Wednesday, September 29

Playing Hard

I've been making more of a conscious effort to play with my girlies the past couple of weeks, while we still have lots of daylight and warm weather...and while they're still young enough to want me to play with them!  We've been having so much fun!  It doesn't take much to keep little kids entertained, and they love having their pictures taken.  Linking up with the Millers for Wordless Wednesday, here are some of my favorite pics from this past week:





 


 Playing wears me out!!

Thursday, September 23

Why I Love My Job

When I saw this writing prompt from Mama Kat, I knew I had to jump in. After all, I think I have the best job in the world! Well, most days, anyway. Here are a few thoughts on the perks of being a stay-at-home mommy:

1. PDA: Most companies have a strict policy on public displays of affection. At my place, though, the more affection I show, the better! I am the executive boo boo kisser, toddler cuddler, make-it-all-better hugger. I even get to give the CEO a big kiss when he comes in. It doesn't get much better than that!


2. Permanent maternity leave: Working women have 8 or 12 weeks at the most to go back to work after they have a baby, reluctantly leaving their little ones and the comforts of home. But my job began when I had a baby, and I may never leave home again! If you've had little ones, you know what I mean!  I consider it a long-term vacation :)

3. Surprises: One of the big complaints in an ordinary ol' job is that it gets monotonous over time. The same work, day in, day out. I NEVER have two days alike! My girls are great at leaving me little "surprises" - on the floor, in their diapers, on my clothes - to ensure that I am always on my toes.  And that I am never, ever bored.



4. Choosing your boss: Usually, you when you apply for a job, you don't have a say in who you work for.  However, not only did I choose the bosses I have, I got to name them - Linsey, Hannah, and Natalie!  Don't those sound like great people to work for??

5.  Forms of entertainment at work:  Mainstream companies also generally frown upon using company time to catch up on personal email, watch television, or just veg out in general.  But in my world, the more cartoons I watch with my little bosses, or spend time with them coloring or playing a game, the cooler they think I am!  This is the life...

6.  No experience necessary:  I quickly realized that I didn't know a thing about being a mom when I started, despite the volumes of books I had read!  But that's okay - babies really don't care, and being a mom provides tons of on-the-job training.  Of course, most of it is at 3 am or in the grocery store with a screaming toddler, but it's training nonetheless.  And, despite having 16 years of schooling prior to becoming a mom, my job has currently taken me back to studying kindergarten curriculum, just for fun.

7.  Pets:  I know people have to leave their furry friends at home when they go to work, but most days, I feel like I work in a zoo!  And when my kids aren't acting like strange little creatures, we've had six fish, a turtle, and a guinea pig in the mix.  Now we're upgrading to a puppy, and I NEVER have to be away from these animals - life is fun!!


8.  Naptime:  Without a doubt, naptime is one of the biggest perks of being a mommy.  I get paid the same (let's not talk about salary though) whether my kids are awake or asleep.  So for at least an hour - okay half an hour - every day, the younger ones rest and the older ones have quiet time, and I actually get to lie down and have it semi-quiet, especially with those earplugs I ordered!

9.  Job security:  At a time where inflation and unemployment are on the rise, I'm glad to know my job is secure.  As long as I am a mom, I have a job!  Strangely, no one seems to even be in competition with me for my position.  Now that kind of security is hard to come by :)      

10.  Favoritism:  As a stay-at-home wife/mom, every day, I get to make the people I love most (my family) the happiest I can, without an outside job competing for my attention.  I do this by cooking meals they like (hopefully), making sure they have clean clothes, and just taking care of their needs so they know how much I love them.  Though it can be challenging, I can't think of any job I'd rather have than being a mommy...except maybe being a daddy!

     

Wednesday, September 22

Fairly Fun

To kick off our school year, we attend the county fair not too far from us (okay, it's an hour, but so is everything else!)  The girls had a blast this year, tons of rides and activities for kids their age!  The best part was, since my in-laws just moved into the area, I dropped the baby off with them and my sister-in-law came along.  Here are a few highlights for this fabulous Wednesday:

Hannah's first little roller coaster

Great kids' area: making dirt babies, milking cows, petting zoo
 

Linking up with Miller Racing Family!

Tuesday, September 14

Breaking Traditions

Everyone seems to have an opinion or "expert advice" about the challenges of homeschooling, and there are certainly challenges.  Now I graduated with a degree in secondary education, and both my parents are teachers - personally, I love the idea of a traditional education.  It just isn't what we feel is best for our family at this stage in our lives.  So, on a more lighthearted note, here are some of my favorite "tips" about homeschooling (mostly from non-homeschoolers!) that I vowed to put into practice:


Tip #1:  Make sure your kids get some time with peers so they learn how to get along with others.

Tip #2:  Don't let your kids stay in their pajamas all day.

Tip #3:  Don't let your children slack off and do nothing just because they're at home.
This is our kindergarten material!

Tip #4: Expose your children to a variety of different settings so they know how to behave in public.

Tip #5:  Don't let your kids grow up to be weird!!

Hope these made you smile - have a great week!!

Monday, September 13

Home Sweet School

 We started our second year of homeschooling a few weeks ago, and we love it!  
 
This year we're using a virtual charter academy called K12 (click here for website). Basically, it means that Linsey is enrolled in an online charter school, and I am the "moderator."

Several people have asked me about the program, so I thought I'd go into a little detail:
 
- I am responsible to teach my daughter the material, but the company sends me EVERYTHING I need (including clay, tempera paint, a globe, you name it!) for free, just as a traditional public school would provide.

- They provide day-by-day lesson plans according to your child's needs along with teacher guides explaining exactly HOW to teach each lesson. So many great ideas!  Very strong educational base even in kindergarten, but still fun.

 Cinderella and her "glass" slippers

- I enter all attendance, test scores, etc., online, and they keep the records. This helps tremendously with the amount of paperwork I am responsible for, and my prep time is less than half an hour each day.

- K12 has a tremendous support system set up.  Each child is assigned a teacher who checks in frequently to make sure everything is going smoothly.  I send this teacher samples of Linsey's work for her to observe.  I can also call or email whenever I have a question, and I had a lot of those at first!  The teacher ALWAYS got back to me within a day.

- Linsey loves that a lot of her work, even in kindergarten, is done online with games, short videos, etc.  It really keeps her attention.

This program requires a lot of accountability from the parents, which some homeschooling parents understandably do not like.  However, I have no problems with it and feel good knowing that I have help to turn to whenever I need it.  It also does not include a Bible curriculum, but we supplement our own each morning before doing the rest of our schoolwork.  With the time it saves me and the peace of mind it gives me as a new homeschooling mom, it's a perfect fit for our family. 

Wednesday, September 8

Mama's Little Helpers

Since I homeschool our girls, we are together a LOT.  We have a deal:  I play with them, they help me clean...that's what families do, right?  We're there for each other.  We do our heavy cleaning on Thursdays and Fridays, but they enjoy it so much, sometimes they ask if we can clean just for fun!  Here are my "helpers:"







What chores do you have your little ones help with?




Wednesday, September 1

Deeeelicious Frozen Mocha Pie

My girls l-o-v-e helping me in the kitchen, and you can see why:

 Good to the last drop!



I had to hop in on this fun recipe hop with my friend Jocelyn, check out her delicious recipes every Tuesday!  Anyway, this no-bake dessert is a favorite of ours, especially when it's too hot to turn on the oven:

Frozen Mocha Pie


Crust:
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1/4 c. melted butter

Combine and press in pan.

Filling:
Mix 2 T. instant coffee and 2 t. boiling water.  Add 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 c. chocolate syrup.  Fold mixture into 1 pint whipped whipping cream.  Freeze.

*Note: This calls for 1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream, which equals about 4 cups when whipped. 


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