.  Swim team already started this week.  I'm ready to spend long afternoons at the pool and long weekends at baseball tournaments.

5.  Instagram:  I did something wonderful at the end of March.  I stopped following a bunch of people.  I was following a whole crew of people that I didn't really know and who I think have really beautiful lives, or take really beautiful pictures, or have beautiful talents.  But for whatever reason, it was all making me feel bad.  There was nothing wrong with anyone I was following, but it was leading to icky things in my heart.  It was freeing to let that go.  

6.  For the first time EVER, I'm planning for the school year in the fall more than a week in advance.  I love organization and it feels good to have the time to figure out what it is that we want to do next year.  

7.  I've been having the biggest urge to take the boys someplace pretty and amazing.  Why do all the really cool National Parks have to be so far apart?  And so far away from Texas?  I've always had a National Park fascination, but have only been to a couple of them.  I want to go and explore!!

8.  Graham will enter 7th grade in the fall.  There's only six more years with him in our home.  I'm not sure how that happened but it did.

9.  Asher and Samuel.  It's baseball season for them and Ranger's season for all of Texas.  I just love their love for it.  I love watching them play.  It pains me when they play at the same time because I don't want to miss a thing.

[Asher scoring a Ranger's game.]

[Samuel pitching]

10.  Joseph is seven and is the sweetest child in the entire planet.  I just can't get enough of him.  I want to freeze him too.  He's so good that sometimes I forget about him.  He's easy-going, almost never makes a fuss, and rarely has a strong opinion.  Sweet boy… he's growing up too fast.

I hope this finds you enjoying a lovely weekend with your family.