Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kal

Kaleb's turn to be the subject of Mom's terrible lacrosse photos. 

  He is number 12 on the purple and black team. Both he and Parker were given their Supersonics gear from their Seattle lacrosse team, that green helmet is usually what I look for. Their team has not won a game yet but Kaleb has played well. He played defense in Seattle but his coach wants him in as mid-fielder so he is learning a lot.  I miss the days where he and Parker played on the same team but he is enjoying doing his own thing.







*I am trying to sell him on the nickname "Kal," but he ain't havin' it.
**Their team name is "Thunder," which is written across the back bottom of their jerseys. hmm... a lot of boy jokes going around our place about that.


Friday, April 4, 2014

lax

   Three of our boys are playing Spring Lacrosse. Unfortunately, they are each on a different team with a different practice field. They are placed by the high school that the team with eventually feed into. We live in the Meridian High area but ended up with a kid on Rocky Mountain, one on Bishop Kelly, and Parker on Mountain View. So life is nuts. We are at a lacrosse field six nights a week. Not sure why I thought this was a good plan. Oh ya, they LOVE it. The boys have really come alive for the first time since our move back to Idaho.
  You would think with all this time supporting their athletic endeavors that I would have learned how to photograph this sport. No. The boys play the mid-fielder position that run up and down the field the entire game. Always moving and Mom can't seem to quite capture it. Here is my best attempt at Parker's first game:

 He is #16 on the lighter green team with the *lovely* red socks and elbow pads.








  He is loving his team. Parker is one of the biggest kids out there but he is getting into great athletic shape with all that running. Trying to keep up with the speedy little guys is his biggest challenge.
  I miss when he and Kaleb could play on the same team but this has been good for him to connect with other 8th graders.
  They won, by the way. And again last night, against a much tougher team. Go PJ!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

escape to Seattle

Hooray for Spring! January and February end up being pretty hard months for Matt and I. (maybe the rest of the world too?) Between finances, the Holidays being over, the weather, oi! It gets a lil Dark Farm over here. So at the jump of Spring Break, Matt and I dropped off the boys at their grandparents and tried not to speed away too fast.
Seattle was the obvious choice for a weekend away. We left half our hearts in this city and were aching to visit. Two days downtown, eating our way through the city and two days at our dear friends guest house. It was the perfect trip.
The sunshine came out for us as it usually does. Not sure if the years we spent in the city were out of character, but we have no problem with Seattle weather. (having a WAY harder time with Idaho weather)
Salted Caramel and Thai Tea ice cream at Molly Moon's
Brunching with friends Ty and Rhiannon after date night with Hillary and Alfred. These friends really rolled out the red carpet for us. Rhiannon and Hillary also cooked up the most delicious spring supper for Matt and I's visit. All the while catching up and pouring drinks and welcoming a meercat into their home ;) I have missed these girls! (and Matt his fight nights in the Warbox)
As this girl!! Matt met up with a friend for a few hours while Linds and I toured her hip neighborhood and thrifted through Fremont.
She took basically the most amazing photos of me ever. (you know how you never like a photo of yourself? this was the complete opposite, brought out my narcisism in a big way ;) also, this one)
 Dan and Ellen treated us to dinner out at Brookyn's Oyster Bar. Amazing food, especially the Northwest Bouillabaisse. And this girl even tried a couple of those raw oysters! When in Rome...

 We grabbed breakfast at Homegrown before lunch at Buddha Ruksa. (some beach power walks in between) No pictures at Homegrown but it was delightful and the pictures of the Crispy Garlic Chicken may not seem like much but there is a reason it is called "Crack Chicken."
 Hard to drive home, but in the best way. And... we came home to Idaho rain.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

home school

   A little update on our homeschool, the main reason this blog gets no love. I am still moving forward with homeschooling all four boys this year. A lot of learning going on over here, me being pupil numero uno.

  Friends ask how it is going a lot and I hate that question, here's why; the kids don't like it. Try as I may, they just do not like it. A few weeks ago a kind friend informed me he was never into school as a boy. I totally had a lightbulb moment, remembering back to when they boys were in public school. They would rave about recess or lunch time but math? No. Creative Writing? Never. So why did I keep trying to reel them in? (Feeling like a failure when I could not and when people would ask about it.)

  It is a huge struggle for me in general. They are so good with just a worksheet or quiz, not really wanting to explore a subject or go deeper in anyway. I am trying to make it a life of learning and curiosity but they are just ready to memorize and regurgitate.

  I carry on though! This is a bit of what we have been up to.
 Fry tasting at the Boise Fry Company! Just kidding, although I do have them journal almost daily. I try to give them experiences to compare and contrast. Fries always get my creative juices flowing... right after a nap ;)
 My dear friend Laura (an English teacher before three kids) has been an amazing help to me the last few months. Weekly she walked the boys through a book. The would discuss main elements and then the boys put them into a comic strip. It was a genius way to do literary processing. She has even offered to walk them through a big boy research project after Spring Break. Laura, you are a gem.

 The boys were on a big art kick, meaning they would give me the least grief about that subject. I started incorporating things they had very little patience with, like poetry, into art. Now they mostly hate art but don't give me such a hard time about poetry. Go figure? I think it was the hybrid that was the worst for them.
 Sunny day at the park. Spring cannot come fast enough. There is a direct correlation between our harmony and the boys being able to get outside for a bit.
 Another art hybrid with Nature Study.
 This picture has almost nothing to do with school other than we do yoga together on these mats. I am trying to help the boys learn to take deep breaths when they are frustrated or presented with a boring task. There are some great kids yoga videos on YouTube.

 Collin and I have been working on an alphabet book. His illustrations are my favorite. This is more of a preschool or kindergarten activity (he is a first grader) but one that is helping him with letter sounds and recognition. Collin is probably like a lot of young boys, ahead in math and struggling with reading. Again, this would be easier to just give him worksheets but I like the interaction we have when we are talking about the letter of the week and creating our page.
 Sometimes homeschool is as simple as coming up with some meal ideas for this week. The boys do chores and help their siblings out with reading or throw a ball around outside.
My very well-traveled friend, Heidi had us over to teach the boys all about Holland! Such a fun day of treats and new ideas. The boys already are making plans to visit. We hope to do another country before school is out. Thanks, Heidi. This homebody really values your experiences!
 PE.

 Community service. The boys will rake leaves or shovel snow for others. They have the same darling relationship with our 90 year old neighbor that their dad did when he lived in this house. They are going to help Grandpa Ken with some trim paint this Spring as well.

( Sorry the links don't work.) We studied Da Vinci for many weeks. The boys made a mask about a Roman god and had to write a wedding tribute from that god's perspective. Apparently this was a theme for a lavish wedding Leonardo was hired for.

 Matt works with Collin almost daily on his reading. This book was recommended to us back in September. Collin enjoys the change from me and the special time with dad but Collin HATES reading. So strange for us after our other boys love of reading. There may be something going on here but we are still in the "give him time" stage. The thing is, Collin excels at memorization so he rocks at sight words but the sounding out and blending sounds seems like a waste of effort for him. Anyway, that is just a lil bit of where he is at.
 We watch super neat Kid President videos and he even retweeted us and liked our Instagram picture. That kid is just pure awesome.
   Geography is best learned via Ticket to Ride. That is the approach to most things these days. Just do what we are doing and ask a lot of questions. Like at Thanksgiving we learned the history, true and commercialized, about why we celebrate. Collin still asks to hear the Plymouth Rock story. At Disneyland, the boys took their money they had earned and saved. They kept track of how much they had as they shopped. The older three handled theirs 100% and were happier with the results than previous purchases that Matt and I managed.

  None of this is ground breaking, I have just been surprised at how many everyday life opportunities I was not capitalizing on. The main area of growth in this has been our faith. We memorize Scripture every week and read through the Bible, keeping a journal. This is like Family Devotion 101 but our family never really set that up so it is new for us. Then when Matt is home, he joins in the discussions and they are richer and more real to the boys.

Still working on the social part. They of course have each other, a lot of family, a few friends in the neighborhood, Parker and Kaleb go to a youth group, and the older 3 just started lacrosse. But hey, 6 months ago we didn't live here so that will take time.

No matter if they remain home schooled or not, a lot of this will remain part of our everyday. I am missing my alone time but I truly love having them around and figuring out how they learn best. I want them to thrive, we have been in survival mode for far longer than I realized.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Disneyland 007

Here are the best of the pictures the Disney photopass option got me. I loved having the helpful photographers stationed around the parks take our vacation photos. They are not all terrible iPhone pics that way and the boys cooperate better for strangers.























Magic, I tell ya!