Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Back At It and A Tribute...

Greetings!!  I will start this post by saying that I strongly suggest grabbing a warm cup of whatever you like best and snuggling down for a bit - this post is lengthy and photo heavy!  Don't say I didn't warn you!(wink!)
I must say, it felt strange - as many things do these days, to be on "vacation" and not feel guilty about my children missing school.  We head to Maine quite frequently as we are very lucky to have a family house there.  In the past we've generally tried to stick to weekends with the occasional Friday added on here and there when the kids had a long weekend with a Monday off.  I never did like taking my children out of PS when school was in session as I felt it was disrespectful to the hard work and dedication of their teachers, not to mention, I felt it sets a bad example to the children.  It seemed to say "it's ok to blow off school for something more fun!".  I know that's not always the case but that's just how it felt to me.  

Now that we're homeschooling, I'm trying hard to find what feels right to me and for us.  I'm getting used to the freedom that homeschooling provides, but it still feels strange.  I know over time it will feel less and less strange.  

So we headed to Maine for an extended weekend.  I brought lots of reading for all of us - which we devoured and left the rest of our formal curriculum at home.  The kids went fishing, camping, and hiking.  We played, worked, and had a lot of fun.  It was all learning.  Not the sit down at a desk kind of learning but the real life kind of learning.

practicing casting for their fishing trip the next day!
practicing casting 
digging the firepit!
not heavy enough to ride!  next year for sure!
beautiful phlox 
taking a hike with Mommy and Katie!
these shoes were made for walkin!
Lookin' good Ari!
She literally never stops running when we're in Maine!
My view as I'm hiking around the pasture!  #stunning
Time for a little tractor driving!
She would drive all day long if she could!
First time in the coop!!
The Chicken Whisperer!
All pooped out!
But not for long!!  
Still runnin'!
Doggie bliss
Everyone has a turn
capturing every moment =)
The perfect sunset at the end of a perfect day!
Early morning with Auntie!
Ditto with Beefy!
Nice catch!
and somewhat pensive =)
too cute!

Bundling up to head to the river to see the fishing! 
Nicely done!
They were in heaven!

Critters abound!
Sitting sniffly by the campfire...she was so tired and a little run down from her flu shot but she was a trooper!
bundled up for our campfire!
Time for s'mores!
sticky face
let it blaze!
hot chocolate makes everyone feel better!
tired and cozy
yes folks...he's eating jelly right out of the packets!  #momoftheyear ;)
oh the books we read!
joke telling time
more snuggling!
By the looks of him he's SO exhausted...but never too exhausted for ice cream filled donuts!
3 hour ride home...with Bellzy like this 90% of the way.  lol
It was blissful.  Coming home is always hard but coming home and getting back to schooling is infinitely harder!  Thankfully I plan and plan and plan some more so getting back "in" wasn't too terrible.  I find that if I stick to our "regularly scheduled programming" then things tend to fall back into place rather quickly in our classroom (and our house!).
But this week is still a bit different than others.  
ready to go!
calendar review time
I love our morning table!  Tea, water, furry friends, and lessons...perfection in my eyes!
Sharing a story
spelling time
Burgers and Fries - on socks!
making fairy doors
Katie has a hematoma in her ear which means it is filling up with blood and needs to be drained repeatedly (insert sarcastic thumbs up here!)
being so patient!
gradually getting less and less patient!  ha!
archery time
Lego cow...just SO cool!
impossible to get a good group shot! lol!
playing and reading
drawing time!
snuggles and bedtime reading #weloveabby
We have our dear friend Abby visiting with us for a couple of days.  We are together today as we were last year on this day.  Today is the one year anniversary of my husband's Aunt Mary's passing.  She battled cancer tremendously but lost in the end.  It was tragic and sad and way too soon.  We miss her all.the.time.  Abby came from a land far, far away - ok it's northern Vermont but it's far enough!  We visited, caught up, played a lot with the children, looked at old pictures of Mary and reminisced.

This morning the children did their spelling and handwriting lessons.  I had a few more things planned but today was a rare occasion...the baby did not nap.  (gasp!!)  He's cutting a whole bunch of teeth and his schedule is definitely on the wonky side right now.  I'm doing my best to roll with it (not my strong suit as I crave routine and instill it in my household every chance I get).
sunrise walk
too cut for words!
the fall does not agree with Ty - he's coughing and wheezing...time for a nebulizer treatment!
SO excited!
hahaha...Ari's ready!
Capybara...way too cute!
old tortoise!!
feeding the goats!!
baby goats are SO cute!
feeding the deer - they are SO sweet
nom nom nom
golden pheasant 
Mandrills are SO cool
camel ride anyone?!
Thank you Purple Peacock for ALWAYS having the BEST gifts!
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  (watch out for the croc! ;)
I had planned to do something today that would have made Mary smile.  She absolutely loved animals. Loved, loved, LOVED animals.  So we decided to head to our local zoo for the day.  It was fantastic. Homeschooling means that we have the freedom to go at anytime we want - so arriving at the zoo at 10 am on a random Wednesday proved absolutely delightful.  We were there with perhaps 3-4 other families and the staff and that is it!  We literally had the entire zoo to ourselves!  It was amazing.  I've been to this zoo with field trips before and it's chaos.  Today was another bliss filled day.  Me, my 3 kiddos and Abby.  We saw every animal, fed the deer, fed ALL the goats, had lunch, and then landed at their amazing gift shop (The Purple Peacock) on our way out.  Everyone was absolutely exhausted but we had a fantastic day.  We came home and Kendall read a book to all of us called The Next Place.  It's a beautiful book and a copy was given to us last year from a dear friend who received one when her brother passed away.  It was the perfect way to wrap up our tribute day to Aunt Mary.  

1 comment:

Kathyk said...

Wonderful post, pics and tribute to Aunt Mary