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When We Feel Things Deeply

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Last October, my brother broke his ankle. Not just a little bit……like shattered it! He needed surgery and got a plate and seven screws! It took months to recover and lots of family support. Well recently, he was having pain again, and after some investigation, the doctor discovered that the bone was growing around the plate and causing pain! Ugh. So he got to have another surgery…..and that was today. I was at my mom’s with the kids (substitute teaching…..homeschool style) and helping make sure that everyone had help where they needed it. And the day was just a little crazy……seriously! Everyone was having issues randomly! And I just couldn’t understand what was going on. Even Pup and my little sister (who is the same age) who usually run off to play, just weren’t. Then, my brother got home and people went nuts…..it was like a celebrity was returing home ( yes I had my camera and was the paparazzi)! There was a flurry of activity and excited chatter as we got him on the bed and stuffed with pillows and packed with ice. All the while, the little girls were sitting near by watching him very intently. When the activity calmed down, my mom looked at the girls and told them that they could hug my brother. They were scared at first, but they did! When my little sister hugged him she burst into laughing tears (you know…..where you are laughing and crying at the same time?). It was then that I realized that the poor buggers were scared, unsure of how he would be, and worried about what would happen. Suddenly it all clicked. The kids were all worried……and when people are worried they don’t always operate at their best. And I think that was going on. Even at young ages kids can and are very capable of understanding when something is not right. They pick up on the tensions and the stress that flows around difficult situations. They don’t often tell us their thoughts and so as adults we think that they live in the happy bliss of not knowing. In reality, they do know, even without total understanding. Kids often don’t have the words to express their feeling so they just let it out……in ways that we don’t always appreciate! 🙂 It is always interesting to me to see behavior is a new way…..or to see it for what it is. I was really frustrated with my kids (and siblings at some points) and now I see that they were all waiting and worried…..not just being a pain. So here is a lesson for me…..sometimes bad behavior is just deep feelings, being felt deeply, by deeply beautiful people!

Have you ever noticed something like this with your kids? Do they seem to get mean when things are hard?

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A is for…………

Today is the first day of the Photo a Day Challenge over at Fat Mum Slim. This month she is doing one letter of the alphabet a day. I love this idea! It not only fun for me to get me taking pictures everyday, but I can do it with the girls! We are all going to do this together! What a fun way to connect and play together. My goal is to finish and have fun with it…..with my girls! I will not post all of them here! Follow along on Instagram to see them all!  Here are the pictures for A:

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Here is Bunny’s Picture:
A is for Apple Cider and Apple Pie

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No More Stuff!!!!

Sept. 24, 2014332

My husband and I started a new company this summer that allows the people in our local area to recycle their brush and other yard waste. With this new venture come some days that need someone to work and that worker is me! The property that we have is pretty wide open with lots of space for material to come in and a cute little shed for an office that is now doubling as a school room a couple days a week! Since it is a start up the business is a little slow……which can be a blessing and a curse!  It leaves us lots of time to do school work and lots of time for them to wander and explorer without reserve! While we are out there, we have very little stuff. Everything we need we have to bring with us, so we keep it simple. The have their bikes, their school work, some games, and a swing set……and they are happy! They are active, and creative, and having big adventures…….after school of course. What I am learning is that less is more. I am sure that a lot of you heard about the mom who took all of her kids stuff away and didn’t give it back. She was fed up with her kids attiudues and inablilty to be happy with what they had. So she lost it a bit and took their stuff away. And they helped her! The after math was that they were happy with just a few things. It turns out that this has been true here to! With less things, less tv, and less of everything, they are free to jump into longer deep play, which in my humble opinon is totally crucial to the metal health of kids……heck of anyone! They have time to be board…..which allows them to find new things that they may not have found interesting before. And they have time to get dirty…..really dirty! All of this freedom and simplicity has brought me to wonder, what do we accomplish when we are able to really focus because we have less? Less stuff, less stress, and less distractions. People seem to accomplish so much more, work is so much better, and life is so much happier. Less stuff takes the pressure off of us to multi task as much as we do. For example, as I write this I am watching tv, talking to my husband here and there, answering random texts, and of course writing……how much better would this be if I stop doing 20 things? Well probably a lot! 😉 If I don’t have the tv, or the internet, or the messy house to clean up, then I may be able to concentrate better on writing a properly spelled and grammatically correct post! You see I have spent a lot of time cultivating concentration in my kids, and sometimes I don’t really model that. I wonder what would happen if I was able to stop and think a little deep, work a little hard, and play a little more attentively. Would life get better? Would my mind be sharper? My body happier? Hmmmm……less and more. I wonder if I can do it. Can I be more focused on one task at a time? So I thought that this would be my challenge…..focus on the task at hand 100%. Next week I will write up a post to let you know how it goes! Wish me luck!

What do you think? Will it help? Want to join me for the week?

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Saint Inspired Science~ Engineering

Today we had our science get together and instead of doing our experiments at someone’s house, we decided to head to a science center nearby to do our engineering experiments there! Wow! The girls were over the moon about the trip. We started our learning off in the cafe reading a book about St. Patrick. He is the patron said of engineering because he helped teach the Irish people build churches and buildings. So after our story, we talked about what engineering is. One definition that I read that made the most sense was: Engineering is combining math, science, and experience to build something that is useful. After some quick learning, we headed into the engineering “department” to work on some of the experiments that were available. We started off working on building buildings that could withstand an earthquake. We tested them by using the shaker table. We also built bridges using sheets of paper, we build a 7 ft. arch with large blocks, played with wind and propellers, and built an arched bridge that we could walk over. There was a lot of thinking and the team work was amazing! They were able to talk through their ideas and there were no hurt feelings! They are all getting so big! The girls worked especially hard on the paper bridge and they almost gave up. But they managed to get it worked out. One thing that we discovered is that little changed make a big difference! Always try to make a small change first! After doing the experiments, hunger set it and it was time to eat. We packed lunch and we were those fun parents at the tables. It was build your own lunch! Cheese cubes, pretzels, grapes, strawberries, and crackers made for an engineer inspired lunch! For dessert we had gumdrops, Twizzlers, and toothpicks to create masterpieces to eat! There was, surprisingly, a lot more building then eating!  They loved it! When we finally got food in our bellies and the mess tidied up, it was off to explore all the other parts of the science center for fun! Lots of giggles, running, and exploring!

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Saint Inspired Science~ Circulatory System

This month we finally got to having our monthly science day with friends! Between bad weather and sickness, it was a little hard! Our saint this month was, quite obviously, St. Valentine! My friend found a great story book all about him to read. Saint Valentine was a doctor living in Rome in the early days of Christianity when people were being martyred for their faith. He worked very hard for people and, legend has it, he sent a note to one of his young patient  after he was arrested and signed it “your Valentine”.  Which is where we get valentines from! Now, since Valentine was a doctor and since hearts are a huge part of the holiday fun, we thought it would be fun to study the heart! We talked about how the heart works with its pumps and valves, how the heart rate goes up and down to pump more blood when you are working harder, and we even listened to how our heart sounds! We had an amazing experiment where we made a pump systems that worked like the heart using straws, balloons, and pint jars! We cut the bottom off a balloon, and stuck the end into a straw and taped it. Then we wrapped the large part of the balloon around a jar half full of water. Then, very carefully, we stretched a balloon over it and poked two holes in the told to put the straws in.  For lunch I made heart shaped pizza pockets, heart shaped carrots, strawberries, pink juice, with ice cream sundaes for dessert!

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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! 🙂 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?

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!

Photo Shoot Edits~ landscape - Page 016

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! 🙂 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!

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