all done with this cat business

Oct 25, 2011 by

Fisher: I’m all done with this cat business!

Me: Really? Why?

Fisher: Sarah ate all the butter on the butter plate! Aaaarrrrggghhh!

Me: Oh? How did she get up there?

Fisher: She jumped. Don’t you know she has good jumping skills?

Me: Yes, I know.

Fisher: Well, I am done with her eating our butter. Now we only have two sticks left!

He cracks me up.

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dolls in the cupboard

Oct 24, 2011 by

I adore my Annesley. Really, truly adore her through and through. I think I have delighted in her more than I have any of my other children. Maybe because she reminds me so much of myself or maybe because her presence in our family is such a miracle or maybe because she is just so stinkin’ adorable.

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BUT! I am may lose my mind over this one issue.

Pretty silly that an experienced mom like myself could lose my mind over a fairly trivial issue…but it could still happen. I could actually lose my mind!

Here is the deal. She doesn’t put anything away properly. I ask her to put her shoes away and I find them hidden under the snuggler. I ask her to put her book away and I find it stuffed behind the stool. I ask her to put the brush in the drawer and I find it in the laundry room.

It is getting so old.

I know I need to walk with her and hold her hand and make her a velcro child for a while to help her follow through properly…but it takes so much time and everyone else in the house is capable of obeying my edicts, so why can’t this cute little cherub do the same?

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all-did

Oct 11, 2011 by

Goodbye all-did.

For as long as Annesley has been speaking she has said “all-did” whenever she wanted to let us know she had already done something.

Me: Time to brush your teeth.

Annes: I ALL-DID!

Me: Time to put away your shoes.

Annes: I ALL-DID!

Me: Let’s comb your hair.

Annes: I ALL-DID!

Get it?

Today she said “I already did it Mom” and I nearly cried.

She is growing up. Every other time I have had a child get to this age I have been about to give birth again. I have been full with child and so ready for a new baby because my baby was finally oh, so grown up.

But not this time.

This time I will have a four-year-old and no new baby to take her place. No umbilical cord for her to cut. No adorable baby for her to hold. No precious baby for me to nurse. No little one to carry in my sling.

Yes, my heart is breaking at the thought of it.

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fisher and the old testament

Oct 11, 2011 by

Fisher and I…and Annes joins in too, but she is often up and down and all around so I don’t know how much is sinking in…have been reading the Old Testament Stories for the past couple of weeks. Yesterday we finished up Moses and today we are starting Joshua. I am amazed at how much he loves this scripture study time with me. He jumps up and down with a ginormous grin on his face and begs me to read it with him. We read for thirty minutes each morning and it is never enough for him.

This is all new to me. First off, I have never read any of the Scripture readers to my children. With my older girls, I have always read the actual scriptures and have pretty strong feelings about how critical that is, but he has glommed on to this book and is enjoying it so much that I have decided to use this fascination with it to share my love of the Old Testament with him. Secondly, I have never really studied the Old Testament with someone so young and innocent. It is kind of an interesting ball of wax to try to teach this naturally believing little boy about sacrifice, Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, and all the other somewhat strange things in the Old Testament.

The other day at my adult Worldviews class, Becky made a comment that has had me pondering. She said “I teach my children that if God does something or commands something, it is right and it is our job to figure out why and how.” This concept will certainly help me formulate my answers to Fisher when he questions why God asks certain things of us.

For now though, I am giddy with joy that my little boy will snuggle up on the couch with me and beg me to teach him scripture stories. I don’t know how long this will last or where this journey will take us, so I will just enjoy this precious time with him and pray that I may help build his relationship with his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

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book bonanza: nobody rides the unicorn

Oct 4, 2011 by

Nobody Rides the Unicorn

Keziah’s birthday book this year is Nobody Rides the Unicorn. It is about an orphaned, servant girl who is tricked into beguiling a unicorn so the king can capture it. She is outraged that she has been used to commit this evil act and by risking her life, she sets the unicorn free. I love the courage the young girl shows and her determination to do right no matter the cost to herself. The artwork is soft and lovely. I hope Keziah treasures it.

It must be out of print or something because it is over $30 at Amazon. Barnes and Noble had it for $5.97, so we ordered it from there. If you decide to get, I recommend you do the same…big grin!

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Eleven, Eleven, How Can It Be?

Oct 3, 2011 by

Eleven, Eleven, How Can It Be?

This morning (actually middle of the night) my Keziah turned eleven years old. If you haven’t read her birth story, here it is…I think it was a hilarious birth! Her birth was just like her…quick to the punch, took us all by surprise, and brings us all joy when we think of it…three hours of sheer intensity and then utmost relief to have her in my arms.

I have also been informed that many of my readers pronounce her name K-ugh-Z-long i-ugh…which is what it looks like…but for all of you that don’t know us personally, her name is said like the continent of Asia with a K in front…like K-long a-Z-yah. Make sense?

Anyway, little Miss Keziah is now eleven. Eleven feels weird to me. It feels SO MUCH older than ten. Eleven feels like the brink of womanhood, while ten very much feels like kidhood. I am not ready to have her be all grown up like this, but I am not in charge of growing up, so I am going to have to learn to adjust!

Miss Keziah has learned so much this past year. She has learned to share a room with a very messy, very loud, very everything three-year-old. She has learned to do a back handspring. She has learned how to be more nurturing. She has learned how to knit (which was a long, torturous process for all of us and we are oh, so grateful to the lovely Miss Sarah for loving her right into the world of knitting). She has learned to create stories and has started writing several books. She has taken on teaching a class for 3-to-6-year-olds and has learned all about creating lesson plans, preparing for class, communicating with parents, having patience with a room full of little ones, and how to love them.

Several times this year I have caught a glimpse of her beauty. Most of the time when I look at her I see her freckles, her muscles, and her signature ponytail, but a few times, I have seen her as the woman she will become. I have seen a softening of her determined brow and a light in her eyes that will one day gaze at her own children with adoration.

Keziah is full of life, vim, and vigor. She is a powerful entity and we are so blessed to have her in our family. She takes on the seemingly impossible and accomplishes much. She loves learning, playing, organizing, and planning.

The thing she wanted most for her birthday was to go to LDS General Conference with her Grandma and her friend Courtney. We were blessed to get tickets for Saturday morning and had such a wonderful time listening, learning, and singing. She dutifully took notes of every talk, song, and prayer…she is a little compulsive that way. Afterwards, we went to Old Spaghetti Factory and had the meal of the century, complete with birthday song, chocolate cake, and ice cream. Then, we went shopping at Savers (our favorite thrift store) and she and Courtney loaded up their carts with gobs of things to try on. Keziah made it out of there with a bag full of stuff for $15! Then Grandma took her shoe shopping where she bought her two pairs of adorable shoes…some black flats and some grey boots. Courtney loved the boots so much she had to get a pair as well. I’m thinking the two of them will wear them every time they are together until they grow out of them!

Now for a trip down memory lane…here are some pictures of her this past year…pretty cute, eh?

At iFamily sewing class

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With her adorable purse she sewed

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Building a raft with cousins

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With Easton at Green River Lakes

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With Annesley and Eve at Green River Lakes

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Maiden voyage on Austin’s kayak

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Three girlies in braids

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Pure silliness

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Carrying Easton in her mei tai (did you know she wants 47 children?)

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With Cousin Tiegen on a hike

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With Sadie

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At MAT camp (grainy pictures…but had to include them!)

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Another one of Easton in her mei tai – this time in our backyard

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Her catapult she built for Math Alive!

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Her iFamily Vocal Jazz class

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Passover

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Math Alive! class…learning about levers and balance

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Math Alive! with the famous blocks

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Climbing our trees in the dead of winter

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Christmas morning with her skirt I Kat made her

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Christmas afternoon with her cousins, aunts & uncles, and grandparents

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Christmas party

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Thanksgiving 2010 with Uncle Cameron

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We love you Keziah! Hope your day and your eleventh year are full of growth, learning, love, and joy!

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first tooth

Sep 25, 2011 by

This morning Fisher lost his first tooth! He really IS growing up!

All of his friends have had missing teeth for awhile, but he is a late bloomer and lost his one week after his seventh birthday. I was a super-late bloomer and lost my first tooth at age ten!

He cried and cried this morning before it fell out because it was bleeding quite a bit, but now that it is over he is proud as proud can be.

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mr. fisher turns seven

Sep 18, 2011 by

mr. fisher turns seven

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Seven.

I can’t really wrap my brain around the fact that seven years ago I gave birth to my one and only boy. It feels like just a short time ago he was a baby in our arms.

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I remember so clearly those early days and weeks of nursing him. I remember the looks of adoration he would give me. I remember his ginormous head. I remember his obsession with doing push-ups as a four-month-old. I remember how much he loved my grandmother and how he snuggled on her lap while she read to him. I remember the hugs and kisses he would give her. I remember him burying his head in my armpit whenever anyone paid him any attention. I remember his fascination with airplanes…and then trains…and then ships…and then bugs…and then animals…and then dinosaurs…and then more bugs…and then animals…and then bugs…and now I think he is fairly obsessed with animals AND bugs.

His childhood is going by quickly. Too quickly.

How on earth have seven years gone by since the first time I laid eyes on him?

At the same time, it feels like forever ago…an entire lifetime ago…for now I am a different person. I am at a different place in my life and my mothering and in some ways it feels like his pregnancy and birth happened to someone else. His pregnancy was one of the most difficult physical AND spiritual experiences of my life. If you haven’t read about his birth, you probably should click over and read it as it has played such an integral role in defining who I am.

I had to choose which voices I would listen to…the crazy-making ones in my head or the quiet, yet forceful voice of God speaking to my heart. I had to choose to love and make that choice again and again and again. I had to choose to believe in God’s purposes when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up…to give in to the despair. I had to live through many months of debilitating pain and years of recovery. I had to choose to have faith in God’s ability to heal my body when medical doctors had no qualms about telling me I would never heal. I had to choose to smile again.

Because I chose to smile again, the months of agony and despair feel like a different lifetime. I can still go right back to that place of being, but it feels oh, so different now. The feelings are softened with the changed perspective of my heart. I can see clearly the lessons I learned through his pregnancy and birth and recovery. I can see the blessings. I am living the blessings and I am so grateful to be on this side of that experience. I am so grateful I chose God’s path of joy instead of the misery I was stuck in, so I can be in the place I am now instead of where that other road would have taken me. I had a mini-freak-out the other day when I realized it was the same time I was hit in the accident. All the pain came rushing back for a few seconds…and then I was able to let it go and let it be. I was able to make peace with it. I’m sure I will have to make peace with it again and again, but I don’t dwell on it any longer. Instead, my heart is full of gratitude for the things I have learned and the path God has led me on.

Fisher is growing up. He is learning new things all the time. He loves working with his papa in the garage. He loves spending time with me. He loves riding his bike as fast as he can. He loves fishing, stalking bugs, learning about the world, and building contraptions. He loves our reading time together. He loves being in his own imaginary world. He loves Curious George and Robinson Crusoe. He loves numbers. He loves his aunts and uncles and grandparents. He loves going over to his grandpa’s house and helping with the airplane building project his grandpa has going. He adores his Grommer Dorothy and talks to her almost every day. He loves learning about the people in the scriptures. He loves Jesus. He is often the first to apologize in a disagreement with his sisters and loves spending money on treats for his family and friends. He loves giving people gifts. He has a tender heart and is sensitive about everything under the sun. I hurt his feelings often and I am learning to mother him better. In the meantime, I am grateful children are so resilient.

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I see him making a transition from a little kid to a big kid. He is becoming more capable. He recently took over the stewardship of taking care of the chickens and has been so diligent about feeding them and loving on them each morning. He has new chores in the house that he gets up and gets started on first thing in the morning. He is learning to complete his jobs and be a hard worker. He is learning to take pride in a job well done. He is learning to handle disappointments. He mastered jumping off the diving board and swimming to the edge. He is finding more courage. He is having bigger conversations with me and thinking about the world more deeply.

I love this red-headed, tender-hearted, bug-loving, fish-catching, invention-creating, Jesus-loving boy.

Here are some pictures of him from this past year.

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Pretty cute boy, eh?

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making music again

Sep 14, 2011 by

Blythe has been playing the violin since she was five years old. She started begging to play when she was three after spending many an afternoon at Jane’s home watching her children practice their cellos and violins. Her dream to become a skilled musician has completely altered the culture in our home and for that gift I will always be grateful. Keziah plays the violin also, I am learning the cello, and our little ones have grown up listening to Bach, Mozart, Schubert, and Stravinsky. We are a musical family which always takes me by surprise when I think about it because I am about the farthest thing from musical.

Blythe grew out of her 1/2 size violin several years ago. Then we traded with a friend who needed a half-size and had a 3/4 size. That violin lasted her about a year. She has needed a full-size for nearly two years, but we haven’t been able to afford one for her. We have been actively searching for the last several months and waiting for a miracle to provide a way to get her the violin she needs to be able to continue progressing. A few weeks ago some family members offered to contribute to her violin fund and this renewed our search efforts. After visiting several violin shops and playing dozens of instruments, Blythe found the one she loved. She brought it home to test out for awhile and now she is certain it is the one for her. She has been practicing for hours on it this week and is thoroughly smitten with her choice. I have loved hearing her play and already I can hear a big improvement.

There have been so many times I have wanted to give up on this dream of hers. It seemed impossible, expensive, and far too time-consuming. It seemed to take too much patience on my part and too much determination on hers. Hearing her play the last few days has renewed my faith in her dream and recommitted me to be a violin-mama.

Isn’t that the way it is with dreams? They take hard work, courage, a few miracles, and someone who loves you enough to invest in your dream with you to help them come true.

Thank you violin-fund-donors…you are investing in my girl’s dream!

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pencil bags

Aug 30, 2011 by

pencil bags

I am blessed to have the lovely Jessica of Balancing Everything fame as one of my best friends. Last week she whipped up some pencil bags for her children and I immediately fell in love. She is one of the most creative people I have ever met and I regularly swoon over her creations. She told me to bring over some fat quarters and zippers and she would teach me how to make some for my family.

I loved her Japanese fabric, but I let my children pick out their own stuff and design them in their own style…and then Jessica sewed for us today! I barely helped with pinning and unpicking, but perhaps my picking up the playdough, getting the toddler dressed, and our lovely conversation made up for my lack of sewing contributions? Maybe, just maybe, I will be brave enough to attempt it on my own so I can have my own super-duper adorable bag too!

I don’t know why they are showed up all wrinkly in the pictures. They lay flat quite nicely in real life. Maybe the fact that Keziah was taking the pictures with little ones crawling all over her has something to do with it?

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Keziah’s

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Annesley’s

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Fisher’s…with his praying mantis

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Blythe’s sans the initial…I guess she thought the initial was childish.

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The children have already filled them up with their colored pencils and are silly excited for their Nature Studies classes this fall. I know I could have gone out and bought a cheap plastic pencil case, but cheap plastic doesn’t speak to my soul. Homemade. Cotton. Felt. Those are the things that connect with me and I love taking the time and effort to give my children homemade treasures…and having friends to help me do so!

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annual lava day

Aug 30, 2011 by

annual lava day

Every year I plan a big homeschool social at Lava Hot Springs. We always have tons of fun seeing friends from all over Southeast Idaho and of course, the speed slides can’t be beat. This year I spent the day soaking my feet in the shallow end of the pool watching Annesley and Fisher jump in again and again and again. I didn’t dare swim or slide for fear of hurting myself…for some reason my arm and breast are still SO sore after the lumpectomy. Keziah and Blythe played with friends all day and I barely saw them. Around closing time I finally remembered to take a few pics of the children.

Fisher spent hours pushing Annesley around in her “boat”.

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Fisher mastered jumping off the diving board and swimming to the side of the pool. I think he did it about 20 times.

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Keziah and her friend, Arianna…both of them exhausted from swimming for about eight hours at this point.

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Blythe with her friends.

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How I love this face…sunburned, exhausted and all.

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a new school year

Aug 26, 2011 by

I am gearing up for our next year of learning together as a family. I have the school room rearranged to take advantage of the sunshine in front of our basement doors, the bookshelves dejunked, and the closet is ready for me to fill it with magic. Our local homeschooling organization, iFamily Leadership Academy, is organized and ready to start holding classes in September. I am getting excited for our journey together. I’m also wondering how I’ll be able to accomplish what I have set out to do!

This year I am teaching a Project Scholar class called Worldviews and YOU!. It is going to be intense for me as mentor and quite challenging for the youth who are participating. Here is a taste of what we are going to endeavor to accomplish:

Competing worldviews are everywhere. They are propagated on the newsstands, played out at the United Nations, in the halls of Congress, and throughout our university system. When we consider the tug-of-war between and among worldviews that rages in America and around the world, we tend to think of the battle mostly in terms of political and ethical issues, but this battle for the minds and hearts of people encompasses much more than politics and ethics. It determines the way we think and act about theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. This collection of convictions is what we call a worldview. It is the arena of worldviews that one of the greatest battles of our time is now being waged. Come and join us for an in-depth study of seven different worldviews: Secular Humanism, Marxism/Leninism, Cosmic Humanism, Postmodernism, Islamic, Biblical Christianity, and YOURS! We will be reading Understanding the Times, 2006 edition, studying current news articles, participating in frequent simulations, writing papers, learning to write a solid essay, and most importantly, helping each student discover what their own worldview is based on their Core Book(s) in each of those ten areas. This class will enable students to better understand the world around them and how they can find common ground with people of differing worldviews, which will greatly increase their ability to be effective and impact the world for good.

Quite the task I have set for myself, wouldn’t you agree?

On top of my studies, I will be teaching six gymnastics classes each Friday to about 75 homeschooling children. I am out of shape at the moment and have two weeks from today to be able to lift, spot, run, jump, cartwheel, and handstand. It is time to start building my lung capacity and my strength back up (who am I kidding? It is WAY past time!).

My children have big plans for the year. They will all be busy with their classes at iFamily and then we will have our studies at home as well. We start out our learning time with lots of singing, prayer, the pledge, scriptures, our poem of the week, finding places and things on our maps, and whatever else I want to share with them all together. Then, Blythe leaves to do her scholar studies for the day and I continue reading and playing with the younger three. The four of us hang out in our learning room all morning long doing math, science, reading, writing, etc. I never know for sure where our daily adventure will take us…I usually start reading to them and then play some math or reading games with them, but then our interests take over and we may spend hours drawing, painting, finding bugs, or researching birds. I think this year things are going to look quite a bit different because of Keziah’s plans (see below). I may end up spending the majority of my time with Fisher and Annesley…I will just have to see how things play out. One thing I know for sure, I am determined to rein in my computer and phone usage and give them solid blocks of time where I am completely available to them.

Blythe will have her hands full with my Worldviews class, along with a Chemistry class, and Advanced Theater. She will be putting on a play for our local schools in February, is participating in a vocal choir and is begging to start a martial arts class. She is also searching for a violin teacher who will focus on her strengths of auditory learning and trying to find a full-size violin so she can continue her music education. When she isn’t studying for her classes, she spends hours writing novels and drawing. She is currently writing a seven-book series on the loss of freedom in America and a revision of Robin Hood. She does all her own illustrations for her books and has piles of notebooks full of her writing.

I have never been a huge fan of curriculum sets and don’t feel they are necessary at all. I believe anyone with zest for living can create their own learning adventures with their children. However, this year, we have decided to take advantage of some prepackaged products to guide us. Keziah loves checking things off and I think she has been longing for some more structure in her life, so I am hoping these guides will fulfill that need for her. Keziah is determined to do the Beautiful Feet Early American History program and we have a lot of fun ideas to make history come alive. I want to reenact an Underground Railroad, build a Viking ship, create a market with high inflation (like the time of the Continental Congress), pretend to arrive in a new world and have to build our own house, and set up a government. If you have more living history ideas for the time period of Vikings – Civil War send them my way! Keziah also decided she wanted to do a grammar and language program, so we are adding in Language Lessons for the Elementary Child to our weekly routine. I am really drawn to this book and can’t wait to explore the artwork with her. It is very Charlotte Mason-y, which I have always loved. She is hoping to start Life of Fred for math this fall, but she still is finishing up her Miquon books, so we will see how that plays out. At iFamily she is taking a science class on Galileo and the scientific method, taking a Narnia class where they will read, discuss, and write about all seven books in the next 12 weeks and end with a Narnian feast, a sewing class with the lovely Miss Kat, and teaching her own class, Creative Corner for 3 – 6 year olds. She is a little driven…if you couldn’t tell.

Fisher and I are going to experience the magic of Five In A Row and you will be able to read about our experiences with it by clicking on that FIAR category over there on the right. We started back in June, but haven’t continued through July and August. Both of us are excited to start having our mommy-son reading time again. At iFamily, Fisher is taking Keziah’s craft class, two music classes, and a Nature Studies class. His excitement to have an actual bug studying class is so high, he can hardly sleep at night. He has his magnifying glass, binoculars, nature notebook, colored pencils, tape, and glue all ready in his backpack and talks about it all day…every day. Right now he has about 30 bugs housed in a giant plastic bin and he carries it with him all over the place taking about each bug as if they were his best buddies. Just this morning he has been studying a spider and a fly with his new magnifying glass.

Little Miss Annes has the same classes as Fisher at iFamily and will spend the majority of her time here with us listening to our reading, counting, figuring, discussing, finding, discovering, etc. She wants to do everything Fisher is doing and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if all the phonics lessons I am doing with him will implant in her brain and start the reading process. She spends hours each day playing house, cooking us food from her kitchen, and singing at the top of her lungs. Homeschooling older children with a toddler in the house is certainly an adventure, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Another change for this year is our closet. For years I have had a ginormous black armoire stuffed to the brim with every learning device known to man. I decided to change that around and make it a magic closet. I have emptied it out (though I haven’t figured out where to put the stuff that was in it!) and now the stuff in it will not only be easy to find (no more stacks of stuff), it will also be changed up regularly. Whatever I want to expose my children too, I will put in there and it will only be available during our learning time. If I want us to study rocks, I will pull our rock collection out of its box and put them in a basket along with various books about rocks, geology, layers of earth, etc. If I want us to study Rembrandt, I will put some of his paintings, a story of his life, and some supplies for us to paint with that day. I know myself well enough to know I won’t be changing things every day, but I am determined to keep it fresh and alive so it is a source of excitement and a springboard for learning about stuff that often gets left by the wayside in our busy days. I know the closet can be a powerful tool in inspiring children to learn and I can’t wait to fully implement my ideas and see where it takes us.

Big plans, eh? I figure even if we fall way short of our goals, we will still have accomplished much and we are going to have our minds full to the brim with new ideas. With all of these plans, we can’t help but have a great year learning together!

I am needing to spend some time making me new planner pages for the year so I have a hope of staying relatively on track, but I haven’t figured out how to find the time to even make the pages, much less fill them in! Anyone have some extra hours of the day they could loan me?

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keziah’s new bag

Aug 23, 2011 by

keziah’s new bag

Keziah bought a bag pattern about a year ago and ever since then she has desperately wanted to create the bag. Clear back in February or March she bought her fabric and then came right home and started working on it. She got a few pieces cut out and then asked me for help. The problem was that for me reading a pattern is like reading Mandarin. It simply makes no sense to my brain at all. She kept trying to work on it here and there, but had little success because I couldn’t help her. She would call our dear friend, Kat, and get input on what to do next, do it, and then be stuck again. It was really frustrating for her, but she kept working on it a little bit at a time.

Last week she worked out a deal with Kat…she wanted Kat to come over and help her and in return she would babysit for her or do something else needed and wanted. Kat agreed and yesterday she spent about 12 hours at our home guiding Keziah through the whole process. Kez did all the sewing, but Kat did all the pattern interpretation which I fail so miserably at. Kat and I talked and laughed and ate and every few minutes Keziah would come out and report what she had done and ask what to do next. I was able to clean the mountains of precariously perched papers, books, and minutia off my desk while Kat worked on the internet, and all of our little children collected loads of bugs and went on grand adventures outside.

Well, at about midnight last night, Keziah finished the last step! It turned out adorable! I am so proud of her for sewing for twelve hours straight and sticking with it even she was frustrated with her lack of perfection. I’m proud of her for making tough decisions about how to improvise when she ran out of fabric halfway through. I’m proud of her for not screaming at her machine when it kept going berserk. I’m proud of her for not allowing my ineptness to stop her from making her bag.

Thanks Kat! It was wonderful to spend the day with you and yours, share our food and conversation with you, and see our little ones so happy to be together once again. You are a gem!

Here is the finished product…pretty cute, eh?

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annesleyisms

Jul 30, 2011 by

Insects scare me.

Lions scare me, but I kinda like nice lions.

Out of Annesley’s mouth after a beetle crawled across her hand tonight. Such a delightful girl!

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no, I have not died

Jul 23, 2011 by

In case you have been wondering if I died on day twenty of the cleanse…I didn’t. I am alive and well and gone on a trip to MAT Camp (Music, Art, & Technology). We have been up a dawn and and getting to bed around eleven every day this week and I have not had a moment to sit down and write. I am tuckered right out! Getting five children to and from their classes each day, volunteering at the camp myself to pay for their tuition, feeding everyone, driving eighty miles each day, and not sleeping in my own bed wrapped in Richard’s arms is just plain exhausting.

But worth it.

My four children and our friend, Alanna, have thoroughly enjoyed their classes. They have had flute and violin lessons, puppetry, choir, dance, flashmob, stage combat, science explosions, painting, composers at the zoo, silly songs, quilt making, musical theatre, mosaic art, and more. They have had the opportunity to be in many performances, receive expert mentoring, make tons of friends, and be surrounded by musicians and artists from all over the country. It is one of our favorite things to do each summer.

Today I am enjoying the Pioneer Day activities in my hometown and have seen so many of my dear friends. I love this place. Speaking of which, when does the grown-up place you live become home? We have lived in our current town for twelve years and even though we have lots of wonderful friends and a fabulous homeschool network, it still doesn’t feel like home to me. It feels like this-is-where-we-live-but-don’t-have-any-roots. Maybe this feeling stems from the depth of the roots I have in my hometown. My great-great grandfather and his sister, along with their spouses, settled this land 120 years ago. I was raised about a mile away from their original homestead and nearly everyone I grew up with was related to me one way or another. My family ran our town’s only grocery store and I practically lived at the store, talking to all the customers in between bagging groceries, facing shelves, and wrapping lettuce. My small town had this feeling of connectedness that I have never felt anywhere else. I don’t know if it’s because I have changed or if it’s because my new town doesn’t have that same feeling.

I could just sit at the town BBQ and watch these people all day. I love them and I am so grateful for the roots they gave me. Being here makes me want to marinade my children in that feeling of groundedness, interdependency, and however sappy it sounds, family. That feeling…and the actions that surrounded it, are what saved me as a child. I had an entire town that cared about me and taught me what it meant to be a good and decent person. They filled me with stories of my ancestors that inspired me to live up to my family name. They loved me…and they still do.

We have already been to the Pioneer Day Parade, the Quilt Show (where we saw sheep wool carding, beautiful quilts, a bear skin coat worn by a stage coach driver in the 1800’s that still has bullet holes in it, and irons from the first western settlers), and the BBQ. Tonight we are taking Alanna to her first rodeo!

Tomorrow we will return home and then I am having a lumpectomy on Monday morning, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again. I’m hoping to be back on my feet on Tuesday, but who knows? I’ve never done this before, so I don’t have a clue on recovery time.

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Six Weeks Old

Jul 12, 2011 by

Six Weeks Old

We have been having so much fun with these puppies. Keziah does most of the work with them, but we all have had to pitch in to keep them safe, socialized, warm, fed, and dry…and chase off the owls that keep eyeing them. We have all loved holding them and watching them grow up. It is amazing to see the progression. It seems like each day they are bigger than the day before.

Keziah is selling these puppies for $20. They are lab mix puppies. Sadie is a pure bred black lab and one of the fathers is a black lab. We think there are three fathers and we don’t know what the others are. All the puppies are friendly and have been handled by lots of children. Sadie is an extremely calm and gentle lab. She loves our family, sleeps in Keziah’s room, lets babies crawl all over her, thoroughly enjoys being rubbed, and has been a fabulous addition to our family. One of the white lab puppies has already sold, but is staying here for a few more weeks. The rest are available and you are welcome to come pick yours out now and we will hold it until they are eight weeks or you are ready to bring your puppy home.

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Pretty cute, eh?

I am SO not an animal person, but having animals in our lives has been really wonderful for our family. My children have to work hard taking care of them, it softens their hearts to have stewardship for some other living creature, they have learned a lot of lessons about birth, death, and sickness, and they have been blessed by the companionship an animal brings. When the girls were little, they were terrified of dogs. It drove me batty. Every time we were near a dog, they would start screaming. I decided the only way to cure them of this was to get a puppy for our family. Even though Shiloh wasn’t that great of a dog for us, they fell in love with him and have been dog lovers ever since. Now they are the ones helping children feel safe around dogs and luckily, we now have the perfect dog to help children conquer their fears because Sadie is the gentlest dog I have ever seen. She is so incredibly patient with us humans that some people even bring their children to our home just to play with Sadie.

Orders are being taken now…first come, first served.

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book bonanza: houdini

Jul 8, 2011 by

book bonanza: houdini

Houdini

I have posted before about Kathleen Krull. I love her books! Today Fisher and I read another of her books and thoroughly enjoyed learning about Houdini. Besides teaching us about some of his magic tricks, escape acts, and daredevil antics, we learned about his childhood of poverty, early physical coordination, life-long love for exercise, love of books, entrepreneurial spirit, and some of his secrets. We learned of his determination to get an education and his unfortunate death. Fisher was amazed by Houdini’s skills. I just love exposing this boy to the greatness in this world because it is almost as if I can see the gears turning in his mind wondering what he will be great at. He is blossoming into such an inquisitive boy and I love nurturing that part of him with great books, plenty of free time to explore, and answering his questions in ways that encourage him to think up more questions to wonder about.

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book bonanza: once upon a company

Jul 7, 2011 by

book bonanza: once upon a company

Once Upon A Company

Wendy Anderson Halperin is one of our favorite authors and illustrators. Her words are refreshing, gentle, nurturing, and have a down home feel to them. Her illustrations are quirky and almost always done kind of a collage style. We gave Blythe Love Is for her 5-year-old Birthday Book and later The Secret Remedy Book. We have long loved Once Upon a Company, but today we reread it because Keziah is on a quest to create a business for herself. By the end of the book, both Fisher and Keziah were determined to come up with some fabulous product to sell or idea to market to start building their savings accounts. If you are looking for a book to spark some entreprenurial spirit in your home this is a great book to start with. You may want to also read Young Bucks: How to Raise a Future Millionaire, Little Britches, Man of the Family, Mary Emma and Company, and some biographies of some great business leaders.

In Once Upon a Company, a group of siblings are bored and their mom encourages them to start making wreaths to sell. Their grandpa tells them all about college and how they need to start saving for college now. As the book progresses, they learn about creating a product, selling it door to door, distributors, wholesale accounts, advertising, checking accounts, investing, hiring employees, having a product not work out, having a product succeed, the power of interest, and gobs more.

We love it and think you will too!

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my annes

Jul 5, 2011 by

Our little Annesley won the hearts of hundreds of people on Sunday night as she sang and danced her heart out in the America’s Hope Children’s Choir. She has begged to be in this program for the last two summers and I finally consented to let her sing with her siblings this year. I knew she knew all the words to the songs since she sings them year round on a nearly constant basis, but I wasn’t so sure she would be able to do the actions…and she wasn’t. The actions she did do were about a second after the rest of the group and were often with different arms and way more gusto than was choreographed.

The directors put her on the front row, smack dab in the middle, and all the eyes of the crowd were naturally drawn to her since she was a foot shorter than anyone else in the choir.

She smiled and sang and loved every minute of it and so did the crowd. At first they smiled, then chuckled, then cheered her on. And she soaked it right up. Glenn Rawson, who gave a fabulous keynote address, even commented on how utterly adorable she was.

I think she would do it every day if given the chance. She loves singing, performing, and LOVES people clapping for her. If this is what she is like at three and a half, what does the future hold?????

p.s. Where, oh where, was my camera on the night of her performing debut??????????? Thankfully the people next to us recorded it and promised they would send me a copy. If they follow through, I will post it here!

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fisher the entomologist

Jun 28, 2011 by

Fisher and I had an adorable conversation at dinner yesterday. He has always loved bugs. Anyone who knows him even a little knows this about him. He spends many, many hours each week finding various creatures, building houses for them, watching them, and finally letting them go (at least sometimes he lets them go!). Lately he has been on a butterfly kick.

This is how our conversation went:

Fisher: I wish my butterflies could sit on a stool with me during dinner.

Me: That would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Fisher: Yeah, I don’t want to eat without my butterflies.

Me: Do you think you will grow up to be an entymologist?

Fisher: silence

Me: Do you know what an entomologist is?

Fisher: Yes, it is a person who collects bugs.

Me: It sure is!

Fisher: I want to be a scientist (while shaking his head ruefully).

Me: Well, an entomologist IS a scientist! They are scientists that study bugs.

Fisher: I want to be a scientist that studies butterflies. Butterflies are my favorite thing.

They sure are buddy…for this week anyway! It is such a gift in my life to spend my days with my children watching them discover this amazing world which God created for us. I love watching their interests change, expand, and fluctuate. We are designed to be curious beings and I am so glad my children have the freedom to let their curiosity run wild.

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mr. big, fat bear

Jun 15, 2011 by

Uncle Scott is moving to be closer to his daughter, Andie, and has been cleaning out his house. We have been the lucky recipients of some of his stuff. Fisher loves large stuffed animals. He has been saving up his money to buy a ginormous lion from a cute, little toy shop in town for months…MONTHS. I don’t think he will ever raise the requisite funds, but he has diligently saved his quarters up that he earns from scratching his papa’s head each night and he is convinced that eventually he will be able to buy the lion.

Since that moment in time could be years away, Uncle Scott has come to the rescue and passed on a huge bear for him to snuggle with. He sleeps in his bed with him, eats meals with him, and comes to story time on the couch. The bear is much to big for my liking…he crowds out the rest of us…but Fisher is in heaven with him. He sleeps all curled up in the bear’s lap, gets him dressed for various activities throughout the day and talks to him like he is his best friend.

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Thanks Uncle Scott…you have made one little boy grin from ear to ear!

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water, sun, fire, and friends

Jun 2, 2011 by

I am at our Eighth Annual Homeschool Swim Camp, which Cami and I created back in 2004 to provide a way for our children to take swimming lessons with all their friends while being able to hike, play, and roast marshmallows with them outside of lesson time. It’s one of our favorite traditions and is TOTALLY worth the hours of my life it takes to organize it.

This year we have 90 children in lessons and about 45 families joining us in the camping adventures. It hailed and rained all day on Monday, but since then we have been enjoying sunshine and blue skies.

I can’t even tell you how fabulous it is to spend a week in the middle of nowhere with all my bestest friends…my children are all surrounded by their favorite friends as well, so it is a great fit for our whole family!

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annesley’s new phrase

May 11, 2011 by

Annesley is pretty much hilarious. At three years old, she has an imagination as high as the sky and loves to tell stories and shock people with her imaginary exploits. She loves calling my mom and telling her all about the bear that attacked us or the crocodile that was at the movie theater or how she became a cat one day and then a horse the next or how she and Fisher fought off the bad guys and then came back after all the bad guys were in jail. She goes on and on and on and most of the time my mom doesn’t know what she is talking about because the stories are so bizarre it is kind of hard to make sense of them.

Anyway, she has a new phrase in her stories…whenever she is surprised in her story she will say “WHAT THE COW!” I couldn’t figure it out for awhile, but then my mom explained it must be a combination of “holy cow” and “what the heck”…so if you need a new, I-am-so-shocked phrase, try it out. Maybe it will become all the rage!

What the cow!

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another black hamster

Apr 19, 2011 by

This morning we took off on a spur of the moment trip to find a new dwarf hamster for Keziah…she chose the brother of Corrie. At least we think it is a brother…it is pretty difficult to tell males and females…but this one acts much different than Corrie did. He is not nearly as cuddly, he makes a strange zipping noise, and he poops a lot. So, we are thinking he is a boy.

Keziah is deciding on names right now. She can’t decide between Peter, Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Zazu, Rhino, Balthazar Blake, and a few trillion more. I am hoping she chooses a name I can live with and not some movie sorcerer’s name.

She has moved the cage on top of her bookshelf so Sadie can’t reach it and she is not allowing Sadie to be in her room unattended. We are really, really hoping this plan works.

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He looks a lot like Corrie, but Keziah says he is lots bigger. I don’t think he is nearly as adorable, but maybe he will grow on me.

While we were in town we had a stop at Great Harvest, a fairly frigid picnic that turned into a great visit with a friend who has been trying to ask me questions about TJED for months, and a trip to the library. I am going to start reading Human Accomplishment : The Pursuit of Excellence In The Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 by Charles Murray and I checked out Chancy and the Grand Rascal and Mountain Born to read to my children. Anyone read these? Are they worth our time? I am also reading Understanding the Times by David Noebel, I Am The Clay by Chaim Potok, and The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien. I need more time to read!

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goodbye corrie

Apr 19, 2011 by

Last night during dinner clean-up, tragedy struck. Sadie, our black lab, killed Corrie. We don’t know exactly what happened, but we think she wanted to play with her like she had seen Keziah play with her. She knocked her cage over and Corrie got out and then it looked like Sadie tried to lick her or pick her up with her mouth. We strongly believe she wasn’t trying to kill her, there were no teeth marks and she didn’t eat her or anything. We think she was just so curious about this new creature that everyone was spending time with, that she wanted to spend time with her, too.

But, we don’t really know.

Last night’s planned Family Home Evening on Easter week and the events at the temple following Palm Sunday, quickly turned into a funeral, Keziah sobbing for over an hour, a lesson on the miracle of the resurrection and the great gift that Jesus has given each of us, and a quick run through the drive through at Arctic Circle for a dipped cone. As Keziah cried, we talked about other people we love who have died and Richard and I shared our thoughts on death. We were able to speak of the great peace that comes because we know death is not permanent. We will live again.

I am so sad for Keziah. She has been working and praying for a hamster for over six months. She only had Corrie for two days before she died and last night she said she should never have pets because they always die. I asked her which of her animals have died and she rattled of a whole list of them, including four cats named Atticus. I had somehow forgotten that most of the animals we have had that have been hers have died. Owls have gotten most of them. It is really unfortunate because she is certainly the most responsible animal caretaker of all our children. I don’t really know what to do to help her broken heart heal. I will listen for the whisperings of the Spirit today to tell me what she needs. I hope the reality of the resurrection and the love of her Savior can mend the gaping wound.

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meet corrie

Apr 18, 2011 by

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Corrie Esther Rhino Hami that is…

Corrie after one of Keziah’s heroes, Corrie ten Boom

Esther after Queen Esther…another of her heroes

Rhino after the hamster in Bolt????? Haven’t seen it, but that is what I am hearing.

Hami because Keziah and Eve think it is oh, so adorable.

I love the name Corrie and, of course, you can never go wrong with Esther, but Rhino and Hami are quite bizarre in my book…but it is not my hamster and I never, ever, not in a million years wanted one in my house, so I don’t have any pull with the naming crew.

Keziah is in love. She can hardly contain herself. She has kept her room absolutely spotless for weeks and been saving her money up for months and those were the two tasks she and her papa agreed upon for her to be allowed to have a hamster. Then, by a series of lovely coincidences, a family in our homeschool group sent out an email saying she had free hamsters ready for adoption and another lady in the same group said she would give Keziah their old cage. Keziah was beyond excited. I was dumbfounded. I never thought she would be able to keep her room spotless and I never thought she would be able to earn enough money, but somehow she has done both and now I have a rodent living in my house.

A pretty cute rodent, though.

All of the children are in love with little Corrie and supposedly these little dwarf hamsters are a piece of cake to take care of and don’t stink at all, so we will see what the next week brings us in terms of mess, smell, and time, but for now, she is a keeper.

At least that is the vote of six members of this household…I’m still on the fence!

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annesleyisms

Apr 14, 2011 by

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Annesley is pure delight. She brings me joy every single day. Right now she is obsessed with swimming in the bath tub. Our tub is so big she can stand in it and dive to the bottom. Then she turns around and around and around under the water like a seal. She loves it and loves showing everyone who will watch just how long she can stay under the water.

During today’s bath, she said so many cute things…here is a sampling:

This is an enormous, dangerous problem! Want to see the enormous, dangerous problem?

Isn’t that amazing!

I am amazing!

Can you even believe it? I am amazing!

Are you ready for this dangerous thing? It is the most dangerous thing of all!

Watch! Watch! Watch! Mom, are you watching me? I am going to do a dangerous thing!

I am NOT ready to get out of the bath! I am swimming.

It is my swimming time. You can just leave me in here.

Did you see that amazing thing? It WAS A-MAAAAAAAAZZZZZZING!

While she was in there I said I love you and she said “No, you don’t!” with a big playful grin. I said “Oh, yes I do! I gave birth to you!” She said “No, you didn’t” with another big playful grin. Then I said, “Oh, yes, I did! You were in my uterus and then you came out and you were born in my birth pool and then I nursed you.” She said “Yes, yes, yes! I liked that. I want to do that again! Can I be borned again?”

I love you mom, I love you mom, I love you mom, I love you mom! Do you know how much I love you?

Oh my, she cracks me up!

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my first sundress

Apr 10, 2011 by

I think this may very well be the first piece of clothing I have made for anyone all by myself. If not, it is DEFINITELY the first piece of clothing that is wearable. So wearable that Keziah wore it to church today! Woo-hoo for me!!!!

Granted, most of the work was already done on this pre-smocked yardage and all I had to do was cut the fabric, sew a seam, make the straps, sew them on, and hem it, but just those so-called simple tasks were nearly enough to do me in. As soon as I started cutting, I nearly gave up because my cutting skills are severely lacking and somehow I cut big gashes out of the fabric due to the volume of the skirt part folding over on itself…luckily you can’t even tell now. Pinning the two sides together was a frustrating task due to the poor cutting, but working together, Keziah and I got it to work. I created my own plan for the straps and they turned out quite well. I tried to sew them onto the top smocking lines, but I missed on three of the seams. I figured it out by the last one. I am super proud of the hem – it is quite straight!

Keziah loves the end result and I am happy as can be that she spent $9.50 on fabric and actually has a dress she can wear!

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Let’s hear a collective “Hurrah!” for me!

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meet rhino

Apr 5, 2011 by

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Rhino is the newest member of our family. He is a hamster and the nifty ball with ginormous holes is his home. Personally, I think he looks like a green plastic lizard, but Fisher insists that he is a hamster…named Rhino.

What a silly and adorable boy he is!

This week he has also created several things out of cups.

Here is Eli, the snake:

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And here is his prized possession…Larry Boy with Super-Suction Ears.

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He is building, creating, or imagining constantly…can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

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make ‘n’ break

Mar 30, 2011 by

Tonight I pulled out a game to play (all I really wanted to do was go to bed, but I decided to focus on the question “how does it feel?” and decided my children needed some feel-good attention from their mama and papa tonight) and we had so much fun. We have had this game for years, but it hasn’t gotten much use lately. My Math Alive! boys love it and I thought maybe it was time for my own children to play with it as well.

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What a hit!

The game has cards with pictures on it and ten solid wood blocks to make into the picture on the card. You race against the timer and get points for how many pictures you complete each turn. Ravensburger products are some of our favorite because they always have high-quality pieces built to withstand the test of time.

Fisher, Annes, and Kez (Blythe was gone to her Financial Peace class) all loved it. We had a wonderful hour playing together and it was exactly what we needed to reconnect after the last week of crazy schedules, mama being gone a lot, sewing a lot, and everyone being kind of grouchy to one another. Keziah was super fabulous at putting towers up speedily and to my great surprise, Fisher was really good at constructing the different diagrams. His building skills have skyrocketed since Christmas when he was given his first Lego set by our amazing Secret Santa. Annes was as enthusiastic as ever and wanted to have a turn every thirty seconds or so.

All the kids begged to play tomorrow during school time, so I will pull it out again in the morning. It is a great spatial math game and also develops dexterity and sequencing skills. Can’t wait!

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blowing bubbles

Mar 29, 2011 by

While I sewed Daniel’s quilt yesterday, four of our friends came over to play. Fisher, Annes, Abby, and Zach spent a lot of time outside in the cold blowing bubbles. They were having so much fun I sent Blythe out to take their pictures. Somehow Abby didn’t end up in any of the pictures, but trust me, she was having a blast!

Notice my children’s attire…not quite appropriate for the temps, but they didn’t seem to mind the cold, so I let them have their fun.

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tjed family forum

Mar 22, 2011 by

tjed family forum

This past weekend, our family had the blessing once again to attend the TJED Family Forum. I think we have attended this event every year since it began and it always proves to be full of inspiration and renewal…the perfect shot in the arm at the end of a dreary winter! I had a very busy day working at the Forum and taking care of endless details to help the Forum go off without a snag, but it was still wonderful to visit with old friends, get lots of ginormous hugs, and be inspired by the little bits and pieces of the classes I was able to attend.

I am pretty swamped this week with loving on Daniel’s family, teaching a H.O.P.E. class, throwing a Mother Blessing for Sarah, teaching Math Alive!, teaching gym, shuttling youth to Shakespeare, and attending Daniel’s funeral on Saturday, so I am just going to copy my mom’s pics of the Family Ball so ya’ll can vicariously enjoy our fun.

Fisher danced with me one time and spent the rest of the time drawing various varieties of fish. Richard danced with me for about thirty seconds (see he is not completely perfect!) and took excellent care of Fisher while I visited with lots of friends. Annesley twirled the night away with anyone who came near her. The big girls all had a wonderful time and looked lovely as can be. I had a wonderful visit with my friend, Lani, and mom took pictures and then went back to the hotel and slept for awhile before we crashed in on her and interrupted her slumber.

Thank you to my mom for helping make this weekend magical. We couldn’t do it without you!

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i’d rather be homeschooled

Feb 24, 2011 by

Keziah, Eve, Fisher, Annesley, and Christopher (our little friend who spends Thursday mornings with us) have been playing house today. Keziah and Eve are the mamas and the three little ones are the children. They have built a huge fort for their house and the mamas are taking very good care of the children. They are also doubling as school teachers. A few minutes ago, I overheard this conversation…so cute!

Keziah: Isn’t Fisher supposed to be at school?

Eve: Yes, he is. He is not listening very well today. Fisher, you need to go to school.

Fisher: What school do I go to?

Eve: The one in the hallway.

Fisher: Aahh, I’d really rather be homeschooled.

So funny! My children crack me up!

I’m so grateful to be able to homeschool my children. I’m grateful to be able to share my days with them and to watch their minds and hearts grow. I’m grateful to be able to guide them. I’m grateful to be able to help them understand things in their own way. I’m grateful for our Lincoln Logs, Duplos, Tinker Toys, unit blocks, playsilks, big maps, endless books, math manipulatives, audio books, art supplies, and fort making materials. Some people design their homes around entertainment, some around technology, some around sports…I am grateful to be able to design ours around learning. I’m grateful they have time to play and use their imaginations. I’m grateful to be able to pray with them over breakfast, during school time, over lunch, over dinner, at night, and often many times in between. I’m grateful…even on the busy, busy days full of Shakespeare rehearsals, Spanish classes, Liberty Girls, and violin lessons…I am grateful.

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climbing trees

Feb 21, 2011 by

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Keziah loves climbing trees, but I think this is the first time she has climbed one in full winter gear. She is one daring girl!

The branches on our trees are small, weak, and break easily, so as she climbed, branches were falling all over the place. I really thought we might be dealing with an emergency room visit from a 25 foot fall, but somehow she made it up and down several times without any mishaps!

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more fisherisms

Feb 20, 2011 by

I was gone this weekend to an amazing Crucial Confrontations training. I will share more on that later…just want to let you know I am alive and well and have MUCH to digest, ponder, and work to implement. As I was reconnecting with each of my children, I asked them various questions about their weekend. One of the things I wanted to talk to Fisher about was his reciting of a scripture at church today. Our conversation cracked me up!

Me: How did your scripture go in Primary today?

Fisher: Pretty good.

Me: Tell me about it.

Fisher: Well, I almost threw up.

Me: Threw up? Why did you almost throw up?

Fisher (with an air of being annoyed at having to inform me of something so obvious): You know about that food that keeps coming up into my mouth?!?

Me (trying not to giggle): Yes, I know about how throw-up works, I am wondering why you almost threw up.

He didn’t have an answer for me. He just kept telling me about other things in Primary and we moved on to other things, so I don’t know if he was scared stiff, just a titch nervous, or if the almost-throw-up was completely unrelated to his scripture recitation.

He is so hilarious to me. He says the funniest things. I mean, why on earth would he tell me his scripture went pretty good (why doesn’t he know to say “well” instead of “good”, who is his grammar teacher anyway?) when he really felt like throwing up?

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so blessed

Feb 14, 2011 by

Last night Blythe and I attended a youth fireside together. The speaker was a recovering drug and alcohol addict who has spent 13 years in prison, been a major drug dealer in our area making 40K a day (A DAY!!!), and been involved in disgusting, demeaning, and demoralizing activities since he was ten years old. His story was heartbreaking.

Afterwards, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my 14-year-old daughter. She has a completely different life than the life this man has had. He left home when he was 14. She is here under my roof. His parents didn’t know where he was from the ages of 14 – 24. I know where she is every minute of every day. He didn’t speak to his parents for YEARS. We have wonderful conversations on a nearly daily basis and at least some semblance of a conversation every single day. She is not tempted by drugs or alcohol at all. She is virtuous, modest, compassionate, dedicated to her goals, beautiful, fun, deep-thinking, obedient to God, and mostly grateful for her life.

She is everything he was not.

Yes, I am blessed.

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fisherisms

Jan 29, 2011 by

I’m just having the hardest life ever.

I have to wait for millions of days for my birthday.

I am thinking my life would be better if I was like eight or something.

My idea didn’t work out. It was supposed to work out.

Why does everybody else get to go to parties?

Why don’t I get to invite people to my birthday parties?

I never get to do anything.

There’s nothing for me to eat. I haven’t had anything to eat today.

I only get to see Trey on Fridays. Why does everybody else get to see their friends more than me?

In case you are wondering…there is food and he has eaten and he is not starving or having the hardest life ever. He is having an Eoyore moment.

Another fish for his collection

Maybe he needs to go fishing…

Here are the optimistic things he said today:

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I made a little house for my lion! He loves his little house!

I been thinking about this idea.

Some of my idea is working.

Do you want to hear about my idea? Yeah, I have an idea that I been thinking about.

I have an idea. My idea is to have Annesley sleep in Keziah’s room one day and to sleep with me the next day. What do you think of that idea?

I guess, it’s not all bad since there are still some happy things coming out of his mouth.

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those little moments to remember

Jan 17, 2011 by

All children say hilarious or precious things we want to remember. My mother has been telling me for years to write them down and I almost always forget. We have had several in the last few days and I am going to put them on here so they are safely recorded for the annals of history.

Fisher sitting in church in his adorable olive green suit, white shirt, and orange, blue, green, and brown striped tie (one of his Christmas ties) said, “Whenever I put on my Sunday clothes I get a itch!”

Annesley picked out the opening song for Family Home Evening tonight and said we were singing “The God Who Is Going Away In A Manger.” We all tried so hard not to laugh out loud and embarrass her.

Annesley after Sacrament meeting yells to Keziah, who was trying to help her, in her VERY loud voice “NO! I AM GOING TO MY CLASS!” Yep, the whole congregation heard her.

Fisher taught Family Home Evening tonight and he was so serious about the whole thing. He acted as if he were conducting General Conference (worldwide meeting of our church) instead of our little family gathering. He committed all of us to be better followers of the commandments. In all seriousness he looked me in the eye and said “Mom, will you try hard to do better at paying your tithing this week?”

Pretty darn cute!

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another new girl

Jan 16, 2011 by

There is confusion floating around and I am here to solve it for you! We have two new girls at our home. One is this new creature that is waking up in the morning all on her own and one is our visitor, Eve. She is here doing a semester abroad to our homeschool. We are having so much fun with her and can’t wait to get a good routine all set up to create a magical love of learning environment for our two ten year old girlies. Eve is such a delight to have in our home. She is cheerful, helpful, creative, curious, a hard worker, loves to play games, loves to play hard…we love her to pieces!

She is taking all sorts of classes with us, reading books, attending colloquia, is in Liberty Girls, and is having a blast talking to Keziah all night long. I have always said I need more children and if borrowing them from wonderful cousins is the only way to get them, then I am going to beg! We are so grateful to Eve’s parents for letting her have an extended stay at our home and we promise with no fingers crossed behind our backs that we are taking great care of her.

Here are some old pics of Eve and Keziah…best cousins, just like their mamas were!

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a new girl

Jan 16, 2011 by

We have a new girl at our house! She was up bright and early this morning, all on her own. She turned her alarm clock off instead of me yanking the cord out of the wall after it has buzzed for HOURS. When I dragged myself out of bed to get everyone ready for church she was already dressed and ready! She ate breakfast! She moved all the snow off the suburban. She helped all morning! She was the first one to the car instead of the usual last one. She took notes all during church. She was cheerful.

Wow!

I don’t know what has happened to work this mighty change, but I hope it sticks around!

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