Saturday, October 25, 2014


The other day I thought of my Aunt Sharon who has told me multiple times that she reads this blog, and realized the last she'd heard was... July?  Sad.

The general consensus was that after two kids, 3 would be mere child's play... except for one friend- more specifically, her husband.  I still remember his response word for word...
     "Think about it.  Two kids, two of you.  After that, you're out numbered."
"Pish-posh!"  I thought to myself.  I'm a pretty lively gal, I'm up for the challenge.  I've got enough liveliness for our whole family in my little finger.  And then Rowena, sugar-coated and chocolate dipped, was born.  
She is truly intoxicating, she smiles through the grayest, cloudiest thunderstorms, she loves her brothers and desires to be a part of their lives with a passion so intense it knocks over their block towers and bites the heads off of their Thor action figures and shreds their Pooh-Bear paintings.  It's a whooooole lotta love that they are gradually accepting.  She is undeniably the cheese to ALL of our macaroni's.  

Silas is 2, which means every morning brings a different Si.  "Which Si will I meet this morning?" I ask myself, tentatively turning the knob to his room.  Will we meet ill-humored Si, who shrieks at my renditions of "The Good-Morning Song" (truthfully, who wouldn't?) and who has no clue what he wants for breakfast, but it definitely ISN'T what's sitting in front of him?  Or will we be lucky enough to meet lighthearted Si, a giddy and pleasurable experience for all he deems worthy enough to receive such an award?
I exaggerate- while we do get a hot-tempered Si sometimes, mostly he's just a wee version of mommy- in all the best ways, of course!  Case in point: I have this habit of putting many of my mundane tasks to song, and Fall Out Boy has a little number with a chorus that goes like this: 
"Light em' up up up
Light em' up up up
Light em' up up up
I'm on fire"

...except fire is long and drawn out and sounds more like "FI-UUUH!"
This is one of the easiest tunes to adapt to chores of any kind, for example on laundry day:
"Wash em' up up up
Wash em' up up up
I'm on FI-UH!"

or when sweeping up crumbs
"Sweep em' up up up
sweep em' up up up
I'm on FI-UH!"

You get it.  Anyhow, this particular day I was imploring my masses that if they did not finish lunch, they would NOT be receiving an elaborate dessert resembling the head of an owl (that's a homeschool story for another time), so I was chanting "Eat em' up up up, eat em' up up up, eat em' up up up..."
...and from his bench at the table, that little voice interrupts with a shout: 
"I'M ON FI-UH!!!!!"
Just like Fall Out Boy.  Just like Mommy.

(Listen here to compose your own Stay-At-Home-Mom version--->    Fall Out Boy)

Last we have Mr. Eli, rocking Kindergarten homeschool-style.  In 8+ weeks we've studied bees in every way a 5 year old could imagine and STILL were not satiated, did some basic leaf identification, and now we are moving into a winter-long study of Owls. His learning style really works well with a "unit-studies" method of schooling, which simply means that whatever he is currently interested in is what school revolves around.  With bees we read every book our library had on them, we made snacks with honey, we did math with little card stock manipulatives of honeybees, we did mini-productions of "The Life Cycle of the HoneyBee" complete with costumes (you can see the bumblebee hat on his head in the above picture of Si), we rented PBS documentaries, and one night I got REALLY nuts and crocheted several little honeybee stuffed toys as well as eggs, larva, and pupa, hot glued a paper egg carton to some foam board (for honeycomb of course, duh!), and had a "Life Cycle of the Bee" playset which garnered much attention from my 3 biggest fans.  As I mentioned, owls are the next unit study and 2 weeks ago I found myself hunched over the kitchen table on a breezy fall afternoon punching this out:

You may rightly be wondering "what the WHAT are those?"  Those are lima beans, 30-to be exact, spray painted brown bearing hand-painted eyes & beaks and hot glued feathers (a.k.a. wings).  Those are: Math Manipulatives.
(Below: a close up of a low point in my legendary existence)

I blame this on Pinterest, always forcing me one craft closer to insanity.

Outside of school Eli has taken on the role of Director of Playtime in this house (Thank God, b/c I am all out of Green Lantern plot twists).  He is the Event Planner for the best soiree's at the Batcave (spoiler alert: they all end in someone falling off a building and going to jail), his sofa cushion forts are well crafted and comfortable, his tastes in reading material are flawless ("There's a Wocket in my Pocket" never gets old), and don't even get me started on his bicycle stunts- Evel Knievel had nothing on him.  

And that's where we are right now... I'm off to get "ruffle-butt" up from her nap, a term I used ONCE to describe a certain little girl's regular attire, and adapted by #2 as a regular term of endearment (I think...)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flo-Rida & birthday parties.

School ended and we flew headfirst into summer with a 13 hour drive to Yulee, Florida to see Nana & Pop pop.  Scorching heat and bath water ocean temperatures pretty much sum up a June-Florida, but we kept cool with swim suits and lots of ice cream.  Eli developed a pretty strong bond with Pop pop, which was sweet for us all to witness:)

Nana & Pop pop put in quite a few hours of prep-work before we arrived, decorating wooden swords & shields, "tenting" the bedroom, making cookie sheets full of buck-eyes & a pretzel-caramel- combination-cookie-bar that I fell hard for (and consumed largely alone).  It was a really special week for us all!

#3 had the best time modeling the outfits in Mom's closet-sized T.J. Maxx.  What a cutie!

The day before we left, we celebrated the boys birthdays (5 & 2!)  This was the first year I've ever done anything other than a small family gathering, and we had a pretty great time.

The big birthday wish was for a "Flash" costume, which of course Grammie & Grampa came through on!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A last look

We recently arrived home from a 24 hour round trip to Groton Vermont, to be present for my Grammie's burial.  Grammie passed away Dec 26, 2013, but in VT the ground stays frozen until May, so the burial was postponed.
Grandpa passed away in February of the same year.  I haven't said much about it.  I've thought through everything very slowly and in pieces.

My extended family has a beautiful sense of harmony.  I've never met anyone with the humor we share or the memories we've created- even though we see each other sometimes less than annually.  We are spread out through Canada, down into Vermont, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia... yet each time we meet we still manage to pick up right where we left off.

Dad & his brothers & sister grew up in the same house Grammie & Grampa left- full of memories. We spent Christmases and summers there, making our own.
Ben and I packed up the kids and drove up with my parents to a family member's camp, where we spent 3 days revisiting the places I loved as a child.

Eli on Grammie & Grampa's porch.

Si on the porch.

Rowen meeting Uncle David.

Si @ the burial.

Jordi's @ Grammie & Grampa's house.

Eating @ P&H, the #3 truck stop in the States, and the home of Grammie's famous Reese pie.

Napping in the cabin.

NOT napping in the cabin!

The backyard...

...and the front.

Groton, VT-where Dad grew up.

The church Dad grew up at, and we attended on vacations.

Ricker's pond- where Dad swam as a kid, and we did the same:)

Our swimming hole.

Dad & the boys hunting for moose antlers.

A HUGE shoutout to Ben, who drove me around in the rain to take pictures of all the places I remembered, AND who got me inside of the old church for a walk through.  AND who spent $20 on candy at Chutters candy store:)  He really is the best guy ever.

So we're home now, remember Grammie & Grampa with love and thanks for the legacy of Jesus & family they left behind.

School ends in a few short days, and then begins a super fun summer- kicked off with a DOUBLE birthday party and a trip to Florida!!  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2 month catch-up!

It has been a crazy-wonderful March through April... Here's what we've been up to in no particular order...

*I finally assembled a sensory bin for the boys... this was our "farm" themed one.  It was a huge hit, and was a nice intro into the horse grooming tools Eli is learning to use (he's taking horse riding lessons).

A sensory bin is basically a group of items selected based around a theme or idea- it could be a season, a month, a holiday, a movie, a book, anything (I've been doing a lot of reading about Montessori methods of teaching and I'm hooked!).  It's nice to find items with lots of different textures, smells, etc.  It's a wonderful therapy tool for autism, but I have found that Silas loves playing with it just as much as Elijah.  In this one I included several plastic farm animals (different types of horses being the focus), owl & chicken feathers, hollow chicken eggs, clay pots for scooping, a metal tractor & John Deere Gator, twine, raffia & burlap scraps, and grooming brushes and mixed all the items into a bin filled with different types of birdseed.  Our next one will be made during our trip to Florida, we're going to do a beach-themed one! :)