Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fall Recital

At their piano recital, Abi was characteristically excited to perform, and Seth characteristically reluctant. Still, they both played well. Afterward, we enjoyed our traditional Froyo. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

On A Winter Afternoon

When we get cabin fever, we look for things to do to break up the monotony. Lately, one of the options is to go to Daddy's office after hours and enjoy the larger space there. Tonight, we turned the kids loose with board games. 

Bathtub Science

Vinegar, baking soda and food coloring. Let the experimentation begin!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Puddles has become a bit of a Facebook celebrity among my friends. Posting fun pictures with a hashtag probably helps, and several people have suggested she get her own Instagram feed. I'm not sure the world is ready for that, so I think we'll stick to a few cute duck pics here. 

Schooly Transition, part two

As part of her homeschooling, Abi joined our co-op with the boys. At first, she was anxious, but soon relaxed and found the classes to be a lot of fun!

I also shoveled out the school room and organized all the Braille books. To my surprise, we counted 86 in hard copy, plus hundreds more in ebooks! Lucky girl!

Rapunzel Hair

For her most recent yarn extensions, Abi asked for "gold Rapunzel hair." I figured, why not?

Snapshot: Flowers And Curlicues

A good friend is in the process of adopting a little girl from Haiti. She had this darling toddler shirt that unfortunately had gotten ink on it. She asked me if I could paint something to cover up the ink, which I was so happy to do. I hope it gives her a bright spot of joy while she endures the crushing wait to bring her daughter home. 

Schooly Transition

About a week ago, Hubby and I attended Abi's parent-teacher conference. As I suspected, but to my dismay, she was falling behind, and being placed in remedial classes, especially in math. 

Since she started the year at grade level, I was frustrated. More and more, I could see how the fast pace of a busy classroom wasn't working for her. The aides weren't getting all of her materials appropriately adapted, and just the pacing itself wasn't a good fit. The class moved from activity to activity, and Abi barely had paper loaded into her Brailler. 

I could tell she was also feeling frustrated, and I worried that her frustration would soon transfer into a feeling of inadequacy. She is fantastic at understanding math concepts, but she simply needs time to think and time to write. She wasn't getting that, as the aides felt pressured to hurry, hurry, and they'd often simply ask her to dictate her work just to get it done. 

Still, we really debated whether or not to homeschool her again. Last spring, we wore each other out emotionally. My expectations were too high, and her PTSD neediness clashed with them. I didn't know if we'd fall into the same cycle. Also, I was deliberately choosing to spend time with the boys while she was at school. 

To make a long story short, we decided to homeschool her again, this time completely solo, with no school affiliation. 

We have both been thriving! I have been careful to be gentle in my expectations and not make her feel unduly pressured. She, on the other hand, has loved getting to delve into each subject and complete each assignment with great care and understanding. 

Unlike my older two kids, she loves to write, and daily makes up magical stories about princesses and ducks and Aslan from Narnia. 

I'm careful to assign her enough independent work that the boys still get their share of my attention. All in all, it's working even better than I'd dared to hope. 

Escaping bunnies

After the fourth time the bunnies got out of our yard, and we had to spend an hour in the rain and wind storm chasing them to corner and recapture them, Hubby and I had had enough. We went to the hardware store and bought the supplies to make a good-sized bunny tractor that can move around the back yard. 

Sorry, bunnies, no more free-range living for you. 

Still, they are awfully cute and cuddly. 

Yellow Stripe

Curly did her belt test to upgrade to a yellow stripe. Because we've been so busy, this is the first belt test anyone has done for a while. 

Friday, November 13, 2015


Our lovely Natalie turned eleven yesterday. 

We took her birthday shopping, and she chose rollerblades and a lovely soft bathrobe, along with some cute stuffed animals. 

I'm so proud of the kind, hardworking, generous, friendly, gentle, loving person she is. We are truly blessed by her. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Duck Therapy

Today has been one of THOSE DAYS. I don't even want to write out all the stuff that went badly today, but the migraine was one of the minor things. 

Then, tonight, this peaceful creature fell asleep on my lap, and suddenly all was right with the world. 

#TherapyDuck #PuddlesTheDuck

Hubby Silliness

One of my favorite things about Hubby is that he can always make me laugh. :)

Pioneer Day 2015

Our One-Room Schoolhouse day was the biggest yet. In addition to the usual reading, spelling bee, math, bible and medicinal plants, the kids got to do a hay ride, archery, soap carving and spinning wool.