Tuesday, September 16, 2014

To Grace, on your 5th Birthday



Grace,

I have so enjoyed watching you grow little girl!  You are getting to be such a big kid!  You told me today that you're 5 so you're big now and that makes you happy happy happy!  You have such a sweet spirit and you LOVE to be a helper.  You are always so quick to ask me for jobs when you see me working on projects around the house.  You are great at doing the dishes and vacuuming!

I love that you want so badly for people around you to be happy.  You like to make sure everyone is included!  Your favorite things to do these days are play board games with mom or Abi.  You LOVE when Daddy takes you on fishing dates (or really to do anything!). 

Bug, I love your heart!  I love how smart you are and how thoughtful you are.  You are growing and learning so much and I can't wait to see how you continue to grow and how you'll impact this world! 

Love,
Momma



For your birthday dinner you asked for:
 Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, broccoli

For your birthday cake you asked for:
 Chocolate - although tonight we are skipping cake and getting ICE CREAM at Youngs! :)

Your favorite toys are:
Candy Land, your Elsa doll and play dough

You don't like:
Being told you can't help or not being included in things.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pregnancy #5

It's that time again...although not quite THAT time because I'm usually pretty consistent about getting positive pregnancy tests in December or January - but hey, why not do this one a little earlier after twins!  :)

We are in our cautiously optimistic phase of this pregnancy meaning that it has been confirmed by a pregnancy test (ok, maybe three) but I haven't been to the doctor yet.  To answer the common questions, no, we weren't "trying" to have another baby.  No, we still don't use birth control.  Yes, we do know how this happened.  And yes, we believe children are a gift from God so we will continue to be joyful and celebratory about life.

The week of July 21 Grace and Abi had VBS so we were up and out the door early every morning.  I was also training for my first 5k and running three times a week.  I just felt really run down though and felt like I couldn't catch up on sleep and never really felt "good".  On Saturday the 27th I decided to start ruling out possibilities and took a pregnancy test, not expecting anything from it, while Aaron was heading over to the church to help out with a wedding. 

Well, funny story, I got two pink lines.  I called him a few minutes later - I tried really hard to wait until he got back home - and caught him right as he got to the church.  He seemed surprised (as was I) and I told him I was going to go take another test.  The girls were still napping and the boys were crawling around their room.  I remember looking at them and laughing at how they were still so small and there were two of them and this was going to add a whole new level of crazy to our lives - but my goodness, if we can rejoice and love having twins, we can conquer anything!  We told my parents and Hub's parents the next day. 

Side note: on my 30th birthday, July 30, I ran my first 5k, while pregnant in 34 minutes.  This was a HUGE accomplishment for me and a goal that I had set for myself at the beginning of the summer.

I still am grateful that God has seen us fit parents and continues to trust us with life.  And yes, it is hard and crazy and fun and amazing.  I can't wait to continue this journey, this trusting and meet this amazing life that I get to be responsible for!

First doctors appointment was August 29th and we heard a strong heartbeat!  Too early to tell how many might be in there :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Abi, on your 3rd birthday!




Abi,

You are such an amazing little girl.  I'm so glad you're mine.  You have such energy and spunk!  You have such an amazing little sassy side but are so kind and gentle and sweet.  I LOVE how you adore your brothers and sister.  You are always quick to be mommy's helper and you don't want to be left out of anything!

I love watching you grow and learn.  Already I feel like you are such a verbal little girl - sometimes slurring words together in your hurry to communicate and other times slowly and carefully choosing your words to articulate your thoughts.  You are so little with these flashes of big-kid that I'm just not ready for yet!

I'm thankful for your heart, your love for life and your easy smile.  Your a stubborn kid, but I can't wait to see how you will use that to stand up for what you believe in and to serve people around you.  God crafted you, my precious second daughter, in such an exciting, unique way and I cannot wait to see how you continue to grow.

Love,
Mommy



For your birthday dinner you asked for:
Chicken tenders, tater tots and broccoli

For your birthday cake you asked for:
Strawberry short cake (although mommy made you chocolate cupcakes too because I didn't think you'd actually eat strawberry short cake...I was right :)

Your favorite toys are:
Don't Break the Ice with your sister and your baby dolls

You don't like:
Being told no or when mom forgets to have a cup in the fridge for you in the morning :)



Kiddo, don't ever forget I love you!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kindergarten Homeschool - Week 1


I have an official Homeschooler!  Ok, not quite "official" as I don't have to register her with the state for another year, but as far as I'm concerned, we're official this year! 

I have had a great time and completely stressed out about what, how and when to teach Grace.  She is such a smart kid and I have been searching through ready-made curriculums, piecing subjects together and of course had the complete "what am I thinking" meltdown.  After I went through all that and my husband gently reminded me that at the Kindergarten level I can't really mess her up, we settled for a pretty simple routine.


Calendar - Basically we talk about what day of the week it is, the day number, what the temperature is and what it looks like outside.  I want her to start to understand the mechanics of how a calendar works and begin to put weather and temperature together - I also want to move to "and what does that mean for how we should dress?"  It is basically a fun, quick start to our morning and while she draws in what the weather looks like, I have time to make sure I'm not missing anything for reading or math!


Reading/Writing - We are using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" that I borrowed from Stephanie (my homeschool friend, mom of 5!).  So far so good!  We are moving slowly but just like I remind Grace, we want to take it slow now because when it gets harder we want to be at the right pace.  There is a writing portion at the end of each lesson so that covers our writing section, but we also incorporate writing into Bible and as we get more proficient at letters we'll do more writing activities.

 
Math - We are using a first grade math book this year that is set up for a classroom.  I again think that activities are too simple but we will soon be getting into things she hasn't seen before so those will require more time and repetition.  I think this pace is good for us now and we are working on things like counting higher numbers, using a number line and memorizing the names of the higher numbers.

Bible - My goal here is to pick a verse each week then do various activities with it.  We'll write it, memorize it, illustrate it, talk about meaning and why it is important, etc.  This week we are doing Philippians 2:14 (Do everything without grumbling or complaining) which I picked specifically so that as we are getting into this new routine I can remind her to do it cheerfully, although I've gotten no complaints so far.

Read Aloud - Right now we are reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.  I was going to start with Little House on the Prairie but I couldn't find one in time so I picked up this book for $1 at Target!  I told her there is a movie based on the book so when we finish reading it we'll have a movie night.  At a chapter a week it will take us a little while.  My goal here is to expose her to good books but also to see how she does with story line retention, focus and not immediately seeing resolution to the story.  We might switch to picture books, but I want to see how she does before we make a decision here.

This schedule so far has given us about 45 minutes of desk time.  Now, I know that she needs active time but I think at this age the rest of her day is active so it's ok to have her sit still for some time.  She is also a great "worksheet" kid and has the desk mentality, at least for now, so she enjoys this structure.  We will spend time outside of scheduled "school time" to do some hands on things - baking, measuring, cause and effect, etc.  I'm just not concerned about formally doing much more than reading, writing and math at this point.

I'm excited to be able to move at her pace, enjoy learning with her and have this quality one-on-one time with her.  We have a happy, busy family and I want to make sure she gets the focus that she needs!  I want my children to get a quality education, at their own pace and really excel and I can't wait to see what this journey will look like. 
 
 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

i...

I...

tear down walls, one brick at a time.

wipe tears.

create a safe place.

pray for protection of angels.

cry out to Jesus.

bind up hearts.

bandage up boo boos.

love fiercely.

protect honestly.

nourish bodies and souls.

encourage.

create.

dream.

fight.

speak truth and life.

offer advice.

try not to hide.

but I also fail.  and I'm not perfect.  and I don't want to ever pretend to be.  it is of no value to anyone around me if I can't own my shortcomings and point to Jesus even through those.  all of the list above is only by His grace and His power.  On my own, I am still just a kid who is trying to figure things out.  in His power there is hope and redemption and grace and justice and forgiveness and healing.

how great is it that I am nothing on my own.  oh what He can do with this lump of clay.  mold me and make me God, continue to create and refine me.  give me wisdom for when everything hurts and I don't know how to put people myself back together.  I will seek and find rest in You.