for the love of reading

One of my biggest goals as a mother and homeschooler is to raise readers. I grew up in a “reading family.” We didn’t watch much T.V. but we had unlimited amounts of books always available to us to enjoy. And I can safely say with the exception of maybe one sibling we ALL are pretty avid readers. I.LOVE.TO.READ. I easily read one book a week. Seriously, nothing makes me happier that sitting down with a good book. However, in this day and age with so many avenues of entertainment available to kids it makes raising readers a bit more challenging. I am constantly reading blogs, checking Pinterest and searching the discovery page on Instagram for new and exciting books to share with my littles. But I find that sometimes it’s not just the content of the book itself that gets my kids excited but more so the event and/or environment surrounding reading time. It’s amazing how a cup of hot chocolate or tea, a cozy blanket and roaring fire can turn reading time into a cozy event, or a comfy patio chair, sunshine and a glass of lemonade can make reading a reward after a morning of school.

We also do a read aloud as a family. Last year we read the Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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It was lovely, through By the Banks of Plum Creek. My kiddos enjoyed hearing about Laura’s adventures with her sisters and life as a pioneer family. Well all that changed when we hit By the Shores of Silver Lake…

WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD

When we returned to Plum Creek my kids where devastated to find out that Mary was now blind, Jack was dead and they had to leave their lovely home on Plum Creek because poor Pa, bless his heart, just couldn’t produce a fruitful crop of ANYTHING. It was upsetting to say the least. We had to take a step back from the Little House Series because I thought, “well kids if you think this is bad wait till we get to the Long Winter!”

Anyway, this year we are doing the Harry Potter Series.

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Which is a ton more fun because after we finish each book we have what we call a, “Harry Potter Party” watch the movie and have themed snacks and drinks! I know what you are thinking, if my kids couldn’t handle a blind girl and a dead dog how in the world are they going to process the trauma that is the Harry Potter Series? First of all(“through God all things are possible. Write that down.” – Always Sunny anyone?), since Harry Potter is clearly fictional my kids see it as merely that, a fun FAKE story about a wizard boy and his wizard friends but we will see how they feel when we get to the end, YIKES!

It takes us quite a bit to get through the books because our short attention spans only allow us to read a chapter a school day but we finished The Chamber of Secrets(book 2) this past week and enjoyed Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets on Friday complete with…

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and of course

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This has become such a fun tradition for our family and it gets them so excited to keep reading.

What do you do to inspire reading in your kiddos? Comment below with ideas or tips you would like to share as well as books you think we might enjoy!

Happy Sunday!

the picky eater

Do you have picky eaters at your house? Mine does and he goes by the name of NoeyTom. Uhhhhhhggggg, I know on the scale of serious issues this isn’t that far up there but DAMN I find this problem to be one of the most frustrating.

I grew up in a large family where you ate what you were given and you were thankful for it. There was no complaining or mom scrambling to make chicken nuggets or a peanut butter sandwich when someone was less than pleased with the dinner served. I have carried this mentality over to my family and I would like to report it has been less than successful. And I would like to come clean now and say I am guilty of making Noah a special meal, not every night but a few times a week #momfail. Every time I do it I am torn between my feelings of failure and pure relief that the child is eating something!

I would also like to state for the record I am not making elaborate meals for my family. Have you heard of #dictatorlunches? Yeah, we aren’t even close to that. Think chicken, rice and a veggie, spaghetti and meatballs, tacos. Is it too much to ask for my 9 year old to eat pasta with meat sauce? Seriously, I am asking? Last night Noah spent the entirety of dinner sulking over that EXACT dinner.

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I’m starting to feel like maybe you all will think that the kid is starving and mall nourished. While his diet is lacking in SEVERAL areas he does have a handful of things that I know he will eat and are hopefully filling in the gaps. I try to always have these things on hand yogurt, celery, strawberries, green apples, cheese, almonds. My aunt used to say, “as long as they have a glass of milk and a banana a day, they are good.” Well what do you do if your kid will only drink milk if it’s in a milk shake or frappuccino and he HATES bananas? This is what you do, you make sure he eats a yogurt, a nice generous portion of cheese, any and all fruit you can get into his belly in one day, throw your hands up say “fix it Jesus!” and call it a success.

I am not writing this because I want advice or tips. I have read the books, the blogs, listened to the podcasts tried all the tricks you can think of and guess what the kid still eats like shit. I am simply writing this because if there is another mom out there struggling to get their kid to eat ANYTHING healthy I see you, I understand, lets have coffee or wine and chat about our failures.

I will leave you with this to hopefully give you something to hang on to, Corey grew up in a “chicken fingers and fries” house, eating mostly an all beige diet. Fun fact, he ate his first salad when he was 21, let that sink in a minute… twenty-freaking-one! And now he will try anything at least once and honestly eats anything I put in front of him. So ladies it is possible for a tiger to change it’s strips it just might take a while, like till the age of 21.

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Last but certainly not least our sweet Eliot Rose aka Ellie, Elle, Ellie Rose, Elgin, Elgy and E. Eliot is our little bonus baby. After I had Noah, Corey and I decided no more babies! Not only is it difficult for me to stay pregnant, pregnancy in and of its self is HORRIBLE for me. Like seriously next level sh!t. Think puking all day for 9 months. Imagine the worst hangover you have ever had, you know the one where you need to be horizontal or else you will puke? Yeah thats me for 9 months, good times good times. Anyway, cut to Noah turning 3yrs old and I was literally DESPERATE for that third baby. After much discussing convincing Corey finally agreed and then there was, Eliot Rose.

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If you know Eliot you know she is a pretty chill kid, easily entertained and pretty much always just happy to be included. She has spent the majority of her life either at a soccer field, ballet or in a crazy long carpool line waiting on her bigs. Don’t let her fool you though Eliot was quite the challenge as a baby. She spent the first six weeks of her life crying. THAT IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION! What we didn’t know at the time was she was allergic to dairy/dairy proteins but once we figured that out it was smooth sailing and it has been that way pretty much ever since. Corey used to say, “If all our babies where like this we would have so many!”

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Besides her go with the flow attitude Eliot is a pretty freaking funny kid. She keeps us laughing all day long with her funny one liners and her infectious giggle.

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Sometimes when I look at her I catch myself gritting my teeth so hard because all was to do is take a bite out of her!! Is that normal? Actually, don’t answer that. I could go on and on about how I’m obsessed but I’ll spare you all the weird details of my love for her but in all seriousness could she be any cuter??????

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Photo Curtesy of : Angie Lipscomb Photography
https://www.angielipscombphotography.com/
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Photo Curtesy of: Angie Lipscomb Photography

https://www.angielipscombphotography.com/

Love you forever Elgy.

XOXO

Mama

all about graciekate

Up next my first baby Grace Kathryn aka Gracie, GracieKate, Baby Girl, Sweet Girl, Lovey, G. Gracie is your typical first child, she is extremely Type A maybe a little OCD which can be wonderful, like during school for instance but not so wonderful when you are running late and she incessantly reminds you of that fact plus has a nice dramatic freak out the whole time you are in the car.

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Seriously, the kid has a gift for the stage. I am not just saying this because she is my kid(ok maybe a little) but she is going to be famous one day. Not sure if it will be for ballet, theater or YouTube but it will happen! She is not only talented but extremely driven and tenacious. Her best quality is that she will ALWAYS try even if she wont get it the first time. She is unfazed by the idea of failing or looking silly and when she does “fail” or “look silly,” she doesn’t let that discourage her and she will keep at it until its perfect(see type A personality). This quality and her performance abilities will make her an unstoppable force in the entertainment world.

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Plus, she LOVES auditions. That is not sarcasm you just read, she absolutely thrives under that kind of pressure much like when she is on stage. For example, this is a conversation we had at the end of last year…..

Gracie: Do you think maybe I could just do the audition but not the show?

Me: What?

Gracie: I don’t want to be in the show I just want to go to the audition.

Me: Why would you do that?

Gracie: Because I LOVE doing auditions, they are so much fun!

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Unfortunately, with all this ambition and talent comes the need to fly away and pursue her dreams and goals. I have had the conversation with her ballet teacher many times telling her how I always feel like I am hanging on to her by the skin of my teeth and I have a feeling a quiet West Side of Cincinnati life isn’t in the future for our shining star{cut to me crying in the shower}.

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Gracie, I love you desperately and am so excited to see where life takes you. Please don’t go away too soon, ok? I promise I’ll let you move out when you are 30 or something….maybe….probably…. we can talk about it later.

XOXO

Madre

nothing but noah

I wanted to write a post about each of my kiddos so that when you read about our day to day life you would have a little back story on each of them. I planned to start with my oldest, GracieKate but Noah has been giving me a run for my money lately and I thought it would be good to write down all the things that I love about my boy so he does not find himself on the curb holding a “free to good home,” sign.

So here we go…

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this picture makes me melt
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Noah Thomas aka NoeyTom, Noey, Bubs, Bubby, is 9yrs old and literally NEVER stops moving. I am not joking the kid is in constant motion and never without a ball. He plays every and all sports including but not limited to football, soccer, baseball, basketball, flag football and futsal and he plays them all very well actually. And not because it comes easy. I mean maybe a little bit is natural talent but the kid is the hardest working most determined kid on the planet. If he is not playing with a ball in the house yard he is talking about his next practice/game or watching old sports games on youtube.

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The second love of his life is Fortnite. If you don’t know about Fortnite(how is that possible? do you know a child? or man? or human?) it’s a video game some genius thought of where you have to build stuff and be the last one standing or something, whatever! I try to let that be Corey’s thing with our kids, mostly so that if they ask me to play or for help I can say, “you know what? this seems like a job for Daddy.”

While he is for sure my most active kid, if you can catch him he gives the most amazing hugs and a snuggle from Noah is by far one of my most favorite things in the world. Gosh he is delicious to me. He is like a puppy kinda smelly and mischievous and sometimes I’m not sure if I should hit him on the nose with a newspaper or squeeze him so hard he goes back inside my body(is that to much?)

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Moving on, NoeyTom I love you forever even when you make me crazy and want to hide in the bathroom with a bottle of wine. Don’t ever change, except maybe the throwing balls in the house? Could ya stop? I’d like to have at least a few unbroken decorations….

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XOXO

Mommy

About Me

Hi! I’m Joanna, a wife and mom of three. I was born and raised on the West Side of Cincinnati Ohio and Corey and I are now raising our kiddos here. Our life isn’t all that glamorous or exciting but it’s ours and I’m obsessed.