Sunday Evening Post (edition 2)

First of all, yes, Nathan is out running right now. Don’t worry though! He is only going 3 miles and I still see some light in the sky. I doubt he will get lost and go 8 miles.

Alright, now that’s out of the way. Back on topic. It’s Sunday. It’s a day I always hope will be a day of rest, but never really ends up that way. Nathan actually pitches in and makes it possible for me to get a nap or some break from the children and that’s nice, but it’s not really what I picture a “sabbath” is supposed to be like. It’s harder to get that much-needed rest when there are 3 little ones in our house who depend on Nathan and I for assistance with a lot of things.

I can’t think of anything else interesting to say, but I did find these photos from this time last year. Audrey was having some potty training trouble and I promised a cookie to everyone at whatever time, day or night, she overcame a “certain milestone”. Here is photographic proof that I kept my promise even though it was 8:30 at night they had already been in bed 🙂

Wrapping up summer

We’re pretty much done with the summer of 2010 and it went a little better than I had hoped!

  • We made lots of trips to the park. I would say we went about 3 times a week. I easily met my goal of going 12 times this summer. I wasn’t sure how it would go with Isaac being too little to do much. We made it work by going to a park with sand volleyball courts and bringing shovels and sand toys. Isaac was happy to play in the sand for most of the time we would be there and I didn’t have to hold him the whole time.
  • We ventured to the beach. I’m guessing we went 9 times to various beaches. I’m pretty pleased with myself for attempting it and making it work with 3 little kids. It’s a lot of work to get 3 kids in swimsuits, gathering towels and beach toys and packing a picnic lunch and then getting all of that to and from the car. I would say that the most frustrating part of our beach trips was that when E or A had to go to the bathroom, I had to take all of them. Not fun!
  • Isaac became a full-time walker! He’s very pleased with his new ability and freedom that brings. His favorite things to say recently are “Audrey” and “Hi”.
  • Ethan and Audrey both now clear their breakfast dishes, make their beds and get dressed all by themselves in the morning.
  • We used our new grill a lot!

We had fun together and I said “yes” more often.  Now, the next thing I need to figure out is how to get myself a little more energy so I’m not feeling ready for bed at 9:00!

A year of running

A year ago I started up the Couch to 5k again. I had previously started and never finished. This time, I had a friend who was also doing it and I think it helped see it through (and the fact that we signed up to do a 5k race).

So, I’m going to bore you with more running stats again.  A year ago I couldn’t imagine running for 5 or 10 minutes without stopping.

Here is a report of the last 12 months (for some reason it is showing in kilometers- for a reference, I ran 63.5 miles in July):

My graph

Nathan is out doing his 5 mile run

I learned my lesson from the last time. I set the timer for how long I think it will take him and I’m planning to send a search party if he is late!

I did my 5 miles this morning. It was so nice out. The sun was just coming up and it was a little cool. I could definitely feel fall in the air. I even noticed that the sumac on the trail is starting to turn red. I suppose it is the end of August. I just can’t believe our summer is basically over. Today was a speed work day for me. I did 1 mile warm up and then I had a goal of running a mile at 9:28 followed by a half mile recovery and then another mile at 9:28 followed by another half mile recovery. Then I finish off with a cool down mile. Instead of hitting 9:28 I actually finished in 9:16 and 9:14. Not bad!

I just checked the timer and it looks like Nathan should be back in about 20 minutes!

Reading

We’ve really been enjoying our reading time! I thought I would share some of the books that we’ve been reading or are planning to read soon.

The Day the Babies Crawled Away– Peggy Rathmann. This is an adorable book. The text is written in poem format and the illustrations are so cute. A story about some families who go on a picnic. The babies crawl away and the “big boy” follows along and keeps them safe and brings them back after their adventures. Nathan loves this one too!

The Boxcar Children Series- Gertrude Chandler Warner- We’re starting with book 1. There are lots of books in this series. They are small paperbacks of about 180 pages each. 4 children on adventures together.

Happy Birthday, Moon– Frank Asch. Asch also authored Moongame which I’ve seen everywhere!

Little House in the Big Woods– Laura Ingalls Wilder. We made it through the entire book in short order. Ethan was interested and kept asking for me to read another chapter.

We’ve also been reading nursery rhymes and poetry.

My brother and I grew up reading a lot. We didn’t have a TV in our house for most of our growing up years and I’m sure that had a lot to do with it. I have lots of good memories attached to my books. It’s fun to enjoy books with Ethan and Audrey. Isaac has started getting in on the action too. Lately he’s been carrying one of the board books around when I’m reading! It’s a little hard for him to turn the pages by himself though.

If anyone is looking for some ideas of fabulous books for younger children we have also loved the No David! book and other David books by David Shannon. Great illustrations. Not many words, but it’s fun because the children quickly memorize each page and “read” it for you.

Another favorite is The Napping House by Audrey Wood.

Last, but not least. The Llama, Llama.. books by Anna Dewdney. If you don’t have a library card, you should get one just to check out these books. We really like them.

I keep thinking of more and more books, but I need to finish this post and go to bed. Drop me a comment and tell me what you’re reading to your kids or what your favorite book was as a child.

Memory lane

I was looking at some old photos and I cannot believe that this was Adurey only 2 years ago.

And this one was when Audrey was about the age that Isaac is now and Ethan was not quite 3.

Wow. I think I’m going to go check on them in their beds to make sure they haven’t grown any more today.

What our days look like

heartofthematteronline is doing a blog hop this week where families post “A Day in the Life” and I thought I would join in on the fun.

*Disclaimer- This is only the 3rd day we’ve been doing this. A year from now I’m going to look back on this and laugh*

First of all, let me introduce you to my biggest challenge when it comes to homeschooling:

Cute, blue-eyed babe, soaking with drool, toddler who thinks that everything that he spies is his and all he needs to do to claim it is to shriek long and loud! He naps once a day and for much the rest of the time that he is awake, he’s frustrated and cranky because he wants something he can’t have or is trying to do something that isn’t working the way he wants it to. Schooling presents a bit of a problem for Isaac because Ethan and Audrey get to use things that he would love to get his hands (and mouth) on. Today I pulled out some Easter eggs to distract him! It ended up working pretty well.

I’m trying to work our routine to cause the least amount of Isaac melt-downs.

6:45- Kids get up, eat breakfast, clear their dishes from the table, get dressed, make their beds and wave, “goodbye” to Daddy.

We do morning chores. I start laundry and load the dishwasher. Ethan washes and dries the table. Audrey washes the bathroom countertop.

8:00- Ethan, Audrey and I do a reading from the Children’s Bible and we pray together.

Once that is done our official “school work” begins:

Update our calendar and days of the week and do our weather chart.

Table Time in the kitchen for Ethan and Audrey. They think they get to do whatever they want, but I fill their little craft bins in the evening with cutting and pasting projects. They spend a good amount of time on this because they love it and it helps with their fine motor skills.

While that is going on, I play with Isaac. We do puzzles, read books or I pull out something like the Easter eggs pictured above!

9:00- Snack time. While they are eating and Isaac is locked in his booster seat I introduce the number of the day and then I hide some printout of that number throughout the Living Room and have the kids look for them.

If the weather is nice, we take some time to play outside for a while. Some days I let them make up whatever they want to do and some days we play hot potato or variations on other kindergarten level games that we can do with the three of us.

11:00- Lunch/Clean Up

Isaac goes down for a nap after lunch. During that time we’ve been working on our ABC’s: singing, using flashcards, other fun letter games and do work through our Math-U-See Primer book. Then we all grab a pillow and blanket and find a comfortable spot for story time. I’m working through a list of fun read out loud books.

2 evenings a week, Nathan does more in-depth science  with Ethan.

By Labor Day, we’ll have finished 10 days of basic alphabet fun and we’ll be ready to add to our routine working on writing the letter and number each week and focusing on letter sounds and starting to put letters together. Reading! Yeah!

Sunday Evening Post…one final note

Yeah. About that search party.

Took a wrong turn on my 6-mile run and ended up going 8. It was a nice long run out in the middle of the country with no side streets to get me back any faster than just keepin’ on after I realized my mistake at around the 4 mile mark. At around the 5 mile mark, I realized how far away I was and tried to pick up the pace a bit to get home before Amy called the police…or packed up the kids in the van and came looking.

Ah, well. Amy didn’t send out a search party, but she was outside looking down the street for me when I got home. Maybe I should run with a phone on my long runs? Or, maybe look at where I’m going to go before I leave so I know where I’m going to turn!

In the end, I did 8 miles at a 15:17 pace. Definitely a distance record for me, even if it was unintentional.

Also, it was dark.

Sunday Evening Post

What an exhausting weekend! I think the first two days of school took more out of me than it did Ethan. Did you know that if I take my attention off of laundry and dishes they don’t get done by themselves? Hmmmm….

Let’s see. What did we do? I posted already about switching our furniture. That took a bit of time. Nathan worked yesterday morning and I was home with the kids by myself. I was tired and emotional and feeling homesick for my mom. At one point I was crying and Ethan took over planning with Audrey to make Mommy feel better. Audrey brought me her special teddy bear. I held that while I emptied the dishwasher. Then I lay down on the couch and they brought me all their stuffed animals and piled them on top of me. Audrey played some music on her guitar/fiddle toy and then she used her toy phone to call Grandma and told her to come home because “mom” needed her. I have the sweetest kids! We survived until 11:00 and I made lunch, cleaned everyone up and declared it a day when EVERYONE was going to take a nap. All 4 of us were in bed at 11:30 and we were all sleeping when Nathan got home. We stayed sleeping for over an hour after he got here.

We went out for Mexican that night and then I snuck out for a run to DQ with Marie later that evening.

This morning, I started the day with a 6 mile run before getting ready for church. I was able to get a little cat nap after lunch and then got caught up on dishes and laundry. These days Nathan and I count the hours and minutes until Isaac goes to bed for the night. He is so much work right now. He’s into everything and so quick to start wailing. We rejoiced when he went to bed tonight and I’ve spent the evening watching 19 Kids and Counting, blogging, and reading about different approaches to homeschooling. Nathan is out doing his 6 mile run. If he’s not back soon, I may  have to send out a search party 🙂

That’s all the news that’s fit to print.

Our Schoolroom/Playroom

Nathan and I had been talking about rearranging some of our furniture to make a better space to do school work, so I took some time to get started yesterday afternoon. We had planned to move the TV and entertainment center downstairs to make a man-cave for Nathan and free up living room upstairs. So, I started with emptying the bookshelves. That’s all I had energy to do!

Then Nathan arrived home and was ready to move everything. And he made this decision at about 9:00 last night. Only crazy people carry bookshelves and entertainment centers down their stairs late at night when they should be getting ready for bed. Crazy, we are.

Our house is still in a bit of a state of disarray. I would have taken a picture of the basement for you, but it’s still a mess. I did take a photo of our new Schoolroom/Playroom. It’s not completely arranged they way that I want it yet. We’re going to swap this couch with the one downstairs. I also want some bookshelves for bins for toys, school supplies, games and books and I’m on the hunt for a little area rug. My hope is to have Isaac-friendly items at his level and everything else up higher, but still accessible for Ethan and Audrey.

I really wanted our space to be upstairs. I didn’t want to be in the dark basement away from the sunshine. We accomplished that with this move. Also, I wanted a to have a comfortable place for reading since we’re doing a lot of that and I want to keep that up. We also have toys to keep Isaac occupied (as much as possible) and other toys for Ethan and Audrey. I am happy about having the TV out of the way in the basement as a reminder that playing with toys is fun and that we don’t need to have as much screen time.