and there you have it…



“first day of school” pics

It’s the first day of school for the public schools in our county. We start school all over the place, so pictures stick with the county for consistency’s sake.

So it’s time for first day of school pictures! Well, technically, it’s time for lunch…and school, since that’s when we start, but hey, pictures, blog, priorities people. It’s first day of school picture day, we started school two weeks ago, I don’t actually have to do school today. (We will do school today, don’t panic!)

This year our little classroom has a decidedly Charlotte Mason bent thanks to For the Children’s Sake, among other things. It also has a 5th grader, a 4th grader, a 1st grader and a kindergartner. All of those grades make me think, how is that possible? So just insert shock and disbelief after each grade as you read it.

From littlest to biggest.

We start with the kindergartner. She is still the easiest to photograph. Just steps right up and smiles. This was the first picture, I took more so she wouldn’t feel left out when I had to take a hundred of the rest. She is very excited to be in kindergarten this year. Isn’t she cute?


Next is our 1st grader. He is excited to add math on the computer to his schedule this year. The older two can’t understand why. He was glad this years’ pictures were better than last years. He remembers being sad (I do too), none of us could remember why. I bet I blogged about it. Oh look here it is.  I didn’t know what it was then either, but OMG they were so little! Even the big ones, how did that happen!?!?IMG_4838

Next is our 4th grader. She has a stock picture smile this year. Better than her refusing to smile, but I still hope someday to catch the real smile! She is still in third grade math for a few more weeks (we switched curriculum about 6 weeks in last year) so she doesn’t actually believe she is in 4th grade yet. But she is, cause I said so, and I’m the teacher and the principal!


Finally we have our 5th grader! Their math considers this middle school, I do not. Everyone is elementary school for one more year according to me! I don’t know that there is anything he is looking forward to about school, but he still likes it better than being away at school all day. He is a homebody, I can relate. Also he is a giant. Notice how far above that door handle he is? Next year he’ll be through the roof. IMG_4852

Here we have them all together! You can see every one’s face! They are mostly smiling! Disregard shifty and/or closed eyes, there is not sign in front of anyone’s face or a single butt to the camera. I take what I can get people. IMG_4862

I better go actually do that school thing now! So far we are still enjoying our new school year, and I want to find out what happens next in the book, it was just getting really good last week!

Happy first day to all you starting today and happy continuing for those who already started!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you were all able to rest up after the holidays. Our vacation is over, or intermittent holiday crazy stay cation would more accurately describe it. Today is back to regularly scheduled programming. I’ll admit, yesterday I was dreading it just a little. Today I’m so happy it’s finally here! School will happen this afternoon, chores have already happened this morning. The kids are happily playing (school ironically) with each other before they have to start school this afternoon and I’m getting to sit down and get some work done.


This meme is so me it’s a tad ridiculous. Yay routines! They are back.

My physical head is still screaming that taking away our sugar was a bad bad idea. The caffeine too! You’re killing us over here! I’m on day three of a near constant headache and fatigue even though I’ve been sleeping. But it’s a dull roar today and my mental head is ecstatic! The too much excess too much sugar too little normal overwhelmed and dull feeling in my mind is finally gone.

I’m ready to tackle all this paper work and appointments again. I’m ready for everyone to have clean underwear in their room (as opposed to the dryer) again. I’m ready to not be sore after a run because it’s a normal occurrence. I’m also ready to sit down and make up some goals for the new year, as daunting as that feels this year.

So lets go!

Are you ready for the year? Still trying to get out of the holiday funk? What are your goals and hopes for the year?

how to laugh when life is burning you out

It’s Monday! Time for blogging! And I have nothing for you. Just more of the same old same old. As I sit here trying write amidst the rousing game of pokemon going on at my feet, I wonder how I ever concentrate enough to do this. My candy addled brain can barely hear myself think over all this noise. Who knew Pokemon was SOOO EXCITING!!! Well, actually, I knew. You probably did too if you have kids in the 5-11 range.

There is no baby update this week. I have done nothing. Well that’s not true, Jena and I have been working on what will be the girls’ room. She’s got all her clothes moved over. We got her new bed set up and ordered curtains and a curtain rod and are almost done with their dresser. I have orders coming all over the place these days. I even finally ordered bottles, go me! When all the room orders get here I’ll post some pics. Jena girl is not even tempted to sleep in said room yet, but she does like to talk about it and even play in there sometimes.

It’s been a nice, non stressful project for us. I’m still physically feeling the effects of burn out. Mentally I’m feeling much less stressed, but my body does not seem to have gotten the memo. I have developed this lovely eye twitch, 6 days and running and it’s still there, reminding me of all that’s left to be done.

Oh and our homeschool blog was down this morning when the children woke me up an hour early. I eventually found the back up the creator put up, so it’s all ok, now. Now to get rid of the 2 hours worth of adrenaline when I thought I might have to recreate our entire years lesson plans. Eek!

So this day is in need of a bit of a reset. Here’s my attempt.

  1. Bycemaster got us a new computer, it’s almost set up. Days where everyone is actually done with school and it is NOT dinnertime are in my future! Thank you baby!
  2. We did a family clean again this weekend, it’s usually an every weekend thing. Not a one happened in October. The level of nasty over here was getting depressing. So while it’s not clean, it is manageable again and that makes me very happy.
  3. We got a free keyboard so the kids can start piano lessons. Yay for expensive items for free!
  4. The missing adapter for the keyboard while ordered, is not here yet. As I watch them happily banging away, I am super grateful it is still in its soundless state.
  5. Finally and this one makes me super happy. Jimmy Fallon makes # vidoes.

I’m gonna go watch some now, you can join me! I have watched way more of these than I’d like to admit. This one is still my current favorite.

Then please tell me, what do you do to de-stress? Tell me please!

what ‘first day of school’ pics look like when you homeschool

It’s not really our first day of school, I’m a slave driver and I don’t give them summer break (or at least that’s how they like to sell it to anyone that asks how they are enjoying their summer break!) I do however, enjoy seeing how the kids grow from year to year in ‘first day of school’ pics so I try my best to remember to take them.

Ironically we are actually not doing “school” per se this morning. We are field tripping it. We are kicking off our Year of Science with the Mummy’s at the Orlando Science Center. It should be significantly less crowded with the rest of the child population back in school. There are perks to being different. Less crowds for one. We get so spoiled during the school year. Parks mostly to ourselves, stores emptier, most field trips cheaper during the day when there is little to no demand. Love it.

Anyway here’s our ‘first day pics’


The professional shot


The personality shot


They were all personality shots with this one. This was the most “professional” of the bunch.


This is what I get when I say smile nice, lol.


He was very upset about something, I can’t remember what at the moment, look at those puppy dog eyes.


A momentary laugh for sister caught on blurry camera, it was that fast. Now you see it, now its gone!


All of hers were this cute. Stepped right up, put on a smile. See kids, you could learn something from the little one.


The official class photo of our 2015-2016 school year.


Lord help me.

We are going to have some fun this year!

I really do love this gig.

homeschool planing, help!

Let me start this with saying, I love homeschooling my kids. I love having them home with me during the day. I love getting to teach them things and watch them grow in their ability to learn on their own. I love seeing them pursue their own interests that don’t even involve me. This so far has been one of the most satisfying and enjoyable jobs I’ve ever done. Most days I do feel like a super hero.


It is challenging. It has its hard parts. Most things worth doing are difficult at times.

School is starting. I’m already seeing first day pics from private schoolers and homeschoolers, public school’s first day is just around the corner!

Our little school is entering it’s third official year. This year we’ll have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, a Kindergartner and a Preschooler in our ranks. We don’t really take off the summer, but we do ramp up the motivation and introduce new routines in the fall. So far I’ve managed to get through planning 2 of those kids and group time for the next few weeks. That still leaves a bit lacking. I actually am the type that likes to plan, but I’m starting to wonder how this planning things is supposed to happen as the children get older, more children are added and the subjects get more involved. These last almost four years I’ve been working out of our home we’ve grown accustomed to decent dinners cooked at home and mostly clean and usually put away laundry. I’ve grown accustomed to having my nights available for social activities or exercise or reading. But this homeschooling thing is turning into more and more of an actual job and I already have a few of those.

So tell me all you seasoned homeschoolers. Where do you fit in planning? Do you go out somewhere? Is having evenings a pipe dream? Does the house just fall apart during planning season? Does your spouse take the kids for you? Is there some group for this? HOW DO YOU FIT THIS IN?

throwback thursday

long long ago in a galaxy far far away I had a shy son, a reserved son, a son who hid behind my legs when we were out in public and wouldn’t be caught dead being goofy. We thought it was a phase, we thought he was just growing up and changing. Then we brought him home from school and he reverted back into himself. Our laughing, goofy, confident boy. This weekend we stumbled upon this little gem. As I watched this again and again and ok again I was so grateful for our boy. Grateful for our boy that brings so much laughter and life to our family. Grateful we have the opportunity to have him in an environment where he can bloom. Grateful I caught this on video!

Then I thought I should be kind and reshare 😉 It was an all time fav on its first run on the blog so I’m sure you’ll indulge me a replay. There also so many new people that never even knew my awesome 9 year old as an awesome 3 year old. So you’re welcome.

Lady Gaga fan or not, you will enjoy. Trust me.

the fundly is here

I know I know it’s been weeks since I’ve given any adoption updates. We had passed the ball into the agency’s court weeks ago and have just been waiting for it to pass back. It’s back! We got our profile book back in the mail yesterday. Filled with edits! I really should have expected this, I mean I edit the crap out of my own work, usually, but my initial response was still overwhelmed, again. So many edits! I get it, we want their input and really I do. This is their job, they know better how certain things come across, but I am so ready to just sit around in waiting. I know the big ‘they’ say waiting sucks, and I’m not doubting them (ok maybe I am, if I’m honest, but only a little), but it will at least be a different kind of sucky. I will be developing patience and a greater capacity to deal with the unknown WHILE doing fun things like setting up the pack n play and buying cute diapers and making a new baby blanket. I’m ready to be there. Almost there. I’ll be plugging through the edits this week and hopefully we’ll hear our home study (which is now complete) has gotten it’s final directorial approval soon as well. Those are our last steps and I’ll get to announce we are in waiting. Right now we are just waiting to wait. I feel like I talk a lot about waiting.

Also cat’s out of the bag! We (and by we I totally mean Bycemaster) researched and set up our funding page. It’s not quite finished yet, as we are now into my part, but it is up and active. We totally didn’t intend to publicize yet, we thought when we hit skip last night on the publish to Facebook part, it wouldn’t publish to Facebook (now why would we think that….). But it turned out to be a happy accident as we’ve already had multiple likes and shares and even a DONATION! I must admit I was almost crying when we realized that someone had already responded to our unfinished accident. We have hope and faith, but I don’t expect it. It still never stops amazing me every time we are on the receiving end of someone’s generosity. We have such incredibly generous people in our lives. We are so grateful for everyone that has already contributed in funds or social or moral support. You all are invaluable and I hope you know how much you mean to us and our new little baby.

Well I had a cute little post about my co-op art lesson planned for today (the kids did so well!), but life interrupted. I’m toying with the idea of moving this up to twice a week. Are you guys ok with that? And also ok if it doesn’t actually happen, ha! Once a week has been doable, I’m thinking I can handle twice a week if you can…we shall see.

Click here to view and contribute to our adoption fund, just remember, it’s still under construction!

for the three of you that want this

I’m blogging! First post of the year! Wahoo, it’s only…*cough cough* june…that starts with the same letter as january, give a girl a break…

There is a new computer in the house, or I should say there is a computer in the house (a free one, thanks baby!) We have been mostly a tablet family for a while now. Which honestly, I love, for most everything, but NOT for blogging. More importantly though, there is a new keyboard! I feel like that line in Fools Rush In, you are everything I never knew I always wanted, dramatic pause as I make out with my new keyboard, not really…probably. Seriously though, the ability to think and type the words at virtually the same speed, it’s a writers dream. Notice how I snuck that writer in there, I did it, I called myself a writer. Now don’t get me wrong I can thumb type a text almost as fast as a teenager, but after a doing a few posts like that, it gets old, fast. There is also virtually no editing, even I don’t enjoy my mental diarrhea with no editing. So as I’ve claimed more times than I’d like to look back up on this blog and count, I’m blogging again! We are going to blame the previous meager diet I’ve been feeding you on a tools issue. It was lack of a good keyboard. Totally. Really. I feel this is totally legit. I should perhaps stop trying to convince you. I’m trying to hard aren’t I? But I just can’t stop writing on this beautiful keyboard, ladadadadad, I don’t even care what it says. Ok perhaps this is not a good thing, hmmm…topic…yes…that would be good.

Our first year of homeschooling has come and been completed! The first day of summer when the kids turned to me and said “so we’re homeschooling now right?” was just over a year ago. Let me just say I LOVE THIS. I know this sounds trite, but I actually feel I was made to do this. There is finally a purpose and use for all those previously useless facts my brain seems intent on picking up everywhere I go. I can now implant them in little people brains ALL DAY. It makes this homeschooling thing so fun. Everywhere we go, everything we do can turn into a learning experience. If I don’t already know about where we are going or what we are doing, i get to learn it right along with them (you know everything, but spelling, there is really no hope for me there, know thyself). It’s this little IB nerds dream. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fair share of tears and whining and I don’t want to do this, but we had that almost daily before, this is mass improvement.

Reading. OMG. It’s an incredible high for me watching my children read. Grant was already able to read virtually anything before, but now he will actually pick up chapter books, of his own will, read them and enjoy them! Jena could not read at all last year, and as much patience as it required to sit with her as a beginning reader everyday and read, it has totally paid off listening to her rattle off her books to the ‘little kids’ all day, where ever we are. It is absolutely amazing to me, to watch the process of learning and loving to read. Jacob is just now starting and we are up to 16 site words and every time he gets one right I’m not sure who is more excited me or him. It thrills me to no end. I’m looking forward to this next year. We are going to have a writing focus for the coming year, I can’t wait to see if I have a little budding writer in the ranks. Who knows what their creative minds will come up with. I can not wait to find out!

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