Friday, November 14, 2014

OUR Version of Homeschooling

I knew I wanted to homeschooling my kids before Sophie was even close to school aged. I threw myself into it, became totally overwhelmed with the options, and panicked.

To this day, I still have to remind myself that our days don't have to look just like public school days. The children don't have to be sitting at desks all day long doing busy work.

Our days are filled with parks, nature walks, pretend play, cooking, hide and seek, house chores, grocery shopping, reading, and SO MUCH MORE. Sure, we sit down and do a few worksheets here and there, but not for 7 hours a day.

My children are soaking up so much knowledge without even thinking about it... And I love it. They are learning HOW to think, as opposed to learning WHAT to think.

We often pack up a few workbooks, lunch, sketchbooks, and oodles of crayons then spend the entire afternoon at a park.

This week we went to the park with our cousins. The 3 year olds and I pretending to be pirates on our ship, gathering treasure (acorns), and fending off the evil mermaids (the 6 year olds). We sailed around Spooky Mountain and through the Slime Sea.

 Just this afternoon we spent a whopping FOUR hours running around at Kidmania with a local homeschooling group.

Sophie loves to learn new skills. Yesterday she sewed together a warm winter blanket for Finn all on her own. She was so proud of it, she was practically glowing.

Art is a HUGE part of who I am, so I make sure to share that with my kids. Now that we get less sunshine during the day, I felt a need for a change. We decided to add some of our own sunshine to the apartment. The kids were more than happy to help me paint the wall.

 Sophie has a little section in her school binder for her own recipes. The other day she made soft pretzels and they were delicious. Giving her responsibilities does wonders for her sense of self worth. She loves that we trust her with so many things.

The girls always love to join me when I pull out my art case. Pastels, watercolors, acrylics, washi tape... so much fun. They have free range of my "good" art supplies, and I just love to see their creativity flow.

Someone is always half naked at our house, usually Mya. We are free spirits over here.

Finn loves to get in on the pretend play too. He makes a fantastic super hero.

I am so grateful to be able to stay home and teach my kids. (Even if they drive me to binge eat chocolate chips.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

There is an amazing pumpkin patch just 20 minutes from us.
ALL the activities are free and it only costs $5 to park.
Saying the kids love it, would be an understatement.

Bounce houses, slides, a playground, hay mazes, tons of pumpkins, train rides, hay rides, etc.




I'm still not brave enough to lug around all 3 kids and my fancy camera on my own.
You will have to settle for phone pictures.

Here is the absurdly large kids maze.
Once your kids go in, they have to find their own way out, adults don't fit.

Finn and I waited on the look out stands.

The girls ran around to the various infatable bounce things.

There are all kinds of cartoon character cut outs all over the farm.

We didn't get to do this last year because it started raining.
So it was EXTRA special this year.

We went over to the tiny tot area so that Finn could have some fun too.
They had a tiny hay maze set up for the littles.
Sophie took Finn through.

Lots of fun toys to ride on.

There were even a few animals off to the side.

The huge tortoise.

The horse was by far the favorite.
My kids LOVES horses.

Quick boobie break.

We went on one last hay ride, then ran around the pumpkin patch before heading home.

Excuse my crazy wind blown bangs.

We will definitely be going back next year.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blessing Day

In our church, babies are normally blessed with a name just after being born.
We are far from "normal," so Finn was blessed after his first birthday.

My grandfather gave him a beautiful blessing, just like he did for Mya.

We must like stress, because we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for family pictures.
The little ones were not pleased.


Through the power of bribery and Photoshop, I got some decent pictures.


My sweet family.
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The kiddos.
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My brother's family.
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His kiddos.
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They also blessed their new baby that day.
I love little Lindsey.
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My mother.
She is such a proud grandma.
Look at her all puffed up like a peacock.
(at this point Finn was no longer interested in pictures)
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All the children were having emotional breakdowns.
Everyone was hungry. Kids were taking off shoes. Some frolicked off into the bushes.

I turned my attention to the adults.

My grandparents.
The cutest couple I have ever met.
Their love could move mountains.
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My mother, father, and his new wife.
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Much stress and craziness, but we finished!
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Worth it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

My super awesome sister in law gave me the idea of posting from my phone.

Brilliant, yes?

So here it goes.

We have been very busy around here.
Learning. Playing. Exploring.
All good stuff.

Sophie started playing soccer! She is on the Generals team, and is loving every minute of it.

Her first game was last Saturday. She scored the first and only goal for her team! I puffed up all proud like a mama hen.

We have been spending as much time as possible outside. With the weather no longer in the 90s, we can actually enjoy the millions of parks around is.

Finn still doesn't have any teeth. He also is still refusing to sleep, which is SO MUCH FUN!

His vast vocabulary (spoken and signing) includes: dad, mom, sophie, mya, igor, uh-uh, thank you, all done, more, nurse, hello, hi, bye, and no.

I am trail running like a crazy person. I signed up for my first 5k at the end of this month. It helps keep my mood in check.

Mya is coming out of the intense 3 year old stage, and is much more pleasant to be around. She is every bit Denny's child.

She fell asleep with the doll's feet in her mouth.

Being a doctor in her fancy doctor coat.

Denny actually enjoys his job, which in itself is a big improvement from our Utah life. He still, and forever will, spends his free time doing nerd things on the computer.

Thanks to Emilyn and her awesome family we even get date nights now and again.
 I love him to pieces.

Our little family is doing well. We have a busy month ahead. Trick or treating, Halloween parties, play dates, homeschooling, and CAMPING!