Saturday, September 30, 2017

Something to Think About

I came across this blog post the other day.  I found myself agreeing with what the author wrote.  How could I not-- she loves Little House on the Prairie as much as I do!  Anyway, I wanted to share it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dennis is Home Schooling Again

Dennis was excited to start school this year, he really was.  He planned on playing the violin and getting straight A's!  

But things change.  And kids are cruel.  And sometimes kids and parents realize that public school is not the best option after all.

About two weeks into school Dennis started asking to be homeschooled.  John and I thoroughly discussed the pros and cons and decided that this would be in Dennis' best interest.

The thing is, I would not have the help of a charter school this time.   It was a bit overwhelming and it took me a week or two to research and feel confident that I can do this for Dennis.

We began homeschooling on his birthday.  He is doing really well.  He is learning to cook more and how to care for our animals.  We are using Saxon math and it seems like a great fit, even better than the Teaching Textbooks we previously used.

We are really enjoying history and geography together.  
This is going to be a great year!
Now you are probably wondering why I am not homeschooling all of my children.  Well, first of all, John and I like to treat each child individually.   Some children handle public school really well.  They thrive off of social settings and are more receptive to learning from a "strange" teacher rather than me their Mom.  Others are very sensitive, become overwhelmed in a public school setting, and learn at a faster or slower pace than their classmates.  I also look at my ability and whether or not I can homeschool that child.   Do I have the patience?  Do I have the brains?  I know I could not teach Algebra let alone Algebra 2 or Calculus unless it was remedial.   Thankfully John is a math genius, and tutors our older kids, but still, you get the picture.

Anastasia is also homeschooled.  She is a senior and her curriculum focuses mainly on where she needs the most help-- math and english with less emphasis on the other subjects.  We focus on a lot of life skills too-- and she works at a day care center.

This schedule is a great one for Anstasia and she is really thriving!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Swinging High

Adam was wonderful having around last month for nearly three weeks.  It was such a joy to watch my children spending time together, much of it at this swing.

I enjoyed having a turn being pushed.
For a moment I felt like a kid again.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy Birthday Dennis

Happy birthday son!  We can't believe you are already eleven years old.
It is a blessing to be a part of your life.  
Watching you grow up is like opening a small gift everyday.
It's fun to watch you ride your new bike, hope you enjoyed your special day!

Writing... Again

I remember sitting at the bar in the kitchen quietly observing my older boys as they got ready for school one recent morning.  Paul was stirring creamer into his hot cup of coffee as Anastasia proudly fried potatoes.   John was playfully pretending to take photos of  the happy cook.  Jonny was packing his lunch.  Just minutes before, John had walked our youngest children out to the end of our driveway to catch the bus.

The moment was memorable because for that minute it seemed as if we were all living life to the fullest.  We weren't really doing anything special yet I'm sure we all felt love, purpose, and a sense of belonging.

I don't mention this one time as if there are very few, but as a reminder that we should all stop and look at what we have surrounding us and appreciate even the small things.

It makes life special, worthwhile.
If you haven't noticed, I don't really write much these days.  Sure, I continue to blog, but it is not the same as when I used to sit down and pour my heart out through the tips of my fingers striking each key.  Before I had no problem expressing my deepest thoughts, and yet now I am my biggest critic.  It is exhausting and stifling and honestly I feel like I have so many thoughts and emotions pent up that it is time to let my thoughts start flowing on the pages.  If not for me, for my children who I know one day will want to read this.

As we wrap up September, I was planning on things slowing down now that two of my daughters' weddings are past.  I also had some major dental work done twice with conscious sedation because I am the biggest baby when it comes to the sound of a drill.  John was by my side the whole time. "Your husband is great because he really did stay at the foot of your chair the whole time," added the dentist.  I mention this because he is just such an amazing husband and friend and I don't think I would have had the courage to even have this dental work done if it weren't for him.  As if my teeth problems weren't enough, my back decided to break, or so it felt like. Right after Julia's wedding my back went out, making it impossible for me to even bend and kneel to pull Natalie's pants down to put her on the toilet.  The pain was excruciating, lasting for six weeks through Annalyn's wedding.  I had visited a chiropractor, took muscle relaxers when the pain was unbearable, and invested in an inversion table which still gets regular use.  I'm finally visiting a spine specialist this morning.  At the moment, the pain is subtle,  a nagging reminder that I am no spring chicken and need to take care of myself more.  I'm honestly trying.

Finally after months of meeting with the school district, Natalie and Alex are both in what John and I feel are the most appropriate settings at their school.  There had been not one but two mistakes regarding their testing, and it has finally been corrected.  It is a relief to see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Nolan was seen at Shriner's Hospital in Shreveport, LA recently and it was concluded that his speech would highly benefit from a pharyngeal flap procedure.  This surgery has been scheduled for next month where he will spend three days in the hospital.  He will need to have a soft food diet for about six weeks and will miss nearly a month of school.  Nolan loves school more than any of my other children so he is dissappointed, naturally, but my little pep talks seem to be temporary bandaids till he brings the subject up again.  These moments are getting few and far between since Nolan first learned he would be having yet another surgery.  He is my little trooper.  I promised him lots of pudding.

A few weeks ago, we lost another chicken.  Anastasia opened the door to the coop and a neighbor dog rushed in.  It was traumatizing for her witness, but she is okay.  Two days ago, John went with three or four of the kids to get a pair of "adult" peacocks from a local family.    They are way too big for any snake to devour, and are quite nice, though a bit flighty.  They provide family entertainment for us all!

We have a family trip coming up in a few weeks-- the first time to a Texas beach!  We are all looking forward to it. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Annalyn and John's Wedding Reception

Annalyn and John's wedding was just beautiful.    As Annalyn's Mom, I am so proud of her and the man she has chosen to spend the rest of her life with.  Here are a few photos of the reception that capture their special day.

It is a good thing I practiced bustling up Annalyn's dress.  It only took me ten minutes.
Nolan, Natalie, and Oliver loved dancing.

John's (JJ) wonderful parents rented the newlyweds a car for their honeymoon.  
Their friends decorated the car.

Annalyn and John's Wedding Portraits

Annalyn and John's Wedding Ceremony

After nearly three weeks since the wedding and the first flash drive getting lost in the mail, I am finally able to post pictures of my beauitful daughter Annalyn's wedding.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sneak Peak 2

Annalyn with Tori and Nastia.

Sunday, September 3, 2017