Thursday, August 25, 2011

a rutherford update

i am sad to say that this picture was taken about 3 weeks ago because 3 weeks ago we were not in school, and we had time to do fun things like bake!

it has been quite the adjustment having a second grader and kindergartener around here.  i think we've settled into a good routine though, and i am grateful for that.  for my own posterity's sake, i thought it would be fun to document our schedule so that years from now when we are really busy, i can look back at my busyness now and just laugh!

so both boys are in school 5 days a week this year.  i work on monday, wednesday and friday, giving me tuesday and thursday to do all the housework types of duties that i still enjoy doing (i know, i'm weird!).  burrito has homework on mondays, tuesdays and thursdays, and we fill in the other days with extra reading or math flash cards.  we practice sight words and reading with noodle on a daily basis.

i've found what works best for us is to come home, the boys take a shower, change into comfy clothes (we wear uniforms), and grab a snack.  then we head to our reading room.  we converted our front guest bedroom into a living space that we thought we would use more often.  our house is small and so every square foot needs to be smartly utilized.  we are so glad we made the change!  it gives us a perfect spot to do homework, lounge around and read, or play.
most of our books all in one place.  we love it!
this is a little lounger to sit on and read.  a craigslist find.  and don't miss my volkswagon van art above.  i am still trying to convince john we need one of these!
this is where we sit and do homework, art projects, puzzles, you name it!  we love having a dedicated table for these types of activities.  we made the display above so that the boys can hang up their art.
here's a closer picture of the art wall.
and here's one more seating option near the windows.  don't you just love those curtains?  they are ikea!  i adore them!
i help guide burrito through his assignments, teaching him to follow directions and be a little more responsible for keeping his homework and folders in order.  while i am working with him, noodle practices writing his name or copying words from the books he is learning to read on a dry erase board.  we can usually finish the work in an hours time, and then we have the remainder of the evening to eat dinner, go to soccer practice, or do something together as a family.

the boys have been doing great!  noodle is so motivated to learn how to read that he is plowing through books by dr. seuss.  we are currently reading go dog go.  i love that he is wanting to read like his big brother.  burrito is reading chapter books and is enjoying the magic tree house series.  they both have a bible verse they must memorize and recite to the teacher each week.  burrito has 20 spelling words a week with a quiz on friday.  he also has math and phonics worksheets he must complete 3 days a week.  all this work keeps us busy, but it's a good busy and they are learning so much!  john and i still toy with the idea of me homeschooling the boys next year, but it's a take it year-by-year evaluation so we will see.

john's school year has started off well, and he is loving being goofy with middle-schoolers.  i love that he is doing what he loves and hearing about how he is shepherding his students, not just teaching them latin.  the stories of how so many kids struggle with identity and acceptance at this age can be heartbreaking, and i am so thankful he is able to come alongside these kids and encourage their little hearts with the Truth.

i am learning to appreciate this new season of life.  it's very strange on tuesdays and thursdays being home without any children.  i love, love, love being a mom, and it just feels a little empty without them here with me all of the time.  i am trying to dive into my own personal passions on these days, when i'm not buying groceries, doing laundry or cleaning the house.  my current project is a coffee table.  let's just say if this were round 1, the coffee table definitely won.  but i'm not a quitter!

i love house projects and doing research on the best products and companies so i joined angie's list.  if you've ever contemplated doing so, let me encourage you to do it!  it's not that expensive (i think it was $23 for a year's membership) and we've already used it several times.  it's better than free sites because the reviews are from actual people, and they verify the reports so you can be assured that those bad reviews are not coming from the company's competitor.  i have found that i just can't fully trust any of the other free sites.  i've had good results twice now in the last 2 weeks so i feel like the membership has already paid for itself!

our latest big house project is the replacement of our original 1987 aluminum windows.  we've wanted to replace them from the second we moved in, but they are not cheap so it's taken some time to save up the money and bite the bullet to do it.  we can't wait for their installation (some time in mid-september) and to reap the benefits this winter.  we chose some super energy-efficient ones, so we are hoping to notice a difference on our utility bill and comfort level!

the boys are still playing soccer with one major development this season:  noodle is playing on burrito's outdoor rec team!  we are so excited, not only because they love playing together, but also because that just means one practice and one game a week instead of two!  hooray!  now if the weather would just cooperate and cool down.  we had practice in the 106 degree heat last week!

so that's the latest in the rutherford casa.  maybe thursdays can be my blogging day.  it's so hard to keep up with our ever-changing schedule!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

first day of school 2011

tuesday august 9 was our first day of school!  this was the first year that all my boys had their first day on the same day this year.  they were all nervously excited about the new year.

just for fun here are the first days of years past.

2010 burrito and 2010 noodle

and here are the pictures from tuesday:

john just loves that i make him pose for a picture each year too :)
 my burrito on his first day of second grade
 my noodle on his first day of kindergarten
 my 2 grown up boys!
burrito came home reporting that the first day of second grade was not as hard as he thought it might be, but he knows that it will get harder and harder as the year goes on.  i think he is slowly realizing that school will now require more work and less play.  his good buddy caleb is in his class with mrs. r this year so he was pretty excited about that.  there are 16 students in his class and i know by the end of the year they will all be best friends.

noodle came home reporting that the first day of kindergarten was fun, and he was able to play in "centers."  he is very proud that he already knows his bible verse for the month because it is only 3 words: God is love.  he already loves his teacher, mrs. l.  there are 12 students in his class and this year there are more boys, but he did report he enjoyed seeing all his friends from last year's class at recess!

when i picked the boys up from school we all decided it was time to celebrate so we headed to braum's for an ice cream cone!
we are so thankful for the opportunity we have to attend the school that we do.  i love hearing them talk about learning bible verses, chapel, praying for their friends and all of the good education they receive (even if it means they are not with their mama!).

love my boys!