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What we learned this year!

We have been busy wrapping up the school year here at Casa La Crazy! Oh my what a year! I know we studied a lot of different things but even I would you give you the automated, “I don’t know,” answer when you ask me what we learned from our books.

It was definitely a hands on kind of learning year for all of us! So this year I do believe we all learned:

– sleep…get it now before you NEVER get it again

– how to change a diaper in 30 seconds or less

-When momma yells “All hands on deck!” You come runing with a towel and an endless supply of baby wipes and be prepared to distract an Adrienne while another runs back and forth fetching yet more wipes,a new outfit,or the garbage can.

– That momma can go approximately 3 days without a shower before people in the house,and yes it was a boy even,start to complain that you smell.

– Reading to the rest of the group with a baby nestled in your arms is still the sweetest thing EVER!

-One crawling inquisitive baby = no one ever sitting still

– Even the 8 year old can make a full dinner for a family of 9!

– Chickens and Ducks are probably one of the funnest science lessons known to man.

– The art of room design as we switched up rooms for the 3rd time in a year.

– 7 year old are not too young to do the dishes

– A reminder in thankfulness in modern technology as we lived without a dishwasher for 3 months.

-Visitors ….oh be did we have visitors and they all were welcomed with open arms.

– Trying out new thing. I will admit when Kenna came to me saying she wanted to try some new ways in schooling I never drempt it would include the kids going to school part time. So far so good and we’re looking forward to next year!

-Every single kid in the house learned how to make momma a pot of coffee.

-How to help out our sister after she has had leg surgery

-How to be grateful for other’s help even when we have a hard time accepting  it.

 

There have been so many changes and growing opportunities this school year! I have watched all the kids grow leap and bounds and am so proud of each one of them. Along with the growth and change that has occurred I have come up with new ideas on how to make next year better.

I have also begin working on a new blog. The whole format will focus more on homeschooling, life in a blended family, and well what life is really like here at Casa La Crazy. I started Twisted Domestic Goddess after a huge move as a single mom from Arizona to Washington State. I feel like I have outgrown this blog and am ready for a new one that focuses on the family life of 7 ,possibly more,kiddos. It is still in the design stages but I hope soon it will be ready!

I promise to keep you all posted of the new changes!

 

 

 

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Going Ons at Casa La Crazy

I’m not sure how much blogging I will get done this week. Pretty sure without it meaning to this week will become the busiest week EVA!!!!

Nathaniel Lane and Holly will be starting our new adventure in schooling that next year all 6 will be doing. They will be homeschooled still but will also be attending a parent/public school partnership which is basically….they get to attend classes both at home and at this school which has classes from archery to algebra,ballet to biology,cooking to chemistry….ok ok you get the idea.They are so excited as we are as well!

Brandon has been working on fencing off the duck.chicken area in the backyard and not a moment too soon.Yesterday I walked out into the garage,while on the phone, and one of the chicks was on the top of the enclosure. So here I am talking to my aunt and talking to the chick telling it to get back in.

Then it hopped completely out so as I’m putting it back in another one hops out. At this point I tell my aunt,”Hey I have to chase a chicken. I’ll call you back!”

We got the garden beds prepared yesterday just in time for the rain to start. Yeah for the garden beds…not so yeah for Brandon who was still working outside.

I’m proud of the way the kids have jumped in to help. They haven’t always wanted to but we have heard very few grumbles. With their help we have gotten done so much quicker. Whether it has been scooping out the old chicken coop,helping with the flower beds,or watching Squishy for me so I can help outside too. Everyone has stepped up and participated in the family.I promise to post pics soon!

Speaking of Squishy….We are so not ready for this:

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Or this:

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And yes she did let go for a few seconds yesterday standing straight up!!!! ARGHHHHH!!! No Squishy No!

And she’s definitely ready for this:

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Squishy loves blueberries especially blueberry pancakes.

We are rounding out our week with Kenna going in for surgery. She is having both legs worked on. Her calf muscles are too tight and need to be lengthened. This may explain why she was a late walker as well as explains why for the last 3 years her feet and back have been in constant pain.

So for 10 days she’ll be in soft casts and wheelchair or bed bound….then she’ll be in walking boots for 6 weeks. It’s an easy enough surgery and she needed to get it done because this summer she is going to be our little traveler instead of Nathaniel.

So if you have a couple minutes this week to stop and pray for us or just send good thoughts…please do! This momma is going to need the strength or 10,and a calmness that I don’t easily come by!

 

 

Where has the last month gone?

Ms. Adrienne turned a month old on Monday!How is that even possible?!? Time is going way too fast and I barely I have time to sit down at the computer. Although if you’re on my Facebook at all you will see me posting from my phone all the time as well as on Instagram.

I only have a few moments while Squishy sleeps and the kids work on school so I thought I would do a post in pictures of what we’ve been up to!

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We started back to school this week! Hurray for homeschooling and taking breaks when needed! We are studying the life of Helen Keller and all the fun “rabbit trails” that go off of it.

We even got in a field trip last week to Tomato Street restaurant,and next week our field trip is to Krispie Kreme!!!!

YUMMM!!!

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Can you find the Holly?

Heck we’ve even taken mornings just to play Uno
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There’s been beautiful nights here at Casa La Crazy as well.

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Mostly my days are full of schooling,feeding Adrienne,cooking in the crockpot, and baby spit up. I’d be lying if I said I showered everyday or even shaved my legs more than once a week…but none of that really matters in the morning when you are snuggled up with this,

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1month old

It’s hard for me to imagine our days without her in it.

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Who Says Learning Can’t Be a Little Wakko

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Kenna is doing a quick review this week of the 50 states. A couple weeks ago we bought Animaniacs seaons 1 from Hastings. You know you all remember Yakko,Wakko,and Dot from the 90’s cartoon. Even in highschool I still loved this cartoon.

While trying to figure out the most fun way of having Kenna do this review I remembered that on my DVD collection was Wakko(the middle sibling and by far the cutest in my book.) singing the 50 states and capitaol songs. Since Kenna is not one to just sit there and memorize and tends to be my free thinker I threw my idea out there:

“Hey Kenna I think you’re gonna learn Wakko’s 50 state capitol song this week…”

She grinned from ear to ear,

“That is pretty cool mom.”

I’m sure what she meant to say is

“Wow Mom you’re the coolest person EVA!!!! I’m so lucky to have you thinking up such fun ways to teach us.” Or something along those lines..

I’m not so sure she enjoyed the copywork of all the lyrics but she’s definitely having fun learning the song.

C’mon I know you all want to learn it too….right?

Come On Everybody Dance With Me!

Yup yup we’re doing the happy dance over here at 2 am. Or more likely I’M doing the happy dance over here….alone….at 2 am because everyone else is either ASLEEP or at WORK! So someone please just stand up and do the twist or the running man with me…this is all I ask because:

WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!

So c’mon everybody and DANCE!!! It’s ok I’ll wait till you’re done to tell you the other good news…..

The other good news is I’m not even supposed to be AT my site today because I have my first guest blog over at A FULFILLED MOMMY. Take a minute and hop on over there. I have known Farrah for a number of years through the blogging community and we have many things in common. We’re both passionate about our roles as mothers,we’ve both had kids VERY close in age,We have both struggled with loving someone with Chronic Heart Disease(and I’m happy to report her loved one is doing very well.)AND we are both beyond passionate about homeschooling.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea and come visit Farrah and little Ol Me

Yes I’m VERY aware that was a corny rhyme! It’s ok I know you all love me,sleep deprived or not!

My kids think I’m a Math Goddess

After barely sleeping the night before I was a walking zombie yesterday,especially in the morning. I kept telling myself it was training for when the baby comes….yeah that’s it…training. You know because I’m not trained in that area AT ALL!

Thankfully my kids went right to work with their schooling.Holly has been watching Kenna and Lane both learn long division.She was quietly lamenting over the fact that sometime next year she would be learning long division.

“I sooo don’t want to learn long division,” she almost wept.

“Don’t worry Hol,”Lane assured her.”You might not get it and then mom will explain it to you and it’ll be easy. Mom’s so much better than a computer.”

See this is why I need a twitter account to let the whole world know that at this moment in my kid’s 9 year old eyes I AM a Math Goddess!

Now when they start algebra….they’ll finally find out the truth but I have a couple more years for that.Till then just call me…Seshat the Egyptian Goddess of numbers and scribes.

Where are the weeks going?

Last week I had a procedure done at the dr’s office. I’m fine…baby’s fine just one more hurdle to jump through in this roller coaster ride of a “SURPRISE! MERRY CHRISTMAS! YOU”RE PREGNANT!” Even though I was nervous…ok very nervous I love my dr and his nurse was awesome! The nurse asked if I had heard baby’s heartbeat yet?

I told her no not yet I was only ten weeks but I had seen it at 5 weeks on an ultrasound.When I said 10 weeks Brandon piped up from the corner,”You’re 10 weeks already?!?!” Poor guy had worked all night and was exhausted.

Have I mentioned I love my nurse?Because she told me she could find the heartbeat and …well….she did. I have never been able to hear any of my kiddos heartbeat this early on in pregnancy.A nice solid 160 bpm. The nurse looked please.

So this week it’s my turn to say:”11 weeks I’m 11 weeks?” It almost seems impossible!My stomach has started to turn that nice round shape where it’s not so much of a “Whoa she’s gained weight!” To now a “Hmm she’s lookin a little pregnant.”I drug B to the “hippy baby store” on Monday and showed him the wrap I want and the cloth diapers.

In other news I’m still getting used to the new phone B got me for Valentine’s Day. I love my “smart phone” even though at times it makes me feel really really stupid.I have my text set to Teen Titans’ Raven saying “Evil Beware…We Have Waffles.” So even in the middle of any intense conversations going on its good for a laugh.

Everyone else in the house ended up getting the same phones so we’ve all been sharing our very awesome knowledge of what these phones can do.

I am very happy to announce that after some prodding from B I have switched up and ordered new curriculum for the kids.We are re-entering the world of Waldorf homeschooling. I did it a few years ago and fell in love with it. It has such a nice rhythm and flow to it.I’ve missed the creativity that comes from it as well. So I took the plunge and invested in the curriculum and am now waiting anxiously for it to show up. I’m very thankful B is so supportive of my homeschooling habit.

We’ve just been busy since I’ve gotten back from my trip,which I knew would be the case.We’re diligently looking for a house for just us. It’s tedious,since for the first time ever I have to worry about school districts for the girls. We also,you know,need space for all 9 of us!

In other news we have settled on names for this baby. It wasn’t hard in fact it was the easiest time I’ve ever had. Everyone else seems pretty pleased as well(not that I would care otherwise.) If it’s a girl we’ve decided on the name

Adrienne Danielle

If it’s a boy we’ve decided on

Bartlett Daniel

Daniel is B’s papa’s name and was important for him to use so I came up with the girl variation as well and Bartlett is my last name and as I’ve mentioned before such a very important name to me.I’ve only ever heard it used as a first name once before and that was another drummer I was in band with.He was a good kid so I’m hoping that comes along with the name!

Not too much else going on here at the frat house. Just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other and living our life day by day.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’m a very very blessed girl!

Snowboarding and Desert Oasises.

I had to call health insurance earlier this week to report the pregnancy. While I was on the phone with the lady she asked what school the other kids go to. When I told her I homeschooled I expected the normal pause. Which there was and then she asked,

“Well why do you do that?Did something happen to make you take the kids out of school?”

I stifled a laugh as I told her no I just had always wanted to try it and turns out we all love it.

Then one of the next most common questions were asked,

“Well what about sports?”

I wish I would have had these pictures to show her over the phone:

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I mean do you know any other public schools where you cousin can teach you the basics of snow boarding and sledding?
Instead I answered
“Well we’re getting ready to do soccer here in the spring….and baseball”
That seemed to appease her.

In other home school news we have been studying the Arabian Peninsula and the rise of Islam. So of course we had to make oasis…and what better thing to make an oasis out of then CANDY!!

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Or as my other cousin likes to call them….the diabetes desert.

 

Yeah I’d say these kiddos are doing a-ok within the home school system.

Our Homeschool Journey Part 2: Patience…A Gift From My Children

I remember telling other people I was going to homeschool the kids. Well at that time it was only homeschooling Nathaniel, with Kenna as a tag along and two other small ones who would pop up on my lap to see what was going on. That’s beside the point though.Anyways,I would tell people that we were going to homeschool and besides the whole “Gasp your kids will be anti social mutants” comments the next popular comment was

“ummm are you sure you have enough patience to do that?” My answer to that was simply, no I didn’t I guess I would have to learn though huh?

Nowadays when people find out I homeschool they usually respond with “I could never have enough patience to do that.” I respond with a giggle and assure them that neither did I when I first started.

In the beginning I loved the planning aspect of homeschooling. I loved nothing more than to sit down and figure out the whole school year in advance.(still love the planning part) all the field trips and fun things we would do. That summer before I started my first year I planned out all our breaks. Exactly how long we would homeschool…when lunch and snack times would be. Then,the actual school year started.

Wait…what?You mean on the third Tuesday of the first month I’m gonna end up having to run to the store mid morning because I’m outta formula?Wait that’s gonna throw off a huge portion of our English. Ohhh that science experiment is gonna take longer then 20 minutes because the kids want to do it over and over again?What about their math?Well they’re still learning. Oh we homeschool so we CAN take a vacation in April even though I have had all of April planned out since September. Yeah my yearly schedule fell to pot pretty quickly. Heck even when I try to do a monthly schedule it doesn’t always stick. I have learned to keep a loose time frame in my head and then every weekend sit down and do the week’s lesson plans. It’s what works for us. I learned though that even I “super momma of the Universe” can not always get things to go the way I want to. (sad revelation I know :()

Those were the easy problems to handle. The harder ones came when I would sit down one on one with a child to work on a subject they were especially struggling with. How many times did I want to just say “no let me show you,you do it like this.” I didn’t though. As much as I may have wanted to rip the pencil out of the kids hands and  write out the answer for them…I didn’t. I sat back and let them figure it out.

Or about the time I was teaching an ex boyfriends child how to read.(Yes there was a point I homeschooled 6 kiddos) and he just wasn’t getting it. I could tell him the letter B says bu and then ask him what the letter B said and he would pull out some random sound. Talk about frustrating(the kids was 6) I’ll admit it. There were times I’d step outside and call my mom out of pure frustration and just cry. Yet I kept with it. By the end of the school year, the child’s reading level had gone from below Kindergarten up to a Third grade reading level!

The biggest patience teacher for me has been art. I’m not an artist in any sense of the word. Although my children will tell you I draw awesome stick figures! (oh and they say my flowers for charting how a flower turns oxygen into carbon monoxide are pretty good as well) I have had to learn that yes some of my children are great artists,while some have inherited mom’s wonderful stick person talent. Art takes time though. Time takes patience…nuff said.

This patience thing has rubbed off into other parts of my life as well. I find myself in general just being less stressed and anxiety filled because I realize most things take time. This is definitely something I don’t think I would’ve ever learned had I not homeschooled my kids. So for that…I say thank  you kids. Momma loves you!

 

Our Homeschool Journey Part 1: 7 years of Homeschooling

 

We are starting our 7th year of homeschooling. It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve actually been doing it for 7 years but we have! Through those years what started out very much as a “school at home” setting has turned into a “way of life” setting. Some people don’t realize this but yes homeschooling,just like country living,is a way of life.

The one thing I love about homeschooling is the people you meet. Everyone has a story as to why they homeschool. At first glance it may seem one of the generic reasons we’ve all heard,religious, not wanting their kids around bad influences, rebellion against the public school system or even the fact that the parents themselves were homeschooled and they carried on the tradition. As you talk to these families though more you find that each family is unique as to why they homeschool.

For me there was really a quite practical reason we began homeschooling. I lived in the middle of nowhere with 3 young children and one very small infant. Ok maybe not out in the middle of nowhere we lived in outside of a town called Granite Falls, WA. Ever heard of it?Yeah not many people have. I lived there, I was still married at the time, and we had a really bad winter. The kind of winter where if you hate snow(ahem like some of us. Yes I know I moved away from AZ back to snow country again,don’t ask) you are pretty much miserable. I also had a little two month old baby as well as a5, 3 and 2 years old. My oldest was going to Public School. I had known a couple people who had homeschooled before such as my cousin but at this point in my life figured it might be too much for me to handle.

I was EXHAUSTED doing the driving into town to drop him off for school then pick him up. He had tested into an accelerated Kindergarten class, so he was bringing home more homework then I thought could even be possible for a kid at 5 to do. Most afternoons we sat around doing an additional 3 hours of schoolwork. Another really big factor. I really missed having Nathaniel home with me. Here he was learning all of these great things at school and I was not there to witness them. I wanted to homeschool him then,but he was also in speech and I knew for now he needed that service.

By winter time there were days I literally could not get down the hill to go into town. I would email the teacher and let her know and she had agreed to email me the day’s lessons if we were absent. I quickly found mostly everything he was bringing home for homework was basically the work they were supposed to be doing in school during the day.By the time the first parent teacher conference rolled around I was convinced we should be homeschooling. The teacher said he was doing great in class, he just had a lot of energy and maybe we should have him tested for ADD. I had worked in preschool,kindergarten, and daycare my whole life. I knew that yes Nathaniel had a lot of energy he was a 5 year old boy, but it wasn’t an abnormal amount. I also found out at that meeting that Nathaniel had not been going to speech. When I approached the speech teacher as to why her answer was,”Well I didn’t want him missing out on class or the other kids making fun of him for having to leave class” Umm…this was in his IEP he NEEDED speech! She agreed to start taking him out for speech. By the end of the year he had only gone to speech 5 times.

So we decided that he would finish up Kindergarten then come home. This is where the research started for me. I devoured all things homeschooling. Read a bunch of what our First Grader needed to know…..or Second grader. Scanned the world wide web for curriculums and lessons. I didn’t want to miss one single thing.

Here we are now 6 full years later and I don’t regret my decision one bit. All 4 kids are homeschooled. I love the fact that like now for instance,in the middle of our African Safari, we’re all learning something together.Of course there are those days where I wanna pull my hair out. The days where it’s very clear no one wants to do school. There are also the days where we all sit around the table and laugh and talk about the things we’ve learned.

I started out a very strictly scheduled homeschooler. Over the last couple of years though I’ve stopped with the “They have to know every little thing.There can’t be any gaps,” mentality, and learned to “Go with the flow”  Our homeschooling style though is for another post.