Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Fun Week-end Ahead

Things are busy, but good.  We are all healthy which is always a blessing for which I'm very grateful!  I'm also excited because I have some fun things planned for this week-end.  I can't say what yet as it's a secret.

Here are a few hints though.

It's a mother-daughter week-end.

We are headed out tomorrow for a long week-end.  The weather looks beautiful and did I mention that I'm excited.  I have some things planned and other things we will plan when we arrive.

More later.

I hope your week-end is filled with delights - both planned and unplanned.  God is good.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Christopher!

Wow!  18 years.  Has it really been that long?  I remember as a child thinking that was the dumbest question.  I just didn't understand.  I also remember when Christopher was small (2ish) meeting a mom with a "really old" child who was the ripe old age of 7.  Perspective changes things, doesn't it?  I've learned so much in the last 18 years.  I never knew that being a Mom was all that I really wanted to be when I grew up.  I didn't know the rewards, blessings, challenges and heartaches that would come with having children.  Even for the difficult times though, I wouldn't trade it for anything!

My entry into motherhood was a sweet one.  Christopher was a mild-tempered baby - and this trait hasn't really changed.  I loved spending hours holding him as a baby.  I remember planning group activities and field trips with him (and friends) when he was two.  I guess there are a number of things that haven't changed.  I remember too making my first scrapbook of our times together when he was 2.  I wanted him to remember how much fun we had when he was little.

I have loved watching him become a big brother.  He has always loved holding his baby brothers and sisters.  I still love watching him play with them and have fun with them.  Nothing warms a mama's heart like hearing your children laugh together.

Homeschooling has been a great opportunity and blessing.  Christopher has been a great one on which to learn how to do things as he is bright and motivated and easy to teach (most days).  I have loved seeing his interests in various topics grow and develop.  From learning about the Civil War to finance to running, he takes on a subject and really dives into it.  I'm sure he will do a great job in college.  (Christopher - I want to encourage you to work hard and apply yourself from the beginning.  It will be a challenge and I know you are up to it!)

I have loved watching him set goals and achieve them.  Watching him run - and complete - the Grandfather Mountain Marathon last year was amazing.  After hearing others tell him that it couldn't be done - he did it!  He was the youngest runner in the contest and he did it!  I was surprised at how overwhelmed with emotion the event was for me.  I'm so proud of you!

We celebrated today in a low-key manner.  I set up balloons outside his door.

We waited for him to come out.  And waited.  And waited.

He didn't want to come out if I was going to take pictures to post on my blog!  LOL  He did finally come out though as we started his day.  Pancakes for breakfast.  ACC tournament.  (No comment on the game.)  Pizza lunch.  Playing some basketball outside.  Barbecue for dinner.  Presents.  "Cake".

We gave him 18  presents this year.  I like this idea and may have to make this a new tradition.  It was a lot of fun.

Rebecca made his cake.  This was one of the few things that he really wanted - a rice krispy cake.  She made it into a vibram ("toe shoe") for him!  Didn't she do a great job?!  It's pretty big too, so plenty to enjoy.  I'll be surprised though if there is any left tomorrow.  LOL

Eliana was sitting close and loved singing Happy Birthday.  She also knows that after the song ends, the candle is blown out.  Well, as soon as the last word left our lips, she leaned over and blew out the candles as quick as that!  Made us all laugh!
It was a fun day and I love having my whole family together.

One last gift was a box of letters from family and friends.  Letters of memories, encouragement and advice.  I'm thankful to the many people that took time to send a letter to him.  I'm praying that this will be something that encourages him now and many times in the future too.

It was a sweet day - and surprisingly not an emotional one for me.  God is good.  He has blessed me in ways I could never have imagined.  When I started on this path 18 years ago, I had no idea of all that lay in store for me.  I couldn't really see the magnitude of what being a mother entails.  The depth of emotion, the many lessons learned, the amazing gift.  Thank you God for blessing me with Christopher.

Thank you Christopher for 18 wonderful years.  I love being your mom.  No matter where you go, or what you do, I will always love you and will be here for you.  I will keep you in my thoughts, prayers and heart.

I love you so very much!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Field Trip - Raleigh Little Theater

Still running behind and will soon post on something other than field trips and co-op.  We visited Raleigh Little Theater with our FIAR group and what a fun outing!  We were split into 3 groups based on age.  I hung out with the youngest group.  I wish we could have taken a  peek at what the older kids were doing, but am thankful for other friends taking photos!  Here is Lynn's post on this outing.

While the older kids were having a tour of the theater and then having a class on acting, the little people had a Mom led activity that was lots of fun too!

Do you recognize the book?  It's one of my favorites!

Yes, it's Caps for Sale.  Funny thing, the group of elementary aged kids were also using this story for their drama time.  It is such a fun one!

Who can resist piling a bunch of caps on your head?

It just has to make you giggle!
And its fun to be a monkey who takes one of the caps.
The HUGE mirror in the room was just added fun!  They all loved seeing themselves.
We read the story first, and then had the girls act it out.  Shaking their fingers and responding with a "tsz, tsz, tsz like the monkeys" is a blast!
After the story it was time for a fun monkey craft.
They were each diligent in coloring their masks.
Adding some elastic made them easy to wear.  Well, if you were cooperating with wearing it.  LOL
Aren't they cute?!
After finishing up, we went outside to run and play while we waited for the bigger kids to finish.  Another fun outing with friends.  I'm looking forward to our next one - tomorrow.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Beyond Co-op: Thomas Edison #4

I'm behind on this by about two weeks so may be posting two close together.  :-)  We typically meet every other week.  This meeting we covered chapters 9-12 in the book.  We choose to focus on a couple of these lessons.

First, we talked about communication and the various forms used throughout time to communicate with one another.
 One of the aspects of the story that we found really interesting was the fascination that Tom had with the telegraph.  Below is a picture of a homemade telegraph!  (Love the inspiration of some people as I know I wouldn't ever have done this!)
 The children learned about morse code and each had a sheet identifying the code for each letter.  
 We were also incredibly blessed to find that one of the families in the group actually had several of these that we could (gently) use!Of course, they each eagerly awaited their turn to try out the telegraph!
 As a group they worked on decoding a number of words in order to get the hang of it.
 I just thought this was a fun picture taken in a mirror.
 We listened to morse code on a couple of web sites to hear what it would sound like, then the children were split into small groups.  They had a clipboard with several sheets of paper.  One with the code.  A blank piece for writing on.  A third sheet contained words that they were to type out for the others in their group.  (Each child had different words!)
 They did a great job with this and really had fun with it too!
 For snack time we focused on the garden veggies that Tom and his friend grew and sold to make money to fund his laboratory.  (I'm not wanting this to give my guys any ideas!  LOL  Yes, they have asked about having their own lab.  I'm not as trusting or nice as Mrs. Edison was though.)
 The second half of the morning we focused on advertising.  We first talked about advertising and what it was.  What forms it takes and how it affects people.  The children were again split into groups of 3 or 4.  They each chose a kitchen utensil/tool out of my bag.  They were then to make a commercial for this item.
 They spent time working on the script and practicing their commercial.  Then it was time to perform.  It was so much fun to see what they did with their time.  The first group had a "pickle grabber".
 The second group chose a steamer.
 The third group a cutting board.
 They were all creative, funny and convincing - in their own way.  It was another fun morning!
Here are a few websites that my sweet co-teacher used for those who may also be tackling some of these lessons.

Hope you are finding joy in your days and peace in your heart!  God loves you!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

FIAR Art and Talent Show

This is something we have done for years - though not every year.  It started as just an art show and last year expanded to include music.  This year it also included one song, a poem and a reading.  Its a neat opportunity for our children to have a chance to share their work and/or talents and to enjoy those of their friends.

 We were blessed to be able to host our event at a local music store with a separate room.  This was really great for those playing the piano and it was a real treat to have a piano duet!
 Eliana was proud of her picture of the Yellow Ball.  It reminds me that I really need to do more art with her!
 The art was displaying on tables around the room.  There were drawings, painting, sculpture, carvings, weaving, mixed media, and more!
 I really enjoy seeing all that they do.  It's fun to see things that tie into FIAR lessons that we have done too!
 There was a lot of talent to enjoy in this room!

 I especially like seeing the children sharing their work with each other.  We all like it when someone appreciates our work no matter what our age.

 I wasn't able to get good photos of the musicians based on where my seat was located.  I did get a group  photo though!
 Eliana wanted a turn on the piano too.  She loves music!
 Friends looking at the 3-D scrapbook that Rebecca made me for Christmas.
 More art to enjoy!

Another fun day with friends.  So many things to be thankful for.  God gives so many gifts and they come in so many different forms.  I don't always take time to stop and appreciate things like I should.  Days like this are a good reminder to me to slow down and enjoy.  (Not always so easy though when chasing an active little girl!)

Thanks friends for sharing your children and their work!  I look forward to doing this again next year!