Halloween 2015

When your mom has had a Harry Potter addiction for the past 14 years (which is more than half her life, let’s be honest here) it’s only natural that at one point in your life you’ll have to dress up as Harry Potter characters to please her.

2015 was that year.

Why did I wait so long? (Several of my friends have expressed confusion that I waited until now.)

Well, I currently have four beautiful children, and there are four Hogwarts houses. (Also, spell check didn’t try to tell me that Hogwarts isn’t a word. I can die happy now.)


Now, while I am completely obsessed, I am really careful with my children and what I let be put into their minds. We don’t do scary, and the Harry Potter books can get scary for some children, and the later books get darker and IMO too dark for my small kiddos. So, I make them wait until they are eight years old to read the first three books. The rest are undecided on what ages they are appropriate.

So, only Sydney has read any of the books. She’s the only one who understood it. The rest of them just went along with it to please me πŸ˜‰ They’re awesome!

Sydney is my intelligent, reader who thinks long and hard on everything. So clearly she’s Ravenclaw. Audrey is loyal, true, and the sweetest little girl I know. She’s also a particularly good finder (in case you’ve seen A Very Potter Musical, haha) so she’s the perfect Hufflepuff. Zachary is a stinker, so he’s Slytherin πŸ˜‰ And Ruby is brave to join our family (okay…so I already had a Gryffindor diaper, so she automatically got Gryffindor.)


This year we saw the grandparents, and got soaking wet getting back to the car, so we decided against going to our yearly Trunk or Treat, since it was pouring buckets. No thanks! Instead we went to my mom’s house and my sister did my make up. Which made up for my lack of a costume.


This year we only carved FOUR pumpkins, despite having six ready for us. Jordan’s rotted quickly so it got tossed. And after carving theirs I just didn’t feel like carving another, so just the four this year. Next year we might just paint them, because this is the reality.



Okay, so actually the kids were not too bad this year. Audrey did scoop out a lot of her pumpkin, and Sydney gave it a good effort (her pumpkin had extremely an extremely tough shell, it was difficult for Jordan and I), and Zachary was a stinker.


In the beginning Zachary ran off after blowing raspberries at us.

In the middle Audrey got bored and Sydney got frustrated.

So in the end, they watched Hocus Pocus. Jordan scooped, I carved, and Ruby ate a snack.

This year our theme was “simple” so the kids either choose a face from Pinterest (and EASY one) or drew their own, and I carved it out. Jordan did Ruby’s sunshine.


That’s a wrap! We had fun, got lots of yummy goodies, and stayed warm and dry tonight while we watched Hotel Transylvania with the kiddos, pausing it to pass out candy to those brave souls who were trick or treating.

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Nine Months Old | Ruby Lyndis


Look! It’s still October, so I’m doing pretty good. And this picture was taken ON her 9th month, so I’m doing REALLY good.

Do you recognize that bed? Nope, it’s not mine. But it’s the same bed that I was on while I had my maternity pictures taken, NINE MONTHS AGO!

But seriously, my baby is now nine months old. Just no, not cool, Miss Ruby.

Ruby loves to be sang to, her favorite is Fall Out Boy. I usually sing “Alone Together” while I rock her to sleep.

Ruby also likes to dance to Fall Out Boy, especially “Phoenix.” Okay…maybe I just like Fall Out Boy and I listen to them often. But it’s why my kids like my music πŸ˜‰

She is doing better on the sleep front. I feel badly for complaining that she’s my worst sleeper, because in reality she isn’t a bad sleeper. But her 3 older siblings were fantastic sleepers. She’s just not fantastic at sleeping yet.

But she did sleep in her own bed for an entire week, she went to sleep in it and woke up 10 hours later in it. Which is pretty awesome.

She loves fleece blankets. I hate fleece, so Jordan (and probably my Gramma) get a good laugh about it.

She’s not so much a thumb sucker anymore, and is a big fan of her pacifier.

She doesn’t like pureed food, but loves table food. Jordan is awesome at feeding her things off his plate. She loves beans!

She has started to tease her brother, and she LOVES making him angry. He is definitely her favorite person and if he pays her any attention she’s laughing up a storm.

She got TWO teeth this month!

This month she got to go to the pumpkin patch.

This girl can be such a calm, patient little thing. And luckily she chooses pretty good times to do that. But most of the time she wants to be on the floor getting into EVERYTHING. She loves CDs, she loves to clap her hands, pull herself up on anything and everything, she is constantly moving around!


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Why I Homeschool, No Apologies


Every single time I talk to someone new I get asked where my children go to school. I absolutely hate this question, because I know the response I will get as soon as I say I homeschool.

“Oh, wow. I could never do that.”


“I wish I could homeschool, but I’m just not patient enough to do so.”

I really hate both these statements.

I want to start off this post by saying something; I am not patient in the least. That’s not me being modest. Or humble. I’m seriously not patient. When listing my attributes no one would ever use the word patient to describe me. No one ever has, and no one ever will. But yet I get that label the second someone hears I homeschool.

Want to know why I homeschool?

First, I am extremely selfish. I worked hard to get my babies here. Most were overdue, and most took lots of planning, dedication, tons of tears, prayers and my savings account to get here. I don’t want to share them. I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. I want to watch them learn and grow. This is also why we’ve made it a priory for me to stay home with my kids. I was there for their first smile, their first laugh, first tooth, first step. I want to be there for the first time they solve a long division problem, the first time they successfully sound out a word. I want to be there when they surpass my math abilities. And they will surpass my math abilities, in a few years in fact.

Second, I’m paranoid. I do not believe that school is the safest place for my children to be. I don’t think school is a positive place to be. I think that’s it can be extremely harming to your self worth. I was bullied through most of school, and I don’t think it gave me “character.” I don’t think that being teased and tormented daily is a necessary part of life. I don’t think it made me a better person. It made me a more sarcastic person, it gave me zero tolerance for it. And school is not a safe place for that. Zero tolerance rules don’t keep bulling out, they just mean that you get bullied badly enough that you’re scared, and ashamed, to tell. Which I don’t think it useful for the real world. In the real world that’s harassment, and it’s illegal. It’s not “kids just being kids.” It’s adults losing their jobs and having restraining orders filed against them.

Third, I honestly fail to see why school is so long and then kids come home with a mountain of homework. You kept my kid for 7 hours a day, and then there are several hours of homework? No. And my lack of patience? I think I’d stab myself in the eye if I had to help with homework. If you teach the lesson it’s way easier to help with the work. But if you weren’t there then the teacher is always correct and you are wrong. Eye stabbing.

Forth, I love the one on one personalized education that I can give my children. I spend an entire year (preschool) learning all about my child’s learning style. I learn what works, what doesn’t, what causes anxiety, their strengths and their weaknesses. When we start kindergarten they know the school drill, they know what’s expected of them and I know how to teach them. I love that each subject is individualized for them, their learning style and their ability. If a curriculum doesn’t work for a child we can change it so that it does work. I’m not smashing them through a mold and hoping it works out. I was once told that this was damaging because it makes them think it’s all about them and that they aren’t use to having to wait. I laugh. Last year, and in Kindergarten, Sydney was given lessons while I nursed a new baby and kept a toddler from harm. There is always someone yelling or jumping off of something. They have learned to study in a war zone, and they’ve learned to be patient while I get to them because their needs aren’t always met first. So she’s learning to pull out a book during the boring moments in life. I call this a win.

Fifth, I absolutely love the relationships they are developing with each other. Sydney and Audrey are best friends, they get to spend all day every day with each other. The most important relationships they will ever have are with their family. If you can get along with your siblings then you can get along with anyone. Especially when one of those siblings does everything in his power to irritate you.

And most importantly? I homeschool because it is what I feel is best for my children. These are my children that I have been entrusted with. It doesn’t make me a better mother because I homeschool. It doesn’t make you a worse mother because you send your children to public school. My job is to do what I believe is best for my children. Period. Their needs above mine. I’m not going to lie, this is hard work. But anything worth while is difficult. Yes, it would be nice to go to the grocery store without four kids in toe, and it would be nice to have some alone time. Both of those things will happen, long before I’m ready, and before I know it. I’ll enjoy them then, but for now I’m enjoying learning with my children.

And PS, you could so homeschool and you’d rock it. But if you don’t want to that’s okay too. We live in an awesome day and age where we have choices. You might think you’d never be able to homeschool, but I think I’d never be able to send my children to public school. You do you, but let’s still be friends. If you want to homeschool though, I’ll be your cheerleader. I look great in the uniform! πŸ˜‰

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8 Months! | Ruby Lyndis

We are going to pretend I’m on top of this. But honestly, she’s almost 9 months, so this post is a wee bit late.

Anyhow, Ruby turned 8 months!web

This sweet girl can pull herself to a stand, sit, and sometimes crawl on her hands and knees. But usually she prefers to army crawl.

She loves to get into things, paper being her favorite.

No teeth yet.

Wearing size 6 months clothes still.

Zachary is her favorite, she always has a smile for him.

She clicks her tongue, but uses the back of her tongue and not the front. We spent a while trying to figure out how to do that.

She still isn’t a great sleeper. She now stays up until 10 or 11 playing until she passes out. Life is apparently way too much fun.

She loves Cherrios.

Not a big fan of squash, but will now accept bananas.

She scrunches her noses and gives a really cheesy smile when she’s excited.

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Audrey’s Bob Books| {Freebie!}

We are five weeks into school now and I decided to give Audrey another go with Bob Books. Previously we’d tried a few different approaches to reading with Miss Aud, and unfortunately she became super frustrated with all of them. Since I didn’t know where she was skill-wise with the Bob Books we started having her read them all, which helped me figure out where she was and also boost her confidence.

Audrey loves stickers, and she loves the accomplishment of adding a sticker to a chart. With Sydney we used this Bob Book process chart and it was fantastic. But Audrey is overwhelmed a little more easily and can get discouraged quickly. So I started looking for a single book set process chart and was finding very little success.

So what do you do? You make one! I also figured I’d share with all of you. She just finished the first set of beginning readers and tomorrow we will start the Kindergarten Sight Words set. In our house after every single book set they get to have a date. They get to choose who goes on the date with them and what the activity is.

Audrey’s first chosen date is taking the whole family out to ice cream. She’s such a kind hearted considerate little girl <3


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7 Months | Ruby Lyndis


This baby is now SEVEN months old. We are closer to her first birthday than we are to the day she was born. Crazy, huh?

On August 8th, 2015 she started to crawl. She’s now into EVERYTHING and is so busy. She also takes way more naps because crawling all over the place is apparently exhausting.

She showed no interest in sitting, and every time you’d make her sit she’d instantly stand up.

Since we are now crawling, bathtime needed some changes, so I put her in a laundry basket during her bath. She loved it, but was more interested in trying to stand up rather than her normal splash fest.

Still a hair puller. But can now add hair licker to her resume. She always tries to eat my hair!

She has eaten pears, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, bananas and apple sauce. She didn’t like pears very much. Hates green beans and bananas. Loved carrots but threw up both times she had them (try it again later.) She also loves sweet peas and apple sauce.

She accidentally had her first taste of ice cream this month, when she attacked and sucked it down as quickly as she possibly could.

She loves to babble!

She is the happiest little girl I’ve ever met. She only cries when she’s hungry or tired. Otherwise she’s full of smiles and giggles. And often, slobbery kisses!

She thinks her siblings are funny and often smiles when they come in the room.

She wakes me up every morning by licking my face and laughing.

She sleeps in her own bed from 9:00 p.m. until about midnight and then she gets lonely and comes snuggle with me until 7 when she eats and takes a morning nap.

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2015-2016 Curriculum List

Yesterday marked the first day of our 5th year of homeschooling. And this year is Audrey’s first day of Kindergarten. Every single year I wonder how I got here, how is it that my kids are even old enough to be in school?

But here we are, and here is the list of curriculum that we will be using this year!

Sydney is in the THIRD GRADE. Like Whoa.


Math: Math-U-See Gamma

Science: Sonlight Science D (Biology, Taxonomy and Human Anatomy)

English: Writing With Ease Level 3, First Language Lessons Level 3, All About Spelling Level 3+

Reading: Ginger Pye, School Story, B is for Betsy, Enyclopedia Brown, Betsy & Tacy, Along Came a Dog, The Lightning Thief, James and the Giant Peach, Ramona Forever

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting Transition

Art: Home Art Studio 3rd Grade

Read Alouds: Little House in the Big Woods, Stuart Little, The Cricket in Time Square, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, Prince Caspian

History: Story of the World Volume 3 (Early Modern)

Biographies: This year we are focusing on some biographies and she will read one each month from the Whoe Was…? Series.
Clara Barton, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Sally Ride, Louis Braille, Claude Monet, Queen Elizabeth, Franklin Roosevelt, Daniel Boone, Babe Ruth.


Math: Math-U-See Primer

Science: Sonlight Science A (Biology, Biotoany, Physics)

Reading: Bob Books Box 1+

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting K

Art: Home Art Studio Kindergarten

Read Alouds: Sonlight A


Together they will be reading Old Testament Stories and doing Expedition Earth: Europe!

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6 Months Old! | Ruby Lyndis

I give up, I’m a broken record. But I will never understand how my babies can grow so quickly! They grow up so fast!! Time could really slow down now and I’d be totally cool with it.


Miss Ruby is now half a year old! Can you believe it?!

She babbles all the time.

Is a pro at rolling over and uses it to get around.

The first thing she does to the person holding her is pull their hair.

Then she tries to eat their hair.

She will only take a pacifier if she’s sleepy.

Otherwise she’s a thumb sucker, with no preference (usually it’s the right thumb but she doesn’t care.)

She smiles when you talk to her.

She’s ticklish!

She adores her big brother.

Is terrified of her Audrey.

Smiles at her Sydney.

Mama is one of the only people she will let put her to sleep.

She still sleeps in our bed.

This month she got to travel to Idaho and watch her Uncle Ryan graduate from BYU-I, and while there she got to meet all her aunts and uncles (and cousin!) on the Sherman side.

No teeth.

Hates bananas, but will eat a few bites of sweet potatoes.

Got to go swimming for the first time, she LOVED it.

She weights 15lbs 8oz and is 26 inches long.

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8 Years Old! | Sydney Capri


Sydney Capri is now 8 years old!!! How is that possible?

My first born baby is amazing. She is brilliant, sassy, and loves to read.

She woke me up on her birthday asking me, “Where’s the first Harry Potter book?!” (I’ve told her since she was small that she can’t read the books until she turns 8.)

This year she has suddenly turned shy when she’s around anyone but immediate family.

She also developed this highly over exaggerated (and loud!) laugh that she swears is her real laugh.

She stays up most nights later than I do reading all night, so now she tries to sleep in.

She is 3’10” tall.

She decided this year that she would just take tap, instead of the years previous in which she took tap and ballet.

During her first tap focus class of the school year she came home crying because someone told her she was short. Apparently she didn’t know she was short, seeings as we homeschool and she’s the 3rd tallest in our family πŸ˜‰

She still takes piano lessons.

She loves to swim!

She was able to get a pumpkin in the bucket at BIZI Farm’s pumpkin launch!

We bought Hocus Pocus and watched it with the kids, I mentioned that I’ve never seen the movie all the way through I’d always fall asleep. When the movie was over Sydney asked me why I fell asleep, because it’s such a great movie. I told her the commercials would come on and I’d be out. “What’s a commercial?”

We had a few snow flakes fall from the sky and Sydney sat next to the window singing, “Let it snow!”

Mama: Who won the battle between Alfred the Great and the Vikings?
Sydney: Aslan the Great.

We walked the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (5k) and on the way home Sydney was falling asleep in the car. When we tried to keep her awake she said, “Just let me blink!” They were very long blinks.

Sydney: 15-8 is hard!
Me: It’s 7, it was one of the ones I just had to memorize.
Sydney: Are you sure it’s 7?
Me: Yes.
Sydney: How can you be sure?
Me: I passed the 2nd grade.

She questions everything and everyone, which is a great trait to have…in 10 years.

She held an alligator.


She lost 4 teeth this year, including her front two teeth.

As always I am in awe of this beautiful girl I’ve been blessed with. She is brilliant, gorgeous, caring and sweet. She is the best big sister I’ve ever met, and her younger siblings are lucky to have her as their ring leader.


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Dear Sydney | The End of Second Grade


Dear Sydney,

My girl we have finished the 2nd grade, can you believe it? What a crazy year this has been for our family! We moved during the second week of school, and had to adjust to our new lives at Grandma and Papa’s house. Your relationship with your grandparents has grown by leaps and bounds and I love the bond you have with them. To add to the crazy we also added our gorgeous crazy Audrey to our school and we’ve all had to learn how to adjust to that.

And then we had Ruby half way through! Talk about a year of change! As usual you’ve handled it so well and I couldn’t be more proud of you. Except that I know I will be even more proud to be your mama tomorrow. You make me prouder every day, I love you so much!

This year you read some fascinating books, you fell in love with Beverly Cleary’s books, Socks being your favorite. You passed off All About Spelling Level 2, and we started a new handwriting program this year. Math presented a new challenge this year but as usual you have proven that you are up to the task. Your art work is amazing and it’s incredible how well you do at art, and how much you love it!

Β This year you have made my heart swell with pride as I’ve watched you care and love on your siblings. The way you’ve noticed when Audrey has been upset and how you reminded her of how smart and wonderful she is. The way you are my big helper by helping me get everyone safely into the car, I think you know better than most adults what proper car seat safety is, and best of all you speak up when it’s done wrong! You’re help has been incredibly welcomed as we brought Ruby into our family this year. It’s been nice to know that I can hand you the baby while I go pee and that you will keep her safe.

As usual, I am in awe of you, and I have loved watching you grow and learn this year. There is no one better to teach me how to be a mama, or how to be a homeschool mama. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me, and thank you for giving me the privilege of getting to watch you become an amazing person. You are thoughtful and kind, you are brilliant and beautiful, and you will set the world on fire with that amazing combination. I love you to the moon and back, my sweet girl.

Can’t wait for next year.

Love, Mama.

First Grade | Kindergarten

For those keeping track Sydney read a total of 3,291 pages to herself as part of school. This total does not include all the books she checked out from the library for fun, or the books we read to her.

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