Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First Fallish Day!!

There was a crispness in the air most of the morning. The sun was shining and there was nary a cloud in the sky.  Joshua said it was his favorite kind of day ~ sunny and cool.  We spent most of our day learning outside.  We read literature pondside, had a picnic lunch, and enjoyed just being together on a beautiful day.  The trees are beginning to turn a bit, and all these things make my heart want to burst!  There is such a peace that comes with fall.

In the last year Erik and I have watched one of our couple friends lose their just a smidge under two year old son.  And, we've had another friend of ours lose her husband.  And, as of yesterday another friend of ours lost his wife.  That is a lot of tragedy in one year, and it makes you think.  God owes us nothing.  Each day is a gift.  And, we have no idea how many more days we have.  So, we must live each day to the fullest, and not put off those things God has lay on our hearts to do.  I can honestly say that I kiss my children differently, hold my husband longer, and breathe deeper of the crisp fall air.  Huge blessings surround us.  May our eyes always be open wide to see them, never taking any little thing for granted.  

I have a pocketful of little tiny flowers that two of my sons brought me this afternoon ~ tiny yellow flowers more beautiful than roses to this mama.  And, my heart smiled last night as Erik Daniel begged me not to go out with some friends.  He said, "But, I will miss you, Mama!  I will miss you!"  I explained that we were just going to hear a speaker, and I'd be right home.  He then looked up at me with gentle brown eyes and said, "Use the fast pedal, Mommy.  Use the fast pedal, okay?"  Oh, I do love these days so much!

I found this sweet note on a piece of paper I was about to throw away.  James Christofer was helping Jack learn how to color, and he wrote him a little note.





An update on Erik Daniel's monsters.  They are changing.  Now they have arms and legs ~ actually the arms are coming off the legs!  Anyway, they still have teeth.  He no longer calls them monsters.  Now they are people.  I think this one might be me?


 The big feet tipped me off!  Anyway, I just rejoice over watching their art change and grow with them!  It is such a joy to watch daily as they grow like little weeds right before my eyes!  Slow down, little men!

Yesterday Erik and I were discussing something that happened at one of our state's colleges.  Evidently some man decided to run across the football field without enough clothes on during a game ~ if you get what I'm saying!  Joshua overheard us, and said in all seriousness, "He must be demon-possessed!!"  I had to giggle! :-) Thank you to Daddy for reading Acts to the boys every morning!

And, I'll end with a picture of the boys eating lunch today...


On the first day of school, I had the boys make a list in their journals of all the things that they wanted us to do this year ~ fun activities, school related mostly, but could be just for fun or crafts.  My older boys asked for a myriad of things, but one thing they both wanted was picnics by the pond.



It was such a beautiful day, nothing could have kept us from enjoying it.  It will be cold before we know it, so we have to soak up these beautiful fall days!!

Happy Wednesday!



I have a few moments before I must begin lessons with the boys.  My insides are screaming happy today because it is.....

Cool outside!  I believe 45 degrees was the high last night.  I feel like we have finally made it!  We have arrived!  Welcome fall!!  Yipppeeee!!!!!!

Monday it rained all day. I loved this!  We opened our windows so that we could hear the rain falling.  Bliss!


I just downloaded Andrew Peterson's new album, so we will putter through our day to the rhythm of that.  Lots of things going on around here ~ good and bad, but today I am super thankful!  Happy Wednesday!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Runny Eggs


It doesn't take much to please my older boys.  Any old bagel or piece of toast with cheese and an egg will do the trick!  They love to pop the yolk and smear the yellow insides.  I, myself, cannot eat a runny egg, but I am happy to make them for these handsome boys that I love so much!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Silly Little Post...

Except it may not be little!  I am always amazed at how life is somehow able to pass so quickly.  Erik and I have made various conscious efforts to simplify our life, but still somehow, we continue to move at a very rapid pace.  But, like I told a sweet friend the other day, I feel good about the direction we are going.  

We are busy.  My life is full with 5 boys, sweet Em, church activities, cross country, Excelsior, and the renovation.  But, I feel like even in our busyness, as a family we are not moving in six different directions.  I am not pulled 5 different ways.  We are crazy busy, but the blessed part of it is that we are all moving in the same direction.  So, though we may be pulled and pushed and rushed and hurried, we are all doing the same activities, working toward the same ends.  

Okay, here are some pics of the last few weeks... 

First day of Excelsior...



The boys are excited about this year in history!  We are studying the middle ages!!  This means vikings! Huns! Vandals! Celts! Knights! King Arthur!  I know some of the things that are coming, and they are going to be excited beyond measure!  I can't wait for us to dive into some of this year's projects!!  Fun!

This is one of the first books we read this school year.


I loved this story.  I think I cried.  I almost always cry. When we get to the last chapter of any book we are reading, Joshua will say, "Mom, are you going to cry?" And, usually that breaks the dam, and the tears fall freely as I choke my way through the rest of the book!  But, I don't remember now if this one made me cry, but I do remember that it was a good read for someone with a prodigal child.  And, that is why I wanted to mention it.  Augustine was not always a Godly man.  In fact, he was quite the opposite!  But....

He had a mama who prayed earnestly for his salvation, and God answered her prayers!  Big time!  His story is a huge encouragement to keep on praying and never give up on loved ones who seem to be running away from God!

And, on we go to...

Tracing our shadows at different times of the day...


Lije playing a math matching game...


More of Eriky's monsters...



They crack me up!  Maybe I should be worried about this... but I'm not! Check out the unibrow on the green monster!  Where does he get this stuff??

Erik bought the boys (and me :-) an entire set of Children's Hour books!  Love them!  Old books are the best!  I'm picky about what books I let the boys read.  One of my sweet homeschool mentor friends (who was also an English major) said that books that Charlotte Mason called "twaddle" are like junk food.  She said if your children get used to reading junk food books, then the good hearty meat and potatoes books won't appeal to them as much.  She encouraged me to let them read the easy, trendy, fun books every now and then, but to continually put in front of them truly good literature.  I loved her advice!


Joshua and James have been running cross country with a homeschool running group this year...


Joshua is up to 4 miles, and James can run 3!  Their Daddy likes to run with them, so this has been a really fun family thing to do!

I'm loving being Emery's mom!  She brings me so much joy! Her brothers are absolutely ridiculously silly over her!  In many ways she has already changed our family with her sweetness!


We got the new TobyMac album, and the boys go crazy when I play it!  Sometimes in the middle of the school day, maybe, say, around 10:30 when they've been at it for several hours, I will crank up the music and say, "Dance break!" So, they go crazy, get their wiggles out, and dance around the kitchen until the song is over!  Breaks up the monotony a bit! This picture is of the kind of craziness TobyMac induces...


Jack loved it!


Monkey see, monkey do...



I loved this.  An excerpt from Joshua's handwriting book...


Our new window-seat partially installed (a.k.a. Jack's hideout!)


And, on that note the renovation is still in full swing.  I am so ready to move over into our new area!  Hopefully, it will be a month or less.  I'll post pictures when it is done!


These two are a pair!!!


Deana B. and I are in for it!!  Craziness.

There is nothing, nothing, I enjoy more in my life right now than making our weekly lesson plans.  This is my peace time.  It is truly a beautiful time to me.  I have to have quiet so I can concentrate, so I get to retreat for a bit with something hot to drink.  Love.  Bliss.  Lesson Plans.



Now that the fall weather is blowing in  a bit, we are spending more time outside.  So, I have been using the Superyard.  Perfection.


We've been going outside to do some of our reading and afternoon work.  The fresh air just feels good!  I think I enjoy it more than the boys. :-)


And, that is the past few weeks in a nutshell.  Life is busy, crazy, and good.  I have had some very hard days and some very good days and a lot of days that are somewhere in between.  It is hard to juggle all that is going on right now, but God has been gracious, and somehow it all works out ~ even if it isn't the way I desired or planned!  I am learning daily to depend on Him, to lean into Him.  I cannot be a mama without His help.  I fail miserably some days, but I am thankful for the grace He gives.  

Saturday, September 01, 2012

A Small Taste of Life...

The days are long, but the weeks are flying by!  This school year has a different feel to  it, but I think I like it!  For the first time I am beginning a homeschool year without first trimester nausea.  Hallelujah!  This is a glimpse into the last few weeks...

Eriky has grown...


Actually, he and Elijah came up with the idea to do this on their own.  They called me into the living room to show me how Eriky had grown several feet in just a few minutes!  Cute!

Our school table in the mornings...


Somedays I just look down at the table cluttered with books and manipulatives, and I just smile!  I love this kind of mess!  It's a happy mess!

The boys have journals they write and draw in.  What does Eriky draw every single day without fail??  A monster.  I have literally 15+ pages of pictures of monsters with teeth and crazy eyes and eyebrows...



I've done this same curriculum with several of the boys, but for the first time this year, I AM NOT  THE ONLY GIRL in the family!! :-)


Elijah's journal is a different story.  He does not draw monsters.  Here is a sweet sampling...





Seven years ago I sent Erik into Books a Million for one item ~ The Complete Collection of Beatrix Potter Tales.  He came out with several books, and this was one of them...


I have loved this book!  Elijah and I are now reading through it.  I have already gotten so much use out of this book, and it has become priceless to me!  I love the pictures and the sweet little stories.  It takes me back to my past ~ simple sweet stories of brothers and sisters playing. I remember reading these stories with my mom.  I love it so much!  I remember fussing at Erik for spending so much money in Books a Million that night!  But, now I am so thankful he did!


I remember marble painting when I was a child.  So, I pulled out a bag of marbles and let the boys try it out!  Fun!


Jack is a climber!  When I found him up here one day, Eriky had a simple suggestion to help me out...


"Mommy, why don't we just get a really big mean dog and put him on the table.  That will scare Jack and keep him off the table!"

Ummm...

Not thinking a vicious dog in my kitchen sounds like a good plan!

Another happy table pic, :-)


The boys were trying to prepare Eriky for his first day at Excelsior.  They told him that if he didn't obey the teacher, he would have to go see the headmaster (a.k.a. the headMONSTER!).  Now, the dads take turns being headmasters ~ each dad signs up for one Friday a year.  These are very sweet men, not scary monsters!  This was the look on Erik's face when they explained the headmaster...


And, last but not least, afternoon read aloud time, my favorite time of the day, often ends with this little one asleep in my lap!


Loving these crazy days!  Thankful for the quiet moments that come every once in a while!  Just makes me appreciate them all the more!  The crazy mess of toys, chipped baseboards, and loud voices will not be here forever!  I'm trying to appreciate them today!  Thank You, Jesus, for all the ways You use these little ones to stretch and grow me and make me more like You!

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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