just the sells

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Update

Before:After: Before:After:

Well, it's been a long summer and we've gotten alot done. Above are before and after pictures of what was our office/guest room located in what probably was an attic on the third floor of our house. When we moved it, it was drywalled and carpeted. We barely used it except for when guests came and as we were thinking of moving Scooter out of our bedroom and there wasn't room for his bed in the boy's room, we figured "why not go up?" So we did. There is now a ladder from the boy's room on the 2nd floor up to their loft/sleeping area on the third. They love it and there's plenty of room down on the 2nd floor for scooter (you can see his mattress up against the wall on the right).

Another major thing I got done this summer was the treehouse.

We are now on vacation at our state park that we go to every summer. There's no internet here, so I drive around the town with my laptop open, looking for unsecured networks I can freeload off of. Jonas woke up early this morning and we didn't want him waking the rest of the kids, so he and I went for a drive. He ended up falling back to sleep and I decided to post on our blog.
Enjoy the pictues.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

My new haircut



And finally, after a trim from Karen.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our Family Trip to the Delaware Water Gap

Just thought you might like to see some pictures of
our recent trip to the Delaware Water Gap. Enjoy...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

looking for a good laugh?

i'll be painfully honest here :),
i've never been coordinated, or even close.
but, i love the way i feel if i exercise,
and i love my incredibly coordinated little sister.
not only am i blessed to have her as a tenant
(and countless other roles in my life),
she is also my exercise partner.
now, you won't laugh at her... you'll be in awe, and maybe a little envious
(as i am) of how easily she follows along.
but me... feel free to laugh as you imagine me in this class.
check out the youtube clip here:

(the first time we took the class, i went in the opposite direction, and she kicked me...
talk about a good laugh... my kids are still telling the story.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

one of those (wonderful) days

i love my days learning at home with my children.
but if you know me, you know if i say i love something,
it doesn't mean its often easy or always wonderful.
as a matter of fact, most of our days
are "one of those (ordinary) days".
we read a bit, play alot, write a little, bake some,
squabble a fair bit, clean alot, and just try to work together.
but sometimes, we have "one of those (wonderful) days".
the kinds of days you dream about before you begin to homeschool,
and the kinds of days that give you what it takes to stick with it.
well, today was one of those days.
and for posterity,
(yes, i will probably need to read it before next week as a reminder)
and for encouragement (for some of you on this path),
i will try to recount it beginning to end.

i was awake before the kids (always a good beginning),
and able to have a little time with God and joel.
one by one the kids began to tumble out of bed,
and in an effort to get the blog up to date,
we composed the previous post.
we then made our way to the kitchen for breakfast
where a science lesson awaited us.
yesterday we had found a little snake in the garden.
before i could protest, he was becoming a part of the family.
and by nightime, he was occupying the kitchen table in a salad container.
by morning, he had secured his place,
by shedding his skin with impeccable timing.
the kids were shrieking with excitement.
after several minutes of poring over the snakeskin,
we were calm enough for eating.
i love leisurely breakfast on days we have nowhere to go,
so over eggs and toast, we memorized scripture, read poetry,
and read voice of the martyrs newletter for children, children of courage.
they then moved onto chores
(cleaning breakfast, making beds, putting away laundry).
after chores, they all began to play some rendition of superhero make-believe,
which amazingly lasted quite a while...
at least long enough for me to finish my chores for the morning.

then, hungry again...
we returned to the kitchen for a quick lunch,
becuase by now the sun was shining,
and nobody could think of anything else but making a habitat for the snake.
at this point of the day, he had even acquired a name... "slinky".
a new habitat, a little time in the sunny yard, and laundry on the line,
and we were back inside.
they all had a little "rest with books".
this is as close as it gets to naptime for all but jonas,
which is all i needed to rock the baby to sleep.
after laying him in bed, i came downstairs
to find everyone still "resting with books"...
the thrill raising kids who love reading.
now, micah has shown an interest in learning to read lately.
(i'll delve into my philosophy on this at another time,
but suffice it to say, i've thought and read long and hard
on learning to read, and i'm a firm believer in
letting kids learn at their own pace.
elias was 4 1/2. micah didn't show much interst until after he turned 7.)
i see him studying the words in a picture book,
and i say "hey, micah, how about you read that to me?".
he says "i can't." i say, "yes, you can."
(i don't know that i really believe he can, but its worth a try).
i sit down next to him.
20 minutes and 20 pages later, beaming with pride,
micah finishes reading his first full book.
we celebrate with water ice.

now its my turn for reading, and i read from the horse and his boy
while they eat.
from the content of this chapter, we move naturally into a few discussions...
life after death and heaven, fear, and various geographical regions of the earth.
(i know you're lost now... you'll just have to read horse and his boy, chapter 6.)
after this, everyone does a bit of writing
(except for the stellar reader who takes a break to play ball.)
the inspiration, also from our friend, cs lewis, is the longest day of our life.
elias write a comic style story on a computer animation website for kids.
eva and mara dictate stories to me, which i write.
eva goes on to illustrate hers.

by now, jonas is awake and the sun is calling us outdoors again.
we take to the yard, the snake, and the swings.
at the picnic table, i play the boys in a multiplication card game
and the girls in an addition one.

now, daddy is home...
he plays football with the boys while the girls and i fix dinner.
then, everyone joins me to plant a few more veggies in the garden
and, of course, soak one another with the hose.
we manage a short walk to the library
(one of the joys of city life... a library around the corner)
before we return home for dinner.

and as if i needed anything else,
my amazing husband singlehandedly
bathes, reads, sings, and puts all of the children in bed
while i get away to take a pilates class with my sister.

no, most days aren't this picturesque...
but i treasue the ones that are
and then thank God for all we learn on the ones that aren't.

what i wanna do someday...

jonas: a pro skateboarder...
though jonas could not quite speak for himself yet,
any baby who spends most of his waking hours
standing on a skateboard and wearing a helmet
or making a toy skateboard ride the arms of his highchair
must have this as his future ambition.

mara joy: a snowman builder...
that has lots of frosties (the snowman, that is).
if you don't have the privelege of spending time with marmie,
let me explain...
mara joy has a little obsession w/ frosty the snowman.
she's still sleeping in snowman pajamas,
playing with snowman decorations,
and asking us to sing frosty the snowman at night.
yes, we know its may :).

eva: a doctor that takes care of everyone...
i already know alot about it,
i really like the things they use,
i have my own doctor things that are real,
and i've been to the doctor alot
(thanks to the pro skateboarder, of course).

micah: an olympic gymnast...
i love gymnastics, and
i've already won one gold and two silvers
('tis true... micah took first once and second twice
in his first three meets this year.)

elias: an editor...
i love to read,
it would be fun to change a story,
and, of course, i would get to read all the books before anyone else.

oops, i forgot, also a pokemon champion...
i'm really good at the game,
i win against almost everyone i play,
and its really fun.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

healthy children

so theres a little bit of irony here, but not really...
all in all, with five children,
we've seen our share of illness and injury
(and this weekend we saw a little more than we would have liked).
but nothing compared with what you see after spending
a few hours in a children's hospital...
toddlers and teens without any hair on their heads
or most of their body hooked to a machine.

yes, today we spent the better part of a gorgeous day in the children's hospital.
and yesterday, we spent an hour or so in the pediatrician,
but before i fill you in, i just want to say i'm grateful,
because it could be so much worse.

that said, eva has two buckle fractures,
one in each of the bones which run from the wrist to the elbow.
she attempted her lovely cartwheel on uneven grass in the park yesterday,
and there you have it...
jonas, as always, is a little more complicated.
he has suffered a few dozen skin conditions since around nine months,
and yet he always manages to find another.
now, i've always waffled on vaccinations.
i take some, i leave some, i delay most...
such was the case with the chicken pox and mmr,
which i had delayed due to jonas' sensitive skin.
but, he had been in a good stretch for a few weeks, so i went ahead.
and, of course, he was the rare child to have the reaction.
he now has mild cases of both measles and chicken pox.
(although the pox are becoming less mild by the hour.)
poor baby... hes been crying and itching through most of the last few nights.

hopefully, they'll be feeling better in few days...
and i'll keep remembering to be grateful i'm not
the mama living in a hospital.

Monday, April 13, 2009

long days

some days are long.
we're exhausted at the end... in a good way (most of the time).
i suppose the longer day, the more things you get to live...
today began at 6 am.
joel was on his bike to work before the little ones and i
crawled out of our warm, soft bed.
most nights, some little one creeps into our bed before dawn.
every once in a while all of the little ones make their way in.
eva had awoken from a bad dream.
mara joy came in crying about her candy (those darned easter eggs).
and jonas (as we found out later in the day) had a double ear infection.
despite a bit of a sleepless night, the morning had a calm beginning...
reading over eating breakfast, getting the chores done,
and little bit of playing before our trip to the pediatrician.
unfortunately, this was the third trip to the pediatrician in the last five days.
and theres one more to go... at least thats a well visit (for the moment :) ).
turns out jonas has a double ear infection, again,
but at least the other four children were angelic (those wonderful easter eggs).
the afternoon was filled with a renewed interest in the birds.
last year, the kids were crazy over birds.
there must have been a few dozen handmade feeders and houses in the yard.
then, suddenly, they lost interest.
well, with the return of spring has come a return of love for the birds.
with the sun finally shining, they busied themselves filling feeders and baths.
then, some more reading (the horse and his boy) over lunch.
now with jonas sleeping came online math lessons,
some computer programming (elias), a reading lesson (micah),
some handwriting (eva), and playing (mara joy).
then joel came home. we took a walk... getting jonas' prescription,
delivering a meal to a neighborhood couple who just had a baby,
and paying a visit to the library.
one of the things we so love about germantown is
how we can walk most anywhere.
after eating dinner and getting the little ones to bed,
it was on to the boys' skateboarding reports for the co-op.
and, after that, a long quiet night for me.
joel has been replacing a part in the van since just after eight.
its now after midnight...
the blessing and the curse of being able to do so many things yourself.
and the reason i'm writing so long, so late.
i have the hardest time falling asleep alone.
but i'm enjoying the end of my quiet, albeit long, day.
mondays are quiet because its mostly us (not that we're quiet, of course).
the rest of the week is filled with people... people we love.
i just love the quiet, too,
which makes its worth making the day just a little longer.
but now its time to say goodnight. i think i hear joel finally coming in.