Thursday, September 24, 2009

Apple Fritters and Beethovan

Fall has arrived!!! And with the fall comes apples. Big, yummy, juicy apples. Our favorites this year are Jona Gold. They are a great eating apple and baking apple. For snacks they slice up nice and you can put p-nut butter on them too!

Today we decided to use some of our fall harvest to make Apple fritters. What a great way to savor the flavors and smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, apples and eat a yummy harvest treat.
Today's cooking was part of Ben's 3rd grade cooking main lessons. He reads the recipe and makes it with my supervision, then draws a picture of what was cooked, copies the recipe and then adds it to his own cookbook. By the end of this year he will have his own illustrated cookbook of recipe's and foods he has created. I am lucky! My boys love to cook. They are learning to chop, stir, measure, add fractions, and clean-up as they go and take care of their space after too. Practical skills!

As we made apple fritters, I turned on Beethoven so we can continue our composer study. we listened to the 6Th symphony as we stirred, chopped, peeled and cooked, and then enjoyed eating our yummy treat. Learning happens when an emotional connection is made. I know the connection was made for me today. The smells of fall, the beauty of the earth's bounty, the music in the background. This is what memories are made of, and today was a great memory maker for me. I hope the boys enjoyed it as much as I did!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Water color Paintings

I love the Freedom in our Homeschool Journey that our boys can paint. Water color seems to be the medium that eli loves the best and Flowers from around our farm is the subject he chooses. It is so wonderful to hear him exclaim when he sees a beautiful flower " Mom, I HAVE to paint that!" Many mornings before breakfast he is sketching or painting. When he wants to take a break from studies, he chooses to paint, draw or read. The path of homeschooling has given him the time to follow this passion of his, and it is a wonderful joy to watch his talents and enthusiasm unfold. This year he entered one of his paintings into the Rowan county fair, and took second place.

My Benjamin loves flowers too! But he likes to arrange them. He chose to enter 2 flower arrangements in the fair. His mixed flower arrangement came in 1st and his rose arrangement took 2nd. How cool is it that Boys can be supported in there passion of appreciating flowers!!! I am so glad it has remained intact and can be expressed in their beautiful spirits!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Plans for our school year

Well, Our homeschool start date for this fall is right around the corner. We wait until the beginning of September to enjoy the summer to it's fullest and get our fall garden going. This year is exciting with lots of fun things planned for the boys.

Eli will be doing 6th grade this year, Ben will be in 3rd grade and Gabe is.....4 and full of energy. This years main lesson blocks for Eli are, men of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Geometry, Physics, Minerology, Astronomy, and literature analysis.

We have started a new Co-op and are excited to be a part of HeartStones. Each wednesday we get to share in fellowship and learning as our children grow in the Lord together and learn in fun and creative ways inspired by the wisdom of Charlotte Mason.

Ben's lesson blocks are OldTestament stories, shelters, time, money and measurement, native american legends and stories, Farming and Fiber arts. We will be doing a lot of building and practical work in the garden and creating shelters, projects and hand on projects for this 3rd year.

For our bible study this year we will be using our Block on Old testament stories as a family throughout the year. We will create main lesson books to carry our study in scripture, and hebrew culture which give us our roots in Christianity.

Art, written narration, scripture and poetry will be included. Stay tuned for pictures. Literature and living books comprise a lot of our reading. Ben has just started the Hobbitt by J.R.R Tolkein and Eli is finishing his summer reading of Homer's odyssey and Hittite Warrior. He has just begun the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark twain for his Literature Analysis class in HeartStones.

I will be reading aloud several living books based on american history. Some for this year are Poor Richard, Abigail Adams, Johnny Tremain, George Washington's world, and Little house on the prarie books for our Third grade. We look forward to lots of reading ouside under the pecan trees to keep little Gabe busy and having fun and I am excited to have wednedsays with him in HeartStones where we can have time to read and play together.

Piano Lessons continue to inspire the boys to create their own music and have started a band with their best friends Luke and Jack. So far 2 videos have been made and tracks have been laid for some new tunes!! We attribute this creative endeavor to their lessons inSimply Music. It is by far the Best Program for learning music out there!!

Here's to a wonderful year!

Fall Garden Time

August is on it's way out and it's time to put in our fall garden. This year we are planting Kale, Red Russian Kale, Mixed Greens, Broccoli, Beets and onions to winter over. We love fresh greens from the garden and sautee them in onions, coconut oil and a sprinkle of mama garlic and sesame seeds. Yum!! Stay tuned for more recipes from our apples and pecans.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Grace is a free gift

I am completely and utterly bursting with gratitude!! Today was one of those days when everything flows and the abundance of God's grace and blessings is felt so deeply, that i am in utter awe of what a good God i have and what a great life i have been blessed with.

We started with amazing day with my 3 beautiful boys on the farm. We homeschool and the privilege of being home and caring for them and learning along side them is such a ride!! After i went for a morning run and was taken by the clouds and the surreal beauty of this spring day, we did our chores and then headed outside. We brought our school books and grabbed snacks and cushions and seated ourselves under the pecan trees. We spent time having bible study, then listening to poetry, reading about the apple tree for botany and the strawberry. Then read some Wizard of Earth Sea by Ursula LeGuin. The boys completed their cursive and printing work and their copy work and poetry memorization for the day all so smoothly. Then after lunch, we all took a nap. Got up and went strawberry picking.. Oh the joy of picking your own berries in may!! The boys were beside themselves with delight. Eating warm strawberries fresh from the vine is a memory like no other. They helped each other fill their baskets and talked about how the strawberry plant is a combination of the apple tree and the Rose bush.Nice to see they remembered something about our botany lesson from this morning. Eli is wanting to paint the strawberry plant and add it to his main lesson book. We grinned and ate berries and laughed and enjoyed being together. Then we packed up and went to panera for dinner. They got their favorites and as we sat down we offered up our thanks to the Lord who has blessed our day and our lives with each other and the amazing gifts we have been given.

How often do we really stop and think about the gifts here everyday for us. Just the simple gift of being home with the boys to see their joy and laughter in their exploration of their learning is amazing in itself. But to add to the joy and the bounty of the earth and the beauty of the sky and the day is just soul filling. It's hard not to want another and just stay present in this bliss!!
These are the days that remind me of why i homeschool, and why i have chosen the role of being a stay at home mom. Why i make bread from scratch, clean, garden, read and learn alongside my family.
This is what dreams are made of!! My Dreams, and God is soo Good!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Waken in me a Gratitude for My Life

Waken in me a Gratitude for My Life
Oh God, complete the work you have begun in me,
Release through me
a flow of mercy and gentleness that will bring
water where there is desert,
healing where there is hurt,
peace where there is violence,
beauty where there is ugliness,
justice where there is brokenness,
beginnings where there are dead-ends.
Waken in me
gratitude for my life,
love for every living thing,
joy in what is holy,
praise for you.
Renew my faith that your are God
beyond my grasp....but within my reach;
past my knowing....but within my searching.
O Keeper of Promises,
composer of grace
grant me
glee in my blood,
prayer in my heart,
trust at my core,
songs for my journey,
and a sense of your kingdom.
adapted from guerillas of grace by Ted Loder
I was so very fortunate to recieve this poem during my stay at the Well of Mercy. A big thank you to Sister Donna and Sister Bridget for sharing this with me.
I hope it fills your heart with joy and hope! All Good Wishes!