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On the sixth day…

September 1, 2014


I think it’s time I fess up.  There are some absolute truths about me that I feel I need to confess/express/whathaveyou.

1) I will never be a Pinterest mom.  I try to avoid even looking at Pinterest unless I have to.

2) I’m not really organized.  Actually, I’m not organized.  I CAN be and I LIKE to be, but it doesn’t happen often.

3) I live in a house with 7 other people and a dog.  This house was maybe built for 4 people and no dog.  We make it work, but it isn’t always pretty.

4) I can be fun.  We joke and laugh and have crazy amounts of fun here.  I’ve found fun tends to equal loud and messy with my crew, but not always.

5) I don’t blog as much as I’d like.  I like having this as a journal of sorts for our family but I just don’t do it often enough.  Sometimes it’s because I’m lazy but most of the time it’s because we’re doing and I’m trying harder to do more and document less.  Memories are great, but we forget so much.  I like the document part.  It’s a balance and I’m still working to find mine.

Now, on to the subject of this particular post.  School.  If this is your first time visiting my blog, we are a homeschooling family.  Homeschool can mean different things to different people.  So, what you read here isn’t what you will see in every homeschool.  It’s pretty much us though.

Andrew is off on Labor Day.  We’re not usually doing much on Labor Day and it typically tends to be a good day for us to get back into the swing of things and kick off the new school year.  We school year round and take breaks where we need them or where they fit, but the last few weeks of summer are usually busy, so I try to make sure we get in fun days during that time…especially after the public school kids go back to school.  Parks are less crowded, etc.  I love “less crowded” almost as much as I like “free”.

Our first day of school routine is pretty laid back.  I have some things that we do every year and then compare to the previous years.  It’s fun and makes school a little less intimidating to the younger ones.   We missed doing our routine last year because we ended up going on vacation and throwing all of my schedule out of whack.   This is what back-to-school looked like two years ago:  Part 1   Part 2  Part 3  You will notice as you get further into this post though…today was not our first day of school.  The kids were excited and actually asking to get going last week, so today was our SIXTH day of school.  So, I was honest and that’s what you see on their pictures.  I’m not above re-lighting birthday candles to make them try to blow them out again so I can get a picture, but I won’t tell you today was our first day of school…and their giggles when they saw their printout sheets this morning made it all worth it.

I can hear my mom saying “are you going to post pictures yet, Michele?” So…without any further rambling.

Back-to-school Breakfast!  (prepared by Dad…and that tradition to be explained later)


Christopher, stop leaning when I take the picture.  It makes your head look HUGE!

“But I like it!  It makes me look like a Bobble-head!”

See what I live with?

MMMMMMMMm, M&M pancakes!

Okay, quick background on breakfast.  A few years ago, Andrew made the kids chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.  Because we double and triple recipes around here, he asked me how many chocolate chips to use and I said “I’d probably use the bag.”  I said that because I buy the 1 1/2 to 2 cups bag of chocolate chips.  Andrew bought a 3 lb bag of chocolate chips.  You can see where this is going, right?  Needless to say, he won MAJOR favorite dad ever points that day and now “Daddy’s famous chocolate breakfast” is our official breakfast on the first day of school.  He can tell you an entirely different version of this story, but that’s really what happened.  😉

One of the first things I do after breakfast is pictures.  This is where the balance between doing and documenting comes into play.  My son asked this morning “what’s important about pictures?” and I gasped.  I don’t care if anyone ever sees the gazillion pictures I have or not, but I feel the need to take them.  I’m probably afraid I’m going to miss something.  More than that though, I’m afraid I’ll forget it.  I never want to forget any minute of this precious life I’ve been given and I want to cherish as many of the memories as I can hold on to.  Seeing how the kids grow and change and develop and their personalities form is not only an awful sentence, but it is one of the most precious things in this world to me and I love it more than I can express.  So…I take pictures.  Got it, son?  I think he does now. ha!

So…here are the 2014-2015 students of Mountaineer Heritage Academy.

Christopher – Age 13

Erin – Age 11

Sean – Age 9

Kelsie – Age 6

Michaela – Age 4 (one month shy of 5)

Liam – Age 3

Getting their stair-step picture this year was tough.  You can see we had to improvise on backdrop help.

“You can drop the sheet now.”

I love how Sean and Kelsie just kept right on smilin’ for the camera!

and this last one is probably my favorite one of the day…I love those smiles!


Jeeper Creeper

July 8, 2014

Well, it took me long enough.  I never came back and finished my “week of Christopher”, so here it is…finally!

Christopher requested a Minecraft cake this year.  After MUCH discussion we settled on a creeper cake.  Isn’t it cute?  He’d string me up for that!

Christopher loved it and I got a nice picture of him showing off his braces.   How did my sweet baby turn into this man-child?  I still see his “wittle” newborn face when I look at him.  I wonder if that ever goes away…

I’m always impressed when the kids can blow out their candles on opposite sides of the cake.  With 13 candles, he had one on the front of the cake too.  Look at all that smoke!  This is why they didn’t put 40 candles on my cake last month.  Yikes!

I almost always forget to post the “inside of the cake” picture.  Christopher loves strawberries and asked for a strawberry cake this year.  He was teased a little bit about choosing a pink cake, but it tasted so good, no one really cared. ha!

This next picture is hard to explain.  One of Christopher’s hobbies is making “pop-up” books and cards.  He’s made some really cute cards for people and he particularly enjoys when something pops up out of it.  So, when I stumbled across this card, I knew I had to get it for him.  The price was crazy pants for a card though, so the fact that he had to actually blow out the candle on the card…which made the card light up and sing happy birthday to him was a bonus.

His SUPER CUTE birthday present (yes, he got a model airplane too, but I can’t call that SUPER CUTE) was this really cool t-shirt.  It’s called Doctor Whoopy (for those that don’t know it’s a Doctor Who and a Snoopy crossover).   You can get it at NeatoShop and I cannot recommend them enough.  When I discovered the shirt, there was a mistake in the design.  I emailed to ask if it could be changed.  I knew Christopher would love it, but having the K-9 wrong would have made him a little bonkers.  The crew over at NeatoShop emailed me almost immediately thanking me for pointing it out and fixing it so that I could order.  Totally amazing customer service!  The quality of the shirt is so much better than many of the shirts we’ve got in our closets.  Just a good place…seriously…you should check them out.

Last but not least…the sibling picture.   I really have nothing more to add after this…Yes, folks.  This is my life.

Week of Christopher – Day six

May 9, 2014

This was supposed to post on Thursday as a Throwback Thursday.  Not sure why it didn’t, but that’s ok.  Here it is…

First WVU football game…

October 2001 – 5 months old

First family picture…

October 2001 5 months old

First Christmas…

2001- 6 months old (when taken)

First double binky…


That last one was just because.  Who could resist that face!?  Not I…

Week of Christopher – Day five

May 7, 2014

It’s today!!!!  He’s 13 today!!!  I’ve been singing “Rock-a-bye, baby” all day…and he’s been letting me.  What a good sport!   Today….Christopher and his sisters.  He’s an amazing big brother to these three.




Week of Christopher – Day four

May 6, 2014

Ok…some more recent…or at least more recent than baby pictures posts…

Co-op 2012

Starship Enterprise he built out of Legos (no instructions or anything) and his Matchbox car Starship Enterprise.

Easter 2013

April 2014 – just got his braces ❤


13 tomorrow….I won’t cry.  I just won’t do it.  Hush, Andrew.

Week of Christopher – Day three

May 5, 2014

Goodness, I’m having the trip down memory lane.  I wasn’t going to post this first picture, but then I found the second one and knew I just had to.

Christopher ready to leave the hospital – 24 hours old

and what a difference a year can make…

Christopher – 1-year-old

My little puddle duck.  The one and only Halloween costume I ever made. HA!

Halloween 2002

One of my favorite pictures…


One of Andrew’s favorite pictures…

9 months old

More recent pictures tomorrow…he said “enough of the baby stuff.”  😉


Week of Christopher – Day two

May 4, 2014

This is one of my most favorite pictures of Christopher.  When Erin was born, he was just shy of 18 months old.  Every morning he’d come running into our room and look in the bed to see where she was.  (She was typically next to me, having nursed already for the morning.)  This morning, he looked and she was not to be found.  The look of panic on his face was so precious.  I told him, “She’s in the bassinet behind you.” and he stood there and watched her sleep for a good while before crawling into bed to cuddle with us. Even then, he still sat and watched her.

They have their moments, but he’s still always watching for her.