Thursday, January 28, 2010

Outdoor Nature Hour #2

Today we continued with our Outdoor Nature Hour with the second challenge.  It was a beautiful 60 degrees outside.  The boys were up before the girls after nap today.  So we went for a short walk down the dirt road while the girls slept.  The boys did fairly well being quiet and we heard lots of birds in the pine trees overhead. 

When we arrived back in our yard, I walked with the boys to the edge of the woods.  Just a little piece into the woods was a small moss covered dirt mound.  Bo sat on this mound and listened while Boo and I started to walk back to the house to check on the girls.  As we were leaving the woods I looked down and saw a marble in the grass.  I know a marble is not a natural object, but Boo sure was excited to find it.  The marble was the source of two of his descriptions.

I returned to find Bo still listening. He had heard the dogs and cat running in the leaves.  The chickens were down in the woods scratching around as well.  We walked around a bit, checking for any hidden nests from our chickens and Bo took a picture of a fallen tree.  We thought it looked like a perfect place for a nest to be hidden.

This afternoon when we came inside I asked the boys to describe something they heard.

Something they saw:
 Bo-black birds
Boo-little marble

Somthing they felt:
Bo-breakable soft stick (mommy did help to get the words right)
Boo-cold hard marble (mommy also helped a little)

A couple of quotes I liked from the Handbook of Nature Study.

If a teacher knows a fact in nature's realm, she is then in a position to lead her pupils to discover this fact for themselves.
Make the lesson an investigation and make the pupils feel they are investigators.  To tell the story to beign with inevitably spoils this attitude and quenches interest.


7.  Instead of reading the next chapter in a book before bed, I lay next to little ones in the dark.

        little ones yawning...mommy singing softly in little ears...rubbing backs...smelling the scents of little heads...praying prayers over each one

8.  Instead of folding the clothes, cleaning the bathroom or reading, I chose to have a tea party with my LouLou.
       mommy and little girl...sitting on a blanket...tea cups and plates...making grass salad and tree bark tea...feeding the dolls...enjoying one anothers company..brothers and dogs quickly join in...lots of for all

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wisdom According To Bo

When I taught school I always made a book with my students.  I would give each child the first part of famous quote and ask them to finish the quote.  I always received some pretty funny responses.  So I thought I would give Bo a list of quotes and let him finish them.  So here is the list of quotes,  I call it Wisdom According to Bo:

  • Better to be safe than......get eaten by a big 'ole monster.
  • It's always darkest before.....morning time.
  • Never underestimate the power of.....God!
  • You can lead a horse to water can't lead it to wolves.
  • Don't bite the hand poisonous.
  • No news is...No News
  • You can't teach an old run.
  • If you lie down with dogs, you'll...get hair in your mouth.
  • Love all, trust......God
  • An idle mind is....resting.
  • Happy the bride who.....loves.
  • A penny saved
  • Two's company, three's...more
  • There are none so blind as....MaMaw Ina.
  • If at first you don't succeed...succeed after.
  • You get out of something only what you....have to.
  • When the blind leadeth the blind...they fall into wall.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Outdoor Nature Hour

Yesterday we completed the first of the Outdoor Hour Nature Challenges.  A couple of years ago I started these challenges.  We only did one official challenge.  Now that Bo has started some educational activities I wanted to include the nature challenges as part of our homeschool.

We were off for a stroll in the pasture.  We stopped by the hay barn for a look around.  The boys are always turning over logs and rocks to see what they can find.  Behind the barn Bo turns over a block and he finds several roli-polis (pill bugs).  We gather a couple for closer observation so we can draw in our nature notebooks.

We then take a stroll out to the barn.  I noticed a large black plastic mat on the ground and I decided to move it.  Much to my surprise there was a wonderful little nature study creature!  There was a little mouse sitting very still hoping not to be noticed.  Bo got a great picture.

The little ones were so excited.  We were all gathered around the mouse watching it when it ran between Boo's feet trying to get back to the mat.  I am sorry to say we were not the only ones on the nature walk.  Lucky the cat lived up to her name on this walk.  Just as the mouse ran between Boo's feet she grabbed the mouse and took off.  We were unable to rescue the little critter.  I honestly thought the cat was over beside the barn when we were looking at the mouse.  She had walked up behind me and I didn't know she  was there.

Bo was a little upset, but everyone else took it quite well.  Our nature study extension this week will be focusing on predators and their prey;-)

When we got home we did draw the mouse and roli-polis in our nature notebooks and we looked up what the footprints of mice look like.  Boo also found a branch from a pine tree the was very proud of.  We will correctly identify the tree and draw it in his notebook.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thoughts on Thoughts

Because of God's great love for me, a love that is for my good, he has given me guidelines for the thoughts that should enter into my mind. This verse is very clear about the thoughts that should take up residence in my mind.

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things. Philippians 4:8, Amplified

If any thought enters my mind that is not allowed by the above verse I should immediatley take it captive for Christ.

{Inasmuch as we} refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the {true} knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). II Corinthians 10:5, Amplified

I am to control my thoughts.  My thoughts are not to control me.  The things I let consume my time will ultimately consume my thoughts.  There was a point in my life that T.V. and entertainment controlled much of what was put into my mind.  Books, magazines, and television shows shaped the way I viewed my life, marriage and future plans.  Trying to live up to Hollywood's expectations will make for a sad, miserable person. 

I am so thankful that God in his great love and by his overwhelming grace freed me from the bondage of expectations I had placed on myself when I filled my mind with wordly wisdom.  God is faithful to his word. When I started focusing on his plan for me as a woman revealed through his word, I found unsurpassed peace, joy and contentment.   That is how I can be Settled In My Home.

 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
Pslams 37:4, Amplified

Monday, January 18, 2010

Some January Gifts...

little girl...sun shining on face...swinging...giggling

blue sky...sun warming my face and back...little laughter warming my heart

my boys...eager to learn..working together...little school house on the mountain

warm breakfast...oatmeal...butter...blueberries...comfort food

daddy...boys...playing...sword fighting...tying heart strings...together

warm apple cream...yum

mother hen sitting...patiently hear the peeps of new life

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Over The Top Award

My friend Sarah, just awarded me with my first blog award!  She's not only my consultant concerning all things lactation, she's also my blog design consultant. While I don't consider my blog over the top,(I guess all of the organic eating, kefir drinking and 4 littles 5 and under in a two bedroom house is slightly over the top these days) I still appreciate the award.
Thanks Sarah.
So without further ado

1. Where is your cell phone? nonexistant
(Yes, I am one of the few people in existance who doesn't own a cell phone.  I think I need an award for that:)

2. Your hair? ponytail

3. Your mother? Godly

4. Your father? lawn man
5. Your favorite food? PB&J
6. Your dream last night? Crazy

7. Your favorite drink? Kefir

8. Your dream/goal? Full House

9. What room are you in? Fireplace Room

10. Your hobby? Blogging

11. Your fear? Frown lines

12. Where do you want to be in six years? In the Midst

(of children, loving much, homeschooling, his arms)

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. Something that you aren't? Worried what others think

15. Muffins? Favorite

16. Wish list item? Farm

17. Where did you grow up? small town

18. Last thing you did? kissed my nursling

19. What are you wearing? T-shirt, shorts

20. Your TV? Signing Time

21. Your pets? 2 Dogs+1 Cat+2 Green Anoles

22. Friends? There

23. Your life? Blessed

24. Your mood? Reflective

25. Missing someone? MaMaw

26. Vehicle? Mini-Van

27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

28. Your favorite store? thrift

29. Your favorite color? All

30. When was the last time you laughed? Tonight

31. Last time you cried? Last night
(a few tears shed last night over my lack of sleep.)

32. Your best friend? Chris

33. One place that I could go over and over? Home

34. One person who emails you regularly? Corrina

35. Favorite place to eat? My Kitchen

Do I have to award this to others?
I really don't have any blogging buddies.  I just do this to record my thoughts and memories for the little ones.
Yea, I know, I just spoiled all of the fun:(

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Outside again...finally

"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without."
-Charlotte Mason

Ms. Mason would be so proud.  After being cooped up in the house for about 3 weeks with terribly cold weather, we had a beautiful day yesterday!  I wanted so badly to get outside.  After naptime yesterday, I strapped my nursling in the sling, put LouLou in the wagon and we were off.  Not off on an easy stroll down the road, but off to the pasture to hike to the spring.

Bo and Boo took turns pulling LouLou in the wagon.  I used the camera to snap a few pictures.  The spring is just outside the fenced pasture down a rather steep hill.  It seemed really steep with a little one strapped on and LouLou scared that she would fall.  We made it down though.  Once we reached the bottom we were rewarded with huge icicles hanging off the bluff.  The recent cold weather had managed to freeze the water coming over the bluff.  The icicles were taller than the littles.  They had an amazing time pulling them off and sword fighing with them.

I had sooo wanted to get a picture of the kids beside the icicles.  The batteries in the camera were dead when I tried.  I was so sad!  We may have to make another trip back out before they melt.

Climbing the steep embankment was difficult too, but I did it!  Just me and the little ones.  I felt proud that we accomplished that together.  I also feel a little more confident about our next excursion.

Moments for Enjoying...

ongoing list of our special moments...

4.  Instead of reading one book at naptime to LouLou, I read two as we snuggle under the covers
             little girl...snuggling with mommy...under the it again...and again

5.  Instead of hurrying away, we have hot chocolate with a friend.
             freezing cold outside..warm chocolate...mugs warming hands and hearts

6.  Instead of spending my time on the computer one afternoon, I took Bo for a hike to the spring.
            oldest son...hiking with mom...holding awe over God's creation...singing his praises as we
              sit under the rocks...laughing together...making memories

Lord, I want to take time to celebbrate my moments each week.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ideas...What am I feeding my children?

Today as I was reading Parents and Children, a quote from Ms. Mason caused me to stop and spend some time reflecting upon the ideas around our home that are waiting to be taken in by one of the littles.

An idea fitly put is taken in without effort, and, once in, ideas behave like living creatures-they feed grow and multiply.  Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children, page 77

As a mom, I try to be very careful about the kinds of foods that are allowed into our home.  I try to offer a range of healthy snack options.  The children then have a choice from a variety of healthy foods. As I read about ideas today, I found myself wondering if I am as cautious with the ideas that enter the minds of my children as I am the foods that enter their bodies.

As I considered this I realized that I am very particular about healthy food and healthy ideas.  We have made a decision to limit T.V. viewing to a little before bed each night.  We only let the children choose from movies we have previously approved.  We have choosen carefully the newspapers and magazines that we have in our home.  The boys occasionally play on an educational website, but this time is very limited.  We do not own any video games at this point and I can't foresee us getting any.  I am very particular about the quality of books I want my little ones to read.  Charlotte Mason referred to books that do not contain living ideas as "twaddle".  The last couple of years I have been working tirelessly to remove the "twaddle" from the bookshelves, toyboxes and movie cabinets of our home.  I try to think of twaddle as the junk food of books, movies and toys.  These types of things do not offer living ideas to feed the minds of my children.

I began to feel encouraged by all of the hard work to weed twaddle from our home.  But then I thought about all of the times the boys come to me with a question about this animal or that insect or that historical person they have heard mention of. Many times I answer with an I don't know or an I'll try to find out later.  I need to make more of an effort to feed the ideas that they bring to me.  I want to be more disciplined about looking up questions they have and providing answers that are meaningful.  I need to get better at asking questions that will encourage the children to investigate and uncover more living ideas.

My children possess a sense of wonder that always seems to amaze me.  I want the atmosphere of our home to encourage living ideas.  It is so easy for living ideas to be snuffed out by media and entertainment.  If not guarded carefully homes can become so overwhelmed with "stuff" that children can't find one thing that delights their soul.  A deliberate attempt must be made to keep things quiet in terms of entertainment and overstimulation.  If my children are always looking to be entertained it will be very hard for them to explore meaningful ideas.

Activities that promote meaningful ideas:
nature walks
painting/viewing artwork
aquarium to keep outside finds
family games
living books

Next time my children are engaged in an activity I need to ask, Is this beneficial?  The short time I have to educate my children reminds me of this verse:
Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise;  redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15-16


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Enjoying my moments...

1. Instead of just reading a bible story, I took the time to act it out with the little ones. It was so much fun hearing the giggles and seeing their smiling faces. This is a moment I want to experience more often.

pillows piled high...walls of Jericho...crashing after we marched around our pretend city

2. Instead of just dropping something by the neighbors, I stayed to visit for a few minutes. We have so much in common and live very close, yet we never knew until recently.

chatting with a neighbor...who's quickly becoming a friend...sharing ideas...laughing together

3. Instead of laying my nursling down for a nap, I rock her and hold her and look at her.

sweet sleeping baby face...smiling in her dreams...eyelashes brushing cheeks...peace

choosing to make more moments...

Question of the Day

When I eat does my food fall on God?
Boo, 4 years
Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, he's just checkin'!

Monday, January 4, 2010

For Today...January 4, 2010

FOR TODAY...January 4, 2010

Outside my window...bitter cold here in the south...trees barren...ground frozen underfoot
I am thinking...about making a timeline for our history readings

I am thankful warming the house...littles napping in cozy beds

From the learning rooms...we began school again today after a month long break

From the kitchen...yogurt cheese pesto dip...a hit with the kids and with me

I am in ponytail

I am creating...journals with Bo to use for nature study, journaling and science

I am finish a Bible study on the Fruits of the Spirit by Bo's birthday

I am reading...Nina Plank's Real Food for Mom and Baby

I am hoping...for a year of blessings

I am hearing...the tap of the keyboard...the crackling of the fire

Around the house...need to gather the eggs... clean the desk...mix some bread

One of my favorite things...Boo's spontaneous... I Love you more than from here to Michigan

A few plans for the rest of the week:breastfeeding support group...visit the nursing's birthday tomorrow

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Thanks to Rachel Mcphillips for the wonderful pictures of my little ones

For more Daybook posts visit here

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year...A New Focus

"So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom."
Psalms 90:12

As I think of the new year before me I feel a sense of hope. I love the feeling of freshness that a new beginning brings. A new day...a new month...a new year...all give me joy because I get a chance to start again.

I often tell my littles that Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it - Anne Shirley, Ann of Green Gables. That thought brings me much comfort especially as I look out over a brand new year.

As I think about this year and what I want to accomplish the list could grow rather long. I think the most important thing I need to accomplish as a christian wife and mother this year is living in the moment. Yes, I want to declare this year The year of the moments. I tend to make mental checklists and hurry through my day so I can accomplish everything I have set out to do.
At the end of the day I have a list that has been accomplished, but gone are the special moments with the ones I love that I can never reclaim.

So each day I hope to make a special memory with the ones I love. Instead of choosing this or that exact moment to fold the clothes I want to have a tea party with my girls. Instead of reading the mail, I am choosing to shoot the bow and arrow with my boys. Instead of reading the next chapter of a book, I am choosing to have a quiet conversation with my husband. Instead of spending the afternoon on the computer I am choosing to take a walk and commune with my Saviour.

My mental to-do list will still get accomplished...eventually. If not today...then tomorrow. I am the keeper of this home and I want to keep it well, but I am also a mother and a wife and I want to nurture those relationships first and foremost.

Will you join me for a year of moments?
I would love to read about the special moments you are spending with those you hold dear.
Stop in and see if I am living in the moment!

In Christ,