Archive for December, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

I may officially be a real tree convert.  Last year was our first year getting a real one.  Namely because we didn’t have our tree from Scotland (we were waiting on things to arrive from being shipped overseas).  Now, come to think of it, even we had had our stuff, we still wouldn’t have had the tree, because we ended leaving in Scotland since it wouldn’t fit in our massive container.

I think back to last year this time and I had a newborn in an empty house in Nashville and had only been in the states for a few weeks.  Have I mentioned that that’s sooooooo hard to believe???

Anyway, we went looking for our tree yesterday.  It was so cold.  So very cold.  But we had a lot of fun… we even got to count the rings on the trunk of our tree to see how old it is.  10 years.

Cole had a little feel (and maybe even a taste…. mmmmm, piney) to help us decide on just the right tree.

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We decided on this one.  Can you tell? Cole apparently thought the ones on the other side tasted better.

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I am so stinking in love with Cole’s hat.  He wasn’t a fan at first, but now that he’s worn it a few times, he asks me to put it on him while we’re in the house.

He learned how to say please a few months ago.  So it went like this… I would say, “Cole, say, ‘please,'” and he would say, “Peeeesh.”  And then I would say, “Hear ya go.” So now, when I say, “Cole, say, ‘please,'” he says, “Hear ya go.”

So, he walks up to me with his hat and says, “Hear ya go.”  LOVE it.

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On another note, “Fattttt guy, in a littlllle coat….”  (Always, *always* makes me think of my cousin, that song).

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And I saved the very best picture for last.  I asked the guy handling the trees if he could take a family picture for us.  I forgot to mention that the family was more important than the tree.  Am I ever so glad the he got alllll of the Christmas tree in.  Nora’s chin wasn’t so fortunate…

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Makes me laugh every time I look at.

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True to my word

Not really.   I didn’t get to the blog yesterday.  😦  😦 😦 😦  Lots of frownies.

I’m pretty crazy tired, but I thought I’d post a short little funny story so that I don’t forget it in the future.

While Adam’s mom was here, she bought my kids this rice krispy treat made with fruit loops.  So, not rice krispies, only fruit loops. The girls saw it on the kitchen counter and said,  “Mommy, can we have some of those colorful cheerios?”

They’ve apparently never had fruit loops before (not a totally conscience choice, we just tend to steer more towards the cheerios I guess).

I wish I had time to write down every single little funny and/ or cute thing that they say.  It’s amazing how quickly you forget those little moments throughout the day.

Anyway, here’s a picture for you that’s completely unrelated.  But it’s one of my favorites right now.  You may have already seen it on facebook, but here goes anyway (sorry, flickr made it look wayyyy too sharp, but I still love it).

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Why I don’t blog anymore (well, before this week anyway)

We started homeschooling this year.  And that’s why I don’t blog anymore.

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But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Being on this journey has been so amazing.  In so many ways.

And before you go thinking that I’m all super mom and stuff… sooooooo not true.  And I’d like to take a moment and tell you how I got over myself and decided to homeschool.

But even before I do that, I’d like to say that I totally recognize that homeschooling is not for everyone.  And it’s not for every child.

And I’d like to say that I totally recognize that there are many people out there that will think that I am a total nut job for wanting to homeschool my children.

Anyway… onto our decision (“our,” being Adam included, because yeah, he’s a part of picture too).

I’m a loner.  I grew up an only child.  I crave being alone.  Seriously, my idea of a fun time is like cleaning my house (by.myself. I don’t need your helpthankyouverymuch), playing my piano for hours on end (oh, I was a music major in college… further indicating my loner-ness), or working on some crazy martha stewart craft project.  That likely won’t work.

I have a love hate relationship with Martha Stewart and her craft projects.   More hate because my version of Martha’s projects never turn out like the picture in the magazine.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr…

My loner personality is not conducive to homeschooling.  AKA, having three little people around me allllllll day long.

In other words, there was a part of me that had to die (pretty extreme I know) in order to make this work.  And that’s okay.  I will say, for me, the biggest shift as been this:  prior to starting homeschooling,  my days were ordered around when am I going to get my alone time.  When do I get to meet my needs. I mean, I met my kids needs happily, and had LOTS of fun in the process, but deep down in there,  I was often waiting for nap time with baited breath.  Hurrying them along at bath time to get them in bed.  So that I could recharge.

(I’d like to take this moment to report that this is not my proudest moment ever. But I like to be honest, so there you go).

My personality, well really, just ME, was the biggest hurdle to get over in regards to choosing whether or not to homeschool.

Homeschooling has been so good for me (and hopefully the kids too).  No, I don’t have a nice long nap/ rest time to get things done.  No, I don’t get to play the piano as much, take naps, clean the house when I want to,  read the books I have stacked up on my desk to read, spend time with people outside of my family as much as I want to,  call friends on the phone.  Or blog.

But, these little people are going to be grown before I know it. I’m so glad that I get to be with them during these years.  I get to tailor their education based on what their interests are,  what they like and don’t like,  what their personalities are bent to.

Now, that’s just one facet to my decision to homeschool.  There are faith based reasons and discontent with the public school system that also led me to homeschool.

So, onto some pictures.  And before you go thinking that it’s all puppies and roses with some granola on top over here… there are days that are great (most days in fact), and then there are days that are oh so not great.  I’ve realized so far (you know, in my very vast knowledge of homeschooling over the past 4 months), that anything that is worthwhile doing, will not only have tremendous blessing, but will also take tremendous work and sometimes frustration and discouragement.

Alanna has been working very hard on holding her pencil.  🙂  I love watching her write.  She’s started to write her own stories now, which is sooooooo precious.

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I don’t have many picture of Alanna doing school for this post (sad!), but I thought I’d share what I do with the little guys while I’m doing school with Alanna.  That seems to be the question I get asked most.

Nora is adamant about a few things.  Her toe sock seams and that she needs to be doing school just like her sister.

She has her very own box filled with things to do.  She has her own notebook.  And the funny thing is, she’s just picked up stuff watching her sister.  This is her little notebook.  She wrote, “cat,” all on her own.  (Sorry, proud mom). 

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Cole is at a tricky age for homeschooling right now.  The majority of school happens during his nap, but we try to squeeze a bit in in the mornings.  I’ve made a few things for him to do with us at the table, because he often gets fussy being on the floor by himself.  Usually he and Nora play at the table while I’m schooling Alanna, and then he and Alanna go and play on the floor while I “school” Nora (which doesn’t take very long… 15 minutes tops).

Here’s a fun little game.  I cut a slit on the top of this can, and they drop stuff like dried pasta and pencil erasers in the top.  They make a really fun plinky sound when they drop in there.

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Alanna does reading, writing, and math for Kindergarten.  She also enjoys little sorting games and the like.  This one involves using tweezers to put pony beads in leftover medicine cups (I always have an abundance of those things!!).

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Those things take some dexterity!!

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The cups have the corresponding colored bead hot glued in the bottom.

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This one is Nora’s game.  I’m sure you can figure it out… if you’re older than 3.

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You can probably figure this one out too.

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We have some of these for Nora as well.

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I have an assortment of leftover keyboard pieces (from the recycle shop at the Children’s museum).  I picked them up thinking they’d be kind of fun.

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Not fun.  Not fun.

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So mad.

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Cut to the sticker… Some cards have squiggly lines, some have zig zag lines.

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The 2 beads on the ends of this stick are hotglued on so that Nora can match the pattern with the empty stick in the bag (there are a few patterns to follow).

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This is for Cole.  Slide the beads back and forth.

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One of the books that we use for reading.

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Nora reading the Bob books.

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Holes punched in the top of a coffee can… put the pipe cleaners inside.  Cole can even do it!

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So, there you have it.

And again, before you think that I’m super mom and came up with these all on my own.  No way.  I found all of these ideas online.  Actually,  I didn’t even find them.  My friend Mirandi emailed me the links.  Which talk about the homeschool expert… she’s your gal.  She totally have a blog.  But she’s homeschooling her kids so she doesn’t have time.  Oh the irony… 🙂

PS.  There’s a lot more that I could write about this.  And I’m sure this is like the most schizophrenic post that I’ve ever written.  But Cole’s waking up from his nap gottagobyyyyyyeeeee!!!!

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