Glimpses and Snippets - Lots of Big News!

(I apologize ahead of time for the overuse of exclamation points. You've been warned.)

We've had a lot of big news around here the past few weeks!

Middlest lost another tooth! 

Littlest is potty trained! 

 Oh my goodness. Those little underpants! *swoon*
I just love this little guy. 
It's going really well! Hardly any accidents and he wakes up dry most nights. (We've used the 3 Day Potty Training method for each child. They've all been different ages though. Oldest was 3 1/2 yo, Middlest was 22 months and Littlest was almost 3yo.)

And Littlest also turned 3 last week!

 Ignore the mess in the background. Ahem.
And the ugly cake. ;)

And I took Oldest to Rockford, IL (over 2 hours from our house) with our friend/librarian to a half price book sale at a Half Price Books Outlet!!! We did very well as you can see...

My friend and I shopped for over FOUR HOURS and Oldest did swimmingly. She was so patient--she would just grab a book off the shelf, find a chair and read while we shopped. :) What a sweetie!

Here are a few of the treasures I found:

I ended up purchasing 104 books and only spent $78!!!! Isn't that cray cray? See those 3 piles below closest to the edge of the counter? Those were all $0.50!! I still can't believe it. I got so many great books!

This cracked me up:

Apparently the story of Pocahontas is "irrelevant"?

That's about it for big news around here! :)


School Update

This week is a Sabbath Week! Woohoo! We have 6 weeks under our belts! Unfortunately, the first day of our break didn't go so well. I was talking to a few friends last night and their advice was to have a little more structure to our days this week. So I'm going to try that today and see if it helps. That means I might not get done all I want to though. *sob* #itsallaboutme

This was how we started our morning yesterday. Littlest's foot was run over by a bike. :( He still refuses to walk on it.

Overall school is going well. Overall. We've had a few rough patches, but I'm trying to remember that #1. It's my job to keep morale high and #2. Meltdowns Are an Opportunity! (Link to Afterthoughts blog)

And when I say it's "my job to keep morale high" I don't mean "keep my kids happy." I mean, it's my responsibility to not get ruffled or offended when things don't go as planned or the kids don't behave the way I want them to.

Hypothetically speaking, of course. Ahem.

 Oldest is learning cursive. :) (we're using HWT)

I'm trying to keep things moving in our day and not get discouraged when we hit a bump. This is maybe the hardest part of homeschooling, no?

Last week, we were having such a rough morning that I actually took the kids to Walmart for a break. Yep. It was that bad.

The funny(?) thing is, both girls actually like school--after we've started. It's the starting that's the hardest part. They love almost all their book selections and Middlest (below), for the most part, even enjoys copywork and math! (I hope that sticks.) Oldest has run up to me on more than one occasion in the middle of one her readings to tell me something "really cool" she's reading about!

It's a struggle to get them going though - for each subject. I know it will get better.

Circle Time readings. Look at that sweet smile. She looks so innocent, doesn't she? ;)

 Circle Time - our favorite part of the day

A few practical things that help me:
  • not yell - remaining calm is most important and I'm actually doing ok at this. *shines lapel*
  • don't micro-manage - I have to let a lot of things go or I'll spend every waking moment playing referee. 
  • don't worry about checking the boxes

When I'm so focused on checking off the boxes, I get more stressed and that just makes me more irritable. That said, I still need my boxes and schedule in front of me to keep me from getting Decision Fatigue. I'm just not stressing if they don't get checked.

Another thing I'm trying to remind myself of is Middlest (who's in her first official year of school) is still learning the ropes and for goodness' sake! Be gentle on her, Catie! 

The great thing is, school itself is wonderful. We're reading great books like, Pagoo, Herriot's Treasury, Chronicles of Narnia... I mean, does it get any better??

And I love the Charlotte Mason method; narrating, short lessons, lots of time outside. It's really the perfect way to homeschool, in my opinion. And I think (hope?) that even though the girls sometimes give me a hard time now, they'll look back and be thankful for the way we chose to school. :)

 Taking a day off to go to our local state park. :) Love these kids. 

God is good! 

How is your school going so far?


Guess What?!

I'm going to give you a few hints and you have to guess what my surprise is! Ready?

- I'm sleeping 10 hours a night and also want to nap everyday. Much to my dismay, I don't always get said nap.
- I'm switching out my War Drobe for the next year or so.
- I was feeling a little woozy for about 2 months.
- I'm HUNGRY. Often.

 10 weeks

 12 weeks
14 weeks

Well!? Can you guess what our surprise is? ;o)

We're happy to announce that Baby #4 is on his/her way! Due date is March 8th and I am so excited!

And tired. *yawn*