Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Family Time :: Back Creek Park








Osprey and her chick!
Since our move back in December from Newport News to Yorktown, we've slowly been discovering our new surroundings. I had lived in Newport News since August 2005, when I first began college at Christopher Newport University- now my alma mater. When we got married and had Deirdre, we stayed in Newport News as well. We've moved 5 times since then but they all we within that city, until now. Granted Yorktown is not far from Newport News. All of the cities in Hampton Roads are pretty close to one another, but it does change our rhythm a bit. I have been struggling to dive in to my new city and love it for what it is versus coveting other places for what it is not.

So since it has warmed up, we've been going out and driving around and getting lost and finding our way home. I call it having an adventure. I usually pack a picnic dinner and trow a quilt in the trunk and off we go.

In upper Yorktown, there are lots of little rural areas that seem to go on forever until you hit water. One of those places is called Dandy, and in Dandy there is a lovely little park called "Back Creek Park". It's small and it doesn't have a playground. But what it does have are boats and docks which are teeming with marsh life.

Before I discovered my love of history and language, I really wanted to be a marine biologist and worked quite hard to that end. I volunteered and interned at the Virginia Aquarium for 4 years as well. While there was another plan for my life, what that has left me with is a good knowledge of sea life as well as a decent knowledge of our local marsh life. Being able to share that with my children is indescribable. It just makes my heart burst in love and thankfulness.

At times I really miss being close to the ocean. A part of my soul is tied up in the sea. But being so close now to this water and the York river has been a nice affirmation that this is where we ought to be right now. And I am at peace with that.

Also, Please try and do a test comment on this post for me. A few friends have said my comments aren't working. I think I fixed the problem. But I need someone else to check!!

Until next time,

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Circle Time




We're closing in on the end of the traditional school year. My son goes to speech therapy at our local elementary school and it is buzzing with testing and the end of the school year jitters.

For us however we really do schooling year round. After spending some time thinking about what to do this summer I finally realized that we'll just keep doing what we do every summer and every season.

Even before we began home-schooling somewhat formally this year- and as in formally I mean really just making what we have been doing official and being a bit more intentional- we always read books, went on outings, and did crafts geared around the seasons.

I can remember when I first began this blog back in summer 2009 how Deirdre was just old enough to do crafts and we tried our hand a pudding painting. We'd visit the library weekly and as we'd go in I'd ask, "what do you want to learn about this week?" We'd always leave with a stack of books on that subject she answered and that's what we'd do that week.

So as summer makes it's way towards us, we're continuing doing what we have always been doing. Living and learning as we go about our daily and weekly rhythm. The kids have become so used to circle time that I hardly can go without doing it every morning. We do a daily art activity and the books that we read in circle time are the same ones we read at bed. The song and verse we're learning over the next few weeks, is sung all through-out our day. Our play takes on the theme we're learning about. It just all flows so well together.

So I thought I'd share with you what our circle time looked like today. A week before the season changes, I begin telling the kids about what is coming as a way to transition. So today summer came to introduce herself. I introduced our summer verse, book, and song. We did a caterpillar finger play and read our poem about May for one of the last times before we did our calendar. Then to end our school day we packed a picnic and went to the lagoon- one of our favorite summer pastimes. Needless to say the kids are excited for summer.







 As I begin planning next year I will come back and share a bit of what we've done over the past 9 months. I hope it might serve as a encouragement to you if this is your first jaunt into home-schooling or Waldorf. Many things we idd were lovely and then there were things that did not quite fit. There was lots of unlearning I needed to do this year as well. My very type A public schooled and rigid brain had a HARD time trusting my heart on what was right for my children versus what the world around me was saying.


Also Our $75 Nova Natural giveaway is still going on until 7/19!
Don't forget to enter!





At any rate, I hope you're enjoying this lovely May day!

Until next time,
Nicole

Monday, June 25, 2012

Grace Enough and Some Summer





Pool Playdate Party celebrating Summer at our house this past Friday

Our summer nature table


Dancing to music at a local summer concert

Ah it seems summer in in full swing here. Since my last blog (I believe it's been two weeks) we have been having lots of fun, with some tribulation. I think I am beginning to hit my stride with three children. Don't get me wrong, I have tough days. Days where I feel like I get nothing 'constructive' done. But I try not to let that get me down or define my day. In the end, loving and connecting with my children is more important than stressing myself out by cramming our schedules or cleaning like a maniac. A friend recently told me that as long as nothing is growing then we're doing OK, and so far that hasn't happened yet! 


And in all honesty I think now I have the perspective to know how fleeting these days are. I'd rather remember playing, cooking, and cuddling with my kids, than dusting. But that's just me. 


Right now my family is in an interesting state. We are trying to plan out our 'school' for the next year. Our intention was to home-school all the kids until at least the 1st grade, and we'd still like to do that. However in recent weeks, my husband and I have come to realize that Jonas is having some real issues with speech, versus just taking his time. I am not going to get into too many specifics because at this point we just don't know what exactly is going but we do knot that something is awry and that he needs help. Help that I alone cannot just give him. So he is going in for an assessment on July 22nd. 


In the meantime, my husband and I are in a big 'what if' stage. Since it is looking like Jonas is going to need us and our help a bit more, what about Deirdre... and homeschooling? Will I have the time to do it? What is best for her? What is best for Jonas? Oh yes and the baby? Ah, as you can see there are many questions. I think I change my mind 3 times a day about it all. Not to mention the whole gamut of emotions I am feeling about Jonas and the hardship he is going through. I had some really low points recently. Nothing brings you low like when your children experience hardship, as I am coming to find out. 


The upside is that it is just speech that Jonas is having trouble with. He understands everything we say, interacts, and is just such a loving fun guy. Last week we started potty training him and I am happy to say he is now trained, and he did it himself mostly! 


So all in all, things are going well. I am enjoying the kids and this time, even if I don't have all the answers and everything planned out. But then again, I never did before now either. I have faith that God has grace enough for me and my children and the Craig and I will make the best decision we can for them and our family. And quite frankly that's pretty freeing. 


So I'll leave you with some photos of the past 2 weeks. And please remember my family in your prayers. We could really use some discernment and peace. 

Until then, 
Nicole 

Making homemade icecream

Making pie-crust for our blueberry cream pie

Potty training, woo-hoo! Also yes Jonas got a much needed haircut in the past two weeks. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer's Flight

Nature's bounty from our garden today. Cherry tomatoes, an heirloom tomato, and raspberries! 

These past two days seem to have flown by. Summer seems to be flying by as well. And that is ok with me. I love summer but when time flies for us, it means that we are having fun. Yesterday we took a family trip to the Children's Museum of Virginia. After about 2 years of renovations, it finally re-opened. I took us about an hour to get there due to traffic, but the trip was worth it. They had exhibits for every age and interest. They even had a baby play room for Jonas. Jonas' favorite exhibit by far was the fire station. In it, they had fake fires that you had to put out and a life size firetruck cab to climb into. Even when we were in other exhibits close by, Jonas would BLOT back to the fireman's exhibit. Deirdre, well she loved everything. She was in heaven and was enamored about spending one on one time with her Daddy. Sweet bliss. 


Back to the subject of the summer flying by and Jonas. My baby is turning 15 months old on the 10th! He is walking, signing, and talking like a wild man. He really understands just about everything I say to him. I love seeing the little light bulb go off in his head. His personality is just blossoming and I feel like I can barely keep up. Its a new thing each day. Time just keeps flying by... 


With Deirdre its more subtle now. Her imagination, maturity, interests, complex thought processes are also blossoming. She is developing a sense of responsibly and also is learning how to fib (as all children do at this age). Fortunately Craig and I take all these changes with stride. Both our kids have such beautiful and strong spirits. Just like us! 


Right now, I am just feeling overwhelmed with joy. I am lavished with blessings from God through my husband and kids. I love being able to take a step back with this blog and just marvel at my life and what it has become. 


So dear summer, you have my permission to fly by. But please allow us sweet moments to savor and pause at while our babies are still babies. 


Daily Verse or Quote:
"Kiss your children now for soon they'll swim away" 

Crafty Goodness:
Tonight I finished a baby doll quilt for my daughter's doll "Vera" and knit doll booties. The quilt used scrap fabric from Deirdre's gnome quilt- so they will match! I will post a tutorial tomorrow for both. It was very very easy. 






Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Coop

Finally at long last we have a secure coop for our brood. After last year's debacle with the local feral cat colony, we knew this year that we need a secure coop. 





Our new coop is very nice. It is cedar and has two levels, nesting boxes, an easy clean tray, and a small run underneath. Needless to say the brood is happy to be out of the old bunny cage at night. Now all we need to put in is a roosting pole. 



Simba (our Buff Brahma) is excited and HUGE! He is only 10weeks old. He might look mean but he is a sweetheart and purrs when you hold him. 




Our garden is also busting out right now. We have already had a large crop of lettuce, spinach, arugula, and strawberries  Now we're just getting in cherry tomatoes. The squash, cantaloupe, peppers, and watermelon are going crazy! 



So at any rate, we are busy over here and soaking up the summer these past two mild days.  We have had dinner on the porch two nights in a row and are loving it. Enjoy your weekend and the outdoors!








One garden bed- we have two additional ones. 
The First Crepe Myrtle Bloom of the summer! They smell divine!
Cicero (Our Lionhead buck) also likes the coop. We house our chickens and rabbits together. They all cuddle together at night. Its quite adorable.