Friday, February 3, 2012

Another week down.

I haven't been doing a very good job documenting this week. I've been having typical homeschooler/parent issues...namely not feeling like I'm "good enough," but particularly in the education arena. I should be doing more, I'm not attentive enough, my house isn't clean enough, I'm not happy enough, we don't DO enough. Gah, I can't tell you how good it would feel to not feel guilty about something every moment of every day. What would that even FEEL like?!

Anyways, I seem to get into this riff every so often (usually when we're in an educational lull, and there's nothing that I am excited to learn about) and it's generally solved by reading affirmations in books or on blogs that I'm doing all of the right things (the main thought amongst homeschoolers is that kids aren't ready for formal education until at least ages at this age it's lots of playing and loving and reading and playing and just being with them and learning about each other...but it's hard to remember sometimes when you feel like you should be doing SO much more, like you're always behind (even when you're not)). What helped especially this week was to talk to another homeschooling mom who has a 9, 11, and 14 year old. It was good to get some perspective from someone who's been at it for awhile. She mentioned how much she loved those years when her kids were young...lots of playing and reading and snuggling... Okay, so I AM on the right track...blah.

Long story short, I've been re-inspired and hope to be back at full-fledged documentation next week!!

So, this week...

Russ decided to ride his bike to Del Valle, a park that's about 15 (not so easy) miles away, then we'd meet him there and hike. Well, instead of hiking we meandered along the beach picking up garbage, watching a fish get caught, getting soaked, skipping rocks, and getting VERY muddy. It was pretty fun!

Brooklyn saw me editing photos and wanted to give it a shot. I love that nothing is intimidating to her. She's always willing to try something and work with it until she's satisfied. I edited the photo using my usual steps, and describing each step, and then she took the reigns. She would occasionally ask, "Where is the Curves again?" Made this photo-mama's heart sing!

These days the truck gets a LOT of use, and it's not even being driven! I love to listen to the kids as they're playing outside because they come up with the most imaginative situations when they're in the back of the truck.

I was inspired by a photography friend on Pinterest to set up a "ninja course," as I called it. I told the kids that there was something for them inside the house. They all stopped at the door and stared at the sign. After a minute Brook finally says, "Um, Mom...does that say...Ninjas Only??" "Yup." "Awesome."

This is what awaited them. Truth be told, I spent more time playing with it than they did! They went through once or twice and said, "Can we set one up now?"

And they set to work. They did the entire living room/kitchen/dining room areas and declared that if any parent touches a laser beam, they were immediately dead. I mentioned that this might cause problems in their peanut butter and jelly sandwich deliveries for lunch and they deemed me an exemption...for now.

There was more How It's Made, much better if it's in a hideout and you are naked...apparently.

There was a LOT of jumping.

There was sewing. Brooklyn was doing supermans onto the couch and whacked her head. She decided to sew herself a cushion hat (when I mentioned perhaps it might be easier to tie a pillow to her head you should have SEEN the eye was record breaking). After a few attempts she finally gave me instructions on exactly what she wanted and I whipped this one up.

There was building with Cuisinaire rods...Sam said, "Mom! Look at my medieval siege weapon!!" No joke. I was a proud momma.

Brooklyn watched the movie Dive! (on Netflix) with me and one morning woke up and said, "Let's see if our eggs are good or not!!" Um, okay.

"MOM! Come and take a picture of us in our snugglepods!!" I want a snugglepod...

I realized it had been awhile since I'd been in any photos, so decided to take a photo of myself. I had a tough time though...not only was the lighting not so great, the camera seemed to add 10 pounds every time I clicked it, I couldn't get the focus right, but I had THIS monster to contend with! Ain't he cute?? I was doing Brooklyn's hair the other day and he asked me to do his as well, "I want spikes" he said.

Halfway decent self-portrait? Check.

I haven't been drawing much lately, but got the urge to again the other day and there's something about Sam's eyes that inspire me. So, in trying to get a close-up of his eyes, we had a little mini-session. Gah, I love him.

Sam had started doing an experiment...the "go to" is to get a bowl of water and add salt. Sam said, "Hurry! Come wook Mom, it dissolv-ed!" Then I figured I'd get out the cornstarch and introduce him to oobleck. "It's a non-Newtonian fluid!" I gushed, thinking, 'like they'll ever remember that.' Again, I was one proud mama when Russ got home and Sam said, "Guess what! We made a Newtoninon Fwuid today!"

The afternoons have been soooo nice--mid-60s usually. The kids decided they were going to make their lunches and have a picnic. I love that they just sit out there and have their own conversations.

I've started crocheting with a vengeance again this week. I saw a pattern that resembled something like this and really liked the idea of the versitility it offered, so whipped it up.

Today we went to the theater in Danville where they have monthly children's theater stuffs. This month was a concert by the Brian Waite Band. It was fun--they had a whole story/skit and they have good music, but it was about a half hour too long for me. It could have been the screaming children surrounding me (my fault for sitting in the front row) or...who knows. By the time it was over, I was out of there before you could say "adios". Toooooo overwhelming for me. And apparently for Russ and Sam as well, who sat up in the back (where Sam asked to sit). Smart boys. Brooklyn had a BLAST though--singing, dancing, plus she got to be part of one of the little performer.

We also met up at the Exploratorium in San Francisco with some friends we met at the homeschoolers park day a few weeks ago. I met Lisa and we hit it off immediately--lots in common and the conversation is just easy. SO nice. She has a 5 1/2 year old, Landon and a almost-3 year old Brennan. The boys are a bit shy and hesitant, whereas my kids...aren't. But they slowly started playing together, especially after we walked around the park outside of the Exploratorium.

We also went to our weekly homeschooler park date, which was great. It's so nice to be able to recognize faces (and even know a few of their names!). Plus, it was so fun--all of the parks here have sand pits and water spigots. We all pitched in for the entire 2 1/2 hours and made some fantastic castles, moats, oceans, tunnels, etc. Lisa and her boys were there as well and by the time we had to leave, all were whining that they weren't ready yet. So we're making plans to meet up at the zoo next week.

That's about it for this week! Next week should be fun!!

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