Family Fun

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The Pinnacle. Fun for the whole family.

A little chaotic and crazy with six kids…but an awesome time. It took us 3 hrs to get ready and all be seated in the car. Kids were starving because it was around our supper time, only two of the six can get themselves dressed and actually match. (We really need to work on that.) The baby fell asleep before we could get done, teeth and hair still needed to be brushed….pretty much took on our ‘assembly line’ routine that we do for just about everything. But, we finally made it!

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This is Meysa trying to be very, very patient because she couldn’t WAIT to ‘roll the ball and hit the things!’

One by one they took turns.

MEYSA
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ZEVYN

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NYIL

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JOREY

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ME

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Meysa did not LIKE to wait so long between turns, sooo….what did I do??? Distract her by taking more pics 🙂

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Zevyn, Jorey and I got a couple spares.

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Afterwards, we hit the game room. They played games from Spongebob to hunting something to riding on motorcycles. Zevyn played that ‘claw game’ even though I protested against wasting money on that….

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He won a frog on his first (and only) try!!!!! Wow!!

After three hours, we (meaning Mike, Taigyn and I) were worn out and ready to get home.

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I think we had more fun in the game room than bowling!! Jorey said that he ‘hasn’t had this much fun in a long, LONG time!’ :’)

THAT and the smiles and laughter that came out of my childrens mouths, were priceless. Love my kids, love my family.

These are some extra pictures that were taking while distracting kids when it wasn’t their turn to bowl…

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And now it’s almost 4am and Im off to bed. Lots of pics, I know….but I hope you enjoy them as much as we did taking them. 😀

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Beautiful January Day

Here it is…January….the middle of winter….and it was a beautiful day. We decided to take the little ones out on this 50 degree, sunny afternoon.
Grabbed the buckets and ball for Aytric:

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Mike found a pinwheel in our yard (must’ve blew in from somewhere) and Meysa took off with it having the time of her life!

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We stayed outside for about a half hour. Took the kids in the back yard to play on the slide, but when Milly, our HUGE dog, jumped up on Tric as he was sliding down, that was the end of our outdoor outing. Scratched his face and ear. 😦

We still had a great time and the kids were giggling the entire time.

Here’s a couple more pics before the Milly incident….

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Soon enough, we’ll be preparing for supper, getting baths, (hopefully playing a little more Toy Story 3 :), and getting ready for bed.

Tomorrow we’re taking the kids out to have some fun….its a surprise, so you’ll have to wait for one of the next blogs to find out where we go. It’s one of the few things that ALL the kids enjoy doing… (:

Round & Round

I have sick kids, climbing kids & kids throwing tantrums. Although I deal with these things daily; it’s usually not all at the same time.

Zevyn stayed home from school Tues, but by that night, he was jumping around like the rest of them. As soon as he layed down, he told me that he didnt want to go to school anymore. He wanted to stay home with Momma. (Poor Kindergartners. They can’t WAIT for school to start, not realizing that they have to go everyday for the next 13 years…)

Anyway, when morning came and I went to wake him up, he wanted no part in going to school.

I’m still sick, Ma.

But I sent him anyway, even though I really didn’t want to. Its this whole ‘absent more than 5 day’ thing. We have to go to truancy court..blah blah…I honestly hate it, but thats another story.

The call from the school nurse came at noon. Zevyn had threw up all over his pants and classroom rug. Wellll, now I felt HORRIBLE!. Checked him out when he got home and was pretty sure it was strep. Doc confirmed it today.

Next, Im dealing with Aytric climbing up on the couch. Its not so much climbing up there, as it is him always trying to come down head first. We start with me telling him to stay sitting down….

Then this….

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And these..

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And while all this is going on, distracting me from what Meysa keeps doing, I’m dealing with this…

Busy, busy all day long. But Im hopeful for these 3 things…
-None of the other kids have strep…yet
-Aytric hasnt broke any body parts…yet
And…
-Meysa has eaten the rest of the candy, so there’s no more to argue about. 🙂

Mama’s Losin’ It

Household Toys for Your Toddler

A friend of mine made a comment about seeing hardly any toys for the ages from 2 to 3 years of age. I noticed this, too, years ago.  But, I wasn’t discouraged.  I believe there’s a reason for this.

The ‘fun’ age between 2 and 3 is the most interesting age for me.  ‘Terrible Two’s’, people would say. ‘That’s the worst age’, some would complain.  I beg to differ.

This is the age that our children learn the most.  And how do they do that, you my ask?  By touching and getting into EVERYTHING!!   Parents are sometimes quick to say NO. NO, NO, NO!  Don’t touch that. Don’t get into that. Stop tugging at that. And stop climbing up on that.  If you have children…you no exactly what I’m talking about.

Toys…pshhh.  They don’t need many toys at this age.  There are many, many things around the house (or for very cheap), I guarantee will hold their interest longer than a $40 toy at Toys R Us.  Here are a few examples that I hope will help you enjoy this time with your ….very curious…little one.

Two bowls, a cup, a spoon, a little bit of water and you can even add in a little bit of cut up fruit. (A little water drenched fruit won’t hurt them.)  They will pour the water back and forth, scoop it with the cup and stir around the fruit for a long, long time.  ‘Are you cooking something for Momma?  What are you making?  That looks good?  Do you need more water? More fruit?’  I’m telling you.  They will be so happy and proud of themselves and feel like they’re actually doing something to help you out.

Boxes. Big, huge boxes. Itty bitty small boxes.  (They prefer the big ones more, though.)  Line it with a blanket, throw in a book and a couple toys. Drag them around the room a few times and you will have them giggling like crazy.  (We get diapers by the box, and those are perfect for our little ones.)

Pots, pans and a wooden spoon.  I’m sure many of you have heard of this, but just in case you haven’t.

Your old make up powder container. (Please make sure you wash it out first.)  You can even go to the Dollar Store and buy some little make up pads to go in it.  (They’ll definitely end up in their mouths, so, please don’t give them yours.)  They will open and shut it over and over and stare at themselves in the mirror. (Please make sure that if they end up dropping it on the floor, you check for any cracks or missing pieces of glass.  I’ve never had one break, yet, but you never know…)

Tents.  And I’m not talking about the cute ones that you can spend all sorts of money on and buy at the store. I’m talking about the good ol’ fashion, pitching up a blanket and letting them play inside.

Dollar Store little bowls and plastic spoon.  You can, also, throw some dry cereal in some of them.

People are always talking about letting them watch and help you cook in the kitchen.  I, every once in a while, will let them stir something, but in my house…I do not let the kids in the kitchen while I’m cooking.  Not supper anyway.  It’s too dangerous and it’s difficult for me, cooking for 8, to keep a good eye on the lil’ one.  I worry about tripping over them when I’m moving back and forth in the cabinets or to the sink.  There’s usually something boiling on the stove or/and something baking in the oven. You may do that, but with 6 hungry kids, I usually don’t have the time, nor does the other kids have the patience, for me to stop and teach the little one how to cook when they’re ‘starving’.  Breakfast, maybe. But lunch..sandwiches, cheese and crackers, chips…this…this they can help me with.  🙂 

Of course, these are only a few inexpensive ideas.  But again, this is the reason why I think that a lot of stores lack for toys in this age group.  They want to play with stuff that YOU use.  They want to touch things that YOU touch.  Of course, there are things that are off limits to them and you need to install that in them immediately….like outlets (just get covers, please) or the stove….even if its not on. They aren’t going to know whether its hot or not, so you make sure you firm with them when telling them they they can not touch the stove….ever.

I hope some of these ideas help you in search of something for your toddler to do besides stress you out.  If any others have fun ideas that they like to share that’s inexpensive and that their toddlers enjoy (or enjoyed)….please feel free to share them.  I have a two year old and one that’s going to be one soon, so I’m always up for new ideas! 🙂

TRUANCY — Part 2

So, the court date, for Taigyn and I, was set for the 14th of October for Taigyn’s ‘truancy from school’. But, before I tell you about the lovely conversation I had today, let me tune you in on what and why…

It’s been so long since the beginning of this started, I don’t remember all the nitty gritty details, so I’ll just sum it up for you.

My son missed almost 30 days of school last year.  But before you gasp, shake your head and judge, wondering how and why I would let this happen, please read the reasoning for this.

It was, I believe, right after Winter Vacation in January of ’11, a boy at school was upset with my son trying to say that he was ‘getting with his girlfriend’…..blah, blah…teenage drama. Taigyn had told the girl that if she was with someone, he was not going to get involved, but the other boy was beyond the ‘listening phase’ and just wanted to fight.  That boy came to our house and, low and behold, they fought outside in the street.

-NOOO…I was NOT at the house at the time.

-NOOO…Taigyn has NEVER been in trouble at school for fighting or been in trouble for ANYTHING for that matter; at school or at home.

Although, with the kid and some of his friends at school still irritating Taigyn, I made him PROMISE (again and again) that he would not fight.  I will not have anyone look down on my boy because other kids can not control themselves.  Anyway, a couple months went by when another boy, who is coincidentally friends with that first kid, wanted to fight Taigyn. I’m guessing that the first kid couldn’t do any damage to Taigyn, so they conjoured up a bigger boy to do it. (Mind you that both these boys are older than my son.)

Taigyn came home from school begging me to, please, let him fight him, but I respectfully declined.  Fighting? Why?  What exactly would that solve?  That you CAN beat them?? And then what?  They get a bigger boy?? They can’t beat you with their hands so they start bringing in weapons? Okay, okay…I may read too many stories.  Hear too many things that happen, but…I’m a Momma and those are the questions going through my head…

I happen to go outside to get something out of the car when my husbands daughter comes out of the house and tells me that he’s here.  I look up in the court at the end of our street and see 4 carloads…YESS…I said 4 carloads of kids just waiting for Taigyn to come outside!  Are you freakin’ serious????  At first I was appalled, then angry, then questioned if they thought it would take 4 carloads of people to beat up Taigyn…since only one couldn’t do it.

Anyway….talked to police man, the SRO at school, etc, etc…went to court, got a restraining order from him or any of his friends coming into our neighborhood, removed my son from school because they couldn’t promise any protection.  Taigyn was too happy about this, but it was my decision, not his. We waited for two weeks to hear an answer and, lo and behold, his transfer was denied.

That was two weeks that he missed from school.  10 days.

In Nov, I believe, Taigyn underwent surgery having his tonsils and sinuses removed.  He had two doctors appointments before coming to the decision to undergo surgery and one appointment after his surgery to make sure all was well.

That was two weeks that he missed from school for recovery and 3 more days concerning this surgery. 13 days.

He had missed 4 days of school that we ended up having to take him to the doctor for.  One time missing two days in a row and another time, two days in a row.  All excused from his doctor.  

So, to sum it up, 10 days were missed because I pulled him out, as advised by the head of the school board herself.  13 days for his surgery and appointments leading up to and one after.  Which leaves us with him missing 7 days of school, 4 of which are excused.

So, of course, we had a court date which we attended and we just had to talk to the board about what had happened, then we went back to court and sat with about 100 others families to hear a speech about the importance of school and then we had to wait for a letter for our own individual court date.  Mind you, that it was now April and as soon as Taigyn’s transfer was denied, I enrolled in him in home schooling.  

By the end of May, I still haven’t recieved a court date and was concerned that his would come up while he was visiting his dad in the summer, which would’ve been WAY too much driving. So, I called the court house and we finally had our court date set.  October 14th.  When the date was made, I didn’t realize that it would fall on the children’s Fall Vacation of their next school year.  So, we just planned our family vacation (and our trip to IL) around it.  

Two days before the court date and the day we planned on leaving for vacation, I received a letter in the mail telling me that they changed the court date to the next week. I immediately got on the phone leaving messages for the truancy officer to tell her that we were going to be out of state that day and that we needed to reschedule it.  Thursday, no call back. Friday, no call back.  I left another message with my cell number and did not hear from her the entire vacation.  Yesterday (Monday) morning came around and when there was still no call back, I called again. This time leaving messages, not only for Taigyn’s truancy officer, but the receptionist, also, directed me to two other officers, whom I left messages for. By the afternoon, I called back and the receptionist put me through to the supervisor and after a couple calls, I finally got a hold of her.  She said that she would have our truancy officer call me back.

Today, I get a call from the irritated and annoyed officer. I explained my story again, probably for the hundredth time.  Of course, the first thing she asked or ‘accused’ me of was…

‘So what you’re telling me, is that you DID NOT send your child to school on the 21st?’  

‘Ummm….no. He doesn’t go to school.’

‘What does he do????!!!’

‘I pulled my son out of school last year because….’  and I filled her in, again, of what had happened.  

We will change the court date for you and your son for the December 9th.  But, I’m telling you that you have to be there because we will change this court date ONLY ONCE!’

‘Wellll, you’ve already changed the court date once, so…..’

She didn’t respond.  

So , now, we have a court date for December, for a truancy that happened last school year, in a school that he doesn’t even go to anymore.  One of the ladies that we spoke to on the first court date, told us that it will probably be thrown out, but if not, I could serve 10 days for each day that my child was absent from school.  *Sigh*  Fun, fun, eh…

Don’t get me wrong. I DO understand the importance of school.  But, I have to say, that I care more about my childs health!  

…*Please refer to Dear Miss Truancy Lady

If my son (or any of my children for that matter) is sick, I WILL keep him home. If he is seriously ill, I WILL take him to the doctor. And, if my son is threatened in any way (even if he doesn’t believe he is), I will remove him from the situation.

Another thing that I should add to this, is the ‘no guarantee’ for my son’s safety at school.  I told the SRO, principal and vice principal that THEY are responsible for the safety of my child.  From the time he gets on the bus till the time he gets off the bus after school, I am leaving him in their hands.  Can You Promise The Safety Of My Son At Your School??  This was their reply….

The first couple times, the kids might get away with fighting, but by the third time, they usually get cocky and they end up getting caught.  The teachers are usually standing outside the classrooms during class exchanges, so if a fight starts, we can usually break it up within the first 30 seconds. Although, if the kids are in the bathroom, we don’t usually get to them as quick.’

GASPPPPPPPPPPP!!!   Really??!!  Well, thanks for the assurance and my child WILL NOT be coming back to your school.

What parent in their right mind wouldn’t do the same??!!  There were a number of kids threatening him and shoving him the hallway.  Do you know how HARD it was for me to tell him NOT to shove them back??  Too back down and not just kick their arse??!!   I know it took a few days for him NOT to be upset with me for that and for taking him out of school.  But I still stand firm in my decision.  I think it was the right thing to do. And, because of that decision, Taigyn still has not ever gotten into any trouble. He is getting a 93% in school.  He works 4 days a week.  And I continue to hear good things about, not only him, but about the rest of MY children.  How polite they are. How respectful they are. What good kids they are…..from people whom I don’t know to the neighbors whom I barely know.

It brings tears to my eyes knowing what great children that I have raised. Love you guys!!  xxoo

 

Smile :)

Have you smiled today?  I did…a lot.  Today was an awesome day!  As soon as I woke up, I jumped out of bed and started getting ready for the day ahead.  (This ‘jumping’ happens about once a year, so that alone brightened my day.)  A little bit of mascara…check.  A hair tie….check.  Brushed my teeth, got dressed, grabbed the keys and I was off.

First stop, teaching Math to Mrs. Lile’s class.  Best 2nd grade students ever!!  I love seeing how excited they get when I arrive.  They scurry around like little mice cleaning up and getting out their papers that they worked sooo hard on that week.  Before I even got started, I had a couple of the children come up to me to tell me that they got 100%’s on their AR tests that day.  Of course, I smile real big, tell them how awesome they are and give them all high fives.  Seeing them walk away with great big smiles on their face just melted my heart.

I finished the assignment in an hour…usually takes about an hour in a half, but they were so organized and well behaved today, we got done early.  And as I turned to leave, I feel little arms going around my waist and look down and see three little girls hugging me and thanking me for helping them today.  Those moments…right there….are the reason I LOVE teaching children. Whether it be at school or my own children at home, there is no greater feeling then to see a child’s eye’s light up when the finally ‘get it’.  When they finally conquer whatever it is their learning.

The Kindergarten hallway is always so cute.  There are little things everywhere.  Little chairs, little desks…..little people.  I watched as one of the Kindergarten classes walk down the hallway.  Single file…finger to their lips. Quiet as mice.  It’s absolutely adorable.

Next stop, Zevyn’s classroom. The class is in Art still, so I sit with the teacher until it’s time to pick them up, all the while, hearing all about Zevyn. ‘He is THEE sweetest kid.’ ‘He helps anyone with anything they need.’  ‘If someone drops something, he’s right there to pick it up.’ ‘If someone trips and falls, he’s the first to make sure they’re alright.’  ‘He always uses his please and thank you’s.’ 

I felt on top of the world at that moment.  She goes onto telling me how the teachers can always recognize the children that have great parents.  I could’ve cried.  I have heard that from my other two children’s teachers, too. How respectful they are…how they are always trying to help out with everything.  I’m proud of my children.  So very, very proud of them.  

When we enter the Art hallway, Zevyn sees me, smiles so big you’d think his cheeks would be killing him and restrains himself from running over to me.  I follow the class back to the classroom.  Mrs, Denson, Zevyn’s teacher, pulls him aside and tells him to show me around the school.  As we walk around down the different hallways, he’s points out which rooms he goes in, where he eats lunch…the gym.  We reach the library and walk inside.  He pick out three books and we sit down on the little chairs and the little tables and begin to read. We giggle, laugh…..using my imagination can be so much fun with a 5 year old.  After about 25 minutes, we put the books away, he thanks the librarian (for letting us read, I guess) and we head back to class.  They’re gone…I forgot that it’s recess time!  We head outside and around back where’s Zevyn tells me that he loves me a thousand times, I get two hugs and three kisses.  ‘I love you, Momma!’ “I love you, too, babe.’

As I walk through the door to our house, I hear Meysa before I even see her. ‘Mooooooomma! Momma’s home,’ We grab something to snack on and sit down to read a book.  Aytric wakes up and as I’m feeding him, Meysa comes around the corner. ‘It’s beautiful, Mom.’  What…..oh geeez. Mascara. At least, she knew that it’s supposed to go on her eyes….*sigh*

We clean her up and head outside to wait for the school bus.  Meysa practices her jumping and counting.

‘1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,GO!’

‘It’s 10, Meys, 10’, I correct her. But she didn’t hear me. The only sound she heard was the bus coming down our street.

‘NYYYYOOOO! ZEVYYYYYN!’, she screams as she runs across our front yard in an over sized T-shirt and bare feet. She gets so excited when they come home.  Another smile spreads across my face.

As we all trample back into the house, everyone talking at once and SUPERMOM kicks in. ‘Put your book bags up. Take off your shoes. Bring all your folders over to me.  One at a time.  Don’t throw your shoes!  Watch out for Meysa…she’s right behind you!’  I look through all the paperwork.  See the awards they got, the stickers and candy they received for doing extra work or work correctly.

The day ends with having our Bible study and popping some popcorn to cuddle up and watch a movie together. I love my family.  Love my kids.

Going Out Guilt

You have extra spending money, time off work and a babysitter…….Now, what?  A couple nights out on the town, but not too far away from the little ones?  A relaxing vacation at some remote beach spending your days in the sand and your nights in the hot tub?  How about a bed and breakfast along the east coast, where you can catch up on sleep and your latest novel….you know, the one you look at on your night stand every night before you go to bed, but haven’t had a chance to do anything more then read the prologue?

For most parents, this may be something they do regularly.

There are normal people….and then there’s me.

Sure, my hubby talks about it all the time….getting away….just the two of us. And, although, it sounds great, I just can’t do it.  As soon as the thought starts running through my head, the guilt starts.  The questions, like in comic books, start popping up all around my head.

What am I going to tell the kids?  How can I tell them that we’re leaving to have fun, while they have to sit at home with a babysitter?  How am I going to tell them ‘No’ when they ask to go with?

And then the statements start haunting me.

Leaving your kids!  Every time you hear someone shout ‘Mom’, you’re going to look over your shoulder….just in case.  You’re going to see something and wish they were there with you, so that you can show them.  You’re going to have to call them everyday just to make sure their alright.  And everytime you go to get off the phone with them, they’re going to ask you the same question, ‘When are you coming home?’.

Think I’m crazy yet?

Half of the parents that I talk to will tell you that they can’t wait for their children to grow up, move away, so they can ‘have their house back’, so ‘they can travel’, so ‘they can enjoy their time together’, etc., etc. I’m NOT one of those people.  I do not WANT my children to grow up and I do not want my children to move away.  Ever.

The older children go to their dad’s during the summer and I hate it!  I don’t even like the fact that they have to go to school for 8 hours during the day!  I miss them. 😦

I know it’s good to ‘get away’.  To get a ‘break’ from the kids. To go and spend quality time with your husband. ‘You’ve earned it’. ‘You deserve it.’  So, what’s my problem?

I just feel bad.  I feel guilty.  I don’t know how many conversations start out with my husband saying to get a babysitter this weekend because he’s taking me out.  But it always ends the same….with me saying, ‘I’d rather just take the kids and do something with them.’

I don’t mind taking the kids.  When the kids are happy, momma’s happy. (:

I’m pretty clueless right now.  And I don’t know how parents work 5 days a week, then get a babysitter on the weekends so that they can ‘go out’.  I’m not judging anyone; that’s not what this is about.  I’m simply wondering how you do it?

I think it would be easier if I knew my children were going to be doing something just as fun for them.  Then, I’m almost positive, it would be easier to say yes.

Does anyone else have this problem…..if that’s even what it is…??  Or am I ‘more normal’ than I think I am and it’s the same for other parents, too?

Let me know what you think….your opinions of what you think I should do.  Or some suggestions to make it easier to leave without having to feel guilty.

-Throwing out a thanks ahead of time! 🙂