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Renae Today: February 2015

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February...  All I can say is that I'm glad the month has finally come to an end.  There were record breaking below zero temperatures and snow all month long.  I can count the number of times I left the house on one hand.  Our van became stuck in our driveway countless times.  The snowbanks were too high and neighbors were parked too close behind our driveway for us to make it out (and sometimes in).  Jason has cracked our bumper as he slips and slides, in an effort not to hit our neighbors' cars.  And then the latest incident in the driveway left us digging and burning rubber for two hours.  Thankfully three sets of neighbors came to help.  Inside the house, we had a leak in our bedroom.  Our furnace needed repairs.  The van decided to stop working one cold day.  A tow truck was called.  Sure enough, the van started up once help arrived, with no problems.  Gotta love when that happens!  Did I mention all of us but Jason were sick with a wonderful flu virus for the first part of the month?  (He's just finally come down with it.)

I admit, the month was a rough one, but we still have much to be thankful for.  We had a new roof put on our house this fall/early winter.  Had it not been completed when it was, I can't imagine how much water damage and destruction would have been done to our home during this month of snow.  Though our van did stop working one day for a couple of hours, it's worked fabulously in the coldest of temperatures.  Every time it's been stuck, Jason has managed to get it out of our driveway and make it to work.  The leak in our bedroom was not from our new roof and no damage was done.  Our furnace repairs cost barely any money at all.  And though we've been sick A LOT this winter with viruses, none of them have warranted a doctor's visit.  We are all still happy and healthy!  Here are some fun pictures and stories from the month!
 We studied Antarctica this month, learning about temperatures there, never imagining that the kiddos would actually be able to experience them in their own front yard.  Though they were only outside for a few minutes, they were able to experience -28 degrees F.  Notice Princess in the pictures.  I do believe she's finally worked through her trauma and PTSD issues related to snow and cold!  HOORAY for progress!
 The leak in the house was located in our bedroom.  I woke up to the sound of liquid spilling and splattering on wood.  At first it sounded like Bulldozer was sleep walking and peeing on our bedroom door.  (This has happened before.)  But then I realized it was coming from our bedroom window.  Water was pouring in a little stream from the top frame.  I called the insurance company and roofers, not knowing for sure what was going on.  Roofers were at our home within an hour.  The woman from the insurance company called back about the same time.  It turns out that our spacial boards were leaking, not the roof.  Due to heat escaping from our old windows, combining with the horrible temperatures outside, ice had built up and was now thawing.  The leak stopped after one day and hasn't returned, even with warmer temperatures. We'll have to see how things go this week as warmer temperatures hit.  I do believe we will be replacing the window soon!
 Valentine's Day was a bit of a disaster this year.  As always, I ordered the kiddos each a new book.  Of course Dinomite found them about a week before hand, so they didn't really receive anything on the special day.  I'm not quite sure why we chose to start giving our children a new book on Valentine's Day.  Part of it was the food allergy issues that made celebrating with chocolates and flowers impossible.  Then, there's always the fact that a new book is the best gift one can receive.  (At least in my opinion.)  I decided to go with educational books this year.  The kiddos have LOVED them.  From left to right: Dinomite's book, Bulldozer's book, Princess's book, & Sunshine's book.  I love that each of them has their own educational passion right now.  Dinomite loves geography.  Bulldozer keeps asking when we're doing another astronomy unit so he can learn more about the planets and stars.  Princess is so intrigued by the body right now.  Sunshine is all about animals.  If only Dinomite hadn't found the books early...

I spent the afternoon of Valentine's Day baking brownies and allergy friendly chocolate chip cookies for Sunshine.  As always, we were having our Valentine's Day candle light dinner with chocolate fondue, served with fruit and a variety of desserts for dipping.  Jason and I started this tradition a long time ago.  Going out on Valentine's Day isn't really something that happens for us.  Instead I'd prepare a late dinner (something really nice) and we'd enjoy the lovely fondue dessert.  Last year the kiddos joined us and LOVED it.  I thought this year would be the same.  Princess refused to eat her dinner.  Sunshine screamed all during dinner.  Dinomite whined and cried, and then sobbed during dessert because everything wasn't cut just right.  He ended the night by telling me that this Valentine's Day was the worst ever.  It was Bulldozer who saved the day, as he enjoyed dinner and dessert, and even went as far as wishing me a Happy Valentine's Day.

By the end of the night I was in tears.  Silly?  Yes.  But, in my defense, I had spent the entire afternoon making dessert and dinner.  We hadn't done learning time that day, which put us one more day behind.  I was still trying to recover from being sick.  I had put forth so much effort to make the day nice for the kiddos.

Jason and I talked about holidays that night.  In the future we'll only be celebrating Easter, Christmas and birthdays.  All other holidays we see fit to include in our lives will take the form of learning time units.  At least that way, the kiddos still learn about them, and enjoy aspects of them, but they won't create more stress, chaos, and grumpiness for all involved, especially me.  I'm cutting back!

Speaking of learning time, we've had a pretty productive month, once everyone was feeling better.  We're still about 6 weeks behind schedule due to so much sickness this year, but I have faith we can still fit everything in.  Here are some of our fun moments from the past couple of weeks.  I LOVE the picture of all four kiddos working quietly.  Moments like that remind me just how far they've come.  Even Sunshine is working hard at her own table in the background.
I'm super excited to give our learning time room a full makeover this Spring!  This room was originally designed to be my music studio, hence the red walls to evoke emotions.  I don't recommend red for learning.
I can't forget to mention that Bulldozer lost his first tooth this month!  He was so proud.  For the remainder of the day, after pulling it out, he gave me hugs and cuddles EVERY time he saw me.  The kiddo was so proud.  He has another tooth on it's way out too.  I give it to the end of the week.  In case you're wondering what we do when a kiddo loses a tooth in our house, I'll share.  Dinomite was petrified of losing teeth and the idea of the tooth fairy.  So we created a treasure box full of little toys and prizes for when he loses a tooth.  Bulldozer has decided instead of getting a tiny toy for one tooth, he's saving up teeth to get a new LEGO set.  Lol.

And now for our biggest news of all for the month of February...  We've booked our first family vacation to Walt Disney World!  All six of us will be flying to Florida on October 14th and staying at a Walt Disney World resort until October 20th.  I've spoken with Walt Disney World several times in the past two weeks.  They are AMAZING when it comes to families with kiddos who have disabilities and food allergies.  While there, we're using one of their meal plans.  I won't have to cook for a week!  The chefs will speak to us before hand and prepare allergy friendly meals for all of our kiddos at every meal at no extra charge.  All of us are excited. The planning and saving has already begun!  And in case you're wondering, you can definitely count on some Disney themed unit and activity posts next fall.

As for this week, I'm hoping to catch up with blogging.  I still haven't been able to share part 2 of our Europe study, along with Dinomite and Bulldozer's new anxiety kits, our wish lists tradition, and a book review  (All posts have been started, just not finished).  This is on top of new unit and activity posts for this week.  We'll be learning all about our teeth and going to the dentist!

That's Renae today!


  1. Kudos to you for keeping on with life's little trials! That's all an evolutionary process, and like a first lost tooth, some things will have to be extracted, and some things will have to withstand and go on. Just keep things going positively, and everything will be alright. Don't forget to update us about going to the dentist. All the best!

    Lindsey Hubbard @ Team Green Dentistry

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