Thursday, May 10, 2018

Adjusting Through Changes

We are going on 2 months since Peter made a job change. We knew this opportunity would come with some huge changes on the the homefront but in the end still felt the new opportunity was worth taking the risk. We spent many hours prior to the move discussing how it would look and how we hoped things would work for us. Mainly, Peter was concerned about all the activities and home responsibilities and how I could handle the added work at home with him home less. I've been super spoiled in the past with him having pretty flexible work schedules and his willingness to always jump in and help as soon as he walked in the door. We had a lot of concerns about how things would look, but I am happy to report that things are going great, the transition has gone smooth! The whole family has adjusted and even though we miss each other (absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?)  I'm really impressed with how we've all adapted. I knew that overall the biggest part of the job change would affect my life and my stress level. Already we have made several changes and adjustments to make this all work as efficiently and stress free as it can for me. I know there will be even more adjustment as we go along but so far these are the things that have worked for us:

Here's some changes we've made:

1) Simplify, simplify, simplify. There are some subcategories within this, but we've really tried to reduce as much of the stress as we can and make things easier. The kids are pulling me in all sorts of directions with homeschool and sports and activities, and I have found myself more than a little overwhelmed this year in trying to get everything done and be everything to everyone. It's hard to admit I'm not superwoman, but I'm not! This new job has afforded us some great new opportunities to reduce some of the stress at home.

We've hired out yard work. Our yard is large enough that we could and have spent weekend after weekend during the summer working on it and still end each summer with a long to do list that we never get all the way through. Now someone does the maintenance portion for us and the yard has never looked better. It has already made a difference in that we can work some on the weekend but then also have plenty of play time as a family too!  With very limited time together during the week, this weekend family time is very important!

We started a subscription to Hello Fresh. This one was more just for fun, but it also has made my life easier. It has actually been a blast for me as it helps with meal planning and gets me out of a cooking rut. I love to cook but I get bored and so this has been a fun way for me to mix things up and simplify meal planning. 

 We are making adjustments to school for next year. LB will be the first child in our family that I am not homeschooling for preschool. She is very excited about going to preschool and I really do think it will be the best fit for her. This will also make things a little bit easier on me as I won't be having to make the transition to teaching 4 kids yet. We have also made the decision to transition the other kids from parent led to online streaming for school. I am waving my white flag and realizing that it's a huge undertaking to try and teach 3 different grades all on my own. We will still be using the same curriculum that we love but it will really simplify the process of teaching for me and give me peace of mind that they are learning everything they need to be learning. 

2) Ask for help. I hate relying on others but this has become important. We're asked quite a bit what our plans are for the future as Peter now commutes 2-3 hours a day. The short answer is we don't know long term but at least for our near future we've decided to stay put and give the commute a chance. The main reason being, we have a great support network where we live now with family and friends. I already worry about the fall when we're going to have 3 kids in soccer and practices and games where I can't be everywhere at once, but I'm trying to live in the moment, because the moment is busy enough.  I still want to do as much as I can on my own but when we're bouncing from gymnastics, baseball, awana, swim, piano, ballet, appointments etc on a weekly basis it gets tough to do it all without some help. Peter's old job offered him some flexibility so he was able to help out with some of these things but now it really is all on me, but staying where we are has left me with a support network who seems eager to help out when I need them, which in turn helps me keep some sanity!  

2) Prioritize Quality Time. We knew when this job change was taken on that we were going to have to keep the lines of communication open. I was going through some stuff when this job started and that was probably the toughest part of the whole transition, but we really did keep communicating and working together. Peter has been great with understanding that changes need to happen to help make things easier on me and he's willing to be flexible with whatever I need. I know he'd like to be more involved with things at home but he's had to put a lot of trust in me to keep things moving and happening, and I've had to communicate what I need from him in the few hours I have him home everyday. We also have to balance what we need as spouses with what the kids need, they love their Dad and miss him because they often only get a very short amount of time with him each evening, so as much as I want time with my husband, I also have to share him. We spend even less time than we used to watching tv because we want to catch up and chat. We are trying to prioritize date nights as a couple more often and date nights with the kids more often to foster quality time.  The schedule is plenty busy but we are making the weekends as fun as we can.

It seems strange because life is busy and this transition did change life quite a bit, but for some reason life feels less stressful and the home feels happier. Maybe because Peter seems pretty happy at the new job, maybe because the extra income has allowed us to simplify life in other areas, or maybe it's just spring in the air bringing out the best in us.  Either way, we're loving life as we head into the summer and always open to adjusting the plan as we go along! 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Eli's 1st Grade Year


And last but not least, Eli finished his 1st grade year. This kid does not enjoy school very much but he actually did pretty great this year and kept a positive attitude most of the time. He's smart enough to know the faster he just digs in and gets it done, the sooner he will be off playing and having fun. That was even the case on the last day of school as he had none of me wanting to take a last day of school picture, he had better things to be doing. But he did suggest a last day of school fire and smores so I can appreciate the fact that he'd rather be doing something fun! I'm most proud of how far he has come with his reading and math skills this year. It is so fun to see how fast their young minds can learn and pick things up.  All in all I'm super proud of all 3 of the kids, they did awesome and worked hard even when things were tough. They hung in there with me and tried their best!  Now we look forward to a couple months off (we school year round so we will start up again in July) to just relax and enjoy some simple days!  



Nicknames: Eli
How old are you? 7
What is your favorite color? Red 
What is your favorite animal? Monkeys 
What is your favorite book? Little Bear
What is your favorite TV show?  I don't have one
What is your favorite movie? Infinity War
What is your favorite song?  Guardians of the Galaxy Songs
What is your favorite food? Bananas
What is your favorite drink? Chocolate Milk
What is your favorite breakfast food? Cereal and Eggs and Waffles and Pancakes (he's a big fan of breakfast) 
What is your favorite snack? Goldfish
What is your favorite outfit? I don't really have one
What is your favorite game? Minecraft, Mario Party
What is your favorite toy? Soldiers and Legos
Who is your best friend? Johnny
What is your favorite thing to do? Pick things from the bored box
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Ride my bike 
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
What do you like to take to bed with you? Lion
Where is your favorite place to go? Video Game Store
What is your favorite restaurant?  Wendy's
Where do you want to go on vacation? Disneyland or Whistler 
What do you want to be when you grow up? Construction Worker
What is your favorite part of school? I don't really have one, maybe addition flashcards
What is your least favorite part of school? Writing and Reading

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Malachi's 2nd Grade Year

I am super proud of Malachi on finishing his 2nd grade year! One of the biggest struggles of school this year was getting this guy through 2nd grade but he persevered and continued to work hard and he did it! The smile on his face says it all! We've had many discussions and prayed about the direction we should head in specifically with this guy for his 3rd grade year and have come up with a plan that we not only feel is in his best interest but it's also something he's very excited about too so we are thrilled to be done with a difficult year but also look forward with fresh ideas to 3rd grade! I can't even believe that I'm gonna have a kid in 3rd grade!



Nicknames: Mal
How old are you? 8
What is your favorite color? Green 
What is your favorite animal? Lions 
What is your favorite book? Star Wars
What is your favorite TV show?  Ninjago
What is your favorite movie? Avengers 2 
What is your favorite song?  You're Welcome
What is your favorite food? Spaghetti
What is your favorite drink? Mt Dew
What is your favorite breakfast food? Waffles 
What is your favorite snack? Fruit Leather
What is your favorite outfit? Suit and Tie
What is your favorite game? Just Dance
What is your favorite toy? Imaginex
Who is your best friend? Eli
What is your favorite thing to do? Play Outside
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Ride my bike 
What is your favorite holiday? Halloween 
What do you like to take to bed with you? Elmo
Where is your favorite place to go? Panda Express
What is your favorite restaurant?  In N Out
Where do you want to go on vacation? Disneyland 
What do you want to be when you grow up? Police Officer
What is your favorite part of school? Reading
What is your least favorite part of school? Math

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sabrina's Kindergarten Year

We are finally to the end of the school year around here! I say finally because in all honesty the end of this year has been really difficult. I'm not going to sugarcoat it or make everything appear picture perfect. I know for me and the kids these final weeks couldn't get here fast enough.  Each year we continue to evaluate what is best for each of our kids and this year there has been probably more discussion than ever before as we approach and plan for next year. We still feel the best decision for our family is to continue the path of homeschooling but we will be making some adjustments as we look to next year. For me, homeschooling has already been one of the most challenging things I've ever attempted to do, but I am dedicated to staying the course and continuing to try and find ways to improve and do better. Nobody will ever care more about their education than I do! 

I am so proud of Miss Sabrina! She entered Kindergarten still struggling to recognize her letters and numbers. Now she's reading and writing in cursive and doing addition and subtraction. Even when we've struggled it's cool to be able to look back and see where we started at the beginning and how far they've come. She's always been fun to teach because she always has a good attitude and loves to learn! She's looking forward to summer break and some time to relax and enjoy the warm weather! 


Nicknames: Bina
How old are you? 6
What is your favorite color? Pink and purple 
What is your favorite animal? Piggys 
What is your favorite book? Kitty Book 4 (It's a school book)
What is your favorite TV show?  Doc McStuffin
What is your favorite movie? Frozen
What is your favorite song? The Greatest Showman Songs
What is your favorite food? Mac and Cheese
What is your favorite drink? Chocolate Milk
What is your favorite breakfast food? cereal 
What is your favorite snack? granola bars 
What is your favorite outfit? This one (the new one she is wearing) 
What is your favorite game? Disney Infinity
What is your favorite toy? Calico Critters
Who is your best friend? Natalee
What is your favorite thing to do? Play Outside
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Jump on the trampoline 
What is your favorite holiday? Mother's Day and Father's Day 
What do you like to take to bed with you? My Poodle
Where is your favorite place to go? The Store
What is your favorite restaurant?  Chinese food
Where do you want to go on vacation? Disneyland 
What do you want to be when you grow up? A vet
What is your favorite part of school? Writing
What is your least favorite part of school? Nothing, I like it all

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sabrina's 6th Birthday!

Well life has been crazy as it typically is in April, but I'm hoping things slow down a little bit in May and I can get caught up in life and on the blog. So let's get started with our catch up!

Sabrina turned 6 years old, I don't even know how the last 6 years of her life have gone as fast as they can, but wow, she's 6! 

She loves going to gymnastics and wanted to celebrate that at her party



And then it was time for our fun day with our girl! She is a blast to spend time with and is just up for anything and everything! 


And then we were off to the zoo!









And her lunch choice of chinese food 



and yummy fro yo for dessert! 


Oh Sabrina Fair, what to say about our first precious daughter.  You have been joy and happiness since the day you were born. I am so proud of all the new things you've tried this year. You've gone from a super shy girl around others to now being just as bubbly and goofy with others as you are with your closest peeps. It has been so cool to watch you try some new things this year and begin to excel in something all your own in gymnastics. I wish I could go back in time and kiss your baby cheeks one more time but I also just love being your mom in every phase and wholeheartedly look forward to watching you grow and change and become who you are. You are so loved, our little ray of sunshine! 



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Malachi's 8th Birthday

Well it is April which means a lot of the month seems consumed in Birthday fun! Sweet Mr Malachi started the house off with Birthday fun this past weekend as he turned 8 years old! 






After a fun birthday party, it was time for us to spend our special day with him where we get to spoil him rotten and have a little one on one time. 





And then his actual birthday, the 3rd day of fun for the boy complete with a breakfast treat and a dessert of his choosing. 




Mr Malachi,

I am so thankful for the gift you are in my life. It is not lost on me how much a miracle and blessing you are to us. 8 years old is a hard one for this mom to swallow as it feels more and more like you've left the little boy behind and are now a full fledged kiddo! You're growing up more and more, and I can't stop you from growing taller and taller and when I look at your handsome face I am just in awe of the wonderful kid you've become. You're so kind and generous, wanting to please others.  I know we've had some challenges over this last year in particular but I am proud of the guy you are. I see so very much good in who you are. You genuinely care about other people.  You're fun to be around and outgoing.  You're smart. You my dear, are the whole package. As you continue to grow into the young man God wants you to be, I pray you find your way.  I know we will continue to have our moments as you grow more and more in your independence but I hope you will always see me as your #1 fan! I have your back, always.  You are more loved than you could possibly comprehend! Happy Birthday to my first baby boy!  


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Foster Pups #55-#60

The beginning of this year has been hectic and busy so we haven't had as many foster pups as we had last year, and we also haven't kept as good of record. But I still have some pictures to share. Last year we had Slinky and Sherman to finish out the year, and Sherman came back to me in January for a couple weeks with a shoulder injury. But then he went on to find a good home and we've had 6 other foster pups since then (and 2 more arriving soon!)  









These guys were the cutest because they were so afraid at first and I could tell that they had never really been handled much, but it really didn't take long for them to warm up and realize that people and kids are a lot of fun! 





I still love puppy snuggles when we can fit it in to the schedule. I feel like a glutton for punishment as boy can these things get messy and stinky! But nothing better than puppy cuddles (okay, maybe baby cuddles) and knowing that we are one step on their journey at rescue!