Sunday, June 13, 2010

Season of Plenty Begins

Well, it seems that the season of plenty has already happened upon us. As a family we went strawberry picking and came home with 7 pounds of strawberries. These did not last very long as they were eaten quite quickly. I was able to make a double batch of strawberry bread first though. Yum! I am planning on going back tomorrow and hopefully get 20 pounds to make jam with.

I have also been spending a lot of time out at "The Farm" as I have been calling it. Last winter we got hooked up with a local farm and since then we have been receiving our milk and meat from it. This spring they offered the ability to become a part of a CSA (community supported agriculture). Essentially, we paid them a lump sum at the beginning of the summer and for the next 18 weeks we receive a basket full of vegetables from their fields. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. But then... I was asked if I would be wiling to trade my time weeding for food. I gave a definite yes and have been immensely blessed.

I never thought that I would find so much joy in weeding, but I do. I get up early in the morning and make it to the farm by 8. It's not quite hot yet and all the birds are singing in the woods near the fields. It is so peacful and so rewarding. I love the feeling of looking down a long row of vegetables that I just freed from weeds. Plus, Amy (One of the owners) alsmost always sends me home with a basket full of excess vegetables. Last week it was radishes, this week it was mustard greens. Have you ever had radish top soup? It absolutely delicious. Greg had THREE helpings at dinner. We are slightly addicted to radishes in this house right now.

I have already processed strawberries, mustard greens, radishes and now have some baby spinach to blanch and freeze. Also my garden has produced its first peas. We go down every other day and harvest a good handful. There are flowers on my zucchini, tomatoes, green beans and peppers. I can tell my freezer is going to be quite full by the end of the summer and I may have to track down some more canning jars. I'm so excited and am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tot School

Well, I know many of you decided to stay with me because of my tot school posts, and I am finally able to start them again now that the camera has been found. The following pictures are from three weeks ago.

This first one is for you mom,

Its our first official "first day of school picture". Mom I can remember you dragging us outside on the first day of school and then proceeding to take a gazzilion pictures of us all the while our eyes are rolling and comments are dropped under our breathe....ahh, the good old times of childhood.

Now before you all start getting worried about me, I am aware of the fact this it is May and that most people are ending school. I am just starting a new phase of learning with both kids and this seemed like the perfect time. Elijah seems ready to start tot school while Esther is demanding more structured learning. So...hence the first day of school picture.

The rest of the pictures I am going to list with brief descriptions. If any of you would like more info about them, please feel free to ask, I just don't want to bore you with too much details if you aren't interested.

Sorting shells
Making flowers for the book "Plant a Rainbow"
Counting bean game. Pick a popsicle stick numbered 1-5 add that number of beans to your pile. At end count all your beans. The one with the most wins. Surprisingly Esther counted all the way to 22 on her own!
Seeing what happen when celery is put into colored water and drawing pictures in our science notebook
Peeling a carrot

Sadly, the only picture of Elijah is playing with blocks and touch and feel nursery rhyme cards.

Unfortunately this is when the camera went missing so there are no pictures of the next two weeks when we learned all about bears and did project with the books, going on a bear hunt and Jesse Bear What Will you Wear.

Michelle you did a great post about Jesse bear, so if any of you are interested go check hers out and just envision my kids in her pictures!

The next two weeks we are studying ladybugs so there should be lots to share.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The camera has been found!!

I don't know why but I really have an aversion to posting without pictures. Thankfully our camera has been found with all pictures safe and sound. So now to get updating you all on what has been going on. I think I will start with the cutest pictures.....

This past weekend, Esther had a dance recital. We had decided to take Esther to dance lessons during the winter. The purpose was to give her an outlet for all of her energy. Family, you know what I'm talking about. She can be quite a handful on certain days. Here she is in her costume in our front yard.
While taking pictures she became infatuated with looking for bugs, all while mom, (that's me) is frantically running araound trying to keep her costume clean.
Before the show she was backstage getting ready. She loved watching the older girls in their beautiful costumes.
Then came the time for the show. I would like to say that she stole the show with her beautiful dancing. Well... she did steal the show, by twirling. That's all she did. Twirl. Over and over and over again. The audience was laughing so hard that it encouraged her to do it even more. least she didn't run off the stage crying.

Here she is in mid twirl
Every once and a while she realized everyone else was doing the dance and she would join in for a few moments, then back to twirling she went!

It was a great day and Esther had lot's of fun. She is definitely not afraid of the stage!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anyone seen a camera?

Well, it seems that our camera has gone missing. I have been taking lots of pictures and I had been waiting for my husband to move the pictures onto the computer for me and when he was able to...the camera is gone. We have been doing some great school work as well as some great outdoor adventures, unfortunatley it would be no fun to share without pictures. So.. unitl we find our camera I have some other pictures to share. Taylor, my sister-in-law who is living with us currently, is a photographer. She just gave us some pictures that she had taken of the kids over the past few moths, so I thought I could at least share those.

Last bits of winter...

Playing with water....

Spring in the Arb (arboretum)....


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gone Private

Well, I did it. (I think) I am officially private. Please let me know if you are receiving my posts so that I know everything is working right.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today is the Day

Is it really Wednesday already!! Wow, time flies by when you're not looking. I will be putting my blog to private this evening. If you e-mailed me I tried to respond back to each one. I will make sure you all are added. After making the switch I will write a post. If you are unable to receive my post for some reason please feel free to e-mail me and I will try to fix it.

To the rest of you, its been fun and I am glad that we have been able to share this little part of our life with you.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tot school Catch up

As I was going through the pictures on my camera I realized that here were several that I took with intentions on blogging, but it never happened. So here, in no particular order is my catch up post.

Read the Gingerbread man and made one out of a paper bag.

Little man colored his own

Matching lowercase letters to uppercase letters

Putting bottle caps in an empty wipes container
Playing with the new island and lake landforms I made.

Playing with water

I also put together this fun play set using the North American Animal Toob, glass beads and rocks.

Esther has been extremely interested in sewing since I have had my machine out. As I sew, her job is to pull the pins out, which she loves. Sometimes I let her help me guide the fabric.

In honor of her interest in sewing I made her a swing box. It has needles, yarn, needle threader, hoop, and a piece of fabric that I punched holes in.

To say that she was excited would be an understatement!
Well, that's it for catch up. I'm leaving tomorrow for a women's conference. Hopefully I will get one more post before I go private. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hello World!

Well hey there. It's been a while. Life has been quite full and blessed. I hope the same is for you as well. I have been away for quite a while, I know. I've decided to make a change. I love to blog. I enjoy the creativity of writing my thoughts. I really enjoy the fact that it keeps a record of my time with my kids. I also know that this is the best way for my family to stay connected with us since we live so far away.

The down side has been the pressure i feel to blog every week and to make it a great post. I am fully aware that it is just my own mind putting this pressure on myself. But as those of you who have been with me for a while this has been a struggle I have had for a while and I just can't seem to overcome it. I don't want to give up the blog completely so....

I am going to make my blog private. This way I can still keep a record and share with my family, but there is no pressure.

What I will blog about will not change, although it may not be as frequently as I used to. (I will at least blog every month unlike the past few :) ) I will continue to show the activities I do with my children, as well as our outdoor adventures, which we have re-started. I also will continue to write about our change in lifestyle mostly to remind myself of the changes we have made.

If you are following me now and would like to continue to do so please let me know I will happily add you to my list. If you would like to continue to receive my post though a RSS feed I believe that you need subscribe by e-mail. I just added the button on my sidebar.

I will wait about a week and then I will go private. I have enjoyed my time sharing with you all, and maybe one day in the future when I have a better handle over my own emotions, I will go public again.

Blessings to you all.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quick Tid BIt

We've been busy as usual here, but I wanted to poke my head quickly into blog land to share this link with you. I just found the Educators Outlet and I am really excited about some of the things in their catalog. But the most exciting thing is the sale they are having now.

Their clearance is 80% off list price. Plus on top of that they are offering an additional 50% off until tomorrow(you will see this discount when you check out). The prices are unbelievable. You need to go. Even if you are not homeshcooling they have some great games and puzzles perfect for birthday gifts.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My First Sewn Outfit

This past weekend I was inspired by a bit of red, heart shaped lace. I decided to make a valentines day outfit for Esther. Here is how it came out...

I am not the best at sewing, but I think it came out pretty good. I used a pattern from JoAnn Fabrics for the top. And I made the pants out of the sleeves from a shirt of mine that had a hole in it. I just kind of took the sleeves and pinned them on her, then sewed them up and used elastic for the waste-band. I will definitely be making more of these shirts since it was so easy and it turned out really cute.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tot School - February 7, 2010

Tot School

Esther is 39 Months old
Since reading this post almost a year ago I have been wanting to do it, but was waiting until I had a good supply of buttons and I could find the book. I had ordered The Button Box from our library and it finally arrived. After reading the book I presented Esther with her very own box of buttons. To say she was excited would be an understatement.

The buttons I had bought at Michaels. They came all together in a bag and it cost $4.00

She spent time just looking through them, sorting them and playing with them.

Later in the week we used them for counting. I am sure they will be brought out again for many more learning adventures.

We also used our Kumon tracing Book for the first time. She loved it!! In fact I had to stop her after several pages so that she would be excited to do more the next day.

We had a guest with us one day so we all got to paint with kool aid

As well as play dress up for a tea party.
We learned about Daniel and lion's den and made this stuffed lion craft. I tried to take a nice picture but the lion was too busy drinking Esther's milk.
For our science time we learned all about out skin, why we sweat, and our fingerprints.

We also played with poker chips.

It has been a year since I first started Tot School and this blog, (Happy Birthday me!) and I can't believe that not once have I shared how much I LOVE poker chips! We use them for so many learning activities. For some reason my kids love the feel of the chips as well as the sound they make when they clink together.

This week Esther used poker chips to practice her shapes. I would start a shape for her and she would finish it.

She also practiced her patterning.

Little Man Elijah also has started joining us. Here he is with the very first Tot Tool I ever made.

I took a frosting container (any plastic container would work) and I cut a slit in the top. I used duct tape to cover any sharp edges. When you push the poker chip through the slit it makes a great clinking sound. Once they're all in you shake it for good measure, then open it up and start all over again. Both my kids love this toy and it occupies them for quite a while.

That was our week for Tot school to see what other are doing click the button below.
Tot School

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tot School - January

Tot School

Esther is 38 months old

Tot school is back in session after a very long break. We have been doing "school" of and on, but i just haven't been taking pictures or blogging about it. We went away for a vacation for an extended weekend, so our school time was a little short. We are finishing up using our winter themed activities since I am getting ready for valentines day.
Esther loves the Five Little Snow Man song, to see the original, click here.

She matched the letters in her name using clothespins with snowflake letters on them. The penguin alphabet came from here. (it is labeled as penguin letter sequence)

She also did this measuring activity from Walking By the Way

Esther loves to cut, especially using her Kumon Cutting book

I had picked up a textbook of art this past summer at a library book sale. Every week we pick a picture from it and talk about it.

For science time, We learned about our lungs. I have been using the Usborne Science activities books and I love them.

We made a lung using a soda bottle, balloon, plastic bag and tape. As you pull the bag (diaphragm) down it inflated the balloon (lung). It's actually quite cool!

We also tested to see our lung capacity, or how much air we have in our lungs. This was a big hit since it meant she could blow bubbles all she wanted in the water.

That was our week, to see what others did, click the button below.
Tot School