Monday, July 30, 2012

We've Been Painting Again!

Painting is so fun when one is young.  I can remember many happy times sitting at my mom's table with good old-fashioned watercolors or paint with water books.  I also loved Friday's at school because the afternoons were always set aside for art.  Well here at the Middle of Somewhere, our art experiences are not that regimented but rather done in spurts.  We have been on a painting spurt of late.  Some of you may remember my last painting post where I suggested that summer is a great time to paint because it can be done outdoors where the mess can be less.  Let's take a look at our first painting indulgence shall we?

A good crawl through the paint is always fun!

Yes, we painted with our feet and hands.

Didn't I just say that the mess is less outdoors?  I was wrong.  A good portion of the driveway had paint all over it but luckily it all came off very easily with water.

Now for paint day #2 I made some watercolors from my pinterest board.  E did not join us but the others had a great time and the mess was way less.

Do you think we have enough water there to rinse our brushes?

And painting day #3 was little Miss. K all by herself.  She spent a good hour and a half out on the patio fully engaged in her art.  She pulled out all the paints, paper and brushes on her own and explored to her heart's content.  Sometimes having a mom that can just let go and let them have at it is what they need.  I say this because letting go is not easy for me; they might make a mess, use up all the paint or worse, make a mess for me to clean up.  Seeing my little girl happily working outside was such a blessing. And yes, much of our paint is gone but it is a scene that I will relish for many days ahead.

Isn't summer happy?

It's Montessori Monday--go visit Living Montessori Now to learn more.

Friday, July 27, 2012

25 Things About Me #3

1. I just finished P90X day 5 this morning, some of the soreness has worn off.
2. Jay and I are officially signed up for the Tough Mudder.  It is at Northstar on Sept. 23rd.
3. I had a great week with the children.  Little conflict and impatience.
4. Just completed a biblical word study on wife, wives, helper and bride.
5. I want to do a word study on joy, parents, mothers, women and daughters.
6. We are hosting a 5 Day Bible Club at our house next week.
7. I am studying up on more plant based recipes to incorporate into our menu.
8. A swimsuit use to be my favorite article of clothing.(Have I said that before?)
9. I love early morning walks.
10. I have been enjoying afternoons on our patio reading.
11. I want more mornings on the patio.
12.  Morning is my favorite time of the day.
11.  Jay is making egg crepes for breakfast this morning and I am patiently waiting.
12.  I want to coach others in health and fitness.
13.  I finished 1 project this week and before the day is over it maybe 2.
14.  What typically takes a woman without children in the house all day, one day to complete, takes me 5.
15.  I successfully let a peanut butter cookie craving pass me by and instead drank a Chocolate Shakeology.
16.  I wish I was going backbacking again SOON but camping will have to do.
17.  I need to make some granola.
18.  I am looking forward to reorganizing a few kitchen cabinets in order to make a smoothie station, we      make them daily.
19. I need to clean the carpets.
20.  Praising God that Hubs is so busy with work for the first time in 5 years.
21.  Soaking up all of summer.
22.  I really, really don't like cold water and the Tough Mudder involves a lot of it!
23. Just started reading The Winning Attitude by John Maxwell with Hubs.  I'd like to read one book a season together.
24. Still waiting for those crepes to appear.
25. Thanking the Lord for these people:

Father's Day Picnic

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Reluctant Reader Has Arrived!

Our son, A, has been able to read small 3 letter words since age 3 but has shown very little interest in anything to do with reading a book.  A year ago, as A and I were working our way through Collection 1 of the Bob Books it was excruciating for both he and I (think gouge your eyes out here).  After much coaxing and frustration I put the books away.  It was hard to do because I really felt that in 2nd grade A should be reading books but it was so difficult and unenjoyable that I just had too.  So in December we started using this book for twice weekly treasure hunts.  We also started working our way through a very old book called Frisky Phonics Fun 1.  The book was full of "funsheets" (that is what we call worksheets at our house) and printable games and we did one unit per week.  In mid May we took a six week break from lessons until our summer term which began 3 weeks ago. Now every time A picks his language work he picks reading a book and often asks to read more than one.  A is currently reading Meet the Sight Words Level 3. What a blessing it has been to just give A more time, that was all he needed.

So now this picture is strange, isn't it?  At least my husband thought so but there is a story, a reading story.

One night I was cleaning up dinner in the kitchen and A was my helper, everyone else was upstairs getting ready for bed when he picked up the box he is holding in the above picture.  He asked me "Mom what does this say?" and he started spelling the word office to me.  I said "why don't you try to figure it out."  He was silent for a few moments and then blurted out "OFFICE!"  I couldn't believe it, I was amazed.  We have never gone over the sound of C as an S.  It gets better, he didn't stop there.  He asked me what the next word said and I said "try it."  I didn't think he could get it, but guess what?  After a few moments, he was silent and then blurted out "STANDARD!"  That's right my little reluctant reader just read the word standard.  I was absolutely amazed at what he had been hiding within himself.  I think A was as equally amazed by my reaction.  "Mom, why are you making such a big deal about this?"  is what A said, never mind the absolutely huge smile from ear to ear on his face.  So that is why my boy is posing for that strange picture up there.

The Montessori Pink and Blue Series have been a tool to our reading work but I had to ignore all the wonderful blogs that show everyone's 3 and 4 year olds using and mastering these works while my 6, 7, 8 year old had not.  In homeschooling there is always the feeling that we should be keeping up with mainstream education but one of the reasons our family home educates is so that we can have an education tailored to the child and that is one of the reasons that we also love Montessori.  Don't be afraid to follow the child.  He may be temporarily "behind" but in the end use wisdom and he will succeed beyond where you can push.

Other resources we have used in our reading pursuits have been:

Snap It Up Word Families--this has been one of A's favorites, I think because it takes his building and creating gifts and uses them to build words with cards.

Take It To Your Seat Phonics 1-2

Take It To Your Seat Phonics 2-3

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

I'm linking up with Montessori Monday.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daybook--the Backpack Edition

We returned home late Sunday night from a 5 day backpacking trip so I thought it would be fun to give a Daybook of our adventure.  This was our first time packing and I pray it won't be the last, I seriously think I could live out in the back country or at least become addicted to it.

What I Was Wearing:
Exercise skirt, a tank top, a t-shirt, a hat or bandana (a first for me), washed out undies and socks.  Fleece pants, a borrowed long sleeve shirt and a borrowed down jacket for the night. What? Did I smell good?--NO, but the washing out made the clothing bareable.

What I Was Hearing:
Wind, babbling brooks, happy birds and the sound of crunchie pebbles under my shoes.

From the Bear Bin:
Well, we actually brought so much food  that it did not all fit in the bin and we had to sleep with some of it  it double bagged inside a stuff sack inside my backpack which was inside our tent.  And the answer is, no, the bear did not smell any of our food, or toiletries for that matter.  Oh, what did we eat?  Turkey jerky, dried mangoes, prunes (for ya know), mixed nuts, candied nuts, granola, dried nonfat milk, peanut flower, coconut oil, a few taffy cookies, a few flavored tootsie rolls, Cliff Bars, a lot of BeachBody Results and Recovery Drink and Shakeology.  We did not cook and I did not regret that one bit, the total break from the norm and no clean up were a treat.  However, if you know me, I really enjoy a big cup of tea and backpacking was no exception.  Our friends who we were hiking with, let us use their Jet Boil stove so we had tea in the mornings and evenings.

All of our water bottles, ready for filtering, Shakeology shaker cup included.

Jay searching for the perfect bear bin spot for the night.

From the Prayer Closet:
Lots of marveling at our Lord's creation and quiet prayers about the issues of life.
Hoover Wilderness, Barney Lake

From the Learning Loft:
Things are quiet as we were not home but it was exciting to see our learning in action.  When we arrived at my parents, who were taking charge of our children during our adventure, the children immediately went to the Oak trees and found oak apples and remnants of Gall Flies that we had studied the week before.

As for me, out on the trail, I was so wishing I had brought a field guide to look at each evening and learn the names of the plants, flowers, trees and insects in our surroundings.

From the Gym:
A lot of sweating,  walking and climbing of course.

Plans for the Weekend:
A hike on Friday with a friend, helping another friend set up flowers at a wedding, laundry, lesson plans, church and some family fun.


Go here to see what  Hubs' has been up to in his Coach's Corner.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Daybook--Early July

I am Wearing:
My workout clothes, it is early and I am heading out for a run after this post.

I am Listening to:
Silence, beautiful silence, everyone is still asleep.

Around the House:
I still need to take down our Spring decor.  I've been cleaning bathrooms, trying to keep up on the kitchen floor, laundry and packing today.

In the Kitchen:
Made a rendition of Ina's Flattened Chicken and also her cheesecake for Jay's birthday and the Pioneer Woman's Carmel Sauce to go on top. The Flattened chicken is so flavorful and moist on the grill.  Also, roasting a whole chicken is quite a savings compared to boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I know whole chickens were on sale last week at our Safeway for .88$ a pound--I stock up when they are a dollar or less per pound.

In the Learning Loft:
We started back to lessons this week and it feels good.  We also started a new system of organizing the children's work.  We are trying canvas totes instead of workboxes, for better portability.  I am still trying to decide if we should go back to each child having a fully stocked pencil box or keep the community caddy in the loft.  I also got a chance to rearrange a few shelves in the loft with more to do.

In the Gym:
We revisited some classics this week--Power 90, Sculpt 1-2 and Ab 200 on Monday.  Cardio X on Tuesday. Fountain of Youth Yoga on Wednesday. Good old fashioned push-up, pull-ups and chair dips on Thursday and I'm doing the same this morning.  I have also enjoyed running everyday this week.

On the Blog:
My energies have been so focused on lessons, child training and getting ready for our family trip to my parents and backpacking that much is not going on here.  We will be out of town backpacking next week so there will be no postings.  I hope when we get back to return to a weekly Montessori post, this daybook post and a recipe post , so please hang on while we soak up the sun and outdoors.

A Picture to Share:
Down by the crik!!!

Looking Ahead:
Lessons,  cleaning, laundry, packing and driving!!!!

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.