Saturday, January 07, 2012

A Great Big Hug! - Caleb's Potty Trained

Two mornings ago I was changing Caleb's diaper first thing in the morning and I had the thought come to me to send him in to go potty on the toilet. So I did.

Well, he went right in and used the potty. I decided because of his enthusiasm I would pull out his new Thomas the Tank Engine undies. He was thrilled to put them on and he's used the potty ever since. AMAZING!!!! He even took his diaper off this morning all by himself and pooped in his potty seat we have in his bedroom for that exact purpose.

WOW!! I feel so blessed not to have this big step as a battle! Truly Blessed!

Things that may have helped make things easier:
  • We purchased a potty seat that has steps and handles that sits over the big toilet seat. The potty seat has a big enough hole so he doesn't feel like he's going to go on the seat. I really like that! Great help!
  • We purchased a cool potty chair to go in his bedroom so he could use it and not have to run to the bathroom a million times during nap and bedtime. VERY Helpful!! 
  • I gave Caleb a cup of juice to keep in the bathroom and he took a drink of juice every time he went to sit on the potty the first day of training. This helped him need to go several times that day so he could get the logic down. I also slipped in a couple of chewy fiber bites as a potty treat once to help that process along too.
  • I gave him a Jelly Belly for a Pee Pee treat, Raisins for a Great Try treat, and a square of Chocolate for a Poo Poo treat. Good motivators for the first day.
Caleb is Three years and nine months. I don't recommend fighting kids about potty training. Especially boys. 
From Foto Friday January

Monday, January 02, 2012

Now What!?

Well Jakob starts school tomorrow. Now What? Up to this point my days have been filled with Wild boys whom I've tried to calm down enough to teach and in the meantime tried to keep the house from caving in. So much of our subject material throughout the day has been at a First Grade level. Now I have to switch gears and go back to focusing on Preschool and Potty Training. And I just might have enough time to keep my house tidy AND organized. What a Dream... And to think that I will be able to take the little boys to the Preschool Library hour without dragging Jakob along and having him steal the show, bless his little smarty pants heart!;) And the thought of visiting with my friends without my sweet Radar ears to add his two scents into the conversation. Get ready girls, time for our afternoon lunches again!! Anyone up for walking to pick up the kids after school? Let me know!!

I will miss my Jakob on occasion I'm sure. But the whole decision to send him back to the Big School started when he went on a road trip with G&G Baron for several days. I was in total shock by how refreshingly wonderful it was to be able to sit on the floor and play with my little boys and read books at their level. And then I felt the joy of Jakob's return home and I realized that it was time to send him out of the nest for a time and allow everyone to feel that excitement and refreshment on a daily basis.

I've set out his clothes, packed his supply box with a little Lunch Box Love Note, and set out the Morning Devotional book for us to read before he leaves for the day. All is well!

Life is a journey of change and a lesson taught through change. I have worried about making this change, especially in the middle of the school year. But sometimes the most important step in the journey is recognizing when it's time to take the next turn. It's time...

Home School Month in Review December

This month was ALL Christmas and a little bit of everything else. We were also sick the entire month which meant we watched A Lot of movies. Here's what we did and enjoyed the most!

TRADITIONS: We had three traditions we followed each day/night or started this month. However when I think about it there are many more. But here are three I'll share.

First Tradition: We give each of the kids a new Christmas book every year on the day that we decorate the Christmas tree. This year we gave them:
Jakob: Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer. It is absolutely adorable!
J.J.: Room for a Little One a Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell. This was a sweet story. We also found that it share a legend that we hadn't heard before but recognized more and more as we watched several Christmas movies.
Caleb: God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Such a precious story. Caleb asked me to read this over and over again.

Second (new) Tradition: Advent Storybook 24 Stories to Share Before Christmas by Antonie Schneider. Every night we read a story from this book. It was a Wonderful way to keep us focused on Christ's love and a way to count down the days.

Third (new) Tradition: I made a 12 days of Christmas Nativity Scene Countdown this year. Every day (or so) we would color, cut out, and hang up the appropriate pieces to our nativity. This was a great way to cover several school subjects in one activity during a very busy month. I google-imaged what I needed and made them into a document. I made a simple stable with a star above it and a manger in the hay before we got started. Here is a list of the pieces:
12 Angels 
11 Sheppard 
10 mice
9 cats
8 chickens
7 cows
6 sheep
5 donkeys
4 Camels 
3 wise men 
2 parents 
1 baby 

BOOKS: We read several other wonderful books throughout the month. Here they are:
  • Luke Chapter 2 King James Version Holy Bible
  • No Room at the Inn by Jean M. Malone an ALL ABOARD READING Level 2
  • The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne
  • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
  • The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke
  • The Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas by Anne Muecke
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  • The Tale of Three Trees, a Traditional Folktale Retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
  • Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack
  • Lifted (My patriotic and music loving boys LOVED this! We all did. I Bawled through the whole thing. However I didn't know the rating until it was over. It had a mother struggling with drug addiction and it did show her using them. My kids were Clueless and I just taught them that she was putting harmful things into her body and that was that.) 
Sight Word Flash Cards

  • We piled in the car for our annual Christmas Lights Drive. We brought treats along and some Christmas music and we had a wonderful time as we drove around looking at everyone's lights and ended the trip with the amazing choreographed lights to music show put on by a family in Kanab. Such a sweet tradition! 
  • We decorated a Ginger Bread House together this year. It turned out really cute and wasn't too frustrating of a process. I frosted the boys put the candy on. We quickly realized we had to divide the house so each boy had his own side to decorate. After that it was Great!
  • We let the boys stay up later then usual one night to help us make special soap for our family Christmas gifts. We made special soaps with yummy Essential Oils and special herbal teas mixed in for exfoliant and scent. Fun Stuff! 
  • We were able to participate in our Town Light Parade this year. We rode in the Fire Truck as Leif drove. We  had a great time except when Caleb thought Santa was going to come into the truck and sit with him and Jakob (instead of on the top of the truck) Caleb went Ballistic! I have never heard him so hysterical . Poor Kid! 
Dinosaurs and Fossils,  Civil War and Slavery (Abraham Lincoln), Post War Era to Present (Martin Luther King), Tolerance, Classic Literature: The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales

For the Record: Changes Taking Place in the New Year

Written December 14, 2011:
We have a lot going on behind the scenes of every day life. I thought I'd share a few.

The Semester was Successful:
I have finished this semester of school and I gratefully passed both classes with good grades. I enjoy the added knowledge the classes give me. But I am hoping to put my classes on hold for a few years.

Jakob Will Start Public School Again, Home School Part Time:
After a lot of prayer, pondering, and discussion we've decided to enroll Jakob into the "Big School" starting in January so that I can focus more attention on the little boys. Caleb's wonderful preschool teacher won't be able to continue teaching into the new year. So this is more reason for me to make more time for Caleb. Now that the decision is made I'm really looking forward to it.

Caleb will be four years old in about three months. He has just recently started talking in sentences. Now that he's finally talking we can work on helping him with the speech problems that he has. We are working on determining if the problem is simply a delay or if there are other things involved.

When it comes to Home School we will still have home school on Fridays as the Public School here is only Monday-Thursday. This will give Jakob the chance to finish his BJU Press Math program and all of us time to  learn about the subjects I planned for the home school year. I will miss the good times together. But Home Schooling is VERY intense and I can't help but be relieved by the decision. I do worry about where Jakob will be in his class academically. I know he'll be fine with everything. But I worry that we didn't get far enough along with reading and phonics. But no use stewing over what I can't change now... Right? He's a really smart kid and will learn quickly. That brings me a lot of comfort!

Big Plans for Leif's Schooling:
A little while back, out of the blue, Leif and I started feeling like we needed to re-look at our plans for his Nursing School. To make a long story short we've decided to have Leif apply to Northern Arizona University's Accelerated Nursing Program. This program is only a one year program that gives Leif a Bachelors in Nursing. The program at the local community college is a two year program that gives Leif an Associates degree which means Leif will have to add another year of nursing in order to get his Bachelors (which is required for his end Nurse Anesthetist goal.)  The thought of being into a nursing career within a year compared to three years is too wonderful to give up at this point in our lives.

The NAU program is in Flagstaff AZ. This means that Leif will have to move there and we will stay behind. This is why we have always thrown out the idea before now. But I feel okay about the option now. It will be incredibly hard. But the thought of moving forward is too great to give up. The application deadline is in January and we will know if he's been accepted by March. The program is very competitive but Leif is a highly qualified candidate. He took the Nursing Entrance Exam for NAU and the average score for the students accepted into the program is 70%, Leif got an 89%.  Leif is also an EMT and will be an advanced EMT before the program starts. He is also a volunteer fire fighter in our community. Leif graduated with honors from NAU with his first Bachelors degree. With all of his high qualifications I am able to put the decision fully in the Lord's hands.
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