September 22, 2014

First Day of School

Our family is entering a new adventure this fall. Today, we officially started homeschooling Beniah and have already reaped the benefits of being a homeschool family (namely sleeping in after having a rough night with the baby).  Beniah has been super excited about starting school and waiting for September 22nd to finally arrive.  Yes, I know that it has been 3 weeks since "regular school" started, but we were in the middle of a move and there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to start homeschooling while unpacking multiple boxes and figuring out where things should go.

The first day of school finally dawned (way too early for this tired mama) and after breakfast and 1 1/2 cups of coffee, we finally started our day.


Beniah loves lists and schedules, so I made up a schedule for the day. I thought I was being oh so clever when I made the blank time cards that I can write down the times that we start each activity. Unfortunately, when one activity goes a bit longer than expected or you start your day late, it throws off the rest of the schedule which causes Beniah to insist that every card gets changed to match the correct time. That is going to change!

Oh well!  Beniah did enjoy the arts and crafts time where he colored a picture for the front of his Kindergarten binder.

Elijah wanted to join in too.

Isaac just wanted to be put down for a nap.

 Later, Beniah hopped onto Khan Academy to work on some math. So far, I'm pretty impressed with that website, especially since Beniah can go as slow or fast as he wants through the math lessons. There are a couple of kinks to work out, but I think that this will be a good fit for him.

One nice thing about homeschooling is being done with school after a couple hours of work and being free to play with your baby brother.

There are a few wrinkles in my planning for our school days, but I think we'll be able to work past them in the next few weeks.

August 23, 2014

An August Date Night

   Seventeen years ago, Tim and I were both a part of our school's production of a Midsummer's Night Dream. He was cast as the part of Puck. I was Mustard Seed. Interesting side note: My sister was originally cast as Mustard Seed and then decided that she didn't want to be a part of the play. My parents told her that she had to find someone to take her spot (enter little sister who was too shy to audition). The director (who happened to be my future sister in law) uncharacteristically allowed one of her actors to switch out the role. Eh, it all worked out. The play got me involved with highschool drama and began a friendship with Tim that deepened into marriage.
Yep, I was a cross-eyed fairy who had a photo-bombing shrewd and knavish sprite behind her.

When I was looking into date ideas for August, I came across the Portland Actors Ensemble. This year's production was A Midsummer's Night Eve.  I knew that I had found a winner of a date idea!


We attended their last evening show (the play does run late into August, but starts at 3 pm. No thank you!).
It was a riot! I love watching community plays partly because of my involvement with highschool drama but mostly of the price of tickets. This one was free! I will admit that this is the first play I've seen in way to many years. The actors did a phenomenal job on the performance. It was so much fun to watch them put their own spin on the play.


This next summer, the Ensemble is putting on Hamlet and plan to show it at an old, local cemetery. Yes, it's kind of weird and a bit morbid, but I am looking forward to the production.

August 14, 2014

Life with Boys

Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys. 

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero. 
Marc Brown

Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable. 
- Plato

Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.
- James Thurber

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
 - Mark Twain

A boy's story is the best that is ever told.
 - Charles Dickens

August 13, 2014

My 40 Hour Adventure

It had been over two years since I last saw my grandparents. A lot has changed since then (mainly having Isaac). Because my parents were going to be down in LA visiting my grandparents, we decided that Isaac and I should visit so that my grandparents could meet their youngest great grandchild. This past Saturday at 5:30 am, Isaac and I were picked up by my father-in-law and taken to the airport. 

Isaac did fairly well on the flight. He fell asleep while we took off and slept for 45 minutes (until we were at the cruising altitude and the turbulence smoothed out). Then he popped awake and wanted to play!
 Thankfully, we were next to a couple who were grandparents and who thought that every chirp Isaac made was very precious. Isaac was determined to make friends with everybody who glanced his way (and even the bearded man who resolutely ignored him).

My parents met us at the Long Beach airport and drove us to see my Grandma (who was recently admitted to the hospital for intense pain). Isaac was enthralled with his Great Grandma and kept wanting to touch her. He also wanted to help her out with the pain medicine by trying to push the buttons on her IV drip.  Mama was a mean Mama/Granddaughter and would not let him push buttons.

Four Generations.  Interesting note: Isaac is my youngest, I am my Mom's youngest, My mom is my Grandma's youngest, and there ends the youngest trend because she is the oldest of the two sisters.

By this point, we had been up for 5 hours and Isaac could not stay awake any longer and fell asleep in my arms.

 All too soon, we had to leave my Grandma and go check into the motel room, have some lunch, and rest before we visit with my Grandpa at their retirement home.

 Coffee - the much needed liquid for the traveling Mama!

The bonus of having my parents staying in the room next to us was having my mom pop over and rock her overly tired grandson to sleep so I could get more rest.

Isaac woke up from his nap before I was ready to leave to visit my Grandpa, so over to my parents' room he went and entertained them with his tv remote holding skills.

Soon we left for to see my Grandpa. Isaac was (of course) the hit of the home. Grandpa (of course) was his ornery self and laid claim to his Great Grandson and told another resident to go away. Ah dementia, what spunk you add to our lives!

Other family members arrived after awhile and snuggled up to Isaac.

It was soon time for us to head back to the motel to eat, bathe, and get put to bed 14 hours after leaving our apartment. 

The next morning, we skipped church so that Isaac and I could have a little more time with my Grandparents. Grandma was having a difficult morning understanding where she was at and why. (Oh advanced dementia, what heartache you bring!) Isaac helped to bring her cheer with his chipper little self. Although, I think telling her stories about what Grandpa was doing and how ornery he was behaving helped her a little more than the cute baby did. I guess that's what almost 72 years of marriage will do to you.

 It was very difficult saying goodbye to my Grandma, knowing full well that I might not see her again this side of heaven. For those of you wondering, the doctors have figured out what is causing her intense pain (pulled muscles from a previous fall) and are working with a physical therapist to have her discharged soon.

However, it was time for us to leave to visit my Grandpa before we left.
Four generations
 Isaac was as impressed with Great Grandpa as Great Grandpa was impressed with him.

 Photo Credit: My mom, Beth. She did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!

Isaac thought that Great Grandpa's bright red bib was so funny!
 Once again, it was time to say goodbye to another Grandparent because we had one more stop before we left for the airport.

Fifty years ago, my Aunt Karen and Uncle Glen were married, so we (and their church family) celebrated their anniversary in style!

My aunt and uncle renewed their vows. 

My Uncle Chuck officiated the ceremony. For your information, Uncle Chuck is as ornery as my Grandpa. Must run in the family or something!

 The Lady's Bible study that my aunt attends put on a potluck spread that was delicious! Isaac had his first taste of mango with coconut rice and loved it! He reached over to my plate and grabbed another fistful before I could stop him.

 My aunt had her wedding album displayed and in it was a photo of my grandparents in 1964.

The party was winding to a close and it was time for Isaac and I to head to the airport. We got there a half an hour earlier than I had originally planned, but I figured that it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Once through security however, I found out that our plane was delayed an hour. Yay! Three hours in a tiny airport that has no play area and dirty carpets with a baby!

We survived the wait and the flight home (although there weren't helpful grandparents on this flight). Forty hours after we left for the airport, we were walking into our house.