Friday, February 22, 2013

Yes I am posting about Valentines day...

So it's WAY past Valentines day... but I just can't skip the day of love here on this little ol' blog. ;) I know a lot of people have a problem with Valentines day, and I can understand. I despise consumerism in all it's sneaky ways. But I LOVE holidays, and celebrating love is okay with me. It doesn't require big gifts, sparkly stuff and lots of bling. We keep it simple on purpose. :) I actually enjoy Valentines day so much more now that I have kids. Way better than any date Ryder and I went on before. Our kids speak love to me in volumes, fills my heart to overflowing. Makes my love for my husband all the more. Especially when I see him with them.

Made Atty his magic diet candies again this year, using a heart tin. I bought the same heart tins for the kids so all their treats looked the same. They got regular chocolate treats though, they get those every once and a while ;)

Honey brought me home real flowers. :) 
 Funny story... Ryder walked into the house with the beautiful tulips, the cute little frog, and a card for Valentines day. Lala {and the boys} were all excited to see him and jumping around. He walked over to me and gave me a kiss and handed me the gift. All of a sudden Lala bursted into tears. We both looked at her and she said "But daddy I like sparkly pretty things too!" She was totally heartbroken. Not in a spoiled way, she just could not believe that he "forgot" about her on Valentines day. ;) I looked at Ryder and he was panic stricken. He was utterly at a loss. He said something along the lines of "great now I have to stress out about the perfect gift for both my girls". Ha ha! {Silly man} Which made me burst into laughter because we both weren't expecting her to freak out. The boys have never cared about mommy getting an extra special gift on Valentines day. Plus I had given them all threats that morning. Any ways after lots of tears, and her reminding him over and over again about how she loves pretty things too, we finally decided to share the pink frog. As in I gave it to her and she kept it. ;) She clutched on to that thing like it was going to try and get away. She sighed and was a peace with the world. :) She told her daddy "thank you for the special present" over and over again, and she "loved it so much". It was cute. She pretty much clung onto him all night, dancing with him and adoring him. It was adorable. I might have been a wee bit jealous of all the attention she got. ;) Totally kidding. It actually made me a little teary eyed, because I didn't/don't have that sort of relationship with my father, and I am so thankful that my daughter does. It's a beautiful thing.

Special almond flour/blueberry muffins. Yummy. They ate every single one. :)

Me and my loves on Valentines day. Love multiplied. Love realized. I never really even understood love, until I had my children. Didn't even know what I was missing. 
After the kids were in bed my husband and I some how ended up watching a slide show of pictures of our family. I have a slideshow as my desktop background {which I love, it shows all the various pictures that I have on my computer}. We just sat there and laughed and talked and remembered together. It was so nice. :) 

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Half way through already!

I was tossing some bread crumbs out for the birds and enjoying a pretty sunrise with tea in hand this morning. And I started thinking about how lucky I feel to get to stay home with my kids and teach them. There's no rushing off to work, rushing out the door to school, rushing, rushing, rushing in the mornings. I was watching some of my neighbors as they scurried out their doors, jumping into cars, running down the sidewalk to the bus, etc... and I just felt overwhelmingly blessed all of a sudden. It's not a perspective I view often enough. Too often I'm feeling sorry for myself, caught up in the every day mundane of repetitive chores and the feeling that I have to "do everything around here". I often feel overwhelmed by the fact that since my husband works long hard hours, usually six days a week, I'm often raising our four children, seemingly alone. But. But when I step back and see it for what it is. The beauty in all the little moments. Really getting to watch my kids grow and change before my very eyes. The relatively relaxed flow of our lives. Well then I feel a wee bit ashamed of all the feeling sorry for myself that I do in my head sometimes. Because honestly I should be walking around with a dang smile on my face 24/7!
So now, a glimpse into our every day school schedule. :) I was going to take pictures through out one day and write a blog post about it... but I only remembered to pick up the camera a couple times, ha ha! So these pictures are spread out over the course of a week.  History and science we are mostly covering with books, science journals, some science projects and a few craft projects. I wish that I was better at having them do more craft projects for history, but I always think about it after the fact. Maybe I'll be better at that next year.
My mom came down so the kids could show off what they have been learning to her, and she took this sweet picture of us all. :)
Tea while teaching is a must. :) The tag said herbal wisdom in a cup, so fitting for the moment. 
This made me giggle, can you tell what Spike was trying to spell?

Reading! He's really improved a lot this year. Hardly any tears any more. :)

Spike snuck this picture of me teaching, while he was waiting for his turn to read.  See that big binder, curriculum gold right there. :)
Creative writing poems.

Squeezing in some swimming lessons. The boys are going to take turns with these, easier on the pocket book. :) I want to find some other activities for the kids as well to add into our schedule. But they have to be affordable, and I also want to me mindful not to make our schedules too hectic. We are an active family anyways, with hiking, bike riding, exploring the great outdoors, so I'm not too worried about whether they are getting enough physical activity. :)

This is the program Atty is using to learn to read, and he really likes it. I'm amazed by how far he's come!

Time for some math! Notice that piles of book on the table are a regular theme through out the day. :)

Ira's turn. Most of our school work seems to be done at the dinning room table after all. It just works better that way. Then the rest can keep playing in the playroom, and there's less distractions for the ones that are working. Plus I can sometimes sneak some chores in while they are working. Multi tasking as always. 

Little math whiz. :) Jumped into first grade math no problem and is rapidly catching up with Bubu.

Of course we had to fit in some Valentines day craft time...

Atty working on a large floor graph. Part of his math work for the day. Saxon math is pretty hands on and uses a lot of manipulative. My kids seem to respond pretty well to this.
{On a side note, those high heel gray ankle boots are my new favorite. I bought them on a whim, something way out of my usually comfort zone, and I absolutely adore them!} :)

Nice thing about homeschooling, you can read where every you are most comfortable, wearing pj's if you feel like it. 

Reading machine! :)

Food prep in the kitchen. Home economics, a little math, hey it all counts. ;) This particular time they were helping me make fermented cabbage, so good for you! Good for the gut. :) It's sauerkraut the way it's suppose to be made. :)  The kids love helping in the kitchen, they actually bicker over it, which can get a tad annoying. Might need to start a kitchen helper schedule. :)

The boys busy working in some of their workbooks. 

Our current books, the reading changes constantly changes depending on the topics being covered.
So there you have it, a week in the making and I still feel like I missed a bit. But it's down and documented, so I'll stick with that. :) Today we had some nice {as in sun shining, but still cold} weather and I am itching for spring. We cut our school day a bit short and opted for sunshine instead. I think I have a harder time staying indoor and doing schoolwork on a sunny day then the kids do, ha ha! They helped me garden, and we talked about this, that, and the other. Still learning in my book. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sickness, birthday parties, more sickness, and birds!

So I have a very good reason for being behind in blogging about Atty's birthday... we had some sort of nasty virus sweep through our house in the last couple weeks, and it was awful! Atty and I got sick at the same time, and my husband had to work... so not only was I super sick, but I had to take care of all the kids on my own and deal with a girl that was just starting to get better. I was so afraid that Atty's high fever was going to trigger a seizure! I'm happy to report though that it did not. :) At the same time our hot water tank died, and in order to get feverish kids into a luke warm bath I had to warm water on the stove, rustic style. It was ridiculous. I'm still exhausted, because of course I didn't really get to rest and recoup... I'm a mom.

 I was sick right up until the day before Atty's birthday. And of course I had to go shopping and make all of his magic food from scratch. I was not feeling it. But I forced myself to get it done because there really wasn't any other option {Or honestly I would have took it, I was feeling that lousy.} 

 Radar was worried about us. :)

 Everything worked out though, Atty felt better by his birthday {just barely} and we had a wonderful celebration. 

 He is still very much into birds, and loves getting things for his ever growing bird collection.

 The cake was a huge success, best one yet. {I've made many flops with his magic diet food.}

So the rest of that week after his birthday Bubu and Spike took turns being sick. Poor things. Poor mommy! It seemed to last about three days for each kid and they all took turns, so it seemed never ending to me! But thanks to lots of supplements, home made broth, and homeopathic meds, and steam tents, they bounced back as good as ever fairly quickly. In comparison to so many people we know who have become ill this winter. In fact, thankfully, they were all better by the weekend and we got to go to the Sardis Raptor Center for some more birthday fun.

 Atty was in awe. There were all sorts of beautiful regal birds of prey there.

 This one was my favorite. Apparently this smart bird still caught his own live prey by placing strips of his meat that they feed him in his wire cage. When a bird would land to investigate, we would snap their necks. Crazy! He also "talked" to us for a long time, the kids loved that. :) 

 This bald eagle had quite the story! She was part of a rehabilitation program {I think she was rescued as a baby} and when she was  release into the wild it was a big fat fail. She found a family up in the woods and demanded that they feed her. When they didn't she ended up attacking the man and he ended up in the hospital with a bunch of stitches in his head. So she had to be recaptured. They couldn't figure out how to trap her because she could fly, so they set out a rubix cube for her. She was super interested in it and then someone just walked up and captured her while she was distracted. So they named her Einstein. :) 
I guess she's pretty dangerous because she's not afraid of humans at all. All of the kids were warned not to stick their fingers into the cage. Yikes!

 We were lucky because we know some one who works there {and his mom owns the place}, so we got to go on a special tour to see some very pretty birds. These birds are not part of the normal tour. Atty was so excited! But wow was in noisy in there!

 Well hello gorgeous! The kids got to feed some of these birds peanuts, and they thought that was pretty neat. :)

We ended the trip with a picnic next to the eagles, even though it was cold out. Pretty cool! I'd love to take the kids back in the summer when it's much warmer out... :)

So there you go, busy, busy, busy, even when I'm sick. My husband got sick as well over the weekend, but guess what... he got to sleep all day Sunday. Stinker. {That said he did work on Saturday even though he didn't feel well, and went right back to work on Monday. So I'll try not to be too jealous of his day of slumber.}This was the first time we all got sick all year, so I hope it stays that way! I am so ready for spring. I really dislike January and  February, I wish it went straight from Christmas into spring. Plus we didn't get ANY snow this year, what a dreary winter. I hope the rest of February and all  of March goes by in a wink, because my garden is calling to me! :)

Up next I am going to attempt a blog post update on our school year. So exciting! ;)