I want to record a few fun things that the kids say so I don't forget. Ryzen always says, "I want hugs and loves!" He says this if he is hurt, or sad, and also just because he really likes "hugs and loves." :) Ryzen has the annoying habit of opening food and then not finishing it. He especially likes to do this with yogurt, granola bars and cereal. He will open a yogurt, take one bite, and then say he wants something else! Argh! Ryzen still asks for Gobblies (movies) even though he knows that you call them movies. He kind of drives me nuts how much he asks for movies, especially since Aria and Zade almost never ask to watch anything. We really limit television though, and I usually only allow him to watch one show a day.
Aria and Zade are playing really well together. They are truly the best of friends! This might seem unusual since they are two years apart, and different genders, but it doesn't seem to matter. Aria will play legos and Zade will play dolls and they just seem to have fun all of the time! The hard part is getting them to stop playing and do school. I'm beginning to realize though that children are learning all the time, just on their own. Aria spontaneously reads to her brothers, writes stories and letters, draws pictures, counts and adds in her head and tells me the answers, all without me asking. Of course, we have formal, structured learning as well. But it is reassuring to see children take delight in learning without prodding and just for the pure joy of doing it.
Nova is a sweet, little girl. She is already full of laughter, giggles, and coos. She is a delight to have as a fourth child. She still wakes me up every three hours at night, but not for too long. I feel blessed to have her smile up at me each day.
We've been doing a lot of fun activities during the week for our home-school. On Thursday mornings the kids go to a gymnastics class for home-schoolers. It's nice because they divide the kids into different age groups. Aria, Ryzen and Zade all get to participate. The class isn't as technical as a formal gymnastics class, and they incorporate a lot of group games and activities. Below is Ryzen having fun at the class.
We have a small group of people we've met who also enjoy the philosophy of Waldorf education. We are trying to celebrate some festivals together. Aria, Nova and I went to a Harvest festival at our friend Kat's house. Unfortunately, Ryzen and Zade were sick on this night. Here Aria is making home-made applesauce.
Our friend Kat lives way out in the country, surrounded by forest. She has a lot of milkweed on her property and gets a lot of Monarch caterpillars. Aria had fun blowing the milkweed into the air and watching it float away.
Later that night Kat did a puppet show of The Three Little Bears in her yurt by her house.
You never know what Aria will be inspired to do. One day she spontaneously decided to create a scavenger hunt for Ryzen and Zade. She wrote all the clues, drew a map and hid the treasure. Ryzen and Zade had fun running from clue to clue until they found the candy.
Since both of my sisters were going to be in Utah at the same time, I decided to take the kids and visit family for 11 days. It had been over a year since being back in Utah and we had a wonderful time. The only one missing here from the family is Dane!
All of these little kids were living in my parent's house at the same time (except Afton, my brother's daughter). As you can probably imagine, it was a little bit crazy! My parents were good sports and very helpful. They even let Ryzen and Zade sleep in their room and got up early with them each morning. My dad made homemade pancakes and french toast every day! It was so fun to see all of the kids interacting together.
We did something fun and memorable every day! Below we are making Halloween gingerbread houses.
Here is Zade at Wheeler farm.
We went to Hogle Zoo one day.
My dad spent a lot of one on one time with us. We went up in the mountains and cooked hot-dogs. We went to Park City and rode the bobsleds. We went to Liberty Park and fed the ducks and ate at a local cafe.
Here is my sister Shara's cute little boy Tyson, only about a week older then Ryzen.
We had a fun Halloween party and all the kids dressed up.
Here is my mom holding Afton and Ashlyn.
It was a risk to take all of the kids by myself to Utah, and I definitely got a lot of inquisitive looks at the airport, but it ended up being worth it. The kids will have so many memories of family. Aria cried for a couple of days when we returned because she missed Grandma and Grandpa so much, and Ryzen still asks if we can go to Grandma and Grandpa's house and if he can play with Tyson.