"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." -Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas

We're continuing the countdown to Christmas around here,

AND kicking off the final week of school before winter break.

If the class planner is any indication, it's a week of school in which they won't possibly doing anything,

EXCEPT having fun!

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Tis the Season...

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Parties, Performances and Presents,

Magic, Mystery and the Messiah,

But we manage to keep it real with...

Scrapes, Scratches and Sickness...

All year round!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tree Frenzy

As adamant as Piper was to give the Thanksgiving holiday proper respect, when it was over, it was over. Then came, "When are we going to put up the tree?"

Every day, multiple times a day, morning and night.

The thought of decorating for Christmas was almost overwhelming to me. Not only was I feeling a little less than energized, but the "what goes up must come down" was quite terrifying.

Since a Christmas tree is not optional, I pressed on. Michael did the heavy work and thankfully, Levi and I had a chance to peacefully get our bearings and organize the ornaments while the others were at school. Normally it's a grabfest and total chaos. 

Levi's first request, "Where's the toy that has Bethlehem?"

This little "Bethlehem" toy never loses its excitement...

Everyone loves their personal ornaments...

Finally, although it's still a work in progress (and will likely stay that way), the natives are satisfied...

And so am I.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Still Thankful...

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but we're still counting our blessings around here. There are simply too many to count in a single day.

Most of the children were eager to share their top reason for being thankful.

The responses included:




-No response

Trying to match the answers with the kids?
Levi - Jesus.
Lila - Mommy
Easton - Marshmallows
Piper - Didn't want to play along at first. But, later answered "Mommy".
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Looking at Thanksgiving

Our Piper...just call her the Thanksgiving Police.

As we are out and about surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas, she is outraged that people are thinking about Christmas. "They should be looking at Thanksgiving!" she says. (I'm not going to tell her that some people actually shop on Thanksgiving day. She's not ready for that kind of news.)

Part of this new-found appreciation for Thanksgiving can be attributed to her activities at school over the past few weeks.

Last week, we were invited to attend the Kindergarten Thanksgiving play. Although Piper was less than thrilled to be a pilgrim, she and all of her classmates put on a wonderful performance. (Apparently, the Native American headdress is much more fashionable than the pilgrim bonnet.)

On Monday, Levi and I endured enjoyed two school lunches. First up was Piper's lunch. We knew she was excited to see us even if she didn't show it. I'm sure she didn't recognize us at first and she actually said hello, the cafeteria was just too loud for us to hear. And during the meal, she was much too busy eating to socialize. Twenty minutes just isn't enough time to drink a carton of milk and take a few bites of ice cream. I'm certain that when it was over she couldn't say goodbye because she was just trying to keep her composure, knowing how hard our separation would be. Otherwise, what could we have done wrong? We followed all of her instructions. I didn't wear my glasses and Levi behaved.

It wasn't the best time for pictures...

Next was the preschool lunch, and a much different reception. Levi and I skipped the tray this time and just watched Lila and Easton shovel it all in. No less than three people stopped by our table to comment on what great eaters our little ones are. "They're the only ones who eat this stuff."

I'm just glad there's a time limit to lunch. Otherwise, with these two and a bunch of food, the aftermath isn't pleasant. They really don't grow much, and the food has to go somewhere...

Getting in a picture while it's still socially acceptable...

We finished out the short week on Tuesday as guest readers in Piper's class. It was "Read the Day Away" along with pajama day and bring a small stuffed animal reading buddy. That sounds like the best of days to me. Well, except the part about wearing pajamas to school. I made sure to follow instructions again, no glasses, keep Levi in check. It seemed to go slightly better than the day before. We're learning.

But these kindergarteners, you gotta love them. From the boy who slept through the whole thing to the girl who brought the ENORMOUS stuffed gorilla reading buddy beast, the questions they asked and the answers they gave, I'm reminded that they are just kids. One child in particular may act like a teenager, but under the facade of independence, the guise of embarrassment, there's just a six year old girl who really does need her mommy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Here We Snow Again

Last year was the winter of all winters. Snow days weeks, bitter cold and more snow days. Personally, I'll be the first to agree with Elsa, the cold doesn't bother me anyway, especially now that I have my own heater on board. However, warmer temperatures are more desirable where children are involved. Coats and car seats aren't made for one another and a 'shoes are optional' kind of afternoon is the best of all.

But the absolute worst are those nasty snow days. One or two, here and there are a must for any childhood and quite enjoyable at that. But when they stretch together or become a weekly occurrence, then it's enough to drive everyone mad.

While elementary students haven't had any official snow days, Monday and Tuesday of this week brought two, two hour delays. Unfortunately in our house, a two hour delay does not mean two extra hours of sleep for anyone. It's basically business as usual, just a little longer time spent in pajamas. As a result, it's a little harder to get going and a lot harder to leave a house full of siblings in full play mode...

And for Lila and Easton, any type of delay means a complete cancellation. So that's two November snow days on the record for the preschoolers.

Someone may have cried on the second day of hearing "No school!"

And someone else was just fine with the news...

And yet someone else is filled with excitement at the sight of the first flurry. Visions of snowballs and snowmen followed by hot chocolate dance in his head...

And I'm thinking here we go again.


It can't be any worse than last year...

Or can it?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

H is for Homework

Piper came home on her first day of school disappointed due to the lack of homework. Apparently she needed no time to adjust to the vigorous demands of kindergarten. However, the teachers felt it best to give the students a few weeks to settle in before the homework started coming.

From the very beginning, Piper has done her homework immediately upon walking in the door. I'm not sure if it's because she's a real go-getter or because she wants it out of the way to free up her evening for more important things. I'm leaning toward the latter. It seems that school has infringed upon her play time and she has just a few short hours to fit it all in.

Even on the most beautiful of November days, when I suggested just to play outside for the afternoon, Piper insisted on getting it done then and there...

Now there's another student with homework responsibilities. And my "busy" girl is more than excited. While we've always been expected to reinforce concepts learned at school, our preschoolers didn't have official homework. Even now it's just for a select few to prepare for kindergarten. Yes, this tiny girl is on the kindergarten track. And with the right people (key words: right people) on her team she will thrive. Oh how I will miss her preschool teacher. The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when he led us to her classroom. Now to pray for the same for kindergarten.

"I love my homework, Mommy."

But one boy is more than a little envious. Oh, sure I can give him assignments to do, but there's no fooling Easton. From Chinese school to preschool homework, Easton is determined to keep up with Lila. He just can't understand how she can count in Mandarin and he can't. Maybe next year...

 For now I'll rest in the peace that comes with this enthusiasm for homework. Whatever the motive, it's getting completed without a battle. Just one more thing to savor, because as we all know it won't always be this way.