Friday, March 30, 2012

Evening memories

The Blessing of Chris' Parents

Chris' parents do not make it on the blog very often...neither do Chris or I - but it is assumed that at least I am here.

We live together with Chris' parents, in their house.  Actually we live in the house, and they live in their camper (though they are inside most of their waking time that they are home).

They are basically willing and able to jump in at any times, and are nor afraid to get their hands dirty.  If a diaper needs to be changed, and I am making dinner, they just handle it.  If someone needs some help/opinions on a layout for their project, or what to cut from their report because it is too long/too wordy, they are willing to help. 

Chris Dad works on our motor home in his spare time, trying to get it ready, hopefully by vacation this year!

For those who may not know, this motor home was taken down to the bear metal frame because that was the first thing not rotten that we could build on...and we are now able to customize is to work better for a bigger than average family!

Chris' mom is great at proofreading, writing, spelling, and grammar, and also with aesthetics, so she helps out in those areas, (where I would much rather just focus more on the science, math and Bible).

She also keeps things on track when it comes to keeping things picked up and housework done as well as the laundry when needed!  She does the dishes almost every night after dinner and does that final sweep in the evenings!  She is such a blessing to all of us!

When Callie has an appointment, more than 1/2 the time, I am able to leave most of the others home because Dad is here with them.  He also lets us use his truck to get hay, or just to be driving a smaller vehicle than the bus when I don't have everyone with me.

He has also been willing to take everyone to choir, and Callie to see Dr. Patrick when I wasn't feeling well, or was deep into a project.

Why so many posts all at once?

This is a valid question that I was asked in my email inbox...

Basically, if there have been no posts for a few days or a week, it means one of two things:
1.) We have been so busy that I have not found the time to blog.
2.) We have done nothing and have nothing to write about (it is possible, and it does happen!)

This week, has been the first option...but I am almost caught up - I think I only have 1 more blog post to do and I will be done for today!  :)

And that is why there will be several posts made in a day at times!

Callie's pt

Sometimes during therapy, Chris' dad is home and generously watches everyone else so I can bring just Callie - or Callie and one other.

Not this week!  We had everyone at therapy.  And basically her pt took her off to do different things while I stayed in the room with everyone else - and gymboree bubbles!  (They are totally the BEST bubbles EVER!)

You can actually catch the bubles without them popping!

Meanwhile, Callie was being taped for the first time.  The 'x' on her tummy is supposed to make her tummy muscles fire 24/7.  Her tummy muscles hurt so much the first night that we had to medicate her.  She asks each day, "Can you please take this x off my tummy?"  But she knows she needs to keep it on for 7-8 days.

Basically this falls under the strange and unusual ways that her therapists find to torture her...but I will also say that she is walking with less lateral sway/rocking of her torso, so it is helping...

Miss Serenity is 17 months old!

This little miss is already 17 months old!  She is enjoying the chicks very much, loves putting on people's shoes, and being apart of all the activity in the house!  (Here she is pictured with Ashley's shoe on!)
She loves carrying around big objects, including this blue basket she is sitting in here. 
She enjoys playing with cars, trucks, trains and dolls.  She likes to help in the kitchen and with laundry.  She loves to play in the bean table, and to play in all sorts of water!

She is still taking 2 naps each day, for the most part, but her morning nap is sometimes getting to be a bit late.  I would imagine we are getting close to dropping it (in the next few months).

Oh, and she is very much still a Grandpa's girl!

She is such joy and a blessing!  We look forward to seeing how God will use her unique talents and abilities as she grows and develops!

Visiting with Grandpa Keith

Marlys was able to bring Grandpa Keith to visit last night.  Everyone enjoyed getting to see him again!  We had not actually seen him since Grandma Marie passed away about 2 months ago.

We had lasagna, salad, and garlic bread for dinner.

And we had cupcakes for dessert...being that it was a Thursday, we didn't have time to get them decorated before they they decorated right along with us!

We hope to be able to keep contact with Grandpa Keith and be able to do this periodically, or going to Marlys' or Linda's (his daughters' houses) where he is living between the two houses, one week at each.

Playdoh Creativity

Since we had a rather large portion of scripture to read today, the girls were playing with playdoh while I read.

Here are the creations that Ashley and Brianna came up with!  (Oh, and we read the first 8 chapters of Exodus this morning in getting ready for passover.)

Here's Brianna's creations:

Basket boat open.

Basket floating on the Nile
Pharaoh's daughter after discovering baby Moses
 Ashley's creations:
Ashley's creations, Pharaoh's daughter at the basket boat
while Miriam watches in the reeds

alternate angle to see the baby in the basket and the fish jumping.
They both expressed later that they know it was a servant who brought Moses out of the water and basket, but that they didn't have enough playdoh, lol!

I am always so thrilled to see how creative my children are!  Since the height of my creativity is stick figures, it is amazing to see what they can create!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A wonderfully relaxing Sunday

We started out today on the note that Chris was called into work...we decided that I should go ahead and take our children to church with the idea that Chris would hopefully be able to join us when he finished...

After church, we decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather, except that by that time, the weather had turned cooler and windy.  By the time we grabbed lunch at Subway and got to the park, it was downright cold!  I thought for sure we would have to leave right after we finished lunch.  We stuck it out and the sun peaked its way through, and we had a great time!

Chris was able to join us shortly after we arrived, as well as his parents, and Skip, a friend from church, who enjoys hanging out with families.

Serenity and her Grandpa

After we ate, the children played at the park, then we walked around the lake. We stopped at Subway (at first because Callie needed to go potty, but ultimately, we made a small break of it and enjoyed a cookie there, too!

Callie riding in style on Skip's shoulder!

After all that, we came back to the house, fellowshipped and had baked potatoes for dinner and brownies and ice cream for dessert.  The girls were very excited to show Skip their new chicks.  (Skip had a hobby farm years ago, in fact, he was the one who helped us to castrate Steak.)  It is always fun when Skip is able to come over.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Everyone enjoys holding and watching the chicks!

The house is now filled with the sound of 'cheep cheep cheep' as our new chicks settle in.

Everyone is enjoying watching and especially holding them.

Serenity says, "Help me!" while trying to pull the top off the cage so she can touch them.

Justice enjoys holding chicks, but only for a few seconds at a time, then he wants a new chick.

Callie loves them, and wants to hold them, but it is hard for her not to squeeze them when she gets we have to be very careful about her holding the chicks while they are so small and fragile.

Brianna had trouble at first with how to hold them, so that she wasn't squeezing and also so that they weren't getting away from her...but now she is doing great!

Ashley loves to sit and watch them, even when she isn't able to touch or hold them (when they are resting).

This is the cheat sheet we made off the internet to
make an attempt at identifying the breeds...
we are struggling to tell the americaunas from the wyandottes.

Serenity loves the chicks!  She keeps going to the cage and saying, 'help me! Help me!  Help me!"
In an attemp to get someone to help her open the cage top...

The twins are working on names for them all, since they are all layers, I have said that they can choose whatever names they would like.

Names, names, names.  Everything seems to be coming down to names lately!  We have 2 nameless calves.  We have a nameless baby, and now we have 14 nameless chicks. 

Our New Adventure

The box everyone wanted to hold on the way home...
Even Seren was asking if she could hold it, lol!
I disappointed them ALL by keeping it up with me - the last
thing any of us needed or wanted was to be chasing down the
contents of this box around the bus when they accidentally spilled!

After we got their new home set up, we opened the box.

Here they are getting settled into their new home. 
I will post more pics later after I let people hold them.
For now, we wanted them to get warm and settled.
There are 14 chicks in all, 3 Americauna, 3 Buff Orpington, 3 Rhode Islan Reds, 3 Golden Sexlinks, and 2 Wyandottes...but we have no idea who is who, so if anyone is able to help with that part, we'd appreciate it!

"Wow!" And, "I am so glad to be done!"

The title expresses both of the thoughts I had when Bailey finished her project on the Oregon Trail.  I am so impressed with how well they are doing, how much they have learned and just how great these projects came out!

Here are the finished products:

Brianna's Kangaroo Project for Science

Anna's Fetal Development project for Science

Ashley's Beaver project for Science

Bailey's Oregon Trail project for History

Anna's Log Cabin project start for History
She has not done the board for this project yet.
I know the stereotypes for homeschooling.  That it is what people choose when they do not want to do anything for school.  I have heard the common questions and concerns about not having to follow any type of curriculum.  That how could we possibly know what or when to teach anything without being a trained professional.  We had an instance when Anna went to get supplies at Ben Franklin, where a woman who was assisting us asked if this was for a school project.  The conversation continued something like this:

"No, it is for the Evergreen State Fair.  We are homeschoolers"

"Oh, that's great!  I think homeschooling is a great idea, so what are you doing for school?"


"Don't you have to follow the State approved curriculum?"

I stepped in at this point, appalled that Anna thinks we do 'nothing' for school!  "There is no state approved curriculum, we can choose to study what we want, when we want.  Right now, Anna is studying fetal development, and working on a final project that will be displayed at the Fair."

"Didn't I see you in here with someone else, too?"

"Yes, I have 4 children working on different projects for the fair in either history or science.  It is nice as a homeschooler to see someone else's perspective on projects that my girls do, so we use the fair as part of our children have so much fun with school, that they do not even realize that is what they are doing!"

And now...for one of the best parts of getting all of these projects done (and it will be a couple months before we start the next set of projects, which consist just of putting boards together), I get to clear of all the project stuff from the back counter!
Project central!

Yay!  The counter is still there!  And just in time for our
next pre-baby adventure!  (More on that later today!)