Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Getting creative with a relctant student.

We started Homsechooling this past week. My oldest has decided after two days she just doesn't like her English curriculum. I understand each student learns differently and some times it just doesn't click. Writing is her weakest subject, and important part of this years lessons. Monday morning, we were trying to work thru her lesson and she was putting no effort into following it. Slumped over skimming the page and blowing thru the three pages of sample paragraphs in record time she declares she is done. I proceed to ask her questions and she can't answer one blasted thing written on those pages!

It being the last lesson of the day I got frustrated (I'm not perfect!) and I banished her from our work area. She stormed off, slammed her door behind her and threw herself on her bed. I took my time cooling off and thinking of a solution. I don't have a back-up plan for curriculum, and need to do a little more research on an alternative. I am not made out of money and don't wish to go thru five programs before finding one that works for her. Then it hits me!! If she knows it all give her a chance to prove it. I gained entrance into her room and we discuss her dislikes for the program. I asked for a few weeks to research another program and she agreed, but that didn't fix the here and now, the lesson that I felt was the building blocks for the rest of the weeks lessons.

"E do you feel you understand today's lesson"
She nods
"Well then I want you to write me a short sample essay on any subject of your choice." (The lesson was on paragraphing)
She nods and returns 45min later with a short essay on the pros and cons of homeschooling. LOL I asked for that!
I got a little insight into her frustrations and how she was feeling, but noticed she hadn't understood the lesson very well, so I wrote her an essay. It was so fun to write. She laughed through most of it :-)

A few people were interested in it, so I thought I would share. I have included it below. It's not perfect! Don't judge, English isn't my strongest subject.
For the time being order has been reestablished.  We understand each other a bit better. She is giving the book a few more weeks while I research an alternative. Being mom isn't easy!

The Secret life of a Super Hero

In every comic book there is a super Hero. One that secretly makes the world a better place, can hear the faintest cry of someone in need, and fixes everything. Then there is the arch enemy, the one that everyone fears and dislikes. They are often ugly, spreading evil and unhappiness throughout the story.

As a mother, I want to be viewed as the Super Hero. I want to shelter my children from the evils of the world, protecting them from danger. I want to empower them with knowledge and confidence. Super Heroes always seem to manage a career and a home life, as Mom i should be able to manage the never ending mountain of laundry and teen hormones, piece of cake! I should be able hear their every cry and anticipate their every need. I especially would appreciate an effortless body that looks good in a skin tight leotard, and never has a hair out of place on my head.

But truth be told my kids see me more as the Villain- their arch enemy. I never do anything right. All the worlds problems are because of something I did/didn't do, or something I created (usually their siblings). I am the last person they want unless they want something. I'm only there to make them look good, but never offered anytime to make myself look good, and when I steal a few moments to be selfish I am under their watch eye and incessant interrogation as to my motives. I live in a dark whole, under the surface of their life. I have few friends. All but one of the things I create is not noteworthy and evil. My ugliness is only masked by my stage make-up, as I will never be as good looking as the neighbour's mom, and I will always have giggly skin around my waist.

Being a Super Hero Mom is not an easy character in life to play. I don't know when they need me. I can't anticipate every evil to enter their lives. I will never look good in a leotard. BUT living life striving to be a Super Hero and failing, is better than simply accepting the role of a villain.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet #2

Tonight I would like to introduce you to my #2 kid, D.
D is my lil man! He is getting too old for me to get all mushy in public, and love on him too much, but he loves it deep down inside. He is also the more modest one of the group, and gets embarrassed when given too much praise.

D was and always has been my easiest kid. He sleeps just enough, he has made it easy to be on a routine, he is so sweet to wake up to. He goes to bed easily and wakes up easily. He is so not a picky eater, he eats just about everything.
This kids loves the outdoors, he connects with nature.  D has always been mesmerized by the movement of nature. He is an animal whisperer. Put the boy outside and he is happy.

This boy is so smart but hates putting any effort into it, unless it is for a great reward. He has the smarts and has never gotten bad grades, however I anticipate his laziness will catch up sometime in middle school or high school.

This kid has a great arm when it comes to throwing a ball, but lacks the coordination to catch, or hit a ball. He has to work at sports, he will never be "the jock" but he is a great assisting guy. He takes the time to learn the game and the skills. Put the boy behind a gun at target shooting and that's a different story. He is a great shot!

He has recently fell in love with the Scouting program and the activity that goes with it. He loves to do things and earn belt loops, go to meetings, build boats, and interact with the other boys. Very goal oriented type of boy.

D is so sensitive. He knows when to give a hug, how to care for the needs of other, the right moment to help and says the sweetest things. He is very selfless, he loves to serve. In school all three of the past years he has been paired with a child with special needs and loved working with them. He often asks if we can offer a fresh loaf of bread or a dozen cookies to a neighbor or friend.
 We love this dude! We wouldn't trade him for anything. He has the most gorgeous dark brown eyes that just glisten.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Needing a late night hobby

I tend to go thru phases where sleep eludes me for several days/weeks. What better time to blog I guess...

I dare not try to get all caught up on the years worth of updates!
Tonight I simply want to express my love for one of my greatest gifts.

E is such a good responsible sport. She loves to be a helper.
She was destined to be the oldest with her nurturing, mothering ways. She loves her siblings, some times a bit over bearing in her love and desire to control them, but she thrives under the responsibility of being the oldest. Life is so much easier with her in it!
Ms. E loves to bake. I think it's a combination of producing a product, being able to deliver them to loving neighbors and seeing their gratitude, and her sweet tooth. She is always looking for new recipes and ways to design something a little out of the ordinary. BUT you must never suggest she cook with fruits or veggies- two words that are not in her vocabulary!
 Ms. E is my biggest help. When I want to workout she distracts the youngers long enough to break a sweat. She's good at filling in gaps that aren't being filled and making family life easy.

She is so much like me! Fortunately, she didn't inherit my figure, my lack of height, or my thin hair. She did however inherit so many of my deep down inside workings. Her desire to make rules that are unnecessary, her desire to please, to be accepted by all, and her willingness to just forgive. She stresses over things befor she does them, adjusts to new situations well. She loves to day dream and dance around her room when no one is looking. She loves to smile and laugh at things. When I get frustrated with her and she with me, I just have to say "Oh E, You are so much like me!" She usually laughs, hugs me and asks me to explain so she can get a deeper understanding of who I am- 
maybe who she is also.
 This Girl can read. For someone that started last year a whole reading level below her grade, she sure picked it up this year! At the end of the school year she tested 2.5yrs above her grade! Last year she could barely keep up with the AR reading requirements, this year she doubled what she needed. Nothing stops this girl! 
She loves when people phrase her. She loves to feel gratified in what she does, she doesn't require gifts or treats, just simple words of phrase is all she needs.
I can hardly believe this girl is so grown up- such a mom thing to say.
This girl is not my best friend, but she is my daughter!
It is so fun doing our hair together, locking ourselves in the bathroom and learn how to apply make-up, to talk about fun things we can do with the younger kids, or talk about horses...
I'd give anything for her to have everything she wants, but instead I try to give her all my love, support, and share with her all my talents so she can develop those of her own.
Ms. E is always by my side willing and ready to make life easier!

~I say this in the most NOT so normal way moms do :-)~
I hope she is blessed with a beautiful daughter just like her!
She may not be perfect, but she is perfect for me.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter

Hope this finds you all well, and happy!
Happy Easter from our bunch
Holidays are a time for family and traditions.
Our Easter traditions are growing, we don't have a lot of Easter traditions but this year we add a new one. We, of course, do a yummy Chocolate bunny, we do egg hunts but they are small unless the neighbor puts them on (2000+ eggs for 20 kids is a ridiculous amount of eggs). 
Here are our other two Easter traditions
They aren't very Christ centered but I think they encourage family relations-

1. This year, we started a new one. Instead of a lot of candy on Easter we got books this year. The kids spent all day reading each other books. It was so fun! I love seeing my kids with their nose in a book they love. (And avoiding a sugar rush)

2. Growing up my Papa always bought us a brand new dress at Easter and Christmas. He once explained it was two of the most special days of the year, a time we need to show our greatest respect for the Savior, and dress our best. So, I have kept the tradition with my own kids. However, last year we refined it. 
We all go shopping and the kids got to help each other out picking out their outfits, trying to encourage them to help each other live with modest dress standards. This may end soon as Dad isn't much of a shopper, and it took forever this year as one certain boy had a case of the crazies and another kid took 75min to try on clothes (dang long legs and trying to dress modest).
I think they did pretty well and they found outfits to show off their personalities!
It was fun to see them comment on each others outfits and want to try clothes on, especially the girls and having the boys oh and ah at them, or turn them around with a definite no. :-)

 This was the one the moment she picked it up.

 This is such a R outfit! HE wasn't digging the typical church shirt, but we found a good compromise.
His first real tie, that he has to learn to tie.
D wouldn't let me take a pic of him by himself. But here's a good one of his outfit. 
He loves dress shirts, he wears them to school every time he has a test, says it brings him good luck. 
Must be true as the boy is a star student!

 After looking long and hard at three stores we finally got the outfit, one that touched the knees. 
My little girls is getting so big. Hard to believe she will be 12 in 6months. 
Dad helped pick out this skirt and was so excited he got to buy this one for her.
 And of course here's the man of my life, my stud!

Well I hope you all had a great weekend remembering the life of Christ and his sacrifice for you. I hope you felt the joy and peace of his love.
Happy Easter!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Case of the Blah's

This past week I have had a serious case of the Blah's.

I don't normally have a hard time getting out of bed (now, that wasn't always the case), or getting in a good workout, or being good about getting things done, this week I'm off. I can't tell if this is the residuals of last weeks serious case of the nasty-icky-sickies, or a case if the end-of-winter-need-sunlight-blues, or maybe the stress of moving. Whatever it is, I have zero desire to do much but eat and sleep. 
I certainly don't want to hear (or admit) what I really need to do.
So maybe I can plug my ears and sing really loud I can avoid reality a little longer
'Laa-laa-laaa! I don't hear you!'

 I need a plan to shake these blues and move on! I need a strategy to win this battle!
Maybe if I verbalize and record my "plan" I might actually do it...

1. Need to run!! Since the treadmill has been banished to the garage while showing the house, I've made every excuse not to use it out there. I workout 4-5xweek, but I need that extra cardio (2x30min/week) to banish my problem areas, and maintain weight. I know what works why don't I just do it?!

2. Banish sugar for a week (starting Monday). I need to detox, this serious sugar kick I have been on needs to stop.
3. Meal plan (now). I've already said it, I need a plan if I want to succeed. Plan 1-2days in advance. Get creative again!!

4. I need to read more! Scriptures, homeschooling books, or fiction, just read, escape, learn, grow.

5. Celebrate the successes and accomplishments no matter home big or small (mental high fives will do, no need to celebrate over chocolate or candies!)

Pardon the photos, the main computer is packed in the moving trailer already, gotta work with what I have on the portables

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A brief synopsis of our summer

It's our first full week of activities and back to school. We survived! We eat meals in the car together two nights of the week and we shuttle off to one activity or another, and we do homework in the car one night of the week. I am grateful for DVD players in the van, iPods, iPads, and iPhones that connect to the van's system for those moments there is nothing to do but wait on whoever is running here and there. Between tutoring, two in horse riding, two in piano, one in gymnastics, one in basketball, pre-school, helping out in the kids classrooms, activity girls, Youth group, dentist/orthodontist appointments and my daily workout group on top of the every day list of things that need to get done, I feel like I am always on the run-BUT I wouldn't have it any other way! I have had to step it up on my meal planning, cleaning schedule, and organization but it is coming together.

Since I've last blogged my sister and my nephew came to visit, I did a week at girls camp while my sister tended my kids (she'll never agree to do that agree LOL), after a few kids summer camps we, my sister and I with with five monsters, made our way to Utah for a short visit, attended J's family reunion, spent time with his folks, met the newest niece, then we packed up the van again and headed north to the Mother Country to visit my family. We had our own mini reunion (my parents and siblings) and made lots of fun memories being tourists. We reconnected with many old friends and had plenty of wonderful play dates. My sister and nephew went back home, we stayed for a few more weeks then packed up the van again and drove home.

It's the first part of the deployment I don't have any plans or distractions to keep me looking forward to whats coming next. It seems like complete chaos in no particular direction. Each kid is dealing with the lack of distractions and new schedule in their own way-some good and some not so good. They certainly keep me on my toes! I stress most days and get overwhelmed just thinking about the plans after deployment. We will have 90-ish days to sell the house. There is so much I'd like to tidy and do to the house before putting it on the market but need an extra set of hands and an extra brain to do it all. It is too over whelming for me to think of so I avoid it, not the best coarse of action...

All in all we are holding it together. We are over the hump, half way thru this deployment. I am hoping with all the hustle and bustle of everyday life this last half will fly by! We miss our soldier boy and want him home safe and sound.

To celebrate our half way point the kids took a victory lap. I took each kid on a walk/run around the block (just under a mile). As we ran/walked we talked of the things we had done without dad so far and the things we still wanted to do. It was fun hearing each kids perspective. I started with the youngest taking a lap with Mikey mostly talking about princesses, and worked my way up to Liza. By the time Liza and I were around the block she was at least 300m in front of me. LOL I know for next time to start with her and work my way down.

Liza is a great running companion when she wants to be.
We had the most fun talking about how silly dad is and how much we miss him. (I didn't think to document the moment until the last lap with Liza.)

135 days down 135 days to go!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

tender emotions

My heart is full today. Our unit got word of its first casualties and injuries this week, just three weeks into this deployment. As a military spouse I have had to desensitize myself to the names and numbers of fallen soldiers over the years to keep my sanity. These soldiers are men and women just like my soldier boy. Now that it is our unit it is more personal, too close to home. These are families we have contact with. Families that live around the corner, families we started this journey with together.

My heart aches for the young children that will have limited memories of their father. My heart aches for the wife that must now face life alone, must raise kids on her own, must mourn the lose of her best friend, and help her children do the same. My heart aches for the families of the injured who worry about their soldiers and their well being. My heart most selfishly aches for the "what if" its me next time.

I have found myself carrying more prayers in my heart, and on my knees as I pay that our Father in Heaven will put a big protective bubble around ALL the soldiers, that the other families will be granted peace while their soldiers are away. I pray that each individual in a leadership/decision making position will be open to divine guidance.  I pray for the families who have experienced loss that they may find peace and comfort, that they may never have to endure such trials again!

I count my blessings today! I thank the Lord for sparing my soldier! I thank the Lord for my support system! I thank the Lord for my family! I thank the Lord for the love he has shown me!