Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 3: Our Crazy Life!

Wed-nez-day, so how was yours? Today we had several little runny noses and clogged heads as we headed into our day. Poor kids, some of them have my winter allergies, some have Michael's summer allergies and a couple have both!!

We try to move a little faster on Wednesday's because we like to go to the home school PE class at the YMCA before church. So off we went on our day's schedule. We breezed through Math, a hour of reading then our writing assignments. We worked in extra time on piano practice, since tomorrow is piano lessons and the Christmas recital at a local nursing home will soon be here! After grabbing a quick lunch we spent the early afternoon with our required reading and piano practice. The kids love to come and tell me everything about the books they are reading and sometimes it's an absolute circus trying to keep up with all the stories when they make it a competition to see who can tell me their story the quickest (and usually the loudest!). I really try to follow along but end up putting Nancy Drew on the island with the Swiss Family Robinson who are laughing at Dick and Jane while they pull Spot in a Wagon all the way to up the mountain to visit Heidi! Oh well, as long as they know what's going on and can pass the tests with flying colors, then all is good! :-)

We are going to be starting in the next few days our lessons on sign language. I used the "baby" signs with all the kids when they were toddlers and they have all retained quite a few signs which is very handy. Especially if I have my hands full with someone or something I can get Sis's attention from across the room and sign for her to take Miss Priss to the potty and have that done without even slowing down with what I'm doing. So, we all have decided that learning more signs to help us signal and communicate with each other will be a great project. They are already having a great time trying to get Dad and his awkward manly hands to bend and move into shapes and signs. This will be a fun project and I've enjoyed pulling some books together. My nieces and nephew have learned quite a bit of sign language from a class they are taking and how neat it will be to be able to "talk" with them. It is a great encouragement tool!

We have a world map on the wall that has been labeled with the continents, oceans, major rivers, mountain ranges, deserts and the Panama Canal. We have began memorizing these, starting with the continents. The oldest four have mastered these and are moving on to the oceans now. They enjoy making, tracing and coloring in their maps, this was one of my favorite things in school as well.

I did take the time today to drag out some of the things I've picked up to decorate our Christmas tree with. The years we have put up a tree I have had the same silver ribbons, balls and such since we were married, so this year I got a big kick out of pilfering through the Dollar Tree store with Michael and finding something different. Different for us anyway. Red and gold seemed to be our new theme as we loaded up on chrysanthemums, ribbon and garland. Keeping Baby J in mind we opted for plastic balls, snow flakes and icicles. Today the kids and I tossed this all together and danced and giggled around the tree filling it with all it's new sparklies. I promised to find their baby ornaments to add to it soon. I think one of my next project stations will be filled with craft items and ideas for the kids to make some new sparklies of their own creation to hang on the tree, and I thank Evenspor over at for some great ideas!

As you can imagine it takes a chunk of time to get ready to go anywhere, so all too soon we are on the last stretch in our mad dash out the door. Everyone is dressed for PE, finally, and if I can get everyone in matching (clean!) clothes, hair brushed and SOCKS with their shoes I'm doing real good! Coats are a major bonus! Why in the world do we have to remind them it's cold in the winter and they need a coat!!! We pack our bags with church clothes, hair bows and clean underwear, grab the diaper bag and head out the door. Since we live about 25-ish miles outside of town, it doesn't help to remember the thing you forgot half way there!!

PE class is for Kindergarten and up, the kids love going to this class. They start out by running laps around the gym, then spend time with stretching, sit ups, push ups and other torture. ;-) The rest of the class is usually spent in fun active games such as dodge ball. The group really gets along really well with boys and girls of a wide range of ages. They work together and have learned valuable skills in team work. I can really tell a major improvement their coordination as well, which I have read is linked to reading skills. I'm a believer as I have seen reading speed and comprehension improve greatly over the last several months. Either way they are having a blast! Usually Wild Man, Miss Priss and Baby J like romp around in the kiddie drop off area for awhile while I get a small work out myself. Dad is able to meet us there most days and we play a couple games of racquetball, a very funny sight to see for sure! Soon we move on to the showers and get dressed for church, and if I'm lucky everyone will have the right clothes, shoes, and a brush!!

If we time it just right we make it to church just in time for the kids to run in the door and get to the children's choirs early enough to get an early bird prize!! As one of the teacher's put it, the kids don't come just for the candy but it sure helps!! They are all working on memorizing their parts for the choir presentations that are coming up for Christmas. The Choir Christmas Party is coming up this Saturday and no one wants to miss that for sure! Each kid brings me reminder notes of the party and gives me a serious explanation of what time to be there and what goodies to bring. If they want to be on time they should be sweet talking their "laid back, no sense of time" Daddy!! :-) "Luv ya, Babe!"

Seems time flies by after church as everyone likes to visit a minute and catch up every one's happenings, but on the drive home it is usually quiet as everyone is running out of steam. This is a good time to put in an interesting history "book on tape" and take advantage of the peace!! We are still listening to the one about Pearl Harbor.

Once we are home I usually announce the race to bed has begun and set the timer. Flannel flinging, toothpaste slinging and kisses are flying as kiddos beat the clock to bed. The bell dings and the lights are out! Finally, Me and Daddy time. This is when I started a wonderful story about a funny email sent to me only to look around and find Michael laying on the floor fast asleep right under the vent blowing hot air into the room. So I did what all good wives do, sent him to bed and ran to boot up the computer!!! ;-) We'll see if I get up on time tomorrow!!


Evenspor said...

Looks like a fun Christmas tree.

I want to do the sign language thing wth my kids. We tried when Beeper was a baby, but he was slow to develop the necessary fine motor skills and quick to develop speaking skills, so he always just preferred to say it. I have a book about teaching preschoolers, though, with lessons and game suggestions and everything, so I pull that out once in a while and we try. Still not a lot of interest, but I'll keep trying. Maybe having the baby to teach will give him a new motivation to learn some things. Hmmm, yes I can see it now.. "Beeper, Baby won't be able to talk for a while, but if we want to talk to him/her now, we can teach her hand signs..." That might work.

9ndhouse- Katie S. said...

Sure! The Baby has always been a good motivator for me too, especially for my oldeset son, he would just barely tolerate signing and wouldn't talk until Sis came along. Then he went to town teaching her. SHE was the one who could talk early and you could see that writting all over her face "Do I have to move my hands while I say it!!" BUT, she really liked "teaching" the two sisters that came along after her. I usually say quietly or mouth what I am signing anyway, that way if at church or wherever the people around me can know what I'm telling the child across the room. Unless I'm reminding them to say thank you or telling them trouble is coming if they don't straighten it up, then it's a secret code!! :-) We're having fun with it anyway, hope it all works for you too!