Wednesday, December 10, 2014

This Christmas Season!

I feel like it really is the most wonderful time of the year! We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving and are now full swing in holiday merriment. I have really scaled back my expectations of myself and I think our whole family is having a more joyful season because of it.

I have only said "yes" to a handful of activities and I am so thankful for the free time to enjoy watching Christmas movies on tv, playing board games with my kiddos, and drinking way too much hot chocolate.

One of the events that I did say "yes" to was a gingerbread cookie making party with our Classical Conversations Community. Our director Terri did an amazing job and the kids got to make aprons, chef's hats, cards, and roll out, cut, and decorate gingerbread cookies.

I am not going to lie, the event was a little very stressful for me. The big three all needed my help completing their different projects and that little strawberry blond guy was crying and hanging on my legs pretty much the entire morning. But, the kids had fun and made sweet memories with their friends. Plus, these precious aprons they made and got to take home were worth it in and of themselves. They immediately told me that they plan to wear them for our annual Christmas cookie decorating day with Grandma!

I hope you all are enjoying this season! Coming up for us is the Christmas piano recital, Cookie Exchange party (just for mama with the Classical Conversations moms) and Ornament Exchange (just for mama with the ladies at our church, Nick's work Christmas party (just mom and dad), celebrating Christmas with my mom's side, and then of course Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations! And I can honestly say I am looking forward to each and every celebration!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Being a Mom During the Holidays

Brrr! I hope it is warmer where you are than it is here. Right now it is 12 degrees. That is not very many degrees people! I really don't mind the cold when it is snowing beautifully outside and all I have to do is stay snuggled inside baking and reading books to my small people. But, alas, life goes on even when it's cold and that means bundling up lots of little people and almost freezing our fingers off in and out of places. Not my favorite.

But, I do love what the cold weather brings with it... the holiday season! Thanksgiving! Christmas! New Years! It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

I loved this message from Kirk Cameron for moms this Christmas. (He actually got a lot of flack for this message because... well... "feminism". Sigh.) But, I was so encouraged by it.

As moms we REALLY do set the tone in our homes and have the power with our attitudes to make a wonderful or really lousy holiday season for our families. I know in years past I let business and perfection steal my joy. But, last year I really made a consious decision to "say no" to a Pinterest perfect holiday season and our whole family was blessed by that decision.

This year I am making the same commitment. We have some fun things planned (like a trip to see our family bff's the first week in December! and a gingerbread making party with our Classical Conversations community!) but I am not committing to a lot of activities and things that will cause daily stress.

I think I am going to order Ann Voskamp's new family advent devotional.

The hubs and I have talked about using it during our family worship time leading up to Christmas. I am really looking forward to that. But otherwise, we will take this season as it comes and hopefully really enjoy it!

*Yesterday was our last day of Classical Conversations for the semester so I am hoping to get out a homeschool update post soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sam's favorite jam

So, my little Sammy has been feeling a little under the weather lately. Sometimes he is downright miserable and it can be hard to make him happy. But, there is one way to guarantee some Sam smiles and happiness. It is this..

Yep. Will. i. am and the Sesame Street gang. Not just any Sesame street music video will do. It must be this one. Again and again. He now even asks to watch it by flexing his muscles like Will. i. am does at the end of the video. It is precious... even if I am getting a little tired of this song. But, hey, if this is all it takes to make little man feel better I will play it for him... "nothing's gonna bring me down... I'll keep getting stronger..." :)

*After posting this I caught a pic of Sam asking to watch his favorite video...

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Happy Weekend friends!

So far ours has been good. Although, my littlest Mister got a hold of some gluten somehow/somewhere and is absolutely miserable with tummy issues. After him feeling so much better for so long it is so hard to have him screaming and in pain again. But, hopefully it will all get out of his system and he will be back to himself soon!

We don't have much going on this weekend which has been glorious. This morning Nick took the "big kids" to swim lessons while I hung out with Mr. Tummy-Issues and then we all took a little trip to the cell phone place. We needed to switch carriers and while I originally thought trying to keep kiddos happy while looking at phones would be miserable, I couldn't have been more wrong!

Keeping kiddos happy in a store full of tablets/phones stocked with games = easy peasy!

Now we are just hanging at home and plan to spend the weekend that way... at least until church tomorrow!

So, here's to a happy weekend for all!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Magic House FUN

Wow, for some reason this week seems to actually be flying by pretty fast. Today is drizzly and gray. I love drizzly gray days. They beg for candles and warm beverages and lots of reading, basically a homeschool moms dream.

Our week has been a little crazy. Nick took Monday off of work so we could have a family day. The Magic House was having a homeschool morning so we decided to go there. Now, I have a love/hate relationship with the Magic House. I love how much fun it is. I hate how expesive it is and how someone always gets sick after we go. Well, since it was homeschool day we got in for $3 a person which is a great deal compared to the usual $10 a person. But, yep, I had two kiddos throwing up the next day. And it was funny because everyone I mentioned it to said, "yep, every time!" So, apparently the Magic House has a reputation for making people puke.

We had a great time though and it was totally worth it. And the hubs suggested lunch at 5 Guys afterwards which might have been my favorite part of the day. Here are a few pictures from the germ infested super fun Magic House...
There was a Magic Tree House exhibit and the kiddos loved exploring it!

Uh oh. A little sneak stole the Thanksgiving turkey...

Cutest pilgrims I ever did see.

Sweet little nurse.
This kid makes me laugh all day long.

The best pic we could get of all 4!

Sam was all about the water table.

The little animal clinic was hands down our kiddos favorite part of the magic house. Dr. Sophie checking out some x-rays/

Looks like she needed a consult with Dr. Jack.

Max enjoyed playing groomer.

They told me that they were fixing cars like Grandpa.

They had the sweetest little baby nursery. Sophie loved playing nurse and taking care of the babies.

Cute little bank teller.

Future President of the United States?

Not sure what J is on trial for... but he might be guilty...

There isn't much that my kids like more than a stage and microphone.

And 5 Guys... Max got the bacon cheese hotdog.

Girl loves her some french fries.

It's a winner.

And this boy is happy as long as he has dip.

So, we had a great day. Even though it might take me awhile to go back... :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 1st

(Oops, forgot to hit publish on this yesterday!)

Happy October 1st everyone! Despite the fact that it has been 90 degrees around here I love that fall is in full swing! There is lots of excitement around here because we are now only three days away from a certain someones eighth birthday. I am still in denial about all of that.

Several of my favorite blogs are doing 31 days types of series in October where they blog about a certain topic for 31 days... every day in October. I love those so much! But, I think my October goal should be to actually blog every once in awhile. You all know my track record!

Life has been pretty crazy-town around the R home these days. Let's not pretend that life is ever not crazy-town at our house! But, Nick has been working a lot and he has also been helping my parents get ready to move... let's just say the hubs has been busy lately which makes life a little crazier for me. We are also in full swing with school and all that jazz.

So, without further ado I will give you some pics of the kiddos (if you follow me on FB or Instagram these pics aren't new. Please tell me that I am not the only mom who basically only takes pictures on her phone!)

Here is my son being hard at work doing some school while also showing off his Chief's mug full of hot cocoa. He knows I am all about the Broncos so he enjoys being a little bit of a troll about his team loyalty ;)

We had a not hot day last week and it was so gorgeous outside we decided a nature walk was a much better use of our time rather than book work.

I am learning to crochet and the kids thought it looked really cool so I taught both Sophie and Max how to do a chain stitch. They have really enjoyed it.

Our kiddos are taking Saturday morning swim lessons this fall and the place where they go was having a little community event last week so we stayed for a bit after and the kids enjoyed decorating pumpkins and dancing around in all of the bubbles from a huge bubble machine.

Monday was crazy hair day for CC. The kiddos were very excited to participate. Sam went sans crazy hair. And Jack  wasn't actually going with us (he spends CC days hanging with my dad now) but he wanted to join in the fun.

Yesterday we were invited to a sweet little birthday party for our neighbor at a pumpkin patch. Sam was obsessed with this "dog".

I hope everyone is having a great start to their October and I hope to post more soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Curriculum Choices for 2014-2015

Well our 2014-2015 homeschool year is off to a great start. We "officially" began Monday morning and have been plugging away since. Next week we will add in our Classical Conversations community that we will attend once a week on Monday mornings. And the week after we will add in our weekly homeschool P.E. class on Thursdays. It has been nice to kind of ease in to school adding more each week.
My cute students hard at work!
I have been meaning to do a curriculum post to share what we are using this year. I love reading these posts from other homeschool moms because it gives me ideas to keep in the back of my head in case something isn't working. Hands down one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the ability to change things up if something just isn't working and try something new. And we are doing that a bit this year with some changes to what we have used in the past! So, without further ado, here is our curriculum line up for this year...

Max (2nd Grade)
Phonics- A Beka Letters and Sounds 2
Language/Grammar- First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind 1 (finishing up from last year) and then starting level 2
Spelling- Grade 2 Rod and Staff Spelling
Reading- Various books, they do about 30 minutes of quiet reading time everyday
Math- A Beka Arithmetic 2

Sophie (1st Grade)
Phonics- A Beka Letters and Sounds 1
Language/Grammar- First Language Lessons 1
Reading- Various books, they do about 30 minutes of quiet reading time everyday
Math- A Beka Arithmetic 1

Subjects we do together
History- Classical Conversations and we will use Story of the World (Vol. 3 and 4) and books from the library to go along with our weekly history and timeline sentences
Science- Classical Conversations and books from the library to go along with science memory work. We are also using this Magic School Bus Science Kit since it also goes along with a lot of what we are learning in CC this year.
Art- Art With a Purpose Artpac 1
P.E.- homeschool co-op class, swimming lessons, and monthly homeschool gymnastics class (and ballet once a week for Sophie)
Music- Classical Conversations and piano lesson once a week

My biggest surprise this year was using A Beka for phonics AND MATH! We have been using Saxon math and have had no issues with it. However, Sophie used A Beka phonics last year at their co-op and they were both begging to do the worksheets. After looking at A Beka math at a friend's house I knew it would be a great fit for my kiddos. I had stayed away from A Beka initially because honestly I had only gotten negative reviews on it from other homeschool moms. But, the style of it just appeals to my kids and really works for our family so I am excited to give it a try this year!

I am also going to be doing some preschool work with Jack this year but I definitely am not going to push it and we will just work at his pace. I got him some little Rod and Staff workbooks and he has enjoyed working through those a bit and being like the big kids. 

I am really looking forward to this year and growing and learning with my very favorite people. I do not take for granted the opportunity to educate my children and be with them all day everyday! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Catch-up and Great Reads

Happy Saturday! I am currently listening to the sounds of my kiddos playing happily and the hubs outside power washing our swing set and deck (yay for re-staining!). I am super thankful for a weekend to relax and get things done around this casa. I just got a new shelf to organize some of our homeschool stuff so I have been working on that off and on. I am hoping to get on here soon with a post on all of our curriculum choices for next year.

We are definitely enjoying some of our favorite parts of summer; Nick and I have been to the Muny twice (Billy Elliott and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess) and I took Max to a show (Tarzan), we have gone on a few field trips with my mama (the zoo and the botanical gardens), made a trip to KC, and are gearing up to start swimming lessons next week. I go back and fourth between LOVING summer and being ready for the fall. Fall is by far my very favorite season. I love the feeling of getting back into a routine after the summer... also the cooler weather, football, and pumpkin everything!

Speaking of gearing up for fall... I have been re-reading my two very favorite parenting/homeschool books. I read A LOT of books on homeschooling, parenting, and the Christian life. But, there are two that I read again and again and come back to every year to be re-inspired and reminded of why I do what I do and why we live the way we live. They are,

Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson
I feel like this is the ultimate book on home educating. I recommend it to absolutely everyone who says they are thinking of homeschooling but don't know where to start. This book goes beyond homeschooling and talks about your home and raising children in general. This book is such a breath of fresh air and Clay and Sally Clarkson could not be more encouraging. My copy is literally falling apart and I find myself grabbing it off my bookshelf on a very regular basis.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne
I actually don't own this book which I need to fix pronto. But, I check it out from the library a lot. Nick and I are actually reading it together this time. While this book isn't from a Christian viewpoint, I feel like the information in this book fits in well with our beliefs and encourages me to give my children the gift of a childhood. I am quick to say "yes" to many activities and things... this book helps me get back on track and keep my priorities in check.

If you are needing a little encouragement in your parenting I cannot recommend these books enough!

Well, I better get back to work. I hope everyone has a happy and productive weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Weekend 2014

Oh how I miss coming and blogging in this little space. I honestly really just enjoy writing, and blogging is by far my favorite way to do it. Unfortunately, it just hasn't felt like there is time lately. While summer seems to have fewer planned activities, for us, summer is always a little busier! My mom is off of school in the summer so we end up spending a lot of time with her and then when you add in swimming, the Muny, field trips, visiting family.... well, blogging just hasn't fit in. But, since I enjoy it, I do want to try to make more time for it.

We just got back yesterday from visiting my sister in Kansas City. She and her husband had their first baby on July 1st. His name is Cooper and we are totally in love. We were so blessed by getting to go spend some time with them and snuggle on him. It was also fun that it happened to be the 4th of July so we got to celebrate with them and my parents.

Here are a few pics from our trip (not in order!)

We had a nice time (even if a certain 1 year old barely slept the entire trip) and loved getting to snuggle on our new nephew!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Just had to pop in and wish a Happy Father's Day to my own wonderful father 

and to my amazing husband!

Here he is the hubs with our crazy crew this morning before church,
I had many attempts at smiling pictures but none of them turned out. So, here is the one with their "scary faces". 

I hope the fathers in your life are enjoying this day! There is not much better than celebrating men who love and lead their families well!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend

Happy Mother's day to all you mama's out there. Especially to my own wonderful mama! I always feel sorry for her on Mother's Day... she is a high school teacher and they always have their graduation on Mother's Day (how lame is that?) so she always spends her day there.

We did get to celebrate with her yesterday though. Yesterday morning I had a baby shower for my sister (more pics to come there) and then we spent the evening out at my parents with my sister and brother-in-law too. My Dad made amazing ribs and we had a really nice time.

Today we went to church and then out to lunch at Red Robin. Then it was off to Lowe's to buy plants. We have spent pretty much all day out in the yard planting. My husband has been a rockstar multrycher and I must say my flowerbeds are looking gooood! I am thinking we will just hang out tonight and have breakfast for dinner. My husband really makes Mother's Day fun and special for me and I always feel so blessed.

Photo: So blessed to be mama to these 4 :) Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mom's out there!
Me with my sweet kiddos this morning
I haven't been posting much lately because we have been dealing with some really hard tummy troubles with Sam. I will spare you the details (let's just say we have been doing a LOT of extra laundry around here) ... but on top of that he has been up a lot at night and usually has a 1-2 hour period everyday where he just screams. It has been exhausting. However, after our doctor suggested a gluten intolerance might be the culprit we have taken him off gluten for a trial. About 4 days in and he seems to be doing much better. As much as I originally did not want this to be the case (I don't know of any mom of 4 young kiddos looking to make meal planning and prep more difficult) at this point I will just be thrilled to have an answer and a solution! I just want my baby to feel better!

So, I have just been busy doing the mom thing lately and as much as I love coming here to write updates it has just taken a back seat. I am just thankful that I am able to focus on my boy and my other kiddos full time. This mom gig really is a good one.

I hope everyone had a blessed weekend!