Jan 31, 2011

One moment....

But it's not just one moment.
Its one of those moments.

Jan 30, 2011

Gratitude Mondays....

What I am loving today....

~Fresh baked cookies!!!
(for breakfast... shhh!!)

~A baby who claps, and pulls himself to a stand....
(Slow down baby!)

~A boy who makes beautiful Valentine's for his loved ones...
(this boy is SO sweet)

~A girl who now "knows for certain that fairies are real"...

~A partner who lets me sleep in and wake up to said fresh baked cookies!!!
(so yummy.)

~Used bookstores...
(its like treasure hunting)

~Hand knit baby blankets...

~Dinner with family...

Welcome February!!

Jan 27, 2011

D, J, and H review wrap up...

We reviewed the letters D, J, and H this week...



In math we introduced the term less and estimate, arranged objects in groups of 10,  learned the value of a dime, built reflections and copies of structures.  

We explored Hibernation.  We read ~ Hibernation, by Margaret Hall ~ Animals Hibernating, by Pamela Hickman ~ and on of my most favorite stories ever... Sleepy Bears, by Mem Fox

Inspired by Sleepy Bears, and these beautiful "tiles" that Ava made me, we created paper quilts...

We finally got around to making ice wreaths! (ice muffins in our case)  I have been looking forward to this for years.  We used this activity as an opportunity to say goodbye to Winter.  Like it or not, its getting warm here in Arizona.  So we will embrace this weather while we watch our little icy ornaments melt away.

(I loved these SO much, that I've decided to dedicate a whole post to these little beauties later!)

Using Nature in a Nutshell by Jean Potter we experimented with 'blubber' and its effects on keeping animals warm in icy temperatures...

This week was actually a week and a half long (illness messes with plans that way) so we had plenty of time for two art studies this week...

Albrecht Durer, Saint Eustace was not that interesting to Ava at first glance.  She told me it was hard to look at because there wasn't enough color.  After some time talking about all the tiny details (castle in background) she decided that the picture was fascinating, behind the 'skinny dogs' that is.


When we talked about George Stubbs The Grosvenor Hunt, it was the first time we ever discussed the idea of  hunting as a sport.  She thought hunting meant to look for things.  (oops)  After we got past the subject matter of the painting she decided that the real beauty was found int he open spaces, and small roads in the background.  I can see what she means.

As the month wraps up, so does our time with Snow Clown, by Barbara Juster Esbensen.  Starting in February I will have Ava choose our next poem she is to memorize.  I wanted Robert Frost, but I just can't see us talking about a Snowy Evening while the weather is so warm.... 

Until Next week...

Jan 26, 2011

How we tutu


Gotta love a tutu.
Do you tutut too?

A little black, and a whole lotta color...

One of my favorite art mediums that my children work with has got to be chalk.  (Evident here, here, here and here)  Lately we've been taking the chalk off the board and onto paper.  I love how the simple process yields such dramatic results.

All you need is...
~Chalk (we use something like this)
~Dark heavy paper (we like black construction paper)
~Aerosol hairspray (I keep some on hand just for chalk art)
For this....

Once your child is satisfied with their creation, spray the entire image with hairspray (keeps the chalk from smearing).  We've found that pinning the drawing tightly to the walls keeps the paper from curling while it dries.

I really do love the results.  So do they.  And it really is so very simple.  Which then leads us to my eternal conundrum...  What do you do with all the resulting piles of beautiful art?

Jan 24, 2011

Growing up hair....

Its happened.  Cyrus said he wanted his hair cut.  I admit I've been (gently) nudging him in that direction for some time now.  To say his hair was unruly would be a grave understatement.  I will also admit that I mourne the loss of his wild curly frock.

We headed to my sister in law's were she runs an in home business.  The location for his first hair cut couldn't have been cooler.  Pizza for lunch, exploring the gardens, playing with the chickens....


Grab a quick hair cut (on mamas lap.  Love that.)  And its off to slam dunk basketballs with your uncle's aid....
Aunt Rachael was gentle, patient, and very understanding.  She talked Cyrus through all of his apprehension.  He's more grown up now than he was before he faced down his trepidation.  Anticipation behind him, all that's left is pride.  He's so happy with his new hair.

And me... I'm happy too.  Really.  I am.  It can always grow back.   ... I'll never have that younger boy back.

Gratitude Monday...

What I am loving today...

~Making a large donation to Locks of Love
(around a foot and half worth)

~Being able to spend the whole day resting, and healing in bed...
(I am so done with talking about illness.  After today, no more.  Promise)

~Breakfast foods...
(there are so many, and most of them are so comforting)

~Getting caught up on movies...
(and House Hunters International)

~A boy who grew up with a new hair cut
(more on that later)

~A girl who has decorated our refrigerator with works of art...
(I love the details in her newest work, its like a Spring collection)

~A partner who steps up when I need to step down...
(cleaning the kids bedroom, and play room.  A trip to the park so I can sleep, and late night to the store so I can have some Emergen-C)

~A baby who just found his ears and his necklace...
(all with his fat little tongue sticking out)

Here's to a new week.  Full of promise.  I really really really want to be able to put all this rotating sickness behind us this week!!!

Jan 20, 2011

Thank you...

I want to thank everyone for all the well wishes that I've received in these last few days.  It looks like all my babies should be 100% later today or tomorrow.  It has certainly been an adventure to have three down with the stomach flu while my much relied upon partner has to work his busiest month of the year.  Bleh.  Turns out that with a few small changes in 'ideals' all things are possible.  So my oldest two watched a whole bunch of tv, I spent one night sleeping on the floor, and my tiny baby had infant tylenol (gasp!), but we did it.  We got through.  I may have lowered my hygiene standards, and my house may be dirtier than I've ever seen it, but this time was in its own way very tender.  And again reaffirmed my absolute awe for all those single mothers of the world.  Damn.

Jan 19, 2011

And then there were two... make that three

As we are working through this flu that's claimed my all of my babies I thought I would post some pictures of the evening skies.  One thing about Arizona that continues to bring me (and everyone else who lives here) joy are the spectacular evening skies.  Shades of pinks, oranges, blues and purples.  Its really something.

And surely as the sun will set tomorrow my little family will see the end of this bout of fevers.

Jan 18, 2011

Out of the blue..

These things come on sudden, and they come on strong.
One minute we are playing math games, and enjoying a cookie.
The next minute we are dealing with a stomach flu virus.
Time to use every special trick you can think of to
make your little one feel comfortable.
Couch beds
Warm washcloths scented with Chamomile
Homeopathic Ipecac
A little light television
Sparse ice-chips
A lot of story reading, and story telling
Countless reassurances that she will get through this,
that its hard but it will be over soon
"I love you"s,
"I'm right here"s
"You are doing such a good job"

With any luck by the time we are to have lunch again this will all be behind us.
And maybe, just maybe she'll be the only one who gets it.

Jan 17, 2011


Matt remarked in passing of his future concern for our boys skateboarding.
I have TWO boys.
How is this news to me?

Jan 16, 2011

Gratitude Monday...

What I am loving today...

~The Happiness Project
(some really great ideas, and an inspiring read)

~Patchouli Black Strap handmade soap
(my new favorite smell in the world)

~Guilty Pleasures
(its cool to spend 7 hours watching the Golden Globe coverage, right?)

~A little baby who is crawling...almost...
(its more of a crawling hop, but its super cute, and it gets the job done!)

~A partner who surprises me with flowers...
(a bouquet of "winter whites" for January, does that guy know me, or what?)

~A boy who makes intricate villages with his blocks..
(his newest favorite building material)

~A girl who knows what she wants, and then figures out how to make it herself...
(she has an amazing imagination)

~Setting up the curriculum for 1st grade
(Yes its early, but I'm a planner)

~Blogs of other mothers!
(I love all the great ideas, and inspiration I get from this large community of women)

My house is a mess, but my heart is so full of gratitude. 
Here's to another great week!

Jan 13, 2011

H week wrap up..



This week in our home school we...

~ explored the letter H
~experimented with making frost
~studied the illustration  Raven Addressing the Assembled Animals by Miskin
~read the poem "The Song of the Herb Twopence Fairy" by Cicely Mary Barker
~discussed the life's work of Snowflake Bentley
~ read Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert
~made paper snowflakes
~learned the terms ellipse, hexagon, rhombus,cent, penny, and nickle
~observed symmetry and 'reflection' in geometry, and butterflies
~practiced recognizing 10s and 1s on the abacus
~continued counting by 2s into the 30s and beyond
~worked with clay to make winter imprints of evergreens, possibly to use as next years Christmas gifts!

Another great week!  As I continue to love homeshcooling I am inspired to keep a log of some of the wonderful things we've been working on and learning.  Could this be my new Friday blog posts?  Maybe, we'll see if I like it. 

Jan 12, 2011

A year in a tree...

 In January we like to spend some time reflecting on the year ahead of us.  To make it easier to visualize the expansiveness of a whole year I came up with our "Year Tree".  A bare branch adorned with a charm for each month.

One of Arizona's only chilly months we have a polar bear to symbolize the cold.

Valentines, and love reign supreme this month...

Its time for some spring green, what's better than the shamrock for this month?

(usually) In April we celebrate Easter.  I love decorating Easter eggs.

April showers bring May flowers, plus Mother's day just seems like a flowery day!

The month of the Summer Solstice, and the longest daylight of the year...
A month for celebrating our country's independence.  Peace is a fitting symbol don't you think?

A bit of wishful thinking, but by this month all I can think about is escaping the desert heat.

The start of school, and trips to the apple orchards.

Gotta love a Jack-o-lantern!
The best time of year to visit Boyce Thomas Arboretum, and celebrate fall

Winter Solstice, and evergreen Christmas trees.  I do love those trees.

Someday I'd like to make a large circular calender out of wood.  I'd like to hang these charms in their respective months.  For today, for this year, this will do just fine.

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East Bay, California, United States
I am a thirty something mother of three. Hoping to raise my little ones to love the the slower things in life.