New Curriculum, Pajamas and Family

Another Weekly Wrap Up Post!

This week went by fairly quickly. It wasn’t an outstanding week, nor was it a boring week. But it’s over, and here comes family time, Peanut’s last basketball game of the season (whew!) and the chance to prepare for another week with my beautiful children.

Monday came the introduction of the new math program we’re using. School went well- and so quickly, and I’ve gotten completely sidetracked from doing preschool with Bubba.

Tuesday was the Pajama Party and movie day with our homeschool group. After trying to figure out the technology and which computer would work with a DVD and be compatible with the church’s AV system, we found that we wouldn’t be able to watch the VeggieTales movie that I had brought. No fear, though, we just streamed Netflix. Gotta love Netflix.

Wednesday came the next installment of our Pursuit-For-The-Perfect-Curriculum. Spelling Power arrived, and I kind of dove right in to the placement for Peanut. I’m thinking I’ll be giving the Manual an hour of my time this weekend and perhaps even watch the DVD that comes with it to explain the process. I’m fairly confident I’ve placed her correctly (I did follow those steps to the letter,) I just need to solidify my idea of how the program actually works.

Thursday was a different kind of day. I think the whole Nesting complex is combining with my utter exhaustion of this winter, and I wrote out a three page list of all the things I want done around the house. But I started in Bubba’s room. Shame on me for not taking pictures. But imagine taking out every. single. toy. from his room and piling them up in the living room. Picture a 4-foot by 3-foot pile about two and a half feet high. It disgusted me that he had so many things in his room. (I am so leaning towards minimalism sometimes.)

Then I vacuumed and shampooed the carpets. Then we went to the pile (and I had to stop Bubba from jumping into the pile for fear of hurting himself and crushing his things) and we organized everything. Peanut brought up two boxes from the basement- one for Doesn’t Belong in His Room, and one for Not Keeping Any More. We sorted all the things, making a pile for all the toys that went back in his room. Then we methodically placed his toys back. I dug out a basket for the cars, the dinos went back into their bucket, all the Pirate toys went on the correct shelves, and I brought back the toddler bookshelf from daycare days.

Now, his room is delightful and much easier to clean. We’ll see how it is next week.

Today was another up-in-the-air day. At 8:30, I called my sister to see if they’d had breakfast yet. Then I told her I was coming for her four year old, and I took him and my two kids to McDonald’s for sausage and the Playplace. They played for over an hour. I also met a nice lady with two little boys. One of which was a Cheetah who wanted to attack any children he saw playing. Fun times. I mentioned something about homeschooling to her, and she asked me some questions about it, saying she was thinking about homeschool for her older boy. I had the thought that I wish it were that easy to drop comments about my faith and witness to people like that. Because Moms who want to homeschool are almost like people searching for God sometimes. They’re afraid to ask, afraid to commit, afraid to jump off the public school bridge. If only we could be so bold to share a little about Jesus like we do with our school choices.

After McD’s, we stopped by the grocery store, and then home, where Peanut finished school in an hour. Wait, is that right? Yep, an hour. What did I do here? I switched math and spelling, and now school takes an hour? I feel like I’m missing something, or I’ve forgotten a subject somewhere in my closet… Maybe it’s because we’re nearing the end of our My Father’s World year, and things are just slowing down.

Looking forward to next week, and hoping to find ways to make it GREAT!

 

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I’ve Given Up

As I watch my 3 year smile and ask me countless inquisitive questions about every item in our surroundings this morning, I am fighting the urge to hush him. His sister is trying to finish her math so that we can get on our way out the door for a play date with their cousins.

And then he takes the lids off his puzzles and tells me they are going to be sleds for his feet in the snow. I look at him and say, “You mean skis?” “Oh. Yeah. They are my skis.” I just slowly gaze at him, watching him smile at his imaginative accomplishment as he slips and slides around the dining room on his makeshift skis. Then all of a sudden I remember that I probably shouldn’t allow him to step on the lids of his puzzle boxes.

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But why not? The poor kid has been trapped in the house for over a week, the frigid cold preventing any kind of outside play. Why can’t he come up with something that will entertain him and release some energy? Why am I always so drawn to corralling my children into what I want them to be, into how want them to behave?

In that brief moment of clarity, I decide to just give up.

I give up trying to mold my children into carbon copies of myself. They have their own personalities and their own ideas of “fun” and “play”.

I give up trying to curb their imaginations because “that’s not how we behave in the house” or “that’s not on our schedule”.

I give up feeling like I should have rigid rules and beating myself up because I can’t get my kids to obey them. (Aside from the essentials like loving one another, obeying God’s Word, and no drinks on the carpet. Those are all a given.)

I give up having a set time for school to start. A lot of times, 9:00am just isn’t going to cut it. Especially with a new little one coming this summer.

I give up harboring a feeling of failure on my part and frustration with my beautiful children.

I’m giving it all up. This isn’t what mothering is about. Motherhood shouldn’t be a battle, and sometimes, I feel like the battle is with myself. Or I’m making up struggles with my children, but really, they just want to be themselves.

I’m not giving up parenting, or Biblical correction. I’m not giving up instruction or guidance. What I’m giving up is controlling my children because they aren’t what I want them to be, or they aren’t behaving exactly as I wish, or they aren’t doing something how I would have them do it. My controlling nature has caused so much frustration in our days, and caused me to resent certain parts of our days because I dread the struggles with getting my children to “do it right”. But no more. I GIVE IT UP.

What I hope is that giving up these things listed above, I am making more room for joy, for love, for relationships, and for the beauty in the lives God has given me to raise.

Basketball, Bible Study and Boys’ Underwear

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Saturday was Peanut’s first basketball game of the season. She has gotten really good at making baskets. She was “so super excited” to play her game.

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She’s been working on her dribbling, and trying to be able to dribble without looking at the ball. She’s improving, too.

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The game showed a lot of areas where we need to work on. Like, explaining to her *how* a game actually works. Tonight’s practice was promising, though. And she was playing defense amazingly in the scrimmage. She also was paying attention as to when to switch to offense. So this Saturday’s game should be fun.

My Tuesday Morning Bible study has been really convicting. When Jeff and I came together to decide that closing my child care would be the best decision for our family, I was very encouraged that: A) we made a decision together as a unified husband and wife; and B) Jeff would be encouraged that I could actually give him the space he needed to lead our family in the financial realm of life.

This was a HUGE step for me to take because I like to be in control. Of our money, of planning, setting goals, of everything. And God has been teaching me that HE is ultimately in control, and I NEED TO LET HIM DO HIS JOB.

I realized, by studying pride and humility, that I was trying to take back control of our life, and searching for ways I can work in some child care clients to make some extra money. Which is basically telling God, “You’re in control. I know that you’ll work things out. In the meantime, I’ll try to fix this on my own. I don’t trust you 100%”

I am a work in progress, you know.

On a lighter note, I loaded up on these today. Guess why.

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Bubba is doing amazingly well, and much better than I expected. Is it wrong of me to have low expectations for a 27 month old boy in terms of potty training? I only began this endeavor because he kept coming up to me and saying, “Mama! I pooped! Change me!” I figured I’ll give it a day or two, and if it fails miserably (which it still could) then we won’t speak of it again, and try another time.

He had zero accidents today. Until I left him in the care of his Daddy while taking Peanut to B-Ball practice, during which he peed in his underwear two times. And I got an exasperated phone call asking me where all the underwear was. Which is why you see the above. I stopped at Family Dollar and picked up a couple extra sets and some pull-ups for the church nursery on my way home tonight.

big boy training pants
(excuse the poor image, my phone was the closest thing I could grab at this moment)

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Sleepless Nights

My heart gets slightly less melt-y when I hear the pitter patter of my little guy’s feet through the house at night any more. Especially when it’s too-dark-to-roll-over-and-check-my-phone o’clock.

Somebody has been getting in my bed while I’m dead to the world and I wake up to constant kicks, squirms, wiggles, and once he even sat up and laid across my entire body.

I think he was in my bed three different times last night. I seriously lost track, and it kind of muddled up with my dreams, but I do remember putting him back in his bed once last night. And I remember telling him to go back to bed at least once, too. Maybe twice.

This has been going on for days, and I can’t get a full night’s sleep anymore. Oh the joys of motherhood. We’re going to have to have a talk about what’s MINE. Like my bed.

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This is what I woke up to this morning.

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Notice the pantry contents in the dump truck? And he admitted there was chocolate in his mouth.

I am going to sit on the couch, sip my lemon tea with honey, and watch some cartoons with the kids. There’s a craft project floating around in my head, we’ll see if I can get to it today.

Sick Day

Ugh.

There is a bug in our house, and I have caught the brunt of it. My head aches, my chest feels full, my sinuses are loaded with pressure, and right now I feel like I’m on a commercial, talking to a smiling pharmacist in their white lab coat and fake smile. You know which commercial I’m talking about, right? The one where they point us viewers to aisle five.

Except I don’t like to take medicine. I can’t wrap my mind around taking a pill to stop a symptom my body obviously needed to create. I don’t know why I think my body wants every sinus in my head to be filled with mucus that’s just stuck there not moving, but I do. It goes along with the thinking that medicating a fever is a no-no. Or maybe it goes way, way past that thinking.

I did take that Emergen-C stuff that tastes like chalky, fizzy, raspberry chalk-water. A few times in the past few days. And I got worse.

But, I will count my blessings. Jeff came home today and told me that he was sick with a stomach bug. All I can say is, I’m glad I’m not puking. And I will only baby him if he stays home from work. (Which he said he won’t do.)

During this sick day, I didn’t get any chores done. But the sheets I ordered for my bed came from Amazon today (yay for two sets of sheets now!), so I managed to throw those in the washer.

I took the kids to the library for Preschool Story Time. It was a nice 1/2 hour where I didn’t have to think about anything.

Peanut just took a math test, copy work, and Bible Devotion, so it really didn’t take any effort from me.

Bubba played with the Fisher Price Farmhouse I dug out of the closet the other day (I still think it’s hilarious that he tells me it’s our new toy. It’s older than he is.) and he played with that most of the day. I put my bucket of animals with it. So there were lions and sharks and cows and elephants and snakes in the farm. We did, however, have a very educational discussion about what animals belong on the farm.

Lunch was macaroni with shredded cheese. When Jeff got home, we watched The Lorax, and then we fed the kids leftover pizza and put them to bed.

I really wish I didn’t feel so crummy. I missed a really great Bible Study with the girls from church tonight. We are studying Lies Women Believe, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Perhaps I will feel refreshed and renewed tomorrow and I can get my chores done, buy AAA batteries, do some cooking, and finish up Peanut’s school week with time to spare.

Little Blessings

I was blessed today by a fellow mother taking Peanut to a homeschool gathering for me, to allow me to give Bubba his normal nap routine. I packed her lunch, and off she went to a beach party in our church’s gym.

It was quiet in our house this afternoon. Just Bubba and me after lunch. And we spent about 20 minutes playing blocks and building “blast offs” (rocket ships). Our “hats” kept blowing away, and he had to keep chasing them. I loved just sitting down on the floor with him, watching his imagination soar, and testing it, to see how much more he would pretend.

Then we quietly read some books together which isn’t normally just him and myself, and I put him to bed. It was so peaceful, and I loved the opportunity to focus solely on him.

Tonight, Peanut is at basketball practice, and I am home with Bubba again- my hip has been hurting badly today, and I cannot sit on those folding chairs.

And I am loving the one-on-one time with my precious little boy. 

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He is growing up so fast, right before my eyes. He amazes me every second I spend with him. I feel like I need to slow down and savor every moment of his toddlerhood, because he is quickly becoming a sweet young boy. I wish there was a pause button, a rewind button, a playback button. I will satisfy myself with pictures, and precious memories, treasuring them in my heart like only a mother can.

Tell me, how do you stop, and take time to revel in your childrens’ childhoods? 

Redefining Myself

These past few days have been filled with organizing. My thoughts, my game plan, my time, my chores.

I am coming in to my new role slowly, and it’s not a terrible experience. You see, the beginning of this year brought a big change. I am not longer defined as a Child Care Provider. From now on, I am merely a Wife, Stay At Home Mom, and Homeschooling Mom, with many responsibilities on my to-do list. I think that I used to put a lot more weight on the title that brought home the most money, and these remaining titles don’t bring in nearly as much money for the work that’s required of them. But these- the roles I have in my family are the absolute, most important. I am thankful that God has made his will clear in my Child Care career, and thankful for the opportunity to focus on what matters most.

And so, the journey begins.

I’m learning to trust in God, and to not try to control things that are out of my control.

I’m working on completing a Home Management Guide- a complete list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to keep the home clean, organized and semi put together.

I’m working on giving the children more responsibilities around the house. Bubba helped me clean the bathroom today, and Peanut folded two baskets of laundry and put them away.

I’m trying to get a routine that can be relied on with the kids.

I’m taking my sewing machine that was Jeff’s mother’s to the craft store for a Sewing 101 class this week.

And I’m actually starting to get our picture frames back on the walls. By the way, that reminds me, I want to be able to check off something on my Unfinished Projects list at least once a month. I’m working on it, but time creeps by so quickly!

I will say one thing about all the changes going on. I have definitely noticed an attitude change in Bubba. He is happier, and, although he does experience the usual two year old outbursts and temper flares, he has a lot more patience throughout the day. Which makes my heart happy.

Adding Worksheets- What makes a number?

What frustrates me the most with homeschooling is how I know how to do something, and I can’t find any material that teaches it. So I made what I needed.

Here’s a little something I whipped up to work on adding facts, and what makes a number. We’re currently working on subtraction and multiplication, and as I watch Peanut work through these I’m thinking we need to get back to basics. Just for a little fun, and to work on the skills.

To use: Have the children fill in the addends in each box. Then, using, stamps, drawings, stickers, or whatever else, have them put in pictures to go along with the numbers. Have them count the pictures, then have them read the equation. Feel free to use it with your own children. Or, if you’re not one for worksheets, take the concept, some bingo chips and make a game of this!

what makes 5-10

Oh, and before I forget- These worksheets were not designed with the use of zero as an addend. There are enough boxes to add 1 through the number before the sum. For example, for the 5 worksheet, there are boxes for 1+4; 2+3; 3+2; and 4+1.
Here’s the link to the .pdf file:
whatmakes510

Please, please, please let me know if you notice any typos or inconsistencies! Thanks!

Revival

The Lord is teaching me new things. My soul is ready, but my heart is nervous. I am a fearful person. I am not accustomed to change. I get set in my ways and I don’t want to be moved. But the Spirit has been softening my heart for months now, and I can see now that God seeks a revival in my life.

This isn’t about coming back to Christianity. This is about maturity. Growing in the Spirit. Cultivating spiritual fruits. And letting go of the control that I thought I needed to have.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I am learning truths about who God is.

About learning to trust Him.

About my role as a follower of Christ.

How I am not defined by how much money I make.

How my success in life is not defined by what I do outside my home.

How keeping up with my laundry and dishes glorifies my God.

How God is in control of my life, even when I think I am.

About motherhood, and bringing up Godly children with values and virtues.

About stepping back and allowing my husband to possess the authority that God gave him.

I am excited to see the results of these changes, but I know that the road will be hard. I know that through this process, God will expose truths in me that will hurt. I am only ready with the strength I gain through my Savior, Jesus Christ.

John 3:16 I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

It’s a BRAND NEW YEAR!

Welcome to a brand new year everyone!

What’s a new year without an old habit? Of course, my New Year’s Project isn’t finished yet. In fact, today is already the second day of the year, and I *just* started my project. I should be done by tonight, and I can post it tomorrow. Don’t worry, I will try not to leave you hanging too long!

What else would make a New Year’s post complete? Resolutions? Um, no. I don’t do resolutions. Mainly because I never finish things. So, instead of making a list of resolutions about things that I’ll forget about by mid-February, I’m going to make a list of all the things I want to finish this year. Seems boring, but don’t worry- you’ll be laughing at me and my crazy list of unfinished projects by the time you’re done reading.

I don’t know what it is about myself that makes me get up and leave a project undone. I love starting things, and I love the thought that goes in to planning something. Sometimes I can get pretty creative (sometimes), and certain projects are pretty motivated. But, when the end is in sight, I kind of just want to get up and walk away and drink some coffee and watch another episode of Monk on Netflix.

No more, I say! Well, not as much. Because I have a lot of things to do this year!

Here goes my list of unfinished projects that need to be finished by December 2013:

  • Finish painting the hallway by my bedroom (started in June 2012 just have 1/2 a wall left)
  • Finish painting my dining room and hang pictures back up (pictures have been down since May 2012, started painting in November 2012)
  • Finish the headboard in my bedroom (needs trim and accent painted on)
  • Finish teaching myself how to sew a collared shirt for Jeff
  • Finish organizing Peanut’s closet and hang another closet rod
  • Finish filing (and shredding) office paperwork
  • Taxes (AHH!) for my 2012 Child Care business (not even started…)
  • Finish painting my kitchen cabinets (from February of 2012!)

This list is overwhelming me already. I haven’t even touched the unfinished baby blanket I started crocheting for Peanut before she was born. I started that back in 2005. And her baby book that’s in a box in the attic. Or Bubba’s baby book that’s on a shelf in my closet. Or another crocheted blanket that was supposed to be a Christmas gift in 2011. I can’t even remember what stitch I was using for that one. Or what size hook. Some things are just never going to be finished, I think.

I did, however, get something done yesterday that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I started up a store on Etsy for my jewelry making! Check it out at the banner below!

I have a mental list of all the projects I want to start this year. But, I honestly think I need to finish this list before I tackle anything else. Or at least mostly finish it…