Wednesday, November 16, 2016

F.I.V.E.

My oldest is 5! 

Five just seemed like SUCH a big one to me. At 4, I could still be in denial that she was little. But 5...five is a kid. Not a toddler anymore, not really even a preschool (though she's not yet in Kinder). A kid. It's so bittersweet! I absolutely LOVE watching her grow. She is such an awesome girl. But it's also so sad, because she is growing so fast. I have this absolutely horrible habit of counting things down and depressing myself. So I'll do things like say that we are more than 1/4 of the way done having her under our roof. Or that she is as close to being TEN as she is far away from being a newborn. I need to stop! I really truly love watching her at every stage, but WHY, why does it go so fast?! 

Since she turned 5 at the end of September, I have had a little time to let this sink in now, thankfully. I am mostly out of the sadness of it, and just excited to watch her grow...until next year when she turns 6 AND starts kinder..wahhh! 

At 5 years old, she has certainly come into her own. She is spunky and smart. Cute and cuddly. Friendly and fierce. She feels things BIG...no matter what feeling that may be. Some of what I've seen come out in her this last year shows me that she is probably going to be a wonderful challenge as a teen ;) 

This girl has such a big heart. She loves Jesus so much and has SO many questions about Him, Heaven, the Bible, sin, Jesus' death, His life, God's character, and more. Sometimes it is really hard to answer her questions! She is kind of in a phase where she wants to know SO much and she is capable of understanding A LOT, but not everything so it's hard to explain things because there are some things that are simply impossible for her to understand without experiencing life a little more, and that frustrates her. She just wants to know, know, know, and I hope she never loses that trait! 

She is learning a lot in our homeschool times. I love watching her little brain work! So far, it seems that she might lean more towards the math and science type things--that seems to be how her brain works, where her sister picks up language, reading, etc. so quickly. We will see how that progresses as she gets older! Right now it is just really fun to watch her learn and explore and figure out new concepts on her own sometimes! Her favorite parts of school are read aloud, whenever we do a craft or project of some sort, any type of coloring, and math concepts. She is starting to pick up some basic sight words and figuring out the concept of sounding out words a little bit, but they don't seem to be her favorites at all. 

She is SUCH a helper! She absolutely loves being a big sister. She is so good to all of her siblings and really enjoys playing with them and helping them! And they all just adore her, as well! She loves helping out around the house (most of the time) and I'm starting to realize that I need to milk that for all its worth until she realizes cleaning isn't fun ;) 
The girl is an outdoorsy type, to say the least. She would be outside 100% of the time, if I would let her. She loves running around in the backyard, riding her bike up and down the sidewalk (I'm thinking she'll be ready to take her training wheels off in the Spring!), scootering, going on walks, playing at the park, anything having to do with water. Anything outdoors, she loves. (She also REALLY loves superheroes!)

She had been wanting to take an ice skating class, so her Grammie got her that for her birthday, and she just passed the first level! We are getting ready to start her in the next level. She did soccer last Spring and really liked that, but she really wanted to try ice skating, and that seems to be her favorite, by far! We will see if she continues on with it or what happens, but it is fun to watch her! She went from barely being able to stand up on the ice, to actually skating in such a short time! I have a feeling she will excel at it!

She and her sister also started a music class this fall. There are only 4 kids total in the class, and it's just a gentle intro to piano. She looks forward to going every week, but I don't think it'll be something she really wants to pursue in the future, at least not for now! And that's ok! She enjoys playing on her keyboard and practicing, and doing her "homework" every week :) 

There is so much more I could say about my girl, but I'll stop here! I am so thankful I get to parent her and spend every day with her. She is such a joy! 
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Kids Books We Are Currently Loving

We LOVE books in this house! Always have, always will. Both of my girls have been book worms their entire lives, and you can often find my husband and I with our noses in a good book at night! (I wish I could say the same for our littles, but they are WAY too busy to sit for a book...or for a page of a book. *sigh* Someday!) I always love finding out about kids books we haven't explored yet, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the current kids lit on rotation in our home! I would love to hear what some of your current favorite kid's books are! 


Tim Bugbird's Dessert Fairy Books
We absolutely love these books! We have had Izzy the Ice Cream Fairy for several years, but have started collecting several more of these books this year and they are just so cute! I am hoping to eventually add them all to our collection, and they are really affordable books, so it shouldn't be too hard! I think these books make great gifts for little girls, if you ever need something easy for a birthday party or something! Amazon has most (if not all) of these books! 
Why we love them: The illustrations are unique and very engaging. Cute rhyming stories. Every book has a great message, like working together to be successful, being careful with your words, being persistent, etc. One of my FAVORITE things about these books is the diversity you see in the illustrations. So many different beautiful skin tones in each book, and that is something very important to our family! 

The Biggest Story
This is one of those books that my children maybe don't fully comprehend yet, but I think it's such a good starting point for them and we'll continue reading it and having conversations about it throughout the years! (Here's the Amazon link)
Why we love it: Absolutely stunning illustrations that we all enjoy looking at! We love that it tells the story of the gospel and ties the entire Bible together in one big story. It touches on many of the shortcomings of Biblical characters, which could be seen as a negative, but I think it helps my kiddos to understand how much we need Jesus. 

Mercy Watson
I don't know where I first heard about these books, but I am SO glad we checked them out! Our whole family fell in love with the characters. My girls often pretend play with characters from Mercy Watson, or "Mercy Wapson" as they call her ;) We flew through each one when we would check them out at the library, and we ended up getting my oldest daughter the boxed set for her birthday so we can keep coming back to them! They are early chapter books, and we do them as read alouds during school time or at night. The brief synopsis is that these books are based on a pig named Mercy Watson who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. She is basically like their child and they dote on her and call her their "porcine wonder". Mercy LOVES "toast with a great deal of butter" and is often investigating something or another and annoying the elderly neighbor, Eugenia Lincoln. The books are just a hoot...such cute story lines with memorable characters every kid will love! (Amazon)
Why we love them: I probably already gave it away, but we love that these books are funny, easy to read, have hilarious story lines and such fun characters. The illustrations are so cute and very vivid, too! I love that they have been a really great introduction to read alouds. There are still pictures on most, but not all, pages, so my kids are starting to get a little practice with imagining the stories as I read them! 


Five Minutes Peace: This was one of my favorite books as a little girl! I'm not sure why I liked it so much, but my girls like it just as much! We found it a few months ago in some of my things and have been reading it over and over again, ever since! It is such a cute little story AND I am so excited-when I was looking it up on Amazon just now, I saw there is a whole collection of stories with this family! I had no idea! The story is about a Mama elephant who just wants 5 minutes peace from her 3 little ones, but you know she didn't get that. It's a funny telling of how the kids try to get Mom's attention during her "peaceful" bathtime. 
Why we love it: The characters are relatable-my kids enjoy seeing the Large kids hobbies and personalities. Obviously as a Mom of 4, I can relate to not being able to do A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. alone! It's a super nostalgic book for me since I have so many memories of my mom reading it to me as a little girl. 

I Believe In Jesus: Leading your child to Christ: I first heard about this book when Callie reviewed it a few months ago. I really respect that Callie always does her  homework on how theologically sound books and resources are, so I knew it was a recommendation I could trust and was excited to get it in the mail! The book is a basic explanation of the Gospel for children. 
Why we love it: I love that it is an easy way to continue Gospel conversations with my kids. It's a great conversation starter and explains the whole Gospel to them in an easy to understand way. My kids love it because it talks about all the things we talk to them about-Jesus, Heaven, sin, His death & resurrection--but in ways that most kids books don't do. I think it really brings it to life for them and is starting to help them make great connections! 

The Princess In Black Collection: The Princess in Black books (I believe there are currently 4, but I hope they make more soon!) are really fun, easy chapter books about a Princess who moonlights as a superhero. My girls are very into superheroes right now so they really enjoy these books! These are another set of books we have used as read alouds during school time. 
Why we love them: Not to sound too cliche, but "girl power". I love books that show my girls that they can be strong and super, too! Princesses are fun, though my girls have never much been into them, but superheros are just awesome! My girls are really into them this year, so they love that the Princess goes out to fight crime in secret, but can still be a girly girl, too! 

Fancy Nancy Series: Fancy Nancy is a little girl that LOVES being fancy! She is always putting on tea parties, using fancy words, and coming up with something creative. 
Why we love them: I love them because they teach my daughters big words! Nancy uses "fancy" words and then explains what they mean. I have noticed my girls using a lot of these words in their vocabulary, which always makes me smile. The girls love them, because Nancy is always up to something fun! 

Clark the Shark Dares to Share: Clark is a shark who needs some help remember that sharing is a good thing. The story is super cute and really funny. 
Why we love it: As a mom, I love every reminder my kids can get about sharing! My girls really enjoy the story and silly characters! 

I Like Myself: This story is about a quirky little girl who talks about all of the different parts of her, and how much she likes them! We have had this book for a few years and have yet to grow tired of it!
Why we love it: We love all of the silly words and traits this child has, and I love that it teaches my girls to be proud of who they are! Not just of their bodies, but of their minds and personalities, too! 

Veggies with Wedgies: This hilarious book is about a crop of veggies who want something to wear, but nothing fits right. They decide to try on their farmer's underwear, that is hanging on the clothes line above their garden. 
Why we love it: It's a book about vegetables wearing underwear. My kids think it's hilarious. I think I'll just leave it at that!

















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Monday, August 22, 2016

First Day of Pre-K

Today we had our first day of Pre-K for the girls! We were all very excited to get started. I have been working a lot over the last few months on getting everything set up and planned for this year, and today was finally the day! We got through *almost* everything I wanted to do today. 


Both of the girls will be doing mostly the same thing, which you can read more about here. Today things took a bit longer than I anticipate it will on other days because we were getting acquainted with supplies, their binders, and how to do everything. I won't lie, there were some tears, and some frustrations, but I think it will be a great year! I had not really thought through what to do with the littles super thoroughly and that did prove to be pretty difficult, but hopefully it will get a little easier as we get into the swing of things. 
Here are just a few phone pics from our morning. We did a lot of other things as well, but I was a little busy teaching to take pictures ;) 

Working in their binders took f-o-r-e-v-e-r today!! They were wanting to use a different color for every little detail on the thankful page, color the clothes on the temperature page in such detail, etc. It was really cute to see them getting so into it and really taking their time, however, I think we'll have to speed that part up in the future ;) I didn't anticipate it taking quite as long as it did. 
We did a Bible lesson. This week we are learning about the Tower of Babel and the trait of God is that He is Glorious. Our verse for the week is Psalm 111:3. We also learned more about the letter Tt and did some reading and activities with that, as well as our sight word for the week which is the word 'a'. We did a few other things and then moved onto the more active stuff. They both loved this muffin tray activity which was just fine motor practice of them transferring the pom poms with tongs. 
 I just LOVE watching them learn and seeing what their little minds come up with! I kind of just left them to it for awhile since they were having fun and when I came back they were sorting into each cup by color...love it! Who knew such a simple activity they would love so much.
We also did a craft involving a tiger and contact paper. They turned out pretty hilarious!
I am excited to watch my girls learn and grow this year and blessed to be teaching them! 
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