Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bovees and Brothers - Day 3

Well, today was packed with fun! We got up early and went to our weekly storytime at the Park's lovely home. This morning our theme was picnincs! Our picnic took place inside thank goodness! :) We heard a story that was about Prospect Park in New York where the Park family used to visit when they lived in Brooklyn, and a story about some run away babies. There were others two but those two were the best ones.

After story time we did a paper basket weaving craft. This was a little challenging for the little ones but everybody did great once they got the hang of it.

Craft is done and we are ready to march like the ants!

Liz played a guitar and the children took turns being the leader and marched around singing, "The ants go marching one by one, horrah, hoorah. The ants go......". I think Zeky was thinking "baby song" but he participated and didn't complain one time. His face shows his true feelings here. Ha!

Elli is the leader and still marching!

Then snack time! We all enjoyed some snacks on the picnic tablecloth in front of the fire.

Everybody smile! And Zeky of course putting food in his mouth just for the picture!

Then after Jonathon got home from some appointments, we headed to Shipshewana to see the ice sculptures. They were all real troopers as we walked around the whole downtown to spy which ones we could find. Amazing work of ice for sure! Anybody in the Shipshewana area should swing by for a visit.

At Blue Gate their is a huge horse. The children all thought it was funny because there were icecycles hanging from it's nose like frozen snott (wow, I don't know that I have ever spelled that word. Is that right?).

So amazing!

And you know I couldn't post something without pictures of Benaiah. Here is our little snow baby all bundled up enjoying the ice sculptures too.
We had told the children that we had something special planned for on the way to taking them home. Well, they all thought that the surprise was getting to see the ice sculptures. We didn't say otherwise until we pulled into the parking lot at the ice skating rink in Elkhart. Alegra has been begging for the last 2 years to go since she was given some ice skates awhile back. We never fit it into our funds and with our little guests and Alegra's birthday coming up, we decided to go for it. Happy Birthday early, Alegra!
You should have heard the excitement when they realized they were actually getting to go. This picture is of all of us entering the ice for the first time. Jonathon stayed with Benaiah and Josiah and I put some skates on skated with the children. I had done it as a child on small pond down the road from our house, but haven't since then.

This is how the girls looked most of the skating time. Hugging the rail with all of their might. I believe it was Diella who said later on that ice skating is harder than she thought it would be.
Zeky took to the ice quite quickly and was definitely braver than the girls. But the beow pictures are classic of him. Enjoy!

Yes, he still had his share of falling, but he got right back up and tried again. Zeky and I were the only ones who actually skated the full loop. Laura, the gal taking them the rest of the way home, came and sat with the girls while he and I braved away from the rail and skated away from the safety zone. My legs and feet were quite happy when we got back to the beginning and got to rest again.

They all really did have a good time despite being really cold. They even got to watch the zamboni come out and smooth out the ice. We took that time to get Zeky a bigger pair of skates and wipe runny, cold noses.

The four skaters showing off their slippery footwear.
Elli, Alegra, Diella, and Zeky
And finally everybody said they were done and we all went in and took those wretched things off our feet. I don't remember skates hurting so bad. Ha! I guess I wasn't this old either. :) Here is Laura helping out and making sure we all had all of our parts and pieces. Thanks Laura for your help!
By today the children were bickering a little more, but with fun things planned in the evening to keep them all busy, it helped a lot. I learned some lessons while having two more children in the house.
-Feels better to keep up with the dishes all day long than let them pile.
*Is better to make them keep up with the dishes.
-Is more difficult getting school accomplished.
*Helps to have them compete against each other to get school accomplished.
-Telling them what fun we are going to have helps motivate them to get ready.
*Seeing the sheer excitement on their faces from a surprise is much more fun.
-Having a quiet reading time is necessary to a peaceful day.
*Letting them choose between certain books is necessary for peaceful reading time.
-Establishing bedtime rules from the first night is imperative to going to sleep.
*Simply telling them they cannot do anything but breath and sleep works too.
-When all of the house is a disaster zone and the mom needs tranquility, computer games help.
*For calmness amongst ALL children at the same time, movies are better.
-And just when the meal is over, it helps to make sure all bellies are full.
*Even if you do and bellies are full, expect to have starving, wasting away children in 10 minutes or less.
Thanks for sharing your children with us for a few days. We all had a great time and hope we get to do it again soon! It was a good taste of what the families who took such good care of our children did for us while I was in the hospital. It's a blessing to have those relationships with others where we can take care of one another in whatever the circumstance. I'm glad yours was for a vacation in Florida and not a vacation in the hospital.
Hope you guys made it home safely!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bovees and Brothers - Day 2

Well, half the day passed before I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures. We did more flashcards of which Alegra slaughtered Zeky (he wasn't very happy about that) and all the children were jumping crazy with the shape/jump cards. They did 25 minutes of reading while the littler ones played computer and you can imagine as soon as the timer went off they were in at the computer in a heart beat. :) Then we voyaged out in the snow for one of Zeky's other special requests....The Bent and Dent to get.....(see below).

....candy bars! And why was I thinking we would run in, get what we wanted and run back out again? Right! There were 4 BIG bins of candy bars. One would have been bad enough, but 4?!

Then onto some painting. They were all really patient with me as I wanted to get supper cooking first, so they sat with paints out and most everything ready except for minor details waiting for me to get food stuff cooking. They had a lot of fun with this project! I had extra paint brushes and paint colors which made it even more fun since I couldn't get those little paint thingys open that came with the kit.

Here is Elli doing her horse. And a mighty fine horse at that!

And Zeky in great concentration making sure that every part of his tractor was just the right color. He planned it all out I think before he started.

The Diva! While the ceramics dried the children had fun with the sunglasses. Elli came out of the bedroom like this and we all cracked up. What a sweetie!

And while the big children painted and played, this little guy was too tuckered out from the Bent and Dent trip and slept through it all. :)

The final projects along with proud painters!

We found the book with the insects starring Hermie the caterpillar at our library before the children came to stay with us. The first night before bed we read one of the stories and are trying to get through the book since we generally read Scriptures before bed. So, I took my turn reading one of the stories for some quiet time. Everybody loved it! Zeky really looks like he was loving it! Ha!

After our soup and cornbread, we had some anxius children for dessert, so I told them they had to help clean things up from supper. I gave Zeky the job of washing dishes which he was not fond of and certainly didn't want his picture taken doing this job. Can you tell? Hehe!

He realized I was going to get his picture whether he wanted it or not an gave up the fight. He was much happier when I demoted him to drying.

After clean up the girls got busy making pictures for the vacationing parents/friends.

And then on to dessert! We crushed up our candy bars from the store and put on our chocolate ice cream. Mmmmm, was it every good! Looks good, doesn't it?

Jonathon sat in the living room with Benaiah during the ice cream happenings and Benaiah was thinking that he should be having some. I finally got some rice cereal. I think I better start with him before we just skip the cereal and go to fish.

And finally bedtime (and a bald spot- wow)! That's my favorite part! Just kidding...kind of.
Two days down and one to go. We have some fun stuff planned for tomorrow. Since you are coming home tomorrow, you probably won't see our post for you until you are already home, but it should have some good pictures of our day that the children are looking forward to. Some they know about and some they do not. We'll see how it all goes. In the morning we head to the Park's for story time. Zeky is really excited about that! I made them all wear the clothes that they are going to wear tomorrow to bed, so I donn't have the stress of doing all that in the morning. Zeky wasn't too sure about that idea, but since he is so excited to go, he didn't want to be late and thought that if it would help then he would do it. He's so funny! I assured him it was fine just this once.
I am realizing that everything with this many children takes a lot longer. Some how I forget about Benaiah, and he doesn't usually get changed into normal life until lunch time. We've done some school stuff but nothing formal. It would be a challenge for sure to do actual school with all of them, but I suppose over time a routine would get set and it would all be fine. But for three days there has been no routine. Just hopes of getting certain things accomplished. I did get a shower today, so I was super excited about that. And I must say that Elli is worse than Diella when it comes to being hungry ALL the time. But she sure is cute about it.
Okay, JB is snoring while Benaiah is kicking his feet and flapping his arms in Jonathon's arms on the bed, and I should get him changed and ready for bed. Been enjoying the pictures you guys have posted. Hope there's more! We'll see you soon!
(posted for the Brothers, who are vacationing while we have their children for a few days, but is for all to enjoy as I cope with a small house filled with 6 children and 2 aults)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Brothers and Bovees - Day 1

Well, everyone made it through the first night and woke up all cheery this morning. Before everybody was out of pajamas they played a game and even Benaiah got in on the action. He is really going to be spoiled after having so much attention for three days. :)

Here is Elli and Benaiah waiting their turn to play.

We had to squeeze in something for school so I didn't feel like a total slacker. :) Here Elli and Josiah are doing shape/jump cards and having a ball with it. Wonderful giggles!

Some Word Wall coloring going on and everyone did a colorful job on their pictures.

We decided to go sledding so the girls stirred up some hot cocoa mix for when we got back.

Now this is the good kind of sledding. No trudging up a hill after going down. They had so much fun...even with all the spills.

I got a new planner for doing massages and Diella asked me what if she could have my old one that is full of appointments. So, I let her have it and right away she scheduled Elli for a massage and next thing I know she's got the lotion and Elli is taking her place in my chair with her feet up.

She got a foot massage AND her hands massaged. Was too cute! Elli got pampered because then Alegra started scheduling her to get massages from her too. Wow, why didn't I get in that appointment book! Ha!
All in all, we are having a good time. Zeky has great plans for me to fix pancakes and even went around asking who all wanted some to see if there were enough people interested for me to do it. Ugh, I think it's going to be another cereal morning, but maybe not. We'll see how Benaiah sleeps.
Well, they are all in bed (certainly not asleep yet unless we really wore them out today sledding), and we have big plans for tomorrow. My plans are definitely fitting in a reading time slot. I metioned that plan and I'm pretty sure I got boos from the whole bunch of them. :) Oh well, a mother needs some quiet time sometime in a day.
We'll report in again tomorrow evening with our fun filled day's happenings!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A day in the life....

It doesn't seem like we have had too much excitement around here lately. Nothing interesting to blog about. Well, today Josiah and Diella collided (unintentional by them both) and Diella got the worse end of it. I asked her if I could take her picture to post, but she quickly refused. Josiah wouldn't even look at her afterwards because it was so bad. He knocked out one of her front teeth (good thing it was starting to loosen up before hand) and almost knocked out the other front tooth. So, her mouth was a bloody mess, and I guess he couldn't stomach it. And now, she looks rather hillbillyish with one tooth gone and the other sitting sideways almost out. He rubbed his head quite a bit, so I am guessing that his head was the hard object of destruction to her mouth.
These days, school is in full swing. Diella is reading quite a bit better than I had anticipated this early in the year, and Alegra is enjoying many new books that are much harder for her age. I am extremely proud of them both for how they have learned and developed in their reading.

A typical day in the Bovee household is something like this:
Wake up and eat breakfast. Then school lessons are started (with a lot of grumbling usually) and some days they are finished by lunch time and other days not until afternoon. There is usually story time in there, computer time, any chores that need done such as carrying wood, taking food garbage out, getting the mail, washing dishes, or other meal/food prepation for freezing, and general fun play. Lately they have been wrapped up in playing with the blocks and matchbox cars. They will have blocks as ramps and roads all over the living room and cars all over the place. It's great!

After supper, we might play a game, have worship time, or just hang out and watch Benaiah. He is quite good entertainment these days. Sorry I don't have a picture of him. At bedtime they get ready and once everbody is down, we read some Scripture to them. Right now we are just reading through the Bible. And it amazes me how they remember things and mention what they heard the next morning. I love it! We pray together unless someone has fallen asleep, then it's lights out. The past month or so, Jonathon and I have been staying up late studying Scripture together. It's so refreshing to get into the Word and understand what it's saying. For so many years, I would read and do my due diligence of doing devotions and that was that, not really understanding or growing in my walk. But anymore, it seems like HIS Word is being revealed continuously and it is exciting!

This time of year we sure are warm and snuggly in our little house. Though we are quite tight in here, some evenings I sit back and enjoy how close we all are. How many families are separated even in their own homes? The children are off watching tv in one room, the parents watching in another, or some on the computer or some off with other friends. I rejoice in how my family is and the life that we have. Tonight for supper we had chicken stew with potatoes from our garden, carrots from our garden, onions from our garden and chicken that we butchered with some friends. I love this lifestyle! It tasted so good and fresh! And then I made some granola nut clusters with walnuts from our own english walnut trees. Love it!
We may not have wealth, but we sure have joy, health, and a beautiful family! Jonathon told me the other day, "God may not give us what we want, but he does give us all that we need". How true and I am thankful!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Birthday Costume Party- How Fun!

Here is the birthday boy, Zeky Brothers! I don't remember what he calls this costume, but it fit him well, and I didn't have to knit it for him. Ha! Inside joke....

There was Twister Game, A Brick House, two very Hippy Hipsters (they won best male and female costume), and let's see, what else?...

A Lilly of the Val. (has anybody out there seen the movie HiTops?) or a Polly Pocket or Fiesta or something, and an Indiana Jones (best boy costume), and .....
Us as Carl and Ellie Frederickson from the movie UP!, and don't forget little Russell sitting down, complete with the UP! house and balloons. There was also....

Alegra as Doug the dog from the movie UP!, and Russell again (he's just so cute!), and ....

Diella as a lion and Russell, and .....

Jamin and Celia as Kevin from the Office and a lion.

Here is Benaiah and Phil always getting their bonding time in. Benaiah just talked and talked to Phil. What fun we ALL had!

Shalom as Fancy Nancy.

Celia lion and Laura...uh...smiley makeup girl having some cake.

The pinata was great fun and nobody got hurt! Here, Alegra is taking her shot at breaking it open. She needed a little harder swing to bust that thing open.

After the busting and th bustling of children to gather their candy and glow toys.

Oh yes, can't forget Phil's costume- a whoopie cusion. He was now having his bonding time with Shalom. He just loves the little ones.

Out of costumes and relaxing while watching the wii playing going on. So much fun! Thanks Brothers for inviting us to your spectacular party fun!