A Wool Mouse (or 2).

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Every year the boys make an ornament to put on the tree. This year I saw these sweet mice on Martha Stewart’s website and thought they’d be ideal. I cut the template out (oops, you are supposed to print it out at 150% – I just did 100%) and lay it on wool felt sheets. I cut. The boys stitched the ears on. I stitched on the eyes and noses.

I then put candy canes on the grocery store list. Dear Husband took the boys to the toy section to browse and asked my older son, “Why does mom want candy canes?”

His response, “I don’t know, to stick up some mouses’ butts.”

There you have it. We have candy canes up mouses’ butts on our tree this year and for many years to come.

Custom Pokemon.

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While I would probably have cried at the idea of my boys wanting Pokémon cards a year ago, today I am very enthusiastic about the cards. I am equally enthusiastic to see they are making their own versions and hold them in the same regard. In fact, I’m downright proud of their attention to the detail and interesting homemade versions.

When I became a mother, my self-appointed mission was deflect all terrible things from my children. Terrible things being defined by me and Dear Husband, and a year ago Pokémon was definitely in that category. But today, I’m learning some terrible things aren’t so terrible, and in fact, they can be great. When my seven-year old said, “Mom, did you know two of seventy is ten less than three of fifty?,” I smiled. Instead of deeming what they shan’t have in the future, I’m learning to redefine “terrible things” in the moment. I’m also learning to redefine “terrible things” a bit more loosely. Meryl’s My Bit of Earth post put it so well.

So, we open our arms to Pokémon and who knows what else to come. For these weeks, I’ll be pencil coloring Pokémon cards with the boys and answering them honestly, when they ask which name sounds the fiercest. Heck ya to Heckrum!

Long Nights.

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I forgot how long the night can be. When you wake up every hour or so, it just seems to go on forever. Saturday night it started with one of us coughing, reached the peak with three of us on the couch yesterday, and we’ve got one day left of sick for the last. The TV and humidifier are on non-stop. The pillows and blankets lie scattered room to room. Aye, don’t even talk to me about the pile of laundry, thankfully dishes seem wrangled thanks to Dear Husband. Cough syrups, salines, 7-ups, and other stashes are ready for restocking. But, the good news is, we are over the hump. I have to get well enough to get outside and photograph our big snow!

Chicks.

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The climate in Tennessee is favorable to bugs and I’m darn sick of it. Ticks, fleas, spiders (some poisonous, ugh!), you name it. I’m just not used to this and it is my opinion that Tennessee could do well with some long, cold winters. However, as I don’t make the weather and Tennessee is where I live, I have decided to get even. We are raising chicks.

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A casual mention to my husband after fretting about said poisonous spiders had us really thinking this idea was a good one. (To be sure we actually never saw these spiders yet, I just get creeped out by the thought). So when the pest control man stated that to reduce spiders, they basically reduce the bugs the spiders eat,  we decided we’d rather hire our own flock of chickens before him. (Nothing personal, I just thought we’d get the added benefit of fresh, local eggs, something I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to offer.)

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A week of reading everything I could about chickens, asking friends who have had and currently have chickens, and a stop at the local Tractor Supply has six new gals residing at our address. Four are Red Sex Link Chickens (a breed they can sex by color) and two are White Leghorns.

It’s all we can do to stop checking them out, they are interesting and exciting for a family whom always has dogs. chickspailandpie2

So, bugs watch out, we’ve got a six headed monster coming at you and you don’t stand a chance…. that’s the plan anyways.

(Note: I’m quite certain these little ladies will be in many photos to come. We’ve learned so much and are learning as we go, so stop in to see their progress.)

 

Blossom.

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Cheekwood Botanic Garden and Art Museum offers home school days twice per year. We were happy to attend this past week on a beautiful spring day full of blooms and sunshine. With sandals and shorts on, the boys played among Magnolia blossoms while petals fell down on them like Autumn leaves. Later looking down we saw beautiful tulips lined up en masse and we also took a mile long art hike. It was just a really fun day with my 5 and 8 year-olds.

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Each new spring, I can’t help but think how my boys are also blossoming. That I am so fortunate to home school and have another year of their company, growth, lego creations, silly jokes, puzzling serious questions, fun baked goodies, cool projects and more. I love to glance at another stack of books we’ve read and enjoyed together. I love being surprised by their choice of words, their ability to describe things and create and plan something they carry through with.

I so enjoy how our relationship is blossoming. When I yearn to hold them as the tiny new babies they once were, I remind myself of how I didn’t even know their likes then. I couldn’t know what they were thinking when they were 8 pound wonders. Bringing my awareness in the moment again, I’m thankful for how far they’ve come and looking forward to another year of blossoming too.blossompailandpie4

Yarn Along April 2014.

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Yarn Along is from the Small Things blog. Link up and learn more here.

Reading: Fatal North: Adventure and Survival Aboard U.S.S. Polaris, The First U.S. Expedition to the North Pole by Bruce Henderson. My oldest son really enjoys stories of shipwrecks and high sea adventures. My youngest son joined in this passion when we started reading about whaling ships. I enjoy true stories of early explorations and knew when I grabbed this title the boys would be asking me what happened in the story each new morning. Volatile relationships and a wooden boat packed with supplies head North for the Pole. Animosity and fear is created by a surprise death of the captain, leading the group to split into two, one must survive on a floating ice berg! With the help of native Eskimos this group overcomes starvation and a berg ready to crack to bits. I shall not complain about winter!

Knitting: Yay, it’s my first chance to knit for baby! And I’m lucky enough to knit for two! I decided to knit up some booties to start for twins due in June from Berroco’s Remix yarn. Wool just does NOT seem appropriate for June babes. The added benefit is that the yarn will be washable, and with two babies in hand, I do believe hand washing is asking a LOT anyways. With the sexes unknown, I’m going for the classic red and yellow colorway, a favorite of mine.

 

Paper Crafts.

A few of the crafts we’ve created this past week as paper is quicker to create with than fiber.

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The template I used is available here.

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Pattern stamping book here. These are the boys’ pictures. They came up with the masked man all by themselves. I was an impressed Momma.

And I do believe this is the first time Star Wars has made it to my blog. Sometimes a Momma has to give in:) We have a book they love and look through incessantly. It became so worn, it broke to bits. The spine is long gone, and they still carry the pages around! I found another hardcover copy for them and thought they might enjoy punching out their favorites Star Wars Clone Wars Characters to hang as a garland. (Usually a garland is the answer around here as I’m a little garland crazy.) Now they have a Star Wars picture gallery in their stairwell that we hand-made together. Seems like a good mix of momma and boys.

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Hand Quilted XO Quilt.

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Before I was a mother and before I knew what a blog was, I took a quilting class. I remember the teacher showing me the two options for sewing the binding on a quilt. One is by machine and one is by hand. I was in my twenties and scoffed at the foolishness of hand quilting. Why on earth would anyone want to hand quilt when a perfectly good sewing machine was available?

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I made a few quilts and decided to make at least one by hand even if it took a really long time. I found a cute XO quilt pattern and decided to make it for my husband. Phew, that was over 10 years ago and last week I decided it had to get done. I did a lot of the hand quilting straight away but I got stuck when it came to hand quilting the border. The poor thing has sat in my living rooms unfinished (at three houses) but never able to be sat under. So, I said forget it. Skip hand sewing the border and just use that sewing machine to finish the binding to give this quilt a chance.

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I thrust it into my husband’s lap and said, “Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and everything in between” He laughed and said, “I can’t sit under this. I don’t want to ruin it.” Par for the course. He said we need to hang it, and we may. In the meantime, our dog enjoyed a nap on it the other day. Either way, it feels really, really good to just be done….besides, I’ve got another hand sewing project I need to start….

Astronomy for Kids.

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Following the nature study rotation on Ambleside, this quarter we will be stargazing. It’s a subject I wish I knew more about, but always seem confused with when looking through astronomy books and maps. Searching astronomy for kids and Waldorf yielded an excellent book I wish I had years ago, The Stars by H.A. Rey. This book is thorough without being frightening. It is a book I can page through again and again for enjoyment, one we have sat on the couch and lost time looking through all together. I used to balk at my sorry astronomy skills because my parents only showed me The Big Dipper as a girl. I have since learned this dipper is easy to spot and a great identifier for other constellations, so my Dad’s one night-time whim, pointing to the dipper,  proved me more capable than I knew.

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With newfound passion and hope that the skies may indeed be easier to decipher, we started this project. In fact, my Pinterest Nature Study board will fill up quite well these next few weeks, so please follow along if you are yearning for some stargazing projects.

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The only hold up has been our weather. For the past week I have gone outside every night looking for stars only to see a haze of clouds mocking me. So, while we lay in wait for “official” stargazing our astronomy has turned inwards. From handmade bead ornaments, quilts, painting, origami, and twinkling lights, it seems we do have quite a bit of stars around after all.

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