That same friend has become part of the Simple Living Media and has her own blog... and it is going to be awesome! Check it out: Simple Organic.
I also wanted to share some things about my kids :). I rarely do that for some reason and feel like the kids have grown up a LOT since I've last posted about them.
These past few months have been interesting because of all that has been going on. Between my brother's death, the move a few weeks later, having lots of family here for the holidays, and now me staying home and expecting a baby any day, they have adjusted pretty well! Since I've been home it has been really good. The routine and consistency has REALLY helped them a LOT. And just knowing that I'm not having to focus on school has been great too. They know exactly what to expect most of the time, and Karis' temper tantrums are beginning to fade. They haven't gone away completely, but they are at least more manageable :). She's learning to better control herself and she knows what to expect when she throws one. Ethan on the other hand is just now starting to throw temper tantrums... so we have a long way to go with him :). It's MUCH harder to discipline a 19 month old than an almost 4 year old. We'll figure it out. I'm not looking forward to the two's with him :). Karis was EASY at his age and as a two year old. Maybe he'll get it out of his system before he turns three!
Ethan is starting to talk a lot more. He has been putting two and three word sentences together. I was a bit worried even a few months ago because he didn't talk much at all (compared to where Karis was at this time), but he's getting there. He's also following directions well and helps mommy pick things up off the floor (since it's tough these days!). Haha. He is definitely a clingy little guy and wants to be held a lot... which will be interesting when Levi comes, but we'll figure it out. He's still a baby in a lot of ways, and I can't expect him to grow up just because we have another baby coming. I have to (and want to) still love on, cuddle, and care for him just as I would if we didn't have another baby coming. He won't sit still for very long so even though I desperately want him to let me read to him, he just won't let me. So, we sit and he just plays with the book while I attempt to read. We have started the bedtime routine that we do with Karis, and it is fun :). We read, sing, and pray all together as a family. When we sing, he just laughs hysterically. He loves it! He is a BUSY boy. He likes to climb up on things and get back down, over and over again. He keeps me busy. He has been frustrated at me because it's been raining and I won't let him go outside and play on the porch :). When the weather is nice, I know he will be outside all the time!
Karis is a drama queen and princess. Her challenges right now are that she likes to try to boss us around (and her brother!) and she gets really upset when she doesn't get her way. But, she is sweet most of the time :). She still likes to cuddle with mama, and I'm all about it. She's still little! She loves to read, color, play dress up, play tea party, and all the things that little girls love to do. As hard as Robert worked to make sure she didn't turn into a girly girl, it didn't work :). And, I told him that since he will have two boys, he's just going to have to get over it. She loves to play outside and do those things too. He is still determined that he's going to get her a climbing harness of her own as soon as he can and get her out on the ropes course... we'll see how that goes...
Karis is a VERY intelligent little girl. She has known all of her alphabet (not just the song... recognizing all of the letters) since before she was two... which honestly makes her a bit of a challenge. She can outsmart her way out of things :). I know that if I sat with her and actually taught her how to read, she could read... but I don't think it's necessary yet. I'm trying not to do real "structured learning" with her yet... just read to her every day and allow her to do some fun activities. There's no rush. Since we will be homeschooling, I'm trying to decide when to start with her. Maybe next fall... but I might just wait. We'll see how things are going with a third little one at that point :). I do know that a friend of mine and I will be starting some fun little "field trips" with the kids soon. We want to start doing one or two things a month. She has a little girl that she's homeschooling and she's in kindergarten. She and Karis get along well, and it's good for them to have a friend! We plan to start taking them to the zoo, museums, parks, etc together! I can't wait! I also plan to start taking the kids to the library regularly again. I've missed that. Since I will be home, it's more realistic. I just want to not be pregnant anymore, and get more into a routine with Levi before I tackle anything new.