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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Playing Around Again

I've been playing around again.  Let me know what you think.  Is the font too hard to read?  Does anyone know how to change the color of the frames around the pictures? - Nanette

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quiets Moments of Learning

Our home school year has been, well, interesting.  It has been fun, hard, frustrating, exhilerating, educational (imagine that!)  I tried not to photograph the bad days.  I apoligize if that seems inauthentic.  I don't think you'd really want to see us in tears. Here are some peeks into our year.

 Since we follow a quasi-classical approach, we are in the second year of Laughing Water's second trivium and the same in Mr. Blueberry Eyes' first trivium. That means we're studying medieval history.  For our literature, we are reading biographies/stories of people who lived around this time period.  Our first book was about Polycarp, early Christian bishop of Smyrna.  He was martyred for his faith.  In honor of his sacrifice, and to remind ourselves of the "sweet savour" our lives are to God, we burned a yummy scented candle each time we read the book.
 In science, we're studying botany.  Here are the scholars, toiling over their leaf classifications.  We also just mounted a huge seed  collection on a cardboard sewing board.  I'll try to post pictures of that soon.
 Early in the year, Laughing Water hurt her ankle and was forced to do her school in a convalescing manner (bother!).  The Mighty Hunting Hound didn't mind.
 Here's a closer shot of the  "poor, unloved" creature!
One of the aspects of education that I wanted to make a strength this year was art.  I haven't done as well as I had planned, but, we have done some cool things.  Here, Mr. Blueberry Eyes is working on a tracing/drawing of a Viking Longhouse.

Laughing Water also joined a drama class this year and is enjoying working up an excerpt of Peter Pan with her team.  She gets to be Wendy.

I really should get more pictures of our activities.  I think it would help me remember the good things when I worry about what we might miss.  - Nanette

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"If Home Is Really Where the Heart Is...."

"Then home must be a place we all can share."  So begins a song  that helped celebrate the start of our home fourteen plus years ago.  I've had a week of being home - very little running, snuggling with a sick child, reading stories for long hours.  It has been delightful.  Perhaps it was this that prompted the question.  Perhaps it was looking at Old Faithful, curled up in the living room.  (For me, a collie embodies domesticity.) Or it could well be that we've borrowed DVDs of "The Waltons" from our library.  That family has certainly gripped our imaginations lately.

Whatever it was that prompted me, I posted a question on my Facebook page.  The essence of the question was, "What speaks domesticity/hominess to you?"  I received the most replies I've had on a Facebook update-ever!  Apparently, its a subject that is dear to everyone's heart. 

Their answers? Family.  It was the most frequently mentioned element of the world we call home.  Of course.  "Wherever theres is laughter ringing, someone smiling, someone singing...".  Children noises, quiet conversation.  Snuggles, tickles, debates, smiles.

Then there was the mention of bread baking, bowls of steaming soup, hot mugs of tea and coffee. Comfort. Communion.  Pets were highly esteemed as symbols of domesticity.  Community with a furry twist.

Others mentioned music, crackling fires, aprons, family feasts, mom's cooking.

It tooks several days for the comments to stop flowing in.  When they did, I noticed that there wasn't one mention of anything that didn't fit with a theme of nourishment, communion, a profound sense of peace and belonging. 

Funny how our culture is the antithesis of these.  And yet, we all know what we think it should look like.  Like Michael Oher in "The Blind Side",  insisting on sitting at the dinner table for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We long for it if we don't have it.  We treasure it if we do.  Perhaps that is why I got a record number of responses to the question.

"We will be together there.  Love will be our home." - Nanette

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Lazy Sunday

 We haven't had a relaxing day like this in so long!  It was just plain yummy!  The Wood Artist didn't have to work.  The kids had an ice skating party to attend, but it was cancelled due to unseasonably warm weather.  (There was too much water on the ice!)  So we just hung out with each other. 

Laughing Water worked on her pinewood derby car for this year's race.  The Wood Artist is working on Laughing Water's recipe box.  He is making her a very special one with dove tail corners and all.  We'll keep you updated.
 Mr. Blueberry Eyes' friend from across the fence knocked on the door around 10a.m. and ended up staying until 6 p.m. or so.  Really, this child's parents have never even met us.  The grandmother has met us, but has never been to our house!  He comes over for hours and they almost never call and check on him.  I really don't mind because he doesn't actually live next door, so he isn't here all of the time.  And, he is a sweet little guy.  He and Mr. Blueberry Eyes have a lot of fun together.  Today, they played snap circuits, made a store/fort, ate pizza and blueberry muffins and cheered on the New York Jets.
Laughing Water has a parakeet now.  His name is Echoe (yes, with an "e"). He is a pretty little thing.

The Might Hunting Hound is giving us grief yet again.  Last time it was her salivary gland.  This time, I think it is her salivary gland again.  We knew it was beginning to swell and I was planning to call the vet tomorrow.  But, we couldn't find her today.  We launched a frantic search and found her under Mr. Blueberry Eyes' bed.  "It" had burst and she had fluid/blood/whatever drenched down the front of her.  We washed her as best we could with colloidal silver and are waiting anxiously for the vet to open in the morning.  We do have a pet E.R., but I trust our vet more.  I'm going to wait and hope I'm not making the wrong decision!