Thursday, September 27, 2012

Excursion escolar

We had our first field trip with the homeschool group this week. We went to an apple orchard about 90 minutes away. A friends drove us in her van and the kids had a great time hanging out with her children during the drive, and she & I had time to chat most of the way there and back, which made for a pleasant trip.

JMC wasn't interested in the presentation about the apple orchard, but the tractor really caught his attention.

M&Ms to keep a 2 year old quiet. The tour lasted about an hour longer than we had anticipated and ran into his normal lunchtime.

We each got to choose a gourd to take home.

The boys on the wagon heading back for the rest of the tour.

Once the actual tour was over, we had a picnic lunch, and then got to explore. There were some farm animals, and a HUGE playground. JA & JT stayed within the fenced area, but were running from one place to another, so I didn't get many pictures of them playing. JMC stayed near me (or I should probably say I stayed near him) so I have a lot more pics of him enjoying the afternoon.

There were nearly 70 people from our homeschool group on this field trip, these are the friends we came with.

Trying to walk on the log like the big kids.

The only one not afraid of the goats.

We left at 8:30am and didn't get home until 5:00 in the afternoon, so the kids were exhausted. We ate dinner (I had some chicken ready to go in the crock pot) and then baths and bedtime. They laid down around 7:00 and didn't get up until 8:00 in the morning! If this place weren't so far away, I'd take them there all the time just for the long night of sleep! :)

See, I didn't lose her. :)

There was a store and JT wanted to buy some apple jelly. While we were looking for it amongst all the flavors, JA's tooth fell out. We found a napkin for her, and then found the apple jelly, along with cherry jam, rhubarb jam, and pumpkin butter. We also brought home some apple cider donuts to share with Papi.

It was a great time and I look forward to going again next year.

I almost forgot the best part - 2 other moms noticed that the kids are bilingual and were complimenting me and talking with me about it positively. Papi and I truly believe raising the kids to be bilingual is important, but I often hear more negative than positive from other people and it can bring me down a bit. Of course, Papi only hears positive responses to having bilingual children, but I think that's because having a 2nd language is a valued asset in the business world, and I just don't deal with business people on a regular basis.  Anyway, it was nice to get such a positive response to while on the field trip.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Screaming, hitting, kicking, toys thrown across the room, drinks spilled on purpose, crying, disobeying, whining, punching, threatened biting, bullying, and bribery. I'm tired of it and it's all coming from 1 child at the moment. No, not "at the moment" because I think I could tolerate a moment of this. It's been going on for the past 6 weeks, and seems to be getting worse.

Why? In his words, because "I don't like it when I don't get what I want."

Oh, ok, so we'll all just do what he wants and the family will run smoothly, right? No, I don't think so. In fact, he's pretty low on the totem pole around here, so we need to figure this out.

Consequences? Well, so far he's lost various privileges for anywhere from a day to a month. There's a list on the calendar so I can keep it all straight. He's also had time outs (both the nice ones when he sits there somewhat calmly, and the not-so-nice ones when we have to hold him in time out like a toddler), been talked to calmly and not-so-calmly, prayed for and with, and missed out on fun family activities.

So far, I'm not seeing many results, and it's getting quite trying. I try so hard to keep my patience, but it is so very difficult. And, I hate feeling like we're walking on eggshells in our very own home. Really, we should be able to chill out and relax around here, not worry that there could be an explosion at any minute.

And that's truly what it's like. The tantrums are not directed at any one family member, but at all of us at different times.

A sibling won't share a toy? He explodes.
They won't play the game he wants in the way he wants? He explodes.
He doesn't like what is served for snack, breakfast, lunch; really any meal that is served? He explodes.

Then, this afternoon, when there were no more privileges to take away, when I was at my breaking point and was about to lose it and therefore hiding in my room, I heard him praying. Asking God to help him calm down. Earnestly asking for help with his temper. And when I came out of my room, he was sitting quietly and calmly on the couch. Thank you, God!

He's not prefect. Nor am I. And I don't expect this parenting thing to be easy by any means. (Just now he was screaming at his sister.) We just all need peace in our home again, and for now, I'll take it while he sleeps. Too bad he won't nap anymore...

And now, they are singing the books of the Old Testament together like the best of friends.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Keeping Busy

 Well, the school year is in full swing. We began awhile ago, adding a new subject each week, and are now doing pretty much everything. We have also begun soccer, AWANA, and our home-school group meetings. Papi will begin his pool league soon and has already begun helping out as an audio tech for our church. Children's choir begins in October, I think, and we decided to put off art class until 2nd semester. Here's a glimpse of our past couple of weeks:

Sorting shoes to practice classification.

It sounded a lot easier in our botany book!

Hey, as long as she practices math, right?

Writing letters in flour. We've tried it with salt with much better results.

A day at the zoo.

We have a field trip to the apple orchard coming up with the home-school group, and I believe there will be a different field trip each month. Add in the normal doctor & dentist appointments, and we are quite busy. I love it, but also relish those days that we have a blank space on the calendar.