Friday, September 26, 2014

{around here} Week of 9.22.14

How do I begin to describe our first week as a family of seven?  Surreal.  The transition has been gentle and the big kids have been great.  There hasn't been any jealousy...if anything, they fight over whose turn it is to hold the baby!  Sophia has claimed TJ as her own "bay-bay" and is so helpful.  I can't get over how much she loves him.     

Sophie turned two this week and we had the most simple, special day celebrating her.  She woke up bright and early and went with her Daddy to get a doughnut and Frozen balloon at the grocery store.  While she was gone, the boys and I set up her new kitchen, which was a BIG hit!  She played contentedly off and on all day!  We made cupcakes together in the afternoon and had homemade pizza (one of her favorite foods) for dinner.  It was the perfect day.  We sure love that girl of ours.

We took the week off from homeschooling, but still managed to fit in a little read aloud time.  We just started Thomas and the Dragon Queen and it's already sparked lots of conversation about knights and courage.  

Plans for the weekend: TJ's first trip to the soccer fields!  
Have a good one, friends!

Monday, September 22, 2014

{family} Introducing our Sweet Baby Boy!

Our sweet boy is here!  
Our littlest peanut to date, weighing in at 7lbs. 1oz.  
He is absolutely perfect and we are all smitten, 
although Little Miss may just love him the very most!

Friday, September 12, 2014

{around here} Week of 9.8.14

From the looks of these photos, I apparently only photograph our homeschooling mornings these days.  The rest of the day is a blur of housework, baby preparations and lots of conversations and cuddles with the kids.  I am keeping up, but my body is definitely sending the signals that baby time is near!

Since I'm days away from having four (!!!) little boys in this house, I pulled out Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys from the bookshelf for a re-read.  If you have a little guy at home, I highly recommend this one.

Exciting news of the week: I was so honored to be interviewed for The Mom Next Door series over at Tabitha's blog, Team Studer.  I love how Tab explained the purpose of the series: "Every Mom we see or know carries within her a story and history that guides her in decisions, worries, and the love she gives to her kids as best as she can. This interview series was created with the hope that, given the chance to chat with any mom, we would find that no matter how different they are from ourselves, we would come to see that all moms are really just A Mom Next Door."  Be sure to check it out!  

Favorite homeschool activities this week:

  • It was P Week, so we did all things pirate!  It was fun to devote an entire week to one theme and see how it sparked the boys' imaginations.  We read two of our favorite pirate books, 1001 Pirate Things to Spot and How I Became a Pirate, and made treasure maps, pirate puppets and newspaper hats.
  • D also pulled out our well-loved Ed Emberley drawing book and has been busy creating all kinds of things.  I love how much he loves to draw.
Second Grade
  • Spelling is still a big hit for M.  This week, I had him spell his words using letters cut from magazines and newspaper ads.  Fun for both of us, hah!
  • Math has become a little hard for him, so I've decided to slow way down and supplement with worksheets in between lessons.  I think the extra practice with addition and subtraction facts will really help his self-confidence.  I've had some luck finding free printables around the web, but I think this Star Wars set may need to be purchased soon. 
  • We are also about a third of the way through our study of Ancient Egypt and had a great week of activities.  Deciphering hieroglyphics ("I feel like a detective figuring out a code, Mamma!") and making our own papyrus (using the instructions here) were both big hits.   
One last thing: Do you know Mary from her blog, Passionate Perseverance?  I first "met" her through my Penpal Project last year and she is such an amazing, holy woman to me.  Her sweet family is going through so much right now, so I would love if you would keep them in your prayers or even consider donating through their Paypal button (which you can find on her blog).  Thank you!  

Have a great weekend, friends.  Hopefully the next time you hear from me, I'll be introducing you to our newest addition!

Friday, September 5, 2014

{around here} Week of 9.1.2014

I reached the pregnancy milestone of 37 weeks this week.  Full term.  I'm equal parts amazed that we're here already and panicky that I haven't accomplished everything I need to do before he arrives.  Control freak much?  This is always such a crazy emotional time for me anyway; I'm soaking up the last days with my "current" baby, while pepping myself up for the upcoming labor and delivery of the next.  I'm getting excited for what's to come, while enjoying to the fullest what I already have in front of me.  It's this complicated, yet beautiful and sacred push and pull.  I'm trying to embrace it.  

I just read this post, Pursuing Big Plans in the Middle of Motherhood, and I could draw so many similarities to my experience with Big White Farmhouse.  We are a family business in every sense of the word, but I never guessed how invested my kids would become.  It makes me so happy to see such excitement from them as the company grows.  To hear one of them exclaim, "We got a sale?  High five, mamma!" or "When I'm big, I'm gonna have my own store too."  I feel so lucky to be able to share this adventure with them.  My point to this rambling: if you've got a dream or idea that you keep down deep, maybe it's time to try it out. 

Favorite homeschool activities this week:
  • The change in M's attitude toward spelling has been incredible since we switched gears and tried something new.  He actually looks forward to the subject now!  One of the activities we played this week was Waffle Words and we both took turns creating and completing the puzzles.  I had fun too!
  • D and J are still loving math.  We used Pattern Blocks, which are always a big hit.  I also printed these Transportation Themed Mats for more practice.  For H week, we made hats and hearts.

I finished 
Peace Like a River on Wednesday and wow.  Definitely the best fiction book I've read in a long time.  Have you read it?

A few little things I want to remember about my sweet Sophie, who's almost two and about to be promoted to one of the big kids...
+ how she puts her arm through mine when we sit together on the couch
+ how, all of a sudden, her favorite movie is Frozen (she calls it "Le' Go") and she asks to watch it almost every day
+ how she'll point to my belly, say "Bay-Bay" and then run to find her own baby doll
+ how she loves to sit up on the counter and "help" cook...making chocolate chip cookies is her favorite (for obvious reasons!)
+ how her favorite thing is to go on a date to the grocery store with her Daddy...when he asks her to join, she runs for her shoes, blows me a kiss and tightly grabs hold of his hand
+ how crazy she is for her brothers, as they are for her (Overheard: "Sophia, did you know that you're my best friend?" - J)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Monday, September 1, 2014

{brave} September Goals

September is here.  This is an exciting month for us because by the end, our baby boy will have arrived!  Honestly, I've reached the point in this pregnancy where most of my thoughts consist of either meeting him or preparing for him.  I'm hoping that by making a few goals for the month, they can be a good distraction.  The last few weeks are the longest! 

1. Take out all of the kids' fall clothes and make a to-buy list to fill in the gaps.  I dread this chore, but I'd rather do it now than sleep deprived with a new baby.    
2. Complete the cross-stitch project I started in August.  I'm about halfway finished, so it shouldn't be too difficult to complete in the next few weeks.
3. Bake a pie.  I've never made a pie with homemade crust and I'd love to try.  Maybe apple to welcome in fall?
4. Make read aloud plans for "school" during our baby break.  We're going to take at least two weeks off from official schooling, but I do want to keep reading aloud during the break.  We'll be reading Owls in the Family and I want to find a few fun activities that the boys can largely complete on their own.
5. Write down all of the kids' birth stories.
6. Read two books.
7. Buy tickets for a surprise trip to Lego Kidsfest for the boys. I have three Lego-obsessed boys here and I know they will flip with a surprise trip with their Daddy in October!
8. Have a baby!

What are your goals for the month of September?  I'd love to read them!  
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