Monday, November 28, 2016

Team Montierth

One of the best parts of homeschooling is there is more time for fun with other homeschool friends.  We are lucky to have a few of these families nearby and I managed to catch a few of these pictures one afternoon.

I love how age isn't a barrier to friendship and while O is several years older than Keila, they could happily play Pokémon Go and he shared one of his favorite foods, peanut butter on banana.

The other nice thing is that homeschooling has really allowed us to keep on top of chores during the week so that weekends are free to be spent elsewhere.  Sometimes I take the girls to a pet store (Bug-love was terrified to hold this chick but once she got over her fear she was dying to bring it home!) Or we simply find time to play a game.
Or to go to a fair for Banner workers and volunteers.  The kids enjoyed the bounce houses, food and got to see firetrucks and helicopters up close.

Knowing there are special activities seems to motivate them to focus on their work, get chores done (because there's many more with more bodies at home) and helps our family feel more like a team.  These next two shots were of a trunk or treat at our ward party and a free scary pancake dinner from IHOP for Halloween day.  With a family as large as ours we rarely eat out so this was indeed memorable - much less the fact it was sweet pancakes!

There are times they really do get on wrong side of each other.  Bickering is still something we need to constantly nip in the bud, but there is also the other side of it.  I love it when I see Bud take on vaccuming for Bug because she's running behind and they both want to hear me read Harry Potter, or when I see Pumpkin playing with Bubby despite his rough ways.  They've begun to realize that life is better working together and hopefully these habits will foster strong relationships as they get older.
Childhood just seems more natural like this for us.  More time for exploring and play, more time with family and more time for love!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Cousin Fun!

Canada is a long way off so it's always a big treat when Auntie Samantha and Uncle James come to visit.  The last time they came there were no little cousins for my kids to play with but this time they had both Lucas and Else to love on qnd they couldn't get enough.  We meet up in Bearizona first:

Leora and Lucas both seemed to enjoy the petting zoo area

Of course there was a lengthy discussion about what a fox says ...

More fun with peacocks

The Raptor show is well worth it there.  Kent got to sit in and see it  while I wandered with Eli and managed a few good shots with the camera.

That last one is to give you and idea of how close they fly over your heads.  It's amazing how silent and swift they are!

James and Sam took a detour up to Antelope canyon so Keila waited impatiently for their return so she could love on the "oh so cute!' Elsa!  After that we spent one day at the Sea Life aquarium.  It was super overstimulating for Eli but fun for Keila.

The next day Kent took off and we went to the AZ Lego Discovery Museum.

Bubby was having a rough time but we gave him the old phone to play with and took him into the parent's lounge which was much quieter and he stayed happy.

For their final full day we wanted to do something that Lucas would love - what better than a train park!

The trip was topped off with a video call with Uncle Joe and Aunt Becky.  While we had lots of fun going to new places and seeing new things, I still cherish the memories of Lucas squealing with laughter at Isaac's antics, Keila and Leora gazing with adoration at Elsa, Lucas and Aubrey showing toys to each other over the call.  These weren't  things I had the chance to capture on camera, but they were the things that warmed my heart the most.  I never really knew my extended family but I hope that my kiddos will remember each other and grow in the love they share in being family.  Thanks to Uncle James and Aunt Samantha for making the trip out our way.  We love you guys!!