Three Years Old! | Zachary Orlo


Whoa. Zachary is THREE.

THREE. How? How did that happen?

He is 30lbs and 3 feet tall!

He is IN LOVE with Toy Story, so naturally we had a Toy Story themed party for our little cowboy!


Instead of saying “excuse me” Zachary says, “Beep beep!”

“I seepy.” (I’m sleepy.)

He loves “puppy gogs” and loves to give “puppy gog kisses.” (He licks you in the face.)

He points blame at EVERYONE. “Audee did it! Daddy did it! Papa took Woody’s hat!”

Grandma Sherman told him to go get a “Ronald McDonald Frankenstien.” We all laughed, because how on earth was he to know what that was? Three seconds later he was back down stairs with Ronald McDonald Frankenstien in hand.

He LOVES Mama’s deodorant and is often found cuddling with it!

“Tickle my toes!”

He and Daddy were playing and he took Daddy’s sword away, “No, that’s bad, that hurts…I HIT YOU!” then he started hitting daddy with a sword, when Daddy grabbed a sword to block it, Zachary’s stick bounced back and hit him in the head.

He’s obsessed with putting all water stuffed animals in the “ocean.” Which is the stairs.

“No, please.”

“I peed on my baseballs!” (Baseball underwear.)

“Frosty the Sherman” was a favorite during Christmas time. He was obsessed! When Mama got out her snowman wood decoration Zachary was upset that he didn’t have a hat. We were able to convince Zachary to do ANYTHING if it meant Frosty got a hat. “Do you want Frosty to have a hat?” “Yeah!” “Then you have to let Mama change your diaper!” “Okay!”

When we say something he doesn’t like he folds his arms across his chest and tells us, “Goodbye!”

He’s obsessed with the idea of everyone going to work. He wants to go to work too.

We took the kids swimming and Zachary instantly death gripped every bit of Mama’s very pregnant body he could while screaming, “I dying! I dying!”

Mama: Say, “Zachary Orlo Sherman.”
Zachary: Zachary Orlo COOKIES Sherman.

His prayers always include, “Cookies and candies.”

“I not ZZ! I Zachary Sherman!”


“No me didn’t!”

Put Zachary down for bed, ten minutes later he comes down the stairs, “Good morning, mama! Daddy go to work? Good morning, mama!”

Me: Get back in bed, Zachary.
Zachary: I need cookies!
Me: Nope.
Zachary: I gotta pick apples!

He watched Mama feed baby Ruby and he told her, “Ew, boobs. I don’t wike boobs! Icky, baby! Boobs are icky!”


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2 Months Old! | Ruby Lyndis


My baby is two months old now! Holy cow, time is just FLYING.

This month marked the her first cold, which she is still recovering from. Her cough is about the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

Thrush came back, and it hurts like heck. We are powering through and have gotten some nystatin to make it go away, after that I’ll be doing a doTERRA yeast cleans in hopes that it won’t come back.

She’s a mama’s girl and smiles and coos for me daily.

She loves to be naked!

Which luckily means she likes having her diaper changed.

And she loves bathtime!

She fights going to sleep and will cry for about 1-2 hours every night starting around 9 pm, around 10 she will finally stop fighting and will fall asleep. It gets tiring.

Luckily she doesn’t cry much during the day. She saves it all for the night.

She loves to be swaddled still, and loves to be wrapped up in warm blankets. She gets that from here mama ;)

She rolled from her front to her back this month.

She’s still working on getting that thumb in her mouth. I think she’s given up and just goes for the entire fist.

She doesn’t sleep well on her own, so we get lots of baby cuddles!


She’s adored by her siblings.


She really liked her bumbo, until she got tired.


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How I Organize All About Reading


Audrey is learning to read! Yey!

For her we choose to use All About Reading, it has a ton of fun games and does an awesome job teaching phonics. All things I’m a huge fan of.

My only issue I had was I had no idea how to store this curriculum! It felt like a waste of space to put all the lessons in file folders, so I was at a loss.

To begin with, my wonderful hubby colored the entire curriculum for me. Personally, I despise coloring. I seriously am awful at coloring, how absurd is that? Jordan, on the other hand, is not only good at coloring but he actually enjoys it!

So we made a deal, he’d do the coloring and I’d teach the kid to read. Sweet, DONE.

Anyhow, the wonderful husband colored the pages and then I laminated them and cut them out. Put them all into individual baggies according to which lesson they corresponded to.


I also put together the Word Flipper/Sliders and laminated the Fluency Practice. Then I trimmed down the lamination on the Fluency Practice so that they would fit into a page protector.

Each lesson has it’s own page protector, which holds it’s Fluency Practice and any game pieces that are needed. When I finish a lesson I take the page protector out and move it to the back.

Why did I have Jordan color the pages, and then spend the time laminating it?

Because I didn’t think that Zachary would want to play a game that Audrey colored. Plus, it probably wouldn’t survive Audrey and I like to make our curriculum last.

But, it’s in a pink binder.

Yup, and that’s Audrey’s color. After she passes off AAR Level 1 I’ll move the page protectors to a blue blinder and keep it in storage until Zachary is ready for it. And then I’ll get AAR Level 2 all put together in Audrey’s pink binder.

Anything else that might be helpful?

The front cover holds her Progress Chart, so that every day she can see the progress she’s making! The star stickers that we use are in the pocket on the inside cover, along with some lined paper. Sometimes Audrey doesn’t like the tiles, on those days we write the words on lined paper instead. Audrey is very visual and quickly notices word ending patterns (“All the words end in -an!”) and during the “switch the letters” game this is REALLY helpful for her!


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One Month Old! | Ruby Lyndis

DSC_1038This sweet babe is officially ONE MONTH OLD.

Things to remember about Ruby’s first month:

-She sleeps in about 4 hour stretches, and has even had a few 7 hour nights! My hopes aren’t high for this to continue.

-She is 8lbs 14oz and 21 inches long.

-She still wears size newborn clothes and cloth diapers.

-She loves bathtime!

-The only way to get her to sleep is to swaddle her up tightly.

-If she doesn’t have her pacifier she substitutes with her thumb. Her RIGHT thumb. Great-grandma Smith is hoping this means we will have another lefty in the family. She’s a pro at getting just that thumb in.

-She had her first bottle this week, no problems!

-We’ve recovered from thrush! This resulted in a purple mouth.

-She hates her car seat, and screams when she is in it.

-She doesn’t cry much unless she isn’t being held, then she gets pretty angry about it.

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2 Weeks Old! | Ruby Lyndis


It never ceases to amaze how fast babies grow. In Ruby’s case I keep thinking, “Wow, with Audrey and Zachary I was still pregnant!” So even though she’s already 2 weeks old, I’m so grateful I’m not 42 weeks pregnant.

That doesn’t make it easier though. Time should still slow down.

This little girl is such an amazing baby! She’s a very considerate 4th child and adds another splash of sweetness to our lives that we didn’t know was missing.

At her two week check today she was 7lbs 5oz (up 3oz from birth weight, which is amazing for my babies!)

Her sleep schedule is still pretty irregular, but she’s new here so we forgive her. She will sleep anywhere from 2-5 hours stretches, and I love it when these stretches happen at night.

She had her newborn photoshoot last week and was a complete angel, nursed once and then was out for the whole session!

She’s a great nurser and does pretty well with my over abundant supply, usually my babies are choking, violently throwing themselves off and making a mess of the both of us in the process. She doesn’t have this issue. Unfortunately in order to keep up with me she swallows a lot of air and has a very gassy tummy.

Thank goodness for gripe water, but she isn’t any good at burping.

She HATES the car seat, and cries anytime she’s in the car.

She refuses to sleep in her own bed. We’re working on that because the queen sized bed isn’t big enough for me, Jordan and Ruby. Mostly because Ruby takes up the entire bed herself. I miss my California King sized bed.

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Ruby Lyndis Sherman | Birth Story

View More: http://laurenalbertsphotography.pass.us/samimaternity

Zachary was born at 43 weeks and 11 hours of hard labor. I figured that Ruby would probably follow the same pattern, especially the overdue part since all of my babies have been overdue. But I prayed that she wouldn’t be an 11 hour labor.

The day before my due date I woke up feeling super sore. Everything hurt. I texted Lauren and told her that I was pretty sure my pelvis was going to pop off and that I was “dying to death.” I was very dramatic about the whole thing, and very depressed about it being my due date was the next day, and even more depressed at the thought of feeling this way for another three weeks. I couldn’t sit comfortably, my feet couldn’t be crammed into heels anymore, I was not comfortable at all.


Despite being very uncomfortable I survived the day; school with the kids, dance and piano lessons, celebrated Kazoo day, had Family Home Evening and then played the most difficult game of Frozen Memory with the family. During which I did a lot of shifting trying to get comfortable. I failed. Jordan and I went to bed around 10. I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks, they were irritating but no where near painful, so nothing new had been happening when I went to sleep.

I woke up around midnight and my BH were a little more pinchy, mostly just full of pressure. I woke Jordan up around 12:30 and asked if I could hold his hand while my contractions were uncomfortable, then I told him I thought I would be going into labor later that day, so maybe we should think about getting stuff set up. Maybe. I wasn’t sure if I was really going to go into labor. After all, it was officially my due date, and I don’t do that.

My midwife instructed me that as soon as I was having real contractions that I should call. My contractions still weren’t crazy painful, but I was becoming panicky about the idea of having another one and I was starting to burn up and sweat. Which reminded me of a friend’s labor from several years ago. So, maybe I was in labor? I told Jordan to call Angela (the midwife) around 1, figuring she’d come out and tell me this wasn’t the real thing and to call again later. My contractions were getting more painful but they weren’t getting more regular or forming a pattern. Sometimes they’d be 20 minutes apart, sometimes just 1 minute apart, and pretty much everything in between. Sometimes they’d be so painful Jordan would have to help me, and sometimes it was no big deal and I was fine to handle it by myself while he blew up my tub.

Shortly after calling Angela I had another contraction that made me wonder if I was going to throw up, sweat to death or just implode. Or really, all of the above. So I rolled out of bed and found a pink bowl sitting on the floor. Perfect! If I puke, I have a bucket. The bathroom was too far away anyhow (15 feet is a long way away when you’re about to sweat to death.) Later I asked Jordan where the bowl came from, he gave a “are you crazy?!” look and said, “You said you were going to puke, so I got you a bowl…” I absolutely don’t remember telling him anything.

After I realized that I probably wasn’t going to be throwing up or imploding I texted Lauren and told her to come. When she didn’t answer right away I called her and yelled into the phone, “Read your text messages!” and hung up. This was at 1:35 am. She called back and said she was on her way.

About five minutes later I got back into my bed and told Jordan that I couldn’t do it anymore and that I was dying. I felt very out of control at this point, and my next contraction made me scream. Jordan applied counter pressure to my lower back which helped a lot. He also modeled the proper way to breath through my contractions. When I said I couldn’t do it he told me to think of the baby. I replied that I really didn’t like her very much right now. I felt very in control during Zachary’s birth. I was not in control during this AT ALL. I’m rather glad no one was around to witness all the swearings that I swore at this point in labor. I could have put a sailor to shame. Or made him very proud of my terrible vocabulary.

And then suddenly my water broke. I had no idea how dilated I was, or really anything about how close she was. I just knew that from past experience once my water breaks baby is coming fast.

My birth tub was not set up. It was inflated, but that’s as far as Jordan had gotten between trying to inflate it and trying to help me through contractions. He asked me what I wanted to do now, I replied I wanted to be in water, so he helped me sprint into the bathroom (the whole way there I apologized for ruining a mattress, which I didn’t but at that time I had no idea.) where we filled up the regular tub with water and he poured it on my back while I started pushing.

Which didn’t help the panic that had set in. Because NO ONE was here. My midwives hadn’t showed up yet, Lauren wasn’t there. I was still wearing pants. And I’m only talking about my panic, Jordan was totally calm. He realized way before I did that no one was going to make it and he was going to have to be ready to catch the baby.

Then at 2:04 my midwives arrived and started to set everything up. Jordan announced the he could see the head, so they ran into the bathroom just in time to help me stand up and deliver the rest of her body at 2:06 am. What Jordan didn’t tell me until afterwards was that her whole head was out, complete with her hand next to her face.

And I was standing there holding my baby when Lauren showed up at 2:07 am.

I was pretty shaky and just in complete shock. I think I said, “I just had a baby.” about 20 times. It was a two hour labor. I had a baby in two hours. I’m still completely shocked.


Not to mention she was born on her due date.

Who does that?! (Answer: only 5% of births.)

A labor that last three hours or less is called a precipitous birth, and is also considered to be extremely rare, only 2% of births.

Jordan joked that Ruby is a Cinderella baby, the clock struck midnight on my due date and she decided to evacuate, QUICKLY.

Not only was she born on her due date but she was also born on what would have been my great-grandpa Russell’s 90th birthday. Pretty awesome!

Born: January 29th, 2015 @ 2:06 am

She is 7lbs 2oz, 19.5 inches long with a 14 inch head (not including hand.)

She is the exact same size as Sydney was at birth.


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Preschool Day by Day | Day 4

Did you think I forgot about this challenge?

Well, I didn’t :)

Last Thursday (1/15) we went to a play group that was at the same time as school, and then we had lunch, nap and did chores until it was time to go to my grandparent’s house to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday. In other words; school didn’t happen.

Which was fine, because we can make it up on Friday, right? Unless Sydney wakes up throwing up and you spend the day tending to a sick child. And then school doesn’t happen again.

That’s okay, we’ll make it up on Monday.

Unless it’s a holiday in which your husband is home and you have maternity pictures, decide to have a family swim day and then take Audrey to gymnastics.

So TODAY (Tuesday) is the first day we’ve had school in almost a week. Time for some serious catch-up! No worries though, seriously. We’ve got this.

First things first, finish up our N packet. We did this by starting with our magnet page. This is one of my kid’s favorite activities, they have a ton of fun with this one.


Following this we did some tracing practice. I tried to do formal handwriting practice with Audrey during preschool and it was AWFUL. Poor thing was so frustrated and it often resulted in tears. So we nixed that and we just do a handwriting tracing page once a week, it goes much smoother and Audrey loves it. Most of it is shapes and different lines, with only two letters, but I figure it’s helping her with those fine motor skills required to have nice penmanship later. :)


Next we did a Do A Dot activity, which is another favorite. Audrey loves to play with the markers. In fact she spent about 10 minutes having the markers chase each other around the table in a very exciting battle. I had to remind her to get back on task. When Sydney was in preschool I had to make the rule that it was required that they use each color at least once. Because otherwise we’d have 26 pink only letters. The other colors get jealous. ;)


And lastly we did a cut and paste activity. Audrey cut out a nest and 3 eggs and glued them to the paper. I’m really amazed at her scissor skills and how much she enjoys these projects! She had it all planned out on how she wanted her nest to go.



And with that we finished off the last of the N activities. Thursdays and Fridays are typically our light days, they are kind of built in catch-up days for when we need them. Tomorrow we will have to get done several activities for the letter O to catch completely up, but with preschool this is fairly simple. It’s a little harder in say 2nd grade, just ask Sydney ;)

After she finished up the Letter N, Audrey read a Bob Book. I’ve said it a few times but I’m so grateful when I have good ideas to help my children learn and grow. Taking a step back and working on reading skills that are considered “easy” has been a huge help to Audrey. Next week when we go back to All About Reading I feel like it will go a lot smoother.

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Preschool Day by Day | Day 3

Wednesday was even shorter than normal as this is the day that Sydney has her piano lessons and dance class along with Zachary’s dance class. So basically we live at the dance studio on Wednesdays.

So Audrey gets to tag along and while she complains about how long it takes we remind her that everyone waits for her on gymnastics day.

This post will also be shorter because Audrey requested I put down my camera and pay attention to her. I gladly obliged. :D


Preschool, for me, is just a giant juggling act between easy and difficult (or time consuming) tasks. We always try to pair an easier task with a harder one. Today we sorted our nests by size, Audrey pretty much as this one finished before I get it all the way out of the bag. She’s good at it, and it’s a favorite!


I paired this one with a scissor activity. These usually take a little longer, and Audrey is usually frustrated half way because cutting paper is HARD. Especially since school is pretty much the only time we let the kids use scissors and making them do what you want is hard work. Lately she’s been doing great with the curved lines and is excited to try.

After this picture was taken she requested that I stop taking pictures of her. We continued with out Bob Books review today. Unlike Monday (where we read 3) and Tuesday (where we read 2) today we only read one of the Bob Books, they are getting more difficult and she’s no longer breezing through, rather she’s taking her time and becoming frustrated again. But she’s still making excellent progress and becoming a more confident reader.

One thing we often do with school work is that we make Monday and Tuesday our heavy days. Wednesday is lighter, and Thursday and Friday are short. We do this to make catch-up days easier and to make our weeks less stressful on the days we have things planned. Which is why today’s activities only took about 10 minutes total. :)

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Preschool Day by Day | Day 2

Ready for our Tuesday?


We started off with the lacing activity. This is great for those fine motor skills and hand eye cordination. It’s also good at testing Audrey’s patience. ;)


Letter sorting is probably one of Audrey’s favorite activites each week! She loves sorting through the pile of capital and lower case letters and then putting them where they belong.



I love this cute face of befuddlement when she was looking over her pattern exercise. It was a little trickier this week, but she made it through and figured it out. But initially she wasn’t thrilled with it. Usually the patterns are things like yellow, blue, yellow, blue or yellow, yellow, blue, blue, yellow, etc. This week it was yellow, green, blue, yellow, green blue.


And lastly we read two Bob Books, which she did awesome at! I’m really glad we are taking this week to go over the Bob Books and help build her confidence. The reading part usually takes up the most time as the other activities are short, sweet, and a lot of fun! Rarely are they challenging, which is exactly how I feel preschool should be. The main learning goal of preschool is for them to get use to sitting down at the table and doing work, as well helping them learn to be patient and it helps me to figure out what it’s going to be like next year when I have two kids I’m teaching!

Also, she asked to pose this way. Promise.

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Preschool Day by Day | Day 1

Two years ago I did Mindy at Grateful for Grace‘s 10 Days in the Life of a Homeschooler challenge.

It was a lot of fun, and I’m very impressed that I completed the entire challenge.

I decided that it would be fun to document Audrey’s preschool journey over the next week (5 school days) and post about them each day.

Unlike the 10 Days of Homeschooling, this will not be an account of my entire day, just the preschool part.

Plus, I just got a new lens for my camera and I need something to keep my mind busy while I wait to go into labor.

Today marks DAY ONE. Ready?

10:00 am- This is our official school time. It works best for our family because sometimes the kids (and the mama) sleep in, and this allows for breakfast and morning chores to happen before school starts. It also means that if we aren’t done by lunch time the littles will take a nap, thus ensuring that school will get completed.

Today we got school started at 10, and it’s the start of a new week! We use Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week Curriculum, and this week we are working on the letter N! We started off with our tracing sheet. We use Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase markers to trace the letter. Audrey’s favorite is the red marker, so we have to make sure we always have that handy! The tracing page is just printed out and then laminated.


Next up is the puzzle! Each letter has at least one puzzle that we do on our magnetic cookie sheet. I cut out the puzzle, glued it to cardstock, then laminated it, cut it apart with fun scissors and then added a magnet to the back of each piece. Audrey struggled with these puzzles in the beginning of the school year but now she whips them together in no time! (Notice we lost our hat after the tracing page.)


The last thing we do as part of our Letter of the Week curriculum on Mondays is we do a coloring page. Audrey didn’t seem fond of the coloring page until the last few weeks, she would scribble once or twice and then be done, lately she’s liking it more, and I often ask her if she wants to continue coloring the other days of the week and she’s happy to continue. I’m not a huge fan of coloring either ;)


We’ve been using All About Reading Level 1 to teach Audrey how to read. I absolutely love how this curriculum is set up, the games the sequence and that I have a manual to help me teach ;) Big perk in my opinion. Unfortunately I felt that Audrey was lacking in confidence. As soon as she understood something we moved on, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for standing still and being impressed with oneself. This might just be the way I was doing the program, but Audrey needed to understand that reading wasn’t always hard. So I thought long and hard about how to help her and finally decided to have her read Bob Books. This week we are starting with the very FIRST Bob Book from set 1, one which is way below her reading level and one that she has read previously. The reason for this is just to boost her confidence, it’s not suppose to be challenging.

Today she read through Mat in a matter of a few minutes, and she was SO excited and happy! She quickly read through the first 3 books with no problems and she understood what was going on in the books. It was definitely a good move to take this week off in regards to All About Reading. Currently she’s a little over half way through AAR level 1.


Mondays are very easy days when it comes to preschool. The Letter of the Week stuff takes about 10-20 minutes, and the reading lessons another 10-15. Usually we are completely finished in about 30-40 minutes. The reason for this is simple; Mondays are Sydney’s heaviest day, so we alternate who has the most work on which day of the week. Fridays are usually preschool heavy, but elementary school light.

After she is done with preschool Audrey goes off to play with Zachary. During this time Sydney is doing her math worksheet, handwriting exercises or reading a book if she’s finished all her independent work and is waiting on me. So far this is the best method I have found to juggle the education of both my girls. If you aren’t currently working and are waiting for Mama to help you, you aren’t allowed to leave the table you find something else to work on.

Speaking of my table, yes, those are paint stains on it. I call it the mark of budding artists. My poor table gets painted and colored on. But I find that I absolutely love it that way. It’s not being used as a dining room table right now, and I’m loving that our homeschool table shows that it’s been used, loved, and appreciated!

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