April 12, 2012

The Pirates who don't do anything

Mapleton Organic Farm has this crazy maze (seriously, we ended up having to cheat more than once to get through LOL) and in the middle is this cool ship playground thing. The kids LOVED it and spend a long time "swabbing the deck" (my nephew likes Spongebob a lot) and being Pirates (they also love Veggie tales Pirates who don't do anything) and acting like crazy nut cases. :)

Then we all had organic ice-cream that they make right there. It was delicious!!

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Farm Study Petting zoo trip

Today was a super fun day. 
I had mentioned to my mom (she regularly babysits 2 of my nephews and has another nephew living with her for the past 2 weeks while his mom is visiting family in Northern Ireland) that I wanted to take Aurora to a petting farm for part of our Farm study unit. She thought it was a great idea and wanted to take my 3 older nephews (my sister-in-law took her youngest son with her)

Today was a great day for it. It's been cold here lately but today was warmer and mostly sunny. The kids had a GREAT time. 

 my mom with the 4 older grandkids

 E "kissing" a goat.
 me with Gids in the backpack, Aurora and my oldest nephew

 Mini horse

 Man, roosters look hilarious when they are crowing!

More to come later :)

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April 10, 2012

 Our plants have grown a lot in these last few days. The ones in the paper towel are growing MUCH quicker than the ones in dirt. We think it is because they are getting a lot more sun (they've been sitting on the windowsill)
They got big enough that it was time to put them in the dirt so we did that today.
The only thing in our dirt that we can see growing (from the  surface) is the salad mix, but we do see roots in the other plants so they are obviously growing too. :)

 This is a pretty cool magnetic map puzzle I found at the homeschool conference I can't remember off the top of my head who sold it but Aurora LOVES it!! We had been doing geography off a tiny printed map. but now she can see the actual countries better (and hold them and put it all together!) and it shows some of the animals that live in different areas which is awesome because we were looking for something like that!
She knows what country her daddy grew up in (Venezuela) and what country her friend Silas lives in (in the South pacific)  and where she lives and a bunch of other things too. This has made it a lot more fun for her.
     We have a trip to a petting farm planned for very soon to see and pet some of the animals we've been studying. We've been reading a lot of farm fact books and a bunch of goofy farm (and farm animal) stories as well. "Can Hens Give Milk" by Joan Betty Stuchner and Joe Weissmann, and "Princess Pigsty" by Cornelia Funke are two particularly silly ones that Aurora really likes right now. 
       Oh, and we have already visited some chickens already a couple times this week, what funny creatures they are....

April 03, 2012

A little chocolate, a LOT of coffee and an attitude check.

   I try to always let my life be an open book (mostly) I'm not the kind of person who has a hard time getting personal or letting people in. (not that I spew everything out to everyone, but I like to be honest about my struggles and lessons learned).

That said, today I definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I don't know if it's lack of sleep, stress, or what but this seems to be the story of my life lately. It seems that if I am not on guard constantly, my attitude tends to get bad fast. I am usually a very happy person in general- not that I haven't been through tough times or had my seasons of depression because I have- but in general I have always been an optimistic person, so this bothers me and I want to know what is going on.

Yes, I have a young baby and emotions can be wild for the first year after pregnancy, but I think for me to blame it on that would be a cop-out, I think this has everything to do with my focus not being on God. As moms of young kids it is SO HARD to find time in the day to spend alone with the the Lord, and without that it's so easy for our focus to go south really quick. I really need to make time every day no matter what and I am sharing this in case you are feeling the same way.

Last night I was reading a chapter Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and wanted to share what she wrote because it was so good for anyone in this stage of life.

I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all. 
Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become and idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me. 
1 Thessalonians 5:17; Proverbs 3:6

I don't know about you, but that really spoke to me.

April 01, 2012

KW Christian Home-school Conference

Yesterday my mother-in-law and I went down to a big Christian Home school conference. My mom-in-law home schooled all her kids (my husband did only a couple classes his last year in the Missionary Academy and the her other kids did a few years each but she home schooled for more than 10 years) and is heading up a resource center for missionary moms who will be (and are) homeschooling on the mission field.

We had to get up WAY too early to get down there (5:45am - we are NOT morning people LOL) to register and be ready for the first session at 9. (She just had her second surgery of the year so we didn't pre-register  in case she wasn't up to it) But it was well worth going.

The main reason I went was for a session called "Teaching Art to Young Kids" it was taught by the owner of the art store in my town. I was in there one day talking to him about teaching at the Academy next year and he mentioned it to me. It was great, he had a lot of great tips for teaching young kids (he actually talked about all ages but spent the most time on the youngest age group (3-7) but that is great for me since that's the age group Aurora is in. :) (and I know a lot more of what to do with the older ones already))

I unfortunately missed one of the session, I took Gideon and he took one nap all day and that was during lunch break (of course) so I missed one about reading difficulties which was apparently really good. (hubby and I both stink at reading out loud, I used to make my literature teacher laugh so hard when I would read aloud in class because I tend to change the story without even noticing. FYI - I was never even slightly offended that she laughed or she would have never done it) M.I.L told me a bit about it, like when you read (if you have difficulties) you should follow along with your non dominant pointer finger. I'll try it out next time I read to Aurora and see if it helps.

The other two sessions I went to were:
      "Lazy, Late bloomer or Learning Disability" that one was excellent.  I am not worried about Aurora having a learning disability, but two of my husbands brothers have them and it's something that's always interested me to know more. The speaker was great and it was really worth sitting in on even if you don't have kids with learning disabilities.
       and one on Charlotte Mason. I really didn't know a lot about the different home school philosophies before, heck, I didn't know there even were different styles so "Charlotte Mason", "Montessouri" and "Un-Schooling" were all new terms to me a year ago and I am still learning what goes into each, although I am leaning mostly towards classic style I think with some of the other styles mixed in a bit. I guess we'll see as time goes by.

It was great to meet so many other home school families from all over Ontario and see some awesome resources too. It was a pretty good day (except for the parking ticket I got :-( stupid bylaws I've never even heard of....)