Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!

 It's that time to say goodbye to one year and hello to the next!
I thought it would be fun to do a year of pictures to send 2010 out with a proper farewell. She was a good year to us. (Some pictures are new, never been published on my blog before, so keep an eye out!)

Gabriel turned ONE YEAR OLD!

February...Billy Jr turned 3, Alex turned 11, Brayden turned 8

Brayden was baptized by Billy and he joined cub scouts.


Owen turned six and started his first year of soccer, with Billy coaching. AND we underwent major changes in the house, finally painting all the previously brown panel walls GREEN!

 We had lots of fun camping, AND got a new dog (who we only kept for a couple months...wasn't a good fit with our spoiled "only dog" Lady)

 In June we said goodbye to public school (hopefully forever). Owen had his kindergarten graduation, and fittingly a few days later we had a summer picnic with the boys' new school. The new school is a homeschool program that allows them to go up to 8 hours a week to a school for other homeschooled kids, where they can take a variety of arts, sciences, music, P.E. classes and more. (oops can't find my pictures of there summer picnic!)
 In July we had lots of fun in the hot summer sun!

In August Billy and I celebrated 9 years of marriage! Also, we went to the ZOO! 

In September we started our first year of homeschooling all the boys, and their first day at their new "homeschool school".

Whew October was BUSY for us! In October we had my birthday (uggh! Last year in my 20's...*sniff*). Also my sister got married! Owen was the ring bearer. Then the boys finished their soccer season. And finally there was Halloween. We had an awesome Halloween party complete with a trunk-or-treat at our church. 


November was busy preparing for the holidays. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner here with Billy's family. It was so nice getting everyone together!
All nine Byington grandkids! Five boys for us, four girls for Billy's brother and his wife! :)

 Cute cousins!
 Everyone writing five things they are thankful for...

One word...CHRISTMAS! :) And for those pictures you can just scroll down to the previous post. haha
And now to say hello to 2011! I hope you will be just as nice to us! I look forward to see what you have to bring to us.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010!

Only five days late...not too bad!

Christmas this year came on in a blur and went by in a blur. I don't know where the time went? It must have just been me though, because the kids complained plenty about how sllllllllllow time was passing before Christmas!

Before Christmas, however, Alex had his first piano recital. Brayden had a piano recital too, but I didn't get video of it. :( Here is Alex's piano debut though:

For Christmas this year we had Christmas Eve with Billy's family, Christmas morning to ourselves, Christmas afternoon with my family, and the day after Christmas with Billy's brother and his family. What a busy Christmas!

My camera is gone, broken, kaput. :( So forgive my grainy pictures that I took on my back-up camera which is very old and poor quality. Uggh! I hope to get a new camera after the first of the year. :)

I still was able to capture a few of the super happy smiley faces though!

Billy Jr was SOOO excited about EVERYTHING this Christmas. Here he is super excited about what Santa brought him, which was a police car ride in toy. With real siren sounds!

Owen got an Ipod Shuffle from Santa. He's been begging for one of these for a long time!

Alex got a snowboard from Santa. He wants to learn to snowboard, but we'll start him out small and see if he likes it before we consider spending the "big bucks".

Billy in his little car again!

Gabriel got one from Santa too, a firetruck ride in car! He was really excited in this picture, but its hard to see.

Billy is WAY into Toy Story this year. He was so excited about his Toy Story pillow.

He also got a Toy Story blanket. He cuddled up on the couch with them both! He won't let ANYONE touch his pillow or blanket now...or else its WW III. yikes.

Brayden wasn't quite awake yet, he woke us up about every hour from midnight on seeing if Santa had came yet. He was SO excited. He got an Ipod Shuffle from Santa also!

Brayden was really excited about his Star Wars toy! (sorry I don't know Star Wars that well!)

Backing up a bit - here was Billy Jr telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas at the church Christmas party about a week before. He was very unsure at first, but after watching the other kids for awhile he climbed right onto Santa's lap and started jabbering away!

Gabriel....not so much.

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Contemplating a Family Closet

I've heard of this idea before. Many large families swear by it. I am liking the idea more and more.


Because I'm tired of going through broken dressers like they were meant to be disposable. I'm tired of finding wadded up shirts shoved under the dresser (That's where that went! lol). I'm also tired of hauling laundry piles upstairs and down. Also, sorting out too small clothes, or out of season clothes would be a LOT easier if they were all in one area. More organized too.

Here is the idea behind the concept:

A picture of another family closet:

The problem is that I don't have room in my house for an entire laundry much as I love that idea. We use our space very creatively. We do have a school room that is only used for school, but I'm not willing to give that up as a laundry room.

Since we don't have a ton of kids (yet ;) haha!) we really don't need a laundry room I don't think. Rather I'm thinking of converting the master bedroom closet into the family closet.

Here is what it looks like now:

Currently the master bedroom is being used as the three oldest boys' room. However we'll be switching them back downstairs probably this summer, and taking our master bedroom back.
This closet is 11ft across and has installed in it a custom closet organization system as you can see. There are seven spots for rods to hang shirts. Only four of them are being used though, because the boys have taken the other rods to use as swords over time. ;) It will be easy to replace those rods though and have seven spots to hang shirts from once again.

However I don't know if it'd be easier to just take that whole thing out and put in wardrobe rack things. I really like this idea:
Each wardrobe rack has a spot for shoes even! Shoes are another never ending battle in this house!

So I'm not sure quite how to go about this...but I'd love to hear some ideas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Long overdue update!

Wow September since I last posted! What's wrong with me! lol

We've been pretty busy with soccer season, homeschooling, and me taking a full load of college classes as well. Thankfully I was able to get online classes this quarter. Next quarter will be online also, however our local college doesn't have that great of variety for online classes. Eventually I'll have to take some night classes at the college. Winter break is starting now though, so I'll get a couple months class-free. YAY!!

Soccer is finally done also! The boys had a ton of fun. Billy coached Alex's team and they both really enjoyed it. Brayden also liked his team.

Homeschoooling is also going well. Its a steep learning curve, but we're getting through it. I keep telling myself that the first year is GOING to be full of bumps and challenges. Its never going to be totally easy, as easy as shipping them off on a bus each morning was. lol However, the challenges that I faced with the public school - the challenges THEY faced - were mountains compared to the little bumps we're facing now with homeschooling. I have never once doubted our decision...if I doubt anything its just the way that I'm doing things. I am constantly trying to look for new, better ways to do things then I am. Its all a big learning experience right now!
The boys are making friends in their school though. Twice a week they go to a "parent-partnered" school that one of the local school districts provide. So on the books, they are offically "public school students" still as far as the government is concerned. What that means is that they get to take a few classes a week at this school that is just for homeschooled kids. They can take one class a week at minimum or up to 8 classes a week at max. We're doing 8 classes a week which is one half day (9:30-1pm) and one full day (9:30-3pm). They are making great friends there already and fitting in great. Alex is enjoying his wood shop, karate, piano lessons, art class and much more. Brayden loves his "Dangerous Book For Boys Class" where he learns such things as how to do magic tricks, make electricity out of a potato, and make the world's best paper airplane (hey it's a fluff class lol). He also likes his art classes too, and karate, science, and more. Owen has a first grade "block" with one teacher who he really likes. Its a classroom setting like he'd get at his old school and I think its really good for him. He also is doing karate and art classes too.

Billy Jr and Gabe are just busy as ever. Billy Jr is potty trained! YAYYYYYY! And I'm thinking of starting Gabe on potty training this next year.

Billy Sr is keeping busy with work, church, and whatever I require of him as well. lol

So basically we've just been....keeping busy! :) I think life would be boring without all this business though. Its our life, and we enjoy it.

No pictures this time! I have some soccer pictures that I will upload next time. :) The bad news is that my nice camera is toast! :( I have a little one I've been using, but it doesn't take that great of photos. This is devastating for me during Christmas season! lol