Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scarfs and weather....

So, I frogged the diagonal scarf...I was just NOT feeling it ;)

I started over, same yarns, but a new pattern. (made it up as I went :P)
This one is working out MUCH better for me, I actually LIKE it, whereas the other one I felt pretty 'meh' about.

Other than that, not much to tell today...we are doing an easy day...the kids' have friends over and Wall-E came out on video, so we are having the luxury of just watching a movie right now ;).

Pomegranate tree is HANGING HEAVY with Pomegranates...I love them, but we have so many!!!

Also, the vineyard is changing and I think it's the most beautiful time of the year here in the Valley. I'm going to miss it when we move. Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook for November 17, 2008

Outside my window...It is warm (but not hot) and the sun is out...not the kind of weather you'd expect for this time of year, but I'm enjoying it, because it's so beautiful.
I am thinking...about the day and week ahead, and for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, I'm having a POSITIVE outlook.
I am thankful for... my doctor, enough said.
From the learning rooms...school today was cooperative, enlightening, and had quite a few surprises (like the impromptu study of seeds that I'll post about later today!)
From the kitchen...casserole :oP Rice, turkey, cheese and dressing casserole.
I am wearing...track pants and a sweatshirt...but don't be fooled, there was no running today.
I am creating...I frogged the diagonal stripe scarf because I didn't like it after I got about 10 inches into it...so now it's a DIFFERENT scarf, that I'll show later :D
I am going...nowhere today! DMV tomorrow *insert sigh*
I am reading...A Journey Through Waldorf Homeschooling grades 2 and 3.
I am hoping...the fact that aunt flo "surprised" me, but was right on time, because I didn't have my usual raving PMS is a good sign ;) and continues!
I am hearing...Ice Age 2. ;)
Around the house...A few chores left to take care of, but mostly just a relaxed Monday (who'da' thunk it!!)
One of my favorite things...Pumpking Spice Latte' (Decaf) Mmmmm
A few plans for the rest of the week: Trip to the DMV, Work one night, a call to the Dr., packing up more stuff, hanging out with friends and dinner with hubby's aunt and uncle over the weekend.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

seen while we were out looking for seeds this afternoon
*click on it for a detail of the beautiful pods*

Friday, November 14, 2008

Still Life, Math and a little bit of fun on the side ;)

So, not a lot to report here. (which in my book classifies as a 'good thing'. haha)

Right now Olivia is playing store, and Corbin is trying to juggle with bean bags we made a few weeks ago.

The last few days brought a few things I'd like to share, though!

The kids spent a good portion of their main lesson working on Math. They both entered beautiful pages into their Main Lesson Books, here is Olivia's. They were to make up math problems, based on the portion of their books, which they had read earlier in the day. Olivia had to put four in her MLB, and decorate the page ... she chose addition and math problems. Corbin had to add six into his, but they had to involve each of the four math processes at least once. They worked well, with little input from me other than suggestions on whether to use 'bricks in the road or berries from a bush" as the things being divided ;)
A few nights ago, a project I suggested to the kids turned into a family affair....the kids were drawing a still life of various pumpkins/gourds/pomegranates in a basket on our island...it ended up that the four of us sat around for over an hour just talking and drawing. It was a great moment!

Here is Corbin's drawing...

Of course, as is typical for me...I am so slow, that while the others were finished, I'd barely started ;)....

In knitting news ;) I finished the gray scarf, and have moved on and started this two-tone diagonal skinny scarf....its' coming along really quickly...but the color in the first shot came out WAY more obnoxious than the true color (which the second pictures captures MUCH more accurately ;) HAHA)

It's Friday, I hope everyone has a great weekend!! Ours is looking quite full and nice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A New Look to My Site

I found a fantastic site called Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates....
I am not a HUGE fan of how blogger works, and having had Typepad in the past, it's (to me) like going from DSL or Cable back to dial-up....

Harsh, yes.

Anyhow....I found this site and the new template of my dreams. For those on a feed reader, here's a screen capture:

Isn't it gorgeous??? I love it...

I also did a few other changes, and added a few things (like a playlist).

I'm going to continue tweaking today and tonight, until I'm 100% satisfied.

Now if Blogger's commenting situation didn't SUCK, life would be awesome ;).

....Corners of My Home....

notebook I covered a few weeks ago

Today has been the weirdest day for me. I can't pin-point it, but it's been odd. Maybe it's the weather? The extra kids at the house? The paperwork for school that I have to have ready to turn in tomorrow? The cleaning and packing that is looming in front of me? The walk through calls? I suppose it could be any one of the above, or all them combined??

No school today, so I'm just doing some knitting, and finishing up the scarf...STILL trying do decide what to start with next....Still looking for suggestions.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I'm getting quite close to finishing my four-square check scarf. I will bind it off tomorrow, and then it'll be time to start a new project. I would REALLY like to get past making scarves...but I don't know what to start, since I don't really 'know' enough, I feel...to do anything else! It's frustrating, but I just don't know what I want to try! :P

This is the yarn I'd like to start with next...I can't decide if I should try something 'different', or just do another scarf with a pattern? Maybe it will come to me in my sleep ;)

In other news, this weather is making my heart smile. I love the changing colors of the vines, and the crisp chill in the air. It makes me want to waste toooooo much time in the 'man chair' (the big leather arm chair and ottoman) with a cup of hot tea and my needles.

In school news....

I will be writing a review in the next few days about the curriculum we ordered through A Little Garden Flower. I'm quite impressed, and can not WAIT to delve into it "officially".

I hope everyone had a great Monday...and come in and say "hi" ;)....I check my stats, there are quite a few of you reading, but not commenting. I don't bite :P I even make cookies and share freely :D

My First Entry for the Simple Woman's Daybook

This is the first time I have participated in the Simple Woman's Daybook...I hope to do it each week, it's very nice to reflect this afternoon.

FOR TODAY, November 10, 2008...

Outside my window...Overcast and crisp, but not cold. My favorite kind of day....

I am thinking...about the 14 weeks of stuff I have to stuff into the next 5 or 6 weeks.

I am thankful for...my kids, my husband and my sister.

From the learning rooms...Lazy day today since we have the 'day off'.

From the kitchen...Sis is making brownie cookies....Mmmmm

I am wearing...Cable knit grey sweater, blue jeans, and my favorite boots.

I am creating...Planning out a new blanket, and finishing my scarf.

I am going...For tea, alllllll alone...after hubby gets home from work.
I am reading...A Journey Through Waldorf Homeschooling, 2nd and 3rd grades.

I am hoping...Some of the things from the past few weeks will settle down, and that my internal clock will self regulate sometime soon.

I am hearing...Amon Tobin.

Around the house...Everyone seems to be feeling down, whether it's aches and pains, or tummy trouble, or just stress.

One of my favorite things...Changing leaves of the vineyard.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Finish my scarf, clean the house, and pack some more boxes.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2, 4, 6, 8 Who do we appreciate?

Okay, so no, that's a little off topic. ;) but...we are working on our multiplication tables here.

We made some bean bags last night to help with the multiplication tables. The kids are taking turns with their respective tables (Corbin 4's and 6's, Liv 2's, 5's, and 10's...)...they are tossing the bags back and forth and when you catch, you call out the next number in your sequence...they are doing well with remembering, and I'm sure it's because they are viewing this more as 'fun' and less as a 'learning exercise' haha.

We made 3 sets of 3...one for each of the kids and then an extra set Liv wanted to make for her best friend...that's what is pictured.

On another note...we are moving across the country in December. From California back to Kentucky, where I grew up. I'm super excited, and scared at the same time :P

More on that as details come ;)

It's chilly here, and supposed to rain all weekend...and I'm so excited about that ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Marie-Th�r�se Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

I see the magnificent creations that Kathleen gives away on her site, but this one is absolutely STUNNING....just made me let out a little *sigh* of amazement when I saw it.

Marie-Th�r�se Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Corners of My Home 10.18.2008

People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet.

Saturday thoughts...

Today I spent the better part of the day organizing the 'school closet'. It's the large closet off the living room where we store all the books/school stuff/art supplies, etc. While I was cleaning out all the items we have accumulated over the years and now don't use or need, I started thinking about where we are in this journey. This school year, after having toured the local Waldorf School over the summer...I knew we'd found the style that we'd been searching for the last 4 years. Each year, I would try to fit into some kind of mold...I knew we didn't fit into classical/traditional learning, but I didn't think that we would ever find a style to fit us...until that tour. There were aspects of Waldorf that Nick and I didn't agree with, but the overall philosophy...the teaching style, the learning style...it clicked!

Obviously, we let go of our spots that were pulled in the lottery to get into the school, since we are still homeschooling....

We decided to use Oak Meadow and are in love.

The line between 'learning' and just 'enjoying living life' is starting to disappear...and I LOVE THAT! The kids love reading, which is a huge accomplishment for Corbin...the focus on art is something that I value and Olivia is thriving in. I decided to take a few pictures of the things that I enjoy seeing during school time. The focus on natural materials in play, creative play, using nature to learn and teach, even down to the beeswax crayons...I'd seen them before and thought...why on EARTH would I pay 14.00 for 8 crayons?? Seeing the kids use them, the simple act of using a couple of colors to create something brilliant...no 'bubble gum pink', no 'yikes yellow', no 'gimme-a-break green'...just natural, pure colors... it's simple, but it fits in SO well with the whole learning process we are going through right now.

Homeschooling can be tough, for sure...but this is the first time I have felt like I have it all together...Since Kindergarten, all the way until now, oldest in 3rd grade...each year I have felt like there's that "one thing" missing. Not this year. This year I have felt like "We found it".

If you read this, thanks for bearing with me ;)

Just something I wanted to share today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Corners of My Home 10.17.2008

"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains..."

~~Diane Ackerman

Modeling Beeswax , a Basket of Kittens and Pippi.

The kids are working with modeling beeswax today...

So, Corbin is continuing in his love of Pippi...apparently in the chapter he read today, she wrestled the strongest man at the circus...and that's precisely what Corbin wanted to capture with his models LOL. I think he did great!

Olivia read a story in her book Animal Friends about some kittens that find a new home...and they are all in a basket at some point...so she chose to model that. (I'm thinking the gal in the story wasn't bald, but, I could be wrong tee hee) Again, I think she did great, since this is the first time they have worked with modeling beeswax and it is VERY fickle, imo ROFL.

And, now they are outside, breaking open rocks to see what they look like inside...surprisingly, some of them are pretty darn beautiful!!

Time is getting away from me today, and I still haven't organized the school closet or thrown the roast from last night into the crock pot with bbq sauce for "BBQ Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Sliders"...must do that too ;)

ahhhhhhh Friday.


Ahhh, so this is the kind of perfect day I love. The kids have been reading quietly and without complaint...it's our 'easy day' for school and right now they are making beeswax models from something in their books. I'll post details and pictures of that later...

It's starting to feel like Fall more and more each day, and I ADORE it...it makes my heart warm. Today I have made a full on breakfast (which never seems to happen as much as I wish it did)...did some knitting, hung out with the kids...and made a latte.

I quit drinking coffee a while back and have been loving my tea...but occasionally nothing else works like a latte' for warming you up and making you feel all cuddly inside.

I am never going to own the espresso machine I want, and that's fine, I'm trying to keep it simple ;) so until then, I'll use the laborious method...

it's okay

I kind of like the process.

On the agenda today?
Organize the school closet (SOOOO much unused stuff there that needs a new home)
Start a blanket

I hope everyone is having a great Friday

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

I found this great list through MTBar Farm, and thought I'd copy and give it a try also :D

The Omnivore’s Hundred

Below is a list of 100 things that every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/uncategorised/the-omnivores-hundred/ linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet Pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42.Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I have some stuff to search out and try, it seems :D

Please link me to your results if you do your own list :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

wet paper painting and joy about reading....

So today the kids worked on some wet paper watercolor paintings, as backdrops for the pictures they were drawing to go along with the portions of the books they each read. The way they can manipulate the paints, the use of water to move it, removing water and color to make layers, it just amazes me.

They read from their books, Olivia with Angelina Ballerina and Corbin with Pippi Longstocking

Corbin chose to create a picture combining his favorite parts of Chapter 6, Pippi Arranges a Picnic...Involving Pippi, a mad bull, Mr. Nelson in a tree, and his favorite, Pippi being picked up by flies ;) He painted the background and after it dried, added the details...I'm so proud of, not just his picture, but the fact that he is so excited about this book! This time last year he would be in tears if I asked him to read anything, but this book has grabbed his attention and he pours over it, completely engrossed in her shenannigans. It makes my heart warm :)

Olivia chose to do one picture that illustrates her favorite part of the book she read. She adores Angelina Ballerina, and while it's not really in the 'realm' of the reading suggestions we are using...I love the classic, gentle, CLEAN and thoughtful stories. This little gal has a knack for anything that his art, and consistently improves in her drawing abilities. I'm proud of her. Aso for reading...she could read in her bed all day long and be completely content.

Love that.
Tomorrow we have a trip to the library because she has literally read every age appropriate book in the house at least twice, and it's time to rotate all the library books now :) Nick is leaving for a backpacking trip in Kentucky tomorrow night...so I'm trying to plan some fun things for us to do while he's gone. I'll update with that as ideas come to me :P

Hope everyone is enjoying their day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oregon Caves

So, I mentioned earlier that we went to the Oregon Caves, and it was a really neat experience. I was a little apprehensive about the whole enclosed spaces...and felt slightly panicky when he said "we are now 225 feet below the surface...but I tried to suck it up and deal, and it was fine. Tons of cool pictures were taken, here are a few that really capture how the whole thing looked, how amazing it was to see the different formations, etc.

No school for us today, since it's Columbus Day...but we are going to do some arts and crafts later. I may work some more on my latest knitting project. :D

Friday, October 10, 2008


So, Liv and I made candles yesterday. We used 100% pure beeswax, it couldn't have been easier!! We didn't add any scents because the natural odor of the beeswax is just so yummy to the both of us.

It was quite easy, and was perfect for the neat day we were having. We spent a lot of time outside under the pine tree, on a blanket. Drawing, gathering acorn caps that we STILL don't know where they came from because we don't have any oak trees near by ;).

Today, the air is pretty crisp! In fact, it nearly feels like autumn, and I'm so super happy about this. I'm dressed in layers, and that is just how I like it ;).

We went to the Oregon Caves this past weekend, and I hope to put up some pictures and experiences from that. The kids loved it...as did Nick.
I was just happy to see it end and be out of there ;)

Have a great weekend world :D

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cheddar the Rat Full of Personality

So, when I was younger, we had friends who had pet rats. They were cute, but I don't have a lot of memory of them, other than that they were rats and they were pets.

Fast forward to 3 months ago.

The kids started asking for a pet rat. Olivia practically BEGGED...saved her money, checked out library books, etc... and the day finally came a few weeks back.

My vote for the name Gorgonzola was outvoted 3 to 1 in favor of Cheddar...which, I must admit, I find positively fitting as well as endearing.

The man at the pet shop told us that he often encourages parents who come in looking for hamsters to consider the rat because they don't bite/nip like a hamster will (I *do* know this was our experience when we had the hamsters from from hell....) and also that they have really great personalities.

I have to say

he was positively RIGHT. Cheddar has as much personality as our dog!! he's funny, affectionate and active and I love him.

I guess we'll keep the little guy ;).

On the school note...

We are doing wet paper watercolors today, and the kids are doing a very impressive job! I'll post later the outcome of that project :D (once it dries ;) LOL)

Rock on....

HA. So, yesterday I started making some wet felted 'rocks' using glass gems as a base to work around. On a few I used seashells, just for a different 'shape'...I am quite pleased with how they turned out. Initially we were making them for our nature table, but I believe I'll make quite a few more (as they're quite quick and easy being so small) and use them as counting manipulatives...or maybe to fill a glass jar for decoration....just not quite sure yet. Anyhow...I LOVE this time of the year, the beginning of Autumn, when it's time to start knitting, and working with fabric and wool, since I don't have the time in the summer. Plus, frankly, it's pretty darn hot and I don't like being covered in yarn, fabric, wool roving, etc. when it's 110 degrees out ;).

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Four Process Gnomes and Labyrinth

So, our order from Oak Meadow is still not here (just the Craft Kit, so it's not big huge deal)...so we are kind of piddling along, doing more relaxed projects than anything right now...all fun though!

Earlier this week we made Four Process Gnomes and King Equals to help with Olivia's introduction into her multiplication tables, and beginning division...we reviewed all the processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, with a little story to accompany each gnome/process)...and I asked her to express on paper, her favorite of the tales...she chose addition, because he always got "just what the King asked for", unlike Subtraction who managed to lose some along the way, Multiplication always got more than the King wanted-but shared with Subtraction...and Division got the right amount but always made a bunch of piles and that was more work, she said ROFL...so...she drew it accordingly. I love seeing her have such a great time with it...even Corbin, who is well beyond this, had fun watching/playing along.

He found himself lost in the Labyrinth...his newest 'favorite' game right now...and enjoyed trying to guide that ball around... Our morning block has been slow, but fun....this afternoon we're going to go outside for a picnic and work on mapping skills and I think we are all looking forward to the fresh air ;)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

And so we begin....

Nick and I chose to use Oak Meadow this year as it ties in most closely with the teaching philosophy we feel is best for our children. We love the idea of Waldorf teaching, even toured (got accepted, etc) to a local Waldorf school...but in the end, some areas of Waldorf just didn't jive with our thoughts, so we went a more 'secular' route and have committed to Oak Meadow this year.

We have always been very child-lead, child-oriented and this curriculum seems to tie in quite nicely with the rhythm we envision for our family and the education process.


It begins. I spent the better part of today planning out this next week's lessons for both Corbin (3rd grade) and Olivia (2nd)...and I'm actually looking forward to it. I feel more 'prepared' and more 'at peace' with our choices than I have in any of the past 4 years.
Our first day of school is Monday. Sept. 8, 2008.


This serves as my introductory post...short...sweet...to the point ;)....I plan to use this journal to not only document and share what we have learned and what our daily rhythm looks like, but also to keep my family in touch with what we are doing with our days :D

If you are here, welcome and thanks for looking :D