Friday, January 27, 2012

What's Up

I haven't posted much recently just about the kiddos.  It's amazing how much they're growing, maturing, or not...  I try to hold onto each moment, hide memories somewhere in the recesses of my brain, and yet, one minute later, it's gone. 

I feel like I'm losing the day-to-day memories.  Those everyday kinda things.

Thankfully, I know that they have spent their day solely with me.  I have invested in their education, they're character, their spirits from the minute they wake up in the morning until they fall asleep at night.

Even if tomorrow I won't remember exactly what we did.

And thankfully I have the habit of writing down those funny little things the kids say or do on scraps of paper and then transferring them here.  Even if I forget, I can check the blog and have my memory refreshed.

So here are some things the kids are saying and doing:

Yesterday Livvy just lost her 4th tooth - she was soooo excited!  This picture is when Dad pulled the first of her top teeth.  I haven't gotten a picture yet with both of her front teeth missing.

She's is in the 1st/2nd grade and has read all of the Little House on the Prairie books, by herself.  She loves to read!  We allow her to read for 20-30 minutes after everybody's 8pm bedtime.  She's been known to read past the alarm that we have set to tell her it's bedtime and then lose her reading privileges for a night or two.  Crazy that I've had to say, "You're not allowed to read tomorrow night."

She loves math, science and history.  We just started studying America's Historical Landmarks which she's really enjoying.

She loves to put on her apron and help me make dinner. 
She does all of the laundry by herself (except that everybody puts away their own clothes).  She actually enjoys it!  It's so nice to have an "older kid" that can really help out.

 Livvy is a huge help with Jonathan.  She loves to be his "second mommy".  She can get him dressed, wash him up after a meal, and entertain him.  She's not so good at changing diapers, and won't even attempt it if it's poopy.

Even though we're working on her tendency to be a bit bossy, she generally plays really well with the boys.  She ends up playing more one on one with Sammy - those two will lose themselves in a game for an hour at least.  If Ben's involved, there's usually a conflict at some point that needs to be addressed.

Here are some things Livvy has said over the past months:
"I want to be a missionary mommy."

After an afternoon of fishing in OH:  " wasn't fun."

"But Mommy, I don't want Jonathan to grow up.  I want him to be a baby forever."

In OH after discussing the local Amish and then seeing a black squirrel for the first time:  "The squirrels are Amish."

Sammy is my fun-loving, hard-working little man!  For the most part, he does all his chores super quick without complaining - even checking the chickens in the snow.  He just says, "Sure, Mom."

Even though he's getting big, he still our huggy, sensitive guy.  He loves to get hugs and pass them out. 

Sammy is just starting Kindergarten material.  He loves math and I should have started him on his curriculum months ago, but didn't think he was ready.  I finally clued in when he started telling me what (2) 3's, (2) 4's, (2) 5's were out of the blue.

He's a bit of a reluctant reader, but I'm looking into a new curriculum that I think will make the process more fun.  I'm really trying to take a step back and not pressure him.  He will read when he's ready.  I just want to give him the right tools so that when he wants to start reading all those Spider-Man adventure books he keeps checking out at the library, he'll be able to take off just like Livvy did.

Sammy loves cheetahs!  He loves pretending to be a cheetah when playing house with Livvy or just on his own. 

Every now and then Sammy and Ben will really get into playing monster trucks or some "boy" game together.  But, unfortunately they still have more squabbles than not.  I'm praying that as they both get older they will gain wisdom, and develop some self-control and kindness toward each other so that they will play better together.  Either that or they'll end up killing each other.

Here's some quotes from Sammy:

Fishing in OH:  "I'm ready for you fishy.  Probably I'll catch a big one.  You're no match for me."

Right before being disciplined:  " I love you, Mommy."
Me: "I love you too Sammy.  That's why we're doing this."

"Probably it was a minute or an hour ago.  Probably an hour.  But I don't know the difference from minutes and hours."

Discussing dessert options after saying he was full from dinner:  "But candy isn't food."

"Mama, can I play Angry Birds?"

Oh my...what to say about Ben.  He's a super cute, curly-headed, independent, stubborn, polite, cuddly, sweet, temperamental little guy.  Yes, he takes after me, I admit it.  Just ask my mom.

He loves Jonathan!  Maybe a little too much.  I repeatedly have to say, "Gentle, Ben.  Gentle."  And then usually Jon ends up crying and Ben is told to go love on somebody else.

He does very well playing by himself, and generally has trouble playing with others.  Although he is getting better. 

He gives great hugs.  He loves undivided attention and especially sitting on laps.
His favorite book is, Where the Wild Things Are.

Ben really loves music, singing and dancing.  He really, really wants a guitar.  I told him that we'll get him one once he stops throwing his toys down in anger.  So far that hasn't been enough incentive for him to control his temper.

Here are some Ben sayings:

"Where's us goin'?"

"I welcome."

Me: "Ben, stay close to Mommy.  Cars can't see you."
Ben:  "Cars don't have eyes."

Tom:  "Ben, would you please stop kicking my chair?"
Ben:  "Sure, Dad."

Jonathan is officially crawling!  He looks like a little wind-up doll crawling around the house because he's still pretty little.  He's so cute!  He's been so entertained the last two days by exploring his expanding world.  He's been down the hall, into the schoolroom, and even checked out the oven's warming drawer.  Now the fun and training begins.
He's still a super sweet easy-going baby.  He's truly a blessing and gift from God.

Jon's babblings:

"Aahh!  Ahh!"

"Abbba bba!"

"Pppllltt!  Ppllt!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Mom's Morning Coffee

This was forwarded to me from a friend.  It's too true!
If you give a mom a muffin,
She’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She’ll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She’ll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she’ll find dirty socks.
She’ll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She’ll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She’ll look for her cookbook (“101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger”).
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She’ll smell something funny.
She’ll change the two year old’s diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She’ll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are…
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

So Here I Sit...

Nibbling on a homemade chocolate chip cookie - yummy.  OK I had two, not "a".
Listening to news reels on Tim Tebow that Tom is engaged in - He's totally on the Tim Tebow bandwagon.   I guess I'm jumping on too, today's game was fun.  "This kid is a play-maker...He's shattered the mold...Turn him loose..."  :)



So far I'm feeling really good about our "family logistics".  I've got several things in place that are really helping with chores for the kids and meal-planning. 

Since I love it when a friend shares their latest and greatest method for doing something, I thought I'd share mine here.

I found this idea for chores on somebody else's blog.  I took a picture of all the chores that need to be done and then glued them to some colored card stock - yellow for daily, orange for weekly, pink, green or blue for kid specific chores (Livvy is pink/purple, Sammy is green, and Ben is blue).  I laminated them at our local teacher supply store, punched a hole in the top, and put the appropriate color ring around each child's set of chores, starting with morning chores and ending with afternoon chores.  They hang on our dry erase board from a magnetic organizer that I bought at Office Max.

We've had the system in place for almost two months now and it's really working.  I don't have to remember what needs to be done each morning, I just remind the kids to check their chore pack and then they run off and complete each one. 

Sammy loves racing through his to be the first done.  If one does finish their chores before the others, I have them help a brother or sister finish their chore pack.

As far as meal-planning goes, I just followed the advice from Large Family Logistics and made a monthly menu.  You take a blank month, fill in everyday with a meal, work your way from the first Sunday of a month to the last day, and then start all over again.  I've only had it in place for a week now, but it has already removed the stress of "what's-for-dinner". 

The one I made is a winter menu.  Once summer come around I'll probably make another one that includes more "summer" meals.

I tried to stick with meals that are pretty simple to make, but also have one meal a week that requires a little bit more prep time.  Of course, Mondays is still a pasta, Tuesdays have a Mexican theme to them, and pizza on Fridays.

It's been a great start to the year so far.

Now, if I could just get a better system in place for school we'll be set.  Any ideas?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jonathan - 9 Months

Again...another month has come and gone.  How is it that my little baby is now 9 months old?  Granted he still looks like he's maybe 6 or 7 months, but he's starting to act more and more his age. 

Just this past week he's shown signs that he'll be crawling soon.  Once he figures out the crawling thing I know life will never be the same again.  Now's when the real fun begins - training the baby. 

We're not into "baby-proofing" our house (except for dangerous things, of course) or moving the baby away from what they were told not to touch.  We "house-proof" our babies.  From a very early age babies can start learning self-control and learning to listen and obey mom and/or dad.  We've already seen Jonathan battle his will and learn to submit to our authority.  He's kinda cute as he decides if he's going to spit his food again or just eat it.  When he listens and obey he's praised by the whole family.  It's real good stuff.