Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Learning to Ride!

The kids discovered their bikes this week ;).  It seemed like all of the bikes needed to adjust the seat and handlebars... man they just keep growing!  Then there is the issue of flat tires and bike maintenance.  Oh the joys of bikes.  
Mhari has been using training wheels forever and I could tell she was doing well enough to ride without training wheels so I told her she needed to try to learn.  She responded that she couldn't and that seemed like that.  I figured I would help her maybe over the weekend so I didn't push it.  Later that day I saw Sandra outside working with Mhari on her bike.  I thought it was cute, but didn't think much about it.  

Later that day Sandra was so excited to show me her surprise.  She and Grant had taught Mhari to ride her bike all by themselves!  They had to work together and help Mhari get over her fears.  Sandra and Grant gave her lots of advice and Sandra ran by Mhari while she was on the bike.  

Honestly the whole thing makes me so happy.  I love that Sandra took initiative to teach her sister.  I love that Sandra and Grant worked together.  I love that Mhari listened and learned from her older siblings.  This was a great bonding time for them and I am still smiling about it!  

Here are the photos of Mhari riding :)

Oh, and Clark is finally coordinated enouth to work the peddles and ride his bike.  It's a shame he's so big... his awesome bike isn't going to last too long.  However, Lorna is just waiting for her own bike so it won't be down very long I'm sure.  Clark loves to ride and is getting better everyday!

So happy for our big Dog!

Looks like we will be a bike riding family before we know it!

Working the Camera!

Sandra is wanting to learn more about taking pictures.  She asked to use the family camera to go out and practice her photography :).  After several times out and going through and clearing out the blurring ones and such Sandra had some good pictures.  It was fun to see what she enjoyed taking pictures of.  Her favorite thing out there was the statue turtle.  There were lots of turtle pictures :).  I picked the best ones to share.  

Enjoy :)

I love these purple flowers!

Here is the turtle

 I really liked these flowers:

So pretty

Posing the turtle!

The hummingbird figurine

It will be fun to keep encouraging Sandra with her new found hobby :).  

Cuddle Time!

Clark stopped taking naps a few months ago.  He had done so well napping for me and then he just decided he was done.  Overall he has done great with the no nap days.  Usually a kid goes through a really cranky time about 5 o'clock or so where they start melting down and you want nothing more than to let them nap so you can have some peace.  Then there is the consequences of the late nap... they won't go to bed and they are up too late and the whole thing starts over the next day.  I felt like we skipped that step for the most part so that was pretty nice :).  

Recently just after dinner (sometimes I can see it coming during dinner) Clark gets really tired.  He says he's done eating, he clears his place, he says he's tired and he goes and lays down on the couch.  Ya, he's asleep in like 5 minutes.  He's so cute and it's so hard to keep him awake that I usually let him catch a half hour nap.  The best part is that he still goes to bed at night.  He may stay awake longer, but no fuss or anything so it's hard to be upset about the late nap.

Last Sunday after dinner he did the "tired" thing again.  Jeff decided to join him (trying to keep him awake).  

Clark sure loves his Daddy.  It was fun to see them cuddling and "sleeping".  Lorna decided that she needed to be in on the fun too!

Lorna, Jeff and Clark



Cuddling :)

Ya, sleeping isn't going to happen :).  Looks like the Daddy wins... Clark isn't sleeping and he gets a nap too 

So while the kids were playing Lorna started to swing her arms around.  She looked like a swimmer warming up for a race... swinging her arms around really fast.  It was hard to get in a photo so I tried to take several.  It was pretty funny!

Just think about connecting all of the photos :)

And of course Clark had to join her!

We love our little Dog and Bug!  It's crazy how fast they are growing up!  

Time for School!

We are on our second year of Homeshool and this is the end of our second week for the new year ;).  The kids have done so good this year!  I think it is just better because we have done it already.  We also have a great school space!  I didn't make them each pose for the first day or anything.... so I decided to pull out the camera and just get some normal everyday type of shots.  

Here are Talmage and Grant working.  They do a lot of their work independently and stay on task for the most part.  They each have a schedule and keep up on their work.  

Mhari has her own desk right now.  Some people don't like sharing with others (oh the joy of siblings).  Mhari is getting into more independent work.  She has most of her lessons with me and is still loving learning!  

Sandra also has her own space, for now.  She works hard and enjoys school.  I think Science is her favorite subject.  She is also taking piano lessons so that counts as some of her school time to get that practicing done.  She is doing well doing her lessons and working with me for some subjects. 

The first week of school Talmage made this chart.  All of the kids are on it and every day they start out on good.  Depending how well they are or are not working (or just attitude) they are moved up or down on the chart.  No one has made it to amazing yet, but then no one has made it to bad either ;).  It is interesting how well they have responded to it.  I need to work out some good rewards as they get to move up the chart.  I have one consequence and hoping I don't need to think up others.  

I love that the kids get to be involved with little things in our school, like finding a fun way to show how their day is going.  Talmage likes to think up stuff and I'm glad I get to encourage him.  I think the chart has helped him when he is having a harder day.  It may help him realize how he's acting and remind him to get out of it quicker than he would otherwise.  I'm sure there will be other things we do or try, but for now this seems to be working :)

Yay for back to school!  Yay for time together and learning and loving learning!

Mhari loses!

Mhari finally lost her first tooth!  I was told last year that her tooth would probably get loose and fall out within 6 months.  Well, this one was slow coming, but it finally happened;).  This was actually her tooth that she had bonked on the cement floor when she was 3 and had cracked the root.  It actually decided to hang in there instead of dying, but it was grey.  I'm so glad it's gone, but also glad it had stuck around as long as it did.  Having a toothless Mhari for 3 years would have been hard.  

She talks with a lisp now :).  She is just so happy about being toothless!  Oh and her two bottom teeth are getting loose too.  She's going to be pretty toothless before we know it!  

It is crazy to see the little kids getting so grown up!  I know she is a strong girl and I'm grateful that I get to be here to help guide her along her path.  She is a great girl and we sure are glad we have our Punkin!

Office Space

Jeff has his own business and so that allows him to work from home.  Over the time of the business we have needed to upgrade which room is the office and also get Jeff a nice desk to make working from home for feasible.  I have been able to help him out more recently and have found that my work space is pretty limited.  We decided it was time to upgrade my desk and such.  Jeff went out with his parents and brother and came home with a new desk and an awesome new credenza (which is super heavy, just ask Jeff, Nathan & their dad)!  Everything is cherry wood so it looks nice together.  

Here are the pictures of the new set up:

My desk and the credenza.

Looking down into Jeff's desk area

The look at the room through the cool doors ;)

The office, with a bug to steal the show :)

Jeff hanging out at his desk with a little Bug and Dog :)

It sure is nice to have such a great office space!  Maybe the next upgrade will be my office chair ;)

Big kid Fun!

Grandma and Grandpa brought a puzzle to do with the boys while they were in town.  They set it up on one of the school tables and went to work.  It was fun to see the boys bonding with Grandma and Grandpa.  Talmage was so good at getting the pieces to fit when it seems like nothing would work.  There was a lot of green in that puzzle that's for sure!  Sandra helped out a little and by the third day or so they had the last piece in place.  

They were so proud of their puzzle.  Grandma and Grandpa were nice enough to buy puzzle glue so that way they can keep the puzzle together and remember all of their hard work.  I know that I don't have enough patience to sit and do a 750 piece puzzle so it was really great to see the kids have so much focus!

Grandma and Talmage


Grant gluing the puzzle :)

Talmage's turn
I also updated one of my maps with contact paper to be more usable for school.  While doing it I left it on the table for a while and before I knew it the kids had taken over the table...

Talmage basically created his own Risk game.  It was so fun to see and hear them work on it together.  They are always thinking and using their imaginations!

My kids amaze me.  It is great to see them maturing and developing over all of these years.  I love seeing them use something so simple like a map and use it as a game board!

A new game!

After playing BINGO with the family Tiffany shared a new game that her mom taught her.  They call it the M&M game, or The Suck It Game.  Sounds awesome, I know ;).  

So there is a pair of dice that goes around the table and each person takes a turn rolling trying to get doubles.  Once doubles is rolled then the person that rolled it gets the bowl of M&M's to suck up with a straw and put into their bowl (to eat later).  If someone else rolls doubles then the bowl is stolen and it's their turn to suck up as many M&M's as they can as fast as they can before the bowl is gone to the next person who rolled doubles.  See... it's better than it sounds ;).  

I got some fun shots of everyone sucking up their M&M's.  

Here is Tiffany ... starting off with the first doubles ;)

Rolling the dice


Clark's turn...

He needed a little help so Grandma helped guide his straw.

Talmage just got the bowl stolen from him ;)

Grant's turn




 Grandma working the M&M's

She was such a good sport... she started helping Clark since he couldn't get many when it was his turn. 

It was such a fun day playing games together!  I'm sure it helped that there was a lot of candy involved with the games ;).