To the Mom’s of Boys

Many who read this blog, may not know the small details to my life… such as how old I was when I got married. Many who I tell, gasp. cringe. think I am insane. wonder why. and often times, just give a smile and say something awkward.

I admit. I feel alone in my young age with so many on occasion. Majority of the time though, I am thankful.

I got married at 19.

2 years (not even) fresh out of high school.

I don’t have the memories of college dorms… or living on my own. While I attended a community college for a few years, it wasn’t much more than a couple classes and waitressing in between. Yes I use to waitress :) – another fact many may not know.

I always lived at home.

When I got married I had only had a license for two years.

I think my bank account had a few hundred bucks.

I don’t even think I had cooked a full meal on my own (my poor husband).

I was, young.

Travis and I choosing to get married when we did was meant to be. I don’t have regret of that… but I will say, being 19… and a wife. It’s a lot to take in.

Quickly into our marriage God began to bless us with children. I got pregnant 2 mo. after we got married… only to miscarry that sweet baby who I do believe was a boy… who we named Daniel (Ive never shared that here btw… but felt it was time), He passed just shy of my 2nd trimester. It was crushing and hard… and I remember it taking years to recover from. Even after the Lord blessed us with our 1st born Caleb, I had many boo hoo moments where Id cry over that small baby Daniel’s ultrasound. It is precious to me… and a memory I cherish. I know my husbands mom has a sweet baby boy with her in Heaven and that right there, brings me peace. Travis’ mom never got to meet me… or any of our children. I just have this mental image of her grinning with the same smile Travis inherited from her :) – as that sweet baby entered the gate.

After my 1st born Caleb was born, just shy of my 21st birthday… I never could have imagined the Lord would give me 3 more boys.

This verse holds such truth and is one of my favorites….


“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”
- Psalm 127:4

I am completely covered in boy love every single day…. and while some days are harder than others. One thing remains constant. They love me.

ED9A4643They love my imperfections.

They love me after I completely loose it…

They love me even after a bad meal with lots of veggies they hated to eat.

They love me after a long school day, where tempers boiled and tears may have been shed.

They love me with or with out my make up.

They love me with or without a bra.

They love me squishy stomach and soft unripped body and all.

They love my stupid faces and annoying voices.

They love me even in my brokeness.

Boys. Are the best…. and while it is all I know. What I do know is, I am so glad God gave me a house full of boys, who I know, love me in a way, that blesses me each and every day.

So. To the Mom of Boys.

Be brave.

Put on your flip flops or muddy shoes and get dirty.

Throw out the tight clothes and fashion forward skirts… (saving them for girls nights or a date night. No need to be mom-ish all the time)

Sit down, build, create… love on those boys. The messes, the boy jokes and obsession over their privates (already, geez) and smelly feet. One day, when they leave home, they will look back on their sweet short ole mom, and remember how she put up with all of it… and even when they leave, they will love you, in a way, that will forever melt your heart.

Remain strong. Guiding them and teaching them. One thing I am realizing, year after year… as I meet new people… am around others… see families at the park… and so on, is that God is so clear in His Word on how we are to teach… and guide… and discipline our children. There is nothing more frustrating to deal with than children who do not respect and obey. While every child will disobey… and disrespect at some point… teaching them the truth on why these things are so wrong… and so bad, is so important.


“He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
- Proverbs 13:24

I am so thankful that from the get go, The Lord began to work in my heart as well as my husbands in these areas… and while I know, our boys are not perfect. I am proud of them. I am proud of the fact I can go out with all 4 and be okay. I am thankful for their obedience and respect for others… while they have their moments of failure… like everyone… I see a desire in them to please. I love how when I call their name, they now say “Mam’…” and while it is just one word… it is a word that just echo’s respect and honor… and I am thankful for how we have pushed and taught our boys the value in this. I hope and pray my boys continue to grow… and mature…. desire to serve, treat others with respect… and dig more and more into God’s Word as the years pass.

Often times Believers are criticized on the verse above… where it speaks about the Rod. I for one am not here to tell anyone how to discipline their child. I think that is something a parent has to come to a decision about. We hardly spank it seems these days… but there is a time and place for it in our books. Done in love and with proper teaching to go with it. I remember early on as a mom, one time my child darted out from my arms in a busy parking lot and all I could see flashing before my eyes, was a car coming and when I yelled “STOP!!” that child disobeying me and getting killed by the passing car. This thankfully did not happen… but it surely could have.

Children need to be taught to obey… and fast…

No matter how you choose to discipline… always follow through. Actions always have consequences… My boys know this… and while at times it seemed like a loosing battle… Now that my oldest is almost 10, I am finally beginning to see the fruit of all that hard work…

Thankful for God’s Word.

Thankful for Wisdom.

For guidance and examples from other moms.

IThere is no shame and no harm in ever going to a friend and asking her questions… if anything I believe that to be biblical… I have done it myself… in fact I just did it last week… called up a mom of 8 (almost 9) – just asking her plain and simple “How do you do it….” in regards to home school, etc… as soon as I was ready to quit… give up, toss my kids on a school bus, she encouraged me… and gave me that boost that I needed to stick with my gut and keep at it. Those conversations are…

Humbling…

Needed….

…and so worth having.

Thankful to be where I am today.

Now 30.

No longer a teenager ;-) – newly married with one baby.

Lord has been good to me.

I am loved. By Him… and thankful for my these boys, all blessings.

ED9A4652 copy2

21 Months Old – Baby Reed

ED9A4636Reed will be 21 months old very soon – or maybe 22 :-\ – its hard to keep track after the 1 year mark honestly… but if we round up, I suppose we could say he is almost 2. Hard to believe huh? Thought it be fun to do a little update here for my own personal milestone journaling on him.

Reed talks very little in english :) – he has his own baby language going on.

The only things I do understand that he says are.

Huh – which is typically what he says when you say his name.

Mama

Dada

Tay – for Okay

Juice

and he mimics almost any SOUNDS the boys make that make absolutely no sense.

He is a late talker… and you know thats ok. All my boys but Taite talked late. Almost age 3 before they really spoke well. I remember Doctors pressuring me on this so often with well baby checkups. Esp with Owen. Freaked me out! They almost made me feel like a failure as a mom when Id go in and they’d say “He should say this many words by now… he needs to be seen by a therapist if not.” – that sorta thinking just got on my nerves in the world of pediatric apts…. which is why I never go to them any more. I don’t think Reed has had a well check up since 6 months old.

Reed is doing great though. Gaining weight well finally. He still is on the bottle. Loves his milk.

He is a huge fan of GREENS and other veggies. If you throw him a handful of fried rice, he picks out the peas and carrots first. So cute.

Reed sleeps A LOT at night.

8pm – 9am most times.

He takes 1 nap a day. 1pm-3 or 4pm. Its crazy!

He took 7 mo. to sleep through the night… but when he started to sleep, he sure didn’t waste any time making up for those first 7 months :)

ED9A4645

Reed loves the pool. Is a champ at diving under water.

His favorite toy is of course anything with wheels :) – he loves to push cars.

He is full of the most adorable expressions.

Easily upsetted by a “no” or rebuke. Funny how they learn what those are so early in life.

He SCREAMS his head off any time I leave him at church or with a sitter. Its pretty pathetic honestly. I have no idea how to break him of this :) – but we just say bye bye and wish him the best haha. They say he typically calms down after 5 minutes of tears. So sad :(

We love him so much and he could not be cuter. Even with his “photos” ops, he insist at raising that hand – love him.


ED9A4633

How I taught my kids to swim….

Found my small underwater video camera the other day while cleaning up my office. Shame it has been neglected for years :-\ – figured I may as well break it out at the pool and let the boys enjoy. It was fun… the kids loved watching themselves on camera swim under the water. Even baby Reed.

So I crammed the videos all together into one for you all to see. Warning. I talk in my weird some what annoying baby voice a lot in this video. Ignore it. Its just what I do :) – I have no control over it hah….

Before getting to the video though.

I thought I would talk a little bit about swimming… and teaching children to swim without the need for swim lessons.

Disclaimer: I am no swim expert. I have nothing against swim teachers. Swim lessons… or parents who choose to do swim classes. NO HARM IN THOSE THINGS at all. In fact, I am pretty sure my mom took my brother and I to swim lessons :) – and I at one point was on a swim team. So yea. No hate here. For us though, we chose not to do swim lessons…. for one simple reason “We couldn’t justify the cost… and really couldn’t afford it.” So -we made do with our own pool times and I taught the boys to swim on my own.

One thing I have always tried to encourage with our boys, is to be brave… and try. There is nothing wrong with being afraid of something… but even if you are afraid, I try to teach my boys, to at least give it a go… rather than to run the other way.

Caleb was probably my most fearful of water. I think because he was the 1st born… so he just didn’t really have the exposure to water like his younger siblings did. I think Caleb began swimming “well” around age 5 or 6. My other children though could fully swim by age 4.

Taite was swimming and diving in the water as early as 2, with help.

By far my earliest swimmer though, has been baby Reed. He is very fearless when it comes to water… and grasped the understanding of holding ones breathe, fast. The way I introduce my babies to holding their breathe, was to always count down. Look at them, 1, 2, 3…. and dunk them down. I didn’t do the whole breathing in their face either… that never worked for us. It seemed to just confuse them.

After a few goes, they got it.

I also am a HUGE fan of the Puddle Jumper Floats. Target sells them! By far the best pool purchase you can make. They last years and do not pop ;-) – you can even wash them if they get smelly.

So I suppose, how I taught my kids to swim.

Encouragement.

Persistence.

Grace.

Pushing.

Lots of trips to the pool :)

and… more encouragement. Kids love being praised… I also did simple lessons on kicking in the water and teaching them how to float on their back once they got comfortable with things. The rest comes naturally.

Now… onto the video..

Homeschool Binder’s – Weekly Scheduling

I posted on my instagram this morning about a new routine we started in our home schooling. With Travis returning to “normal” job hours recently, it has caused me to adjust to now being the sole school teacher in the house (for the most part)… and learning to tweak things to the way I feel works best. With Travis’ previous work schedule (being home during school hours and gone at night), he did majority of the schooling… Lets just say, his ways are not my ways :) – so I am finding sanity in some new methods as of late.


ED9A4032ED9A4011

One of those methods is using a binder and weekly schedules to help teach the boys independence. I started reading a book about the Charlotte Mason Method… and while some stuff I agree with and some I do not… one thing I did agree with was how she taught her children to be independent… So so important. Extra important for the mom of many who depends on independent older ones in order to deal with the responsibility of younger ones in the mix of it all.

For these binders I searched pinterest for a weekly schedule print out that would be easy for the boys to follow. You obviously could make up one yourself in Microsoft Word or Google Doc… but for me, finding something already made is always a win win :) – I found THIS ONE. It is free, feel free to click HERE to print and save the file yourself.

It is a basic weekly schedule that has room for you to write assignments for each child.

ED9A4028

ED9A4031

ED9A4023So what I am doing is every weekend I sit down alone with my boys books… and figure out what they need to complete for the upcoming week.

With the curriculum we use its pretty simple to do this. We use primarily all abeka work but also teaching textbooks for Caleb’s math and a few other resources for science, healthy, history and so forth. Right now since we are behind schedule this year, we are focusing more on the CORE stuff like math, language arts, writing, spelling, that sorta stuff… the rest is just extra and if it happens, awesome, if not, its ok.. I plan to be more on top of it next year if we have a normal routine ;-) – at least I hope to be.

Ok! SO to the point.

I write down Taite’s assignments on his printed out schedule.

I then organize in his binder with dividers each subject and all his worksheets.

I also add in a portion in the binder with extra paper. His test papers. Speed drills and other supplies he needs.

If he has reading books for that week, I place those in the side pockets of the binder. I also put a little zipper pocket thing to hold his pencils, erasers and a sharpener. This way I dont have little boys getting up saying they need a new pencil every 30 minutes.

ED9A4016I sat down with the boys and encouraged them to start on their work whenever they wanted in the morning. If I slept in with baby Reed and they got up super early… once they ate breakfast and woke up a bit, they were welcome to open their binders, see what needed to be done and to get started.

I encouraged the independence by creating a “treasure box” in the room, filled with little things from the dollar tree. As silly as it may seem, this seriously has been such a motivation for them! The idea of getting to go rummage through a box full of tiny toys pushed my boys even more to get their work done and to do it well. They have done so great at being independent with this system. In fact this morning I woke up at 9am… I was up til 3am sick… and so I did not feel great this morning… when I got downstairs though Caleb and Taite both ran to me and said “Guess what!?” I in my still groggy voice said “…. what?” They said, super energetically “We are almost totally done with our seat work!!” – yall it was 9am. HAHA! I was like “what time did you wake up?!” they said “7am. So for those two hours they spent it on their own, doing their work without my even saying to start.

ED9A4033

We obviously still had work to do after I got up. We did an hour of Health and Caleb still had computer work to do for Math and they both still had reading… The bulk of the busy work though was done and can I just say, this is huge for us. To not have to sit there and PESTER them to finish that seat work has been such a blessing.

While this system is still fresh for us… and obviously newness does wear off eventually… I foresee this working long term and look forward to it teaching my boys the power of independence and responsibility.

It also has been great for me at staying on task… and not skipping stuff as easily.

So in short, thats the Binder Method :)

Starting some new health curriculum with the boys on the human body. Just because it's may doesn't mean you can't study or start something new :) #beautyofhomeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #boymom #dudemom

Hopefully it encourages someone reading and works for you all too.

Feel free to comment with any questions you may have :)

You can follow all my home school pins too if you want – below.

Follow Drea Wood’s board Homeschool Activities on Pinterest.

Lazy 5 Ranch

Just a few photos of our adventures at the Lazy 5 Ranch. Such a fun place. If you are in NC you should go.

ED9A3115

If you can’t tell, Reed was super excited to go.

ED9A3135

Giraffes are fascinating!

ED9A3147

ED9A3156

Reed kept on calling the goat’s cats :) – he clearly needs to work on his animals.

ED9A3165

ED9A3173

ED9A3178-2

ED9A3181

I think this donkey wanted to eat my camera or was smiling? :)

ED9A3194

ED9A3198

Llama’s everywhere! Such funny creatures!

ED9A3225

Reed was so nervous when the bigger animals approached the van.

ED9A3244

ED9A3271

ED9A3257

Our van got a good amount of slobber on it.

ED9A3294

By this point we had to relocate Reed to the back of the van away from the animals.

ED9A3318

ED9A3308

Do you blame him? :)

ED9A3364

My brother in one group shot, my dad in the other :) – wheres a tripod when you need it.
Oh and my arm totally looks amputated.

ED9A3368