Monday, May 23, 2011

School is wrapping up for the "normal" kids who go to a "real" school. Evidently, Quaid is ready to be done for the year too. He makes me laugh. Whenever he didn't want to do a certain assignment I gave him, he would scribble it out like mad until you could hardly see what was written under it. Sometimes he would just make a big "X" over it. Both of those never worked, he always had to do it anyway. But lately he's gotten a little sassy in his protests.

I guess "The end" means he's over it. I had to let him slide this day. He made me laugh and was quite proud of the creative statement he made. He's never minded doing his writing assignments until lately. I could have a battle on my hands next year. Oh well, I'll deal with that next year...until then, we're just going to enjoy our summer!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

7 Years

Quaid is 7 Years old today. I'm not sure why, but 7 seems leaps and bounds older than 6. I'm not sure I'm ready, but I guess I don't really have a choice.

Watching him grow and become a young man is awesome. I love seeing his personality form and to see his passion for many different things. He loves to be on his own, drawing and reading, with a recent interest in the Boxcar Children. But he also walks around the house begging for someone to wrestle with him. Quietly building Legos can consume hours in his day, but so can running outside, riding bikes, and building cities in the sand box.

Quaid chose pizza for his birthday meal. We sprung for Papa Murphy's...honestly to make it a little more exciting for us :) And seeing how it was going to be accompanied by Mt. Dew and cake, I just had to throw in the salad...I just had to. After this first pic, I thought it looked a little ho-hum, "Come on Quaid, let's see some Happy Eyes!!"
Then I got this....much better!

He has a tender heart towards his brother. The two of them stay up late reading, chatting, or playing cars and legos. I don't ever have the heart to turn the light out on them, I know this time for them will be something they will look back on and cherish. The two of them just yesterday came running the house together telling me how Quaid showed Jentzen how to start out on a two wheeler, the two of them beaming from ear to ear. I am nearly 30 and I still remember my sister Laura teaching me how to tie my shoes.

He looks after his sisters just as well. He and Ava also have a special bond. Quaid is always helping Ava with her school, sometimes a little to much :) They wrestle, play ball, and play games together. I'm glad that Quaid has gotten over his need to win and his need to quit if he's losing :) Keira always wants to sit by "Paidey". She can say Quaid....I think it's just her way of showing how much she loves her brother.

Quaid has a passion to learn about God and he truly does try to do what's right. It breaks his heart when he knows he's hurt someone or when he disappoints us. He is cautious, making sure he knows exactly what he's getting himself into before he jumps in. And when he does finally decide to give something a go...he's fully committed and gives 110%.

Quaid, you an absolute delight in our home and we love you so much!! Happy 7th my young man!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This was the sight of my kitchen one day last week. To be honest, it's the sight of my kitchen today and well...pretty much every day!

But the great part is it's usually my kids job, not mine :) Except that day.

It was finally nice out. Daddy had just put up the trampoline and the sand was yelling for my kids to come and sink their feet in. And of course the cousins were over. My niece Jacqueline is 11 and is Ava's perfect play mate. Despite Ava being quite the mother hen, when ever there is an older girl around she quite enjoys being mother-henned herself.

So I was happy to let the kids ditch their chores for the day and soak up the beautiful weather with their cousins.

And the boys? I couldn't seem to find cousin Sam, Quaid, and Jentzen. All I know is they went darting out of the house with 3 pocket knives, a screwdriver, and a hammer. I pretended I didn't see that, started humming a happy little tune, and went about my dish duties.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Busy today?

What are you doing today?

And more in the baskets...

And then Ava stole the camera and took a picture of Keira in her "fave dulla" dress...Purple! The back is the new front, haven't you heard?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hungry Much?

Me: "What are you guys doing?

Ava: "Watching the clock."

Me: "Why?"

Ava: "We're hungry...Lunch is at 11...we're watching the minutes until 11!"

Monday, May 2, 2011

The end of the school year is coming. I think. I'm not really sure when my school will end or really IF it will end. So I guess this is maybe just a recap of what we have learned and where we are.

Somewhere early along in the year, I ditched my former organization technique (early, like week #2!!) of typed weekly assignment lists with all cooresponding worksheets organized by day. Yeah, that was just too much organizing. Yes, I there such a thing as too organized. In just this one instance, yes there was. Even though I had the best layed out plan...things would come up, or something would take a little longer or shorter time to grasp.

I reorganized the kids work in big binders according to work book or unit of study....way more efficient. Every morning I grab the next page from each subject and make a hand written list of everything the kids need to get done that day.

That simple little list made an entire worlds difference in our day. The kids go right in after breakfast and start working. They know what to expect because they can see it. As they finish, they check things off their little list and then I recheck them as I have made sure they're done properly.

This is where we work. We had a little redesign half way through the year. An organized house is a happy house. It's TRUE! We got a cool calendar and the kids have fun marking off the day and putting up the weather in the morning, and then change it at lunch and then change it again at dinner...we do live in MN afterall!!

We love our whiteboard, especially with Jentzen who started school along with us in January. We write his letters up there and he loves to erase them and match the bigs with the littles.

And another bonus, the kids get to go to school in their jammies if they want. Ava is my little go getter. She runs into the school room in the morning and often times has almost all of her work done before breakfast and before 8am.

I love this little rack from IKEA to keep all our pens, pencils, and markers organized. New desk space was needed to keep the kids focused on what their assignments are instead of their brother's or sister's.

Keira likes to maker herself at home on her chair, doing her "school" too. She really thinks she's at the same level as the others...which is quite cute at times and other times a bit trying on mom who's working on getting the real school work done with the others.
But usually she'll opt for more breakfast over a worksheet :)

All in all, this school year has been a success. I'm pretty sure the kids learned a thing or two and I'm pretty sure I still have some of my hair left!!

Let Summer School begin!!