Sometimes quiet days push through our boisterous, busy and often playful days. Today was one of those days. Sunny, with warm patches of light to nap in a peaceful breeze gently swaying the curtains watching a documentary on Colonial Life...then running off to ride bikes with a buddy A day when naps pleasantly replace activities
This past week was busy...as it will continue to be throughout the year. But it's pleasantly busy and exciting each day. I am still planning on posting the home school day- but I just haven't had the time. It has been warm and sunny around here, but Autumn is in the air and we have plans to go apple picking this week and make some yummy apple butter. CJ is really enjoying his Martial Arts class and I get such a kick (no pun intended) watching him. He has already earned two stripes. He also started his clay/pottery class and loves it. He made something for me to put on a string for a necklace, and plans to paint and glaze it once it's been baked in the kiln. He also went to the theatre with his youth group and saw High school Musical, as well as having a "work day" with the youth at church. We are so happy with the youth group he is involved in. In school this week he is beginning "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and we will be doing an in depth literary analysis, as well as beginning a study called, "Africans in America". Both works will offer unique perspectives and I too am excited to learn. Pollywog has been as busy as ever.
Today was a full day in many ways, as you can assume given the title of this post. Around lunch time CJ went with me to work out. I have been pretty diligent with running -something I haven't been able to do in awhile (old injury) and have recently been getting back into- I have so much restless energy and if I don't work out I can be pretty annoying to be around. So it has felt so good to run and lift weights. (sorry, I am getting back on track...no pun intended) We had a blast! While I jogged he went around the track on his scooter. Once we worked up a good sweat we went into the gym to life weights. He is just hitting the age where he is allowed into the weight room, so I decided to give him a quick lesson in proper machine use, and basic weight lifting knowledge...like how to bulk muscles or elongate...how to breath properly, etc. Of course it quickly became a competition and we were laughing and having fun. On the way home we rolled down our windows and cranked the Led Zeppelin. My heart felt so full...I am so thankful for our relationship. My son and I have grown up together. Although I try to maintain the parent role, in so many ways we are the best of friends. Even as he enters these teen years, we are able to easily communicate and have fun together. For this I am so thankful. As far as the other "fullness" goes, it is merely in reference to my daughter's diapers. Yes, I know not the most girly of topics...but it is what is going on in my life, constantly, at the moment. Is it just part of the toddler days? Is it the "solid food" diet? I mean really, is pooping 5 or more times a day normal? Ugh, up to my elbows in you know what. and...up to my eyeballs in LOVE and sweetness. Now at nap time she loves when we just lay there and smile at each other. Then she will hug me and say, "mommy" in the cutest, melt your heart voice. I try to take a multitude of mental snap shots b/c I know these moments are fleeting. She loves learning and now when she sees letters she tries to say them. Mind you at this point she can only recognize and say O and P - but we are mighty impressed! Cannot believe this cutie will be 2 in few months :( Painting Fall decorations after breakfast: Ahh, life is full- in so many ways.
Like last Friday, we went on our weekly Nature Walk for CJ's field journal. We will be doing this every Friday and so most likely I will be posting about just that. To recap just what this is... CJ and I or B, or even all 4 of us, head out into the woods somewhere. CJ makes observations about his surroundings, the weather, animals he sees, things like that. Then he collects something that catches his eye. Once we are home he researches the object and writes all about it, takes a photograph and all of this information is inserted into his Field Journal. This is a chance for all of us to connect with the natural world. To observe it, talk about it, listen to it, touch it, smell it and let our spirits soar in it. In this modern world where media, video games, internet and couch potato life styles rule, it's easy to lose touch with the outdoors. We believe that nothing good comes from that. If we can understand nature we can begin to understand ourselves, our creator. We need this connection and we try to make sure that our family spends lots of time running and playing outside. Personally, I notice that if I am cooped up indoors all day I feel empty and long to be somewhere away from "civilization", at least the concrete one. So, today the 4 of us went to a nearby trail that we often frequent. Pollywog and B went off to run in the fields while CJ and I hiked around, laughed, raced each other, pointed out bugs and animals running by and just visited. Much fun was had on our walk. Here are some memories: Today, some strange bugs caught CJ's eye. They gave me the heebie jeebies. They looked creepy and "pinchy" (I know...not a word- well, up until just now). Once home CJ began researching to find out just what these critters were. Turns out they are the Curibita... Otherwise known as "squash bugs", or" pumpkin bugs". They bite, they are not poisonous, and they are known to infest corn crops and sometimes cows. They are native to the mid-west and have orange tips on their legs. Today CJ also made his Field Journal. He likes being creative and worked happily on this. In the middle of our work it began raining. The sun was shining and it was beautiful. Of course CJ couldn't resist a sun shower and took a quick break to run outside and exclaim it's beauty. Life is beautiful. Here is a sneek peak of his journal-- oh and pollywog woke up from her nap and joined in the fun. On another note, I did receive the requests to learn more about our home-school days. I am working on a post all about it. Thank you for the interest. As for this evening... CJ is at a sleep over... and some sushi- a cool glass of white wine and a movie are calling my name..."I'm coming" ... have a BLESSED weekend.
As of late Blogging is on the tail end of my activities for the day. I miss reflecting on my days- however, once this new rhythm of school days forms, I am certain I will find the time to write and paint again. In the meantime I wanted to share with you some small treats from the past couple of days. Our garden is still handing us treats. We have many peppers of several varieties just now bearing fruit. My little experimental watermelon... I spit out this seed from a melon I was eating and plucked it into a little pot. She grew, although not much...but how cute... Once a week CJ and I go on a nature walk...sometimes just the two of us, and sometimes the whole gang. On these excursions he maintains a Field Journal. He observes the weather patterns, the seasonal changes, animals he sees, and collects something that catches his eye. Then he makes a drawing of the item, photographs it and then comes home and identifies it. Making note of the scientific name, characteristics and a neat tid-bits. Today he found this: the Maclura pomifera, also known as the osage-orange or hedge- apple. Non poisonous although not edible and can cause vomiting. One tid-bit is that they are known to get lodged in the throats of cows...(poor cows) and lastly... this evening I was feeling a bit under the weather so B held down the fort...(aka brought me soup in bed, hot tea, fig newtons and checked on me frequently...what a man!)...while CJ built a lego town in the school room for hours, pollywog filled the house with noise, ahem... I mean music, of the percussion sort. Tonight I down vitamin C and tea, work on lesson plans, take a hot bath and get well. For tomorrow is a new day and there is so many exciting things to see and learn.
One of the focuses in our Life-skills course this year (in home-school), is Community. We will learn all about communities. What they are, how they are formed, what the needs are, involvement, etc. So today, CJ and I had a wonderful opportunity to volunteer at a local elementary school. This school could best be described as an inner city school. Unfortunately, the school is lacking resources, has a very large enrollment, and is totally understaffed. So much so, that the teachers there are very overwhelmed. However, very dedicated and are shining examples of what true heroes in our day and age look like. Many students there do not speak English and are learning while attending school. This was fascinating to see and these children really are so brave and amazing. Most of these wonderful children have volatile home lives, and this school is a safe haven for them. We had such an amazing time and developed a new found respect for teachers who dedicate so much of their energy(and boy do they need it), and lives to these future adults. We assisted a kindergarten class and the children were so funny and sweet. The little boys thought CJ was so cool. Out on the playground he quickly drew a crowd. He was so great with them and organized a game of soccer. My job during recess was "swing pusher"...I helped the little ones on and off the swings and pushed the many "me, me, please push me!!!" It was a work out! We sang songs, played games and enjoyed the many hugs, questions and funny things children say. (We laughed a lot today) CJ really enjoyed the experience and when leaving asked when we would be back. He learned so much from the interactions today, and so did I. Teachers are heroes! and Children are gifts to be treasured!
So much has been going on around here. I haven't had time to even get on my computer in the past few days. School is in session, and all the hours of preparation have paid off! The transition from summer to school has gone smoothly. I plan to post all about our school days soon. I have even thought about about starting a home-school blog so I don't swamp this one with school stuff. We shall see. In the meantime here are some moments from the day. Quiet reading time after lunch...CJ is looking at a how to make a rabbit trap. Pollywog is looking at pictures in her, "Why is the ocean salty" book. Pollywog has been playing "little mommy" quite a bit. She carries her baby everywhere, pushes her in the stroller and is always kissing on her. (apparently the baby likes to look up when riding) CJ starts his Martial Arts class this evening. He is pretty excited and has been wearing his uniform for much of the day. (please ignore laundry in background- hehe)
We're baaaaack! -and boy did we have fun! We wanted to end the summer with a bang and found this wonderful resort with all the amenities, like pools, hot-tubs, game rooms, outdoor shuffle board, movies, game nights, and entertainment. This type of luxury is rare for us... we usually stay in cabins or tents, or take fun and rustic road trips, (we have done many cross country road trips)...so we fully enjoyed each moment. The weather could not have been better, nor the company. We made wonderful memories and fun was had by all. Here are some photos, there are several b/c I had trouble choosing. The kids entertaining themselves on the drive Yahtzee fun Yummy breakfast (notice pollywog praying...she now reminds us before every meal) Loads of Swimming (outside) And when the temperatures were a little too cool, inside swimming We saw a water show, ate ice-cream and walked around the little village at night We went to a butterfly exhibit where hundreds of rare butterflies flew around us Initially CJ thought this would be boring, but I think he enjoyed it the most. He was like the "butterfly whisperer". They landed all over him, and everyone was taking his picture. He even got to release ones that had just emerged from their cocoon. apparently they liked me too and of course it just wouldn't be right if the Pollywog didn't do a happy jig Rested and ready for the new school year...Fall is in the air, hiking, biking and camping season is here (hip hip hooray!), lesson plans are coming along, and a new season is beginning. Something tells me it's gonna be a good year.