Monday, October 31, 2011

Creating a Home

When Fall comes around I seem to start nesting. It's something about the crisp air that makes me realize we will be spending a lot more time indoors and particularly in our home.

I love creating an atmosphere that will leave my children nosalgic. A comfort when remindecd of the home they grew up in.

When I was a little girl I would spend at least a week visiting my grandparents every year. I looked forward to that week more than anything. It was a time that I was surrounded by much attention and comfort.

I would wake up at 6:30 AM to smell coffee brewing and bacon crisping in the cast iron skillet. My Pa would be in his overalls and green John Deer cap heading out the back door for a day of hard work on the farm. My grandma, in her peach robe would be sipping coffee and reading the Bible.

I would sit in the little nook surrounded by windows at the table my dad had made with his own two hands. After breakfast, my grandma and I would set out for our morning walk. Walking on the brick paved streets we would wave at the women tending to their gardens in the cool early morning right before the sun came up. We would talk about what we would do that day and listen to the singing birds. We would take the long country road leaving the small town to say a quick good morning to the horses. Then heading back up the long country road peering through the trees at the big old houses behind them.

(a peek at those brick paved streets)


Arriving home she would tend to the ironing, bedmaking, and cleaning the kitchen, while I got out her teapots and china for endless hours of tea parties and pretending to own a restraunt. She would place her order and leave a tip for me as she cooked her second meal of the day.

In the afternoons she would tend to the garden and make sweet treats for that evening's dessert. We would carry some of the goodies through the dirt alley to the lady that lived behind her.

I would spend some afternoons with the girls next door, playing in their backyard, walking to get slushies, or swimming in the town pool.

(picture taken last year in the area they used to live)

Other afternoons we would drive out to Pa's farm where I would climb bales of hay and ride the three wheeler around the fields. Some days we would pick peas and I remember praying for at least the smallest breeze. I loved seeing my grandma in her big garden hat and loved the afternoons on the front porch; a big glass of iced tea with turquiose tinted bowls of peas to shell.

On the Friday of my week there we would head to a small nearby town to Ona Mae's. Ona Mae owned a tiny little beauty shop behind her house. It had two sinks and a hair dryer and smelled of permanents. It had a little sofa with a homemade afghan,a pile of magazines, and a little glass jewelry case sitting next to it with tiny rings and necklaces. My grandma would often buy one for me. She would also offer me a cold soda pop while I waited.

(old gas station)

After a dinner of fried chicken and gravy with a side of mashed potatoes and fried summer squash, we would clean up the kitchen and go in the living room with it's window unit air conditioner on full blast. They would turn on Wheel of Fortune and a few other evening shows until the 10:00 news came on. When the news came on, I would slip outside in the dark to sit on the big front porch swing and look at the night sky. I could hear the weatherman on the tv inside and knew that when he was done talking my grandma would join me outside. She would sit beside me and I would lay my head in her lap while she scratched my back and sang Animal Fair, Bushel and a Peck, and an array of old hymns.

She would then tuck me in the back bedroom on a nice, cool, and comfortable bed with clean sheets. And in the middle of the night I would sneak into bed with them. A few hours later, talk radio would blast from their radio alarm. My Pa would lay in bed listening an hour or so before getting up to start the fresh new day again.


Those memories sit in my mind like an old friend. I love to think of those days. The sounds, that white house with tons of windows and the big front porch, the smell of her laundry.

I want our children to see our home in such a comforting way. To create an atmosphere that they want to bottle up and share with their own children some day.

The days were slow paced and simply lived in. No need to rush and always time to lend a helping hand or make a treat for the neighbors. Time to strengthen relationships. Time with God. Time to sow and reap the harvest. Time to make a home.

I loved this post about Creating a Pleasent Atmospehre in the Home. It really doesn't have to be complicated. It's an amazing way to show your family love. A way to honor God. It's a new focus of mine.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goodbye Fall?

This morning we over slept. Our alarm was set for 6:30. I kept hearing it go off and my husband would reach over and push snoooze. I didn't bother getting up, I was so warm and cozy under our down blanket and in my favorite sweats. Soon after, a certain little 7 year old runs in. "GUESS WHAT?!" We sleepily turned to him in wonder. "It's SNOWING!"

Wait....what? I hopped out of bed and opened the curtains and peered out to our snow covered lawn and trees. And it was still coming down.


The boys quickly threw on some clothes and headed out for a bit just to see before they nearly froze.



And Miss Bella. She was THRILLED. She rolled and played until she too nearly froze.


As you can probably tell, we were in the middle of putting a fence up. The man of the house and the boys are already out getting it finished, while I am inside with a big sweater, fuzzy socks, a cup of coffee, and a fire in the fireplace....just like I like it.

As I was posting the boys came in. Done helping dad for now I guess. Requesting a cup of hot cocoa and warming their toes by the fire...*grin*.


I am making this roasted chicken and gravy for my man today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

7 Years

Last week we celebrated Tristin's 7th birthday. We aren't too big on parties much anymore unless they really want one. He REALLY wanted to go shopping for his own presents. That was his wish haha.

We did pick up a few gifts to surprise him and make his day extra special.

He woke up to a room full of streamers and a floor covered in balloons.


When he went to breakfast he had a HUGE CARS balloon and a present waiting for him.



He was SO excited to find a race track he had never seen before. It is easy to snap and the cars have black lights so it glows. Hard to take a picture of but you get the idea.



After a morning of shopping, we came home to make a cake. He wanted chocolate with cars and a number 7 of course.


As we headed to bed that night we said we wanted one last picture of him.


We really wanted a picture of this:




Yes, he has found a new passion. He LOVES to play tennis. He was thrilled!

Happy Birhtday sweet boy.

Finishing Up Christopher Columbus And Native Americans

It's been a few weeks since I posted about school. We have been doing the minimum around here. That basically consists of Bible, Explode the Code, Singapore Math, and Reading.

We did however, finish up Christopher Columbus (for grade 1) and Letters E and F(for preschool - which I will put in another post).

After we finished our book about Christopher Columbus, we watched an Animated Hero Classic via youtube.

And we just loved this clip.

Lot's more fun info over on Heart of Wisdom Blog. We made a page to put in our History Notebook with what we learned about Columbus (will post our history notebook soon)

We also continued with our study of Native Americans. We discussed Totem Poles and their purpose. We watched the video and did the project over on Wonderopolis.

Tristin was in a bit of a hurry to finish school so he didn't take much time to make his totem pole...that's what we get when he has other things he wants to do on his mind...


We all loved studying Christopher Columbus!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I was thrilled when I recieived a message from my new beautiful friend Liz over at The Quick Journey. that she had nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award!

Liz has two super adorable kids that she stays home with. This year is her first year to homeschool, so if you get a chance please stop by and give her some love and encouragement! She also has the custest style in decor and fashion and she loves family and God, so even if you don't homeschool you will find her blog lovley.

Okay, so now I get to pick 5 people (with less than 200 followers) who I believe deserve this award! These are truly wonderful women and encouraging blogs. Hard to choose just 5, but am so honored to know these fabulous women and read their blogs!

The Liebster blog award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

To keep this award going and pass it along to other new deserving blogs, the recipient must now recognize five other bloggers with less than 200 followers that have really stood out in the crowd.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Take a minute to visit these great, up and coming blogs!!!

Tricia over at Autism and Salvation. A new friend of mine who has 3 CUTE little boys and homeschools them. She shares how their weeks are going along with tons of fun ideas and encouragement!

Rachelle over at Little Wife on the Prarie. A wonderful friend of mine and one of my favorite ladies! She and her family let God lead them in all they do. She loves her family and gardening. Everytime I go to her blog I wish I had a garden...and chickens.

Heather over at This Journey. Another wonderful friend of mine! This woman is full of love for God and her family. She encourages me to strive to be a godly woman. A beautifully inspiring blog of her life homeschooling her children and her love for her family and God.

Lusi over at Mama's Place. I am pretty new to Lusi's blog, but love everything about it. She just had her 5th baby at home and he is just precious! Lusi's blog is full of love and learning. She homeschools her children and they celebrate God. I go there often to learn more
about our Hebrew Roots.

Unplugged Sunday. A newer blog created to encourage time spent with your family, unplugged on Sundays. It is a wonderful read full of ideas and a peek into others' who are unplugged on Sundays.

Please visit these blogs and show them some love!

Thank you Liz!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Science Night

The other night we piled pizza on a plate and went out on the trampoline to eat it. It was a beautiful evening and as it got dark and cool we decided to head inside for for an evening of Snap Circuits Jr. The boys LOVED it! Snap Circuits is a hands-on education in how electrical circuits work to run everyday devices.


They snapped away and followed the simple instructions anticipating what would happen after everything was connected and they flipped the switch. LIGHT!


Even Jaiden enjoyed it. (He really was smiling, but I was trying to help him hold it up so we could see the light...takes a lot of concentration)


We made light, a fan, and sirens. The boys had the best time with this!





It was time and money well spent, the boys have been fascinated with how everything works ever since. What a fun family night!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

School Update

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've posted updates on school. Doesn't mean we haven't been busy though! I haven't gotten as much done as I had hoped every week, but it's been simple and fun.

For Preschool, we have been learning the letters C and D. For letter C, we focused on cookies and castles. We had so much fun reading these books. Our favorite for the week was Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar. I've been reading it to the boys since Jaiden (10) was 2, and they still LOVE it!


Brighton colored cookies that would go in the cookie jar.


He also did a cookie number match for number recognition. He did this much better than I ever thought he would...which shows me he knows more than I think he does!


For the letter D, we focused on ducks. We read Make Way for Ducklings (which they loved) and Five Little Ducks which all of our boys have always loved.


I cut out these sweet little ducks and let Brighton play and count along.


Don't know if you can tell from that picture, but Brighton fell on the tampoline and fractured a tooth at the root. They pulled his tooth and we're hoping the root dissolves so he won't have to have it cut out. It was scary with all the sreaming and blood, but he did remarkable through it all and at the dentist, he was perfect!

He has also been working on his colors and more counting and number recognition. I made these cards with dots on the numbers and let him place little markers on each for practice.


For first grade, we have been doing our Singapore math, Explode the Code, and Delightful Reading which are all going great! For History, we have been reading about Leif Ericson and Colombus. Tristin has absolutely loved these books and stories. We will be making a timeline notebook and history notebook, I hope to share soon!



Since we learned about Native Americans, I had Tristin try weaving with a loom. He caught on quickly and loved it, he made several little pot holders.



We started the book Family Math, which has many fabulous ideas for hands on "living' math. Tristin enjoys this so much, and I'm not even sure he realizes it's math. It has many levels, so I'm sure this book will be used for many years to come!


Tristin has also started soccer. He is wonderful at it, and this year we tried a little more competitive league. He was new to the team, but has quickly joined in and made new friends and works really hard. They all love him and he thanks God for them in his prayers every night.


This part of homeschooling happens to fall into the category of handicrafts and real life. Tristin threw a large tantrum last week and broke the boards that are holding up his bed (top bunk). He has been working away, saving money for the Cars 2 movie that he has to pay for on his own, but quickly learned a consequence to having a bad attitude and breaking things when he is mad. He had to use some of his money to buy new boards and help dad cut them and put them back under his bed.


Brighton had fun helping. He is SO silly!



Here is a picture of Jaiden since he isn't at home when we homeschool the other boys. I miss seeing his sweet face in these updates.


Today is beautiful out! It's cool and rainy. The windows are open letting a cool breeze in while I listen to the rain fall and the birds sing. It's dark inside so the lamps are turned on and a chicken is roasting in the crockpot. HELLO Fall!



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