Wow it's been a long time my friends! I think about blogging now and again, but actually sitting down and doing it, well that's another thing entirely! I miss it, and I'm sad that such a huge gap is missing out of my blog memories now. So much has happened! But most importantly, we've been living life large! :) Because I love pictures so much I stopped blogging when my computer went on the fritz and just never started back up again. So now I'm going to flood my blog with pictures, sort of a pictures recap of the last, well how ever long it's been, ha ha! Life has been a blur, with all the kid's activities, homeschooling and just the everyday business of life in a big-ish family. Homeschooling is kicking my you know what! Wow it's intense!!! Trying to get everything else done that doesn't go away just because the day is full of school work is frankly just draining. My head is spinning and by the time I (hopefully) get a quiet moment, after the kiddos are tucked soundly in bed, I'm so brain drained I don't do anything but watch shows or read. I seriously check out.
I've been taking monthly herbal apprenticeship classes that I really enjoy. This is my second year and I've really learned a lot! It's a great outlet for me. This year Banden has come to all the classes with me. He has a real love of the outdoors and a thirst for knowledge in that area. It's not a kids class so it is amazing that he enjoys it so much. Everyone there just loves him and having him in class.
We had all the kids pick one thing they were passionate about at the beginning of the year and we told them we would support them in their passion through out the year. For Banden it was learning about wild edibles and mushrooms, so going with me to class is perfect for that! I love going foraging with him, reading through wild edibles books, researching on the internet, watching plant/foraging videos, and just talking plants with him. :) He is very cautious and smart about it. He will be the first to tell you that you need to know a plant 110 percent before you ever eat it!
Atty's is birds. Of course. So we have found different ways to support that through the year. One field trip in particular stands out. We got a guided tour at a bird sanctuary with two really wonderful Audubon members. We saw so many birds! They had all the awesome equipment for bird spotting too. :) All the kids really had a blast. We also continue to feed the birds in our yard and make our own yard a bird sanctuary of sorts. The kids have been making bird blinds and setting out bird food so that they can get a close up view of the backyard birds. :)
Ira's was baseball, again. :) We signed him up with a league this year instead of going through the city. It was a lot better. More involved and professional. He really applied himself and did well. I love how seriously he takes the whole thing. He has continued to practice even though the season has ended as he plans on trying out for a league next year. This was his last year to play without trying out for it. Next year will be much more intense and rely a lot more on his skill level. Ira is also passionate about Tae kwon do. He use to be able to take it at the learning center but they stopped offering it this year. He was really upset about it so we decided that he could do it once a week with the same teacher at her studio. We offered it to the other kids to be fair but the only one who wanted to do it was Leiella. Sadly her choir practice was the same night at the same time. She decided to stick with choir.
Leiella's is horse riding lessons. She is horse crazy! The most we could do is one lesson a month, as it's expensive. She is a natural. She decided to forgo presents for her birthday and has asked the same for Christmas. Instead she asked family and friends to donate money to horse camp for next year. I love how determined she is to make things happen! Camp is expensive and the chances of her being able to go were slim to none. So she figured out a way to try and make it happen. Little does she know, but no matter what she will be going, even if I have to figure out a way to make up the difference on the side with extra jobs and such. She's got a good start, so yeah we will make it happen! She is also passionate about singing, so she did choir again this year. (It was offered to all the boys to be fair, but it's not their passion.) She has also been taking singing lessons, we recently took a break from that but will start up again when we can. She loves her voice lessons teacher! She is also the choir leader and teaches some classes at the learning center that we go to. Leiella has a really special relationship with her. It warms my heart. :)
Leiella also took swimming lessons and the boys will be taking them at some point during this school year. I'd like them to be able to do more swimming activities, but honestly I don't think I can squeeze much more in without going bonkers! Ha ha!
I feel like I should mention Ryder as well, as he is an important part of our family. He's been working really hard! As usual. We had a health scare in June, the cancer word was tossed in and turned our world upside down. It was really scary. He dropped the bomb the same weekend we were up in the mountains renewing our vows. That should be a whole separate post. Anyways in the end, after a few nail bitting days, we were able to dismiss that. Sadly his health still seems to be taking a downward turn and we are not sure why. It's probably mostly due to his over working himself for years now to take care of us. We are in a bit of a scary situation now, not knowing what the future holds and how much longer he will be able to support us as he has. It's a really harsh reality for him that he is struggling with right now. To have your body be falling apart and not know how to stop it or make it better. It has driven my anxiety through the roof, I can only imagine how hard it's been on him. I wish more than anything I had the right answer and could make things better.
So yeah, this year has been wonderful and rough. Lots of ups and down. Laughter and tears. Lots of local adventures with the kids and some summer time camping. I feel like the kids grew up a lot over the summer. They are such capable little humans! With their help we can get the whole house cleaned up in under an hour! They have been learning how to cook and bake and can make a lot on their own now. Banden started mowing the lawn this year. They are really great garden helpers! Such good foragers, I love going on foraging adventures with them! They are starting to work a bit more independently on a lot of their schoolwork. They try really hard to get their school work down early and are pretty self motivated to do so. Sometimes they even bring their workbooks into their bedrooms at night to work on ahead of time, ha ha! Seeming their personalities develop is such a joy.
Well that's it for now. I will try to follow this up with some picture posts. :)