Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kindergarten- Week 1

Well, it's quite a surprise to find myself getting back "into the swing of things." A lot of big, BIG changes in my personal life had pretty much solidified my decision to put the boys in private school, rather than homeschool. Transitioning from stay at home mama, to single, working mama never making it to Germany with my husband, and trying to juggle the important task of educating my children really felt like too much. But.. As I was pulling out our Nancy Larsen Science stuff, thinking it might just be fun to do in our free time, my would be kindergartener started dancing around, begging to do school again. We did a few science lessons on the fly, and he asked for math and reading... What!?! So here we are, Monday morning after just a day of planning beginning our kinder year! We are lacking a lot of components for subjects like geography and AAR 1, so we'll be holding off on those for a little while. We've also decided to hold off on tot school just a little while longer, until all of our fun new toys make it back to the states, and just have the little man tag along with us, soaking up what he can! Wish us luck!

Vash isn't great with numbers, yet, but he sure had a lot of fun playing with the math blocks, and counting with his big brother!
Math U See's multi-sensory approach has been SO great for Gauge! He does so well when he can touch and apply, rather than just read and listen!

FIVE IN A ROW: The Story About Ping
I love rowing books! We do things a little differently than some,  just going for exposure to great literature along with some fun, themed activities. So far though, reading and playing the same story each week has REALLY gotten the boys interested!

Why did the boy in the story wear a barrel on his back when he jumped into the water? So he would float, not sink! We played a looooong game of SINK OR FLOAT, this week!
AAR: Level Pre
We have made it to the lowercase letters of our level pre. I had originally decided to skip this and move on to the next level with Gauge, as he has been great with letters for quite some time now and Vash isn't at all ready for lowercase, but since we do not have everything we need to get started with that, I figured a little review/exposure never hurt anyone!

We spend a lot of time outside, especially in our fabulous new outdoor space! Both boys were loving learning about bowling and baseball, and Vash had an opportunity to show off his color sorting skills!

All in all, this week was a TOTAL success! I learned a lot about myself last year, and though I felt like a failure at times, I think I have come out better prepared for the real deal- KINDERGARTEN! I have to remind myself to give us all some time to get into the swing of things, and figure it all out. I have to remind myself not to stress too much, and keep things fun; and I have to remind myself that this really is my calling, so even when things get tough, I am right where I am supposed to be!
Happy homeschooling, friends!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Germany: PCS Diary #3

Well, this is it! the movers have come and gone, moveout inspection is complete; just one more night until we say goodbye to Washington and HELLO to 30 days of leave in our hometown! Woo!

Friday, February 22, 2013

U.S. Airways Supports Our Troops!

U.S. Airways allows all active duty military AND each member of their family up to 4 checked bags, free of charge. This is a HUGE difference in comparison to the $30 + $50 + $125 per bag otherwise.
Thank you, U.S, Airways, for making our travel just a little less stressful!
Now to tackle the monster that is 2 days of airports and flying with 2 littles.. Ack!

Germany: PCS diary #2

Photo Credit: armyspouseami.blogspot.com
Well, Josh finally has his clearing paperwork in hand, and pretty much spent the whole day waiting around to find out which places he needs to hit in what order... So that he can wait around for the next item on his to-do list. We also found out that some of the bigger places he needs to clear can't be done until the 28th.. I'm sure the Army realizes that is the last day of the month, and as a soldier leaving his duty station, he would be heading out of town that night.. Right? Of course they do. ;)
Here at home, things are not going much better. I have been trying to pack and cut our weight, because we were dangerously close to our limit.. I have succeed in making the biggest mess I have ever seen, and that's about it.  Seriously, my toddler's destruction pales in comparison to the war zone(ha! ;)) I have created. Besides that, I realized this afternoon that I have not even finished printing half of that toddler's Tot School for this fall, (Yes. This does need to be done before the movers get here on Monday!) or finished prepping the second half of his big brother's preschool packets that we will be toting with us on the plane. Man, I am just not on my game for this PCS! Figures I would fall apart during our biggest move yet! I've still got some time to pull it together, though! My house WILL be ready for the packers in.. TWO DAYS! Ack!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Turning 25.. Again!

Okay, okay. I really turned 27 this year. Really this birthday should have had very little significance. Instead, it was my fist one without my mama. This was probably the most difficult day I have had since her passing. I tried incredibly hard to keep it together. Gauge LOVES birthdays, and I didn't want to ruin the day for him. I did pretty well for the most part, and Josh was a big help, keeping me out of the house most of the day. It wasn't until we were out to dinner that I really broke down. We were seated next to a nice older couple waiting for our table, and as we were chatting a group of little boys came in and ran to her yelling, "NANA!!" My heart just broke. I miss my my mom so much, and I am so sad that my boys will never really get to know her. I will say again, like I have said a thousand times before, though, I am SO thankful that they did not have to experience her illness. They are so young that the only Nana they remember is smiling and happy and full of love. She deserves to be remembered that way.

While my birthday was a sad and difficult day for me, some very special people in my life went out of their way to make it a special day. My cousin got a hold of me to remind me that this day was the happiest day of my mother's life. Having that thought fluttering around in the back of my mind made a world of difference as I was struggling  with the gravity of my emotions today.

I also received the most beautiful and heartfelt gift anyone has ever given me. My Aunt Wendy sent me this blanket a few days ago, and I have snuggled up and cried with it every day since. My aunt told  me that she thought of this gift for me because it was something my mom had said she wanted. (I wish I had known this!) The picture of my mom and me was taken during her last time in drug and alcohol rehab. It is, hands down, my favorite picture of us. When she got sober this last time, she did it because SHE wanted to, not because she was out of options. She tried so hard to work her program, and was clean for nearly 5 years when she relapsed and passed away. This was the longest time she had ever maintained her sobriety, and unquestionably the best our relationship had ever been. I am so thankful to my aunt for taking on such a huge role as a supporter in my life- She has always been like a second mother to me, but has been especially wonderful during this time when I need a shoulder to cry on. 

When I first lost my mom, I was told about something called cremation jewelry- little pendants to hold a bit of remains. I was sure that I wanted to have one, but never really made any plans to get one. Josh spent quite a while looking at them with me a few months ago, and I fell in love with this one. A few days before my birthday, he encouraged me to order it, and it just so happened to come today.
It has been a bittersweet day, today. My heart is heavy, but I was reminded again of what a special family I belong to.
Happy Birthday to me. I miss you, Mommy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Germany: PCS Diary #1

Well, the time has finally come. In just 10 days the movers will be here to ship our household goods overseas. I didn't think I would be this nervous. I mean, we have moved four other times. PCSing overseas is a whole new monster, though. A monster that I REALLY wish came with better information. Yeesh.
Despite our lack of contact with Josh's sponsor, though, things have gone relatively smooth so far. (Knock on wood!) Both of the boys managed to pass their health screenings with no problems, which was a pretty big concern for Vash; and all of our passports have come in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that out processing goes smoothly.

There is still a HUGE list of things that I need to get done, like, now.
  • Curriculum has been ordered, and I am waiting on the arrival of all of the stuff that is coming here. I need to begin documenting EVERYTHING that we will be using next year, and gather all of the manuals so that I can begin planning. OTherwise, I will find myself planning Gauge's K year only a few weeks in advance. Not good.
  • Get informed about the bike laws. I have gracefully decided to give up my vehicle and forgo getting a European license for the first year. This is a little exciting and a little scary. I know a few spouses who came from Germany and never got their license, so maybe it won't be so bad.
  • We NEED to get in touch with  the housing office at Landstuhl, and get busy looking through our available options on AHRN.- This should probably happen first thing tomorrow morning....
  • Josh's vehicle needs to make it to port, like yesterday, and he needs to get studying for HIS European license.
  • Which reminds me! My car, that is going to the in-laws, needs emissions and new plates.
  • The cat has been micro chipped and received her yearly vaccines, but still needs a final rabies, and a health certificate 10 days prior to our leave from UT.
  • I should probably get in touch with Josh's sponsor, find out about his unit's FRG, (le sigh...) and join a homeschooling group out there.
I am trying, REALLY  trying not to stress too  much. Honestly, though, I'm not doing too well. I'm so glad that we will have a few weeks at home before leaving the country. After this, I'm going to need a vacation!

Monday, February 4, 2013

It's late....

Vash has been staying up SUPER late these days. Admittedly, I'm exhausted. I do love all the one on one time I'm getting with him, though! We played elephant pirates until almost 10:00 tonight. Silly guy. :)

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