Remember when I was such an organized blogger?

I would have a complete list (with links!) for you about all the plans I have for Everett’s preschool this year. I’d have a schedule and so many feelings to share and maybe encourage with.

Now I’m like… hey, I did a boatload of research for Everett’s preschool and found a perfect fit and I love it so much but all I can muster to share is this picture of maybe 1/4 of the books and say, maybe you’d like these? Maybe google the titles and buy them? Or not, money’s tight. But they’re great books!

BUT I did link ALL of the foundation of what I’m using in the curriculum tab at the top of my blog!! Maybe I’m not light years away from my old blogging self after all?

But seriously… if you can find these books you and your kids would probably love them. Me and my kids love them 🙂

My Life in Colorado as a Mom of Five!

Good morning, Brooke!  photo 001eresized_zpse363c1b6.jpg

Everett hangs out in Ember’s old bouncy chair in my bathroom as I get the other kids ready in the mornings. His boyish ones are in the main rooms where he hangs out more.  photo 022eresized_zps81ec9c49.jpg photo 039eresized_zps4ea27a85.jpg photo 049eresized_zps75e68dd1.jpg

Payson before school.  photo 057eresized_zps383ef946.jpg

We got up extra early that day and the kids had a bit of time to just hang out before heading off to school.  photo 064eresized_zpseb5fa03e.jpg photo 065eresized_zpsd825aee3.jpg

We own so many puzzles. All my kids love puzzles so very much. Ember will do puzzles over and over and over and over again. Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles. It’ll be a super strange day the day where puzzles aren’t such a big part of our daily life!  photo 070eresized_zpsd319d004.jpg photo 077eresized_zps57c1f04a.jpg

I met up with Allan on his lunch break to get our driver’s licenses.  photo 083eresized_zpsdcb89793.jpg

Ember thought this little machine to check your vision was intriguing. I let her look in it after Allan and I had.  photo 085eresized_zps64fb2329.jpg

I took a picture of Allan getting his picture taken. He just loves when I do stuff like that. (haha, he doesn’t)
I told him as he walked back to me, “Do you just love me when I photograph you in public places?!”  photo 088eresized_zpse003e730.jpg

And then he took this picture of me filling out my paperwork and I didn’t even know until I got home later and uploaded the photos! haha, stinker.  photo 089eresized_zpsf38404f3.jpg

He also took this one of Ember while I was getting my picture taken.  photo 090eresized_zps3a95d70d.jpg

We went to Jack in the Box (Allan’s fave fast food) for a little lunch before he went back to work and I went on to Target to get some stuff.
On the way out Ember asked me for an icee because she saw a dad and his little girls drinking icees. It was cute how she’s like, “Mom, those little girls are having an icee, maybe I can have a icee?”  photo 095eresized_zps198deb67.jpg

It snowed and Payson really wanted to play in the snow. So we did.  photo 020eresized_zps5f6fb97a.jpg photo 033eresized_zps8f994a36.jpg photo 035eresized_zps22251b14.jpg photo 044eresized_zpsb1ab30b6.jpg photo 096eresized_zpsfff9710a.jpg photo 110eresized_zps9927567f.jpg photo 120eresized_zpsbb7c221f.jpg

Coming in from the snow is best when there’s hot chocolate waiting for you!  photo 130eresized_zpsf2460db8.jpg photo 135eresized_zps51b42126.jpg

Now that life is sorta settling down I pulled out our preschool art supplies and we do something creative each day.  photo 152eresized_zps276887b6.jpg photo 159eresized_zps80c240d4.jpg photo 169eresized_zpsdc1f519c.jpg photo 187eresized_zpscb419ec8.jpg

A week ago Everett grabbed his hanging toys for the first time!! He was SO excited. He’s so cute when he’s trying SO hard to grab it, he would grunt and coo nonstop as he worked at aiming his hand just right to grab on. SO cute!! I don’t remember any of my other babies vocalizing so much when they learned how to grab toys!  photo 217eresized_zps0e3ae5c0.jpg photo 232eresized_zps6260593b.jpg

Another fun thing about Everett is it looks like he’s going to be left handed! He grabs towards his toys the most with his left hand, he sucks his fingers and thumb on his left hand, he plays with my hair with his left hand. He does use his right, thankfully, so there’s nothing wrong with it, but the left hand usage far dominates!  photo 239eresized_zps0db3a1cd.jpg

Everett bites his bottom lip a lot. Mostly when he’s concentrating on something or really excited about a toy or something he sees!  photo 257eresized_zps4ea08d6d.jpg

Costco!
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Everett sucks on his hands a lot now that he has control over them. It makes me sad that he’ll wear casts/bandages for 6 weeks. He won’t be able to use or suck on his hands all that time. Ugh, I try not to think about that too much because it makes me so sad for him!  photo 288eresized_zps5b8bc3d9.jpg

Goofing off in the cart together. I LOVE double seater carts. I wish every store had them!  photo 294eresized_zps7b420e2a.jpg photo 295eresized_zps06d887b4.jpg

After school one day when the snow was still thick outside, the kids played.  photo 336eresized_zps123fe602.jpg

I was holding Everett so these were all taken through the window.  photo 344eresized_zpsfecc7687.jpg photo 347eresized_zps677b9329.jpg photo 397eresized_zpsd22b47af.jpg

The snow went down Brooke’s coat!  photo 409eresized_zps7e5eec98.jpg photo 411eresized_zps4434f420.jpg photo 412eresized_zps6d54c99d.jpg photo 413eresized_zps12942d6f.jpg photo 415eresized_zps638f0ff8.jpg photo 420e3resized_zps29db95c7.jpg photo 434eresized_zps46df8a68.jpg

One morning after dropping the three older kids off at school, I went to the emissions testing place to get my car checked out.  photo 009eresized_zps684a580d.jpg

I sometimes remember to take a picture of Everett in places for his scrapbook.  photo 002eresized_zpsa10cf82c.jpg

Ember liked this place. She thought it was really cool and mysterious. She looked around the whole time and asked me a hundred questions about the place. At the end, while we were driving away she called it a gas station. haha. She’s so cute!  photo 015eresized_zpsd76b6630.jpg

She was most excited when our car was up! When the guy drove it away she laughed and said, “That boy drived our car!! He’s silly!!”  photo 025eresized_zpsded443b3.jpg photo 028eresized_zpsb902b173.jpg

One morning I was changing Everett’s diaper in my bedroom. I came out and found Ember sitting on the couch with her baby doll and just found it cute. Those little moments ♥  photo 031eresized_zps1a045c0f.jpg

Toys! Everett loves toys 🙂  photo 037eresized_zps577fc010.jpg

I’m going to try to take more pictures of his syndactyly before his surgery. It’s still amazing to me that one day, fairly soon, my son won’t have fused fingers! It’s going to be so strange when those bandages come off and he has five separate fingers!!  photo 040eresized_zpsb6602e0c.jpg photo 046eresized_zpsca856cfe.jpg

When we first moved to Colorado all of us were plagued with dry skin, hair, lips…
We bought a bunch of lotion and have been getting our skin back to normal. Each kid got their own tube of chapstick, as well. Poor Payson’s lips got the worst. They were SO dry and chapped. So much so that the center of his lip split open pretty bad. I gave him chapstick and tried out coconut oil but it wasn’t doing much and his lips were getting worse.
To google I went and I found a message board with people talking about split lips. Someone brilliantly suggested lansolin and I went out that day, within the hour- haha, and bought some. I’ve been putting it on his lips every morning, afternoon, and night and it’s helping a LOT. This was the first day. I thought I’d better hurry and document the split lip before it was healed. I should’ve taken a zoomed in picture when it was really bad but I just never did.  photo 066eresized_zps1e31109b.jpg photo 069eresized_zps9a393982.jpg

Payson likes when I take pictures of him.  photo 079eresized_zpse2d7176e.jpg photo 086bwresized_zps56e9de28.jpg

It started raining, then snowing.  photo 100eresized_zpse66891f2.jpg photo 116eresized_zps74447afc.jpg

Payson is such a goof with his posing.  photo 118bwresized_zps786bbe5c.jpg

I took the kids out for lunch to A&W restaurant.  photo 140eresized_zps49d6b48e.jpg

I took some pictures of the snow. And that’s all for now!  photo 151eresized_zps0fdf852f.jpg photo 172eresized_zps412a6043.jpg photo 174eresized_zpsc6f6d299.jpg photo 177eresized_zps168e8d96.jpg photo 186eresized_zps794598ec.jpg photo 188eresized_zps75b7752c.jpg photo 193eresized_zpsff2a81b8.jpg photo 199eresized_zps4ae84ebe.jpg

Learn!

Sometimes I feel like I fail at everything. I’m not good at concentrating on the good things I do or accomplish. I should maybe do that more.
One area we excel at as a family is learning and having fun at home. My kids drive me nuts and I’m stressed out of my mind almost 100% of the time but I make spending time doing fun, educational things together a priority.  photo 006eresized_zps4f712f07.jpg

Ember has been super, super, super demanding lately. She is more difficult at three than at two times a million. She wants me to entertain her every second of the day and she whines and gets defiant and she’s more picky than ever with food and potty training is rough and… basically, she’s three. haha! And I’m super pregnant and want to lay down all day long. Which never ever happens, unfortunately.  photo 015eresized_zps1eca9727.jpg

I printed out a bunch of preschool stuff the day before and after coloring a Halloween picture we spent some time working on letter sounds. After that I brought out the playdough.
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I didn’t photograph anything else until Payson got home from school and tried out his new twist n’ write pencil that arrived. Yay!  photo 062eresized_zps39ce70fd.jpg

They work soooo much better than the other product I blogged about!! I love these things.  photo 067eresized_zps782515ca.jpg

I printed out a bunch of story paper pictures for the kids to fill out. There’s this cool UK site that has a bunch of picture prompts with some lines below for kids to write short stories about.  photo 079eresized_zps97b03760.jpg photo 081eresized_zps0ac707df.jpg

Brooklyn asked for more lined paper to continue her story so I printed out a dozen sheets of lined paper to staple behind her front page when she’s done. She wrote her story for quite a while!
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You can see below Payson’s natural pencil grip:  photo 088eresized_zps8b711a67.jpg

Here’s a link to the story paper site. (Here’s a link to that same site but some story starters that look awesome, too!)  photo blog2_zps9dd84264.jpg

In photoshop I made a reference sheet with all the fall themed stories so that when the kids feel like having a prompt they can see all their options.
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Last night Allan was sorting through our mail. Ember sat down to help.  photo 008eresized_zpsb83ba221.jpg photo 009eresized_zpsf2865183.jpg

I snuck away for a hot bath. The only thing I love about life right now is taking a hot bath. I wish I could just live in a hot bath.  photo 014resized_zpsaec59768.jpg

I’ll end this with a picture from this morning. Mornings are the worst. UUUUUUGH. I could go on and on about mornings but I already blog vented about it once recently and that’s plenty.  photo 034bwresized_zps16319516.jpg
PS: I found some other cool sites with story starters that look really fun! They’re all linked in my learning at home board on pinterest.

Coloring Fun

I’ve had this roll of brown paper for quite a while and decided it was time to finally use it!  photo 004eresized_zps85b8af5d.jpg

After some tracing we pulled out the markers and had an hour of fun.
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Ember spent most of the time working on her purple socks. The girl loves sock and she loves purple!  photo 028eresized_zpsdd3c2351.jpg photo 033eresized_zps6195e283.jpg photo 034eresized_zps117c2310.jpg photo 036eresized_zps6d663696.jpg

The kids spotted their stickers in the art box and decided to use like ten sheets on their pictures. And then when Ember got bored of that she pestered me.  photo 043eresized_zps172cbd61.jpg

After what felt like an eternity watching them and encouraging them and giving attention (you know, typical mom stuff while kids are drawing or crafting!) I went and sat on the floor to read. Ember, hating that mommy was more than a couple feet away from her, brought a stack of books to join in.
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And then next thing I know I look up and the kids are coloring leftover birthday balloons and are covered in marker! I swear only like five minutes had gone by and they were like head to toe covered!  photo 052eresized_zps68ec8e80.jpg photo 053eresized_zps1d92ecaf.jpg

I wasn’t happy about the marker but luckily it washed off in the bath. Mostly.  photo 059eresized_zps85ed8023.jpg photo 064eresized_zpsdfd79361.jpg

Since they obviously couldn’t be trusted to treat markers appropriately I made them all come sit by me and color in their coloring books.  photo 073eresized_zps01b77cd9.jpg

I’m still shaking my head at how awful Ember looked. She’s been covered in marker or pen for two weeks now. This phase is oh so fun :S
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Here are some iPod pictures of them when they were not covered in marker and still coloring in their tracings.
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Some things I like about Sierra’s girl, clockwise from top left:
-Ema spelled with one M
-her eyelashes
-that she has high heels
-that her bday is next month and she’s bff with Sierra. lol
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Things I liked about Payson’s:
-painted nails with Ms and Ls on them for Mario and Luigi, Mario and Princess were together because Payson said they just defeated Bowser
-the star Payson attempted for the first time
-he had a full story for each sticker he added to his poster
-that he added the other colors of yoshi as well
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And finally, Ember:
-adding painted nails like her siblings did
-the stickers made a halo around the girl’s head
-the purple socks, just on the toes. lol
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Fun for Littles on a Rainy Day

It was a glorious, cozy, rainy day. The younger kids and I pulled out all of our fun little activities to play with while listening to the rain fall outside.  photo 245eresized_zpsbcc1e64b.jpg photo 250eresized_zpsfd3d68c5.jpg photo 275eresized_zps8891d274.jpg

My kids love playing with the bananagrams letter tiles.  photo 281eresized_zps8a4578bb.jpg photo 304eresized_zps3c0762d1.jpg

I took a few pictures of our sopping backyard.  photo 284eresized_zps3330e121.jpg

And the view past our back fence.  photo 291eresized_zpsc13e3e0e.jpg photo 293eresized_zps25383bc6.jpg

After quite a long time playing with those letter tiles we switched to threading beads.  photo 318eresized_zpsab9f31a6.jpg photo 335eresized_zpsfb2d5331.jpg

Payson was thrilled with the necklace he made. He still wears it occasionally as do the other kids.  photo 343eresized_zpsee511502.jpg

Watching the rain while mommy finishes cooking lunch.  photo 372eresized_zps62462268.jpg

Um, Blah

Life lately has been one big blur of delirious misery. I can’t remember what happened when, what I last blogged about, what or when I last ate, or anything else really.
In addition to pink eye in both my eyes, my cold (or whatever it is) has taken a dramatic turn for the worse and I think I may have strep or just a wretched infected throat of some other sort.
On top of that I started my period unexpectedly while out on an errand after my doctor appointment (yesterday?) and bled through.
In other words, life has been one great big, wild ride! One I’m begging the universe to let me off of ASAP!

In quick list form, here are some highlights from these here parts:
-I wake up with both my eyes sealed shut
-I can’t speak, my voice is totally gone
-The girls are late to school because it takes me an extra ten minutes to make their lunch since I’m so weak/dizzy and can barely see
-Payson makes a diarrhea mess in the bathroom during my sickest part of the day
-Ember copies me gargling with salt water all day (cute)
-Payson sneaks a carton of rice milk into his room and dumps the entire thing on his floor
-Payson steals my gum and eats the last four or five pieces
-Payson eats banana bread off the counter (gluten)
-Ember cries for an apple (of course I give it to her)
-I need to call Allan to come home but can’t because I have no voice, I finally email him at 5pm and say, “COME HOME!”
-He gets home at 6:30pm and I take a bath (with Ember) and then fall asleep for two hours
-Brooklyn swears while on the phone with her friend (picked it up from the bus)
-Using a diaper for a pad while at the store
-Payson peeing in a cup in the car on the side of the road when we’re still 20 minutes from home
-Payson kissing my arm whenever I doze off on the couch
-Typing or writing notes to the older girls since I have no voice. haha!
-Using a made up sign language with Payson and Ember for the same reason. ha
-Oh and duh, I’m doing the same thing with Allan tonight, right here on my blog! haha, it’s faster to type than write so I run over to the computer and type him a note, then erase it, haha!

There’s more but… like I said, my brain is mush. haha

It took me half a day to write that post above! I wrote it on and off througout the last half of yesterday. I never finished because I just couldn’t.
I feel slightly better today! Far from healthy but I can speak quietly (my voice sounds like a man’s), my body isn’t shaky and weak, and… well those are the only real improvements, but I’ll take them!
This morning Allan stayed home for the morning to get the girls ready for school and take care of breakfast for everyone. That made ALL the difference for me, getting to sleep until 9:30! He left around 11:30am for work. I really appreciated that. REALLY appreciated it!! Geez, I really like some help I guess! haha. OH and the BEST part is he did all the dishes last night! *dreamy siiiiigh* So happy about that. I do dishes soooo often and hate it. Ember always tries to help which is CUTE but doesn’t really work. So anyway, I am just still happy about my dishes being done even though there is already another load to be done! haha! DISHES!

The pictures in this post are from the day after my stomach virus went away and right before I got pink eye. I took the opportunity to spend the entire day giving my kids attention. We did crafts, played with homemade playdough, and even did a full session of preschool! It was a great day! PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Preschool at Home!

I can’t say I’ll try to post more about our preschool time because I really love having our learning time together be camera free, but once in a while I bring the beast out and snap some photos while the kids play.

Ember joins us, I use pretty much the same things for her as I do with Payson. She plays with it all in very toddler ways while Payson uses them the way they’re made to be used. It works perfectly. Photobucket

I remembered randomly one day that I’d purchased a K4 curriculum and used it a couple times and then forgot about it! I couldn’t believe that and immediately printed out a bunch of stuff and got to work cutting and laminating. Payson was so excited! He had a blast. I love this curriculum! I bought it from the website Confessions of a Homeschooler for only $10!

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This game was adding and I have to say, it was just about the cutest thing ever to watch Payson. I really mean it, cutest.thing.ever!! (I have a video of him, when I get back from Washington I’ll maybe buy some movie editing software and start sharing videos again.) Photobucket

Here he is looking at the activities I’d pulled out to use for the day. He was hopping up and down when I came out of my bedroom with the stuff. Cute boy. (You can see off to the side Ember had lined up the number cards while Payson played his adding game) Photobucket

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We worked on adding and beginning sounds mostly that day. He is a math whiz but struggles a lot with beginning sounds. So we’re just focusing on letter sounds in general. Photobucket

This was the beginning sounds game we played. He was so funny about it. He’d say, “L is for wadybug. Wadybug. Way-dee-bug. Way, way, way… mom, what else starts with way?” And so we’d stop and practice saying the ‘L’ sound and then I’d tell him some words that start with ‘L’ and he’d get excited each time and say, “Yeah! Lick starts with ‘L’! Yeah, Lion starts with ‘L’!” Photobucket

Ember is getting better at counting this week! I didn’t even intend for that to happen but she learns by listening in. It’s so cute to hear her copy everything Payson and I say during school time. And I should just say, these two kids together during mommy time? HEART MELTING. They are best friends and so good to each other. Photobucket

This is an alphabet puzzle. Photobucket

After a bit of time using the K4 curriculum we moved on to our first love, Mother Goose Time.

I feel like using Mother Goose Time with the K4 Curriculum is perfection for us 🙂

We’re learning about islands in Mother Goose Time. This day we were playing a game to teach about burried treasure. I’d hide a coin under one of these sand dollar lids and Payson would have to try to pick the right lid. Then he’d have a turn. After a while we let Ember join in and she did REALLY well! She’s such a smart toddler! Photobucket

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Next we learned about boats. Not in great detail at all because mommy doesn’t know almost anything about boats and was too lazy to look up stuff, but we learned what they can and can’t do and mostly that was… they can float on water! haha. We had fun playing with the little toy boats that came in the kit. Photobucket

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PhotobucketAnd that was all 🙂

This was a pre-scheduled post. I’m out of town for a couple weeks and have some simple posts set to publish while I’m gone. If I don’t respond to comments, that’s why 🙂

Mother Goose Time Again

The little kids and I have been doing preschool time every single day. But only this last week did I finally pull out our actual preschool materials to use. Mother Goose Time is so freaking awesome. My kids LOVE it. I think I might have to start ordering a monthly subscription again. Photobucket

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Payson is going to adore school. He’s my most social child, he’s super smart, and he loves learning. He loves hanging out at the girls’ school and is very friendly and outgoing when we are there. Or anywhere, really. My social, outgoing guy. Photobucket

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Ember loves being included in things. She loves it when more than one person is working on something and she’s a part of it. Photobucket

We get a book every month with Mother Goose Time. The kids always love the books. Though, I’m pretty sure they’ve never met a book they didn’t love! Photobucket

After they finished their boat craft we used this blue box of Payson’s as water and they pretended to sail. Then they had more fun pretending the blue box was a boat! Photobucket Photobucket

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When I ordered Mother Goose Time a long time ago I made sure to get enough supplies for all four kids to do the crafts. I knew that despite being marketed for toddlers and preschoolers my big kids would love the crafts just as much as their younger siblings. And I was right 😉 After school the girls made each made a sailboat. Photobucket

Payson interrupted them to show them his dollar store Halloween mask. Photobucket

While working the girls would check out what the other was doing. Photobucket

It reminded me of four years ago, this picture I took of them making pumpkins out of formula cans. Photobucket

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Brooklyn got upset when Payson wouldn’t let her color his entire coloring page. Photobucket

This time when they were done with their boats instead of a small blue box I laid my didymos wrap on a giant box for the ocean. They loved that. Photobucket

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Do you see Sierra’s hand pushing Payson’s head down below the box? Payson was freaking out about that. And both girls were chewing him out about ruining their show. Photobucket

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Button, Button, Who Has the Button?

The kids LOVE playing with some of my buttons. I ended up buying them a couple of clearance packs of buttons the other day for their very own. They spent a long, long time playing with them and these little plastic cups.
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They pretended to drink out of the cups a lot. The buttons were tea.
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I know there are a lot of pictures of pretty much the same thing, but. Well, it’s just who I am to be indecisive and to love every single picture ever taken of my kids.
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These little cups were a big hit. They played with the little cups the rest of the day.
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