Around Here Week 9: 02/27-03/05

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment. 

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 14+ hours (of 1000)
A whole week of the water buckets not freezing at the farm -we will take it! It was sunshine but still chilly, but at least not below freezing this week - so we are happy. Grey and Gem set up the little swimming pool for the ducks and we were all smiling watching how happy the ducks were to swim and shake in the water. 

Reading Free to Learn by Peter Gray and We Are Not From Here by Jenny Sanchez Torres

Dealing with another spirit week at school, LOL (they never end). It was Dr. Seuss's birthday, so there were dress up days to contend with all week. Violet brought home a Lorax mask and had us all belly laughing at the dinner table. 

Officially registering Rusty for kindergarten! We just completed all the paperwork and dropped them off to get signed up for the kinder testing date later this month - but it was still pretty exciting for Rust. He is really looking forward to school and I will never regret keeping him home this last year - it has been such a blessing for both of us and if I talk about it anymore, I might cry. 

Taxes checked off the to do list! yay! (thank you Uch for staying with all the kids so we could just run out with no kids in tow - liberation!)

Charging up the dirtbikes - the kids are so happy. Pappy is working on some tune-ups for Grey and Rusty's bikes, but I'm taking the sound of engines in the yard as a sign that spring is definitely on the way! For now, it's cleaning mud off of everyone's pants from the spray back - hah. 

Sorting and distributing the junior class fundraiser popcorn on Friday. B took on the task of our three littlest kids for the days (thank you office ladies for all your attention and for doting on them!) while I spent most of the day in the high school with my junior class officers and prom committee. We got all our popcorn orders filled and organized before the end of the day and I am feeling really confident about our prom planning and budget! Always grateful to get this task finished up, now to deposit money and get to ordering decorations! (thank you prom committee - grateful for you guys, for real!) 

Thankful for a fun day for the 'meatballs' (Violet & Rusty) when they go to go snow tubing with cousins Tausha, Heather, and all the kiddos. It was such a beautiful day to go tubing - they didn't even need their coats and it was really special for them since it's been so much running around to basketball for the biggest two. Thank you Taush and Heather!! 

Sporting with 1 baseball practice for Grey and a whooping 8 basketball games between playoff games in his league and a basketball tournament over the weekend. But he's done! Gem had one basketball practice and an end-of-season party with all the youth girls teams on Saturday (so fun!) She was 1 tournament left and then we should be done with basketball season! 

Making ground turkey tacos, creamy Italian chicken in the crockpot over pasta, Korean ground turkey with rice and broccoli, pierogies & baked beans and popcorn shrimp. I made King's Cake for Mardi Gras and put 6 babies in it so all the kids got a little luck in their piece of cake. We had lunch at Abba and Chum's house on Sunday (thank you!) and pierogie lasagna delivered from Gigi and Pappy on Ash Wednesday (thank you!) 

Homeschool PreK: February

We had more free play this month with some extra attention to important holidays and celebrations. We read books in honor of Black history month, Valentine's Day, and winter. We tried to get outside often or we got creative inside playing free and risky: like balancing on window sills and on the backs of the couch during The Floor is Lava or sliding on DIY'ed stilt milk crates through the house. 

Rusty helped in the kitchen this month for special days. We made homemade pizza dough on National Pizza day (02/09) and he helped decorate sugar cookies for Valentines day from a kit sent to us by his former preschool teacher Miss Nell (thank you!). We talked about our Chinese zodiac animal symbols for Lunar New Year (02/01 this year), and we tried very hard to tap dance as good as Bojangles Robinson. 

Books we read
You Matter by Christian Robinson
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
Snowy Valentine by David Petersen
Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill
XO, Ox: A Love Story by Adam Rex
Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft

People we learned about
Dizzy Gillespie
Duke Ellington
Charles Mingus
Art Blakey
Bojangles Robinson
Shirley Temple

Free play obsessions:

  • the floor is lava - lots of muscle building & balance work
  • scooter in the house - more muscle building & balance
  • balloon volleyball competitions
  • drawing tutorials from youtube
  • Submarine (he is a mechanic and the sub is sinking and needs fixed right away!)
  • Marine Biologist (we are on an Octonauts kick on Netflix!)

I also cracked myself up making a spirit week and Valentine's day party at the Studerbabies farm school. We had dress up days, picture day, and Rust helped organize and create all the Valentine party supplies. Seriously laughed myself silly making the reminder slips to send home with Wells and my sister! Oh man, too funny and extra!

Around Here Week 8: 02/20-26

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment. 

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  11+ hours (of 1000)
Gosh - this weather! It's beautiful warm days followed up by a freak snow storm then it all melts the next day to make for muddy, sloppy mess days. It's very hard to try to explain to Rusty that one nice day doesn't mean it's spring yet. 

Reading Free to Learn by Peter Gray and We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Celebrating our double digit birthday girl Gemma. On Gem's actual birthday, she and I (just the two of us!) went out to lunch at a local spot, Balance, and had a delicious brunch with their monthly mocktail. We were like fancy grown up girls, and Gem loved it (me too!) We walked around downtown and then headed back home where she ended up falling asleep on my lap on the couch and that was kind of perfect for me because even if her shoe size is bigger than mine and she's almost as tall as me at 10 years old - she is still my baby girl.  Later, we got the sweetest surprise visit from our busdriver Rob for Gemma's birthday. He and his wife stopped by with a dozen of cupcakes for Gem. It was so thoughtful! He really is the best busdriver ever! 

Bike riding to celebrate Gem's birthday on Monday (no school for the holiday!) It was a beautiful weather day, so we invited some friends to meet up with us on a local trail and the kids rode their bikes, while Olive and I lagged behind and Chummie rode his bike to zoom up and check on the kiddos while they raced ahead. Then we had pizza, drinks, and cupcakes at the trail end with Dad, Aunt Uch, and Gigi and Pappy. After the refuel, we headed back the way we came and everyone was sufficiently tired, yet joyful at all the outdoor freedom! The trail was still super icy in some spots (it was crazy!) and multiple kids and my Dad slipped on their bikes. No one was hurt, but made for plenty of laughs and some sore butts the next day. 

Watching The Little Princess with Shirley Temple with the kids and thinking of my grandma Irene so much. I remember watching it at her house when we were little and how much she loved Shirley Temple (so of course, I did too!) It's funny how every scene in the movie was like a memory unlocked that I had nearly forgotten; like I couldn't remember how the movie went, but then every scene that unfolded I was like - oh yes! I remember this now and it took me right back to my grandma's house. miss you everyday, Gram. 

Collecting eggs everyday! our chickies and duckies are not messing around. 

Well checks for Gem and Olive this week. Both look great and growing big and strong! 

Feeling tired and cooped up in the trenches of winter sports and yo-yo winter weather. I am just very ready to get outside and be in the sunshine and move into a different sport season (hah!) Since B helps coach both Grey and Gem's bball teams, it's been practices, games, or tournaments most nights of the week for him which then leaves me alone with the rest of the crew to deal with dinner, bedtime, homework, and baths. It's just been a long winter sports season and I'm ready to get this show on the road! 

Sporting Grey had indoor baseball practice 3 nights this week, 1 basketball practice, and a basketball playoff game. Gemma had one basketball practice, and B had his basketball game. 

Making chicken parm over spaghetti, crockpot roast with carrots and potatoes, veggie beef stew (from leftover roast), bbq chicken homemade pizzas. I made cupcakes for Gemma's birthday party