Life With Nine Kids

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July wrapping up (and unwrapping birthday's for everyone!)

We have had a busy last several weeks. The kids had a lot of fun at drama camp despite that I had to make some complaints about inappropriate content in some songs little kids were being taught to sing and dance to. (totally teenage themed for the WRONG 6-11 age group) It was resolved graciously by the theatre however and there was no lasting damage done :)
At the end of the drama program the kids put on a performance which was just great. They worked so hard. I was just ecstatic to see them all on stage. I love theatre and always wanted to make it part of my children's lives, as it had been a important apart of mine long ago ...before babies, birth, and natural family living became my passion. The kids were supposed to go to the June camp but we waited for July because then our friends could do it with them. Next year I am strongly considering letting the kids do both camps! They had that much fun.

Penelope below is helping me make pizza dough. She's such a mess in the kitchen. She wants to constantly help to the point where I now sneak around to cook!

My parents came to town for a special event: A birthday party held for ALL of us. This was the first year of a tradition they would like to start where each summer they visit and throw our family one big birthday party. Gifts, cake, decorations, the whole thing. This way they don't have to mail packages out 8 times a year and they get to see all of us open the gifts. So without the kids knowing they decorated our home, brought in cake, and wrapped gifts and had a surprise party. We knew, kids didn't though! It was a blast!

Above is the tropical themed party with my parents and all of us.
Below is the cake, which had a "93" candle the total combined age of 7 of our birthday's, also read: 'Happy Birthday Ricky, Shauna, Sage, Ethan, Layla, Penelope.'
The unborn baby got gifts too, but "he" doesn't have a "birthday" yet :)

August should slow down a little bit. July was all about sleepovers, library events, drama camp, cousin Echo being in town, growing caterpillars and releasing them as butterflies, Etc.. Layla's birthday is coming up (party on July 31, actual birthday on Aug 1) In August we have a couple busy weekends, some playgroups, and then a new baby being born. I suspect we'll be home most of August and September. Oh I have 2 kids that need to go the dentist for small fillings in Aug, and Charlotte will be getting braces. Yikes I better get those appointments scheduled (I want those done before baby comes)!!

The excitement and anticipation of a newborn is really building around here.

Homeschool: What we do when we aren't doing anything elseWe have a new program we are trying for Sage at And he finally likes a reading program. (FINALLY)

And had some great sign up package deals I'm not sure I wrote about. Charlotte is signed up now for 1 year at the rate of $59.99 She can do spelling, states, vocab and math. They are broken up into quick daily lessons and it's good quality. We are loving it. I'm thinking about getting Ethan signed up as he needs to hit the spelling lessons.

The spelling and states is great. Charlotte really likes the vocab too. The spelling is so cool because they give the kids the words, they get activities, practice, quizzes, then at the end of the week a test. The results are emailed to the parents. So it's super easy to keep up with how the child is doing with minimal effort!

My favorite Layla Question this week:
"Where do the movies go when you turn off the TV?"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer School

Is it really summer? Because the kids have been doing nothing but exploring their world and asking lots of questions about life, science, social studies/history, art, religion, and more. Learning all the time (unschooling/homeschooling) means summer holds the same learning power as the rest of the year. Actually I'd have to say we are much more productive learning in the warmer months of the year. The colder months seem to bring us more wasted time, dark evenings, and lazy days than spring, summer, and fall.

The kids have been enjoying weekends with dad being home. They have had many meaningful discussions. I over heard some world religion ones, mentions of physics, Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, and some other guy --the name escapes me right now. LOL.

What sparked at least some of those subjects was Charlotte enthusiastically pointing out that this months issue of Muse Magazine had pages about Leonardo Da Vinci. What tickled her though was the page number for the section about him was written backwards. "Just like his notes he wrote backwards to keep secret!"

I love being a part of their discovery and learning everyday. I didn't always think this way, but now I see that public school keeps a part of my children that I wouldn't get. Just like daycare gets a part of baby or toddler hood from children. (yes I know some people need to use the services of childcare, I'm grateful I don't though, and I have opinions about it's misuse and overuse). I never wanted my children in daycare, I always thought about how much a parent (and child) misses by not being "there" constantly throughout the day. I now feel that way about public schooling too. I see things in a different way now that I have been homeschooling for years and I now know first hand that children do learn all about interesting important things without structured, planned lessons. My children are more excited about learning then I ever was! I am so excited for them.

Layla keeps up with the good questions too:
Layla asked me, "What is under the toilet?" So she headed off a conversation about septic, waste disposal, and health. This morning she also woke up sleepy eyed and crawled into bed with me like usual and said, "Mom did I brush my teeth?" "Yes Layla you did last night." She rubbed her eyes and said, "Oh good thing, cause in my dream I was eating food."

Hahaha. She is SO good about her teeth and tries to keep them brushed very well! And she is SO funny.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

dads birthday, math, garden is trying to grow, Layla questions...

We have been learning about money, going to the library (saw Dino O' Dell perform at the library last week), somewhat tending to the garden, keeping up with household chores, and the regular homeschool things.

The older kids have had many interesting and educational conversations none of which I can recall now though. Charlotte has been playing a "game" with the boys she came up with and told me to write about. It's very simply a skip counting game. Basically you just take turns skip counting as fast as you can and as high as you can by 2's, 5's, 10's, and 25's. That's great practice for them all and they seem to have fun. They came up with this all on their own after lunch one day.

The garden is going pretty good. The chickens keep scratching at it. The tomato plants are NO WHERE near what we had last year :( Both in quality and quantity. It's got me bummed out. But when you don't start planting until June what do you expect, ya know.

This week I learned that money conversion (exchange rates) is much more complicated than I ever knew. lol.

We are headed to the library for craft and story time this morning. Today is Dads birthday so we have some preparation to do before he gets home tonight. There is talk amongst the kids of balloons, party hats, streamers, and the like. Cousin Echo will be in town by tomorrow morning. We have a homeschool/Kayak playgroup planned for Thursday, and 4th of July is Friday. Dad will be home for a 3 day weekend yay!

Pictures: Penelope and Layla at the Friends of MO Midwives Picnic 2 weeks ago (They love this hat and they frequently love putting this hat on their daddy too.)

Pictures: Drawing bugs last night (like my walking stick? LOL) We all took turns teaching each other ideas about how to draw bugs.

Layla at bedtime snuggled up with me trying to drift off asks me all kinds of interesting questions, especially for a child 1 month away from turning 4. For example:
"Can you ever get out of jail?"
"Will police take some one to jail for not being in their seat belt?"
"Where does your food go if there is a baby in your tummy?"
"How does food turn into poop?"

And the more serious, "If you die in your dream you don't die fo' real, right?"
I could tell she already knew, but was just double checking.