Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fun

Today started as a slow morning with everyone barely getting up and moving around convincingly before ten--we are blessed to have the privilege of that kind of morning from time to time since I don't have to ship kids out the door to school on someone else's schedule. I am thankful for that! Schooling at home has its own set of challenges--like rarely ever having a day "off"--but the advantages on days like today make me appreciate it all the more.

While we were waking up slowly I realized that humans weren't the only ones who felt like snuggling in a bit this morning. Noname found a warm place she liked.
One thing we did this morning was bake cookies--from scratch and without a recipe on hand. They are gingerbread-flavored but of a much more tender texture. The Redhead helped roll the dough into balls, press them down with a fork, and sprinkle sugar on top. They really ARE good, and will be extra special with a chai tea this afternoon!









A little before the cookies, C brought the cat in(yes, she is an outdoor cat)for a little pampering(or harrassment, I'm never sure how the cat interprets it).
Hmmm. Maybe she didn't mind TOO much!
Isn't she lovely in her new sweater C made? Pink is definitely her color!
A little while later the skies colored over and it began to rain. Not drizzle or sprinkle, but RAIN. For some reason I was not content to stay inside and watch. Since there was no lightning I went to the front porch to take it in.
Water was really gushing from the downspout. I loved the beaded drops on the yucca.


The fish pond was so pretty with the raindrops falling. Oops! I need to right that overturned pot. Apparently the water lily pot slipped off and didn't need it for support after all.
I am sure the pond's new inhabitants enjoyed the rain, too, though I haven't seen them since C introduced them to their new home this morning.


My garlic chives are blooming now--that is new this morning.


The tiny purple flowers on the porch have almost bloomed themselves out, but one was smiling in the rain.




I turned around and was so excited!!!!! Out by the front fence, here's what I saw:


While my Mamaw had another term for these lovely flowers, I will just call them Spider Lilies. These lovely ladies are a true harbinger of autumn. I was so glad to see three slim sisterly stems coming up in my bulb bed. I wasn't sure they would make it to blossom this year since their transplant last spring.
And more pretty flowers. . .
Everything appeared so happy for the rain, and I was happier after scampering around enjoying it all. Truly, "showers of blessing" to end this long, busy week.
Have a blessed weekend!
~april

Fourteen on Friday

Here goes again! Hard to believe it's already been a week since the last fourteen--so busy this week, time has just flown! Here goes--fourteen random-association Ds. . .

1. Dunlap. Self-explanatory.
2. Dictator--what the Redhead thinks she is today. GRUMPY BOSSY GIRL!
3. Donuts. Mmmm. Can't eat those anymore but Sam's here in our town makes the BEST.
4. Dad. Today is his birthday--happy, happy birthday Dad!!!!! I love you!!!!!
5. Dipped cones--as in ice cream. My mom LOVES them. ;-)
6. Desserts--my friend Alli is the BEST dessert chef I know.
7. Desserts spelled backward is "stressed". Hey, this is a RANDOM list.
8,9. Doritos and Dr. Pepper were a favorite school-bus breakfast of one of my friends in high school--UGH!
10. Dolls. They are taking over my table today since the "photo studio" is in operation. My girls love to set up scenes and pose the dolls like a magazine shoot.
11,12,13. Dinner, "What is it?" The question I DESPISE DAILY, especially when I have not planned for it. Today it is GUMBO that I started yesterday morning. It will be MMM, mmmm GOOD.
14. Done! Wow, already! See ya later!

Friday, September 11, 2009

fourteen on friday

The letter C!!!! sorry for skipping last week--here we go!

1. Catherine. A young lady close to my heart.
2. Chicago--the city my girls most want to visit because of American Girl Place.
3. Cubs--baseball team my husband likes; also in Chicago. . . .today they are playing
4.Cincinnati, favorite baseball team of Kit, the American girl. I am surprised my Redhead isn't in there with her Kit doll cheering for someone; she's our
5.Cheerleader. In the blood, somehow.
6. Coffee--need it NOW to make me stay awake till time for sleeping.
7. Chocolate--would be best with #6 right now.
8. Cheese--my kids' favorite food. The amount of cheese my family eats a week is HORRID.
9.Conniption--I will have one if the resident fruit fly doesn't go away SOON.
10.Cornbread. . . . like it NOT sweet!
11.Celery. My daughter's favorite breakfast food.
12. Cereal. Speaking of breakfast, I would PAY my family to eat it regularly, but they won't!
13. Co-op--a word that needs a good synonym.
14.Constitution of the U.S.A. I wish our government leaders would read and respect it!

That was surprisingly difficult. Today is a misty, moist, moody, gray day here in S. Louisiana. Makes for odd associations and a wee bit of cabin fever(hey! that's a C too!).

Hope you have a great weekend!!!!
~april

Friday, September 4, 2009

bird bath!

Oh dear. Sometimes the most amusing things happen amid the mundane tasks of life. A couple of days ago Noname was inside enjoying sitting on a perch near the sink while I loaded dishes into the dishwasher. It only took a moment before she had an idea of her own, and here's what ensued:



A favorite blue and white cereal bowl was a perfect bathtub!


Splish, splash! I was thankful the dishes nearby were already DIRTY!


All clean! Nothing uglier than a wet bird!





This was today; she was sitting happily admiring the doll-size teaset behind her. I think she likes my "pretties" too!
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
~april

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where learning takes place . . . .

We homeschool. That is to say, we have taken as a gift the opportunity to allow our children to learn in the most natural environment, in the ways that best fit each of them, on a daily basis. That environment is usually our home; the ways, well, are as different as each child on each day--to illustrate this point, I grabbed the camera today as "school" was happening, thinking maybe I would capture a few moments.


The Redhead was playing dollhouse--with the animal counters. The chickens and "chicklets"(ahem!!! I had to correct that, after we all cracked up hysterically!!!!)were climbing the stairs--later they were followed by the wolves and the cows; she said there was a line for the bathroom. . . .IMAGINATION! LOL.







The boy was playing with the Math blocks and Legos. He built this house--do you see Indiana Jones on the roof? More imagination at work--as well as fine-motor skill development and understanding of spatial relationships. . .He later joined the Redhead in the animal drama at the dollhouse.


The story at the dollhouse today involves pretending there is an animal "orphanage"/ shelter during a hurricane--trying to keep everyone safe. As I type this the animals are heading back down the stairs in a VERY orderly fashion--everyone knows that during strong winds the lower floor is safest. I suppose the dollhouse is not in a flood-prone area. Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Gustav which blew through our area--that day last year contrasted with the weather this year is truly remarkable.

J was having fun with Math on the computer while snuggling her bear, Sweetie.



C has a cold today but has been busy--she is producing a wonderful Impressionistic masterpiece with CRAYONS. I was amazed at the detail.











All this and we've hardly touched a worksheet today. That will come this afternoon, as needed.

What's your favorite "educational" activity? I think a large part of the joy in homeschooling is that I get to continue learning, too. The idea of "life-long learners" is bandied about quite a bit in the world of "professional" education, but I contend that children who are constantly in an artificial environment with pre-packaged ideas and scripted lessons will likely develop a mentality that learning is something to be done in a certain place, at certain times, and for a certain period of their lives. I know TOO MANY adults who are perfectly content to have "finished" school, and who don't enjoy reading or creating or THINKING. This is not a picture of one who LOVES to learn. . . .



That is one of my many hopes for these children, here. May they love to learn, may they love to love--each other, their friends, and their Creator, and may they have much practice at BOTH when their time in our little "school" is done.


Until then, let the Legos roam free, while the chickens toilet-train in the dollhouse bathroom. Let the teddy bears learn long division and let the budding artist draw flowers or read Mark Twain till midnight, at least a couple of nights a week!


They are only children once.


And may we all keep a bit of the wonder and joy of discovery that childhood embodies with US in our grown-up days.


Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them". Ecclesiastes 12:1


Happy Learning!!!!


~april