Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Adventures in Homeschooling!

This year we officially kicked off homeschooling full time. The previous year, Isla completed My Father's World Kindergarten with me at home and also went to Pineville Nazarene two mornings every week. I loved MFW curriculum, but being so new to the homeschool mix, I wanted to try out some other curriculum. I also didn't want to proceed fully to first grade just yet and that would have been our next step with that curriculum.

We went with The Good and the Beautiful for literature, spelling and handwriting. It has fit her interests perfectly as she has such a love for art. The curriculum is displays beautiful works of art and teaches to have an appreciation for art. Isla has really flourished since we first began. She's reading really well and so eager to learn. She has truly made homeschooling easy so far because of her constant can-do attitude.

For math, we are continuing in the MFW path and supplementing with the Complete Book of Math for K-3 and also the Complete Book of Time and Money. Right now, she says math is her favorite.

One of my favorite things we have implemented is her daily journal. In her journal, she has to write the day of the week, date and tally marks, but she also has to draw a picture of herself. Which she loves because she loves to draw. We started this to have another way for her to express to me how she was feeling that particular day. It really helps get our conversation rolling and determine what she is feeling. Nearly all the days are filled with happy faces, but occasionally there may be a sad face or a tear appear and we can talk about what it is that is making her sad, ie. missing dad, etc. I've also been dumbfounded at her creativity through this task. She draws her profile, doing an activity and even things that she has dreamed of.

It's been such a blessing to have more time with our kids through homeschooling. I've got to see her knowledge grow, but also her character. I'm growing so much through this process as well. God has blessed us beyond measure.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy 1st Birthday Jonas!

I can't believe our sweet boy is ONE! He has truly been a bundle of joy from day 1. He is so easy going, loving, cuddly, sweet, playful and happy. He has brought unimaginable to joy to all of our lives and grown our family in so many ways other than numbers.

He definitely has his father's handsomeness. His eyes are so crystal blue with the longest eyelashes to compliment them. He's always smiling. I love how he pats my back when I carry him around and how he rubs my arm as I nurse him. He's such a gentle boy... (most of the time)

He loves to wrestle and love....we'll see how this develops as he moves more into toddlerhood. When we're all in the floor playing, he'll immediately come over to the girls and lay down on them to show love, but then switch into playful wrestler mode. It's been so sweet to see his boyish ways show at such a young age.

He loves to be chased and the girls love to crawl on the floor and chase him. He's also really started getting into dancing and clapping lately. Isla can make him laugh like no one else. She loves to entertain him. Laylin does too. She wants to see him when we're riding in the van. They are both constantly singing for him, performing for him and doing just about anything to get a giggle out of him.

His first word was momma and he says it frequently now. Especially when he starts getting tired. He loves to climb and open and close things. I can tell he really wants to figure out how things work. He will study an object for so long, investigating all its parts before moving on to the next. He definitely gets this from his father too!

He's a great eater, sleeper and car rider, but I can tell a shift is starting as he moves into toddlerhood and continues with teething.

We can't wait to see what unfolds in the years to come with our sweet Jo-Jo!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Kiddos Updates - Birthdays & Milestones

I've done a terrible job documenting the kids milestones lately as I'm a little more than busy. They keep my hands, feet and mind going strong all day long into the night lately as a few are fighting sleep.

Let's start with the oldest, Miss Isla Rae. Our big 5 year old!
Wow, I can't believe she is 5. Isla is my sidekick. She has the sweetest heart. Always helping, thinking of others and doing everything she can to put a smile on my face.
For our sweet girl's big birthday milestone, we visited Great Wolf Lodge on her birthday. She LOVED it! We all did. We were in the water for two straight days, celebrating with late nights, cake and yummy mac-n-cheese (one of Isla's favorites). Emery came along with us as well and it was so much fun for Isla to have a partner to do all the fun slides with.
We spent the summer going to parks, museums, libraries, pools and the Discovery place.
This week, we started her official first day of Kindergarten at home! Homeschool is our newest adventure and I can tell she is going to excel at it like she does so many things.
She has a deep love for cooking, art, singing, learning and Jesus. She makes my days so sweet!

Our little Laylin Jane just turned 3! This comes as a shock to most people we meet as she weighs a whooping 22lbs. But oh, she makes up for it in personality. There is nothing little about this girls strength, will and fierceness.
Laylin's birthday was a week+ celebration. We got to celebrate with the Jones family at the beach with a little party, then continued the celebration with the Bradbury family at one of Laylin's favorite places, Chuck-e-Cheese. On the day of her birthday, we had a small party at home, went out for ice cream and she went to Bible school where the whole VBS crowd sang happy birthday to her on stage! And guess what....she wasn't the least bit shy!
Our sweet little firecracker's favorite color is pink, she loves to change clothes 10+ times a day, she is hungry 24/7 for snacks and loves her siblings fiercely.

My little heartbreaker Jonas Finn is on the brink of taking his first step. Last week he started standing without holding on to anything. He's already improved his balance in just a few short days. He is nearly almost smiling. He recently got his first cold and even through being sick, he continues to have a smile on his face. He is such a light! He loves wrestling with Laylin, playling peek-a-boo and watching Isla. He's constantly on the go, but I love how he still loves to be snuggled by me.

These kids keep me busy and mostly crazy from sun up to sun down, but the simple blessings they pour out on me daily are irreplaceable. I thank God for calling me to be their mommy, chef, maid, caretaker, chauffeur,  nurse and teacher. It's a heavy weight some days, but such an incredible calling!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

JoJo Jonas!

Sweet baby boy. Our JoJo is growing up so quickly! This week he started pulling himself up to a standing position. He's all over the place when he's on the floor and his crawling skills keep getting faster and faster.

He loves to play in the floor with his sisters, eat and take a bath. He's such a content easy-going baby. He just folds right in with all our daily activities and makes our lives so much sweeter. From sun up to sun down, Isla and Laylin are loving on him, fighting over who holds him and tending to his every need.

He is still my cuddle bear and I am holding on to every minute of it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jonas Finn 4 Month Recap

I have never held a more snugly baby than Jonas. I call him my little koala bear. He holds on to me so tight and his little cuddly body just mushes in to mine. I've had less time to sit and hold him as I did with Isla and even Laylin, but that's made our snuggles even sweeter.

He is such a pleasant little guy. Barely fusses for me and when he does, it's been pretty easy to detect what's bugging him. He manages his reflux really well and seems to always be happy. He smiles so much.

At 4 months old, he weighs 15lbs and 1.2oz. He is in the 54% for weight and 59% for height at 255.5 inches long. He was my smallest baby length wise at only 18inches new but is growing so well! He's mostly wearing 6 month clothes now, but has started wearing some 9 months sizes. He drools a lot and loves to make spit bubbles.

He brings so much joy to everyone in our house. Both girls are so in love with him. They constantly want to kiss, bounce, hold and talk to him. (Which means I can never leave him unattended with them!)

Laylin will say "Baby happy at me" when Jonas smiles at her. Isla swears Jonas talks to her. Maybe they have their very own special language.

At 3 months old he rolled over from his belly onto his back. He's yet to accomplish rolling from back to belly but he's trying everyday and Isla is even getting down in the floor to show him how to do it and cheer him on. He also started laughing out loud at 3 months old and does it with out much effort now. At first it was over a tickle he laughed, now I can just talk to him and he laughs. He loves it when I sling my hair around while I'm diapering him. I imagine I do look pretty funny, but it makes him happy so who cares, right?!

He started really smiling at 2 months old. It was more because he recognized my face and intentional than the smiles we saw before.

He does well with the bottle, is usually content in his bouncer seat and recently started sitting more in the bumbo.

He's always had great head and neck control and is so STRONG!

We love our little cuddly, snugly, smiley, sweet guy so so much!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Welcome Jonas Finn!

We have been very busy welcoming our third baby and first baby boy to our growing family! Jonas Finn arrived on 10.06.16 at 7:14 pm after many days of labor and anticipation by us and the kids! Our strong boy weighed in at 7lbs and 8oz. He was the shortest of our three kids in length at 18 inches long.

"Home is Wherever I'm With You" was playing as Jonas entered the world and oh how we are loving having him be a part of our home. He is so sweet and so far, an easy-going baby. He is also very tolerant of all the loud noises and two very excited girls!

Isla and Laylin are like two little mama hens, constantly wanting to touch, kiss and fight over Jonas' time. It's sweet to see their love and bond form for our sweet baby boy. We love you Jonas Finn!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Laylin Jane's TWO!

Our sweet, feisty, tiny, brave, loving, snuggling, strong little girl is TWO! I can hardly believe it's been two years since I first held her in my arms and cried over how beautifully perfect God designed her. It felt like a dream then, and it feels like a dream now that two whole years have gone by. Her budding personality, giggles and kisses keep us smiling every day.

Yesterday, this feisty little thing managed to yell "no" to me probably over 100 times, throw herself in the floor for a good cry at least twice, hit me in frustration and give me 50+ unsolicited kisses before bedtime. She's both sweet and salty, and I love it! We've learned so much from her these past two years and what it takes to be parents to two fun-loving girls.

Every day with our Laylin Jane somehow continues to get sweeter and sweeter as we learn more about her personality and bottle up all the love she so freely gives.

Happy birthday sweet girl! We love you so so much!