Sunday, August 25, 2013

Library, Mushrooms, Park Play

As we do each week, this past week we ventured to the Library. One of our favorite places to go, it never fails our daughter is always asking several times a week to go get new books as she finishes them so quickly and once our son gets an idea for something new he'd like to learn he is begging to head over and collect all the information he can on the subject. Definitely our greatest home school and learning resource- the library and online research.

A few weeks ago when cleaning out animal cages, as we brushed away the hay off the side of one of the cages we found an unexpected site- Mushrooms...which of course prompted us ordering online a book of Mushrooms that just came into the Library last week. Our son was the one extremely interested in this- he wanted to learn about edible and non-edible and poisonous mushrooms. The book is a great resource- and he can't wait to take it on some hikes to be on the look out to identify mushrooms.

This also prompted learning about growing mushrooms ourselves and interesting Mushroom facts....
This PDF Workbook on Mushrooms has some activities and information- American Mushroom Workbook
~~~Mind-boggling Facts About Mushrooms~~~

~ Mushrooms have no chlorophyll (a green pigment in plants), so they don't need sunshine to grow and thrive. Some of the Graphic of a spinning sun. earliest commercial mushroom farms were actually set up in caves in France during the reign of King Louis XIV (1638-1715).
Graphic of a whitetop mushroom. ~ One portabella mushroom has more potassium than a banana. White and crimini mushrooms are also good sources of potassium. Potassium helps the human body maintain normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function.
~ Grains and foods that come from animals are good sources of selenium. But in fresh produce, only mushrooms contain significant amounts of this mineral. Selenium plays an important role in the human immune system, the thyroid system, and the male reproductive system.

~ Mushrooms are an excellent source of copper, a mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells and for other functions.
~ Mushrooms have significant amounts of three B-complex vitamins: riboflavin (rye-bo-FLAY-vin), niacin (NYE-eh-sin), and pantothenic (pan-toe-THIN-ick) acid. The B vitamins help release energy from the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in food.

~ To keep mushrooms fresh, store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Avoid airtight containers that can collect moisture and cause them to spoil faster.
~ Consumption of mushrooms in the United States increased from 3.7 pounds per person in 1993 to 4.2 pounds per person in 2000.

~ Sales of the 2001-2002 U.S. mushroom crop totaled 851 million pounds, and consumers spent $912 million on them. Animated graphic of $100.00 bill.
~ Truffles, or mushrooms that grow below the ground, are one of the world's most expensive foods. One variety, Tuber melanosporum, can cost between $800 and $1,500 a pound.

~ The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 square miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it's still growing!
Above info from: 

 The library also has an art gallery which changes out every so often. We love to see what new displays they have, talk about the artists styles and sometimes replicate them at home.
 The last of our Library collection was a group of Transportation, Horse, Car and Tractor work on our 4H banner for our booth at fair. The kids have been working away, painting and preparing, the end result should be a wonderful collaboration from a group of talented kids!

Library trip always means park trip or river trip or just some kind of play time! This day it was the park. Our daughter immersed herself into her new books as our son and I played Frisbee and ball. 

May your Sunday be blessed and you find joy in every moment of your day and say thanks. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventure Day- Davis Dam

The weekend seemed to go on forever...that seems strange to say- but with me working, we look forward to our Monday's when we get out of the house usually amongst grocery shopping we go out to play, swim or something fun. Today we skipped the shopping all together and just opted for the play part. We love exploring new places, learning new things.....We had heard about a new park and it being somewhat over cast and breezy we decided to chance it and didn't drive into the park but took the hiking trail on the way there, but on the way back we were pretty hot and tired. But fun none the less as the kids played and laughed on the new park equipment and we read the informational signs along the way in, talked about desert animals and the dam. It was a good day. On the way home, smoothies fixed our heat and we came home the remainder of the afternoon to rest.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reflection & Prayers, Life & Death

When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
*Psalm 61:2*
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
*Psalm 119:128*
Let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
*Colossians 3:15*

Yesterday was quite the afternoon as the children and I rushed our 4 day old baby guinea pig to the vets office. He seemed to be getting lethargic, not eating and one eye was not looking well. The vet cleaned his eye, gave him eye antibiotics, clipped his long teeth and gave him a clean bill of health, saying that he would start eating better now and the eye would clear up in 2 weeks. Drops were to be given every 6 hours, continuously for 14 days. He got round one right at bedtime, then I set my alarm and snuck into the kids room to give him round 2. My daughter awoke just as I was pulling him out of the cage and saying 'oh no'. He was not alive...he had passed away. My daughter asked why? Why when we did everything we could, why when we even took him to the doctor, why, why, why...when we've already had heartache from loosing other animals recently. 
She laid down, we said a prayer, we didn't wake her brother. I told her I loved her. I reminded her every life was important, meaningful no matter how long or how short, animal or human. It teaches us. God always has a plan. She was quiet....she said she was thankful she got to be there for his birth, handle him, care for him, love him.We hugged, she went back to sleep. I stood watching over her for a few minutes, then moved to my son's bed gazing at him, gave him a kiss on his forehead and went to my bedroom.

I wept. I wept for the baby pig, I wept at the thought of telling my son in the morning, I wept for the pain my daughter was feeling. I wept for many other reasons. My heart was very heavy. It felt good to release it. 
I prayed. I felt comforted. I know I am not alone.

This morning I begin my day in prayer as my children still sleep sound that we can be strong, that we can have faith that everything happens for a reason and it is Gods plan.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Frisbee, Thrifty Books & Boots, Studies & Science Corner

This week we adventured an hour away to drop off some 4H books and forms then decided to spend the day there, eating a picnic lunch at a park and playing frisbee. It was peaceful to get away for the day. We relaxed, played, talked and had fun. We also thrifted some school books, a board game and two pairs of boots for our daughter which she is thrilled about while we were on our outing for the day.

Studies & our Science Corner....Our daughter has been hard at work, studying her animals for fair, making a to-do list and sticking to it. She has also been spending time practicing her typing skills with an online program she is enjoying. She would like to become a faster typer to be able to type the stories she writes.
While she studied our son and I got to work on our Science Corner. Since he would like to study life cycles like the butterfly and the frog, we put together a little nature corner for him. 

Always a work in progress getting everything out, available and organized for the kids! They have been a huge help with input, decorating their own home school corners and making decisions on what items are really important to keep and what they may be able to part with.

Today we venture to the river and the library, two of our favorite places.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cavy birth

An exciting evening in our household as our daughter's cavy gave birth around 5pm August 11, 2013 to one healthy beautiful baby. Cavy litters are usually 1-6 babies with the average being 2-3. Our daughter was hoping for a few more but is ecstatic with just one and feeling thankful it is thriving and healthy and the momma is doing such a good job with it.

Pictures below, in the morning pregnant picture, just had baby and Momma is cleaning it. 3rd picture, Baby is now 15 hours old...last picture, almost 24 hours old.  We are excited to watch this little one grow!

Blessed to witness this tiny life miracle.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Swimming Fish

Friday was spent with close friends enjoying the cool of their pool, the kids playing games and enjoying laughs and fun and a few of us moms getting to relax, catch up and enjoy the pool as well! Enjoyable day with wonderful friends.

To think we started the Summer with two not very comfortable in water kids and we are ending the Summer with two little fishies!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Ending- Homeschooling Interest Inspirations

Its strange to say the 'end of summer' and the 'beginning of the school year' only because we really technically never took a summer break. Life learning goes on always, you can't 'take a break' from life, it just happens. We may have not had as much structure these past few months but we still learned. So as many homeschoolers are headed back to 'school' but we have a few more weeks to go, waiting until after our fair is over to officially 'go back'. These next few weeks are dedicated to animal studies and prepping the animals for fair. It is something both our children are very passionate about. Our daughter sets her own schedule of reviewing questions she may be asked, researching about all of her breeds in detail, studying all of the parts of her animals, common diseases as well as handling each of her animals daily. She is extremely dedicated. Although too young to show our son studies along side her as he has animals as well. In another year when he's old enough, he will have an abundance of knowledge for a 9yr old starting out.

So, even with 'school' not starting in a few more weeks, we've been discussing off and on what school will look like next year, what everyone is excited to immerse themselves into at the start and what adventures we will go on. The children have decided to continue schooling as we did last year, child directed, led by their interests. I enjoyed this way of schooling and I'm glad they feel the same way to continue it. I am also open to as they grow and change our way of schooling may grow and change.

Our daughter discussed in the next year or so looking more thoroughly into what she needs to accomplish and learn to obtain her GED. I'm proud of her that she has grown to be able to choose her own path, find out what steps she needs to take to get there and implement it. It is amazing to see her growth over this past year as I'm sure even through this upcoming one she will continue to thrive and blossom.

Our daughters list of interest so far:
*Ocean Life, Sea's, Tides, Specifically Whales and Migration
*To learn to Knitt
*Sew a Dance bag and dance clothing- skirts, leg warmers
*Travel to Animal shows in states she's never been to and learn about more breeds of animals as well as do state studies as we travel

Our sons list of interest so far:
*Tadpole growing kit, learn about frogs
*Mushroom Identification, whats edible in the forest
*Earn his Jr. Ranger Badge
*Study Blacksmithing with Dad
*Build a Robot
*'Explode' Stuff

Momma and Daddy have been working on a list of interests to pursue as well. If you have a love of learning, your children will have a love of learning.....

Daddy:  *Blacksmithing, Gardening, Projects around the house and yard- clearing the yard with a tractor, hunt down some old carpenter and yard tools
Momma: *Gardening, Gather more new Vegan Recipes, Knit with our daughter, Natural cloth Dying, Try soap making, learn to bake sourdough bread.

We've also started on a 'Wish List' of supplies we'd like for this year with the children:
*Good Microscope
*Wall Map of the US
*Good Drawing Chalks
*More boardgames

 Last year, the year started with them telling me what they were interested in and me helping to figure out and give them choices on what could be done within that interest for all of their subjects- history, math, science, reading, writing and so forth. This list of interests that we have started have already sparked them to think ahead and our daughter especially has grown with independence as she writes lists herself of what she will do for each of her subjects within her interest. Our son still young, needs help researching. I love to study along with them and they are just as excited to share new information with me as well. Our journey is amazing.

Her horse list looks like this:
*Study all of the breeds
*History- study the origins of the breeds, if a country looks interesting study further about that country, study horses in US history, what were horses used for
*Science- Study the anatomy and parts of a horse, research how the digestive system works and what they should eat, find out about care for their body, hoofs, teeth, learn about babies
*Math- If I wanted a horse how much does it cost- all of the supplies to build a pen- find out how much space they need, square it off in our backyard and measure, how much food and vet bills are, if I needed to board it how much is that. If I wanted to grow my own hay for them, how many acres would feed my horse, how much hay would I get from a certain amount of land.
*Read books fiction and non fiction about Horses.
*Take notes and write which breed I would want and why so my parents can see

And this is just what she has so far.....So as we have several weeks left, we add and add to our lists, excited to take one day at a time, one moment at a time, this month concentrating of fair and next month starting to dive back into our studies daily.

Happy School Year to all of our Homeschooling Friends!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My buddy and Me

A Momma's boy slowing turning into a Daddy's boy, I can't say that I mind much. I savor it, breath it in knowing it won't last forever...8 years old now...I love that he still loves to be close to me, still wants to hold my hand, still wants to be held and snuggled at bedtime...and every morning comes and curls up on my lap, leans his head on my shoulder and whispers good morning momma to me. Sweetness. Pure love.

Today as Sister slept in then slowly got dressed for Ballet, 'my buddy' and I went to work- feeding the dogs comes first, then outside to wash out chicken water dishes, feed everyone and spend a few minutes giving everyone some pets, hellos, and laugh over their silly behaviors! Dropping Sister off at Ballet we headed to the park for a morning snack and some playtime. We talked about Ant Hills, looked for treasures in the sand and grass field and enjoyed our precious time together. He always has the best idea's, the most intriguing questions and conversations at times above a normal 8 yr olds interest.

6:30am sun light coming...

Puppy breakfast...
 She wants some more...
 Morning nap time...
 More chores..
 Hanging with the big boys

This afternoon was spent helping my daughter study her animals for fair coming up, working on completing her record book for 4H as we talked about next year, ballet classes, school studies, interests and goals.

Homemade Enchilada's for dinner. The kids quickly got their bathing suits on for their 4H meeting at the river....This eve Dad's on duty, taking the kids to 4H while I am bogged down with a few work projects.

Spending meaningful moments together every day.