I have a LOT to share and since none of it was quite enough for it's very own blog post I just combined it all. =)
*First of all, we had a really great weekend! Nothing super exciting went on but we were able to get some party stuff done, spend time with family, and mix in a little laziness. I looove those kinds of weekends!
*Austin's birthday party is coming up next weekend and we are almost completely ready to celebrate. While I LOVE planning my boys' parties and trying to make them special and cute as can be and thinking of every single detail, party planning is serious work. I feel like I have a million little lists filled with things I need to do or little reminders I can't forget about come party day. It's slightly exhausting. AND, the party is not even at my house. (I promise to host birthday parties in my own home once we move to our "forever house"... or at least once we upgrade from our current house.) Even though the party isn't at my house, it is a "home party" being held at my parents' and everybody knows parties at home are way more work than parties on location somewhere. However, I really do like having home parties while they are little. With Garrison, he had his first "friend party" on location when he turned 4 so that's probably what we'll do with Austin too... that is unless we have a pool at our new house because then POOL PARTY. =)
*Terrell had his first overnight trip with the new job last night. He told us bye yesterday morning bright and early and got home this afternoon. Yay for only one night away! When we lived in Covington and he had night meetings and things going on in the evenings it was a little more stressful because I was totally on my own, NOW however, we live in the hometown and help is here! Yay! I knew I could call in the troops if needed and just felt way better about things. Turns out we're pretty spoiled because my parents took us out to eat last night and then my mom helped with baths and bedtime. How wonderful. And we made it to school on time this morning just fine. Woohoo!
*Kindergarten and the school year continue to move right along and I think we're all slowly but surely adjusting to our new schedule. The longer days have just taken us a WHILE to get used to. Starting the day so early has definitely been a big adjustment. And the school day lasting longer has been tough on Garrison, plus the fact that he's working pretty hard most of the day. (Kindergarten is the real deal.) Then, by the time we get home from picking Garrison up from school they eat a snack, watch a show (because Garrison needs time to chill and rest) and then we either do homework (VERY challenging with 2 younger siblings in the mix) or the boys play a little before we do homework. Then, 3 days a week, I make supper really early because we have somewhere to be. So the days just feel long. But I know we'll get the hang of it eventually. Before first grade we'll have it down. Haha. The good news is that I feel like I've mastered Austin and Layon's schedule and routine while Garrison is at school. Yay. At least I've gotten the hang of something since Kindergarten started.
*Speaking of adjusting... Terrell and I are slowly but surely adjusting to living back in the hometown. I am LOVING it. It is so wonderful being here with our families and with friends and people we've known our whole lives. There is nothing like a small town, hometown. It just feels so good being back here. The adjusting has come in the form of our people are everywhere. Ha! Living in Covington we were very private, very much on our own, very much our little family. Now, we have extended family everywhere and my grandparents could show up at my door any day, any time. Haha! All of these things are GOOD things, they're just things we aren't used to. We're used to running errands and taking care of everything on our own and being pretty independent. When we lived in Covington and everyone was an hour away, we never called the grandparents for little things. It was a BIG deal if we asked someone to come over and help us out... partly because they weren't right down the street and partly becasue they all work full-time. So it was like our lastresortwehavenootheroption type thing. But now we have them at our disposal (yay!) and even for times when they aren't "needed", but for "just because" times. Double yay! It's just something that's sort of foreign to us that we're trying to get used to. I've never been one to hand off my kiddos every chance I get so I'm searching for a good balance. And trying to let go of thinking we owe everyone an explanation when we can't make it to church or as to why they won't see us at X location because of such and such. This living in the hometown business is just brand new territory for me. But we're adjusting and we are LOVING being back. We'll figure out a good balance and eventually everything will be second nature for me.
*I came across this article recently and agreed with like EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. The article is written by a Christian author and blogger explaining why her and her husband chose public school for their children. If you are a public school parent or an almost public school parent, I highly recommend reading it. (You can also hear from a homeschooling mom and private school mom as well.) Becoming a parent has opened my eyes big time on the topic of education...way more than when I was a teacher myself. I feel like I understand now better than ever that as parents we're all trying to make the best decisions possible for our children, especially when it comes to their education. The article above just gives really good insight on the "why" behind mine and Terrell's public education choice. So I'm glad she wrote that for me. Ha!
*I just started my first thematic unit with Austin this week and it's been so much fun! What can I say?I am a teacher at heart and could get so carried away with all this homeschool-preschool fun. A thematic unit is a specific theme that spans every area of learning and our first one is transportation, or "portation" as Austin calls it. We're going to continue this theme at least 2 weeks leading up to his birthday party. Even though he's having a baseball party, he's getting several "transportation" gifts so the timing seems perfect. =) So far we've read lots of books about different types of transportation, made a name train, completed a transportation graph, sang some transportation songs, and worked on our transportation puzzles. I have more crafts planned and would love a field trip... but that might really be getting carried away. Haha!
*And last but not least, please pray for our family as we begin the process of exploring a new opportunity for me. I am looking into keeping a teacher's baby (or two) at our house. Possibly as soon as the immediate future. And if it works out we may look at this long term with a larger group of babies or toddlers. It's a big step and somewhat intimidating but I really need a way to contribute to our family's income without having to be away from home and my family. Keeping teacher's kids will allow me to be home, contribute to our income, and keep the same schedule as Garrison and eventually my other boys once they start school. I've talked extensively with a lady who does this in Covington and is a PRO. She has an awesome reputation and just has it all mastered so well. She even has circle time and does some crafts and incorporates a little "preschool" everyday... things like I'm doing with Austin now. She filled me in on LOTS of important details and has been very helpful. I also talked to someone more local who gave me some good tips for how to manage my new "job" while having young children of my own. For now, this is what we feel called to do and something we're pretty excited about too. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. =)