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Life Lately, Homeschool edition

November 18, 2015

 I didn't mean for there to be almost a month between my last blog update and this one, but in the craziness that is raising this herd sadly the blog gets put on the back burner. The evenings is about the only time I have to update and most nights sleep wins! :)

I can't remember if I posted about what curriculum we are using but we went with A Beka and for the most part have been enjoying it. It took a little while to find our rhythm, but now that we have things have been a little easier. I am planning on starting a new math program after the holidays and that program is called Math-U-See. I like the A Beka math but I feel like Math-U-See will give the kids a better foundation for math. Which by the way is not my strong point so frankly we all need a better math foundation. :) 
I think I can finally say that we all are adjusting to this new normal of ours. The kids occasionally will talk about public school. I hear lots of comments of them missing the good lunches and snacks....so apparently I need to step up my sandwich game and I guess popcorn isn't cutting it for snacks anymore! All three kids see there public school friends a handful of times through out the week at various activities that they have so that hasn't seem to be such an issue, and we have made some great new homeschool friends also. So they definitely aren't lacking in the friend department!! 
 I still have days where I am quite certain that I am failing each and every one of my babies in just about every department but thankfully those days are starting to settle down a bit. :) 
Our family unit has probably seen the most growth. I love how much I have been able to connect with each of our kids. Seeing how each one learns, their strenghts and weaknesses. I get to see how much of a servants heart Colton has. I get to see how much of a perfectionist Jacey is and see how much pride she takes in her work. And I get to experience Dakotas humor first hand all day everyday.  My absolute favorite part is to see how close the kids are now. Now don't get me wrong they still have their moments days of screaming and fighting with one another but the praise they give each other and encouragement that happens when someone is needing a little extra boost almost makes me forget all the fighting.....almost! I have also grown with this little adventure. I have learned to multitask like a pro, and have been humbled by my need to learn more patience, and I have learned to give myself a little more grace. I would say I am probably learning more than my kids!! :) 


Some of our days flow smoothly. Piano practice, shaving cream letters, handwriting practice, and a happy baby.  


And other days this is our reality. 


Sometimes we finish all our school work and have time to make a fun craft. 


And other days school doesn't start first thing in the morning. Sometimes this mama needs a little more Jesus in her heart before anyone can have a good day. 


Sometimes this sweet little boy makes me a little crazy while he practices his climbing skills. 


Sometimes cursive writing takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R.



And sometimes school is amazing. 

Happy Anniversary to my Husband

October 14, 2015


When I was in college I wrote a list of all the things I wanted in my future husband. I thought I had it all planned out, I knew exactly what I wanted. Thankfully God knew what I needed. While I got many of the "requests" on my list like someone who was handsome with dark hair and blue eyes I also got things I didn't even know I needed. 


Someone who can joke around and balance out the stressed out and anxious side I can carry around.  


Someone who's hands are rough from working sun up to sun down yet gentle enough to carry our babies. 

Someone who has the patience to hunt for frogs with an eager little boy who's sneaking skills could use a little work.


Someone who has the ability to understand when a fight between brothers should be left to the brothers to solve or needs a Daddy to intervene. 


Someone who grew up with strong family traditions like fingers and toes should always be in river beds, 


especially really little ones. 



Someone who is absolutely wrapped around this little girls finger. Who doesn't mind playing dress up or a little make up on his face. 


I got someone who when I look at our babies I see their daddy. I see your silliness and confidence. Your hard work ethic and love of nature. We have boys who love their mama and make sure I know it, and a little girl who is strong.  


We have a baby who is always happy and maybe just a tad  stubborn....while that stubborn part is probably all on me he has a dimpled little smile he likes to flash that is all you. 


I got someone who I have experienced the nitty gritty parts of life and the great parts of life with and we did it all hand in hand. I love you more today than I did when we got married. 
Happy 9th Anniversary my love. 
Here's to many more anniversaries and maybe a couple more babies! :) 




Surprise Trip

October 7, 2015

Over the weekend we woke the kids up and told them to get dressed because we were headed for an adventure. We did this last year also and this kids loved it! Their guesses were hilarious and visiting the ocean was the top guess...sadly we had couldn't swing that but maybe some day! 


We drove to Wichita and had a quick picnic lunch before we headed to our big surprise. 





After a nice peaceful lunch we decided to go over and see a couple ducks that were on the water......then this happened. 



They were everywhere!!!!!!! 


I'm not a real big bird person......at all. Neither are the kids, we all freaked out and climbed back into the van though the driver side door! 

After the birds attacked we headed over to show the kids the big surprise! 


The last time we visited this zoo Dakota was a baby.  Jacey didn't remember it at all and Colt only remembered the hippos so they were super excited to see all the animals. 





It was a pretty fun day, however as soon as we left and everyone's lack of naps, and drop in blood sugar kicked in our fun family day quickly turned into me debating leaving everyone on the side of the road! :) Spoiler alert everyone made it back home but it was touch and go there for awhile! 

Mom Tip

October 1, 2015

I don't know if anyone else is battling with chores and screen time at their house but at our house it was getting a little out of control. I was constantly telling them to get off the tablet, or Wii,  or telling them to shut the tv off and the battle of me cleaning and them uncleaning everything was making me completely nuts! So like any good mom would do I took to the blogs to find out what other moms were doing.   

Sorry the pictures are grainy I don't know what was going on with my camera.  

This little corner of our house has quickly become the most helpful.  Hanging under the bucket are the kid's chore packs, and the blue frame is our "screen time checklist". 


It's hard to read but it says:
1. Is school work done. (remember my question mark key doesn't work so pretend its there)
2. Are chores done.
3. Is your room clean.
4. Have you been creative.
5. Have you played outside.

All of these have to be done before they can cash in their tokens. Surprisingly the kids have really taken to it. They also know that if they don't have tokens they don't get screen time so they don't ask, or if they have a few Colton is starting to figure out he can save his tokens to get longer time.  

The bottom stars are where I clip their screen time tokens that they earn. I got the token free printable from www.thecreativemom.com. They can earn tokens for good behavior, working hard at school, being helpful around the house, being a good leader.etc. However if someone gets in trouble tokens are the first to go. 


We have also started chore packs with the kids. Every morning the kids get up, have breakfast and then grab their chore packs.



I make them wear them so they remember what they need to do. The quicker they get them done the more free time they have to play before we start school. Every morning is pretty much the same for each kid. They make their bed, brush their teeth, then they have a chore. Colton empties the dishwasher, Jacey wipes down the bathroom sinks, and Dakota feeds the dogs. On the lanyard there is also an afternoon chore: Colt and Jacey help with laundry, Dakota wipes down the table, and they each have evening chores, so they just flip the page to whatever time of day it is.   These have been huge in helping with keeping the house picked up and me not being the only one doing it. :) Also since we are home all day it helps break the day up a bit and gives everyone a little brain break, and the kids are proud of the extra responsibility. 

 If anyone tries this with their family you will have to let me know how it goes! Hopefully it's helpful! :)
I would love to know how you all do chores and handle screen time so be sure and comment below! :) 

Happenings

September 30, 2015

Hello All....or just my mom, whoever is reading this! :) Since it has been a while I thought I would do a quick post to fill you in on life lately.  Before I get started has anyone been watching Blindspot. (pretend there is a question mark at the end of that sentence. that key and my arrow keys won't work for some reason......any computer people please help. )


Anyway this show is so good! We are only two episodes in but so far the Husband and I are loving it! If you are needing a new show to watch check this one out, Mondays at 9 on NBC!



So now onto life lately. The cool weather has us moving a little slower in the mornings which I am totally ok with. Archie has figured out how to get on and off the couch by himself and is pretty proud to sit up there with everyone and watch some morning cartoons. He still isn't walking yet but we have seen tons of improvement in physical therapy.  He is a little stubborn though....probably gets it from his mama, so we are still trying to get him to agree that walking would in fact be alright to do! :)

Monday the kids were jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler on and yesterday the cool weather had us ready for some fall decorations. My sweet friend Jessica made that adorable scarecrow for me and those are just a few of the many pumpkins from our garden. 


I am also so excited for flannels!!!! If you thought my grey t shirt problem was bad flannels are even worse! I love them. Like I will probably wear one everyday, and I am completely okay with that. 
Faded Glory Boys' Long Sleeve Flannel Shirt
How cute is this little one from Walmart! My mother in law grabbed this for Dakota. It perfectly plays into his love for all things orange and "working shirts". 





Now for a few random pictures. We went to the state fair a few weeks back and this picture cracked me up. Nathan's side of the family has an odd love for honey. Like completely drown their bread in honey. So when the Hubs bought the kids these honey sticks I thought they were going to lose their mind! I guess they are keeping with Hemphill tradition. :)



School as been going pretty good.We had a couple really overwhelming weeks. More so for me than the kids. Our curriculum has a TON of stuff and a TON of extras and I was trying to make sure we did everything exactly as the book said. I was becoming more drill Sargent than fun teacher mom on making sure everything was done and it was making everyone miserable.  So after a couple pep talks from some sweet homeschool mamas and some help from my sister we have a much better attitude and game plan. So last week we did a day of school outside for a change. Dakota and Jacey practiced writing letters and numbers in the sand, rocks were used for help with math problems for Colt, and Dakota went on a color hunt and spent about 30 minutes trying to  decided if a toad was more green or brown. :) Colt was especially excited to do his reading to our dog Naga, he said she was a pretty good listener and has requested a book about other dogs next time. :)



There is a quick run down of the past few weeks. The kids have also started all their sports so I'm sure I will post on that here soon! Also school room tour is coming soon! 



Life Lately

September 10, 2015

Nothing to exciting just a few pictures of life lately.  


Thanks to everyone who said a little prayer for Archer a couple days ago. I am pleased to say that his appointment with the specialist went good! She was pleased with the progress he has made while doing physical therapy but did say we weren't quite out of the woods yet and wants to see him back in December. For those of you who were asking his right leg turns out and he was having trouble sitting (however now he is able to) and standing. Since starting physical therapy and forcing him to put more weight through that leg we have seen a big improvement and he is getting better with his standing and cruising. Hopefully he will graduate to standing unassisted and walking soon! :) The specialist didn't think he has any problems in his joints or concern with his bones. She believed it was caused by being so cramped while he was in me. Remember he was 9 lbs 6oz and 21inches, and I'm short so bless his heart there wasn't a whole lot of room for him to hang out in! :) He does have a curve to his foot and below the knee rotates out  so hopefully with time it will correct it's self. If not then I guess we will find out the next step in December. 



This guys is growing way to fast. I would like it to stop. 


This past weekend while everyone was hunting Aunt April brought out the color chalk from a fun run she organized a while back and boy did the kids have a blast!



Sister got the sneak attack while I was snapping a picture. 






Aunt April also brought face paint. Jacey is certain this is a casual makeup look for everyday. :)


And these two boys spent most of their time filling up watering cans and dumping them. 


While we homeshool this guy spends his time pulling everything off the walls and dumping out all the baskets of workbooks. I even made him this little area all this own right next to us so he could play while we work but you can see how well he hangs out there. 


One evening last week we ran away for the evening ordered a pizza and spent the evening fishing. We have had a long summer of  Nathan working long hours so we all needed a little family relaxation. And I have learned since being married into this Hemphill family the only way a Hemphill will truly relax is to take them fishing. 


Dakota was so proud to show his Daddy his fish.


Jacey collected snails and looked for crawdads, while Colt fished. 


Two brothers catching fish. Diana I'm sure you have a picture of the big boys like this, we will have to compare sometime! :)


And that about sums up the past few weeks. If we aren't trying to figure out how to homeschool this Herd then we just enjoying their company, just what I have been hoping and praying for. 

 
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