Posts by Stephanie :

Sledding Adventure

So we are in the middle of one of the coldest and snowiest winters I have ever know, however we still have not made it to the sledding hill! Well this¬†was something that needed to be remedied before the warmer weather finally hit! So we were off to the hill today! The sun made the 20 degree weather feel so warm and perfect! We all had a great time and ended with some bumps and bruises and lots of laughs! ūüėČ There is something magical about playing in the snow and I am starting to realize how much better it makes everyone feel! In fact it seems to drive some of those winter blues away.

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Lego Geography

Today was one of our homeschool lego days! It was the beginning of the series of the geography of the United states and they started with the northeastern part of the country. The idea was so simple, I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t think of it! ūüôā Each child chose a state and built the shape of their state on a building plate. After that, they marked where the capital of the state was with a brick. Next, they read the card that had facts about the state on it¬†(some were pretty random) and they built something that told about their state. We ended the day with each child sharing what they built and why! This idea was so great! We may have to do this at home with our continents! Today Bunny¬†got Delaware. She learned the¬†capital is Dover, that there is a¬†10ft. frying¬†pan made for the chicken festive, and that the state insect is the Ladybug!¬†Here is a look at the work they did!

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So there you have it! what do you think? Great way to learn about geography and still play right! How do you learn geography?

Parenting in Dark Places

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Things have been quite here because we are frankly not doing anything new or fun or exciting! Bunny is working on her book work, Pup is bopping along with up working on those elusive letter sounds, and I have been taking pictures in an attempt to become a photographer of sorts. But really not much of that is fun, child related blog post material. We are all still up to our thighs (literally) in snow and we cant get out to do much right now! Plus I have been very unmotivated to do fun things. I read a blog post called Parenting from the Dark Pit and oh, did it ring true for me! The author describes barely being able to bit back the loud PG-13 rated comments that she feels like throwing at her kids as they sit in the toys she has already asked them to pick up. And Oh, have I been there! The Dark Pit is a place. It is a place that seems to pop up in my journey here and there and I hate it. In fact I feel rather guilty that I am there. I have amazing kids, a husband whose love and support should win prizes, and really nothing that I should ever complain about. The things that are troubling me are all part of the life I have chosen and the one that makes me happy. But I am coming to realize that happiness comes in many forms and sometimes happiness is the deep calm that is under the raging currant above. Happiness can be a deep layer. Just like love isn’t always warm and fuzzy, sometimes it is just plain challenging and hard. I have been married for almost 9 years and in those years I have learned that love is not a feeling. Sometimes you feel close, in love and romantic, and sometimes you feel like being alone would be the best thing. None of that changes the love. The love is there in the darkest day and the brightest ones even though the feeling ebb and flow like the waves on a beach. Parenting is like that too. No one says that but it really is. Some days your love your darling kids with all the fiber of your being. Each moment in happy and you want to play and sing with them. Someday the sound of their voice will just make you want to hide. I hate to say that but it is true. Almost every mom I have ever met has felt this before. You love them, would die for them, but sometimes you just want the little bits to go away. How mat time do you need to answer that question? Why cant you just tie your own shoe? Your patience gets thin and maybe you yell (I do). It doesn’t help much, but somehow it does. Maybe you stay in this place of chaos held together with love and bits of routine for a while or maybe it is just a day. But, as I have discovered, the lightness appears again. Maybe it is a new routine, or a good long cry, or even a best friend that says the right thing that makes that happen, but I always does. Up and down, up and down, is the name of the game. Dark and light. Each place is a part of the journey and one that you cannot control. Its so easy to say I ill never yell again or I will always use positive parenting to fix what is happening here, but there are no “always” in parenting. The only “always” is the love, short of that anything can change and change it does. The trick is to let it g. Hanging on to the guilt only makes you feel worse and makes the dark darker. This I know. It is the choice to let it go and try some more. Love…..it is the only constant here! Relationships are a two way street. Sometime parenting doesn’t feel like that. We listen to our kids problems, kiss their boos, forgive their mistakes, and help them with anything they need. We do this as automatically as breathing, but sometime they are going to be the ones forgiving, listening, and helping us. And we need to let them. I am not saying dump your problems on them and share your deepest thoughts, merely that you give them a chance to forgive you for your yelling (make sure you ask for it) and let them do those little things that kids can do to make you feel special. Maybe its a note, a gift, a hug, or a snuggle. Whatever it is kids want to be in a relationship that is real. A relationship that is a two way street. Only if we show love even though we want to scream, and only if we ask them to forgive the times we messed up are they going to learn that this is how life is. Life is not perfect. There are no parenting (or life) formulas that will give you the best result all of them time. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t, and sometime they only work for a period of time. The trick¬†is not box yourself into one plan, or parenting¬†style.¬†There are no happiness guarantees, but if you have love underneath it all, you can keep going with grace and dignity….or at least with humility when you mess it up good! So here are my prayer for you all in your journey and I ask for yours for me!

South America Continent Box

So here is my next continent box post! I actually have found quite a few things to put into my Asia box. This is a fun continent because there is a lot of different cultures here to gather from. I really want to gather a few more things from Japan or from some of the Islands in the south. But here is what I have currently!

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This box includes:
~ Pictures of South American People
~ Pictures of South American Food
~ Pictures of South American Musical Instruments
~ Pictures of South American Places
~ Pictures of South American Birds
~ Pictures of South American Animals
~ iguana, Llama, tortoise, Snake, Parrot and other South American Animals
(from the Safari LTD Wild Toob)
~Emerald Gem Stone
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So there you have it. Unfortunately, we have almost no cool stuff for this box! It is still a big work in progress. Maybe I will find something fun soon. If you have an idea of something fun to put in the box, please let em know! I would love ton have some ideas! Happy Schooling! 

Juicey Expiriment

Well it appears that Carly has finally chosen a project to work on. She has discovered the joy of squeezing fruit and turning it into juice! She is using mostly citrus fruits, a little bit of sugar, and a splash of Sierra Mist! It is actually really yummy! She is now hoping to see what other fruits taste like. It will be interesting to see what happens when she has to figure out how to get the juice out of them! My hope is that she will dig deep into the flavors and even how the fruit grows. Who knows, maybe she will even try growing some new things this spring! Here are some pictures of her first batch!

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IMG_2245 IMG_2255So there you have it! This is turning into a very yummy project for all of us! She is so proud to serve her drinks to everyone in the family. She has made two batched today already! We are all going to be drinking alot in the next week or so!  We will see what concoctions she comes up!

Foxy Fun

Well I realized that I have not posted much about our school days! Well to be honest, the pictures look about the same day after day. It is pretty same old, same old here! In fact it has been kind of nice to have things working on a simple work plan. Bunny does her math every day, grammar three days a week, and spelling twice a week. We are going to be adding some chemistry in soon, but for the most part, it is simple and predictable. However there is some fun learning going on here too. Pup has decided that she wants to learn everything about foxes. I don’t know why, or where this came from, but we are going at it. She does so well with the project based homeschooling. We are reading books, constructing foxes, and watching videos on the internet. She loves to study the things that she finds and we have been using that to learn other things too. We have been spelling fox and other CVC words. We have also been rhyming words with fox. She is working hard and I love to see her working on her own!

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IMG_1271 IMG_1274 IMG_1277As you can see, Pup is working really hard! I love seeing her working so hard! I see this work happening for a while! I hope you are having fun learning with your kids. There is something so fun about fostering a passion in your school room!

A Frozen Birthday

Today my sweet amazing girl is 8! I cant believe that she has grown up so fast! I love her so much! I love that she is so particular, that she know what she wants, and that she always sets out to succeed. I love her ablilty to manage things, and to guild and teach other people. She is truly a gift and even when it doesn’t seem like it, I know she is here to teach me to love, to achieve my best, and live in the moment! This year my girl didn’t know what she wanted for her birthday. She finally decided that she wanted a Frozen Birthday Party. She was so excited about it, and ready to have all her family and friends over to celebrate. However the weather, and¬†her small case of pnenomia we weren’t able to have quite the party we thought, but we still had fun. It was just Grandma and Grandpa, and Bunny’s Best friend, but it was everything it needed to be. My brother made some amazing cut outs of Anna and Elsa. He drew and painted them. They made the decoration amazing! We also hung snowflakes we made by cutting coffee filters! My mom made some, the girls made some, and I made some. To be honest, they are pretty fun! ūüôā I also had some pompom yarn that looks like snowballs that we hung up! The center piece of the whole party was the cake! My mom made a beautiful cake with all the charaters from the movie. To top it all off, a sparkly tinsel back drop with pine trees was all set for pictures! Bunny loved it and since she was finally feeling betterish, she was able to enjoy it!

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¬†As you can see, it was a great party. Everyone had fun and there were lots of smiles, and lots of happiness! This all happened yesterday. Today was her official birthday and to celebrate we did her Celebration of Life as a family. After that it was pizza and a movie together (Bunny’s dinner of choice). She loved everything, Pup loved everything, and I am happy that she was happy! So happy Birthday to my sweet darling 8 year old! I cant wait to live another year with you!

Living in a Snowglobe

As another bout of snow and freezing¬†is hitting our area, I thought I would share a craft we did that the girls loved! I found the idea on Relentlessly Fun, Deceptivly Educational last year and I knew it would be a perfect one for when it was too cold to go outside! Snowglobes are so much¬†fun and who wouldn’t love an art project that was also a¬†snowglobe you could shake. ¬†We started by tracing the circle on a piece¬†of construction paper using the clear¬†plastic plate. The kids then painted a snowy scene inside that circle. I didn’t tell them what we were making so it was a surprise. When it dried, we took scrapbook paper and cut a trapezoid out for the base. This is a fun way to use those Montessori metal insets! e glued the base down under the circle we traced. Then we dropped a handful of fake snow power in the middle of the picture they painted. Next it was my turn to help out. Taking the hot glue gun, I put a glue bead on the traced circle and glued the plastic plate onto of the picture and the snow. When it dried, it was all done! Art that shakes up like a snowglobe! Awesome winter fun!

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A New Blog Adventure

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I have been reading (and reading and reading) about photography and taking better pictures. Since this is my space about all the fun things I do with my kids and family, I thought that I needed a new space for the pictures and the technical bit of getting those pictures! So I created a new space to talk about photography. That way I don’t bore all of you with the details! If you want, pop by and let me know what you think. If you are good at taking amazing pictures, I would love some feed back too (yes, shameless begging). I hope you take a moment to follow me there and see what I am up to!

 

Penguin Puppets

Today we got to join my mom and the kids for a wintery craft! They were making penguin puppets out of paper! Simple, happy, creative fun. Here is what they did! Starting with a piece of black construction paper, roll it and glue it on the short side. Then you flatten the top and glue it shut. Then you cut the glued top in an arch to create the head. After that its cut and paste on the details. The kids had a great time making them all sorts of personalities!

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