Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Blog!

Our current family blog has centered primarily on the adoption of our daughter Lainey. Now that she's home we've settled into life with all three kiddos and there's so much to share!

So we have a new blog house for our goings-on. :)

You can find it here at alifelivedlittle.blogspot.com.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Homeschooling Pics

This blog has primarily been for telling our adoption story... but adopting and the adoption process is no longer our focus at this stage in our life (though advocating for adoption and family preservation sure is!). Lainey is ours, she's home, and we are living life as a normal family! :)

And that has lately included, among other things, our adventures in homeschooling.

So, for those who might be curious - I've got a few of our homeschooling moments here to share! This is all pretty new to us, so we're taking it all slowly and having so much fun learning together. We've jumped the gun a bit out of excitement - starting a few months ago even though Canaan doesn't officially begin grade K until this fall. One of the best parts of the whole thing has been seeing Lainey and Ezra jump in and learn right along with him. These moments together have been so sweet. I am so incredibly thankful for this time in our lives!

April Homeschooling Moments

Homeschooling this April included a lot of coloring, reading, comparing weight, mini science lessons (bees, volcanoes, growing beans, oh my!), art (still life drawing, learning about the color wheel and a lot of watercolor painting), math games, and "The Canaan Show" - where Canaan filmed himself with the Photobooth app teaching math lessons and putting legos together (we ended up watching a lot of this played back and it's all pretty cute and entertaining). A LOT of our time is spent in mismatched jammies. :)


May Homeschooling Moments

Homeschooling this May looked like a lot of fun block play, more math games, a lot more reading, many trips to the library, learning about U.S. currency, using maps, and the highlight - making rock candy and learning about sugar crystals. We are also loving the core math & phonics curriculum we're using (Math U See & All About Reading).

Monday, May 18, 2015

First Gotcha

Today is blowing my mind.

It's so crazy that 1 year ago tonight (May 19th in China... but still May 18th back home) this adorable dark haired girl was carried in the arms of her nanny and into our lives forever.


Amazing.

And when I think back on our scared little girl and how far she has come... it's just awesome.



The day the boys were born, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with love and joy. But as much as I felt on that day, I still look back and think how I had no. idea. No idea of all those sweet details that would make up these little people that I can't get enough of.

It's the same now as I think about one year ago today. I wish I could go back to that moment we held Lainey for the first time and she looked at us like, "what the heck?!". I wish I could do it all over again with the knowledge I have now.

Knowing her sweet hugs, kisses, and "ugga muggas" (ala Daniel Tiger).

Knowing the hilarious "mad face" that she has down PAT. Don't even try to help Miss Independent put her pants on or try to help her out of the car. She will give you that look and make you know in typical 2-year-old fashion, "No, Mommy. I do it."

Knowing the way she adores big brother Canaan. He's the first person she thinks about when she wakes up, asking "Where Guh Guh Canaan at? He sweepin'? Shhhhh. He sweepin', Mommy!".

Knowing how obsessed she is with the alphabet, and (usually incorrectly) identifying letters with conviction and flair.

Knowing how each night when we lay her down and say "night night" she'll always follow with, "sweep tight" right before she pops her thumb in her mouth.

Knowing her laugh... her smile... her squeal when being tickled or chased.

Knowing how very deeply we love and adore her.

**************

Yesterday we celebrated (both my 35th birthday and Lainey's Gotcha Day)! We started a few new traditions including dinner out at an authentic Chinese restaurant (it. was. awesome.) and a trip to the international market to find moon cakes. Lainey had a couple gifts to open and then we were off to the park to play and spend time together.









Guh Guh (Big Brother) Canaan

Guh Guh (Big Brother) Ezra


We also gave Lainey one red balloon.

One red balloon for one year home. Next year, she will have two for two years home, and so on... until the day we celebrate with more than will fit in our car! :)

What a blessing every day of the last year has been!








My heart is so full and happy. I am so thankful for God's work in making sure we found our sweet, sassy, smart, silly girl!

Happy Gotcha Day baby girl!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Little Explorers

This week we took advantage of another warm (70 degree!) spring day. One of our favorite things to do with the kids is to take them exploring outside. So we headed out last Monday for a little adventure. I brought along some things to help engage the kids and help them to really SEE. Dollar store magnifying glasses, reused egg cartons to collect treasures, and an old point-and-shoot camera for Canaan.





Lainey is getting SO tall - she's a year younger than Ezra but you wouldn't know it by looking at her!










{ what Canaan captured }


A little news! We have unexpectedly found ourselves entering the world of homeschooling! I have thought a lot about maybe homeschooling the kids later on - around grade 4 or 5 - but here we find ourselves - jumping in to this awesome new adventure - something I'm sure God had planned for us and I didn't even see it coming (this soon, anyway). We have been so blessed for Canaan to also get to be a part of a new Christian school in our area - he'll go a couple of days a week starting this fall on the days that I am working.

Meanwhile, I have been obsessively soaking up all I can learn about curriculum, organizing, homeschool methods/philosophies, teaching styles, learning styles, hands-on activities, state standards - all of it. I'm learning a ton and working through what I think might work for us. I am pretty pumped in an extremely dorky way about school. When I'm up too late -- you'll find me now reading homeschool blogs, diving into teacher manuals or organizing binders.

My dream is for many of our homeschool days to look a lot like this day - for the kids to soak up traditional subjects as they explore and have hands-on adventures.

As we start this new chapter I know there will be tough days ahead. I know a day of being burned out will come and we'll have to power through. I know it's not going to be easy to homeschool with two little ones. But I am still overwhelmed with joy, excited, and so thankful! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Finally Free

We have emerged from winter! Out kids have needed so badly to get out of the house, and so we're soaking up this first taste of spring. This is my FAVORITE season - I love being just at the very beginning of a nice long stretch of NOT-winter. :) My heart is full and so happy!