A spring break trip to Texas

March turned out to be a busy month with us spending a week in Texas visiting Mimi & Popaw.  Before we left, however, we managed to get in school and find ways to entertain ourselves when it was too cold to play outside.  This is a “game” they came up with on their own.  (Don’t worry…. Momma hid the “ammo”.)

Keeping it "gangster"

Keeping it “gangster”

We have discovered LOTS of advantages of homeschooling, one of which is that we can do school literally anywhere… like Starbucks!  By March we were starting to find our “groove” with our schoolwork, and it was nice to see Liam’s smile return.  During the first half of first grade, he lost that “spark”.  Learning became about frustration, not about fun.  He lost confidence in himself.

For spring break, we traveled to Texas to see Mimi and Popaw for a much-needed break from housework and homework!

Liam has started to show a lot of interest in who his great-grandparents were and the history of our family.  Time to pull out the old scrapbooks!  Popaw even pulled out pictures and more from his days as a professional race car driver.  (Why, yes!  I came by my driving abilities naturally!  Haha!)

Not too shabby, huh?

Not too shabby, huh?

 

I love visiting some of the local stores in Eastland and Comanche when I get a chance.  As they say, “Junk makes her soul happy“.

Priceless antique?

Priceless antique?

Our trip to Texas gave each of us some much-needed down time to unwind and just do nothing.  For Rocky and Gracie, it meant lots of snuggles and belly rubs.  Turns out they love it when the boys visit!

Someone's tired!

Someone’s tired!

Mimi took us for a little retail therapy, and as usual, she made sure the boys had some new clothes and shoes for spring.  When it was time to pack up the car and head home to Texas, there was no room to spare in the car.  It reminded me of the days when I would return to Texas Tech after a visit home.

With Liam no longer in public school, my days of having some time to clean and organize the house without a helper (distraction) are gone.  It’s not often that I get a chance to reorganize a cabinet, but when I do, it makes me happy to pull out my trusty label-maker and have at least one small little part of my life organized and alphabetized while the rest of it is messy and topsy-turvy.

They found the hidden pacifiers I forgot about.

They found the hidden pacifiers I forgot about.

Cullen has his own system when digging through drawers and cabinets: to find something he’s not supposed to have and make a mess with it.  Such as Desitin!!!  Unfortunately, I did not get a pic of what he looked like when we discovered him covered in Desitin but let’s just say it was VERY MESSY.  He’s watched his brother style his hair with hair gel, so Cullen decided to do it too when no one was looking.  Only he grabbed the Desitin instead of the hair gel.  I didn’t think we would ever get it all out of his hair, and we still have a spot on the wall in the bathroom where it took off some of the paint.  But, boy…. was he sure proud of himself!

We love getting to visit one of the special families from our church.  One of the brothers has a cow that he has leash-trained, and the cow will even let kids ride on him.

Giddy up??

Giddy up??

I got to put on my “artist hat” and make some new signage for our church.  A team of us ladies accessorized the Welcome Center and coffee bar.  We also added some new directional signage to help visitors find their way around.  For me, it was just nice to finally put some of my Pinterest discoveries to good use.  😉

Don’t let Grumpy’s expression fool you.  The Easter Bunny visited our house, and both of the boys loved their Easter baskets full of goodies.  No pictures of an outdoor egg hunt though.  It was a cold, rainy Easter morning in Green Country.  Thankfully, the Easter Bunny was able to hide eggs throughout the house.

 

This is what a happy boy with new sneakers looks like:

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Roll out, Transformers! Liam’s 7th Birthday Party

Time flies when you’re having fun, as they say, and it was fun looking back at images of Liam from those newborn days through his seventh birthday which we celebrated in February!

~ Liam ~

 

At seven, Liam is all about Transformers…. especially Bumblebee (guess he takes after his Popaw with the Camaro attraction)!

We met up with some of his closest buds at a nearby bowling alley for some games and cake!

The birthday boy 🙂

 

Cullen had a blast!

 

Miles & Liam

 

Liam & Corey

 

Liam, Kevin & Xavier

 

Happy birthday, Liam!

 

Yum! Frosting!

 

Grandma & Mimi

 

Thankful for all the grands!

 

 

At the end of the birthday celebrations…. when everyone has gone home, presents have been opened and Mom & Dad are exhausted….. what do you do?!?!  You strip off the kids’ clothes and let ’em at the cake!

To say that Cullen LOVES frosting is a huge understatement.

To say that Cullen LOVES frosting is a huge understatement.

This kiddo had an awesome birthday!  So thankful for our first seven years with him!

This kiddo had an awesome birthday! So thankful for our first seven years with him!

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Time marches on

Wow.  How did the first half of 2016 fly by so quickly?  Between homeschooling, housekeeping and “momming”, I felt like I could hardly catch my breath.  I kept meaning to update the blog with new pictures but it just didn’t happen.  Learning to re-prioritize my priorities has probably been the biggest lesson I’ve learned now that I’m in my forties.  It’s funny how life’s experiences change you without you really realizing it.  I used to be a sympathetic puker.  If anyone around me made the slightest gagging sound, I would throw up.  Being a mom toughens you up, whether you like it or not.  I’ve been puked on twice in the past few months and it doesn’t phase me now (thankfully).  And those days of making a plan and sticking to it come hell or high water?  Well, those days are gone too.  I first had to learn about being more flexible when I left my job to be a full-time mom.  My day was no longer predictable.  By the time I got to drink my coffee, I was lucky if it was still hot.  Now that I’m homeschooling, plans are great but I’ve learned to accept that some days we might only accomplish one or two things on my “plan” and if it’s 5:00 PM and I’m still in PJ’s with no make-up on, well…. that’s okay too.  Unless I have to go to Walmart.  I haven’t reached that point in my life where I can comfortably wear my PJ’s to Walmart, and let’s just say if I ever do, someone please smack some sense into me.

funnymeme1

Homeschooling got off to a good start.  For a few days.  And then we quickly spiraled into the depths of purgatory where it’s a toss up over who cried the most each day – Liam or me.  It was awful.  It was painful.  It was eye-opening.  We know Liam has Sensory Processing Disorder; he was diagnosed with that back in 2014 following a year of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  In the first few weeks of homeschooling it became clear to me that there was more going on.  Some kids have layers like an onion.  You peel back the first layer, after identifying it as SPD only to realize there’s another layer there – for us, it was legal blindness in one eye that is “lazy”.  Years later, we’ve corrected the lazy eye to within ten degrees and he’s wearing bifocal contacts seeing much better.  But there was another layer underneath that we had not identified.  Fast-forward eight months, and here we are in September.  Liam started second grade homeschool last month, and it’s so much better for both of us.  We’ve added in counseling and professional tutoring.  We’ve also received the formal diagnosis of ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  I don’t believe in letting a label like SPD/ADHD/ODD define a kid, but for our family we had to know what we are dealing with so that we could seek out the best professionals, resources and techniques to get us through the struggles so that we can have more good days than bad.

Before filling you in on what we’re up to this fall, I’ll catch you up on things that happened throughout the first part of 2016!  (This will take several posts – we were super, duper busy!)

 

Getting in some school work!

Getting in some school work!

 

Who doesn't need a Cookie Monster donut every now and then??

Who doesn’t need a Cookie Monster donut every now and then??

At the Tulsa Children's Museum Discovery Lab, the kids get to enjoy a rotating interactive exhibit.

At the Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab, the kids get to enjoy a rotating interactive exhibit.

Balls + Dinosaurs = Happy Toddlers

The highlight of our visits to the Discovery Lab is the giant slide made out of plastic.  It's HUGE and so much fun!!

The giant plastic slide is AWESOME!!

Liam began taekwondo in February.  Not only is it a lot of fun, but it's good for his muscles and for learning self-control and discipline.  He has an awesome coach.

Guess who started taekwondo in February!

Candy!  Cullen had a happy Valentine's Day.

Candy! Cullen had a happy Valentine’s Day.

Liam and I enjoy celebrating little milestones in his homeschooling.

Celebrating a homeschool achievement.  🙂

The boys love sitting in their camo recliners and watching a special movie.  They really enjoy the original Lone Ranger.

A little down time with the original Lone Ranger.

Liam turned seven in February and was excited to get the Bumblebee Transformer he had been wanting for a long time.

A special Bumblebee Transformer for Liam’s 7th birthday!

We have a special 4-legged friend at our nearby Ace Hardware store.  One of Liam's special birthday treats was to stop by and play with Aspen.

Aspen, our special friend at the nearby Ace Hardware 🙂

A special dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant was the perfect end to his birthday.

A special dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant was the perfect end to his birthday.

 

Stay tuned!!!

 

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