Saturday, July 30, 2011

Schoolin' the kids

Another school year is upon us and I have been praying and praying for God's wisdom and discernment of what to do for school this year. I have always approached our children's
education with the theory: EVALUATE EACH CHILD EVERY YEAR of what will work the best for them. We have spent months praying, talking, checking out different options, visiting schools...more praying.

Tyson is officially kindergarten age (although I did a lot of kindergarten with him last year). We have decided to keep him with me at home. It seems to be the best decision for bonding and connection. It will also give us the freedom to straddle 2 grades at once. We will finish up a few kindergarten things and also try to begin some 1st grade work too.

Tristen will also stay home with me for this school year. We had enrolled her in a 2 day a week tutorial, but decided (at the last moment) that for her health and spirit, it will be best to stay close to the nest for her 6th grade year. She will also get a chance to continue on in her art classes.

Tally is officially starting 7th grade and will attend a 2 day a week tutorial which will also dictate her course work for the 3 days at home. After much investigating, we felt that this was the best option for Tally. She is ready to spread her wings a bit and needs some academic challenges from someone else.

Tate...well...although he is old enough to attend a preschool, he is the mama's boy and does best by my side. He doesn't even attend his SS class on Sunday morning any longer, because mama doesn't stay with him and he likes to be with me. =) Maybe next year when he is 4.

As the big girls inch closer to the high school level, I have had to begin my research of what is needed for graduating. I just attended a seminar today about this very subject and came away both challenged and a bit frightened. Who knows...I just might be schooling at least one kiddo all the way. We will wait to see how God directs our family.

And the BIG tree is finally gone

Our beautiful big elm tree fell over in May. We woke up one day after a nasty night time storm and saw this amazing sight. I would have never guessed that tree would come down. Almost 100 feet tall and about 100 years old. Gone.

Shockingly, it did not hit any one's home. It did a bit of damage to the neighbor's fence and took over their back yard. All I could imagine was how much this was going to cost us. $$$$ I felt totally overwhelmed and couldn't imagine how to start to take care of it. But...I was reminded of God's faithful word and that He bares my burdens and His yoke is easy.

We put out word to a few friends and neighbors and we were once again, blessed with help (you see, this happened 2 years ago too). We worked all morning long from the smallest to the tallest, and got about half the tree completed.

It was so sweet to see the kids work together as teams to get all the little stuff picked up.

Our life group came and helped us out. We meet with some friends from church who are all adoptive families. Love these people.

Look at that crew. So many people to help. Amazingly blessed by their hard work.

We had several tractors and a 4 wheeler running the branches out to the curb. And several chain saws running. And this was only ONE Saturday, we also had another crew come and volunteer the next Saturday. Another neighbor and her crew from church came and helped. They brought the BIG guns though...big chain saws and a bobcat.

Today, we hired a tree guy to cut the stump off to the ground and level it. So far, that's all we had to pay for. The rest was from some fantastic volunteers. And, now with the big tree gone, the yard just doesn't look the same. Kind of naked feeling. So, we have planted a bunch more trees to take its place.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What a little soccer star

Last fall we signed Tyson up for soccer and got our first experience as a family cheering on one of our own in a team sport. It turned out to be pretty fun. could it not be fun once you discover your kid rocks it on the field. Man !!! This one has some talent.

He also played in the spring season and we found a great coach who can really lead him. What a great outlet for ALL that energy (yes...he
has a ton of energy).

In November when the seaso
n was over, we had a pretty big let down as a result. But we saw some improvements in the spring season and it didn't effect Tyson as much when it was over.We turned into THAT family that cheers wildly for each and every goal. For the season of 8 games, Tyson got 56 goals (yes you read that right). ***insert proud mom smile*** And when I say we cheer, I really mean we ring cow bells and whoop and holler.

Tate is signed up for the 3 year ol
d league that starts in the fall. And since it is getting embarrassing for Adu to be in the 4/5 yo group, we are moving him up to the next group. It should be another fun season.To be honest, we are really proud of how well Tyson does on the field, but honestly, its more than just the goals. He is fun to watch, he loves the sport, he is enthusiastic, outgoing, includes others, cheers on his teammates, is a leader, has learned to listen and follow instruction from the coach, has a great heart and care if someone gets hurt, and always says "good game".
Here is Tyson waiting for his coach to give him the "go ahead". He is held back behind the line when he is playing to let the other kids have a chance with the ball. Then once he gets the freedom, he shoots out onto the field and dominates. See that determination in his eyes?

Side note story: My neighbor was signing up her kids for the fall soccer season and she overheard some parents talking about a kid that was REALLY good and they wanted to be on the same team. Somehow she found out that they were talking about our boy. Now...that just makes me grin.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer is flying by

Wow...for our official down time for summer, it is just flying by. I feel like we are trying to cram a years worth of work into 2 months. Since we school the kids here at home, I feel like summer is my only "days off" and I try to take advantage of it. I have spent many hours working on sorting and cleaning and organizing...not to mention, painting, building, reading, catching up with extra school work...and of course swimming, VBSing, camp for the big kids, nursing a sick dog back to health. We haven't even been able to get away on a vacation yet, but hope to squeeze in a few days before September.

I have been really challenged to purge the un-needed away from my life and get rid of things that are cluttering up my home and my brain. I have hauled van load after van load to the Goodwill and the trash. I spent about 2 days shredding old bills and paper documents that were not needed anymore and fill 8 hefty trash bags full of paper.

In between the work around here, I have been reading a few books that have had an impact on my life. You might be familiar with these 2 books.

Both have been very challenging and cause a lot of soul searching for me. Not to mention, I am finishing up reading through the Bible since about the middle of January (if you haven't read it through in one year, it is worth it). I am keeping a journal of things I am grateful for (all those gifts and blessings God gives every day) and I am also keeping a journal of truths about God. Things from the scriptures that I can cling to when my emotions might not be leading me to the truth. God is pruning. And I am grateful.

We have also been praying for months for God to really lead our family toward what He desires us to do. Making sure we are right in the midst of His will. There have been a lot of private discussions with Chuck and I about following God's lead and walking where He wants us to go. It has been hard, but good for us. God often allows us to grow the most when He brings us through difficult times.

Gotta run...more update to follow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tate is 3 !!!

He is full of smiles. And turning into a happy little boy. Not much more of a baby, but growing up so quickly. Tate is one who brings joy to our family.

We had a nice little party with 3 of his friends and our family. He did so well and had NO shut down moments or difficulties, he even ate some food with his friends. Our sweet boy has come SO far. Love him to pieces.