February Recap

Oh man.  February was a tough month.  I feel like we were sick the whole month. Were we?! I can’t remember exactly. What I do remember is that we didn’t get a lot accomplished.

On the home front:  I caught a cold or some kind of virus and got very sick.  So. Sick. For three weeks. Then, in the middle of that, Joshua became ill.  When his fever wouldn’t break, I took the two of us to the doctor.  Thankfully, he tested negative for strep and flu.  The doctor didn’t test me because he said I had bronchitis and  pneumonia and would need the same meds anyway. He put me on a Z-pack which was awesome. I felt better in about a week, but that cough hung on for a couple more weeks.

The hubs and boys did manage to surprised me with fun Valentine’s gifts.

Then, as I was finally feeling well, Kaleb got sick. He just felt weak and tired, and had a fever.  Same as me.  After a few days of that, he came to me one afternoon and said he was having trouble breathing so we headed to the walk-in clinic.  The one Joshua and I went to was closed so we went to a different one.  Kaleb had two chest x-rays done. The doctor told me that he had a partially collapsed lung and that we needed to head to the ER!  He kept talking about chest tubes and maybe a transfer to Children’s Hospital!!  The ER doctor, however, disagreed and said it was simply a bad case of pneumonia. So a Z-pack for him too!

Needless to say, none of the projects I had planned actually got done in February. Really nothing got done.  The hubs, poor man…came home from 10-12 hour work days to cook dinner and clean house while I was sick.  I literally spent a month, just laying on the couch. Occasionally, I would get up and do things but I’d just wind up back on the couch.  Then the same with Kaleb for two weeks.

However, everyone was well enough to attend the much anticipated Newsboys concert at the end of the month!  Kaleb’s 2nd concert and a first for Gabriel and Drake.  Joshua spent the evening with his grandpa.  They had a great time and so did we. It was an awesome concert.  All that my boys were hoping it would be and, as a bonus, we received three meet-and-great tickets. Plus a gift card for two free t-shirts.  Drake decided he would be too shy to meet the band so he stayed back with Dad while I took Kaleb and Gabriel to get autographs.

Homeschool: While I was sick, we did nothing.  I couldn’t read aloud without coughing and couldn’t sit at the kitchen table.  The boys did an occasional math lesson….if they understood it on their own, but that is about it.  We watched some educational stuff of TV but mostly the boys just played and had a fun home-bound school break.

I did spend a lot of my sick time reading on my own.  I want to switch our homeschool approach to Charlotte Mason.  I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about her.  I started listening to The Delectable Education podcast which I love.  Between the podcast and books, I am SOLD! We tried it a little bit before I got sick and our school day did go a lot smoother.  I also realized a lot of our group work aligns well with Charlotte Mason’s philosophies so we’re not too far off base anyway. I’m excited to dive in deeper this month.

So that’s about it. Hoping and praying that March is much nicer to us.  We have baseball sign-ups, Drake’s birthday, and some fun field trips coming up.  Also our local homeschool co-op has started. Should be a fun and busy month!

Christie 💙

Back to life, back to reality.

After a busy fun holiday season, I am ready to get back on our usual schedule. I LOVE the holidays but we need a set routine to keep sane around here. So before we dive back into our normally scheduled program, here’s a look at some of our holiday fun, in no particular order:

Christmas Eve pjs!
Christmas program put on by our church at the local FAC. It was awesome! We had a great time!
Celebrating Nana’s birthday…fiesta style!
My sweet baby girl, Hazel, all prettied up and ready to party!
Fun Christmas activities…they especially like this edible one.
Making Christmas cookies!
A baby’s FIRST Christmas!
Elf Fun. 
Gingerbread houses!
Nathan was home with us all day, every day for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!

a LOT of hot cocoa!
More cookie/pretzel fun!

Gingerbread truffles…made family style!

New Year’s Eve card games.

A fun run for Mom and Dad!
Christmas Cookie Decorating party complete with crafts, popcorn, hot cocoa, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. We had over 40 kids at our house!!! It was awesome!
Celebrating it all with my love!
New Year’s Day trip to the ER…and five stitches!


We had a lot of holiday fun…minus the ER trip. Made many memories. Enjoyed each other’s company. And tried to slow down…at least a little bit. 🙂

We’re working at getting back to normal this week.  The teen is back in public school. The hubs is back to work. The littles and I are back to homeschool. I am working on decluttering the house. My New Year’s resolutions are to get rid of the excess and only allow positive words come from my mouth. Both are proving to be a challenge but I’m loving the results so far!

Business as usual at our house…..until SPRING BREAK!!!

Happy holidays!

Let’s not even pretend…

I’m not going to say that I’m going to try to blog more because it’s probably just a lie. Ha! This is an exhaustingly busy but fun time.  So instead of trying to *restart* my blog, let’s just say I’m going to be sporadically blogging for a while. 🙂  …..Then it looks intentional.

First up, the baby. Almost 10 weeks of super cuteness! He’s smiling, making eye contact, and enjoying his brothers competing for his attention….well, most of the time.  He’s a little bundle of sweetness and we are totally in love with him.

So I love Pinterest.  Seriously.  I’m having so much fun trying out new recipes and crafts.  Here are a few of the recipes we’ve tried lately:

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken…YUM! We’ll definitely be making this one again!
 Cookie dough bites. These were really good too. I drizzled with caramel instead of chocolate…because that’s how I roll. 🙂
My version…taken with my phone.
Made this for a Sunday family dinner. We nixed the cereal and used smaller versions of the cookie dough bites.  Also used caramel instead of the chocolate drizzle.  I love me some caramel!! It was good.  Not crazy good. The cookie was a little hard, thanks to freezing.  Couldn’t really let it thaw all the way because of the ice cream. Eh, I’d rather just bake the cookie and throw some ice cream and toppings on top!
My version also taken with my phone and then I forgot to take one when we cut into it. Boo.
Serious yummoliciousness here! Key West Grilled chicken! We kabobed them but next time we’ll just quarter the breasts and marinate them. Easier AND more of the meat will get flames.
I guess I didn’t get a picture of these.  They looked as good as they tasted…trust me. 🙂
Long Boy Burgers. These were ok. It’s just meatloaf on bread with cheese on top.  My boys weren’t all that impressed.
My version

Next time I’ll post all of the cutie crafts I’ve tried.

My time is up!  Baby calls. 🙂  Until next time…whenever that may be.

New chore charts.

I guess this post should be called {I hope this} Works-for-Me Wednesday as we haven’t actually put it into action yet. 🙂  I have high hopes though.
I decided it is time for new chore charts.  Our current system {which is unorganized and pretty painful} just isn’t working. 

I needed something easy, straightforward, and colorful.  I found one that I absolutely love but it just wasn’t going to work for us so I decided to make my own. 
I’m starting out super simple with Gabriel and Drake, but Drake is actually my little cleaning side-kick.  Gabriel, on the other hand, struggles to clean {but hey…sometimes I struggle to clean}.  We’ll add to theirs later.  These lists don’t include lawn care which is Nathan’s and my job every week, the school area which will be a group effort at the end of our school day {or craft time}, and a few other things that will be my responsibility.  Their charts will be laminated so they can check off the chores as they complete them.
Another thing I decided to make is a rainbow strip of to-do’s for each room.  These are the things that absolutely need to be done before they can mark the room off their list.  No more “I thought I was done” or “oops, forgot to do that.”  Each page will be laminated, and the rainbow strips cut and taped to the inside a cabinet door in the appropriate rooms.  The living room strip will be taped to the inside of the coat closet and the bedroom strips on the inside of the door.  They can check off the lists as they go if needed, and erase when they’re all done.
I’m going to implement some kind of reward system but I’m not sure how that looks yet.  I know I want a weekly reward {allowance} and then a long-term goal to help form good cleaning habits. 
Finally to simplify, I am going to put together cleaning buckets for all of the rooms with everything needed to clean that particular room in the bucket, including cleaning rags and gloves. 
Hopefully this system will make chore time more pleasant for all of us.

I don’t know why the pictures are so scattered and blurry.  Oh well, you get the idea anyway! :)

She’s Lucky.

My husband found a little cutie pie near his shop this weekend.  The poor thing had been attacked by another animal.  She has two deep teeth *holes* in her back and one under her right back leg (you can kind of see the one under her leg in the picture).  To make matters worse, she was a mama who obviously hadn’t weaned her pups yet.  Nathan and I took her up and down our dirt road to our neighbors’ houses with no luck in finding her family.  Bo and I went through the woods, looking and listening for any puppies, with no luck. 

We decided we would just nurse her back to health and maybe her family would come looking for her.  We also made a sign to put out by the road in case her family came looking for her.  Kaleb has been especially concerned about her.  His dog was killed by another animal (we think the same one…possibly a neighbor’s very aggressive dog) just a couple of weeks ago.  He was concerned she would die too. 

While we already love her dearly, we still have hope that her family will come for her.  She has puppies out there somewhere who might still need her. 

However if we don’t find her family, we have all agreed to be her new family.  She is a sweetheart, understandable shy and very lovable.  She obviously was an inside dog and loves nothing more than cuddling up to Nathan or me.  The little boys scare her a bit so she usually tries to hide from them.  Hazel (our yorkie-poo was a little upset about having her in our home yesterday but seems to be ok with it now.  I know she misses the dog we lost so I’m hoping she finds a friend in this new dog.

Her temporary name (and possibly permanent name) is Lucky. 

The Ant Craze.

I sent Nathan out to start mowing for me this morning. He ran back inside and said the lawnmover was covered in ants. Yeah, right. I seriously thought he was just trying to avoid having to mow. I went out to see for myself and, sure enough, a HUGE ant colony had moved into the handle of the push mower! They were everywhere! After he pulled the mower into the driveway, they went crazy!

I started to just use ant spray but I saw quickly that it wasn’t working very well. They just kept pouring out of the holes in the handle. I had to use a water hose and flush them out. I have never in my life seen so many ants in one place!

I took this short video with my cell phone before spraying the mower. It is blurry but you can see all the movement.


Happy Back To Public School Day!!!

Today was the first day of public school so we celebrated by NOT having school today!!!

Nathan still wants to go back to public school (for all the wrong reasons though) so I thought we’d have a celebration day just to remind him that we are free to do fun, spontaneous things…any day we want.

We stayed up late last night. The boys were actually watching a show on sharks and it was going to end late anyway. I put Drake to bed at his bedtime so the older boys and I could really enjoy our lat night. (Drake is NOT a night owl!!) Gabriel and Kaleb fell alseep on the couch, and Nathan was ready for bed by midnight.

I let them sleep in this morning and wake up on their own time. They played outside for a while this morning, and then we left to go eat pizza at our favorite pizza place

After that we headed to a pool party with our homeschool group.

I didn’t tell the boys of our plans until this morning. Nathan thought it is very cool that he got to play today while all his neighbor friends and his cousins were sitting in school. Kaleb ran up and hugged me…and said thank you about a million times!

…..so I guess my plan WORKED!!

They had a blast at the pool party and met some new friends. This is our first year to really participate with the group. We are all signed up for co-op classes, and I volunteered as the co-op nursery director. Even Gabriel has three classes this time!

Classes start Sept 11th and are three hours long on Friday afternoons. I love that we don’t have to re-arrange our schedule for co-op this year!! We generally don’t do much on Friday afternoons as it is.

First hour classes:
Nathan-CSI class. LOVE this!! It’s a book that is Christian-based so I know the gore will be kept to a minimum.
Kaleb-art class
Gabriel-Frog Street Press math class

2nd hour classes:
Nathan-backgammon (he is sooo excited for this!!)
Kaleb-games (mostly a time for K-3 to socialize with fun board games)
Gabriel-naps/snacktime (for those who don’t nap , they will play outside on the church playground. On bad weather days, they will have fun games and storytime.)

3rd hour classes:
Nathan-recycle art
Kaleb-fun history class
Gabriel-Frog Street Press reading class

I will be in the nursery most times with Drake. I’ll have helpers so I’m hoping to be able to check out each of the boys’ classes each Friday. I hope to help with Kaleb’s game hour and especially excited to check out Nathan’s CSI class. I’m interested to see how well Gabriel does in his classes. I know the outside play and storytime will be a piece of cake for him. Can’t wait to see how the other two classes go.

1+1+1=1 1000 Subscribers Celebration.

WOW!! 1000 subs!! I have…..8! lol

Fun celebration!!

My name is: Christie

I have: four monkeys boys, one hard working hubs, and a passion for digital scrapbooking, homeschooling, and being the best boy mama I can.

I am: a Christian, mom Mimi (to my stepson’s baby girl), homeschooler, twin sister…and the middle child (only by 9 minutes), and digi-scrapper.

The name of my blog is: Monkey School

I blog about: on this blog—> homeschooling and my boys. I do have a personal blog on xanga that I don’t use that much.

I have been reading at 1+1+1=1: for a couple months…maybe longer? lol I’m not sure!!

This is my first time commenting on 1+1+1=1:probably my 2nd or 3rd. =)

My favorite Bible verse: My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 6:20 Our homeschool bible verse.

I participate in Tot School: starting THIS week!! =)

My family.

I put some pics of my boys to the left. Nathan will be 11 years old on Jan 21st…he is very excited!! Kaleb will be five in June of this year. Gabriel will be 3 in May (so hard to imagine!!), and Drake will celebrate his first birthday in March!

My husband’s name is Bo. He is the electrical superintendent for a local construction company. He also will be starting his new role at the company as job super shortly…he is very excited about this!!

We started homeschooling last July. I have always wanted to homeschool my children since Nathan started kindergarten, but just never had the “nerve.” Nathan has adhd/odd. He was just diagnosed in October 2007. I have suspected since he was in preschool, but the teachers every year told me he just “needed to learn how to behave” and I needed “to be more strict with him.” After some trouble with the unwilling-to-help-or-understand principal, I decided to pull Nathan out of school the following year. We actually ended up selling our house (something we never thought would happen!!) and moved to a smaller school district. I became pregnant and very, very sick.

After just a few weeks of homeschooling, I panicked because we weren’t getting much done with me so sick all day long. I put him in the smaller school district with hopes that they would be more understanding. He was diagnose that October and we started meds (something we truly regret now). In the year that followed, Nathan did wonderfully in school. He was like a new kid!! However he has lost a total of 20 pounds since starting the meds. We changed to a different kind mid-year to see if we could control the weight loss. That med didn’t work for us at all. His behavior and attention span worsened again. After a little begging on my part, the doctor put him back on the original meds. I knew already that we would definitely be homeschooling after the school year ended, but I had to get him through that last part of public school first. His teacher was horrible to him because of the changes in behavior and attention…something that she couldn’t understand was not his fault! His doctor and I were the ones messing with his meds, not him!

Anyway we took him off those meds as soon as summer started and began yet another different type of medication. After only one month, I took him off and we haven’t medicated since. He was doing well with attention and behavior, great actually, but he became very depressed. It was very similiar to postpartum depression and I hated seeing him like that. The doctor’s only suggestion was to give him yet another drug, an antidepressant…at the age of 10!!

He has been unmedicated for a few months now. We are doing a very neat treatment that I hope works for him called NAET. We are hoping to see some good results from that soon.

So! Here we are. Most of our curriculum comes from Seton. We belong to a small homeschool group, but I am in the process of finding another with more activities…narrowed down to two right now. After a long Christmas break, we are very excited to get back to schooling and our regular schedule.

I hope to meet many other homeschool moms and share stories!!