Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2011

Memorial Day

For all those who fought for our freedom we give you thanks. For those families who sacrificed while their loved one served we give you thanks. For those who gave their life so we may live ours free we give you thanks. You are not forgotten. Your efforts live on in the hopes and dreams of young Americans. You are our heroes. Let us never forget.


Last night I spend an hour pouring over my old journals.  I read those that covered the year Lilah was born (2002) and the year Grace began Kindergarten (2005).  I have wanted to do this for a long time, to just get lost in what were my thoughts and hopes and dreams for my young family.
Two things resonated with me after I read these two journals.  The first was that writing is clearly my therapy.  I wrote about all kind of things that were important to me then.  I wrote about my weekly visits with my Grandmother and the resentment I felt that school would curtail these.  I wrote about my frustrations with Greg’s work schedule and the amount of time I spent alone with two babies.  I wrote about my desire to find something for me like teaching a summer class about poetry, volunteering at the homeless shelter and substituting for GED night classes.  I was desperate to reclaim a part of myself I thought I lost by becoming a full time stay at home Mom.   The second thought I had was how pro…

Doing it our way....

Homeschooling looks different for every person who homeschools.  Unlike public school where teachers have 180 days to teach a set curriculum to a classroom of 25 children, our situation is a bit different.  Some states require homeschoolers to prove they “educated” their children 180 days out of the year.  Here in CT we don’t have that regulation.  Even if we did, it would be easy to meet for some part of every day we are learning!   I have my curriculum for the year.  I know what I want to “finish” before we take a summer break.  For example, at this moment, I know we have four chapters of Story of the World left.  We are working at an accelerated pace to finish that by the end of next week, although I would really like to finish it this week.  So last night during dinner I read them the story of Ceasar and Cleopatra.  We learned about Pompey and his unfortunate demise.  We also learned about one of my favorite quotes, “I came.  I saw.  I conquered.” ~ Julius Ceasar.  I love this quot…

Western Connecticut State University

We went to Western Connecticut State University for a class about Meteorology.  I was so excited to bring Grace here.  Dr. Mel and Paul Piorek (two local meteorologists) attended this school and Dr. Mel helped build the new department.  We viewed the wall of monitors in the weather center and attended a class given by a graduating senior from the department.  The children then had the opportunity to tape a forecast in front of the green screen as if they were broadcasting it live on television.

I was so proud of Grace.  She took this past year as an independent study in weather.  She begins every day by watching The Weather Channel.  She has their app on her itouch and idolizes Stephanie Abrams.  By the way, if you know her through 6 degrees of separation, could you please ask her to write back to Grace?  It breaks my heart every time she checks the mailbox for a reply.  Grace has a doppler radar app on her itouch as well.  She has read countless non-fiction books about severe weather,…

Our first full year - a year full of teachable moments

Our year is winding down.  We do not have a set ending date, we will finish when we finish what we have to finish!  But I feel it.  I feel the completion of our first year of homeschooling both girls.  Over the course of the last 12 months, I have evolved and my blog has evolved.  When I first began, my posts reflected my distress with school and the most notable differences between school and learning at home.  I would stay up late, very late for me, sometimes until midnight writing.  It was my therapy, my release, my reassurance that everything was going to be alright.  I enjoy taking time to go back and reread some of the early days.  Back when I was trying to figure everything out.

As a homeschooling family, we have evolved.  I have tried school at home (in January 2010). I was very classically oriented.  Adding another child disrupted this, as we needed to provide an extended amount of time for her to deschool (September 2010-December 2010).  When we finally came out of this phase,…

10 More Ways it is Working - Greener

10 More Ways I know It Is Working.... I love to write these posts.  It shows me the progress we are making in literally changing our lives for the better.  I have tackled some pretty big things in the past year and a half; we began homeschooling one, then two children, I gave up coffee (then went back to small amounts of half decaf), I gave up sugar, took up green smoothies and began worm composting.  Here are 10 more ways we have beautified and healthified our family!
We have made the switch to all natural oral care products.  It killed me to have my girls use products with all that red and blue food coloring.  After trying many different flavors and brands we all agreed on Tom’s Wicked Fresh toothpaste and mouthwash.  
The Green Smoothie habit has taken hold.  Yesterday I made the first smoothie that Lilah approved of.  She even called it “good”!  The girls only drink their smoothie out of cute wine glasses we picked up for a dollar at IKEA.  I think everything should be about beauty r…

The Graveyard Book

The girls and I are listening to this wonderful audiobook.

Halfway through a chapter, the girls asked me to pause the audio.  They asked if they could make a movie of this book.  I said sure but that I can’t speak for their friends who they would want to cast in the movie.  Quickly my backseat became the casting director’s office.  Each character was named and friends were assigned to the roles.  I have to say, I think their choices would be most excellent.  We discussed the setting; the perfect cemetery.  As this conversation was taking place we were driving through old windy country roads.  We happened to come upon a cemetery. Rather than drive on by we pulled in!   We decided that although this cemetery meets the criteria of old it does not have required elements such as a chapel or a mausoleum. We wandered around looking for the oldest headstone, feeling the quiet.  At times I shivered feeling like we were not alone, for I am sure we were not. You could not help but imagine Mrs. Owen…

The Learning Will Find You

Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford is hosting an exhibition of Monet’s Water Lilies.  The last time I saw a Monet collection was in Boston with my Aunt when I was in college.  It made an ever-lasting impression.  For some reason my girls were not into the idea of visiting an art museum.  They have never been to a larger museum so I am not sure what put the idea in their head that it would be boring....probably tv.

I was embarrassed to admit to the friends we went with that I did little to prepare my children for this trip.  We watched Linea in Monet’s garden.  I highly recommend it.  We learned about water lilies through our botany class when we studied seed dispersal.  We took a walk down to the pond at the end of our street that is covered in water lilies not yet in bloom.  But that is all we did!  

Unlike school, where teachers toss out information contained in a lesson or unit and then move on to something completely unrelated and most likely will never again touch upon the concept intr…

To Email or Not to Email that has been our question.....

I love that my girls now have email.  I struggled with the decision to allow them access to this communication tool.  They are young.  I do not want my girls reading chain emails carelessly sent by children that sometimes contain scary content or that spread gossip or give the false idea that if you just send it to ten more people something wonderful (or if you don’t something terrible) will happen to you.  I asked Grace to read a book about internet safety and present me with a five-paragraph essay of her findings.  Still, I declined.   My fears were:
Access to things that are not age-appropriateWould this limit true communication skills?  Can’t you just pick up the phone anymore?Am I feeding into a technology-obsession?Will it enhance life or distract from it? When we discovered the fabulousness of online classes, I realized that by logging on under my email, my name will come up as the class participant, not theirs.  So I reversed my decision and allowed the girls to have their own em…

Make A Wish Foundation

Our family was invited someplace pretty special.  Once of Grace’s best friends hand delivered us an invitation to join his team to walk for the Make A Wish Foundation of CT.  His team.  He is a survivor.  Diagnosed with lymphoma last year he taught us all a lessons about courage and bravery.  Not once did I ever hear him complain, not when his port was installed, not when his hair fell out, not when he missed some school for appointments, and not when his baseball hat became his constant companion.  This child is remarkable, as is his family.   So when we were asked if we would raise money and walk with him, of course we said yes!   Saturday was a day of friendship.

Of caring.
Of support.

Of compassion.
The next time Make A Wish calls your home seeking a donation, please remember this post and don’t hang up.