Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Around these parts...

Lately I have been aware of the very cool things that happen around our house......
We swim.  Just about every day.   Whenever the urge strikes us.  I never fail to think that our P.E comes naturally.  Swimming, bike riding, walking the dog and playing basketball are just some of the things that happen almost daily in these parts when the weather is warm.  Last year at this time Grace was still in school and I would ask Lilah to wait on swimming because it felt so wrong to have so much fun while Grace was in a hot brick building with no air conditioner.
Yesterday I was on Facebook checking for any reaction to my other blogging project, Three Thinking Mothers when I noticed a post from The Weather Channel.  They were having a lunchtime live chat with Dr. Rick Knabb, one of Grace’s favorite meteorologists!   I don’t recall what Grace was doing but she hopped on the computer and joined in.  She told Dr. Knabb that she is a homeschooled student who has spent the year studying weather.  She asked for his recommendations on what to read.  He recommended she learn about computers, chemistry, physics, and lots of math.  Now she wants to know all these things at once!  We are good with the math and computer but I told her we will take chemistry and physics one step at a time!
During a playdate, Lilah was inspired to bake.  After giving her permission to use the kitchen she and her friend found a recipe, prepared or modified the ingredients, and baked a delicious oatmeal crisp with honey and drizzled chocolate.  The only thing I assisted with was taking the pan out of the oven....and the clean up.  We need to work on that!  Lilah also made her very own green smoothie with our new blender.  She combined spinach, red leaf lettuce, a banana, orange juice, lemon juice, fresh strawberries and frozen mango.   It was yummy.  She drank it!  Then she got an idea for a summer project...a recipe book of smoothies that she creates!  Love it!  She is determined to publish a book.  I have no doubt that she will.  I told her I will help her learn how, whether we send a book to publishers or we self-publish.  She will make her dreams come true.
My girls are becoming self-sufficient.  The can now cook meals that are mostly nutritious, tasty and diverse.  They help feed, walk and let the dogs out.  Grace has learned how to do her own laundry so I am no longer on the hook if her favorite outfit is sitting in a pile of dirty clothes.  They make their beds and are concerned with keeping their rooms orderly.  When we have friends coming over they pitch in for a “quick clean” each taking a room or a certain job.  Grace brings in the garbage for our family and my next door neighbor every week.  She also has begun to wash and vacuum the car on a regular basis!  My girls have gone from people who receive benefits from living in a house, to people who contribute to the workings of a household. It is marvelous and it makes me proud to be their mum!
Right now at this very moment, the high school students are walking past my house on their one mile walk to and from school.  The school buses are beginning to ramble by as my neighborhood comes to life on this hot steamy summer-like day.  My girls are snuggled up in their beds dreaming hopefully of pleasant things.  Today we take off from our morning lessons as I am watching their friends for the day so their parents can run an important errand in Manhattan.  At 8:30 they will arrive and spend most of the day with us and I can’t wait.  
There is something about a house full of girls learning and playing together that is hard to describe.  I am watching these amazing little people grow.  They are growing up right before my eyes and I get to see all of it.  Not that all of it is pretty...some of it is ugly.  But it is happened under my roof, not a brick and mortar building out of my eyesight.  I hear their friendship squabbles and I see how beautifully they address them.  I am the recipient of their love and affection when they choose to bestow it upon me.  We have come to a place that I imagined would happen but at times was not sure was achievable.  We are living together peacefully (mostly), sharing our lives happily (mostly) and learning things we never thought possible before (always).
How blessed I am!


Susan @ learning ALL the time!! said...

I love this post! So much of this same kind of learning and growing goes on at our house, and it is so exciting (and fulfilling!) to observe.

Karen said...

Love, love this post Jess! I am happy for you and your girls..so happy. Aren't we blessed? Aren't we just unbelievably blessed?

I love that Lilah wants to publish a book. Tell her I would love a copy of her Green Smoothies book. I love that Grace has such a plan in mind already. I love how she loves weather. Kei and I talk about Grace so often when anything 'weather related' takes place.

You REALLY need to get the book I was telling you about. I know you would love it! In fact I spent an hour looking for my copy because I wanted to reread it. It will make you just love having girls and want to teach them everything all at once! "Learning Like a Girl"

PS I am still loving the green smoothies. I think I had a slight overdose Saturday night and was horribly sick but that isn't something to discuss in comments. ;)

Jen @ Forever, For Always... said...

We would definitely buy the green smoothie book too! Great long-term project to work on. Have you ever seen this blog? http://www.whiteoakschool.com/ It's all about project based learning, you might find it interesting!

Jessica said...

@Jenn - I have seen this site. I wish they blogged more often!

Helena said...

Ah, this is beautiful!

What a lovely energy you give out with your words, Jess. Just so thoughtful. So aware. So hopeful. And so thankful, for the life you lead and get to share with your girls.

I can feel the summer heat, and the sleepy dreaminess and busyness and helpfulness of your girls' days. I can feel the love flowing out, and I love love love your last words, "learning things we never thought possible before (always)." Because that part IS always, isn't it? And yes, we are SO lucky. :)

Stephanie said...

I agree that P.E. often comes naturally for homeschoolers. Why plan a structured time for fitness activities when you have the entire day to run, swim, hike, walk, jump, and play? :)


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