Poor Snap. He's always getting man handled. Last time it was Snow White. This time it was Samuel who put a clip on his ear and Evie who put a girly bird sticker on his collar. Poor Snap.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I've been thinking lately that the longer I do it, the more I like it and the more I feel committed to the long haul (as long as I don't think about that in terms of the next 18 years. whoa.).
So perhaps I'll do a little post about why we decided to homeschool our kids.
I had always considered homeschooling when Noah was little, though Terry and I were both public schooled. I probably felt that this is what we would end up doing, but needed help making that decision. I really weighed the reasons why I wanted to do this.
Did I want to protect my children? Yes, of course. This world is seriously messed up. I just read an article about a kindergartner being teased about his daddy dying and the kids saying he was a zombie. Messed. Up. And that's not even the half of it in this world. My kids don't even know what zombies are. And I'm okay with that. Does that mean I will forever try to keep zombies and scary stuff away from them? No.
Back to my point of analyzing why I was even considering doing this. Was it a control issue? Absolutely it was. I knew that I hoped that by keeping my kids close to home and teaching them about our faith, that they would become true hearted believers. Absolutely. But what I had to get around was that that was not in my control. Salvation is God's work and His alone. The end. I had to accept that.
In order to get a better feel for what homeschooling entailed and was all about, we both attended a Nebraska homeschool conference and that helped me to sort things out. It must have been when Noah was only three because he wasn't even old enough to do preschool yet and I wanted to make up my mind about what we were going to do. So we went. It was really wonderful and helpful. Though I can't recall many details from the lectures, I do remember their high school graduation ceremony pretty vividly. The parents gave their own kids their diplomas. It was very moving. You could just see how much it meant to them to have reached that point. All I could think of was all the sacrifice and hard work and love those parents put into that child and now here they were, an adult. I remember Terry and I looking at each other like, "Wow." Pretty inspiring.
I can't point to one single argument from that conference that pushed us to homeschool. What did push me over the edge was what I did when we got home. I did a Bible study. I researched how many times in the Bible words such as "teach," "mother," "father," "child," etc. were used. I came away with 18 PAGES. That's a lot of references.
So when people talk of being "called" to homeschool, I feel a little dubious. A calling is pretty serious and I never heard a voice from on high telling me "Thou shalt homeschool!" What I do feel, however, is a strong conviction to homeschool.
I never ever felt I wanted to be a teacher. That would have been the last thing I would have chosen for a degree. I didn't even like kids very much. When I babysat as a teenager, I totally didn't like it. Boring. I like my own kids, but I'm not one of those really sweet homeschool moms who always talks all sugary and just loves kids. That's so not me. So I'm not someone who was "born" to do this. I hear all the time "Oh I could never do that!" Yeah? Well, join the club. I can't either. And you know what? I'm still doing it. And it would be easier to go to work a lot of the time. Serious. But it's worth it.
I love my kids. And I want to do absolutely everything in my power to enable them to be all that they can be. Educationally, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually. What else matters, I ask you? Does it matter how cool and witty and "socialized" they are? Nope. I think their character and spiritual maturity are far more important and homeschooling will take them much farther.
So what it comes down to for me is that we are able to do this and I think it's the best way. Now that does not mean that I look down at public schooled kids. My husband is a youth pastor and most of his students are public schooled! I was public schooled! We love those kids. But for us, this is what we want to do.
Since we had such a busy Thanksgiving weekend, we were going to put off tree hunting until the following weekend in December. However, after a friend reminded us of the frigid temperatures that were coming (it's like 5 degrees out), we changed our minds. We got the boys up from naps early and headed into the hills.
We went to the same place as last year, hoping there'd be a tree we overlooked - it was pretty sparse before. Headed out with only the iphone for photos...blah.
Even Samuel and Ezra got to come this year so we couldn't take the Blazer and the handy trailer. Terry had to tie the tree down around the van!
The older kids and I climbed to the top of the hill hoping for more trees. No luck.
When we got back down, Noah headed off to find Daddy who was examining a potential tree.
That car seat cover was such a good investment. Widdle Ez is all comfy and cozy and warm.
After much deliberation between this tree and the one down the road, we decided on this one. It was too tall for our house, but since it wasn't 20 feet tall, we could still take it and not be breaking the rules.
It was at this point that I went and grabbed the real camera. Much better. Noah and Evie had a little sword fight while Daddy cut the tree down.
That's my lumberjack.
Cute girl. She threw up seven times the following night. That wasn't so cute.
I went to feed Ezra and put Noah in charge of the camera. This is what happened.
But at least he took a good one of Terry and I.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
We did Terry's family Thanksgiving at the ranch the Saturday after since Alice had to work on the actual day. Instead of doing turkey, they did ham and ribs. Oh, it was delicious.
Terry dropped Ezra in the lincoln log container just like he did to Samuel when he was only about a month older than Ezra is now - Ezra just turned six months old last weekend!
Gramma and Evie eating their second dinner.
Little baby Grace is nearly ready to be a big sister. It'll be just over a week and she will be!
And these two little punks. Eat your food! Samuel always looks like he's up to something. It's funny how I didn't realize he had mischievous eyes when he was a cute little lincoln log.
I've mentioned a couple times how my brother Nathan is back in Rapid City. He and Ana were living with our folks house for a couple months but they just bought a house of their own. Funny thing is that it's only four houses away from Mom and Dad's! Yeah, Dad walks their dog every day. How convenient.
The day after Thanksgiving, Nathan and Ana had Noah and Evie over for a sleepover! The kids had so much fun. It's just great having them back in town.
We were able to have a Kveene Thanksgiving on the actual holiday this year. There's always so many things to work around, you know? Steph and Steve couldn't be there though because Washington is too far away, so I'm glad she was able to visit in September. However, Nathan and Ana's new house is only 4 houses away from Mom and Dad's so it worked out just fine for them!
I remembered to snap a photo just as we were starting to dig in. Oh so good.
|You might notice the lovely tray of lefse next to my open chair. I am quite proud of that lefse. I helped Mom to roll it all out for the first time and did rather well, if I may so say myself.|
No room at the table for a grabby baby! Here, play with this apron, boy.
Since they did funny photos with the turkey leg last year, Terry thought they might as well make it an annual thing. Ha!
We had some time off last week with daddy home during the day for Thanksgiving weekend. I had to grab the camera when I found Terry and Samuel, who happened to match that day, snuggling under the blanket. Noah joined them.
It must have been the next day when Terry decided he'd had enough sitting on the couch and got out his guitar. He'd like to teach the kids. Here's Noah awaiting instructions. He's a cute boy.
Terry's explaining what frets are.
Got it, boy.
Wild girl Evie was rolling around on the love seat.
Noah likes to wrestle.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Evie has had her very own room for over a week now. Since the boys were moved to the new bedroom, she got the last bed in the house - and it was a queen. Guess she's graduated from princess twin size.
This week Terry's parents surprised us with a gift for the little princess/queen. A new dresser and chest of drawers! Jerry picked them out all by himself and I absolutely love them. Evie likes them too.
We had to move the bed but I like it better like this. Once everything was in place, Noah went around and hung up all of Evie's little glow in the dark stars. It was so sweet. She just loves having her own little room.
By way of continuation from my last post about completing the boys new bedroom, here are some photos of the other side of the room, the new school room.
There's a wall there... There didn't used to be. We are all done with our remodeling construction projects. Terry even put all his tools away!
|From the corner of the new school room, looking toward the new bedroom.|
This is the old view of the other side of the room before we had finished the dungeon. Cluttered much?
And now all this space is reserved for school! It's quite the opposite of cluttered. Pretty bare. My plan is to paint the wainscoting white like I did in the bedroom, scrape off the popcorn from the ceiling and add a wall size world map. That's a summer project. We are also going to put up some shelves in the closet for all the school books. And I'd like to tear out all that brick and install a freestanding wood stove. We shall see if that ever happens. I'm so pleased to be done with remodeling!
Even though we were nearly done, I could hardly wait to show everyone the new bedroom progress in my last post. All we had left to do was to paint and install the trim and clean everything up. And that was done in two days. We didn't go crazy on the trim like we did in the dungeon, which took 3 coats of stain and then polyurethane to top it off. The bedroom trim wasn't even real wood, was purchased already primed and only needed to be cut and painted twice. But it looks great. I simply love the crispness of the painted wainscoting and the pop of the orange.
Here is what the bedroom looked like on this year's first day of school, back when it was still our school room.
And here is that same corner now as Noah and Samuel's new bedroom!
I wanted to avoid stacking the beds but there wasn't enough room. I found Samuel's quilt on ebay and really like it - it's a safari theme.
Here's a better shot of the orange and white trim. I just love it.
The painted white doors look great too.
One of the last things we needed to complete was to install the closet. Terry decided to buy this closet organizer instead of just a rod. It looks so great. And this way Samuel can still reach his clothes and Noah can keep his treasures up high away from destroyer baby. Terry kept a shelf on the left side and added one on the right side after he covered the old wet bar's plumbing.
Samuel quite enjoys having his big boy bed. And check out those sheets I scored at Herbergers! How appropriate are those little monsters?!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Time is getting away from me. Last week, when I realized that Ezra is nearly six months old already, I thought I should probably sit him up on his own and see how he could do. And there you go. He could do it.
This milestone brought back some memories of our other kids at this same age. I thought I could remember a few blog posts from Evie and Samuel's baby days, but Noah came before the blog - BB, if you will.
I had to dig this one out of the Snapfish vault. I'm not sure, but judging by his outfit (which Ezra is currently wearing), I think Noah was about six months here. AWWWWWWW! How was my huge, loud, crazy, wacky eight and a half year old ever that little? Geez!
I pulled this old photo of Evie off this post from way back in 2008 when we still lived in the parsonage in Gburg. She definitely had the very best hair of all our babies. Look at it! Look at her! She's so stinking adorable. She also had the very best cheeks.
And here's Destroyer Baby Samuel (who my mom has been praying will be a spiritual destroyer, not just a household destroyer - I like the sound of that). This was not so long ago (2011) in our first house in Gburg. I pulled this photo from this post. Already it's hard to remember even him like this.
And back to Ezra. You see, he's not quite ready to be unsupported. He pretty much folds completely down to his legs.
Then he leans over and that's all she wrote.
Time to kick the feet.
Or just lay there like the big lump that he is.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
My mom is quite talented. Apart from sewing my sister and I clothes when we were young and basket weaving, she's also made Christmas stockings and some sweaters (which I really need to dig out for Samuel and Ezra to wear again). This was three and a half years ago. Evie is so cute! I miss that little baby girl. She's such a big five year old now! And Noah's like doubled in size. Goodness.
But anyway, last week my mom came over with a knitted wool sweater for Ezra!
He wore it to church on Sunday and received so many compliments. Isn't it adorable?!