11-14-18 Snow is coming!!

This is pretty much my life right now… Knee deep in other people’s dirty tissues. đŸ˜• Thankfully they all seem to be on the mend.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the first snow of the season. It doesn’t usually come this early in the year, and schools are already closing in anticipation.

I absolutely love when it snows and I feel all giddy whenever the topic is mentioned. It’s the only redeeming quality of the subarctic temperatures we have been experiencing. If it’s going to be this cold, there should be snow!

Tonight I’m relishing in the idea that I don’t have to check for school or campus closings, I don’t have to fret about my commute, or scramble to find someone to watch my kids if their school is cancelled but my work is not. We can sit at the classroom table, watching the snow fall, reading books, and drinking hot cocoa.

11-13-18 Sarah Whitcher

One of the things I love about our curriculum is that it includes a lot of reading material that goes along with our history lessons. This week our book is called “Sarah Whitcher’s Story.” When I looked at the lesson plans the book was divided into two and a half weeks of readings. However, when I started reading it out loud to the kids this morning they didn’t want me to stop. They have always loved stories, and I always try to make them as interesting as possible. I do all the voices, hand gestures, etc to try to engage them. This morning they were hooked and before we knew it we had read the ENTIRE book… All 92 pages!!

I was amazed that it held their attention for so long. The story was well written and the kids hung on every word.

I was so impressed at their reaction that I decided to look up the author and learned she had written quite a few books. The library didn’t have any, so I went on Amazon and ordered another one. I’m interested to see if it was a fluke or if the kids have found a favorite author.

It’ll be a few days before it gets here, which will give my voice time to recover before we start again!

11-12-18 An overdue milestone…

When we were living in my in-laws basement and Tim was away from home during the week, I got into the very bad habit of letting Baby E sleep in my room, and at times in bed with me. It seemed easier than trying to keep him quiet in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately when we moved to the new house, he took up residence on a toddler mattress next to my side of the bed. I didn’t want to switch him out of our room too quickly because of all the change going on in his life. Then all the stuff started happening with my dad, and that seemed like a bad time to do it as well.

Somehow all the kids ended up in our room over the past week and when they had us up nine (!!!) times Saturday night, an executive decision was made that they would all be moving out (of our room!)

So last night was the first night since we have lived here that Baby E did not sleep in our room. He worried about it all day yesterday and pleaded to get to stay, but in the end he fell asleep between his brother and sister and slept soundly all night long. This morning I told him how proud I was of him.

11-11-18 Baby E’s Feathers

BabyE is an unusual kid, and I mean that in the best possible sense. He might be my most strong willed, but he is also the one with the most unique personality and perspective on life. I kept that in mind when we went shopping for his birthday and in the end he wound up with an unusual assortment of gifts that completely fit his personality.

He has recently fallen in love with the cello and enjoys watching and listening to cello music. When I saw a kids ukalele in the store, I knew he would see it as a cello and be enamored. He enjoys tuning the strings to different pitches.

He also received a fiber optic speaker. Yes, an unusual gift for a four year old, but hear me out. The speaker lights up and glows through fiber optic ‘hairs’ that stick straight up. You can plug your phone into it, but he has no idea it’s a speaker. To him it is a beautiful head of hair that lights up in the darkness. It’s also his new favorite thing to cuddle with at night.

Whenever we are outside Baby E keeps an eye out for two things… Fungi and feathers. We got him a six pack of feathers from a craft store and his eyes lit up at this strange gift. “Can I take them in the bath???” He asked giddily. He held each one in his hands and admired its beauty. I think the feathers might have been his favorite gift.

He got a few other presents, and I loved his reaction to each one. None of them would have been typical four year old presents, but each one struck a chord with him.

I think his creativity and imagination will carry him far!

11-09-18 School

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I love that when my kids have downtime and I don’t let them in front of a screen they often entertain themselves by playing school. I was doing the dishes one morning and when I came into the classroom I saw the dry erase board covered in an anatomy lesson.

I’m so proud of how well my kids are adjusting to homeschooling. Over the past several months they have really had to roll with the punches and they have done a great job at it! Big E is really doing well with his phonics lessons and he is starting to read a lot more. C is excelling at math and loves to sit in front of the board and work on equations.

We are studying US history this year and they have been fascinated with the stories of early settlers. We’ve been reading some living history books and the kids are spellbound as I read. They ask a ton of questions and do well at analyzing the stories. They are learning their memory verses and participating in our daily devotions.

Of course we have our challenging moments, but I am so incredibly thankful that God has given us this opportunity for me to be home with them and get to be a part of their education!

11-08-18 Hiking

I checked online this morning to see what the weather was going to be like for the near future and it looks like we are in for some extremely cold temperatures in the weeks to come. Knowing this might be our last chance to spend some time outside for a little while, I decided to take the kids on a hike. We didn’t last long, as everyone was still recovering from the long day yesterday, but I think they had fun.

Big E did manage to scare himself by shimmying between two large rocks and getting temporarily stuck. He was wedged for only about five seconds, but it was enough to freak him out. Thankfully we didn’t need any mountain rescues! đŸ˜‰

11-07-18 Baby E’s Solution

Baby E came out into the shop this afternoon to see me with his fingers stuck up his nostrils. He has gotten it into his mind that all smells at the shop are toxic and he isn’t allowed to breathe them in. Now I wouldn’t recommend sniffing all the lacquers and stains, or standing too close to the sanding table without a mask, but there’s absolutely no harm in being in the shop! But there is no reasoning with a four year old when they smell something they don’t like, so he came up with a plan to plug his nose with his fingers. That way none of the ‘dust’ could get up in there and hurt him. Never mind he was breathing through his mouth!

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After some editing and then school this morning we headed to the shop so I could help with some sanding. It turned into a lot of sanding and now it is 12:30 at night and I’m very tired and VERY sore! I’m pretty sure every single muscle in my body is screaming in protest right now. Hopefully they will all calm down for a good night’s sleep. I expect my arms and legs will be jelly by morning!

That’s ok, it was actually a lot of fun. It was nice to get out of the house and do something physical, but here’s hoping the kids sleep in in the morning!

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11-06-18 Happy Birthday, Baby E!

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Dearest Baby E,

When I asked you what your favorite number was today you held up three fingers, stared at your hand, smiled, and added another finger. Four. Four is your new favorite number.

You’ve always lived life to the beat of your own drum. After you were born and we were still in the hospital you had a scrunched up little face and eyes that never opened. When we brought you home, you opened your eyes, looked back and forth between me and daddy with a look of confusion, as if we were just now meeting.

From that moment you have kept us on our toes. You have this incredibly unique personality that sets you apart from other kids your age. You have strong opinions about everything and a set way that life should be lived. You can create magic out of nothing, seeing your favorite stories and characters in the mundane of everyday life. See that broom? It’s not a broom. It’s Moana. What about those keys? Also Moana. In fact, if you look hard enough… anything can be turned into Moana. (I’ll be honest though kid, it’s not flattering to be laying on the floor and being recruited to play the part of Moana’s boat!)

Your favorite toys include a broom named “Dirts,” a troll doll named “Creepy,” any small lego or stone that can be turned into the Heart of Tefiti, a Rapunzel doll that is a bathtub staple, an old wig you like to wear backwards so that you have awesome hair, and any small balls you can collect as “core memories” (Inside Out.) You also like to collect feathers and try to sneak them into the bathtub so you can see how they act underwater.

You are a pretty picky eater, but you love pancakes, Papa Johns Pizza, pumpkin seeds, black olives, and pistachios. You like to say you enjoy cake, but in all honesty, you only eat the frosting. You absolutely hate all things bread, but you’ve recently acquired a taste for cooked mushrooms.

Speaking of mushrooms, you are obsessed. You have an eye for picking out the smallest fungi while walking though the forest. Your favorite book is the large fungi identification book we get from the library. You love to flip through it and look at all the beautiful pictures.

Your favorite place to go is the pool, though you don’t actually want to swim. You just want to sit on the steps and play with toys. Your favorite movies are Moana, Robin (Neighbor) Hood, and Inside Out. Sometimes you like to have Super Tim Speed, and run around the house as an awesome superhero that drives a red van.

While you may be incredibly creative and hilarious, you are also very shy. Meeting new people is difficult for you, but once you warm up to them (which can take months), you love them completely.

You really are an amazing kid and I am so glad to be your mommy. Watching you grow up is an adventure and I know your persistent personality will do you well as an adult. I love that you know your own mind and hold your own with your older siblings. You are a blessing to our family and your antics make us laugh. You are loving, creative, fun, silly, incredibly smart, very handsome, and we love you more than you will ever know.

Happy4th  Birthday, my sweet!

Love you! Mommy

11-05-18 Ringing The Bell!

Today was dad’s last radiation session. Once he was finished with his radiation, he got to go out and ring the bell. (Apparently it was more of a gong than a bell.) Ringing the bell is a huge milestone for cancer patients because it means at least for the time being, that part of their treatment is complete!!

I’m praising God that his radiation stint was so quick, and we are praying that it did the job it was intended to do. We won’t know for a few weeks or months as we wait to see what future scans reveal.

I’m incredibly proud of the progress that my father has made in the past month. He has made huge strides in walking and independence. I know it has been a ton of hard work, but he is doing so well! We praise God for his continued provision.

I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t be there for the big day, but I woke up with vertigo this morning which left me in no shape to drive. Thankfully it had worn off by mid afternoon and we were able to get some school done, but I wish I could have gotten a picture of the big moment!

Thank you for your prayers for our family! I hope you are encouraged (as we certainly are) by the way God has continually answered those prayers over these past many weeks. We feel truly blessed!