Wednesday, August 26, 2015


We just finished Day 6 of the "Thomas Family Homeschool," as the heading of some of our worksheets say. (thanks to Daddy!) Things are going really well so far. Mostly. It is definitely going to take some time to adjust to the schedule, get the boys back into the routine of working again and figure out how to protect our school time from other intrusions and fit in other responsibilities.

The first day, last Wednesday, the boys and I just went over everything that we are going to do for the year. I showed them their binders that I put together, all the books I got, talked about the different subjects we will cover, let them ask questions, etc. It took longer than I thought it would and I was totally exhausted at the end of it!!:)

Thursday we did a little work in the a.m. and then had to take Eliana to the dr for yet another ridiculous mosquito reaction!

That is just one mosquito bite! It went from the size of a pea right before she went to bed Wed night, a quarter by Thurs morning and an apple by Friday morning! It was really hot to the touch and swollen and she was beyond miserable, crying that it hurt her so bad. We got a cream to help her and it is mostly gone now!

We had our lighter school schedule Friday and started full-time Monday. We have definitely had some meltdowns and attitude issues but we are working on that. I have already had to tweak a couple things with our schedule to make things run more smoothly and I think I will have to do that a few more times these first few weeks, as we figure out what works/what doesn't work.

I told the boys that I think they've learned more in the last 6 days than they did in 6 months last year!! You think I am joking....

We start out our mornings, after breakfast and exercise (MWF) with devotional/prayer time (definitely the best way to start out the day!), followed by calendar time. During that time we fill in daily planners, mark the day, weather, etc. and get ready to start! Monday through Thursday, the boys are doing English, Math, Spelling, Literature/Reading, Writing/Narration, Science, History/Geography and some kind of fine arts. Most subjects are in 20 minute increments. Just enough to get good work done, not enough to overwhelm them! (or me...)

The boys are learning Latin and Spanish. Ben does the former, I am doing the latter with the boys using a really neat language program called Mango that we access for free through the library! I am really amazed at how quickly they pick up on the language. They may complain about having to do two languages sometimes but they actually mostly enjoy it. And if they think two is hard, they have nothin' on their Daddy! He learned at least 9 over the course of his Ph.D!

(Z working on spelling words. They choose a different way to practice every day!)

Little Sweetie Pie is doing homeschooling, too! We weren't able to send her to her preschool for financial reason along with the disruption to our schooling schedule it would cause. It was a hard choice for us but she is very happy to be home with us learning! She has worksheets that she does and her own little pink binder:) She loves to pull it out each day and practice writing her name (she is working on lower case letters) and doing her worksheets. I plan to do the Alphabet Weeks with her that I did with the boys when they were younger, just a little more advanced. It should be fun!

It's definitely a lot of work and I feel very much in need of some quiet time in the afternoons when we are done but it is really rewarding and fun sometimes. They are getting to do things they never did in school and we are so involved now in what they are learning. Yesterday for example, for science/nature study, we took our nature books and went out in the backyard and observed the clouds. We talked about what they looked like, drew pictures and looked in our cloud books to see if we could identify them. We sat on the swings and the different levels of the playgym and it was peaceful, quiet and lovely! Who gets to do that in school?!

I am hoping we settle into our routines quickly because I need to get a move on packing! We move in 4 weeks. I tend to think of all that I need to do right when I am trying to fall asleep at night and work myself into a slight panic:) Moving is never easy and I tend to want to put off packing and all the little details until a little closer to time but I think it would behoove me to do it little by little since my days are so full now! Thankfully, we saved all our boxes from last year so that is one less thing I have to do.

A beautiful sunset we saw in Plain City the other night on our way home!

Life is very full and getting fuller by the day it seems but we are thankful and taking things one day at a time! Happy Wednesday!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Our Exciting Life;)


a.k.a. Miss Adorable Ray of Sunshine!

gets eaten alive by mosquitos!

They think she is an extra-special tasty treat (which she is, of course) and she reacts so strongly, even to the point of blistering and scarring! Poor baby! It has been a miserably itchy summer for her!

 HE (Mr. Warring-with-staying-small-and-growing-up-all-at-the-same-time)

looks like he came out of a war zone every time he rides his bike! This is only one of the wounds on his body right now! Sheesh.

 SHEgoes wherever she pleases in her ballet costume, even to the park:) And quite frankly, it doesn't bother me! She is only four once....

We saw this little beauty at the park the other day...

So beautiful!

I am taking full advantage of the fresh summer fruits to make delicious things like this!

Oh yes.

And HE (a.k.a. Mr.-Imagination-Central) has learned how to cook eggs (and so has his brother) and that's all they want to eat! All day, every day! I need chickens!!

You can see that we are getting ready for school to start very, very soon! I am working so hard to organize this all!!!

We became officially official today!

And we really really need bookshelves!!!

And last but not least....WE are moving again! We are like the king and queen of moving, blech!  As in, in this will be our 10th move since we were married....12 1/2 years ago. We lived in one cute little condo in Ohio as newlyweds. Four months after our I do's, we moved to Indiana for school and had a cozy apartment for 1 1/2 years. We left that sleazy landlord infested apartment for a teeny little duplex 6 months before we moved to Chicago. And that's where Samuel was born. When he was 8 weeks old, we moved sigh-unseen to an apartment in Chicago, where our rent immediately doubled. (yea, Chicago). We traded in that apartment for a slightly larger one the floor above after Zakkai was born and there we stayed for a couple of years.

Then once the boys started getting into school, we had to navigate the muddy lottery Chicago school system and move to get into a school. We lasted one year in Ukranian Village, where Eliana was born (and where we braved our first blizzard!) before heading to the Western Suburbs so the boys could go to a good non-Chicago public school. And there we stayed for 3 years until our move back to Ohio and into my grandparent's basement last summer. We roomed with them for 2 1/2 months before we found our current condo, where we'll have been for one year at the end of this month. Whew!!! Anyone else tired??

 We are very much hoping and praying that this will be the last move before we can buy a home of our own in the next couple of years. But for now, this is a huge answer to prayer! Not only does it have a fenced-in backyard (oh yea!) and a porch swing (which they said we can paint a fun color!!) but it is a HOUSE (which we have never lived in!!) AND we will be saving over $300 per month from what we pay now. Can I get an Amen?!!

We have 7 weeks to pack up our much-reduced belongings (hooray!), get into a good school routine, start Fall baseball with S, start Awana back up, go camping and then we move!

Who ever said life is boring? Not me!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August Fun!

Summer is rolling right along! It is pretty crazy how quickly July flew by and now school supply signs are up in every store. Speaking of school supplies.....we don't have to go buy some huge crazy, specific list!! Somehow I have a really good stockpile of notebooks and pencils, folders and binders so I think we are pretty good. The supplies we will need will probably be more for science experiments and such:)

We went swimming last week...twice! The first time was at my friend's in-law's pool. It was nice to not have to share pool space with a bazillion other people! It was a mostly fun time (more on that in a sec....)

Swimming time wouldn't be complete with out goggles and noodles!

S getting ready to dive....


Big splash:)

They did NOT want to go home!

Eliana sitting on her towel eating lunch with her friend Olivia;) As I mentioned, we mostly had a great time. We haven't been able to afford many swim lessons with the kids. Only a few sessions for the boys and none for Eliana. Samuel has grown in confidence since last summer with swimming but Zakkai has not.

When we first got there, we lathered on sunscreen and then I told the kids they had to wait with my friend while I ran into the bathroom before they could get in the pool. I came back out a couple minutes later to find Zakkai in the water at the edge of the pool, with my friend, still dressed in her cover-up, holding him from behind!

Apparently, he had reached over the edge of the deep end to get a pool noodle or something and fell in headfirst!! Samuel saw him a second later and yelled but no one heard him. Then Z was able to get out a scream for help and my friend dove in. He was very shaken up, as was I!

So, then he was totally fine swimming with a pool noodle the rest of the time until about 20 minutes before we were going to leave, when he got to close to the slide down into the deep end (where the floor of the pool slides down) and he slid down and screamed  and totally panicked! My friend and I reached him at the same time and got him out and calmed down and then we practiced swimming with him the rest of the time. He didn't want to go back in at first but we made him practice his strokes and he was improving by the end!

He was a mess the rest of the night. Teary and emotional. We put him to bed early but he came back down crying and needed another prayer and a long hug:(

We went swimming again this weekend with friends at the public pool and he did completely fine and had a fun time! We definitely need to work on his confidence so this doesn't happen again!

I had a cleaning job the other day at my uncle's parent's house and they put out bubbles for the kiddos to play with. They were blowing some huge bubbles!!

Samuel's first sunflower bloomed!

Eliana and cousin Evy playing my piano:)

Swinging at the park!

A day at the splashpad a couple weeks ago!

Water play outside on a day we were stuck at home!

Exhausted after a busy week and a family dinner on Friday night! :)

My amazing Vitamix!!! We throw all kind of things in there. This one looks like coconut milk, spinach, carrots, grapes, apples, strawberries, pineapple, flax seed and a little honey, etc.

And it turns into this!! It's a different color every day:) So yummy!!

I am trying to find more ways to fight the on-going budget battle so I decided to make napkins so we can re-use them! It took awhile because we have been SO busy lately but I finally finished them last week! 15 napkins made out of some of Ben's old dress shirts, an old pillowcase and some fat quarters:)

Have a great day!