Monday, September 26, 2011

School is in Session

If you had asked me a month ago if I thought I'd be spending my days waking up at 6:30am, packing lunch, waiting in the carpool lane twice a day and missing Katelyn terribly, I would have said "No way! We are homeschooling and loving the freedom to learn at our own pace on our own schedule." Well, life threw me a curve ball. Two weeks ago, we received a phone from our local charter school saying that they had a spot open up for Katelyn and that they needed to know if she would like to attend. If not, they would move to the next family on the waiting list. Katelyn started out 25th on the waiting list. In the back of my mind, I never really thought they would make it that far down the list before the end of the school year. So you can imagine my surprise when one day I was sitting in the school room doing an All About Spelling lesson and the next day I was visiting the school trying to to decide if we should let Katelyn attend the charter school. After a lot of discussion we decided that we would let her try it. If in the future we felt like Katelyn was doing better being taught at home then we could always pull her out. On the other hand, if later on down the line we felt like Katelyn would benefit from attending school, we couldn't just start her at the charter school, and it was highly unlikely that she would ever get a spot in the future because of the growing size of the lottery. So... we plunged. We visited the school on Friday, spent Saturday buying her school uniform and supplies, and Monday we walked her to her first day of Kindergarten.

Her first week of school went well. Like any other attending school for the first time, the days were really long and she wasn't always excited about getting up and going. But once she is there, I think she is having lots of neat experiences. Recess is by far her favorite. I love that she gets to have music and art class. She was in need of more discipline than I think I was giving her, so I think that the schedule and rules will only help her in the end even though she has a hard time with them right now.

Truth be told, I miss her a lot and I am sad that the afternoons reading on the couch or working together in a math workbook are gone, at least for now. But hopefully, we are doing what is best for Kate and it will only make me treasure the moments I have with her when she is home...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer 2011

It's time for a long over due update... A lot has happened in the last three months so hang on for the ride!

Josh had a birthday, shout hooray! Josh turned three years old on May 1st and we celebrated all day long. Friends and family came over for a BBQ, we had race car cake and there were lots of presents. We let Josh open a present every hour or so and it made the day so fun!

The birthday pancake!


The cake!

The kids!

The birthday boy!

The presents!

(Thanks, Nana and Grandpa Bellinghausen)

The very next day after Josh's birthday we surprised the kids and headed the the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC to stay the night and play in the indoor water park. We had a blast. The kids loved their log cabin bunk beds and private television. Kate was fearless on the water slides.
My favorite thing was getting the kids into their jammies and heading down to story time in the lobby.

Kate coming off the water slide.

Josh taking a breather.

Story time.

This was the only family picture we got and its a bit blurry!

Bunk Beds!

The kids outside the bakery!

A few weeks later, Katelyn attended her end of the year dance recital. This was her second year dancing and she was so beautiful! We are so proud of all that she has accomplished this year. She danced a ballet number to "How Great is Our God".

I love this picture of Josh and Kate together...

Katelyn receiving her trophy for the year.

The girls being silly before the recital

Proud Mommy

The performance

Flowers from Grandpa

We started another adventure at the beginning of April. Katelyn received 6 caterpillars in the mail and had the chance to watch them grow and change into butterflies. It was a really cool experience. We witnessed two of them coming out of their chrysalis. After enjoying their company for a few weeks, it was time to let them go. Here are some pictures of the kids last few minutes with their "pets".

The kids have spent a lot of time outside this summer riding their bikes around the culdesac in front of our house. Kate always remembers to put on her helmet, which I think is so sweet. She is getting pretty quick going around the circle. Josh received a Lightning McQueen tricycle for his birthday and he loves to chase Kate around the circle. Wesley has recently joined the parade and will scoot along on the same little ride-on Kate used when she was his age.

Kate on her princess bike

Wesley out for a cruise. "Hi, Mom."

Speedy Gonzalez with his "cheese" grin

Wesley walking!

Kate playing on the porch

Josh is obsessed with playing on Ben's iPad. Literally, the minute Ben walks in the door, Josh says "Dad, can I play on your iPad!" You can tell where his loyalty lies... Josh can click on find just about anything he wants with no help. Games, movies on Netflix... its pretty funny. One afternoon we found him on the couch asleep with the iPad. So sweet...

Josh being an "alien"

We really did celebrate 4th of July. I promise. We barbequed, Ben and Timothy set off an amazing fireworks show for us in the front yard. It was awesome. But I only got one picture of the day.
Patriotic Wesley

In the middle of July, Kate had the opportunity to attend a week long summer camp called Camp Invention. Everyday they worked on various "inventions" and on the last day we got to come and see all she had created. It was really cool to see how creative even the 5 year olds could be!

Kate and her buddy Arwen

Kate's Bouncy Ball Tube

Kate's Team Fort

We really do have a third child... though he has been seriously under-advertised. So here he is. Wesley is a spunky 16 1/2 month old who can jabber with the best of them. He knows a few words, "Dada" being at the top of the list. He is not a cuddler and prefers to be running around the house with Kate and Josh. Wesley is by far our earliest climber. He loves to scare us to death by climbing up the OUTSIDE of the stair railing. Even though he keeps us on our toes, he is the sweetest and calmest of boys. He rarely fusses and when he does he is either tired or hungry. Easy enough. My favorite thing are his big, kissable cheeks!

Wes loves the bath!

First Trip to Monkey Joes

Check out my Belly

And... last but not least... we are excited to announce that Baby #4 is due March 4th!

Baby #4

Love you all!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To My Mom

My mom is amazing. She taught me how to cook, how to sew, how to be patient (still working on that one). I learned that its okay to watch "White Christmas" in the middle of July because it makes you happy, that there should always be chocolate somewhere in the house, and that cooking can be therapeutic.

My mom is my best friend. She is the person I call when I have a question about a sewing project, a recipe or when I just need to vent. She also has a sneaky way of calling me right when I need it most. Its a comfort to know that even though we are miles apart, she is never more than a speed dial away.

I love my mom. I love the way that she loves my kids. She loves them unconditionally. She doesn't scold or loose her patience when I know I surely would, and she is always ready to listen to their stories or rock them when they are sad. Nana's house is a special place to them. At Nana's they make cookies, do art projects, help in the garden and take rides on the tractor. These are the memories I am so happy my kids are making.

Mom, I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day. Thank you for being you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Who You Are

I heard this song for the first time today. It couldn't have come on a better day. I hope it helps someone else out there...

Who You Are - Hilary Weeks

I know you wonder if you'll ever have a day when the kids stay calm,
the laundry's done, and the dishes are put away. And sometimes you feel
like your days are spent and gone and the question running through your
mind is what have I gotten done? and when you finally have a moment to
slow down at the end of you day I know Father would say

Believe in what you're doing
Believe in who you are
Hold tight to the truth that you're a daughter of God
Believe in who you're becoming
Believe in who you are

It may seem simple - all the little things you do But the lives you touch
matter so much. And there's no one else like you. And Father needs you
to stand tall and faithful to be all you can be.Oh, if you could see what
he sees. When it's hard to believe in yourself and you feel like you're
beginning to doubt Remember

He believes in what you're doing
He believes in who you are
Don't lose sight of the truth that you're a daughter of God
That he believes in who you're becoming
He believes in who you are.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


We get 'em started early around here...

Recently, we have started a chore chart with the kids. Let me tell you, they have done more chores since we began this chore chart than they have ever done. It's awesome! (You can get all the FREE printables at Confessions of a