being stretched

I had a rough start to the week working out my supplements/unbalanced hormones, running on four and five hours of sleep a night, and catching up from two weeks full to the brim with a double thick homeschool schedule, play date after field trip after long lists of must-dos in between.

I felt badly when I found myself writing about your love and forgiveness in my gratitude journal, praying at the dinner table for your continued patience, and thanking you for how wonderful you had been in dealing with my low tolerance, bad attitude, and all around poor behavior.

You and your Daddy are SO good to me.

This was the photo he sent me of myself after our morning skype just hours before things began to turn around for the better.

And that was just how I was feeling. :)

This photo really lifted me up. I almost made it my background on my laptop that morning.  It made me laugh. Face stretchers have a way of doing that to me.

Sometimes, if you don't laugh you have to cry.

Thank you, Zeek.
You and your Dad.
For bringing me so much happiness.
Even when I feel like a frog. ;)


my little star


Every season you ask to be signed up for soccer.

Each time we double check reminding you that 
you haven't kicked the ball more than five times 
on that field during a game (and only as a starter).

Still, you insist.


No matter what anyone says to you, 
this game is not about getting a ball away from
another kid and trying to score a goal.

Somehow, in your mind that is not your job.

But you love to run around the field playing with your team
smiling and supporting them all the way.


Oh, you've asked to quit. 
mid-season when you'd rather cuddle with cartoons than 
hit the crisp Saturday morning field. 

And Daddy has pleaded with me to let you.

But there is no way that this Mom will allow you to
walk away from your commitment to your team.


And so we go. Every week. Rain or shine.


And every season you are a winner to us.
Even if you don't touch the soccer ball.


You live that he who is last shall be first.
And you lead in love deeper than you'll ever fight.
Not just in your games, but in your life.

And that's bigger than being a soccer star, sweetheart.

That's much bigger.


leaf party


We invited some of our friends to come over and play 
promising we'd create the biggest leaf pile ever!

I figured we should reap as much benefit as possible from the hours of leaf blowing done around here
this time of year. :)


Although, the favorite activity of the day was the
woods web, by a long shot.

It was an idea I read about here a while back
that I was saving for the perfect time.

Everyone had so much fun with it. 


This is Nick untangling you. :)

And of course everyone enjoyed hot dogs and smores on the bon-fire. 

Hopefully we will have another party like this soon 
before the weather gets too cold for it.

It definitely has "annual" written all over it. :)


genetic inclination?

When your Aunt Kim was little she was sent to her bedroom for misbehaving. After a time she floated a handwritten letter down the stairwell to her mother. 
It read:

Dear Mom,
I hate you.

Last week you landed yourself, along with your big britches, in your bedroom for a couple of hours. I guilted myself for the first quarter of it as I ironed in complete peace and quiet. Then I aligned myself with the fact that when I was grounded to my bedroom as a kid my parents probably didn't sit outside my door feeling badly that they might otherwise be enjoying our "away" time . For all I know, they went out to eat! :)

After about an hour of your time out I put down my work for a bathroom break. As I rounded the corner to the hallway I noticed two pieces of paper laying on the steps just feet from one another. The messages were as follows:


Translated: May I come down?
(the inside of this folded paper was full of drawings and stickers)

story here:

"DiD Yoo giT Mi PreziNT"
Translated: Did you get my present?

And of course I had a mama moment. A good laugh, a warmed heart, a proud hop up the steps to hold you and tell you all about Auntie Kim's letter to Nanna.
This also got you off the hook for about 30 seconds. But before you even made it down the stairs you were sent back to your room for your lip. 

Oh that lip of yours... 
Maybe if you just wrote it all down and floated it down the stairwell it would get you in less trouble. ;)


field trip - heritage and weidner production

Our first real "official" homeschool field trip.
Heritage Hill followed by the Weidner Center Production of 
Laura Ingles Wilder's Little House on the Prairie.


Your body shook when she slammed her teacher stick down 
on the front desk to begin the strict 15 minutes of school time
as it was done in the 1800s.

You wide-eyed spoke out,
"what's all the slamming about?"


You liked the slate and board alright,
but the teachers command to "blab this" or "blab that"
made you very uncomfortable.

"Blab" was my favorite part.


The school house all together was my favorite
and your least favorite.

You don't like or really even understand someone 
acting in control of you, especially in a harsh expectant manner.

In reflection of that I'm glad for you, 
but having been raised in a discipline of
respect and external controls I am sad to see 
the crumbling foundation of a stricter culture.
Right or wrong the methods.

We're kind of winging the new-ish concept of raising choice makers
of heart and character over instilling a fear of consequence. 


We learned about "calling cards".
How to fold which edge to leave a distinct message.
Proper response etiquette and what it meant to not respond. 


On your calling card you wrote your name and drew a little car.


We learned a dance. 
There was an uneven amount of kids, so they asked me to join.
I picked you for a partner.

It was SO much fun!
You were so sweet and loved every minute of it.

I loved dancing with you.
Especially when you would cross your arm over your front, 
kick one leg behind you and bow at
"honor your partner".
It was so sweet that I had to bow with my head up
to watch your cuteness! :)


We ate lunch with the kids outdoors,
then drove to the Weidner Center for the play.

It was all very neat. 

We have two more field trips this week
as well as a fall festival we are hosting for some of our 
Homeschool friends.

Can't wait! :)


about "school"...


All along I was going to post your school stuff for you.
I planned to show something each week...
a mom can dream.


We're already well over a month in and I have not 
shared anything "school" here.


I did a quick little once through with my camera this week
in hopes of getting to it soon.


This was your favorite thing so far.
Creating a book. 
A creation book to be exact. :)

We need to start another book soon.
I alway want to keep on with the things you are into the most.


These are some of your work pages from My Father's World.
I leave them with you to do on your own a few times a week. 
We go over them and put them in your binder when you are finished. 

It's good practice working on your own.
Reason #435 why I'm so grateful we took a step back 
and decided on kindergarten this year.


I love that anytime you write on your own 
(thank you cards, stories, letters, 
invites to your room parties, etc...)
It can be added to your records and counted as school.


Your art is SO cute and creative.
It's great the way that you combine what you 
are reading, learning, or playing at the time into what you draw.


Our experience with school this year has been so good.

I'm learning that the less I stress and  concern myself with details 
the better things go. (isn't that always?)

I'm also learning how much of our life is already "school"
in that you/we have made a lot of learning through everyday activities.

I'm seeing first hand through your education (and my own re-education) 
what I've suspected about the difference between learning God 
and really knowing God. 

Learning something has happened for me when someone else 
(teacher, preacher, author, speaker) 
has turned over something of their own knowledge to me. 

I feel like really knowing something has only ever happened for me when I
experience it in the intimate setting of my personal day to day life...

when it becomes heart and not just mind.

I feel like you have "learned" things at your "school" table 
during the past couple of years.
And that is good.

But this year, I feel like we're learning what we are expected to learn
and then enjoying the adventures of getting to know what we can
connect to even more through experience.

And so far, that is seemingly much more fun and effective!

Even I can say that I lov scool. 


kitty said what?

a cat party... of course

You chose a cat themed party this year.
Because you just LOVE cats. 


As hard as we looked we still couldn't find 
a boy-ish cat themed party collection.
So, I had to decided to make one for you.


You and I hit the party store.
You picked the color-scheme and I surprised you 
using your favorite "Angry Cat" as the inspiration 
for the plates and cupcakes.


Everyone you invited came to the party. 
You asked for each friend by name.


Auntie Pam took a lot of pictures for me
so I could actually be the mom for once.




You got some incredible heart felt gifts this year. It was SO supper sweet. 

Someone even had an "Angry Cat" outfit made 
special just for you! 


You were also thrilled to receive
a Daddy Car color changer and cars (which you've wanted for over a year),
a new tzu-tzu with soccer clothes (in your team's color with YOUR number!),
 a handmade cat carrier/blanket for all your cats,
the entire Narnia collection in one big beautiful book (you thought it was a Bible at first)
legos, lincoln logs, and trios for more building,
a tiny cat family,
and a Daddy Car bicycle (which you've wanted "forever"),

cat party friends

Kidz Town was awesome. 
The party was wonderful. 
We all enjoyed being surrounded by friends and family
for your FIFTH birthday! ;)