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Showing posts from September, 2015


What do kids do when they are in school and come down with a serious illness?  How can a high school student take the time necessary to recover and heal when he or she must be worried about missing classes and accumulating hours and hours of make up work?  Do they return to school before they’re ready, risking their own well being and that of others?   
Grace would have missed the past week and a half of high school.  She has never ever been so sick, not even when she had the flu.  After five days of a fever ranging from 100 to 103, a cough, ear ache, sore throat, chills, and horrible fatigue, three doctors visits, and a trip to the walk in clinic, we finally received a diagnosis of pneumonia.  Pneumonia.  
This is not something she is bouncing back from easily.  She is fighting hard to get better.  She does a lesson and takes a nap.  She showers and gets dressed and takes a nap.  She has several days left of antibiotics but thankfully she is off the cough medicine with codeine.  Every …

15 part II

One wonderful thing about keeping a blog is you can scroll through the history and see what is important to your family at any given time.  This year it is very clear to see our main interest is horses and horseback riding.  We have ridden at multiple farms, watched thoroughbreds run, and held our breath as jumpers cleared rails.  The pictures tell our story.  
Not too long ago one of our family hobbies was shelling.  We fell away from it a bit, partly because what do you do with all the shells you collect?  There are only so many glass jars one can fill.  But we love the thrill of searching for that rare find.  Shelling is calming, peaceful, introspective and brings you into harmony with nature.  When Grace asked if we could go shelling on her birthday, a warm 80 degree Sunday, we said of course.  

Shelling is part of who we are as a family and I have to make sure that our time together is not so full of mundane things that we lose this interest.  I think it may be time for a fall shel…


About an hour from us is Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY home to the American Gold Cup,  held September 11-13th.  To celebrate Grace’s 15th birthday, we spent the day there as observers, mesmerized by the horses, their riders, and what both were able to do.  

When you are a student of something, whether it is music or sport, there is something magical about watching someone execute the elements that you are working you butt off to learn with style and grace.  Over and over I heard things like “he was on the wrong lead” or “look at the half halt”.  We saw jumping and cantering and galloping like we have never seen before.  We saw celebrities and olympians and national champions from countries all over the world.  

It was an incredible experience and I hope to attend future events at this farm.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a family day and celebrate my girl's special day!

Riding Update

We had an interesting summer with riding.  We left our first barn back in May.  We tried a barn just 10 minutes from us and while there were things we loved about it, ultimately it was not the right style and philosophy for the girls and they both found a place where they can grow as riders and find true pleasure in riding.  

However, joining a new farm in summer is tricky because summer camps run for weeks and take away from lesson time.  Add our travel on top of that and there were weeks we did not ride at all.  Now that we are back on a schedule, riding two days a week, the girls want to get back to jumping and Grace wants to participate in shows again.  It has been a year since her last show and she is more than eager to compete.  They have made their goals known and are digging their heals in and doing the hard work to get back into jumping form.
The farm is a place I never feel stress.  I can sit and take in the quiet of what I call Connecticut Country, which is laughable compared…


Photography began as a hobby and is turning into a half credit or more for the girls.  Hours have been spent photographing, learning PicMonkey, a subscription photo editing website, learning to print at a local photography shop, downloading and completing fair entry applications, and preparing the matting for the photos that were selected.  
The beauty of being home is that we have time to visit the shop and talk to the knowledgeable staff about what we are doing and seek out their advice.  They spent an hour in the shop this week receiving a lesson on the Olympus and Sony mirrorless cameras with wifi connectivity and special editing capabilities.   The very best part is that the staff does not speak to them like children.  They do not dumb down information or assume because the are teens they are not capable of comprehending complicated information.  They are treated as fellow photographers.  

The result is that they see the world through the eye of a photographer, which is something I…

One Year Adventure Novel - our language arts program 2015-2016

After a few weeks into our fall routine, I feel comfortable sharing what we are doing and how it is going.  This is the first year I feel confident no major changes will be made to the curriculum choices we made.  As usual, our week is chock full of activities and lessons, but so far we are managing to get it all done.  
For several years I have offered a writing group for my girls.  My original plan was to hold a workshop similar to a book club, where girls around the same age, could gather, work on their own piece of writing, share and get positive feedback from their peers.  There would be no collecting of pieces, no editing, grading and publishing.  That was left to the parents if they choose to turn it into more.  This was 90 minutes of creative energy in a positive environment.  It has always been my favorite time of the week.
Our writing group, #notebookgirlz, has been through an evolution over the past 2 ½ years.  We have used for many of our writing warm up ac…

Creative Inspiration

Inspiration can come at any time, from any place.  Bam!  Inspiration!
In my home, inspiration is not like a soft breeze of energy gently moving you from one place in your creative journey to another, it is more like a tidal wave slamming into you and physically lifting you off your feet and transporting you to another place.  

Walking around the 103rd Goshen Fair in Goshen, Connecticut, we meandered our way into the pavilion that held the photography exhibits.  Bam!  Inspiration struck.  Grace realized her photographs could be entered into a contest.  She has thought of nothing else since.

Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, she has many good photographs to choose from.  She found an upcoming local fair and has three days to meet the entry deadline.  She can only choose 12 photographs in the amateur division and only 2 of each subject.  Hours have been spent pouring through pictures, trying to move pictures from phones to flash drives, and cropping, editing, and touching up photographs.  

My g…

Collage Friday: Yes, we are busy

I don’t want to be part of the culture that glorifies busy.  “How are you?”  Busy.  “How was your day?” Busy.  When busy is all you are, people stop asking how you are.  They are busy.
I yearn for simple.  I crave peace and tranquility but the reality of my life is that I don’t often have peace and tranquility and I am very busy.  This is of my own doing.  I choose to take a non-paid part time job at church.  I choose to homeschool my kids knowing full well I am the sole teacher in this home since Greg works 2 hours from home.  I choose to get a puppy, underestimating the challenges that come along with an active breed.  I choose to take a risk and open this blog space up to advertising, something I have been toying with for a while.  
So I am busy, however, I am busy doing things that bring me joy.  

I find such joy in my church work. It is far more work than I dreamed of when I accepted the offer.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would be creating a reli…


On my Instagram someone commented that it is nice that Lilah still likes American Girl at 13. 

I think our society rewards teens who look like women.  "Role models" are Kylie Jenner, who at the tender age of 18, has already had plastic surgery and dresses like she is ready for a nightclub, which she is not old enough to enter legally.  Girls wear shorts so short they are truly indecent, and then complain when school officials ask them to go home and change.  13 year olds I know are wearing so much makeup they are unrecognizable and I cannot connect the face I see with the one I taught the year before in Sunday School.  Then there is Lilah, who does not attend school, and does not have the same influences affecting her day to day choices.  She is a thirteen year old girl who is part child, part young lady.  She wears Burt's Bees lip gloss and yes, still plays with American Girl Dolls and I am so very okay with that!
For her birthday we went to New York City to visit the AG …