Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Last Day of School + Summer Break!

Updates have been scattered lately. We've been so busy having fun in the sun and hanging out with friends that I rarely have a chance to sit at my computer these days. 

Our last day of school was May 30. We celebrated by wrapping up lessons early and heading out to Jamba Juice for smoothies. Then we headed to the park for a playdate with friends. We're done with schedules and lessons for the next two months.

This was my first "real" homeschooling year. We've had a lot of unexpected breaks and unplanned days off, which left me feeling like I didn't fit in everything I intended. But as  I packed up used readers, math workbooks, handwriting samples, and artwork from the past year, I realized that we actually accomplished a lot, and by some miracle actually managed to squeeze in the required amount of days (thanks to doing work on some weekends).

Some time ago I heard the advice to make a photo book at the end of each year, to chronicle what you've done. I decided to do this, mostly so the kids would have something to look back on and remember what they did each year. During the process of sifting through the past year's photos, I was overwhelmed at all of the wonderful memories we'd made together in the past year. There were so many warm pictures of the kids learning how to cook, playing with friends, doing lessons at the kitchen table (or in the living room in front of a fire), going on trips as a family, and simply hanging out around the house. It made me realize that we've done so much more than get through the 1st grade math book or learn to read fluently. We learned how to live together as a family, get along, help each other, and enjoy just being with each other.

Now that summer break is here, we are trying to fit as much fun as we can before school officially starts again. Last year I felt guilty because we mostly stuck close to home all summer. We had our foster baby (Baby B), and going anywhere with three kids felt overwhelming. Now I'm an old pro, and we go to fun places several times a week, like playdates with friends or the beach.

 As you can see, the kids still have a lot of fun at home. With huge amounts of free time, they find lots of things to, usually involving water!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lucy at 11 Months

Lucy has become mobile in the last month! We have been waiting for months for her to figure out how to roll over, and she finally did a week after turning 10 months old. Finally rolling over also meant that she could graduate from physical therapy. A few weeks later she started crawling! She doesn't do the usual hands and knees crawl, but rather uses one foot to propel herself forward and then drags the remaining leg. She's gotten quite quick at it, and seems very happy with her new skills. One difference that I've noticed between her and my boys is that she's not nearly as into things as they were. At this level of mobility, they were opening everything they could find, tearing cabinets apart, and pulling things down on themselves. Lucy on the other hand, is content to explore the things within her limited reach and she rarely makes a mess. 

She is not very adventurous with food, but she has started eating a bit better. She eats bits of bread, banana, egg, and a few other things. She is still toothless, but has been fussy and feverish in the past week, so I think teeth are coming soon. Teething aside, she is normally super happy and content. She does let me know when has a need, which she did not do when she first came to us, so that is a wonderful thing.

She loves looking at babies and trying to talk to them in her high-pitched cooing voice. She also seems to love animals because she uses the same voice to try to talk to them when she sees them. 

I get a lot of comments on Lucy's abundantly curly hair when I am out and about with her. I get daily observations that she does not look at all like me or my other children. I used to explain that we are in the process of adopting her, but now I just deflect the comments with a chuckle and a smile, and the person rarely pushes for an explanation (though it has happened!) I realized that she's going to get older, and I can't I have a feeling this is going to be a lifelong issue.

On the subject of adoption, we are awaiting finalization sometime in the next month. I'll be very happy when that day comes!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Better late than never... How we spent Mother's Day 2013. 

Me and my kiddos all dressed up for church

Baby dedication at church with Lucy


My Mother's Day card handmade by Tommy: "Have lots of ♥ and hot fun". Definitely saving this one!