Sunday, September 17, 2017

You going to take a nap?

Micah is all over the place when it comes to his naps. Most of the time, he needs one. It just depends on when he gets tired. Last week, he was in bed one morning by 10 am. Sometimes he is not tired until 3:30 pm. There has been days when he has gone all day without a nap and has been asleep by 8:00 pm for the night.  He has never been on a consistent nap schedule, and I am sure he will never be at this point!  (As you can tell, I don't schedule my life around his naps like I did the other three children!)

Yesterday we were home all day. Matt has surgery in two weeks, so he is still restricted on what he can do.  I got some cleaning done yesterday, and we just relaxed. Courtney and Matt played a LOT of Minecraft. Anyway, Micah was fine all day. He never got crabby or yawned, so I didn't put him down. About 7 pm last night, Matt was grilling and Micah really wanted to go outside and slide! It was pretty cool and rainy out, so nobody wanted to take him. He was not taking "no" for an answer and proceeded to have a fit about it! I scooped him up and started rocking him. Within two minutes, the boy was asleep! The bad thing was that I was in the middle of getting dinner ready!

Since it was 7 pm, I didn't know if he was just going to take a nap or if he would be out for the night. He usually sleeps a 1 1/2 hours, so if it was a nap, he would be up at 8:30 pm, and then I thought I would surely be up until at least 11 pm with him!!

I laid him on a pillow on the living floor, and he continued to sleep all the way through dinner.  We were eating cherry pie and homemade ice cream about 8:30 pm when he woke up. Just as predicted. :)  He had some ice cream and some other food for dinner and went back to playing awhile.

About 10 pm, he started to yawn and get sleepy! YES!! I asked him if he wanted to go to bed and he said, "Yes," so I put his pajamas on him and put him to bed. He was asleep by 10:30!

Now, if I am only up until 10:30 pm with a boy who takes a nap at 7 pm, I don't mind at all!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

New Recipes?

We are kind of in a meal rut around here. Many of us are tired of the same meals we have been making the last few years, and the kids have been begging for some new recipes.

Here is how the last two nights went with new recipes.

On Thursday night, I made lasagna, which I haven't made in YEARS! I made one pan of regular wheat noodles, plus I added the eggs with the ricotta cheese mixture.  In addition, I made a pan of gluten free noodles and instead of eggs, I used egg replacement because Micah is allergic to eggs. I had two 9x13 pans of lasagna. This was a lot of work, but it turned out GREAT and we may see lasagna again in our future. Everybody loved it!

Last night, I made a chicken and rice casserole, but I also added a bag of frozen broccoli, so it was really a chicken-rice-broccoli casserole. Well, I thought it was great! One certain child of mine told me it looked like puke, and after saying it two to three times, I asked her to please go to the other room until she could talk nicely.  She ate a little bit, and said she was done. Matt also didn't like it because I used rice milk for the creamy base. I don't used canned soups at all anymore, and I usually don't use cow's milk at home to cook.  Four of us ate it and didn't complain.  Not as much as a "win" as I would have hoped.

Off to find the next new recipe!

PS I have even stopped buying the ingredients to meals that I am personally "done" with, such as chili. The kids keep asking for it, and I keep saying, "Sorry, we don't have the ingredients. I must have missed that at the store!" :)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Service Project

For the last few years, I have been part of a homeschool PE coop that met every Thursday afternoon.  There were about six families that were a part of it. We scheduled each mom to lead PE games one to two times throughout the semester, and things worked out well for the first year or two.  Last spring, things didn't work out so well anymore. We had moms not show up, moms not let us know they weren't planning on leading their assigned day, moms were sick, kids were sick, and most of the time, it was myself and two other moms.  We couldn't play a game of t-ball or soccer with so little kids.

During this summer, I did some thinking about how we could change things up a bit.   My first thought was to take the pressure off the moms by not having them lead a PE class anymore. Obviously some moms didn't want to take their turn in leading PE, and that was frustrating because it always fell back on me.  I also wanted to change it to mornings. We have many babies and toddlers in the group, and I thought many of the kids would be taking an afternoon nap.  My other thought was to schedule it to meet every other week instead of every week. I know some moms were pretty busy with their kids in other activities, and that was one reason why they couldn't make it every week.

After talking it over with a couple of moms, we decided to change it to a service project/ field trip group.  Everybody always showed up for field trips, and service projects were also a great hit last year, so why not concentrate on those for the year? I threw this idea out to the group, and everybody was on board. Apparently everybody was up for a change! We are now meeting twice a month on a Friday morning. One morning will be a service project and the other will be a field trip.

Today was our first meeting for the year, and we helped bag lunches at the Open Door Mission downtown.  We had to be there by 9 am, which was a challenge for me! But I was the first one there by 20 minutes! I think the kids had a great time. Even Micah helped; he threw trash away!

After we were done there, we went downtown and had a sack lunch, played on the slides, and fed the geese at a local park.  I could have stayed there and walked around all day. It was so nice to take some time and just relax!!

Our next field trip is in two weeks and we are going to a local pumpkin patch. We are going to take a short class on apples and get to pick our own apples from the orchard. We then get to play there all day. It should be fun! I am glad for a change of pace!

Thursday, September 14, 2017


When people ask how school is going so far in our house, I respond with, "Well, we are getting there."  The first few weeks, we just did math and English to get going. I thought things went great. Micah played well by himself and I didn't have much trouble.

The last week or so, I added back ALL the subjects. Guess who does not want to cooperate anymore?? Micah!! He is the great interrupter!! Hold me, get me a drink, put my trucks back together, snack, diaper change, etc, etc, etc. It is always something!! And of course, I don't really want to stop teaching to help him, so the girls will usually pop up and help.  (I do help him occasionally.) But these last two days have been pretty bad. :( 

This morning, he was fussy and whiny, so I decided to put him down for a nap. I thought if I took the time to read him stories and the whole bit, then he would sleep at least 1 1/2 hours for me while I could work on school. (Lately, I have just been rocking him to sleep as I read to the kids.) WRONG! I started to put him to bed at 9:45 am and I was still in his room at 10:30 and he STILL wasn't sleeping. I got him back up and brought him back downstairs. I knew he was tired though.  From 10:30-12, he just whined and whined and bothered us and just couldn't play on his own. I got him a drink, I gave him snacks, I picked him up, but nothing worked. Around 12, we were finishing schoolwork and he just couldn't control himself anymore.  I decided that he really needed a nap! I put him in his bed and let him have a fit for about 30 minutes. Eventually he went to sleep and has been sleeping the last 1 1/2 hours. Unfortunately, we are on our lunch/ recess break, so this doesn't really help me!

If Micah isn't giving me trouble, then Christian is. We brought all the trains downstairs for both boys to play with, but they just can't seem to play well together. I have to keep breaking up fights and figuring out who was playing with what.  I kind of want to split all the train stuff  into two piles and put each boy and a pile in their separate corners!! GET Along!!! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

9-11 Memorial in New York City

When we were in New York City, we were very fortunate that we were able to take the kids to the 9-11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan. As we watched old footage today, we were able to place ourselves there and talk about things.  We learned more things about that day today as we read and put it all together. I really hope the kids appreciate the time we had at the memorial.

Things were a little different than when we were there four years ago, such as that we didn't have to go through three rounds of security to get in! They had taken down the six foot gates that surrounded the whole complex. The Freedom Tower was done along with the 9-11 Museum, which we did not have a chance to go in because we were there too late in the day.

Freedom Tower

One of the reflecting pools. I could sit here for hours and watch the waterfalls and read the names of the people on the sides.

So touching.

Megan and Christian.

The other reflecting pool.

We could look through the windows to the museum. I wish we could have gone in! These were pieces from the actual buildings that collapsed.  There is also a huge display of flags.  Some of these flags were hanging in the World Trade Center when it collapsed.  (We weren't the only people looking through the windows!)

Matt, Micah, and I in front of a reflecting pool. It was about 9 at night, so Micah was getting tired. He fell asleep shortly after this picture. We headed to the Brooklyn Bridge after this, and I carried him the WHOLE way there and back to the subway station!

 If anybody has a chance, they need to go see this memorial!!  Even if it is all you see in NYC. Ok, along with the Statue of Liberty. :)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Space Shuttle Discovery (Another Trip Post)

One place that we wanted to see again when we got to Washington, DC was the Air and Space Museum in Virginia. We stopped there four years ago and saw the space shuttle Discovery, which was AMAZING, but since we got there so late, we only saw the shuttle and then we had to leave. Matt wanted to see the rest of the museum this time, so we went back. He said this was really the only thing he wanted to see in the DC area!  I thought we should go to this museum the first day we were in DC. 

The space shuttle was just as amazing as it was four years ago!

(As a side note, Matt accidently deleted five days worth of pictures from my camera, and this was one of the days he deleted. Luckily, Megan was also taking pictures with her camera, so these are Megan's pictures. )

The Smithsonian Museum! You can see people walking up to it.  This museum is located about an hour outside of Washington DC in Virginia.  It is near the Washington Dulles airport.

 And of course, Megan has no pictures of us running into the museum in the pouring rain! And Matt couldn't figure out the parking machines, so he had to run back out with a "free parking pass." He was completely soaked!

Space Shuttle Discovery! This is what you see as you walk into the museum.

The front of the space shuttle. I love that you can see all the wear and tear on the heat tiles on the bottom of the aircraft.

I guess when you are not taking pictures, you might actually get IN a picture!

They had a video of the last Discovery launch from Kennedy Space Center.

A view of the space shuttle. Pictures just don't do this justice. It is huge!

The back of the space shuttle. See the little people down below?

A space suit that was used when walking on the moon.

And of course, Megan likes to pose people and take pictures. I thought these were cute!! Such serious poses of my kids!

 Don't mind the German swastika in the background!

Summer is over!

Yesterday Matt and I declared the end of summer. We finally realized that we are not going to have a chance to get the jetskiis out this summer. :(  We headed out to his parents' house to drain the old gas out of them, and then we brought them back to Omaha to store them for the winter.

We have had literally no time to get them out this summer. We were busy every weekend before we left on our trip, and then we left for six weeks.  Once we got back, Matt developed his hernia and he says there is NO WAY he is going to get on a jetski with that!  I said he could just put them in the water and I could drive them. :)  But he had 30 gallons to burn between the two., and he said I wouldn't be able to burn that all in one afternoon. Haha!!

Once he drained the gas out yesterday, he said it was pretty bad anyway and the jetskiis would not have run very well.  He refilled them with new gas yesterday, and they will go back into storage until next year.

Hopefully next year, we will get them out! We didn't even get out to the lakes this year to camp!