Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How We Homeschool ~ Morning Time (part 2)

After reading a chapter or two from our current read aloud, we turn our attention to our Bible reading. Right now, during this season of Lent, we are following a plan of reading through the four gospels. I absolutely love reading the Word of God out loud - I love how it makes you slow down and I notice things I don't otherwise notice when I'm reading to myself. I love the questions that are asked and the conversations that are sparked. I think when we are done with the four gospels we'll just keep on going through the New Testament.

Usually to mark this as a special time - set apart from everything else we do - I light a candle. Right now we are using our gorgeous cradle to cross wreath to count down the days to Easter and it's the perfect visual reminder to center ourselves.

After our Bible reading we pray and then begin the "work" part of our school day. I'll talk about that next week!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Good, Random, Fun ~ Week 8

the GOOD
tulips and music
blooms, blooms and more blooms
signs of spring everywhere you turn

the final entries of my black and white February challenge on Instagram
trees, bunny sneaking in the door, feather
dandelion wisps, blooms and tulips

the FUN
my youngest girl is especially cooperative when I need her to pose in a photo for a prompt - this past week was "my week of faceless" and that's why her head is cut off in the jump photo!
sometimes I wear them out with all the running around we do

I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun

Thursday, February 26, 2015


taking a moment to find joy in the little things

Spring is in full bloom here...each day more and more trees and plants waking up and blooming. It's at least a month earlier than least. I absolutely love the beauty of this time of year. 

we still adore the bunnies...

Whie etaking photos of the bunnies, I looked over and noticed some carrots are growing in my garden! I haven't planted anything, so they must be left over from last summer. 

Despite the fantastic weather, February has been tough in terms of health. First my oldest daughter was very sick with pneumonia, then my youngest daughter also managed to get a more mild case of pneumonia. And now it's my turn to be sick..stuffed up nose, runny eyes and sneezing attacks. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Black and White Wednesday ~ In Bloom

Our ornamental pear trees are blooming (a bit early) around these parts. It's beautiful in color, but also think they are beautiful in black and white.

Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday 

How We Homeschool ~ Morning Time (part 1)

I thought I would begin sharing a little bit about how we homeschool. We're constantly tweaking our schedule and finding ways to make things run a bit more smoothly. 

I'm a big advocate of reading aloud and realized that if I say it's a priority, then I need to make it a priorty and begin our day with reading time. We used to read a lot before bedtime, but often I find excuses at night not to read. 

Currently we are working our way through the Little House Series and we've found this much easier to listen to than to actually read. Cherry Jones does a FANTASTIC job narrating this series and I love how the recorded versions have recordings of the fiddle tunes that Pa plays. It adds so much to the story.

Because read aloud time is a priority, we start with it immediately after breakfast and morning chores. If we are listening to a book (like Little House), then we listen through breakfast and linger in the kitchen until we've completed several chapters.

I find that reading aloud in the morning often leads to more read aloud time during the day. Plus, it's a great way to start the day and just enjoy each other first thing. And when you have to spend the whole day together, it's a very good thing to start off enjoying one another.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Good Random Fun ~ Week 7

the GOOD
poppies at the grocery store, Chihuly statue in Seattle, blooming quince
gorgeous sunset, patterns in the trees, hanging out at IKEA
blooming trees, pink and blue, crocus blooming in yeard

I've been posting a black and white photo each day of February as a challenge on instagram
my workspace, my electric violin, ferris wheel
scenes at the lake

the FUN
another instagram challenge this past week was macro mystery

bow hair, dandelion

potato eye sprouts, red pepper seeds

I'm linking up with Good, Random, Fun

Friday, February 20, 2015

A February Daybook

Outside my window: the sun is shining, birds are at the birdfeeder, spring flowers are bursting through the ground and the grass needs to be mowed.

Listening: I am enjoying several podcasts these days. It's fun and nice to have something to listen to when I'm out running. Here are the ones I'm currently enjoying.... The Phil Vischer Podcast, Read Aloud Revival, Homeschool Snapshots and CiRCE Institute (Quiddity)

Reading: My reading pile never seems to be a normal, reasonable size...sigh. Right now I'm using the next 40 days to read through the New Testament. I'm also reading (and listening to) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Go Into All the World by David Chalmers (a book about sponsorship through Compassion International), How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig and getting ready to read aloud The Green Ember by S. D. Smith.

In the kitchen: Salads...lots and lots of salads. I'm on day 20 of my first Whole30 and I'm loving it. I've tried many new things and feel so good about this new way of eating that I'm planning to continue through Easter. We've eaten kale, brussel sprouts, short ribs, spaghetti squash and more. I've made a whole chicken (first time for me) and made my own mayonnaise. Olives are my new blue cheese.

Running: My 1/2 marathon training is well underway and the mileage on my long runs is increasing. It helps that the weather has been nice. I run 4 times a week...2 short runs (4 miles), 1 medium run (6 miles) and 1 long run (8+ miles). I can do this (I think).

In the schoolroom: Believe it or not, we have been getting a lot done in very little time. I think the single biggest reason is that I have started writing down what we need to do that day. When I have a plan, I don't get distracted and we can just move from one thing to the next. I usually add one too many things and let the girls "throw one thing out" each day - as long as they don't throw the same subject out every day.

I am working on: Organizing my days so I'm more productive. When I make a list of what I need or would like to get done in a given day, I am able to focus my energies on the tasks at hand and am much more productive. I'm usually always able to get through the priorities and even move on to others things.

Around the house:  more decluttering, spring cleaning and some re-decorating. I bought the above prints from a "friend" on instagram - Mari Orr. These are watercolor paintings of the 7 states my husband and I have lived in. I'm headed to IKEA this weekend to buy a frame so I can get these up. Here's the story they tell....a girl from IL met  a boy from NY in college in VA. They fell in love and got married. They continued their education in NC and then moved to VT and had babies. The family then moved to MN for a year, the upper peninsula of MI for a year and then settled in OR.

Grateful for: This month has been a little tough as both of my girls have had pneumonia. My oldest daughter was quite sick and it's so good to see her back to normal (even if it means fighting about school work). My youngest daughter also managed to get pneumonia, though not nearly as severe. She's on the mend, too. I'm very thankful for our good doctors and insurance!