at the drive-in

I remember my Mom and Dad taking me and my brother 
to the drive-in movie theater when we were little. 

I don't remember much more about it. 
Only my Mom cutting tomato slices at the 
kitchen counter as she packed up our dinner to go, 
and sleeping bags set for me and my brother to sleep in the car 
I'm assuming during a second, more adult movie. ???      


When you and I went for your first time last week 
we set up a snugly bed in the back of the Jeep for you to do the same. 

We hung the Ipad in the back window so you could watch something else 
during the second, more adult movie and hopefully, fall asleep.

The kid's movie being featured was your current favorite:

You were pretty surprised when you got to meet a REAL LIVE Marmaduke
on the theater grounds. He was ADORABLE (and so was his family).


You and I enjoyed dinner at their restaurant.
You played miniature golf for your first time, too.

For the movie, we laid on the hood of the Jeep with blue blankie and the pug.
The atmosphere was really awesome with people sprawled out 
all over their cars, with their kids and their dogs, many wearing pajamas.
I just love small towns. :)

After Marmaduke you and the pug cuddled into the Jeep
to watch Daddy Car while I sat outside and watched Knight and Day.
You were sleeping in the first 15 minutes. 

It was 12:37 am when we pulled into our driveway. 
One seriously late date night for you. :)


I loved it and can't wait to do it again soon.
Next time with your Daddy, too.

more art

I painted over the art you painted on the canvas in the hallway
so you could paint something new for this year.

I gave you your paints, got you all set you up,
and I WALKED AWAY! (a big step for me)
I really like what you created. 
Very abstract and smiley, sunny, country field, rainbow like.


take two

This wasn't supposed to happen to me. I had it down pat. I took the time, did the research, made a million adjustments, then took more time tweaking and combining and making just right. 

But everyone who does it says it's an ever evolving, just as much learning and growing for the teacher, flexible, changing process... this homeschooling business we're into. 

So I laid the last straw of my ever-widening portfolio of saying dumb things I never wanted to say to you. I looked you in the frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, pitiful face and I broke down crying. You sweetly offered me a hair tie as a gift to see if it would help. 
I held you tight and promised you "no more!" 

I know you're smart, but once and for all I'm asking myself why we are doing a first grade curriculum? You're just about to turn FIVE! 
And maybe other people thought the same thing and just knew better than to tell me, because I always learn faster and better on my own... 
and maybe some people just thought "wow, that's great that they are so far ahead having done kindergarten last year." 

But the truth is, I want you to LOVE school. To look forward to it everyday. To be encouraged by your successes and courageous in the face of your struggles. 

I do NOT want you to begrudge learning, to be hateful, to feel wiped out or afraid to move forward. 

So we're putting the first grade curriculum aside and taking out the full Kindergarten pack. I know that it will be a lot of review. But that will be better for you than going too fast, or struggling in your first real year.    

It's easy, it's fun-packed, it leaves lots of time for real homeschooling away from the table, and most importantly, you will feel great about yourself and learning when the year is over. 

My apologies, son.   
I'm a little slow sometimes. ;)

say what?

You've taken really well to the structure of schedule again. It seems to calm and fill you. We've set up a magnetic star chart with a list of things for you to do each day. We're working on discipline among other responsibilities. 

Your chart isn't about chores. It's things like making your bed, bathing, brushing your teeth, feeding your pets, etc... 


You have also been plugging away at earning the money to pay for new ottomans. 

I have been noticing you here and there, so big and capable... standing, sitting, working in our home, through our space, of our life. I still do a double take followed by a stare of disbelief. It's still hard to believe you're real. 

You were a promise from a God I didn't know enough to fully trust quite yet. 
Then you were a speck floating around in a place we couldn't monitor or protect you from. 
Then a squishy grunty infant with no skills or abilities. 
Then you walked and talked and looked for things. Looked for answers and ways.
Now your picking up sticks in the yard and wheeling the barrow to the fire pit by yourself. So strong and independent.        


And you're funny. And sweet. And full of life and character and energy. 

I bought the majority of your fall/winter clothes while I was shopping alone a few weeks ago. I did have your specific list of requests for jogging pant and t-shirt materials only, with no buttons, snaps, zippers or "swishing" fabric of any sort. Surprisingly, you approved of everything I brought home.

I also took you to The Children's Place the following Friday for one last peek in hopes of finding a couple more long sleeve tops. You picked out somethings that I would never have put you in otherwise. But I reminded myself these are your clothes and you are the one who has to wear them. 
Then your found the crazy red and black thermal striped top that you insisted you were IN LOVE with. I tried a couple of tactics to dissuade you from it, but you were relentless. Finally, I gave in...

Me: You really want this?
You: YES!
Me: You're going to wear it?
You: YES!
Me: Okay, put it in the pile.
You: Yea! Just wait until you see me at home, rockin' this bad boy right away! 


You: Mom can I watch this lady bug show?
Me: I think I'm going to take you to a movie...
You: MOM. Can I watch this ladybug one right now?
Me: I have to call nori first, though...
You: Mom.
Me: ...oh! I'm so sorry! Yes! Yes, watch the ladybug show.

And lastly, your made up words have been awesome lately. Unfortunately I only wrote down one: Disgruntable

Completely in context if it were a word. Used as the dog cringed and snorted over the flailing and cracking of your new plastic sword. 

"Yuki really is disgruntable about they way I play with my toys."


a teensy deflated

You know that movie that everyone talked up into the clouds
so much so that when you finally got to the theater to see it
you couldn't help but to be a little disapointed?

Welcome to our first day of school. 

Realistically, it's not possible for it to have been as exciting as we'd hoped it would be. 
With no fireworks, carnival rides, wonders of the world, or bears in tu-tus on unicycles...
it really was just an ordinary school-ish morning of (kind of boring) introduction and review. 

Rather than math, Bible, or science, you decided it would be more fun to learn things like: 

do I REALLY have to do this? 
What if I change my mind?  
How many breaks can I get, and can I push my Mom to give me more?
If I stare at the clock for an hour will she just give up?  
Can't we at least, like, have snacks while we're doing this? 

And the longest list I checked off was the one that contained everything I decided wouldn't be healthy to say to my little student this year.

Sit down in that seat and pay attention, right now! 

Do I need to take the clock off the wall, 
or can you stop counting the minutes? 

You know, I can get a job and have more money. 
Our district hasn't even started school yet this year. 

No, you cannot color the entire 
second day of creation in black marker. 

The sooner you get this done 
the sooner we can move on you know

If you'd like me to call the superintendent of the S___ school system right now,
I'm sure I can get you a seat on that school bus! 

Oh boy. 

At least we finished and we're both alive. 

We DID enjoy a fun math game with your favorite cats. 
You did ask to do more lessons in a couple of classes.
And our first day of school pictures went very well. 

There's always tomorrow. :) 


ready, set, GO!

It feels like the prep. work was endless, but the night before is finally really here.
Tomorrow is our first day of KINDERGARDEN!


You are so excited, nervous, anxious, and ready! You could hardly fall asleep. 


Everything is in it's place. This morning we walked through what a school day 
will look like for you. You absolutely BEGGED to touch, try, open, begin everything! 
I stayed strong, certain it would only give you all the more to look forward to. :)


I'm off to bed to dream of first day photos, 
piles of new library books, 
star charts, 
monart lessons(art), 
Bible history, 
science experiments...
Hopefully I can get some real sleep!


working hard

A couple of weeks ago you did a little damage 
to some of the living room furniture. 
About twenty poke holes in the leather tops 
of a couple of ottomans to be exact. 

It was just an oblivious moment of innocent kid-stuff gone bad.
No biggie. 

Thanks to Love & Logic, my rehearsed response was very unlike 
what MY natural reaction would have been.

I simply pointed it out, piled on the empathy,
"how sad that our furniture has holes in it now",
and then asked, 
"what are you going to do about it?"

You came up with some really good ideas for a four year old,
including filling the holes with brown glue or putting on new fabric.

In the end the only thing that could work without 
"causing a problem for anyone else on the planet"
was for you to earn money to pay for the two pieces to be replaced.

It's a good experience for you to learn to do work
outside of your usual chores around the house.

We've had the opportunity to talk about taking breaks, 
choosing something you enjoy doing as an incentive 
to reward yourself with when you're done working,
and how to step away from a job to return with an 
"inspectors eye" to double check it before calling it finished.
You have been doing an AWESOME job.

We should have hole-less furniture in no time! :)


harry's new home



Settling in.

We used to live in the city, and I used to dream of this. 
I was sure that I'd wake up in the mornings, wear a ponytail and my pjs 
out the door to explore, invent, create and recreate... 
I love all the resources here.

Hopefully Harry II will stay with us, too. ;)



“woof” squeaks our vibrant girl who I brag never barks. I cringe at the reminder that it’s 58 degrees out reluctantly retrieving her at the front door. I can see that she’s feeling the chill on the pads of her shifting paws.

“You know what Mom? I am getting rid of this keyboard!” says tiny and big all at once.

I return to my morning spot at the kitchen table. Stacked next to me are my two active journals, one old journal who carries a story outline I have been blindly staring at and praying over this week, an NIV life application Bible, My Father’s World Teacher Guides, a 20% off coupon for Children’s Place Online to remind me, my 55mm lens (what is that doing there?), and my favorite UWGB kelly green pen that I won for not stealing.

The laundry room light is on, which proves that my husband of 10 years today, is alive and well. The round fronts of the washer and dryer peek out of their white louver doors. Gazing at me. Another reminder. My inexpensive way of gifting my husband on his anniversary commits me to the task of personal dry cleaner for the day. I will be emptying his closet completely, sorting, discarding, keeping, ironing, straightening and replacing everything spotless and without a wrinkle. One of his favorite surprises.

I scratch my head for about the 10th time since I sat down. A reminder that I do need to wash my hair today. aka: dry it out and hate it until tomorrow when it looks nice because I won’t have to strip it’s natural oils and cute panked style under soap and water. Yes, spell checker, I know that “panked” is not a word. My Mom made it up, but there’s really nothing else.

Yesterday, one of my favorite people shared with me her reoccurring discomfort with her often "happy" blogging. And this morning I am reminded as I write this... could my own often happy blogging, hopes to be grateful, or positive perspective seeking be misleading or even off-putting?

It is true that I find love and happiness in the heartbeat of my cold morning, barking dog, disgruntled keyboard user, wasted electricity, untouched story line, daunting laundry tasks and dry fluffy unpanked hair.
It is mine and it is beautiful, to me.

So I question, if we didn't think this was real-life-beautiful would we write it down?

Would we even see half of it for what it's worth if we didn't take note, catch it in still frames, turn it into love letters and lifetime memories for ourselves and our little ones?

My Dad says we don't miss things that we don't miss out on.
Could blogging just be a reminder to look?


multitude monday

I am grateful for...

the current placement of things

for the time to look at, into, and through things


for a changing evolving family, marriage, extended family, friendships, season, homeschool, me...   

my sweet boy's shaved head, 
and that his hair will grow and he will no longer look like he's 7 and about to rob a bank

two back-to-back nights of gaming with my Husband

my hands down favorite anniversary gift EVER:


the rest of my life with strong, handsome, supportive, funny, sweet, attentive, loving, loyal, beautiful him:


my son nearly living at his Nanna's house with his cousin Michael since Friday


his return, scheduled for Tuesday night

that he and his five year old cousin Michael have become inseparable BFFs. 


that he is very well loved and taken care of, be it here or there. 

LOTS of spare time to myself 

the laying out of our Kindergarten plan (with a first grade curriculum) for the year

the next two days all to myself for preparing a special school space and a new play area in our home 

our coming first day of Kindergarten, August 26th 

my new budget becoming hardly noticeable in week five

still having everything we need and more

and lastly, our two new outdoor pets:


our marbled orb weaver "Shar" (Charlotte from Charlotte's Web is an orb weaver) living right on my bedroom window OUTSIDE, of course
in the wheelbarrow (for now)

western painted turtle "Harry" (the second) crashing in the wheelbarrow, for now

holy experience


marble art

This week we removed our robots and painted over their square background. 

While the white paint dried we cut strips of cardboard from soda can boxes.

We taped the strips around the outside edges of our dry canvas.

We put on our paint clothes, selected our pant colors, 
gathered our marbles :) and canvas, and headed outside. 

You squirted paint onto the canvas.

We piled marbles on the canvas, lifted it off the ground,
angled it every which way, and watched those marbles go!  

Of course, you got your hands into it.

And, voila!

Our art canvas hangs, again, in our living room...

until we get another crazy painting idea!


all fixed


I couldn't take it anymore.


I tried to get the mop cut thinner and a little shorter, 
but it just looked worser.


So, after MUCH debate (you really didn't "want" it cut)
you finally agreed to it.
But only if we could do it "like Daddy's".


So, there. It's done.
I can kiss your ears and rub your sweet little head...
not to mention THAT FACE!!! 
Oooooh, I just want to cuddle it all day! :)

The rest of the pics are HERE if you are a contact of mine.