Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Art, Astronomy, Garden

Painting the crocus. We are making a book of drawings of the flowers that bloom in the yard. We painted the daffodils the other day.

Last night we stayed up late (9:30pm) to watch the total lunar eclipse. It is really fun now that the girls can actually understand what's going on. We used our binoculars to watch the shadow of the earth slowly move over the moon.

Although it has its moments, I love staying home and learning with the girls. I captured some of the good moments on camera today. Some of you not familiar with homeschooling might wonder what we do all day. Well I thought I'd share that tonight:)

I like to do reading, math, and writing everyday with them. They both have to spend time reading aloud to me and we do math orally or written most of the time using the Math-U-See curriculum. For writing we alternate between a course called "Draw, Write, Now" that uses drawing to teach handwriting, and a curriculum called Explode the Code. The girls enjoy most of this time but we do have moments of frustration when I know the girls could be doing more but are not. That is one of the hardest parts of homeschooling for me--knowing my child's potential and trying to encourage her to press on even when it is not fun. I want them to enjoy learning and they do now so I'm just trying to keep it that way:) After we get all this stuff done (which usually takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours) we have the whole rest of the day to do art or science projects, visit museums, go to dance and gymnastics and most importantly for the girls go to playgroups!

We are all learning about growing a vegetable garden. Here are a few pictures of what it looks like right now. Some of the plants were started from seed but we did get a tray of broccoli, chard, kale, and lettuce from home depot this weekend. We also have 3 trays of seeds inside with tomatoes, peppers, greens, flowers, beans, squash, eggplant that we check on and water every day.
Lettuce, Kale, Chard

Garlic and a few broccoli

More broccoli and greens.

Friday, February 15, 2008


We (me and the girls) woke up to love notes, a beautiful bouquet, and a can of frosting for chocolate fondu with strawberries. It was a happy valentine's day!

That was definitely the highlight of the week.

We have been having extreme spring fever here. The weather has been nice--not to cold or warm. We've spent long afternoons at the park and spent some time in the evenings thinking and planning our garden. We are making it a lot bigger this year and we're trying to decide what to do for our very sandy soil. Daniel has been growing seeds inside to get a head start and just to learn more about growing from seed. We hope to do a lot of gardening this weekend planting greens for an early spring harvest! We'll also be starting peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant inside. I'll be posting lots of updates as spring arrives.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Arianna turns 5

We had a wonderful vacation down in Alabama for a full week. We played at the beach, swam in the pool, visited with family and the last day we were their I got to do some relaxing. The day after we got back from the trip was Arianna's birthday and so we had her party on Saturday. It turned out to be a beautiful, warm day. Grandaddy William came in town and went with Daniel and the girls to the mall to get their ears pierced. (Daniel got his other ear done with Ellen in Sept.) Aunt Anna also came in town for the party. We had a scavenger hunt, pinata, a horse cake, and tons of horse presents. And thanks to William for taking these beautiful pictures. It was very nice not to worry about that for this party and he always gets amazing shots of the kids!

I just can't believe my baby is 5 years old. It doesn't seem possible. I feel older when I think about the fact that I have kids now--they're not babies any more! This 5 year old birthday party was a special one. People stayed over at our house into the evening and we ordered out and ate dinner together here. The kids had a blast until about 9:30 (the party started at 2). They played outside a lot since the weather was beautiful. Daniel set up the tent in the backyard so they went on trips to far away lands and traveled in their boat (on top of the mulch pile) then slept in the tent. It was very sweet. It is really fun to watch these young friendships develop. We are so thankful for all of them for coming and celebrating our Arianna with us!

Monday, February 04, 2008

What I miss most when they're gone

First, my loving wife: I miss her friendship-the kind you have with someone day in and day out who can read you like a book even when you don't want to be read. I miss the daily encouragement and real belief-by real belief I mean the kind someone has in you when they really know your strengths, weaknesses, and quirks and can make an honest assessment. I miss the warm body at night. I miss sharing the labor of living. I miss feeding off of her strength and endurance...
Second, my loving girls. I miss the little feet, the little hands, the huge smiles, the soft sweet faces, the quick, strong, and fluid bodies. I miss the young energy, I miss the honesty, I miss the innocence, and the insight that comes with not knowing much. It's been days since I have heard a "Today I did X for the first time" or "Dad did you know X ?". I miss the surprise neck hugs from behind or the surprise tackle hug when I'm not looking.
And its only been a few days! But just imagine if three of your best friends took off for the beach. Now I am left here uninterrupted with my own mind. Yikes. (Cue the violin).
These are my days,

Dauphin Island

Here's were we've been this week. More to come

Happy Mardi Gras from Mobile AL