Thursday, May 27, 2010

Somebody Needs A Timeout!

As much as we love homeschooling and wouldn't have it any other way, sometimes we all just need some time alone. My kids often let each other know when they've had enough and need this by saying, "I just need my alone time." It's not a bad thing, or a punishment, just a time to refresh, recharge, and then jump back in the game.
This is my absolute all-time favorite commercial, "Somebody Needs A Timeout!". Today I looked it up online and was in tears with laughter as it was the exact scenario we just had yesterday.
I know I'm not alone in needing this timeout. Jesus was surrounded by people, pulling him in different directions, and constantly needing His attention. He often withdrew for some "alone time" to meditate, pray, and rest. Then He faced the day's challenges with love and patience for His dear ones.
The funny thing is that after much alone time apart from my kiddos, I end up missing them. I love putting them to bed at the end of the day, sitting on the couch, and just breathing, but by the morning I'm a little bit anxious to wake them and see their precious faces.
Here's to all of us taking that "alone time" and then cherishing the together time that follows.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Little Hero

One of the kids' favorite phrases these days is "You're the hero!" It came from me trying to bribe someone to do something, then professing excitedly that they were the hero for going all out for someone else. Now, any task that is given, the kids rush to be "the hero." And Oh Boy, if I forget to profess them the hero, then watch out!!!!
Lately though, the hero around here is undoubtedly Josephine. She is just an all out amazing person, and I don't say that just because I'm her mommy. She really truly has a heart that always thinks of others. If you had to pick any person in the world to be your big sister, you would most definitely want to pick Josephine. She runs errands for you, let's you win, tells you what you want or need to hear, comes up with fun diversions, let's you go first, calms you down when you need it, and riles you up when you need that.
Even in trying to get some "alone time" for herself, she can't be mean. Most kids would post a sign that says, "Keep Out!" or "Do Not Enter!" But Josephine? She makes one that says "Don't Come In UNLESS You Be Nice!" What a sweetheart! Of course, one of the little siblings tried to change the sign to "Don't Come In UNLESS You PooPoo!" (I bet you can guess the name of the graffiti-artist!)
One more little bragging thing...she insisted that we go to BJ's before my birthday, because the present she wanted to get me just had to be there. Finally I took her. She rushed jumping and skipping with joy and excitement to a part of the store where last month I'd bought her a Reading Log, explaining I'd always wanted one when I was a girl. She just melts my heart and makes me want to be a better mother daily!
She makes me understand what Jesus meant by "unless we become like one of these little ones." She is so pure, good, and true. I pray I become more like her daily, and what joy I will bring to my Father!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dangerous Endeavor

Today I took the kids out on a marathon errand run. The mission: complete errands and have kids buy my birthday presents at the same time. This indeed turned into quite an adventure. The image I had in mind of me ever so blatantly dropping hints of simple things that "I wanted" and the kids secretly hiding the items of interest in the cart didn't go exactly as I planned. The trip took 4 hours and included 3 bathroom breaks, 1 lunch on the go, 6 separate sessions of strapping in carseats, and 4 explosions from Eben's temper... but the mission was accomplished.
I, personally, am fine without presents or fuss on my birthday (yes, you can quote me on that). I'm completely happy with their precious homemade cards and kisses, but now that the girls are older they insist that my birthday MUST be celebrated and they want to go all out in doing it. Although I got to pick the cake (yummy, yummy cheesecake), they didn't want me giving selections for presents; they were already completely sold on particular items that they they thought I just HAD to have (to be revealed tomorrow). As exhausting as it was, they were so patient and so excited that I took them to do this, and I am touched way down deep in my mother's special moments-heart that they were willing to endure this dangerous endeavor all for the sake of celebrating me. I've got the best kids ever...and I haven't even seen the gifts yet.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Did I hear FREE????


As we start the summer, I've been finding out about tons of FREE Programs for kids. I think I'm going to adopt one mom's great idea of starting a file folder of all the summer plans and programs to try to better keep track of all the fun. Before I print them all out, I've combined the websites in a list. Let me know if you hear of other one's you think we'd like.

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Kids keep a reading log of 8 books, bring the Passport to Barnes and Noble, and receive a free book.
Borders Summer Reading Kids take on the Double Dog Dare of reading 10 books, record them on the Border's printout, and receive a free book.
Bookworm Wednesdays Children fill in a book report and bring it to the theater for free movies for the whole family.
Kids Bowl Free Enter names, select bowling alley, and receive 2 free games per child per day. The whole family can get in on the deal for a one time fee of $24.95.
Regal Cinema offers free movies for the whole family.
Sylvan Book Adventure Kids read books, take quizzes, and earn prizes.
Summer Break with BookIt Kids read books, play games, and enter for a chance to win prizes.
Chuck E. Cheese Rewards offers various reward calendars to earn free tokens.
Books-A-Million Magic Tree House Passport with Free Tote Bag

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Week in the Life



Josephine lost her top front tooth. The other tooth was knocked out when she was two years old...so now she has officially "lost" her two front teeth. All of us were in awe of how brave she was in pulling it out herself. Way to go, Jo!



Thessaly has become obsessed with her hair sticking up. It doesn't - of course, but for some reason she is sure it is up and looking ever so horrid. She now spends several minutes daily, wetting it and flattening it to her head. She has even discovered that brushing it with a toothbrush can give it exactly the look she desires. For the latest Thessy Fashion Tips, check daily.


Eben has officially joined Family Night, pizza, and a movie. He now sits with the big kids on the blanket. He was so proud of himself...as were we all.


Adela has learned the art of getting Josephine's undivided attention, as well as walking with one leg and two feet. (Can you tell I'm up past my bedtime:-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Our New Pets

Anyone who knows us, knows we have our hands and our home too full to fit in any pets. I'm too busy cleaning up kids' hair to mess with an animals' fur. Once I have all four children potty trained, then I might possibly (okay, not in a million years) consider tackling the training of a different species. In the meantime, God has seen to our kids' need of animal-time. Nature has come to us!
Our porch has become the new stomping ground for several animals. Our prize star is Sheddy Jumper. She is the squirrel who rules the porch. We can always tell it is her by her mangy patches of fur. At first we feared she might carry some terrible disease as each appearance showed more skin patches and less fur...but now, she has come to own a special place in our hearts as we have discovered her nest (drey, as we learned in homeschool) and her new blind, furless babies.
Since leaving popcorn out for her, a rainbow of birds (red, blue, brown, and black), squirrels (black, brown, and white), and even a stray opposum have come to visit. The sliding glass door is our new hang out. In fact, Eben's first words (after mama, dada, and A-del-a) is "bird" and "squi."
The best part of pet ownership is they have potty trained themsleves, require no shots, live outdoors, no longer fear the kids, AND they don't need anything from us, just our adoration and popcorn:-)




Wednesday, May 19, 2010

School's out!


School's out!
Let freedom ring!
We did it!
It was a long school year with a lot of changes, but we did it...and boy, are we excited! Each year at this time, two songs echo in my head. The first is a record my dad would play every last day of school, "School's out for summer! School's out forever!" The other is one that was played over the intercom at the public school where I taught; on the last day of school, after the last student vacated the building, that perfectly suited Hallelujah Chorus would ring through the building and all the teachers would sing, laugh, and dance through the halls.
So, what will the Weavers do now, you may ask?
Josephine just finished 1st grade, and is devouring chapter books by the hundreds. Her plans for the summer? "I'm going to read all day!" Borders and Barnes and Noble have great summer reading programs that she can't wait to start, and the public libraries are her place of choice.
Adela just finished Pre-K, but is already half-way through the kindergarten material. She's going to go outside all day and swing and dig in mud, and only come inside to draw and watch movies.
Thessaly is ready for lots of cuddle time, being held by me and any other person who will focus all of their attention on her.
Eben is disappointed that he won't be able to tear up anymore school books or plop down on top of someone's writing. His big endeavor will be walking (may God help us all!).
And the teacher? Well, I'm going to clean out those boxes in the garage (you know they must be full of vitally important items, since we've gone nearly a year without them) and all of the flat surfaces that have mysteriously disappeared under layers of "things." I'm taking that 2010 challenge of ridding your home of 2010 items of clutter; right now, I'm still hovering at 350, so I need to get on that. Plus, I figure I'll have less cleaning to do if there is less to clean (at least my optimistic and perhaps naive mind taunts me with such visions).
In other plans, we are traveling this summer. We have a trip planned to Arkansas to see all of J's family, where we will swim in the cousins' pool, feed the grandparents' chickens, and pray the kids hang on for dear life as they try dare-devil stunts from the rope swing. Then in July, we're traveling back to good ole' Atlanta to visit our old stomping ground and see dear friends, and then on to FL to catch up with V's side of the family and reminisce of "before you were born" and "man, we were just kids!"
We're hoping Eben's a good traveler because the last time we drove this amount, he was snoozing as a 3 month old. We also have no intention of stopping at Cracker Barrel this time around (as that cost a hefty emergency room visit and several days down and out for me).
The best part of summer is work hours will lighten up, and we'll get some good Daddy time.
So, let the sun-tanning begin!!! School's out for Summer! and Hallelujah!



Monday, May 17, 2010

You're Gonna Trip, Stumble, and Fall

As Eben learns to get around this place, he's had an awful lot of tumbles. He's not walking on his own yet, but he sure is cruising and getting a feel for his legs. It's hard not to just grab him and keep him from crashing, but I know he'll learn it through trial and error. That little fella gets up time and again with that determined gleam in his eye and lunges forward.

I haven't posted much lately, simply because I've been going thru a stumbling period myself. After so much illness and busy-ness, I was totally wiped out! My gloom and doom attitude didn't help out the situation either. Let's just say, I wasn't wearing my rose-tinted glasses! BUT this morning I woke up refreshed, and ready to face the challenges. I realize I've tripped up alot lately. My Father hasn't lifted me out of the situation, but He has picked me up, dusted me off, and now I am ready to lunge forward.
Goodbye, sickness!
Adios, ever growing pile of laundry!
Dust? Who cares!
Let's finish up this school-thing!
Get ready kids, Mama's ready for summer!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Muted Voice

Have you ever felt like you were talking to a wall? Like no one heard you speaking, no matter how loud or how many times you said something? Well, this is my voice. Apparently, it took me 34 years to realize that my voice has the unique ability to be absolutely muted and impossible to hear at various times in the day. I speak, and no one hears me. I say something over and over, and only I hear myself. It's funny, because John comes home and says something...suddenly everyone listens or I whisper something in another room, and the walls instantly grow ears. I guess it's another one of those special talents a mother develops after having children. Since I've developed this "gift" I now precede or follow every important comment with, "Do you hear the words coming out of my mouth?" or "Listen to what I am saying." On occasion, I've even been known to ask my little ones to "repeat after me" since they've taken to saying, "Yes, I heard, but what did you say?" I often wonder what brings this on. Am I just saying way too much for them to take in? is my voice so monotone that they tune it out? It couldn't possibly be they are selectively listening?! Here's a short clip of us at the beach (you'll have to turn your head sideways to view). You can see, no one heard me. I guess there's usually too much going on to focus and heed what I'm saying.

video
Often in the scriptures we see the words, "Listen" or "Take Heed!" We also see important statements being repeated over again with "Again, I say..." Perhaps it was done for emphasis or just to make sure we actually are attending to what is being said. May I have ears that are ready to listen when my Savior is talking to me. And may my muted voice ring in the consciences of my handful on the really important things throughout their lives.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beach


This past week we took a trip to the Jersey shore. We were blessed with beautiful weather in spite of the thunderstorm forecast.






Josephine and Adela were old pros at it this time, only getting their feet (and legs...and bottoms) wet.





Thessaly wasn't intimidated by the waves, and had fun trying to keep up with the big girls. She spent most of her time throwing rocks into the water.

Eben was anxious to get down and join them, although he didn't want to get his feet wet.



Sound of Silence

By 5 minutes into our day, our house is filled with more noise than the horns blaring during traffic at rush hour. By the time I've finished my first cup of coffee, I've heard a cacophony of hoots, cackles, whistles, laughter, crying, screaming, piano, stomping, slamming, and just a rather loud discordant mixture of sounds. As you can imagine (or maybe you can't imagine in your wildest dreams), the volume reaches heights that nearly burst my delicate eardrums. I'm surprised Eben's first words weren't "Shhhh! Not so loud!' for I feel that those are the words I say more than any other as of late.
In spite of the painful loudness, the only sound more threatening is the sound of silence. When a sudden wave of silence comes upon this house, one of two things is happening. One, my children have miraculously fallen into a peaceful slumber of exhaustion or Two, someone is into something they should not be into. Today, it was the latter. The girls were downstairs working on a project, and little Eben? Well, picture this: me coming round the corner in slow motion, hearing nothing but silence, to see him on his hands and knees splashing blissfully.... in a puddle...in the bathroom...on the floor. Then putting the pieces of this picture that does not make sense together, as I spot Thessaly's big girl potty lying on it's side. Aye, aye, aye. Oh well, I guess it was time to clean the bathroom again, and he could always use another bath. And you wonder why we're always sick?! :-P
Good excuse to pull out the fatigues and get some spring cleaning done. It's all perspective, right?!