Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 242: First Day of Homeschool!

Ah, I'm already loving our new routine!  We've always been slow on the get go in the morning, so trying to complete any type of concentrated schoolwork in the morning was difficult.  So, doing it during naptime is so calming.  Now, the middles weren't perfect, but I was able to stay calm and work through the issues without little man making noise at us.  I've already learned that I have readjust their school bags on Monday nights or Tuesday mornings so that they don't sit there staring at me while I organize and put their assignments for the week into the assignment book.  Justin's a "get 'er done so I can go play" kind of guy, so this upside down schedule is a bit frustrating for him.  I wrote the loose routine out on a calendar page so it would be easy to follow and told them what they can expect from me as far as availability to help, especially in the mornings when Abishai is up and playing.  It will be chaos in the mornings as always and each will need to take their turn.  But it's doable.

Homework from co op is very, very light and easy, so that's awesome and freeing.  Again, we don't have to add to it, but there are pieces of education I would still like to do with the kids.  Tomorrow will be piano lessons!!  Keturah was excited because she got to spend all day in her PJ's.  They both got a bit frustrated at making their drawings for their botany lesson, but that's because we haven't done much nature study journaling.  And getting into the grove with Math and Mystery of History is tough, but we'll get there.  Overall, it was in excellent day and I think it ran fairly smoothly.  All except the part where I forgot that Keturah had class with Grandpa this afternoon.  Whoops!  Grandpa reminded us and we got on Skype right away.

And, finally, I'm writing the blog after dealing with a messed up computer.  I downloaded the beta version of something from Facebook and it caused serious issues with my computer.  So, I haven't been as productive this evening as I have wanted to be.  So, onward to some pictures and publishing this.
"Justin, whatcha' doin'?" - Abishai, trying to help baba with his math homework

Abishai IS KING of his CASTLE (his garage)! Check out the placement of his right foot!

Keturah, age 8, 3rd grade, in her Frozen dress/pj's.

"Stand up so I can take a picture of how tall you are!" "Ok, but I won't show my face!"

Justin, almost age 11, 6th grade, Mr. String Bean.

Yes, as always, Justin doesn't have a shirt on.

Oh, so THIS is why there was a black mark on the back of Abishai's shorts the other day.  He now SITS on the screen door track!  I guess I'll be cleaning that sometime soon.

I want to get a picture of Abishai holding a sign, but he wasn't interested today.  I need to make the sign, too.  Any suggestions?  First Day of.....toddlerhood? ....helper?.....school mascot?

Let's beat the spoon Daddy bought us in Austria on the fireplace so we can break it!  No, I stopped him before it got broken.

Abishai lines up his cars just like Justin used to.

Abishai "nesting" with his cars.

I was too busy teaching to take pictures of the middles doing school, but at some point, Keturah drew this picture on the mini wipeboard.  Keturah, Mom, Justin, and Homeschool.  And she recognized that she misspelled school.  She's come so far in her spelling and reading just by reading tons of books over the summer!  Even her math has drastically improved.  I can't wait to see what she's capable of this year!  She's in the same classes as Justin at co op, and she's the youngest, so she'll have to work hard to keep up.  I think she will do just fine.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Day 241: First Day of Homeschool Co op!

Yes, it was our first day of all day intensive homeschool co op!  Lots of adjusting for us to a classroom type setting (although it's very fluid and relaxed).  It almost felt like our old day craft days in December with our PEI homeschoolers.  Everybody took their turn teaching, we ate lunch together, kids ran around a bit, then we did more classes, cleaned up and went home.  I just have to remind myself that this is every week!  Justin and Keturah got more and more excited as the day went on.  Again, it pulls on my guilty mommy strings because it makes me feel like I'm not exciting enough or I haven't done enough.  But, maybe it's just all new for them.  They do get homework since we only meet 1 time a week, and the older kids in our group especially are earning high school credits.

I didn't have Abishai with me today because Jared was home, and that was a big help as I had to find out where things were and how things really are run throughout the day.  The plan is to bring him in the morning, and then have Grandma pick him up to take him back to our house for naptime.  It's definitely a blessing to be 7 minutes away from the church we meet at!  Especially when I forgot my purse there this afternoon!

We got home, and the kids wanted to get out their stuff and start doing their homework!  I had to tell them, sorry, but, I can't help right now because I need to take the teacher hat off and put on the mommy and housemaid hat on.  I did say to them, because Jared was home, if you want help now, go ask Dad.  He's a parent, and a kids go to their parents to help with homework at night, not the teacher.  Justin needed to look stuff up on the internet, and I was like, no way, you aren't doing it on my computer!  I need to chill and play my game and check on email!  (yes, the game, the silly little train game, I know, it's brainless).  But I did cook supper and then it was off to the grocery store because we are OUT OF FOOD!  Ok, not really, we still had peanut butter and bread and a few other things, but I needed some veggies and fruit and we really had NONE of them.  And I totally forgot Aldi's closes at 8, so we were the last ones out the door of the store.  Whoops!  But the fridge is full and I can cook the rest of the week, yeah!

A few other fun things happened today, like Jared picking up his new to him truck (it's actually 25 years old!)  I'll get a picture of it tomorrow.  Speaking of pictures, I didn't get "first day of co op" pictures because I it was so early this morning and I needed to focus on remembering everything.  We'll squeeze that in tomorrow as we readjust their bags, figure out homework, and set up the rest of our schooling.  Co op would be enough, but the kids will be bored the rest of the week, and there are other things I want to continue with them like our Mystery of History books, poetry & read alouds, Bible, and we'll need to do more math.  Phew, I just wrote a ton, didn't I? Maybe someday when this blog is reread by the kids, it will bring back vivid memories of today.  I like to include some detail, even if it may be boring to some readers, just to put my own thoughts on paper.  In fact, one of the kids' assignments is to write a journal page every week.  Most entries will just be their own thoughts, and some will be guided.  Anyway, it was a full, and busy day.  It was a great day!  Tomorrow is our rest and pick up the pieces from being out all day, day. Lol.  I still need those in between activities days to rest up.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I do have fibromyalgia, so, I only have so much energy to give.  I am in pain 24/7, and if I don't rest, I do get worse.  Plus, life shouldn't feel rushed either.  Everyone should have a slow day or two per week.  That's my advice for what it's worth.

Ok, a couple of pics to share.

History class in action!

We need to add another binder, so we'll be upgrading the bag tomorrow to her backpack.  Excited now for co op!

Jared came outside when we came home to do some carseat switching and I look down and bam! he's got on these!  I was like, woah, you are wearing SANDALS.  Something he hasn't done since high school.  He claims their not sandals, but I say, if you aren't wearing socks, then they are sandals.  Keturah was super excited that they are just like hers only a different color!  Benaiah stopped wearing Sandals when he was like 10, so he's just like his Dad in this (and lots of other ways of course).  Best part is that these cost only $10! Bargain shopper!  Anyway, Jared's family will understand why this is um, a new thing for him and interesting.  At least I think so.  Good night!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Day 240: Colorful!

Yeah! Today we had our full new regular Sunday routine!  We go to church on Saturday evenings, so that Abishai can have a good nap on Sundays because we aren't sure how Monday's nap would go with being at our homeschool co op all day.  I also have time to prep for the week on Sunday before we go to our evening activities.  I used to do the weekly prep on Sunday evenings, so this is a shift for me.  Abishai had his nap, we ate a little snack, and then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's for a little chatting time before Crave (youth group) and Kids' Choir practice.  Abishai gets to stay at Grandma's, while the older kids have their groups.  Jared and I (or whoever takes the kids to church) get to have some quiet time reading or whatever while the three kids are in their groups.  We got home a tad late tonight because we stopped at the grocery store, but typically we should be home in plenty of time to get to bed on time.  We have to be at co op by 8:10am (and thankfully it's less than 10 minutes away!), so it will be an early morning for sure.  Because Jared's schedule is still in flux, he will keep Abishai this week at home, with a little help from Grandma.  That will free me up to get used to where we need to park and what building we use, etc.  We will meet at a sister church to The Creek, which is great!  Can't wait to see it!  So, that's are Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.  We are heading back to a normal routine!

Plus, Jared is now working two part-time jobs! Wahoo!  We have steadier income before our funds ran out!  Praise the Lord!

Lately, Abishai has noticed the pictures that are rotating on my laptop's desktop and points to himself in the picture and smiles.  He said, "baba" too when he saw Benaiah in one of the pictures.  Sweet!

The pictures that are rotating are from 1 year ago, so this one popped up.  It reminded me of the next one.

Abishai, 17 months old.  My how 1 year makes all the difference!
Lazy Sunday mornings.  I don't think we could fit Benaiah on here if we tried.  He is most definitely Jared's size now.

Abishai wedged himself in the chair with Justin so he could read his book, too.

Keturah in her box.  It's green and it's square(ish) and all I could think of to say was, "Are you a creeper (from Minecraft)?  I have no idea why she wanted to do this.  She just did it.

Our Middles Afternoon Mayhem basket aka the read aloud basket aka teatime and poetry aka circle time!  These are the subjects that will be done together in the afternoons while Abishai naps.

Our visit to Grandma's included making a nest with newspaper for Abishai.

Big brother!  Come play with me, please!

Big brother got a new toy, an RC chair, at the yard sale this weekend.

Clean kids ready to get colored on!  The youth group did the colored cornstarch thing, where you throw it up in the air and smear it all over everyone.  Pretty harmless, and I'm told it comes off easily with cold water.

Getting Ready

The cloud of color!  It was supposed to stay between the cones!  It even got on my phone!



Someone didn't want to get his nice pants and shoes dirty.  I can see Jared not wanting to participate either.  Yes, that's Benaiah in the blue shirt.



They were playing music loudly and some, like Justin, were having a dance party!  Some, like Benaiah, don't like to dance (he takes after Jared who doesn't dance, not even at our wedding!)

Colored cornstarch is so much nicer than paint!

Not too bad considering the amount some kids were wearing!

Benaiah messing with his best friend Ethan.

It will be gone with the next rain storm.

Green mustache!
Well, tomorrow is a big day, so I better try to turn in early.  Good night!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Day 239: More storms!

Yes, we thought it was going to be a clear day, and then boom! And a few more booms and a few more hours of storms!  I actually zoomed out on the radar and there was a line of storms from southern Indiana all the way up to Canada through Michigan!  We were actually in a quieter portion of the storm system this time.  As you can tell, we do love weather, at least Jared and I do.  We follow the weather patterns, temperature changes, cool clouds, sea ice, how big snow piles are, hail, etc.  For me, I think it has to do with a weather forecaster from my childhood who had this squeaky voice, that came and talked with some of our homeschoolers (or was I in public school at that point? I can't remember).  Or maybe we love weather, because we can immediately see God's handiwork, and humans are totally not in control of it.  The water cycle is one of my favorite things I learned when I was young.  Jared has said while we were in Canada, that he missed hearing the thunderstorms.  We did have maybe 3 while we were there, but because of where we lived, we didn't get the lightning and thunder.  We did get rain, just not the actual stormy part.

Anyway, average day otherwise.  We had to keep the kids off of electronics because they fought yesterday about it.  I think that punishment hurts me more than the kids sometimes because than I have to make more of an effort to engage them.  I played Othello with Keturah and talked about the Flash with Justin.  We went over Bible Bowl and Grandpa Bible Class.  They did watch Daddy play Minecraft.  And they read books of course.  We definitely need to start school next week.

Then it was time for an early dinner and church.  And a special treat on the way home.  Two things to note, one being that I think Abishai was trying to say, "Ready, set, go!" when he threw toys out of the bathtub yesterday.  Tonight, he saw the computers at the sign in desk for the kids area and pointed and made a two syllable word indicating "buttons!" which is what we call remotes and PS4 controllers.  Same thing with "diaper," he'll try to copy us when we say "diaper" and head towards the changing area.  Smart kid!

Buttons! My little laundry helper.  He also shuts doors, on the dryer, or the door to the laundry room, cupboard doors when left open.  He's a neat and tidy one!

Justin does his best to entertain himself.  He found a great book that Grandma Johnson gave the boys a year or so ago with lots of fun tricks and experiments.  This one was about emptying a teabag and cutting of the ends to make a cylinder.  Then you light it on fire and watch what happens.

Wow!  I actually did capture the moment!!  We thought it wouldn't work, but it did!  Because of the temperature of the air and the air pressure inside and outside of the cylinder changing, the teabag took flight!  So cool!

If you look closely, you can see the bits of teabag floating in the air towards the left side of the picture.  The book Justin used is in the bottom of the picture.

Jared is one step closer to finding some semi permanent work, so we celebrated with a little bit of Arby's.  Can you guess what flavor shake this is?  Jamocha!  Jared and I both love that flavor from Arby's.  Although it was after 7pm, we let the kids have some.  It does contain some coffee, but the kids went to bed just fine.  Abishai would devour it if we let him.  He had already spent all his energy at church though in the nursery and running up and down the hallways.  It's so funny to watch him use that big space to run away from us!

Mr. Dimples.

Curly fries, roast beef and cheese, and Jamocha shake.  Mmm....I had about 1/4 of the shake.  Lots of sugar, but oh so yummy.  There's a gluten covering on the fries, so I only ate one of those.  Just in case you cared.  And I know some of you actually do.
The fundraiser at Benaiah's school finished up today.  No word on what the final tally was.  We're going to try to participate in some way with every fundraiser, but it's going to be hard to find the time with homeschool co op starting next week.  Tomorrow is a normal Sunday of naps and youth group/choir.  Oh yeah, and the youth group is doing something fun involving colors.  Stay tuned for that!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Day 238: Cowboys and Cowgirls!

While Grandma and Benaiah helped out at Benaiah's school's yard sale this morning, we were busy driving Jared to his worksite for the day, 30 minutes away.  But first we had to wait out another storm!  This time, there was hail!  And it blew right into our porch hitting the porch glass door!  Thankfully, there was no damage.  It was clearing when we drove home, which was good because that was NOT the case when we went to pick him up!  We drove throw some torrential rains on the drive back to get him around 6:30.  Anyway, gotta love pop up thunderstorms in the midwest!

So, what did we do BETWEEN the storms?  Had lunch and played with animals!  I took Keturah, Justin, and Abishai back to Miss Julie's barn and had a blast!  Oh my word, Abishai was incredible!  He was barely afraid of the animals and just dug in and petted them and ran around and learned quickly.  Justin, who didn't want to go, ended up falling in love with a bunny named Butterscotch.  And Keturah, well, check out the pictures below!

Beautiful butterflies on Miss Julie's huge wonderful property that she enjoys sharing!

The hayloft was a highlight!  They pretended it was their kingdoms, even fighting over it!  Although it was hot, they actually didn't complain too much about it!

Abishai fell in the mud, soon after we arrived, but had no idea what to do with the dirt on his hands! He looked at them and then wiped them on his pants! Way to go!  I'd rather he do that than put his hands in his mouth or something.

Keturah introducing Spanky to Justin.

Justin loved spraypainting the horses!

Does Abishai look like a natural in the barn?  Miss Julie tied up most of the horses, so Abishai was free to wander around.  He petted the goats and they didn't mind at all.

Check this out!  He's brushing the horse just like he would brush Socks!

Then Abishai found the water trough.  I was afraid he would fall in, so I stayed very close to him.  I think he did bring his hand up to his mouth at one point, but, well, that's life in a barn, right?  Dirty and germy!  He did take some hay from the water and tried to give it to the horses.  So cute!

Aw, I'm glad the kids like to try new things!  Yeah for Justin!

And look who actually got up on the horse today!  Both middles went around the arena once or twice.  This is Patches that she's riding.  Spanky wanted to eat the stirrup!

This boy is so amazing sometimes! We walked around the arena 10 times!  And when I went to get him down, he didn't want to!  When Miss Julie said to put his hands on the horn of the saddle, he did!  I stood right by him as we walked around, but he didn't shift or wiggle at all.  He LOVED it!  Just like his Mommy did when she was 15 months old!  So cool!

The bunny Justin fell in love with.  He wanted to bring her home.  Butterscotch is her name and she is very social and almost fell asleep in his arms.  He won't stop talking about her!  Abishai was not afraid to touch the bunny or the chicken either.

We played in the chicken coop, too, and again, Abishai didn't freak out.  He didn't chase them either.

I was trying to convince Abishai that the ducks were just like the duck in his Lucky Duck book but I don't think he understood.

Abishai thought he would take off down the lane and walk to Grandma's house.  I had to stay close by because they do have a pond nearby.

Justin helped bring down some hay for the horses.

Julie gave the horses some hay and let them go and then Abishai snuck into the arena again to say good bye.  Whoops!

Vroom, vroom!  And of course my boys would have the ATV.

Passing the nursing home on 16th and Shadeland and wow, I was afraid we wouldn't get through!  I have seen pictures of cars getting stuck in flash floods, but this is the closest I've been to one!  Thankfully Jared was driving and did just fine.

This is the drain in our parking lot of our condo.  There was so much water that it swirled!  Crazy!
And there you have it!  It was so awesome to get out of the house today.  We were gone so much that Justin didn't get a chance to study his Bible Bowl stuff until right before bed. We even had to have supper at 8pm!  And Abishai was stir crazy because he was short on his naps.  What a blessing Julie and her family is!

And if you're over on US31 near Edgewood, stop by Southside Christian School's yard sale fundraiser please and thank you!!