Monday, December 11, 2017

Year in Review for Sabrina

This was another fun year of life for Miss Sabrina! She doesn't look like she's changed much in the last year, but she has although she's still the adorable, silly, fun girl she's always been!

 

One of the highlights of this last year was our trip to Whistler. Bina was a ball of fun as she loves the snow! She loved sledding once she gave it a try and loved trying to ice skate for the first time too! 


Miss Bina turned 5 years old the spring!  She started the year out as a shy nervous to try new things girl, but lately that has really changed! 5 years old is a very very fun age! 


And completed the Awana Cubby program and became a Sparky


One of the most exciting milestones of this year was that she started Kindergarten! She loves school and is learning to read and write in cursive. She will often be found in her free time painting or coloring. A little artist in training!


As I already mentioned, she has been a bit shy as a kid, but this year she was brave enough to try a few new things like soccer and gymnastics!  She wants to continue on with gymnastics in the year ahead and is looking forward to swim lessons too. 


 

And one of her crazier moments is that she kind of gave herself  a mullet. We gave her a first hair trim but she wanted it shorter. She ended up winning that battle as she took the scissors into her own hands!


In 2018 I see a year of fun with this girl! She will graduate kindergarten and become a big 1st grader. I can't wait to see what new things continue to interest her like gymnastics or swimming or something we haven't even thought of yet. I hope she continues to love learning. I hope she is willing to continue to try new things. She's always been a sweet, happy, fun kiddo and I look forward to seeing her shine more and more! 

Questions I asked her
What do you want for Christmas? LOL doll, American Girl Doll
What are you most looking forward to about next year? Getting to play sports 


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Year in Review - LB style!


As this last month of the year speeds by, I thought it would be fun to go through and recap some of our favorite moments with each of the family members, starting with the baby of the family. Clearly she has grown a lot in the last 12 months! 




LB is our spirited child. She makes me laugh, she makes me feel like I am losing my mind sometimes. 2 years old had nothing on her at 3! LB's love language is physical touch and she loves to snuggle and hug. If we are sitting down, she must either sit on us or have her hand on us at the very least. She loves hugs and she can often be heard saying "I love you".  She is very affectionate and loving! 



One of the fun times we shared this year was up in Whistler Canada. This is the first time we've taken her on a trip and she's been ready to enjoy with the rest of us. I will never forget seeing this tiny 2 year old blasting down a pretty good sled hill all by herself. 


She is still a very small child just barely breaking 25 lbs but measures in pretty tall on the charts. I am so proud of where she has come. One of her greatest accomplishments this year was testing out of Early Intervention services (particularly speech therapy) and actually testing above average in several areas!  Something we haven't shared too much about her is that we had some scary "what ifs" with her when she was a baby, including a brain MRI when she was 9 months old.  She has overcome them all! A lot of our concerns are completely gone. She is talking and running and jumping and just pushing past all of those scary things!  

 

Little Miss turned 3 years old this year and anyone who has had a 3 year old knows how challenging they can be! But there is so much good too. She's happy, she's healthy, she's funny and entertaining!  It is fun to see her old enough to start having her own interests. She got this random idea in her head that she wants to take ballet and won't let that thought go. She also begs to take swim lessons.  I think she is going to be a go getter who has no fear! 


In 2018 we look forward to her starting preschool.  We also look forward to getting her started in activities, maybe ballet and swim or awana and see what interests her  most. It seems as though she wants to grow up just as fast as she can but I can tell you I want to keep her small as long as I can.


A few questions I asked her:

What do you want for Christmas? Goldie and Bear Toys
What are you most looking forward to about next year? Take Ballet and Christmas


Friday, December 1, 2017

School

At the moment we are on our Christmas break from school. We are taking a 7 week break and while we are focusing on academic skills during the break, we aren't doing any structured school between Thanksgiving and New Years and it was a much deserved break for all of us. Even more exciting, we've pass the halfway year mark for this school year!  I want to remember the journey we are on these days though. Home educating my children is one of my greatest privileges. I love spending my time with them and I love seeing them reach new accomplishments and all of us learn together. But it is also one of the most challenging parts of my life. Trying to help each of them reach their full potential and give them the focused attention they each need in their different grades can be really difficult. There are days that I would love to put them all in school and have some darn peace and quiet, but I know this is the best decision for our family so we press on and this little break is great for all of us!

My greatest challenge is time management.  I try to break it up to where I am working with 2 of them at a time but it can still be very challenging to bounce back and forth between each of them (and we also have a mischievous toddler running around the house). Malachi is probably 80% independent this year which is very helpful but the other two still need a lot of help and instruction from me so it's not uncommon as this picture shows to be doing phonics with one kid and math with another, heck there have been times I'm administering a spelling test at the same time too! I try not to confuse them or lose my patience! I'm a work in progress but I know it won't be long before Eli and Malachi are able to do their school day without much help from mom! 




Malachi is halfway through his 2nd grade year. His strengths are reading and writing.In general he is very smart and a well rounded student. I don't see much that he struggles with beyond just keeping his brain challenged and focused. He's at an age or phase that he likes to challenge me but we work through the hard days and take breaks when either of us need it. We adjust accordingly and my biggest challenge teaching him is just keeping him on task and motivated.


Eli is having a much better 1st grade year than the struggle we had in Kindergarten. He wasn't a fan of structured school last year but he's really working hard this year. His strength is definitely in his math skills. He's come so far though in reading and writing and we continue to work hard on getting better and better in these areas. Adding special sounds this year has really challenged him in his reading and writing but he's pressing on and we are finding tools to help him along the way. I am so impressed with his positive attitude this year!






And then there's Sabrina. She's having a fabulous Kindergarten year and it is fun to watch. She loves everything about learning and is still begging to do school even on break so we are moving forward slowly with our school year, letting her set the pace. She's artistic and loves to color and draw and write, which the boys hate those parts. I'm also so proud of her because she was a late bloomer learning her letters and letter sounds but she had that moment where it all just clicked together and she's taking off now. She also seems pretty well rounded at this point too as I see math clicking in her brain too. I hope her love for learning never fades!


It is always refreshing to be on a break and be able to reflect on where we've come even just in these last couple months.  I'm so proud of  my kids and kind of proud of  myself too because when I'm in the trenches of a hard day it can be really difficult to keep focus and perspective. I second guess  myself a lot, but the proof is in the puddin' and they're all excelling and really doing quite great!  Now to enjoy this fun month of December, do some light education, and enjoy being a family! My favorite part of homeschooling is the flexibility it brings to our lives, like being able to enjoy Christmas to the fullest! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Our Thanksgiving Weekend

Our Thanksgiving Weekend of course began with Thanksgiving!  I know I have so very very much to always be thankful for and this year I've really tried to focus on the good in my life and grow in being content with where we are in life!  Of course these 4 precious ones are always at the top of my thankful list along with my husband, the hardworking, loving guy he is! 


This year for Thanksgiving we were with Peter's family and had a wonderful time.  The kids also had a blast with all the games and people willing to play with them! 




One of the kids most favorite days they talk about, is the day that Henry the Elf arrives at our house. It is a fun day spent at home, eating a fun Christmas breakfast and decorating for the season!


Painting Ornaments


Henry is here!








The kids are such a perfect age for all of the holiday magic! We are soaking in as much of their joy as we can while they are still little and enjoy every small part of it!



Christmastime is upon us, we can hardly believe it. But so far it is off to a great start and we have so much we look forward to packing into this last month of the year! I am glad that we are on Christmas break from school and soon will be taking a break from activities and rest and enjoy this season to its fullest! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Foster Pup #52 - Scotch

We had another sweet guest to our home before Thanksgiving. I was a little nervous about keeping him because my experience with huskies in the past was that they are very mouthy and very hyper. But they had a very large litter of pups who needed a short foster for just a couple days so I let my bias go and we game this sweet boy a chance. 

It may have helped that he was a pretty young pup, but he was such a sweet boy. The only problem we had with them was he had a very upset tummy (which isn't uncommon) so that made for lots of messes to clean up. But clearly, the pictures show that he was one sweet and special guy! 









Even with a large litter (I believe 10 pups) they had inquiry after inquiry for these gorgeous puppies so they were quickly scooped up. Stay tuned on here as we have some very special pups arriving with us soon!  And pray for our sanity too as this is the first time we will be taking the whole litter of 3 :) 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Soccer Season

This year we were extra busy with 3 kids in soccer. Fortunately we were able to make the decision to play Eli up a year so that we only had kids on 2 teams instead of 3!

 

This was a great year for the boys as they had very talented teammates and coaches who knew the game well. They didn't particularly "like" practice because it was challenging and lots of instruction but that's okay because they gained a lot of new skills this year.   It was challenging but good for both of them!







And this was the first time that little miss was willing to participate in an activity and I am so proud of her for putting herself out there. Even when in the middle of the season she got embarrassed and wanted to quit, after lots of discussion over 3 weeks with her she was willing to get back out there and we were super proud of her for trying again! 







It was a great year of soccer, it is always fun to watch the kids play, and even if it was really cold by the end of the season we were fortunate that there were only a couple practices and one game played in the pouring rain!  Now we move indoors for swim lessons and gymnastics!