Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Food for Thought

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I'm linking to this article because I found it so interesting!  Our public school system has applied Aug. 1 as the cutoff date for entering kindergartners.  As such, if we had remained in the system, Will would not begin school until he was about to turn 6. So according to this article/research, we would be doing him a disservice in "red-shirting" him.  Ah, more parental angst - as if I don't have enough to worry about!  I'll tuck this one aside for our future (if we ever return to public school and/or discussions with our friends who are headed into kindergarten) but for the time beginning it was a very thought provoking read.  I am also reading Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman - stunning new scientific research/studies which debunk many of our commonly held parenting beliefs.  Some have been not too shocking, as in kids getting more sleep perform better and have better overall attitudes, but reading about one study including 4th and 6th graders and the difference 30 minutes of "real" sleep can make - truly amazing!  Some of the other chapters, like the one dealing with lying, has given me new insight into handling this issue in our own home.  So, just some food for thought:)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Big 4!

 This little boy turned 4!  Jeff and I filled his room and his bunk with balloons the night before so he woke up to a decorated room:)  We heard Will and Jack playing with them bright and early thurs. morning!  Then he got to have a birthday cupcake for breakfast - always a fun treat.  We did a family breakfast and then had the grandparents over for a cookout and campfire that night.  He really enjoyed his day and was blessed to receive lots of fun gifts!  I know I sound like a broken record, but I really cannot believe that this boy is 4!  I was reminded by a friends comment on facebook that the day before he was born I had taken a bumpy school bus ride with Jack's kindergarten class to attend a field trip to the county fair.  We also had a picnic at a local park and then walked over a mile back to the school.  Her comment was "I remember the bumpy bus ride that triggered your labor!"  Ha!  I had forgotten, but it's so true:)  I awoke around 5:00 the next morning (a Sat) realizing that my water had broken.  Hours later our sweet William Charles was born.  Here are some things about Will:
*he has such a grateful heart!  He always thanks us for even the simplest of things, which in turn reminds us to have thankful hearts!
*He is really funny - he always makes us laugh, everyday, and it's often not because he was trying to be funny - he just has a way of saying things that crack us up
*He LOVES his siblings - he's really bonding with Jack lately, has always adored his sister, and is finding his groove as a big brother.  He was recently teaching Ryan to read one of the early-reader books he's learned
*He has the most adorable run - seriously, he's got the most determined look on his face and the wackiest way of swinging his arms - let's hope he can out grow this:)
*He has come a LONG way in terms of his temper and outbursts and demonstrates a contrite heart pretty quickly when he's been corrected.  Can't wait to see what God has in store for this very Willful little man:)

 On Fri we were invited to check out a local cave with some other homeschool families.  Originally Jeff was going to hang out with Ryan, but at the last minute he found out he had to attend a class at work, so I ending up bringing all 4.  About half way into the tour, in a cave where you literally are not allowed to touch ANYTHING, I said to another mom, "I really should have my head examined for bringing a 2 year old here!"  When all was said and done though, they all did a great job and Ryan was fantastic!  This was after the tour - notice Will and Jack's identical 'smiles'!
 Will recieved a headlamp from Poppy and during the campfire Will had his on so of course Ryan had to have one too!  Thank goodness Jack let him borrow his or else the whole neighborhood would have heard about it:)  He was making such funny faces trying to get it adjusted just right on his forehead!

 Earlier in the day Jeff set up his new tree stand and of course everyone had to have a turn.  Here's Ryan making another one of his famous silly faces:)
I keep forgetting to post about this too.  About a month ago we took down the crib.  Ryan and Ella-Kathryn sleep together in her bed quite comfortably so I just couldn't see keeping the crib up, taking up so much space in their room, when he wasn't even using it anymore.  But I had to take one more picture of him in it before it went up in the attic.  It was really hard to take it apart, knowing that there would not be any more babies sleeping in it.  I hope to keep it for our kids to use when they have children of their own, or to put up when we keep our grandkids!  I shed a few tears but tried to keep a positive attitude.  I know there are many great adventures ahead of us, without a little baby, and I am enjoying the kids where there at now.  I just know that I am one of those women who will never be done having babies:(  Other moms are able to confidently say, that's it, I know I'm finished - not me!  Jeff, on the other had, can say it with gusto! 

Friday, September 2, 2011


Ah, Colorado, how I miss you!!!Jeff and I had an amazing trip - not just the uninterrupted conversations and freedom to eat only a soft pretzel for dinner if we so chose, but also the beauty of the state.  I can definitely see a place for our family there someday:)
We've been back to school for a couple of weeks now and honestly it's been challenging; more so than last year when we were just trying to figure the whole thing out!  Ryan is certainly in a very high maintenance season right now:)  He is demanding, angry, bossy and so often frustrated by his own inability to communicate what he wants, that he takes it out on all of us!  The blessing in all of this is that God has SO been working on my heart - in a huge way. The Holy Spirit is seriously keeping my mouth shut and my heart open.  I have been much more patient and kind with my children.  It is NOT working any miracles with my children, other than I know that  I am not operating out of anger which was manifesting because I felt out of control!  Once God laid it out, that I am not a puppeteer of my kids, it clicked.  Loving discipleship of my children is my job!  Not being a dictator demanding certain behaviors regardless of their hearts and personalities.  So, in my quiet time I've been working on my personal mission statement (it's been great for me to clarify my roles and how I want to live those out) as well as spending time praying and reading the bible.  Finding scripture that helps me define who I am at this stage in my life has opened my eyes to God's purpose for me!  Let me tell you what a big deal this is for me.  All of my life I have struggled to feel significant and like I mattered.  Obviously getting married and having children brought some of that into focus, but at the end of the day it only mattered in terms of who He designed me to be.  His plan for me is the ONLY thing that can give me a lasting, real value. 
OK, so enough of the heavy stuff;)  Here are some funnies I wanted to record for posterity:
*Will didn't want me to cut up his waffle, but the piece was still pretty big and I asked him how he was going to eat it.  He replied, "with my big mouth!"
*Ryan will ask where something/one is and when he gets the answer he'll respond "Oh yeah" or if he asks for something and it's all gone he'll say 'Oh man"
*For some reason there has been a bit of talk around here about dating???   I've been trying to explain what Jeff and I expect about that time in their lives etc.  So Will was asking when he could date and I was reiterating our answers.  He then said that he could go on date when he got married (I'm guessing b/c Jeff and I say we go on dates?) and Jack pipes up, "Well yeah that's b/c you'll have your own woman!"  What in the world????  So Will says "Duh" which I am really not sure where that came from and I tell him "your silly" and he shoots back, "no I'm not, I'm Will!"
That's all she wrote...