Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"  Because your faithful love is right in front of me—
    I walk in your truth!
I walk all around your altar, Lord,
        proclaiming out loud my thanks,
        declaring all your wonderful deeds!"

Psalm 26:3, 6 & 7

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ten on ten - April 2017







hair brushing




lining up




photographing (by Cora - here Mama, I'll take your picture) 

lunch preparing


more tidying











We had a big day today (started this post on the 10th, am now finishing on the 11th) and yet it was very ordinary as well.  Full of blessings and I'm so thankful for today and all of our days at home!  

I want to remember what our days were like at this stage so I am journaling this for myself.  Feel free to read if you feel like it.  :)  

At our house you can get up at 7:00.  If you wake up before that you can read or play in your room.  I wake up at six most mornings to shower and get ready, try to get a handle on breakfast prep, read and pray, maybe listen to some Julie Bogart while I unload the dishwasher . . . most mornings my kids ROCK at this . . . even Cora who does not have a clock in her room (sidenote: why are alarm clocks so ugly?  This has been my hindrance in buying one for her.) but this morning she was up at 6:30 so she went back into her room (with some gentle guidance) and proceeded to create with her new art kit.  

Breakfast seems to always have several bumps in it at our house in this season.  Deciding what color straw, throwing a whining fit when your preferred straw color isn't available, not liking what is for breakfast, being grumpy about needing to finish a glass of water or about not getting MORE breakfast . . . seriously, breakfast could last ALL day.  

breakfasting today:  leftover blueberry muffins that I made ahead for Sunday breakfast to help it be a day of rest, a beautiful REAL (the kids, especially Cora are impressed and enthralled by this fact) palm branch from Sunday school to remember Jesus coming into Jerusalem, scrambled eggs and green chile made by Adrian for me - Cora is allergic to chicken eggs and David prefers no green chile in his - a memory verse 3 x 5 card to review, puppets on the table for me to talk to them with in funny voices are very popular.

Our book stack that we do selections from during breakfast in the mornings.

glasses staying out on the counter all day and a pitcher help us in our quest to consume enough water through the day

What is working for us these days is to take a potty break after each meal and read a book . . . the upside is we are getting more reading in!  

I can't believe how long her hair is getting!  And we are so thankful for hand me down clothes and hair things!  

me and my girl

white dishes on display were inspired by a walk through a shop in downtown Littleton last week.  This little space feels springy to me. 

prepping books for us to read later in the day . . . doing the ever present book rotation from the library, our personal library, etc.  We love books!  

It's interesting how innate "playing school" is.  We homeschool and so "school" settings of lots of kids lined up listening to a teacher are more rare for my kids than some but Cora is constantly lining up "kids" or "our friends" these days and singing a song with them or reading to them, etc.  It's really cute.  (and gives her an outlet for being bossy ;) )

After reading the Legend of the Indian Paintbrush last week, David and Cora set out to make their own paints with flowers, weeds, grasses and vegetable scraps, oh and pinecones.  David is trying to figure out here why the huge stack of bricks has not yet compressed the pinecones he put in between them on Friday and where to go from here.  I love how his mind works.  

We are attempting to be good neighbors by picking/uprooting our dandelions as soon as they show up so we aren't spreading downy fluff seeds to neighboring yards.  And besides, how sweet is this??

Originally I went outside alone to journal, read and pray and have a few minutes by myself but I could hear strife and bickering through the open door so I knew it was time to get my littles outside for a break in the great outdoors too.  I called them out to see our new daffodil blooming and then sent them around to the backyard to see the iris coming out.  By that time they were hooked and finding their own things to do and play outside including the preceding pics and some of the following (they loaded out of order and weren't correcting so I'm leaving them).  

When we came back inside Cora wanted to take my picture.  

Today I made a big salad with cheese chunks for Cora and I in it (David's dairy allergy is getting MUCH better but he hasn't really developed a taste for cheddar cheese) and all three of us loved that fresh, yummy lunch.  

We have begun trying to do a Flykids challenge most days (which honestly has been about one day a week lately but still better than nothing!) to chip away at keeping our rooms cleaner in small increments of time and activity.  I gave them each a big rubbermaid tub to dump everything from their floors into and at times we will pull items out and work through whether to keep them or give them away, where they go, etc. but at least if nothing else, they can easily pick up their floors and that makes a world of difference.  David dubbed it their "disaster boxes"!  

We are firmly entrenched in the lego phase!  Lego creations all day long and hearing all about their creation, features, etc.  

This huge science poster of himself that David did at our one day a week homeschool classical academy just makes my heart super happy for some reason and he added in all of the white chalk words after reading more books about the human body.   

We do a lot of our schooling during breakfast, lunch and dinner!  It's what works well for us.  The school year is wrapping up.  David's last day is May 4th although Cora's preschool will continue through the end of May.  I can't believe I'm going to have a second grader soon!!!

Walter, the Lazy Mouse has been a highly anticipated and much loved read aloud this week!  We finished today!  After reading couch each day David heads to "quiet alone time" during which he works on math, builds and creates with legos, draws, plays outside, reads, occasionally watches Wild Kratts, etc. and Cora goes down for an afternoon nap.  

We also had two visitors this morning!  Visitors are so fun.  Both visits were super quick, dropping off hand me downs, letting me show off the one day, zero dollar bathroom refresh, picking up the leopard gecko we pet sat and bringing goodies.  We are so blessed by many wonderful friends!! 

And out of order in how our day went, we planted our sensitive plant today!  Thank you Clementine and Mrs. Melissa!  

David told me today that he likes demolition.  I THINK I already knew that!  ;) Here he is demolishing a stick.  

They took turns sweeping mud off the front porch.  I am working really hard on not cleaning up after them all day but training them to think about messes before they make them to a reasonable degree and to decide if they are willing to clean it up.  

For about a year now I have been making laundry a joint effort where the kids and I all work together on it.  I will be honest, it was terrible there for a while.  Our day would turn into meltdowns during laundry.  I would get frustrated that they couldn't seem to stick to a task and finish it.  Remember we are all working together here, it is not like I say "get to it" and disappear.  Some things that have really helped us have been setting a timer for 15 minutes and when it goes off I say something like "when the red table is empty" (meaning they have put away the things that I have folded and set on that child sized table in our family room) "then you are done".  They like to know there is an end in sight and exactly what needs to happen to get to that end.  

We also moved WHEN we do it.  It used to be right after breakfast.   I have discovered that for our family in this season, after we do a structured breakfast time with reading poetry, working on a memory verse, singing a hymn, doing a devotional as well as sometimes other reading/discussion/youtube video on a topic of interest, etc. and we clear the table, that everyone needs to be able to get up, get energy out and be self-directed for awhile - including ME! 

So now we have a big chunk of free time after breakfast and reconvene in the 11:00 hour to do laundry, flykids challenge, lunch and the bulk of our school.  Nap doesn't usually happen until sometime in the 3:00 hour!  Thankfully that is working for us right now.  

As far as laundry, I also give them separate jobs now instead of them collaborating on the same thing.  When they were both working together to switch laundry from the washer to the dryer, clothes were flying everywhere, I was frustrated, they were dissolving into giggles.  Now they still play during it to some degree and take swings on the trapeze we have hanging next to the laundry room as they go by but everyone is more focused and efficient.  I also started using a basket placed at the base of the washer for whichever kid gets the privilege of sitting on top of the washing machine that day (they LOVE that) to drop the clothes down into and THEN load them into the dryer from that basket instead of trying to go straight from washer to dryer.  It is a much better system for us!  

They are really new to folding socks, as in it started in the last week or so.  David told me he pretends that one sock is swallowing the other sock and then it gets really big.  They look pretty funny when he's done but they are matched and stuck together and inside a drawer!  I'll take it!  

So that is a little glimpse into our day in this season.  If you actually read all of this I hope it was interesting to you!  I know even in a few months things will have changed once again in the flow of our family and schooling life and I will forget how we once did things if I don't write it down!