Tuesday, July 28, 2015

School Bells

Hey, hey, hey!!!

I hope to find you guys all happy and well!  Things here haven't been too bad.  Mostly homeschooling prep.  My brain hurts.  Chris and I created a vision a couple of weeks ago.  We wrote down what type of adult is standing in front of us as that child is about to leave our home. I'm really happy with the final list.

Chris has some training where he won't be able to call for 3 weeks.  It is happening sooner than we thought.  So I revamped our homeschool schedule, and we are starting a week earlier.  We are lightly schooling right now.  Pushing 2015-2016 up a week should not be too bad.  I just have a few things to nail down before Monday.

Making a saint choir between lessons.

We are adding to what we were doing last year.  We never started Classically Catholic Memory last year.  There was some resistance on the kids' part, and I had a hard time getting into a groove.  Last night Chris and I introduced the first week of memory work and the kids did AWESOME!  I can't believe I heard Owen reciting his Latin while we were in Target this evening!  And that wasn't even his favorite subject.  The boy really loves the science and geography!  Amelia loves the poetry.  Their brains are like little sponges that can absorb so much information.  So cool.  Anyway, my plan is to introduce new memory work every other week on Sunday nights as a family.  I started CCM a week early so Chris will be here and to give us some time getting use to having memory work on our homeschooling plate.

Tea Party
 In an attempt to be "fun", I have also made an activity loop.  We will have an activity once or twice a week.  The loop is just a rotation of the activities.  We have nature study, poetry tea party, show and tell (kids' request), and a cooking lesson.  Now that I am typing this post, I might add trip to the library to make sure we are going a little more often than we are now.

I am well aware that this post is a little all over the place, so if you made it this far...you're awesome. Anyway, school will be broken into blocks: Math block, Language Arts, Circle Time, Read Aloud, and Activity. Circle time will cover memory work and religion.  The other blocks are pretty self explanatory.

Reading aloud
We have an emerging reader.  It's so awesome to watch him develop this new skill.  When I would think about the pros and cons of homeschooling, watching them day in and day out as were learning was on my pro list.  Never did I imagine it being as awesome as it actually is.  It's so different, then when he would learn new things at preschool and hearing about it later.

The two younger ones are making things tough, but nothing we can't work around. Simon wants to be apart of the action.  And when he is not apart of it in the way he thinks he should be, he becomes very distracting and sometimes destructive.  Becket seems to be always be destructive.  Lots of winning happening in the under 3 crowd.

Ok, time for bed.  Peace, interwebs!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Answer Me This #2

I forgot how much I enjoy documenting our little family here, but I am feel like have nothing to write about right now.  So I'm joining Kendra at Catholic All Year in her Answer Me This link up.  What I love about this is that it is totally prompted and nothing I would write about. The sad part is there is only one more before she has her baby!  So here we go!

1. What's currently on your to do list?

Oh man...housework.  Always housework.  The house and I are always at war and the house usually wins.  Our home has not been in complete disarray lately, but it's never quite as tidy as I would like it to be.

Saint dolls.  I love being apart of these swaps.  I like the sense of community even though they are complete strangers.  Taking a small break, but I have to get back at it. Last night I was at the ER with Simon (he hurt his arm no fracture, but he's limiting its use) and that cut into my painting time.

Our Lady of the Rosary

Planning next year's school year.  Oh my goodness!!!  I was going to formally start on the 10th but I may push it back a week.  I am really trying to do it right. Pam at Everyday Snapshots has a Plan Your Year Kit.  It is a digital download with an ebook and companion worksheets.  She has made the very daunting task of planning a school year and broke it down into 10 steps that can be molded to fit any family.  I'm only on step 3 or 4 and I want to do it right.  Pushing back our start date might be worth it. 

Updating "the look" of this blog.  We have an extra family member...and he's nearly 10 months old. So over due, a bit?

And I joined a book club so I have some reading to do by tomorrow night.  I was able to get some of that done while I was at the ER.  Silver-lining?

2.  Better type of superhero: magic/radioactive powers?  Or trauma/gadget/hard work?

I don't know if I am the right person to answer this question.  I enjoy superheroes, but I am not strongly committed to any certain one.  Batman is probably my favorite because I am most familiar with that storyline.  Iron Man would probably be next because Tony Stark makes me laugh.  So, I guess that would put may answer as trauma/gadget/hard work.  

3.  Finding out the baby is a boy or a girl before birth: Good idea? Bad idea?

Four pregnancies are in the books and we have found out with each one what we were having.  Each time we are pregnant I'm unsure if we should find out that time but ultimately we find out.  If we are blessed with anymore I'm not sure what we will choose to do.  

I love the idea of not finding out.  The surprise would be lots of fun.  Hearing other women's testimonies about their husbands cheering the babies sex is really really appealing, and I think I would really enjoy it.  

What I love about finding out is calling the baby he or she.  Eventually we settle on a name so we begin to use it. For me there is no need "to plan".  It's a baby.  We have a car seat and some sleepers.  The ONLY thing is I like shopping for the coming home outfit.  Knowing the gender does help narrow down that process.  

4.  Have you appeared on a stadium jumbotron? 

I have not, but Owen did at a Greensboro Grasshoppers game in 2011.

5.  Are you more book smart or street smart?

Can I say neither?  I don't know.  Maybe street smart?  I'm not well read.  And I'm probably not the best student.  I enjoy intellectual conversation, but usually feel like I don't have much to contribute.  I really enjoy reading blogs because they often feel like a conversation rather than dry text.  I "wing" most things and rely on my intuition more often than I probably should. BUT, I am really out of touch with most of pop culture.  I'm not really sure where I fit in other than the walls of my own home.

6.  Have you had that baby yet?

Nope.  Doesn't really apply.  My baby is approaching his first birthday so baby fever is beginning to stir more than usual, but that's pretty normal.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

So It's been a while, eh?

You guys!!!! I'm sorry for all the neglect. I'm not going to bother with a recap of the last seven months.  Mostly because if you're reading this, you're friends with me on Facebook and or Instagram, so you've seen the highlights....Well, I'll try not to bother you with stuff you probably already know.

A year ago today I wrote this...I kept calling the Divine Mercy the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My bad.  I have gotten it together since. But yeah, it has been one year since Chris was selected for flight school! We have been so blessed.  The years are passing much more quickly... Hashtag: gettin' old.

2015 has been a wonderful, wonderful year.  My only complaint is having to leave my friends in New York, and knowing any friends I might make here at Alabama will be left in two years.  The crappy part of being military.  Thank goodness for social media!!!

We are loving Alabama.  Not loving the heat (I knew I wouldn't), but I'm not completely miserable either.  The only think that I loath here are the gnats.  They suck. And they literally have tried to infiltrate Becket via his eye balls and ear canals.

We are finishing up our first year of homeschooling.  With the adding Becket, Simon becoming a strong-willed two year old, the move, my personality type, and life, I have determined that year round school will probably be the best fit for my family.  I still feel like I'm floundering, but I'm excited about it.  There is a co-op about 30 minutes from me.  The classes are full, but we have been invited to participate on the enrichment weeks.  I'm pretty stoked about that!

Last night I signed Amelia up for dance.  She will be taking two classes this year ballet/tap and acrobatics.  The kids will be in soccer, too.  Our schedules have been really empty for a while.  A couple of years ago when we had speech, OT, dance, soccer, and both kids in five day a week preschool...Oh, and I was pregnant with OB appointments...that was a crazy time.  So, I'm a little anxious, but mostly excited about adding some activities to our schedule.

Owen has been a great big brother.  He does a great job entertaining the little ones.  I think he is so good at it because he really enjoys playing them.  Owen is craving to be given extra responsibilities.  He has been begging for a fish.  Chris and I are going to make him earn it.  He will have to work to save up for the fish and all the supplies that may be needed for its survival.  I am very hesitant about crossing over to a pet owner.  I know, I know.  It's just a little beta fish...get a grip Nicole....

Amelia...I don't really have a favorite age, but four-year-olds are funny.  They just say whatever comes into their head without filter.  And for Amelia...it is non stop chatter.  She is rarely not talking.  In my moments of stress or I'm try to think through something it can be challenging, but otherwise she keeps me giggling with her imagination and curiosity about the world around her.

Simon, I'm sure, is a "spirited child".  I have to give him some credit that the tantrums are not quite like they were several months ago, but they're there.  His imaginative play usually involves him being a growling dinosaur or monster destroying the world around him (his siblings' lego towers).  He is still quite stubborn, but we have been able to talk him through it from time to time.  He is only two, so it's not a perfect process, and it will likely never be.  He is so affectionate and demanding hugs daily.

Becket is a big, big boy.  He's sharing shorts with Simon.  At nine months he weight 26 pound 10 oz. Only about 5 pounds less than Simon.  He is crawling and pulling himself up.  I think he will be cruising soon. Sleeping through the night isn't happening quite yet, but he goes back down to sleep easily most of the time...so we're managing.  We are stopped almost everywhere we go so strangers can swoon over his red hair and chunky cheeks.  He is pretty cute :)

I guess that is about it for now.  Oh, and I'm well aware that the "look" need to be upgraded, desperately...One day. Maybe.  Some pictures, as always!