Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter is Coming

We had a fantastic time on Saturday at our squadron Easter party. 
When we first arrived, the kids saw the bubbles, and what kids don't like bubbles?

It was so precious to see Leah's first time hunting for Easter eggs. We showed her one, told her to put it in her basket and pointed her to another one, and just like that, she was a professional Easter egg hunter. She knew what to do and was so excited to find all that she could. Such a sweet girl.

Oh she's beautiful and I love the excitement and wonder that I see through her eyes.  This age is so much fun to watch and I can just imagine all of the electrictiy going on in her little brain as she learns about the world around her.

The boys knew all about the little yummies that the eggs were filled with and while they aren't aggressive enough to collect a huge amount of eggs, they filled their baskets enough to make them happy. I saw Matthew hand a plastic egg to a child smaller than he, and really, I'd much rather see him do that, than win a contest of who got the most eggs.  Besides, they more than made up for it with the pinata candy!

And sweet little Anna was giving away smiles to the squadron commander's wife. I think this is the best one I've captured on camera.

Have a blessed Easter week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Long Week

So I've been a single mom since Sunday and it's been a looong week.  Chris is in Georgia for work but is coming home tomorrow.  Anna has been super fussy all week but today she finally seems better.  She's been napping and not crying almost all day long.  My poor sweety. 

Regardless, we've somehow managed to get through school this week.  Sometimes I try to take an outside-looking-in view of my days and know that God must be here with us because how else could I do this without going crazy or ruining my kids? 

Christopher is studying about Asia, specifically Saudi Arabia this week and that's been interesting.  I am reading a biography about missionary Amy Carmichael aloud to the kids and really, that's about India, but I imagine that Saudi Arabia is somewhat similar.  I know Christopher doesn't quite grasp the amount of freedom that we have compared to the people there, especially women, but it sure makes me grafeful for the country I live in. 

He is studying the enviroment this week also, and things like pollution, endangered species, recyling, etc.  There was one assignment that wanted us to see what types of things we were throwing away, basically disecting our garbage for one week, but this is not the week to do that.  We will cover this study again in five years and maybe I'll be more into it then.  Or my kids will be old enough to do it on their own.  You can bet I laughed out loud when I read that worksheet, in an "are you kidding me" sort of laugh.

He and I both are so tired of fractions and I can't believe how much there is to learn about them.  We will persevere though, as I suppose they are one part of math that you actually need to know as an adult.  I do like his math though, and it doesn't take long to get through the exercises.

Matthew is about to finish up his reading stories in the Old Testament, as well as finish learning rules for reading.  He's doing great and can read just about anything, but practice is needed as he is still very slow and choppy.  I sit back and look at him sometimes and realize that I taught him to read.  Me!  Reading is one of those things that you either don't know how to do it or you do.  It is something that you can see that is accomplished and it is good to be able to actually see that accomplishment.  Especially this week when things have been more difficult to accomplish than usual.  Christopher learned to read before he started school, but that was more him learning on his own with some of that first born parent ambition thrown in.  Matthew's not like that.

What else did we do this week?

Well, the kids played in the make-shift sand box. I made it for Leah to use and everyone wanted to play. They also rode their bikes.

Anna's cute lil toes got some fresh air.

I love these pudgy fingers.
And these dirty boy-hands.

Leah loves wearing the boys' bike helmets.



And we went to the zoo.  It was drizzling rain the whole time, but we were out and everyone was happy.  Except Anna.

Whenever we go anywhere, all of the boys want to have a map.

 We are so happy that it is spring so we can be outside so much.  I hope we have an unusually long spring this year.

I took the boys to Awana and then shopped at Target before picking them up. Leah was a perfect Angel while we were shopping and loved a croaking Easter frog we found. It kept her happy and laughing the whole trip. I carried Anna in the Bjorn and so she was happy most of the time. When we got to the church to pick up the boys, she realized that she should be at home sleeping and screamed the whole time as I collected each boy from his class.

This morning four of the children had dental cleanings. The boys all did great, no cavities or teeth to pull from their little crowded mouths. This was Leah's first time, and they did the cleaning with a normal tooth brush to get her used to it. She wasn't sure at first and I thought she might fight it, but she was brave and relaxed once she realized they were just going to brush her teeth. And she LOVES brushing her teeth.

In the midst of being a temporary single mom of five, with two of them being cranky little ones, we still made some fun memories this week. And I've started staying up way too late just so I can have some down time once Anna finally falls asleep.

It'll be nice to have my honey home tomorrow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bamboo Paradise

We went up to our favorite park in Garden Ridge today. There is a shaded playground and swings (including baby swings), a covered picnic area, restrooms, a huge open field, a little creek that has been filled with water for months now (as opposed to completely dry for the first year we lived here and went to the park), and also a wooded area. Perfect. Oh yah, it's also in a neighborhood that has deer wandering the streets every time we drive through. Did I say it's our favorite park?

We went today with our friends and the kids discovered Bamboo Paradise. Our gang of boys, seven in all, explored the creek and wooded area of the park to their heart's delight. We were there for over two hours, and when we finally tried to reel them in to go home, they were excited to show us this treasure of bamboo plants that they discovered in the wooded area. So us mommas followed them on the path through the trees, much deeper into the woods that we thought they were going, and me with Anna in our stroller (and not a back woods type of stroller!) and were pleasantly surprised at their beautiful find. Bamboo paradise, as they called it, was really neat.

She does this chewing-on-her-finger all of the time now...maybe some new chompers will be here soon?

I tried to get some good pictures of this sweet one outside so you can see how pretty her eyes are...I still didn't get them good enough. We did have fun up at the school riding bikes though. This beautiful spring weather is wonderful and we are out enjoying it every day. I'm hoping for a long spring before the hot summer gets here.

Yah, Anna had had enough by the time I thought to get some pictures of Leah with her!

This little guy had a hard day up at the school, trying to get better at riding his bike. He screeched whenever his brothers came zooming at him with their bikes (even though they were at least ten feet away per our instructions). He ended up falling over even with training wheels, scraping his elbow, and gave up for the day. He'll get there one day...

Go enjoy your kiddos!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

School is in Session

Two days of school in a row...we're on a roll!

Matthew has finished all of his phonics lessons and learned about alphabetical order today. He was a pro at it. I love it when kids pretty much teach themselves. Ultimatley, that is what I want to be doing...teaching my children to know how to learn on their own.

Gabriel worked on his coloring (he's awesome!) and his numbers. He loves school and is so excited to be starting kindergarten work next year. He's very serious about his 'school work'.

Speaking of learning, little miss Leah wants to do some of her own. She thought she was marvelous and clapped for herself (and of course I did as well) whenever she filled all of the pegs.

She's beginning to learn her colors as well. I have two spring hand towels hanging in the kitchen and let her choose the yellow or green one to dry her hands on them after we wash them. "yeh-yoh or been"

On another note, she's been hijacking these lately.

And I caught her in the act this morning. She's sure to have clean teeth at her first dental cleaning coming up soon.

After we got a call from Chris saying his plane broke down in Tucson and he wouldn't be home until tomorrow, we all took a drive up to Target. Tonight is bath night and we ran out of baby bath this weekend, or else I would have waited and gone another day. Plus, the kids aren't quite as crazy at Target as they are at other stores. Or maybe I am just more relaxed there.

We bought and tried out Burt's Bee Baby Bee Buttermilk Bath Soak with the kids tonight. I'll let you know tomorrow if the rumored delicious smell is worth the price.

We got a lot of looks at Target with all five kids riding on this.
I loved when the cashier saw that Ihad five kids and said, "That's great!" I usually get told that my hands are full, or that I have a lot of kids, or I must be kept busy, which are all fine even though they seem to have, "You're crazy" undertones, and I am not offended by any of that. But very seldom do I get a comment that having a large family is great. And it is.