Friday, May 31, 2013

Homeschool Convention

For the past four years, I have spent Memorial weekend in Orlando at the FPEA Homeschool Convention.
Homeschool convention is really one of the highlights of the year for me for several reasons.

The biggest one being that I am just a great big nerd and buying school supplies makes me happy.

In addition to the fun of choosing new curriculum, 
convention is just fun!

For lots of people, convention is a family affair.  For me, it is a fun getaway with my girlfriends.
We all leave our children (except for the tiniest ones) with their daddies and head to the Gaylord Hotel for some girl time.

We always stay up way to late and laugh until it hurts...or until someone's bladder fails.  
Hey, it happens when you have given birth as much as this group has!

We relax by the pool.

And there is usually a sweet new baby to snuggle.  
I tried to steal this one.

And then there is the convention itself.  To find it, all one has to do is follow the rolley carts.

This year's convention speakers were amazing.  I practically stalked Heidi St. John and Andrew Pudewa.  

Some other homeschool "celebrities" in attendance were Jolanthe Erb of Homeschool Creations and Steve Demme, author of Math U See.

When I showed the girls my picture with Steve Demme, Emma Jane response was "Who is that guy?"  Libby on the other hand, exclaimed "Hey that is the math guy!!"

I'm glad at least one of them is paying attention to her math lessons!

The overall message that I walked away with after listening to all of these amazing homeschool veterans, is that relationship is the priority, not academics.
That is a hard pill to swallow at times.  Because of course, academics are important.  And necessary.

But at the end of the road, if I have graduated a herd of little geniuses bound for the Ivy League, but destroyed my relationships with my children in the process then what have I actually accomplished?  

These years of homeschooling are few and precious. And it isn't worth squandering them fighting over phonics!

After two and a half amazing days, I went home refreshed, encouraged and with a car full!

I'm already excited about next year's convention!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boys being boys

 I am so thankful for a husband that recognizes the importance 

of spending a little "guy time" with our son 

in hand to hand combat.

Perhaps if we spent more time allowing boys to be boys while they are young

and teaching them the knightly art of chivalry 

then perhaps there might be fewer instances of "boys being boys" when they are older.

That is all for my soapbox today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

10 months

Jami is 10 months old.

I'm starting to have conflicting feelings.  On one hand, I can't believe she is almost a year old!  On the other hand, I can't believe she isn't 1 yet!  

I'm not the only one having trouble with this either.
I spent the last weekend homeschool convention (more on that later), and before I left Libby was going on and on about all the fun she was going to have with Daddy.  Particularly, going swimming at Nicholas' pool.  
I pointed out that they might not do that since it would be hard for Daddy to keep up with John and Jami in the pool by himself.
Libby's response was, "Well, he did it last year."
Um, no.  
Jami went with me last year.  
She was the watermelon hiding under my shirt!

But, I get it.  I can barely remember her not being here either!

Little miss cutie pants finally has enough hair for a bow!!  Which is good, because she hated the headband thingys.

In addition to all the hair, she has four teeth.  She loves biting anything crunchy with those teeth.  

 She is constantly on the move!  She cruises easily and has stood independently for several seconds more than once. 
 Not long enough for me to get a picture of her standing alone, of course, but long enough to make everyone in the family ooh and ah in high pitched squeals until she gets scared and starts crying.

 Her curiosity has gotten her into some tight places!
And if she is ever "missing", I always know exactly where to find her...

in brother's room!
She is instinctively drawn to all of the teeny tiny Legos that could be the death of her if she ever managed to get more than 60 seconds of playtime in there!  But she keeps trying.
She is a determined little thing!

My baby is growing so fast.
And so slowly.
Our family is definitely better because of her!

"See you next month!"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day with John

Last Thursday, all the mom's from John preschool class were invited to a tea party.
The room was decorated for Spring and the table was beautiful. 
Each place setting had a handprint place mat made by each child and a flowerpot with each child's picture.
All the moms were given big floppy hats and a button to wear.
Who knew I could pull off a hat so well!

We also received the usual Mother's Day questionnaire...
At least John knows my name!!
While the mommy's enjoyed some tasty tea party treats, the children provided entertainment.  
And my son, being the free-spirit that he is, sat at my feet to sing to me rather than joining his friends.

I loved my special time with John and I am just so thankful that God entrusted me with his life.  
He knew that this girl momma needed this boy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

9 months

So this post is a little behind.
Jami turned 9 months over a week ago!

She is getting so big so fast!
Actually she is getting so old so fast, because she is anything but big!

She is into everything these days.
She is starting to cruise and really wants to just walk!
The other day she tried to take a step and of course fell flat on her face!  
The funniest part was that she was honestly surprised that she could just walk across the room like she intended!

Here are a few pictures of her from this last month: