"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's That Time Again

Monday marks the beginning of the Jorgensen Academy's 2011-2012 school  year. It's time to pull out our 3rd grade and kindergarten books and snap to it. I know it's just the beginning of August but with baby #4 coming in December, we would be wise to get ahead rather than fall behind this year.

So this post is really a request for prayer. Please pray for us that God would be glorified in our school year. That the boys would not only grow in their education but in character as well. That through learning, many valuable teaching moments will be utilized. That we would see learning as a joy rather than a chore. That we would be wise in how we give and spend our time. And most of all...for patience, for me. 

For those of you interested, I updated my blog pages with the curriculum I am using this year.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day Four

I'm very happy to say this will be my last post on my experience with potty training Austin-because he's officially potty trained! (I can just hear all the mother's breath a collective sigh of relief)

"Potty Training in Less Than One Day" says you may consider your child potty trained when they initiate the potty sequence (recognition, go to potty, pull down pants, sit down, and go) themselves. And my baby did this several times on day four.

He had a few accidents, and this will probably be the case for a little while longer but I am most proud and happy that he understands the concept, is able to complete the steps and is aware that dry pants feel better than wet pants. Having him be more independent in this area, will be such a help when the baby comes. Now, I don't have to consider changing two diapers anymore!

Good job Austin, Mommy is very, very, very proud of you!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day Three

Day 3 - accident free!

I can't even believe it. I don't know how this happens. How did we go from having a day of questioning if potty training was even possible to practically completed? I'm still not sure but woo-hoo!

Also, thank you all for the kind words of encouragement. It was so helpful to hear from experienced mom's routing me on. Thank you, thank you.

Ian and I have questioned what changed over night with our little two year old. How did he go from deciding he wanted nothing to do with the potty to embracing the dry pants? My theory is that he realized on the morning of day 3 that Mom was not going to give up so it wasn't worth the effort. Anyways, I'm grateful it connected for him.

We even pushed the limits and decided to go out for dinner. After three days straight of being at home potty training, I had a severe case of CABIN FEVER. So when Ian got home from work we all went out to dinner. I was anxious to see how Austin would do so distracted. We put him in plastic pants and brought the potty in the back of our SUV, just in case. Before dinner arrived, he had already downed a glass of lemonade so I took him to the back of the car to try and go. To my surprise, his pants were still dry and on command, he went!

It was actually quite the site to see. Imagine this, a two year old, with his pants down sitting on a potty in the back of an SUV. To make it even more comical, he put on his sunglasses and started waving at every car that drove past us. One lady even waved back.

By the book's standard, you can consider your child potty trained once they initiate the potty sequence. This is the last step that we haven't seen yet. Maybe soon...but for now, I am grateful for a little less cleaning today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day Two

"Potty training is NOT for the faint of heart"-Angie Jorgensen

If they ever do shut down Guantanamo, I have an alternative form of torture. Take suspects and stick them in a room full of potty training toddlers. I believe it is cruel and unusual punishment :) The constant whining, tantrums and crying is enough to get anyone begging for mercy.

All jokes aside. Day two was NOT so much fun. I encountered a little boy who no longer thought it was cool and fun to go to the potty. And boy did I see his defiant side. I don't know which was worse, addressing the constant accidents or addressing the constant resistance. There were many dark moments where I contemplated throwing in the towel. After spending a moment praying, I recalled the success from the day before and was encouraged to keep going. I also remembered even though this is hard, it is a great opportunity to work on character and heart issues (both his and mine!).

On a positive note (the one and only) he succeeded in going #2 in the potty. I remember that was a BIG deal when we trained Jacob. He just wouldn't do it. So I was glad that Austin was already comfortable relieving himself.

Well...here's hoping day 3 is much, much, much better!

Baby Iggy (not really the name)

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday. Normally, this is the time you go and find out the baby's gender. This time, we didn't want to know. It was such a joyous time just focusing on the fact that our baby (boy or girl, loved either way) is HEALTHY!

Jacob and Nathan were extremely helpful as they made predictions that we were indeed having a vampire or a robot baby. So glad we brought them along :)

This is the only picture of the lower half we got. Do you see anything? :) Ian believes he saw boy parts in the very beginning when the technician was trying to get the camera positioned. Once she did, she was VERY careful not to go down towards the legs. Ian's theory is because she knew we would see parts. I'd like to think she was just respecting our wishes. We're trying not to analyze her actions too much.

Here comes baby!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day One

For those of you not interested in this kind of post...I do apologize. I write this for all Mom's with little one's yet to be potty trained.

The time has come for my littlest guy...to potty train. He has been showing signs that he is ready for weeks now (awareness of wetness, taking off his diapers, staying dry for longer periods). In my procrastination and lack of desire to do the work, I have put it off. Alas, here we are, before our 4th baby arrives, before the start of another school year and I can't help but think, NOW is the best time!

For my last two boys, I read and used the methods outlined in the book "Toilet Training in Less Than A Day" by Azrin and Foxx. Jay was just over 2 years old when he started and Nathan was a whopping 18 months old during his training. So the time is just right for Austin who will be 2 in a few weeks. Although, I know for boys, this seems early but I probably should mention we use cloth diapers for our babies and I am a firm believer that because they can FEEL the wetness in a cloth diaper, they are prone to potty train earlier.

The premise of the book is simple, "to teach your child to toilet himself with the same independence as an adult and without the need for reminders, continued praise or assistance." This is done through a very thorough method. It starts with the Doll-That-Wets-Herself. Using the doll to demonstrate to the child how one uses a potty.
I think dear little Austin has enough brothers around to show him that so we skipped this step.
Next is creating the motivation for correct toileting  by approval. Essentially, rewarding them for each step achieved along the way. This is what our basket of rewards looks like...

Yep, that's right. Pure sugar!

The next step is training through accidents. The child is taught to practice the potty routine when they have wet their pants. Part of the training also teaches them how to change their own wet pants and help in cleaning up the mess. This is the most time consuming but most efficient step. The last step involves gradually removing the need for reminders and rewards.

Before I began, I was sure to ask God for help for this tedious task. Day one began with an encouragement. The first attempt on the potty was successful and proved to me what I hoped was true, he was indeed ready. He responded well to the rewards and approval but the practice through wet pants proved trying to his patience (and mine). It was a looooooong day but I'm glad to say there were more success's than accidents. And the Lord was faithful to provide patience that was not my own and strength in time of need.

I pray for the same for day two!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One of the Many Reasons...

Reason #13,701 that I love being a home school family starts with a story.

Imagine a little boy, grabs his lunch, kisses his mom goodbye and hops on the school bus. He's headed for a day with his teacher and third grade classmates. He enjoys a morning filled with math and reading time, then finds himself ready for lunch as his tummy grumbles. When instructed, he heads towards the cafeteria with his lunch his mother packed with love.

He arrives at the lunch room and stops to survey the best place to enjoy his break. First he sees the tiny but sweet kindergartners enjoying their pb&j's and grapes. They aren't quite as mature as he is but they're still having lots of fun. He looks a little farther over and sees all his best buds sitting together eating their cool kid lunchables. He knows he'll have great conversations with them about all their favorite video games and best poop jokes. He puts on a smile and he walks over to hang out with the kindergartners to make new friends.

What would you think about a scene like this in schools today? Is this typical or rare for classroom students? Would he be labeled "weird" for interacting with children not in his grade?  How often in your environment or work place do you interact with people who are only exactly your age?

One wonderful outcome of having the privilege to home school is my children are learning to interact with many different age groups throughout their education. While they spend the day with their older/younger siblings, they are learning how to enjoy different age groups. I believe this will serve them well when they become independent men in the workforce. They will have the ability and desire to appreciate all different age groups.

I witnessed this in my oldest son this weekend when we spent the morning with neighbors at our favorite coffee house, Pearland Coffee Roasters.  Our neighbors have two girls, 5 and 3 years old,  and a baby boy. I watched my son as he happily played a game of Dora dominoes with them because he knew they would like it. I remember being a third grader and I remember how important it was to be cool and shed "baby" ways. But here was my son, adapting to another age group easily.

And I was reminded that the work I am doing with them is so important and so valuable.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

We're Going on a Berry Hunt...

So far this year, we've been strawberry and blackberry picking. By far, my favorite fruit to take the kids out for is blueberries! They get a decent size bucket and it takes them FOREVER to fill it up. Unlike strawberries where you fill up a bucket within 15 minutes. And, the blueberry bush doesn't have thorns like the blackberry bush. The other day, Nathan reminded me of how much fun we have whenever we go and we decided to make a trip for some fresh blueberries.

Unfortunately, even by 9am, it was 1 million degrees out and we couldn't take the heat too long. So we didn't end up with enough blueberries to freeze this year (that also could be a result of the fact that Austin didn't add any berries he picked to the bucket, only to his stomach!). But we still made the memories...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Making Up Words

As our resident little guy learns words from the world around him, we laugh at the ones he's made up in the meantime. Sometimes it becomes a guessing game because one word can mean many things for him. Like...

"doh" = dog, down or doughnut

"b-b" = bagel? Don't ask me how that came about

"doo-doo" = car, truck or tractor (or lately, anything Cars 2 related)

"Jay" = Jacob

"poon" = spoon

"ba" = ball or book

"da" = yes

"jue" = juice, milk or anything in a sippy cup

Just to name a few. Thankfully, Dad is "Daddy" and Mom is "Mama". At least there's no confusion when it comes to knowing who loves him!