Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day One Hundred Ninety-Five

A day in the life.  One of the things I love about homeschooling is the freedom we have to follow the rabbit trails.  Today we learned about a new mammal simply because we saw a picture of it on the internet and looked into it a bit.  The civet is an interesting little creature.  Not only have people used them for their musk (Chanel no. 5), but apparently if you want some really good coffee, you should be willing to fork out some serious cash for the beans that have been eaten and excreted by the civets.


So, that was cool.  But since it was an unusually warm and sunny April day, we decided to spend the majority of the time outdoors.  We started the day with a read-aloud session on the back porch about Apollo 11 and ended our day with painting the chicken coop.  There was a lot of schooling that happened throughout the day.  We moved rocks with a wheelbarrow.  We talked about kinetic motion.  During our break from manual labor, the boys played math drill games on the computer. Dom helped me count by fives as we estimated how many pounds of rock we moved (each stone weighed approximately five pounds).  Aidan measured the area of the chicken coop door, the porch, etc.  Simeon sang his heart out and observed the bees.  We found worms, slugs, pill bugs (or potato bugs, roly poly bugs...whatever you choose to call them).  Aidan had a lesson in moving the lawn.  It was one of those days where I felt affirmed in what we're doing here.  The freedom, the joys we share, and the time spent together.  It won't last forever, but I'm holding on to these years.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day One Hundred Eight-Seven through One Hundred Ninety-Four

Here we go again.

A morning ritual...waving to Papa.

Simeon learned a new skill and peeled his hard-boiled egg all by himself.

We celebrated Grampy's birthday with food, family, and tractor rides on his new birthday present...what an antique beauty, huh?

The weekend brought the annual trip to Da Vinci Days. Nothing says "Corvallis" like this festival. The boys really enjoyed the parade, despite the rain. The kinetic sculptures are always a favorite in our house. We spent the day in and out of the festival, exploring, hula-hooping, being wowed by an amazing juggler (seriously...he's so good), eating fair food, and enjoying time together. That evening, JJ and I got to go on a date as one of my friends watched the boys for a few hours. Thanks, Bethany!

On Sunday, we returned to watch the kinetic sculptures as they finished the river race. Simeon brought the magic with his wizard hat.

Monday night was a cause for celebration as JJ finished the floor on the new treehouse, complete with a trap door entry. This is one of our summer projects, or maybe THE summer project. Next come the walls!

Aidan and Dominic made pancakes. I bet you can't guess which one is Dom's. He called it the "super snake".

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day One Hundred Eighty-Six

Okay. I'm not catching up, so I better start somewhere. Today we took a hike on the Old Growth Forest trail, which is in the nearby McDonald Forest. We skipped, ran, walked, talked, meandered, hopped, climbed, laughed, and sang our way through two hours of trail....with very little whining. With three young ones, two hours doesn't get you as far as when you're with your adult friends. But it's not about the distance, it's about the experience. We put our toes in the stream, listened with eyes closed and ears alert to the call and response of wild birds, identified plants, recited poetry, enjoyed the forest and all that it had to give to us...old growth, new growth, huge stumps, fallen trees with roots exposed, rotting logs full of scurrying bugs, brightly colored moths, verdant mosses, and peace.

The woods were lovely, dark and deep. The conversation was precious. I can now sit back and ponder these moments in my heart.

Simeon was a trooper. The photo above was the one chosen due to this comment: "Mama, my wegs feel fuzzy and warm from hiking so much." I think I understood what he was trying to say.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day One Hundred Eighty-Five

This was from the official first day of summer. We've made it a yearly tradition to roast our food over the BBQ in the backyard and camp outside in the tent to celebrate the coming of summer. The boys were really excited to do it again this year. However, since Aidan ended up with a pounding headache (probably from marshmallow overdose), we delayed the campout until the next night.

Tomorrow I'll post the daily photos to catch up to real time. Note to self: daily photo blogs are really hard to keep up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day One Hundred Eighty-Three and One Hundred Eighty-Four

This goes back to June 3-4 when I headed to Seattle for a weekend I'll never forget. Three sisters, one mini-van, and lots of energy drinks and caffeine later, we got to see the greatest rock band of all time (in my opinion) live in concert. This was taken right before we left Albany. U2...I love you.

I won't write down the whole story of the weekend here on this little blog, but I have done some writing about this weekend. It proved to be a spark for something new...something good...something beautiful in my life. And,s

Bono, Larry, Adam, and the Edge....keep doing what you do, brothers. Your music has touched me like none other. And what's beautiful is knowing that it has touched so many other souls, in so many different ways.

"Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul."- Plato

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day One Hundred Eighty-One and One Hundred Eighty-Two

Catch up time. As far as schooling goes, things have shifted gears. We're working on math a lot and Dominic continues to enjoy his reading lessons. Hooray! We've been enjoying a lot of free time and I've decided to continue schooling through the summer on a much more relaxed schedule. Ah, the freedoms. Soon, we begin studying the night sky, which excites both of the boys. It just made sense to save that unit until summertime...when we might actually be able to see the stars here.

Here goes. A little bit of life. I have been TAKING daily photos, just not posting them.

This was the first day that we picked a bowl full of strawberries from our little patch.

I took this photo of Simeon that I'm quite fond of. He woke up early and helped me with the bread-baking.

More photos to come...soon...ish.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Six through One Hundred and Eighty

Here goes...a few more of our days.

Our neighbor, Louise, took us to the Enchanted Forest. Seriously...THE Oregon amusement park combined with some decent theater, living fairy tales, nursery rhyme, and a good dose of mechanical dolls. It's awesome. The boys had so much fun. I screamed my lungs out going on the roller coaster (it's been a while). It was a great outing and we certainly got the value out of the "unlimited rides" bracelets. Aidan went in the haunted house with me...that was a mistake. I didn't know how scary it was. Enough said.

I'm thankful for great neighbors who have no grandkids to spoil yet...because they spoil my kids. We are blessed.

Simeon LOVES to help me in the kitchen. He woke up early one morning and helped me make scrambled eggs and toast. I love to chatter with him when the other boys aren't in the room. He has a lot to say.

Since the tomatoes don't need them yet, the boys decided to use a tomato cage for...something. I just looked out the window and saw this.

Dominic has been making huge leaps and bounds in math. It's fun to see things click in his mind and watch the lightbulb go on over his head when he understands a concept we've been working on. This was taken this morning, as Simeon was instructing him where to write the "2" in the box". Oh, little brothers.