Sunday, March 5, 2017

February went by too fast..

Once again, our days are moving faster than we can keep up. 
We have been busy learning about many interesting things during the days and reading lots of books in the evenings. Marshall's swim season just wrapped up and we are starting to get used to him being home in time for dinner and bedtimes and it has been such a great help. Especially at this point in my pregnancy where I am starting to definitely feel bigger and it's a little more work to do simple tasks with the bump in the way. 
Here are a couple things from February (that I can remember) through photos...

Oliver is just one month shy of 2 years old! I cannot even believe it! How is this even possible? 
He is social and sweet, busy and sometimes unpredictable. He is speaking SO much more these days and is extremely helpful and understands us when we ask him to do almost anything. He is so cool and I can't imagine life without him.

Perks of home school. When we have a lesson that requires us to close our eyes and get comfy. We take full advantage.

We learned all about Sharks and Fish! 

You can often find Eli quietly on his own "experimenting" On this praticular day, he wanted to know what would happen if he sliced into a piece of white chalk. He learned that it mostly turns into a dusty mess.

My bump/Sunday best edition. Getting bigger everyday from here on out!

Ezra is notorious for handing out costumes to his brothers and encouraging them to play make believe. I don't think their imaginary worlds can get old.

On an unusually sunny and (thought to be) "warm" day, I took the boys on a walk and we regretted it almost immediately. It was actually FREEZING and we didn't get too far. I felt stupid for not bundling them appropriately for the weather and hated the sun for being so deciding.

Eli is often in his own little world. He is not easily bothered, or easy to convince to do things to help. It can actually be a giant struggle and we have tried everything. I bought this "magical Maui fishhook" that he was dying to have. I put it on the fridge where it sat for WEEKS. We encouraged him to work with us as a family in picking up toys and after himself through out the weeks and he couldn't do it. We simplified it to just picking up the floor in his room for 5 days and he could get his reward, and this wasn't easy for him. It was really challenging. We were all really excited when he finally worked hard enough to be rewarded. Now, this is his most favorite toy. 
And, ps. Moana is the boys favorite movie/soundtrack/audio book at the moment. Eli has completely memorized the beginning of the book and I wouldn't be surprised if he knew the entire book on tape by heart in a few months time. His brain is a trap!

We were really excited to attend a friends birthday party at Chuck e. cheese. The boys didn't know how to express the amount of excitement that they felt but on the way home they were begging to go back again. It was fun to get out as a family. 

Ezra has been stealing my phone more these days and the only reason why I know is because of all the hilarious selfies or videos I find on it later. Little weasel. ;)

We learned about Birds! I took the boys to my parent's house. They have a parrot named Kobe. We were able to talk to him, listen to him talk back, observe his body, colors, beak and feet and watched how he moved and got around in his cage. The boys loved him! 
We had an activity where the boys used different tools (scissors, tweezers, clothes pins, spoons) and pretended they were beaks to get food and put it in their "stomachs" which were plastic cups. The scissors worked best but they were grateful that they have hands and teeth to eat food, rather than beaks and claw like feet.
The boys also made their own birds.

I've been having to get my weekly progesterone shots and have been taking one of the boys with my almost each time for a little date. Oliver and I found this book in the waiting room and it hit me hard and real that he will be a big brother in a few months time. I can't believe it!

Another bump shot.

Another costume creation.

Another costume duo mashup-- this happens quite a lot over here.

Selfie sandwich with the boys. I am obsessed with their faces.

After ripping the carpet out of our main floor living area months ago, I don't know why it took us so long to get a hallway rug. I finally ran to target and picked one up and Oliver loved it. The main reason I finally got one was because I knew it would mute the sound of the boys wild footsteps in the early morning. (Sad to think that someday I will miss their little feet running up and down the hall)

Can you make out sweet baby #4's little face? I am in love with him so much already. He is moving so much and I know he is getting bigger-- because I AM! 
We did learn that he has 2 little cysts on his brain. The dr assured us that this can be normal and probably something that is nothing- just part of the development process but still scary! We are praying that they will disappear and continue developing as he should.

Spring is coming! I am getting really anxious for this winter to be OVER! 

Here is to another month! We are looking forward to Marshall's parents arriving in Minnesota this week from their mission  ( 18 months away!) House hunting and Spring activities for the boys.

Hi, March!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Catching up.

These boys have been such a warm light on these cold wintry days. I have felt so grateful to be able to be with them day in and day out. I have found so much joy in their little spirits and their new found intelligence that they are realizing within themselves. I have felt tremendously better and more energetic since the beginning of the year, thank heavens. This pregnancy has been so unusually comfortable since my first trimester. I actually feel the best that I have ever felt pregnant. So much stronger and sometimes forgetting that I am pregnant at all until I am doing mindless chores and I find myself totally winded and out of breath. I am a lot pickier about the food I eat, which makes me feel like a giant snob, but none of it is fancy or complicated. More like, I just want a whopper or a big mac and nothing else will curb it until I have it. 

Homeschooling has been amazing this month. I was so happy to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. I tried not to take too long of a break with the boys knowing it would be a beast to get back into the swing of things again. 

This year, we are focusing on a value a month. We are talking, learning, practicing, using this value as much as we can to really apply it into our lives and know it. We eased into this speaking about Honesty.
January was Loyalty and Dependability. February is Respect. March is something else. We have LOVED doing this. The boys have taken to it really well.

Here are a couple things/people we have learned and focused our lessons on.

- Egyptian pyramids
-Heavenly Father's mission for his children (each of us individually)
-Laura Ingalls Wilder. (We are finishing up little house in the big woods) We have learned SO much about the time in which she lived. We have loved this.
-With our reading of (little house) we have focused and discussed family recreational activities, hard work within the home, traditions and celebrations.
-Isaac Watts- Such an interesting, talented and genius man! The Father of Harmnody. We loved learning of him.
-The Ancient wonders of the world.
-Moses when he parted the red sea and when he received the ten commandments
-Martin Luther King- being kind!
-We finished Indian in the Cupboard and then watched the movie. We compared and contrasted the differences. We decided that the book was WAY better than the movie.
-Amphibians, Reptiles and how Heavenly Father has created everything for a purpose and uniquely.
-We have found a new love for podcast stories. Sometimes, I will stop mid story and ask the boys thought provoking questions about what they think will happen or how they would feel if it were them. They love to see if they are right about what they think.
-We have attempted to start Farmer Boy- Another Laura Ingalls Wilder. 
-MOANA. -My boys have this soundtrack memorized and also have their own choreography as they have pulled the couch cushions off every surface and made "voyaging boats". They take off their shirts and embrace their Hawaiian heritage.

There are so many more things that have come up but those were a few that really stick out.

I have learned to no longer make a "to do list" for my day and instead write in my planner/journal all the things I/we actually accomplished. I realized while doing this that my days are jam packed with amazing little things that add up to being more interesting and exciting for the boys instead of being stressed and hard on myself for not getting to the things that were probably forced and unexciting anyways.

Marshall's swim season is coming to an end and I have to say, as I always do at this time of year. I am so glad. It will be so nice to have him home for dinner and bedtime. I have managed to get all the boys fed, bathed/dressed and in bed by 6:30 a lot of the time and have felt pretty amazing for it. (They are up pretty early 5-6 am, so they are pretty wiped out by this time. They don't even fight it)

With swim season wrapping up, our plans now are to continue to search for a new home while working on the little things in ours now. We are hoping to move before the baby comes, but if it doesn't work out, that's okay too. At least we will try. We are praying that something will come along for us that is a right fit for our family's needs. We have a pretty specific search criteria which is making it a little tricky to find an ideal space for us. Something will come along. Just hoping sooner than later.

Ezra has plowed through 3 math curriculum books and has picked up reading! He is surprising me everyday with all that he is learning and applying. I am so proud of him.

Eli is continuing to make us laugh with his wild somersaults, flips on the couch and jumps off anything elevated. He is doing math and reading with Ezra at his own pace and loves the stories that we are reading together. He is so much fun. We are planing on signing him up for gymnastics for spring session so if he does flips, he isn't hurting himself. ;)

Oliver is signing and talking- so much communicating. He is also one who loves books. He enjoys coloring with the boys and being right along side them during our lesson time. He does NOT want to be left out. He is getting so big, I can't even handle it. I can' believe he will be a big brother in a few months. It is almost heartbreaking but exciting all at once.

Here are some photos from my phone from the last couple weeks. I have hardly had time to pick up my real camera and take some decent shots.

Here is their "I can be Kind" lesson and art piece. (From MLK day)

Practicing our letter writing in flour.

Coloring and cutting our gems for our mummies.

Prepping our mummy

Oliver actually sits for a real haircut like a man! He doesn't even flinch!

The boys are still dressing up and imaging a new setting and world around them.

Dentist visits went awesome! No cavity club!

Meeting Finn the neighborhood ice fish.

The boys made Hawaiian leis out of their race tracks.

Ezra has been offering to take on the dishes more a lot lately and has been so helpful. I am so grateful for his service.

Marshall and I have managed to have some regular date nights/lunches and target trips!

Goofy Eli wearing my glasses.

We met our newest little cousin, Levi. The boys were obsessed with him and all wanted to touch him,

We practiced courtesy and manners at Burger King! No better place! They took me on a date!

My growing bump! 17 weeks here.

Oliver is 22 months! Almost 2! He can hardly believe it! He will be having his golden birthday, too! I will have to throw a party!

The boys all wanting to help with the vacuuming chore. I hope their enthusiasm for chores never fades.

Walked out of the shower and into a pirate battle. They completely transformed the living room to a real setting in their imaginations and they were all deep into it. It was great.

That's all for now! More to come, I am sure!