January Recap

I so want to write in here more often for you, but it's just not happening. Someday.

In the meanwhile, it's summaries in short with photos from the month, again.

First things first, 

those crazy cute things you say:

* "What is wrong with you, woman!?"

* I fixed the light above the stove and yelled, "yes! it's so nice to have a man like me around when mine's at work!" you said, "all men like to do is play video games and open jars for people like you."

* I was laying on you, squishing and tickling and chewing, when I heard you squeak, "LORA! Don't lay on your food!" 

* I told you that if he wanted to have a cookie you would of course need to eat your veggies first. You said, "um... mom, can i discard one celery? because it's in my ketchup."

* You were in the house, in red sunglasses, gloves, and a scarf, with both dogs on leashes. You snuck up to me and said, "We spies are crazy! We hide the money and eat the key. Gruff!"

* I took out the juicer and some oranges this morning and you said, "mom, can i just have a glass of milk? I really love you, but i don't like 'not processed' orange juice."

* "I know people think I look all nice, but actually, inside, I am hard core."

me: i think this is paint on your pants.
you: it's okay. we have oxy clean.
me: oxy clean is not going to get this out.
you: mom, you don't have to, but i BELIEVE in oxy clean.

you: I'm thinking about running away.
me: Well, I'd call uncle Tony for some pointers first. Do your research.
you: I already have some pointers. First -only run away in the summer. Second -bring candy. Third -pack clothes and pajamas, but mostly pajamas... and hot dogs. See, I know what to do, Mom.
me: Sounds like you've got everything covered.

I made a list on the chalkboard, like I often do.
Later I noticed that you made a list on the chalkboard too.
So sweet, it read:
watch a show
play cars
hex bugs (a toy you love)
ice cream

We've been having some fun with food art.
We mostly always make cats,
because of course, you are still entirely and completely
ALL about CATS! :) 

And Apple.
The two of you have been getting very close
and you are doing a great job of training her for you.

You made your own ice cream for the first time.

At the beginning of the month you helped me 
rip the floors out of the house. 

You love to do any kind of demolition
or construction.

The house was TORE up for about a week.

The installers worked quickly and had the new 
hardwoods in within a couple of days.

That part was kind of fun
and chaotic.

But it was after the floors were in that we 
really had it rough.

Everything had to be repainted because of
the way the base molding came out.

Replacing the base molding was NOT fun,
easy, or clean.

Because we didn't expect it to take so much 
to put the house back together,
we didn't take time off of school for it.

It was a couple of weeks that I've blurred out 
and I'd rather not remember. :)

And although it's not completely finished,
thankfully, the floors turned out to be well worth it.

Now we don't have to worry about shoes,
food, dogs, kids, or the occasional 
wild animal that makes its way into our house
ruining any carpeting. :)

Your Dad and I took you to the Science show in GB.

It was really cool. 

You loved it. 

You love science. 

You got to spend lots of time with Jay in January.

She visited on weekends while Aunt Julie trained
up the street with Uncle Jeff. 

The two of you are as close as ever. 

Sarita enjoyed having TWO little ones around.

She spent HOURS playing with you,
making you into kittens, 
and then being the Mama cat for you.

Also, this month was your introduction to karate.

We've attended a couple of different places, 
but we are still working out exactly what and where 
we want to learn. 

I can't even explain what karate is to you.
So much to my surprise (and hesitation)
you really seem to have found your thing. 

And even more to my surprise, 
it's sparked the renewing of my own interest
in bringing me back to my history with karate. 
I am looking forward to training alongside you
like my Dad did with me. 

GRA surprised you with a visit this month!

She showed up at your karate class one night, 
when you didn't even know she was coming!

The two of you had a wonderful time together.

Other than when you made cookies,
I barely saw either one of you. 

You played

and played

and endlessly played.
That Gra can really play!!!

We're not sure why, but this month your cat, Mia,
has been much more present than usual.

She comes upstairs on her own during the day
to hang out with you. 

You couldn't be more pleased with this.

Other January news consists mostly of the weather.
We have enjoyed an extremely mild winter,
during which we've had very little snow
and lots of sunshine and mild temperatures.

The ice on the lakes and ponds haven't frozen.
The fountains are still running!
And many annual winter events 
have been canceled for the first time ever
due to not enough snow or ice.

It's been kind of nice. :)



For Christmas, Uncle Tony bought you your first 
hex nano habitat and two nano bugs. 
Well, you are crazy about them. 
You love building the habitat different ways, 
opening and closing the different gates, 
and providing obstacles for the bugs. 

You are very frugal with your money. 
You can see something you want in the store and think about getting it. 
Then you will see the price... it can be $7, 
and you will not buy it because you don't want to spend "that much. 
For this reason have saved up over $300 
of allowance and gift money in the past six months. 

After you got your Nano stuff, you came to your Dad and I 
and presented your plan for savings, giving, and spending 
of the money in your bank. 
Then you asked if we could go to the store so you could buy 
more to add on to your nano collection. 
We were shocked! 

The next day you spent $117 on habitats, bugs, and extra batteries.
Unbelievable! I was kind of proud of you for using 
some of your money for yourself, for once. 
And I am happy that you found something that you really love to play with. 

You have played with your nanos for hours everyday. 
You have had Henry and Jaymee over to play with them, too.

And Apple can not get enough of watching those bugs wiggle around in their home. 
She lays on the floor by them with you every time. 

Honestly, I've seen these bugs in the store before 
and I thought they were kind of silly.

Who would have thought!?

Out with the Old, in with the New!

I was sure getting tired of last year.

This year I am glad to be saying good bye to the end of 2011 and hello to 2012. It isn't always that the new year comes with a new and better start, but thankfully, that's how things are working out for us this year; spiritually, physically, personally, schedule- and surrounding-wise.

We came into 2012, back home from vacation with a week of new things waiting for us. We begin by coming out of our month off and heading into our three months on for homeschool. We have some fun boy things we'll be studying first, like stars, the sun, volcanoes, and planets.

We also have a new babysitter!!! A very sweet 16 year old girl who lives near us, AND can drive! :) 
Her family is wonderful, and she has a younger sister who is ready to start shadowing her to learn the ropes and take the reigns herself sometime in the future! 
This is a HUGE blessing for us. We have not trusted you to young sitters (other than cousin Cassie), but now that you are older we have been cautiously on the lookout for one. We are so excited to have the chance to go out alone and with our friends, without kids.

Yesterday we took your bed out of your room and moved your house from our school area into the space where your bed was. Considering that you play and sleep in it still, we thought it would be a good new place for it. 

Also with the new year we are getting new flooring. This weekend is the installation of hardwoods throughout the main floor of the house. So there will be no more "take off your shoes" or "wipe down the dog!" or "don't bring that wild animal in the house!"

In preparation for this I have emptied, washed down, purged and reorganized every square inch of the main floor. It feels like a good spring cleaning. Fresh and new!

In a couple weeks, Sarita will be starting a new school schedule at semester. We will be picking her up at 12:30 everyday, so she will be able to have a little break, finally, and spend much more time with us at home.

We've also discovered new ways to make a few tasks more convenient and less time consuming in our days. I'm looking forward to filling my extra time with more enjoying you and Sarita, training Apple, and getting back to card making and writing.  

There are a couple more new things happening around here, but I don't want to spoil all the surprises, so I will leave it at this. 

I'm very happy to be past the last season of our life. 
God is so Faithful, and He does make good of all things for those who love Him. 

I'm happy for you that your schedule, home, and Mama are all getting a bit of a face lift right now. :)


I love you so much!


Our School Year

I'm so glad that we are able to deviate from the norms and run our school year schedule in a way that works best for us. I don't know if you or I could stick with nine straight months of homeschooling. But I do know that we could not handle three months in a row off.

We both thrive on productivity, and we devote ourselves 110% to the things we do. Whether it's painting a picture or building a house, we have to fully invest ourselves in the research, planning, preparing and completing our projects. This makes us great at what we set our minds to, but terrible at taking breaks.

This is the reason we decided to homeschool in three month chunks, taking one month off in-between.

It works best for us to begin with most schoolers, at the beginning of September. Then we go hard until December 1st. We LOVE having the month of December off. We can dive completely into Christmas Celebrating with Advent devotionals, decorating, gift creating/collecting and wrapping, acts of kindness, and enjoying the outdoors with winter activities. Also, all of our public schooled friends have the last week or so off for Christmas, so we get to hang out with them during the days.

Returning to school January first works well because we have that "fresh start"/New Year thing going on. And it gives us something to look forward to after Christmas (because we get funky if we get stagnant).

By April 1st, we need to get off the carousel. Spring is starting to peek out and it beckons us to get outside and have free fun at parks, zoos, WLS, our back yard, bonfires, walking, cleaning up the yard and readying it for warm weather, etc... We NEED April off.

As for May, June and July; I don't know how we'd get through all of the summer months without being able to do school. There is just so much to do outdoors that is school related. Studying wildlife, insects, planting and tending to gardens, aquatics, and even just being able to go outside to do schoolwork...

August is a welcome month off during which we enjoy playing with our public schooled friends who have the month off as well, staying up late, going to the beach, outdoor movies, fairs and carnivals, etc...
and we'd never want to miss out on all the fun of getting ready for the new year of school with fresh books, art supplies, clothes, ideas and plans... it's SO MUCH FUN to get back into school with everyone else, and the nearing Autumn season in September, again.

I don't know that this will aways be best for us. But it certainly works now. And if we ever need to change it, we can.

Homeschool... gotta love it!