Sunday, June 23, 2013

thriving NOT just surviving

i have people ask me often if summer is hard with four young kids at home. my answer- YES!  But i LOVE it!  i love having everyone here and, truth be told, if i thought that the Lord was leading me to home school... i could get pretty excited about it (insert my SHOCKED face here). 

they are loud, they are crazy, they even brought me to tears early this week, but i love having them close:
i love that i get to see allie step up to lead her brothers, sing worship songs at the top of her lungs, and dance all over the house.
i love that caleb is here to share his imaginative stories, sword fight and hold my hand ALOT
i love that riley and griffin get to be with the older two
there is alot more laughing
there is alot more teaching
there is alot more need for me to dive into God's word and beg Him for guidance each day!

there is no secret sauce for getting through the summer months... i know, i've looked for it!  and last year i felt like my plan was good, but it needed a little changing.  however, there are a few things you can do to create an atmosphere of peace and unity.  here are a few nuggets that i've learned from those that have gone before me.  we are practicing them in our home and they are working (at least for now)...

family time with God:
there is no specific time or even way of doing this.  we have had this time in our living room, the back yard, and on my bed all this week.  can you tell i like flexibility in a schedule? the first week of summer the kids each decorated a journal that would be a place for them to draw or write anything that they were thinking during their time with God.  i provide quiet music, pencils, crayons, and several kid bibles.  i read one story (his pick) to my four year old and then we are all on our own.  i read my bible and i let the kid's time look however they want.  Allie has drawn everything while caleb is copying a story and has included no pictures.  they can also just listen to the music that is playing.  i try to have no rules... it's their time with God.  we typically do this after breakfast, but i feel the freedom to shake it up too.

family goal:
bringing all four under one roof again was bound to bring alot of crazy.  i decided that we would study the fruit of the spirit this summer.  and with that came a spirit stick.  they all participated in decorating a section of it.  to hear more about how this works in our family, check out this post.

rest time:
every kid needs time to him/herself.  and momma does FOR SURE!  make it a priority that for at least an hour each day your kids are "resting."  i only have one napper left in my tribe, but the others still have time in their room to play or read quietly.  if you aren't doing this, start today!  it may take your kiddos a week or so to adjust to such a thing, but they will and you'll be so glad you made the switch!

table top time:
sometimes everyone is crazy and the fighting is too much.  when this happens, i call an audible.  i shout in my nicest voice :), "table top time."  my kids know that means to drop whatever they are currently doing and come to the table.  i will pull out a board game, card game, puzzle, play dough... you name it.  it's my choice and we all do it together. that usually resets unity amongst siblings and gives them my attention if they were lacking it.  

more kids being home all day means that there will be more mess all day long.  you, momma, will lose it quickly if you don't have a plan for messy house.  you have to find a chore method that works for your family.  here is what it looks like for us as of now: from age four and older everyone is responsible for 1. getting dressed 2. brushing teeth 3. making your bed (i expect more from the olders and less from the little guy) 4. pjs put away or in dirty clothes.  those four things are done everyday whether it is summer or not... it is almost always can not be negotiated. during the summer, everyone has a morning chore and an evening chore.  morning chores change and i decide based on what i need (taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming one room, sweeping, taking sheets off the bed, etc). evening chores rotate through setting the table, clearing the table, and helping cook.  google "chore chart printables" and you will find a ton of free stuff that you can turn into a magnet and make life easier on you while teaching your little guys about responsibility!

one fun activity:
there are many days that we swim, take a bike ride, eat out for lunch, etc.  however, on the days that you and the kids are home all day and no one comes over.... have some ideas and the supplies tucked away for a surprise activity.  it doesn't have to be over the top.  last week i bought some koolaid packets because i heard you could water paint with them.  i waited for a quiet day and we did that after rest time... it was super fun, easy, and cheap!  if you would like to try it, check it out here.

that's how we are spending our summer!  we've got a super flexible routine that tells them what to expect, helps me feel ahead of the chaos, and still lends itself to total fun!! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

father's day

we had a fun time celebrating daddy!  we took him to eat at torchy's tacos.  anyone who knows lance, knows that he loves a good taco!!
The kids colored pictures for him while we waited on the tacos.

 afterwards, we had some ice cream!

a few attempts of taking a good pic

when we got home, the kids each gave him a bottle with a word that descibes him on it and filled it with a candy that they thought he would like.

man, seriously!  lance sisco is an amazing dad!!  i'm so grateful for his love and leadership for his family!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

end of another school year

my heart never knows how to respond to the end of a school year.  i'm thrilled to have my kids home.  i miss them when they are gone... i'm glad that they get use to being around one another again and i usually see some of the sweetest sibling moments... the schedule calms quite a bit... and we get to plan and execute some pretty fun activities!  however, it also comes with a sigh... they are older... another school year down means that i now have a 1st and 2nd grader... it's going by WAY too fast!!

Here are some fun moments of the last week for our kiddos...

allie's picnic at the local park...

complete with a bounce house

caleb's class had a pinic at the school which included spray bottles

and snow cones

then we had a few days of sickness come through our home and caleb missed the last two days of school.

but by 3:30 (and 24 hours of meds) on the last day of school he was ready for a party at our house

we had some friends over to get wet, eat snacks, and all together celebrate the goodness of summer

Sunday, June 9, 2013

soccer season

this was riley's first time to play a team sport.  it was a rough start, but he started having fun towards the end.

i love the small fry program through the ymca.  they practice three saturdays and then scrimmage three saturdays.  super chill, but still fun!

the coaches have them dribble the ball and then they shout out a body part.  the kids drop down and put that body part on the ball.  it's a cute game that gets them comfortable with the soccer ball.

he got in the habit of wanting daddy to throw him in the air anytime he made a goal. can you say high maintenance?

his biggest fans

riley... we are sooo proud that you tried something new!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


we've been in the dallas area a year and a 1/2.  we are settled into a community group through our church.  we really have enjoyed doing life with these three other couples.

recently, we were given an opporunity to stay the night in fort worth with two of the other three couples.  we stayed in a hyatt place, spent the day light pool side, and the night light eating out.  

here are all the kiddos (minus 2 from the curry's who couldn't join us).

our rowdy bunch

silly style

here is one of c's close friends...


a little fort worth tradition...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's that time of year again!!

Well friends, it’s that time of year again.  Mommas all over are gearing up for summer time!  If you’re anything like me, you’ve learned quickly that being one step ahead of your kids makes the days run more smoothly and being even a half step behind can break it!  We have a family tradition that encourages me to be creative with my kids without having to think too deeply from day to day.  Around our house, it’s called the “Summer Fun list.”  The week before school is out, the kids toss out ideas of activities, crafts, and things that they want to do this summer and we jot it down on a piece of paper.  I, of course, get ultimate veto power.  That helps me regulate the cost and intensity of each thing.  I like to pick things that are minimum prep work and involve things from around the house or dollar store supplies.  We also add any trips we are planning or camps they are attending.  Every year our list gets longer and every year it gets a little less intimidating.  If my list looks crazy to you… start smaller.  There are approximately eleven weeks in the summer so choose one thing for every week.  My favorite planned activity this year is also be the first one we will do.  It’s the spirit stick.  I’m going to find a large stick and use painter’s tape to divide in four parts.  Each of my kids will get to paint a section of it themselves.  The next day, after the stick is dry, we will discuss Galatians 5:22-23 and what each of those qualities look like.  I will award the stick to the first kid that I see demonstrate a fruit of the Spirit.  After that, it is up to them.  Each day the person with the stick will watch for those qualities in their siblings and encourage one of them by passing it on.  I’m hoping that this will not only be a fun summer activity but will also inspire sibling bonding and our pursuit toward Christ!

Here are a few links to past lists if you'd like more ideas.  feel free to ask me about any of ideas... most of them from the past two years can be found on pintrest!  

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