Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

Visit Jen for more quick takes.



I'm on the last rounds of the red socks. Only another half inch or so until the ribbing is done on sock number 2 and I have new socks! I already picked out the next pattern-a Wendy Johnson freebie on her site called Rivulets socks. I've had them in my Ravelry favorites for awhile now and everytime I go through that list I have to stop to drool over them. Time to make them.


I read a great reminder over at soulemama about taking the time to recharge yourself so that you can better take care of the people you love. That particular thought has been on my mind all week long as I've been feeling stretched again. So Wednesday night I went to bed early and ditched the feeling that I should be using that time to knit or clean. Sometimes the extra sleep is so much more worth it.


Superman made it through his finals for this quarter! Now we just have to wait to see about those grades. He's taking 2 open-ended classes over the next week before he starts his last quarter. The end is really in sight! I think I need to pinch myself . . .


Ender asked earlier this week if he could have paper, scissors and glue for an anonymous project. He sat working intently for a long time and triumphantly shared a paper elephant with us awhile later. It's been sleeping in his room the last few days and is NOT to be photographed. Apparently, "elephant is scared of bright lights and just likes to be quiet." (Ender's words).


I have been reading this DIY furniture blog over the last few days. I can't believe how easy some of those projects look. Maybe something to attempt over the summer?


Ezra has been really focused on feelings lately, specifically happy and sad. All day long everything we do leads to Ezra announcing whether or not it makes him happy or sad. Last night, Ezra was half asleep as I was singing to him and he said, "Ezra happy for singin' with Mama" as he drifted off. I love the sweet little things my boys say.


Tomorrow is the big day for my sister! This is our last wedding for awhile. We finished up most everything in the last few days- I got to finish the veil a few nights ago, and everything that can be done is done. All we have to do now is have the wedding! C. (my sister) and J. will be living in NYC after they are married (his hometown) while they continue to raise support to go serve in Korea. They are very close to meeting their goal, and C. will start language school in just a few months (J. is Korean and already speaks, but C. has a lot to learn!). We are pouring our prayers onto their marriage and the beginning of their lives in service.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Daybook


Outside my window…

The temperature peeked above freezing for a little bit over the weekend and faked my daffodils into thinking they can come up. I truly hope there is no more snow so they really do have a chance.


I am thinking…

About spring menus and celebrations (4 anniversaries, 3 birthdays, and a variety of holidays) and changing up the house for a fresher look. Maybe this is some special disease I have, but I get a little itchy if I don't move the furniture around every once in awhile for something different.

I am thankful for…

Good books. Home Education, knitting, cooking, fiction . . . whatever I need can be found in a book.

Always Learning…

Our current explorations are still in space (with a heavy concentration on telescopes), and Ender just asked for the DK Eyewitness Elephant book, so that may be where we're headed next. Ender wrote a long page of K's yesterday for some reason, and he's been measuring everyone and everything again and writing down every measurement he comes up with.

Ezra has been crazy busy with his cutting basket. He asks to cut paper the second  his little eyes pop open in the morning. Scissors and a glue stick are his best friend lately (closely supervised of course!).

From the kitchen…

I'm still on a big soup kick lately. We had chicken gumbo last night . . . mmmmm . . . I think there will be gumbo leftovers for lunch!

I am wearing…

A jean skirt, red long sleeve t-shirt and black cardigan. Knee-high argyle socks because I love weird socks and the argyle stands out to Superman every time.

I am creating…

Spring spaces and book stacks- St. Patrick's day has it's own basket this year. Also, still knitting on the Talia vest and the red socks. I'm down to the last ankle, so hopefully I'll have finished socks by Friday's quick takes!

I am going…

to keep my focus. I know that may sound silly, but focus has been a big word around here lately. If I know what's going on before the boys get up our day goes a million times smoother.

I am reading…

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman. A lot of books about planets with the boys.

I am hoping…

For some time in my kitchen. I got to cook a bunch over the weekend and remembered how much I love it and miss it.

I am hearing…

The soundtrack to the Buffy musical Once More with Feeling. I'm such a geek.

Around the house…

I'm all too eagerly getting ready for spring. I may have pulled some spring-ish clothes out of storage for the boys and I've been sketching for spring sewing. The house got a bit of spring cleaning too- I just can't wait any longer!

One of my favorite things…

Caesar wraps. I've had one every day for lunch for the last few days. Tastes like spring.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .

Helping Superman get through finals (only one more quarter to go!!!), finishing the red socks, getting outside, clearing the desk so I have a shot at piecing quilt blocks that have been cut but not pieced for far too long.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Learning at Our House

Ready for something educational around here?

I know. Me too.

Thanks for tolerating all the knitting and list making around here lately. I promise it's a vital part of my educational philosophy and process.

I've posted here in the last few months about my thoughts on Kindergarten and the research I was doing to figure out what might best fit our family for our first "official" year next year. There are so many great things out there and I deeply appreciate the merits of Reggio Emilia, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and unschooling.

So I spent the end of 2009 reading and talking with my husband and praying over these decisions. But for the last 2 months I have put all the Kindergarten thoughts on hold quite purposefully and we've gone about our days. Partly because I needed to focus on this day and the things we are learning and doing now, but partly because that is how I work best. I read and research everything I can find and then I have to let it all sit in my mind for awhile.

So I knit and make other lists that help me feel productive while I let all that information stew.

I began journaling about it over the weekend for the first time since before Christmas and a lot of things that seemed so muddy in December seem very clear now. Brian and I spent part of our time this weekend talking about our goals for homeschooling and a general family philosophy since we both consider homeschooling a lifestyle rather than a portion of our day. I realized also that our current days have shifted into a really comfortable place as far as our "schooling" and that I want to hang on to it for our core.

Every day includes something with math concepts, something for Ender to use his reading skills, and something to write. We also read every day- on average a chapter from whatever read-aloud we're on, something from whatever subject Ender is interested in (outer space at the moment), and as many picture books as they'd like (always Sandra Boynton for Ezra right now. The boy LOVES those hippos!).

Our extras (science, history, geography and all the stuff you're supposed to have besides the three Rs) are by interest right now and I'm perfectly fine with keeping it that way for a long while. We've been reading the Magic Treehouse books a chapter or two at a time and several of them have non-fiction companions- we're on our second of the non-fiction books (Space) and Ender really loves them. Ender is also learning to use the non-fiction section of our library to find books he might like about different subjects and he's already figured out which publishers might have the best pictures in their books. This is the project-based/Reggio Emilia portion of our day. I take a step back during this time and we go wherever Ender wants to go. In the last two weeks it's brought us to learning about how a telescope works, who Galileo and Isaac Newton were, what gravity is, and how people dressed a few hundred years ago. I'm loving the conversations we're having lately, and he's doing a fine job directing himself.

The last two components to our days are time outside and time to make things. Of course time outside will be a bit easier when there is less ice hanging around, but even now we try to get out for at least a little bit. I look forward to being able to be out all morning or afternoon again when it warms a little bit more. Last summer we hit a great rhythm with having quiet afternoons with the making box and I hope a similar pattern will emerge again in its own way in the coming months when I will be home all day again.

So I suppose my little panic about what we "should" be doing has been quelled for now. My plan for when it bubbles up again? Reading through Ruth Beechick's books, Real Learning and looking back through our journey so far to remind myself of how much we have learned from playing checkers and card games and spending all day outside.
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