the cool breeze blowing on my face...the warm sun shining on my back...the welcome 54 degree weather on a winter day
brothers...working hard to accomplish their jobs...no complaining...just focusing on the task at hand...leaning over with shovels...filling wheel barrow together
brothers...once work is finished...playing together all afternoon...asking to skip rest time to enjoy the day that seems just like spring
sisters...playing outside at the play kitchen...Loulou acting silly...making Little Bitty laugh...such a laugh that little one has...infectious
Bo wanting mommy to play baseball...pitching the ball...watching him hit...and retrieve his own balls...because running isn't exactly comfortable now
LouLou sitting in the dirt...scooping it into her bowl..."I'm making snow ice cream for daddy!"...dirt smeared on her cheek...hair blowing away with the wind.
Boo fixing the broken chicken feeder...climbing on the counter to see how the grain grinder works...asking how the washer washes our clothes...always asking...asking...learning...learning...he's so proud when he fixes the chicken feeder...tells me if I need anything fixed I can ask him instead of daddy
LouLou with apron on...pouring the flour in the bowl for raisin bread...Little Bitty just had to help...sisters learning how to work together
I don't want to forget these girls today as they had their picnic with clementines...
little fingers...peeling fruit...clementine juice running down tiny chins...sticky fingers that needed washing
brothers...camouflaged against bright white snow...crawling on hands and knees...stalking a bird trying to find but a seed on the frozen white
sisters...playing tea party...little bitty...running to the water tank and filling her cup...saying..."party, party, party"...
Miss LouLou...wearing her princess dress...spinning around...the sunlight catching the sequins and sending sparkles all over the wall...reminding me of the sparkle that she brings to our days
Little one....flip-flopping within me...Will you have lots of hair like one of your big sisters?...Will you suck your thumb like one of your big brothers?...one thing is for sure she has already captured our hearts
Little Bitty...grabbing my hand..."mone mommy"...pulling me to the bed..."cubers", she says...as she climbs into the bed...beckoning me to follow...snuggling under the covers...giggling
My love...getting this blog printed into a book...for me...for us...knowing this is my scrapbook for my children
the calmness I already feel in my spirit...after spending a few moments with Him...each morning...hiding his word in my heart...slowly memorizing...just letting him now each day I need a meek and quiet spirit
Little Bitty...blond hair...in a ponytail...looking so big...still wanting mommy to hold and do everything for her
LouLou pigtail braids...looking so cute...that grin...helping me make homemade poptarts...folding the towels without being asked...getting to be such a good helper.
We almost waited too late to study the Hickory tree in the pasture. The few leaves that were left were a beautiful golden yellow color. We collected a leaf and hickory nut to draw in our nature notebooks. The boys examined the bark and also decided to see how big around the tree was.
Hickory Tree branches against a beautiful blue sky. There were a few leaves left.
Here are the boys measuring the tree with a tree hug:-)
We've had a big Winter Storm here in the South. We awoke Monday to about 4-5 inches of snow with a layer of ice on top. This wasn't very good for building snowmen or throwing snowballs, but it has been great for sledding. Daddy built a homemade sled and we have used various large bowls and pieces of acrylic for sledding down the big hills in the pasture. Well, everyone but me that is...this little one inside and this growing belly probably shouldn't slide. Here are some pictures...
Daddy's homemade sled
This was Little Bitty's favorite thing...but it wasn't Daddy's favorite
I was looking over some blog posts from last year and realized that this month marks our one year anniversary of nature study. As I look back over the year I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to share God's beauty with my little ones. Their sense of joy and wonder has definitely made me open my eyes to the little glimpses of beauty that God leaves for us each day.
This is Bo's first entry into his nature journal almost one year ago. He drew the picture and wrote the word mouse and I wrote the journal entry about our nature walk.
This entry was entered into his nature journal about three weeks ago. The difference a year has made in his drawing and writing is incredible to me. He asked for some drawing paper and a clipboard so he could go out to the pasture and sit in a place he has named the bird arch. He told me if he sits inside he can see a lot of birds around. He saw a Northern Cardinal and drew a picture for his journal. I am so proud of his progress. His drawing and writing ability has improved, but I think I'm most proud that he enjoys being in nature and occasionally asks to take his book and pencils out with him.
Here is our first nature study post. My how the little ones have grown.
The brothers were off on an adventure in the woods and pasture.
Miss LouLou requested a nature walk.
So we were off and because trees were bare we began noticing...
Not just one...
Not three, four, or five...
But SIX nests around our yard...
One in the oak tree by the road...
One in the hedges near the woods...
One in the oak tree in the yard...
One in the blackberry bush...
One in the birdhouse...
One in the magnolia tree...
We examined the nests that we could reach and found some interesting things the birds used to make them...
pieces of carpet
blue tarp pieces
We drew a nest in our nature notebook and taped some of things we had found in the nest on the page beside our pictures.
Oh and little tiny miss was just along for the ride...
I'm a little late in posting a few of our last nature studies for 2010. We waited almost too late to complete the autumn study of our dogwood tree. There were only a handful of bright red leaves leaves left on the tree. It really was beautiful when all of the leaves had just begun to turn colors, but we didn't do the study then.
We looked the tree over and spent some time remembering what it had looked like in the spring and summer.
The boys did a good job recalling the blooms in the spring and the thick, bright green leaves of summer. Here are a few of the prettiest leaves left on the tree before it becomes brown and bare this winter...(it already is:-)
What we heard...a gentle breeze blowing through the trees
What we saw...a few red and green leaves left...lots a red berries
What we felt...the rough bark, crunchy leaves and smooth berries
Here is Bo's drawing of our one remaining red dog wood leaf and branch with bright, red berries.
I sit here realizing that the new year has taken me by surprise. I mean I knew it was coming. I had every intention of reflecting on the past year and mapping out this new one. I had declared 2010 The Year of the Moments. Just calling attention to the moments in my day, made me stop and realize that time is fleeting and each day is a gift. I still got to hurried, I still rushed the littles, I still choose other things over time with them...but I made progress and I hope that living in the moment more caused me to be a better mother.
As I think of this new year that has already arrived, I see my failures mounting each day. I already have been too frustrated, to short with my answers, withholding patience and kindness from those I love the most. The littles have seemed challenging the last few days, but maybe it is really me. Maybe its time to finally take seriously the lack of gentleness in my words, the lack of patience in my response. I think of it often...habit training myself. How can I teach gentleness with siblings when I am too harsh at times? How can I teach about a joyful heart, when mine appears to be irritated so easily?
So after some thought, I am declaring 2011 the year of gentleness. I will each day strive to respond to everyone and all situations with gentleness. This will not be easy, but it is necessary. My little ones are watching my responses. My words are becoming a part of each of them. I want those words etched on each heart to be gentle...words that give life...even in the midst of correction...words that offer grace...even when it is unmerited.
Why this year? Why Now?
Because after twelve more winters this boy will be walking away from our home and into the place for which God is preparing him...
This boy needs grace...because we are so very different...He's just like his daddy...He's starting some school this year and I will have to extend patience and understanding every day.
And this girl needs gentleness at every moment of the day because...well, because...she's just like me...and that is oh so very hard...I see my faults magnified in the antics of this precious three-year-old.
Her expressions mimic what is in her heart...just as mine do...
And this little one needs kindness because she seems to have such a sweet spirit and I don't want my unkindness and frustrations to have a negative influence.