Morphing into summer

All three children are playing quietly in their rooms. Go ahead, you can be impressed if you want. I won’t tell you that they’re in there because they had a massive fight, went all WWF and I walked in to find them screaming and crying and swinging bags of chips at one another, crumbs flying all over my freshly vaccumed carpet.

I’ll just let you go on thinking I’m raising angels.

So hey – got this summer time thing going on. With the pressure of school off my shoulders I have found myself inhaling for the first time in…nine months. NINE MONTHS. And it’s glorious, food fights and all. But there’s got to be some structure or me?

Ima hafta lose my mind.

Our home school schedule consisted of lessons beginning around 9:00 and finishing around 2:00 every day. Just because we are officially on summer break doesn’t mean that all learning stops, though. Every summer, even when Sloan went to public school, I instituted a one hour long “learning time” each morning. I like to do this just to watch them whine and complain.

It’s super fun.

So learning time is back. From 9:00-10:00 each morning the kids are working on reading, math, spelling or Russian. By the time we finish up those lessons, clean up around the house and have a minimum of two fights, it’s already lunch time!

BAM! No lazy summer days here. No siree.

The pool is providing great afternoon entertainment as are neighborhood friends and a bit of TV, because what’s summer without a teeny bit of laziness, yes?

I’ve ordered a ton of books and we will be heading to the library periodically as well. We have offered the two older kids a bribe an incentive to get them reading over the summer. For every book they finish, we will pay them a dollar. Sloan gets two dollars if he reads longer chapter books (at least fourth grade reading level or higher) and I’ve have offered him 5 dollars if he will read an entire book in Russian from front to back.

I did not think about the work all this would be for me as I now have to translate said Russian book to help him with comprehension and I have to read the more advanced books to make sure he is comprehending those as well. That kinda blows because while I want them active and busy, I myself had envisioned a nice, relaxing summer with my feet kicked up beside the pool and a cold iced tea in my hand.


Clearly I am delusional.

So what about you? How do you keep your kids from driving you crazy active during these summer months?

The Photo Session

They’re so cute.  Seriously – I’m not sure how it is that I bore such adorable children.  But adorable they are. 



Oh wait, no…that’s not the right photo.  Hang on…


That’s more like it…

Or how about this shot?


Wait, wait, wait…

That’s not the photo I was looking for.


Much better.

Okay…so the photo shoot didn’t go exactly as planned.  I did, however, snap a couple of decent pictures of all three as well as a few individual shots.  I also fed them pancakes (yes, I bribe my children into letting me take their picture. I’m not ashamed) and I let them hunt for seashells. 

All this before 9 am.

Her hair is nearly white.  The cuteness is overwhelming...

Her hair is nearly white. The cuteness is overwhelming...

He's playing air guitar.  Of course...

He's playing air guitar. Of course...

OMG! Freckles!

OMG! Freckles!

Kids Say the Darndest Things


Sloan: “Hey Mom!  What if I had a fire bootie?”

Me: “Um…what?”

S: “What if I had a fire bootie?  Then, if a dinosaur started chasing me, I could just toot and it would be like a rocket and I could get away.”

Me: *silence*  There’s really no way to respond to that.


Sloan: “Tia!  Stop copying me.”

Tia: “Stop copying me.”

S: “Tia, stooooop.

T: “Tia, stooooop.”

S: “Mom, Tia is copying me.”

T: “Mom, Tia is copying me.”

Me: “Tia please stop copying Sloan.  That bothers him.”

Tia: “Well I can’t help it.  My bwain tells me to copy and I can’t say no to my bwain.”

Me: “Well, you’re gonna have to learn to say no to your brain, honey, or you’re gonna have a lot of trouble in life.”

Sloan: “Yeah.  And some of that trouble will be with me.”

Someone tell me again…how long until school starts back up?


Me to Landon: “What’s your name?”

Landon: “Bubba.”

Me: “No, what’s your real name.”

Landon: “Uuuhhh…Hey you Bubba?”

I swear we don’t go around calling that child ‘Hey You.’  Just want to make that clear.


Tia: “Mom!  Sloan called me a wowyer.”

Me: “A what?”

Tia: “A wowyer.”

Me: “What’s a wowyer?”

Sloan: “A lawyer, mom.  I called her a lawyer.”

Me: “Oh.  That’s not a bad name, Tia.”

Tia: “Yuh-huh.  He said it mean and he said I’m a big, fat wowyer.”

Me: *sigh* “Sloan, don’t call your sister a lawyer, please.”


Tia: “Mom, I weawy, weawy, weawy wish I was a boy.”

Me: “Why?”

T: “So I can stand up to go potty and so I can carry guns.”

Me: “Well I can’t help you with the potty thing – that’s just how you were made.  But girls can carry guns just like boys.”

Tia: “They can?”

Me: “Sure.”

Tia: “Can I have a gun for my birfday?  A weal one?”

Me: “No.”

Tia: “But I fought you said girls tan carry guns?”

Me: “Pretend guns, honey.  Sloan doesn’t even have a real gun.”

Tia: “Yuh-huh.  He said he could shoot me dead wif it.”

Me: “Sloan!  Come here please.”

What We’re Up To


It’s summertime.  And the livin’ is easy…

But I’m not gonna let the livin’ be lazy.  My kids get up at the crack of dawn.  It’s not unusual for us to be up, fed, dressed and ready for the day by 7:30 – not because I want it to be that way, you see.  I would give a limb for them to sleep until 8:00 just once.  Heck, I’d be thrilled if they slept until 7:00!  So with everyone waking up so early, what on Earth will we do with ourselves all day everyday?  This week we started our summer schedule and built in to every weekday is “learning time” from 8:00-9:00.

It looks a little like this:



And Landon usually looks like this because I make him leave the room and play quietly by himself while the older kids work…something he’s not overly fond of.


This time is being spent on their Russian homework, Tia’s English Alphabet (poor girl, we’ve spent so much time on the Russian that she doesn’t know her English letters at all), Sloan working on his summer packet from school, math, reading and writing in their journals.  It’s actually going really well.  The kids are able to get all of their work out of the way early which frees them up to play the rest of the day.

We set a reading goal for Sloan this summer.  If he reads 10 books, we’ll go to Chuck E Cheese.  If he reads 20 books, we’ll go to the Magic House.  If he reads 35 books in English and 5 books in Russian we will spend the whole day at Six Flags.  So far he has completed one book and is chomping at the bit to go to the library to check out new books.

We’ll do that as soon as I pay off our overdue book fines.  Ahem… 

I think I’m going to like this schedule.  It’s tough, for sure.  I would much rather let them watch TV all morning so I could play on the computer, but I know this is a more productive way to spend these early morning hours.  It means I will have less time to blog, which is probably not a bad thing.  It will mean I need to be much more disciplined with my time, which is definately not a bad thing.  But it will also mean that I will be able to send Sloan to 1st grade prepared and Tia will finally know the difference between the letter H in English and the letter H (which sounds like N) in Russian.  It’s kind of important that I teach her that…

What are your summer plans?

Like Fish to Water…and other stuff

 Yesterday was a big day in the life of the first born.  He graduated.

Kindergarten, that is.  I’ve never fully understood the point of kindergarten graduations to be honest, but if having a promotion ceremony means I get to watch 60 five and six year olds sing songs and beam with pride, then I’ll take it.  Because it was awesome.  I almost got a cavity from all the sweetness.

But here is my dilemma, oh internets.  When I was three, I sang my first solo in church.  It was Away in the Manger and I belted it out with pride.  I have a vague memory of my dad standing at the bottom of the steps snapping a picture.  By the time I was in Elementary School I was a performing addict.  I would put plays on at my home making my brother suffer endlessly as he played a host of characters in my little productions.  I loved drama (shocker, I know) and I loved singing on stage. 

I was like a tiny Rachel Berry with a Wisconsin accent.

So how is it, my friends, that I have a child who is so terribly stage shy?  Even more?  He’s got a great voice, loads of personality and can feel the nuances and rhythms of music extremely well for a six year old.  Yet every time he gets on stage he looks like this:


 To his credit, he was one of four children who were asked to stand around the microphone for one song and he did it without bursting into tears.  He didn’t sing his heart out, but he DID stand up there in front of the mic and I was thrilled.  That was a big step for him and I almost clapped my hands raw.

I tried to upload the video but YouTube was being funky and I don’t have all day for it to load.  I know you’re disappointed. 


In celebration of the graduates accomplishment, I let him pick the restaurant for lunch – he chose Cheeburger, Cheeburger.  So off we skipped to the mall, his graduation cap firmly placed on his head throughout the entire lunch.  He is a first grader now.

How is it possible that I have a first grader?!  Didn’t I just graduate college, like, yesterday?

My birthday’s coming up next week.  That, combined with the fact that I have a first grader is causing a minor panic attack.

In addition to the commencement ceremony, we decided to hit the deck for the first time this year.  The pool deck, that is.  I’m so glad my kids love to swim.  And they’re really good at it.  They take to the water like little fish.  And for the first time, I don’t have to be right in the water with them.  I have to be close in case Landon’s float flips him over, but I don’t have to be in the water with kids hanging on me.

Which means I can sit on the side and work on my tan – because that’s what life is all about…gettin’ tan.

I kid.  Don’t worry, I do watch my kids while they swim.  While I’m getting a tan…

Sometimes I watch them through the lens:





This child is starting to look like a little man. Totally freaks me out.

This child is starting to look like a little man. Totally freaks me out.

I'm glad I sprung for the waterproof cast.

I'm glad I sprung for the waterproof cast.