Friday, September 30, 2011

Homeschool Friday

My friend Gretchen is hosting a 
and I'm writing along this week.

We don't "do school" like a lot of other homeschoolers...
our lifestyle dictates/demands a different rhythm to our days.

Each fall,
I feel like I'm pulling and pulling and pulling to get them to do school.
I feel this pull as well, because basically the first question posed to me by anyone I randomly meet is,
"So have you started school yet?"

My homeschooling friends' blog and facebook posts are all about what they are using for school
and how they started in August.

It's my own version of peer pressure--
except it's self-induced.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to home education.
If we don't do it like another family, it doesn't mean we are doing it wrong--
it's just different.
And so, I quit pulling
and let the children continue living.

We live in Minnesota--
there are plenty of blizzard days and bitterly cold days
and rainy days and beastly hot days on which to accomplish a lot of our seat work.

I use a literature saturated approach to learning
so the kids are constantly reading good, living books
year round.

So during this gorgeous fall we are having,
I've been less about "school" 
and more about life.
The bigger boys are helping Dennis with harvest;
the other kids play a lot outside.
There have been a lot of football games played
by the whole crew during the afternoons.

Forts have been built from the sheets blowing on the clothesline.
They spend hours pretending together

with brothers who are alternately 
defending and then attacking the fort.

I don't have a long list of
"this is the book we are using for this subject".

I don't (and probably won't) spend a lot of time on my blog
talking about how we homeschool.
The truth is,
many of the people who read this blog wouldn't understand many of the decisions I make regarding our homeschooling journey and would consequently mistake or misunderstand my methods.

See this picture here?
Would you like to know what Elijah began saying to me just as I pressed the shutter?
"Uhhh, Mom?  You're interrupting our play time."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's the Boots

It is the boots that make the outfit, isn't it?
Or the windswept hair...
not sure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Blessed: Rags to Riches

writing along with Gretchen this week...

After 4 children going through these cloth diapers,
they had about had it.
Instead of 8-ply, they had worn down to about 4;
this made them much less absorbent (obviously).
It seemed every diaper change was a whole wardrobe change!
I was getting discouraged
wondering how I was going to afford to replace them.

Then, a sweet friend sent me these in the mail:
I cried.
Then I held them to my cheek--they are so soft.

She sent me enough for LOTS more babies to use!

It was a gift given with joy
and received with thankfulness.
I am blessed.

Hey Good Lookin'


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Mighty Hunters

(Look!!  A picture of Isaiah!!!)
Isaiah was so proud to get a wood duck today!

The Mighty Hunters
Nathaniel, Isaiah, and our friend Peter

Double Stuff

My baby girls
eating Double Stuff Oreos
at Uncle Curt's and Auntie Tammy's house

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our Mini Vacation--Warning: TONS of pictures

In the first week of September,
I loaded up the six younger kids and headed for North Dakota 
for a visit/vacation with my aunt and uncle.
It was so refreshing!
It is also something I've never done--I felt like such a big girl
driving all by myself to somewhere I'd never driven before.
We arrived at supper time and I didn't unpack my camera until the next morning--
 breakfast buddies!
 Ivy always takes such nice pictures, remember?
 cereal from a box that has an activity on the back!!!
(Christopher and Elijah were still sleeping when these were taken.)

A ride in Uncle Curt's combine

 tea parties
in jammies
with hair not yet done

 Here, the ladies were better prepared for the occasion.

 riding the 4 wheeler

 testing the waters of their pool

looking really weird cool in some goggles

eating freezy pops

strutting one's stuff

 hitting Uncle Curt with a water ball

eating treats in Uncle Curt's man cave

 this was a first for these guys--jumping on a trampoline!!

(I love the shadow on the tramp)

Ruby had the time of her life on the trampoline!
She loved to just run around and around and around and around and--
you get the idea.

Ivy thought Uncle Curt was so funny

Of course I couldn't take pictures of everything--
the delicious meals, the pop & popcorn movie nights,
my very own first ride in a combine,
the gracious hospitality
and the sense of "ahhhhhhhhh"
we all felt just to be away for a bit.

It was something we will remember for a long, long time.
Thank you, Curt and Tammy,
so so much.

Friday, September 23, 2011


One of my all-time favorite Ruby-isms
 when she's wondering who else:
whobody else
As in,
"Whobody else will be there?"
I love her.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Rules

Elijah came to me, holding his eye.
"Mom, Ruby poked my eye out."
I said, "Really..."
He said, "Yeah, 'cause she doesn't know the rules say
'no poking eyes out'."

Right, Elijah.
That's a good rule.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Linnea is 11 today!

Happy 11th Birthday to my Linnea!
Since she never lets me take a picture of just her,
I have these pictures of her with two of her favorite people.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

30+ Weeks

I'm 30 weeks and some days...

I am now in the stage where
while sleeping and my legs go numb and I know I need to roll over,
it causes me to question if it's worth the time and effort
such a task would require.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Blessed

It's Monday
and I'm writing along with Gretchen's

You know and I know that I'm blessed in myriad ways,
but I'm only going to point out a few today.

~We had our homeschool group's kick-off picnic yesterday.
Though the day started off rainy, it cleared just in time for the picnic,
complete with bouncy tent and football games, "Capture the Flag", and general socializing by all of those 
un-socialized homeschooled kids.

~Even though I made sure in the 30 minutes prior to our departure from home that my entire family wished for me to die a slow and painful death,
we were all able to shake it off and
they willingly admitted knowing me at the picnic,
calling me "Mom" and "Dear." (That last one would be Dennis...just to be clear.)
See, what they could have called me was
"Crazy Angry Lady Who Seems to Think That Yelling and Eventually Crying are Good Motivators to GET YOUR SHOES ON AND GET IN THE VAN!!!!"
But that would have been too much to fit on my name tag.

~I got to visit with friends--some whom I've not seen for months, eat a meal that I didn't have to prepare,
and learned of some new blog readers!
(I'm always excited to find out who reads this blog.)

~I was blessed to see big brothers stoop to tie shoes for little brothers.

~I watched Ivy run around barefoot in that delightful way she has of strutting/running with her belly forward and her arms swinging out to the sides.  She basically had the run of the park, and knew that there were several loving older girls who would catch her at the bottom of the slide, help her onto the merry go round, or scoop her up if needed.

~I saw Isaiah laugh. Openly.  More than once. 

Though my energy was completely depleted by the time we got home last night, it was a good day.

Click over to Gretchen's blog and play along
and leave a comment here, too, if you'd like!

Friday, September 16, 2011


It's no secret that our kids really really really love their grandparents.
And horses.
If you needed proof,
this should do it:

This week at public speaking class for our homeschool group,
Linnea was asked the impromptu question
"If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?"

I'm thinking she's going to say Australia, Disneyland, or something like that.

Her answer:
"If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be to my Grandpa Wayne's house.
He has horses."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Do We View Children?

If you do nothing else today,
please, please, pretty please
click the link below
and read the article
Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

Paragraphs that struck a chord with me:
"[According to the world] Children rank way below college.  Below world travel for sure.  Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure.  Below honing your body at the gym.  Below any job you have or hope to get.  In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do.  Below everything.  Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing." 
 "Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling.  You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in.  It is what God gave you time for."
"Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory.  When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike.  You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values.  You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy.  You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another--and laying down your life for another represents the gospel."
I know one thing:
I want my hands to be full of good things
and for my life to testify to that. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Linnea's Locks

Linnea had been asking and asking
(and asking and asking and asking and asking)
about getting her hair cut.

She would often come to me with a ruler
and ask me to measure 10 inches up from the bottom.
I would,
and we would both agree that that would be a pretty drastic cut for her.

A few weeks would pass,
and she'd ask again.

Finally it dawned on me.
I told her,
"You know, you can get your hair cut even if it's not for Locks of Love."

Many of her friends have done that
and just about everyone who comments on her long hair
tells her how she should do "that Locks of Love thing."

Once I realized that this guilt of sorts was what was holding her back,
she asked if I would cut her hair.


I cut about six inches off,
which is what she decided she wanted.

It should come as no surprise that Miss Ruby,
who wants to do everything her big sister does,
wanted a "hair tut" too.
Her's was much less noticeable--I cut maybe 1/2 an inch.
I think it was more about me using the cape,
the squirty bottle, and combing through her hair
than about how much came off. :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This? Ruby.
Sugar and spice and everything nice
and may I add:
tea parties on laundry baskets

with dollies and strollers and a baby sister

toy dishes, pretend food

Yes-- Ruby.

(and yes, we are that white trash family who have broken furniture on the yard
awaiting a trip to the dump.
Ruby was still willing to host her high-class tea party
on our hillbilly lawn.)

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