Tuesday, November 27, 2012

San Diego & New Animals

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.

San Diego
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.

New Animals
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!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Road Trip Weekend - Poultry Show, Snow, Adventure!

A wonderful weekend adventure....

Poultry Show
Tons of Neat Birds
Meeting New Friends
Eating Pie in Bed
Beautiful Lake
Old Towns
Mining Museum 

So much fun, I took over 100 pictures...yeah I'm a bit camera happy at the shows and road trips- plus the kids had fun snapping away too! Can't wait to go on another road trip soon....
we love adventures!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Peaceful Pondering..Blessed to be a Mother

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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ouiet Sunday into the Ouiet Week...Reading, Baking, Playing

Quiet Sunday's
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.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Art, Gymnastics, Love and Homesteading

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.

Art Appreciated
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:

Can you see all the hidden treasures in each piece?  Visit the artist, Dave Thompson's site at: http://www.thesculpturefactory.com/ to see more fabulous pieces!

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. 
Simplicity, Love, Homesteading 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Moment

Linking one of my favorite blogs,
Thank you to Soule Mama for always inspiring...Soule Mama - This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Career Day - Let's be a Vet!

There is a common interest that we have all as a family, a love of animals.  Our children frequently talk about working with animals when they grow up, whether it be as a vet, at the zoo, petsmart, the Humane Society, an animal shelter- it is a common thread of conversation when talking about future jobs.

Today we pursued the interest in a career as a vet. We researched video's and clips online at Discovery Kids, YouTube, saw interviews with Vet's and all the steps to going to the vet's office for a first visit and what the office and vet will do and we also listened to audio:

They also decided to enter the San Diego Humane Society Poster Contest: So they brainstormed some idea's on what they wanted to do them on:
Youth Poster Contest

The kids then set up a vet office in our front room as I put together some supplies for them to use- bandage tape, scissors, gauze, heating pad, cooling patch, thermometer,  medicine droppers, cups, timer, wooden splints, band-aids,  brushes.  Our daughter also helped to design on the computer a 'check in' sheet. We pulled out the monopoly money to use and lastly the kids gathered the 'patients'.

They spent the whole morning 'playing' yet they were learning, reading, interacting, doing math, engaging, writing, being caring, loving, polite and having fun.

They would 'check in', writing their name, their pet's name, the date, time and reason they were being seen by the 'vet'.  The 'vet' would set up their supplies, call the patient in, ask questions, diagnose, treat and then write a bill with the pet's name, reason for the visit, treatment provided and the cost. Then the patient would go pay the bill and leave the office. 

Needless to say, after a morning of animal care, all the patients are doing well...but we are officially out of gauze and tape!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trying Days...Trying to Stop, Step Back and Breathe

It was one of 'those' days.  Yesterday was so wonderfully...well, wonderful. Smooth, upbeat, happy...not today.  Every one wants to blog the positive, but in reality there are hard days as well as good days, why not voice those as well and have people truly understand that you do have imperfections and difficult times.  So here I go, It seemed everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Perhaps even I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  The kids were both tired, un-motivated to 'learn' and that was a truly down hill combination with my working late and rising early and less than patient attitude.

Onto our usual morning of dressing, family work and our morning sit down together, I received talk back regarding our family work to help with the animals, refusal to brush teeth, complaints of just wanting to watch TV and not do anything and resistance to put away shoes that the dog was trying to chew up...it was quite the morning. At this point I should have realized our 'normal' morning was just not going to work- I should have changed it up- I should have taken a step back from the situation. I didn't. We plunged through the morning, animal chores, math, poultry quiz, reading and when they were still having fits, I threw out idea's, I offered help and....I was pushy.  I despise that part of me. It creeps in wanting to control, to make things all better- to fix it all, to show them the way- or tell them how to get there. This unschooling, homeschooling, freeing journey is just as much of a journey for me as it is for my children....

STOP and STEP BACK, take a deep breath and just stop is what I finally told myself.

In this moment I remembered I was so not alone in feeling this way...I remembered what I had recently read...another mother's story:

I turned to my daughter who had stated all morning she was 'blahh' and just wanted to finish her American Girl movie and told her to go for it.  I turned to my son and said forget the teeth brushing, let's go ride bikes.  Smiles. Two sweet children's smiles...you could see their faces relax..and then I relaxed.  My son made two laps on his bike then came to me and sat next to me and said 'I'm grumpy today'. I laughed and said I was too- then he laughed and hugged me.  He hoped back on his bike and minutes later he was giggling, full of smiles, showing me a sweet neighborhood cat he had found in our front yard and talking up a storm.  Lunch time came and we went inside, my daughter came over and hugged me and apologized saying she didn't know why she was so out of it today and I apologized saying I didn't have my usual patience. I told them both we'd read and watch a movie for the afternoon and rest.  By evening we had dinner and went to our 4H meeting and everyone was happy, content, relaxed and went to bed with ease, love, and hugs.  

In the end, it is up to me to say STOP, take that step back and realize that every day is not going to be perfect, we may need days off from our 'usual' or 'normal' and in the end, taking time away will make us better for it. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baking, Balance & Math & Mermaids

The weekend was so wonderful, Monday came all too quick.  Hubbie had the weekend off and spent most of it with his Dad, much needed Father, Son time, guy time, fix the boat time.  Me and the kids ventured an hour away to drop our daughter off at a friends house for a sleep over. Sunday was lazy day, full of baking, cleaning, relaxing, napping, reading...joyous and much needed!

I baked a loaf of wheat bread for the weeks sandwiches and hubbie baked a wonderful loaf of banana nut bread for breakfast, desert- anytime!  I also spent time prepping/cutting all of Teryn's old clothing and material into strips to start a braided rug for her room-

Ahh Balance...and Math & Mermaids
Late afternoons I work, it is wonderful working from home, but time management is definitely needed when I feel so many responsibilities on me with work, the home, the children.  On my 'break' right now I thought I'd blog for a moment as my daughter reads quietly on the couch and my son attempts a bridge building project for elephants on our game system.  The 'swing' of things with our 'school' is feeling more easy, falling into place and flowing as each day goes on.  I feel very balanced all of the sudden between both work and family, it is peaceful to be in this moment.

Finishing reading her Mermaid series Teryn researched online for any documentaries about Mermaids, history how the tales started and any additional info she could find...She read several articles and watched this video then discussed what she believed about the findings:
Animal Planet: Mermaids:The Body Found

I made Math Bingo Cards for Jordan, which Teryn ended up wanting to play too..so we sat for a few games of Bingo which Jordan loved. Surprising to me, because he struggles in wanting to do anything that looks like 'school' but he does have a huge love of games, the best of both worlds and we all had fun.  After a couple games, declaring it was rather 'easy' (yes, it was adding and subtracting!) Teryn went to work on calculating her animal expenses, materials and other costs to figure out building new pens for them.
Off of a book he had checked out at the Library, and needing some 'get up and go' time we headed outside to bike- breezy but beautiful, the weather did not feel as though winter was approaching today being rather on the warm side.  Jordan read his book with me, reading a few words himself then asking me to read, then he decided what he wanted to figure out, retrieving dad's tape measure he drew as well as wrote about his findings:

After this he proceeded to discuss with me in extreme detail, the workings of a bicycle, all of its parts, how it moved, even safety- where he should put lights, what cars see on it, how many reflectors he has.  It amazes me to sometimes just listen, fully to my 7 year old speak and not only speak but explain things in such detail to me as if he were an adult already. The little voice inside my head at that moment is reminding me to soak up every minute of this- because they do grow so very fast.

During our biking time, still tired from her weekend sleepover, my daughter read then listened to her book on CD as she drew and wrote about the story...
Monday's are slow, ease into the week from the weekend, at times we only read, at times we have the energy to explore, hike and sit at the table for hours on a project, we do what comes to us, depending on how we feel.  Now we are missing 'Dad' and awaiting him to come home very soon to us- the perfect end to our day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st - Thankfulness & Halloween Picture

Be Thankful
In my usual morning blog catch up, which literally I take no more than 15 minutes to just skim, review, catch up. I'll hop on my personal email account, face book for a few minutes. In doing this, as each November goes, there are a slew of people posting about the month to be 'Thankful'.  Posting each day what you are thankful for.  Months ago I really made a conscious effort to every day not only pray but to recognize the good, be thankful for all of the blessings- each and every day. It is great to make that conscious effort one month out of the year, but why not try and truly incorporate it in your every day life, each day of the year. It is an awesome goal, and an awesome feeling. A sort of peace that comes over you.

So, today I will 'say' out loud for the month of November, and post that I am truly thankful for Family.  Today I reflect that the 1st day of November reminds me that in a few short weeks we'll be headed out of town to visit  family. The one thing difficult about our move was leaving my family- my parents, sibling, grandparents.  I am thankful for email and the telephone, video chat that keep us in contact.

Couldn't forget Halloween, for our family and friends who I didn't send emails to, who don't go on face book...We do celebrate- yesterday, taking the kids over to Grandpa's to show off costumes then heading out trick or treating:

Its our Library day today, one of the day's I treasure most during the week...we spend our time exploring, delving into the shelves of adventure, science, and fun.  Its really sets the starting point on where the following week our learning is going to take us. Some times Jordan will stay in the Science section, other times he'll only want History books...Terynity always checks out at least 20+ books...with the librarian continuously reminding us the limit is 50!  She is my reader, Jordan likes the books that spark adventure and hands on learning into other area's. They are both so unique and I love seeing them learn and grow each day.
Happy November 1st!