Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

My pictures and posts about Nora have been lacking, so I'm going to feature her on this post. She was our lovely violet crayon for the night and stayed with us the whole night. She hung out in the carrier while we walked the neighborhood.

We're only a couple colors away from a whole box of crayons. Don't worry, we aren't going to try to get a whole box!! Our five are just perfect! The three older kids picked the color they wanted to be, and luckily I was able to find top and bottoms that coordinated. Gideon and Nora didn't really have a choice - it's the only color I could find both the tops and bottoms.
I'm really glad that all the kids cooperated with being crayons. Olivia was hesitant at first and I told her she could pick something else, but that everyone else was going as crayons, so she happily jumped on board. It's probably the last time, until they're all teenagers, that they will dress-up as a group. It was a great night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In a good groove

Life is in a good groove right now. Our days are filled with school, play, and conversation. I'm feeling really good about the schedule that has made itself in our school day. We start the day with Bible, which includes all the kids. Even Esther and Gideon get in on the singing and story. In Bible time, they are also required to memorize a passage of scripture. This 6 week period it's John 3: 14-19. Look it up - it's a long section of scripture and after only 10 days both kids could recite it without missing a beat! AMAZING! After Bible, Olivia and I have reading time, while I get Garrett started on his writing seat work. Olivia then starts her cursive writing (she does a very good job!) while I go over and help Garrett in Phonics and Math. It works out really nicely for equal time with each child. I thought that scheduling the two kids and juggling their different learning styles and levels would be hard, but it has fallen into place all on it's own and given me a lot of confidence as we continue our homeschooling endeavor.

Garrett has picked up math like a champ - NO problems there. He struggles with phonics and really tests my patience and pace. (I like things to move quickly, that's just NOT going to happen with him). He struggles with focus, especially when he hears the TV on in the next room. We always knew this would be a struggle for him and I am glad I can give him the one on one time he really needs. We just recently enrolled him in karate, which he is wonderful at. It's a great daddy/son time (I think Josh gets just as excited about class as Garrett does!).

Olivia is not as enthusiastic about homeschooling as I would have thought. I'm giving her time because right now a lot of the lessons are a review from kindergarten, and she gets bored with them quickly. She is really interested in the geography/history lessons and with cursive writing. These things are new to her and are what gives me hope for the coming lessons that will challenge her. She thrives with challenge and I'm so proud of her sticking it out the first couple of weeks.

By the time school is over for both kids, it's 11am and they all go outside and play. Having the older two separated from the little ones, makes playtime peaceful when they are all together. They have been playing "circus", "school", " and "house", as one happy group. That makes this mommy very happy!!

Esther is growing like crazy. She now has a best friend, Kylie, who she loves to play babies with. She tends to be a broken record when she wants something, but her giving spirit totally outweighs that trait. At the Halloween parade on Saturday she was collecting the candy that was being thrown to the kids, and instead of hording it for herself, she ALWAYS gave to her best friend Kylie. And later on could be seen walking down the line of kids, placing a piece of candy in each of their bags before she took any for herself. What a giver - such a beautiful girl!

Gideon is almost two and has a soft heart for everyone. Just today, Olivia was upstairs crying about homeschooling. I wasn't being the most sympathetic mother and was telling her to "just get over it!" Gideon, walked over to her, put his arms out and nuzzled up into her for a big hug. He may not be able to say much, but his actions communicate volumes!

Nora is a great baby. She had thrush after a couple of weeks, which really caused her some pain and bad sleeping habits. After that cleared up we were good to go at night. She is currently 5 1/2 weeks old and going 4-5 hours between feedings at night and is going right back to sleep after she eats. During the day she enjoys, sleeping! Really, she eats and sleeps and doesn't do much other than that. She doesn't like her swing, but does enjoy a couple of minutes in the bouncy seat. She is loved by the whole family and is starting to smile at familiar faces.

Nora at the Halloween parade. They grow so fast!

Liv, Es, and Garrett at the parade. Gideon was sick this night and couldn't make it, so daddy stayed home with him.

Garrett homeschooling!

Liv, set up in the kitchen with her DVD classroom on the TV.

Liv at the end of her MORNING (I stress morning, b/c she acts like it's been all day!). She wasn't happy about finishing her seat work and really wasn't happy about me taking her picture. That would be a pencil flying at me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkins, hayrides and corn mazes, Oh my!

Have I mentioned that I love my playgroup. You heard me, not the kids' playgroup, MY playgroup. We have been gathering together at my sister's house every Thursday since the summer. This group has become like family to our kids and to myself as well. The women in this group have been a source of encouragement and support for me, like no other women I have had in my life. Each woman brings something unique and special to the group - not to mention lots of new moms! There hasn't been a week where we didn't have a new mom come for some fun!

On the days I've woken up and thought, "Oh, man - this day is going to be horrible. The kids are driving me nuts. I didn't sleep at all last night. I CANNOT get out of the house today", are the days I get myself there, NO MATTER WHAT! These women have made me a better friend, wife and mother. I thank God daily for the relationships I am building and for the new relationships that will come out of it.

Ok, now to the fun part!

To kick off fall at playgroup we are painting pumpkins and having a big fall festival tomorrow. So, we decided to take a field trip together today and pick our pumpkins at a local farm. I was pretty excited, b/c I missed doing a fall photo shoot with the kids and took this opportunity to get some shots of them. Here you go!

Esther with the pumpkin she didn't get. She was the only one of my kids who wanted a "tiny" pumpkin. Thank goodness, the other two wanted the biggest ones in the field!

Garrett was not letting this 'monster' pumpkin go! It weighed almost 20 lbs!!

This picture pretty much represents how happy Gid was to have his picture taken all day.

Mommy with her babies. Nora is in the carrier.

I was happy with Olivia's pick - I thought it was fairly conservative and not TOO large. However, when they put it on the scale, it weighed more than Garrett's! At .49 cents a pound - both of their pumpkins were quite an investment.

Playgroup Pumpkin gang.
From left to right (top) Garrett, holding Nora. Olivia, holding Riley. Esther, holding Brynn. Kylee, and Ava. Left to right (bottom) Jon, holding Ben. Gideon.

Crisp Pumpkin gang.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Festivals and Sibling love

Everything is going well here. Other than me not being able to blog. I seem to be in a blog block. Really, I've written three blogs and never published them because I'm just not happy with them. I was kinda feeling good about this blog, until my wonderful, proof-reading husband said, "You might want to re-read this, it's kinda choppy. I don't think you'll like it if you re-read it all together." So what if I have a newborn who doesn't want to sleep in her own bed. So what if that causes me to get little sleep. Which in turn makes my brain not work. Leading to the blog block. So here you go - pictures with choppy content. Enjoy! :)

Esther loves to hold Nora the most.

Gid still loves to kiss her.

Olivia is a great help when Nora doesn't want to sleep in her cradle and only wants to be held.

We've spent the last couple of Saturdays at local Fall Festivals. There are always tons of venders and food, but we only do the free stuff. It's great fun and the kids really don't mind as long as they get their faces painted and ride a pony.

Marlton Festival
This face painting booth was our church, Sovereign Grace.

Of course there were tons of free balloons - which I hate. Why? You ask. Number 1 - we tie them to the stroller so they don't lose them to the sky, so they get in my face while I try to maneuver through the massive amounts of people - annoying! Number 2 - because we save them from the sky and they make it home they float around the house and then lay around the house for the next week because the kids want to play with them.

Es petting a bunny.

Mt. Laurel Festival
Aunt Ange walking with Gideon on the pony.

The five older cousins - Nora is in the stroller behind Esther's head and Brynn is in the stroller that Garrett's hand is on. I know, so sad that they didn't make the cut.

Esther's butterfly.

Garrett's sand art.

Liv driving the fire truck.