While mommy and the girls were having some tea party fun, daddy and the boys were camping.
Here are some pictures of their trip.
life jackets...because daddy borrowed a canoe...to fish in the creek...
The boys got to see lots of wildlife. When they got home we heard all about a beaver splashing in the water and the trees it had been chewing. They cleaned the fish and a snake swam over and ate the skins. There were lots of wild ducks. I wish they had taken their nature notebooks to draw some of the wildlife, but instead I've been hearing lots of stories...narration practice right?:-)
I have been reading this book for fresh ideas and inspiration:
In the book she talks about assigning a specific day a name. So today was Baking Day for us. After our breakfast and morning clean-up routine we began our baking day. The littles all had jobs to help with.
Bo cleared the breakfast table and washed the dishes.
Boo filled the bowl full of almonds to begin soaking, layered the vanilla cookies in the dish for a banana pudding pie, and washed the eggs.
LouLou and Little Bitty prepared the pans for baking bread by rubbing them with coconut oil.
Baby Girl was napping peacefully while mommy was rushing trying to get lots accomplished before she woke up.
I should have posted these last fall, but they got buried on the camera and I just ran across them the other day.
Here is Miss LouLou getting her first haircut.
She had just turned thee years old.
I asked her if she would like to get her haircut...she said, yes...but she did not smile the entire time.
In fact she had tears welling up in her eyes.
Her brother said she looked just like Mountie O'teal...from Christy
This sweet girl...doesn't like crowds...or strangers.
She's coming out of her shell now at three and a half. Just yesterday at my brothers baby shower, she was helping them unwrap presents and playing around in a large crowd. She is coming out of her shell nicely.
We only got a trim...
Lot's of hair left for braids and ponytails.
So I have been trying to be much more aware of the gifts God bestows each day. The little things I usually take for granted. It was on my mind as I rocked our newest little one in the wee hours of the morning. My eyes were heavy with sleep, but this little one was warm and wiggling in my arms. These moments will be gone all to soon. I wanted to hold her like that...stopping time to breathe her in and study each feature. The features that are already changing day by day.
And it was at this time that I thought about my list...the one scratched on the back of an envelope...the one typed out on this computer...the one written in my mind.
sun streaming through the window after days of rain
shiny bathtub...cleaned by my love...waiting for me in the morning
Little Bitty...singing beside me in the bed...hayayuyah(hallelujah)
Little Bitty...always asking..."Where's nayna mama?"...her name for her new sister...always answering "Ohhh"... when I show her.
Baby girl sleeping peacefully after an hour of restlessness in the middle of the night
I thought that during Bible Time today I would share with my little ones about my list.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thess 5:16-18
Just maybe...they would be inspired to begin noticing gifts that God gives each of them.
I thought about little notebooks and pens and how I would have to help them write...
And then the thought that makes my blood run cold...
I swallow hard...
Tears begin to fall...
Would I make it onto their lists...
...a mommy who plays tea party with me
...a mommy who gently instructs
...a mommy that smiles
...a mommy that plays games and laughs
...a mommy who encourages
In order to make it onto the lists, I'm going to have to be more available... to them...yes, I am here,
but being here and saying Yes to the things that would make their lists will take some extra effort.
It may mean the dishes have to wait...
the clothes may not be folded just yet..
the floors may be strewn with teacups and legos and train tracks...
But I will be giving myself to them...
and if they want, they can write it on their list.
As we began our Year-1 in January, I could hardly wait to see how Bo would do with narration. According to Ms. Mason, narration is the ground-plan for education. It is the foundation on which our homeschool years will be built upon. I suppose preparing the ground for the foundation begins as soon as a young child begins sharing episodes that have happened throughout the day. When daddy arrives home, our little ones delight in sharing with him about their day. From what they played outside to where they went with mommy episodes are shared with great animation and surprising detail.
Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there, in every child's mind, waiting to be discovered, and is not the process of disciplinary education...This amazing gift with which normal children are born is allowed to lie fallow in their education...Whereas here if we have eyes to see and grace to build, is the ground-plan of his education. Home Education, pg 231
Once the ground has been prepared, Year 1 is the perfect time to lay the foundation. A properly built foundation will take time and attention. Beginning to narrate stories can be a difficult task. Learning how to summarize important information can be confusing to a little one. Our oldest, Bo thinks all information pertaining to battles in Our Island Story is important.
The points to be born in mind are, that he is to have no book which is not a child's classic;and that, given the right book, it must not be diluted with talk or broken up with questions, but given to the boy in fit portions as wholesome meat for his mind, in the full trust that a child's mind is able to deal with its proper food. Home Education pg. 232
We began narrating slowly. Some days he would narrate sentence by sentence. We are now in our seventh week of Year 1 and we are narrating paragraph by paragraph, or several sentences at this point. A small paragraph seems to be the fit portion for Bo. Occasionally he will still narrate the last half of the paragraph and forget to tell what happened in the first part. When this happens I take a turn narrating, hoping to model the correct way. Because narration is the key to a successful Charlotte Mason education, it is important to take it slowly and build the proper foundation.