Friday, May 24, 2013

End of May catch up!

I know I say this every week... but I am SO excited that it is FRIDAY! For some reason starting Wednesday I thought it was Friday so this has kind of been a loooong week! Not bad, just long! The best part of the week was that Tuesday was my mom's last day of school for the year. So now she is free to play with us whenever we want ;)

We started her first day of summer vacation off right by taking her with us to the O'Fallon Public Works Fair! It is basically just a lot of large equipment sitting around in a big parking lot that the kids can climb on and sit in. There was also a little train to ride. It was PERFECT for our little truck man. He was in heaven sitting on different diggers and tractors.

Photo: Super fun morning at the O'Fallon Public Works Fair #ABeautifulMess

Yesterday ended up being kind of a crazy morning. I meet for discipleship with my neighbor so we had our Bible study and then I had to hurry home because I had an appointment to get an estimate for an in-ground sprinkler system. When we got home the guy was already there and he wanted to sit down and talk me through everything. My house was a mess and Sam just wanted to scream the entire time! It was pure crazy town... So, we went out to my mom's house for the afternoon so I could have a little help and regroup my sanity. It was lovely.

Thankfully, this weekend is a three day weekend! I have big plans to get lots of housework and little projects done around the house. Next weekend we are going to Kansas City (first little road trip with a baby! bring it on!) and then Nick has two, one week trips to Chicago this month so I want to get things in order around here before he abandons me has to leave for business. ;)

I will leave you with some double chin cuteness... P.S. This little guy is now 3 months old!
Photo: It is basically impossible to be cranky when you wake up to this smiling little chunky baby. #babydoublechinsarecute #ABeautifulMess

Friday, May 17, 2013

My children's tv rant

I am so fed up with children's television shows! We don't have cable at all (hello, rabbit ears!) so most of what our kids watch is on PBS. I really like most of the shows on PBS. I am especially digging Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood... I even finding myself using the little songs as reminders for my kids during the day...  But we also have Netflix and since Max is getting older and not wanting to watch "baby shows" anymore I have let him try out several shows thinking they should be innocent enough. But, I have found myself so frustrated.

What is with the name calling??? We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to name calling in our home, but it is kind of hard for kids to understand why this is absolutely unacceptable when it is so prevalent in the shows they are watching! On shows they act like it is funny. Or that it is okay to call names if you are talking to the "bad guys".

We all know that as adults what we are taking into our minds has an affect on us. We are easily desensitized to violence, immorality, and bad language. How much more susceptible are our kids?

I let the kids watch "Ninjago" this week thinking it looked cute. Legos, ninjas, sounds like a winner... only to find out that what my kids really took away from it is that calling people "dummies" is really funny. Nice.

I am not saying we have to protect our kids from hearing every bad word and that we can't tell them that we shouldn't act that way even if it is happening on TV. But, I do think when we are the ones putting it on for them and buying the toys we are pretty much sending the message that we are okay with whatever is presented on it.

I do not understand why the makers of shows for kiddos in the 6+ age group can't promote good behavior like the preschool shows. I am all for a good vs. evil battle. But, when the good guys act like bullies too that isn't really sending a clear message to young kids.

So, I guess this mom will be making some changes as to what shows we watch around here. I don't want to be uptight. But, how we treat others matters big time and I want my kids to know that we take this seriously. Does anyone have any recommendations for quality kids shows that are fun for bigger kids that don't glamorize bad behavior?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Change of Plans

So, initially my plan was to homeschool year round. Since the hubs works all year I figured there was no real reason to break for the summer and instead we would take breaks throughout the year. Well, CHANGE OF PLANS!

Shockingly, adding a new baby into the mix of our first year of homeschooling proved a little more challenging than I thought it would. Although, I am not sure if the new baby has added the challenge or the wild man 2 year old! But, either way, this mama has been feeling burnt out. Not only that, my house shows it! Adding another little person to the mix and the business of it all has left my house in shambles a less than ideal condition...

I have been keeping up with just the bare minimum when it comes to housework these days and it is starting to show. My pack rat tendencies (which I didn't even know I had until recently!) are really catching up with me and I have found myself totally overwhelmed by the clutter.

So... I have decided Friday will be our last day of "school" until mid-August. I need to feel more free to focus on restoring my house to order! Homeschooling is a challenge when you have to constantly move clutter and piles just to get started! Plus, we are also adjusting to Nick's new work schedule... if you can even call it that! Ha! So, I think this break will come at just the right time for us to regroup and recharge.

But, while I say we are taking a break from school I know the learning around here won't stop. We will still take weekly trips to the library and go on lots of field trips. We will still read books and play games and have long discussions about what exactly a molecule is (that was the breakfast conversation this morning). But, I won't be breaking out the "formal" stuff. Who knows? My kiddos might actually learn more this summer than they do during the year!

Than we will have a fresh start in August! I decided to wait until our August birthdays are over and then we can jump right in! Ahhh... the beauty of learning to be flexible... I am working on it... :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My new favorite app and some other random stuff

So exciting! A few of my favorite bloggers, Elsie and Emma have a new app out! I am kind of obsessed with it and have put it to good use already since downloading it yesterday afternoon. I am kind of a sucker for photo apps anyway. What can I say? I have cute photo subjects regularly at my disposal!

The app has super cute fonts, doodles, borders and filters. I might be having a little too much fun with it... :)

In other news... here at the Ramsey home Nick is on day three of his new job! He is really enjoying it and I am so glad! If hubby is happy with his job I am happy! It is going to take a little getting used to on my part though. He is a consultant so he will always be working on different projects around the city and everyday is completely different! He started off his first day on Monday morning at a Starbucks in Clayton (the kids were a little disappointing to hear that their dad wasn't actually working for Starbucks)! Yesterday he got home around 2:30 and worked from home the rest of the afternoon. So basically, I never know where he will be, what he will be doing, or when he will be home! But, I think we will get used to it and this is an amazing job opportunity for him.

Another exciting development around here is that Sam has started getting into a bit of a routine. I am not a scheduler with my babies, (I was with the first but learned that was NOT for me!) but I have found that around the 3 month mark they start to fall into a more predictable routine. It is nice to know that about an hour and half after he wakes up that he will be ready for his morning nap and we will be able to get some school done. And then he goes down around 8 for the night so I like knowing I can get stuff done and spend time with the hubs kid-free after that!

I am planning to write a homeschool update post soon. I want to blog a little about what we liked/what we didn't like and then what we are planning to use next year... But first I need to finalize what we are using next year! I thought I had it set in stone, but then the Viratas Press catalog came in the mail yesterday... :)

Oh, and speaking of homeschooling... I did have a very proud Mama moment yesterday when both my kiddos got 100% on their math assessments! I kind of expected Max to do well. He gets things very quickly and usually only misses problems because he tries to go too fast and doesn't pay attention. But, I didn't realize Sophie had a lot of her addition facts memorized and it turns out she does!

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday! We are taking my Grandma to run some errands and the kiddos will most likely end up playing out back with the neighbor kiddos for a good portion of the afternoon with this beautiful weather! (Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to have next door neighbors that homeschool??)

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Middles

I tend to refer to my kids in "groups!" There are the "big kids" (Max, Sophie, and sometimes Jack), the "little kids" (Jack and Sam), "the boys" (Jack, Sam, and Max) and then we have "the middles" (Sophie and Jack). The groups are always changing (and will depending on if we ever have more kiddos)! But, it is kind of cute to buddy them up!
Photo: The middles.

Photo: I don't know what has gotten into these two today... but I will enjoy it while it lasts!
Lately these two have really started to be little friends. I think this is the age Sophie was when she and Max started really playing together too. I think until kiddos are close to 3 they are just hard to play with! It is neat to see Sophie and Jack start to really bond. She is so bossy with him but he eats it up.

I think one of the really neat things about having a bigger family is watching the different relationships and dynamics among the kiddos. It is so fun to see them start to really love and care about each other. A few weeks ago Sophie went home with a friend after church and Max and Jack were totally devastated. When Jack saw her get in her friends car he started crying, "I can not like Sissy getting in that car!" It is precious.

I am just so excited to see our kid's relationships with each other change (and hopefully grow!) overtime!

Mother's Day 2013

So, my Mother's Day was pretty much perfectly wonderful! There is always something special about any Mother's Day when you have a new baby (so pretty much every other Mother's Day for me! ha!).

My day started out (just like every day) snuggling in bed with my littlest mister. Then slowly the other peeps flitered in and I ended up in bed with all 4 which doesn't happen too often so it was pretty sweet. Sophie gave me a little gift she had made at a friend's house a few weeks back and she was so excited and proud to give it to me!

The hubs made delcious pancakes for breakfast (which isn't too out of the ordinary because he is our breakfast chef almost every day!). But, they were delicious and I was so grateful. He also let me know that we would be running through Starbies on the way to church (yes!).

I wanted to get a pic with all of my kiddos before church. We took a lot. This one was the best by far. HA! Getting 4 kiddos to look at the camera at the same time and smile is not for the faint of heart...
Photo: Mother's Day 2013 ❤
I would love to tell you what the message at church was about but I didn't really hear any of it. Once the teaching started I had to go feed and change Sam and then about 5 minutes after I got back Max had to go to the bathroom... But, I really don't mind. It is just the season we are in with little kiddos and I love having them at church with us. Plus, thankfully our church puts the messages online so I can listen to them later in the week! My favorite part of church was at the end when they had the kiddos go up front and get a rose to bring to their moms. Max and Sophie went up and came back with two beautiful roses. So sweet.

After church we grabbed lunch at our favorite family pizza place and then it was time for my Mother's Day gift! I really wanted plants and mulch! So we went to Lowes so I could pick out what I wanted! It was so much fun!

Photo: For Mother's Day I wanted flowers and mulch and to spend the day working in the yard with my peeps! Step 1 in progress!

(Jack was sad he wasn't sitting on the mulch too. But he got a turn afterwards!)

Then I got to spend the afternoon out working in the yard as a family which is exactly what I wanted. The kids loved getting to help and it honestly was the perfect day. And by perfect I don't mean things went perfectly! There were a few bad attitudes, having to constantly remind people to not step on the new plants, a fussy baby.... I mean it was a real afternoon. But, we were all together and it was exactly what I wanted.

Thank you to my amazing hubby for making such a wonderful Mother's Day happen.