Saturday, May 29, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

Todd and I spent the better part of an hour between and 11pm and 12am Saturday night chasing these two young possums into a trash can in our cellar. Actually, Todd did most of the chasing as I was preoccupied looking over my shoulder for the mama to show up any minute. I think I've seen her out back a couple of times when I've pulled in late at night. They were pretty big, but still young...overgrown Templeton-size. Of course we had to threaten a series of rabies shots to deter Embree's natural instinct to pick them up...and make them her own!

Friday, May 28, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  Following the suggestion of SouleMama at

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hello...hello? Anyone there?

Yes, we are's just dress rehearsal time. Each time I direct a play, I seem to disappear the last two weeks. The house is a wreck, the laundry is piled high, I haven't had a square meal in days...the fridge is virtually's intense.

Our days seem to go like this...
8 or so- sleep a little late - the kids are sleeping later because we are out so late
8:30 or so - eat breakfast and catch up on email
9-1130 or so - do some easy, fun school projects for a couple of hours - word puzzles, reading, art projects, math
1130 or so - eat lunch
1230 or so - pile into the car and run errands for the play
2 or 3 or so - head to the theatre to work on the set with the producer
430 or so - kids eat dinner with cast, the producer and I work some more (along with LOTS of other sweet volunteers!)
530 (exactly!) - Cast & Crew meeting
6 or so - run the show
8 or so - Cast & Crew meeting #2
815 or so - finish up mic checks, deal with discipline issues, clean up after 60+ kids, plan the next day with the producer
9 or so - arrive home to Daddy and Little Guy still going strong, find something to eat, answer emails from parents and personal email
11 or so - Finally get the big kids in bed and fall in bed myself
2-3 or so - wake up worried about the play
4 or so (sometimes) - finally sleep

It's a terrible way for a family to live, but it's temporary and the big kids are both learning so much and love being involved. Reeves is overcoming stage fright...Embree has so much responsibility on the backstage crew. She's handling all the props and running all the special effects...wearing a headset and shushing cast members. I'm so proud of her. I can't tell you how happy I am that she's found something she loves and is good at...and something so dear to my own heart.

We are all looking forward to our summer in the mountains, which begins just days after the show closes!

But, when I get overwhelmed and frustrated, I think about the sweet kids who have worked so hard on this play; who show up day after day, learn their lines, and enjoy this experience each's worth it in the end...time well spent.

and my sweet boy...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life's questions

I am a firm believer in leading a child to find answers for himself. I try not to answer all of the questions myself...even if the answer is obvious...and that's difficult sometimes. It takes time to discuss an issue rather than just give the answer. Sometimes it's so much easier to just present the answer and the "because I said so" and move on...but I try to stop myself as often as possible.

Then there are the questions that even those of us who are older and wiser can't answer. I think practice in answering the simple questions for themselves can help kids think through the tougher ones...discuss them intelligently...and make informed, rational decisions on their own.

Case in point: 
Today in our study of cells and organelles, Reeves asked, 
"How did scientists find all of these things if they weren't visible to the naked eye?" 

"How did they know to look for them if they didn't know they were there?" 

"Were there really people interested in studying cells when most people long ago were only interested in searching for gold?" 

And my favorite...and the one I simply can't answer...can you? 

"I wish I knew what all of these parts of a cell were really called...back before humans discovered them and gave them new names." ( A nod to T.S. Eliot's Jellicle Cats perhaps?)

How does one answer that bit of wonder?

One step closer...

Final exam has been given and assessed. Grades have been submitted. My college class has officially been put to bed for the semester. One commitment closer to summer. One step closer to...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

life goes on...

We are in the thick of preparations for the spring play and the extra time I usually have for blogging is filled by meetings, lists, rehearsal preparations, emails, rummaging, and general ruminating on getting all of it done. 

We are still here though...still plugging away at our lessons. We've finished spelling and grammar for the year and have only three more chapters of history and science. So, we are filling our last few required days with math (which will never end, it seems), independent reading, a new Spanish curriculum that we'll continue through the summer, extended nature study, and family read-alouds of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. 

I've already begun planning for next year and will post our study plans for that here after the play closes Memorial Day Weekend. I'm excited about the themes we will be covering in our next history section and the literature that goes along with it.

For now, we are deep into Arthurian legends, Merlin's magic, dancing Dryads, and jousting tournaments. If you're so inclined, join us May 28-30 for Excalibur! The Story of Young King Arthur. 

Here's some of what we've been up to lately...not much off the beaten path, but we have plans to take a detour soon!

Trying to spend time outside with our friends as much as possible before we leave for the summer.

Brice's favorite..."ban-an-an-a" split Thursdays...half price if you bring your own ban-an-an-a!

Brice began his YMCA Pee Wee Sports class this week. Daddy holds out hope that one kid will enjoy sports as much as he does! The other two would rather chase kitties and play video games!

Speaking of kitties...we are back to our daily routine of stopping by the lot behind a local shopping center to visit the stray cats. This one has taken a shine to the kids and jumped in the van after one visit. 

And yesterday, we celebrated the long awaited...earnestly accomplished...graduation of our sweet Theresa (Brice's Birthmom). She worked so hard and we are so proud of her. Now she's on to job hunting, celebrating, and a much needed vacation. Good luck! 

To our moms, our grandmothers, our birthmoms and birth grandmothers, to our friends who are moms, and those who love us like moms, to our sisters and sisters-in-law, our cousins and you all...
HAPPY MOTHER"S DAY! Enjoy your day and know we love you!