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Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Song

I think NannyKim gets to read this every time she comes.

I always seem to need my mom in the winter. She willing drives through threats of ice and snow to come help cheer and feed us. So thankful for her! My kids are too, as you can tell!

After NannyKim left, I emailed her with this update:
"Corwin dumped an enormous pile of ashes all over the deck, waded through it, and started transferring it by bucket to our firepit. Then he came in, walked across the family room floor spreading ashes and soot all over. I was a bad mommy and just got plain mad. These things always seem to happen when I am kneading bread (which is why I almost never make it) and my hands are covered up to the wrists in dough.

Wish you had been here to rescue us!

Sometimes I get so weary trying to live this life...I either want to give up or be done with it. I'm feeling a little better now, but I wish I were a different person better suited to motherhood and mundane challenges."

Now, you may wonder if Corwin ever gets attention during homeschool, or if this is his way of getting it. At least, that is what I have been wondering. But I truly think this is just his nature. I read, craft, include, play, and romp with him, but he manages to do things like this anyway. I do, however, wish I were a natural at joy, peace, and loving well. I checked out Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild to make us all feel better after reading about it in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine which basically said that if I am transparent with my kids about my sin, then they will relate better with me in the end. I certainly hope this is true.

Showing off. Alden has a new breastplate that makes him feel strong, but of course, Corwin fights for it. Here, we have satisfied him with the old double-cape-paired-with-fedora trick.

We were blessed to celebrate Grandmama's birthday in York and to see my niece Kallie, whom I now refer to as Smiley. Sadly, she is only smiley if she is sure she is not being handed off to a non-parent. But, otherwise, she is bountiful with her smiles.

Happy birthday dear Grandmama! My other niece Mary Ruth is getting her fill of Grandmama too. She did not understand why she could not open all of the gifts. But she had quite the good attitude about it anyway.

Tickle time with Grandaddy!

It is Corwin's joy to get into all of the kids' board games and wreak havoc while I homeschool the other 2. At least here he has used the board game to a semi-rightful purpose totally decked out from Pretty Pretty Princess and loving it. I have since resorted to putting our games in a more secluded spot, but the perpetrator has discovered this as well. Hopefully it will at least mean that he will think of this type of fun less often.

Rhianwen in her new pink room with a yarn doll she made at American Girl bookclub. She's really enjoying reading and loves the Chronicles of Narnia books, which Averett and Jaime gave as audiobooks for Christmas. My kids think that their secret of believing in magic is safe from me, but I've heard the whispers. Alden also came up to me the other day and said, "I know you don't believe in superheroes, but I believe in superheroes."

"And he found something sticking out of the snow to make a new track. It was a stick-a stick that was just right for smacking a snow-covered tree." Gotta love snowy days.

They even got to sled. I love our hill!

I did convince them not to put a snowball in their pockets, but they ate quite a bit of it.

Our builder. I keep wondering what he will be when he grows up. Then along comes Corwin saying things like, "Hey, ho, blow the man down!". I bet you can guess what happens. And I'm the one who is stuck as referee. Sometimes I think there is no right answer to this parenting thing. My 2 year old needs to learn to resist his urges, yet at the same time, he does need to knock things over. My 5 year old needs to learn that things cannot last forever and not to feel sorry for himself, yet, at the same time, needs to know that we respect his efforts and creations. These situations are constant and I feel like I never have the discernment to say or do the right thing...even if that thing is total non-action.

Rhianwen's 500 year old melody. I forget the official name, but I like to call it Winter Song. It just seems old and wistful.

Perhaps I have sounded a little heavy, but I truly think I am better than I was last year at this time! It's not saying much, but I am loving this homeschooling thing, and I am not madly applying for every charter school in a 30 minute radius like I was last year. I know there will be gaps, but I know God will make it clear if He wants us to change what we are doing.  For now, I have a peace and satisfaction about it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gingerbread and Yellow

My little ones whom I totally don't deserve. I long for their joy and innocence sometimes. 

At the Christmas tree farm awaiting a "train" ride.

Anyone want to start the advent tree?

Homeschooling it: making a version of Greek pizza. Ancient Greece was known for their delicious bread; yes, English muffins are a poor substitute, but you can't beat feta, olive oil, and kalamata olives.

Legomaniac...do you know the tune?

Somehow making Christmas cookies was not the disaster I thought it would be this year. My kids are growing up...sniff sniff. When asked what he wanted to for Christmas, Corwin replied,"Um. Gingerbread." He got some at Grandmama's. Love the simple requests.

My guys were cracking up over this easy reader. Often Corwin can fill in the words before Alden reads them, not b/c Corwin can read, mind you, but b/c he can predict. I find it fascinating.
Seeing a bit of Christmas at Duke Homestead. Here they are discussing gingerbread.

Not exactly Willow Tree, but it's close.

Reading with Marie Grace.

Leaving treats for Santa. Corwin thought that Santa would still be here on Christmas morning and was a little upset when he wasn't. Somehow he didn't get the memo that Santa is daddy.

Happy birthday dear Jesus!

A new microscope for our homeschool. Alden is especially fascinated.

Silk from Uncle Christopher and Hannah. I had contemplated getting this over the years, and never have. Now that I see how much she has enjoyed dressing up with it and dancing with it flowing around, I am glad someone was intelligent enough to make the purchase :)

"A drum for me." So fun.

Roller-coaster of K'nex...do you know the tune I'm thinking? 

 Since I left my camera at home (no new camera yet, so of course I forgot), I did not get any pics of our quick trip to York! Hopefully I'll get some from my fam.

Once back, we decided to do major regrouping, and put the boys together in one room and Rhianwen in her own room. She finally has her pink room, of which, sad to say, I do not have good pics. So you'll just have to imagine. Suffice it to say that her room glows. You can see a glow emanating as you walk down the hall or if you are in the piano room. It is not a bright pink, but it is pink. I never knew it glowed like that. But she adores it and feels so absolutely special. That's one of the things I like about January, simplifying, rearranging, and improving. If only my heart were as easy to clean up and organize as those rooms. Ah well. Then I guess, I wouldn't need Jesus, and that would be an awful place to be.

Now we are moving on to Corwin's birthday.

Me: What kind of a birthday do you want, Corwin?
Corwin: Um. Yellow.
Me: Oh. Ok...

I have a plan. Hopefully he'll be happy with it :)

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