It’s been a while…

May is almost done, and last time I talked about how we’re doing was the beginning of March. Where did the time go?

Seriously, though, we had a rather intense spring–  field trips and museum visits, kids participated in Roots and Shoots program focusing on cleaning up local water ways. Both kids had their concerts with choir and ballet. Both had their testing and although I am still waiting for the final numbers, I am fairly sure they did well. D. got silver at karate tournament and got promoted into next level at his choir, C. joins his choir next year as well.

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great horned owl- mama

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baby horned owl

 

 

 

Looking back at our school year, I can say that it was probably the toughest one we had in 7+ years of homeschooling. There were too many activities, and although I scaled back a little in the very beginning of the school year, it still was a lot. There were positive changes in kids’ learning- C. especially made a huge leap with her spelling and story telling skills. She is fantastic with math too, she really loves it. C. also took some Spanish classes and enjoyed it immensely. D. focused on basics and out of all extra subjects he enjoyed science the most. We are a little bit behind on our history studies, the last month was just so crazy, but we will catch up during the summer.

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I already know kids’ schedules in co-op for the following school year. I am more or less certain what our extra curricular activities will look like. It was a tough decision for me to choose what stays and what goes, especially because kids wanted to do it all and they are good at what they want to do. But we will take a break from some things and hope it will be a little bit slower.

My things- I have a positive change in my life as I am able at last to make a little bit of money with my art.  It’s not something huge (yet), but the response is positive and I am looking forward to expanding in the future. I am also painting walls in C’s room, replacing stickers with drawings. Husband changed jobs and still has some school left for the fall semester. Summer is for resting.

 

What I hope we’ll do this summer?  TAKE IT SLOW please. I am looking forward to lazy mornings, to books, and paint and yoga, but most of all outings in nature. Slowing down. Reconnecting. I am not sure if we will be able to take any far away trips this summer and I don’t have anything planned as of right now (although I would love to see ocean again)

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Week in Review : March 1- March 6, 2016 (and what were we up to in February)

Spring is here! (not on calendar yet, I know, I know, but I don’t care, IT IS HERE!) Birds outside are going crazy, and even though I know that Colorado weather might bring us more snow yet, the leaves on the bush near our door are coming out and the general feel is that the worst is over. The winter was quite mild this year, I can’t really complain I guess, but we were so sick this winter..

Seriously most of our February was miserable because of pink-eyes, coughs and sniffles. Not much happened otherwise. We joined Roots and Shoots  project with a local homeschool group, D. had choir events during February, other than that not much outside of our regular school days. We did a unit on Ancient India for history, and learned about India for geography/cultural studies. For me personally February brought a very good news of finding a spot to sell cards with my artwork. It went pretty well, around 75% of cards were sold and I just put in second batch with new designs. I joined Society6 and I still consider whether I should open and etsy store, but it will depend on if  I can actually maintain it. I made myself a workspace and hopefully it will help me stay productive.

March started well and I must say the fact that days are longer made a huge difference for us. We still manage to get sick a little, but the first week quite intense:

-Meeting friends.

-Roots and Shoots meeting, kids discussed their project and it was fascinating to see the wide range of ideas that kids brought to the meeting

-A visit to Butterfly Pavillion.

butterf

-A solo hike for me, how nice it was to be outside in the sun BY MYSELF. I felt re-energized.

hike

-D’s dojo performed at Hina Matsuri Japanese Doll Festival again this year, and once again it was a treat to see wonderful art work at the festival and to watch the performances

hina mats

 

In the kitchen:

I am doing 21  days of salads challenge, trying to make a different salad every day. So far it’s been pretty good, but it starts to get repetitive.

We got hooked on Cheese-Herb Popovers (the recipe came from “The Perfect Egg” Cookbook, which I reviewed on this blog before)

popovers

Makes 6:

Pre-heat oven to 450 F, butter muffin cups

beat together 2 eggs, pinch of salt, 1 cup of milk, 2 tbsp of melted butter. Add 1 cup of flour, do not overmix. In a separate bowl combine your favorite cheese with your favorite herb.  Pour batter into the muffin cups filling them up about halfway and reserving about 1 tbs of batter for each cup. Add cheese mixture, pour the remaining tablespoon of batter over cheese. Bake at 450F for about 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 F for the next 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

What are we reading:

In addition to many re-reads,in February and first week of March D. read

-Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

-The Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater

-The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

-The Children of Odin by Padraic Colum

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C.’s favorite chapter books in February and first week of March are

-The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles De Lint

-The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

-The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

Slide1

 

So here’s our end of winter/beginning of Spring in a nutshell, this week is supposed to be relatively calm, looking forward to enjoying it!

 

 

 

Digging the earth, talking to the plants

What a bliss, no plans, no engagements…we had most wonderful start of the week.

sunflowerous days summer 2015

During breakfast on Monday we decided that we will definitely try to make a tiny container garden this year. There were less successful attempts before, but this time we are determined.

But first we read a little bit about plants.

A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is one of the most beloved and most beautiful books about plants we have, and even though we have read it before, we marveled again at the beauty and complexity of a seed coming to life.

The Where, the Why and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science is a recent addition to our home library and it was this book that answered questions of whether trees do or do not talk to each other and how long do trees live. Also whether plants eat animals and why, this was especially fascinating to children.

books about plants

Second we went out on the patio and started digging. We turned the soil in all our pots and added some new. We planted tiny seeds for herbs and flowers (not sure if flowers will come up actually). We moved our poor lavender (which we though had died, but it came back to life) into a roomier pot. C. was so good about planting and replanting. She sang to plants, and wished them to grow strong and be well. She was the first one today to rush and check if the soil dried up.

digging the earth

planting seeds

Today we continued our adventures as we purchased a geranium and a viola and our patio instantly looks more cheerful.

But the most important thing we did is we started! our very first! FAIRY GARDEN! Can you tell how excited I am. I regret not doing it earlier, as D. is turning 10 this summer, and I am not sure if this very first fairy garden might also be his only one. Anyway…

I got small shallow pots as I wasn’t sure if children will be into it at all or not, and now we are thinking to add a couple more. We put some dirt, some pebbles and some moss in it. We got a tiny strawberry plant and some ground cover plant from the nursery today and added to a landscape. C. got a tiny table for fairies to have their cake. Kids added shells for additional seating options and some glass pebbles for festivity. I don’t think they are finished yet, so it is work in progress, but boy does it look cute.

D.'s garden

D.’s garden

C.'s garden

C.’s garden

We also watched a fascinating documentary What Plants Talk About on PBS (it is also on youtube for those that can’t access PBS) , and some things blew our minds like plants sending distress signals (little C. was very aware to plants “screaming for help” today, so if you have a child that is easily impressed or is very young, please use caution), or a network of communication between plants of the forest. Very very interesting.

Today we also visited local working farm/museum  and were surprised to see how far along their garden is. I guess the fact that it is almost June haven’t caught up with us yet 😀 We sat in the shade of big trees, kids happily got into mud, ran around and looked at all the animals. We saw dear friends who joined us in our walk.

littleton museum

piggy

always something new to discover! we didn't realize there was a pond there

always something new to discover! we didn’t realize there was a pond there

Lovely, long days, perfect and carefree, how I missed those!

School Year is finished+ round up of two weeks in May (5/11-5/24/2015)

Unbelievable, our school year is finished! The past two weeks were crazy, but we made it.

Photo of the week:

It's been wet and overcast  on and off for a couple of weeks now, yet I love it

It’s been wet and overcast on and off for a couple of weeks now, yet I love it

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Two weeks round up, goodbye April : April 27-May 10, 2015

I am a bad blogger again…busy, busy

Photo of the week:

making sure his girlie sleeps well

making sure his girlie sleeps well

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Bird Banding

Today, we had an amazing experience attending a class in our local Audubon Society . We had a pleasure of taking a Bird Walk  here before and attended another class for homeschoolers. Today was extra special as we got to see how the birds are banded, and we learned about migration.

First we took a walk among the wetlands and trees that were so full of life comparing to our late autumn and winter visits.

There were so many of Red Winged Blackbirds and the air was full of their song.

There were so many of Red Winged Blackbirds and the air was full of their song.

Children learned about beavers being active again and spotted a white heron that was a bit far, but there nonetheless 🙂

Before long we reached the bird banding station (which is open to general public on weekends until May 31,2015, folks in the area hurry up and visit!) and got to see a little Lincoln sparrow that got caught in the net and was ready to be banded. Another little Lincoln sparrow was caught later. Just as we were about to leave more birds came up from other nets, too bad we couldn’t stay to see what kind they were.

lincoln sparrow

Little leg is being measured for the band

Little leg is being measured for the band

The bird’s leg was measured for the band and a band quickly attached, then the wings and tails were measured and carefully recorded, then the fat on bird’s chest was checked- we got to see its little heart fluttering through the transparent skin- so tiny and so fast! Finally the bird was weighted

weighting the bird

and the little kids helped release the bird back to nature.

releasing the bird

After kids learned about things that help and hinder the migration. It was a lovely walk and we were very lucky to have a warm sunshine after two days of rain.

For more information on migration check out PBS video

And Winged Migration is an excellent film on the topic.

Week’s Roundup: April 20-April 26, 2015

Whew, what a week, once again. I will probably write these words over and over all the way until the end of May…

Picture of the week:

How glad I was to see it was raining today, something about the rain is always soothing and being indoors on a wet day when there are no places to be is refreshing

How glad I was to see it was raining today, something about the rain is always soothing and being indoors on a wet day when there are no places to be, no people to meet and we can just be warm and cozy in our pjs, read and play and bake…

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