"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January, oh January!

How it is that we are two thirds of the way through January already has me in a bit of a confused stupor. I keep thinking that I need to post an update, but haven't been "pounced upon" by anything out of the ordinary to tell you about.

Life has been moving along in a rather ordinary sort of way. Christmas decorations have been replaced by Valentine's (Suki was sad to see his decorations go!). School has resumed and has gone smoothly thus far. I've decided I really like January (I think I've always kind of dreaded it in the past ~ the 'after holiday let down' and having to get back on task with school). There is such a comfort and freedom in a new beginning. Such a strange delight to open my calendar and have a whole year of blank pages staring back at me! Restraint replaces excess, structure replaces chaos and the possibilities of a new year cause hope to rise up. I love routine and it's awfully nice to get back into one after the random-ness of the holiday season.

Emily is happy to have taken over some of our bread baking (she's been making our Ezekiel bread lately ~ and doing a great job of it). She is also excited to be involved in Ameritowne . . . and I'm adjusting to the very large "hiccup" that the weekly training sessions are putting into our homeschool week (homeschool goes better when you actually get to spend some time at home!). Ameritowne is a field trip/adventure that allows kids to run their own town for the day and in doing so, have a crash course in economics, banking, commerce and government . . . this is our first year to be involved and Emily is thrilled!

Nerf guns are the favorite toy around our house at the moment (Levi found the largest "Nerf dart blasting contraption" I've ever laid eyes on for $8 on Craigslist), so now the kids have re-distributed our supply of weaponry and formed some sort of club among themselves. If you come to our house, take cover! You'll probably be safe, since we generally have a "no shooting at people" rule in place (unless everyone is properly armed and interested in a lively dart-war!)

The little kids are growing in their independence and Sam (who will turn five in just over a month) is discovering all the things that he can do for himself in the kitchen. Anna is constantly asking me what she can do for me (I have to work pretty hard to come up with stuff -- she has such an ongoing desire to help with anything and everything). She still pronounces her or's as er's . . . and one of her favorite things to do is snuggle up with her blankie and say with great delight "aaahhh, nice and werm and cozeeeee"! ("nice and warm and cozy" to the rest of us)--that girl is too cute!

If Nerf guns are the favorite toy, "Perler beads" are a close (and far more tedious!) second. Little bitty beads of varying colors that you arrange into patterns on a little plastic board ~ and then mom gets to iron them, melting the beads together to form a little "doo-dad" (which then, sigh, must be put somewhere . . . ) Samuel and Anna spend great amounts of time creating things out of beads and lining them up in the laundry room for me to iron them. Samuel, who is not particularly gifted with patience, likes to lament that I haven't ironed them "for 300 days"!

Samuel and Anna usually do a good job of playing together and entertaining themselves while the big kids are busy with the part of school that doesn't involve them (part of the day, school does involve the littlest ones). They especially like to tear the love seat apart, borrow all the pillows and blankets they can round up and create a house to play in ~ one of the pictures below is of them sitting proudly on their "front porch"!

Daniel is very excited to have narrowed the math gap, edging closer to eclipsing his big sister in his most beloved subject. He just started his 5th grade book (Emily is in the first part of the 6th grade book). He's even been doing extra math work during his free time before bed each night! (this child is barely seven years old ~ and is definitely more closely related to Kevin than he is to me!!)

On our trip to Wyoming (in November), Samuel fell head over heals in love with commercial "french toast sticks"! We've since made them our "enrichment day breakfast treat". Last week, Levi found out that he could play with his food just as well as Samuel can! (although he just can't seem to get excited about things like our recent "Pajama Day"--but everyone else did!)

When we aren't doing school, our basement game room has become a favorite place to play. The air hockey table (my highly romantic anniversary gift from Kevin!) and the dart board, target shooting gallery and ladder ball that the kids got for Christmas were fun by themselves. In addition to those, the kids have dusted off and resurrected our mini pool table and were deligted when we were recently given a regulation size ping pong table! The kids are getting pretty good at beating me (especially at pool) on a regular basis!