Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Days

So I find myself having a difficult time explaining Canaan's Kindergarten year.

We are homeschooling.

But he's also going to a little private school a couple days each week while I'm working (a local school that takes homeschooled kiddos).

We're hacking his education a bit over here!

And so with the school year finally upon us, this has been a big week of firsts!

On Monday, Canaan went to his first day of outside-the-home kindergarten. He usually won't be in school on Mondays, but I wanted him to join in on the official first school day there so he could learn the ropes along with everyone else. Somehow I missed the dress-code memo so last minute we made a Target run to get him in uniform. One of Canaan's biggest school adjustments is going to be keeping his collared shirt tucked in! This boy is pretty used to learning in his underwear (on our best days he's in a t-shirt AND gym shorts) and peeing in our backyard (country folks here), so it's a an adjustment all around. ;)

First day pics!

The morning Bible study / prayer time we're just getting into the routine of. It requires my getting up early (starting the morning ready instead of frazzled), but it's been so worth it. This is one of the sweetest times of my day with him. :) Doesn't he just look so... GROWN?!

Highlighting the verse for the day
All dressed and ready to get going! He wanted hair gel. It turned out... a little crazy.

So up next, this morning, we kicked off our first day of HOOOME....SCHOOOOL! (said with jazz hands and a snazzy singing voice, because I am a dorky embarrassing mom and my kids are just going to have to deal).

We're doing homeschool kindergarten for Canaan, preschool for Ezra, and "toddler school" for Lainey (we can't leave her out! This girl loves to learn!).

Certificates to commemorate the first day!
They found out all the new things we'll be learning this year.

We made and ate sprinkle-filled muffins, and they got to pick out one book each from the Scholastic catalog.

I also had plenty of go-with-the-flow moments. When Canaan walked down and saw his new homeschool books, he was so excited that he immediately picked up and read the first chapter of "The Boxcar Children". That wasn't my "plan", but okey-dokey!

Later, Canaan was working on his morning work and Ezra got the idea to check out the page through their mini microscope. The lesson quickly turned to how images can be made up of tiny dots, like they are when printed. This wasn't on my radar to talk about today, but we were able to flexible and go with it!

And then later this afternoon, Ezra had his first day of (outside the home) preschool!

My poor sweet girl. She was so convinced that she was going also. She insisted on a backpack like her big brother, and when we got to school she followed him down the hall and hung up her back alongside him.

She would love it, I know. But she's also only two and there's plenty of time.

Little man did awesome and had no trouble at all saying goodbye! He even tried to get another kiddo (who was feeling a little scared and shy) to play with him. I was so proud of him!

Preschool is going to be so so good for Ezra and we know he's going to LOVE it! And it's going to provide a little extra quiet time (while little lady is sleeping) to teach Canaan phonics & math.

So it's been a crazy few days! I'm looking forward to settling into this new arrangement and having it all be just our new normal. I am most excited about the extra time we'll all have together this year!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


A glimpse into a half hour I spent with Lainey out in the back field yesterday - with messy hair and mis-matched shoes (a battle not chosen). This girl of ours brings so much joy and laughter and life and love to our family. We are so blessed to call her ours!

Friday, August 21, 2015


{ Playing a little catch-up here. }

At the end of July we got to spend a weekend visiting family at the lake in Michigan (not to be confused with Lake Michigan). It was awesome having all of my siblings in one place, and enjoying the lake together. GG Lake (my Mom's Mom) and more extended family joined us as we celebrated birthdays and half-birthdays. The kids were in heaven and so were we. My parents are thinking of renting this house out every year. My vote is yes. ;)

Parky's Farm

This week while my dad was traveling to Texas (fulfilling a life-long dream of having his own airplane!), my mom came down for a visit. We spent a few hours on Tuesday at Parky's Farm. It's pretty adorable and the kids love being there. And being there with Grandma Sue... even more awesome.

My Littles

These two are thick as thieves and having so much fun together lately. They are constantly cracking us up. Lainey is so tall that she's almost as big as her brother. She's also talking so well and knows so much (her colors, numbers, letters, etc). It's easy to forget sometimes that she's over a year younger and still only two.

A couple of months ago we moved Ezra into the next class up at church, and he's struggling a bit. Before he was with Lainey and now he misses her. Every drop-off he cries (though it doesn't last long before he's off having fun) that he wants to be with Lainey. It's hard, but also so sweet. He's pretty attached to his baby sister. :)

One of many random hugs

"Mommy!" (with chocolate in her teeth)

"Come and FIND us!"

My little cuties. 

Summer School

We're about to kick-off Canaan's first "official" homeschool year, but we've really been going since the week we decided to go this wild route. This summer things were really laid back. For the most part we put aside the curriculum and just explored, practiced handwriting through letter writing (especially to Emme and Jackson), and had fun with art and music.

Canaan trying to identify a strange-looking bug he discovered.

Letter writing. "You are a good friend!"

Love his little quote bubbles

Learning note positions on the keyboard.

Morning art prompt

Love his concentration

He ended up making three of these as his bean plant grew, until he decided his plant was too tall to fit on the page.

Drawing Degas

Water play
Lego scale. I'm excited to start doing regular "lego lab" time with specific challenges this year.

Lainey, in a cape & jammies with light saber ready... practicing her letter sounds.