Tuesday, October 30, 2012


 beautiful autumn sunset
 baby Amelia- 1 day old and loved by many
 she is starting to play more and more on her own
 first fire of the season
 they were inspired to create more decorations 
 everyone helped cook dinner that night- unprompted!

I am pretty sure I will be cleaning up pumpkin for days

Well, Hurricane Sandy kept us from traveling up north as we had planned.  But another visit is on the calendar and hopefully, a snowstorm won't keep us away.  It was a good weekend anyways.  I like unplanned, relaxed weekends.  We have been so busy, it was great to not have to be anywhere.  I was able to visit my very good friend and her new baby, Amelia.  She is about the sweetest thing...so perfect as all babies are.  I am thrilled to be able to watch her grow up and into our little clan of small people (9 kids between the two of us!).  

It has been blustery, grey, and cold so we have been cozied up inside for the last couple of days.  We gathered some wood and lit the first fire of the season.  It doesn't really seem like fall until there is a fire in the fireplace.  We all tend to gravitate to the hearth throughout the day...reading, knitting, playing.  The kids are great at bringing in more wood and keeping it going.  A most welcomed "chore"!

I had to do a little bit of last minute planning for school this week.  Blake and I started a long, 6 week block on Ancient Civilizations today, starting with India.  Right away I can tell we are going to enjoy this block!  It will be a bit heavy on the writing which will be a bit of a push for Blake, but I know he can do it!  I will try and post some pictures along the way...he has come very far in his writing and drawing abilities since last year!

Tomorrow we will finish carving those dang pumpkins- did I mention 4 carving knives broke in the process!  We will hear more stories about Halloween, pumpkins and (not scary) witches.  We will enjoy a warming dinner and then the kids will finally be able to trick or treat.  I told them that when they come home, they need to ring the doorbell and I will give them candy.  For some reason, they thought this was hilarious!  Ah, my funny children.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A day in photos

 lessons on the front porch

 raking and tossing and digging and playing in the leaves
 carrot greens are so pretty
 tea and knitting outside- perfection
 admiring nature
 tents in the front yard?  Yes, please!
 he has been playing all day long for the last two days
 freehand map drawing is more difficult than we thought
 when the tents came down, the zip line went up, naturally

 the last of the maple leaves- seemingly overnight they are gone
 the bees are still busy about enjoying the sunflowers while they can
she is finding her courage once more

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Soccer and some other stuff

We have had an interesting soccer season thus far this year!  There was a stretch of weeks that seemed that it only rained on Monday and therefore, soccer was canceled.  I believe it was almost a month between soccer practice/games!  As you could imagine, the boys were really missing playing and their friends.  In an effort to make up the lost games, we are now going twice a week.  Thankfully, the weather has been cooperating and we are back in a regular rhythm.  While I do appreciate that all three boys play at once, which eliminates the dreaded overbooked schedule of practices and games eating up weekend time, it can be difficult to watch them all play.  I try to move about the fields and fingers crossed, I get to see some good plays :-)  Jacob and Blake are really into soccer and love it.  They play hard and have a desire to improve their skills.  I am not so sure how Parker feels about soccer.  He seems to have a strong interest in the beginning, but once they start their game, he sort of is just walking about the field in another world, ha ha.  We will see if he wants to play next year.  He has never really been my sporty guy, but wants to be like his brothers.  I am hoping he will find something that really interests HIM!

I also wanted to show a selection of work from the boys' last main lesson blocks.  Parker did really well with his letter block.  He enjoyed each and every one of the fairytales and couldn't wait to find the letters in the pictures!  He would ask at the end of our lesson time for a new story just so he could be introduced to another letter!  I call that success in my book.  He isn't so fond of form drawing, but we push through it as I have seen the benefits in my older boys.  Jacob also really enjoyed his Saints and Heroes block!  He too would ask for another story each day.  Some of the supporting activities including modeling, both from clay and beeswax, and watercolor painting.  While our official block for the year is done, we will come back and enter a few saints as we celebrate their associated holidays (Martin in Nov., Nicholas in Dec., etc.).  We have moved on to math, more practice with vertical problems and place value.  Just like his Daddy, math comes really easy for this guy!  And Blake is wrapping up his last week of North American geography.  We have been having a lot of fun with it.  He has been creating some amazing freehand maps of the different regions of the US.  We have also been doing some cooking, hearing different stories- both from the regions and tall tales, listening and learning poetry and some folk songs!  There is so much you could do with this block to really deepen the material, but our focus has been to get a general "feel" for how the regions vary and what it really means to live in that area.  In an idealic world, we would travel across the states....someday we will!  I have had the pleasure of visiting all of the regions except the northernmost NE states and the Pacific NW.  Talking about the areas is bringing back great memories of our family vacations from my childhood.

Today is a home day.  A welcomed rest in the middle of a very busy week!  On Saturday, we will pack up and head to NY and PA for a week.  It has been two years since we were last in New York and we are looking forward to spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.  When we get back, we will continue math with the younger boys and Blake and I will start our Ancient Civilizations block!  And it will be November!  I am really trying not to panic about the fact that Christmas will be here in two months. This mama has a long to-make list!

*once again blogger is acting up and I couldn't get a few pictures to load right.  They were the correct orientation before upload so I am not sure why blogger felt the need to rotate them!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Our weekend was full of fallish activity.  On Saturday we headed to a local family farm to visit with the animals, including 6 day old piglets (eeeek!), run through mazes, climb haybale mountains and shoot down slides and take a horse drawn carriage/hayride through their property.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect and we all had so much fun.  

Of course picking pumpkins inspired the kids to decorate for Halloween.  We tend to keep things pretty mild around here- webs with spiders are about the spookiest we get.  This year, I let the kids do all the decorating themselves and they did a fabulous job.  Just the right amount of "spook" :-)  We may add a few construction paper bats to the windows and leave it at that.  

The rest of the weekend was spent catching up on chores both indoors and out.  I know lots of people associate spring with decluttering and purging, but for some reason, fall always brings out that side of me.  So in between mopping floors and folding laundry, I also cleared out some clutter and tucked some things away in the attic.  It is always nice to start the week with a "clean slate"!

This week will be a busy one for us- soccer on two days, scouts (with two outings!), and a playdate with friends are scheduled.  We are also starting a new block in school for Parker and Jacob.  Parker has been waiting to get going with math and finally that time has come!  I am only hoping it will live up to his expectations.  

Hoping everyone had a wonderful weekend as well!