Work, work, work, work, work

He takes about 10 steps a day, but he still crawls most of the time. Apparently JD is a gradual, gradual, gradual learner. 🙂

We were hoping to go to Moss Landing today and check out the whales. But not so fast. My friend Sarah found a used fence for sale for me, so instead, Alan is digging fence holes today. We bought a chain link fence. It’s required in our neighborhood to put up a trampoline, and you know my boys have to have their trampoline.

Seriously, if you have little boys and room for a trampoline, there’s nothing I could recommend more highly. We get the kind with the safety net, and they spend hours on it.

I don’t do fence holes, so my goal is to catch up on laundry and maybe unpack a box.

I’ve noticed that I tend to exaggerate towards the negative. The truth is we only have 4 boxes upstairs and one downstairs left to unpack. It’s been that way for a week. We do have about 10 left in the garage, though. Alan needed a bucket today, and we couldn’t find one!

So here’s what’s new with us this past week: the craziness on camera

That was all during “seatwork” time. I met an angel in disguise at the curriculum fair where I bought my A Beka books. She said, “Now your schedule is not going to look like your friends’, and that’s okay. When those babies take their nap, that’s when you are going to teach the math and the grammar. Those are the things where the big ones will really need your undivided attention.”

I have treated that as gospel truth. There was one day where I tried to do Caleb’s phonics and reading while JD was awake: huge mistake. JD wanted to practice walking to me and get lots of cheering, but Caleb really needed me to listen to him read. Lesson learned.

This is what seatwork time looks like when all is going well. 

The modern method for teaching writing, which was used at Caleb’s last school, worked great for Joshua, but failed Caleb completely. They have open-ended questions that kids as young as kindergarten are supposed to answer and just spell their words phonetically.  Since Caleb couldn’t read and didn’t have a good grasp on phonics, he would just panic and not write anything at all. Therefore, Caleb was learning nothing about writing at school for the past two years.

Instead, I am using the Classical method of teaching writing. Caleb writes all day, but not from his head. He copies. He copies, and copies, and copies. I give it to him in attainable chunks. This way he is learning through actual writing. He is seeing how words are spelled correctly. I think this will pay off big time.

Even if I send my kids back to public school in the future years, this could be used to help a struggling writer in the after school hours.

Daniel tossed this puppet in the trash can about 5 minutes after we finished it. Oh well.

I know I’m his mom, but I was seriously impressed with Caleb’s snail drawing. Way to go, Caleb!

So two weeks down!!! I was definitely a nicer, less stressed person this week than I was last week. I don’t think I handle heavy stress very well. 

I have tried everything to get JD to sleep better at night. Nothing has worked. Finally, two nights ago, I gave it over to hard, devoted prayer. There are many ways to pray: half-hearted, absent-minded, and then there’s the hard core prayer: where you are begging God for help. He listens really well to that last kind. For two nights now, JD has gone from sleeping 5 hours straight only, to sleeping 8 or 9 hours straight.  My prayers were answered. I’m going to keep praying.

Do you know what the hardest part about living here is? I know that this amazing ocean full of sea mammals is minutes away from my door, and I’m always too busy with work to get out there. It’s calling my name, and I cannot answer!!  Yesterday I had two errands to run: Staples and grocery store. I snuck off to the beach on my way. I only stood on the sand for 5 minutes and watched the waves crash into the shore, but it still helped!!  I VOW to take all of my family to that beach before Labor Day Weekend is over. 

Yesterday I just reminded myself: No, I do not have free time, and life is a whole lot of work right now. But you know what? I have something way better than free time. I am important. I am needed. I have an abundance of purpose. I remember when we first got married, and I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do or be. I felt like I had no purpose. I can’t even imagine that now. This craziness, these children, this life is the greatest blessing I will ever have. Praise the Lord.



  • donna Stephens

    Everything in this blog was good, April. We are praying for all of you. Keep up the great work, boys! Alan’s arms may need some serious massage tonight! 🙂

  • A wonderful post, girlie! Well done with your home schooling… Frankly, I am all about the classical method. All this phonics mess just muddied the waters for some kids. Keep is posted!! 🙂

  • Oh how I love your perspective here. I totally get it. Keep your vow to get to the beach. It will keep you sane. I had to make myself do the same thing here in Hawaii. We live about 100 yards from the shore and by sunset time if I haven’t been out there by or in the water I drop everything to go watch that sun go down on the day. Other than having left dinner boiling over on the stove a few times I’ve never regretted taking the time to revel in God’s splendor. Oh, and more often than not, boy’s crafts will always end up in the trash. They seriously don’t care about that stuff. 🙂

  • Hi there seen you are now following me so I came over to say Hi so “Hi”, next I will tell you I have three girls and when they were little we had a trampoline and they loved it my parents have one now for when the grandchildren and great grandchildren go over for a visit they love it. I do like your blog and I will be back

  • McMom

    Glad to hear JD has had a couple of nights of good sleep – that makes SUCH a difference. Loved the video and then the contrasting “calm” picture. A fence and a trampoline – exciting times!!! Glad you made time for some quick beach refreshment. An “abundance of purpose” – I love that. I totally understand what you mean! I think we always have an equal amount of purpose in God’s plan, but I think it’s more “feelable” some times than others. There was so much good stuff in this post!

    • Thank you, Amy! I’m praying hard again tonight for the sleep thing. I gotta tell you, truly calm moments are seemingly only had when I get them completely one-on-one or I’m reading to them from a good book. My boys sure are excitable! So glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you!

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