A Little (or a lot of) Catching Up

Alright, I’m back by demand.  Sorry to disappoint with my empty blog.  My computer will not be revived any time soon (if ever), so I have to settle for part-time-use of Graeme’s computer evenings and weekends and some days (like today) when he has a big case and knows he won’t be able to use it at work.  So I’m going to do some catching up.

With the new year and post pregnancy, our weeks have taken on a new fullness.  Even when I have the computer I don’t necessarily have time to blog (or feel like it), but I’ll try to put a little something up here and there to keep you (especially my family) informed.  Because I’m not a great phone caller or emailer most of the time, either.  Anyway, Graeme and Zach have fencing, we have tap, Zach has fiddle, I’m being a more consistent and diligent piano teacher for three of them, Graeme has started Gabe on guitar, Graeme, Zach, and Gabe started archery, plus we have friends to visit, all four boys are in gymnastics, and then, of course, there is food to be made, things to be cleaned, and much learning to do.  Life is full. I’m excited about some ideas I’ve been getting from the book Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner.  One of the things I’ve started incorporating is visualizing words for spelling.  (My boys struggle with spelling.)  Maybe I can describe it in more detail another time, but basically you make a mental “image” of the word, rather than the individual letters.  So far this method is showing great promise.  They can instantaneously spell words for me that they have previously forgotten the spelling for over and over.  There are a lot of other great ideas gleaned from this book….. especially for me in a family of what seem to be predominantly visual-spatial learners.   For more info. see: Upside-Down Brilliance and Gifted Development Center.   I’m also looking forward to continuing my read of Gift Of Dyslexia.

I am trying to get some more “systems” in place….. basically planning ahead.  I have found myself going months without a meal plan, always telling myself I just don’t feel like meal planning when the day is said and done.  However, after having done it for a few weeks I am convinced of something I already knew: a little planning goes a long way!  How much time I save with fewer grocery store runs and stressing over what to make when it’s 4pm and I still have no idea!  This is one example.  Maybe sometime I’ll do a post about some of my system ideas.  For now I’ll share my summary of what kind of systems I am trying to put in place:  I am seeking systems that serve me; not systems that I must serve.  And while I am trying to form some better habits and “systems” in my own life and family management, it has been a focus with the kids too.  I feel like we’re going in a good direction.  On top of that I have been thinking about and convicted of how much more diligence is required on my part to raise these children up rooted and grounded in God’s word.  It is (as always… yes, it’s a lesson I seem to have to learn over and over) amazing to me how quickly attitudes and hearts change around here with a little more consistency in God’s word.  I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but a couple verses from God’s word seem to cut to the heart of the issue and turn things around.  Imagine that!

Well, that’s all I have time for.  The big boys have to get in their typing lessons while we have the computer and before they go for a sleep over this afternoon. I already did the photo part of this post earlier today.

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I often try to take my photos from an uncluttered angle…. just because I like photography and I think pictures look better uncluttered.  However, I want to keep realistic here on my blog, so here’s a shot of what most of the house looks like most of the time.  Even though it’s usually tidied up at the end of the day (at least this room is), this is how it looks by the time I get out of bed in the morning (much thanks to Noah).

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Another sampling of real life….. after tearing up newspaper for the worms (vermicompost) some little people discovered the great fun of playing with it.  Then some bigger little people got involved. (I think, in total, eleven kids were involved.) It was like an indoor snowball fight.  In the end they all got it cleaned up in quite impressive time.

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And here is the precious one-month old!

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The other day we had a very “fruitful” trip to Thrift and Value Village.  Both little boys have been coveting their big brothers desks.  We found this one for Ben for $19.99.  That is Noah working at it in this picture.  We have tried to convince him that the little red table can now be his “desk” but he’s not buying it.  Hopefully we’ll find another little desk for him.  And then…. the real challenge will be…. finding a place to put it!  It will be a worthy challenge.

And below…. Battleship… another Thrift find that is getting a lot of use!

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This is the very beginning of the great iBook disassembly.  Everyone wants “something I can take apart”.  I’m hoping that at some point they’ll learn the “fix and put back together” part!  Anything with tools involved makes Noah happy.

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Including bike tire pumps.

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And another of many, many, many photos of Danica being held and admired by some big bros.

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We have started taking tap dance lessons.  This is our awesome teacher.  We’ve had only two lessons so far, and I have to say, I’m impressed with how much we’ve learned.  It’s a ton of fun.  Oh, that was another Thrift find…. tap shoes… but only for Charlotte.  Hopefully we’ll get everyone else outfitted soon, along with some Masonite for the basement floor (we’re just using running shoes right now).  Ben and Noah participate a little.  Mostly, we practice with them during the week.  I think they will like it even more with tap shoes.  Ben is less than enthusiastic.  Possibly, it’s because he falls over as soon as one foot leaves the ground.  But I’m sure that with some perseverance his balance will improve.

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These two photos are from today.

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Another thing worthy of mention is that G’s mom was recently here for a couple of days.  She got to meet her granddaughter for the first time.  Danica gave Grandma lots of smiles, and likely her cold.  Betty gave me a huge gift as well.  She cleaned all the mildewy window sills and windows in the whole house!  Thank you so much!

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5 Responses to A Little (or a lot of) Catching Up

  1. Pais says:

    hey Angie,
    thanks for the little note on the blog!
    I love hearing about what you’re up to! It feels like I’m not missing so much of your lives, and when we meet again in our northern home town (soon!) I wont have to do much catching up!
    love to you, your boys and your lovely little lady!!

    Pais

  2. Donna says:

    we miss you and think of you often. Your family is beautiful and so inspiriring. I wish I would keep up with my blog just because I really want to remember these crazy hurried days. David takes his drivers test on Wednesday….what a double edge sword…I’ll be praying my head off over the next couple of days, weeks, and months…..letting go is what I am not good at.

  3. Leeanna says:

    She’s is so cute!! glad things are great, love the pictures as always!! <2

  4. grandma betty says:

    So far so good with no cold in sight!!!!!!How did I escape this time??????????? Lousy trip home due to mother nature but the pilots got us here safe a sound. See you again sooner than later due to mom’s condition—stay well—bet

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