Monday, April 30, 2012

school of schrieber

let me introduce you to our new classroom,
also known as
"the school of schrieber"
a place for loving, learning, and growing.
 this new homeschooling journey has been going really well.
i see the ways God aligned everything in our lives "just right" to make this a possibility.
instead of feeling like we've walked through a nightmare,
i'm thanking Him for allowing us to walk this (at times, dark) road because it's already proven to be one that leads to blessing. i don't feel as if i'm drowning in heavy storm anymore, but rather lifted up upon rock.  and the view is beginning to make sense to me.
 little did we know that one of His blessings was having brayden asked to be in the Mott Children's Hospital TV commercial.  it seemed like such a random thing to happen at the time, but it wasn't.  the money earned from that commercial allowed us to purchase our homeschooling furnishings.
(yay ikea!)
 the decorator and homemaker in me has enjoyed creating a learning environment that is fun, inviting, and functional.  this house was built in 1927, but 7 years ago it was remodeled and an addition was put on (including this large bonus room above the 3 car garage...
making this an ideal space for a classroom).
 a place where we are learning and growing... 
things of Him...
 and things of His world around us.
found these prints on etsy.  they've been in my "favorites" for months now, 
thanks to e for sharing and introducing us to this seller a while back.
 (etsy artist: katie daisy)
we're  beginning to get organized and find our "groove"
 found this cute glass jar and doily at the village antique shop for $6.00.
i can always find a use for a mason jar.
why not crayola markers?
 and late last week the bulk of our curriculum arrived
(minus math)
today was our first day officially diving into it all.
the kids each did spelling, writing, reading, grammar, and history.
 we also added our own selection to our daily curriculum.
i had been eyeing this "jesus calling" kids devotional for a while.
as soon as i realized i'd be homeschooling, i bought it. 
we've been using it every morning to start off our school day.
 that...and as i mentioned before,
a little prayer...

 and  a lot of praise...
each day i awake, 
i'm finding more and more reasons to praise Him.
beginning with these three little ones i've been entrusted with while here on earth.
and each day,
i'm finding my investment into them,
 into their growth and learning,
and the cultivating of their hearts,
to be one that fills me with much purpose.
it is well.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Impromptu Field Trip

The kids and I took an impromptu field trip to Wolcott Farm yesterday.  With Spring in the air, it was a good time to witness new life on the farm.  As soon as we opened our car doors, the fresh scent of farm and manure was breathed in deeply.
 I thought it wise not to bring Berlyn's stroller, since she always begs to "walk"any time we go anywhere.  Big mistake.  She was petrified of the animals (even when behind cage and fence), and I had to carry that extra 36lbs. on my hip the entire time.
"How now brown cow?"
 We arrived just in time to enter the milk parlor and watch a cow being milked...
Although i did forgot to snap a photo.
(with a Moo Moo here and a Moo Moo there)
 The kids loved all the young animal babies.
calves and heifers...
 piglets and little piggies...
(this one went to the market, and this one went home)

 baby lambs...
they were so cute. soft and furry like little puppies.
(have you any wool?)
 this one below was quite vocal,
(at one point, berlyn yelled, "Tell it to stop!")
 milk time.

 Take a look at what happened when I put Berlyn down.
Even though every animal outside was behind a fence, she still freaked out.  In the next picture below she is actually pointing at a lamb or a cow saying, "That one is trying to get me!" 

 Brooke was so excited to pet the bunny
(and this was one funky looking rabbit).
 My little worker bees.
 I had to get a photo of this after Brayden said,
"Look Mom, it's Shrek's bathroom!"
 We even found a stray farm cat in the milk parlor.

 When I was taking a picture of the cow above, with Berlyn still heavily upon my hip,
she kept calling out to it, "Smile, hun."
(this cow also peed a gallon right in front of us and the kids got a kick out of this.)
 The picture below is fuzzy and not really good, but Brooke cracked me up when she realized that an egg like "that" can actually turn into a baby chick.  She wanted to go to the store right away and buy a carton of eggs so she could "grow a chick." ;)
 And Bray made me laugh when he saw this cattle skull in a display case.  
He yelled, "Mom, look! Dinosaur bones!"

 We had to wait patiently for an employee to come to let us hold the baby chicks.
They were about 2 weeks old.  Sweet furry little life.
(Peep! Peep!)
This was Brooke's favorite part of the trip.

On the way home. we stopped at the orchard for a donut. 
 Here are a couple of souvenirs we found along the way.
In the farm's general store they sold these wool twigs.
 They were made with 100% Shetland yarn.
I thought they'd look pretty in our classroom.
A little memento from our first ever homeschooling field trip together.
 And of course we had to take home some fresh farm ice cream.
Overall, we had a good day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

it's been a while since i've written, 
and although i don't have much time today,
i wanted to share a piece of our new "normal" with you on this fine wednesday afternoon.

it's taken me by surprise how smoothly homeschooling and the adjustment to our revised life/routine has gone.  god has graciously rained down little blessings on us daily in this new adventure.  there is an underlying peace and joy that permeates the air 
within our very walls and hearts.
it's beautiful.

this morning, i heard it through giggles that came from high
atop a cloud of kiddos and furry friends 
(on brayden's top bunk).  
this made me smile.
i've been enjoying them a lot.
(and enjoying them enjoying each other.)

we've gotten into the routine of starting school each day 
with a little time of devotion, prayer & praise. 
faith in action.
giving him the "firstfruits" of our day
and our lives.
 this had been compromised in the past,
 as the ticking clock often crowded out the things in our life that really mattered.
 kingdom work. 
 eternal investments.
i don't think we've ever been happier.
all of us.
this is really good for our family.
i know it's gonna work.
grateful today for the fruit that is bearing.
and for the giver of it.