Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The turnaround

I was just reviewing these last couple of months in my head and I realized... it's getting better! I was waiting for it to get better and it is! We are really going to be okay. It's taken a little longer to get back on my feet after each child. Evidently my recovery time (and we're talking whole life recovery here, not physical birth recovery, in case you are confused) for child #5 is 13 months.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dining Chair Project!

It turns out that having a bunch of children using nice dining chairs - for meals and projects and also school time - is eventually too hard for the chairs to bear. Check out the sliding on and off damage on these!! Schnikeys! I had been musing about recovering the chairs for some years but when the one on the left split open, I knew it was time. I had purchased some outdoor canvas last spring to try to recover my wonderful outdoor swing that got weathered and turned to shreds after a few years. But... I didn't get that project done... and my budget said now is not the time to buy fabric to recover the dining chairs... but I noticed that the swing fabric went very nicely with the dining room... so I reallocated the fabric that was intended for the swing, and today my mom came to help me get the job done.

The transformation is nothing short of amazing. I found the work very satisfying, though I will confess that my staple gunning areas are a little tender. Mom ended the project with a band-aid, though, so I will hand the badge of honor over to her!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just cuteness

Apparently we have learned to climb things! Odelia is 13 months. The kids got all the Duplos out for her because she seemed to really enjoy Shiloh's new Duplo train he got from SaSa for Christmas. And this is her greatest joy today - climbing up then yelling for someone to come see her and, presumably, get her down safely.

And here's Allegra with "Baby Jesus" in her stroller. An hour ago, she and Shiloh had built a nice manger out of the Duplos and were playing "Mary and Joseph are running in circles around Baby Jesus!" I love Christmas!!
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas milky - though she got other gifts for Christmas, this is all she really wanted - and she was very appreciative, as always!

Our Christmas tree. I bought it in 1999 for $19.99. Matt likes to make fun of it but it does the job: keeps the ornaments and lights off the floor and makes a spot to put gifts. I love this tree and its lore for our family but what I love more is that Matt put the tree and lights up for me this year because I was too overwhelmed to be able to manage it. And for my gift he got me this tree skirt the kids told him I liked. I will always treasure it.

See? I told you he was happier later on. This was when I reminded him that he wouldn't smile for me in the earlier picture. He jumped up and posed in front of the tree for me. It's better than nothing!

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The Bright Spots

I feel like I need to say something positive to balance out my dire words a few posts back. Yes, I am still struggling. Yes, 5 is very possibly my limit. Yes, I could bore you for weeks about how difficult this past year + has been for me. But what I want to say is that it's going to be all worth it. And what really makes it worth it is the relationships we get to watch growing between our children. Odelia ADORES Cymbre and sometimes even prefers her to me. Allegra and Cymbre are getting to be friends. Shiloh and Eli are sharing some common interests. Allegra and Shiloh love to play with the baby and protect her from dangers like the stairs. Odelia loves when Eli makes faces at her. She dances when the children sing. It's worth it. It's worth it. It's hard but I know it's worth it.

I mean seriously, this is some champion cuteness.

Christmas morning. After church. Eli wouldn't smile because we told them they needed to do chores while we made lunch and he was upset that Christmas was turning out to be "just like every other day." He was a LOT happier later on.

More serious cuteness. New baby shoes and a red velvet baby track suit. She's my dolly.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Scott family!

We once again had our family photos done by our friend Devon. This year we did them early enough to have a lovely outdoor shoot! Enjoy!

Cymbre - age 9

Eli - age 7

Allegra - age 5

Shiloh - age 3
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Merry Christmas from the Scott family!

Miss Odelia - 11 months

Sister picture: Allegra, Cymbre and Odelia

Brother picture: Shiloh and Eli

Me and my darlin'
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Merry Christmas from the Scott family!

I decided to do some fun "packin' heat" pictures. These will make me smile when I am old.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sneak peek - 2010 family pictures!

Here it is - your sneak peek for this year's pictures, again by the lovely Devon!
In case you've lost track, here's the roster, L to R:
Cymbre (9), Eli (7), Matt, Shiloh (3), Odelia (11 months), Serenity and Allegra (5)
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

So I'll give it to you straight...

You know that thing people say about how once you get to 3 kids, you might as well keep going because it doesn't get any harder? Well, like most bold faced cultural lies, there is SOME truth in it. Behold my musings on caring for a "larger" family of 4 kids and a baby.

For example, the older kids are able to help more by the time you get to that point - this can be a wonderful relief to the mom who has gotten through the years of several small ones and no one to help. However, in my experience, 4 children can make a mess of their toys, books, clothes, and bedding approximately 10 times faster than 2 children. Conversely, cleaning up takes 25 times longer with 4 children than with 2 (and probably 50 times longer than with 1, although it depends heavily on the temperament of that one, doesn't it?) because of the addition of distraction and fighting to the activity of cleanup.

Cooking food for 4 children is not appreciably different than cooking food for 2 children. However, getting seconds and thirds of food and drink for the good eaters while cajoling the "too picky to live" children and simultaneously feeding the small, messy boy while nursing the baby... I'll just be blunt, it's exhausting to the point of death. I will say that I feel the need to upgrade to larger cookware at this point because lately using my usual casserole dishes and pots is a fairly good way to ace Daddy out of his dinner - which may or may not matter depending on when and in what condition he arrives home, given his unpredictability in these matters.

Taking the children for outings has gotten really complicated in the last year. No matter where we go, near or far, someone has to use the bathroom. I think the short story is that no matter where in the birth order you are, having a baby and a potty-training toddler is the surest recipe for outing misery known to mom-dom. However, adding in big kids who have their own potty schedules and may be reluctant to go when it's convenient (although normally they do go then and then ALSO need to go when it isn't) but still need to be safely guided to and from the restroom means that on any outing, I will be visiting it more or less every 15 minutes. Even a simple trip to a playground can be curtailed after only 5 minutes of play because someone has to use the bathroom. And back home we go, wondering why we ventured out in the first place.

Anyway, it's been almost a year and things are still not "bounced back" here. I spend all day chasing my tail trying to just stay on top of the urgent and continual needs... trying to keep the kids moving forward in their schoolwork and keep them fed and keep the laundry moving... and every day the lesser tasks get perpetually sidelined for another day... which at this point looks like it will truly never come.

I'm not trying to scare anyone out of having a big family but don't do it because it "doesn't get any harder" after 3. It does. And just like all the other times, we adapt and we change and we pray and we cry and, if history has anything to teach us about this, eventually we do get back on our feet, stronger and better than before. Hoping that will happen soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What it looks like

Here are a few pictures of our usual school day. Yes, it looks something like chaos, but it has been going really well!

Since Odelia was born last fall, I've found myself relegated more than ever to "survival mode." Hence, this fall finds us a bit behind where I'd like us to be academically but more importantly, we are suffering from the lack of consistent character training over the last year. Last week we kicked off a new school year - a year I plan to take by STORM. Our renewed diligence is already paying dividends.

This month our hymn is Oh, That the Lord Would Guide my Ways. I love this group: and I selected one hymn for each month that we can play ad nauseam that goes with our character study and some of the other things I've selected for the year. These guys do actual hymn-format music but with kicked up modern instrumentals. I absolutely LOVE them. All the hymns I chose for the year are from their albums so that it's easy for us to listen to them and sing them. =)

What I would LIKE to do is compile a "soundtrack" for each month with the hymn for the month and related songs I know of and like, our theme song for this year (Nothing but the Blood of Jesus by the Branches Band) and stuff like that. I think it would be fun to have those CDs later and be like, hey, remember the month we studied XYZ and be able to play the music we listened to that month (ad nauseam because that's how I do things) and it would really be a neat memory tool. On the other hand, maybe a soundtrack for the whole year would be sufficient.

Meanwhile, I am creating a theme for each week based on this acrostic poem Christian Character ABCs so last week we talked about Alertness and memorized 1 Peter 5:8 and learned about lions. This week we're discussing Benevolence and memorizing Philippians 2:3,4 and writing illustrated stories in which someone is behaving in a benevolent manner. Oh, and we're also reading through the book of John this month, at a pace of one chapter each day.

So... in summary, here is the plan! Next month we'll sing The King of Love my Shepherd Is - and we'll also be reading the 23rd Psalm and studying Diligence, Endurance, Faithfulness, and Gratefulness

Then...November - Chief of Sinners though I Be - and we'll be reading Psalm 122 and listening to another song based on that by another fave of mine - The Branches Band
And we'll be studying Honesty, Integrity, Joy, and Kindness

Then...December - Of the Father's Love Begotten - that's a little known Christmas hymn that ties in with out character studies for the month of Love and Meekness

Jan - Be Still my Soul - I thought it would be fitting with the quietness of winter and stillness of snow. We will also be studying Psalm 46 and our character studies will be Neatness (hooray - can't WAIT for this one!), Obedience, Patience, Quietness, and Resourcefulness

Feb. Take my Life and Let it Be - we will be reading Psalm 146 and studying Sincerity, Temperance, Unity, and Virtue

Mar. Brothers, Sisters, Let us Gladly - and we will be reading Psalm 133 and studying Wisdom, Excellence, Yielding and Zeal

That brings us to the end of our acrostic poem so I will see where we are at that point and continue my planning and training. The first two weeks have gone well and I think it's going to be a very good year. =)

And as far as academics, Cymbre and Eli are both using a math workbook from Horizons. Allegra and Shiloh generally play with math manipulatives and puzzles a few times each week. Cymbre is working through Spelling Power, which is new for us this year and which we are LOVING. Eli is working through the reading program from My Father's World and starting to take off with it. I have Allegra sit in on our lessons when I can, but she is not always willing. Cymbre and Eli do handwriting practice based on our memory verses for the week. Cymbre got started writing essays with my little sisters this summer and is now writing essays and reports for me that we file in her binder. Science and social studies will be thematic, based on our interests and our many travels. Last week, for example, the children learned about the 1812 Overture with Matt, who used the internet to learn the real story of the war. We then got the CD from the library, as well as books about Tchaikovsky and other music by Tchaikovsky. At the end of the week, Cymbre and Eli put on a reenactment of the War of 1812 using stuffed penguins and Nerf guns that was quite a spectacle of understanding, complete with the Russian penguin praying for deliverance from the French penguin.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Old news, NEW baby!

The Intern graduated on November 10th after just a short little labor and a straightforward and quick birth in our bathroom. Her name is Odelia Hope and she's sweet and amazing and truly a gift from God.
Here she is at 3 days old:
Here she is with the whole crew at her baptism on November 15th.
Here she is with Daddy at 4 weeks, in her first 3-6 month outfit. She seems to have misread the tags... her early literacy has her confused as to the meaning of months vs. weeks.
And here she is at 9 weeks in one of her her fabulous new BumGenius Organic diapers that were a gift from some wonderful friends and the beautiful afghan that some lovely ladies at church made for her.
(This week finds her ready to bust out of her 3-6 month wardrobe - again, she seems to feel she is falling behind because of the confusion with reading the size tags. It's like she heard that the next size is 6-9 and, being 9 weeks, she's just got to get to it before it's too late!)
Odelia is just a pile of love and smiles. We are so thankful to have her in our family!!
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