Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Preparations

This year I have decided to start a couple of new traditions to our Christmas festivities.

I have a Christmas Elf on the way! If you are not familiar with the tradition look here. I actually ordered our elf from Amazon with a book. I can't wait to start relocating him and having the boys find him in the morning.

We are also going to start a Count Down to Christmas. I am going to wrap up 24 Christmas/Winter related books and place them under the tree. With each book will be an activity to complete that day. Many acitivies will be crafts for us to decorate the house with. Each day the boys will unwrap a book. We will read it and complete the acitivty.

I will be posting pictures along the way of our fun!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Always Changing

This past week has brought a big change for our little school. My oldest son, Brian, came back to our house and has decided to finish his high school degree which he has been working on. It is an online degree and he is down to one class. We had a great week and I am really keeping my hopes up that he has decided to change and get his things in order. We are going to work with a friend who sells warehouse items on ebay and get Brian hooked up with him to start selling his items. This is something he can do at home or anywhere he is at (he just has to drive to get the merchandise to mail when sold). I would love for him to work someplace else as well, but we have agreed that he needs to be sure he will stay in our area to apply for any job locally as gas it too expensive to do a lot of driving for a minimum wage job.

With him coming back we rearranged the school house so each boy has a desk and I have one too. (good thing I bought that desk from IKEA a couple of weeks ago!). With the holiday we have missed a few days of school, but the days we did all work out there everything went great. The boys all did what they needed to do. Again, keeping my fingers crossed this week goes well too. I know, at 19, he is totally bored at our house but I am working on getting him his own phone so he can chat with his friends when I am not there.

Another change coming in January is a work schedule change for me. This will effect our school schedule a bit. Every other Tuesday night I will now have to work a 12 hour shift. At the present time I work Sat, Sun, Monday night 6pm-6am. We do school work on Tues-Friday with Wed-Friday being heavy days. Now every other week will be a little short changed due to my lack of sleep, time, and energy. Luckily Brian and Nico work on their own. Brian definitely can do his on his own and Nico will be given things that don't need all my instruction time. We may have to do some school work on Saturday or just go longer in the summer. We used to go year round, but last year we took off 3 months for the wedding and a break...we all loved it. It looks like maybe only 2 months will be off this year.

I am not complaining at all about the job. It could be ALOT worse. I am blessed to have my job now for 20 years. I have gone through many schedule changes with each bringing new challenges that I have overcome. The worst of this is changes for my kids and their schedules in the evening on Tuesday. But, again, it is workable. (better than any other night of the week. Nico is in competitive hip hop he has to be there on Thursdays.)

On another changing note, I am happy to say Luca is improving so much in his classroom work and attention. He has made great strides in his work recently. This week I gave him a matching shape worksheet. He had to glue the items that matched the shape in the square. He immediatley started gluing without me giving instruction, knowing what he needed to do. We write his assignments on the board and erase them as they are completed. He has started paying attention to the board and counting down the things he has left to do.
He is excited about letters and numbers and really wants to read. We are working hard on all of this.

Nico is working more independently, but he does not like it. I think he still likes to have mom there helping him and by his side. It is sad, but he is growing up! I am just so lucky to be able to be home with them and teach them! How can I complain about my work schedule. I get to work full time and be home with my kids!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mini Vacation

Last week we took a mini vacation. By mini, I mean 2 nights in the RV at a campground 30 minutes from home. IT WAS WONDERFUL! We went to Tievoli Hills in Clarksville, MO.

A fall photo posing in front of the river.
The first day there it was beautiful weather. We drove into Clarksville and had a late lunch early dinner. While there we went to the Lock and Dam 24. They had a barge in the lock. I was super excited because we have recently finished reading "Paddle to the Sea" and Nico had to do a little research on Locks and Dams. We spent 45 minutes watching the barge move out of the lock, the lock refill with water and the tug with the rest of the barge move into the lock. Being able to see things in action gives it so much more meaning than reading about it in a book. (I also got to count those as hours :-)

The lock at lock and dam 24, Clarksville, MO

Nothing like a good splashing in the creek bed.

The campground consists of vacation homes as well as camping. There are timeshares, recreation center, hiking trails, and best of all WINE TASTING! The store the Port the winery in St. Genevieve makes in the basement of the wine cellar here in Clarksville. Mike and I being wine lovers, we popped in to do some wine tasting. They also brew their own beers, so Mike sampled some of those as well. We did find several wines we enjoyed and bought two bottles. I really enjoy supporting our local wineries :-)

The Bistro and wine tasting building

After the wine tasting we hopped over to the rec center and played some basketball with Nico, Air Hockey with Luca, and Mike and I took on some ping pong. This is the day it really started cooling off. We had a fire stocked outside, but it was even too windy to sit outside for long. We spent several hours in the camper playing board games, surfing the internet, and being together as a family. Even our dog, Thor, was with us. Nico put him to work pulling him on the scooter. Mike videoed some footage of this event. However, it cannot compare to the crash landing that Mike took while he was scootering with Nico. He came back with a bloody arm, bloody leg, ripped shorts and shirt. Luckily he didn't crack his head!
Thor being put to work. Mush, mush! He was done for the night.

While not a crazy, exciting far away trip, it was pleasurable none the less. Just being away from the every day routine and taking the time to play the board games with the kids was a pleasure in itself. (Also sleeping in and having 3 days off school).