Kindergarten Corner – Insect Unit

We got back into the swing of things school-wise with our 11th unit which covered the letter I and insects. Wwe started the week off learning about what makes an insect an insect (six legs, two antennae, three body parts). Then we focused on a different insect each day. We talked about ants on day two and what hard workers they are. On day three we talked about ladybugs and the girls painted ladybugs on rocks.

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I really enjoyed day four when we learned all about bees. The girls made their own hives with paper hexagons and filled each cell with either eggs (grain of rice), larvae (balled up cotton), or honey (brown paper). The girls also got to eat honey and learned how God’s laws are sweeter than honey.

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Abigail’s

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Sarah’s

Once again, on day six we listened to classical music and danced around as if we were bees. There were plenty of smiles and giggles. We listened to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight Of The Bumblebee.

Blessed…

It’s times like these-big family transitions-where I clearly can see just how truly blessed I am (we are). Whether it be in the quiet of the night when its just me and Levi, or in the middle of a busy day when receiving a text offering help, it is apparent that God has put just the right people in our lives and I am truly grateful for everyone!

God has blessed us with the opportunity to be a part of an amazing church community, GENESIS. I am blessed to know many fellow moms who have encouraged me, loved me, and have offered to help out (both before and after Levi’s arrival). The girls are often surrounded by wonderful volunteers on any given Sunday for Sunday school who love them to pieces. We have also been blessed by many volunteers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to make us yummy meals so I can focus on taking care of Levi and the girls. We  have met many lifelong and special friends at GENESIS and are truly grateful for them.

We are also blessed with an amazing family. While we were at the hospital I didn’t worry for a minute about the girls, knowing full well that they were being cared for by their Nonna and that they got to play with their cousin Bridget. A big thank you also goes to Papa, Auntie Laura, Uncle Nick, Grandma, and Grampa who also got to spend time with them when Levi arrived. The girls spent pretty much ALL day at Nonna and Papa’s house. Not to mention the fact that my Mom doesn’t bat an eye when I bring laundry with me when we visit. A nd just the other day we went to the mall so my mom could buy Levi clothes (and so she could treat the girls with soft serve). We have a wonderful and generous family who are happy to help. This includes family near and far. Boy are we blessed.

Finally, I can’t write a post about being blessed without talking about my girls and my husband. Abigail has been a huge help. She often gets “stuck” having to get things for me. Sometimes she asks why, but other times she just helps out without saying a word. Sarah isn’t as willing to help, but she loves holding her brother and saying how cute he is. Having a new baby in the family is easily the hardest on Lily. She is especially unhappy when she finds me feeding Levi when she gets up from her nap. But, overall, I think she is handling things rather well.

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Labor and delivery affected me this time around more than it did the three times before. Once I got home I was not content to sit and relax (I know, bad idea). I ended up making dinner my first night home-not because I had to, but because I wanted to. It wasn’t anything strenuous, but after I settled down for the night I noticed my feet, ankles, and calves were quite swollen. After a call to the Doctor I learned I would have to really take it easy. Jonathan quickly took over. He did tons of cleaning, feeding the girls, and even took on the big task of doing 6 loads of laundry at the laundromat twice!). Whenever I told him I needed to take a break or take it easy he completely understood and took over. And, just like with our other former babies Jonathan gets up in the middle of the night whenever Levi wakes. He’s actually been the first to notice when he wakes. Jonathan will pick Levi up, hold him for a bit, and then gently let me know its time for a feeding. He goes right back to bed after that, but just being up with me for those first few minutes just means so much to me.

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Actually, here is the “finally”. God has blessed us greatly. Without Him I would have no content for this post. He has blessed us with our great family, friends, and church. Without Him my life would be filled with worry and anxiety with each addition to our family. Because I know God I also know hope and peace. He provided us with four children so He will make a way for us to be able to take care of them. Don’t get me wrong, I do not live a perfect life completely free of stress, anxiety, and worry, but I do have a Heavenly Father I can look to and trust with every aspect of my life.

Levi and the 12-Month Onesie

Part of documenting our childrens’ first year has been in the form of monthly photos.

With Abigail we took pictures of her in a different dress each month.

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One Month

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Twelve Months

With Sarah and Lily we took pictures of them in the same 12-month onesie over the course of their first year.

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Sarah-Four Days

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Sarah-Twelve Months

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Lily-One Month

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Lily-Twelve Months

We’re doing the 12-Month onesie with Levi as well. Here he is at five days. I’m looking forward to watching him quickly fill up this cute little onesie. I know this first year will fly by-the first year always does.

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Five Days

 

 

Kindergarten Corner – Water Unit

We learned all about water and the letter W in our tenth unit. The girls learned all about the different forms water can take (solid, liquid, gas). They also learned how some things dissolve in water (salt) while other things don’t (oil). This unit was pretty spread out because of Christmas and New Year’s, but we made it through.

We pretty much followed the curriculum as it was set.

Wow, I really don’t have much to say about this unit!

Hospital Visits

This may just be me, but right after having baby #’s 2-4 I was ready to go home. I did not look forward to my two day hospital stays. With my husband primarily at home taking care of the other kids my time at the hospital feels way too quiet and very lonely. This time around I was pretty desperate for visitors.

My parents were the first to visit. They asked me if I wanted them to bring anything. I told them I just wanted to see people! They came with coffee and chocolate, which I did not turn down.

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Jonathan and the girls arrived 30 minutes or so into my parents’ visit. Abigail and Sarah were very excited to finally meet their baby brother. Lily wanted to leave pretty much when she came in the room. She looked at Levi a few times but was not interested in doing much more than that.

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My great friend and her husband visited as well. She’s expecting a boy in May, so we’re hoping our boys will be best buddies. They stayed until visiting hours were over-giving me a chance to eat my dinner and have adult conversation.

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Needless to say I was up and at ’em on my last morning at the hospital. And as messy, crazy, and loud as it may be I was happy to finally get back home.

The Arrival of Levi James

In the weeks leading up to Levi’s birth I eagerly anticipated a labor and delivery much like my previous three. I would know just when it was “time.” We would get the girls situated with my parents. Then we’d make a quick trip to the hospital and peacefully wait for delivery. The part I liked most about waiting in the hospital was being hooked up to monitors where I could hear my baby’s little heart beating away. With each of my three previous deliveries I had a good few hours of this waiting. My experience with Levi was much different.

I had a thought in the back of my mind leading up to the big day. I didn’t share this thought with anyone. Well, I did tell Lily one night while helping her to go back to sleep. I also mentioned it to Jonathan, but not until we were on our way to the hospital. This was my thought: Maybe I’ll try and do it this time without any drugs. When discussing this with Jonathan I had pretty much changed my mind.

I started having regular contractions (about 3 minutes apart) at 7:40AM on January 7. Jonathan hadn’t left for work yet, so we got the girls dressed, I showered, and we headed to my parents’ house. We then left for the hospital. The amount of time between our arrival to the hospital and Levi’s birth was about two hours. There was no time for an epidural. My saving grace was how quickly things progressed. Now I can cross drug-free labor and delivery off of my bucket list!

Levi James was born shortly before noon. He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds 12 ounces and measured 20 inches long. He’s my little chunky monkey.

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Kindergarten Corner – Octopus Unit

We finished Unit 9 a few weeks ago. As with other units we skipped a few activities and did some new ones.

We learned about the letter “O”, octopi (and other sea creatures), and talked about how “even the octopus praises the Lord.” The girls loved learning about the octopus and what an amazing creature it is. God is an amazing Creator, which was evidenced in a few YouTube videos we watched:

One art activity involved making an ocean mural by first painting the paper with blue finger paint. Instead we did water color paint and brushes. We made the paint with water and food coloring. I took the opportunity to illustrate how an octopus uses its ink as I made the paint.

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We decorated the mural with hand print octopi we made earlier in the week. We made coral/sea weed using torn and crumbled paper. We made different sea creatures using cookie cutters I had on hand. This ended up being a really fun activity. It wrapped up our unit nicely.