Thursday, August 9, 2018

Summer Break Has Ended

I have not written on my blog since the week of July 4th. This means this post will be long and full of pictures. I was planning to make a post, but then July 20th happened.

What happened on July 20th? I woke up that morning with really bad pain in my abdomen on the right side. My husband drove me to the emergency room which is 25 minutes from where we live. The car ride was rough. I was nauseous and in so much pain it hurt to walk. After having a CT scan, the doctor came in to my room in the ER and said that I needed my appendix out. I had a feeling that was going to be the diagnosis, but at the same time I was hoping that wouldn't be the diagnosis. I really did not want to go through a surgery, especially since our kids had 2 weeks left of their summer break. Alas, I had to have surgery. My surgery happened about 2 p.m. on July 20th. I was in the hospital until July 24th. My wonderful husband took care of our kids while I was in the hospital and his work was flexible with him. I am so thankful for an amazing husband. The day I got home and after seeing my bandages on my stomach, he said it looked like someone lost a game of Operation (an old game by Milton Bradley). That statement definitely gave me a laugh when I needed it most.

Wasn't happy about having my appendix out!
 It was so hard being in the hospital and away from my family. The hardest part was recovering at home. I could not do all of the activities I had planned to do during the last two weeks that our kids were home for summer break. We did make the best of my recovery though. We read a lot of books, watched a lot of new (at least new to our kids) movies, we colored/made pictures, and we put together puzzles. Even though we couldn't go outside to swim or walk to the park, we still were able to enjoy what was left of their summer break. Before my surgery, our older two boys went to VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church, so I am thankful they were able to do that before my surgery.

Our older two before VBS.
Working on puzzles during my recovery. My oldest is great at puzzles!

We also worked on some crafts where the kids also learned during my recovery.
Our third gave me lots of snuggles during my recovery.
Our fourth loved to bring me all of the books during my recovery. He loved playing with blocks as something else that was indoors that we could do. 
Our 5th (only girl), was happy as my recovery continued, because I kept getting better everyday.
I did have some restrictions after my surgery. I couldn't lift anything over 10lbs. so I had to have some help due to the fact that my husband still had to work. I am friends with our next door neighbor and she was able to come help do the lifting of our kids that I could not do. Our church was a big blessing during my recovery. People from our church organized meals to be brought so I didn't have to cook or try to cook. We were blessed by the help from our neighbor and church. The three things that definitely got me through my recovery were faith, hope, love (the name of my blog).
I enjoyed every kind word that was said to me as people brought meals every night. It definitely played a role in my healing from surgery.
God definitely had a plan for my recovery and He made sure I had all the help I needed.

That brings us to today. Our older two boys went back to school today. One of them is in second grade and the other started Kindergarten. It was quieter around here, but I missed them today. It was sad to see summer end.

Celebrated the last week of summer with a special snack: lollipops!
Our second reading up on what to expect for Kindergarten. Great book by the way!
Our oldest reading to our second about Kindergarten. Last night of summer break!
Aside from the two weeks where I was recovering from surgery, our kids had a great summer. Before having surgery, we went to our local park twice a week and we used our kiddie pool outside.

The park:

 The pool:

 As sad as I am to see the summer end, I also am just as excited for our kids and can't wait to see the new things that will learn and how they will succeed. I pray they have a great school year.

Class of 2029 and Class of 2031!
They were excited to head back to school!
As for me, tomorrow will be three weeks since my surgery. I still get a little sore, but it is minimal compared to when I was a week out from surgery, and even compared to when I was two weeks out. 

God restored my health and healed me from my surgery.
I took this selfie last Thursday, it was the first day that I had felt normal.
My wonderful husband!
So readers, how was your summer break? Has school started back where you live? Who has had their appendix out? If you are still on summer break, I hope you are soaking it up! Keep up the faith, hope, and love!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy July 4th!

July 4th is the time of year where everyone in the United States celebrates our Independence. We became our own nation on July 4th, 1776. We celebrate by having cookouts and gatherings with family and friends. The center of these gatherings are food and fireworks.

Fireworks is a touchy subject because there are many people (kids and adults) and animals who are sensitive to loud noises. Fireworks bothers these people and animals with noise sensitivity.

*An idea was shared with me to make fireworks in a jar and it is made with a few simple ingredients: vegetable oil, water, and food coloring.

A few of our boys are sensitive to loud noises, but they do like fireworks, just not the noise. I thought this would be perfect for my boys so that they could still experience fireworks, but a quieter version of them. Not only is it a quieter version, but it is also a science lesson as well. How science plays into it, is that the food coloring dissolves in water but not in the oil. The oil will float on top of the water. After a little bit, the color will fall from the top and it will create firework effect.

 Items Needed:
-An empty glass jar (or empty glass jars if you want to do more than one jar)
-Small bowl(s)
-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil for each small bowl(s) 
-Food coloring (any color)

Fill the jar(s) 3/4 of the way with warm water. Then put 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the small bowl (or each bowl if you are doing more than one). Put food coloring drops in the vegetable oil. You can do one color or different colors. We did different colors. Then pour the oil and food coloring mixture slowly into the glass jar and watch as the food coloring drops to the bottom to make fireworks in a jar.

The kids did their fireworks in a jar last night since we will be going to a family gathering tonight. I had them make theirs one at a time. I let them stir the food coloring into the oil themselves. I assisted with pouring the oil and food coloring mixture into the water. Here are some pictures so you can see for yourself how fun this was for our kids.
Logan stirring his food coloring and oil mixture.
Landon was excited.
It really is so cool and beautiful how it works.
Liam enjoyed this very much.
Lucas was excited as well.
So pretty!
Again, I really love this because it is a quieter version of fireworks. I think this can be enjoyed by all ages. I am 31 and really thought it was cool to see fireworks in a jar. It is so pretty how the colors mix and fall to create the firework effect. Let me know if you will try this, not just for July 4th, but for any day.

Hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th! Happy birthday to the United States of America!

Happy July 4th from our kids!
My favorite Bible verse that is shared for July 4th.

*The idea shared in this post is not my own. It was shared with me and can be found on Pinterest or Google.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Into Summer

Summer is a favorite season for many people. It stays lighter out longer, the weather is gorgeous, it is swimming season, there are cookouts, and of course there is no school. Our oldest got out of school for the summer on June 4. Our preschoolers got out on June 21. We are definitely into summer.I love having this time with our kids, especially our three kids that have been in school all year. I have a lot of things planned so they have a fun summer, but also so they still learn even though they aren't in school. For our family of 7, we need structure and a schedule to keep our house running smoothly.I made a summer schedule with some times in the day where there will be fun and learning going on. I think our kids are just as excited as I am.

If you are a parent and at a loss on ideas of things to do for the summer with your kids, I hope this helps. I used to work at the YMCA during summer breaks and the YMCA plans theme based weeks for each week of the summer. My idea for what I'm doing with our kids this summer, came from that. This week was Beach Week. Some of the other weeks I have planned are Patriotic Week (everything will be based around July 4th), Nature and Science Week, Outer Space Week, and Animal Week. I know it probably seems like a lot for me to do with 5 kids. I want to make sure our older three kids who are in school continue to learn so they are ready and possibly ahead for next school year.

This past week as I mentioned was Beach Week. I taught our kids things about the beach, the ocean, ocean animals, and things about summer in general. Our kids definitely had fun learning about all of those things. I squeezed in time to go outside and a trip to our local park. This week was the first week that we did a theme week because my preschoolers only got out of school last week and my oldest had a few days where he went to an art camp.

The crafts we did this week to go with our theme were an ocean scene with fish, and a painted beach ball. What I liked about these crafts was that they were age appropriate from our two year old to our seven year old. It gave our older 2 kids a chance to practice their hand writing and to learn how to spell new words. It helped our younger 2 boys to learn colors, numbers, and shapes.

For the ocean scene you will need:
-Blue construction paper
-Blue crayons
-White paper
-Any color paint
-Fish shape template
-Black marker

How we created the ocean scene:
I had our kids paint the white paper any color and all colors that they wanted to. While the paint dried, they colored the blue construction paper with a blue crayon to really give it an ocean look. Once the paint dried on the white paper, I assisted our kids in cutting out fish shapes. We glued the fish to the colored construction paper. I let our older 2 kids write fish and ocean on their papers.

 For the beach ball craft you will need:
-A beach ball template
-Yellow construction paper

How we made the beach ball:
The kids painted their beach ball with their finger tips and did any color they wanted to. Once the paint dried, I assisted in cutting the beach ball out and we glued it to the yellow construction. Our older 2 kids wrote beach ball on their paper.

Here are some more pictures of this past week.

My oldest after art camp.
Painting their paper which we cut fish shapes from.
Water gun fighting.

Fun at the park.

Conversation for my readers, how is your summer going? If you have kids, do you plan to try these crafts? What fun things do you have planned for your summer? 

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far! Stay tuned for more posts about our summer and other things going on in our family. As always, keep up the faith, hope, and love. Thank you for reading! Please share my post if you like these crafts!