Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Today we...

made the most of our Daddy time.


We get so little of it these days, that much hilarity is squeezed into a few hours at a time.


Much hilarity and much love.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scenes of the Season

Balancing.


Playing with a Solstice present.




Making popcorn and cranberry chains.










Or just cranberry chains.


Being inspired to create her own paper dolls.


Playing with Magical Creatures.


The Chess Pose.


The Naked(ish) Chef.

Playing with letters.


A unicorn and a rubber ducky having a conversation.


Heading outside to chore with Daddy.


Making gingerbread people and reindeer cookies.












Santa visiting our house.


Grayson spying on presents under the tree.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas morning.

Gray's big present. Whee!


While Gray loved his present, this was my view of him for most of the morning. Right up against my leg, smiling at me. Not a bad view.


Sometimes he chewed on a teething toy that a very good friend sent him for Christmas - it's felted and the sweetest teething toy.


Once again, Whee!!!


Hannah immediately dressing her doll after opening the clothes her aunt sent her.


Santa brought her a stroller that is just like her sister's stroller. Santa's a very smart man. Peace on Earth and all that.


Playing with the pony she gave her sister and the unicorn her sister gave her.


First order of business after exploring new kitchen? Write shopping list.


The beanbags were a huge hit. This picture was taken about six seconds after her father brought them in the room. A run and jump. Very satisfying when it's a homemade gift with much swearing involved in stuffing them.


Ains is our very physical child - always moving. It makes the winter a more challenging season. We're hoping these will help her expend her energy while trapped in the house.


Good start so far.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Snapshot Sunday

I'm not the only one with dirty dishes in the sink.










Two lamps on the same hook so that I can use the other hook for cheese making. The last time I made cheese was four months ago.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's 3 pm.

And Hannah's bugging me about going to bed. She's been wanting to go to bed for the last few hours.

You see, it's Christmas Eve. Santa can't come until she comes to bed. Earlier to bed, earlier to rise, earlier to presents.

That's the four-year-old logic anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2008

“If living is learning, am I living a large enough life?”

This question was asked in this wonderful post on Handmade Homeschool. Go ahead. Click through - her blog is worth it. I'll be here waiting for you.

The basis behind my children's education philosophy is that humans are driven to learn. Little humans are especially driven to learn about the world around them, their society, and their place in it all. This covers all of the broken up 'subjects' in school. Science, history, math, art, physical education, language, even the new-fangled classes like 'community'.

I ran into a lovely woman at the grocery store the other day. It was the middle of the week and she had her five year old and two year old daughters with her, so of course I asked her if she homeschooled - you make connections wherever you can out here in the boondocks. She said that her older daughter was in morning kindergarten, but that she wanted to homeschool. Her husband wanted the kids to go to school because otherwise how would they see the "real world"?

When did school become the "real world" and grocery shopping become... I don't know - the fake world? Not the Real World? Running errands, going to the library, following your interests, doing what is necessary to earn money enough to cover needs and wants, socializing with friends and neighbors, *this* is the real world. This is the world that my children live in.

Having this educational philosophy forces me to wake up and live my own life well and fully. My children need to see me following my own interests, get out of my house, or retreat to my house. It can be an overwhelming feeling to have these eyes on me, but at the same, quite confusing time, a comforting feeling. I have to - and get to - keep asking myself the question that is rife with possibilities,

"If living is learning, am I living a large enough life?"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!

It's Solstice, the longest night of the year.



The Holly King grows old and leaves, the Oak King is born.



In the morning, the sun is born again and nights will get shorter and shorter.


The sun has gone to bed and so have my children. May they sleep as long as the sun. I'm not holding my breath.

Tomorrow is the first day of winter and the girls are going to wake up to new, soft snow covering the ground. I hope my husband can get out of the driveway to go to work.

He's been home all day - a rare gift these days - so he had to deal with very attached girls.



Very attached, indeed.



This is my first year doing Solstice presents, so I need to get those wrapped up and set out. Right now I'm using my sleeping children time to finish up the Christmas present that Matt wanted to get them. I turned this:



into these:



For both surprise impact and because I'm paranoid about packing peanuts, I waited until the kids were asleep. I'm also paranoid enough about packing peanuts that there are actually four bags there - I made two muslin bags to go on the inside to hold the peanuts and used the cotton bags (the pink and blue fabric) to cover the muslin. I'm frustrated with muslin right now. Muslin is easy to sew and cut, but requires a lot of ironing. Even so, muslin is angelic compared to packing peanuts. I despise static-y peanuts that have to be stuffed handful by handful into two huge beanbags.

The kids will love those bags, though - they'd better.