Friday, May 20, 2016

Graduation Announcement

Navigating new waters, we are pleased to announce the first Theis Family Homeschool graduate,

Micah Theis

Class of 2016

HEY Graduation Ceremony

Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Calvary Community Church
St. Cloud, MN

We invite those who would join us in supporting Micah as he makes this important step into adulthood. Since many of our extended family live far away, we want those friends who have been our stand-in "family" to feel welcome and invited to attend the ceremony. 

Please join us in extending congratulations to Micah and prayers of blessing for his future.

Thank you!

(We have not yet planned a separate celebration.)

Monday, May 09, 2016

Mother's Day (and Josh's Baptism)

I had a beautiful Mother's Day. Genna woke me up fairly early, and I looked over and thought I saw Mitch's form curled up under the covers. As I got up and dressed quickly, I thought it was strange that Mitch was sleeping with the pillow over his head. I took a second look and realized he wasn't in the was all just a pile of pillows. I had a little chuckle. I came upstairs to find Mitch and Eden working in the kitchen like two busy bees. The table was set for breakfast, pancakes, bacon, juice and coffee were all in the works. I passed Genna off and went to enjoy a shower. It was glorious!! Eden gave me some of my favorite chocolates. Mitch was a natural leader in the kitchen, getting kids breakfast, directing them to their showers, and cleaning up.

Josh had been asking for some time to be baptized. Last Sunday we heard that there would be a baptism service this Sunday, so after an interview with church leaders he was added to the slate. He was SO excited all week long!

After church, Josh and I enjoyed a special date. He had asked me a couple weeks ago if he could spend his allowance by taking me to Pizza Ranch. I agreed, but said that I would pay for my own dinner, and we had to wait until May. Sunday seemed like the perfect opportunity. We had a great reason to celebrate!

We wanted everyone else to be able to celebrate too, so we decided on making blizzards at home. We bought a few extra special toppings for the occasion. Mitch dubbed them "Baptism Sundaes." Hehe. This is *definitely* the start of a new tradition!

Later Sunday evening after the older kids were at youth group, we decided to go on a walk. Judging by my facebook newsfeed, many of my mom friends got to do the same thing Sunday afternoon. It was such a beautiful day! I'm so glad we could enjoy the warm weather. I loved the time with my camera, too.

We had a unique sunset since the sky was so hazy from wildfires in the northwest.

At bedtime my friend Shannon posted a note on facebook that numbers looked good for aurora, so I went out with my camera a little after dark. I didn't pick anything up, but I did really like something about this picture...the shutter was open for 15 seconds. It was a calm night!

The moon was just a sliver, right on the heels of that giant orange sun.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Tirzah is 7 years old!

I thought I would get this post written right away, but instead the days are flipping by on the calendar in such a blur. Over the past month or two I have begun a new routine with the kids to help our day go a bit more smoothly. I have been doing school right away in the morning with Tirzah, while the older boys get an hour or two to play. This gives Tirzah and I some one-on-one time to work on reading plus any other concepts she needs direct instruction for. It also gives the boys time to "get ready" for school. In some ways, it helps them get out their wiggles and focus better. This morning Tirzah begged for time to play also, with Malachi, so I relinquished for the sole purpose of writing her blog post. :)

Tirzah's birthday was a fun day. Mrs. E came over Tuesday morning with a birthday treat. A cupcake on a cookie!

We were blessed with warm weather for the day. While she was outside playing, Tirzah discovered a tree growing in our garden. She was so proud of her discovery! Maybe it will keep growing. I can't tell what kind of tree it is.

For her birthday dinner, Tirzah requested watermelon. She LOVES watermelon and was thrilled to see it come in the house. We usually only have it during the summer, when the prices are lower. So it has been a while. She also decided on spaghetti, and carrot cake for dessert (I bet you couldn't guess that). Her carrot cake was almost a disaster. I didn't properly grease the pans, so it stuck when I tried to turn it out. Then I ran out of frosting, just when I needed MORE to cover up the rough spots on the cake. Malachi said, "It's sad that your cake is so ugly. Now people will see pictures and think that you are bad at making cakes." LOL!!! I don't care what anyone else thinks, the cake tasted great. :)
 One of the other fun things that happened on Tirzah's birthday was getting to go play baseball with other homeschool kids. Tirzah is a social butterfly, and the more she can be around other kids, the happier she is. The weather was so nice. Mitch said that the only bad thing is that you shouldn't let children eat so much watermelon, then go to a baseball field in a park with no restrooms. Yeah that.

 The many faces Tirzah makes...

At 7 years old, Tirzah
~is full of energy. Bursting at the seams. Can't sit still.
~is growing up way too fast
~loves girly things, dressing up, doing her hair, painting her nails
~holds her own among brothers, too...what a great blend of tom-boy and Daddy's princess!!
~is impulsive and extroverted, and will show off to get the attention of the crowd
~wears about a size 7-8, but some pants are hard to fit on her since she is long and skinny. She prefers to wear dresses or skirts, with leggings underneath.
~wears a size 13 or size 1 shoe, depending on the type/brand of shoe
~has lost 8 baby teeth and only grown back 6 of them so far ::toothy grin::
~is reading fairly well. We turned the corner after Christmas. We hit that magic moment where reading suddenly "clicked" and she began decoding words with phonograms that she had not been taught. It's a beautiful moment to see a child graduate from assigned readers to reading books they choose from the shelf. She caught the delight!
~seems to have a pretty flexible understanding of math. She is observant of patterns and tries to make connections beyond basic memorization of facts. If she gets too distracted making patterns, it might make some basic math harder, but it will make algebra easier.
~writes very well when she wants to.
~loves to sing. Whew...I paused for a minute to help Genna before I added the 'g' on the end of the word 'sing.' I was confused for a second when I glanced back up at the screen. That's a whole different meaning. One day a friend, who had been sitting across the balcony from us at church, stopped me and said she loves to hear Tirzah sing at church. Tirzah was belting out the words to a favorite song from memory, holding nothing back. I love that. I know that God will plant His words deep in her heart and with time will grow them up to bear fruit in her life.
~learned to ride a bike (without training wheels) this spring. Did I post pictures about that? I feel like I didn't. I put something on facebook. I'm really behind.
Here she is riding beside Cam when he came to visit at Easter. Did I post about that? No? See, I really am behind. I have lots to tell. But not today. Now it is time to do school. Tirzah and Cam were good buddies. She loved reading with Cam. I can't believe it's May 2 already. Deep breaths...

We are so blessed to have Tirzah in our home. I just can't believe how big she is getting! We love you Tirzah!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mercy's 1st Haircut

Mercy joined the ranks of her sisters in giving herself a haircut today. :(

I think the only thing that kept it from being worse is that she can't hold the scissors correctly yet. She had to hold them with two hands.

This is after I cleaned it up:

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Obadiah is 5 years old!!!

I realized this morning that for the first time since Micah was born, we don't have a little boy under 5 years old in our house. Weird.

I can't believe my little guy is so big. He is 100% ready to start kindergarten, at least in motivation.

At age 5 years old, Obi
~weighs 41 lbs
~is about 44 inches tall
~wears size 5T clothing
~wears a size 12 shoe

~made a treat all by himself for his birthday buddy, Mrs. E

~and received a birthday treat from Mrs. E--a frosted cookie
~loves basketball. And he doesn't quite understand that homeschool basketball is done for the year and won't start again until next January (which is practically 1/5 of his lifetime away!).

~makes a lot of different faces

~got this shirt, which is a favorite, for his birthday last year. Whoa, was it a "wear red/pink" day?

~has an unrealistic view of what he is able to do by himself. But he can NOT go downstairs by himself. Not at all. He is afraid. If he knows that Genna is sleeping downstairs, that will give him enough courage to do it. I was a negligent parent recently and downloaded a game to the kindle at the request of one of my older kids. I didn't look at the app (my mistake) until the kids had played it for a while and Obi had gotten totally freaked out. Poor guy. He loved it, but at the same time it terrified him even more to go into dark places alone. He would say things like, "Scary stuff is fun. I love scary stuff." But then he was too scared to go potty. A day or two after we deleted the app he came to me and said, "I know it's not real." Lesson learned, Momma. Check those ratings.

~wanted a strawberry cake with blue frosting and a lightning bolt
~didn't eat much of his cake after we cut it. I think he was too full. He said he "didn't like it very much." The next morning he had a piece for breakfast. :) I think we've just had too much cake and candy lately between birthdays and Easter.

~wanted chicken wild rice soup for dinner on his birthday, which was on Tuesday. On the Sunday before, when we typically eat leftovers for dinner after church, he asked for leftover chicken wild rice soup. He didn't understand that I had not made it yet. He thought it was as good as done. ::lol::
~also likes sloppy joes, hot dogs, cheese pizza, peanut butter sandwiches, ham sandwiches, quesadillas, apples, bananas, pineapples, and pears. He does not like spicy foods including tacos and chili. He's not a huge fan of dishes with a tomato sauce base either (pizza hotdish, lasagna, spaghetti), but he will usually try some when he sees everyone else so excited.

~wants to learn how to ride a bike (since Tirzah just learned). He told me he had a dream he learned how. :)
~got a new lego game for the xbox for his birthday, and it's his favorite
~sleeps in his own bed at night, but occasionally comes in our room to wake us. Looking at where we were a year ago, I'd say this is a big accomplishment.  I think he has growing pains a lot. Also sometimes he actually wakes up to go potty (yay!) and he gets scared to go back to his bed alone. He is a Daddy's boy at night, and Mitch is usually very quick to help Obi. Sometimes Mitch puts Obi into the bed next to him, then moves him back to his bed after he falls asleep. Mitch had a lot of growing pains when he was a kid, so he is an expert at giving middle-of-the-night leg massages. (I've even had a few when I get charlie horses during pregnancy.)
~can put his own laundry away by himself (whether he will do it or not is another story!)
~has a strong sense of justice and gets very angry when his rights have been violated. I've even seen him get angry on behalf of injustice done to another person. He is quick to administer punishment, too (ie: he hits his siblings, and even me, if he is mad). Of course we are always trying to interrupt patterns of behavior that are not ok. He seems to need a lot more empathy than some of our other children (at least on the outside). I'm all for justice, and I try to be fair whenever I can. I also try not to be lazy in administering justice. But the 5 year old's sense of justice isn't quite developed yet, and sometimes he disagrees with my judgement. Fun times. ;) I hope he learns to live by grace.
~is very affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses. Empathy, listening to his problem, and giving hugs is what he often needs to unwind his anger.

Happy Birthday, Obadiah Benjamin!!!