Author Archives: Deanna

December- FL and Christmas

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In mid-December, I flew by myself with the kids to Bonita Springs, FL.  We had a sunny, warm and relaxing time staying with my in-laws.  I especially miss getting in the hot tub every day 🙂  Every other day we went to the beach and all the rest of the time we stayed at the condo and used the pool.  And then of course we went for walks and got ice cream.

Here is my father-in-law lighting up the darkness.  Joe and his brother sewed these lights all over him in an attempt to win the ugly sweater contest at his family’s Christmas party.  The result was…blinding if you stood to close. 😉

From the Ehrman family Christmas party.

Christmas Eve at my parent’s house

Opening presents on Christmas day.  Silvia just opened a big lego set.

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While Simon napped, the big kids got to play in the snow

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And then warming up inside with some hot cocoa!

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Watching a Christmas movie.  Poor Simon gets way more screen time than his siblings got at that age.  But what can you do? 

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I looked up to find Simon had sat down to look at a Christmas book by himself 

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The carpet needed a good mopping apparently.

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Silvia finished all of her reading lessons, and moved on to books like Danny and the Dinosaur and Frog and Toad.

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November and Thanksgiving

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Above is a slideshow from Thanksgiving in Ft. Wayne.  We stayed at my parents house and it was a full house with all my siblings and their families.  The kids had a fun time playing with their cousins as usual.

 

A few more from Fall and bottom right is Silvia painting a gumball before it shrunk and turned brown.  We plucked it right off the tree.

Park day with friends in November!

Sorry, Simon, but you were chilly and you looked so funny wearing Theresa’s robe

Boonshoft museum with my cousin and her kids

This is actually December 3rd!  We had some beautiful warm days for a week or so in December

October-ish?

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Running around playing “The Flash” on one of the last warm days…maybe Fall time.

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When I destroyed our family room/ homeschooling area, we had to relocate to the kitchen table for a month.  It was a remodeling project…..don’t ask

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We had a great visit from some Indy friends.  The kids are playing dress-ups in the basement.

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Babysitting my nephew, Graham.  5 weeks younger than Simon, but a lot bigger.  What it might be like to have twins….

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Some Halloween pictures….Simon the bat

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Our caterpillar “George” making a cocoon.

We found a couple caterpillars while sweeping the back porch, so we gave them little homes and watched them make cocoons.  Unfortunately, Simon knocked George’s container over and apparently killed him.  And I don’t know why the other one did not hatch.  Sad that it was a failure.

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She turned 5! And catching up on September

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Silvia and cousin Graham had a fun mutual birthday party at Nana and Pop’s house in Fort Wayne. She was all too eager to put on her new nail polish and jewelry from Aunt Danielle and Catherine.

Baby Graham was not impressed with his birthday cupcake, but still had fun playing and enduring the torture from his cousins (Melanie not excluded). To pick out presents for their sister, Joe took Leo and Theresa to Goodwill. Leo did an excellent job finding a pony for Silvia. Theresa did an excellent job as well. However, Theresa was a little surprised that all those gifts she picked out were for Silvia…

Saturday morning coffee, back-yard jam-session!

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Finally, all her hair fits in a pony, but it doesn’t last long.

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This couch serves as Simon’s climbing wall. Lately, he’s been plopping off the back-side only to moan and whine 10 seconds later that he’s all alone and stuck.

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Oh come on Simon, Theresa is a professional stroller walker….you’ll be fine…

Trying to make the best out of the dwindling days of summer, we picnicked at Garfield park. The older kids were not interested in soccer, so Joe set up races for Leo and Silvia, while the “babies” and I stayed in the shade.

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It took several wipe-outs from Theresa before she realized that plastic wheels and tight-turns don’t go well together.

Silvia took a gymnastics class in August.  She really liked it and Simon and Theresa had fun playing in the kids area right next to her class. Leo completed a swim class in July as well.

The kids just finished the first 5 week semester of co-op.  They are both really enjoying it this year.  I taught 1st/2nd grade math which was one of Leo’s classes.  Next semester I’ll be teaching a humanities class for 3rd/4th graders.  I think my teaching partner and I will be doing a Little House on the Prairie study with them.

Homeschooling has been going fine so far.  My only problem is that I haven’t been as consistent as I’ve liked.  I unfortunately chose to remove wall paneling in our family room, which created a big project.  Our family room is still out of commission…which is annoying since it’s the homeschool room.  But I think we’re pretty much caught up on the days we missed and I am still really enjoying it.  I just finished reading what I think is the original version of Pinocchio to the kids.  It was over 250 pages, but excellent.  Numerous lessons to be learned from it.  Leo can swallow whole books in days if he gets into it.  He finished a Boxcar children book and a book on the Titanic.  I got 4 Rick Jr. magazines from the library and he read them all in 1 afternoon.  Lol

Silvia is 70% of the way through “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”.  She’s been doing great with it and has begun to read some Bob books for extra practice.  I think she’ll finish the reading lessons and move on to real books in the next couple months.

Leo does copywork almost every day for writing practice.  We read short stories every week, play math games or Leo does a math worksheet.  Silvia and I use the abacus or play a card game in which we try to “make 10”.  I think Leo is at a 2nd grade level in math.  He can tell time and count money and add double digits.  I made the kids these jars to help them work on money management:

Being the antithesis of a “crafty” woman, this tiny project meant that the after-lunch dishes were neglected 🙂

As every adult knows, the amount of housework is never-ending, but for me, to work on anything other than my typical chores and homeschool is to get behind in some other area.  I suppose in my desperation for help, I will hopefully teach the kids chores at a young age as an investment in their future ability to help me keep the house clean and tidy.

We’ve been so busy with projects, visitors, trips, book clubs, bible clubs, CL.  Our former Indy neighbors stayed with us for a couple days.  It was great to have them.  I think that with our super-involved lives we live, I need to come up with a really good rhythm for our evenings.  Sometimes there are 2 or 3 events in a week that Joe or I attend.  It’s been great for building friendships though! There are so many intelligent, thoughtful, interesting women in the book clubs I attend.  And Joe is beginning to make friends in a Bible study.  🙂

1st birthday, Home School Activities, Getaway Vacation

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Leo took these pictures.   He impressively got a frown and smile out of Simon.

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The girls love this thing.  Thank you Kroger! 

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Silvia got a visit from the tooth fairy this month!  

Happy 1st birthday to Simon!

I went on a vacation to the lake with my sisters and mom.  It was so nice to hang around other adults who can do everything for themselves. 😉 We went to Put-in-bay, the beach, the pool, putt-putting, and made delicious coffee shakes and cocktails every day.  We watched a movie and played games and read.  Ahhh…..just talking about it relaxes me again.

Top pic:  Leo watches the eclipse through our homemade pinhole viewer

All the sand pics: After listening to the intro to Story of the World, we did one of the suggested activities of burying items that will explain to future civilizations what our generation did for food, entertainment, transportation, tools.  I buried a bunch of things and the kids tried to dig them up like archaeologists.  It was fairly realistic since I forgot where I buried half of them….

Another Story of the World Activity:  Building a hut or shelter out of materials we could find and gather.  We just so happen to have a giant log pile in our yard, so this was pretty easy.  We also pulled up a little moss and leaves and weeds to fill in the holes. Then their shelter was a nice home for their fairies….(top middle and right pictures).

Snapped these pictures a couple days into our first “official” week of homeschooling.  I am mostly following a free Charlotte Mason curriculum this year.  Leo finished another round of swim lessons.  His swim instructor told me he swam across the whole pool and asked if I’d seen it…..Whoops.  Was either on my phone or walking around with Simon. Silvia has been taking a gymnastics class and loving it.

Co-op starts in a few weeks!  Looking forward to it.

July Family Vacation and More

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Toward the beginning of July, we made a little trip to Indy to visit friends.  Nostalgia.  That is the word I felt. Seeing dear friends and neighbors and our old stomping grounds got me nostalgic, sad and reminded me what I love/miss about Indy. For some inexplicable reason, I don’t think I took any pictures??

A couple weeks ago we went to Clifty Falls State Park for the CL vacation.  I took these photos from my friend, because I forgot to take pictures.  It went surprisingly well this year.  The 3 kids were already used to sleeping in a queen bed together, so they shared one in the hotel with no problem.  I put Simon’s pack n play in the bathroom, which worked out well.  I was much more relaxed this year probably b/c I went into it with very low expectations and didn’t try to put anyone to bed too early.  One morning we did a 2 1/2 hour hike in about 90% humidity.  We all enjoyed it.  As you can see from the pictures, we were an enormous group.

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I took these pics of Simon one day while we were rolling around on the kids’ bed.

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Auntie Danielle and baby Graham paid us a visit and brought what every guest should bring — home-made lasagna!

We were tired of Simon causing all sorts of trouble, so we hitched a baby swing to the roof of our deck. If Simon doesn’t love roller coasters when he gets older, it’s through no fault of Theresa and Silvia.

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I’ll swallow my pride. Joe predicted this one…the kids are back in the same room (after laboriously rearranging the rooms for the second time).

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The “garage swing” lasted about a week until it found it’s home in the backyard

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Doing what I do best…drinking cocktails, reading, and neglecting chores.

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Sundays, where we try not to work, but really Joe and the kids make a gigantic mess all day only for me to clean it up on Monday!

Exactly 1 month later…

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Here’s a little slideshow of our spring/summer shenanigans.  Simon’s been crawling up the stairs and climbing onto low beds.  He likes to hang out under tables, which forces me to keep it swept, so he doesn’t eat all the scraps….like a dog.

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We celebrated our anniversary on June 5th.  (Most of these pics are repeats of what I’ve posted on Instagram or FB).  We went on our (2nd) date since moving to Dayton.  Hit the Oregon District up again for dinner and a walk.

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Leo turned 6 in June so we had a couple little “parties” for him.  6 other kids came over to play and I gave them crackers with cheese and salami, apple slices and brownies.  Simple and not the least bit impressive, but my focus was on giving Leo a special day with friends.    In the picture above, you can see our new sandbox that Joe built.  We got rid of our little crab sandbox which the kids were outgrowing.

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Hiking in Yellow Springs with Oma and Opa. Of course Simon pooped all over Oma and the Ergo carrier in the woods.  (Hence why he ended up in nary a clothes, only diaper)

Doing a tiny bit of “school” on random days.  I planned to keep going through the summer, but we’ve pretty much taken the last 2 weeks off.  Except we’ve gotten in some math because Leo enjoys the challenge.  He’s learning some tricks and patterns in addition and multiplication.

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My almost daily habit of drinking a mocha on the porch swing.  Always a relaxing few minutes before somebody wakes up or interrupts me. 😉

Sweet little Simon napping next to his Jesus doll, which someone gave him as a baptism present.

I took Theresa and Simon out on a walk yesterday during Leo and Silvia’s first day of Vacation Bible School.  Then I tried meal planning on the couch and fell asleep only to wake up and find Theresa had also fallen asleep….on the floor!  Next 2 pictures are the kids at the Boonshoft museum, which Phyllis and I went to while Joe and Phil were out of town (on vacation…ahem).  Last picture is Theresa asleep at Mass.  She fell asleep in the car on the way to church, much to my surprise.  The girl just keeps passing out everywhere. 😆