Friday, April 15, 2011

Craft It Forward 2011

I've just joined Tracey in Craft It Forward.  The idea is simple.  Create something for the first five people who leave a comment and send it to them by the end of 2011.  It can be whatever you'd like it to be: something painted, something sewn, something knitted, something crocheted, a photograph, just anything you'd like.  Those five, who leave comments, in turn extend it to five of their readers...and so on...and so on....

Wanna play?? (sure you do!)

Grab the button above and copy this to your blog.

Come on, it'll be fun!!! :D

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Park Day

The playground at the park
We spent most of the yesterday at the park with some friends.  It was such a beautiful day--warm enough, sunny enough, the right amount of breeze, a good amount of shade!  I purposely left my camera at home so that I could just ENJOY that day instead of snapping pictures, capturing the energy/excitement/thoughtfulness of the day.  Now, I wish I had. lol

We really like this park.  There's a great playground (see photo) but it's surrounded by open space, a few picnic tables, a lake w/ ducks.  There are also clean restrooms (which really matter when you have little ones)!

It was a planned activity for our homeschool group.  It was good to see our friends and great to be able to hold adult conversations.  The children have spent enough time together so that they can pretty much do things without a whole lot of supervision.  We were actively watching them, but didn't have to intervene much at all.  It was fun to watch them create games and hear their excitement as they retold what happened on our ride home.  We stayed until 5pm (arriving about 11am)--so we were ALL full of fun & sun! :D

They slept great last night.  So did I.  Sometimes you just need a day out of doors playing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


So this is what it looks like after 2 and a half days of sorting, purging and organizing!  I'm pretty excited about this.  I have three storage containers in the closet: 1 with our art supplies, 1 containing the future kits of Saxon Phonics, the last one with 3rd-6th grade resources.  Anyone who knows me will KNOW this is a BIG deal!!! (that I am down so a bookshelf and 3 containers!!!)  I'm glad to be down to so little and hope to streamline more as necessary.

We've also started our 'new' schedule.  The children have always had chores and other responsibilities around the house, but due to all of the packing, moving, waiting, unpacking, adjusting, etc. I haven't been consistent in these areas.  Each day has been it's 'own' day--literally.  We need some predictability in our flexibility, if you know what I mean.  So, I did some talking about what we'd be doing and some demonstrating so they'd know exactly what to far it's going smoothly!  (Yes, I know it's only Tuesday! lol)

Our 'school' time is already going better since we're better organized!!  The good thing is that Pretty Girl is used to our routine so have a specific space and time that we're focusing on it, with scheduled breaks, is working for her.  She still likes to fuss at the beginning of things--which can be bothersome on days that I'm not in the best place--but that is even starting to lessen.

Sweetie-pie and The Boy are still doing strictly hands-on activities during this time.  I let them choose what they'd like to "do for school" each day--it's still working well.

After lunch, which I allow the girls to make, on alternate days, I read-aloud to them.  Mostly books of their choosing, from the library, as well as a chapter book of my choosing.

Our day is still quick flexible to include outside time, free time/play time, working in the community garden, participating with our homeschool group/field trips/activities/ and going to the library. Each week the children get to choose an activity that they get to do with me alone.  Last week they each wanted to make something (food-wise).  This week we've planned similar activities.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Starting Place

I'm organizing our classroom bookshelf.  I've always had in mind how I want it to work--like things together (near each other), things for the children in reach, books I don't want them into--out of reach! (smile).  Well, after a few years of having this wonderful bookshelf, I am finally taking the time to get it the way I'd like it.

A little background: I usually start off with it heading in this direction, but usually run out of time (or get tired of seeing boxes full of books) and just start putting things on it.  This time I let the children help

I've already been working on it a day, pulling things I don't need/want anymore and making stacks on the floor around the room.  So far, this is how it looks (don't gasp!).  Today I've taken out my sticky notes and written little subject/category headings and placed them where I'd like to find these things.  Simple enough, huh?

We'll see.  I'll take/post a finished photo when I get there (I'm hoping later day....if I don't have too many interruptions).

It's a good starting place, if nothing else. :D

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane!

Photo credit

I can't seem to slow down.
But I am making every effort to. 
As I compare our calendar for April to the one for March, I've cut things in half...and am cutting half again for May.

It's been so nice to be about, in and out of the house, participating in home school activities, community activities, library activities.  But I'm feeling a bit dizzy! :D

I've also been doing a lot of reading/researching options for our homeschooling journey.  We are very flexible right now, perhaps a bit too much, and I'd like a little more structure.  Better yet, Pretty Girl needs some more structure.  So I've been reading, browsing, reviewing, asking other homeschooler's what's been working for them, reading, get the idea. :D

I've also decided to get rid of another big chunk of my 'stash.'  If you've been around any length of time, you know that I go through a 'purging' stage every so often.  Well, it's here again.  Perhaps Spring has brought it on, perhaps I see that I need to give away what I'm not using (or intend to use).

Our home school group will be having it's first curriculum sale/swap/giveaway at the end of next month--and so I'd like to be able to unload some of those things there.  What I leave with from that event I'll donate to our library's friends' group.

We've sure been taking advantage of the longer days.  The kids enjoy being outside in the yard until sunset most days.  It's nice to see them making up games and stories as they play together and alone.  We've been identifying birds, plants, trees and insects.  We haven't started planting outside, which has actually turned out to be a good thing since the weather keeps changing up on us!  It been dropping to the low 40s at night and jumping to the low 70s in the day.  (crazy!)

The other night we had terrible storms and a tree fell down in the backyard.  No roof damage!! but it's all over the deck and knocked over the overhang (umbrella-style shade) as well.  In the daylight, we saw that it wasn't just a few light branches but a HUGE portion of the tree.  Something else to add to the list of things to do in the back yard! :D

I'm going to make my rounds again---to see just what you've been up to!  We've been good. Learning, growing, doing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

This Moment

{this moment}

she was terrified to make her presentation on Tanzania--but did a FABULOUS job!  she was so courageous!! 

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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