Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Twelve Months

Sylvia performed in a play with our homeschool co-op called The Twelve Months.  She was a windy, icy winter sprite...
 and with a quick change, a spring fairy.
The older kids all did a great job with their lines, and there were many funny, charming moments.  It's fun to see homeschoolers of different ages working and playing together.  I am grateful for the opportunity for Sylvia to be a part of this and for the people who contributed their time, energy, and barn-space to put this together.
 full cast

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

days flying by

Our days have been flying past.  We close on this house in less than a week.  For the first time we will be home-owners, building upon the foundations of a truly lovely property, built by a truly lovely family whose dreams have moved them to a tropical rainforest climate.  We are honored to be continuing what they have started here, and we wish them all the best in their new endeavor.
One of our latest projects here is repurposing aluminum ducts into siding for the chicken coop, which is currently covered in tar paper.  There's also mudding bathroom walls, grouting tile around the newly-installed shower, readying the grounds for spring, etc.

Camille and I walked down to the valley today, just the two of us, and giggled as we slid down a steep hill on our butts, and came home with leaves and flowers twined in our hair.  It was lovely.
She has been quite flower-child-inspired lately.

Sylvia has been rehearsing a play with the homeschool co-op lately and will be playing an icy sprite as well as a spring fairy.

 Her and Ayla both enjoy playing and exploring the creek when we are there for play rehearsal.

 We seem to be endlessly starting seeds this spring, and it never gets old seeing the little miraculous shoots spring up ready to become a food-supplying plant.

We had a quick, but lovely visit from my parents (aka Gigi and 'Buelo) this weekend.
Here's Camille showing Gigi her 'grumpy goat' paper automata.

 Sylvia has been so interested in letters and letter sounds, but not so much in actual reading and writing...unless of course the writing is in glue and will be covered in glitter.  (Happy birthday, Gigi.  You're cards will be a little late, but here's a preview :)

So, our days pass exciting and mundane, unfolding, creating, sprouting, and we are happy to be HERE.  Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

not much to say...

                  foraging nettles 

 wild mint and nettle sun tea

 nettle soup

 Amazing Paper Pets

 barking dog and grumpy goat 

 pear blossoms

 rainbow eggs

 more pear blossoms

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the shape of our day

We celebrated this first day of spring without a lot of fanfare, but it shaped up to a day spent mostly outdoors.  We were recently given some long, strong ropes that Camille and Sylvia wove and tied into trees to create a climbing structure/obstacle course.

 They foraged for wild mint and nettles.
 We planted trays of seeds indoors and some hardy scallions out in the garden.

After dark we watched Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking: Aliens.  Our discussions of the day ranged from the Hoover Dam, the cause of night/day seasons, eclipses, etc., why stinging nettles sting, to how Stephen Hawking's voice generator works.  Now, I'm off to read The Second Summer of the Sisterhood to Camille, followed by one of the Junie B. Jones books for Sylvia.  Our days are never rarely planned out and linear, they zig and zag, and sometimes come full circle with connections.  It's been said before and I'll say it again, 'tis a good life.

Monday, March 19, 2012

learning can come from many directions

We started our weekend with a drive into the city.  The weather was so hot that without air-conditioning we had to drive down the freeway with the windows open.  So, we stuck our hands out the window and talked about air flow and resistance, and what causes lift on a kite, an airplane, a bird...
 We were headed to the doctor's office to rule out whooping cough.  The girls were not happy with having to wear masks.  It seems that their lingering cough is not from pertussis, (yay) but that Camille has developed pneumonia in her left lung (ack).  The other girls' lungs are clear.

 This diagnosis led us to researching more about the respiratory system.

 We've been playing lots of hangman, and getting plenty of sleep.

 And still enjoying plenty of fresh air.  Here's Sylvia planting peas.
 We've been watching movies on Netflix.  Peter Pan because we just finished the original book, followed by Hook.  Hair, the girls like the songs and the outfits and we've been listening to the Original Broadway Cast album, which has a lot of songs that are not in the movie.  Also, prompted discussion about the social culture of the times, including Vietnam, draft-dodging, hippies, etc.  National Geographic's The Incredible Human Body, and more...
 Even though I love seeing spring buds on our apple trees, it is quite concerning that they are budding so early, especially for people who make their living from their orchards.  If we get a hard frost from here out, people are likely to lose up to 90% of their apple crops.  According to this article, we have not had an April without frost in Wisconsin since they began recording temperatures throughout the state.
 Otherwise life is as usual around the property.
 Sylvia and Ayla have been eating a ton of clementines, so we are making our own cleaner by soaking the peels in vinegar.  I haven't made many of my own cleaners, but I'm hoping to try a few from Stephanie's recent post about cleaning potions.

Other random images from our day:
 Camille and Sylvia putting on make-up while they watch a show.

 raspberry leaves

planting a blackberry cane

Our living and learning is all intertwined, and in those moments when new ideas are being discovered and discussed, I know that connections are forming in ways that won't become immediately clear.  Certainly these  moments are not full of something that can be "taught" for a test, but I think the learning goes deeper than that.  So there, I can find one good thing about pneumonia, for most of this week Camille is home from school, living and learning along with the rest of us.