Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to J!

Today, my sweet J turns 7!!! 7!!!! I can hardly believe it! My first little baby, he's growing up too quick. And he's not even here with me... he's having a birthday sleepover with his Grandma tonight... sniff. I am too sappy and sentimental for words tonight... 7 just seems like such a big milestone.

Here is my newborn sweetie... the baby who made me into a Momma

Look at those cheeks

I LOVE this photo

Here is his first birthday

And here he is celebrating at his party... just look at how grown up and handsome he seems
Happy Birthday J! I love you so much!!!

More Fun Adventures in Blogging

I am still trying to keep the focus of this blog just on homeschooling and the kids. So if you happen to be interested in the other things I'm up to (deep thoughts on parenting, foodie stuff, natural living, and other fun randomness) you can come visit me at Little House in the Big World... make sure to leave comments and let me know you've stopped by!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to W!

The Little Little Owl turned TWO today! It hardly seems like two years ago that he came into our lives... my third baby, my first homebirth, the little guy who was always meant to be a part of our family long before we even knew we needed him.

Here he is just a few hours old

And the first moments with his new siblings!

And now he's such a big guy!
(this is his Tia with him, not me... I am incredibly camera shy, lol)
Happy Happy Birthday W! I love you!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Crazy Couple of Days

Wow! I feel like we have been super busy lately. Here are the (more or less) highlights of what has been going on around the Owl Nest. Warning... it's long.

Owl Poppa has been a bit under the weather, and his work schedule has been a bit weird (he works three days a week, 12 hour days, which is weird all by itself, but the schedule has been weirder lately). His work schedule always throws a monkey wrench into our homeschool schedule. It's been hard getting lessons completed in a reasonable amount of time on days when he is home, especially when he is home and sick. But, his schedule is also one of the reasons we homeschool, so it is what it is.

(Completely and totally as an aside, I just LOVE that expression... it is what it is. It seems appropos to everything lately. It truly sums up the new level of acceptance I am feeling about things in my life. Okay, random thought over... carry on)

The kids have all taken turns feeling run down as well. I tried complaining to Owl Poppa about the lack of "routine" around here with all these sick days. His response... the same thing is happening in the public schools, too. He's always so rational! :)

We've been doing lots more hands on projects and celebrating lots of interesting things lately as well. I posted about Katie's birthday, the first day of fall, and Johnny Appleseed Day. We also celebrated Michaelmas (albeit a few days late). I don't know too much about Michaelmas, really, but remember reading that it is sometime celebrated as a harvest festival and with the story of St. George and the dragon, and that you shouldn't eat blackberries after Michaelmas (because when Michael threw the Devil out of Heaven, he landed in a blackberry bush... the kids think this part of the story is hysterical). So, we mostly did what we did last year. We read the Reluctant Dragon (we all love this one), as well as the story of St. George and the Dragon. We also read Custard the Dragon and Custard the Dragon and the Wicked Knight. The kids put on a mini performance of a dragon slaying. J and W took turns being the dragon and slaying each other. K was the damsel in distress. I wanted to make a blackberry crumble again, but the kids voted on blackberry kefir smoothies :)

We braved a rainstorm Thursday to meet friends at the park. It actually only rained for a few minutes, and then cleared up, though the sky stayed really grey. But the great company made up for the crummy weather.

We spent Friday night sitting for a friend's little girl. This was really fun. We had an indoor picnic in the living room. We set up the picnic mat on the floor, and then all four kids pretended to chase away birds and ants that were after the picnic. I had to be the bird swooping in to steal the pizza. We played tag, and board games, and Barbies, and then watched cartoons. It was awesome.

Owl Poppa celebrated his birthday over the weekend. J made him a card (spelling all the words himself... I was really proud). The kids worked hard the day before to clean up their playroom and library and bedrooms before he got home from work as a birthday surprise for him. And they picked out new tools and a new tool box as his present. They wrapped the present in playsilks and gave it to him in the morning. We took him out for Tex Mex in the afternoon, and then had cake and ice cream. W is now officially obsessed with birthday cake.

This morning, we went to a science lesson on desert adaptations at one of the local parks. The lesson included a walk along the trails with a guide who pointed out lots of the local flora and fauna (man, I have always wanted to be able to use that expression, lol). Because of all the (much needed) rain we've been getting, there were lots and lots of wildflowers out on the trails. The kids got to touch a coyote pelt and skull, a jack rabbit pelt and skull, look at roadrunner and owl feet and skulls, and see rattlesnake skins. We learned about cactus (and the bugs that live on them), about different types of leaves and how plants adapt to the dry weather, about native people cooked the roots of certain plants, and which ones along the trail were used for making sandals. We even got to take a cactus (our "spiky friend") home with us. The kids are so pleased, and it has a place of honor in our library room (up high, because that sucker is really poky). I wish I has pictures but I forgot my camera.

But we barely made it at all because we all over slept and made it out of the house in under 30 minutes (hence the forgetting of the camera). The kids ate the snacks we packed for breakfast, and then we ended up going out to lunch. Everyone loved the field trip, but we've all seemed a bit out of sorts all day.

So, it's back to our schedule as usual tomorrow. And back to meals at home. And finishing up some of the projects we're working on (expect cool pictures in the next few days). We're also preparing for the Owl Family Birthday Bash this weekend... one big party for all of us. So there is lots more craziness ahead. But I guess we wouldn't really have it any other way.


PS It's late. I will come back and add appropriate links in the morning. Maybe.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our Apple Celebration

September 26 is Johnny Appleseed's birthday! And for the past week the Owl Nest has been in Apple Celebration mode!

On the 26th, we celebrated with books and apple pie... super yummy. I think apple pie is my favorite pie ever. We have been listening to the story of Johnny Appleseed (read by Garrison Keillor) in the car, reading books about apples, and eating lots of fresh apples for snacks. And of course we've been singing the Johnny Appleseed song.

One of our favorite apple books is Apples, Apples, Apples... the little owls can't wait until they can go apple picking... I have had to break it to them that in Central Texas, apple picking is over in July :( We will go to the pumpkin patch at the apple orchard though so that might be close enough for them. Last year at the pumpking patch, they got a tour of the apple sorting facility. Hopefully we'll get to do that again.

Another great book is Apple Cider Making Days... we may try making some (with buying cider at Costco as our backup plan, lol).

We're also reading The Apple-Pip Princess, Cider Apples, Johnny Appleseed, Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Apple Story, and we watched the Disney story of Johnny Appleseed in the American Legends movie.

This year, we also read The Apple Doll. This sweet story includes instructions for making an apple doll of our own, so of course, we are trying it.

Here are a few pics of the process...

W might have had the most fun, peeling and eating apples
K is planning and J is munching

W was determined to peel his apple

The apples had to soak in lemon juice. We found the bag to be the only way to keep the apples covered without needing many bottles of lemon juice!

And here are the apples before drying out... and one other little cutie face!

The apple doll heads are in the process of drying out now, and it could take several more days for them to finish. I will post pics of the finished product when we get there!

Yay for apples,