Getting Ready to Start

29 08 2007

Monday is our first official day of home-schooling. The books are bought, the lessons are ready, the kids are excited and I have ulcers! I am so nervous, I am not sure why, it isn’t like I have someone over looking me to make sure my 3 and 2 year olds are doing what they should be doing etc. I guess the realization that their education is in my hands and I have to fight my urge to be lazy on days when I won’t want to do it.

Isaac is telling everyone he is learning to read. He told his teacher today at church that he is going to be reading and doing math. He also told me he is going on a school bus….oops. I don’t know where he got that idea….so I maybe setting up a pretend school bus in the living room. We will have to have our lunch packed and take a “ride” to school. 🙂

Grace is already practicing her letters and writing her name, she is very excited to get to do “big girl” things. She told me that she can count and do her letters.

Tomorrow we are doing a field trip with our home-schooling group to the Creation museum in Ohio. We can’t wait. The other groups have already started back, but we had a really long month of Aug. and are starting a little “late”. But with home-schooling there really isn’t a “late” time to start I am learning.

Please pray for us next week as we venture into a new world of organized school….something we really haven’t done in the past.





3.5

28 08 2007

There must be something magical about that number! So, do I have you wondering what could be so important about that number? My son is exactly 3.5 years old this month. On the 12 of Aug. my little boy seemed to grow up in front of me.

Isaac is a very neat little boy. He loves so many different things and he is so much fun to be with. In the past few weeks we have seen some interesting things from him. He isn’t a little toddler anymore he is a growing creative preschooler. He is so kind, gentle, sweet, loving, creative, funny (oh how I love preschooler humor!) and smart (I know, all mom’s think their kid is smart 🙂 )

I try to spend one on one with each of the kids everyday. Isaac’s one on one time is at naptime after the other two are sleeping away. He and I read some stories that don’t interest Grace….books on space. Then we snuggle and talk about different things. Usually we talk about what we did that day etc, but lately it has become about character things…..kindness, goodness, honesty etc. It is so neat to watch your child understand that he has a choice to make, choices that will honor God or dishonor Him.

It seems that at 3.5 years of age there is a new little person living in our home. One that wants to learn and grow……he told me today while driving in the car….”mom, my ankle is growing. Mom it is growing right now! Mom! I am growing up right in front of you.” It was so cute. He wants to ride in a booster seat soooo bad, but we told him he just isn’t big enough yet. Some how having your ankle grow will help 😉

Isaac is my first and I am learning as I go. I just have to say, I love 3.5 years of age, it is really a neat age to parent.





Things I Love to Hear While Traveling….and Some I Don’t!

27 08 2007

The things I love to hear while driving almost 400 miles with my family….

1. Everyone snoring except me……while I listen to what I want to listen to. 🙂

2. Isaac saying to Grace “Grace you are my best friend”

3. Grace looking at Isaac and asking nicely for a book!

4. Did I mention my music?

Things I don’t overly love to hear…..

1. I had that first

2. I want to eat…..after we have just stopped to eat.

3. I want a different movie.

4. Kids music, now I don’t dislike kid’s music, it just gets old after 4 hours.

5. Mom I have to go Peee (again after we just stopped and went)





Grace

25 08 2007

My little girl is so sweet! I just have to share with you what she has been doing. Grace has been carrying her babies around and feeding them when they “cry”. (You guessed it; she lifts up her shirt and feeds them “her milk”). She has just sat them on the floor and told them “be quiet, mommy has to vacuum”, then she turns on the pretend vacuum.

I was holding Owen and told my sister I was going to put him in the bouncy seat. All of a sudden Grace comes running in from the other room “NOOOOO, my babies are in there sleeping”. I walked over and guess what? She has them in there wrapped up in a blanket and asleep! She is such a sweet mommy! I just love her so much.

OH yeah I wanted to add….if you ask her how many babies she wants she will tell you “3, 4 , 5, 6”. That would be so neat to have 6 little baby ferraro/cochrans running around one day….oh did I say that out loud. ;-). Can you tell who Dave and I want her to marry?





Weddings and Children

22 08 2007

This weekend should be very exciting for our family. Anytime you take 3 children 3 years and under to a wedding it can be crazy, but add in that 2 of the children are IN the wedding you just made it a total adventure! To top it all off my husband is the best man in the wedding so he won’t be too much of a help. If you knew my husband he is a VERY hands on daddy and would help if he could and will help the minute he gets a chance.

I am a little nervous about it. I am sure the kids will do great, but I wonder what will happen when they open the door to the church and they see all these faces looking at them. I wonder will Grace start a tantrum, will Isaac become scared and start to cry? I pray and hope none of this will happen, but you never know when they are 3 and 2.

Now the biggest question for me….should I stand in the back with them just in case one of the above happens so I can be an encouragement to them or should I sit at the front at the end of the aisle so they can see me and walk toward me?

To make this even a little bit of a challenge for me and them is that we are traveling almost 400 miles to this wedding. We are staying at my mom’s house, but you know when you travel with kids they NEVER sleep like they do at home. So trying to make sure they get naps in and good bedtimes can be hard. We are going up a few days early so that we can get them used to sleeping in a new place.

Any tips anyone has on weddings with small children please pass them on…..oh on the good note my parents will be at the wedding so many hands to help with baby Owen!

I am so excited to see our friends get married, I am just so nervous my kids will mess it up. I just need to remember that anything that happens will be something everyone laughs about when they celebrate their 25th anniversary.





The Difference Between the Two

19 08 2007

After sweeping the floor for the 3rd time in two days I began to think about the difference between stay at home moms. I am a believer of Christ Jesus and a follower and servant of Him. I am a stay at home mom to my children and a wife to my husband. Now you are probably wondering where is she getting with this! Well, my point is, how can the world tell the difference between stay at home moms?

As a believer the world should be able to see the difference between me and a stay at home mom that isn’t a believer. My question to you is do they see a difference in you if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Here are some ways I think they should see a difference in us……

1. We do our work without complaining. Php. 2:14 says Do everything without complaining or arguing. I know many Christian stay at home moms that complain about the work, the laundry, the dishes, the kids at every moment they can. I am truly at fault for this as well at times. I now see that I need to be joyful in the work the Lord has given me to do.

2. Our we patient with our children while in the home and out in public? Gal. 5:22-23 says, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. We should have patience and grace with our children at all times. Now, this has brought me to my knees for forgiveness! Anyone that knows me knows that I struggle with having patience with my children at all times, some days are good, and many are not. This is when we truly need to come to the Lord and pray for His guidance and mercy.

3. Do we respect our husbands? Eph. 5:23 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. I am not married to a perfect man, and I don’t believe any of you are either. I can get so angry at him, but that is not a reason to dishonor him in my home or in public to other people. We are to love our husbands and show them the up most respect.

This list is small I know and you could probably think of a ton more to add. I just want you to know that there needs to be a difference when we are at the park playing or at McDonalds’s with our children. There should be difference seen in us and in the way we parent our children. We should stand out in a crowd that we are children of the One and only True God!

When you go to sweep the floor for the 3 time tomorrow give God the glory for the work he has laid out for you to day, no matter how simple and routine it seems to be. He notices and that is all that matters.





Messy Memories

18 08 2007

In our home we try to make lots of “messy memories”. These aren’t the normal memories you daily make with your children like reading stories or playing catch….these are those ones that make a little mess. Now I will be honest, I am usually the one that is reluctant to making a little mess. But with a little practice I have seen the great effects of “messy memories”.

An all time favorite messy memory with toddlers is making cookies…better yet, decorating them afterwards. This is a great one to start with you if you have never gotten really messy with your children. Let me reassure you that after the dishes are done and table, floor, counters and cupboards are clean…..you would have really enjoyed yourself. The memories that you made will be long remembered. You won’t remember the work that went into the clean up but will remember the smiles, laughter and giggles that came from it.

I truly believe that messy memories are remembered by children far more than regular memories, maybe because they know that it took a little more work on the mom and dad or because kids crave being able to express themselves without a lot of rules.

Here are some fun ones that we have enjoyed that you may as well……

1. Cookies…Already mentioned above

2. Movie night…bring out all those blankets and pillows and snuggle on the floor and watch a fun movie together…better yet combine with #3.

3. Pizza night. I am not talking about ordering I am talking about making it. Now, this was hard for me because I am the cook in the house and I know how much cheese, sauce etc. goes on a pizza, but it is so much more fun to let them do their own. It may not look yummy to you, but believe me your child will eat it because they go to do their own. With more than one chid give them their own personal size and put the toppings in bowls and let them go on….who says the sauce has to go on first?

4. Tent making. It is always fun to make a tent and let the kids play. This can get messy, but the kids love taking apart the couches and having FUN. This is a great place to do your reading time with your children, bring out the flashlights and fun.

5. Craft time. I love to do crafts with my children, many of you that know me know this already. It is great to get out the paint, glue and random things and let them glue, cut, paint and paste their way to lots of exploring.

6. Ice Cream Sunday night. Get a 1/2 gallon of ice cream and lots of toppings. Let your children decorate their ice cream Sunday’s anyway they want. We did this with some friends one time and Isaac still takes about the time he had lots of “stuff on his ice cream”. He loved making the Sunday and best of all, he loved to EAT it.

7. Beach day! Put on your swimsuits, make a lunch and get ready for some fun. Fill the bathtub with some water; bring out the sand toys and them swim till their hearts content. Then lay out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch. This is GREAT in the winter and you need something to help wear them out. My kids love to pretend we are at the pool in the middle or January.

I think I gave you a great start to some Messy Memories. Now, don’t think we get messy everyday or even every week in our home! But I have made more of an effort this past year and I want to encourage you to do the same. Have FUN!





Time For School

16 08 2007

Now the most fun and most difficult time of my day…..the school hour. As you see in our family schedule we have school from 9-10 am. This may not seem like a difficult time because it is only one hour, but it is when you have 3 children and one is an un-predicable newborn. So, after a lot of research and asking experienced moms I came up with our hour of school (give or take 15 mins.).

9-9:20 Isaac and Grace work together on Five In A Row by Jane Claire Lambert. I will read the story and then we will complete one or two of the activities for that day.

9:20-9:40 Grace will do her table time. This will be time for her to explore different things on her own at the table by herself while I am working with Isaac

9:20-9:40 Isaac will be doing his math on T and R and reading on M and W. I will be working with him one on one during this time.

9:40-10:00 Isaac will do his table time by himself while I am working with Grace. Very similar to Grace’s table time, but some days he will do more advanced things etc.

9:40-10:00 Grace will do her Basic Skills. It is a book that works on #’s, ABC’s, shapes etc. I will be working one on one with her during this time.

Owen hopefully will be napping during this time. If not he will be doing floor time by himself while I am working with the other two. We will do this schedule M-R with Friday being Daddy Day, so no school that day. On occasion Dave will do anything we didn’t get done or review anything we feel needs more time. I do NOT plan on keep to that hour perfectly. I will take as much time as needed with each of them on each lesson, but it is good to have an idea what each child will be doing during that hour.

During the week we will continue with school at different times. At night we may have a “Chinese” dinner the week we are talking about China. We will have apples on the day Grace is working on the color red etc. This will reinforce our current goals as well as show them how “school” can be incorporated into our daily life so it doesn’t get boring or old.





Taking Time For Me

15 08 2007

After yesterday’s post on Schedules you probably see that we are a busy family. I only gave you a snippet into our lives. Like most everyone of you reading this, you are BUSY! Probably working full-time jobs, going to school or staying at home with your youngsters. Life can get so crazy that you don’t take time for yourself. Now, I am not talking about a selfish amount of time, I mean amount of time to lift your spirits, regenerate and recoup.

I have a newborn son who is up at least twice a night right now to nurse and toddlers who need me during my waking hours. Finding time for me has been a challenge and something I had neglected in the past. This year Dave and I made the commitment to give me sometime. I want to share some of the things we have done to keep me being the best wife and mommy I need and want to be.

1. I have joined a Crop Club…..for those non-scrap bookers out there it is a group of women that get together to scrapbook and talk (we do a lot of talking). We meet one Friday night a month at someone’s house for 6 hours. I love it and I have gotten almost caught up in my albums.

2. I have joined the gym to work out 3 times a week. During past years I have put my health to the side to care for my family, during this last pregnancy we noticed that had taken a toll on me. I have made the commitment to give my body what it needs to care for my family…..some cardio and weight training. This was also a commitment on Dave’s part as well, he doesn’t like the idea of me dropping the kids of somewhere. So we researched and found a gym with a really nice childcare area…our local YMCA believe it or not.

3. Dave and I are swapping childcare once a month, starting next month, with some friends of ours. We will watch their kids one night and they will watch ours in return. This is a great option for those that don’t have Grammy and Papa around. The kids love having a play date as well.

These 3 little things I am doing are making me a better wife and mommy. After having a night out scrap booking and I am more ready to spend time with Dave. After being able to workout I have more energy for my children and I am in better shape to do it as well. This plan has also given us some much needed couple time. With Dave getting ready to finish at Southern Seminary, we are needing more time then ever to talk about future jobs and changes in our family.

If you are a busy person like me (if you aren’t please pass along the tip on how not to be!), then you might want to sit down and draw up a plan for yourself on how to have some time for you. After you do you will be better able to serve those around you.





Back to school means….

14 08 2007

Back to a schedule. We usually do really well with a schedule with our kids until…..SUMMER! Then we are up late, sleeping in and doing things with friends. Today is the first day back for the seminary students, so we are back to bedtimes, homework time (for Dave) and regular play dates. Now, I am from Michigan we don’t start school up there until after Labor Day, so I just can not bring myself to start Isaac and Grace until September as well! It feels so wrong to be going to school in August, so the kids and I are still enjoying our last few weeks of “free time”.

But before I know it it will be time for the kids to get back on schedule. So I thought I would share with you our schedule.

7-9 am

Breakfast, chores, video time

9-10 am

School time, Owen naptime

10-11am

Snack, YMCA workout time for Mommy, kids at Play Zone

11-12 am

Errands or Play Time

12-1 pm

Lunch and video time (30 mins.)

1-4 pm

Nap Time

4-5 pm

Room Time, Play Time, Mommy Prep dinner

5-7:30

Dinner, Family time

7:30-8:30

Bath and bedtime

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go work out in the morning at the YMCA and the kids play there on Tuesday and Thursday they have outside time during that hour. Also, Friday is Daddy Day. That is Dave’s day off because he works Sunday-Thursday, so the kids and him do whatever they like. I work on Fridays to help out a little with groceries and gas money.

During rest time I do my quiet time, laundry etc. Isaac does not sleep for 3 hours so he does book and puzzle time while the little ones are sleeping. Dave works until 10 pm MTW so during the evenings the kids and I just hang out etc. On Thursday nights I go to Seminary Wives Class (classes for wives going into the ministry) and Dave takes a class and the kids go to the nursery on campus.

Some people do not like a schedule, for me, it helps me serve my family better. It helps me to make sure everything is getting done and the kids are getting what they need. I want to encourage you to sit down and see what your family needs and make a schedule for it. I have found that if I write it down it gets done. If not I just sweep it under the rug. Even if you don’t like a schedule you should write out what you wan t to do everyday. For me I have to make a time to spend with the Lord, if not doing dishes, laundry and the kids fill up all my time. Make sure you are spending time with the Lord everyday no matter the season of you life you are in.