Monday, May 24, 2010

Phoenix Weekend

Jenessa's softball team memebers were each given 4 Diamondback tickets to a game last Friday evening.  We decided to go down and stay overnight.  Ryan took Kessiah and Jenessa to the game...they even took the metro system for extra fun.  I stayed at the hotel with the 3 youngest kiddos. 

The next morning after we enjoyed our breakfast we took a dip in the pool.  Only a few mishaps with Sienna and Logan...I see why they say always watch your children around the water!  Sienna was "walking" around the pool when her hands slipped and she went under...I was right there and watching her so she was only under for a couple of seconds and after getting a mommy hug she went right back in.  Later, Logan fell in the hot tub...he just wasn't paying attention and I knew it was going to happen.  Ryan was right there and pulled him right out.  He didn't want to go near the water after that (he didn't want to go in before that!) but Ryan made him get in the hot tub and sit with him.  I thought that was good...kind of the "get back on the horse" theory.

After checking out of the hotel we spent a couple of hours at Cabela's...we had never been there before.  Ryan and I would have liked to spend more time looking at some things...but that is not always possible with 5 kiddos!  I did get a couple of new cast iron items...I'm excited to try them out!

We happened to arrive in Phoenix on their first 100 degree day of the year.  It was a little late this year...we have had a really cool Spring.  When we got back home, we could tell an immediate difference in the is much cooler here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Father & Sons Campout

This is the first year that Ryan has gone on the annual campout with one of his sons!  They both seemed to survive and even enjoy the outing.

The girls were terribly put out that Ryan would take Logan camping and not them!  We definately need to go camping as a has been too long!

The girls (and Mason) stayed home and enjoyed family movie night and a slumber party in the family room (ok, the only ones who actually slumbered in the family room were Kessiah and Sienna!)

While they were gone Jenessa kept complaining about how quiet it was...I really didn't believe her until Logan was back in the mix today and it really was noisier! 

Friday, May 14, 2010

End of the School Year...What worked and What didn't?

We are pretty much done with school for the year.  It has been really hard for us to get everything done the past two weeks.  We've done ok in the morning...but in the afternoon after quiet reading time and mommy reading time things fall apart!  They don't attempt to do their school work and I don't push them...I guess I'm ready for summer as much as they are!  It's not really a big far as percentages go we are where we need to be (or ahead) in every subject.

I wanted to write down a few things that worked for us this I could remember!  When we started the school year, I had just had a baby and ended a hard pregnancy so we pretty much drifted through the first semester.  Thankfully, our curriculum is all planned out for us so that is possible to do...unfortunately, I'm a planner so I like to do more than drift!  Since we have pretty much shut down for this year I have already started planning a little more detail for next year.

In January we started reciting a scripture every morning before we did our morning jobs.  I've been using the Primary monthly theme and the scripture that is on the back cover of the Friend magazine.  We alternate each day which one we recite.  It was a good addition to our routine. Sienna and Logan always do it as well (Logan pretty much just looks at the pictures and says one our two words...but it works!)

Sometime in the spring I set a time for us to do our scripture and jobs.  9:00 ended up being the magic number.  So often we didn't get to it until 10:00 or later and it just wasn't working for me.  It is the only thing that is currently "scheduled" in our day...everything else is more of a routine.  This change has helped keep us more on track in the mornings.

Just this week we added a couple new things to our scripture time.  We started reading one story from the scripture readers (the ones from Church Distribution)...actually Kessiah and Jenessa take turns reading outloud while Sienna, Logan and I (and Mason) sit on the floor and "listen"  (as well as a 4 year old and 2 year old can listen!).  Then we sing a couple of active Primary songs.  I made this change for the benefit of Sienna and a way to include them more.

Sienna and Logan have been a challenge this year.  I've tried a couple of different things but nothing has really stuck.  I plan to do more preschool stuff with Sienna next year...maybe that will help, maybe it won't.  I need to do something different there...I'll have to search for inspiration over the summer.

Something else we started around the beginning of our second semester (not school related) is Saturday jobs.  I set up a schedule of what each child needed to do and it has worked quite well.  About a month ago I set up a rotating "reward" for each Saturday after their Saturday jobs are done.  We were having a problem with everyone thinking they could pick out a movie every Saturday after their jobs were done.  Let's do the math...4 kids X 2 hour movie = way too much screen time for one day!  So now they rotate between a movie, Wii time, computer time and picking what we eat for dinner.  It has been a great improvement!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Mason is just starting to sit up on his own.  I have been practicing a lot with him this week.  I'm hoping with school slowing down for the summer I can focus more on him and help him work on some of those muscles he needs to develop!

One bonus...he still pretty much stays where I put him since he can't crawl yet.  Unfortunately, he can roll over and always seems to find whatever paper/pencils/crayons are laying around.


Logan has discovered over the past week that he does NOT have to wait for me to come into his room in the morning or after his nap in order for him to get up and walk out of his room.  He comes out with the proudest grin on his face!

He really does not like softball games.  He is such a homebody!  We are usually at a game for about 20 minutes before he starts asking "Almost done?"  "Time go home?"  I guess I need to start bringing more than snacks and sidewalk chalk to keep him happy.

He has entered the "Why" phase of toddlerhood.  At times everything I say he responds with "why?" Even if "why?" doesn't make any sense!  "why?"  "why?"  "why?"


Sienna is the third girl in a row, she is also the middle child in our family. Sometimes feels like life has dealt her an injustice.  She is afraid of being left out of anything and tries desperately to keep up with her sisters.  She thinks she is Logan's boss and Mason's mom (which causes much screaming from Logan and crying from Mason)  She has mastered the art of crying at a moment's notice whenever she feels like it will be to her advantage (I don't understand why she keeps trying this tactic because in my mind it does not get her what she wants)

So, we have taken up pouring water over her head when she starts to cry over __________ (you fill in the blank!)  OK, probably not the best parenting technique...I need to look for a better alternative.

Sienna recently got into her gymnastics class after being on the waiting list for way too long!  She is happy to be there and it has been much nicer for me to have all the girls in gymnastics at the same time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

I had a good day.  It started with a breakfast made by Kessiah.  She has become a pro at sausage.  This morning she made scrambled eggs for the first time all by herself.  And she made me some toast just as I slice with just butter and one slice with jam (strawberry freezer jam we made a few weeks ago!  YUM!)

They gave me some gifts...a new Wii exercise game, some earrings, some flowers.

Everyone behaved themselves (mostly)...It was a bit of a wrestling match with Logan during sacrament meeting.

We were supposed to have the missionaries over for dinner, but they called at the last minute and had to cancel...that made the kids pretty upset.  But we enjoyed a yummy dinner anyway.  Kessiah and Jenessa had made dirt cake that morning for dessert.  I love chocolate pudding and Oreos!

This evening we watched an old family movie when we just had Kessiah and Jenessa.  Wow, it was kind of weird to think about how different our lives would be if we had stopped there.  I'm so glad we didn't!

On Saturday, the activity girls planned a Mother's Day Spa Brunch.  Kessiah and I took Mason (Ryan had a softball practice and took the other 3 with him) and we enjoyed some tasty breakfast treats and painted each other's fingernails and toenails.

On Friday, we went out and bought some flowers for our pots in the front.  It's been such a cold spring, I usually worry about them dying from lack of watering (on my part) this year I hope they don't freeze to death!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Potty Training?

So, yesterday Logan told me he had to go poo...not unusual, he often lets me know.  I asked him if he wanted to go sit on the potty (I bought a new toddler potty several months ago because I hated the one we had and I still have 2 little guys who need to learn!).  He said he sat on the potty and did the deed!  WOW!  Ok, so afterwards he peed on his bedroom floor...but one step at a time right?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jenessa's First Hit and Physical Therapy

Jenessa got her first base hit in softball tonight.  She was pretty excited, unfortunately, she didn't make it past first base because the next runner struck out and that was the end of the inning.

Mason had physical therapy today.  Jodi let him warm up for 5-10 minutes and then she "played" with him for about 5-10 minutes.  He seemed fine but after she was done with that much he was angry.  I've never seen him so upset.  He didn't even want to look at Jodi and had to have me holding him...he wouldn't even let me put him on the floor.

We stayed up way too late last night playing Phase 10.  It was fun to be able to play with Kessiah and Jenessa...but I paid the price today with some crabby kids!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Piano Recitals and Hair Cuts

On Saturday Kessiah and Jenessa had a piano recital.  We joined forces with a couple of other piano teachers who only have a few students and had the recital in the chapel.  Kessiah's teacher is nice enough to let Jenessa participate even though she is still taking lessons from me.  They both did really well, I'm so glad they get the experience of playing in front of other people.

All the boys got haircuts this weekend...I do mean ALL the boys!  Yep, we cut a little off of Mason's top...he was getting the "comb-over look"

At softball games this week, Kessiah got a hit...but it went right to the pitcher who caught it.  Jenessa was playing second base and got someone out.

Are they all yours?

I was asked this twice this week!  And one of the times I only had 4 of the kiddos with me!

Besides the twice asked "Are they all yours?"  I was also asked another common question by someone else "How do you do it?"  Honestly, sometimes I'm not sure!  But I can say that having 5 kids under 10 and homeschooling has pushed me to new levels of organization and there are blessings!