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Showing posts from February, 2013

Where I long to Be

Do you ever have those days where you know you have to get up, get showered and get the day started but every ounce of your being just wants to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up and sleep, for hours, perhaps for the entire day?
I am having one of those mornings.  Curses that it happens to be on my busiest day of the week - Internship day.  The day I spent about 5 hours in the car.  5 hours.  I drive an hour and 15 min to my friends house where Lilah and her daughter spend the day designing and creating a fabulous garment.  I have a quick lunch, engage in a quick conversation that usually is never finished, and then drive Grace about 45 minutes to the university.  I drop her off and drive the 45 min back to my friends house where I have two glorious hours to enjoy a cup of tea, engage in more conversation where I am actually able to complete a sentence and finish a thought, pack us up, and drive the 45 min back to the university to pick up Grace.  From there we drive an hour home.…

A Very Late Weekly Wrap up: Week of February 22, 2013

Better late than never...
In Our Home This Week:   This has been a challenging week.  Very little went according to plan due to Greg being home with the flu.  Thankfully he kept his germs to himself and the girls and I (knock on wood) are fine.  However piano, electronics and a get together with friends we have not seen in some time were all cancelled.  This was also school vacation week which meant basketball practice and games were cancelled.  
You would think with all this extra time on our hands we would have accomplished great things, but we did not.  It was a struggle to get through the ordinary routine of daily life.  I think sickness ran smack into winter blues this week.  I almost cried when I discovered we are going to lose some of my favorite plants from the weight of the snow.  My lilac bush is snapped in half and my holly bush may be past saving......

In Our Homeschool This Week:  Lilah finished Life of Fred Edgewood and begins the next book Monday.  Grace finished chapter 3…

The Intersection of Knowledge and Passion

Last October Grace secured herself an internship position at Western Connecticut State University in the Meteorology Department. Typically these are offered to high school students who have a desire to continue their education in science.  After participating in WCSU’s Bridge Program in the spring of 2012, her level of knowledge of weather became apparent to the faculty.  The Tri-State Weather Conference was held at WCSU in October of 2012 and she was one of only a handful of students present.  Before leaving, she approached the Department Heads and asked if it would be possible to obtain an internship as a middle school student given her level of interest, her desire and her knowledge base.  They could see no reason why not, and offered her a spring internship.  Her experience began in the middle of January.

Last spring, there was one day that I recall vividly, when Grace was outraged that not one student in her group had a working knowledge of our country’s geography.She alone knew a…

Notebook Girlz: The Blog!

Notebook Girlz blog is now live!  The girls are very excited about this project.  Sharing writing is something that is personal on so many levels.  It opens up the author to feedback, both positive and negative.  As an adult, I would like to think that I have a pretty thick skin but truth be told, I don’t.  It takes me time to brush off a criticism of something I chose to post on my blog.
These are children who are excited about their original thoughts.  I am getting emails asking for editing assistance, About the Author paragraphs and questions about when posts will go up.  There is a palpable energy surrounding this blog and I hope that it is sustainable.  
I also hope that through the sharing of their words, they find support in the writing/blogging community.  We have talked about authors who participate in writing groups and often they are the first people thanked in the acknowledgements page.  There is an honesty that can be found in a writing group that is unique to most forums, …

Event Planning

Each one of us has something that makes them shine, that brings out a light of joy that is so bright, it can’t help but be noticed by others.  For Lilah that light shines the brightest when she is planning an event for her friends, like this year’s Valentine’s Day Party.  

It begins with planning.  She plans the old-fashioned way with a notebook and pen.  Her plans are detailed, categorized and researched.  Pinterest is a place she spends time searching for beautiful crafts, delicious desserts and fun activities.  Her findings are recorded and ingredient lists are created.

No detail is overlooked.  Decorations are hand made, rarely purchased.  Hours are spent cutting, gluing, glitterizing and displaying.  Those who are blessed to live with her are the recipients of this beauty that she brings into our home.

Menus are planned and dietary needs of her guests are taken into consideration.  She had vegan offerings, gluten free offerings, chocolate free options and even fruit (embellished wit…

Notebook Girlz

We want our children to have good friends.  Friends that they can laugh with, cry with, enjoy time with, and feel good about themselves with.  It is not about how many friends you have, but the quality and integrity of the friends you choose.  You may not always get along, have the same opinion, or even the same interests, but there is a bond that develops making you want to spend your time together, to open your heart to this person, risking the pain that is inherent in any relationship; when you encounter the moment when you must decide if it is worth the emotional investment to persevere or if self-preservation dictates that you must walk away with your head held high.  
Two weeks ago my little writing group comprised of five girls made the choice to become friends.  I was witness to this very special moment that was so subtle and natural it was barely detectable.  This group of girls, who gather together perhaps because they love to write, or perhaps because their mother made them,…

Art Journaling: Valentine's Day 2013

We saw a page on Pinterest that looked beautiful and challenging.  The girls and I decided we would try a group page - sewing hearts onto our pages with embroidery floss in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  

Sewing through 140 lb paper is not an easy task.  There were many pierced fingertips and a few rumbles of frustration.  To their credit, the girls did not give up.  They used erasers as thimbles and helped one another unwind the floss.  They shared their fabric scraps and one girl’s idea of adding paint to the page became a spark and soon we had a true mixed media page with fiber, paper, paint and marker. Paper tape became the page border.

The finished pages may look simplistic through the camera lens, but they took about two hours to complete.  I wonder if any of the girls will go back once the paint is dry and add words to their page.  Words about love.  Words about holidays.  Words about Valentines and parties and candy and hearts.  Perhaps a poem?  Or lyrics to a song? 

Or perhaps…

Anything but typical!

In the midst of a blizzard when all my time and energy is focused on clean up and snow removal, I tend to overlook the positive things that are happening inside the house.  I tend to focus on the fact that no book learning has taken place.  Anxiety creeps in.  But then I stop, and I reflect, and I realize that I am wrong.  In fact, lots of learning has taken place, just not at our desks or at our usual times.
Saturday night Lilah asked if I would like to listen to her read some Fred to me.  I would never ever say no to that offer!  

There was puzzle making.

There was art journaling.
There was reading.      There was planning and organizing and decorating.

There was homework and a piano playing.
I read a chapter of history aloud for fun with no expectations of review questions or mapwork!     There was Little House watching and fire building       (congratulations Lilah on your first fire!).

Schools in our town are closed through Wednesday and other towns have decided to shut down the entire …

Blizzard of 2013: Reflections

When I was walking out of Stop and Shop Thursday loaded up with gallons of spring water, cans of soup, pasta, and shelf stable soy milk, someone commented that I was taking this storm seriously.  Seriously?  

Have we learned nothing from the past year?  If Irene, the Halloween snowstorm of 2011 and Superstorm Sandy of 2012 did not teach us in the North East that we are not immune to the effects of severe weather, I guess nothing will. 

It is time that we stop relying on public services and prepare our homes and our families for an increased level of self-reliance.  In our current economic climate towns cannot provide us immediate relief no matter what your mill rate is.  Our infrastructure is aging.  Now a power outage is not a matter of hours, but a matter of days or even weeks.  

I don’t want to lose my “power” when we lose electricity.  I don’t want to be captive to town officials to “save” me from Mother Nature.  We used to be a nation of self-reliant people.  Why did we allow oursel…