Sunday, September 25, 2016

favorite 4 year old

My favorite 4 year old, on a Sunday afternoon.

This was one of the more restful moments of the weekend, it was a super full one - with lots of fun, but I also like weekends of a more laid back variety.

Matt competed in an adventure triathlon - kayak, mountain bike, trail run.   I'll get some photos and post them this week, I hope.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Who's the boss?

This is the boys absolute favorite game ever!  All Matt has to say is "Did you forget who's the boss?" and the boys jump into action.  Luke's whole body shakes with excitement, John Paul runs frantically to and fro, and Isaac starts pushing the furniture back to create the largest possible competition area.

And in the end, Matt always wins.

He's the boss.

Friday, September 23, 2016

sports day (elementary fun)

This is a big day each fall - lots of excited anticipation and (always - for me at least - a marvel to see such a large student body all out on the track, marching and lining up and all that jazz...)

They march by grade (youngest to oldest) and then by class.  For our family that means Isaac is the 7th class to enter the field area, then 11 classes later Julianna....

And just two classes after Julianna, it's Lydia's turn.

and then I left.  And there were rows and rows and rows of students still to come!  Each class does a 90 second presentation/performance as they enter the main field area.  Whew.

The rest of the pictures from that day were sent by other teachers or parents.

Isaac was initially reluctant to spend the entire day at school, but in the end he said he had fun.

And I knew Julianna and Lydia would enjoy it.  It's taken a while, but they truly have friends in their classes, and a (mostly) free day to socialize was right up their alley.

If there was one picture that best captures this past week it might be this one.  Umbrellas. Oh it has rained and rained and rained.  

But even in the rain, John Paul manages to win the Star Student award :)  This boy.  A - MAZ - ING!

We are also stoking our new game addiction: Farkle.  The big kids have been playing tons of Dutch Blitz, but the little guys are Farkle-crazy.

It's pretty hilarious.  Luke is a risk taker.  John Paul's dice-rolling is aerobic exercise.  We all have a lot of fun, and I'm thankful for a game-loving family.

But we can't play games all day long, and these girls are getting their work done on the school porch too.  At least, most days they are getting it done!  ha!

And one last pic from this last week.

Check out his shoes :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

happy holidays

It's holiday time here in the big country - one this week and another in two weeks.  The kids celebrated in their classrooms.

And then we all celebrated with two days off of local school!

The girls spent a lot of Thursday at a neighbor's - a classmate of Lydia's.

And then this afternoon she came to our house.  I'm thankful for a few slower paced days and a weekend still to come....

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

a few extras

We had a few extra kiddos around here this weekend ....

an extra 5 year old to join our pair of littles.

and an extra 10 year old, to join our big sister duo.

We all headed off to soccer practice Saturday morning, with the unique distinction of having MORE girls than boys in our home!

Matt and I even went on a date the second night they were here (bonus of having plenty of big girls around - the friend who helped with the kids said "so easy" and there was lots of competitive high-speed card game playing after the young bunch went to bed!)

Then Monday, oh Monday.  In any given week Monday is often the most challenging.  The toll of a play and rest filled weekend makes its mark: piles of laundry, an empty refrigerator, the awkwardness of re-entering the school routine.

But as our school year gets weeks under its belt Mondays are calming considerably.  thank goodness.

Yesterday late afternoon I had the little guys working hard at their chopping skills.  Banana and lettuce are standard for the cutting board beginners around here.  And neither of these guys has advanced past the bread knife ;)

I tried for a photo angle that eliminated most of the background clutter but, alas, I was foiled in all directions.

We increased the chaos a notch when everyone wanted to join the calzone making fun.

I got floury fingerprints on my phone snapping these shots, but I thought it was worth it ;)

I make a conscious effort to stop what I'm doing, walk to the door and greet Matt when I hear him come in from work.  But this was one of those nights I wasn't able to leave the home-made chaos without risking calzone disaster.  Thankfully he's an understanding kind of guy.

And while the calzones baked we crazy-cleaned the living areas and I wiped and swept up the mess and dinner was yummy, and I always enjoy a meal more when the living room is picked up first.  Something about my need to control clutter :)

Then after dinner my left eye (which was already irritating me) got redder and redder and the gunk factor increased.  I self-diagnosed pink eye a little after 10pm.  And there are perks to living in a country with lots of meds available OTC.  A quick text message to a nurse-trained friend and I was at the pharmacy a little after 8 buying eye drops.  My eye already feels much better, and I'm so hoping that we manage to keep the pink eye curtailed to only me, or maybe just a few of us?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

the week here.

This summer the kids' elementary school got a facelift.  It looks so nice! {that's Isaac's class marching out in the photo below... look closely and you can catch a glimpse of his blond head!}

He almost always dismisses about ten minutes before the girls.

At home we are staying plenty busy - Wednesday morning I left the girls crafting while I went to run a quick errand.

The little guys too are often busy creating.  They are big believers in bold dramatic use of marker :)

And they especially LOVE when I print a coloring page off the internet.  I'm not sure what the big lure is, and we have plenty of great coloring books and gobs of plain paper, but they are convinced that the computer is the source of all good coloring.  Their favorite things to request: fighter jets, sharks, anything Star Wars, rockets, etc  You could say their theme is "capable of mass destruction".

oh boys.

Thursday is the morning I have all five home.  While it's surely "easier" to home school without the little two underfoot, I do have to say there is something extra special about Thursday.  I love the slower pace, the girls "taking a short break to make a fort for Luke", watching John Paul and Isaac deep in Lego conversation, Lydia doing flash cards with Luke holding "the ones she needs to practice again" and John Paul sitting in my lap "helping" me call Isaac's spelling words.

And grammar filled with giggles when Luke is drawing on the bottom of the white board :)

Matt is reading The Hobbit to the big kids.  It's their first Tolkien, and I think they are hooked!  They are only about halfway through, so more laughter and adventure ahead.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

our first september weekend

We are two days in to our fourth week of home school.  It's the first full week of local elementary school.  Soccer season started last Saturday.  We've had a few cool days (I even wore a light jacket last week when it was raining) and it seems that fall is solidly underway.  Whew.

It's so encouraging to see our homeschool elementary soccer team growing! This is our third season and we've seen more interested kids each year!

also we have our largest coaching staff this year (which is perfect because we have a LOT of kids out there!)

and then after practice I changed clothes and rushed off to a baby shower for a friend who is adopting!  It was a sweet afternoon and I'm so grateful for the community of adoptive mamas here!

And while I was drinking punch and eating chocolate dipped pretzels Matt and the kids loaded the van and got ready for a quick trip up to the mountains :)

we have a new commitment to get ourselves OUT of the big city, and with regularity!

This time we planned a bit last minute (I was scrambling to collect a change of clothing for everyone before rushing out to soccer practice) and Matt picked me up from the baby shower and we started driving north west.  We got a later-than-ideal start and by the time we arrived at our "hotel" it was dark and drizzling.  hmmmm.  and the "hotel" was deserted.  and everyone was starving for dinner.  and it was already past the boys' usual bedtime.

So we found a restaurant and got some dinner and everyone slept like rocks and we woke the next morning to NO RAIN and a beautiful mountain view.  

We have a lot more territory to explore and are eager to find a few spots that are great fits for our family (and friends!)

but this first trip was surely a success.  and we are hoping for more.