Bookroo Black Friday Sale

Curated. Wrapped. Delivered. Basically, it’s reading made easy. Bookroo is a subscription service that sends your child 0-6 two to three books every month.

300_0

Bookroo’s mission is to help kids fall in love with reading. At $23 or less per month for your monthly book box they make it convenient and affordable for parents to build their children’s libraries. And, for Black Friday you can get an extra 25% off any multi-month subscription with code TREATYOSELF . That’s less than $16 per month if you sign up for a 12 month subscription! It’s hard for me to purchase even 1 book for $16. Talk about a great deal!

300_0-1

Bookroo’s goal is to send the hidden gems that you don’t already own. They find books that are not easy to find online or in stores. Which means you won’t be getting books that you already have. If you receive a book that you already own, just send them a picture of you giving the book to someone else and they’ll give you $5 off your next subscription. Because Bookroo is all about giving back.  My kids just love new books!

0_200

Their books are extensively reviewed by a panel of 12 families attending Stanford University and their combined 22 kids.

Bookroo helps parents build their children’s book collections in an affordable and exciting way through curated monthly book deliveries. Because it’s never too early to start reading to children! And what better way to encourage your kids to read than with a monthly box of books just for them! I know my children love opening any box that comes in the mail. And a box just for them is super exciting!

0_200-1

Bookroo’s packaging is recycled (and recyclable!) and they donate childrens’ books to children in need through Reach Out And Read!

Check out Bookroo’s website for more details and to start your own subscription. And, don’t forget, enter code TREATYOSELF for 25% off your multi-month subscription.

This is a sponsored post.

Kindergarten Necessities

So, you want to homeschool? You’re starting with your Kindergartner, and you have no idea what you should do. You start researching curriculum, you even buy a bunch. There’s not a lot of Kindergarten – compared to other grades. But you still manage to get quite a pile.

Your Kindergartner is less than thrilled. Teaching reading is frustrating. And don’t even get me started on math! Your child doesn’t seem to be learning, and is definitely not having fun. Actually, what is a Kindergartner supposed to learn? If you do a google search, you’ll find a huge list of Kindergarten readiness and even more lists of what your child should know by the end of Kindergarten. It’s overwhelming.

So, let’s start at the top. Kindergarten is from German and literally translated means “Children’s Garden”. It’s supposed to be a time of learning, fun, and adventure.

But how do you do this and still teach the necessary academics?

For starters. What exactly is necessary in Kindergarten? When I was a kid, it was reading, writing, and math. And lots of time on the playground. And even then, it was less than is expected of my kids now. It was totally normal for half the class to be reading by the end of Kindergarten and the other class to just not quite be there yet. But, everyone would be reading by the end of first grade. Nowdays people want their kids to read before they start Kindergarten (check out those Kindergarten readiness lists I mentioned) Speaking of reading, what exactly does that look like for a Kindergartner?

I have 3 academic goals in Kindergarten for my kids. Reading, Math, and Writing. We cover other subjects like history and science. But not in a formal book learning manner. My Kindergartner often sits in while I’m working on history with my 3rd grader. She definitely participates in any and all science experiments – because those are always cool. And we do lots of fun field trips like the local symphony orchestra, replicas of Columbus’s ships, the local science museum, zoo, etc.

But as far as formal teaching. I can’t effectively teach anything else until my child can read, have a basic understanding of numbers, and write legibly.

Because Kindergarten shouldn’t be frustrating. And you should be working with your child at their pace. Here’s what I do. It worked well with my now 3rd grader and it’s producing a non-frustrating year for my Kindergartner.

1. Reading – I love, love, love Hooked on Phonics. I tried it out for my first child and I’m just loving it! Did I mention how awesome it is? The preschool level is all about learning your letter names and sounds – my 3yr old loves to get his book out and “do school” with us. He’ll get out crayons, markers, etc. and trace letters for a good 30 minutes and we’ll discuss the sounds and letter names that he’s tracing.

The K level is all about short vowel words. It’s divided in segments that are easy for a young child to handle. My 5yr old who insists she can’t read, is reading these books just fine. And since each lesson builds on the past one, your child will be reading more and more without realizing how much they actually can read. – Seems to be a common problem in my house. “I can’t read that!” declares the child. Who then reads it, and is shocked that it was way easier than expected.

We barely made it into the 2nd grade level when my oldest decided that she didn’t need them any more. She reads to herself every night when she goes to bed plus other reading for school and such throughout the day. She really didn’t need any more teaching on how to read by this stage, so we dropped it. I do have the books through 4th grade in case I need them though.

One awesome things about hooked on phonics, if you’re on a tight budget, these books can usually be found at your local library and you can just keep borrowing them over and over as you need them.

One other thing that has really helped our reading is these blend ladders from Abeka. We work on a sheet a day – sometimes the same sheet for a couple of days. And it’s great at helping kids get comfortable putting two sounds together. It’s always amazing to me how my children’s reading makes a huge leap forward at the exact same time that reading blends becomes easy.

Education2. Math – My favorite math is Abeka. It’s possible that this is because this is the math I grew up with. However, it also seems to work well for my girls. The pages are colorful. And everything is in short segments. There’s one clock, 5 addition problems, 5 number order problems, a color by number, etc.

Here’s the thing about math. I know Abeka is this way, and I assume a lot of other math curriculum is this way as well. They repeat the same thing every year. So, if your child doesn’t get it completely the first year. Don’t stress, they’ll get it next year or the year after. If you’re child is way behind, I would be concerned. But if your Kindergartner is basically on par with their peers and can generally do their math with assistance from you. They’re just fine.

For my oldest, I spent the entire Kindergarten year explaining what addition and subtraction are. She figured it out just fine by 1st grade. For my current Kindergartner, she already knew this somehow. I think my oldest must have taught her. Teaching her math is so easy! Addition, subtraction, number sequence, telling time, and patterns are all Kindergarten skills.

For you parents with a struggling Kindergartner, the key is just perseverance. Keep teaching them and they will get it. How do I know? you ask. Well, I would classify my current 3rd grader as struggling in math until this year. K through 2nd grade was just hard. She’s very literal and just struggled if you changed anything (like 5+2 and 2+5 being the same thing was hard for her to grasp). This year, in 3rd grade – which is WAY harder than previous grades – things seem to have finally clicked. Math isn’t her favorite subject, but she’s no longer struggling with it – and we’re already doing long division 1/4 of the way through the year. (actually, spelling somehow tops the list as “most hated 3rd grade subject”).

So, if your child is struggling, just keep patiently explaining it to them over and over. Sometimes it’s just a matter of their ability to analyze things catching up with what you’re trying to teach them. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a great motto for math.

3. Handwriting – First things first, don’t stress if you can’t read your kindergartner’s handwriting. It’ll be a few years before most kids can really hold a pencil perfectly. The key at this age is that they’re at least trying to form the letters and numbers properly. Writing some numbers and letters backwards is perfectly normal. Just keep modeling the right way to write and they’ll get it eventually.

I did get a writing curriculum – just the worksheets – because I like having a curriculum. But, to be honest, my Kindergartner’s best writing practice is done on this dry erase book. It’s $4 on Amazon and has free shipping if you have prime. Well worth the money, in my opinion. She’ll spend a good deal of time each week tracing, erasing, and re-tracing her letters. I’m perfectly happy to let her do this instead of her handwriting curriculum. The goal is that she learn how to write her letters and any method that she likes is good with me.

H is for Why Homeschool?

For me, the decision to homeschool was easy. I and my husband were both homeschooled and both greatly benefited from being educated this way. So the decision to homeschool our children was easy, or, assumed. There was no discussion, I just had to figure out which umbrella school, what curriculums, state requirements, etc.

A couple years in and I love homeschooling my children. So, why homeschool? Or, why continue homeschooling? Here’s some benefits I’m already seeing.

  1. Child lead learning – I love my curriculum and it’s important for my children to be at least at grade level, but, their learning is tailored to their needs. My 2nd grader loves science, so she does lots of science. Extra science classes at the local museum, etc. She also loves to grow things, so this spring I told her she can have her own garden, choose what goes in it, and be responsible (with some help from me) for taking care of it. And for reading this month, my 2nd grader has selected a Nancy Drew. As the kids get older, they’ll have more say about what curriculum we’re using and what subjects or direction we want to go with which subjects (like do they want to learn algebra or geometry first).
  2. I can “sneak” in extra learning – My 2nd grader just realized the other day that when she helps me in the kitchen I’m making her do math. She’s struggling with understanding fractions so I was walking her through combining 2 1/2 cups to equal 1 cup. She loves to cook and really wants to read and follow her own recipe without assistance, but getting all her measurements right is still a bit tricky. When she realized she was doing math she wasn’t all upset about it, it was more the realization that some math is super useful and that she needs it to be able to accomplish something fun (like making her own batch of banana muffins). Guess who’s suddenly more interested in fractions!
  3. I know what needs more work – With reading, she’s a good reader, but often drops connecting words or skips lines. And when reading out loud she tends to be very quiet and hard to hear. I’ve been teaching her to read recipes to me in the kitchen and she’s realizing the importance of every line on the page. She doesn’t realize it, but it’s definitely helping with focusing on every word. (I know, back to cooking, but she loves cooking, and there’s so many other skills I can slip in while we’re at it) Also, she’s able to read devotions to us in the evenings instead of me doing all the reading. She thinks it’s awesome and I think it’s great to hear her read aloud. She wanted me to record her reading the other day so I told her that she had to talk really loud so the camera could pick up her voice. I’ve been wanting to work on presentation when reading but finding a way to emphasize it has been a challenge. Telling her to “read louder” just doesn’t work. It was her best reading yet, because who doesn’t love to be on camera!
  4. More Free time – We have time to spend all day browsing a museum, do a crafting day, or not start school until 10. When we’re done for the day, we’re done. No homework in the evening. The weather has been beautiful this week (finally warming up a bit) so lots of time has been spent outside. Our neighbor friend doesn’t get home from school until 3 or so and my kids are usually well into their outside play by that time.
  5. More Flexible Schedule – We vacation in the off season, meaning we get the beach to ourselves! We do school through snow days and get out early in the spring when the weather is just gorgeous! Some holidays we take and some we don’t, but we’ll throw in a bonus free day whenever we want to do something fun. It lets us have our schedule the way that works best for our family.
  6. More Sleep – My kids usually get up around 8. On those rare mornings when we have to be somewhere before then, I see all the kids waiting on the corner for the school bus to pick them up. I really can’t imagine waking my kids up before the sun every morning to get them to school. You shouldn’t have to do that until you get your first job. As a result, my kids get up fully rested and we have the flexibility to stay up late a night or two a week and do something fun as a family. Very rarely are my kids short on sleep and I think that their attitudes and mental ability is better because they’re getting enough rest.

For my family, homeschooling is just awesome, and we love it. If you homeschool I’d love to hear about some things that benefit your family.

B is for Books

If you’re looking for curriculum advice, check out my 4 favorite curriculums. Here, I’m going to share some of my favorite kids books.

I love books. I love a good fiction. Right now I’m working on The Water Witch by James Fenmore Cooper. (which is free on Kindle right now). I don’t have a ton of time for reading these days, but I still manage to read a fun book now and then. It’s a great way for me to escape, relax, and grab a few minutes of “me time”.

Reading is something I want my children to enjoy as well so I try to collect my favorite childhood books and find some new ones for them as well.

51cWgYwwKNL._SX396_BO1,204,203,200_Little House on the Prairie

This is a classic. I read and re-read this entire set many many times as a child. This is next on my list of books to buy my 2nd grader. I can’t wait to see what she thinks of them!

I never can decide if Little House in the Big Woods or Farmer Boy is my favorite. Maybe I’ll have to read them again!

 

612DdPHZGCL._SX395_BO1,204,203,200_Finley Flowers

I just discovered this set. There’s four books in this series and a craft book. They’re super cute and all about a little girl who loves to bake. My 2nd grader loves these – they’re a 3rd to 5th grade reading level so right at the upper edge of her reading ability. Perfect for her to enjoy while learning some new words!

 

51VpdeMukDL._SY345_BO1,204,203,200_A Series of Unfortunate Events

There’s 13 books in this series. The author truly thought of everything! I love this series. It’s fun to read because it’s just funny. There’s no way 3 kids end up in all of these situations. And the author loves to use and define rarely used words like Ersatz in Ersatz Elevator.  These books are fun to read and great for improving vocabulary.

 

41S6NRoXYvL._SX279_BO1,204,203,200_Grandma’s Attic

This is a book of short stories. Perfect for a bedtime stories. These stores are fun, funny, and have a good morale at the end. Themes like “Pride comes before a fall”, and “beauty is as beauty does”. These stories are fun to read as a family and after you’ve read all these in this book. There’s a whole bunch of other Grandma’s Attic books available.

 

61xA9sZttmL._SX469_BO1,204,203,200_Llama Llama

It all started with Llama Llama Red Pajama. After we read this one, we were hooked! This is a favorite with my 2yr old and since the older kids still love it he gets it read to him as often as he wants. There’s a whole set of Llama Llama books and we love every one of them.

Tell me in the comments, what’s your favorite children’s book?

This post does contain affiliate links.

Homeschooling Mondays – My 4 Favorite Curriculums

Having been homeschooled myself I entered homeschooling my children having already formed some opinions about curriculums. So I like to pick and choose what subjects to do from what curriculum based on what my children need.

1. A Beka Book – This is the curriculum I used the most as a child. I really like their math. I tried saxon with my daughter for Kindergarten and First Grade and it just didn’t work well for us. We’re using A Beka this year and it’s going way better.

And I love their reading/literature. They have the kids reading many classic stories and lots of random chapters from classic children’s books (like Little House on the Prairie). This is great for expanding kid’s literary horizons and encouraging them to pick new books to read.

Their history, science, and english is equal to any other comparable homeschool curriculum provider but I tend to buy from them because I’m ordering math anyways so it’s easier to just place one order.

I really like their Bible curriculum but it’s very expensive because you have to purchase the entire kit to do it. So I’ve never actually purchased my Bible curriculum from them.

2. BJU press – I get my Bible curriculum from here. It works well for us and we’ll probably use it for a few more years. Once the kids are old enough to do more of a Bible study format I’ll be searching again for something that does more of this. BJU Press is great for teaching kids the basics of the Bible and the Bible stories.

I have also use their history and science and really like them as well. This year we’re using A Beka for science and history because they’re half the price of BJU Press.

Their reading/literature is acceptable but I don’t like it as well as A Beka’s. And their math and english are pretty much the same as every other homeschool curriculum.

Mostly the differences between A Beka Book and BJU Press are in how they present the information. Depending on how your child learns best you may find one curriculum easier to use than the other.

3. Hooked on Phonics – This is by far my favorite curriculum for teaching my children to read. Once they’re reading the A Beka or BJU Press readers are awesome. But for getting your child to read, I prefer Hooked on Phonics. I started with Kindergarten and about halfway through the First Grade set my child was reading well enough that she didn’t want to read them any more. We actually started First Grade Hooked on Phonics about halfway through her Kindergarten year and took a break for the summer. Over the summer she did a lot of reading and when we came back to the First Grade set to finish it the beginning of her First Grade year she was way beyond it. It had made learning to read easy and fun and with the dvds, books, stickers, and workbook there’s so many ways to teach reading it’s easy to find a method that works for your child.

My 4yr old desperately wants to learn to read this year so we’re working on the Pre-K Hooked on Phonics with her. Another month and we’ll start in on the Kindergarten set!

And they’re easily reusable for multiple children. So, buy one set, and use it for all your kids.

4. Saxon – Even though Saxon Math did not work well for my daughter, I have many homeschooling friends who just love it. My husband used it as a child and he liked it. So, the curriculum itself is great, it just was not the right method for my daughter.

Even if you’re not using their curriculum, the Saxon Math Manipulatives Kit is great for using with any math curriculum!

Education

There’s a lot of great homeschool curriculums available and if something doesn’t work for you, try something else, and eventually you’ll find the perfect fit for you and your child!

This post does contain affiliate links and I do earn a small commission on any sales from those links.

10 Things I Love

My August Blog Prompt is 10 Things I Love. It’s a great way to start out the month, right before school starts up again and I get busy teaching and keeping up with the kid’s lessons and such.

I’m going to be doing a weekly post on Homeschooling on Mondays throughout the school year, so come back next week to see what we’re up to!

Now, for 10 things that I like…

1. Music – I love listening to music, but mostly I love playing. I started piano when I was 5 and as an adult I continue to enjoy it.

2. Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac – This thing has saved my life (actually, it’s more likely saved my kid’s lives) countless times. I can’t live without it! An entire poptart crumbled on the couch? No problem! The 2yr old just dumped the entire potted plant on the floor? A big problem! But not nearly as bad as it could be (he could have broken the pot). Seriously though, I did use my dustbuster for this because I don’t have a shopvac.

My dustbuster lives in it’s charger on my counter and gets used a lot!

3. A Good Book – Some of my favorite authors are James Fenmore Cooper, Charles Dickens, and Jessee Stuart. I enjoy the classics and occasionally a new book or two. Reading is a time to grab a drink and relax.

I recently reviewed Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus and really enjoyed it. I’m also amazed by how much easier it is to read a book I’m reviewing. I guess I justify the time spent more easily because I have a deadline.

4. Coffee – Speaking of drinks. I love coffee. I like the taste, and it’s my preferred way to wake up in the morning. A cup of coffee and my Bible Study. Of course, the kid’s don’t believe in sleeping in so I have to add getting breakfast and hot chocolates and tea to that list in the morning.

5. BBQ Ribs – The best I’ve ever had are from this local place called Dead End BBQ. Their ribs are soooo good! They also have great brisket and delicious sides. And I have no idea about the desserts because I’m always too stuffed to try any!

6. Sewing – I don’t do as much as I would like to because the kids keep me busy, but sewing is a fun, creative outlet for me. I’m working on a few things for the girls right now and they’re so excited.

7. Caramel Bugles – Seriously, the best thing since sliced bread. It’s like caramel corn, without the kernels. I actually hide this from the kids and then my husband will eat an entire bag! It’s delicious. And perfect any time of the year, not just the holidays when I’m craving caramel corn.

Amazon probably isn’t the best place to get these, they’re kind of expensive online. Check the snack aisle in your local grocery store. A few times a year Kroger has them on sale for $1 a bag and I stock up.

8. SciFi – I love SciFi, from the old Star Trek, to Dr. Who, to pretty much anything interesting I find on Netflix. I’m also teaching my kids well, my 6yr old sometimes suggests Star Trek when she’s trying to convince me that we should watch something!

9. Legos – I love legos. Except for when they’re spread all over the floor in the middle of the night. The kids love legos. They have LEGO Friends, LEGO Elves, LEGO Disney Princesses for the girls. My girls love them. And if I don’t feel like actually playing with the legos, they even have Lego XBox 360 games! I have my eyes on this LEGO Jurassic World.

10. Jurassic World – Speaking of which, I loved Jurassic World. I remember watching Jurassic Park as a kid so I had to go see Jurassic World when it came out. It was not disappointed! It’s right up there with Indiana Jones (except for #4, I didn’t like that one) and The Mummy. Just fun to watch!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite things. Comment below and tell me, what’s something you love?

This post does contain affiliate links, and I do earn a small commission off any purchase made through those links.

Summertime!

So, it’s summertime, and I deliberately did not sign my kids up for any summertime activities. Well, I take that back, I deliberately TRIED not to sign my kids up for any summertime activities before summer began. We’re not doing any dance camps, no dance lessons, no parent’s day out programs, etc. So, I think I’m doing pretty good so far.

I did plan out our reading logs for the summer. (we’ve already turn our first one in). My 5yr old finally took off on some independent reading – think “learn to read” books stages 1 and 2 – at the end of the school year and I don’t want to re-teach that the beginning of next year, so she’s participating in every reading activity in sight. It’s a good thing, she’s motivated by prizes, so filling up her sheet and turning it in for something appeals to her. I picked up her library reading sheet yesterday (which was the first day I could get it) and about a dozen books for her to read as well. She was all set to fill up her entire reading log – she has to read 30 hours – in one day. I explained to her that we can’t turn our sheets in for a month, and that we have plenty of time to read the books we have and check out some more to read. So, she only read 2 books to me this morning, and I’m sure she’ll try to read as many as possible at bedtime (it’s her new “stay out of bed” trick). There’s a few more reading logs we can’t sign up for until June (pizza hut does one) so we’ll be busy all summer with our reading! And the best part, she’s actually asking to read!

I just discovered yesterday that the Disney Store has activities every day of the week starting in June. I guess we’ll be going to their summer kick-off the beginning of June and be visiting the store many times this summer. They have story time every Tuesday, and I’m not sure what else planned for the summer, I think a craft time one day, and I’m sure plenty of other activities to keep two little girls happy.

We have season tickets to our local water park – which opened this past weekend, horray! My kids love the park and we plan to have some really nice tans by the end of summer!

And to top it off, I’m doing something I always said I would never do, my 5 yr old is entering a beauty pagent this year. I was just notified yesterday that she’s a “state finalist” so I should soon be receiving my envelope with all my schedule info and such.

Yes, I’m doing a terrific job of doing nothing this summer!  Not really, but at least it’s all fun stuff! And my summer is just starting 🙂 Surely I can fit in a vacation or two, a couple of Birthday parties, and maybe a shopping trip!

Learning

The other day I pulled an old Kindergarten book of mine out of the drawer and added it to my Kindergartner’s stack of schoolwork for the day. Now, we have about 4 lessons left in her Kindergarten Hooked on Phonics so I’m about to order the First Grade set even though we’re only halfway through her first school year. So, I know she can read my old Kindergarten book, it’s 3 and 4 letter words, two to three sentences per page, and a picture to help. She’s read just about every one of these words in her Hooked on Phonics book, and the words she hasn’t read she knows how to sound out.

I hand the book to her and she takes one look at it and announces that she can’t read it. She’s convinced that because it’s a different book than what she’s used to it’s simply not readable (I am aware that this is a problem, she thinks she can only read her hooked on phonics stuff so my goal with this book is to prove to her that she CAN read other books and I waited until I was sure she could read this book pretty easily before handing it to her, I need this to be an easy success so I can get her reading other books). I informed her that she only needed to read the first page, it’s two sentences and about 8 words total. Pretty easy. It takes FOREVER to read that page because she’s convinced she doesn’t know the words, yet she is able to sound each of them out and read the sentences. The next day I have her read the second page, which is again two sentences and about 8 words total, this goes much better since she’s beginning to realize that she can read the book. The third day she reads the third page with practically no help, and then the fourth day she decides that she’s just going to read the last 3 stories in the book in one day because they’re so easy! After we finish the book I point out to her that this is book 1 (it has a big 1 on the front) and that I have book 2 for us to read the next day. She’s so excited because she loves stories and she’s realized that she can read these books that I’m handing her, chances are she’ll try to read all of book 2 in one day.

I knew she could read the books and I know what words she can sound out and which ones she needs help with (we’ve covered long and short vowels but haven’t learned things like “oo” and “st” yet) so I’m not expecting something she can’t do. She just thinks I’m asking her to do something that is impossible.

My oldest child reminds me of myself so much. I was reminded of how I reacted when I found out I was pregnant with her.

My husband and I had been married for almost two years, I had three months left of college and I wasn’t working at the time so really we were in a pretty good situation to have a baby. Only, I wasn’t ready for a baby. My brother-in-law was living with us at the time (was supposed to be 3 months with us in our 2 bedroom apartment and had been almost a year), I was heading into my Law School finals with terrible morning/all day sickness, I was really looking forward to getting a job when I finished school, and I didn’t want kids yet.

I’m the oldest of 8 kids and I had told my husband before we got married that I would probably want a child or two eventually but I did not want kids for quite a while. He would have liked a baby sooner but he was willing to wait for me to be ready. When I got married my youngest sister was 5 – she was my flower girl, so you get the idea. I know babies and young children, I grew up with them. I really wanted a few baby free years.

I was not happy to be pregnant, I was pretty certain the timing was all wrong, and I told God that I really did not think this was funny at all, seriously, I’m enjoying my “Hooked on Phonics” books, let’s just stay here for a while. I’m sure he does things like this to me because it’s funny – not a mean, malicious funny, but like how I felt trying to convince my 5 yr old that she can read a book that’s almost too easy for her. It is funny, why is she resisting so much, if she would just do it she would realize how easy it is…

I finally got over it when my baby girl arrived (by this time we had bought a 3 bedroom house and kicked my brother-in-law out, and I had successfully finished school), and I really felt like my 5 year old did when she realized that the book I handed her was something she could read, I wasn’t lying when I told her she could read it.

I’m the oldest of 8 kids, I grew up with babies. My Pediatrician probably thought I was the craziest first time mom ever. I never had questions, never freaked out over anything, and was very laid back about this whole parenting thing. But, really, what do you expect, the only thing I had to learn how to do was nurse, other than that, I’d done this baby care thing many times. I remember being actually bored with my first because I had so much free time after she arrived – she slept so much and I had no school, no work, and a clean house. I can just see God laughing at me and saying “I told you, you know how to do this”. (really, I think that if our society liked kids more, large families would be more normal, and there would be a lot less of this “freaking out over the first baby because I don’t know what to do with a baby” syndrome, but that’s a different topic for a different day)

Now, I have 3 kids and plan to have a 4th eventually (it’s like the stack of books hidden away in the drawer, once she found out she could read the first one she’s ready for the whole stack). I will admit, the third child threw me for a loop (plus my oldest started kindergarten and we’re homeschooling so imagine an infant and homeschooling for the first time! Scheduling Crisis!!!), I remembered the craziness that comes with multiple young children (I grew up with this, remember) and I’ve accepted it. Seven months in, we’re finally settled in, and my house is never clean. But, I honestly feel like I’ve just graduated from the “easy readers” or “I Can Read” as her books are titled to something a little bit more robust like a good mystery and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds.