Archive for the 'Kids' Category

School Time

Monday, September 12th, 2011

If you know me, you know I’m one of the most consistent at being inconsistent home-schooling moms there is. We go through good schooling times and less active schooling times. It’s true my girls are pretty smart and intelligent, where our unschooling has taken place, but they definitely have some areas where they lack the know how, or just plan practice.

I started our formal schooling last week and I have a few areas of heavy focus, which means we’re working on them 4 times a week, since we take Mondays off and I’m trying to be practical and help them in areas they have interest, or have taught themselves, but are lacking, because well, they taught themselves.

One is writing, like how to write letters properly. Both girls know how to write all the letters, except lowercase q’s, but are not writing them all properly, or starting out in the correct areas, so we’ll be working on those.

Second is spelling. Both my girls read like crazy, but only one is where she needs to be spelling wise, and that’s Eden. Eden learned most of her reading phonetically, so she understands spelling and spells things correctly, for her limited writing, where as Lilah writes a lot, but does not spell everything correctly. I have an actual curriculum I’m using for this, and putting them both through it, and we’re starting at the very basics. I like it and think it will help them a lot, especially Lilah.

Last is math. They both know a lot, but I’m finally getting to the point I need an actual book for Lilah, rather than just work books and real life situations and discussions with us. Lilah’s in the third grade, which is totally crazy to me, and I finally feel that a more curriculum based math is what she needs. We’re quickly working through some lower level math books, and by January I hope to start her at a third grade level book. She’s able to work completely on her own, with a little help from me, which is exactly what I want for math, until she gets older, and even as she gets older, I’m fine if we wait and she might be a little behind, and then she’s able to read through and work things out for herself at a later point. It’s finding a good curriculum that tells them the why and not just the how to solve a problem.

Some might judge that I’m doing my girls a disservice. How could I let them get so far behind on such basic things? But honestly, I think they’re fine, and they learn quickly when the time is right. I’ve enjoyed having them home, and I love that they get to play for most of the day. Some of their play time is spent reading, a lot really, and some is spent fighting over Mario Cart, though for the most part they get along, it’s when mom says no that the arguing ensues, and most is spent with us as a family and that’s just the way I want it.

So there’s what we’re doing for school this year, of course I have other goals for us, but these are the areas we’re lacking and I feel it’s starting to interfere with their learning or ability to grow and learn more. I hope I can be a more consistent home-schooling parent. I think we’re all under agreement that we need to step up and put more into school. Lilah has been really cooperative and is really wanting to get better at all I’ve mentioned, while Eden is being the stubborn one in some areas. I’ve really enjoyed our school time last week, and found it really encouraging for us. I know we’re entering a new phase in our schooling and we’re doing just what we need to.

I’m not trying to do public school at home, I’m trying to make my home a place of learning and growing.

Lilah Turns Eight!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

This year Lilah turned eight. I’m still in denial about her being that old, I’m pretty sure she was just a toddler yesterday, but I guess the calendar doesn’t lie.

It was her turn for a low key party or gathering this year. We decided to do some swimming with her friend Britta, have a picnic lunch with some cake, then head home to get ready for the opening night of the play.

Sam’s neighbors are living away from their house, so they asked them if they would watch the pool for them and keep it full and in exchange, they could use it. (They still have a pool person coming by.) They said we could come over and swim, so we did! We also had the picnic lunch in Sam’s backyard. It was a fun a little gathering. Lilah chose bagels with strawberry cream cheese, watermelon, chips and lemonade, since everyone loves lemonade on a hot summer day.

I didn’t get many pictures of us at the pool, or of the day in general, so this is what I have.


A very long Eden on her daddy. (I’m also in denial about her getting so big.)



Matilda, she was just coming back from stealing more grapes.



Lilah was there, and she swam with noodles and stayed closed to the edge of the pool. (Sadly our swim teacher was doing lessons while the play was going, so we missed them this year.)



Britta and Lilah like to stay close to one another.



Like I said before, they stay close to one another.



Cake! We sang to Lilah in the play house, because it was too windy in the yard.



Due to time we came home to open presents.

We also too a quick trip to Pine Valley for Lilah’s birthday. I didn’t take any pictures though. Really, it was the only 24 hours we could get away, and Lilah said she wanted to enjoy the fresh air for her birthday, so we did.

When I turned Eight…

Monday, June 27th, 2011

June 1st, 1991 I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was a wonderful day, and I’m happy I chose to become a member of the church.

Lilah just turned 8 and the pressure sure is there to have her baptized.

Just for the record Lilah has chosen to wait, and if you’re surprised by this, then obviously you don’t know the situation of what is my life.

Just as I am not pressuring Lilah to be baptized, Jon is not pressuring her to not be baptized. Due to our mutual respect for one another and our desire to have a working marriage, we’re teaching our children and letting them choose for themselves and this includes allowing them to choose to be baptized or choose to not be baptized. This is something I have to accept, just as it is something he has to accept.

I don’t think everyone understands this. Lots of people expected me to have Lilah baptized right on schedule, which surprises me. I suppose I might not always talk about what is my religiously divided home, but hello! I live in a religiously divided marriage! You can’t expect everything to go peachy keen in what is the Mormon pathway of being raised in the Church. I know Heavenly Father knows my situation, and my heart, and thus I’m not just some parent neglecting my spiritual duty by not having my child baptized at 8, which she still is for another 354 days.

This is hard for me, but please understand that I love both my husband and daughter, and want what is best for my family, and right now what is best, is to allow our daughter to choose for herself. Because lets face it, just because someone is baptized at eight, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be members of the Church for life, and just because someone decides to wait, doesn’t mean they will never believe and never become a member.

Play Away

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The play opened last week. It’s been fun and I was a little worried about how we’d pull it together, but it’s been going well. Now I just hope our ticket sales go up, because that’s been the only disappointing part thus far.

The play schedule is a little different this year. We have the theater a week longer than normal, so instead of cramming 9-11 performances in a two week period, we have 14 over three weeks.

While we were at the theater each day last week, having dress rehearsals, then family night and finally opening on Thursday, this week we had three days off.

So we spent Father’s day at the house this year, cleaning and getting it in some sort of order, then Monday the girls and I went up to Pine Valley to spend a mere 24 hours in the fresh, cool air. We came back Tuesday so Jon could see us, and tonight we start performing again, each night and then twice on Saturday. Then next week we’ll perform Tuesday through Friday, and get back to our normally scheduled life, at least for a little while.

I’m so happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel, while I hate that the play season is almost over, and it may be the last one the organization does due to recent rate changes for the theater, I’m happy to be a part of a wonderful production.

Here’s me and the girls in our play attire.


I’m a zebra, in case you didn’t know, and they’re cadets.


Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Wednesday is my day off, that was until I registered Eden into a dance class and until I had to go shopping for costume stuff, but before that it was my day off from running errands and going places. It was the day the girls and I stayed home and did things around the house, the day we might actually get some school work done and the day I didn’t have to shower or leave my house.

Today I realized I really like having Wednesdays off.

I was going to go to the park today, but the rain kept me home. I was suppose to take Eden to her dance class, but I forgot until I looked at the clock at 11:26 and realized it had started 11 minutes earlier, because I had been so preoccupied that morning trying to find a 2′ x 3′ magnetic white erase board that didn’t cost tons of money, and would ship in 1-2 days, rather than 1-2 months.

So instead of being busy outside of the house, we were busy inside the house.

The girls did some school stuff while I did some searching on the internet.
I did the dishes and actually started the dishwasher.
I read the girls books and Lilah wrote two really long stories in her creative writing book.
I baked some frozen cookie dough for a treat, and Eden reminded me this was “no treats” week.
We played math Bingo.
We got rid of some old art projects and hung up some new ones.
Lilah vacuumed the floor for me.

Now we’re relaxing for just a moment before I have to go help my MIL get her car from the shop. Then hopefully I can get home early enough to cook a home-made meal and we can enjoy some corn on the cob with our dinner.

I really like my day off. I’ve got to make sure I get one of these days at least once a week. It helps me feel accomplished and ready to do more, rather than be stressed about the mess or all the chaos that is life.

Mail Call!

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Here’s the mail it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail and yell MAIL!

I no longer have a preschooler, and I only watched that show when I was at my parents, because we don’t have cable, but it was my favorite thing. I loved that show. (Blues Clues just in case you don’t know the song.)

Well, checking the mail is a fun thing in our house. The girls love to check the mail, and a couple years ago we think Lilah left Jon’s house keys in the mail box, which caused me to be really freaked out as I waited for a locksmith to come change our lock that afternoon. So now we’re pretty careful and make sure we get the keys back in our hands.


On Saturday Lilah checked our mail. As she came back into the house she was so excited. “There was only one piece of mail and it’s for me!” Receiving mail is few and far between for our children, so I thought it interesting and checked the return address. It was only the address, no business name, and it had “Return Service Requested.” Odd I thought, and Jon and I both gave each other questioning looks like, “Who is soliciting our kid?”.

Lilah teared it open with glee and Eden patiently looked on and asked what it was. “Hey, there’s another envelope,” which she promptly threw to the floor as she tried to get to the letter’s contents. Then she looked at the letter with a puzzled face, and I hopped over to read it.

It started off:

Las Vegas- Clark County Library

Total Due: $220.26

We have made attempts to contact you about the lost materials and/or outstanding fines on your library account and have received no response.

“Oh, crap!” I think. The library books that we checked out earlier in the year, and I had just thought a couple weeks earlier, that I needed to return, had finally come to haunt me.

The letter went on, if we returned them, the fees would be removed, but we’d have to pay a $10 collection agency fee.

So I jumped in my car and went straight to the library with the 8 books.

I joked that I had received the “letter of shame” and one of the clerks responded, “Oh you received one of our death threats.” I returned the books and paid the fee on Lilah’s account. Supposedly everything is taken care of, but I can’t help but fear that I’ve really ruined something for her. Like there will be a note that this person has a tendency to not return books on time. Or as Jon pointed out, the collection agency’s fee will be on someone’s record. Just what a momma wants to hear.

Anyways, I’ve never been so happy to pay a fee at the library and will never hold onto books for so long, or better yet will return or renew them so they’re not late. It’s true that there is no late fee on children’s books, but that doesn’t mean you can keep them forever.

They will come after you.

Stellar mom moments

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

I know we all have stellar mom moments. Now this could mean you have your wonderful “I’m being an awesome mom” moments, or this could mean you’re having “the worst mother on the planet and you’re kids wished they hadn’t been born” moments.

Fortunately, I’ve been both in the past 48 hours.

Yesterday I took the girls up to play in the snow at Mt. Charleston. A friend posted she was going up and anyone was welcomed to join her family at the cabin. I thought it would be fun to play in the freshly fallen snow and of course, playing in the snow is only acceptable if you have shelter to hide in while you’re kids are outside freezing their butts off. So I took the girls, played with them a little, but for the most part let them play outside with their friends and one another. It made them happy, and it made me happy. (We borrowed some snow clothes so they were well equipped.)

Today I decided we should clean our house and by clean I mean finally have the girls clean their toys up and put them away in their proper places, rather than running out of time and shoving them to the side of their room, or letting things pile up in front of the toy shelf. I also made them fold their clothes. Yeah, they weren’t liking me. Then to top it off I made them pick up the trash outside our front drive, with my help. Oh, the inhumanity! I washed dishes, put away the stuff we took up to the cabin, washed clothes, vacuumed, cleaned off the table and counters, and swept the floors while they cleaned their stuff.

I apparently make them do everything, and do nothing myself.

A stellar mom, that’s what I am.

December Visits

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

December we had the privileged of seeing the Parks early in the month. We only got to see them once or twice while they were down, but it was fun to let the girls play and visit when we could. I think they picked my busiest weekend ever, because I had madrigal dinners to perform at for my choir class and that took up each evening they were in town except Sunday.

We went over on Saturday afternoon to decorate the grandparents tree and let the girls play. Later we also saw Tangled with them, the Kemple kids, Carolyn, and Grandma and Grandpa Harvey. It was a fun, though short visit, and I had fun seeing Andrea and her growing belly. They’re expecting their second Park girl in early April and I can’t wait to see what she’ll look like. I wonder if she’ll fit in with the three amigo’s and look like them also.


Zarina, Lilah and Eden in front of grandparent’s tree.


Lilah age 2 years and Eden aged 2 months. I found this while looking through some old pictures and it amazes me how much I can see Zarina in this picture of Lilah. It also amazes me that they were once this small.

Later in December we were able to met Jon’s newest nephew-in-law, Tim, and visit with his niece, Adriana. Adriana is Kumen’s daughter, or Jon’s second brother.

We all met at Rawlin’s house and we brought the meal for the group to enjoy. It was just a short meal and some games afterwords, but it was fun to visit and spend time with family we rarely see. Adriana, Tim, Lilah, Eden, and I played the longest Uno game ever. We had to shuffle the draw deck five times until we finally decided a person only had to draw one card when they didn’t have one to lay down, rather then draw until you could lay something down. It was crazy.

After the game we took some photos. As I looked through the ones with Tim I realized he’s just a pretty fun and goofy guy.


The semi-newlyweds. They were married in June.


Rawlin and Adriana.


Grandma Blake and Adriana.


Us and Adriana.


The girls with Tim and Adriana.

Smart Child

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

One of my favorite Christmas conversations happened on Christmas Eve. It was just my parents, Carolyn and Derek, and my little family so we all sat at the formal dinning table. There was a conversation going on about nuts and seeds, and what my sister Carolyn is allergic to and what my father is allergic too. They started talking about tree nuts compared to ground nuts and I mentioned how I wasn’t sure what ones were tree nuts. Lilah replied, “Mom they’re nuts that grow on trees.” in a very matter-of-fact way. We all busted up laughing after hearing her comment and I was totally put in my place by my 7 year old.

Too bad I’m still not sure which nuts are tree nuts and which are ground nuts. I know a few, but only because I’ve seen a pecan tree, an almond tree and know peanuts grow in the ground.

If only she knew the full answer I needed.


Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

It’s 1:15 in the afternoon. I’m still in my pajamas and so are both the girls. It’s actually been a very productive day so far.

Recyclables were sorted and taken out.
I tricked Eden into cuddling with me this morning.
I ate breakfast while the girls played with Sleepy, Lilah’s hamster.
We cleaned Sleepy’s cage.
I talked and planned this evening with my BIL.
I washed a load of the girl’s clothes.
I washed dishes.
We flushed Eden’s dead fish, Strawberry.
I cleaned out the fish tank. (Now what to do with two tanks when neither child wants to donate one.)
I had the girls fold their clothes.
I moved my sewing cupboard to make room for the Christmas tree.
I sorted through the pile of mail.
I swept.
I may have yelled a little at the girls when they were fighting instead of folding clothes.
Right now Lilah is emptying the dishwasher.
I’m finally having the girls get dressed.
Then we’ll put up our Nativity. (It’s a good thing the fish died because now I have somewhere to put it.)
I plan on mopping my floors, except the kitchen since I need to give Jon a haircut tonight.
I might pull the tree out of the shed and check for spiders, then we can put it up.
A shower is in my forecast.
So is going to Costco to pick up food for this evening.
Then I’ll help tidy Rawlin’s house for the visit.
We get to meet our newest nephew-in-law and see Jon’s niece.
They live in Arizona.

Making lists does make my life seem more productive. I should do this everyday. (Really a lack of productivity has not been my problem lately, it’s having too much to do.)