Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow And Ice

That means snowball fights and a snow tower and snow cream and mama taking pictures. It means squawking chickens that would prefer no snow at all and a quiet time with circles and a rowdy time with toy cars. And it means more birds - bluebirds, robins, starlings, sparrows, mockingbirds, and cardinals. So here you go.

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Each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . a picture
which was never before and shall never be seen again.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Quiet Day. And Snow.

We had a quiet day at home today, mostly just being together.
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Trying to keep Zahana's feet on the ground was a challenge today. Climbing and jumping is just what she does.
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We finally made a simple little craft I've been looking forward to since last winter. I think I found this on The Crafty Crow, but I can't find it now. All you need is floss and round white stickers which come in packs for labeling.
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Cut the floss to the length of your window or whatever space you'll be hanging it in. Sandwich the floss between two stickers. It made it easier for Zahana if I held the floss for her.
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I love the way this looks hanging in the window. Larkin spaced his stickers a lot closer and hung a string up in his room like garland.
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Miah started making herself a skirt. She didn't ask for help, so I let her go at it.
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Larkin helped change the brake pads on the van.
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Zahana played with the camera.
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Rohan ate snow.
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And I ate turnips au gratin.
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The snow started falling, and I took the camera out in the fading light for a few pictures.
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"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem."
- William Hamilton Gibson

Wednesday's Winner

. . . was not Zahana.
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She thought she could fly and found out differently. Cracked her skull down to her eye bone. Thankfully, she didn't have to have surgery. We are home from the hospital now and she's doing fine.
"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 89:1

Now for the winner. This morning Larkin drew a number out of a hat, and the giveaway winner is . . . . . . . . .

GardenMama!

Congratulations, and I'll be sending your package out shortly.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Well. It's January.

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January has been weird. Last January, the cold cloudy days produced good school time -lots and lots of it. But this January, it's been a struggle to do anything productive. . . or interesting enough to blog about. For one thing, my homeschool readings, rather than inspire and motivate as usual, induced a ridiculous paralysis and fear of doing everything wrong. But I'm getting over it.
Another thing is naptime. Naptime has always been a time for quiet studiousness, effective one-on-one teaching, and long peaceful read-aloud sessions. But now Zahana is no longer napping. I have to say it's been a lot better than I expected. She has done really well at playing quietly, especially for her age and especially for a girl who loves to talk. But still, it has taken some getting used to.
Today for example, I was reading to the kids on the couch and suddenly realized Zahana was not sitting with us. "Zahana, what are you doing?" I called. "Eating," came the muffled reply from the kitchen. "Eating what?" "Sugar," she replied in a voice that suggested eating sugar was what we always do while reading books together.
And then there has been the change in Jeremiah's schedule, which will be a really good thing once I get into the rhythm. But it's taking me a while.
Plus, I can't take good pictures with all this cloudy weather and all these short days. Blah!
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So the events that have taken place in the midst of these January doldrums have been less than exciting. Nevertheless, there have been events.
For example. . .
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. . . playing with fire. Ooooh!

Phonics card games, math workbooks, playing with blocks, and stopping to watch the snow fall. Exciting stuff.
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A trip to Cades Cove.
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One night we roasted hot dogs on the fire and saw this moon ring caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere.
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Then today I lost my marbles amidst all the ho-hum. It began innocently enough. We recently learned about the Gutenberg press on our timeline and I checked out a book called "Printing" at the library. I told Miah to pick a project out of it. She chose to do the thing where you paint on a piece of paper and fold it in half. We've done it a million times.
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I said, "Hey, let's try this one where you make stamps out of clay."
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Then Larkin decided to use his hand to make prints. We're getting closer to the edge here.
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And here's where we step off.
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While I was busy painting bellies, Larkin was running around hanging his paintings all over the walls. "What day is it?!" he asked excitedly.
"Tuesday."
"Tuesdays are going to be art days! We're going to do lots of art every Tuesday!"
Jeremiah walked in from work to see paintings all over the walls and paint all over his children and no food on the table. And Larkin was declaring that every Tuesday would be like this.
Poor guy.
But hey. It's January. Something had to be done!
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