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!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Space The Final Frontier

Many years  back I bought some pattern blocks from swift river toys in anticipation of helping the kids with math.  There are great resources on-line for using them w/ learning fractions, symmetry, even music.  They have been helpful for both kids over the years and I believe they are well worth spending money on...however, I would like to share here with you what they have always and continue to be used for most of all:

This is a fleet of space aged star ships in the midst of a galactic battle of one sort or another.    I can't tell you how many things these simple little blocks have been used for over the years. Dinosaurs, viking boats, people, houses, cars...the list goes on.  The intricacy of his shapes, each one seeming to have a specific purpose, sides that move to change direction.  It's clear that we haven't outgrown these and quite frankly I am in no rush...

How bout you?  What do your kiddos use over and over again for so many games?

Friday, September 21, 2012

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.
Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer's End

It's funny, once September hits and we are schooling I automatically think fall, even though technically it is still summer (for a few more days at least).  So in the midst of busy schedules including all the fall activities:  soccer, gymnastics, more gymnastics, oh and soccer, throw in some school and try and find a time between Greg's work, my work and gigs to have a bit of late summer fun.
I did a bit of complaining and whining over the weekend I must admit; I had my heart set on a far away adventure.  Over two hours of driving one way for some beautiful hikes, water falls and the such.  It is not often that my weekend off coordinates with Greg being gig free so I was a bit over zealous to say the least.  That sweet man of mine remained calm through all of my tantruming and somehow convinced me  that we could still have a lovely "get away" without venturing far from home leaving us time to still get some project progress around the house.

Well, what can I say?  When he's right, he's right.  The kids got in what was most likely the
last swim of the season,  one dog swam and played fetch, the other dog ran wild in the woods and this mama got exactly what she craved:  A perfect afternoon with the family outside surrounded by natures beauty.  And the real beauty here is that this spot is less than 10 minutes from home!  That means The hubs got "stuff done" around the house with a bit of help from our favorite farmer (thank you).  I even got in a flea market with my mom and Miss Molly...Pyrex heaven was found.
Oh we are a perfect match that man and I, he keeps me grounded when I need it and knows when to let me wander.   Thank you love for a wonderful weekend...

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Could Get Used To This

So the end of last week found Greg and I getting up very early and driving down the coast while the kids stayed with Nana (thanks Mom) for a conference he needed to attend for work.  Spouses were invited and I was assured I'd have a lovely time at The Cliff House.  Greg immediately had to check in to the conference while I checked into our room only to find this stunning view from our balcony!
I seriously considered plopping my bum down right there, pulling out my knitting and not doing another thing...But, it was a beautiful day and I decided I should probably get outside and really enjoy the ocean (after all it will be crazy cold before long in these parts).  As I first rambled down onto the rocks I felt twinges of "aw, the kids should be here, we could be having so much fun exploring all of this".  Then I sat down and just let my body relax for a minute.  How rare is this moment when I can sit by myself, completely undisturbed? Once I did pull out my knitting I knew this alone time could be very tolerable.

 After a few hours of knitting, walking along the shore and enjoying the sound of crashing waves I found my way to the spa for a wonderful massage (OK, a bit of guilt as the hubs was stuck inside listening to computer talk).  Oh but this is a lovely way for a mama to spend the day.
 After lunch with Greg over looking the ocean he had to go back inside and I had to find this lovely little gem of shop!
The Portsmouth Fabric Company was an absolute treat to visit.  Full of lovely fabrics, books and super friendly staff.  I may have left with some Anna Maria Horner fabric for Miss Molly.  It's Coreopsis in Coral, but really for all intensive purposes it's pink and orange...her current favorite color combo.

 The evening was a trade show that was goofy fun followed by a lovely dinner and some quite couple time (another true rarity).  The next morning had me back on the rocks listening to the waves with another craft project in my lap.  Look it may have been a mere overnight trip but Greg will tell you that when we go anywhere for more than an hour I pack enough projects to keep me and a small crowd busy for at least a week.  I say you never know what you'll be in the mood for.

 Our trip home was a blast, we took the "long cut" as we like to call it, avoiding the highways, found some yummy fish sandwiches and a glorious vintage Pyrex!  Oh yes, I could get used to this! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Perfect Day

For a journal writing assignment today I asked the kiddos to write about their perfect fall day; what it would involve, who would be there, be descriptive I said.  Of course this assignment made me think of what my perfect day would be (and also that I should have my own journal going).  As I walked around snapping photos it became obvious that I was in fact smack dab in the middle of a "perfect day".
There are pumpkins from our little garden (only 2 but they are gorgeous).
 The boy silently day dreams while he works on writing...How can one not day dream on such a beautiful day really?

 The hubs is taking a few Wednesdays off to get some projects finished up before the inevitable Maine cold is upon us and it is truly a joy to have him around.  He proudly sports the corduroy heart patch that I insisted on to make his pants last just a wee bit longer.   And though the kids are a bit distracted at the unusual sight of dad and during our school day we are loving it.

 I'm just giddy about the fall lettuce in one of the beds, and a few peas sprouting up.  I've never attempted fall peas and honestly don't know if it will work, but the idea is fun.

The sun was warm, the  September flowers are in bloom, my family is around me and busy working in and around our home...really I couldn't ask for a more perfect day.  I can't help but smile as I soak it all in.

What is your perfect fall day?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The First Trip to the Orchard

It's still a bit early for apple season to be full force, but we went for some early macs and empires this past weekend.  what a wonderful day.  I do love this time of year.  The rain held off on Saturday long enough for the first soccer game of the year, a lovely country drive that included purple potatoes, stunning river views and some Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on the radio.  I find that these drives make me feel so whole inside for some reason.  Greg and I laughing at talk radio, the kids sometimes listening, asking questions, Molly begging for the local pop station and all of us together.  I am complete.  

Funny how fast the apple picking goes now that these guys are bigger.  Everyone is very efficient, looking for the biggest best apples, quickly filling our bag.  Very no nonsense.  I found myself longing for and laughing a bit at the memories of toddlers, picking little unripe half eaten apples, spending 20 minutes looking at a blade of grass or a caterpillar.  Not this crowd, seems we were in and out of that orchard in no time.  Of course there were fresh cider donuts, and a quick swing for the boy before we headed home with 30 pounds of apples!
There will be crisp, pie, and of course apple sauce this week; and before we know it we'll be making a second trip to the orchard to fill our bags again.

Joining Amanda

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 7, 2012

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.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And We're Off

Hard to believe that we are moving through the month of September already.  It seems as though all of our summer fun whisked by in the blink of an eye.  I've got oh so many plans for fall though, after all it IS my favorite time of year by far.
We started school this week and it feels a bit crazy; we are off and running!
I was a bit unknowingly overzealous shall we say.  I dove right in to the deep end on these poor sweet kiddos.  "oh the first few math lessons are boring review? here jump right into the hard stuff after a few months off!"  Their little heads were spinning by the time dad got home last night.  Of course being the amazing papa that he is he seemed to make it all better...a little help with math and a little chat with mama about easing into things at the beginning a bit more gently.

So of course everyone is better today.  I'm feeling like the History Odyssey is going to be a fun way to learn about the middle ages for all of us.  Greg and the kids made a wonderful time line spanning from 400-1700 that the kiddos will be adding events to throughout the year.  There are art assignments, and my favorite actual literature.  The first book up for reading is The Door In the Wall, I'm excited about this one as I don't recall reading it as a child.  I've got it downloaded to their kindles and my laptop so we can all enjoy it.
I'm finding the kindle to be a wonderful tool for homeschooling.  They have a plethora of books on them as well as Internet access for research, a dictionary, thesaurus and so much more. 
I even have their science texts on the thing!  Free no less!  I'm so thrilled to have found this resource.  I've been hearing lots of good things about CPO science and that homeschoolers are finding it to be a very interactive engaging curriculum.  Then I found out that the CA version of their middle school science series (while put together a bit differently) is available for free here!  Whoa!  add that to all the free worksheets, slides and lecture materials on CPOs website and we are in business for the cost of some lab supplies!  For a science minded mama like myself this is very exciting.  I've been perusing the Home science tools website for equipment and supplies to go with what we already have.  We'll veer off a bit here and there to follow individual interests (I've made owl pellet dissection promises this year)but for the most part be following the Middle school Life Science curriculum.  I hope to make a regular post of our experiments. 
Of course there has still been plenty of crafting going on around here.  Molly has decided to take on quilting with mama;

As usual she's rocking it like any other creative endeavour she tackles.  I can't wait to see this finished product!  I've got the quilt top finished for my king quilt, but feeling a bit overwhelmed by it's size so it's on the back burner for a few weeks while I contemplate the long arm class.
There have also been some new little gnome homes popping up throughout the house.  We have a large bin of scrap wood from a friends woodworking business and the kids have found many uses for the odd little shapes (oh how I love the imagination of a child). 
So we have been busy and I've been away from the computer for a few days...How is school starting off for you?