Long awaited, nearly forgot, my daughter wanted me to post our new animals we got on our way to Cali in November, then just today her new duck pair came in...Her passion is her animals, our whole family enjoys them, loves them. Each so very different, their own personalities. She enjoys them not only at home but bringing them to 4H and open youth shows to compete as well.
East Indie Pair
Silver Fox Rabbit
Black Rose Comb Bantam Chicken
Silver and Golden Seabright Chickens
When asked what she loves raising the best...at this moment, she says her Poultry. In addition to these new birds, she has Serama's, a Silkie and a Showgirl (Turken/Silkie mix). But coming in with a close second is her rabbits....she especially loves her little showmanship dutch bunny who is more of a house pet than a show rabbit- and loves wondering her room and jumping amongst her pillows and blankets on her bed.
Animals bring such joy and love to your heart, taking care of them, raising them.
In this moment...
I am sitting warm, snuggled up with my blanket with a hot cup of soothing green tea.
Listening and watching the big flames of the fire in the fireplace rise and pop, lighting and warming my home.
Smelling apple cinnamon candles that I just blew out...
Hearing my children quietly whisper and giggle beneath the covers...past bedtime.
Missing my husband who is in bed soundly sleeping before a long shift at work, appreciating his dedication and hard work he puts in for our family.
Reflecting on the week...
This week I received bad new, that will cause us hard times, this week I prayed, several times...and I prayed, in thankfulness and gratefulness, I prayed for guidance, support, love. This week I received blessings, wonderful moments with my children, meaningful talks with friends, support of my husband and my family, love from everyone I know, and even some guidance...a pointer in the direction my path will go. It may be the holiday's speaking, the stories I read of Christ to my children each night, but at the end of the day, I know I am not alone, I know everything will be okay.
Merry Christmas, to all, Blessings to all as the holiday's take us through to the new Year.
With the move and the Christmas holiday, it seemed the perfect time to take a 'school' break, if you can call it a break- we still read, we still life learn, with the exception we've been very busy- I will be so happy to be living in our new home this weekend and we can finally slow down and regain our pace to have time to breathe, to learn, to just be.
Our first project at the new house...a temp fence for the pups since the property is not fenced we needed an area that they could roam around, close by. Between my husband and I, it took under an hour, not bad!
The day before we had done fencing...but Yesterday we lit a fire for the first time in the home, I cleaned and put things away while my husband was in and out between the garage and the house while the children played in their rooms together, laughing, giggling, then would come out to the piano and tink around with some Christmas Music...happiness...and I smiled, feeling complete.
Our family is so excited to be buying our first home. It been chaotic the last months, house hunting- those emotions you go through when something feels so right then it doesn't work out, or your worry if you are making a good decision, fixer uppers versus perfectly fixed, the right potential for the future. So many thoughts your mind goes through as we looked at each of the houses. The first time we saw this house was months ago- it felt so right the first time we visited it- almost scary..I could see our family in this home, then it almost seemed like it wouldn't work to be able to be in this home and we'd have to look at other options...now we are finally moving in this weekend. It seems surreal. A dream. One we've dreamed about for many years and never knew if it would become a reality.
I can't help believe that its the timing of it all when I look back, it feels like the past year of blessings has just guided us to where we are... It feels spiritual in an essence. Our marriage is at a great place, so strong and connected, with so much love and respect, after some rough spots this past year. Our jobs are stable and schedules work perfectly- I working from home and my husband working graveyard, we can both be home during the day with our children- our children finally being at home- being home schooled. I have spent the past year, truly from my heart, daily acknowledging, praying, being so very thankful for all of the blessings for our family- even in the tough times, the hard days, the difficult obstacles, finding the happiness, the light, the gratitude for this life, my life- it changes you. Our family has changed since we have moved out of state, several years ago from the hustle and bustle life to the slower pace, we are stronger, closer and life is in perspective and cherished more deeply as it should be.
New beginnings in our new home...new memories to make.
A perfect Christmas blessing for our family, a new home.
I've seen this quote several places in the past and just this morning, blog reading over some coffee while the house is quiet of children sleeping and the sun is just coming up I ran across it again....
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
- Benjamin Franklin
I just love it. INVOLVE ME resonates in my soul exactly why our family homeschools and how we strive to live our life with our children. They are not just the 'children', they are part of the bigger picture, part of the family, right in the midst of life with us- cooking, fixing, reading, researching, decision making.
There are so many reasons why we choose to homeschool. We homeschooled one year, the children went back to school last year due to financial difficulties and both myself and my husband having to work, and this year we are able to homeschool again throughout their school years from here on out. We are very blessed for opportunities that came to us to be able to financially be stable as well as home school our children. I recently have run across several other newer homeschooling families as well as family blogs that both are still at a difficult stage and de-schooling. Our family is no different. Our son has had no problem transitioning but our daughter, being 12yrs old and at a difficult transition age to a teenager in the first place has had a difficult time going from her charter/public school to home school.
This is our approach to de-schooling, hopefully it will help someone else to see the light at the end of the tunnel, re affirm that they are on the right path, and give them hope and support that they are not alone. We started our 'year' kind of late, the first week of October. September was filled with our County Fair and Family visiting from out of town. So, technically we are only in our 3rd month. We take the somewhat unschooling approach- we have structure school time but our learning is dictated by their interests then we incorporate all subjects in those interests, so we do not have a curriculum, we do not have workbooks, we do not have a list of what subject is at what time in our household. We believe in choice and life learning.
Our daughter goes back and forth between- I love homeschooling and I want to go back to school. Just a few days ago we again revisited 'I want to go back to school'. These are the things I do: I listen- truly really hear her, acknowledge her, don't interrupt her, have the utmost patience and empathy for what she must be going through in this transition, ask questions and explore her feelings to dig deeper into what she is missing from 'school' and what she is 'needing' from home that she may not be getting, LOVE her, respect her, give her support, hug her.
Each time we have re-visited her feelings, different things come up. The first time we talked a few months back, she missed the social aspect of school- she missed seeing friends, peers her age every day throughout the day. With 4H starting back up in full swing, and us planning more get together's with friends and starting a gym class, that has helped with the social needs she was not getting met. This time we spoke, she advised she wants more structure and be 'assigned' exactly what she should learn- she stated she wanted to learn '7th grade' material only. So, off of her cue we have provided what she has asked for- we researched online 'what 7th graders learn' by subject- although us choosing what she learns is against what we want, it is what she wants- will it always be what she wants? Who knows. Be willing to try new things, each child learns differently- just because you may want to do one curriculum or technique doesn't mean your child will learn best with that material or in that way- be flexible. If the parents make all the curriculum choices and force their children to 'do' the curriculum they choose instead of involving the input of the child or taking in account how the child learns, then how different is this than public schooling- why are they home? I am not flexible in them going back to school. Although we involve our children in decision making, that decision is ultimately up to my husband and I- our daughter realizes she is going to be 'home schooled' and she also realizes in these 'bumps' along the way we have, that we can work through it together to explore her feelings and meet her needs.
(In a follow up to her wanting to be assigned only '7th grade' material. She decided she was not very interested in the book we assigned for American History and asked if she could choose what she wanted to study in History instead. OF COURSE! Was my answer! My husband and I do want HER to CHOOSE, to have a love for learning, to learn to pursue her interests- so even if we started the week 'assigning' we still ended the week having her realize on her own that she would like to choose for herself.)
Keep trying, keep talking, patience, love, understanding, try new things - you know your child, let them be who they are, encourage who they are and give them the space and time they need- you may go through a de-schooling period for a year I've read. I'm ready for the journey, with all of its 'bumps', know there are many others going through this de-schooling period as well.
Blessings to all the families who are on this wonderful journey- Homeschooling
After our trip out of town to the Poultry Show, we spent the day resting at home then we packed up again for a week in San Diego to see family for Thanksgiving. The children both remarked on how 'short' the drive felt. I suppose after traveling 10 hours for the poultry show, a quick 6 hour trip was nothing!
Thankful for Thanksgiving
We were thankful to be able to see family this thanksgiving. Some we hadn't seen since June and others since we moved out of state, 2 years ago. Too long. It was wonderful to catch up, re connect, enjoy each others company, laughter, stories and be close again.
Traveling takes its toll and with two trips back to back we were very tired. We spent a few afternoons, just playing at the Grandparents house, watching movies, and relaxing. Then we also took a trip to the zoo.
While on our trip, we stopped along the way to pick up new animals for the kids for 4H and open youth shows for this year...4 Black Rose Comb Bantams, 2 Silver Seabrights, 1 Golden Seabright, 1 Silver Fox Rabbit and 1 Teddy Cavy. The kids were super excited about their new animals!
For some reason the picture uploader is giving me problems, so next time we'll post some new animal pics!
We are happy to be home, enjoying being with our pups again and hubbie. We are also looking forward to the following weeks as we prepare to move into our new home we bought as well as the holidays!
The children are all tucked cozy in their warm blankets. The nights have been getting chilly, so additional quilts and blankets have been added to keep the warmth throughout the night. Quiet is the house, as the pups sleep on the couches and hubbie and I are on our computers for a bit. My bed is calling to me, but its nice to get some down time with hubbie in the evening.
Tomorrow the kids and I leave out of town for a Poultry show on Saturday. We'll stay two nights and three days, traveling through three states. My birthday also comes on this Saturday. Several friends mentioned what a 'bummer' it will be not being able to 'go out' and celebrate. I view it as a blessing and a celebration to go to this show and thoroughly enjoy seeing my children do what they love best- take part in showing their animals, meeting new friends and people that share their interests and enjoy a little road trip together- the only thing that would make this birthday more perfect is if hubbie didn't have to work and could join us.
Our daughter has had some 'peaceful' pondering moments...something about water, fresh air, nature, crisp coolness that the start of winter brings, so refreshing to the soul. I love her. Even when we have the toughest moments. She seeps from her soul this amazingly caring girl that is growing up right before my eyes into a wonderful young woman. I seek to connect with her every day through conversations, hugs, understanding, quiet moments, space, peace. I am proud to be her mother.
There is something about Sunday's. The quietness, the calmness, the difference of pace and feel from all the other days. I soak it up knowing Monday will not feel the same. My husband who usually works all days, all hours and sleeps in late, quietly resting in the bedroom. My children staying in their pajamas a few extra minutes as I snuggle them with some hot tea or coffee in hand. We feed the animals, feed ourselves and as we pray then eat I read from the bible at the table with them. We talk about God, our blessings then move on into the day slowly. We usually have music playing or our children take turns on the piano. Sweet notes fill our home as I bake our weekly bread and as the smells graze their noses they come begging for a warm piece as it comes out of the oven. Wonderful warmness in our home, the smells, the sounds, the love of family.
One of my husbands favorite songs...
Our children working on Christmas tunes to play as the holiday approaches come next month.
After all of our bread baking, we were out of wheat flour, so a trip to Grandpa's fixed that. Hubbie shows the children and I how the wheat grinder works as we grind to fill our tub with flour.
Reading & Playing
It has been a quiet week thus far...Monday and Tuesday, we spent reading, baking cookies and visiting Grandpa again. Next week we will be out of town to see family for Thanksgiving, so knowing we will be taking a trip to the zoo, the children collaborated and choose to study about Koala's. They read, watched interesting clips of facts online as well as a documentary, then we completed our zoo study with watching 'We bought a Zoo'- one of our son's favorite movie's. It still tears me up. Here are some of the books they choose from the Library from our last week trip:
Several on Koala's, and a 'how' to draw Zoo Animal book along with some Science picks from our son of course! He's got to have his science experiments. And a 'math' story as well.
Our daughter, reading 6 total American Girl books, a few fun books, finishing up her Titanic study this week as well as her Yellow Fever study and diving into Pot Belly Pigs then some girl reading time- her and I have been looking at 7 habits for highly effective teens and talking girl talk as well- bonding, openness, strengthening our relationship.
With knowing we will move soon- our daughter has started designing her room- and making her own stencils....beautiful poses!
Our week is short as we will spend Friday driving out of town to go to a Poultry show for both the children this weekend. It is also my birthday Saturday and I told the kids there is no where I'd rather be than spending the day enjoying them and seeing them do what they love with their animals.
Plans for today and tomorrow, some packing, some cleaning, reading, playing, studying for the show and relaxing before we spend the next weekend and into next week traveling.
Our week ended well with a trip to the Library not only for our usual check out of books but an art show. We got up early for a morning treat of donuts and croissants then made our way to the library.
We glanced through the gallery quickly before heading to explore the books and then on the way out we spent more time viewing the art...which ended up being nearly an hour- figuring out all the interesting pieces the artist used in his work, talking about the sculptures, finding hidden treasures in each piece and being inspired to pursue creating our own masterpieces next week at home.
This what wonders we saw:
The kids went to open gymnastics, to run, climb, play with friends, explore, and learn. Two hours of non-stop moving- they were beat! And what did Mom get? A few hours of watching them try new things, make new friends and just play...pure enjoyment for my heart- I also brought a book and got a few pages in between clapping for their 'tricks' and praising, smiling and handing out thumbs up from the 'parent' seats! So much fun...a couple blurry pics...
Home, House Hunting, Homesteading
Many discussions this week have come into our home about our future, our future home, our path, where we want life to take us and our children, contemplating options, directions, decisions. Torn between two wonderful homes to purchase it is a difficult choice. Praying for guidance that I know will lead us down the right road. Our hearts are full of excitement. A family who has only rented and never owned our own home, this is the most wonderful, scary, stressful, huge, dream and possibility yet for us. As we toured one of the homes grounds yet again, I walked around several feet in back of my family alone, at the back of the property at dusk as the sun set over the field of hay bales next door and the mountains just glowed, I felt a presence...my son coming up next to me, looking up saying 'It looks like a painting...I want to live here'. Then my daughter coming over hugging me and asking for a tree swing and saying she could see herself playing, working and living in this yard, this land, this house. There's something about a 'painted' sunset that makes you feel God in your heart and see his beauty all around you- something that makes the moment feel so right. I went to my husband, taking his hand and leaning into his side without words and I think we both knew.
I love my family, and I love that he and I both share the same vision for our family and our life- God surely knew what he was doing when he lead us to each other.