Sunday, October 14, 2012

MFW EX1850: Week Nine

Week nine of our school far, so good.  We did get behind a bit this week, but went into the weekend to make up for it.  Not ideal, but with Chris deployed, the weekends don't seem all that much different that weekdays.  

A sample of each of my boys' history note booking about a battle between colonists and Native Americans...
Gabriel, age 6

Christopher, age 11

Matthew, age 9

Who owned which land during this time period.

Pennsylvania becomes a colony.

We're still studying the animal kingdom for science and this week we are reading about reptiles.  The kids had to draw a picture of a lizard camouflaging itself and Christopher drew his lizard blending in with fireworks.  He's so fun.

A few of the read-alouds we've enjoyed lately.  We've just started reading Madeleine Takes Command, but like the others, the boys, especially Christopher, asks to do more than one chapter a day.


Monarch Madness came to our city park and I took the girls after co-op Friday.  We read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" pretty much every night for the girls' bedtime so they were both very excited to see the butterflies there.

They let Leah hold a butterfly to release it and she loved it.  They offered one to Anna, but she didn't want it to touch her.  She still enjoyed looking at it though.

And, of course, my sweet craft-loving girls loved coloring their flowers and adding thumbprint butterflies to them.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sonshine Fall Fun

While I will always long for Vala's from our Nebraska days, there are some pretty good pumpkin patch places over here in the Florida panhandle.  Trying not to feel too sad about not getting to do these fun fall things with my hubby, I took our kids about an hour north with my dad and we spent a few fun hours at this family owned pumpkin patch, Sonshine Family Farm.  

And when I say pumpkin patch, that's just an all-encompassing word that means any type of corn maze/hay rack ride/pumpkin selling farm open for family entertainment in the fall.  

This was our first year at this particular pumpkin patch, and it really was worth the time and drive.  

See?  Happy kids.  

There were two mazes, one for little ones, which was the best 'little ones' maze we've been to.  There were five stations to find in the maze that the kids had to stop at and dip each finger into the colored chalk on the stand.  When we came out of the maze we had to find our color combination on the big board and do the funny charade as directed. It was a fun little twist to the normal corn maze.

Then Grandpa took the girls on the hay rack ride and the boys and I went in the big corn maze.  They had stations in there also, with word game clues and picture rubbings.
And there was a greatly appreciated map in the middle of the maze.  I took a picture of it and gave my boys hints on how to find the way though the maze since the first half took us an hour to get through.  

After an hour and forty five minutes of finding our way through the maze, we finally got out and the girls and Grandpa joined us on the hay rack ride.

While this farm didn't have an actual pumpkin patch, there was a little field of them to choose from.  My rule for my kids is that they have to be able to carry their pumpkin to the pumpkin cart so they don't pick out the most gigantic one in the field.

They also had crafts and Anna and Leah spent much time making bead bracelets, which is also one of their favorite things to do at home.

Anna took pushing her baby on the swing very seriously.

And after walking around in the fresh air for a few hours, Anna fell asleep on the way home.  And while she woke up when we pulled into the garage and walked inside, this sweet girl just couldn't keep her eyes open once she walked in the house.  


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Enjoying Everyday

Sometimes amid the overwhelming 14 hours-a-day task of taking care of my children solo (without my deployed hubby), I forget to really enjoy the everyday things...and take photo memories of them.  Because I do sometimes stand back and think, "Wow, I truly am blessed to be in this exact place in life that God has put me."  
While not much is perfect about my days, in its own way, everything is perfect.  I love being with my kids all day even when I really do have moments that I feel so overwhelmed.  I'd much rather feel overwhelmed because I can be with them than not feel overwhelmed because I don't get to be with them so much.
I love each of their personalities, watching them grow, guiding them to make Godly choices.

This week I enjoyed listening to my four year old spend a half hour talking to her five year old cousin on the phone on her first real phone conversation.  I seriously had to keep myself from video taping it.  It was so adorable.  
It started by me calling my sister-in-law and my niece answering the phone and as I tried to make small talk with her, she asked to talk to Leah instead.  We are going to visit them next month and I'm so excited to see these girls together again.  They think they are best friends even though they only see each other once or twice a year.  I love it.

This week I enjoyed many evenings spent in the cooled down weather (in other words, it wasn't necessarily cool...just not hot).  Bikes are being ridden nearly everyday, lots of football is being played in the front yard, and since this fall my "baby" is 2 1/2 and not a toddler who might run in the road at any second, I get to actually sit and enjoy watching these little loves of my life play together.

Anna crawling and meow-ing.

Christopher calls this his Mario exercise suit.  It's the shirt that he made on the first day of school paired with matching shorts.  He'd wear it everyday if I didn't make him change his clothes.  He's been wearing his Mario Halloween costume lately and since I told him he'd wear out the thin material of that, this is second best.

Their favorite place to jump off of in the front yard...the mailbox.  There is sometimes struggles over who gets to sit here and I just always picture how funny it would be if one of them sat on it like a statue one day while the mailman comes by...see, I even laugh now picturing it in my head. 

Our street ends in a cul-de-sac and so has very little traffic...perfect for little girls who like to take each other for walks.

Not wanting to play, but still wanting to be outside with everyone else.

This week we also enjoyed "First Friday", a base event with lots of free fun for military families.  It was very hot again this day, but we still had fun most of the time...Mexican dinner, paint-balling, kayaking, jumpy castles, craft painting, corn hole, live music.  There was also some clowns face painting and making balloon animals, but just like their mama, my kids have developed a dislike for long lines.

The girls enjoyed the ice cream cones their grandpa gave them while I was out running errands.

Leah enjoys wearing her Spiderman costume nearly everyday.  This is what she's planning on dressing up as for Halloween.  It's so funny that she usually likes to be so girly, but she's good with this too.  I don't think she even realizes that Spiderman is more of a boy thing.  She's just doing what she likes, and I'm completely happy with that.

We also enjoyed another football game, especially since Grandpa was here to watch again. The boys all did great and I love seeing how passionate my oldest son is about it.

Gabriel (in the center here) even took our talks about being a team player seriously and played so much more enthusiastically for this game.

Leah and Anna found things to do as usual.  How exciting is a pile of ice?  Well, it got plenty of attention from my sweet girls.

We enjoyed such a good visit with my dad.  It was nice to be able to have some of my children's attention divided to someone else, have a few things checked off my honey-to-do list and being able to run errands by myself was really nice as well.