Thursday, May 31, 2012

This Is My Town

I absolutely love living in Dubuque!  I love that we are an older town rich with history!  I love heading over to the Fenelon Elevator to take the short ride up and look out over the beautiful Mississippi!  I love looking out over all of the buildings in downtown!  I love the architecture in this town!  I love where God has placed me to raise my children!

Fenelon Elevator

Looking out at the bridge that crosses the Mississippi to Illinois.

Looking out at the bridge that crosses the Mississippi to Wisconsin.

Mississippi River

Our Courthouse

A random building with beautiful architecture.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Thoughts

Now that the school year is over, the rushing to Ohio and back is finished, the lovely visit from a dear friend has ended, and the house is clean(er) I have some time to sit and reflect on homeschool, on my kids, on life. 

Probably the BIGGEST lesson I learned this year is that I REALLY NEED THAT HOMESCHOOL CONFERENCE IN APRIL!!!  Seriously, I never intended to go to a homeschool conference every year, but that might change now.  The last six weeks of the school year were so hard to struggle through.  I honestly felt like I was "the teacher" whom made me want to NEVER put my kids in school.  Really?  I don't ever want school to become about check marking tasks off and just. getting. it. DONE!  How sad!  I don't want my daughter to groan because we HAVE to go do school for the day.  I want learning to always be exciting!

That leads to my second discovery...I might WANT school never to be a drag, but I am still a sinful human being...which means some days will be a drag.  My attitude will get in my way.  Some days it will be Libby's attitude (or even Grace's or John's) that gets in the way.  We are human!  I tend to be an idealist and that makes it even harder when we have a bad day (or week, or off and on for a month)!  My dream-world tumbles and I tend to exagerate and cry out, "I'm such a failure!  I can't do anything right!  I can't even teach my own children!"  Yeah, because choosing to take my children's education on my own shoulders is such a light task.  Right?  Yeah, I don't want to have those days...but,  I'm going to have those days!

I also remembered how much Libby (and most children) love to explore.  I need to do more sensory boxes for John...he LOVES them!  I need to hide words around the room for Grace to find...she would learn her sight words a lot faster that way!  I need to do a nature hunt with Libby...we learned so much about the plants in God's world this past year...why not put it into practice? 

I am also realizing some of the responsibility in schooling your own children coincides with responsibility in parenting.  There are just some things my kids DO NOT like to clearing their dishes off the table after a meal.  I constantly have to remind them.  (I am hoping some day they will just do it on their own?)  Well, math in school is the same way.  Libby wants to just get it done.  She says it takes her forever (and it does), but that is because she piddles and watches what her brother is playing with or yells at her sister for touching her desk, or...well, you get the point.  Then, when she does finish, some of her answers are incorrect.  She knows how to do the problems, she just didn't take the time to make sure the answer was right.  I NEED to stay on her case so that this changes.  She has to learn to be responsible for her work.  If I continue to give it back to her so she can correct it I am making ME responsible for HER work.  Something is wrong with that picture.  We are going to try to remedy this by positive/negative consequences next year.  It will be interesting to see if there is a change in this area next year at this time. 

The most important thing that has been reiterated to me, though, is that life is a journey!  We are going to have our ups and downs, we are going to have our educational strengths and weakneses, and our emotional strengths and weaknesses.  God WILL be faithful on this journey, though.  He has proved that to me over and over.  This year he has brought some absolutely amazing people into my life.  I don't know what I would do without them, and sometimes I feel bad for them because I feel like I am a drain on them.  I cannot believe the things that God has brought me through this year, and I cannot wait to see how He will work in my life in the year to come! 

I am one blessed momma!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

While we are making changes...

...we decided that it was time for John to be moved to a big boy bed!  It isn't completely put together because we are missing a few key parts for the under part of the bed.  In the meantime, though, he is LOVING having his own bed!

...except in this picture where I accidently woke him up.  I was trying to get a picture of him SLEEPING, obviously that didn't happen. 


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Love My Grandpa!

While we were in Ohio Grace wanted to go on a boat ride with grandpa-great-great.  After they were finished paddling around the pond, she decided that maybe they should have a little more fun together.  I was able to sneak a couple of pictures of him swinging her.  :)


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It is summer...

...and that means time for momma to try something new!  I buzzed John's hair the other night just to try it out.  I had to keep myself from crying laughing the whole time I was doing it.  I am not 100% sure that I like it yet, but I am 100% sure that I like to rub my face against his soft fuzz.  ;)


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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Hair Cut

It is time for that special rite of passage in our household! 


Yes, I trimmed the back of John's hair (the first time I have ever touched scissors to any of my children's hair) the other day because it was driving me crazy, but wasn't long enough to go get it done.  Libby watched me and decided he needed a little more taken off. is his new haircut until it grows back...because I'm still not taking him to get it done.  ;)
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Friday, May 04, 2012

Slaying at Sally's Salon

Chris and I had a good chuckle the other day as we made sure the girls' room was clean.  As most children do, they started stuffing things in drawers rather than really putting it away.  We decided that the following pictures would be good illustrations to go in a murder mystery.  :)


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Splash Pad Fun

We had the opportunity to visit the brand new Cumberland Park while we were in Nashville. The kids truly enjoyed their chilly evening playing in the splash park.  I thought it was absolutely beautiful, but a bit too aesthetically pleasing to the eye rather than functional for the children.  That seemed to prove true as they had to shut the park down the day after we were there because a beautiful marble slab fell off one of their walls and broke a child's arm, as well as their very cool slide literally cracked in half and was pinching children...yeah, we had the luxury of discovering the latter.

All in all, though, a wonderful time was had at the park!


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