Monday, May 31, 2010

Fall planning

How on earth am I to choose what to do in the fall? So many options, so many different styles of teaching and learning.

I'll have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, a 4 year old a 2 year old and a baby. How can I teach the big boys what they need to learn and still have time to help Bug learn how to walk? How can I keep that mother-daughter time with Girly Pie without sacrificing too much from math and reading with Finny? How can we have fun and do projects and take field trips when there is so much to do? And how can I do laundry and make meals while I'm at it? Not to mention keeping up the house. Plus I'm tyring extra hard to still be a loving and happy wife for my Man when he gets home in the evenings.

I'm not super stressed about how the year will go. But I am praying hard that this year God directs me to the right curriculum/materials for the family. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows my children more intimately than I ever will. So who better to lead me to the right materials that will make our year go beautifully?

I feel like I fail every year at what I attempt to accomplish in homeschooling. I know that each year I also succeed in areas I never even thought to plan for as well, but this year I really do hope that God shines a light on the right combo of learning materials for us. I really do want Punky to actually *like* school time - not just endure it. Clearly I've not done very well in choosing what works for us. So this year I'm just waiting for God's leading to see just what is in store for us...

So far I'm feeling drawn to either My Father's World or a mix and match combo of materials for a science-heavy year (Sonlight science looks good, or the Apologia Exploring Creation series) with some Story of the World for history and a bunch of read alouds from various places (I love Sonlight's books but can't seem to pull off a year with their curriculum at this point).

So now I'm just researching the options, looking at the year ahead, and praying daily that God will lead our family down the right path for us all. I have no doubt He'll answer those prayers and bless us in the year ahead!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A few pics of the little guys - and a short update

Girly Pie loving on her baby brother!

This Little Bug has the cutest wide mouthed smile!

Almost looks like he's posing here... but it was just a random flap of that hand as he works towards mastering coordination of his arms. For the first time though this evening he reached up with both of his arms and caressed my cheeks. I just love this little guy!

Things are going well around here. I've been terrible at keeping up on my blog - but I don't figure too many people read it anyway. So I don't feel too bad about putting other things higher on the priority list. ;o) I'm excited to plan out school for next year and am poring over my homeschool catalogs every chance I get. Bug is 3 1/2 months old now and so cute and smiley. He's the first of my five babies that seemed to naturally know how to put himself to sleep. I say this in all sincerity - Praise the Lord! I had no idea how lovely it could be to have a baby who actually LIKES to sleep - and not only on his momma! He falls asleep in his bed - without any help from me at all! And if he does stir, all he needs is a quick readjustment of the binky and he's good to go. All my little ones were still napping on me at this age which is lovely for me (I love baby snuggles), but disruptive to the baby as I go about my day and makes it harder to do other hands-on things with the rest of the kids. So I'll take these three and four hour naps in his own bed with a big smile and a very thankful heart. God is indeed good! ;o) Oh - and he (mostly)only wakes once at night. A blessing I am also very grateful to receive!
Girly Pie is finally cluing in on potty training, and at two weeks past her second birthday (not sure if I'll get around to posting about her big day but it was a great birthday!) she is down to only an accident every day or two. Woohoo!
Goose is a crack up and says the funniest things. Can't think of any off the top of my head. But then my brain has been pretty slippery these past months. Oh well. ;o) Take my word for it though - he's hilarious!
Finny is doing really well and has really blossomed over the past few months. He adores Bug and is just a delightful 6 year old in general.
Punky is just a delight as well. I am amazed at how enjoyable his company is. Who knew 8 year olds could be such lovely companions?
Gotta run. Bug needs a readjustment, apparently. ;o)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Can you tell I just uploaded a ton of pics from my cameras?

My kids love the little African village area at our zoo. They particularly enjoy pretending the little hut is a jail. Look at all my cute prisoners!

And here is a very rare shot of me and my five beauties. You can just see Bug's legs hanging out of the Moby - but at least we're all together for the shot!

Pigtails, pretty dresses, a pink stroller, and her 6 year old brother's shoes. That's my Girly Pie.

Two of my handsome little men. Here Punky is holding Bug. Punky sure loves that baby. That boy is just the best biggest brother ever.

Somewhere over the rainbow...

My hubby took the boys out front to get a better look at the BEAUTIFUL rainbow going on out front before bed one evening... the picture does not do justice to the vibrant colors of the rainbow itself. But I just had to get a shot of Daddy and his boys' feet sticking out from under the umbrella as they watched it. So cute!

When 2 year olds dress themselves...

Girly Pie has quite the opinion when it comes to what she wears these days. Usually I can at least go with one of her choices and add a matching component... if she goes for stripy pants, I grab a solid shirt. She wants a printed shirt? I pull out jeans. No problem. But on this particular day, she had the whole outfit planned from head to toe. And really, it wasn't a battle I felt was worth the fight. It's not like I keep anything around that isn't appropriate for her to wear, so I'm not going to fight her on patterns and colors.
So. Crazy 70's print dress and striped tights. Go for it. And the cowboy hat from the dress up chest... Why not?
Just let me snap a picture before you pee in your outfit and the moment is lost. ;o)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Toys for moms

When Girly Pie was a few weeks old we bought a dozen BumGenius 3.0 one size pocket diapers for her and I loved them! They were the best thing ever... until all the Velcro went crazy. So after almost a year we took advantage of their one year warranty and got a whole brand new dozen diapers, hoping the Velcro issue was fixed. Sadly the Velcro was even worse on the second batch - the fuzzy part got super pilly and worn looking WAY faster than the first set, and the Velcro tabs started curling after just a couple of months this time.

My Little Bug is three months old today!

So when Little Bug was born, I knew the BG's wouldn't last until he was potty trained (I'm not even sure they'd last to his first birthday) so we discussed some diapering options with him. I really didn't want to go back to disposables, but was a little worried about reinvesting in a whole new set of all-in-ones or pocket diapers. But after discussing it with my hubby, pricing out several options, and weighing convenience and usability (my hubby prefers a one-step diaper, so if we went with covers and prefolds or fitted he'd be less likely to take part in the whole diapering process - not a good thing) we decided to get a dozen new Fuzzibunz one-size pocket diapers.

And - the whole reason I'm writing this post this evening - my new diapers arrived today. I can't believe how ridiculously childish I feel when I get something like that on the front porch. I mean seriously. It's like opening a new Barbie doll on the way home from Toys R Us (of course I don't plan to let my baby girl play with Barbie, but I sure liked her when I was little ;o) ). I couldn't wait to get into my package and admire the fabulous bright colors. They are a snap closure rather than Velcro, so they should hold up much better than the BG's did. And the elastic around the waist and the leg openings are all adjustable and easily replaced should they fail at some point. Big bonus.

Playing with the new camera lens... plus I just love baby toes!

So this evening was spent moving little button-holes around (kinda like those adjustable waist bands on most kids' jeans these days) and sorting out inserts and admiring the fancy bright colors. All of Girly Pies BG's were pastels, which were nice. But I was feeling much more bold with Bug. So he'll be sporting three diapers each in a bold red, a fun bright yellow, an almost too orange and (my personal favorite) a super fun almost-apple-but-not-quite green. He's got a great complexion for a little guy, so (even though he'll rarely just be in the diaper alone) he'll look really cute in those bold colors.

Don't you love those shocked baby expressions?

OK. I know. They're diapers. They hold poop. But still, they are so stinking CUTE!!! I am very excited to see how our first days in the new diaps go as I adjust for size and whatnot. He's in the first one now at bedtime so we'll see how the night goes.

Sorry if cloth diapers are not your thing - I know they are super boring to read about when you aren't into them. But if you are - than you know how exciting it is to get that box on the front porch and to dig in and start suiting up your little man in cute puffy bottomed brightly colored duds.

Can you believe my sweet Girly Pie will be two years old on Saturday? Crazy!

Oh, and my Girly Pie managed to make it to the potty every single time today without a single accident. (Did I never mention I had put her back in diapers a bit after Bug was born due to her complete lack of interest and my needing to have one less thing to juggle in those first weeks? Well I did. But she's back in undies now for good. ) So all in all, a great day for me. Dry underwear and new diapers. Happy, happy day. ;o)

This guy has a great smile!

(I'll post some cute pics of him in his snazzy new drawers soon!)