Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Time of Year

The journey of our pumpkins has been a fun one.  It started at a local pumpkin patch with our cousins (also home schoolers).  Before we headed out on the wagon ride the kids had a blast leaping and bounding across  giant hay bails. 

 These were actually supposed to be part of a maze. Is it cheating if you use go over it instead of through it?

 Pierson LOVED the hay ride. I just love this smile!

 Pierson had to find the biggest pumpkin in the patch.
 In the beginning he insisted on carrying his pumpkin all the way back to the wagon...
but it kept getting heavier and heavier.
 Finally he settled on rolling it!
Maylin posing with our family of pumpkins.

   We had as much fun carving them as we did finding them. Maylin wanted a "Starry Night" theme. Pierson wanted a witch flying on a broom stick.

 The kids picked their themes, helped open them up and scrape out the guts but they left the carving to Mom and Dad. :)
 They were to distracted by the nearby wild turkey's gobbling and the Horned owl's hooting to focus on the carving. Nothing says Fall like the sounds of nature! Here they are trying to call back to the owl!

In the end they were each particularly pleased with the results of their pumpkins!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Here We Go Again

We have been fundraising for months. 
 We've been yard-saleing-it-up raising money for 20 team members to get to Honduras.
 Ok, so some of us have been finding treasures as much as working. :) 
 We've been requesting money for mattress and shoes for the children. 
 We have held luncheons and done A LOT of praying. We've collected money, coordinated flights, corresponded with missionaries, held meetings and paid a good bit of money out-of-pocket... 
Not going to lie. Some of this has been stressful and tiresome. 
It has been a lot of work. 

So you ask "Why?" Why would you stress yourself out? Why would you go to all that trouble.

We do it for reasons like these...
 To be able to look into a scared little girls eyes and make her smile. 
 To love on these kids and build them a wall to secure their safety along with what little possessions they have.
To play "Candy Land" with these kids and teach them how to 'pound-it'. 
 To add a little color in their lives.
To empower them. To work side by side with them. 

 Just to walk down these roads again...

and call this place "Home" if only for a couple of days. 

Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cutest Sassy-Frass I Know

She REALLY liked her hat from the hospital.
This was taken after her endoscopy before all the meds had worked out of her system. She was pretty silly and wobbly which was a funny for a while but I was certainly glad it wore off quickly because in true Maylin fashion she wanted to climb everything. On an ordinary day her climbing skills can take your breath away but this day her balance was WAY off. Standing up straight was a challenge.
I am glad to say that the endoscopy showed nothing unusual which is good but it still doesn't answer her persistent stomach discomfort. ???


Monday, October 22, 2012

1 of Many Reasons I Love Home Schooling.

Pierson and Maylin came into our lives at ages four and five. We haven't stopped moving since the day we became a family of four. We are incredibly busy and they are incredibly active! 
Two and 1/2 months after they came home we put them in a 2-day-a-week summer program at the preschool I was teaching at for the summer. 2 months after that Pierson started Kindergarten and Maylin continued with preschool. 
I don't regret those decisions but there were many days I would have rather had them home to myself.
 We didn't get the time for family bonding and really getting to know each other like I would have wanted before sending them off to school.  
I am not trying to say that we haven't bonded as a family.  We certainly have now. But we missed a lot of time in their lives and I selfishly I always wanted them home.

A typically public school day. 
Drag the kids out of bed before they were ready to get up.  Dress them while they are still laying down and not fully awake. Quickly eat breakfast, brush their teeth and rush out the door. 
Get home from school. Begrudgingly do homework. Play for just a little bit. Rush to what ever sports practice/church activity or both was happening that night. Rush home. Eat dinner at some point. Take a bath read a book and get to bed. Day in and day out we did this. 
How much time for family bonding did this leave? Not much. 

A typical Home School day. 
The kids happily wake up on their own between 7:45-8:15ish. Daddy fixes them a breakfast and spends a bit of quality time with them in the morning. I (someone who needs my sleep) sleep until 8:30 when Daddy is about to leave for work. I get up. While I am taking a shower and getting ready for the day the kids get dressed, brush their teeth and make their beds. Somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 we start school. We start the day with devotions and bible (I love this time) then move on to social studies, reading, writing, science, math and Mandarin.  Depending on how hungry we get we take a break in the middle for an early lunch or finish school first and then lunch. At any rate so long as we aren't interrupted we finish between 1:00 and 2:00 each day. 

That leaves A LOT more time before evening activities for things like 
 smashing quartz rocks while looking for gold. 

lots of time to fill coat pockets with treasured rocks.
 becoming a super hero
 making cookies for Daddy's office staff.

eating the cookie batter for Daddy's office staff

 leaping tall bails of hey.
 climbing trees.
 Picking the BEST pumpkin in the patch. 
 becoming an acrobat
 having picnics in the park with other home school friends
 doing hands on science projects...
 with Daddy!
 Reading about the way a lot of the world does things and trying to recreate things we learned about (ie bricks and brooms).
 Riding bikes on trails with friends.
 Playing at the park with friends.

 painting outside 
 Climbing Mts. with home schooled cousins
 Discovering "new worlds"
 Playing word search games with our science experiment magnets
And finally... having time to just be a kid...

Yes we are still busy in the evenings with soccer, gymnastics and church but somehow those things are much more enjoyable since we have had the entire afternoon to play and explore. Life is much more simple, enjoyable and relaxing now that we are home schooling...

And we LOVE IT!