We did homeschool. Our school year is rapidly drawing to a close. I am excited for the completion of this year because it’s always nice to look back over the year and see what’s been accomplished. I also can’t wait to start the new school year. We really found our homeschooling “groove” this past year and the balance of big kids, little kids, and babies gets easier every year. I am excited for Brenna and Joshua and the many new things they’ll learn this year as a 3rd grader (gasp!) and a 2nd grader. I am also thrilled for Maddie; as she transitions to 1st grade, she will get more school work and I know that will make her happy. Braden, in his final year before kindergarten, has an exciting pre-K schedule ahead of him. We’ve already started some of his new lessons and he’s eating up both the new knowledge and the extra one-on-one time. The littlest ones will have plenty to learn and join in on as well. I’m sure Asher will be a particularly eager learner this year.
We did chores. I gave our regular schedule a bit of a face-lift this week and it has really helped our days run more smoothly. Our routine is largely the same, but the presentation and re-wording has changed things a great deal. We had a major shift in our job chart system as well and I really like the new system we’re using. I am seeing my children become more goal-oriented and less reward-motivated. Jobs are being done quickly and with minimal reminding. My energy level is increasing lately and I am happy to be able to tackle laundry and dishes as normal, rather than pushing myself so hard to do things around the house. Combine all those factors, and housework is going very well these days.
We made cupcakes. What can I say? They just sounded good. We made two dozen chocolate cupcakes this afternoon all frosted in delicious chocolate frosting, and ended up with two little boys absolutely covered in chocolate. Good times! I ate two cupcakes myself, the kids enjoyed cupcakes for snack, we gave some away, and we had just enough left over for dessert.
We read books. When my first three kids were small, we read constantly. We didn’t have a lot of other things to do at the time so reading and playing at the park were high priorities. Now things are much, much busier and sitting down with a pile of books multiple times a day is not as easy as it used to be. Still, I try to read to the little ones every day before naptime and I try to read to all the kids every night before bed. The effort is well-rewarded. I love snuggling up with tiny children and reading books. There is nothing else that holds quite the same sweetness as a lap full of toddlers, children on each side, and a stack of good story books.
Asher took a nap. It was the first nap he’s taken since coming home from our trip. I’m glad he finally took one because he still needs one in the afternoon. His sleep schedule and patterns are pretty messed up- for both naps and bedtime- after our vacation so this was progress.
We played with MoonSand. While the youngest two took afternoon naps and Brenna played with friends, Joshua, Maddie, and Braden played with MoonSand. It was fun to watch them be so creative. My kids love this stuff and I must admit that it is really fun stuff to play with. It’s got a great texture, doesn’t dry out, is easy to build with, and (best of all) MoonSand is gluten-free. I also love how totally easy it is to clean up after the kids are done creating with MoonSand. We brush it all back into a container and sweep whatever is on the floor into the trash.
We ate an early dinner. Rick has been leaving for work earlier lately and we still try to eat together when he does. It was a simple meal of chili cheese hot dogs and corn and cupcakes for dessert. It was yummy… but now I have heartburn.
We cleaned up again. Is stuff like that ever done?
I tickled Jacob. That boy has the cutest giggle and he’s so fun to tickle! I also admired his brand new tooth that just popped through his gums on Tuesday! He sure is a cutie!
We had baths. I’d already given the boys “baths” in our kitchen sink earlier in the day (after making cupcakes), but they ended up sticky with chocolate after dessert so it was off to the tub. Asher was less than thrilled at first, but then joined in the splashing and squealing that was going on around him. I love the smell of freshly scrubbed children. Sometimes I even use Johnson’s & Johnson’s on my big kids just so they’ll smell like babies again.
We had scripture study. I so enjoy our nightly scripture study. It’s nice to come together to study and pray as a family. We also took the time to talk about our daily family goals and see how we did for today.
Brenna and Joshua folded the laundry that I washed today. I bribed them though. In exchange for folding, they got to stay up past bedtime and watch TV while they folded. I’d say it was a win-win situation for all of us because they got to stay up late and watch cartoons and now there are three loads worth of freshly washed, neatly folded laundry waiting to be put away in the morning.
We read stories again. While Brenna and Joshua folded laundry and Jacob slept in his crib, the rest of us read stories. It was snuggly and nice and the kids’ hair smelled like shampoo this time. Afterwards, I cuddled up with the kids in Braden’s bed for a while.
I sang for like an hour. I don’t really know how long I sang to the little ones as they fell asleep, but it felt like it was at least an hour. I started with just a few Primary songs, but Braden burst into sobs when I announced that I was going to sing just one more song. “I don’t want you to leave!” he sobbed. So I reassured him and tucked him back under his blankets and then I sang and sang and sang until Maddie, Braden, and Asher were all soundly asleep. I was running out of Primary songs and Hymns by the end.
I remembered to put my older kids to bed. It was about that time that I remembered that Brenna and Joshua were still awake. I found them lounging on the couches, wide awake in front of the TV, with all the laundry neatly folded. I thanked them for their hard work, kissed them good-night, and sent them off to bed.
I kissed Maddie goodnight. Of course I kissed all my kids, both the sleeping ones and the ones who were still awake. But when I kissed Maddie, I paused for an extra moment and got a little emotional. After all, this is the last time I’ll kiss Maddie goodnight while she’s still five. Tomorrow is her sixth birthday!! And here I go getting teary again as I type that. She is growing up so rapidly. She is such an incredible blessing in our lives! Happy birthday (tomorrow) Sweet Girl!
I chatted with my awesome sister-in-law on facebook. Just as I was settling into bed, my sister-in-law sent me a text that she was on facebook. I was excited to talk to her so I jumped out of bed and hurried to the homeschool computer downstairs. (I still can’t remember to use my laptop now that it’s finally fixed!) We had a very nice chat and I was glad to talk to her.
I updated my blog. Which is what I am currently doing.
I went to bed and slept all night long with NO interruptions. Okay, I know I haven’t actually gone to sleep yet, but I’m adding that in because a little positive thinking never hurt anyone! If Jacob will sleep, then I hopefully will too! Positive thoughts!