The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the high lights and low lights of just normal day to day life. Our life is loud, busy, and fast, but we love it!


First Day of School 2012

This post is going to be shared, but it is mostly written to reflect on at the end of the this year and for years to come.

I can honestly say we had a lovely and relaxing summer.  A bit of work and a LOT of play!

We started a slow immersion back into our school schedule.  First with earlier bedtimes and then a week of school time schedule, but no actual curriculum work.  My thoughts on this idea were that it would help ease them out of wake and play mentality and help me work out any kinks to balancing myself, school, Emma, household chores, etc.  What I did not realize was how much Emma Lynne needed that week.  It was a rough few days for her, but even now half way through our first week she has completely adjusted and finds MANY ways to stay busy with us.

Our first day of school this year was Monday, August 13th.  The two oldest were up by 6am and excited!  I love that! I love that I am the one who gets to experience every bit of the first day. Awesome.  Breakfast, morning chores, and we were ready to begin our school day by 8AM.  It was always 9AM, but I have a lot more direct teaching this year (Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 3rd Grade) along with managing a 1 year old.  Our girls are early risers, but we will adjust if their wake time changes in the fall/winter. Flexibility!  Love it.

Leah asked to "do school" this year.  I had no plans to start her in August (maybe the fall), but she did not want to be left out.  Since I thought the My Father's World curriculum I used for Mayah last year (Kindergarten) was a little below grade level I am starting it with Leah.  She already knows most of her letter sounds and names.  She can count to 13 before numbers begin to sound the same up to 20. LOL!!!  We start with the days of creation, one each day. She is doing great with listening comprehension, coloring, and glue! We are having fun, which it exactly how it should be.  She starts Cubbies this year so we are also working on her beginning verses.

Mayah completed MFW Kindergarten last year and started using the curriculum Chiara used for Kindergarten, but we started half way through. I wanted to expose her to long vowels-something MFW did not do.  What's great about Bob Jones University (BJU) first grade is there is a lot of review at the beginning of the Phonics study. It also has great characters and stories to reinforce what she is learning.  I love using BJU!  Mayah has Phonics/English, Reading, Heritage (which is social studies), Handwriting, Math, Awana Verses, and eventually Science.  It is a slow start, but perfect for her. I love watching things click and come together.  By the end of the first week she has memorized John 3:16 and can tell even/odd numbers up to 10. Awesome.

Chiara is using third grade this year for her studies.  She is not having the ease in that she is used to and her days are a lot longer.  David and I tried to tell her this, but I think her 'smarts' got the best of her.  It's not that the work is difficult, it is just that there is more of it and takes time to complete.  She is using BJU for English, Math, Spelling, and Handwriting.  We are using American Girl for History, Writing, and Reading.  My dear friend Dena told me about this over the summer and we are incorporating it into our year.  Our first girl is Felicity.  American Revolution.  I bought a unit study to go with it (super cheap!).  She reads one chapter each day (the books are 5 chapters long) and has a variety of activities that go with each chapter. We are only using three girls this year so we will weave in BJU Heritage and Reading when we are not doing an AG unit.

So, our school day goes roughly like this:
Devotion & Prayer time
Mommy with Leah - about 30 min (Chiara and Mayah work on Handwriting and getting worksheets ready for the day)
Mommy with Mayah - about 1 hour for all subjects (Chiara starts her AG work independently)
Mayah starts her worksheets
Snack time is about 10AM
Chiara with Mommy -about 1 hour
I end direct teaching in time for lunch
After lunch Chiara finishes her worksheets for the day and her AG work

*Our day always ended by lunch time, but with 3 kids being taught it is not possible-some of Chiara's frustration.

Here are some pics of our first day! 

New lesson planning - a MUST with 3 kids learning!

This is the "master plan". Chiara and Mayah have their own individual plans now.


Keeping up an old tradition....cookies on the first day of school.  My mom did it for me and my siblings and I have continued it with my girls. The cookies are not quite the same, but they are still delicious!  

Yes, Emma was there in it all....just busy walking around, trashing the school room, and getting on and off the computer chair.  Her newest pastime during school is emptying the school room trash. She walks it over to the kitchen bucket and dumps it in.  Big Sister Chiara loves this because that is her chore!  

So far a fantastic start!  I am excited to see what the year brings!
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Happy 35th Wedding Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rattlesnake. Four (not so quiet) girls. Country music. A slide. PRIME RIB. What else could you ask for to celebrate a 35th wedding anniversary?!?!? 

The (seasonal) rattlesnake appetizer.  

Mayah LOVED it.  

So did David!

Chiara, Nanny, and I all tried it too.  It was yummy.

Surrounded by love

Emma has finally certainly become a "Nanny's Girl"


Still SO in love. 
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Jennifer's Get Away (Part 4)

What a great way to end my solo spending it with my family. My Uncle Joe, Aunt Allison, Matthew, and Shanna were a HUGE part of my life as a teenager.  Matt and Shanna were our ring bearer and flower girl when we got married.....they are part of me.  Love.

Home cooking by Aunt Al (apparently "Big Al" now-not b/c of her tiny size!) was wonderful...followed by time with Shanna.  Lots of it.  Sleeping in the same bed....never did it when she was was hilarious!

My full day with Shanna was fantastic!  Took her out to dinner then did what 17 (almost) year old girls do...we sat around.  We laid in the sun.  Talked.  Just the two of us.  Years of catching up.

We met up with our grandparents that night and we all went out to dinner to celebrate Nana's birthday (I am not sure if she would like me to mention she turned 79 so I won't.).  I went home with my Nanny and Grampy and stayed up talking with them waaaaaay later than I thought they would.  I loved it.  Slept about 3 hours and then was up to head to the airport with Grampy.  Long day of traveling ahead.

Matt, Shanna, and I in the back of our grandparents car.....going old school.....awesome.

Three generations of Morin men.  Hard to believe Matt is 21.....

The beautiful birthday girl!

Happy Birthday Nana!

Cousins. Love these two more than they know!  So proud of them!!!

Me and my girl Shanna-Banana!

 It must be noted that while I was away my gorgeous, amazing, smart husband was a full time Daddy.  He sent daily pictures to me of all the fun they were having.  He made it easier for the girls to be apart from me for sure!  Bike rides, Chick-fil-A, splash pad, popping in on Grampy, Cabela's, and more.  I had no doubt he would be amazing because he just IS.  I came home to a greeting IN the airport, a clean house, and for 2 more nights he put the kids to bed because I was sleeping before they went to bed!  Thanks David for this trip, for knowing I needed it, and for being a wonderful Daddy. 

Glad to be home....
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Jennifer's Get Away (Part 3)

Maine. Fresh air. The ocean. Ahhhhh......

I spent some time with my friend Stephanie who I have not actually seen since graduating high school together. She is probably the only good thing I can say happened being on Facebook.  We both have four kids who are similar in age and we have the great blessing of being home with them.  Over the past couple years we have become close and I did not want to visit the east coast without making some time for her!

She met me in Portsmouth, NH with her crew....more yummy pizza!  We went back to their house for some playtime and to wait for the babysitter to arrive!!  We had wine on the beach and went to The Lobster Co. for lobster roll EVER and steamers.........JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The next day we packed up the kiddos for some beach fun.  A couple hours of sand in my toes and the sky told us it was time to head home.  I have to say that being around her kids made me start to miss mine.  I knew I was ready to head home soon.  I am very glad that Steph and I had some face time together and can't wait to do it again!

Her girls playing in the backyard

This is her face here!

Steph and Clara at the beautiful new garden!  

Ocean.  Happy Jennifer.

Feet on the beach....

JAM!  Best Cab ever!  We enjoyed ever last sip!

Me and Steph....her girls said we looked alike.  Maybe in height and hair!

Yes, that is my feet in the water.  It was surprisingly warm and I loved it!!!!!!  yes, I am drinking wine from a RED SOLO CUP (insert song!).

Kids playing at the beach

One last time.  Ahhhhh.....

Heading back to end where it all began....
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Jennifer's Get Away (Part 2)

New Hampshire.  Andy Day.  Alana.  Alcohol.  Yup, that about sums it up. 

It was a fantastic time with my brother and his sweet finance Alana.  Love.  Andy took me to three tastings after he picked me up.....tastings.  Wine. Beer. Wine and beer.

I was so happy to finally see The Drinkery and even happier to meet Alana!  Love.  (Another tasting!)  My favorite part...hearing their story. 

The next day we went to Gloucester and visited with Uncle Steve and my cousin Heather.  FUN.  A-mazing pizza, homemade Mead, cigars, and conversation.  It was a fantastic time. 

Here are some of my favorite pics....

The Barn.

The house.  An oasis for relaxing, sitting having coffee on the porch, and QUIET (minus the rooster).


Lots of kissing.....

I love this.  Love them.


Me and my big brother.  Wish we lived closer...cherish our time together!

Off to Maine.
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Jennifer's Get Away (Part 1)

Seven days. Seven days without much sleep. Seven days of long over due hugs. Seven days of face to face talks. Seven days of gaining perspective. Seven days of learning that I am head over heels in love with the life I live. Seven days.

Here is a glimpse of the first two. When I landed in Boston after only 2 hours of sleep rest on the plane I was picked up by my best friend sister Julie.  Friends since we were 13 years old and this alone time was waaaaay overdue!  We walked around Boston, did part of the Freedom Trail, waited to see Romney (and never did), ate at Dick's Last Resort (with my "partner" ha!), went in Old North Church, and talked...talked....talked. We ended the day with YUMMY Chinese food!!!!

Our second day together we took her two kids to Newport, RI and walked the Cliff Walk and spent the day in rainy...rainy...Newport.  I had some very delicious Lobster Bisque and some stuffed shrimp.  Our time together was short. but I am so glad we had it! 

The 40 Steps at the Cliff Walks

The Ocean!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julie, Emily, and Eric with me

Walking the rocks

Very cool

Windy, rainy,and almost no sleep for 2 days-not too bad.

Jennifer and Julie...this time, mom didn't have to pick us up!

Off to see Andy Day.
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