Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Swim Test

When we woke up this morning we did not expect it to be a monumental day. Yet that is what it has turned out to be.
Being the youngest can be tough at times; watching your older sibling do things that you yourself can not yet do. Some take this opportunity to indulge in self pity while others such as my daughter, it drives them towards excellence. A determination to achieve.
Ever since little girl realized she was tall enough to go down the water slide at the YMCA there has been a determination to learn how to swim so she could go down it. Whenever we would go to the Y she would practice and practice swimming, each time with her little booty sinking until she was merely treading water. Apparently being of healthy weight and build CAN have its disadvantages as the child has no fat to keep her buoyant.
Today started out much like the others, jumping into the big pool with the intent of practicing some more, merely biding time until she could take her swim class next month. Yet shortly into it I realized that something was different. She was kicking harder, looking stronger. I think she could feel it too. We started out short distances, pushing off the wall and swimming to me. Then gradually made those distances further and further until we realized she WAS doing it. Then we worked a bit on back stroke and the transition from front to back. A requirement for the YMCA youth swim test. Within minutes we knew she was ready. The moment had come. Very excitedly she went to the lifeguard and asked to take the swim test. With me still in the water she pushed off one end and swam and kicked. At the halfway point she rolled over with ease and made her last half doing kicking away on her back. SHE DID IT! She passed the swim test. She gave me the hugest hug and the biggest smile, then proudly walked to the life guard stand to get her name added to the book. The the bracelet around her wrist she made her way to the highly anticipated water slide where she went down three times in a row. Daddy was watching the last two times.
I know one little girl who can.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me Monday!

I, Sarah, did not take her kids to Wonderland of Lights at the zoo. It would have been much too windy and cold to do something like that.

And while there I certainly did not enjoy carrying my daughter around on my shoulders. I would not even think about putting her five year old up there. No way.

I definitely did not misread an email and go to Chuck E Cheese one week earlier than planned. I would never do that because I am an excellent reader.

And I certainly did not decorate gingerbread houses in my kitchen as that would be an incredible mess.

I did not let my kids stay up until 11pm watching Super Mario 3 because everyone knows that those precious hours after 9pm are for adults only.

I did not force my husband to go to a family Christmas party. That would be just plain cruel.

I did not take the kids sledding on a Friday afternoon when other children were still in school. Not me.

No matter what they say, I did not not skip church to go shopping.

I did not laugh hysterically at my children as they danced around the living room.

I did NOT ignore the laundry for nearly a week. Everyone knows I am much to diligent of a housewife to even accuse.

And I would not listen to Mindy and post a Not Me Monday Memo...nope...never...not me! Or would I?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mission Accomplished

My dad grew up in the 1950's. I love hearing stories of his childhood and thankfully Dad still enjoys telling them. Story has it when he was a boy he had to eat a hot breakfast every morning. Be it oatmeal, malt o meal or cream of wheat; it did not matter as long as he ate something hot to "stick to his gut."
My first thought of that was, 'that so would not fly today.' If I told my kids hey you must eat a hot breakfast everyday and no waffles or toast would not cut it. I envisioned fits and complaints. Which then turned my thinking to how spoiled American kids are (mine included!) I thought of other cultures and nations who gladly eat their grains plain, thankful to have a meal. I thought of the poor and impoverished, the homeless, those who would be happy for a hot meal. And I thought that I needed to change my kids thinking about breakfast.
So a few weeks ago I decided that we were going to eat oatmeal(unprocessed) at least once a week (preferably more) for breakfast. That first morning I dished up a half serving of oatmeal (1/4cup) and laid out some toppings on the table. They gladly garnished the oatmeal with dried fruits and honey. Then they took the first bite. Total looks of disgust. They were completely unimpressed. They ate a few bites, begrudgingly. I am sure they whined, most likely complained. Needless to say that first day they did not finish their bowls.
I was undeterred. If anything more persistent in the fact that things needed to change.
So a few days later it was oatmeal again. This time I put about 2 tablespoons into their bowls. With the challenge that if they ate that they could chose something else to eat if they were still hungry. With thoughts of chocolate covered waffles they got through the oatmeal. Probably more honey than oatmeal but they ate it.
Week two: I upped the amount a tiny bit.
Week three: They discovered brown sugar.
Week four: They happily eat the oatmeal with no complaint and don't need the waffle afterward.

I would say: "Mission Accomplished!"

Hey Dad, bring on some more stories. I have some children to raise.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Southside Lansing News

Hey All!

Some Southside Lansing news for you...

Please take a moment to fill out the survey.

South Lansing Community Development Association is excited to announce our 2009 Community Farmers Market, beginning in June, 2009, at Benjamin Davis Park. This weekly market will offer produce and value-added food products from local farmers, community growers, and home gardeners, as well as other amenities chosen by YOU! We are asking for your input to help us create a quality market experience for shoppers. Please click on the following link to complete our online survey. Estimated completion time is < style="color: rgb(31, 73, 125);">

This is also a reminder that SLCDA’s next community engagement and planning forum will be held on Tuesday, December 9, at 7 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall at Grace United Methodist Church (corner of Mt. Hope and Boston). The focus is on urban food systems and new agriculture initiatives (access to fresh foods, market development, community gardening, food preservation strategies, etc). Anyone interested in helping design the market, selling food or other value-added products at the market, starting a community or home-based garden, or any aspect of urban agriculture is welcome to attend. Please RSVP to, or call (517) 374-5700 so we can plan for refreshments, including fresh fruits and vegetables and homemade desserts by Evan Dunbar and Sarah Faverman. Children are welcome to attend with parents/grandparents/guardians. Just let us know when you RSVP.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Tale of Three Sioux Indians

This is the story of Brother Black Bear, Little Blue Flower and their mother Princess Bare Feet.

One Monday morning the three Sioux Indians joined together with other tribes for a day of fun and learning.

First the children colored pictures of Native American in tradition clothing as...

One of the mothers did an overview of the similarities and differences of different regions.

Then each tribe shared what they had been learning.
Brother Black Bear shares about the Sioux tribe including the loin clothes they would wear while hunting.

The boys decoration on his robe. Also note his awesome head dress.

The cradle board Little Blue Flower made to carry her baby, Blue Eyes. The Sioux mothers would carry their babies everywhere in their cradle boards. If the mother needed to do something she would hang the baby on a tree.

Little Blue Flowers dress. I wish I would have gotten a better close up of all the bead work as it is ADORABLE.

One tribe did a reenactment of Chief Pontiac and the affects of small poxs. Did you know the English infected blankets with the diesease and distributed them amongst the Native Americans?

All the kids in their costumes.

Our tribe on the stairs.

After each family shared we had a feast. Every one brought different foods the Native Americans would have eaten.
Corn chips, beans, hominy, hominy with cactus, vegetable mush, wild rice, smoked turkey, dried meat, smoked fish, nuts and berries. (not pictured but also sampled; cactus pear, raspberries, meat and potato soup, elk sausage) It was all so tasty.

I tried fish eggs. Salty but not bad.

When all the indoor stuff was done, the kids went outside to enjoy the snow. They made forts, went snow boarding and had an absolute blast!

The boys stayed outside for hours while the girls came in to warm up and make some crafts.

It was such a fun day!

The three Sioux Indians traveled home that day being enriched by the others, knowing that community is important and sharing our stories is important too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Because Every Vote Matters!

Here is your opportunity to have your opinion heard.

When you say the word thanks do you pronounce it with a short or long A sound?

Short a is A as in cat.
Long a is A as in ate.

Cast your vote here or in the comments section of my status on facebook.
ThAnk you!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sudden Confidence

As I mentioned in the previous post that little girl loves words. Loves them.

Well I just had to share what happened today. With her brother gone on a sleepover and Daddy out of town, little girl and I decided to go on a date. She chose the mall, where we ate Little Easy(Orange chicken and rice) then walked around looking at a few different shops. She decided she wanted to go to the bookstore to look at books. Of course we did. She decided she wanted to use her own allowance money to buy a book so she carefully pondered over which was THE RIGHT book. She settled on a compilation book of Biscuit.

With our purchases complete we went next to the library. On our way to the library little girl took her new book and slowly and carefully read EVERY word of the first story. This was such a huge step for her as usually when she reads a book it is a story from our curriculum and all the words are previewed and known. So this book, Time For Bed Biscuit was her first true read of new unknown words where she was challenged to sound it out for herself. Especially with me driving and unable to see the pages.

She was SO PROUD of herself.

At the library there was a new and sudden confidence about her, she KNEW she could read. As she looked over the books on the easy reader shelf, she would look at it and say, I can read this one mom. So she chose a few off the shelves for her to bring home.

I love it! Her confidence as a reader just shot up about 100 points, simply because we went on a date and went to the bookstore. Watch out we have a reader on the loose.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

According to facebook...I am

calm and quiet
you are the sort of person who likes to take life slowly... just one day at a time.. you usually know the difference between right and wrong. you believe in yourself. you put yourself in other peoples shoes and see how it feels to be them and then handle a situation accordingly.your attitude towards life is very positive.... you are liked by all and are a great friend.the flip side is that sometimes you care too much about other people and don't do what you really wanna do..


The mind is so amazing!
I am more and more convinced of this with each passing school day. The fact that we enter this world knowing nothing but our mothers voice. We quickly learn the usefulness of a cry and which cry to use when. Then we begin to recognize different things. Those things start to take on meanings and soon an identity; a word.
Words. They in themselves amaze me. Then you add on the fact that we can vocalize them, understand their meaning, spell them, write them, use them to convey a message. Words are powerful!
Watching my kids decode these lettered mysteries has been so much fun for me.
My daughter is an auditory learner. She walks around the house all day long, saying words, sounding them out, spelling them. Sometimes she takes it to the next level and makes list of all the words she knows. She is a lover of words to the core.
A friend of mine was telling me at the start of the school year about her daughters word wall at school. With each new sight word, the teacher adds it to the wall. It sounded like a splendid idea so we started our own. She loves watching new words appear on the wall and she randomly goes to it and makes sentences with her known words. She loves it so much she wants to add EVERY word she knows to it. We have not gone that far but I am thinking about adding some of her word family words so that she can be more creative in her sentence building. One of her sentences from this morning; my mother has a orange

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


In the midst of good days I have had a few blah moments.

The sudden change in temperature has been leaving me chilled. I like the gradual decrease to freezing. Not the 70 on Friday and snowing on Sunday. Yikes.

Struggling with prioritizing. So many much left to do.

Blood work came back abnormal. Which means I have another ultrasound on Monday. Not excited about it but willing to do what it takes to get an accurate diagnosis. In the mean time I am staying positive and neutral.

Not feeling like myself. But still me.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Who Knows What This Post Will Be...

Most likely random fragments of life and pondering.

We started the school yesterday morning and after about 2 minutes I wondered why we have never established school rules. This was probably brought on by the thoughts of 'What will happen if I am forced to place my kids in school?' So I decided yesterday that we would come up with our classroom rules. With the kids input, this is what we came up with:
1. Sit properly in your chair. -sons contribution
2. Listen attentively - we have been studying attentiveness
3. Use kind and respectful words. -A must! No whining, complaining, arguing, words of anger, etc.
4. Respect others personal space and property. -We have an issue of hands to ourselves at the moment. So another must!
5. Do your very best.
6. Follow directions and obey.
We made out charts to track their progress and motivate them to follow them. They are both excited about the rules. I remember in 9th grade English, my teacher (Crowly) had some very simple, yet must be observed rules and everyone felt safe in her class. I think her two rules were, no putting down others and give me your best. Those two concepts alone changed the dynamic of her class room. Hoping it works the same magic in mine.

I have a peace about Obama being president-elect. I think some change he will bring will be good. I just truly pray he does not go after parental rights. Especially my right to homeschool. Which according to his views page he does OPPOSE. It would be a sad day in our home and for our nation if he did. Hence the thinking about what would happen question above.

Been having some medical tests. Awaiting their results. Trusting in Him, regardless of the reults.

Went to theater production at the Warton Center, If You Give a Pig a Pancake and other childrens stories. It was super cute and very funny. The kids and I laughed our way through the whole show. I love that our co-op creates these opportunities for me and my kids. Love it.

Been on facebook and the computer too much for the last 72 hours so after I press the publish button on this post the internet will be off for the remainder of the day! I will return tomorrow.

Love the weather the last few days. Warmth and crunchy leaves, yes! Been trying to get outdoors still. Went on a good hike on Tuesday. May go on another today. Hopefully.

Little girl is finally tall enough to climb the rock wall at the YMCA. She made it 2/3 of the way up on her first try.
The boy challenged himself to the "new" third more difficult climb; he was the first kid to make it to the top. Making him the youngest for the most current configuration. You should have seen his determination and then his smile on completing it.

Have a beautiful day! Remember you are loved. See ya soon.

Monday, November 03, 2008

What would you do if were asked to go on a Chrysalis weekend?

I would go!

Yet another Chrysalis Flight has come and gone. And amazingly, God was there, as always . At the close of the weekend those participating were asked 2 questions.

What did this weekend mean to you?
What do you intend to do with it when you get home?

I love getting glimpses of what God did in a persons life over the course of those three days. God is amazing. He is good.
And then to see how someone wants to apply that and share the love with others...I get excited just thinking about it.

Then I have to stop and reflect myself...what did this weekend mean to me? What am I going to do about it?

For me this weekend was about watching each life story; the good, the bad and the ugly be used for God's glory. And watching broken hearts, be reminded of how much they are loved. It was a time of watching the power of laughter, the healing power of a good cry. The importance of a listening ear. The power in sharing my story. The importance of obedience. Taking a God moment to bless someone eternally. The need to be in constant prayer and study with God.
And taking action, being the hands and feet of Christ. I am reminded the power of a smile, a hug and a timely word. I am forever certain that God loves.

As for what I intend to do now that I am home... I intend to connect with these ladies. Pour into their lives and lift them up in prayer. I plan to dig deeper into the word. I plan to keep telling my story. And I will obey...even in the ridiculous!

God Loves You and So Do I
One of His...Super Models ;)

Feel free to share what this weekend may have meant to you.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chrysalis prayer

It is time for another Chrysalis flight, where many will come and feel the Love of Christ. This is my prayer...

Dear Heavenly Father I pray that this weekend I will used for your glory. Be with these ladies that are coming Lord. surround them with your Holy Spirit. Show them your love. Encourage them. Break down walls; help them to let go of things in their life that are holding them back from you. I pray for healing in their lives. Lord, reveal yourself mightily this weekend. Teach them who you are. That they may not deny your goodness, your love or your Son. I pray for the brokenhearted, that you would heal their hearts. For those who had experienced loss, let them know you see their tears. Lord bless these girls. I pray for this team you have established for such a time as this, for this moment. Minister through them and to them. Let them be your hands and feet, let Christ be seen in each and everyone one of us there. For those giving talks boldness, honesty, clarity of speech and content. Thank you for each testimony you have given. For our lives to be used for your glory; the good and the bad, bearing fruit in your name. I pray for those working behind the scenes. Give them strength and endurance. Eyes to see what needs to be done and obedience to see it through to completion. Bless them for their work O God. Father protect our families who remain at home. Send forth your angels to guide and protect. Keep them safe from all harm intended by the evil one. Let our families draw from your strength. Bless them Lord. Thank you for the leaders. Thank you for their faithfulness. Give them wisdom and understanding. Guide them by your Holy Spirit. Thank you for this weekend. Thank you for lives changed and renewed. For freedom and wings to fly. Praise and Glory be to you alone. In Jesus Name Amen!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Eye and Other Senses

The month of October we have been exploring our senses.
Today we went to the eye doctor to get an eye exam.

The kids enjoyed telling the doctor all about the eye. They found it interesting the different "tests" they had to do especially the one for depth perception. Yet all of it "Was cool!"
I appreciated finding out that their vision is "perfect."

If you have not had your kids eyes checked, take them in. Mine found it to be a fun field trip.

Here are some pictures from our Konos day, at the beginning of the month, where we explored our senses.
My boy cutting up a cow eye ball...

All the kids watching to see what to do next. They each had their own eye.

I love dissection!



The scent revealed.

Touching...with gloves.

Feeling in a bag.

For hearing they listened to sounds and tried to identify them. It was a fun day. I am so thankful to have other families to enjoy learning with.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back to the Y

After months on inactivity, I went to the YMCA tonight.
Its about time I got moving.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Orchard 2008

Today I convinced my husband to go to the orchard. We ended up meeting some friends and enjoyed an afternoon picking apples.

The apple picker...

Look at them apples...


Apple jackpot.

My hubby as Mr. Wilson...

On top of the world...

The kids enjoying a wagon ride...


Apple pie, pumpkin pie and pumpkin seeds are in our immediate future. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008


This started out as a response in facebook but was too long to leave as a comment. So it became a post instead.

On the discussion of home school, we will continue to do so as long as it is working for our family. Hubby and I knew would homeschool within the first year of marriage, long before we had even conceived. One reason being that Hubby grew up next to a homeschool family and they dispelled every myth and fear one could ever have about homeschooling. These kids are the most well rounded socialized people we have EVER met. They are extremely bright. Involved within the community and just great people to be around.

So much has changed in the realm of homeschooling since the days of ding dong ditch, when kids literally had to hide the fact that they were home schooled out of fear the government would take them away. Michigan now has embraced the parents right to educate their children and with that the doors of opportunity have flown open and continue to grow. There are now co-ops, shared teaching, sports for home schoolers, science fairs, group field trips, mentors, music ensembles, choir and symphonic bands...the list is endless. There are used curriculum sales and state wide seminars. There are more curriculum choices than you could ever imagine. Not to mention resources found on the internet, at the library and different organizations.

Other reasons we home school are we feel it the parents responsibility to teach their children. I am not one that cookie cutters every family and says ALL should home school. I think it is a personal choice that each family has to make. Our family has chosen to school at home. We have the freedom to teach our kids what we feel is important. Mainly being our faith. While omitting, at least in the fundamental years, that which we do not believe to be of value or that which we feel is detrimental.

I like that we can individualize their educations. No two children are the same and I love that we can strengthen those things that are of greater interest. We can also spend more time developing those areas of weakness. We can go on field trips galore and turn everyday life experiences into moments of learning. I find that since I have this responsibility of being the sole educator I am very mindful of what is being taught. I discuss in greater detail. I talk to my kids like they are people, with their own thoughts and ideas. I love dialoguing with them about what they think about certain things. Because I know what they are learning or experiencing I am able to reinforce things throughout the day or while driving in the car. I also know what interests they have and make opportunities for them to grow and excel in those areas.

I think so many parents want to be involved more deeply in their kids life and education. I have many friends that are successful in this. One in particular has made it a point to read every evening with her kids and the rewards have been great. She has great readers and writers. It is a time they all look forward to. It is also a time where they can discuss things going on in their world. My biggest pet peeve with public schools is not the teachers, or the kids. It is not the curriculum. It is the other parents. I see far too often parents disengaging themselves completely from their childrens education. It appears that the mentality is school is for learning and it ends there. The church should teach you all you need to know about God and it ends there.

If I were to encourage you, whether you homeschool or not; be involved in your kids lives. Ask them questions about their day. Take interest in what they are learning. Read with them even when they can read for themselves. Take them new places and create new learning experiences. Your enthusiasm or disdain will rub off on them. Find out what your kid is interested in and give them freedom to explore it. And as I mentioned in my previous post, get them outside; enjoying nature. Nature can be one of the best teachers of all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Operation Get Outdoors

Today we declared it Get Outdoors Day. We dressed in layers and headed outside. Subway in hand I told the kids to find a spot to eat our picnic lunch. There were picnic tables near-by but they chose these rocks instead.

From this rock perch we discussed using all our senses to explore.
Then we set off with sketch pads in hand. They could go wherever they wanted and stop to draw something if they liked.
Here is the boy deep in thought, drawing some trees in the maple forest.

Little girl found a spot on a rock and made one of her drawings.

She was super proud of her picture. Which shows all the small trees beneath the taller ones.

Raccoon tracks

Deer tracks.


This is a close up of what they are looking at. A spider and sap on the log. As well as the rings.

We came across a cool observation shed. It had slits that you could see out.

They drew so many different pictures. Trees, woodpecker, squirrel, carvings of a compass...

It was such a great afternoon.

It was a day well spent.

Richard Louv on the Today Show

The Effects of Nature

As a kid I lived outside. I could orient myself and tell time by the sun. My favorite place to be was up in a tree. I felt safe, secure and happy in a tree. The higher the better as I could see more of our world from the perch in my back yard. I am extremely fortunate in the fact that I was born into a family that frequently appreciated the outdoors. We camped at state parks, hiked trails at nature centers and explored different environments on a regular basis. I know I am a richer person because of it.
On my date with my Dad last night we went to see a lecture by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. I am so glad we went.
Our nation is in desperate need of reconnecting with nature. Obesity is on the rise(even with organized sports) more kids than ever are on antidepressants and there is an alarming amount of kids that have been diagnosed with ADHD. I am talking about our children here. We live in a generation that would rather watch a program on TV about nature rather than be in nature experiencing it for themselves. We live in a generation that believes they know more than those who came before, yet they do not know true real life experiences. We are loosing our kids to technology and I think unless some very intentional things happen, nature will be lost to this generation and the ones that follow.
During the lecture the phrase 'in our schools' kept surfacing and research that had shown the effect on our kids when they encountered nature. . There have been studies that show kids who learn by natural light perform better than those who use artificial light. There have been studies that show kids who had one week of outdoor nature experiences scored better on tests. Those who walked in parks; were more relaxed, better focused and performed better on tests. Nature has had huge calming affect on those with ADHD and some studies show it should be included in ADHD therapy. To sum up the research, Kids are happier, healthier and smarter when they experience nature.
The phrase 'in our schools' stuck out to me for many reasons.
1. The schools are under restrictions and pressure. They often do not get the opportunity to get their kids truly outdoors as field trips require planning and funding. Their schedules are restricted to make more time prepping for standardized testing, meaning shorter recesses.
2. I see the effects in my nieces and nephews who are in the school.
3. I am not nor our my kids in the public school. So everything mentioned on the school front I automatically process through the mentality of how can this information be altered to benefit my homeschool.

So how can I take what was discussed and apply it to our home school? I believe I need to get back to nature. I no longer want to be content reading about it in a book. I want to go, explore and see if we can see it live. I want to include at least one half day a week of nature study. Going to different parks; watching the leaves change color and fall to the ground. Hiking trails. Getting knee deep in a pond with a skimming net. Tracking animals. Laying out under the stars. Seeking out different habitats and ecosystems. I want my kids to know how to fish. I want my kids to know how to hunt. I want them to know how to survive in the wild. And I truly believe to do this it will have to be intentional.

Yesterday before the lecture I was having a discussion with my son, age 7. He was asking where I was going to go with my dad. I told him about the author, the book and the authors views. We talked about our families take on TV, computer, books, education, exercise and nature. Then we discussed how other families do not get outside, that their kids are content to watch TV all day. It was about this point that he exclaimed "cool." I mean really doesn't it sound great to watch TV all day. So being ever wise, he proposed a social experiment. He would stay in his room for a week, not talk to anyone, nor go outside or interact with anything living. We talked about what variables would be part of "the experiment." Would my fish stay in my room? No, that would be considered nature. Oh and we should probably cover the window so you can't see outside. And your books, those should probably go to. And if we wanted to make this truly a technology verses nature experiment we should get rid of your toys for the week too. Just you, the TV and video games. Food would be delivered to your room and you could come out only to go to the bathroom.
Sound like a good plan....not to me! But he was all over it. He was ready to start that moment. But rather than a week he quickly decided that a day would be good. Somewhere in his brain he was already counting the cost and isolation for an extended period of time did not sound so pleasent. But a day off of school with the TV, this he thinks he could handle. All in the name of a social experiment.
We called dad for approval and it got pushed to the needs further discussion plate. After further discussion we stil don't know if we are going to let him try it. On one hand what damage could be done in 24 hours? What could be learned? Is it worth it?
Personally, I think he would happily kiss us good-bye. Shut the door and escape into TV oblivion. For about 2-3 hours, then I think he would venture out, just to see what we were doing. Or he would convince his siter to join him. I think he would grasp the concepts of isolation and the effects it has on a person. I think he may also try to play up the fun that video games and TV can offer. I think he would experience lonliness. I think he would want to be outside, especially if he could here others playing outside. I think the experiment has merit but can we achieve the same observations without having to experience it? What do you think?

There is definitely an interesting current and discussion of all things nature in our home this week. One I am glad to be reminded of. I homeschool for a reason. I am not stuck to a desk or a set format for the education of my children. Sometimes I need to be reminded that seat work is not were true education happens.

As Louv said, "Kids in nature are happier, healthier and smarter." Isn't that what every parent wants for our kids? If you do, get your kids outside today. A sense of wonder awaits them.

Oh and one last thing, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU READ LOUV'S BOOK. Last Child in the Woods.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Like a Good Girlscout

Reading Blueberries for Sal , the words 'to store them up for winter' ring through my head. I have been thinking, don't worry I do this daily. I have been thinking about our grandparents. They were of a generation that wanted to be prepared. They had cellars lined with food to get them through the winter. They had root cellars filled with potatoes. They filled their ice chests with meat, both bought and hunted. They canned in harvest. When winter came they had food to see them through.
I know from reading blogs that the art of canning and storing up food is not completely lost in this generation but I do believe it is a dying art. And of those of us who do not can, do we even store up? I have seen a few signs in the last months for around town. It is the governments readiness program. Ready for what? Who knows; floods, hurricanes, natural disasters, health epidemics, economic crisis'. I am not sure what all it covers but I think it has merit. They encourage Americans to be prepared for any kind of emergency, making a kit. Do I have a said kit? Ummm no. I have random supplies scattered EVERYWHERE through out my home. Candles one place, matches in another, flashlight (w/o batteries) that's helpful. Do I have food to sustain us? These are things I think about. I want to be more deligent. I want to be more prepared. Whether it be a power outage, a falling economy or some other unknown, I want to be prepared.
I think it's time I get it done. My girl scout leader would be so proud.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday

Little Miss,

This has been a year of growth. Last year you were extremely shy, not wanting to talk to anyone but your closest family. This year, you have made huge steps. Greeting others, saying thank you and answering questions sent your way. I am so proud of you. I know God is growing you into the young lady He has called you to be. Watching you emerge is been beautiful.

In school you are officially in Kindergarten. With your own school and your own desk. You are a quick learner, soaking everything up. You love words. In your spare time you love to say, spell and write the different words you know. You love books and want to be a librarian when you grow up. Now that you are reading beginning books it is fun to see that love and passion grow. I hope it is a love you never loose.

In school you count to 100 by 1's and 10's. You know all the letters and their sounds. You write well. Reading is emerging and you learn new words everyday. You love science and nature. Especially animals, one of your favorite thing to do is to write animals you see in your animal book. You are ever watchful and on alert.

There are many things I love about you. You are adventurous. You love to explore and try new things. Including ethnic foods. You push yourself to do what others may not even try. Such as climbing the tree in our front year. You have persevered and conquered your goal. I know with your determination you will go far.

You are a great sister. It is fun to watch you and your brother snuggled up reading or watching a movie together. I hope you never forget, he is one of your best friends. Now and for many years to come.

You still love to snuggle up in my lap. As you are growing bigger all the time I know the day will come when you no longer fit. I cherish these moments. The smell of your hair, your giggling body and smiling face. I can not help but kiss you, you are so cute I could eat you up.

You are active. You completed another triathlon this year. You love to run and ride your bike. You and the neighbor girl can ride up and down the sidewalk for hours. You also enjoy to swing and dance. Will you dance, sing or cheer lead when you are older? These are things I wonder. You are so full of potential, I can not wait to see God's plan for your life unfold.

You are beautiful. You are lovely. You are growing. You are strong. You are loved. You are cherished. You are my sweet little girl.

I love you!

Birthday Girl

Birthday Breakfast of pink heart pancakes and sausage

One happy 5 year old