Our Family

Our Family

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last Night

I'm going to tell you a story about last night. I'm sure many of you can relate.

Mat worked from home yesterday, and by worked from home, I mean...he didn't talk to us at all except maybe a few words during his 3 minute lunch break. He was hard at work every second until 5:40 when I made him leave his desk and hang out with us. It wasn't helpful to him b/c he ended up staying up most of the night in order to finish working on something. This was typical of the week as there have been other sleepless nights for this work thingy too. And don't hear me complaining about his work...I'm just drawing the picture for you.

Andrew & Lizzy took a long nap yesterday, and they woke up super late. You parents know that means they didn't go to bed until late either. Finally, I got both kids down and ASLEEP.

Mat finally finished his work at like 3am (I really don't know), but I do know that about 1 hour after Mat got in bed, Andrew was tugging on me saying that a whale was chasing him in his sleep, and he fell out of bed. I told him he could sleep in the room beside mine (his room is far away from my room). He got into bed and proceeded to cough the rest of the night.

Then Lizzy started to cry. And Mat started itching so he was up. I just turned off the monitor. I couldn't sleep at all with the baby crying, Andrew coughing, or Mat scratching. Andrew woke up at 6am sharp. He couldn't have slept more than 6 hours if that. Then Mat was up at 6:15, and I couldn't go back to sleep.

I'm grouchy when I'm tired. Fortunately, this doesn't happen too often at our house (excluding this week). I'm looking forward to being able to sleep in this weekend...keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August Update

This month is flying by so quickly. Mat says he discounted this month on the first day of August simply b/c we have most days all planned out and jammed full of activities - some fun some not so fun. I thought I recount all the things I can remember that have gone down thus far...

1. We successfully completed 15 days of homeschool. It is going VERY well, but I have succumbed to doing most of my one on one teaching during Lizzy's nap time. My high maintenance little girl proves to be a big distraction to both her mommy and big brother. However, the change was due mostly for the sake of my house. She gets into everything! She's gleaning from our lessons though. She can now count to 10 with little guidance, and she can say the ABCD's (her name for them) and the sounds they make with a little more guidance. Andrew is amazingly patient with her. He's learning so much. I've nearly completely changed my philosophy on education. If you wanna know more about that, I'll happily share what that means, but I don't want to bore the world with my very strong opinions.

2. Andrew had his first full day of school at Circle Christian where he will continue to go each Friday. We have a carpool full of precious children.

3. We have made several BFF's here! It is so clear that we are exactly where God wants us to be. We even shared a double date at Epcot while our children (all 6 of them) had a slumber party with a babysitter back at the house. Rumor has it the kids were angels, and us big kids had a great time without time constraints or distractions. In fact, after Epcot closed at 9, we ended up hanging out at a resort for a few hours (while enjoying free drinks from our refillable Mickey mugs).

4. We not only decided to call First Baptist Windermere Lakeside our church home, we jumped full force into serving in the children's ministry. Mat is also helping, and we are so excited to see God at work in this church, in the lives of our children, and in us!

5. Andrew & Lizzy continue to take swimming lessons. Both of them are doing great, and we are excited to have a "pool day" all day today. With this heat, it's the only way to hang outside - period. Our Epcot days have really been evenings as the sun sets and the world cools off although we're getting use to being wet and stinky.

6. A wonderful friend came to visit from Atlanta, and we hung out at Epcot. In fact, most of the ESPN and fam gang was there, and again, we hung out after the park closed for a few hours - with all our kids. The kids were super hyper and delirious. It was SO MUCH FUN! The ESPN crew is kinda turning into family. We hang out now every weekend - at Yellow Dog, at our house, at a resort.

I am leaving out so much, but that's mostly what's been going on in our world. I love our new home!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Andrew's Ankle and Cold

Yesterday Andrew hurt his ankle at church. I noticed him limping all day yesterday, and this morning he was no only limping but crying out in pain. I scheduled an appointment at the doc to make sure it wasn't broken.

On the way there, Andrew said, "Mom, I'm going to tell the doctor that I have a cold and snot is sneaking into the back of my mouth." Awesome. And I wish you could have been there for his description to the doctor as he not only said that, but he went into much more detail (so seriously too).

His ankle is sprained, and likely bothering him a bit more b/c his body is working a little overtime fighting off the end of this stinky cold. Ice & low impact activities were the doctors orders...difficult task for the momma of a high energy 5 year old.

Now...to finally start school for the day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Messed Up

Yesterday was a wonderful day all-be-it BUSY!


1. went to swimming lessons for both kids
2. went to they YMCA where Andrew has "gym" class & I ran a 5K for exercise
3. went grocery shopping - ya gotta eat and we R OUT of food around here
4. ate lunch & finally showered & bathed the both kids (isn't it a terrible feeling when you go out dirty)
5. got down to school business while Lizzy napped - yay for no baby distractions
6. kids exercised to P90X with Mat while I made dinner
7. left to go to a homeschool meeting on the other side of town - It was super boring and long and I was already running on E.
8. got home late and crashed with a bowl of ice cream and a TV program

While Mat was taking the babysitter home (a precious girl from our church in a super fun family), I went to look at my sleeping babies. Andrew was curled up in his new Star Wars the Clone Wars bedsheets looking adorable, innocent, and beautiful. I couldn't resist giving him a thousand kisses - something he doesn't enjoy much now that he's getting older. Lizzy was face down struggling to breathe b/c she is teething bad and has a runny nose - her first cold possibly since moving to Florida passed down lovingly from her big brother. I got her up and gave her some meds.

I went back into Andrew's room and relived an incident that happened throughout the day. I shouldn't even share it b/c it will show my ugly heart, but here goes...

We were doing school, and Andrew was doing GREAT! He was learning how to put words together in this little game I made. I put consonants on a card, and I made another stack of cards with ending sounds like at, am, an, ad, ap. He would then match a consonant to the ending sound and read the word. He was doing SO well, that he wanted to read a million words. He was proud of his accomplishment, but he got so tired at the end (after reading like 100 words all by himself) so his mind wandered. I guess I fussed at him b/c the next thing he said was, "Mommy, I really don't like it when you yell at me." Ugh! I got impatient, and instead of putting the game away, I pushed him too hard eventually and clearly doing what he considered yelling. And then to add to the stupidity, I gave him a hug and called a truce instead of saying sorry. What an idiot am I? Seriously, it was an amazing learning experience for him and an opportunity for me to correct my exasperation and I called a "truce?"

First thing this morning, I apologized to him. I explained how he lovingly told me how my yelling made him feel, and I said that instead of calling a truce I should have said I'm sorry.

I love that little boy with all my heart. I need to remember that pure innocent beautiful face that I saw last night when I get angry. I need to remember that I want to be pure innocent and beautiful in God's eyes. That's how he made me to be, and I want my children to see God's love through me. Huge learning experience, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday - the 6th day of school

Before I start rambling, you need to know 2 things. Homeschool is going awesome! I couldn't have expected it to be better. And, I have no pics for this blog post.

With that said, I'm facing new challenges today.

1. Mat's schedule is different than your normal 8-5 M-F. You think - yeah, then it's great that you homeschool. I have the ability to be flexible, but this morning represents the challenge this give ME personally. Mat had to go in late b/c he's dealing with clients on the west coast with a 3 hour time difference. So instead of starting our school at 9am as I have been doing, I decided that it was most important for the kids to have "Daddy time" while they could. Inside my head I was fighting the change in routine, and I was snappy to my whole family or at times just quiet. I wasn't mad. I was just having an internal battle. I got over it, but I'm sure I'll always find that as THINGS come up to change our day that I'll still cringe inside.

2. Andrew is a super bright kid. He's well above average, and I'm not just saying it because he's my son. He is smart. I have to think of ways to cover the basics and enrich his mind at the same time. So I've decided to stick to the book lessons (sometimes covering 2 lessons at a time), and then give an enrichment lesson for things that are not taught until a child is typically older. I do this for both reading/phonics and math. Keeps me on my toes, and it makes our days a little bit longer which brings me to my 3rd challenge.

3. Andrew is 5. He is so smart, but he still has the attention span of a 5 year old. I'm struggling to know when to push him to do more and when to call it quits. I'm doing a good job of it, but it's still something that I'm constantly aware of. We live in a world where most people don't push their kids, and when you push your child, you are even criticized. I witnessed it first hand from an excellent group of mothers and friends I hung out with the other day. They weren't talking about Andrew, but they were talking about another friend who pushes her children - a woman I highly respect. I don't mind people criticizing me, but it got me thinking about "is there a line of when you shouldn't push your child?" and if there is, "where is that line?" I expect a lot out of my son. I want him to learn responsibility, and I want to push him to the point at which he is excelling and being challenged daily.

I'm realizing that I'm going to grow as a mother, a person, and a leader through this experience...likely as much as Andrew is going to grow. I also hope to grow in my walk with Christ. This journey will bring challenges that I never imagined, but it will make me stronger and better...if I turn to Christ. Because on my own, I will yell at my children, and flap my mouth too much in public and at home. I don't want that for myself or my children. I choose Christ....now if I could just make time to spend with HIM each day like I should be doing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

5 Down 175 to Go

When did the highlight of my days become talking about my kid peeing in the potty? Yeah, you guessed it. Lizzy is potty training. She is terrified of big potties (ya know...reg sized ones). BUT last night she got over her fear so she wouldn't pee on the princesses that were on her pullup (yep, that's what gets her going in the potty - along with a chocolate covered raisin reward). We were invited over to a friends house with a group of people in Awana leadership - don't know how I ended up there, but yep, we got suckered into leadership.

We started school Monday, and we have now successfully completed 5 days of home education. It was hairy at some points along our journey like when Lizzy had her melt downs because she wanted brother's full attention. I have been fairly successful at getting them to work together, and they are both thoroughly enjoying their days.

I am also enjoying my days, but I've realized that I'm going to have to really "tone myself down." Andrew is an incredibly bright boy so I'm pushing him to learn harder stuff. In the meantime, I need to remember that he still has the attention span of a 5 year old, AND when he gets distracted, I need to learn to shut-up and still give him time to respond before giving away answers. I'm not teaching to share how smart I am....but to let him THINK through things to find answers. DUH!

One of my favorite activities this week was building towers with Andrew using tens cubes. However, Lizzy was melting down so I had to take her away from Andrew so he could build. I knew Andrew wanted me to see what he built so I handed him the camera and told him to take pictures of his progress instead of coming to get me to show me. It worked sooooooo well, and I will certainly do that again! He was able to explore using the towers, I was able to help Lizzy independently, and we were all 3 happy!

I can only hope and pray that our days continue going this well. And I need prayers to remain calm, continue with creative quick thinking, and patience with Lizzy while Andrew is busy.

Here are some pics of our days: Andrew & Lizzy having snack time while listening to a book on CD, Andrew building towers, Andrew taking pics of his towers, and I love how in the last pic you can see the toy hammer...which he used in his tower building activity.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our First Day of School

Today was the first day of our homeschool adventure. I have been anxiously anticipating this day, and it seems that Andrew has too! He was put to bed at a normal time (8:30), but he didn't fall asleep until after 10:30 b/c he was so excited about his first day of school. His first day of kindergarten.

I was scared. I wasn't sure he would sit still and listen or even obey. I wasn't sure if Elizabeth would reek havoc on my house or torture me with her boredom. However, it went smoothly (well, compared to what I had imagined). There was a problem with Andrew being a little too excited. I had to send him to his room twice for playing with the same ball and hurting Lizzy with it. Lizzy did have a major melt down at one point b/c she didn't have her beloved brother entertaining her, but we got that all worked out.

Both of them loved story time.
I involved both of them in all the activities.
We did a craft together and *gasp* I even let them use paint.
We began the day with prayer & ended the day on the playground.

Lizzy was soooo tired at the end of "school."
Andrew was sooo disappointed that the school day was over, and he begged to have an hour longer to learn.

I'd say that was a pretty successful day! Now, if we can just keep up the momentum for 179 more days! Your prayers are coveted! I put 2 videos on FB of our first day, and I'll keep the pictures of our adventures rolling!

A Sink Full of Dirty Dishes

For some of you, a full sink may represent work or a chore that really no one likes to do. I really don't mind putting the dishes into the dishwasher, but I detest emptying the dishwasher. Mat usually does it although the new Orlando house has so many cabinets that it makes it easier to put things away as each thing has it's own special place.

That's not the purpose for this post.

This sink full of dirty dishes has kept a smile on my face. It represents friendship to me.

A long time ago (hmmm 11 years?) we met these special friends...the Jesels. They would have us over for dinner, serve dinner on their china, and we would help put the dishes in the sink. However, my friend, Beth (yes, Elizabeth's namesake), would NEVER do the dishes while we were there. She would tell us that our relationship was more important than doing the dishes. Wow...did that make me feel special! China and dirty dishes! It's a lesson that I've taken to heart and continued as we have friends over.

My current sink full of dishes is the remnants of a dinner party that we had on Saturday. Andrew's piano teacher (and fellow homeschooling family - the fam that introduced us to Circle Christian where Andrew will attend school on Fridays) and her precious family joined us for dinner. Her boys are older than Andrew by several years, but they ever so sweetly played with my children. They had a blast. Mat so enjoyed time with their father, and I LOVED spending time with my new friend.

So my full sink reminds me that friendships take work, but they are SOOOO rewarding!