Yes, it’s my birthday! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by!
In my life this week
I’m 39 today and am feeling very thoughtful about the upcoming year. Getting older doesn’t bother me, never has. I joke about it, but seriously I wouldn’t want to go back in time for any amount of money. Each decade has had its challenges, and I’m sure the next one will be no different, but I feel I’ve learned something important with every year that has passed. I want to do something bold and creative with my year. I am feeling the need to redefine myself a bit. I’ll keep you posted…
In our homeschool this week
We’ve wrapped up our year, finally! It’s the first summer that we’ve actually schooled through, and I’m thrilled about that. I’ve always wanted to retain some semblance of structure in our learning through the summer months so that the fall doesn’t hit us like a ton of bricks, but it’s never quite panned out. This year, though, I tried something different. For June and July we did basic subjects a mere three days a week. That left a nice relaxing long weekend, but still avoided the brain drip that occurs with too much time off. Only drawback to schooling through the summer? The kids couldn’t figure out what grade to say they were in if someone asked.
Helpful homeschool tips or advice to share
Have a read-aloud book that you share with each child individually. I started this weekly tradition a couple of years ago only with my oldest to make sure that he was exposed to literature that was more geared toward his maturity level and loved sharing the time with him. Last year I started with my daughter as well, and we chose books with topics and characters that more resonated with girls. Since she’s my only girl, voting on family read-alouds usually leaves her in the minority, though she still always enjoys the books we choose. This year I will begin with my younger two boys and am so looking forward to that time with them, snuggled up in their beds. Yes, this will mean that I will spend a half hour reading to each child individually (my goal is two kids per day) and it will take up a chunk of time, but the memories we make will be forever-memories!
I am inspired by
Color. The more I explore in my art journals using all sorts of mixed media, the more my eyes are opened to how varied and vivid the world is. Bright, bold, rich colors just simply make me happy.
Charcoal and watercolor
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing
In two weeks we’ll be off on our yearly summer adventure out east. We’ll first visit wonderful friends in Maryland, then head to New Jersey to spend time with my parents, sister and her family, and finally to New York to visit my brother- and sister-in-law and their three boys. It will be busy and fabulous, and I’ll use a lot of that time planning for the upcoming year, and doing a lot of doodling, thinking and writing.
My favorite thing this week
I was intentional about getting my hands in my art supplies more often this week and it made a huge difference in my mood. I realized that my mind was quiet when I was focused on my art, and that’s a rare (coveted) thing.
What’s working/not working for us
Sibling love has been scarce around here lately. So on Wednesday, I had a spontaneous idea to solve that problem. I got a big piece of posterboard and put it on the coffee table. I traced each child’s hands and then labeled each pair with their names. I told them that since they don’t seem to be appreciating each other lately, I wanted them to spend intentional time thinking of how they are grateful for each sibling. Then I asked them to write little notes and leave them on the hands for each person throughout the day. The notes piled up, and the arguing mostly stopped. Then Thursday was an even better day and they got along wonderfully! Makes this mama’s heart happy!
Questions/thoughts I have
I have many thoughts and questions this week. Most importantly I’ve been wondering where my notebook is that has all of my homeschool convention notes for the coming year. I lost it and need it to start my planning process next week.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brother’s Karamazov, which has been sitting on my end table for a year. It’s very good so far, and not as challenging as I had thought. The characters are unique and well-crafted, and the emotional depth is vivid. I’m also reading 168 Hours on my Nook, which has an interesting take on looking at our time. I also recently bought Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle and am waiting for my lovely UPS guy to bring it to me!
With tomatoes!! We have a ton of tomatoes coming from our garden, and it’s a beautiful sight. Last year our harvest didn’t start until September, but this season we’ve been in full swing since early this month. I’ve been making BLT’s, salads, and just eating them in slices with a touch of salt. They are so good! Last night for dinner, I made Jason and me a ciabatta bread with goat cheese, basil, and oven-roasted tomatoes marinated in a bit of balsamic vinegar. Accompanied by red wine, of course!
I’m grateful for
Homemade cards and hugs from little arms this morning. And for a morning to hole up in the library and write, pray and think.
I’m praying for
My children’s relationships, my husband’s work, and the needs of friends and family.
A video, photo, link, or quote to share
Come visit me on Pinterest where I have a board for the Summer Olympics, which starts tonight!
Come on over and link up to the Homeschool Mother’s Journal at the iHomeschool Network!