Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Feeling Fallish

Sunday saw a drastic turn in the weather around here.  I didn't realize it was the first day of fall right away, but I knew something was different.  The sun was coming in through the window in our front room, which only happens at certain times of the year.  Still I didn't recognize it.  Later Sunday afternoon I was refusing to go outside because of the oppressive heat, when my more astute husband informed me that it was not hot outside.  I thought that was just a little odd.  And then Monday morning I woke up and was just a little bit...cold.  This is why:
"It must be fall!" I thought to myself and immediately began pulling out the box of fall decorations, after I opened all of the windows of course.
We call this little guy Sully.  He was a gift from my husband last fall.
Even Pope Francis is feeling festive and fallish.
Orange, orange everywhere.
I did most of this during nap time, and since Fritter doesn't nap anymore, he decided to make his own fall things.
A leaf for each of the three big kids.
A book by Fritter: The Seasons and The Plants
The page on the left shows the seasons and the page on the right shows a flower in those various seasons.
When the little ones woke up from their naps, they were greeted with a home made a little more cozy with the oranges and yellows and browns, so of course they wanted to do something too.  We decided on woven place mats, since we didn't have enough fallish place mats anyway.

Concentrating so hard on their work.
With all of our efforts combined, our home is fully decorated and ready for fall.  Come on cooler weather, hot apple cider and tea, and pants!  ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

On Being Flexible

Yesterday I had four teeth removed to make room for my other teeth to shift around.  So far this braces thing has been...Yeowch!  Of course school did not happen yesterday.  I laid on the couch watching the kids play around me.  Later Fritter and Ladybug made little puppets and with the hopes of putting on a puppet show for us this evening.  Art.  Drama. Public Speaking.

Today is the first day of Blue Knights and Little Flowers for Fritter and Ladybug.  My job is to help in the nursery.  Which would have been fine.  As long as I keep up on the ol' ibuprofen I'm ok.  So we were all getting ready to get out the door, when my poor little Fritter made a run for the bathroom to throw up.  So of course he can't go to Blue Knights.  It also means I can't help in the nursery. 

Thankfully we've gotten it set up so there is always a back up person on hand to take care of the little ones in the nursery, so they shouldn't miss me too much.  I dropped Ladybug off in her class and scooted Fritter home where he is currently watching The Magic School Bus on Netflix. 

I'm guessing school will not happen today either.  Unless you consider The Magic School Bus to be science.

More than anything though, we are learning to be flexible with our plans.  We are learning compassion and patience for each other when one of us is not feeling well.  This is real life.  This is what homeschooling is all about.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So, How Is School Going?

I wanted to name this post How Did the First Week Go? but that was three weeks ago, and here we are in our fourth week of school already.  So maybe that's saying something about how it's going....Busy.

The school plans themselves do not feel like too much for either Fritter or me.  We're getting it done, we're (mostly) enjoying it, we're still humming along on schedule. 

The problem lies in the fact that I am still not quite up to speed taking care of a family of six.  There is still laundry that needs to get done, dinner that needs to be cooked, children that need to be hugged, and a husband who needs to be given my attention.  It's all working, it's all happening, but there is not much room for error.  AND this is not really because of the load we're doing in school, it's  Saturdays have turned from slightly lazy work days with a smattering of very heavy work, to pretty much all day catching up on laundry and housework and various other sundry projects.

And to add a little more chaos beauty to the mix, we got fish!
At the in-service for our Co-op a few weeks ago, our group leader had us do a little activity.  The moms broke up into two groups (there are about twelve of us total) and we were each given an object.  We were told to say the name of the object and pass it to the person on our right.  So it went something like this, "Pen {pass}...stapler {pass}...marker {pass}...crayon {pass}...tape..." Then we were told to take one step back from each other and continue in the same manner, except this time a little faster, "Pen{pass}, stapler{pass}, marker{pass}..."  This was a little harder, but still doable.  One more time we were told to step back, and this time go in the opposite direction, and a little faster, "marker{pass}stapler{pass}pen{drop...Oh Shoot!"

This was used as an example of life.  And the second example is about where we are.  It's doable, it's a little fast paced, but things will get chaotic quickly if I don't keep up.

This week we started back to our PE class on Tuesday mornings, and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd starts in two weeks on Thursdays afternoons.  Fridays is Co-op one week, and Blue Knights/Little Flowers the next week.  Soccer practice is every Thursday evening and games will be on Saturday mornings.  We have Monday and Wednesday where we don't have to leave the house at all, and I plan on guarding those days with everything I have.

We have to make sure we have time for this.  Getting dressed in full battle regalia is a priority around here.

Dragon slayers in training.

(Already a nice sized post and I still haven't gotten to the meat and potatoes of school yet).

School itself has gone well.  Fritter is plugging away at his Math book, which he LOVES.  Overheard in the school room yesterday as I was setting out his Math Test, "Mom, speed drills are so much fun!"  He is his mother's son.

One challenge is keeping the girls occupied while I'm working with Fritter.  They are loving their Learning Poster, and Ladybug is enjoying her "school work".  Sunflower does about 10 or 15 minutes of "blanket time" with a hands on toy of some sort (for example, this week she is playing with rocks I painted with Fritter ages ago in an egg carton.  Her goal is to place each rock in a slot with my kitchen tongs.)  Overall this takes about 20 minutes and Fritter is usually done with his Math by then.  At this point, I currently have Ladybug doing Independent Playtime in her room and Sunflower doing playtime in the playpen until Fritter gets to more independent work.  My sweet Froggy pretty much naps consistently during this time. 

It's definitely not a perfect system, but it's working right now.  Right away the first week of school, we were thrown some curve balls.  Ladybug got pink eye, Fritter got a cold and ear infection, and I got braces (that's a whole 'nother post).  We've worked around all this, and managed, but things are not as smooth as they were last year. 

And really, that's ok.  I'm learning to be more flexible, but I'm also growing.  I would so much rather sit on the couch and read or cross stitch than do much of anything else, and while I still get to do some of that, my horizons are also being expanded a little.

So in answer to the question, how is school going? I'd have to say pretty good so far.  And bonus!  We homeschool, so if I feel we need a break, we have a membership to the Science Center and can count that as school for a week.  :)

Or the aquarium.  That's school too!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New School Year Entrance Interviews

I decided after seeing it in a few other places to conduct a little interview of each of my little students.  Some of what I found, I expected, but some things came as a little surprise. 

Fritter 1st Grade:

Favorite thing to do: Painting

Favorite song to sing: The Land Before Time Song (this is a made up song that he has song so often that Ladybug and Sunflower know the words as well).

Favorite movie or tv show: The Land Before Time

Favorite thing to learn in school: Learning how to read (that's my boy!)

One thing I hope to accomplish this year: dig all the way to Australia!  (When I asked if he meant China, he was adamant that he could angle his dig and end up in Australia.)

Favorite Saint: St. Michael the Archangel "Because he fights the devil!"

Favorite Poem: Windy Nights by Robert Lewis Stevenson (which happens to be the one he is working on now.)

One place I like to go: the Science Center

When I grow up: "I want to be a dad and my work is to go to space and do all kinds of things no one has ever done before."

Favorite toy: Ducky (Did I ever mention that a few months after that post, Ducky came back out of the box?  He did and is still Fritter's favorite lovey.)

Sunflower PreK:
Favorite thing to do: "Playing horsie games with Fritter."

Favorite song to sing: You Are My Sunshine

Favorite movie or tv show: Cinderella "That's a beautiful movie!"

Favorite thing to learn about in school: horsies (Guess I'd better add that into her curriculum!)

One thing I hope to accomplish this year: how to drive a car.  (I asked her if she wanted to learn how to ride her bike without training wheels, and she decided she was just fine keeping them on.  I think we'll keep the car keys out of reach of her for now.)

Favorite saint: St. Dominic Savio "Because he's the best Saint!" (He is also our patron saint for this school year.  St. Dominic Savio pray for us!)

Favorite nursery rhyme: "Hey Little Diddle"

One place I like to go: the zoo

When I grow up : "I wanna be...a mommy."

Favorite toy: horsie toys

Sunflower 2 years old:

 Obviously she can't speak for herself  all that well, so I surmised the answers myself.

Favorite things to do: play with the doll house or play kitchen, pull out stacks of books and read them one by one.

Favorite song to sing: ABC's

Favorite movie or tv show: "Strawbababababerry!" (Strawberry Shortcake) and "The Magic Goose Bus" (The Magic School Bus)

One place I like to go: Gracie and Annie's house

Favorite toy: Monkey (you can see monkey in both pictures of her on this post.  A Round of "Where's Monkey" anyone?)

Froggy 4 months old:

His favorite everything is me and I so relish that.  We put him in the jumper yesterday for the first time and I about cried.  I'm not ready for him to grow up yet!
And there you have it folks.  My attempt to jump back into the bloggy bandwagon.  I actually have posts swirling in my head, including thoughts from our first few weeks of school and another about the love languages...we'll see if they ever make it on the ol' blog.