Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Love Languages

A good rule of thumb: When you think you're doing a pretty good job at this parenting thing, that's when you are getting ready to learn something new or, in this case, re-learn something old. Such was the case with us Monday evening.

At bedtime, Ginny likes to ask our two big girls three questions: 1) What made you happy today? 2) What made you sad? 3) What did you learn? We could tell Nyla was feeling off Monday, just not the typical 5-year old she usually is. After some poking and prodding, Ginny was able to get a tearful Nyla to admit that she did not get enough hugs and kisses from Mommy. (Not what you want your child to tell you.) Nyla also tearfully told me that she wanted Mommy and Daddy to draw her pictures. You see, Nyla loves to draw. I mean, she enjoys it so much. I have at least a dozen pictures in my cubicle at work that she has drawn for me. And here she is, crying that we haven't drawn her any pictures.

We are proponents of the book The Five Love Languages. It's a great read and great way to find out how you feel loved and express love. For instance, my top 2 love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. Ginny is quality time and acts of service. Nyla, we determined, was receiving gifts and probably acts of service. You see where I'm going with this, right? Her "love tank" was empty, because she didn't get any gifts! Here she was, drawing pictures for us, and we were ignoring that as a sign that she needs to get gifts, too! Thanking her for them and telling her how pretty they are weren't enough. Needless to say, Ginny and I felt terrible. I held Nyla at bedtime and told her that I was sorry for not drawing for her, because she draws many pretty pictures for us.

So naturally, I drew her a picture that night - a picture of Madeline (from the books) and three toys. I wrote a note telling Nyla I loved her and asking her what toy she thought Madeline should pick. As you can see from the picture, my drawing (and love) was well-received.

Yesterday, she was back to being our sweet, happy Nyla. Nyla, Naomi, and I sat down at the table last night and learned how to draw birds, a sailbot, a rocket, a bat, and an elephant. (Thanks, Pinterest!) The lesson here is to always, always, always be mindful of how your child (or spouse or family or friends) loves and feels loved.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Homeschool Digest #1

Nyla is reading!

Naomi is continuing to learn her letters. Letting her just play with them seems to help her.

Hello out there, it's been forever since we've blogged! I have tons of ideas rolling around in my head but alas I'm busy and never sit down to blog. 

This is our first official year of homeschooling and things are going about as I expected. It's taken us some time to get adjusted to sitting down and "doing" school. I expect things to continue to evolve and change every few weeks. Thankfully, I feel equipped to handle the changes that come our way. Since the girls are constantly growing and changing I have to be ready to embrace our changing days. And with a toddler underfoot, things are always interesting! 

As we find our groove the most important subjects I want covered daily are Bible/character study, math, reading and writing. I feel accomplished when we get those items done. We have numerous reading times throughout the day. We are not a TV watching family so reading and crafting just come natural to us. 

Speaking of crafts, I'm not overly crafty but the girls sure do enjoying hands-on activities each day. Thank goodness for Pinterest in finding EASY crafts. I like the type of crafts that I can just look at the picture and figure it out myself. I don't want to make time for reading a detailed instruction guide on how to do a 10 minute craft. We do more in-depth crafts occasionally but I want simple. We try and color once a week, but also use scissors, glue, watercolors and oil pastels. I always have googly eyes, construction paper and other crafty items on hand for the girls to choose. 

Busy girl toddler keeps things interesting. She's been walking about 3 weeks.

Naomi in her eagle mask.

Nyla in her eagle mask.

We enjoy staying home most days but we take a field trip every 2 to 3 weeks or so, more when the weather is nice. A few weeks ago we visited Priddy Farms pumpkin patch. We were there a couple hours and had a great time.

Field trip to Priddy Farms.

It's fun to watch our girls develop into their own person with each passing month. Naomi (our #2 girl) NEVER walks anywhere. She likes to dash, jump, twirl, tip toe, run, skip, prance, etc everywhere. I'm not sure she knows how to just walk. :) 
She enjoys flipping through books constantly. She has a BIG imagination and is constantly talking and figuring out life. She is full of questions, funny answers and sayings. This girl LOVES life! I hope she keeps that wonder of it all.
My ultimate book lover, Naomi!

Little Miss Muffet and spider craft with a proud Naomi. 

Nyla (our #1 girl) really enjoys writing. She's been able to write her name since she was 3 years old. She just figured it out on her own. I made letters and books available but she learned letter recognition pretty much on her own. She's VERY independent and wants to figure things out on her own. But she's not stubborn and will ask for help if she needs it, thankfully. She is constantly coloring and drawing pictures for people. I think Daniel comes home and always has something she's drawn him that day. She's taking an art class in a local homeschool enrichment program and she's really enjoying it. She comes home each Tuesday and draws for me what she learned in art that morning. She says she'll be able to bring her portfolio home before Christmas. I sure hope so because I'm ready to see what she's learned.

Nyla loves to write!

Natalie (our #3) girl is a budding toddler. She's been walking about 3 weeks and she is EVERYWHERE! She practically got up one day and walked across rooms, like she's known what she's doing all along. She enjoys playing outside with her sisters, she's saying a dozen or so words, enjoys flipping through books, stealing the big girls toys, coloring (I'm going to have to watch her and walls, I do believe), helping the girls with their puzzles and carrying her lovey around. Thankfully, she's an excellent sleeper (except when teething), a great eater and a fun girl. She is constantly smiling and we can tell her wheels are always turning in her little mind. She is such a ham and walks around just giggling about nothing, at least it's nothing to us. She's been the missing piece in our little family.

We're raising another bookworm!

Natalie enjoys writing on our chalkboard in the kitchen, just like her big sisters.

After our corn maze field trip with one of our homeschool groups, we checked out a local pumpkin patch.

So, that's a wrap up of the last few months. I hope to update more than every 4 months. :)