Friday, November 29, 2013

Three Sons

The other day I sent the boys out to play.  When you're a mother of three sons you almost need a house the size of a castle and just as immovable, to not go insane from all the wrestling, chasing, horse play, and destruction that happens every single day.  Here's a saying I spotted last year in a book called The Mother's Almanac.
There must be a special place in heaven for mothers of three sons. You certainly can tell them on earth.  They’re those ladies with amused, bemused faces and an amazing tolerance for disaster – for they have learned that shouting doesn’t help.
No other combination of children, not even twins, can create so much chaos or camaraderie.  Even the most introspective child will join the team – them against you – and like all good players, they encourage each other to bigger feats of daring.
We recommend the advice of so many successful mothers of three boys. Give them as much outdoor playtime as possible, and indoors, set up two rooms: one for sleeping, with nothing but beds and bureaus, and the other for playing, with much climbing equipment.  With three children, one is bound to be quieter than the others and he probably will need a corner somewhere else.
You will be frazzled in the early years but when your boys grow up, we think you’ll find yourself perhaps more treasured than most other mothers.

On days when little Asher causes chaos, making lessons hard to teach, I take a deep breath and remind myself that these chaotic moments are just that––moments, and then they are over.  After crying to high heaven and making it impossible for the other two boys to hear me read to them, Asher sits quietly by himself, paging through a Christmas book. Peace on earth.

In our Bible lessons we've begun the Life of Jesus.  We're reading about the three Wise Men and the gifts they bring baby Jesus.  While I read the story and then played and discussed the lyrics to the carol We Three Kings, the boys made three bowls out of play dough.  The first for gold (represented with round balls), the second for Frankincense (represented with baby powder) and the third for Myrrh (represented with scented lotion).

After, we sat down and looked at Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi.  Botticelli painted people that he himself knew into his scenes.  I asked Abishai who he would choose to put in if he were painting this picture.  Abishai named a gentleman from our old neighbourhood and some of his family and friends.
We did some reading on Hippopotamuses.  We read some fun poetry, and watched a film based on a true story about an orphaned baby hippo who lost his family in the 2004 Kenya tsunami.  We learned the relationship between hippos and turtles and saw some wonderful pictures of hippo life under water. Of course we had to sing I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.
We switched our curriculum from Story of the World back to Five In A Row and started "rowing" Volume 3.  Story of the World is a great curriculum, but it wasn't for Abishai at this time in his life.  He just wasn't enjoying it, which made me not enjoy it.  I will try it again once he is older and more able to appreciate it.  Since we started rowing FIAR again, Abishiai has shown more interest in schooling, Micaiah has joined in on the fun and I've come to life again with the excitement of all the fascinating subjects we get to explore.

Our first book from Vol.3 that we rowed.
Micaiah, "lover of animals" got right in there and started drawing his own beehive picture on his own initiative.
While Abishai worked on math, Asher stacked pattern blocks.
 Micaiah playing with hexagon pattern blocks.
This is Micaiah's hexagon/bee comb picture.  On the right is his beehive with the orange honey flowing out of it.  The top middle is a flower where the bees get their nectar.  The bottom middle is a bee and the left is honey making its way to the bee hive.
Some of the bee books we read.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Play Dough Messes And Other Life Moments

Micaiah is not old enough for Kindergarten, but he likes to be included in our learning times. If Micaiah asks to do math then I let him.  Here he's learning place values.
Asher playing with his play dough.
Cleaning up.
Abishai having a blast in gym class. I wish I could be there in these last few weeks to watch him, but I physically can't walk the distance with 3 kids from the university parking lots to the phys. ed building.  It's quite the walk for a pregnant woman, even the distance to the shuttle stop feels far enough to send me into labour.  For the last 3 classes, Abishai has been driven to gym while I stay home with the other two.  But I miss it––seeing his excitement, watching him interact with his friends, and having the chance to talk with the other moms.

Learning about Platypus's.  The book on the left was fun to read and educational.
A weeks worth of laundry washed, folded and ready to be put away.
Another week at gym.  Dodge Ball is a favourite.  Abishai is even starting to run into his homeschool friends outside of gym class.
An afternoon snack in the warmth of the sun brings on brotherly love. What I love about this new house is that it has so much light.  
Daren and I working side by side in the evening after the children have gone to bed. Daren's writing a sermon and I'm preparing the boys lessons for the week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest We Forget

This morning my husband and I decided to take our boys to the Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery to see where my Grandfather (who served in World War I) was buried.  Normally we go to a Remembrance Day service, but since I'm half way through my 9th month of pregnancy, I didn't want to stand for too long (you don't always find a seat due to the crowds).  This Remembrance Day ended up being so meaningful as we remembered Great Grandfather, who served the cause of peace.

Searching for the gravestone while following their Grandmother's (my mom) very detailed directions.  We found it quite quickly because of her.

After the war, my Grandfather came over to Canada from England.  He became a Christian through a downtown church and later met my Grandmother (who was a brand new Christian herself) at another church .  So both of my Grandparents were 1st generation Christians. I'm a 3rd generation Christian, and my children are 4th generation Christians.  If it wasn't for the faith of my grandparents, it's very possible I wouldn't be sharing Christ with my children today.  We all held hands and thanked God for the peace we now live in and the faith my Grandfather brought us.
At the request of my family, I darkened the letters to make it easier for others to find the grave.  As I looked around, others have done this as well... smart.

The boys enjoying row upon row.

A Remembrance Day to remember.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

This and That

A cold morning homeschooling.
Fun books on Sea Stars.
Puzzling during quiet time.
Soccer!  Abishai seems to really enjoy this sport.

My laundry room is complete.  It has been for some time but I just didn't get around to taking pictures.  I'm very excited to have a folding station now.

Shelves above the washer.
And something for little Asher to do while I'm in here.  Magnetic gears.  Asher is often by my side and this keeps him busy while I work.
Asher and Daddy time that is becoming their regular thing.  Sea salt Kettle chips with vinegar.