Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zoo Day





Phew where to begin. Honestly I am shocked that I have the energy to write this. I have been pretty sick this week. I could really use some good thoughts and prayers. Sadly right now I do not have a whole lot to tell you about why I am sick. Next week, I will hopefully have more answers and be able to share more. Until then, I covet your prayers. 


Being sick doesn't just effect me, it also effects Craig and the kids. My house is a mess, I can barely make a meal because my stomach is in knots, and well the kids have been watching a little bit more TV than I would like right now, but this too shall pass. 


Amazingly the kids do not seem bothered by me being under the weather. They still go about their days happily. Their behavior is actually quite sweet, with lots of hugs, snuggles, and feel better Mommys. Deirdre is cleaning up after herself like a pro and being extra patient with Jonas. Even with them waking up early today and not napping as well as they usually do, their sweet spirits are really shining through, and I am feeling so blessed. I am also feeling quite blessed by my church homegroup, which has stepped up to help me out. They truly are my second family. 


So since I have not been well and the kids have been great, I decided on Wednesday (the one day I have felt closest to normal), to take them to the zoo. We had a fabulous trip. It was not too hot and the animals were out. Plus since it was cloudy, we were probably the only people there! The hitch of the trip was me losing my patience -which has been low since I am sick,-BUT we all recovered and really enjoyed seeing our animals friends. Not to mention Deirdre was quite inquisitive about what they ate, where they lived, and other 'interesting facts about them to tell Daddy". I love that one! She cracks me up! 


At any rate, enjoy our photos! I will be back soon with photos of co-op tomorrow. We're having a harvest party, so it should be tons of fun! 


Daily Verse or Quote: 
[Jesus said,] "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."
— Matthew 13:22 (NIV)













Friday, September 16, 2011

Preserving Blueberries

Daily Verse or Quote: 

You are not managing an inconvenience, you are raising a human being. Children reflect the treatment they receive. - Kittie Frantz







Despite feeling under the weather and forgetting about the pounds of blueberries in my freezer, I had a fabulous week. Fortunately I got my act together and had a preserving party with the kids yesterday afternoon. 


Deirdre and Jonas absolutely love to 'help' Mama. I put help in quotes because it's their intention and desire to help me, even if it actually slows me down. Nonetheless, I accept it with a smile and can see their eager heart behind it. 


The kids were able to help me add the sugar and lemon juice. They also got to help me get our jars ready and even stir the pot. But Mama had to do all the hot pouring and smashing in my mixer. I broke my mixer early this year. It is a dear wedding present from my home-group and thanks to my Father-in-law it works again! BUT I now am much more careful with it- which means the kids don't get to touch it or its buttons. But they do not mind. Since we practice Love and Logic at home and they get lots of other options in their day, they do not mind it when I make a choice for them. 


So here are the photos of our results. I use a my own improved pectin free recipe so my preserves stay in the fridge, but I like it that way. Preserving that day was a nice trip down memory lane of our blueberry picking trip and a great reminder of God's great and generous provision for us and especially my family. 












Also (just for the record- yep I am about to go on another tangent) while I am positive on my blog about my home life and my kids, we do have our struggles. I do get frustrated with them and I do at times feel overwhelmed. These times pass and I move on quickly since I have a God given peace. So in this place I choose not to dwell on them. This is a honest place of positive reflection. Because when I look back on my day, the little two minute long fight my kids had over the crayon does not color the rest of the great time they played together for over an hour. And even in my worst moments with my kids, I do not think (as a mature adult) that gives me the right call my children names or to cuss at them or to verbally abuse them.  


So if you came to this place to find this, I am sorry to disappoint you. I've been on the receiving end of verbal abuse and other abuse as a child and its no fun. And being 'real' about parenting in my book does not include that. But feel free to stick around if you'd like to know more about being a compassionate, quirky, loving, and intentional parent. I am a huge mess but by God's daily grace I sure do try my best! 



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Respite

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.  
- Marcus Aurelius

What a cluttered week this one is proving to be. Busy, yes- however its an enjoyable pace. I think being able to feel peace amid the chaos is what had been helping me stay grounded and not feel stretched.  

My weeks this Autumn are filling up with Co-op, the mom's support group I am now volunteering with, bible study, and play dates (oh and not to mention errands!) But I am fine with this clutter. Its predictable and workable. If need be and I am no longer at peace or my children are not either, there are ways to cut back. But Co-op remains a priority, and one that I love. This week my Co-op partner Anya is hosting and leading. Out theme is families. Its nice to observe the children in a new light and to also be sharing the duties week by week. So I suppose this is my off week in a way! 

But to to the cluttered weeks I will be having and just not feeling a well (darn allergies), I probably will not be in this place daily anymore. Mostly certainly 3-4 times a week but I just wanted to update you so you don't think I am unwell. 

I am working on my Winter submission to http://rhythmofthehome.com/. I am excited and I hope it goes over well. 

Deirdre painting a D and then painting it in. 

Correcting her grip! 


 Dancing King- We have 20 minutes of music and dancing everyday before dinner





Friday, September 9, 2011

Co-op our first week





Is it really already Friday? I have been quite busy this week then, because its flown by! I guess homeschooling helps move my days along nicely. 


I have to say though, I am loving the co-op and homeschooling. Not only is it fun for the kids but it allows me to include them in all aspects of our home, especially cooking. I do think we have cooked together as much as we have this week ever. Ironically though, the food is still just as good, fresher, and makes it out of the oven or pot in a timely manner. They kiddos also seem to be eating more of it, which was never to big of an issue, but still nice since their meals have changed. 









It really warms my heart for them to help me make the food. They looks so proud when the meal is set and they can say that they also made it! They just beam. It is just such a lovely part of them to witness, to see their confidence bud. The past week as well Deirdre has started setting her own place and cleaning it up for me- without prompting.  


Jonas is beginning to talk more- and listen better! He has been saying "sit", "Ididit, "up", "alldone", "hi", and "dadee" more distinctively. He also now will give you the sweetest hug if you ask for one. Ah be still my little heart! 


So all in all, I have enjoyed this week immensely despite being a bit under the weather. I still feel so honored to be all to stay home with them and teach them. My heart is so full. 


Our Co-op Weekly Verse (The one my kids are memorizing):
Behold: "'I will send my messenger ahead of you (John) who will prepare your way before you (Jesus)' -Matthew 11:10

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Day of School


Ostheimer Squirrel 
Deirdre and Jonas on their new Daddy built natural playgroup. These are her hop logs! 


Today was our first day of homeschool! It went over without a hitch. I keep pinching myself in disbelief since it went so well and we ALL enjoyed it so much. Last night I was a bit nervous because I take teaching any children, my included, seriously (since it my profession). But that all melted away as we sat down for circle time with a song, a monthly poem, followed by a finger play, story, discussion, and verse. 


Our weekly theme is squirrels, nuts, and preparation. I cannot go into too much of the specifics since we are using a copyrighted curriculum, however I added in an extra bible story and weekly bible verse about John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus Christ to complement our preparation theme. 


Jonas enjoyed most of it. He came and went, which is fine and what is expected of a one year old. He loved the puppet story and songs. He even mimed the finger play! 


Deirdre was mesmerised and quite into her "school time". She called me Mommy-teacher the entire day! Ah it warmed my heart. I am so glad we prayed over this choice and that the Lord has blessed it. I cannot wait for that time tomorrow, and neither can the kids! 


Also on another good note, I finished knitting my apples! Whoopie! 

We also began our new Autumn menu tonight. Very healthy and crunchy but we like it so far (and we were pretty healthy to begin with). Its good motivation for me .

Nuts we've found and a home grown pumpkin! 


Quite time light. 


Lots of art displays! 

Tomten and the fox looking at each other, per Deirdre request. 

More Baba Yaga, but she calls it Hansel and Gretel. 

New playroom art. 











Saturday, September 3, 2011

Runny Noses and Busy Bees

Our first week is on squirrels and gathering. 


Things are gearing up around here for school to start. Since Deirdre and Jonas are not getting a traditional first day of school, since we're homeschooling, I am trying to make it as special as possible for them. One of the ways in which I am doing that is making half of our dining room a 'school room'- which will be covered up until Monday for their first day!  It is complete with a little library, a reading nook, a small table, an easel, a seasonal nature table, and other daily charts and art displays! (I promise to update the photos as I finish it up and have better light) 


Today I was able to finish unpacking a few leftover boxes from our move as well as clean! Thankfully I have a nice mother in law whom lives close by. So getting this room set up has been a breeze now and all its parts have been located.


I am also excited to start our co-op next week as well with my dear friend Anya and her little ones. We will be meeting two days a week and rotating weekly lesson teaching. The Waldorf curriculum we decided to use is called "Little Acorn". Its perfect for preschoolers of all ages. There is something in each lesson for Jonas as well as Deirdre, so that neither of them will get bored or left out. It also provides lots of extra activities and crafts to choose from so that you can pick and choose. The creator focus in the curriculum is also a plus since we are Christians. So since the curriculum allows wiggle room, I am able to add verses and biblical stories where I see fit. Not to mention we're also introducing Latin and French familiarity and our ABCs since Deirdre asks me daily to learn how to read. So we will go with!    


My works in progress list is ever growing. Currently I have:
-Knitted pumpkins
-Knitted apples
-Quilt bindings
-PJ pants
-Aprons (For me, DD, Craig, and Jonas)
-Autumn dress (Deirdre)
-Autumn outfit (Jonas)
-More PJs for Jonas and Deirdre
-Halloween wall hanging and costumes
(Not to mention I already have a list to do for Christmas presents!). 


Phew. So needless to say I am going to be busy but I think that list in manageable. I also have some volunteer work to do that I am very excited about. 


However- per the title of my blog- cold season has started early here! Please pray for me since I have had a nagging little cold for a few weeks now. Nothing too bad but enough to make me feel tired and yucky! 


The Tomten and the Fox, their Hunter's Moon gift 

Hansel and Gretel 

Autumn gnomes and some trees I made. 


The children's books. 

The nook

Jonas' fabric

Deirdre's fabric




Daily Verse: 
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? – Psalm 85:6 (NIV)



Friday, September 2, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual birthed by Soulemama. A single photo - a few words - capturing a moment from the week or month. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see!

Jonas discovered dipping his pickle in his ketchup is the best and smartest thing ever. Taken on Ocracoke Island at my favorite restaurant.