Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wow, y'all

It has seriously been a loooooooong time.

I just wanted to pop in and tell you that we're still around, just not here...

We're older and there is one more of us now, but we're still blogging :)

Come check us out at

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Little Belated...

...alright, so maybe 3 weeks doesn't qualify as a "little belated", but you all will excuse my tardiness, won't you? We did have a great park day on the 27th of October (that one was more of a playground than a nature day), and several more since. But, that house of ours has kept me from posting the photos until now :) Hope to be back again this week with another post - this time on the importance of keeping the big picture of education in front of us. I need that post! For now, a few photos. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Park Day Tomorrow - Pics to Follow

We're headed out for a long day outside tomorrow. Our housework is under control, lessons have been consistent, the forecast is glorious. Now, to get to bed so we can head out after breakfast!

Hopefully, I'll get some decent photos :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Daily Rest - The Logistics

Thanks so much for the wonderful comments in my last post, ladies. I'm glad the article was a blessing to you.

I know it's all fine and good to agree with the author in theory, but several readers have wondered how exactly a daily rest pans out in real life. There are definitely days that I'm left scratching my head, too :)

I think this "daily rest" is likely to be constantly changing, adapting to the need of the moment and the phase of life. For instance, a family with a newborn in the house may have far lighter lessons for a time, enabling Mama to get those much-needed extra moments of sleep. For a family with 4 somewhat older children all doing a full schedule of Ambleside Online - Mama might check out for thirty minutes while the children all have some productive independent work to do. I've learned that what works for my family now probably will not work for my family in even six months. Schedules and routines have to constantly change and grow with us if they are to be our helps and not our masters.

Here's a peek into our day today as an illustration -

It's a Monday and we haven't been outside at ALL today, even though it's gorgeous outside. We have houseguests coming for Punkin's 5th birthday (!) this weekend and there are literal MOUNTAINS of laundry to do. Additionally, we did very light lessons last week as the house and its many projects took precedence for a bit (I'm sure our houseguests will appreciate a door on their room!!! - ha). So, we've done a lot of housework and a lot of school work. It's now 3:30, we just finished a history lesson, and I'm totally fried. Punkin and Little Dude are still napping, and probably will be for another 30 minutes or so. Shug is reading, SweetP is making beaded bracelets. I am blogging - shame on me! So now I'm going to log off and try to get some rest before I hear my little man calling out to tell me he's not interested in staying in bed anymore. Monday nights are Sam's late nights - he'll probably be home at 7pm or a little later. It's very important that I rest now to help me carry out the rest of the late afternoon and early evening. I'll get maybe 20-25 minutes. Less if I don't wrap this up pronto :)

As we add more and more into our school days, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to have time alone with the Lord in the afternoon. If I don't wake up before the children and have time to read the Word and pray then, it's likely it won't happen at all. In the afternoons, if I grab a break, I nap. In the evenings I read just a chapter or two of a book. Last night I read a chapter of A Tale of Two Cities. Tonight I think I'll read the second chapter of Adler's How to Read a Book. Maybe the secret to fitting in a little reading and a rest is to keep both short. You needn't read 100 pages of a book in one sitting to benefit from it :) In fact, less is likely to be more - especially if you can think on it a bit while you do dishes or fold laundry the next day.

I wouldn't cut down on time in the Word or prayer, though. That's one area where longer lessons are better :)

Anyway, glad you all enjoyed the article! Thanks again for the comments! Now, time to crash. Oh, and just in case I hear my boy moments after my head hits the pillow - I whole-heartedly agree with the readers who left this bit of wisdom for us all:

"However, I have to agree with what Nikki said about resting in the Lord. I tend to guard my quiet time so jealously that it can become an idol that I selfishly feel like I can't do without."

Amen, Heather & Nikki. I often say that Motherhood is Selfishness Boot Camp :)

Have a great one, ladies!!!

P.S. Oh, and I have to admit something - I had a rather substantial cup of strong black tea at 3:15 ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Daily Rest

Here's another Parents' Review article to get your minds working. This one is called Simple Things - A Daily Rest (again, about Mother Culture). I hope you enjoy it! I'll be back in a few days to share my thoughts on it, and hopefully hear yours as well :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our First Autumn '09 Park Day & Some Thoughts on Masterly Inactivity

Ahhh... today was brisk. I love brisk days. It was windy, too, and one of those days that just seemed to announce the arrival of autumn. Everyone slept in very late this morning (we had storms last night - let's just say not many of us slept well). So, with morning lessons basically shot anyway, I decided to wake the children up by telling them we were going on a park day.

All of the normal hustle and bustle followed and, before too long, they were running out to the van. The cool breeze had them seriously giddy. They just kept spinning around in the driveway exclaiming about how much they loved fall. "Isn't fall your favorite season, Mama? Oh, it's mine! It's such a beautiful day. Don't you love it?". It was a twenty minute drive to the arboretum and they prattled the entire way there.

I took my camera along...

The children with the arborteum's resident collie

Shug just after arriving at the park

Little Dude and clover

Snuggled with Punkin

SweetP picking clover

Mama and Little Dude

We just had a sweet time lying on a blanket in the sun, collecting acorns, enjoying the mild weather. The children played house with rocks, dirt, and sticks as their props. They jumped off of benches, climbed boulders, tried to catch grasshoppers. Lovely :)

I'm wondering if someone is going to comment on Little Dude being so near the water (he's two and a half). Charlotte Mason frequently mentions leaving children "be" when outdoors - letting them play, and pretend, and imagine on their own without constant prodding or directing from Mother. It can be difficult to keep quiet, as a mother, at first. Eventually, I think you start to find your own feet and figure out how much to "leave alone" and how much to step in. However, there do have to be some parameters. If for no other reason than just to keep the little guys out of harm's way. The children are largely allowed to play as they will on our outings, but they have already learned what the boundaries are beforehand. It's not a lawless, wild time where they get to rule the roost. Authority is always right there, lovingly watching through her sunglasses as she sits on the blanket. Ready to speak up if the need arises.

I let Punkin lie with me on the blanket for a while this morning, chit-chatting and snuggling. After a bit, though, I gently encouraged her to go enjoy the day and play with the others. We had our nice time together, but she engages in a different kind of learning without me right beside her. I wanted her to have some growing time without me, too. I'm never far away, of course :) She brings her little bouquets of flowers and interesting rocks and all that. But it's good for her to spend a while just filling acorn caps with mud and then scraping it all out again with a stick... on her own.

Punkin and Acorn

Miss Mason refers to this letting children alone as "Masterly Inactivity". When coupled with well-trained habits, it makes up a sort of educational double whammy. Each makes the other stronger and neither can be safely left out of the picture. This post is already too long to get into that more tonight, though, so I'll save further thoughts on Masterly Inactivity for later. To help you think through the subject some until then, I'll just leave you with this :)

By the way, in the video I'm calling Little Dude "Brother". I guess that's what you wind up being called when you're the only boy :)

Enjoy the last few days of September! My favorite month is right around the corner!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

So, What Exactly *Have* We Been Up To?

I took quite a long break from Understanding Charlotte. Although, it's good to be blogging again some, I'm still not able to post as frequently as before. Among other things, lessons are taking more time now with SweetP getting a little older and with Punkin asking all the time for more "school". Don't worry - she still does very, very little in the way of lessons :) But, one of the main reasons I've been so scarce in the past year has been that we've moved. And the new house isn't anything at all like our old one. It needs some love. That's okay. With all of the work, there have been ten times as many blessings. And, in its own way, the work itself has been a blessing, too. So, that's what we've been doing. Loving up a "new" house :) Would you like to see?








Have a great day!!!