KID ART IS BEST ART

Rae’s purple and red phase:

 

Mae’s on-going Winnie the Pooh phase:

Mae’s Little Prince phase:

Mae has been enjoying drawing faces, lately (finally!) :

^ “The best face I have ever drawn!”  ^

SPRING BREAK 2019

For most of February and March, I was really depressed. Not in a scary way, just in the way that people get when it has been winter and gross for too long. I, of course, try and make the best of the gross weather and make it fun for the girls and myself, but I need HEAT.

My beautiful husband said one day, “You should get in the car and go somewhere warm for a week or two.” (Yes, please!) I took this idea seriously. I obsessively weather dot-commed the locations of everyone I knew. Some were warmer, but for at least a month, it was raining nearly every day, everywhere, just as it was here.

Public school spring break here in the north happens early. My niece and nephew had it before spring even began and Zack’s began the first day of spring. Boo.

I took advantage of our do-whatever-we-want homeschooling lifestyle and waited until our town was gifted a full week of warmth.

We needed it.

Below is what we did with that time…

Day one, we put together a pioneer kitchen – complete with every kitchen necessity, a clothesline, homemade detergent, dish soap and pan for a sink. We stayed outside always, enjoyed beans from a can and cornbread for lunch. We ate most of our meals out here during that week!

Day two we grabbed muffins from “the Amish place” for breakfast, old-timey treats from the General Store and a picnic at the river (as well as hours of play)

We also licensed the vehicles, which was actually fun because of the ladies who work at that particular office.

Once we arrived back home, Mae set up a general store next to her kitchen, we ate supper in her kitchen, and they played and played some more.

This photo was taken on day three. ^ It is of Rae telling me a story. She had complained about bugs every minute for the entire day, so I told her to sit next to me and tell me a story that had nothing to do with bugs. She told me such a great, creative store about a giraffe who lived on a mountain.

Maybe was sitting on the other side – as close to me as she can get.

Day three, we ate more meals pioneer style, handed out lawn mower rides, spent plenty of time on the porch telling stories and time in the hammock reading stories.

We topped it off with a picnic and kite flying with Daddy.

We went out for milkshakes and cheese fries on day four. They had been asking for cheese fries for a while. They ended up just digging through for the cheese-less fries. We made a stop by the library where they picked out every book the library had on baseball – and they got to stamp every book with the return date!

We made paper mache birds! We painted them a couple of days later. That night we held a movie night – Sandlot, complete with grilled hotdogs, Cracker Jacks, and sunflower seeds *with shell*.

We packed so much into those four days (and the weekend before it, that by Friday, we just wanted to sit. We grocery shopped and cleaned the house (boo), but basically just lounged in and around the house.

I began planning the following week’s lessons and that afternoon, our friend, Nick, arrived. He spent the night and went canoeing with Zack on Saturday!

ON THE TRAIL

Mmmmm, April. It has been so good to us so far! Here are a few (cough, cough) photos from the first week.

The girls and I decided to go explore along the bike trail in town one afternoon before the public school let out. The low bridge was flooded on this end of the trail, so we decided to hang about in the front field. A place we usually skip right over. It turned out to be a very well spent hour!

Rae played with her dolls (I can’t believe those curls are still pristine!) and joined me in running Maybe around in aimless circles.

While Mae sewed a little bear doll by hand.

^ Photo by Rae (She’s lookin’ proudly at her momma)

The girls devised their own stake to tie Maybe in place once we were done running,  and she didn’t fight it.

Zack thought that sounded like fun, so the next day we brought him – and waterproof shoes, in case the bridge was still flooded.

The girls brought sketchbooks to illustrate their findings and a bag to lug rocks in.

Boy, do we love when that man isn’t busy and can tag along!

“The tallest trees in the world.”

So far we have spent all but one day in April outside! We saved our spring break for a warm week – and that post is up next!

 

LATELY : : MARCH 2019

March happened and it was a weird’n.

I thought it was April. I feel as though I missed an entire month.

Zack turned thirty-one on March first and we celebrated with a trip to Chicago.

There are a couple of photo-only posts here and here. I was very tired from the trip, so I didn’t go into detail, but it was such a nice weekend away.

One of our hens has begun laying eggs! We’re not as attached to this batch of ladies, but we’re trying to fix that. They’re awfully sweet.

Also, that is a very large “first egg” – the shell was just large, but the contents were teeny tiny – as it should be.

Miss Maybe is still around and still begging for food she will never receive and eating cat food she’s not allowed to have.

Truly, though, she’s terrific.

…I just wish she’d stop watching me eat.

We spent nearly a week at Shari’s house (Zack’s mom). Zack spent that time painting her house while the rest of us had fun shopping, playing outside, and visiting Forest Park. The girls even got to visit my parents and Vovo.

We also spent Shari’s birthday with her, which involved breakfast at iHop – and later lunch with my parents! I think the girls enjoyed having all of their grandparents at one table.

While in Saint Louis, I bought Mae overalls. She has worn them every day since.

The final Netflix movie, before we canceled our account. No television / DVDs only for a while. (They are happy about this)

^ Notes left on my laptop. The best.

^ Notes left on my pillow. Also the best.

Twinners. The Pimki Pop Aunt Sarah got her for Christmas is still her most used toy. She keeps everything safe inside that thing – including Daddy’s Switch once when we had to leave it in the car…

Lady made me some eggs with a hotdog and two olives for breakfast. It was very salty but delicious.

I wrote a bit about our schooling here and here. It was a fun month!

We are finishing off the month with cleaning (the house as well as those overalls!) and more bedroom renovations. We may also go fishing with my sister’s family tomorrow!!

SCHOOL MARCH 2019

WE. LOVE. PROJECTS.

We love having something to stretch our creativity and give us a goal to reach. Whether that is in regards to school studies or designing and building their bedrooms, mastering the correct ratio of water to flour in a loaf of bread or simply sorting and organizing the next season’s clothes. The girls have built up a healthy habit of doing.

Each season I try and have a large project for us to mull over and accomplish.

With our geography method this year (Little Passports), we have a large scale project each month (because we want to make it one). But they have so many requests for what we should learn, that our project to general subjects ratio has become very uneven and we spend most of our time each week fussing over crafts and Biblical metaphors and immersing ourselves into the cultures of others.

Well. This semester, we are beginning (again, more slowly this time) to read through The Chronicles of Narnia series – my favorite series / stories. – and we’re lovin’ it!

Another portion of our month involved Saint Pat’s / a study of Ireland. We usually study the country and occasionally mention Patrick. (One year we studied it for three months! ‘Cause we really like Ireland.)

The girls illustrated a few Irish Proverbs. Clearly, someone stole the other’s idea on that last one. Ha. I like the bear addition…and the dog in the attic? They cute.

They trapped a Leprechaun by enticing it with honey and a dirty penny.

Mae immediately declared we needed to try to catch more so that he could have a family. Model Magic and Momma’s free time don’t grow on trees, so I let her know they prefer to be alone.

They danced to Irish folk and rock music a lot. They jigged to all genres I supplied. Many an ankle were harmed during this activity.

I tried to create one on one time with Rae. That usually involved listening to her read me stories. And. Girl. Can. Read. If we weren’t reading she always chose either worksheets or to draw next to one another – sitting as close as possible.

A few times each week, the girls both would practice following a recipe all by themselves. The only issues they had was allowing the butter to get too warm while making cookies (I should remember to refrigerate their dough before baking it) and they aren’t the strongest mixers, so I had to help them finish up their mixing (we don’t have an electric mixer of any kind).

I thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and watching them, shamelessly eavesdropping on their conversations.

For a side project, the girls made a soda bottle ecosystem. We let them get some fish and a snail for it (the reason for the larger juice bottle instead of a second soda bottle) and they planted poppies in the top bottle. The poppies already have little sprouts!

Zack is on spring break this week. The girls and I are saving our spring break for a week that is fully warm, but, while in St. Louis for a few days, we visited the zoo – ’cause the sun was out and we can’t help ourselves. I gave the girls a map and they led the way. My favorite part was watching two hippos walking above their pool and then witnessing them jumping (as much of a jump as they can accomplish) into the water.

More on our time outside this month, back here in my last post.

I am so eager for April! We have several new curriculum books to crack open and many fun lessons planned. AND! our spring break!

LESSONS OUTSIDE

Spring weather waited until the official equinox date this year and when it finally began to appear we took every opportunity to enjoy the sun the season was supplying. It is still incredibly windy (typical of here) so I didn’t enjoy it as much as the girls – but – for their sake, I kept most of the whining to myself. Below are a few moments we took our school work outside and some detours we took from book work to accomplish some play….work.

We got to witness a caterpillar making its cocoon – while climbing the wall!! Definitely the highlight of our month.

The girls went shamrock hunting so they could pin some to their jackets for Saint Pat’s Day.

One of my favorite days was one in which we drove to the lake. We sat in the car and polished off some simple workbooks and read our read aloud assignments while sitting comfortably in the car’s greenhouse-like warmth. We finished off the afternoon with two hours of exploring, collecting, watching, and tossing rocks and sticks into the lake.

I am so ready for warmth, even if it only means more rain!

A post on our structured lessons will be up tomorrow.

LATELY : : FEBRUARY 2019

February, the calendar’s middle child. The month that is greeted with a sigh and is usually seen as a hurdle that needs to be conquered so we can all just move onto something a bit closer to spring and warmth.

From where we sat, though, this past month was so very nice.

Miss Maybe.

Boy, she would be ohso happy if we just woke up each day and lied on the floor with her until it was time for bed.

The girls celebrated the first Tooth-Doctor Day of 2019! So far, they still enjoy going to the dentist and have no cavities – that could have something to do with the joy.

I wrote a bit about February’s weather back here. Very exciting.

Rae has required several naps and Mae fell asleep on the couch one afternoon. I think they’re going through growth spurts. The tights she is wearing in that photo are at least one size too small. (We bought them one month ago!) I purchased two new jeans for her at the beginning of the month, I hope they prove useful through the spring.

(Hooray for healthy, growing kids and four dollar tights!)

(This day feels like it occurred months ago.)

We were able to borrow the boys for a day here and there. We’ve missed them so much. As soon as they left, we began missing them again.

G instantly asked for popcorn that first morning and quickly began grabbing the stool, pulling the bag of kernels out of the pantry drawer and showed me where to get the pot. Ha! Quite the second breakfast…

Little A had grown SO MUCH in a month and a half! He grew six beautiful teeth, about 78 inches taller, and now has hair! Strawberry hair!

G is talking so well and so much. He’s at that stage where it seems he has nothing left to learn (aside from, like, mathematics). He can help with everything and does. He can hold conversations and soaks up information like a sponge.

We made progress on the girls’ bedrooms!! It will still be a couple of months until their rooms are complete, but it’s exciting!

Helpful lady filling up the furnace. She wore this dress most of February.

I started a painting that involves buffalo, and as a result, Mae has been drawing them as well. This one would like a pizza, please.

Two of our favorite people, Bob and Paula, took us out to lunch after church one day! I didn’t get a photo of our time together, but I did get a photo of the girls from inside the car in front of the restaurant…

I wrote a couple of school-related posts – here and here.

Waiting for their breakfast. Chop chop, Ma!

Zack and I took the girls to a small (free!) petting zoo – put on by the FFA students, who brought in their own animals!

^ Photo by Rae ^

We took the girls to the London Tea room again and to Lolli & Pops (schmancy) candy store.

Mae looks so big! or V looks so little. Either way, the difference surprised me.

We also visited the Hibbelers! for an afternoon/evening. Lynn made us some of the most incredible food (Seriously, so good!!) and the girls got four solid hours with their best friend, V.

Thanks, FEB. Like all middle children, you turned out to be a real joy. You brought an abundance of ice and snow as well as many of the birds out of hiding.

Also! OUR BOY TURNS 31 TOMORROW! He is enjoying his final day as a thirty-year-old at home with us, celebrating a wonderful (but hopefully the last) snow day!