A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny again for the yarn along at smallthings this week.
I've made a little progress on Molly's sweater this week though not as much as I'd like.  I first posted about it here.  This yarn is such a dream to work with and I am truly disappointed it will no longer be available.  The way this sweater is coming together has made me quite happy and I will absolutely share the pattern (once I actually write it).
Any reading I've done this week has really been focused on getting ready for school.  All of the sudden it is upon us and decisions must be made.  I mentioned Nature Connection in this post and honestly just love this book for a wide age range.  The kids also have Rip The Page! Adventures in Creative Writing again a book that could be used for a wide age range (I'm thinking I may need one).
I've been reading through the What Your 5th/6th Grader Should Know.  Not using one curriculum I feel like these books are a good resource for us to know a bit about what is out there.  Of course I've been doing tons of on-line browsing as well and found some great lesson plans to go with Treasure Island as a free download.  That should be a fun read with the kids.
Thanks to Ginny for hosting and looking forward to seeing other projects.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Late Summer Weekend

A change is in the air...I can feel it.  I know there will still be hot summer days ahead, but the change is coming and I will greet it eagerly.  For now though, I'm going to enjoy every last bit of summer I can.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Moment

Joining Soulemama for {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, August 24, 2011

Yarn Along

Making progress joining Ginny again for the yarn along.  I certainly feel a change in the air.  Summer is not gone yet, but fall is approaching and my urge to knit is coming back.
I'm loving this sweater for Molly, the color is fabulous and the yarn is so buttery soft.  I think I'm about ready to close off the cap sleeves!  I'm keeping excellent notes as I think it will turn out to be a fast knit little pattern.  There is still a bit of this yarn left on sale at jimmybeanswool (so hard to not buy more).
As for reading I'm still reading the Mysterious Benedict Society and enjoying it a great deal.  I've also been thumbing through a recent used textbook purchase Glencoe Life Science.  I think it will be great for school this year.  A bit older, but with my help the kids will have no problem.  Of course I've also been thumbing through Amanda Blake Soule's newest book The Rhythm of Family it's simple and beautiful as we all knew it would be.
As always thanks to Ginny for hosting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Ready

I'm amazed (yet I know I shouldn't be) that we are most of the way through August already!  It seems that summers just fly by.  Not that we haven't had lots of fun and adventure (and there is plenty more to come), but the kids are asking when we are starting school!  They are ready and I've got some work to do still.
This will be our first full year of homeschooling.  We started half way through the school year last year and everyone in our family agrees that it was a right and excellent choice.  We didn't use a curriculum last year and have chosen to follow suit again.  We did briefly think about Oak Meadow which seems like a fun curriculum, but in the end we are sticking with a little bit of this and that.

I wouldn't call in unschooling necessarily  we do use some workbooks and text books, but we are certainly letting the kiddos lead the way for the most part.  They both have such a great thirst for knowledge that makes learning so fun for all involved.  As I have been looking at supplies we have on hand and thinking about what we still need I have realized that I would like a better/different rhythm to our weeks.   The boy seems to do better with a plan (he's already worried about who he will marry some day and what courses he should be studying to get into a good college and become a world-renowned palientologist).  There will always be flexibility in our daily schedule, but it looks as if we will nail down a specific day of the week that Greg will do music lessons and art history lessons, and the kids and I will have a day dedicated to science and one just for exploring. A little math, reading and writing will happen most days in some form.
our music/library room
It's been fun to watch both kids take such an interest in music!  Molly's main focus is piano, while Corey does guitar, but I must say they both are a bit instrumentally fearless (must get that from their dad) and will give just about anything a try.

If you haven't seen Nature Connection yet you should absolutely check it out.  It's a workbook/nature journal designed for a wide age range that goes through the months of the year. with craft idea, nature walks, things to look for, write about and draw.

I must say I will be sad when we finish this book and will look for something similar to explore our seasons.
I'd love to know what other folks do or don't do for school and am always open to suggestion so what are you doing to get ready?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Early Morning Garden

No matter what my intentions are every summer by the time we are rolling into late August my poor garden is over-run with weeds.  I pull them, but I just can't keep up, and after a while I give up a bit.  The veggies still grow and we pick, we eat, we can.

  My sweet friend Emily and I call it "willy-nilly-gardening" and I keep threatening to write a book.  You see I don't follow a lot of the "rules" for gardening both veggies and flowers and yet everything seems to do just fine. I'm the worst with flowers.  If I see something I like, I plant it.  This is exactly what all the books tell you NOT to do, but it works...and if it doesn't, well then I dig it up and try it some place else next year.  Every year I learn a little more about what I can and can't "get away with".  For instance: I MUST learn how to prune our peach tree properly, that is something I cannot let go crazy (it begins to block the garden path). The other painful lesson I have learned is that forsythia grows VERY fast.  While I'm quite OK with this concept, it is not something that belongs in a small space...it will be moved this year!

I'm new to gardening/farming, it isn't something I grew up with, I tasted my first cantaloupe from a Happy Hour buffet at 21 years old.  I love that it is such a part of my life now, and that my children are growing up with it...even if we have renegade pumpkins in the flower beds!  How's your garden?

Friday, August 19, 2011

This Moment

Joining Soulemama for {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, August 17, 2011

Yarn Along

I haven't had much urge to knit this summer.  When we haven't been traveling I have been sewing up a storm and busy in the garden.  However, the last few days were rainy and even a bit chilly, which got me thinking about fall and all that must be done to prepare for the colder months ahead.  So here I am today joining Ginny once again for her weekly yarn along.
Last night I started a neck down cardigan for Molly.  No pattern, I'm making it up as I go.  Taking notes of course in the event that it comes out great and I want to repeat or share the pattern!  The plan right now is a simple cap sleeve cardi with just a few buttons at the top (cute little twig buttons that Molly and I made together).  I'm using yarn-overs for the arm increases and I love it!  A lovely lacy line is forming.  I may do an owl cable somewhere as she loves them so, but right now I've obviously just started. The yarn is Azapa by Araucania yarns.  I guess they aren't making it any more it's a yummy merino,silk,alpaca blend in bulky weight and I just saw that they have some on a discontinued sale at Jimmybeanswool.  I haven't ever purchased from this retailer before, but what a great deal on some super soft yarn!
As for books I've recently started reading The Mysterious Benedict Society byTrenton Lee Stewart. This is a childrens book that my son read last year and adored, if you enjoy children's literature at all this is a fun series.  4 very unlikely heros, great for kids or as a family read aloud.  My friend Rachel over at housefullofjays would surely love it.
I've also once again picked up Clear the Clutter and Organizing Plain and Simple as things around here need some help.  I've had both of these books for a while and they are often found at the bottom of a pile so I can't claim that they work, but it never hurts to look for a little inspiration right?

Looking forward to seeing what folks are knitting a reading this week.  Thanks to Ginny for hosting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Life We Are Given

The past few days have been filled with emotion, love and lots of chaos.  My lovely aunt worked very hard to put together a reunion of her siblings and their families some who haven't seen each other in many many years.  Through all the hectic comings and goings we found time to pay our respects at my dearly loved and greatly missed grandmother's grave yesterday. 
Moss had grown over the marker as it does and it was very hard to read, but before long grandchildren and great grandchildren (who had never even met this grandma) got to work cleaning and scraping.

As I was looking through photos this morning and thinking about a blog post I was overcome by the power of these photographs, such a simple gesture and yet somehow so grand.  I am reminded that we are each given this one life to live and I am inspired to live mine to it's fullest and try to notice all the simple beauty that is there while trying a bit harder to push the trivial little things aside.
Hoping you are enjoying this life as well.

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Moment

Linking with Soulemama for {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, August 10, 2011

Music to my ears

a lesson

uncle Corey learning the new song

it's a family affair

finally another girl cousin for Molly

Nana doing what she does best
 The importance of music in our family cannot be emphasized enough!  We all love it.  We are always listening, going to shows (with the kids as often as we can) or having our own mini concerts around the house.  I personally cannot do more than a few cords on the guitar and Mary had a Little Lamb or Hot Cross Buns on the piano....I guess you could say I'm more of a listener, but that's OK.  Both kids seem to have gotten musical talent from their dad and my baby brother, their uncle who is also in this great band!  How lucky are we.  when they aren't in the studio or playing out and about we get these extra special evenings of music filled fun, great food, dancing babies to sleep and a strong feeling of love.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Weekend

As I sit here on a Monday morning trying to figure out where it is that time goes I realize just how much we try to fit in to our busy weekends sometimes.  The past few days were no exception.

the finished firepit

vintage table linens that once belonged to Grandma Becky

the first fire

some hard work

freshly tilled ground

last nights gig

a little fun with the hipstamatic
 All in all I'd say we had a great weekend...even if it is already Monday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Moment

As always, joining Soulemama for {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, August 3, 2011

Mother Natures Power

Yesterday afternoon was a reminder of the the power that is Mother Nature that we have no control over. 

The dark thunder clouds came and the kiddos quickly ran outside to splash in puddles and cool off a little...However, they were soon back on the porch to avoid being pelted by rather large ball of hail!  It was a crazy beautiful sight to see, so loud and powerful, knocking leaves off the trees and such.  The kids were wondering aloud why Jack Frost and King winter were trying to hang out in summer. 
Once the hail stopped the rain continued so...what else to do???  How bout bowling:)

 Gotta love the bumpers and ramps when bowling with the littles!  Strikes, spares and fun had by all.