The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Tag: ava (page 2 of 9)

Three students, one teacher, and one little distraction

We made it! Day ONE of the Rumley Family Homeschool 2012-13 is complete!

It went really smoothly, and if I can pry my tired body out of bed at 6:45 every morning, the smoothness might continue. Might.

Behind the smoothness of it all was this slightly panicky feeling that I was doing a juggling act and about to drop something.

But, you know. That’s motherhood and homeschooling for you.

I’m loving our new school room. It’s all set up, except for a pad I need to make for a bench…Which I’ll try to post about later, if I remember. 😉 We have more space, especially in the hugamongous closet, which is great for this mama who has tons of crafting supplies besides the actual school supplies!

Here are a couple of pictures of the school room…

Looking into the school room from the door

The view from the other end of the room…The door on the left is the big closet.

Our big ol’ whiteboard (Steelcase employee sales, I love you.)

Alrighty then, would you like to see pictures of all the kids on their first day of school? No? Well, it’s my blog, so I’m posting them anyway.

Our sweet third grader just keeps growing and growing…Where’d my little baby go?

Our silly first grader…Sorry for the blurry picture. I just couldn’t resist his mischievous smile in this one.

Our pretty little kindergarten girl…so excited to begin school!

And the 3-year-old who was only a little bit distracting today

Did you notice that the girls wore pretty dresses? They came down this morning with those on. I thought it was awfully sweet of them to dress up for our first day.


I’ll admit, it was a little tricky to juggle three kids’ educations. We do history, science, and read-alouds all together. But each of the kids needs separate math and spelling lessons, and Grace also does English lessons. It’s a little crazy!

But it’s also more convenient in a way to have Ava in school, because she stays in the school room the whole time, which means that Jaden sticks around the school room, too. In previous years, Ava and Jaden have played in another room while I did lessons with Grace and Caleb…and that translated into a lot of naughtiness.

So, more juggling and less naughtiness. I think I can handle that.

A fun dynamic of having three in school is “Buddy Time.” Today, while I was teaching Grace’s spelling lesson, Caleb helped Ava practice her phonograms…

And then while I was teaching Caleb’s spelling lesson, Grace helped Jaden learn some phonograms…

The older kids were so kind to the younger kids when they were “teaching” them. I think this is going to be a really good thing for the kids. The teaching role will help solidify concepts that the big kids have already learned, and, well, it’s always good for the littles to learn new things! Not to mention that it’s a huge help to me!

I was especially excited this afternoon to find that Grace’s handwriting has improved as she’s gotten older. She has beautiful cursive, don’t you think?

Grace’s diagnostic test for spelling…She’s spelling at a 3rd grade, 9th month level (i.e. almost 4th grade)…Not too bad. 🙂

And I was also happy that Ava FINALLY got to open her new math books and start learning. She’s been asking for so long…but we just didn’t have time with the move this summer. So, her happy day is finally here!

I know that we will have difficult school days where one or all of us feel like quitting…but today was a good day, and I’m praising God for that! Homeschooling is such a gift to our family!

Family Vacation: Great Wolf Lodge

Back in the summer of 2010, we took our kids on a little vacation at a cottage on Lake Michigan. It was wonderful and relaxing and refreshing.

It was our only family vacation ever, until now!

Luke and I got a great deal on the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City. So, we decided to make some more memories!

You know, there is something to be said for not overindulging in activities like this. Because vacationing is so rare for us, our kids were BEYOND thrilled with the whole experience. Checking into the hotel room, making ourselves at home, playing in the waterpark, eating out, EVERYTHING was an adventure for them.

They actually got along nearly the entire time. Smiling, playing together.

It was GREAT.

So, let’s get to the pictures!

So happy to be on our way!

They napped on the way there.

We got there, unloaded, and here’s a pic of the kids waiting in the lobby as Luke parked the car.

The lobby has a really warm and welcoming feel. It’s huge, for one thing. But it also smells like a cinnamony potpurri, and there’s a fire in the fireplace.

Oh, and there are taxidermied animals everywhere. That gives me warm fuzzy memories of my childhood, as my deer-hunting dad mounted five deer in our living room.

We splurged and got a KidCabin Suite, which had a little log cabin room with bunk beds for the kiddos to sleep in. They LOVED it!

We spent the entire first afternoon in the waterpark area of the hotel. It was great fun! There is enough in there to keep a family busy, that’s for sure!

The only bummer was that Jaden was not really liking the water. I floated on the lazy river with him for quite a while that afternoon (in lieu of naptime). 🙂 You can see his grumpiness in this picture…

When dinner time rolled around, we went up to our room, got dried and dressed, and ate at the restaurant in the hotel.

The pizza was fine, but the kids were much more entertained by the decor…Trees with flashing lights, fake bugs, other fake animals, etc, etc…And a faux campfire.

That first night, they slept like ROCKS. They fell asleep quickly, and slept hard all night. That was a blessing! I did hear them a couple of times through the night, but not as much as I thought I might.

The next morning – bagels, bananas, and juice in our room!

And then it was back to the waterpark! Yippee!!!

And the good news was, Jaden loosened up a lot, and really enjoyed his second day in the water!

First, he loved these water guns that he could shoot at Daddy and Caleb.

And then he got used to the little kid slides (going down by himself!)…

And eventually he loved the bigger slides (after I shoved him down them the first time, hehehe)…

(That was Grace on the yellow slide, by the way.)

Ava’s favorite part was the swimming pool. She enjoyed floating around in there, tossing a ball back and forth, and kicking her feet.

Grace and Caleb loved riding the big tube slides with Luke and/or me. I wish we had pictures of those, but we were having too much fun to stop and take pictures. 🙂

Oh, the other favorite was the big ol’ bucket at the top of the big play structure. See it there, on top?

It dumps 1,000 gallons of water every 5 minutes.

Caleb loved standing under it. Jaden loved watching it.

None of us loved saying goodbye to the waterpark that night.

"Bye, water park!"

Luke Pricelined a different hotel for that night (hello, $45!). So, we were able to stay at the water park until almost 9pm, and then head over to the other hotel for a good night’s rest.

The next day, we had a yummy breakfast at the hotel, and then drove along the Grand Traverse Bay for a little while, enjoying the sunshine.

We got out to play at a roadside park for a few minutes, but it ended up being MUCH colder than we expected!

As corny as it sounds, our next stop was the mall to let the kiddos ride the carousel. They loved their little ride.

And then we headed home. And for one last hoorah, we stopped for ice cream in Cedar Springs. YUM.

Family vacation was super successful. Thank you, Lord!

Easter 2012

Friends, Easter is not about bunnies or eggs or chocolate.

It’s not about pretty dresses or hats.

You all know it’s a holiday that revolves around a pretty gruesome murder, a period of intense mourning, and an indescribable celebration of victory!

Truly, I don’t have words for the thankfulness and joy I feel on Easter Sunday. Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross is the pinnacle of our faith. And so Easter is a VERY special holiday.

It’s for that reason that I wanted to dress our kiddos up. Not because I think Jesus loves us more if we have pretty clothes. Not because I think you have to dress up to go to church. (Come to think of it, I think it’s a little silly that I’m having to explain myself, but I guess it stems from this post I read.)

So, I decided to make some skirts and hair bows for the girls, and ties for the boys. (Skirt tutorial here. I just added a third tier.)

I asked Luke if he wanted me to make him a matching tie, and he gave me the death glare. So, for the sake of our marriage, I refrained. 🙂

Here are some pics of the kiddos on Easter Sunday…Be warned, the first ones were taken before our early Easter breakfast at church, so Ava’s smile hadn’t gotten out of bed yet.

Sew, sew, sewing

I hand-stitched some owls for a baby shower recently, and the kids were really interested in what I was doing. Then they began asking me if they could help.

It sounded really intimidating to “teach” them to sew, so I freaked out a little inside. But then I realized how much of my own sewing has been trial-and-error.

So, I threaded some needles, gave them some felt hearts, and let them go to work!

I did show them how to do a blanket stitch, but they did most of the work on their own.

It was fun to watch them begin to learn a new skill that will come in handy in their lives. Sewing is very practical (not to mention a fun, creative outlet).


Ava and her friend Logan made matching coloring pages at Cubbies last week.

I love their little friendship. Too cute!

Edit: Some of you might remember Logan…He is just three days younger than Ava, and his parents are our good friends (Rusty and Kisha). Thought I’d share an old picture of these two cuties when they were 10 months old, just for fun…

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