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Friday, August 30, 2013

Last of Summer Fun




So much fun this summer. I can't believe it's over. And yes, I refer to summer in school terms. We are nearing the end of our first week of Homeschool. Starting it off after a week at the beach was a rude awakening for all of us. I don't recommend it, but there wasn't a better option this year.

However, by today, the kinks were starting to be worked out and my little students were more ready to be told what to do and to try without arguing or explaining why they couldn't. Actually, it was my highly opinionated girl who was the problem child this week, the boys have been angels. Unexpectedly, Corwin has wanted to be involved in almost every lesson. Very funny. But I am getting ahead of myself.

If you ever want your kids to do suicides without complaint, just put a moving bar of light on your floor. They will run back and forth for almost an hour. (This is a genius station at our children's museum). Every time I think about how nice it would be to live in the country isolated from all of the busyness, I remember how many awesome opportunities for learning and enrichment we have in the limbo we have of a large plot of land on the edge of a city.

Into the mist.

This system of tunnels is one of our favorite things to do at the museum. There many of them, but it does make me a little nervous b/c it is so hard to know where my little ones are. I often find myself thinking, "Hm. Can't find Corwin. Did he wander off to the bears or is he still in a tunnel somewhere?".

It's a miracle! He is actually using the pattern blocks instead of dumping and skating on them!

Corwin is getting really big-boy with his talking, at least some of the time. One funny thing that he has started doing is mixing up my and Wally's names (mommy, daddy) into one new name: either Mawdee or Damee. He'll only be talking to one of us, but he'll call us that. It especially happens those times of day when we are both home.

Watch out world! It's a new superhero bunch on the scene.

Aren't my 2 oldest the sweetest? They certainly can be. Here they are pushing Corwin back and forth; can you see that he thinks all is as it should be?

Bringing in the harvest.

Thrilled with a turtle.

So excited to finally get to meet their newest cousin, Kallie. I was excited to meet my new niece! She is a honey; very happy to watch all the action.

Playing with cousin Mary Ruth. This girl was most social after the sun went down. My kids enjoyed her, but I think the adults got the biggest smiles after everyone else was in bed :)

Putting together a puzzle with Grandaddy and cousin Benjamin.

Boogie-boarding was a favorite activity.

My kids had dirt cake for the first time thanks to Grandmama. Rhianwen also enjoyed just sitting in the edge of the surf with Grandmama and chatting for long stretches. I love their sweet relationship. 

We went canoeing in the marsh. There were tons of snails stuck to the reeds in one large section. We saw lots of fish and birds. Rhianwen hated the little white bugs that  tickled our legs, but at least they didn't bite. 

Believe it or not, these inter-tubes were the most dangerous thing we swam with at the beach. They had a habit of tipping backwards and slamming heads into the sand. But they still were too fun to refuse.

"Skimmer-boarding" like daddy. Corwin spent the greater part of his beach time doing this and would yell at anyone who dared touch "his" skimmer board.

Playing in the sand-hole. Corwin and Benj had so much fun together and could also push each other's buttons. I love how much fun they had together!

Peering into the fish bucket. Grandaddy caught enough for a nice addition to supper one night. This is the first time I think I've had such fresh caught fish from the ocean.


Back at home digging for potatoes.

We've pretty much finished up our mother daughter Bible study. I loved it! And so did Rhianwen. It was wonderful to just sit and talk about something that is important to both of us. One thing that Rhianwen told me was, "I wish I could write love notes to God to heaven. Maybe when I am in heaven I can....if they have paper and a pencil and a table."

She certainly is learning to write homeschooling it. She's also into spelling lots of things out especially if she thinks Corwin should not figure out what we are talking about. If you think of us, pray for our school year! It got off to an emotional start for Rhi after a summer of freedom and calling the shots, but I think by the end of the week, she is getting into the groove and learning to enjoy more structured learning again.

Alden is doing great and wants to do more than I thought he'd want to do. Corwin is right there wanting to sit and watch and "write" and do his ABC's. Some days however, he tries his hardest to distract Alden especially. Today was such a day. I sent him to nap early ;-) I don't know how I can both be pulling my hair out with frustration and be thanking the Lord for such an opportunity, but I certainly feel my most bipolar when am teaching.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My 5 Year Old Boy

Here are my 2 big kids harvesting their carrots. We had many more, and they actually were edible too.

 
 
Alden turned 5 almost a month ago with a big robot birthday bash. He felt very special, and it was a fun and cheap way to decorate (see bottom of post for a few decoration pics).
We always sing happy birthday first thing in the morning.
 
 
 Looking through the kaleidoscope from Great Grandpa.
 
Putting together the spy station. All 3 love this toy. I almost freaked out reading the box that said something like: "380 pieces!". Oxygen please...or maybe a paper bag....what was I thinking?! But they've done pretty well keeping it all within a 3 foot vicinity of headquarters.

To start off the party, everyone made a robot pizza made from prebaked pizza crust cut in rectangles, circles, and ovals. It came out really cute, and they actually ate it for lunch too.

 
I read The 3 Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot. It is officially Corwin's favorite story (my older kids loved it too). After we returned it to the library, he'd ask for it constantly and get very sad when he found out it was gone. I'm trying to decide if I really want to purchase it for him or leave it as a temporary joy.
 
Then it was on to practicing to be robots. The first task was Assembly. I printed out pictures of real robots performing all of the tasks. For assembly, all of the kids were to make their own Lego creation. I think they could have spent the entire party just doing this one thing. They were quiet, intent, and worked together really well.
 
The next station was Exploration (like the Mars Rover). Everyone collected soil samples etc. and then brought them back for "testing". I wish I had a real chemistry set, but food coloring and water and ice trays had to suffice.

Next was Combat where we had an all out Drone war with water balloons. Of course, following that was Trash Disposal (Roomba) to pick up all of the balloon pieces. Then the last station was Reconnaissance to recover the treasure.

 Reconnaisance...so easy to set up and fun.
 
 Alden specified that he wanted a sun cake with sprinkles for the robots' lights. I have no idea what he was envisioning really, but I had to stick some Lego robots on for good measure. He seemed to be very pleased with it.

We were blessed to have both sets of Grandparents at the party. What a special time!
 
Some things about my big Aldi-boy. He loves to be a helper especially in tasks that he thinks are special or truly important. He has a sweet gentle side, but he can also have a coniving sneaky side used to edge his way into getting his way especially with Corwin. He likes to feel like the big kid and enjoys hovering over Corwin to help him or to stick his oar in whenever he can even if Corwin loudly protests. He still has a little shy sweet smile with a tucked chin and averted eyes that just melts my heart. He loves physical affection. He usually asserts his independence with Rhianwen but then backs out of it after she pesters him enough or cries enough to get her way. He is energetic and has a funny little high energy dance and swagger all his own. He wants to be a soccer player when he grows up and is quite good at it, I think. He has a high tolerance for discomfort if he is sold on the adventure. However, if he is hungry, all bets are off; you'd better feed that kid right away or you both will be swooning. Some days I can't keep up with his metabolism, but the Dr. says he couldn't be healthier. He has started homeschool Kindergarten this year and doing wonderfully with being taught. He says that "Nothing is past Heaven" meaing nothing is something but not really.
 
Love this boy to pieces, 'though I need to show him more. I pray that he'll look back and realize how loved he is. I also pray that he will learn how vast and wide and deep is the love of Christ for him. Where my love fails so often, Christ's love is steady and strong. I will disappoint, but I pray that Alden will rest in God's everlasting love for him.
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I LOVE decorating with library books. I feel like a total genius ;0) I also used old cds and foil wrapped boxes, slinkies, and trash for a robot.
 
 There were quite a few kids who thought the giant 5 was cool.

 The centerpiece at the table had Alden's random robot toys--happy meal transformers, hexbugs (which the kids enjoyed) etc.

The funny sun cake with Lego robots.  


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