Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day of School 2011-2012

Emma Grace 14 months old VERY independent
She was not into getting her pictures taken on this day.
Benjamin Robert 3 1/2 years old Preschool
Samuel Isaac 6 years old First Grade
Elizabeth Adrian 12 years old 7th grade
Anna Elizabeth 15 years old 10th grade
My class this year
We began school on Wednesday, August 17th. Our school is a bit different this year as Ellie is attending a classical school on Mondays. They have structured her curriculum, and assign her the work and she completes it during the week. It is very rigorous- much more so than our homeschool ever was. But it is so good for Ellie. She is learning things that she never would have. I'm proud of her and her hard work these past 2 weeks.
Anna is doing a different kind of school also this year. She is doing a unit study called "Far Above Rubies". It is an amazing plan that has her learning many different things throughout the year. I am excited for her (and a bit tempted to do some of it along with her!)
Sam is loving first grade. He is reading so well and loves having a real math book this year. Right now we are learning about spiders. He retains just about everything he hears and loves to correct me when I say something wrong. (Reminds me so much of his older brother Paul!)
Benjamin is doing preschool with Anna. He loves it and she is doing a great job with him.
Emma wants to be included in everything! It is proving difficult to keep her entertained while schooling the other children, but I've no doubt we'll figure it out. In my opinion, this is the hardest age to entertain during schooltime. She spends some time in the playpen and some time on the blanket, but other than that, someone has to be watching her and playing with her.
I'm looking forward to this school year and seeing how much we all learn!
This is our fifteenth year of homeschooling- only by the Grace of God!

Welcome Home Dad

Paul arrived home from Brazil Sunday afternoon August 21st. We were so glad to have him back home and the kids (and me!) were so excited. He came home loaded with gifts for everyone!
We weren't sure Emma would go to him right away, but we were wrong. Once she touched his new goatee and knew it was him, she clung to him and laid on his shoulder. We were all relieved!
Ben wearing Dad's ear plugs. Paul wore them every night so he could sleep amidst all the snoring from the other men.
Our new family hammock. Everyone loved it.
Especially Emma!
She just couldn't get enough of daddy!
Dad also brought home some tea and a tea cup and straw. It was, um, interesting.

Welcome home Paul. You were greatly missed.


Emma loves her black beans
but they sure do get her messy!

She fell asleep like this one day in her crib. It was too cute!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

16 Days

16 days ago tomorrow, Paul left on a missions trip to Brazil. This is the first time he's ever done anything like this and the first time he's been out of the country while not on a cruise.

16 days is not that long, relatively speaking. It's only a bit over 2 weeks. But it seems like forever since he left. I've come to some conclusions while he's been gone:

  • I don't like being in charge all of the time. It's exhausting.
  • When Dad's not here, our routine disappears. I'm not sure why this one is true, but it is.
  • When Dad's not here, we all sleep late. Every. last. one. of. us. Even Emma and Ben who are usually very consistent with their wake up times. I know why this one is true. (Paul is known in our house as the sleep Nazi)
  • Our church is empty without Paul, even though everyone else is there. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
  • At least half of the time our door was left unlocked all night long. And the flowers wilted before anyone remembered to water them.
  • My young boys need the strong hand of their father consistently in their lives. It is very evident that Dad has not been around these past few weeks.
  • I didn't realize how accustomed I am to hearing from Paul every few hours. To only hear from him every few days was hard. The knowledge that I couldn't reach him even if I needed to was hard. Thankfully, I didn't need to reach him.

16 days. I'm glad it's over and he'll be home tomorrow. We need him.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Random Thoughts

  • Paul has been gone for a week. I've been able to talk to him about every other day, which has been nice.
  • He is doing well and enjoying the experience. He is working hard, building buildings and he has been able to preach a couple of times at the local church, along with teaching the locals.
  • I'm ready for him to come home. It's not the same without him.
  • Zack and his cousin Jacob flew here yesterday and then left today after church with Paul Jr. for Florida. This is their first trip with no adult supervision other than themselves. They were almost beside themselves with excitement.
  • It has been hot. Really hot here this summer and especially the past few weeks. I'm ready for Fall. No, make that WINTER.
  • I'm attempting to start school this week. I say attempting because I have so much to do to get ready for it. We will do something to start this week even if it's not the whole thing.
  • Zack played for the offertory in church this morning. He did a fantastic job and I think everyone in our church is as proud of him as Paul and I are. His first piano teacher even played a duet with him after church, just for "old times sake".
  • Ellie is attending a classical "school" one day a week. They will tutor her that day and give her the assignments for the rest of the week which she will work on at home. It is a very rigorous school, something that will challenge her. I'm hoping I can keep up!! I know she can.
  • Anna will be doing something totally different because the school does not go past 9th grade. I will blog about it after we get started and I know more about it.
  • Sam is anxious to get started as a first grader. He is a joy to teach because learning is still fun to him.

My Seven Children

Poor Ben. I tried to trim his hair and I messed it up. Badly. I thought maybe it wasn't so bad, but my big kids assured me. It was VERY bad. So Zack took pity on Ben and gave him a buzz. He still looks cute.
Sam and his buddy Zack
Awwww. These 2 little guys were so excited that Zack was coming to visit. They went to bed last night, but awoke when they heard Zack come in and then just had to come out and see him and sit in his lap. It does my heart good to see my children loving each other.
My four sons. It amazes me that 4 boys, raised by the same mom and dad and in the same home can be so different in personalities and looks. Each one is special and each one is loved.
Jacob, my nephew, and Zack. They are 10 hours apart in age and have waited their whole lives to live near each other.
The whole gang of boys.
Of course, in the midst of pictures, there was some fooling around and some showing off of strength.
Not to be outdone, Sam had so show them his strength.
With a little help from his big brother.
And here she comes, the little princess. She is walking so well now she can even walk in her shoes.
The first picture and the worst picture!
Emma: Mom. Am I really related to all these people? Puhlezzz!
That's better.
My seven children.
Ben even has his special happy face on.
My heart is full today. It would be overflowing if my husband were here....

Emma Grace

Ellie decided to paint Emma's toenails one evening. I don't know how she ever painted such small spaces.
Are they not so cute????
She fell asleep eating one afternoon with her hands folded like this. Too cute.
So sweet. (and sticky!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Dad

Paul left early yesterday morning for his missions trip to Brazil. It was tough saying goodbye to him, especially for Sam and Ben.

"Circling" up and praying that God will bless the people going and the people there and the effort.

"I will miss you Dad but can you bring me back a monkey?"

Goodbye Paul. I will be counting the days till we pick you back up. Our family is not the same without you!!