February 16, 2017

all about makayla


This month, I am doing blog posts on each of the kiddos.  Last week, I talked all about Caleb, and today is all about my sweet girl, Makayla.


Makayla is a girly-girl.  She loves a twirly dress, having her nails painted, and she throws a mean tea party.  But she doesn't mind playing in the dirt and mud or breaking into a sweat.  She can hang with a bunch of boys with no problem, but she is no pushover, and she will let the boys, or her brother, know it!


She loves food.  Like she really loves food.  If she's not in the kitchen with me then she is probably in her play kitchen cooking up something.  She loves to look through cookbooks and she would choose to watch a cooking show over a cartoon.


She is so smart - she is constantly amazing us with how she puts things together or the big words that she uses.  She loves to learn and she asks a lot of questions.  I've often wondered what her daily word count is because man alive, can this girl talk!  She knows it too!  If for some strange reason she is ever quiet for a few minutes, she will notice and say, "Wow mom!  I've been quiet for a really long time!"


She is an awesome sister!  She loves her brother and always wants to play with him, and she loves helping with the baby and she has great little maternal instincts already.  I feel like she's not quite a typical middle child, at least at this point, because there is such a big age gap between her and Ashlynn (5 1/2 years).  But I do think that she has a great personality for a middle child - there is no way she will every get lost in the middle!  She is stubborn and loud and so very vocal - this middle sister always makes her wonderful presence known!


She loves to draw and do any kind of craft.  She could eat mac & cheese or spaghetti all day, every day.  She hates chocolate.  She loves doing ballet and showing off her moves.  She likes her hair pulled up at all times, but she will humor me and leave it down on occasion.  She loves listening to princess music, and she can sing "Let it Go" with the best of them.  


She is just the sweetest girl.  She has a very sensitive heart and is kind to everyone she meets.  There isn't a shy bone in her body.  She has a quiet confidence in herself that I truly believe will take her far in life.

She is growing up way too quickly!  She is beautiful inside and out, and we are so proud of our precious girl!  I am so very grateful that I get to be her momma.



February 14, 2017

my four loves


Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Today I am talking all about the four people that I get to spend my life with!  They are the ones who light up my days and fill up my heart.  They are my four loves!



Bobby
Bobby and I have been married for 12 years, and together for 17 years, and how am I old enough to have just typed those numbers?!!  He proposed on Christmas Day of 2002, and we were married the summer of 2004.  He is super friendly and outgoing, he is silly and definitely keeps me laughing, he is incredibly hard-working, and he loves our family well.  I cannot imagine doing life without him by my side!



Caleb
Caleb will be 9 years old this April (slow down, time!).  He is a deep thinker, a question asker, and he loves big.  He is very sensitive and caring and is always concerned about others.  He is a wonderful big brother.  He is silly and funny and he has the greatest laugh!  He is a lego-building pro, he loves Super Mario and Minecraft, and he hates math!  He has taught me more about life than anyone or anything else.  



Makayla
Makayla turned 6 years old in November.  She is a girly-girl, but she also isn't afraid of getting messy and having fun.  She is a foodie big-time!  She loves to watch cooking shows and go through cookbooks with me, and she loves to help in the kitchen.  She loves to do any kind of art or craft, she is crazy smart, and she loves learning.  She asks a lot of questions and she talks non-stop!  She is super sweet and easy-going, and she is such a great middle sister.



Ashlynn
Ashlynn will be 8 months old next week, and she is one happy baby girl.  She eats up all of the attention that she gets, and believe me, she gets a lot!  She definitely knows who her people are!  She has the best giggle, she is incredibly ticklish, and she gives the greatest slobbery kisses ever.  She is the perfect little bookend for our family!



So those are my people!  We are a silly and loud bunch, we have a lot of fun together, and we love each other like crazy!



Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday


February 13, 2017

last week: i've got nothing



Yep, this is me this morning.  Except this little guy is way cuter.

After a week of Valentine's-filled fun, our weekend was a busy one.  Apparently, it was so busy that I took zero pictures.  Not a one.

I feel like I do really well at snapping pictures on regular days, but on busy days, like holidays and such, I am awful!  And often times, those are the moments that I want to remember most and scrapbook for the kids.  Oh well, something else I need to work on!

On Saturday, we played musical furniture and did some major rearranging.  And yeah - I underestimated how difficult this would be!  I think Bobby had to remind himself a few dozen times of his love for me throughout the process!  And after all of that, I'm not sure how I feel about the changes - I still need to style everything and then I just need to live with it for a bit.  I do not always do well with change, y'all!

After that, Bobby had to rush off to work, and the kids and I headed over to my parent's house for a big family dinner.  One of my uncles was in town, and we had fun catching up with everyone.  It was so late by the time we got home and we all got into bed, so I was majorly dragging Sunday morning!  But we made it to church, and then my mom watched Caleb and Ashlynn for me (Bobby was working again) so Makayla and I could go to a birthday party for her little bff.  It was pretty far away, so by the time we got back home, it was dinner and bed for the kiddos.  I then stayed up way too late to try and get the house back in order before our Monday.

And this is why I try to not plan things on Mondays!  After the weekend, sometimes we just need a day to regroup!

How's your week starting off? 


February 10, 2017

friday favorites: valentine's edition



Hooray for Friday!

I love Valentine's Day more and more every year.  While it's been a special day for Bobby and I for awhile, we now get to have fun and make it a special holiday for the kiddos as well.  We are finding ways to celebrate all kinds of love around here!

Watching these two love on their baby sister is for sure a favorite moment this week!


Every year I place these love chains on the kid's bedroom doors, and each night they get a heart added telling them one of the many things that I love about them.  It has become a favorite tradition of ours, and this year, we got to add Ashlynn to the mix!


Well, the kids decided they wanted to do hearts for their daddy, so they have been having fun coming up with some things they love about him.  Some of my favorites are "how you always fall asleep when you read", "dad's bald head", and "dad's snoring" (obviously, they don't sleep in the same room as him! ha!).


I'm not sure how, but this baby girl is just getting cuter and cuter every day!  We were playing around while we waited for Makayla at her ballet class, and she started giving me the biggest, sweetest smiles.  LOVE her!!!


Makayla has been making Valentine's pictures to send to some friends.  She came up with what she thought would be the perfect thing to write on them:

Happy Valentine's Day!
I love God more than you!
Love,
Makayla

Hahaha!  I am still cracking up over this!  Sweet girl just wants to let everyone know how much she loves God - she was in no way trying to be funny or insulting or anything.

Think Hallmark is hiring?!!


And yesterday, we got to go to a fun Valentine's party with our homeschool group.  I love these precious kiddos of mine!


Happy weekend, friends!


Link-ups:
Friday Favorites with ErikaAndrea, and Narci
Oh, Hey Friday! with Karli
5 on Friday with AprilChristina, and Natasha
High Five for Friday with KatieTif, and Della


February 9, 2017

all about caleb


I thought I would do a few posts this month that focus on each of the kiddos and what they are up to right now.  So today is all about my big, little man, Caleb!


He is a deep thinker and he asks a lot of questions.  So. Many. Questions.  It can sometimes be difficult for me to know how to answer him in a way that will satisfy him, because he and I think in very different ways.  But I love getting little glimpses into his thinking and seeing how his brain works.  He pushes me to think outside of the box, and I am so grateful to him for that.


He could build with legos all day, every day.  He got so many new sets for Christmas and had them all built the next day.  He is very proud of all of his creations and thinks that we should replace all of my decor with them!


He is such a good big brother!  Of course, he has his moments, and yes, those two little sisters can drive him crazy at times, but he really takes his job very seriously.  He knows that being the oldest brother means that he gets to be the leader and a protector, and he knows that his sisters will always look up to him.  We are so proud of him and how he has really embraced this role.


He wants to play basketball when he grows up like Michael Jordan, and he thinks that he won't need to know math for this.  He makes this argument every day to try and get out of doing his math work, but I have yet to fall for it.


He is so funny!  I love getting to see how he has developed this really fun sense of humor.  Not only is he starting to "get" our jokes and our sarcasm, but he is starting to dish it out as well!  There is a lot of laughing going on around here!


He is always very concerned about other people and their feelings.  If he thinks that he did something to hurt someone, it really bothers him.  Even if he accidentally hurts one of his sisters, he is very hard on himself about it.    

I feel like he is losing his little boyness, and while it is breaking my heart, it is also pretty incredible to watch these little people become big people.  We are so proud of him and the little man that he is growing into.  I thank God every day that I get to be his momma. 


February 8, 2017

workin' it wednesdays: keeping your marriage strong


I am so excited to be joining Erika and Shay for their monthly link-up called Workin' It Wednesdays!  In honor of Valentine's Day, today's topic is all about keeping your marriage strong.


Bobby and I will celebrate thirteen years of marriage this year, which absolutely blows me away!  I just cannot believe how fast time goes.  I am going to sound completely cheesy here and say that I love being married and that I have a pretty incredible husband.  But yes, he does have flaws, I most certainly have flaws, and our marriage is not perfect.  We have been through some very difficult times, because life happens.  We chose to let those things grow us and strengthen our marriage, but it's not always easy.


One of the most important things that I think we do is that we remember we are on the same team.  We honestly don't really fight, because why would I want to fight with someone who is on my side?  We might disagree and have a discussion about something, but at the end of the discussion we will either come to an agreement or agree to disagree.  Either way, we both listen to each other because we respect each other and value each other's opinions, and we both come away feeling like we have been heard.  There's no yelling or arguing or trying to "win" a fight, because if I win, then he loses.  And why would I ever want my husband to lose?


Along with being on the same team is teamwork.  Life can get so busy and hectic; sometimes it feels like we're just coming and going and trying to keep up with it all!  But knowing that there is someone who is always is my corner, someone who has my back and will pick up my slack, and vise versa - there is just so much peace in that.


We also talk a lot.  About everything and about nothing!  Because how can we talk about the hard things when they come up if we aren't already used to talking with each other?  Constant communication that is open and honest is so important.


And above all?  Pray.  Pray for each other and pray for your marriage.  And then pray some more.


Marriage is hard because life is hard, but it is so, so worth it!  I sure am thankful that I get to do life with this man of mine.


February 7, 2017

home sweet homeschool: our curriculum



Last week, I talked all about our decision to homeschool our oldest two kiddos.  If you missed it, you can read all about it here.  Today, I thought I would talk a bit about the curriculum that we are using.  Choosing our curriculum for the year was incredibly intimidating and overwhelming for me.  There is so much out there to choose from!  I found it very helpful to read about what others were doing and what was working for them, and so I want to share what has worked, and not worked, for our family!

Caleb is in third grade and Makayla is in kindergarten.  While we do have two completely different sets of curriculum for each of them, we ended up doing so much of it together.  I am keeping this in mind as I plan for next year!  Obviously, my expectations for each of them were different based on their ages and abilities.  But overall, it worked well for us and we are happy with how our first year has gone.

We chose to use curriculum sets from My Father's World.  It is a wonderful combination of classical education, Charlotte Mason, and unit studies - all with a biblical approach.  While the sets for each grade level include a lot, we did supplement some things as well.


These subjects are done mostly together:

Bible

My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z - Focus on how God created the world and everything in it; Character development.  (Caleb does not do some of the crafts and things that are geared for younger students, unless he wants to.)

My Father's World Adventures - Focus on the character of Jesus, the names of Jesus, etc.

Scripture Memory - We've been using the Charlotte Mason method to memorize scripture, and I think it is such a great way to get the review in each day.

Hymn Study - We've not done anything formal here.  I simply made a list at the beginning of the year of some hymns that I wanted us to learn.  We will talk about the words and their meaning, a bit of the history, and we listen to different versions of it each morning (mainly using Spotify).  We spend about 2-3 weeks on each one.

History

My Father's World Adventures - Covers the history of the United States, as well as a "trip" through the 50 states.  Includes an extensive read-aloud book list, and many hands-on activities.

Science

My Father's World Adventures - General Science studies through various books: First Encyclopedia of Science; Science in the Kitchen; Science with Air; Birds, Nests, and Eggs

Nature Journals

Literature

Read Alouds - We have had so much more time for reading!  We have read so many chapter books together, many of which go along with the historical time period that we are studying.  We usually read a few chapters before bed each night.  I will do a separate post on some of the books that we've been enjoying soon!

Book Basket - Every week I fill up a basket with different books (mostly from the library) that go along with whatever we are studying at the time.  So, books might be about animals, historical figures, the United States, and so on.  The kids spend about 20-30 minutes each day looking through these on their own, and I am sure to read some of them aloud before we turn them back in.  Since these change out each week, this stays fun for them and doesn't get boring.

Quiet Time - We also try to do about 30 minutes of quiet time each day where they can read books of their choosing - although it's still approved by me!  We've been trying to find audio books from the library that have paper copies as well so that they can look and listen at the same time.

Music

My Father's World Adventures - Includes Patriotic songs, and a Tchaikovsky unit focusing on the Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

Classical - Many songs and composers are listed throughout the MFW curriculum.  We just try to listen throughout the day to familiarize ourselves with them as much as possible. 

Hoffman Academy - Free piano lessons online

Art

I Can Do All Things - Included with the MFW Adventures curriculum.  Very basic and simple art instruction.  Honestly, we've not really enjoyed this, so we are doing it very sporadically at this point.

Art for Kids Hub - We just started this a few weeks ago, and the kids are loving it!


These subjects are taught separately:

Language Arts

Third Grade
Language Lessons for Today - Grammar and Language; Charlotte Mason style; A very gentle approach that we have enjoyed.

All About Spelling - This is a wonderful program!  Solid teaching of letter sounds, letter combinations, spelling rules, etc.


Kindergarten
My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z - This has everything needed for spelling, reading, handwriting, etc.

Handwriting Without Tears - Letters and Numbers for Me - This was definitely not a necessary addition, but it has been nice for extra practice.

Math

Third Grade
Horizons - Very thorough math taught using the spiral method.  While I think it's a great curriculum, it does not seem to be a good fit for Caleb, so I am exploring other options for next year.

Kindergarten
My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z - Simple introduction to math is included.  We have purchased many workbooks from Dollar Tree or Target for her to work through as well.  (Some of these workbooks seem to use the common core method, which I am not personally fond of, but for the kindergarten level they are usually fine.)


Ok, I think that's everything!  If anyone is still reading, I am super impressed!  :)

Keep in mind, we are still new to this and we have a lot to learn.  I am by no means an expert!  But I do think that we have had a fairly successful year thus far, and I hope that this is helpful to someone.  If you have any questions, let me know!


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