Category Archives: Patrice

Laughing and Learning

It is beautiful outside right now.  The weather is beautiful, the laughs and giggles are beautiful.  And the learning is beautiful.

Patrice is having some trouble learning sight words so I am trying to incorporate some new methods…one involves a beach ball with some of her words written on it–when you catch the ball you have to read whatever word your right hand is closest too.
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“Look”

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I also sported some handmade bling for the sight word of the day, which you might have guessed is THE.  Patrice also wrote the word of the day on the whiteboard.  We’ve been having some trouble with the word the because Patrice finds it boring and she doesn’t like to read boring words–so I decided to jazz things up around here!!

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A Compliment

Except for this for my Sue when she learned how to read a challenging book,2014-06-02 09.22.41 2014-06-02 09.26.16 2014-06-01 14.13.35 2014-05-31 22.22.22I have never colored my hair.  I’ve always been proud of it’s color and was afraid if I dyed it, what I had when the color grew out would not be what I have now.

I was born with red hair, but after that was a blondie.  And have always considered myself a natural blonde.  There are times my hair looks pretty brown, but if I dry it with a hair dryer or let it dry naturally before I pull it back, it is primarily blonde.

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I was once at a hairdresser getting a cut and a lady walked by me, pointed at my head and said, “I want her color.”  My hairdresser told me a lot of people come looking for what I sport naturally.

That has stuck with me.  Obviously.

And it got me thinking about our words.  That whole conversation took place over 15 years ago.  And I still think of it.  That one compliment still impacts me.  15 years.

What will my girls think of my works in 15 years?  Caitlyn will be almost 25, Sue almost 24, and Patrice almost 21.  What will stick with them?  Which of my words will matter to them?

We Went We Saw

Four years ago, we headed a few states over for a family wedding.  We did some camping along the way.

Turns out, I remember very little of it.

Patrice was one years old.  I don’t remember her being there at all.  Hubby tells me she was very good about camping and the wedding, but if you ask me, she wasn’t even there.

And sorry to my niece who was getting married, I don’t remember the wedding at all.  I am sure it was just lovely.  Really lovely, but you see, I was very sick with the postpartum depression and bipolar at the time.  Life at that time was really hard and so very foggy.

But time has passed and my meds are better…and my mind is allowing me to think and remember.

So this trip to a wedding was very different.  It was very nice.  We went to our nephews’ wedding and then headed to Lake Michigan to relax and even visit Chicago for a day.

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A waterfall in Wisconsin we visited with family before heading to Lake Michigan2016-06-08 07.36.48 2016-06-08 07.38.41 2016-06-08 09.24.22 2016-06-08 11.54.49 2016-06-09 10.28.58 2016-06-09 11.20.57 2016-06-09 12.29.25 2016-06-09 12.32.43 2016-06-09 15.09.42 2016-06-09 15.19.48 2016-06-09 15.50.44 2016-06-09 19.28.26 2016-06-10 13.37.00 2016-06-10 20.41.52 2016-06-10 20.53.07

Meeting another warrior mom was a huge highlight of the trip!!!2016-06-10 21.42.05 2016-06-11 08.21.03 2016-06-11 09.31.27 2016-06-11 12.10.21 2016-06-11 19.01.13 2016-06-11 20.51.33 2016-06-12 08.35.53This trip was fantastic and I am hoping to remember it for a very long time!!!

Patrice Got My Phone

I discovered today, while needing to delete photos to make room that Patrice had gotten a hold of it at some point and had fun posing!

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Cookies

What one does, the others must do.  Even when it comes to cookie baking.

Catilyn can now bake almost completely on her own.  She does a great job with very little input from me.  Sue and Patrice want to do it too.  But their skills are at a different level, there is a great deal of fighting, and they are younger, so mama has to be a lot more involved.

And I don’t wanna.  I’ve gotten spoiled.  I’ve gotten lazy.

But here I am.  I’ll expect my mommy of the year award any moment.

Right now Sue is telling Patrice they can’t use the mixer because they are making old fashion cookies and doing it the old fashion way.

Well, okay then.

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And Sue just realized she put in one too many eggs, so I am doing some quick math in my head to try and fix it (okay, not such hard math, but hey, it’s my blog, I can sound as amazing as I want, right?).  My goal is to have her do all the reading and hopefully she’ll start to understand why she needs to read well.

It’s a darn good thing the baking process will kill germs introduced in the mixing process.

And the flour is everywhere.  Yippee, we get to mop when we are done!

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And cookies.

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All the Pretties

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What Does Grace Look Like?

This is what grace looks like:

Leah at park 2010Grace is 5 years ago this little bundle screaming her head off as we put her up to the slide (not down the slide), while her very sick mama battled postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis in the background.

2015-10-01 18.01.08Grace is a mama still be here, homeschooling, her three beautiful daughters that 5 years ago today she tried to surrender them to her midwife during a psychotic break.

2015-10-28 09.22.43Grace, grace, Gods’ grace is this little girl, who was screaming on that slide 5 years ago while her mama battled for her mind, now wrapping her arms around her mama and telling her she’s the best mama ever.

 

Preparations Underway

True story?  I don’t know if I already wrote this post.  But I thought it was time to share our homeschooling plans for the year.  I am just about done putting together several binders for the girls to work from.

We are doing a lot of projects called lapbooks.  In lapbooks you use file folders to arrange information using booklets, wheels, glued in facts, whatever it takes to help the information to stick.

We will be doing these lapbooks for American History, Science, and Art.  It is a nice blend of facts and hands on work.

Caitlyn and Sue will continue with handwriting, hopefully cursive for both.  Patrice will start with printing.  We will also continue with Explode the Code for phonics and Fred for math with Sue and Patrice.  Caitlyn will be working with Teaching Textbooks for math.

Patrice will begin with learning the last few of her letters, Bob books, and then Life of Fred early readers.  Sue, Caitlyn, and I will chose their books based on level and interest.  Right now Caitlyn is working on the Cupcake Diaries and Sue the Critter Club.  We picked them up at Costco today.  Quietest trip ever through the store as they had their noses buried in the books.  I kept having to tell Sue to be careful or she would get clobbered by another shopper, but honestly, I was more than willing to keep my eyes open for her if it kept her reading!!!

We will also continue with our beloved co-op where I will be teaching for the first time–Heroes of the Faith.  Caitlyn will be in the 4-6 grade group, Sue the 1-3 grade and Patrice Kindergarten.

I am very excited about our coming year.

What do you look forward to with your kids?  What do you like to see them learning/excelling in?

 

Five Years Gone

Patrice is 5 today.  Five.

In some ways that makes me 5 as well.  Five years ago mental illness invaded me first as baby blues, then postpartum depression and anxiety with a psychotic episode.  And it never went away.

My therapist said I should look at all the good times during those 5 years.  And I try, and succeed, pretty often.  But every good time was against the landscape of mental illness.  Me trying to cope.  Me trying to learn to live.  Me trying to live.

Patrice has grown from a little baby.

all three girls 2010 Leah at park 2010To an amazing 5 year old who loves fiercely, can add up to 5, can’t wait to learn to read, crazy cute and oh so funny.  Amazing.

2015-08-07 11.39.05The years have been sweet.  The years have been hard.  But we are here to celebrate them together.  My Patrice and I.

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Flopping Fish

I look at myself and I see a fish.  A fish that has been pulled out of the water and is now flopping every which way on the pier.  This way and that.  Struggling to find a comfortable spot.

The last 5 years have been hard.  Patrice will be 5 August 7.  So, that is when my postpartum depression started, but the struggle came a month before when Patrice did some flopping around of her own.  I was on a crazy roller coaster of emotions as she moved in and out of breech for the last 5 weeks.

I cried, I prayed, I sang, I played music to her.  I even put clothespins on my baby toes.  Don’t ask, it didn’t work.

Thankfully she decided head down was a nice position and she was born without much trouble–besides the cord being wrapped around her neck, but my midwife quickly took care of that.

She came.  She was beautiful.  Our family was perfect.

I was anything but.

Five years later I live with a handful of pills three times a day to control the Bipolar Disorder II that came after the postpartum depression and anxiety.

But the last weeks have been good.  I came out of my last depression May 14.  That makes this good stretch 2 months long.  I haven’t had that much since Patrice started flopping in my belly.  I have days that are harder than others, today being one, but overall, I am in a great place.

So why the flopping fish?  I can’t find a comfortable spot in the good.  I feel like I am continually flopping around trying to settle in and enjoy; every blip unsettles me.  I am sure this is the day the darkness or the mania will come.  But, thankfully, it hasn’t been that day yet.  And yet, I find myself questioning every moment, every feeling.

Will I ever be comfortable here?  I want to be, but I have no idea how to relax my brain after all these years.  My mind has betrayed me so many times I don’t trust it in anyway.

But I breathe.  I look for comfort.  I look for that peace.  I reflect on the two months.  I work to rest my soul, to nurture myself, to heal during this time.

I have no confidence this will last forever, but I am hoping to stop flopping long enough to enjoy it!