Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Now that's my kind of pumpkin decorating!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Boo-tacular fun!

It's Halloween week, and while we don't necessarily celebrate the "spooky" side of this holiday, you just can't deny the pumpkin bucket full of sugary, Fall fun it brings.
In spite of our lingering sicknesses, we started off the week with our traditional Halloween playdate with my mom's group. It's amazing to see how this group picture changes every year! Yoda and the storm trooper had a ton of fun with their friends and came home with rosy and crisp, icing encrusted faces and pockets full of starburst.
I made the best of my efforts getting them dressed to take their individual costume pics. Star Wars for the win this year! Without a doubt the light sabers bring it home.
This face?!!! Oh my Bennett...
That's more like it...
In school news we've done quite a few Halloween/Fall inspired crafts. I found this awesome little project on the skeletal system from "teachers pay teachers" for free and it fit perfectly into the start of our human body study. Not to mention what goes better with Halloween than skeletons? We've also discovered the world of color by number, which at this point may or may not be a Pandoras box of wasted computer paper. Note to self-just say no!
Speaking of just saying no, I couldn't resist these inspired donuts a la Dunkin this morning...yet another perk of homeschooling to share a special breakfast with my big boy over handwriting and phonics work.
 Below is a picture straight from Evan's own artistic juices-he colored this 100% unassisted during his "quiet time" and was so proud to show it off. This is his "jackolantern" face. Hehe.
And the fun's not over yet. We have many tricks and treats(okay more treats) planned for the weekend...have a safe and happy Halloween friends!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My 3 Sons...

As we approach the arrival of baby boy #3, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on my band of brothers, and give a quick baby update. Here we go, youngest to oldest. :-)
This past weekend my sweet friends thew me the most thoughtful "baby sprinkle." It was adorable and so creatively crafty going along with our nautical theme. I am so grateful to be able to share this journey of motherhood with some awesome ladies. Not to mention the brunch was delicious and there was bacon-enough said! Hashtag-#TheWayToAPregoWomansHeart. And thanks to all of our special gifts I'm happy to say our little nautical nursery is complete and ready for this little one to come!

Baby boy is almost 36 weeks along and still very active. My last OB apt was pleasantly uneventful, and to our surprise the doctor seeing me predicted a 7 pound babe-HA, dare to dream! Anyhow, I can barely believe we'll be meeting this squirmy squish in just over 3 short weeks. As we're set for a scheduled cesarean I believe the only thing I haven't checked off my to do list is packing our hospital bags. Other than that I've been in full on nesting mode around the house. The refrigerator and newly steamed carpets are eternally grateful. I would also add that I have arrived at that very uncomfortable point in this pregnancy, and pray the end passes quickly!
Moving on to my soon to be middle child, Bennett is our wild, strong willed, sweet as sugar love. He moves to the drum of the energizer bunny and can positively melt you with his kind heart. His favorite activities would be eating(he's still our foodie!), sidewalk chalk(because he loves being outside), and as always annoying his big brother. ;-) He is full of personality and keeps us on our toes. Just last week we experienced our first visit to the emergency room after he fell backwards off our tall kitchen stools and took the side of our dog's crate with him. It was quite the scary gash and ended in six staples to the back of his head-eeks! He was a true trooper through it all and seriously-this kid barely cried for more than a minute through the whole ordeal, "stapling" included. We were beyond proud of him and his brave attitude did wonders to calm my mama's heart. And by the way, taking them out was no different- tough cookie he is barely flinched!
(Let the record show...)
A soccer star in the making, he has really enjoyed this Fall season on the more competitive 4 year old league. Even so, I think we'll be taking a break after this to let him grow into his age bracket and enjoy playing in our backyard in the meantime. I think his personality is perfectly captured in this "Firebirds" team picture below. Can you say goofball?!
He makes me smile!
  B bear is also really enjoying preschool this year, and is always so proud to show me what he has in his backpack that day. All that colorful crafting is right up his ally, and I hear he's the apple of many an eye there. :-)
 Last but not least, my big boy Evan has grown up so much this year. Even physically he looks much taller to me, and it's a joy to see his little mind grow leaps and bounds as we embark on this first year of homeschooling together.
He loves drawing and has really honed his craft over the last few months. It's neat to see a skill improve so literally on paper. I can barely keep up with his drawings and am so thankful for all those .17 cent notebooks we bought at Walmart at the beginning of the school year. He has a knack for color, and thankfully is becoming more comfortable with the eraser. As a whole, he has a slight perfectionist bent to his personality so I'm thankful he's more comfortable now simply erasing a mistake rather than unreasonably fretting and having to start from scratch each time. Again, growth! I can't even express how cool it is to see, over time, how much he learns and improves in his schoolwork. 

This creative spirit loves to swim and so we are just now nearing the end of a Swim America class through our local rec program. I'm so proud of how well he's done in a short time. He looks forward to his swimming lessons and has so much fun while he's there. Plus, it's a great outlet for him to take direction and leadership from other adults and of course to meet new friends.
Speaking of friends, Evan loves his buddies and is has quite the social calendar for a 5 year many birthday parties lol! In any case, I'm thankful he's such a friendly dude and has a great and diverse group of kiddos to play with whether it be through church life, our growing mom's group, sports, neighbors or local homeschool circles.
I'll wrap up Evan with his love of all things animals and still sensitive soul. He's also grown into more of a picky eater like his mama, but I'm convinced could eat fruit all the live long day-so there's that. Fun fact-the most popular snack around here is baby carrots-likely because that's the only thing they have freedom to "have at" and open the refrigerator themselves for. Mommy for the win! Overall, both of my boys are strong, healthy eaters and Chris and I both dread the day we have 3 teenage boys raiding our pantry. Oh my!

I love my boys at these fun ages of 3 and 5 and can't wait to see what kind of personality and flavor this new guy brings to our family. :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Apples and Pumpkins, oh my!

There is no end to festive Fall activities in and outside of the classroom-just ask Pinterest!  The boys and I enjoyed exploring the new season with a small, homegrown unit study on apples and pumpkins this past week. Our favorite activity by far was making this chart above-the "Apple Taste Test." We polled our friends and family via texts, facebook and phone to see which flavor apple they liked the best-red, green, or yellow-and charted our results. As you can see, out of the 30 or so people polled -red apples were the clear winner. 

Best quote of the week -"Mmm, math is delicious!"

We also examined and drew out the parts of an apple with worksheets like this, and the real thing of course.
I ordered these Nat Geo Kids books from a Scholastic fair last year and predict reading them for many Falls to come. They are simple & sweet, and I look forward to Evan reading them to me next year. :-)
The highlight of the week was our much anticipated field trip with our local homeschool group to Vollmer farms. After a record breaking 12 days of rain here in eastern NC, a beautiful 80 degree day on the farm was just what the doctor ordered. The excitement began behind two large tractor wheels with the traditional hayride and ended with exhausted, happy kiddos and one spent mama!
After the hayride we had so much fun making butter, learning about the hardworking bees, sandpaper tongued cows and Americana chickens. And then there was a donkey, and a beautiful baby horse.
I can't imagine how many pictures my kiddos have taken in front of John Deere tractors-NC natives!
Then we moved on to the most awesome playground complete all sorts of fun slides, tire attractions, slingshots, castles of hay for climbing and this lovely pool of corn kernels. I'm sure we could have camped out there for hours.
Last but not least, we topped the week off with two words-apple pie!
Warm apple pie and whipped cream-welcome back Fall!