Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Treehouse News

Things have been much busier around here than I expected them to be.  I knew that starting home school would be a big undertaking, but was not thinking of all the other things that would be going on.  We have started our homeschool year, Preschool for Little Man, had a birthday party for Pookie and Princess and have been cleaning out at the house - both inside and out.  It has been a crazy time.

I have been saving quotes for a few weeks now and I  keep thinking that I need to get them up here, so I am finally getting to that.  I also have a blog post I started over a month ago that was supposed to be about our first week of school - ha!  We are now in week six, and will have to just get an overview of the last month and a half (or two months, if it takes me that long to get to it!).


Princess is officially 6 years old.  She is very excited to be so grown up.  She is a big first grader, who is about to lose her first tooth.  I cannot believe how big she is!

Here are some of the things she has been saying and doing:

Prayer:  "Lord, I do love you but, sometimes you freak me out because you tell me what to do.  Amen."
"I am only suspicious on Sunday." - I am not sure what that was about!

We have been coloring some pictures for Little Man's preschool curriculum at home - they often have stick figures of children or families.  Princess has been drawing in an extra stick figure when there is not enough to represent Pookie.
The kids were trying to guess at something, Little Man asked, "Is it Chocolate?"  I answered, "No."  Princess asked, "Is it a food product?"  I was surprised at her for the wording, but also that she picked an appropriately broad grouping to start her guesswork.

Princess and I have been working a lot on her handwriting, lately.  One of the things she has a hard time with is getting her letters to "sit" on the line.  As we reviewed her handwriting page one day, I pointed out this problem from the day's writing.  She said, "Sit right, you horrid things!"  in mock indignation at their inappropriate placement.  It was so funny!
Princess has been announcing every so often that it is, "Just because I love you day" and giving gifts and drawings out to others on that day for no particular reason.
Not sure which one was funnier, Princess or Pookie, but they had a bit of a role reversal one morning.  I heard them playing baby and Mommy in their room in the morning - only Princess was being the baby, and Pookie was being the Mommy!
"The milky things are on my palm tree." -  "What?" was my response to that!  Then, she said, "You know, the things with milk in them."  Ah!  She meant the coconuts!

Little Man

The biggest news for Little Man is his new year of Preschool.  He has been working at home with me on a preschool curriculum, but also attends the same Preschool that Princess did, and I hope Pookie will, as well.  He loves it all!  He is growing in his ability to read at home, and has a favorite friend at school.  He loves his teachers, and even wrote them a note to tell them so - he brought it with him to his first day of school.  

Here are some of the things he has been saying and doing:

 Getting ready for church one morning, DH had put a dress on Pookie.  I said, "Do we need a diaper cover for her, too?"  Little Man responded, "Mom, it's called a 'pull-up'"  While trying to continue my conversation with DH, I responded to Little Man, "Not that, the thing that goes over the pull-up."  DH had responded that we did need one, but Little Man didn't think so, "No, we don't need that..."  He was not done his sentence when I started putting it on her, and he responded to my action in an exasperated tone, "Well, I guess we can put it on."

Little Man is quieter than the girls, but he has a few key phrases he has been using, lately.

"No Kerplaimo" - This is supposed to be "No problemo" which he sometimes says correctly.  But, if I try to correct his own special pronunciation, he repeats his own.
"In a jippy" - This should be "In a jiffy," but he has flat out refused to say it that way.
"You Bet!" - This is his answer to anything that he thinks is a good idea.

Also, on his first day of school, we looked in his box to find one of his first art projects.  It was clearly made for Princess.  It had her name on it in pink letters, and a pink flower sticker on it.  I thought it was so awesome that one of the first things he did at school was to make a present for his sister.

This little lady's vocabulary and ability to communicate continues to explode in little bursts.  Sometimes, I am not sure why she is saying something, but I know what she is saying.

"Ow, Kiss!" - She was mooning me when she said this.
"Mom.  Check On.  (Little Man)" - She said this when she was about to cross a bridge at our friends house to go see Little Man.
"Superfast!  Tickle, tickle." - This was followed by trying to tickle my lips.  Not sure why...
"Nackup" = Napkin
"Pooh-boo" = Pooh Bear
"(gasp) A-prise me!" - She had been shouting for me to come get her, and when I opened the door, she gasped and said I surprised her.
"Mmmhmmm.  it's true." - Princess was trying to convince me of something in the car, when Pookie added her convincing endorsement.
"Pin, Pin a-den.  You busy?" - Translation, "Spin, Spin again.  Are you dizzy?"
I left Pookie in bed after reading some nursery rhymes, when I realized I forgot to get something for Princess before I left the room.  Upon reentering the room, I found Pookie, foot in hand, doing "This little piggy" to herself.
"Talk your mouth!" - "No talking with your mouth full!"
"Pick a you lou" - "Peek a boo"
"Piggy Head" - This means she wants a shoulder ride...a Piggy back, only higher...

I love that each of my kids makes me smile so much.  There are so many more things they do and say that I forget to write down.  I am just glad I get to save some of them and share them with you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


One night last week, as I was finishing up putting the kids to bed, I looked around the house...Ugh! There was still so much to do! I thought, "I can't do it tonight! I just don't have the energy." I figured I would catch up on my work "tomorrow." All of a sudden, I had this thought, "Who said I had to have energy to do this? It may take me longer, but I can still do it." It was like a strange, and unwanted, revelation. However, I realized that I had been shirking my responsibilities all too often because I just "didn't have the energy." I decided to get to work. Yes, it did take me longer, but that is okay. The reality is, there probably would never have been a time that I was energetic and happy to do the work that needed to be done. Work is just that...WORK. You can't just call in to your career job and say, "Well, you know...I am just not feelin' it today. I'll be back in tomorrow, though, for payday..."

It is times like this that I start to feel like it really does matter what you are watching, reading and listening to. What was I reading at the time? "In the Presence of My Enemies" by Gracia Burnham and "Missionary Stories with the Millers" by M. Martin. These stories are full of TRULY harrowing situations that people lived in. The Burnhams were on the verge of starvation, yet they still had to run through jungles and climb mountains in the bush. In one of the missionary stories, a mother had to leave her two young daughters in a field on a pitch black night with jaguars prowling around so that she could run blindly in the dark trying to find help. She was exhausted, too. Was she going to leave that undone? Boy did that put my situation in a more adequate light!

What if I had been reading one of the "Mothers need 'me time'" articles? I can guarantee you I would not have finished the work that night. =0) There would have been something missing, though - I would not have felt any sense of accomplishment. I would have gotten up the next morning with more to do. Because I was able to plow through and get it done, I actually had that sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to get ahead the next day.

Do I think moms need "me time"? Yes, I do. However, I think we have to be careful how much indulgence we allow ourselves for that. If we let ourselves think that too much, we will tire ourselves out MORE. Think about it, when you have been lazy with your body, what do you need to do to get more energy? Work out! By not working your muscles enough, you have made yourself more tired. Doesn't it work the same way with responsibilities...or any other thing that requires discipline? The more we do what we should, the easier it gets to do it. The less we do what we should, the harder it gets and the less we want to do it.

Since I had this little thought, I have been trying to do my responsibilities more often...tired or not. I don't always do it...it is so much easier to go online and "work" on things here. However, I am finding that when I do the other work first, there is always time to get my computer time in, or read that book or blog. Not so true the other way around. Another thing I read recently, that I believe encouraged me in this area was a blog entry on Discipline by Amy at RaisingArrows.net. She describes on that post her own convictions about her late morning routines. That blog post described me perfectly. I think my mornings might be the next thing on the "learning discipline" roster! Hopefully, I will be able to get to a point where it no longer feels like work, but just feels like the routine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just for Fun

Okay, my friend Kathy tagged me in her "Just for fun" post, here are the questions she asked:

1. As a Mom, how do you find time for exercise?  I wish I had a great answer for this one!  I didn't actually exercise much for the summer, but I am looking forward to starting my Pilates class again, which I get to do because it is at night when my husband can watch the kids.

2. What type of exercise {if any} do you make time to do?  Other than the Pilates, I haven't done much.  However, I am looking at some books on Physical fitness in your homeschool hoping to get some ideas for getting my kids active, too!

3. What is your favorite healthy snack?  Argh!  Health and fitness questions...I am so bad at these...Okay, not sure if it is healthy or not, but I love Wallaby Lowfat Yogurt and some crackers for a snack.

4. What is your favorite 'splurge' snack? Chocolate Almonds, for sure, are my favorite right now.  (Really...I am addicted!)

5. What fall TV show{s} are you looking forward to watching?  I don't know!  I stopped watching most shows, and honestly don't know which ones that I do watch start in the fall 'til they show up on my Tivo.  I like 19 kids and counting, but that has already been going for a while now.

6. What activities do your children participate in?   We are just now trying to decide.  Dance for Princess, definitely, maybe soccer for one or both of the older two, and I would love to get them involved in some art classes.  We also joined a homeschool co-op and will be joining some of their activities as well.

7. What do you love most about Fall? I like that I can comfortably take walks again.  The crisp air, clear skies, and beautiful colors make it all the more enjoyable!

8. What book are you currently reading? I just finished "In the Presence of My Enemies" by Gracia Burnham and started listening to "Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom.

Now, I can't wait to go back and read what her other friends answered for the Health related questions! 

Friday, September 3, 2010


I have seen this word on blogs and facebook updates a lot lately, and I feel that way right now. I have been reminded of a saying, “It’s not what you do that makes you tired, but what you don’t do” (Donna Otto.) There is a lot I haven’t been doing lately: planning, prioritizing, focusing, eating, sleeping…these things really are exhausting me. After I posted last week, I was out of commission for a few days as a result of an inner ear infection, complete with flu-like symptoms combined with feelings of vertigo. Not fun. I am just trying to get back to my normal self now.

I am also trying to get a handle on exactly what NEEDS to happen, and what I am just wasting my time on. We shall see how that unfolds in the weeks to come. For now, I think I am going to kick back, relax, and wade through the mountains of paper in my office so that my space can be a little more organized for all the other stuff I need to do in here. Hopefully, I will then be able to finally post all the wonderful things that have been going on with school the last few weeks. It really has been wonderful…and I have some great quotes from the kids I have been saving up, too.