Monday, February 24, 2014

Cause and effect

One of my children, who shall remain nameless (even if you guess), came bounding through the doorway from the kitchen into the playroom the other day.

There was a trip and a fall, and the clunk of the metal Wall-E lunchbox someone had left in the floor.

"I HATE LUNCHBOXES!" nameless child exclaimed to no one in particular. 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

We Make a Scene Simply By Showing Up

As a general rule, I try not to take my homeschooled large-family brood out in public during the school day. We're not doing anything illegal here, but it's just best not to draw attention to yourselves if you don't have to, ya know?

But, Alan had labs one morning this week and we were two days past the point of needing to buy groceries, we went. We paraded in the front doors of WalMart and began loading a cart with small children. The greeter, after a friendly greeting, of course, bugged her eyes a little and asked "Is school out!?" 

I smiled and laughed, "No, we homeschool."

Meanwhile, she was counting heads. "How many you got!? 5??" 

"Yes ma'am. I guess you don't see a crowd like us come in too often, huh?"

To which she waved a hand at me and answered, "Oh, I had 6."

Alrighty, then.

A little more banter with our new greeter friend (including the usual "just one girl!?"), and we were off to buy some groceries. We didn't get very far before we were drawing more attention.

"Are these all yours?" an almost-but-not-quite-elderly lady asked.

"Yes ma'am!" I answered with a smile.

She tickled Daniel's foot dangling from the seat of the cart and said, "I could just take one of these boys home with me!" 

As she walked away I made an obligatory remark about having plenty of boys, to which she replied, "Mine are gone."

"Oh?" I asked, expecting a comment about them growing up and leaving her.

"Yeah, they died."

With that she disappeared around the end of the bakery display leaving me mumbling my stammered sympathies.

I'm proud of our 5 kids, but mercy it's simpler shopping alone. Not only do you not have to answer nearly as many questions, you also don't end up getting talked into buying clearance breakfast pastries!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sticky Situation

By the time bedtime rolls around, I am done. Done.

We make it through pjs and prayers, and hugs and kisses, and 9 times out of 10 I'll tuck everyone in nice and snug.  But after that I consider myself off duty. Any child reappearing after the last 'goodnights' are said most likely isn't going to get much.

Even so, some child or another is often popping back in.  One night last week it was Alan.

"There is something gooey under my pillow."

Greg and I looked at him blankly. "Get a towel from the cabinet and put it under your pillow and we'll take care of it tomorrow," his daddy instructed him.

Alan went off obediently, only to show back up several minutes later.

He held out a small red plastic cup, one of the ones the kids use for orange juice at breakfast. "I just found another clue to the gooey mystery", he announced, stretching out the cup for me to see.

It had - at some point in recent history - been half-full of school glue. Now just the white wet gooey residue remained.

Oh dear.

This would be a good time to mention that Alan and Tyler share the full-sized bottom bunk.

The next morning involved a questioning of the primary suspect: the boy who naps (and sometimes just hangs out - ahem) in that bed in the afternoons; a stripping of the sheets - that were now stuck to the mattress pad in several dry crusty spots; and a search of the area for more evidence or damage. None was immediately found.

Later in the afternoon, Alan triumphantly produced the tell-tale orange screw-top lid of a glue bottle. I returned to the scene for a more thorough search and found a rather large glue puddle waaaaay back in the back corner, on Alan's side, thankfully mostly contained on an extra board stored under the bed.

We finally obtained a confession from the non-napping 4 year old napper. At the time of this writing, the (I assume) empty bottle is still missing.

Glue projects are on hold until further notice.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two wrongs may not make a right...

...but sometimes they can lead to one.

Tonight Dale was cleaning up the supper dishes and, in true 10-year-old fashion, carried Brooklyn's plate to the next room. He wanted to know if he could eat her leftovers. 

And, in true 10-year-old fashion, he dropped the plate, food side down.

Fortunately for the carpet, most of the food landed on Brooklyn's blanket. This, however, was more of an unfortunate development for the hour before bedtime. Said blanket should have been safe in its bed, not the playroom floor.

THE blanket, the ONE that we MUST have for sleeping, was now dirty. :-/

We proceeded with our bedtime routine as usual. When I tucked Brooklyn into bed I gave her a sweet, soft little blanket printed with pastel cupcakes. When she balked, I talked to her like a big girl and reminded her the other blanket was dirty. (She had seen and noticed it herself.)

The age 4 and up crowd sat together in the next room and finished our bedtime prayers, but we could all hear Brooklyn crying in her bed for her blanket.

As soon as the last 'Amen' was said and the boys all scattered for last minute hugs and potty stops, I looked up to see Dale with a wet soapy paper towel and a certain gingham and flower print purple blanket, scrubbing away.

A little spot cleaning and he presented his sister with THE blanket she needed. 

I love that boy. He's alright, you know.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back to School

Today marked our second day back into school full-swing since the Christmas break, and, if I'm being honest, since the move! We've definitely had full school days since moving, but we are into something now we can settle in to and get lots done for weeks to come, hopefully.

After over two weeks of no routine or structure, yesterday was ah-MAZ-ing! Then today was a harder day, maybe from adding the 5th kid into the mix? (Alan was gone most of Monday for a scheduled checkup.) At any rate, we stuck with the plan the whole way through both days.

Our day is sectioned into half hour blocks. We try to keep things moving by the clock, but don't sweat it if we get off. It happens. The important thing is to keep marching through the list of things to get done!

I wake Dale up at 6:30 for him to shower and do his "Morning Jobs". He begins his first round of school work after that. Alan is up at 7 for his shower and Morning Jobs while I make breakfast. Daddy gets home from his bus route between 7:30-7:45 and we all have breakfast together before he goes to class at 8.

After breakfast, Dale and Alan have personal Bible reading/devotion time and study their Awanas lessons. Tyler washes the breakfast plates or bowls. I dress Daniel and Brooklyn and then finish the breakfast dishes while Tyler dresses.

We all work together on some cleaning up, particularly the playroom, then have Bible time all together. We are going book by book. We started in Genesis in August and began Joshua yesterday. 

Dale then goes off to notebook that day's Bible story and Alan joins Tyler and Brooklyn and me for preschool time. While I stand by the belief that preschool isn't "necessary" I also believe it is fun and does have a lot of good. A consistent preschool time has been missing in our days since we moved, so I'm really happy to get back to it! We are using Hubbard's Cupboard, a favorite from both Dale and Alan's preschool days.

That brings us up to 10:00am. Are you bored silly yet? I'll spare you the rest for now.  We are all happier being back into a routine and having productive days again. Even so, I may have to make room in the schedule tomorrow for some outside time. It will be the first time in 2 days we've gotten above freezing! Brr! And, construction has begun on the new playground almost outside our back door, so we have to walk over and check that out!

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13

So....when I had the goal to blog 25 days of Christmas, I kind of also had it in my head that we would do a little something Christmas every day.

Today....not so much.

Except biscuits. I made and froze 37 sausage-cheese biscuits to bring to our Christmas week get-together. 

It rained almost all day.

We had hot dogs for supper. Again.

Dale is still working on division.

I got our game closet cleaned out/reorganized. How unimportant is that 11 days before Christmas??  But it is kind of part of the bigger project of rearranging and setting up a schoolroom/guestroom. So. There ya go.

The kids watched waaay too much tv today. There was  Toy Story marathon on. They soaked up a lot of that, while also channel hopping over to PBS to catch some Curious George (Alan's a fan, lol) and then we topped it all off with the Grinch. The real one, from 1967, not the Jim Carey one that is on tv every.other.night.

Now it's 10:00 and Alan can't get to sleep. Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that he watched FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS of television this evening. 

Mercy...we're going to need a brain and body cleanse tomorrow. TV and hot dogs. Tomorrow we'll do better. 

Lamest blog post ever, but I didn't want to skip a day. :)

(And we did do our One Wintry Night reading. Today was actually THE big story, of "The First Christmas". Bethlehem, Manger, Shepherds, Angels. A precious 20 minutes spent together.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 12

Today seemed like a really busy day! Not sure what filled it up, but I don't think I slowed down much. And that's a good thing.

Breakfast this morning was homemade biscuits and fried eggs. I don't like fried eggs. But I like frying them, and everyone else likes eating them, so we still have them. 

Our One Wintry Night reading was about how God prepared the world and chose the exact time for Jesus to be born. The Roman rule of so much of the world, including Israel, made so many elements just right for he birth of the Messiah. We also read about Mary's gentle obedience to God's will for her, her trust in His angel messenger, and her song of praise.

Today's big event was our local Christmas parade! It had to be rescheduled twice because of weather, but I guess the third time was the charm! 
Random parade float. I loved the smoking fireplace/chimney!

The weather tonight was clear and cold, but not too cold. Just cold enough that everyone was ready for a cup of hot chocolate when we got home!

During our Bible reading time (Mary's song again - I love it when things work out like that!) I showed Brooklyn the magic of laying under a Christmas tree. Tyler couldn't resist joining in. :)