Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Family in 2009


George
  • going on his 8th year at MIE and still loves it
  • worked with 11 year old Scouts at church
  • spends many hours on hobby projects...many can be seen right here on this blog!


Anna
  • spends many hours homeschooling kids and wondering how her house gets so dirty and will it EVER be clean again
  • joined Weight Watchers to lose that last 15 baby pounds (or maybe 30:)
  • directs the choir at Church

Levi
  • turned 6 and is in 1st grade
  • loves taking piano lessons from Grandma and building things like Legoes and robots
  • loves his homeschool gym and swim class and learning computer programming with Daddy

Natalie
  • just turned 5, is in Kindergarten and is a great reader
  • loves playing with her brothers (most of the time) and takes care of the younger boys
  • loves to play the piano and to play with her neighbor friends

Sam
  • just turned 3 and wants to do what the older kids are doing or he wants to do it "by himself"
  • loves to have his 'puter time where he plays games on the computer
  • is NOT interested in growing up...he often mentions his old crib and pacifier and says, "I not big, I little!"

Seth
  • turned 1 in March and started to climb on everything!
  • finally old enough to go in to the Nursery at church and loves the Child Watch at the YMCA
  • calls Sam "Mamo", Nat "Wa-wee", and Levi "By-by" and is a cutie:)
It has been a good year around here. Feel free to read the blog for all of our activities:) I am so thankful for this time to look back and appreciate what we have and resolve to do better next year. I am thankful for our Savior and the ultimate Sacrifice that he gave. What a blessing to us all! To all of you, my dear friends and family, a late Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Movie Making

George here. Fun being home with the kids the past couple days. We made some movies of us pretending to be city-destroying-monsters. Tonight I added background music and sound effects to Levi's. Can't wait for the kids to see it tomorrow! You can see it to:


video

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow!

We got about 2 inches or more today and everyone went outside to play while I stayed in and made cupcakes for Sam's birthday. I do believe that it took me, from beginning to end, 45 minutes to get everyone out the door into the snow. Luckily, George is pretty good at getting ready himself so that helped. :) I was just glad that it wasn't too cold and the kids could stay out for a while before getting too cold and coming in.

George initiated some snowman building. I was watching out the window and it was a cutie little snowman. Then, after a bit, I looked out again and the kids (and George) were all taking turns clobbering the snowman with a whiffle ball bat! It was really loud and the snow was flying and everyone was loving it! I had to laugh, though I am not sure that it was the typical snowy day activity:) That's my group...not very typical!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comfort in the Night

Last night, I was putting the kids to bed and it was rough. Sam and Natalie are together in a room and I had put them down and was heading to Levi's room. Sam was pretty upset and crying loudly.

As I finished with Levi, I stood outside Sam's room, trying to decide if I should go in and I hear Natalie. First, she tried to shush him, like a mom would shush a newborn. That wasn't working so she started to ask him questions like, "How far away is your birthday, Sam? It's not very far away! What kind of cake are you going to have, chocolate or vanilla? Are you going to have a choo-choo cake?" It was so sweet! He was distracted for a bit, but then back to crying, so she said, "What's the matter Sam?" When he said he was sad because I left the room, she said, "Well, Mommy has to sleep in her bed, just like we have to sleep in ours!" When that didn't work, she went to bribery:) She said, "Sam, how about right when we wake up, we can go downstairs and play "Doggy". Do you want to do that?" He mumbled that he wanted to play "Race" and so she said, "Ok, Sam. Right when we get up, we are going right downstairs to play "Race" ok? So we better go to sleep!"

It was so sweet! Don't you think many kids would just yell at the crying sibling and go to the parents and tell on them? In fact, that is EXACTLY how I thought Natalie would have handled the situation. So I was thrilled that I got to hear this sweet exchange. It made me smile:)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving to Christmas

I cannot decide if this year went by fast or slow. Time is so relative, you know? The days drag and the weeks fly. I also wonder when it is I will get my life in order. A better schedule, more planned activities, things going exactly the way that I want them to. On the other hand, I love it that I can just do what I want. I can be so flexible and I REALLY enjoy that! I guess it's time for my year end review...to see how I have done this year, so I am in a pondering mood:)

Here's some things that we have done lately.
  • We had Thanksgiving with the Jones side of the family. What an awesome thing. There were 30 of us...30! What a great thing to have all that family so close together. I LOVE all of my in-laws and the kids always have SO MUCH FUN with the cousins. What a treat for us. And of course, the food was fabulous. I only gained a pound that week..it could have been worse:)
  • We toured the local food bank last week for school. What a cool thing. The kids enjoyed it, but I think I always get WAY more out of field trips then they do. I could ask a million questions and stay for hours...but then the kids' eyes glaze over and someone eventually starts screaming and we have to go:) But it was cool.
  • I took all 4 kids to the Fabulous Friday homeschool book club this week. The book club was great. Taking all 4 kids was not. Seth managed to color all over himself, the floor and another young child with marker. He and Sam opened and closed every cabinet door repeatedly while taking things out and mouthing them. The kids made this cool snow (to go with the book) and Levi accidently dumped his all over the floor. As I was cleaning that up, Seth escaped out of the room and headed for the dreaded aisles of books...the place where you cannot ever find a 3 foot child. *sigh* Someday, all of my children will sit quietly and listen and obey and....*sigh*
  • After that, I decided to take advantage of the free babysitting at the YMCA and work off some of my stress. That was GREAT! I do love the Y these days. Especially the free babysitting:)
  • I went after Thanksgiving Day shopping. I went alone (which is fairly lame) but it was fun anyway. Fun to watch people and to laugh at all of us that are up at 4am for sales. Good times! I didn't get everything I wanted, but I got a lot!
  • The Terminix guy has become a household name around here. He (they, really) have taken care of us and for that I am SO grateful. I would rather not share my house with anyone, uh...anything else!
  • George and I have watched a few fun movies lately. We watched Monsters vs. Aliens with the kids (so I didn't really see that one), The Proposal (which had a yucky scene that we skipped), Star Trek (I really liked it!), The Notebook ( not as good as the book), and tonight, it was Passengers (this was a cool movie!!). We also saw this movie called Primer. After we watched it, we had no idea what we had just seen, so we got online to find out what it was all about and pretty much no one had any idea. It was about time-travel but as to how the storyline went, I got nothing. It was fun anyway!
  • On the topic of movies, I went to see New Moon with a group of my Twihard friends. That was a blast. Don't know if I loved the movie or not, but had a great time!
This has been my life lately. We, of course, are doing school and have some fun things planned for the next couple of weeks. And then I plan to get a good chunk of the rest of the year planned:)

I feel very relaxed this Christmas season. It's a nice feeling, but I wonder if I am forgetting something...or if Christmas is really just closer than I think it is. I always feel such a let-down after Christmas, so I really want this time to go slow. The less busy I am, the more I can enjoy it, right? I don't think I will do piles of baking this year because of my losing weight goals. Presents are almost done. No big family get-togethers until New Years for the Jones' and I don't know about the Lyon side yet...only one brother close enough to get together with. I hope we can work something out to see them! I hope all of you enjoy this time to be with family and celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rock Climbing with the Cousins

George here. I'm going to try to attach videos I took w/ my cell phone of our rock climbing today. I can send you the AVI files if you are interested in having them. We had a great time and were glad to see everybody.

video
Courtney

video
Hal

video

Cole

video

Allison

Other climbers Levi, Kinsey, and Natalie are not included here yet because I'm having trouble getting the files uploaded.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner



Our Thanksgiving Dinner menu:
  • Treat (a family recipe chex mix)
  • Crackers and cheese and summer sausage
  • Chips and dip
  • Veggies and dip
  • Leftover Ladybug cupcakes (from Nat's bday) for dessert
Loving this PJ day at home! We'll have the real stuff on Saturday with the Jones'. Good times, good times! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

An interesting "First" for mom today...

Levi was upset about something today and turns out it was something a friend had said to him. He started to talk and all my therapy "skillz" kicked in...well, as well as they could while cooking dinner and dealing with Sam and Seth crying! I started asking questions and trying to tell him what I understood he was saying. It took me FOREVER just to get the story straight, but finally figured out that Levi didn't want to play a game and his friend said "you need to play the game or I won't play with you anymore". Levi adores this boy and the friend is a good boy, so I was talking to Levi about how he could talk to the boy, make his feelings known and not hurt the boy's feelings.

Anyway, I was calm and loving on the outside. On the inside, I wanted to throttle the friend and confront the parents for causing my baby to be sad. I have not dealt with this before! Is this how this goes? Do other moms feel like this or do I have some *serious* control issues? Levi is a sweet boy and a follower. He is not the one to lead or to come up with the ideas of things to do. He is a people-pleaser!

Another point is that I am SO GLAD that Levi felt like he could talk to me. That is one of the things that I really want with my kids. Open-ness and acceptance. After it was all said and done, about 10 minutes later, Levi came up, put his arms around my waist, and said, "Thanks for the good advice, mom." What a sweetie!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quick Post

It was a good weigh in today....5 pounds down from last Monday. Kind of quick, but as long as I can keep it of, it works for me. I am glad it kind of kick-started...much more motivating that way! I "budgeted" candy intake this weekend and did very well, I think. I finally feel in control of eating/food instead of it controlling me! It's a VERY good thing!

Today for school, we worked with Halloween candy. We sorted it, counted it, grouped it, graphed it, wrote about it, and of course we had a taste test! We also read a book called Flat Stanley. We are going to send our our own Flat Stanley so if you might be willing to help us out, let me know. You just have to send us a picture with you and Stanley (a paper doll we will send to you) in your area or a postcard of your area. Then write a little something that is unique to your area and mail it back to us. We will follow Stanley's travels on our map. Fun!

I need to post pics of Halloween. What a fun weekend! It was really nice to have George as I believe I have taken 3 kids out by myself the last two years because of sickness. We got to go trick or treating with our very fun neighbors as well, so the kids had a blast! Good times!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hi baby!

I have given up on keeping our kids names straight and so I just call everyone, "baby". As evidenced yesterday:

Seth walks into the TV room. He sees Sam on the green loveseat. "Hi baby" he says. Nonchalantly, Sam replies, "Hi baby."

And for some reason, I thought this was hilarious! Guess you had to be there.

More weight loss

WW is having a free trial week, so I am officially online with WW! It seems good so far, except that yesterday was only day 2 and I got pretty sick. This resulted in some super-fast weight loss (method not recommended:). Today, I haven't felt like eating too much, so that kept my points down and I had plenty left to eat my lite ice cream tonight. Yummo!

I love the "recipe builder" on the site, which lets you plug in your recipe and it tells you the points for each serving. So cool!

I am happy to have such good friends that are supportive and helpful and inspiring. Anyone that wants to join me, please do! Sara, I can't wait to hear about your efforts!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weight Loss

I believe the wasps are coming in from attic through the ducts. Thanks, Candi! Now I am calling the Terminix guy again and having him go up there. Ugh.

Changing the subject, I think I want to join Weight Watchers. Too many unwanted pounds. I went clothes shopping on Saturday and didn't like how anything fit. I realized that I didn't like my body. I have felt very out of control with eating these days and it will only get worse as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas get closer!

Some of my friends are losing lots of weight with WW and I think being accountable to someone else is really good for me. I have done this before, but always got pregnant and gained it all back and then some. As we are taking a break from pregnancies:), I think it's time to reclaim my body. I understand it will be slow going, but I think I can do it. I am ready to commit! The overall goal is losing 21 pounds and staying there.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wasps

About this time in the year, most people don't have to worry about wasps, right? Well, some of us do. They are IN our house!!!! I keep finding them on our sliding glass doors in our family room. They are totally lethargic, which is good but we have found SO MANY! And we cannot figure out where they are coming from. Has anyone had this problem? The Terminix guy was no help. I hope we can figure this out. It's fairly creepy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Polaris Press: Pickle Day and some Family Randomness

Today we went on a tour of our local Pickle Factory. The kids enjoyed seeing the workers fish pickles out of tubs with a big net but they didn't like the smell. They did like the treats they got to pick out at the end:) They picked candy, I picked a jar of Cinnamon Apple Pickle Chunks. Yummo!!

The weather is so beautiful and I am hoping it sticks around tomorrow. I just remembered a hiking trail that Grandpa was telling us about and thought this would be the perfect time of year to enjoy it. So tomorrow, that will be part of our school day.

Linda is giving the kids piano lessons and I LOVE it! I LOVE that Levi is excited to play the piano and that he can now play duets with me and George. It is so much fun!

I am thankful that I am homeschooling. Today is was BEAUTIFUL outside and I just let kids play all afternoon. We finished our schooling in the morning and enjoyed the outdoors. Yay for homeschool!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Makeover



I am thirty-one and I feel like it. Lately I have been noticing wrinkles and gray hairs. So, a couple of weeks ago I got a trendy haircut (of course, it was more trendy when she styled it) and last week, at a business kickoff meeting for Becca and Brock, I won a gift of my choice, which was an assortment of makeup.

So, this morning, I decided it was time to put it all to use. I did my hair and makeup! I took this picture, but you can't really tell that I am all decked out. Oh well. The whole process was pretty funny. Throughout the time of "beautification", I had to
  • hold one foot on the toilet seat so the baby couldn't open it and play in the water
  • pull toilet paper repeatedly off of my bare foot because, since the baby couldn't play in the poo water, he went for the next best thing, the toilet paper
  • unwrap the straight iron cord from around baby's neck ( I was right there...I still don't know how he did that!)
  • take the tube of toothpaste and hide it
  • repeatedly tell Sam not to lock his brother out of any rooms in the house
I guess my point is, "Was it worth it?" The only person I want to get "dolled up" for is George, and he was gone for that next eight hours. By the time he got home, I am sure I looked the same as I always do...a bit frazzled! I just hope the homeschool moms at the Y were impressed by the fact that I am not ALWAYS frumpy:)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Polaris Press: Columbus Day

Today, we woke up sick. Everyone was achy and feverish and I thought, "Eh, it's a holiday, we'll just skip school." But around noon, everyone kind of picked up so I had to think fast. I got online and found Columbus Day activities and we learned about Christopher Columbus and built little tiny boats out of the bottom of a styrofoam egg carton and toothpicks. :) Then, they sailed the ocean blue! Here are the pics from our activity...Sam REALLY likes to play in water. Well, they all do. It was fun!


Sam was in charge of making waves:)


Our "ocean blue"


Captain Levi and the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria

Polaris Press: Pumpkin Decorating

I have to laugh when I see things like this. When your child goes to public school, do they come home with things like this? No, they do not. And I will tell you why. Because your wonderful teachers are completely prepared with cute cutouts, coordinating colors, shapes that make sense with the theme and probably an example of what the project should or could look like in the end. Well, in homeschool, I am just not that good and I LOVE it! Becca and I put random things out on the table to decorate the pumpkins with. After saying things like, "Do you really want to use that? or Don't you think this might be better?" we decided to zip it and let the kids do what they wanted. Here are the results from my kids:


  1. A pink eyed, crazy mouthed, half head of hair pumpkin with a santa hat
  2. A cyclops with stickers all over his face and some weird birthmarks on his forehead
  3. A pirate hatted pink eyed, rock eared, button mouth cutie pumpkin (This one at least had body parts that were recognizable...Becca was helping Sam)

It's much more fun to do all these things with friends (except you HAVE to make sure that no chokeable things get on to the floor so no babies have problems:) It just adds to the excitement!

Dekalb County Fair

Need I say more?


Honey Extracting with Grandma and Grandpa

Geo's dad keeps bees. He got them for an early birthday present last year and is SO excited about them. The kids have become the same. It has been fun to watch. A couple of weeks ago, they harvested their first batch of honey. We got to help and the kids were in heaven! Well, they always are when they get to help Grandma and Grandpa:) Here are some pictures of the "helpers" and the beekeeper. Thanks Harry and Linda!










Polaris Press: F is for Fall and Field Trips!

Solomon Farm Festival


Playing horseshoes at the farm



This was a log splitter that was very loud and kept the attention of my boys forever!


I really wanted that cute picture of all the kids around and in the midst of the beautiful pumpkins, but I was SO DONE by this point, this is the photo we got:)


This was wheat that they the kids watched them separate (I don't know the right word) and Natalie ate the wheat kernels by the handfuls. This older lady kept telling her, "Just put some in your pocket for later" about 5 times, so she did. It was pretty funny:)


This was a cute tractor being pulled by tractor ride that the kids loved.

We had a really nice time, but I wished I hadn't been by myself...I was EXHAUSTED by the end. We also spent lots of time in the petting zoo part of the festival, tried to walk on stilts, and rode on a hay ride. Seth was not a fan of the hay! The kids did well, though, and we were able to stay for a long time. I love fall festivals!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

This week at Polaris Academy

Had a very enjoyable day today decorating pumpkins and thinking and planning fall stuff with Becca. What a great fall activity! I love fall! The food is so yummo, the leaves are beautiful and I like the weather when it's cool and dry (not like the all day rain happening now!). Fall brings on the Holidays and I LOVE that!

This week was animal habitats. I am glad we bumped that study up so we could go to the zoo before it closed! Next week is community helpers and a pickle factory tour! Cool.

I am meeting with some math difficulty. Levi is struggling and I am not sure how to help him. Natalie is just as quick doing sums as he and he really hates that. I am going to do some research and see what other programs might be helpful for him. The last thing I want to do is turn him off to math.

Thanks to George, we have now started a scripture a day program. Well, not quite a scripture a day, but close. The kids read it many times and copy it extremely neatly. This has been fun for them and they even memorized John 14:15! Fun stuff!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Polaris Press: Apple Week

"Apple Smiles"


Picking Apples at Cook's Orchard (oh, so buggy, but fun!)


We kicked off Apple Week with the Johnny Appleseed festival...we didn't go, though. Just talked about it:)

Our basic school day consists of math, reading/phonics, writing, and then some themed thing that ties into many different subjects depending on the day. I love it! I love coming up with my own ideas (well, mostly from the internet) about what to do for our themes (unit studies).

This week was Apple week and we read a lot about apples, had a taste test (Golden Delicious being the winner), went to an orchard to pick apples, and made applesauce with Becca (thanks, Bec!) and other "apple-flavored" activities. Today we made "Apple Smiles" that the kids really enjoyed. Except Sam didn't like the marshmallows. What kid doesn't like Marshmallows?? It was really fun doing this unit. Next is Animal Habitats.

It's interesting to watch the differences between Natalie and Levi. She is 17 months younger than he is but is right next to him doing all the same stuff. Math, writing, even reading. She amazes me with her answers and how quick she is. She can also operate when it's crazy and chaotic. Chaos really bothers Levi. She hums (loudly) when she works and I think this helps her concentrate. He is very competitive and when he notices she is doing something well, he wants to win and then gets flustered and can't function well. Their ways of learning and doing are so different! It really is fun to watch!

Our backyard is now known as the "Playground"


The above was a garage sale buy. The guy took it apart, hauled it over into our backyard, dropped it in that spot and told us what to do to hook it back up. The deal of the summer!


Sorry, Blogger keeps flipping my pictures for some reason.
We finally got sand for this sand box that came with the house 2 years ago. Ha. But now, most of the sand is on the ground around it or in my HOUSE! Too bad the kids love it so much.

Name the 3 things that I have given up on in this picture...

Answers:
1. Keeping the dining/school room neat.
2. Keeping Seth off the tables in our house.
3. Nuks!

Seth no longer looks like a baby...or a girl!



The bottom 2 pics are pictures of Seth's beautiful baby curls. During the garage sale, many people said what a cute "girl" he was and I knew it was time for a haircut. So, I gave him one. And now he looks all grown up like my other boys. Sad.

The after picture is the top picture, as I can NEVER get my blog pics to go where I want them to.

Speaking of Seth, he is finally in Nursery, is trying to talk (and says many words and many non-words), and his favorite place to be is in the middle of our street or on top of our dining room table. Argh. He sure is cute, though:) I love his smiles and when he is cuddly. And I love it when he is looking for Sammy. "Mammy?? Mammy?" It's really cute.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Random

I am feeling really random today. I really wanted to go out tonight to see the local marching band competition, but our babysitter pulled out. You know how you have expectations? Blah.

The garage sale was SO GREAT and most of the stuff has not come back in the house:) I can't help it! You know when you look at stuff and say, I could make some money on EBay? That's why I have stuff. To be gotten rid of very soon!

I got to hang out with a bunch of friends last night and watch a chic flic! So nice. Good times!

This is a very weird update, but thought it was time to post something else. Maybe soon I will post info about our Apple themed week coming up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More Clean-out! and some Polaris Press

The rest of the kitchen, the other upstairs closet, Seth's closet and room, the top shelf in the TV room, and the game closet (scary!) are now done. There are piles and piles of stuff going into this garage sale. I hope that you all come and buy! I am not letting any of this stuff go back into my house...at least, I think I'm not:) There are MANY things that would sell well on Ebay, but I am not sure that I want to go through the trouble. Argh. I just want it all gone!

School has suffered a bit, but we are just calling it a LONG weekend:) I LOVE homeschooling! The days will get made up with no problem eventually:) We had an awesome time visiting the local Debrands chocolate factory and tasting all of their yummo chocolates and fillings! We brought George some chocolates for his birthday on Monday. We didn't get any pics (I just don't think about the camera...too much other stuff to worry about!) but we saw people mixing and pouring and filling and wrapping and decorating. You know, if you work at Debrands, you get to eat as many irregular candies as you want? Nice benefit!

On Friday, Levi and I went to the library's Homeschool Bookclub, which was lots of fun. We sat with some people that we had met before and I was happy to see Levi participating, listening, raising his hand, and waiting his turn to speak. Lots better than last April where he was so shy, he didn't say 2 words! Natalie chose to stay home and watch a movie with her younger siblings and Becca's kids. I am not sure how much to push her..she would be in Preschool this year. Here academics are way high, but her attention span is normal 4 year old level.

On Friday night, Geo, Levi and I went to see a TIncaps game. I have to say, I complained loudly when FW decided to build the new stadium downtown. I thought it was a huge waste of money and resources. But that place was PACKED! And is was so much fun! The Tincaps won 1-0 and the other coach got thrown out of the game...that was fairly exciting:) It was also a fireworks game...we didn't get home until 11pm! Pretty late for Levi. I love hometown baseball. I wonder how much season tickets are for next year....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Veg-out Movie and the Clean Sweep!

Have you all seen this movie? It was too cute. I have really liked a lot of the movies we have seen produced by Halestorm. I never thought I would get into them, but I like laughing at all the Mormonisms. Perfect for a night after a fun, crazy and busy day! Speaking of which...


The clean sweep has taken the laundry room, half of the kitchen (I was supposed to finish that tonight...oops!), my bedroom and the 2 closets in it and one upstairs closet! SO exciting! And liberating! I even started on the storage room, but that was too scary:) Please spread the news...


Garage Sale
September 11&12
We have some of everything!
Kids clothes
Bedding
Toys
Kitchen Stuff
Homeschool
Stampin' Up!
Home appliances
Home repair and cleaning
and LOTS of FREE stuff

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sam-ism

I remembered a funny Sam story. The other day, he came into my room in the morning when I had attempted to go back to sleep. He said, "Mommy, I so, so, so hun-gee." He said it a few more times and obviously, I wasn't moving fast enough for him, so he said, "I sick" with a sad face. I rolled over to him and asked him why he was sick. He said, "Because I so, so, so hungee!!!"

Polaris Press: Good School Day!

Well, now that Sam is in a big boy bed, he gets up early. This is a mixed blessing. I HATE getting up at 7am...and for some reason he has not figured out that he can get out by himself. He just yells for me. And this was the reason we changed beds! But because he gets up early, he is tired and voluntarily lays down around noon. He has taken a nap a few times and today, both Sam and Seth slept at the same time! Yippee!!

We got our math done, a little reading, and went outside and did our first science project. The project was great...very simple, but taught the basics of the scientific method. I use the science projects from homeschoollearning.com. I love them! The bonus of the science project was it involved bugs and that is Natalie's FAVORITE! It kept her interest for quite a while and that has been hard to do lately.

Good day for Polaris Academy!

Sam and my Clean Sweep idea

Sam is at the best stage. He says the funniest things. Of course, right now I can't think of any but when he says them, he rolls his eyes to the side and gets this goofy grin. Where does he learn this stuff? It's hilarious. Oh, I thought of one! Today at the zoo, we were petting the cow and the cow suddenly mooed really loud and Sam said, "Do it again, cowie!!" Cutie:)

So, here's my new idea. I am going to do my own "Clean Sweep" and drastically reduce the amount of clutter in my house. I only have until Sept. 11..that's when the association garage sale is. I really think I can do this, but I need someone that can be tough. I need someone to be ruthless...in a nice way. Can you come over and help me let go of my STUFF? I was inspired by looking at houses that are on the market and by Emily's garage sale. George and I decided we can have fun shopping for the next babies (if there be any:) and get rid of (almost) everything now. Doesn't that sound exciting!?!?!? It really does to me.

We just got done rearranging the kids rooms and putting Sam in a big boy bed and we just have lots of stuff. And it's stuff that isn't that great or needed. It's just stuff. Plus, if we can sell our junk stuff, we can buy nice stuff...right? :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Polaris Press: Not quite in the groove yet.

It's been a little rough getting into school. We can't seem to find our groove. Last year, Seth was a newborn and Sam took a big nap in the afternoon. We had school then. But now, I can't figure out how to work around Seth's 2 nap a day schedule. When he takes the first nap, everyone is ready to eat lunch and during the 2nd nap, it's pretty late to motivate everyone. Plus, Sam wants to be in the middle of everything!

So, I am hoping that we will slowly move towards a smooth school schedule. We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moving? Not so much.

I have a tendency to get REALLY excited about new homes. That is "new" to me homes. We went to see 2 yesterday and started to plan how we could acquire a new home while selling ours. We decided we should probably have 2 houses so that we could sell an empty house. Let me tell you...4 kids under 6 and homeschooling...the house is NEVER clean! Anyway, we started talking about 2 house payments and how long we might have to do it. It was just a little unsettling, but very exciting!

Luckily our reasonable selves kicked in and we decided we really love our home, our yard (the 2 houses we saw had dumb yards) and our neighbors and that we don't really want to move.

The 3 reasons we were even looking for a house:
  • a place to go if a tornado came through
  • a place for the kids to bring their friends over and hang out when they are older-I really want them to hang out at our house!
  • more room for food storage
So we started to talk about how we could do those things to this house and it was really exciting. We are going to make some changes without spending a boatload of money...you know, like an extra house payment!!

Life is good and I am thrilled that we are blessed with this house. It's had it's issues, but all in all, it's a great place to be!

Polaris Press: The Beginning

I have decided that I don't want to start a new blog about school. I am just going to post all my school stuff right here. If you don't want to read it, no problem! I am going to label those posts with Polaris Press (thank you, Angie!). I can hardly keep up with my one blog, let alone trying to keep up with 2. There are many other things that are at the top of my To-Do list and blogging is not one of them. But I really would like to keep a record of what we are doing and the ups and downs of homeschool life at Polaris Academy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fixed and the end of Summer

Our AC is fixed, thanks to a new fuse. This has happened before and so I just asked the repair man to show me how to change the fuse. He did and told me to buy a box of them and have them handy, just in case!

On to school next week. I am kind of ready...at least for the first week:) I want to start a homeschool blog, so I can be really detailed about curriculum and things that happen that maybe some of you don't really care about, but I need a good name for it. :) Our school's name is Polaris Academy. Any ideas?

It's been a great, relaxing and FAST summer! It amazes me how fast my life goes now. *Sigh* Oh well. Bring it on!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

There is only one word....

HOT!!!!!

Something happened to our AC and it's not working. I don't want to call anyone to fix it until it's during the week. And it is HOT!!! Why has it been fairly mild all summer and now, as we head into a heat wave of 90 degrees+, our AC is out. I'm melting:)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Dream Vacation Play by Play

After Becca came and helped pack our car for our trip (I really had a brain before I had kids...really!), we felt ready to go and left after church on Sunday. We got up to George's brother in Chicago that evening and enjoyed visiting and pizza. Thanks, guys! We left our kids and headed out about 7 am. Of course, our kids were all up at 6am, Chicago time. I forgot about the time change!

We got to the campground in the early afternoon and set up camp. It's fairly easy and quick to do things without kids around. Also, not nearly as exciting:) We were hot enough after that to go for a swim. The lake was very low due to such a dry summer and the water was cold! But we got a bit wet and then cold and went back up to the site. We headed into Eagle River (the little tourist town nearby) to stock up on food. We came back and had a good fire with hot dogs and s'mores. Yummo! Everything is better on a campfire.

During the evening we watched a lightning show over the lake and I got a bit worried. But not a big storm...just a little rain.

The next day we read, hiked and went shopping in town. We stopped to see the Harry Potter movie just because we could:) That night we ate foil dinners...tasty!

Wednesday, we were planning to rent jet skis, but decided we were enjoying the quiet, relaxing atmosphere of our campsite too much, so we stayed around, read our books, went on a hike, visited my Uncle John at the Lyon cabin and made campfire chili. That was such a nice day. We also tried "banana boats". Has anyone done this? Banana, marshmallows, and chocolate chips in foil by the fire? I thought I like them, but realized...I don't like warm, mushy bananas. Ew!

After 3 days of fabulous weather, it rained the morning we had to pack up, of course. But it is a bit easier to leave the beautiful Northwoods if it's raining!

We had the most wonderful vacation. We were very ready to see our kids and enjoyed the time we got to see Bump's family. Many thanks to Teresa who single-handedly took care of 9 kids for the week. :) It was the best vacation EVER!!!

Wisconsin Trip aka THE DREAM VACATION

The best part of camping is playing with fire, right??


This is 7 Mile Lake. The campground is up the hill from this lake. Gorgeous!


This is my favorite spot in the whole US, I think. It's a grove of pine trees that leads down to a bog. It's sooo peaceful and the wind blowing through the trees is a really cool sound:)


This is me pumping water. Well, really, I was just posing. But I had just finished pumping! This is a primitive campground. The amenities include pit toilets, a lake to bathe in, and a water pump!


This was the most relaxing trip I have ever taken. Most of our days were spent hiking and reading books around the fire pit. It was so quiet. Not a usual experience in my current lifestyle.


I have been going up to this same campground for 20 years and have never seen a bear. We saw this little guy twice! I think he was a cub. You know, he was only as big as George! We saw the bear on our way into the campground right when we got there. Very cool!




Saturday, July 25, 2009

You know your best friend loves you if...

she stays on the phone while you count to 50 as your toddler sits on the toilet and tries to poop. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Emily Fruth

This is Becca guest blogging on Anna's blog because I am at her house logged on to her. I just read J.B.s greatest entry ever. So when I got here today to help Anna pack for WI, I was putting Meghan down for a nap while Emily carried on a conversation with Anna that went something like this:
A: "Oh you've been in the car all day today?"
E: "Yeah, mommy's sick and tired of driving."

Later on she had on one of my stretchy plastic bracelets (the kind the youth get at Youth Conference). Emily points to it and says "Mommy is 2-2-R" This means CTR for those of you who don't speak Emilese.

She constantly cracks me up with the things she comes up with.

P.S. Here is a Nataliism. She always makes these noises while playing. Kind of a cross between a hum and weirdo noise. Today she and the Beadner kids are playing out back and through this open window you hear what we thought was a ghost until reality set in and it was Nat. Well, it was funny if you were there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Going to the Northwoods!!


George and I are being given the GREATEST gift ever!! George's brother and sister-in-law are going to take our kids for almost a week and we get to go camping in Wisconsin. Camping!! I am so excited! Camping has changed quite a bit since we had children. I always worry about everyone sleeping in a tiny space. I worry about kids eating gravel and dirt. I worry about kids falling into the fire pit (both with a fire and without). I worry about kids going to far out into the lake. I worry about where to change poopy diapers while camping. It's just how it is when you have kids 6, 4, 2, and 1. And I LOVE camping. So, this is SUCH a treat for us! I can almost recall the days of camping without kids. Peaceful, I think.

On the flip side, of course I will miss the kids but because they love these cousins SO MUCH, I doubt they will even notice we aren't there! I hope it's as good for Bump and Teresa as for us:) Thanks you guys!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, JB!



The above pictures are all of us waiting for Harry Potter to start at midnight.



This was dinner beforehand at Cebollas.

This was such a fun night. I didn't have the camera at the "surprise" party for JB:) But it was great fun and Carisa made this super cool Hogwarts cake. Amazing! We just talked and talked and laughed and laughed. It was a great night! Thanks for making it happen, girls!

4th of July with the Family

Here are pictures of the 4th of July with my younger brother and sister and their families. This was before my sister's big move to the East coast. We had a blast all together. Too bad it rained...but we made the most of it using the garage and umbrella so we could do fireworks.


Maddie's a little wary of my picture-taking antics.


Abby's excited to pose.


We love you, Aunt Megan!


Sam, of course, found the Thomas train and accessories.


Aunt Liz and Uncle Calvin with some of the group.

Thanks Matt and Megan, for letting us stay and thanks for the fun time, everyone!!