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!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A "Springy" Kind of Day

The vernal equinox came and went with a good old fashioned Nor'easter last week.  We got about  a foot of snow to celebrate this mighty day when the earth's axis points neither toward nor away from the sun. I'm pretty sure last year we were experiencing an early, warm spring while this year it seems to be taking it's sweet time.
Ah, but today...the sun was warm, so warm I pulled out a chair and sat on the deck knitting while the kids busied themselves with the beginnings of a tree fort.

 Lucky for my little early riser the neighbors didn't mind his banging one bit.  We've been looking through our books for a couple weeks now.  We really like Tree Houses You Can Actually Build and Handy Dad for lots of useful information.  I also scored this book at a book sale last summer and It is so fun!  The author weaves the story of his own childhood adventures of building a tree house (among other things) while giving directions on how to do it yourself.  The idea of a tree house has been in the plans for some time now, but now that the monkeys are a bit older they can really take part.

A nesting bird has been discovered (can you see her hiding?) and Corey is looking forward to tracking it's progress (I think she's sitting on eggs) daily. We're still trying to figure out just what kind of bird so we'll keep you posted...oh how I love homeschooling.

 This day has been splendid, for the first time I feel spring in the air and I'm ready to be outside all the time.  Well, almost all the time.  As I write the sun has gone in and I am warming my bones next to the fire.  But it has been a most "springy" kind of day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In Our Living Room

I like the living room.  I went through a phase where I wanted to call it the family room, or the parlor, the hip phrase I hear lately is the great room.  But this room whatever you wish to call it has some serious living going on at all times!

 Last night I truly enjoyed watching some music lessons happen.  We are all so fortunate to have this wonderful papa in our lives.  After a full day of work at the office on Mondays he heads strait to band practice, then comes home and is still happy to give a lesson to some anxiously waiting children!  I just sat here, enjoying the warmth of the wood stove and breathed in every smile, giggle, and cord I could...there is nothing quite like it. 


Looking around the room, clearly the animals don't care one way or the other, a simple fire in the wood stove and family around is enough to make them...well fall asleep...sign of a truly content pet I'm assuming?

Of course there is always a changing display of artwork, right now there seems to be a dragon theme, I'm sure you can guess who is into this right now.
And here again this morning as I was thinking about a blog post we are again in our usual spots.  Kids in front of the fire doing schoolwork, cat sleeping in the chair, and me breathing all this life in, enjoying every last bit. 
Soon the seasons will shift as will our "living space" to outside but for now; I like it here in our living room.
Whats going on in yours?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Looking Back on the Week

It seems I can't post more than once a week lately, but know that I think about it often. 
 Have you seen this wizard?  This was a joint effort between Molly and I.  She learned how to freezer paper stencil over at Dragonfly Farm and now we are hooked!  What a fun easy way to dress up anything.  Being huge Harry Potter fans in this house Molly found this on line and we had to make a pillow for the couch.
Then I decided a foxy pillow was in order.  I'm super in love with this one.
Molly is in the midst of getting a new pet (more on that to come), Greg and I have been really impressed with her determination.  She has done all the research and has been saving her own money to make this craziness happen.  She spent a good portion of the day yesterday assembling the cage without a bit of help as she really wants this to be all her.  You go girl!
 Of course we've got to fit some school work in as well.  Have I mentioned how much I love their kindle fires?  A christmas gift from their special Tita last year and it's fantastic for school.  See it right here next to him on the bed?  He's looking at the vocabulary in his science textbook that is on the kindle!  Don't get me wrong, I love me a good paper book but for some of our school work that little tablet has been amazing.

 Of course we've always got time for our little friends.  I think we all enjoy our day with the littles, there is so much to discover and learn.  I think Corey especially loves playing in that magical world that children live in for so long.
My niece spent a lot of time looking at the world through binoculars yesterday!  I'm not sure she saw anything in focus, but she was indeed a happy little lady.

We were blessed with a quick weekend visit from a very special grandma last weekend.  It worked out perfectly as Molly had her best gymnastics meet of the season and is now going to regionals!  Loud applause...

And finally Greg finished his album for the RPM challenge! It's amazing, you can listen and download it for free here...I do love that man of mine.

I'm heading into a busy work weekend and hoping a dear friend goes into labor while I'm there. Also hoping to find time to see both my boys play an open mic night in Damariscotta.
Have a great weekend! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

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!
{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.
- See more at:
{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.
- See more at:
{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.
- See more at:
{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.
- See more at:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Making and Doing

It seems we can't sit still around here these days.  If you do find any one of us in the same place for a few minutes there is a good chance some sort of creativity is going on.

One of Corey's big projects lately has involved trips to Goodwill to purchase old answering machines and the like.  He's got two new books: Robotics and Unscrewed.  The first is a how-to for making robots about of recycled electronics, the second is all about taking apart and salvaging parts from old electronics safely.  He hasn't made a robot yet, but he is learning so much about the way things work.  I am excited to see what he finally comes up with...
Molly on the other hand has been expressing her opinions on t-shirts.  She recently learned how to do freezer paper stencils with our dear friend at Dragon Fly Farm.  There have been a few t-shirts made but this one is my favorite.  Molly has been a vegetarian since she was about 7 and hasn't really wavered one bit.  This particular t-shirt was made for her and she also made one for the grumpy farmer himself to wear while he's caring for the pigs he raises for us and lots of other folks.  He does give those pigs lots of love, which in my opinion results in some of the best pork I've ever had and we will continue to eat meat much to our sweet girl's dismay.

Greg has been spending every spare moment recording an album for the RPM challenge.  Musicians are challenged to write and record an entire album in one month.  He has been doing great, hopefully I can post a link to some of the songs soon as they really are quite good.  Oh this man of mine is talented indeed!

As for me, I haven't been super creative lately...maybe that would explain my somewhat grumpy mood.  Between school and recent burst pipe that has resulted in a relocation of the craffice I just haven't had the time.  I did recently decide it was time to finish the quilt I started for Greg and I last year.  While I love Amy Butler Lark I am doing the backing with some solid cottons that were a bit friendlier to my wallet.  Hopefully I'll be finishing that over the next few weeks and not just talking about it.
We are all looking forward to spring around here.  Though I'd like to get one more snow shoe in before all the snow is gone I am feeling an itch to dig in the garden.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Beach in Winter

Last week right before our big blizzard hit the kids and I took a short trip to the beach.  We were in search of some specimens for microscope viewing.  Boy oh boy it was cold, the trip was quick and there was lots of running and jumping to stay warm.  It's amazing how beautiful our ocean is even in the bitter cold. Even so, I  am more than ready for spring...a bit soon I know but I've got gardening on my mind.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Science Lab

I've been away from this space a lot, and though I've thought of it often I haven't found my way back nearly enough. It feels that since we've come back from the rush of the holidays finding a good school rhythm has been anything but easy for any of us.  Finally, in the last week or so; I dare say things are falling into place.  Part of the predicament (this whole school year in general) has been finding curriculum that we are happy with that is at the appropriate level for each child.  Along with this is my continued wavering somewhere between a solid classical education and complete and total unschooling...a bit extreme I know but some days I stand on either side of that proverbial fence.
One thing that is clear is that we all really like science...A week with a science lab (or two) is a good week.  It seems that getting through a math lesson is that much easier when kids know a microscope is coming next.  The CPO Focus on Life Science text and investigation workbook have been a super find for us.  I know I mentioned them at the beginning of the school year but now being in the middle of it I can say I'm quite happy with the curriculum.  It takes a bit of creativity sometimes as it is a school based curriculum and the chapters of the California text available on line are lined up differently; but it is  thorough, engaging and full of extra activities.  There is a plethora of teaching material available for free on their website (another bonus).

Some of the supplies we have gotten from Home Science Tools they are reasonably priced and ship fairly quickly.  Other times I have changed things around a bit,  In the beginning of the year there was a lab with a marble launcher (very expensive for two homeschoolers and one lab experiment).  Luckily I was able to find directions on line to build one with a few things from the plumbing department at our local hardware store for around $5.00!  So presto, just like that we had to labs in one, as you can imagine building it was just as fun as the experiment.
Now we are in the thick of cell biology and really having a blast.  Who knew looking at your own cheek cells could be such fun. 
We've got some live protozoa coming next week to view under the microscope before moving into some genetics and then evolution (something I'm especially looking forward to).

What do other folks use for a science curriculum?  Are you having fun?  I'd love to hear about it.