One goal for the kids this summer was to memorize the books of the Bible. I thought it would take awhile and well, I was wrong. It's still amazing to me how quickly children can learn. We have this CD and it has a song for the books of the Old Testament and one for the New Testament.

It took them 2 days to learn the OT song and another 2 to learn the NT song and we only listened to it while we were driving in the car. Crazy. Now they can recite all of the books in the Bible. It's funny because I still use the song I learned as a child when looking for some of the Minor Prophets! :)

Also, do you remember that song, "I'm blue, da ba dee da ba die", well, Rick started singing it one day and the kids thought it was hilarious so he looked it up on youtube to show them. Well, Henry really loves it so along with the books of the bible, you might hear him singing, "I have a girlfriend, and she is so blue." It's hilarious!

ALSO, I was going to make chart to help the kids learn the catechism. The idea was that once they learned the answer, they could put a star by the question. Well, I googled "catechism chart" and found that someone had already made one! Here is the link if anyone is interested:
That's all for now!


"Are y'all going to have more"? and the Dr's Visit

I'll start with the doctor's visit. I took Sims for his 2 week check up today. Let me just say that our doctor's office is not equipped for 5 kids plus mom plus doctor/nurse in the actual room. See picture below. Our room is the length of the table and about that wide. Once the nurse/doctor came in the room, the kids had to hop off of the table and the nurse/doctor kept tripping over them. They were sitting down and everything but the room is just tiny and there are only 2 chairs. We survived the 1 hour and 20 mins we were in the tiny room but I'm going to have to figure out what to do in the future. I'd have no problem leaving the girls in the waiting room but I'm afraid someone would call DHR. Think I'm going to have to drop the girls off at Boo's house :)

Rick and I think it's funny that just about everyone we come in contact with (family, friends, strangers) all ask us if we are going to have more children. It's not that we think the question is funny, it's just that we've really never been asked it that much before. No one asked that when I had Kate or Claire. With Henry, we got a lot of, "Oh good. You got your boy. Now your family is complete." We didn't get many comments after Jack. Now, it's all the time. EVERY single nurse I had at the hospital asked me that question and then went on to tell me about how they had just taken care of a lady who had delivered her 18th (yes, 18th), or 9th or 6th, etc. They all encouraged us to have more. I was glad to know the nurses taking care of baby and me at the hospital like their jobs.

Rick and I were talking about this last night and I think I've figured out why everyone is asking now. I think people want to know if we are on the far extreme of "normal" or if we are just one ofthose families. I think most everyone, especially in the Christian community, knows a family with 5 children or have at some point; so, while not the average family size, it's not completely foreign. However, few people know families with more than 5 children. So I guess people just want to know what category we fall into. We do not mind at all when people ask us and that's why I'm writing about it now. It is funny how society shapes opinions on family size. One society may see them as a blessing while another, a burden. One may pray for children, another do everything to prevent them. A pastor we know was asked how many children he had on a trip to Israel. When he responded with the number of children he had (above the average in the US), the questioner said he would pray the Lord would bless him with more. Imagine hearing that in our country.

So, what is the answer: I don't know. I don't know what the Lord has in store for us. Ask Rick and you'll get a longer answer and much better worded than mine.

And now for 2 pictures. Apparently it's not just mamma that suffers from newborn exhaustion, big sisters get it too:
This little guy is my favorite child for the day. He slept from 11pm until 5:45am!!! LOVING that!


Curriculum 2011-2012

Here is the much anticipated (Ha!) curriculum post. If you've never thought about/researched homeschooling, you'd be amazed at the amount of curriculum providers out there. There are literally hundreds and of course all claim to be the best, make your kids the smartest or be the best value. In addition, there are numerous philosophies to wade through: phonics vs whole word, mastery vs. spiral, subject immersion vs. many topics, 4 yr cycle or no 4 yr cycle, Latin or no Latin, heavy academics early vs. delayed academics, phonetic spelling vs. dictated spelling, Classical, Charlotte mason, textbook, etc. It is seriously crazy and I have about gone crazy trying to decide what to use. Eventually a decision just has to be made and you have to realize that no curriculum is perfect, no child is perfect, no teacher is perfect, and nothing can make any of these things perfect. So, you just have to pray, keep your goal in mind, and try to research best you can.

So, here's what we chose!

1st grade:

Bible: VP Press Genesis-Joshua, scripture memory, catechism
Math: CLP 1
Reading: Books from various book list (VP, Sonlight, Heart of Dakota)
Read Alouds (Books I read to the girls): Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts list
Greek: Hey Andrew (this is simply to learn letters and sounds)

I know that looks like a TON of stuff but it's not really. Science, for example, will only be done 2 times a week, Grammar, 3 times a week, and Greek and Spelling will only take 5-10 mins a day. Trust me, my school day with Kate will be under 2 hours.

There will be a lot of overlap between the girls on various subjects.
Bible: VP Genesis - Joshua, scripture memory and catechism
Reads Alouds, Science, History, Poetry, Narration, Greek - all the same as Kate

I also have this book for beginning geography and this book for art appreciation. Both will be done once a week or as a unit in the spring depending on how all of the above are going.

Also, I buy almost all of our curriculum used. Here are the sites I use:
http://www.amazon.com/ I purchased the art appreciation book for $0.01 at amazon :)

We'll easily be finished with our day by lunch time. And don't you worry about the boys, Henry will sit in on some of our lessons, Jack will play close by, and Sims will be sleeping. I'll have plenty of time with my boys. They are with me 24 hours a day and I love them and I love to spend time with them.


2 week assessment

Sims will be 2 weeks old at 5:36pm. Here's my 2 week tummy assessment according to Kate:

"Wow Mommy! Your tummy has gone down lot!!! Now it just looks like you've eaten a lot."


10 days old

Sims is now 10 days old. He is off the bilibed and has been since Saturday night. Thankfully, he was only on it for about 48 hours even though we thought it would be much longer than that. His bilirubin at the beginning of treatment was 19.4 which apparently is pretty high.

The other children are doing great with the new addition. Kate and Claire fight over holding him, Henry loves to ask where his tiny brother is, and Jack likes to hold him for approximately 0.4 seconds. Henry and Claire have been at VBS in Gadsden this week with Rick's parents so tomorrow is the first day I'll be solo with all 5 unless Rick decides to stay home and play with us (hint, hint.) In that case, Monday will be my first day. I'm ready to get back into a routine even though I'm still very tired.

Sims has been a great sleeper so far. Last night he slept from 10pm - 4am and then again until 8am. You may remember that Rick and I are sleep Nazis and work very hard to get our children to sleep through the night early and get them on a good nap schedule. Maybe we won't have to work so hard on this one!

We are so very thankful for our little crew. I pray that the Lord with give us all patience and gentleness in dealing with one another during the next weeks of sleep deprivation and adjustments. I pray we will be quick to repent, quick to forgive and quick to serve one another. I pray the Lord will allow my little ones to hold fast to the gospel, in spite of a mother who doesn't portray Christ and His love like I should....but am thankful for a Savior who will hold fast to us, in spite of our failings.


Harder than I thought....

It's much harder than I thought to get a picture with all the kiddos. Maybe it will work better in about 10 years. However, I doubt they will all be this cute :)


Simon Oliver Hutchinson

He's here! Sims was born Monday night at 5:36pm. He weighed 8 lbs and 9 oz. He was 21 1/8 inches long and has a head full of black hair (he even has sideburns)!
We came home on Wednesday night and on Thursday, we found out that he has jaundice. He's been on a light therapy bed in our home since then. The boys were with Rick's parents in Gadsden and came home right when Sims was put on the bed so I still don't have a picture of all 5 children together. I plan to take one tomorrow, no matter what!
We are all doing well. We are tired but mainly thankful and full of joy at what the Lord has given us. I still can't believe we have 5 children. It's funny to see them all together crowded around their new little brother. Everyone loves him and I know he's going to fit right in.

Ok, I just took this one. It's blurry but at least they are all in it!