Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Our Christmas a Few Weeks Late

The boys left early to get to Isaiah's vision therapy, and I'm worried if I go back to sleep I'll oversleep and get the girls to school late for day number two, so I thought I'd share some pics from our Christmas break. We had such a great Christmas this year. It was like payback for last year(which was a little rough!) It was a nice way to end a tough year. As I went through these pictures one word came to my mind: blessed. The Lord has blessed us so much.
We come across so many people who question our sanity in having six kids. I challenge you to take a look at these pictures and not be blessed! THIS is why we have six littles. God has so richly blessed our lives with these precious children. They each have different strengths, personalities, and things that they are passionate about. I can't wait to see them grow up and make a difference in their world. Also, if each of them has only two children I'll have 12 grandchildren some day. That thought makes my cup run over and spill all over my granny slippers. Enjoy our memories.
I do love a boy in a sweater vest. These two brothers are the cream in my coffee.

I love Mia's personality. She's guarded, yet so loving and sweet.

I've always thought she looked just like Manly's sister, but I love it that she looks like me in this one.
 We started our Christmas Eve by going over to my parents house for lunch and presents.
My sweet parents with their gift from us. I think they liked it.

My beloved Granny Brown with her gift. She loves her family so much.

Aunt Em gave our family a Wii and everything you could want to go with it. They kids were a LITTLE excited! We have never had a game system before.

Love this picture. Isaiah has such a sweet smile.

Addi ready to open her American Girl Doll.

KK is a little excited too. Ha!

My precious baby boy. I wish I could box him up and keep him a baby forever.

Those eyes came from her daddy. Be still my heart.

KK with her new AG doll!

Mia Jane with her new doll she quickly named Anna. Her current favorite name.

My brother Scott, my mom, me, my dad, my sister Emilie.

We went to our Christmas Eve service at church, then came home for our Christmas PJs tradition.
Love this picture of all my sweet littles. All looking at the camera. All smiling.

Brubbs loved his monkey man pajamas.

Mia got a gown with a matching doll gown for her Anna doll.

The little girls with their matching gowns and matching doll gowns.

The big girls in their matching jamas.
BOYS!! What a mess!

My girls!

Pretty much the best one of all the kids. There are LOTS of out takes. Ha! Oh well.

Dad and the boys all in their black and red plaid.
Momma and the girls all in our pink and red jammies.

After all the kids were in bed, Santa came to visit. I loved seeing all those stockings lined up. Such a blessing.

The wild crew on Christmas morning ready to come down and see what they scored!

They were a little excited!
Brubbs got a drum set. It was his dream come true.

Checking out their stockings.

Uhh, that's not yours, dude.

My darling, Lulu. Such a big girl these days. BOO!

More drums. Lots more...

Brothers drumming.

KK could not believe her eyes. Ha!

Brubbs also got a bazooka.
Don't worry. He knows how to use it!

Addi had been waiting to get these dolls for a really long time. We promised her if she'd stop sucking her thumb we'd get them for her. The fruits of her labor.

Mia asked only for a pet monkey. Since that breaks a lot of codes for our town we decided to get her a stuffed one instead. When she opened it she said, "OH, a monkey! I been NEEDING one of these!!"

Manly got google chromecast.

Izzy. She's a pirate from her head to her tiny peeking toes.

I got Manly this cool record holder. He has a lot of records.

KK with her doll carrier.

Eli in his big boy seat.

Ho got some new balls. He loves to play ball.

Sweet big boy!
I have so many more pictures on my phone, but maybe I'll do a phone dump later.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Another New School Room

I keep trying to write this post. I've deleted thousands of different words. Words that would blow your socks off. Words that would tell the story of our family and how we came to the decision to put our kids in public school after five years of homeschooling. This is not an easy decision. This is not the decision I thought we'd be making today, but it's the one in front of us now.
The Monday before Christmas break Manly and I had another discussion that ended with us talking about putting the kids in public school. By Tuesday, we were speaking to the school counselor about the logistics of them coming. By Thursday we had toured the campus, and turned in all paperwork. It was official, our kids were going to public school. Now here we are only a few weeks later, and my kids are having their first day of school away from me. But that's not all the story you want. You want to hear the why and the how.
That is the part that I keep deleting. I keep worrying about offending my homeschool friends and worrying about offending my public school friends. Here's what I've decided to share. I want our story to show others that is doesn't have to be one way or the other. Homeschooling is great, and if it's for you and it works for your family, GREAT. Do it! If you put your kids in school and it works for you and your family, GREAT! Do it! But guess what? Sometimes what works best for your family is going to change. WHEN IT DOES(not IF!) have the freedom to change the plan. Feel free to go where God leads. Feel free to go against the flow. Feel free to do what's best for YOU and YOUR family. If something needs to change so that you can be the best mom God made you to be, CHANGE. If something needs to be different in your home so that God gets the glory, do something different.
Don't feel trapped. Don't think that once you've made your choice it has to be forever. Don't be afraid to go against what every. single. one. of your friends are doing. Trust God and do what's best for you and your family. Following THAT path will lead to blessings unending.
No single thing lead to our decision to stop homeschooling. It was several things that built up to us having several conversations. Conversations that ended in prayer. Prayer that ended in PEACE. That's a place where I want to be. A place where peace surrounds our home and hearts. I know you may want more answers than that, but I think this is good enough for now.
I'm so so thankful to those of you who have been supportive to us through these last few weeks. There have been so many people who have messaged, texted, and called to see how we're doing. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. We appreciate you so much and are thankful that God has put you in our path!
My sweet sleepy big girls all ready to go.
Close up of my girls.

About to unload on what was the COLDEST day of the year!!
 My sweet girls(and their protective brother) walking in to school this morning.
The little kids waiting anxiously for their sisters in the pick up line! Mia said, "I SEE da girls SCHOOL!!"