Thursday, September 27, 2012


Guess whose training wheels came off?

And guess who is just as proud of himself over riding a push fire truck as if he was also riding a bike with no training wheels for the first time?  And he thinks we should all be as equally proud of him.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Other Happenings

So, we had a long night the other night after Sally the cat died.  At 10:30, Ada was still awake, and we had tried everything.  She was scared to close her eyes, she said, so we turned off all of the lights in the living room, Scott held her in his lap while he sat on the couch, and she finally, finally fell asleep.  That girl of ours gets attached.

Luckily yesterday morning Ada started ballet with a new teacher in a new class, so that served as a great distraction.  I have a few pictures of beforehand, but that is really all I have to report.  I didn't get any details out of Ada.  She liked her teacher, her partner (for something?  Don't know what?) was really nice.  And she asked me if that was a real ballet room because there was a bar attached to the mirror...and that's all I got.  Also, when we walked into the classroom, the teacher told Ada to find a spot on the floor (there were spots marked with painters tape), and before I could blink, John had plopped right down beside Ada, sitting "criss-cross applesauce", ready to go.  I had to snatch him up fast, and he was not happy about it.  He wants in on whatever Ada is doing.  Luckily there was a waiting room with lots of fun toys, so he was soon distracted.

don't you love that hanger hanging on the basket in the background?  Wouldn't you think I would have noticed that and put it in the closet before I took the picture ;)

From there, Ada began to get more and more mopey, but it turns out, she is sick with a fever and some sort of throat thing--so who knows, sad about the cat?  Sick?  A little bit of both?

In other very exciting news--John tee-teed on the potty tonight.  This is a BIG deal because I HATE potty training after how traumatic it was with Ada.  We have been trying the potty for a while now each night before bath time, but this was the first night that we had success.  I was saying, "Yay, John" very loudly and making a really big deal about it.  At first, I think that made John nervous, but then Scott and Ada came into the bathroom, and John began milking the attention for all it was worth.  At one point, John looked up at us, and when we didn't say anything, he prompted, "yay, John?" and we all had to cheer again.  I hope, oh I hope, that this time around potty training is really simple.  Ha, we'll see...

I also finished reading Give Them Grace by Elyze Fitzpatrick, and I can't recommend it enough.  I will blog more about that later, but let me just say I walk away from the book reminded that my main job is to show my kids Jesus and to show myself Jesus.  I am reminded that, yes, I need to teach my kids to obey and to follow the rules of society, etc. etc, but that when we inevitably fail at those things and fail a lot, I just point them to Jesus.  And, even better news, when I fail even to show them Jesus, which I also inevitably will, his grace covers that too.  When I fail at all of it, He's still Jesus, and the gospel is still the gospel, and the very essence of the gospel it that I am going to get it so wrong and He got it completely, 100% right.  I just want to keep pointing my kids to God, Jesus, the gospel, THE GOOD NEWS.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ada's first big loss

We already lost one of our stray-cats-turned-pets, and tonight, Ada found our other one dead in the driveway.  She walked up to me, as I was getting John out of the van, and she said, "is Sally asleep?  She won't answer me when I call her."  I took one look at Sally and knew that she was, clearly, not "asleep," but I just said, "let's go find daddy."  After Scott confirmed that Sally was, indeed, no longer living, we broke the news to Ada.  I think she already knew, but still, her little face just crumbled.  It broke my heart; it really did.  I just held her and she cried and cried, and asked some questions, and cried some more. 

Right now, she and Scott are out getting frozen yogurt just to cheer her up a bit.  She has already asked when we can get another pet, and the word puppy even came up--I don't think we're ready for that.  We might get another cat once we move into another house, but we'll see...

The worst part about all of this.  It's my fault.  When I was leaving to tutor today, I felt a "bump" when I was backing the van out of the driveway, but I then saw Sally run off, so I assumed it wasn't her after all, and that she was just running to get out of the way.  However, the last I saw of her, she had run under the tribute, and that is where Ada found her.  I confess that I did not tell Ada it was my fault.  I honestly don't think Ada could handle knowing that.  She was asking lots of questions about how she died, and I just kept saying, "I don't know..." I am sure one day I will tell her the truth.  It will be one of those stories when she's grown up, and she looks back, and it will all start to make sense ;) 

I had no love for that cat; in fact, it mostly just drove me crazy, but I do feel so sad for Ada.  I remember being a child and my cat dying, and I was so upset.  As a mom, I hate this first big sadness for Ada, though I know I can't shield her from these's part of growing up, I know, and provides yet another opportunity for her to rely on God for comfort and grace...

Anyway, just wanted to share what is, for Ada, big news.  (John is clueless, by the way, couldn't care less).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I spoke too soon

So, after I decided to report to the world that we are loving homeschooling, and it's been so great for Ada and me, and so on and so forth, we have had an incredibly frustrating week of school.  I must say, it's mostly (entirely?) my fault because I am so hormonal and scary to be around, really, and I have been so frustrated when Ada dares not pay attention for even one second.

Ada has a hard time paying attention to anything for very long, and I know that this is a discipline issue, but I can't quite put my finger on how to handle it exactly.  We have worked on it a bit when we read chapter books at night, because we might be reading a chapter, and out of the blue, Ada spouts out a question that has absolutely nothing to do with what we are reading.  So, I gently remind her each time we read, only ask questions about this book.  And I can tell that she is trying really hard to do that, so this doesn't seem like a disobedience issue or a "rebellious heart" issue, but more of a training issue...if that makes sense.  But it carries over into school at home and at CC, and it just drives me nuts.  She gets distracted by everything, and this week, she has stumbled over her reading, and I get so frustrated because I don't know if she's really struggling with reading, or if it's just an attention issue.  Plus, I think much of the frustration that I direct at her is really a fear that I am failing as the teacher.  Because, if I can't teach her to read, well, that's a bit essential, you know?  In fact, today I had to apologize to her and tell her that really I wasn't frustrated with her, I was frustrated with myself.  She is still getting i's and e's mixed up and b's and d's mixed up, and lots of times y's and w's, and I start to lose my patience.  (I mean that she gets the sounds of i's and e's and y's and w's mixed up, but she actually gets the letters b's and d's mixed up, so any elementary teachers feel free to offer advice for this!!)  And it is such a mother as the teacher thing, because I don't get frustrated with my tutoring student who also stumbles over reading...because it doesn't affect me.  My tutoring student's success or failure isn't nearly as connected to me as Ada's success or failure.  And I don't want to put this pressure on my child!!!  So, as you can see, I have been such a joy to be around this week ;) 

Plus, I have sort of been an emotional mess this week.  Changes are inevitably on the horizon as Scott is working an hour away from home (and we continue to praise the Lord for that job.  It is such an answer to prayer, and we pray that it is a long term thing, which is why change is most likely on the horizon), and for whatever reason, life as I know it is feeling very unstable this week.  There is just much unknown, and I don't like that, and I want to figure it all out in my own way, instead of trusting in a God whose character has been proven over and over again.  I read to Ada about the Israelites, and no matter how many times God provided for them, they still doubted him and doubted him and doubted him and then built idols to worship those instead.  Except I'm not like the Israelites because I have God's word and the New Testament, which tells the rest of the story, and the Israelites did not have that, so I am without excuse--other than my sinful, mess of a heart.  I am so thankful that God knows what a mess we are--it's no surprise to Him, and that is why we have the gospel.  Anyway, my mess is magnified more than ever this week, and that is what I get for daring to say that homeschooling is going great ;)  Ask me again in a week, and it will probably be great again, and maybe Ada will have even mastered the difference between b and d.  For now, she has to ask me every. single. time. 

So, after a hard and frustrating morning (week!!) of school, we all went outside for some fresh air, and then Ada spent some time painting on the front porch "like a real artist," she said.

(she continues to love math.  here she is graphing the teddy bear counters)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Day to Day

I am back to not blogging, ever.  I hate that.  More than anything I want this to be an online record for us.  I love to go back and read what we were doing two years ago, and I want this record of our day-to-day, but, of course, the day-to-day gets in the way of recording the day-to-day--as it should.  I was just reading to Ada about the Israelites crossing the Jordan, and how they put down stones of remembrance.  This blog is our stones of remembrance of sorts.  It reminds me of the millions, trillions, of ways that God has provided and been faithful and gracious to us.  And I want to be able to say one day, when Ada and John are older, look, read this, see what God did here!!  And also, just for the memories of this fleeting moment when they are this age, this size, and they are doing this thing, because in a blink they have matured, and it is hard to conjure up those images of the younger version of them. 

So, I will keep on putting up the pictures and recording the daily things as well as the bigger, less common events, as a way to collect our history.

 my quest to "organize my life" continues.  Mostly, of course, I am just keeping up my daily routine and really trying to incorporate some weekly tasks that I hate doing (i.e. dusting and vacuuming), but the big thing, looming over our heads, is moving from this house.  Scott and I are terrible movers.  We are not organized, and it is always chaotic.  Well, I have vowed, vowed, that this time will be different.  The earliest we will move is May, but I am starting now with the dreaded tasks--the main one being--cleaning out the backyard shed.  I wish I had a before and after picture of the shed--crazy difference.  Instead, I have a picture above of what we kept and put back in the shed, but in a much more organized fashion, and below, of what we got rid of.  All of this to say, God is continuing to help me turn into an improved, organized version of myself.  Though this was mostly Scott's project...

 Recently, my dear friend, Mary turned 40, and there was a surprise 80's party in her honor.  This was my poor attempt at "dressing 80's."  Once I arrived at the party, friends put my hair into a higher ponytail and adorned it with a hot pink ribbon.  Plus, I added these fingerless glove things?  Anyway, those finishing touches really made a difference.  I think Ada was a bit astonished that adults would "act so silly."
 On Labor Day, all four of us were lounging on the front porch, enjoying our day off, when all of a sudden it was a down pour.  Scott, in a moment of spontaneity, took Ada and John out to play in the rain.  They loved it.  Obviously these pictures were taken through the screen so that my camera would not be soaked.

 A fresh hair cut.  I am so relieved when John has a fresh hair cut.  His hair grows so fast.

 The bow tie that we bought when we were at the beach.  John was very proud of it and was glad to pose for a picture.  See his little smile?  He walked into the nursery holding onto his bow tie to make sure that everyone saw it. 
 Again, his proud smile below.
And those are just a few snapshots from our life these past few weeks.  I will probably do another school update this week.  I am continuing to love it, even more than I ever thought I would.  The strongest emotion I feel is grateful that homeschooling is even an option.  What a gift to have this time with Ada as she learns these things for the first time.  I thought school was going to be a burden, but instead, it has been really good for Ada and me, I think.   Not that we haven't had our share of stressful moments, but overall it's been a great experience so far.