I am def in count down mode for summer. 

Break couldn’t get here fast enough.

This time of year, I find we are all weary and the days seem to be oh so long.   With the end in sight, I thought I’d post some real life pictures of our homeschooling day.  Because soon I’ll have the happy end of the year we did it pictures up… and I want to be real.  We don’t look like that every day. Those are the “we just crossed the finish line” shots… Here are the “right smack in the middle of the race” shots.

We look like this.


Yes, this is what our school table, floor and living room look like all day on Tues, Thursday, and Friday.

And this is what our kitchen looks like on those same days.  EVERY WEEK.


We start school right after breakfast and go till right before we have to head out the door for gymnastics or piano (depending on the day of the week).  We try to have the book bags packed before we leave for the evening, but it really depends on if we finished in time.  I never, ever have the dishes done… by the time I make breakfast, lunch, and a quick snack.. all I do is end up adding to the pile rather than diminishing it.

And by the time we get home from piano, gymnastics, and or Cub Scouts… it oddly still looks like this and then I add MORE dishes to the mess by making dinner… then I am typically too pooped to do anything about it and it becomes my first order of business after I get home from dropping the kids off at tutorial.  (Thanks goodness for school at the building days… without I don’t think I could keep my house from imploding).

We sit around the table for part of the day and then we tend to scatter for others parts…


photo (16)

Lately, there has been a whole lot of grumbling and complaining… back talking… arguing and more of Momma losing her temper or using her mean voice than I care to admit. 

But, we press on.  3 weeks left till summer vacation.  We can do it.  We will do it.  And I am determined to finish well.  So, when you see those euphoric finish line shots at the end of May… remember the rest of the picture. 


The kids were outside playing and I took a few minutes to prep lunch and wash a few dishes.  As I walked by the back door, I saw my youngest sitting in a box on the deck.


How cute I thought and went to grab the camera.

My little man spotted me.

I went back to my chores and then noticed he had moved.

This time he was on the other side of the door and had set up a barricade with another box.


Having the wool pulled over my eyes by him before, I decided to stop and watch.

Clearly he did not want me to do this.



I realize these pictures look a little blurry.  This is not because of a fault in the camera.  It’s because my windows are quite filthy.  But, if you can get past the grime, what do you see?


A ring pop.

Now, I have to tell you that I had no problem with him eating a ring pop.  It was his and he had gotten it in his goody bag last weekend.  He had even asked if he could take his goody bag outside.  (He didn’t ask if he could have a ring pop, but I assumed he would partake of said pop before long).

My issue is that he apparently thinks he can’t have the ring pop and he is eating it anyway.  And the reason I know he thinks he can’t have it is because he is going to great lengths to try and hide the ring pop from me.

I let this scenario play out for awhile to see where it would lead. 

A little while later he put the ring pop down in the box and came inside… sticky hands and all.

I asked him what he was doing in the back yard.

“What I doing?”

Yes… what were you doing outside?

“playing on the playground”

“Really?  You were playing on the playground?”


“What else were you doing?”

hesitation… not meeting my eyes “just playing”

“What were you doing in the box?”

no answer

“What were you doing in the box on the deck?”

breaking eye contact  and no answer

“Why are your hands sticky?”

Still no answer

FINALLY, after more questioning and more lying, I was able to get to the heart of the issue and get him to tell me the truth.   I explained to him that not telling me the truth was a lie.  And lying is wrong.  And because he lied he couldn’t have the ring pop. 

I don’t think he really understood all of what I was saying, but it opened my eyes to the need to be more observant to the teachable moments in his life.  And it reminded me of the state of his heart.  Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

My 5 year old decided she wanted to write a book yesterday.  She wanted it to be a collection of stories about animals.  So, she asked if I would write what she said up on our dry erase board so that she could copy them into her book. 

Here is what she said:


I have to wonder how many different ways a cat licks.  They all look the same to me.

And I always thought dogs had better hearing than cats.  It appears in her book dogs are only good at eating.

When you have a baby people offer you all sorts of odd, unsolicited, terrifying, and often contradictory pieces of advice.  One that I have heard over and over the past 9 years is “Don’t blink.”

And I have tried really hard not to.

I have tried really hard to savor the chaos.   It’s a large part of the reason why I blog.  I want to record the every day.  The funny things they say, the crazy outfits they pick out, the battles we engage in, the toys they love… and yes, even the unending laundry pile,  and the sink overflowing with dishes… Because I know what those who have gone before me have told me is true… the days are long, but the years are quick.  Before you know it, those chubby little hands turn into bony fingers and knees… While I will always be their Momma, and they will always be my babies, I won’t always have the luxury of time with them every day.  And so, I try, I TRY to remember it is a luxury… and a short lived one and I try to embrace it.

This year, I feel like Scott and I literally watched my oldest son grow up RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES. 

We didn’t blink.

I swear, we watched it happen. 

And whether you blink or not, there is no stopping it.

The year from 8-9 has been so monumental it seems.   He hasn’t been my baby for awhile, and he left toddlerhood years ago. But he’s been in school long enough, that we’ve past the early elementary years.  He’s a full fledged school aged kid, well on his way to middle school.  

*insert freak out here*

He’s gotten taller.  He comes up to my shoulder now.

He finds girls and love  gross and disgusting. 

He has a sense of humor.  He gets sarcasm. 

He’s genuinely helpful around the house.  A few weeks ago, he helped Scott spread 20 yards of mulch over a weekend.  He literally worked by Scott’s side for 11 hours.  Never asking if he was done… never looking for a way out.  It was a monumental weekend because it was the first time I think he truly grasped the value and the joy that comes from a job well done. 

He loves to read… this year The Hardy Boys and The Hobbit have been personal favorites of his. 

While he is maturing in so many ways, he still loves fantasy and his current obsession is The Lord of the Rings.  He loves dressing up and using his imagination. 

He loves playing outside. 

And I gotta tell you, I am proud of the young man he is growing up to be.  He’s sensitive and thoughtful.  He’s respectful.  He has integrity.  He’s a leader.   He loves his younger sisters and brother and truly, truly, I couldn’t have picked a better big brother for them.   He’s a loyal friend.

I marvel at the ways he’s grown over the past 9 years and I thank the Lord for His work in his life.  I see it so clearly and it humbles me and brings me to my knees in gratitude.  

photo (14)

My son as you open your gifts this year, I hope you know how immensely grateful Daddy and I are for the gift of you that the Lord so graciously gave us 9 years ago. 

We celebrated our son’s 9th birthday this weekend at the Shire.  Our son has been quite taken by The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings this year.  His attention was sparked by the Lego LOTR game, then Scott and him read the Hobbit and he is now reading The Fellowship of the Ring.  For his cake, he requested a volcano to look like Mt. Doom.


The kids pulled together some costumes… We have from left to right, Gimli, Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, and Aragorn. 


And Scott pulled off a Gandalf costume thanks to a moving van blanket and an old tee shirt. 


I love the Gimli costume my oldest son put together for his little brother.  I love it because it illustrates two of the things I love about my 9 year old… his creativity (shaping a costume out of oversized shirts) and his love for his little brother.  He shaped the hair and beard out of his poloshirt.  And I was so thankful that my 2 year old was willing to cooperate with his big brother’s costume selection.  Because we all know 2 year old aren’t known for cooperation.


I don’t know much about Lord of the Rings… Middle Earth, hobbits or elves.  But, thanks to the help of the internet and the dollar store, I was able to pull together some décor and games.  

The highlight for the birthday boy was battling his dad.  I must say, that Scott is at his element when it comes to the kids birthday parties.  I might pool together a list of food, game, and décor ideas , but  Scott is able to transform into whatever character fits the theme of the party and he makes it come to life.  Today he was Gandalph the Gray leading the kids in a reenactment of the story, then transforming to Sarumon so the kids could attack him (their favorite part).


Here they are weaving through a spider web in our hallway.


More pretend play in the backyard.




Time out for second breakfast


Bobbing for apples



I just love my sons imagination.  And I loved watching him play with his friends at his party.

Since birth she’s always been trying to keep up with the older two.  And most of the time,  because she can hold her own with them, I think of her and treat her like she’s older than she really is. 

One night last week as we went in to peek on her before going to bed we saw her sleeping in her bed with her stuffed animals and dolls lying all around her… it was a little nest of sorts with her in the middle of her beloved toys.  “This is the stuff we’ll forget,”  Scott whispered to me.  When she gets older, we’ll forget these little cute things like her sleeping in a pool of baby dolls and fuzzy friends.

I forget sometimes that she’s still just 5. 

And then she does stuff like this and I chuckle and remember she’s still just 5.


Scott found this bowl of water on her bed Monday morning.  What in the world was she doing with a bowl full of water on her bed he started to ask. 

“It’s for my whale Daddy.  It’s his home.”

Of course… she got a whale toy in her happy meal on Sunday… and of course… since whales live in water, she put it in a bowl of water… and since she was so excited about her new toy, she brought it to bed with her.  And since she is 5, this seemed like a perfectly normal thing to do.


Oh, how I love her, and her reminders that’s she still  just 5.

When I walked outside today and felt warmth, my heart was instantly happy.  It’s a balmy 75 degrees today and I.LOVE.IT!!  This is my ideal temp.  I love being able to walk around in flip flops and head out the door without thought of a jacket.  I love not being at all chilly. 

So of course when I picked the kids up from tutorial today, I brought my trusty ball cap because I knew we’d be staying after for football, and flower picking, chatting with friends, and the latest development in after school play time….dancing in the parking lot.

They were blasting dance music from the van and doing a little cha-cha slide.


Then it was off to Sonic for Happy Hour… 60 cents for a slushie?   Yes, please.


And just when we thought  it couldn’t get any better… our friends from tutorial pulled up beside us… seems like everyone thought it was a good day for Sonic.


Hooray for Spring!!!


I remember when my son was in kindergarten he came home and told me he asked a girl in his class to marry him.  “What did she say?”  I responded. “No. So I told her,why don’t we wait till we are older to decide.”   I cautioned him that should he ever want to propose again, he should talk to us first and then talk to the girls parents first.

I remember this so vividly b/c I knew, I knew there would come a day when he would balk at such a discussion.

And apparently that day fell somewhere in the third grade.  I don’t remember when, but sometime this year, kissing and girls and love and marriage all became totally disgusting to him.  Watching Mom or Dad give each other a quick peck is one of the most horrible, grossest sights known to man…. or at least this 8 year old man.  

And I know, just like I knew back in kindergarten that it won’t be like this forever. 

However, his little sister doesn’t know this. 

One night as she was getting ready for bed she started crying and said, “Oh Mommy what are we going to do?  What will “my brother”  do if he’s all alone with no one to love him?  If he never gets married, who will he have to love him and be with him?”  I assured my tearful 5 year old that if he decides to never get married, he’ll still have us.  He won’t be all alone b/c we will still love and care for him. 

Then this weekend at my parents I heard her telling my Dad how her brother “is never going to get married b/c he doesn’t want to kiss…But, I definitely do want to get married!”  To which my dad reiterated that neither of them needed to worry about getting married right now.   


EEEK!  I can just tell this girl is going to give me trouble.