Friday, December 31, 2010

Change...

I wasn't sure what to call this post. It's kindof hard to write, hard to put into words why I'm doing what I'm doing. I am almost 100% sure this is what's going to be best for our family at this stage of our life. Rod and I have talked immensely about this. We've weighed the pros and cons...discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both situations...and decided what was in my best interest, in the kids best interest, and our family as a whole's best interest. I know not everyone will agree with me, and that's okay. Life is not about wanting everyone to agree with your decisions. (Note to self: believe that last statement!!)

I'm putting Mikaela and Eli in public school. Ew...public school. That phrase sounds dirty! LOL. I mean...the school we're talking about has about 250 students PreK - 12. It's less than a mile from my house. They don't teach evolution or acceptance of homosexual lifestyle or gay marriage or abortion or anything "like that".

I understand that 'secular' curriculum has a humanistic worldview, as opposed to a God-centered worldview, which is my number one reason I didn't want them in public school. I also realize that what a child learns at home takes precedence over what he learns at school. (from my experience.)

 I understand I will be away from my two oldest children, 5 days a week from 8-3ish, for 8 months out of a year. (2 weeks Christmas break, 1 week Thanksgiving, 1 week spring break, various holdiays throughout year) I also realize that I have spent almost their entire lives so far teaching them, raising them, loving them, guiding them. They spend those first 5 crucial years side by side with me, not day care or 3 year old preschool or anything like that. Heck, I even teach the preschool sunday school class.

I understand that they will be influenced by peers; they will hear curse words; they will witness bullying and mean girls and the like. But I trust that the upbringing they have recieved from us and the salvation of their souls (both have accepted Jesus) and their common sense and compassion will PREVAIL over any evil they encounter. I'm not 'throwing them to the wolves'. They (unfortunatley) have heard curse words from extended family (despite our protests and complaints...some people just can't help theirselves, others just 'let it slip') and they have never said an ugly word. They are both friendly and desire friendship, they aren't bullies.

The reasons I'm putting these reasons is not just to convince myself (lol). It's because I feel like I have to defend myself. I don't know why. The few people I've told have been supportive, if not overly enthusiastic. I'm not very 'excited' myself, but I know this is what needs to happen.

Homeschooling is wonderful. It's fun, it's a thrill teaching your children to read, write, and think for themselves. It's rewarding...it's challenging.

I have however been a little overwhelemed off and on over the past 6 months or so. (Since Silas was born, in other words.) I barely have the energy to do school. After I clean and cook and balance the checkbook and clean some more and cook some more and nurse a baby all day long and deal with a VERY NEEDY two year old, I just don't want to sit down and do school. Blame it on a little post partum, blame it on having 4 children and a husband and laundry and cooking and cleaning, blame it on me...whatever. I have been stressed out way more than I ever have. I have been so fatigued and exhausted and wore out. I have been on emotional rollercoasters, ups and downs, highs and lows. I have been angry, I have been happy, but I have lost my JOY.

I feel like they would be happier in school. Mikaela especially wants friends! Who could blame her? There's only one girl at church even close to her age, and we don't go on Wednesday nights, so she only sees her on Sundays and sometimes sleepovers. Eli has no friends at church, except a select few that come sporadially.

Eli needs the structure and discipline of Kindergarten. He thrives on it. And I have to say, our life is less than structured. Mikaela needs the challenge. They have both been bored to tears, playing with toys, yes; playing outside, yes; but they want to go! Well...Mikaela is dying to go. Eli isn't so sure, but he's a little excited.

Mercie needs time from me. She has had the least amount of time with me of all the kids, except Silas cause he's younger. She craves attention and has been acting out to get it. I try to fit her in with everything else, but it's hard having to do school, too, and entertain other kiddos, to.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I'm trying to do what is right!

I will miss them, but I know they are both trustworthy, hard working, well behaved children, and I know they will thrive.

I love my kids, and the hardest part abot putting them in school is the separation from them. I am going to miss those two like crazy!! I wish I could just keep them home, and not worry about their education. But unfortunately I can't do that.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas

We had a fun Christmas. Actually, we had 5 fun Christmases! We celebrated with Rod's dad, grandma, his 2 baby brothers, and his brother and wife on Thursday morning. Thursday night, we went to Rod's mom's and stepdad's. Friday we went to Rod's other grandma's. Saturday we had Christmas morning at our house, went to my grandparent's for lunch, and my mom and dad's after that. We made some good memories, as always, and Rod videotaped everything!
The kids before opening gifts Christmas morning. Silas was still asleep, and *gasp* we started the festivities without him! Don't worry,  he woke up half way into opening presents, so he didn't miss everything.
 Eli wanted some legos so bad, and he has really enjoyed building with them.
 Mercie needed her OWN scooter , or "tooter" as she calls it.
 Mikaela wanted a horse for her American girls. Rod also made Mercie and Mikaela a bed for their dolls.
 Silas got this train, but Mercie and Eli have had a blast playing with it!
 Thier stockings, stuffed full.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Yesterday we went to my sister Ashlie's house and let the kids decorate sugar cookies. It was a blast!




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some Pictures

We have been busy over the weekend! Friday night we had practice for the kids Christmas play at church. Saturday night we went to Rod's mom's and ate dinner. Sunday was church and Sunday night was the Christmas play - which turned out really cute! Mikaela was Mary; Eli was a camel; and Mercie was a star. They all did great and knew their one line. Mikaela and Eli didn't want big speaking parts, but after the play they both said next year they want to 'talk' in the play!





                                Merice and cousin Bryton before the play. Aren't they sweet??



My handsome men.

                  And Happy Half Birthday Silas!!
You are 6 months old today! It's hard to believe 6 months ago I was in the hospital getting ready to deliver you. You are a sweet baby. Here are some facts:
*You are still breastfeeding, no bottles or pacis.
*You do not sleep all night. You sleep with mommy and daddy and nurse throughout the night.
*You have tried applesauce about 5 times, and you like it okay.
*You ate a few 'puffs' yesterday. (peach mango flavor)
*You got your two bottom teeth December 13.
*You weighed 20 pounds 2.5 oz yesterday.
*You roll all over the house.
*You can sit up for a little bit at a time, as long as I'm close to catch you if you fall over.
*You must be rocked to sleep or fall asleep nursing.
*You reach and cry for me.
*You love your bath.
*You have a bald spot on the back of your head.
*You tore the paper on your Christmas present from Mikaela!
*You are a beautiful sweet baby and I don't know what I would do with you! I love you so much, Silas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Things I Love...

1.) a nice ice cold diet coke
2.) the sweet noises Silas makes when he's nursing
3.) the precious look on Mercie's face when she's sleeping
4.) the way Mikaela and Eli get so excited over simple things, like being able to feel Silas' first tooth
5.) watching a good movie with my sexy husband, cuddling on the couch together
6.) when my sweet husband cooks me dinner AND cleans up
7.) keeping my laundry caught up (this means washed, dryed, folded, and put away, 2 loads a day)
8.) my new border in my bathroom!
9.) my nephews
10.) anticipation for Christmas! I still feel it like a child...
11.) wrapping Christmas gifts
12.) having a freshly mopped floor with NO footprints
13.) warm cookies
14.) wearing clothes for the first time ( I don't wash first I love the feeling of NEW clothes)
15.) a clean refrigerator
16.) hugging my sweet man when he gets home in the evening
17.) did I say a nice ice cold diet coke?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Great Website

I have been reading alot on raisinggodlytomatoes.com. It's a wonderful website with tons of good Godly parenting information and advice. Right now I'm reading about tomato staking AKA supervising  your children constantly to avoid any bad behavior or habits that could get started and to be available to immediately correct bad behavior and encourage good behavior. I know this is good advice, because I've noticed that when I send the kids off to play alone, it ususally causes problems. They either fight, or argue, or someone gets hurt, or a big mess is made, or they whine, etc. When I'm playing with them or even just in the same room as them, they play much better. Not to say kids shouldn't ever play alone, because everyday Mercie takes a nap and Eli and Mikaela have quiet time and it works well most of the time. And I can't sit and play all day. I have a nursing baby and clothes to wash and a house to keep clean and meals to cook. But I think I'm going to try to be near them all the time, to keep them around me or keep them in a neutral room, like the living room, so I can keep a constant check on what's going on. Preventative parenting, where I don't have to discipline, just correct.

Silas is almost 6 months old, and a precious baby. He is still ALMOST exclusively nursing, as I have introduced applesauce once and he kindof liked it. He loved the taste, but wasn't sure exactly what to do with it! He is ALMOST sitting up alone. He can for just a bit, but can't always catch himself when he goes to fall over. He rolls around everywhere! His first tooth just peeked above the gum yesterday, so it's ALMOST all the way through. He is still waking at night to nurse a few times. He is still sleeping with us most of the night. I have been starting him out in his bed, and the first time he wakes, I bring him in bed with me and nurse him until he goes back to sleep. He naps off and on throughout the day, not on any particular schedule. Which is fine by me. He's the first baby I haven't put on a schedule, but it's working just fine. He still must be rocked to sleep for his nap if he doesn't fall asleep eating. He is so sweet and precious and I love to rock him and nurse him and kiss him...He is growing way too fast, and I'm doing all I can to hold on to a few precious moments.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sick Kiddos

Late late Tuesday night, my sister, her hubby and their two boys got in from Wyoming, where he's been working the past 2 1/2 months. Yes, that long since I've seen my sis and nephews. (and brother in law).

Wednesday, we spent the day at my moms, and my other sister (who lives in Baton Rouge) came in as a surprise! We all hung out and visited. It was good to see them.

Thursday, we all (my sisters and I and the 6 kids) went to eat pizza. It was good, but after we had been home for a few hours, Mikaela started throwing up. A few hours later, Eli threw up. I held my breath all night, praying that Mercie and Silas and me didn't get sick. Mikaela was sick all night, but nobody else got sick, thank God!

Friday, Mikaela and Eli were puny but felt better. We just hung out at the house, catching up on laundry and cleaning.

Today, they are 100% better, and we are well, but my sister started throwing up this morning!

Fingers crossed NOBODY ELSE GETS SICK.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Girls Day

Yesterday, Mikaela and I (and Silas) went on a girls day! We went shopping last year, and she decided that every year we will have a day just for me and her to go Christmas shopping. We had to take Silas because he's still  nursing and he's only 5 months old.  We had so much fun!! She used her own money and bought Silas and Eli a present. She had already bought Mercie one a week or so ago. I think it's so sweet that she thinks nothing of spending her money on her siblings. She just wants them to  be happy. She bought Eli a 'sleeping costume' (aka pajamas) for his Build a Bear and Silas got a shirt from gymboree. For Mercie, she had bought some necklaces for her doll (which she's getting on Christmas). We went to the mall (which is an hour and a half away from our house), Target, Lifeway, Family Christian, Michaels, and Ross. Mikaela loves the Christian bookstores! She will look at all the devotions and books and flip through them, wanting everything!

I am so thankful for Mikaela and getting to spend time with her. Thanks to Rod for keeping Eli and my mom for watching Mercie. We had an enjoyable day and I can't wait til next year!