Emorie: Now entering the back nine

Photo credit: 365 Photo

Nine years ago today, our oldest daughter Emorie blew into the world. We were told only one year earlier we’d never have children without fertility intervention. We said we’d go home and think about it. Two months later, we found out she was on the way. She was born three weeks early and was the tiniest, pinkest infant Id ever seen in my life. We were instantly in love.

Photo credit: Portrait Innovations

Her personality grew right along with her and she gained a fan club everywhere we went.

She was snuggly, sweet and had her daddy wrapped around her finger. Still does, in fact.
Photo credit: Portrait Innovations

Even as a toddler, she was known for her sunny personality and soft spot for others.

She is smart, talented, kind hearted and loving. She is empathetic toward others and wants to be an oncology nurse someday.

She doesn’t like to admit it, but she loves her little sister and tries to take care of her.

She is happiest when she is dancing and she works hard each day to become better at her dancing.

She is growing up so fast and will be a fourth grader this fall. We have realized we only have nine more years left before she goes to college. Time truly does fly when you’re having fun.

Happy birthday, Sunshine. You are loved beyond measure.

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Life as a Lumber: what we’ve been up to

I apologize for the lack of posts lately but things have been a bit crazy busy around here. We are still self quarantined but things have picked up a bit with us. We are knee deep in house projects and we’ve only just finished school.

This little bumblebee is enjoying a thistle flower drink.

The girls and I have been taking walks each day and we see so many things on our walks that make us smile.

Our neighbor’s cows always stop to watch us walk. They are skittish and won’t come to the fence though.
Our lillies are in bloom and they’re beautiful.
Our garden is doing well too and we are overrun with squash.
The girls are doing great and growing fast.
My hair got crazy long but it’s all good. I’m cutting it this week.
We learned to make cake in a mug and it is delicious! Recipe soon!!

Thanks for sticking with us! We will be back on regular schedule this week.

Life as a Lumber: What We’ve Been Up To Lately

Hello, all. I hope everyone is well and staying safe. We are doing well, but due to our struggles with At-Home Learning, our posting schedule has been a little lighter than usual. Bear with us- we are slowly but surely returning to normal.

We’ve passed the time (since we can’t go anywhere) with projects, gardening, and a lot of family fun time (and a little bit of silliness too).

We have been working on making our backyard a space we can all enjoy and love. Recently, I redid a porch swing my grandfather built for me as a teenager. I’ve never had anywhere to hang it so it’s been in my mother’s basement for over a decade. I’m so excited about it!

The two little lumbers are missing their school friends, their church friends and their dance friends. We are doing online learning and a preschool homeschool curriculum, as well as online dance classes with their dance studio. We also watch a lot of online church services. We have just tried to make life as normal and as fun as possible right now to alleviate the uncertain and the anxiety we are currently dealing with. I hope when everything returns to normal they will look back on this time and remember the fun things we did and not the scary things we have experienced.

We have also uploaded some new content to our YouTube channel. It’s pretty silly but a lot of fun. You should really check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRtOszGc3Tk

We have so many cool things to share with you all next week. Keep in mind we are closed this weekend and will not post, due to the Memorial Day holiday. Have a wonderful weekend and we will see you Wednesday.

How to keep your routines and keep your sanity!!

I am sure this is true for all of you- but all of our usual activities are canceled. No school, no church, and no dance classes. No church and no fitness classes. We have been struggling to find ways to fill our time and make sure we stick to a reasonable routine.

Source

This schedule has been widely circulated on Facebook, and while it is a good model, we have been using the schedule below. I am a teacher and during the summer, we “light homeschool” our kids. We can’t truly call it homeschool because we don’t meet the hourly requirements for actual homeschool, but we do still sit down and do school for about three and a half to four hours a day. We use this schedule:

Please pardon the handwriting.

Following a more extensive schedule would be hard for us, and heaven knows a combination third grade, pre-k class throws up its own challenges. We chose a schedule that doesn’t look like much but works for us.

In addition to creating a schedule, there are some “distance education” resources for teaching your kids, worshipping and working out.

Education:

There are so many websites you can choose from to learn at home! If you want worksheets or written practice, check out K12 Learner or Super Teacher Worksheets.

But for more engaging, interactive learning, we like to use these sites:

No Red Ink– This website has kids fill in their own personal likes and interests, and then it creates sentences for them to correct, and it makes those sentences about the things they’re interested in. I use this at school in my classroom, too. Best of all, it’s free.

ReadWorks– This is a great website for test prep. You can assign passages by grade level, or you can assign them by topic. You can complete them online, or you can print them off. You can do a passage a day, or however you choose. You can also enable the “read-aloud” feature and the kids can listen and follow along while they read. It’s also free.

NatGeoKids– You can read and watch videos about animals, natural disasters, etc. You can take quizzes and play games.

PBS Kids– You can play games or watch videos. There are also clips from PBS kids shows that you can watch.

Storyline Online– Award-winning actors read children’s books aloud on this YouTube channel. The videos are entertaining and they’re animated, too.

Quizlet– This is great for studying words and definitions, math facts and spelling words. You can choose from flash cards, and two different games. There is both a free and a paid version.

Splash Math– This website is subscription based, but it isn’t expensive. Just select your kids’ grade, and they can practice math skills that are taught in their grade using games. It’s a lot of fun and my kid loves it. You can also set weekly goals, and the website will email you a report on what your kid completes each week.

ACT Academy– ACT Academy has games, lessons, videos, assessments, and more for all grade levels and all subject areas. There is a premium version where you have access to everything. I highly recommend getting the premium version, as we use this one a lot.

Worship

Of course, worship is best when you’re among your church family, but if your congregation includes elderly people, immunocompromised people, or young children, then you know this isn’t feasible right now. What you can do is start a new Bible study you can do with your church friends through Facetime or Facebook live. You an also find a plethora of churches offering online services. Here are some of the resources we are currently using:

YouTube– While I direct linked Lifeway Christian Resources, there are a number of great worship resources on YouTube. You can directly search for sermons by a pastor you love. I have enjoyed watching Charles Stanley and Josh McDowell while at home. You can also find Cedarrock Kids, Veggie Tales, and LifeTree Kids.

Children’s Sermons for Kids– These are short, scripture based and include a lot of activities that go right along with the sermon. They’re perfect for Sunday School lessons when we are back at church, too.

Exercise

Fitness Blender has free, full length workouts that are for all levels. There are a number of them available. There are workouts that use equipment, and workouts that don’t use equipment. Did I mention they are free?

You can also go outside and take a walk, if you get tired of being in the house.

Please comment below and share your favorite resources. I am always looking for new ideas.

Life as a Lumber: What we’ve been up to!

Goofin’ off with my Little Lumbers

Hello, all! We are gearing up for a tremendously busy but tremendously great spring season. I cannot wait to share the wonder we have in store for you all, but I first wanted to catch up a bit. If you follow me on Instagram, some of this will not be new to you. And if you don’t follow me on Insta, you definitely should!

Someone has been bad and needs to go to the Principal’s office!!

Ok, not really! But we did surprise these two with a trip to West Jefferson, Valle Crucis and Boone two weekends ago. They loved it and so did we. We even stopped by my grandma’s house and got to visit with my grandma, aunt and uncle, and cousins on our way home.

We finally got some snow!!

Not long after we came home from the mountains, it started snowing! It didn’t snow a lot but we were out of school two days and the kids enjoyed playing in it.

Cutie sisters

These two stinkers actually got along for a few days and I have pictures to prove it!!

Rehearsal

This one is gearing up for her next competition and has been practicing like crazy! Wish her well because those nerves are really starting to set in.

Selfie queen

This one commandeered my phone and took hundreds of selfies- I made a collage of her best ones…and laughed at how much her “selfie game” has improved.

It’s clean!!

And we have started cleaning out our playroom, since we are about to repurpose this room. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be used for something else, and no, it’s not a nursery for a new baby. Just in case anyone gets confused.

Join us this week for our spring home tour, some beautiful spring quotes and a round up of my favorite spring decor at local retailers. Have a wonderful week!