Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas | 2015

Christmas this year was simply WONDERFUL! What a difference staying home makes! This year we Nick got off at 2 pm the earliest EVER, we went to my mom and dads, went to Christmas Eve service {which was just a mile down the road} and went back to my parents to do gifts with the kids. Here are the kids all dressed and ready to go:

Christmas Eve the kids opened Christmas Jammies and a Christmas movie from us at my mom and dads. It happened to make it easier when it was late and we were going home {around the corner right behind them}. We decided this year to sleep under the tree. It was a lot of fun and a great idea, but, an air mattress is a must for next year. We have one, we were just too lazy to air it up. Here Wyatt is waiting for sis to get up.

Nick spent a lot of time prior to Christmas fixing up my old doll house for Josie for her Christmas present. We also furnished it with new room sets. 

Wyatt wanted a globe SO bad. He is into ALL things S C I E N C E ! So, he got some geology, chemistry, and geography related gifts. He was happy. 

After opening up prezzies we got dressed, I made breakfast, and relaxed until my family showed up for dinner. We of course had to make a cake for Jesus, after all we were celebrating His birthday! Of course this is a picture of it before I accidentally unknowingly marred it while trying to take my bread out of the bread-maker pan. Yeah, don't ask.

What a merry Christmas we had!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Challenges We Face

I think I have mentioned before that we have been struggling in our homeschooling. More like battling. It has gotten a little better. We have switched to doing school only three times a week by doing every other day. The breaks in between have seemed to help.

We have experienced a change in Wyatt since last year. He went from loving school, really liking all areas in addition to those he loved. This year, not so much.

He was giving up, quitting, throwing huge fits, getting angry, extremely frustrated, and didn't even want to sit to begin. His feelings started with reading and writing, then soon blanketed everything. I noticed that he wasn't reading or writing as well as he had last year and couldn't figure out why. I felt he was being lazy, and  blowing it off because he just simply didn't  want to do the work.

One day I saw an article pop up in my newsfeed on facebook about the signs of dyslexia. After reading each with affirmation I felt like maybe he isn't being lazy, he is struggling and showing real frustration! I talked to a teacher friend about it and she recommended going to see an eye doctor.

Of course I had to mark the occasion of his first eye doctor visit with some pictures!

Turns out his eye sight is fine! Yay! No glasses! But, the downside, his eyes aren't working together and processing what he sees right. So, onto a series of standardized testing with a vision therapist.

Yesterday I had a consult with our eye doctor and vision therapist. Wyatt scored below age level on most and some he scored so low they couldn't actually score him. After seeing the results and what they meant, I realize now how much he must be struggling! No wonder he hates reading and writing. He has been concentrating all his energy on trying to decipher what he is seeing that he isn't retaining the information he gathers. To put it more plainly, he is dyslexic. But, that can be overcome and corrected with vision therapy.

We go again next Friday and will continue, God willing, each week for six to nine months. We will know today what or if our insurance will cover this. My hope is God will provide this for him.

Yesterday, after I got back from the consult I looked up what it is like to have dyslexia. I was humbled to the point of tears. I watched these two videos {here}, and after, felt the worst mom in the entire world. Especially after the last video where the "teacher" is telling his "students", "Come on! This is easy!"

 I was that teacher! "Come on Wyatt! That word is easy! You did it last year, you can do it again!" "I can't! I can't do it! It's too hard!"  "You aren't giving me your best. You're not trying! Don't quit!"

Yeah. I cried.

While I can't take it back. I hugged my son with all I had after watching that and told him how sorry I was that I pushed him while he was struggling. He was so gracious and said, "It's okay mom." Love that  boy! Sometimes I think there is much we can learn from our children, they handle life better than us!

If your child is struggling in school. Get their eyes checked and don't wait! It may not be their eye sight that is the problem. There are 22 total processes that your eyes do to see and comprehend. If one of those are not working then you will experience problems "seeing".

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family Fun Night!

Had a lot of fun last night! My mom and dad came over for dinner, we frosted sugar cookies, did face painting, gorged on candy, and played Aggravation. No, we didn't dress up, or go trick or treating. We are not sure where we stand  on Halloween at this time.We see both sides. So until we know for sure, we will remain flexible.

I splurged and got a 200+ piece bag of candy {we NEVER have candy}, my mom made a pumpkin desert and cookies for us to frost. So we had our sweet tooth satisfied for sure!

The kids had a great time. It was Wyatt's first time playing Aggravation, and he won! He wanted a shark painted on his face, and a piranha, and then he wanted an anchor on his hand, then a ship. I of course had to add the mom in heart "tattoo". I did the best I could!

I used milk, cornstarch, and food coloring for the paint. Josie's was a little runny.

At any rate, we all had a wonderful night. It was full of fun!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Time!

We carved one pumpkin this year to say we did it and painted the rest. It worked out good that way since Josie didn't want anything to do with the pumpkin guts, but she LOVED painting hers.


Annnnd... Just for fun...

Nick tried roasting the pumpkins seeds, but they got a little overdone. But that's okay, it was cool that he tried! This is probably the extent of our observance of Halloween, well, I plan on buying a bunch of clearance candy too. We're on the fence when it comes to doing Halloween. We can see the good and the bad, but we are good just doing our own thing.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What a Beautiful October Day!

It is gorgeous out!! So why am I not out there right now? Well, I'm beat. We raked. I mulched. We stained. We walked. Now, it is break time. 

The kids had a lot of fun with the leaves. The picture I got of them together, was the only one without them fighting. Yeah, that's real life right?

Happy Fall Y'all!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

School House Rock

We are in our second week. I feel good about our layout. The new house has a perfect set up and it is working out great.

Now if we can only get our young student in the groove. Whew... This was a rough week. Today we may have had a break through. All week I have felt like a broken record: " The more you practice the easier it will be." Today I think it may have clicked! Yay!

Earlier today this is how we started. This is Wyatts cursive "A".

After a big battle and a talk...a long talk... He came back to the table with a whole new attitude. And this is what his "A" looked like then. 

So, tomorrow we will review his writing then Monday, back to business. Hopefully the ground we broke will stick.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blast from the Past

I came across one of those weird, "I'm not sure why I'm saving these." type things today. Wonder what it was? Oh, you know, just my baby teeth I have lost over the years. Yep. I have them all. My mom saved them. Some of them are kind of endearing, with what I wrote on the outside of the envelopes. I figured I would archive these on here, that way I won't feel so guilty when I throw them away. I mean really, what will I ever do with them?

My first tooth was lost in 1988. Awwwweeee... I know I was asking for lots of money for these teeth of mine, but I think I got a dollar for every tooth.

Funny thing is my mom saved all our teeth. Wyatt has lost two, and I lost them both! Oh well, we don't do the tooth fairy anyway.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

First Day of 1st Grade

We started school finally on Monday. I was hoping to stay as close to the local schools schedule as possible. I have this goal this year to not take advantage of our flexibility with homeschooling like I did last year. We went into July until I finally said enough. We only had a couple weeks left to do anyway.

This year will be easier with Nicks new job. He works M-F 7-4. None of that open/close business anymore! And with him not having his days off during the school week we will have less distractions. When daddy is home, kids want to play.

So far we are doing a lot of review. Which is good, because I can tell we are a little rusty in some areas. One thing I am not sure about is everything is done in cursive this year. I didn't know it was going to be that way when I bought his curriculum, but he actually is doing well with it.

Today he is full of funnies. I guess it started off that way when he got dressed: Blue plaid shorts, long-john shirt, green TMNT hoodie, and of course a blue striped tie. During school today he says to me, "Did you know 5's are girls. So are 6's. They look like they are having babies."

Then he asks me later, "Can we go running today?" Like we run? "Because I'm an experienced runner." Ohhhh. Got it!

I'm hoping this year we will keep a good momentum and routine. I'm hoping!

                                                     Favorite Things:
  • Science
  • Red and Black
  • Spaghetti
  • Soccer and Baseball
  • Monkies
Wyatt wants to be a scientist!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Full Circle

Here we are! We have keys!!! We've come full circle in more ways than one. It is exciting times! This summer was packed full! Full of decisions, stress, fear, loss, and grief, followed by peace, comfort, and trust in the Living God! What a roller coaster ride the last few months have been!

Feeling Gods leading last fall we tried to sell our house to move "back home". We had two offers in the first two weeks, but both fell through. We took the house off the market just before the snow started flying to save ourselves from a hard move on an icy hill. We figured we would work some more on the house and re-list it in the spring. Nick took his vacation and began work on the downstairs entry. He added a wall, dry walled, and painted. It looked a 1000 times better even though it was still incomplete when we re-listed. We were ambitious and thought we could get the whole basement dry walled in a week... Yeah, not really. Nick had to go back to work and we needed to re-list.

We put the house back on the market May 1st. Three weeks later we agreed on a contract with a buyer! During that same time we began looking for homes "back home". Wow. That is not easy! We looked at several and were disappointed in our finds. During our search we were told that the house that I have been wanting for a couple years took a second price drop and was actually now in our price range! {Gods timing is perfect! Probably why our house didn't sell last fall???} We began negotiations with the seller which I thought would be cut and dry, but was nothing of the sort. They played hard ball.

Big decisions to be made. Where we over extending ourselves? I mean, Nick was planning on changing jobs. No, not just changing jobs, but job fields. Which meant starting from the bottom up. Bigger house payment...less money coming in...have kids to think about...need to eat...

During this time of monumental decision making, I miscarried. Talk about getting hit while you are already down. Not only were we trying to figure out what to do about a house, but we lost a baby. What do you do? We put our complete trust in God. We gave up control. And after much prayer and petition we had peace that God was going to provide everything we need. And did He ever!

July was a whirlwind. Packing, still doing school with Wyatt, moving all of our stuff, Nick applied for a new job, Nick got a call back from that and found they were willing to wait until we closed on the new house to have him start {God provided!}, a full week of helping with VBS, closing on our old house, moving the last bit of our stuff, began staying with my parents...

August slowed down. We got a closing date set for the 15th the day after our ten year anniversary. Nick took his last weeks vacation to help save commuting that same week. He also worked it out that once we closed on the new house he would be done there and would be able to start the new job right away.  So Friday the 15th came, we closed, and Monday he began his new job. {God provided once again!} But that's not all. We have been blessed with the same pay as he had before! Praise God!!! What a huge relief, burden lifted and prayer answered!

I am so incredibly grateful for what God has done in our life. We took a huge risk in moving back home with less job opportunity and not being sure if we would be able to find a house that would be a good fit for us. We were met with doubt and skepticism from some. But, while there was a lot of unknown, we could be certain of one thing. If it is Gods will, it will happen, and sometimes God waits to act until we step out on faith.

Joshua 3 talks about moment the Israelites entered the promised land. They had to cross the Jordan River at FLOOD stage. God did not part the water until the priests took the first step into the river. It is a crazy, do or die kind of moment. Do you trust Gods promises and see the big things God has in store for you, or do you play it safe with what you are most comfortable with. I have noticed the more uncomfortable I am the more growth I see in myself and the more I see God work. It is a great place to be!

So, why full circle?

It is funny in way how life works. I started out going to church, I believed in God, asked Him to live in my heart, I got older, turned away from that commitment, wanted nothing more than to move as far away from home as possible. After moving to Grand Rapids I began to search and question myself, recommitted myself to the Lord, moved to Waters. Began to serve and act on my faith, and have made it back home. Literally right behind my mom and dads. Full circle! In more ways than one!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hey, Little Fishies!

About a month or so ago we found a new home for our dog, Crash. We are not so much pet people we found out. One day we had an off the cuff conversation about it at dinner where I asked Wyatt, "If we found a new home for Crash would you want to try fish?" Well, yes, of course! And here we are.

We let him get a gallon bowl, the starter kit, and three fish. A white one- Bubbles, a black and orange one- Hulk Thor, and an orange one- Crash, of course named in remembrance of the dog. We got them Friday. Monday, we lost Bubbles. Wyatt was bummed, but handled it well. We buried him in my flower bed.

So, now we are down to two, which is better anyways. It was too crowded before.

UPDATE: The fish have all since died. The last one went after Josie dumped all the food and can into the bowl.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Little Schoolhouse on the Hill

So, recently school has been, how do you say it... Challenging? Yes. He is doing very well. He can read two vowel words now. His penmanship is much neater, and he is now coloring inside the lines.

What is challenging is his hardheadedness. If he isn't "in the mood" then he is perfectly content sitting there talking to his pencils and erasers. I can't motivate him to finish. And he purposefully answers incorrectly if he doesn't want to do it.

I have found that we have been struggling most with math. He has a hard time for some reason remembering the names of the coins we have gone over, Penny, Dime, and Nickle and their worth. So we have started our school time with his favorite Social Studies {no surprise really} and then writing and phonics, finishing with Math.

That way we start on a positive note, and I have noticed that has helped tremendously.

Some of where we are:

Mothers Day

This Mothers Day weekend was a little crazy. Well, actually the four days leading up to it were too! I find I am very good at finding things to do! While it is challenging at times, it hasn't been overwhelming, but in fact very fun!

Wednesday night started everything out with VBS meeting. My dad was concerned about us {me and the kids} driving home through all the deer so we stayed the night at my parents. Thursday morning we had someone coming to look at our house at 10 AM so we couldn't go home right away. I had to make a  card for our church's Mothers Day outreach, which I did after we got home. Friday I made a flannel receiving blanket for our cousins new baby. Saturday, after dropping the kids off at my folks for them to spend the day and night, I spent three hours handing out carnations to moms at the Fairview Food Market. {That was a blast!} Right after, I had to book it to Alba for the baby shower. Sunday I went back to Comins, picked up the kids for church and spent the rest of the day at my parents to celebrate Mothers Day. Whew!

Albeit craziness, it was fun!

When I picked up the kids for church Wyatt gave me a card he made for me for Mothers Day. It was so nice and sweet!

Josie loved sitting on Nana's bike! Wyatt will run away when it gets started, Josie runs towards it. Funny. She didn't want to get off!

Uncle, decided it was time to loose the training wheels. I wasn't sure about it since he didn't have much riding practice with them either! We live on a hill in the woods. There isn't a lot of places to ride. But Uncle, worked with him for a bit.

Then I worked with him for a bit, and he got it!!!

It was a wonderful Mothers Day!