Saturday, December 29, 2012

{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.
Linking to Soule Mama


Friday, December 28, 2012

New Additions...New Animals

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
 Teddy Cavy
 Silver Fox Rabbit
 Black Rose Comb Bantam Chicken
 Silver and Golden Seabright Chickens

When asked what she loves raising the 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.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cherished Moments

A cherished moment I peeked in on...tucking it away in my heart full of memories I want to never forget...
Christmas Blessing, Love our Family to Yours

Friday, December 21, 2012

Prayers, Blessings, Merry CHRISTmas

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.

Friday, December 14, 2012

{this moment}

{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.

Linking to Soule Mama

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Vacation...Projects

Winter Vacation...
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.

 Project Time
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.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Buying a Home: A Year of Blessings

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 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 memories to make.

A perfect Christmas blessing for our family, a new home.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

De-Schooling an almost Teenager

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