Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the bright side

Being a mom is exhausting, overwhelming, exhausting, and lots of hard work. And at times exhausting (just in case I didn't mention that). As I sit here, I feel slightly like I'm living in a war zone. The Mommy War Zone.

You see, not only so we have the normal "Four Kids Live in This House" Mess, we also have the "I'm homeschooling all day" Mess, the "We just got home after being away for a week" Mess and my new favorite, "We're getting the house ready to put on the market" Mess. Lots of mess around here.

It would be very easy for me to look around, burst into tears, and retreat to my room for a nap. But instead, I'm choosing to look on the bright side.

As I look around, I see:
  • Flash cards. Frustrating because the kids have once again forgotten to clean up well and now the set is missing a card. But on the bright side, I did school with the three big kids!
  • Sticky on the table. On the bright side, I fed my kids two meals today!
  • A bucket of laundry: Bummer that it's not folded. But on the bright side, we have clean laundry!
  • My coffee mug. A sign that I didn't get all the dishes done. On the bright side, I did enjoy a cup and a half of warm coffee this morning.
  • A dirty baby bib. Which means I have a baby who is growing, eating well, and is healthy.
  • The vacuum. Yay! I don't have to pick up all the little cracker crumbs and pieces of dirt! I can just suck them up.
  • My jam packed planner. We are blessed with the ability to have our children participate in so many enriching activities. We are also blessed with many friends to share our time with.
  • Toys and Books. Not only are our needs provided for, but so are our desires. My children lack nothing! And not only that, we are blessed above and beyond our needs.

So rather than retreating, I'm going to look on the bright side, choosing to see God's goodness and blessings in my life.

And yes, you can just call my Pollyanna!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Brothers

What do you think? Does Timothy look like his big brothers?



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Things that make you want to slam your head against a brick wall.....

The kids and I are in Kansas. We left last Tuesday morning, and made our way to Austin where Benjamin had an appointment with his neurosurgeon. Everything went GREAT, we were able to spend time with our dear friends, the Brownfields, and then we headed up to Oklahoma City. After spending the night there, we headed up north to Wichita.

While we've been in Kansas, Curtis has been at home working very hard on our house. We've decided to put the house on the market next month! He's been busily working on lots of projects around the house (more to come on that) for the past week. Well, until this past Sunday night. He noticed that the house felt very warm. By 10pm, it was clear that our air conditioning had gone out. He immediately called the home warranty office, and we made plans for someone to come out Monday at 5:00pm. The technician arrived, found the problem, but didn't have the parts. He assured Curtis that he would pick up the part Tuesday morning, come by, and have everything up and running.

The plan was for the kids and I to come home with mom today. I spent a good part of the day yesterday packing and getting everything ready. Curtis had spent the night at a friends house, and decided not wait to hear from the tech before heading into work. We didn't hear from the tech ALL DAY LONG!

Curtis went by the house yesterday late afternoon, and it was 95 degrees in the house. We have tried multiple times to contact the technician and the repair company. We've also been in touch with warranty company. Basically everyones hands are tied, unless we hear from the technician. The kids and I are heading to Oklahoma City, hoping that we will know something. If we don't hear anything, we will be staying in Oklahoma City.

If you feel so lead, please pray that things would quickly work out! The kids and I need to head home and are ready to head home. But we can't live in a house that's almost 100 degrees. Thanks!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Flashback Friday (late)

Today's theme? Melt down Mania!
video video

Monday, August 09, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Boys.....

Me: Micah! Quit hitting your brother with the sword.
Micah: Mommy, we're just playing peek-a-boo.

I start observing, and sure enough! Benjamin is hiding behind the couch cushion, pops up saying, "Pee-a-boo!", and Micah whacks him with the sword. Not your classic game. More of a cross between pee-a-boo and whack a mole. Or whack a brother....

Everything is so much more physical with boys!

First Week of School

I lived!

We successfully completed our first week of homeschooling for the 2010-2011 school year.

Even though this isn't my first year homeschooling, this year is presenting several new challenges for me. The biggest challenge is how to juggle a 1st grader, 2 lively boys, and a 6 month old who needs to eat every few hours, needs to be changed, and put down for naps.

The other difference between this year and last year is how much more school stuff Elizabeth is doing. Here's a look at what we're doing with her:
We started this reading program just before the baby was born. Then we took off some time after Timothy was born. Then there was the inevitable juggling of a newborn. And then that sweet baby had lots and lots of doctor's appointments and surgery. All that to say, we didn't finish last semester, which is what I had hoped to do. But we are pressing on, and I anticipte being done before Thanksgiving.

Last year, I started using Saxon Phonics. I HATED it. With a passion. Rather than continuing with such an intese phonics programs, I opted to switch to a reading probgram. However, I quickly learned that we needed to be doing some phonics in there. Explode the Code is a really great phonics program that Elizabeth is loving! I started her in the 2nd set of books, but probably could have pushed her to books 3 and 3 1/2. Oh well. No harm is having her do it!

We are almost done with Saxon 1!! Once we finish Saxon 1, we will be moving onto.....
Saxon 2! I am really loving the Saxon math program.

This is the sweetest handwriting program you will ever find! It's not the best for teaching children how to write, but it is perfect for providing structured practice for writers. Each lesson takes a week. You work through the same verse for an entire week, practicing different words. On Day 4, you practice the entire verse. And on Day 5, you write the verse on special paper that has borders for the student to color. My mom told me about this program, and I'm a HUGE fan!

In a couple years, our kiddos will start learning Latin in our co-op. But I really wanted to do something before then. I bought this program.....

... and all three of the big kids are working through this. The book provides lesson plans, worksheets, songs, and fun games to play. It's also broken up into different levels, so I feel like I can go at the correct speed for each of my kids. We also bought some Spanish flash cards.

Micah and Benjamin are also doing some school! Here's what I'm doing with them....

The Five in a Row books are really wonderful. You read a book to your child, and then do enrichment activities, provided in the Five in a Row books.
Micah is doing the Handwriting Without Tears book. I'm not a huge fan, but it's works.

In a little over a month, we will be starting back to co-op. Elizabeth will be doing science there, as well as language art and arts and crafts. The boys will be in a preschool type program. I'm looking forward to seeing how we will all grow this year!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Monday, August 02, 2010

Public vs. Home

Can you hear it?

That back to school buzz that's in the air?

I can hear it, feel it, and see it. The Krajcas have officially started back to school! And this year, we aren't just the Krajca Homeschool. We are.......

Generation of Grace Classical Academy!!!!

On Sunday, as I was preparing my lesson plans for the week (you can take the teacher out the schools, but you can't take the teacher out of the teacher!) I found myself reflecting on the differences between preparing for teaching in the public school and teaching at home.

Preparing for going into the classroom, I remember a lot of nerves. I only taught for two years before I had Elizabeth, and I'm sure that some of the nerves came from the newness of the experience. But when you're preparing to meet and teach 100 new students, it's a cause for some nerves. Obviously, I don't have those nerves as I prepare to teach my own kiddos.

Homeschooling is H-A-R-D!!!!! Juggling the responsibilities of the home, while taking care of four kiddos AND trying to teach them is tough. Despite my planning, the boys often make trouble while I'm trying to work with Elizabeth. The baby needs to eat every 3-4 hours. When I was in the public school, I didn't have these odd distractions. However, I did have my well planned lessons go crazy when students would act up, decide to melt down, or start picking at each other.

So many people think that it's easy for me to homeschool since I was a teacher. But let me tell you, it's totally different! Being a teacher is hard, but being a homeschool mom is exhausting. Being a teacher and preparing for a new year is nerve wrecking, but being a homeschool mom is just challenging.

Despite the challenges, I am thankful for this opportunity to be the one to teach my children. After a couple years of being a stay at home mom, I quickly learned that it's not for everyone. I feel that the same is true of homeschooling. It's not a perfect fit for everyone. However, I firmly believe that if the desire is there to homeschool, even if you're not the perfect candidate, that God gives you the tools you need.