June 30, 2015

Sib Time

There is an age gap of almost 6 years between Kacin and Perry. Kyler and Kacin are really close in age and seem to have a special bond as biological brothers. Likewise, Layla and Perry are super close in age and have a tight bond with each other. We have this blended family through adoption that we are trying to make strong. And that takes a little work, time, and some deliberateness.

This summer I really wanted to make sure that we were fostering the relationships between siblings, especially between the olders and the littles. So as part of our summer homeschool routine, the children have Sib Time.

Kacin showing Layla the ABC book he made for her. :)

Each week, an older child is assigned to a younger child. The older child makes a plan for Sib Time (which is flexible and can be changed, if needed). Basically, a different activity to do together is planned each day. This could be coloring together, playing Memory, putting on a puppet show, reading stories, a wagon ride, building with legos or blocks etc. They should spend at least 15 min. together.

Not only is this helping the younger children have a stronger relationship with their older brothers, it is, also, teaching the older boys about caring for, teaching, entertaining, and working with young children. We are training future fathers and missionaries and awesome babysitters here!

Layla LOVES Sib Time. She gets so excited for it each day and asks multiple times to have Sib Time with her brothers.

My mother heart swells seeing these guys playing, working, and spending time together.

I loved when Layla cuddled right up to her brothers and they included her in their game with friends.

June 26, 2015

the last day of school and the first day of summer

Fourth and Fifth grade are officially over. These boys each had a pretty terrific year. They made new friends, the learned, they grew. I can't believe that Kyler will be at middle school next year!

To celebrate the first day of summer, they each invited a few friends over for breakfast and games. We served pancakes, bacon, donuts and fruit and they gobbled it all up.

With all those boys in our kitchen, the noise level was pretty high. It cracked me up when Perry kept walking over to the boys and politely told them it was "too loud" and "shhhhh". He was very nice about it, but our house didn't quiet down until they all went outside for capture the flag.

They played a few rounds of the categories/thimble game.

Then it was outside for a water version of capture the flag.

And we pulled out the slip n slide. Layla preferred her method of going down to sitting and sliding.

We are so glad summer is finally here!

June 25, 2015

These days

Judging by the fact that she asked to go for weeks and weeks and that she woke up at 4;30am the morning of because she was ready to go to the dentist, I think it's safe to say Layla was pretty excited to get her teeth cleaned. She was a rockstar in that chair.

 Kyler chose not to go to his 5th grade graduation (maybe E and I should have encouraged him more, but, really, how much hoopla do we need about the 5th grade . . .)

and instead go to a microsoft picnic. Cotton candy, games, bouncing, pizza, snowcones . . . I don't think he regretted his decision.

Kacin participated in the Raingutter Rigata.

Do you see how carefully he made his boat? Ha! I don't even think he used scissors on his sail. He told me last year he didn't do so well so this year he didn't care and just made it as fast as he could.

I'm not sure what kind of lesson he learned because he ended up getting second place with his little boat this time.

Layla finished another session of gymnastics.

Layla also got a certificate for participating in an awesome drop in music class occasionally.

We were blessed to go to an event for families with children who have disabilities. It was a super fun day at a ranch playing cowboy. Seriously, those volunteers are wonderful and so very kind to put this together!

We rode the ferry over to the island.

Then donned our cowboy apparel.

We went on a wagon ride to the beach. We played instruments and sang along with a man with a banjo.

The beach was beautiful. We spent a few minutes looking for rocks--particularly black rocks with a white ring around them.

Kyler found a pretty shell he wanted to save for Grandma.

We played in the craft/toy room for awhile.

They had a cowboy town with bank, hotel, barbershop, jail, post office, etc. We spent awhile playing and exploring.

The best thing about the day was that when Perry had this crazy melt down and when we were managing him at lunch and playing with other kids, we were surrounded by people who get it. I knew I wasn't going to be judged and that my kid wasn't the only one. It is nice to be surrounded sometimes by other people who completely understand. We spoke with some really nice people while we were there.

There are actually a lot of nice people in this world.We went to Target the other day. I had all four kids in tow and everything had gone well. We got what we needed to and we were putting our stuff up to check out. Apparently we had stayed about two minutes too long because as we were getting things out of the cart Perry lost it. He wanted the juice out of the cart, but I asked him to wait a second while I moved the stuff on top of it so we could get to it. He got upset and started whining. I asked him to calm down and ask nicely before I gave it to him. And that was that. It was the biggest tantrum I have ever seen in public. He was screaming, hitting Layla (who started crying), hitting and biting me, etc. All eyes turned to the spectacle we were making as I tried to hold him down from hurting anyone, silently praying that the cashier would move into double time to get us checked out, and instructing Kacin and Kyler to get my wallet and swipe my credit card, while trying to calm Layla down, too. The boys were having trouble getting the credit card out. A sweet Target employee came over and offered to help us. She swiped the card for us and then offered to walk with us out to the car to make sure we were ok while the boys pushed Layla in the cart and I carried screaming, flailing Perry. She was very kind and once I got Perry strapped into the car she gave me a little hug and told me not to worry about it and that she hoped my day would go better. It was an extremely embarrassing, stressful situation (one that makes me never want to leave the house again), but I was grateful for someone kindly offering to help instead of staring or giving mean looks. 

  We are one week into summer and loving it. Our summer home school is off to a good start and we have family in town.