homeschooling, homemaking, homesteading...home.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Year in a Life












Happy Birthday, sweet baby J. That year went by way too fast.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Building, Making, Breaking

It was a busy week around here. Okay, they are ALL busy weeks, but this time I have taken the time to blog and have a few supercool pictures to punctuate my stories. ;)

First, I am a major Pinterest junkie. I spend WAY too much time on that site, and the only reason I am not twisted with guilt over that is that I usually do so on my Kindle Fire while nursing J. (I am all about multitasking. Word.) Anyway, a few days ago, I was browsing the pins and showed C this image of a hanging bridge

and commented that it looked cool and fun. The next day, he was busy with his tools all afternoon and finally unveiled this:

which, considering his experience level, materials, and the fact that he was winging it on his own with no outside help, is pretty amazing. What am I saying; it was pretty amazing regardless of those things. Personally, I have a great deal of trouble visualizing three-dimensional objects. I am forever sewing things together inside out because I can't foresee how things will fit together once they're flipped in orientation. But my kid can work from memory and make things that function properly. I am so in awe of the way that his mind works.

Later in the week, we had a big "highlight reel" moment: a mom-guided activity that was both educational and fun. I can thank Pinterest for this one as well; as I combined several sources to come up with a day of "absorption and diffusion". First we did a few experiments,

The various paint is not part of the experiment, but testament to how hard we use the crafting tablecloth. ;)
and then we put our observations to practice with an art project.

I even got in on the action and tricked out a onesie for Baby J.

We had a lot of fun. And it reinvigorated my enthusiasm for "we can *learn things* and *have fun* without the two being mutually exclusive. (I am all about efficiency wins.)

As for the "breaking" part of our week? Sigh. Baby J, who is just shy of his first birthday, broke his top incisors. He did not fall, although his status as a new and enthusiastic walker (youngest of our kids, too. Woo!) might lead to that assumption. Nope, my kid chipped both of his front teeth by *grinding them*. He's been doing that since they first came in, and finally wore them down enough to break them.
He has a snaggletooth grin now. And will until his permanent teeth arrive. I had our dentist look at them, and after her initial shock (always reassuring), she said that there's really not much she'd do unless he breaks them far enough to affect the nerves. The wearing-down of the edges will take a while since he isn't doing much in the way of biting/tearing food yet. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

You know how moms often lament about how they can't have anything nice (because of the kids)? Yeah. At this point I would have settled for "doesn't destroy own teeth". I have a feeling we're in for a fun ride with this one! LOL

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Break

So, this is the part where I acknowledge that I haven't blogged in ages and renew my commitment to posting more frequently.

In both the blogoverse and my personal history, this is usually followed by some sort of explanation/apology and maybe even a little musing on *why* I'm blogging anyway (is it purely for myself? do I want to attract a daily readership?) but really, it doesn't matter. Life gets busy. Anecdotes and pictures are a lot more fun. Let's get on with it.

An image-heavy, text-light recap of noteworthy experiences from the past few months:

We went to the Children's Museum for some hands-on fun.

We joined a homeschool playgroup and made some new friends.
J impresses his new lady friend. Oh yeah.

We went to the pool a few times,

and hung out at a few car cruises.

I swear there were actual "classic" cars involved. But come's frickin' BUMBLEBEE!! ;)
T completed another session of fencing (he's now taking a break from the sport).


 I'm so proud of him. He started in November, and by June had been promoted to the intermediate class and showed so much talent and ability. I'm torn on his current status. The truth of the matter is that when he signed up initially, I simply wanted to get him involved in any "activity": to meet people and brave a new experience. Done and done. I watched my wallflower child blossom into an engaged athlete. He became well-liked by both his instructors and his peers. His crippling shyness melted right away. This was a good experience. And he's young. And unlike signing up to play a season of a team sport, the lessons/practice of fencing has no set end-date; no natural break. He was getting burned out. All of that said, I support his decision to sit it out for a while (he's leaving it open-ended).

But the bleachers mother in me is bummed that I'm not still watching his famous surprise lunges and easy laughter with his opponents and just how HARD he worked, and happily. *sigh*

Wait, didn't I promise less text? Right. More pictures. Like of our first vacation in four years!


ohhhhh yeah, the BEACH!

We LOVE the beach!

Yay beach!
 Oh, which beach was it? KittyHawk. So it was an education adventure as well.
No, I swear. The kids were totally into the museum and we've read books about the Wright brothers since our return home. Hooray for history!!
I even managed to squeeze in a few bike rides

and believe it or not, I sewed a few things, too!

His "Ace Ventura" shirt. :)

And that should just about get us caught up. ;) I'll try to blog more soon. I hope your summer is full and happy!!