Friday, June 29, 2012

children’s devotionals…

I’ve got three fruit boxes full of books sitting upstairs on my bedroom floor. They are books from my childhood that Mom saved for me, and I will occasionally pull a few out to read to the boys.

Today I found a couple that I have very fond memories of. I definitely recommend them for preschoolers. The first is the Buzzy Bee Story Book.

buzzybee I wrote a review of it on Amazon describing it, so I won’t say more here. The illustrations are very sweet and vintage. Go here for more info.

The other book is Big Thoughts for Little People. Amazon has some good images if you click on the picture. The illustrations and the simple questions are what make this book special.

51 E W-b91L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mama’s minutia…


- I let my children paint today. With tempera paint. Everyone burst into wild applause now. It started with doing that salad spinner painting craft. I’d taken a minute to cut up some paper to fit last night (wild applause again) and drag out the tempera paint from under some boxes of soda in the pantry. They loved dripping the paint on the paper and getting it spinning, but that led to wanting to paint with actual brushes and stuff.

- I like having drying works of art lying on all the counters in my kitchen. No, I really do. It makes me feel like I get a “Good Mommy” sticker for the day.

- Somebody needs to make “Good Mommy” stickers, and then somebody else needs to buy me some.

- See that baby swing in the picture above? I recently discovered some rather large gouges in the paint on the wall exactly matching the spots that swing arms vigorously swung would go. My 3-year-old had been warned numerous times not to touch the swing. He’s lucky I found evidence of his sin while he was napping. Yep, that is one lucky boy.

- I expect that these gouges will still be there when Ben turns 3. The effort that it would take to hunt down the can of matching paint color is not to be taken lightly. (I’m learning not to care about these kinds of things. It’s the only way I can survive life with 3 boys.) I think I’ll put a bird on the marks and call it a day. =) Sarah, that one was for you.

- Seth just called me away to watch him and Ben play tug o’ war with a rubber snake. Seth informs me that Ben won because he “tugged the hardest.” I think Ben let go so he wouldn’t be dragged over onto his stomach, but that’s just me.

- Seth isn’t so fond of competition. We suspect that it’s because he can’t always win, so he doesn’t want anyone to win. We’ve taught the boys to congratulate the winner and tell him “You did a good job!” They’re both fine with this now, but Seth also likes to declare a tie. “We made a tie, Evan. We made a TIE!”

- Ben is having his afternoon swinging time right now. We have to crank that baby up to 5 or higher for maximum baby happiness. The batteries really need to be changed. I’m listening to tired, run down, warbling of some rousing classical song. “Claire de Lune” sounds really sad in run down baby swing-ese.

- I made a crockpot full of dried pintos yesterday. 2 lb. of beans will really smell up your house, I tell ya. The guy from the cable company who came by said he could tell I was making Mexican. I put 2 minced onions in there, and after I drain out the water, I season them good with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Tonight I make homemade Mexican rice. I plan to make enough to freeze, and this will keep us in taco salad for a little while. We have it with plenty of beans, rice, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and broken up corn tostadas.

- There is one regular grocery store around here that sells bags of flat, round, corn tostadas. You can get 20+ of these for $2.29, and I think this is a great deal. They’re a lot like chips, except I’m not tempted to eat the whole bag, and it’s a lot more economical than buying lots of boxes of hard taco shells. Check the Mexican section of your local Food Lion, local peeps.

- Adios, amigos. (If I misspelled any of that, please remember that I took 6 years of French.)

mama’s minutia…


DSC_0058-001 I spread out a blanket in a shady spot in the yard to picnic after they swim in their birthday suits… DSC_0061-001 He can hang in the pool with the big boys now…. though their excessive splashing does cause crying and removal from said pool…

DSC_0068-001 Most pathetic train birthday cake on the planet. The birthday boy didn’t care. Note the scraped up face from the bike accident earlier that day.


A new favorite pastime, fizzy painting with tinted vinegar and baking soda. I suggest doing this outside. Vinegar tinted with food coloring will stain your wooden table. Ask me how I know. =)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

not alone…

I accidentally bit off a bit more than I could chew today. That’s why I’m sitting here in a quiet house at 6:45 p.m. on a Wednesday. My wonderful husband offered to take all my children far, far away when he got home, and I took him up on it. (I don’t like taking him up on it and usually don’t, so that tells ya how today has gone.)

The not feeling good thing and the stress from worrying periodically that I have ovarian cancer hasn’t made for a particularly fun day. I’m going to have to make that doctor’s appointment I really don’t want to make just to cover my bases.

I kept a friend’s little boys today so she could go to the doctor’s office herself. She wasn’t feeling so great, either.

And I was reminded of something as she talked. A lot of parents of young children don’t feel so great on a regular basis. We’re not getting enough sleep, we have practically no down time, and fussy, demanding children are just plain stressful.

Its not just me. Yeah, my problems are different from her problems and are different from so and so’s problems down the street, but it’s not unusual to feel like you’re falling apart at the seams during this stage of life.

David has multiple recurring mouth sores. It got so bad recently that he went to see a doctor for them. The doctor’s prescription? More sleep and less stress.

You’re very funny, Mr. Doctor Man. Tell me another one. Would you like to come over here and babysit? Oh really? You’re afraid that you’d get mouth sores? Hmmmm…..

We’ve got to ride this out, fellow parents in the trenches. We’ve got to make yet another doctor’s appointment and call yet another babysitter and do our best to not overload our plates with fun activities that exhaust us.

I’ve got to remind myself a million times a day that God is in control of every stressful situation I face, and that it probably won’t end up being as bad as I usually think it will be….



Vacuuming the floor is so much better when you’re wearing your mask and cape…


… and every superhero knows that a pair of magic scissors trims hedges at least as well as electric hedge trimmers. It’s also important to wear your mask to hide your secret identity from the neighbors…

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

my body….

…. as in, I’m sick and tired of it.

I spent almost the month of May feeling terrible because of horrible allergies. There was at least a week of being unable to sleep because of coughing.

I went to the doctor because I felt so bad, and because I’d recently had a baby, she decided to check all my thyroid levels. Sooo, I got to be worried about that, and I got a $200 bill for the panel of tests I had…. and it ended up being allergies. I figured this out no thanks to the P.A. I saw. I should charge myself $200 and do something fun with it.

Soooo back I went to the doctor later because the allergies had gotten so bad that I had an ear infection that wouldn’t respond to pain meds and was making me cry. This time I was told to take an antihistamine, nursing or no nursing. By then, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t have cared less if I had to start giving him formula….

Which I’ve had to do once a day for awhile now because I don’t produce enough milk. This is a kick in the pants for me because of trying to avoid medication because of protecting the nursing, thereby making me so sick I wanted to scream (see above).

I don’t produce enough milk probably because I got my period back 3 stinkin’ months after Ben was born. I really think it affected my milk production. I had enough for my other babies, skinny as they all are.

And now it looks like I have this… Yup, these symptoms are mine. Horrible bloating that makes me look 6 months pregnant, nausea, anxiety, gas, intestinal issues, and now I know why I’ve kept having this regularly for several months. I can stop worrying about having stomach cancer and leaving my babies motherless, but I get this fun to look forward to every month.

This month has been particularly bad, and it basically screwed up my weekend at the beach. Yeah, that family trip that I packed for and struggled mightily to enjoy because I was a hormonal wreck.

I have about zero faith in the medical establishment right now because of their inability to figure out what is wrong with me and their ability to take lots of my money and give me nothing in return but worry, so yeah, I don’t feel like taking myself to a doctor anytime soon. But if this doesn’t go away after I wean Ben, I am going to pound on my obgyn’s door until somebody listens to me and gives me an ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts.

(This isn’t the first time that doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I had bladder urgency so bad and so often after Seth was several months old that I went to a urologist for it. I had a CAT scan, and he couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I, once again, had to figure out that it was because of my monthly cycle patterns, and it went away after a few months.)

Years of not ovulating, and now that it looks like I’m ovulating again, there’s no benefit for me, and I get to feel bad for a week every month. Fabulous.

So I feel old and tired and angry because my beautiful babies have screwed up my body, and I feel like I’m never going to feel good for long again. I should’ve had my babies in my early 20’s. Oh wait, I tried that, and it didn’t work….

Rant over.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Charlotte Mason link…

I just came across this link, and I thought I’d share it.

She does a good job of laying out what I understand to be the difference between a Charlotte Mason inspired education and typical classical education.

I have read “The Well Trained Mind”, and I got a lot out of it, but, for some of the reasons mentioned in this article, I don’t think “classical education” is where I’m headed…

thoughts on homeschooling…

Yeah, you’re going to be hearing a lot about homeschooling on this blog for awhile. It’s what’s for dinner most of the time around here… and lunch, and breakfast, and afternoon snack. I’m going through books and pulling together things and educating myself, so I’m thinking through philosophy…

And I’ve realized a few things I haven’t articulated much here, so I thought I’d share with the two of you who are still reading…

I am not homeschooling because I’m afraid.

A lot of people start out homeschooling as a reaction to something negative that they’re up against in a traditional school setting. They’re primarily afraid of negative influences on their children from their peers. They’re afraid their children will reject faith in Christ. They wish they could afford private, Christian school, but they can’t, so they guess they’ll homeschool instead.

These are the motivators that start a lot of families down the homeschooling path, and they aren’t horrible motivators when you begin, I guess. But if they’re still the main reasons you’re homeschooling a couple of years in, then I think there is a problem.

See, many start homeschooling because of these fears, but then they discover, to their surprise, that these aren’t their main motivations anymore. Homeschooling has turned out to be so much more than they’d originally imagined it could be. They discover they love the style of learning, the ability to explore interests without time constraints, the flexibility, the time to just do and be as a family, and that’s, I think, when they turn into a homeschool family. They catch the vision for homeschool, not “school at home.” =)

I can tell you from a lifetime of watching my homeschooled peers growing up that homeschooling will not save your children. If you homeschool, your children will not be guaranteed to love Christ. Sure, extra time with parents who love Christ can be really helpful for their young faith, but there are no guarantees.

Teach your children at home because you love learning, and you (usually =) love being with your children, and you can’t wait to watch with joy while the wide world opens up before them.

And if you’re not there yet, make that a goal. =) That’s my two cents.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

ordinary weekend….


Seth woke up Saturday morning with a swollen red eye.

Weekend plans…. derailed.

So we settled in for simple pleasures away from places where we’d spread infection. Sometimes Plan B is the best plan after all.

A quick Saturday morning drive around the neighborhood yields a practically new bike trailer for a steal. All three boys can ride behind David now… one on the bike seat and two in the stroller…. and Daddy has a new exercise plan. They’ve been twice already.

New wireless router bought and installed means that we can start streaming Netflix through the Wii, and I can stop standing on my neighbor’s porch to borrow their Wifi when I need to download books to my Kindle.

Quick Daddy/Seth trip to urgent care provides antibiotic eye drops and a little needed one on one time for them…

Saturday evening means a bike and stroller ride on the local greenway trail. The 3-year-old takes delight in riding his big brother’s bike much farther than we ever imagined he could…

Sunday morning finds us eating leftover homemade cinnamon rolls from my friend-down-the-street-who’s-never-allowed-to-move.

Afterward, we sit in the living room. I say “sit” loosely. The boys clamber around David’s head while he reads their current favorite Bible story- David and Goliath- from the NIV. They ask questions. “What’s a slave, Daddy?” “What does ‘struck down’ mean?”

They each get to pick a song to sing. Seth picks “I Love You, Lord,” and Evan picks, “I Cast All My Cares Upon You.” I pick “My God is So Big” for Ben. We take prayer requests. Evan wants to pray that he can destroy something. Seth wants us to pray that his eye will feel better soon.

And then its off for another walk on another favorite part of the greenway. We forget that there’s a steep hill near the beginning, and David lets Evan pedal off while he’s messing with Seth’s binoculars. A scream… and then a crash. A jogger comes running. 3-year-old down… cuts on knees and cuts on face.

Does he want to quit? No, he does not. He’s right back up on that bike. He rides and rides, not even stopping when Seth and I take a break to throw rocks in the creek.

Seth rides with Ben in the stroller, saying to many that we pass, “Do you want to see my pink eye?” We hurry on, and I explain again why they don’t want to get too close. =) Ben props his tiny feet up on the stroller bar and contentedly looks around him, gnawing and slobbering on a green maple leaf that Daddy has given him.

The sun is hot, and I’m starting to feel it, even in my favorite blue sundress that makes a nice swish around my legs and almost always feels cool enough. We make it back to the car, me pushing Evan up the hill. He won’t get off the bike until he has to.

The boys get baths after lunch (separately, to help avoid infection). They love a little solo splashing anyway. Naptime is here, and I’m making Evan a belated train birthday cake….

While I sat by the stream this morning, watching Seth throw rocks and listening to him ask me if they were the right sizes for throwing, I couldn’t help but think that there were so many days when I couldn’t imagine ever having one child. And now I have three boys. I watch them throw rocks, wipe and kiss their bloody knees when they fall down, push their thin little backs to propel them up hills on their bikes.

The pain and the waiting were all so worth it. And this joy would’ve been about the same whether they’d come from my body or whether we’d adopted. I wasn’t as sure of that once as I am now, but I see it more clearly today than I could’ve before I started this journey. It’s the daily living and growing with a child that makes you a family… not just how you all got together to start with.

There are many days when this knitting together of family is hard and wearing. But there are also many days when our family feels knit tightly, and we love effortlessly. And that brings joy unspeakable and great thanksgiving for Our Father’s gracious gift…

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

math, handwriting, and reading… oh my!

Ok, so I already posted my group studies curriculum. Now we move on to the subjects that can’t easily be taught to a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old at the same time.

At some point in the day, maybe morning, maybe while Evan and Ben are napping, I will be doing math, handwriting, and reading with Seth.

I may give Evan one of these workbooks to do. I used them with Seth, and they were great. This may help Evan feel like he’s got “special school” to do as well. I will also have a long list of independent learning activities typed up to remind me of things I can pull out for Evan to do. I may put some of them in a fun box to pull out just while Seth is working with me.

My plan is to use the Primer Level of Math-U-See with Seth. I think math curriculum is such an individualized thing. I think that Seth’s brain works well with these kinds of manipulatives based on other work we’ve done, and I think he needs a slow start on math to keep from getting frustrated.

I’m going to continue with All About Learning Press’ Reading Curriculum. He’s loved the Pre-Reading Curriculum, and when we finish that, I’ll get the next one. There are tons of readers that we can get from the library when we need those.

“Handwriting Without Tears” has been recommended to me, and I checked it out at the book fair, but it seemed more involved than we need right now. Mom used A Reason for Writing with us, and I have good memories of it, so that’s what I bought for this year. Eventually he’ll be copying out Bible verses and coloring the pages he’s written on to put up on the wall.

I don’t know yet how long this will take per day. Maybe 30 minutes? We’ll find out… =)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

response to the tiger mother…

I found this posted on Simple Mom. It’s a poem by Sarah Dunning Park, and she has a new book of poems out. Follow this link to find out more… I’m assuming I can repost if I give credit…

    Tiger Mother

My baby staggered
on flat feet and stocky legs
into her first classroom,
where we sang and clapped
and flapped our wings—

until the following year,
when I grew too pregnant
to bounce her on my lap,
and we had to quit
toddler music class.

When the new babies
could walk and talk
(and in fact, didn’t ever stop),
I tried again:
this time, I’d drop them off
and speed away
for milk and eggs,
or I would sit, mute,
in a waiting room,
gulping down the quiet.

I read Battle Hymn
of the Tiger Mother
and imagined myself
as zealous as Amy Chua:
we’d devote our time
to proficiency in scales
after lessons in tying shoelaces—
but the next day
my only goals were to fry eggs
and to finish a batch
of laundry.

That spring, it rained
and rained some more—
I heaped our schedule
with enriching indoor activities
while the ground outside
filled to capacity
and rejected the endless water,
sent it running off
in streams.

I herded the kids
under a sagging umbrella
to rush from car to class,
forgoing sidewalk worms
and an apple-green larva
spied under a leaf.

One evening
as we pulled in our driveway,
late for dinner again
and most of us in tears,
my hair prickled at the scalp,
my tigress claws clenched the wheel,
and I roared—

until they rolled out of the car
like cubs, tumbled into puddles,
made for the cover of the trees,
where they could
poke a stick in the dirt
and gather worms in peace—
just like I wanted them to.

The plan for kindergarten….

This is going to be a monster of a post, so go get a cuppa something and get comfortable… =)

The NCHE conference was really, really helpful for getting me focused and excited about our upcoming first year of home education. I went to a lot of classes on homeschooling young children (since that’s what I have) and one class on homeschooling boys (ditto). David and I spent a lot of time walking through the book fair and talking to curriculum vendors. It was really nice to have some of the curriculum I am interested in for later explained to me in detail, and you can’t get that at the local homeschool bookstore.

That being said, I do feel like the conference speakers confirmed to me that I’m on the right track with my plans for our kindergarten year. I also have my own former NCHE speaker on hand to talk to me and show me her first year notebooks and curriculum and drag about 10 boxes of books down from the attic for my perusal. =)

Sooo, here’s my plan for this year. We will be homeschooling 4 days a week. Each day we’ll be starting our morning with this:

Prayer and devotions- I have multiple Bible story books, including the Jesus Storybook Bible, the Big Picture Storybook Bible, and lots of character training books. I will pull from those in rotation, read a short story, ask them what they noticed about it, and take prayer requests.

Sing a song or hymn- We’ll learn either a hymn, seasonal song with motions, or song about America every week.

Read a poem- I have a Child’s Garden of Verses by R.L. Stevenson, and I have every Shel Silverstein book ever written. We’ll alternate between silly and serious poems.

Memory work- We’re going to either memorize a short Bible verse per week or a short poem per week. The boys get a lot of Scripture memory through our Bible study, so I will be able to devote some time to poem memorization. I will probably use these for Scripture memory.

Calendar time- We will take down a calendar and check off the date each day. This is also a good time to occasionally sing a “Days of the Week” and “Months of the Year” song. I also bought this little book, and we’ll keep data on the weather about 3 months out of the year and plug it into the charts in the back.

We’ll do all of these things every day. After that, I’ll be using Five In A Row and other resources to do social studies with them.

1 day- Patriotism- On this day, we’ll say the Pledge of Allegiance and we’ll use a book on the 50 states to talk a little about an individual state. I’ve bought a laminated U.S. map, and we’ll put a star on each state as we talk about it. I will get books from the library to supplement, and we’ll use Wee Sing America as well.

1 day- Art or Character study- We will read our Five In A Row book, and then we’ll talk about one or both of these aspects from the information in the teacher’s manual. For example, when studying The Story of Ping, we’ll try to draw water moving like the artist does. Or we might talk about why it was a bad idea for Ping not to come when his master called him. As a way to introduce art on a K/pre-K level, we’ll put stickers of great works of art in this book and talk about them a little.

1 day- Science- We’ll read the 5 in a Row book again and use the science lesson there if its good. If its not, I will have science experiments planned from Janice Van Cleeve’s Experiment Books for the young. I also have her book on bugs, and it looks fabulous. We will be taking some nature classes from Parks and Rec to round out our science activities.

1 day- History and Geography- for this one, I’ll mainly be using Five in A Row. We have a large laminated map of the world that I’ll put on our school room wall. There are disks in the back of the Five in A Row book that correspond to the stories we’re reading. You put one on each country studied. For instance, with The Story of Ping, I will get books from the library about China, the Yangtze River, ducks, etc., and we’ll read those. We’ll look at YouTube videos, etc.

That’ll be our morning school session. I figure that it should take about an hour each day.

During lunch, I will be reading aloud to the boys from books like “Stuart Little”, “Homer Price,” etc. If I can’t read aloud because Ben is causing too much trouble, we might all listen to a read aloud on CD from the library. =)

While they play, I will play classical music on Pandora for them. Later in the year, I’ll introduce them to some quality classical music like “Peter and the Wolf'” by Prokofiev.

I will try to incorporate a recipe or food item that relates to 5inaRow every week. For Ping, I’ll just buy some rice cakes for snack. =)

We’ll be making a notebook for the year where the boys can draw pictures about what we’re learning and dictate stories to me. I’ll take pictures and print them out. This will be a nice way to go back and review what we’ve been learning all year.

These are all things that Seth and Evan can both be involved in this year. Evan can be involved as little or as much as he’d like to be, or he can play while Seth and I work. We’ll probably start out working while Ben is having his morning nap.

Notice, I haven’t said anything about teaching Reading or Math or Handwriting…. That’s coming up in another blog post….

Friday, June 01, 2012

ordinary day…


“Where’s your brother, Seth?” “Check the 3rd shelf up, Mommy, right above the lion ball.” =)


For those of you who might be interested, here is what an average day looks like around here… (this is probably mainly for the benefit of relatives, but there ya have it)

Ben wakes up at 6:00ish to nurse. I stumble into his room, take care of his needs, and then stumble back to bed. About 8:00, I get up, get him up and feed him, throw on some clothes, pull my hair into a quick ponytail, and then go into the boy’s room to get them up. By then, it’s about 8:30. Sometimes they’re awake, and sometimes they aren’t. If they wake up before I’m done with my routine, I let them get up and play quietly in their room while I finish up.

Seth puts on his own clothes, and Evan has some help from me. Sometimes I don’t rush them, and we’ll all hang out in their room, me sitting on the queen size guest bed and Ben sitting up on the floor with whatever random toys I can find to throw within his reach. They talk to me and play pretend.

Then we head downstairs for breakfast. Most of the time its their choice of 1 of a few kinds of dry cereal and cups of milk. Evan eats his off of a high chair tray still. Sue me. Seth sometimes chooses milk in his and sometimes like them dry. It’s his responsibility to put his bowl and spoon in the sink and his cup back in the fridge when he’s done.

Then its on to the playroom to get the day started. I usually clean up the dishes and sweep the floor while they play. Seth has been obsessed with drawing lately, so he pulls out crayons, paper, and something to copy to draw. Lately that is a Peterson Field Guide of Birds of North America. He asks me to tell him what bird he’s drawing before he gets started. He also has several “how to draw” whatever books that he can use.

I pull out several picture books to read for the morning. I play with Ben, snuggling and tickling, while Evan plays trains or something else at my feet or while he draws me something. When Ben goes down for his morning nap around 10:00, I read to both boys.

This morning, I got to introduce them to Rumpelstiltskin. I also read a book about two little boys taking care of pet turtles and some other fiction. I usually try and get in some non-fiction and some Bible story books, too. David and I rearranged the bookcase last night to make it easier to find things by category, and I have 3 boxes of books that my mom brought down from the attic to choose from as well.

I think that reading good books to my children is the most important thing I can do right now for their educational development, so I prioritize that ahead of any other kind of learning activity. We throw in games and puzzles and the occasional craft from time to time, but its almost always only after I’ve read them a minimum of 5 picture books for the day.

I read, take a little break to do something else like check email or Facebook (or this morning) put together a meal in the crockpot for a friend with a new baby, and then I come back and read again. I have allergies, so its hard to read lots of books in a row right now. I get hoarse.

I get the baby up from his nap after about an hour. He usually wakes and lets me know he wants to get up a little before an hour is up, but I usually make him wait 10 minutes if he wakes early. I nurse him, and then we play with the boys together until lunch.

Lunch is simple. Evan would eat a pb&j every day if I’d let him. I usually just give in and give him one. We have carrot sticks and fruit every day with whatever sandwich or crackers and cheese or whatever else we have. I try to forget that I have chicken nuggets in the freezer for when guests come over, and I usually succeed at that. Ben has a big bowl of cereal, formula, and baby food. He’s doing well with his weight gain at this point, and I don’t worry about that anymore.

I kick them outside to play on the porch or yard after lunch for a little while if the weather is good. Evan played with a ball out there today and did some gymnastics on the porch swing. Often we take a picnic to the park right after Ben gets up from his morning nap to maximize time out of the house before afternoon nap.

I had to get some large disposable containers to put meals for friends in, so we took a quick trip to Dollar Tree after lunch. They also have nice glass vases for when you want to deliver flowers to a friend, so I got a couple there as well. The boys got to pick one toy each. Evan picked a rubber frog, and Seth picked a stuffed dinosaur. Seth almost always picks a stuffed animal lately if he has a choice. He likes to use them for imaginary play. After we got home, he got out another dino, and they had a fight. =)

In the middle of all this, I remind Evan to go potty about 5 times a morning. He can go in the big potty now. He had one accident today, and it was after lunch. He usually has at least one accident a day. At this point, I barely notice. Fortunately, he doesn’t usually soak through, so cleanup is minimal.

Naptime comes at 1:30. I go upstairs, make sure that Pullups are out, blankets and naptime animals are in beds, and the baby tent is moved to my room. Ben gets nursed and goes down first, and then I put Evan down. Seth goes down with little help from me.

And then I get a break. I usually blog, read, or sleep. Seth comes down again at 3:00, and he plays quietly by himself until I’m ready to do his reading lesson with him. Ben wakes up around 3:30 or 4:00. Evan usually wakes up last, not long after Ben.

We play or go to the park or read until Daddy gets home at 5:30ish. If the day is not going well, I let them watch old Franklin the Turtle episodes on YouTube. Yes, I caved. The third kid did me in. We don’t watch every day, but we do more days than I’d like. Sigh.

Each ordinary day is a gift. I’m just so thankful lately that I have many more days where we’ll all be together for most of the day. The time will come when we’ll separate, but it will be gradual as my boys get into middle school and high school and get driver’s licenses and get ready for college. That’s the way I grew up as a homeschooled child, and I’m grateful that this will (God willing) be the same pattern in our family life as they grow. It’s not for everybody for a variety of reasons, but this has been my dream or our family, and it means a lot to me….