"Love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul." Joshua 22:5

Monday, February 28, 2011

We learned the secret to toy purging...

Confiscate the toys while the kids are at Mammie and Papaw's! :)  

But the second part to the secret is to give the kids their own basket and tell them to pick out the toys that they really want to KEEP before they go visit their grandparents.  We've always done this in reverse before - asking the boys to pick out what they are ready to get rid of - which was always a very sad, hard time at our house.  But, picking out your favorite toys - now that is FUN!  This time there were smiles and laughter.  I've decided John is a genius since this was his idea!  

We successfully pared down the toy monstrosity at our house.  The boys knew we were doing it, but they were happy because they knew we had promised to keep their most favorite, treasured toys that were in their boxes.  The toys are easy to find now and they even rediscovered some new favorites that had been buried before... and did I mention that they are HAPPY!

Our new cleaned out toy closet!  (Notice that my nice little Dymo labeling stickers are falling off!)
p.s.  The funniest anecdote to this story is that when Shepard came back home and started going through his basket of "treasures", he announced that he wasn't interested in keeping most of those toys anymore.  (Seriously, he had been just tossing junk into his basket...  but we were true to our word and kept it all, even the trash.)  His passions change daily so yesterday's favorite was already history!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learning a New Skill

The old computer chair was ratty and in need of replacement, so we tossed it out and got a new one - the kind that comes in a box with assembly required.  John told the boys that when they got tired of standing at the computer, they could come out to the garage and put the new chair together.  He offered to be there to give advice, but they would have to do it themselves.  I think it was less than 30 minutes until everyone was in the garage!  Shep and Will may have each turned a screw, but Josiah did most of it by himself and he did a great job!!  (They all love the chair because they put it together!)

p.s.  We finished our Japan unit study with a trip to the Fuji Japanese Steakhouse tonight!  What a fun and delicious experience!  It was really great!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bowling for Family Night

Friday night is "Family Night" at the Wasson house and this weekend we went bowling!  It was a blast!!  We ate greasy burgers and fries at the table while everyone took turns rolling their ball down the alley.  (I guess I should say everyone but me...  my shoulder is hurting again and I couldn't risk hurting it worse.)  The guys were "high fiving" all over the place and cheering hard for each other.  And then there was the competition between Josiah and Dad...  it was a nail biter... and ended up with a tie game!  (I'll protect the dignity of the fellas and I won't post the score here. :) )  
I wish I had brought my camera along, but my iPhone filled in the pinch.  Here are some pics from the night...

Sweet Tea Love

Here's Will lovin' on his sweet tea...  whenever he gets to have a cup of this southern sweetness, he cradles it in his arms and drinks looooong.
Can you guess what restaurant we are at?  China Jade!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Will - 'nouf said :)

Our youngest darling jammed a little toy hand grenade up his nose this week!  I really can't say why.  I'm not sure he can either.  John discovered it and successfully removed said grenade - all the while saying "don't sniffle, don't breathe through your nose, etc." so that it wouldn't go any higher.  The little man was much relieved to have it out.  Maybe he won't try that again??

Same darling proudly gave me these dead flowers today...  yes, very proudly!  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and he saw beauty and I say this little fella is a beauty!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

We spent the day in Springdale visting my parents... a quick trip, but it was lots of fun.  We did school in the car on the way there.  There was a little car sickness... but we did not lose a day of school!  I'm not sure the boys care about that though. :)
We had to get groceries on the way home and it was dark by the time we finally got home.  So, the boys got out their flashlights and hunted the Valentine gifts from Mammie and Papaw that he had hidden in the yard.  I think it was probably even more fun with flashlights!  The boys were very excited!

Have you ever seen a ring around the moon?  It was so cool!  John researched it...  ice crystals.

And the highlight of our Valentine's Day...  (our Eric and Krisann moment - it's a story from our NLR days...  ask us about it sometime!)...  drumroll please!  John and I bought the same card for the boys to give us!!
We were cracking up!  On the inside the card says:
Often Loud, Always Loveable!
Sort of sounds like Wasson boys!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The King and I

For years I've heard terms like "Charlotte Mason style" and "living books" to describe teaching methods, but I never really understood it.  I'm finally getting it!  And it is awesome!  Teaching my kids this year has been the best education I've ever had - yes, for me!  It's not dry facts...  we use textbooks, but at the same time we are reading real books about real people and the places, cultures and people and history of what we are studying.  Not to mention some hands on experiments and activities.  It's like learning has come to LIFE!  It's not memorizing facts...  it's gaining understanding.  It's bringing the whole picture together - it's like seeing the whole puzzle and not just one piece.  Truly, fantastic!

So, while we are studying Asia, we decided to watch the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of "The King and I" because it takes place in Siam (which we learned is now called Thailand).  It's really amazing how much more interesting the movie is because we were able to see Asian architecture and style and customs in the movie like we've been studying.  Anyway, Josiah and John did get a little bored during the musical numbers.  (They just don't think real people actually break out into song like that in real life...  but, I know different!  Right, Willoughby's?? :))  But we all enjoyed the story.

After the movie, the boys were getting ready for bed (we thought).  Next thing you know, the oldest brother announces the coming show.  This ever-so-sweet oldest brother has convinced the next brother that he should play the part of the girl.  So he comes out decked in a pink apron (his skirt) and  long dress gloves (camo, of course!) and the littlest brother has the king robe and crown and those two begin to waltz together just like in the movie.  Seriously, one of the cutest things I think I've ever seen!

Next, the Blue Bucket Brigade (that's our little man cleaning crew) realizes that the buckets will make great thrones...
although not the most sturdy of thrones...
which stirs some mischief...
and that leads to the realization that these are "mobile" thrones and the games begin!

Yikes!  This does not look good...

Everyone had such a blast...  etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!!

p.s.  We only have one more chapter to read of the Gladys Aylward story (which takes place in China) before we watch "The Inn of the 6th Happiness".  (We're trying hard to finish the book before we see the movie.)  I wonder what adventures await us after that movie...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Day

This is Will as soon as he got up this morning...  he couldn't wait to get those boots on!

My boys in the snow...

Love this picture of Josiah!  You don't seriously think he would throw a snowball at me, do you? :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weather Man Says Snow

It's supposed to snow a few inches tonight and tomorrow...  so we were at Wal-Mart with the rest of the Fort Smith tonight trying to get our groceries before the weather comes.  We picked up some boots for the boys - just whatever styles they had left in the right sizes - it will be so much easier to play in the snow with boots.  (And every farmer needs boots, right mom?!  Now we are prepared!)
I loved how the boots were all lined up at the back door tonight...  just ready for the big day.

I love homeschooling!

I did NOT say it was EASY! :)  I said I LOVE it!
Like today, we had the flexibility to travel with John to Oklahoma City on his trip.  We just did school in the car on the way there.  We had a big adventure!  We were all together for the day and we got to go out to eat for lunch.  We made a great memory!
I also love how our whole family can participate in school together!  We've been studying about China in school lately and reading books together with John about it in the evening.  So, this past weekend, we made a few new Chinese recipes for dinner and the boys crafted some Chinese lanterns to decorate our table.  It wasn't fancy, but it was a great time together (even if the boys didn't like the food - which is funny because they love eating at Chinese restaurants!)  Here's a pic from our dinner...
Even though there are days when I think it's hard to homeschool, I just don't think I will ever look back with regret about the time invested with our kids.  We can't get these days back...  and they are precious days!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will's Friend - the Trash Truck Driver

Will makes friends everywhere!  One of his latest is the trash truck driver who comes by once a week to get our trash.  For months now, Will has been greeting the guy every time he comes to get our trash.  He started by watching from the window and the driver would wave at him, then he started going to watch from the door, then he started flinging the door open to yell his greetings to the driver.  Now he runs out to say hello and shoot the breeze with him.  Last week Will was playing in the backyard and didn't hear him coming.  I watched the driver look all around for Will and when he didn't see him, he climbed back in the truck and blew the horn.  Now, here comes Will running to say hi.  The driver gets back out of his truck and invites Will to get in the truck and blow the horn himself.  It took a little coaxing, but he did it!  What HUGE fun!

Salvation Army

We took a "huuu-mon-ju-ous" (as Will would say) load to the Salvation Army last weekend.  We are cleaning out as we get ready to move.  It's a good thing I have a "huuu-mon-ju-ous" vehicle because it was packed - even though I'm thinking I should drive a mini-van or something after my two latest fender benders in the last couple of days. Ugh!  The third row seat was out of the way and we filled the back of my Yukon XL all the way to the top.  As soon as we got to the Salvation Army, the boys wanted to hop out and help unload.  The guys working there couldn't believe how helpful they were...  I admit I was a little surprised myself, but I was grateful to see their servant's hearts developing.  What I thought was so cute was how they started talking to the guys who work there...  asking questions about what the Salvation Army does with all the stuff they get and how they help people, etc.  The guys were so great to explain everything to the boys.  And in typical Wasson boy fashion they all had a different perspective:  Josiah was analyzing the business side of things with his entreprenurial thinking and asking specific business-related questions.  Shepard's heart immediately broke for the needy and he wanted to give more.  I think Will was just ready to get to work at the store.  I know I say this all the time, but I love the uniqueness of my boys!!