Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nature walk around our home

 What a glorious autumn day it was today!
We were supposed to meet some friends at the park today, but Joey was recovering from a virus and we thought it best to stay close to home.  So, with him feeling a bit better, we thought it would be perfect to do a nature walk around our property.  What is wonderful is we don't have to travel far to encounter nature as we live on 5 acres of woods, but sometimes we forget how great we have it!

We first had a visit with our chickens.  Since going gluten free, we have so many extra bulk grains sitting around.  We've been giving it to the chickens as treats here and there.

Matthew climbing a fallen cedar tree.

For collecting nature's treasures.

All bundled up in the stroller.
She had a great time exploring with us.

We have been seeing these little guys everywhere.  We figured they were some sort of caterpillar.  He was so cute we were all playing with him and decided to use him in our nature study.  Well, we learned they are called Hickory Tussock caterpillars. Some people are very allergic to them and their *fur* can cause some people to break out in rashes...thank goodness that didn't happen to us!  They love Hickory trees, although we found ours on a cedar and can be found as far north as Canada.

Walking down our driveway...the leaves are so beautiful.

We had a lovely time doing nature study.  We collected lots of treasures in our basket and the boys got their colored pencils out and went to work.  Even Joey joined in the fun.
Matthew worked way into lunch time as he was enjoying writing poems to go with his illustrations.

I've been reading a wonderful book by Elizabeth Foss called, Real Learning.  It has really prompted me to go back to our original` homeschooling methods.  As the boys get older, I would fear I wasn't doing *school* how it should be done.  Even though state mandated tests have proven that our method has been very successful thus far, I still doubted myself.  Well, this book has sparked a renewed desire for me to return to our original home school.   Less test taking, fill in the bubble, and comprehension question-type curriculum's that are *safe*.  More living books, lots of art, nature study, classical music, discussions, and narrations. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday morning

 Today has been a typical Monday morning.  We all woke up a tad too late, but thankfully I had prepared pumpkin muffins last night for breakfast.  Joey ate three of them!  I found this lovely recipe online that is dairy and gluten free and we have all loved it.
After breakfast and our sacraments study, the boys began their schoolwork.  It's such a crisp fall morning and we have all enjoyed watching the leaves change.
It's so lovely to sit in the dining room in the morning and watch the leaves fall and the chickens in the yard!

Joey is teaching Elmo while I teach the big boys.

Look closely Elmo!  I'm drawing a face!

The view from our front porch.  It is hard for even me to get focused sometimes on the work at hand when I really just want to stare out the window.

Darryl harvested some honey yesterday, so it was only appropriate to use some today (:
We made honey sweetened popcorn balls for a treat!
After the little ones were put down for a nap, the big boys and I enjoyed some hot tea and some read aloud time-The Hobbit.  We are all enjoying this book so much!

Enjoy today for the blessings are so abundant!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Fun Art Project

We have been cranking out some really fun art projects this fall and this was one we included Joey in as well.
Found it on the same website I previously mentioned.  It was Halloween silhouettes.
First the children would paint a sunset background with the darkness settling in.
Then, they cut(I did this for Joey) Halloween scenes...IE...a haunted house, witches, pumpkins, etc. in black construction paper.
When the paint dried, you just glue on your scene and then you have a cool looking picture.

Quick, easy, and so much fun...try it!

Joey was so proud of his painting and gluing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My birthday weekend

 On Friday morning, Darryl surprised me with an early birthday gift.  We were going to spend the weekend in the mountains!  He had booked a place on top of Beech Mountain for our family.  I had asked several months before if we could celebrate my birthday up there this weekend because 1.  The weather is AWESOME 2.  It's peak leaf peeping weekend 3.  Festivals galore!
He had everything planned and I was so excited!  I quickly scrapped our homeschooling day and packed everyone up so we could head out.
After a quick, but chaotic stop at the grocery store in Grandfather Mountain, we settled into our little mountain hideaway for the night.
With homemade buffalo dip and gluten free pizza, we were all cozy by the fire.
Here is the view out the window at dusk.  We could see 4 states from up there!

Darryl prepared me a wonderful breakfast to enjoy on the deck in the morning.  It was cold out there but the view was so worth it!

Heading out to one of my favorite mountain festivals-The Valle Crucis Fair. 

All of my babies are so sweet.

Snugglin' with my lil' pumpkin.

She has us all wrapped around her finger.

Darryl prepared me the most lovely dinner.
Steak, potato, and a wonderful mixed green salad with bleu cheese.

Getting ready to head out to the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk.

The boys training their Woolly Worms for the race.  

 Sadly, Jerry(Nicholas' worm), Bookin' It(Matthews' worm), and Choo-Choo(Joeys' worm) didn't win...but we still had a great time!

After the festival, we headed to a beautiful park for a picnic lunch and some play time.
Juliana loved crunching (and eating) the leaves.

We all had such a beautiful weekend.  
I'm so grateful and in awe of my blessings.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Glue Resist Chalk Pastel Sunflowers

 Another fun art project!
We have been using this website: for some neat art ideas this year.
This one was so much fun!
The boys begged me to do the project with them.  I had so much work to do, but I was prompted to sit down and spend some time with them(thank you Holy Spirit).
We had such a wonderful afternoon creating and I love how different all of our interpretations of sunflowers look.

Here is Nicholas' picture-isn't it awesome!

 Matthew did a great job too!

Joey didn't want to be left out of the picture taking, so I let him hold my picture.

We worked on another one last night, Crazy Cats, I'll be posting about that one soon!

Sweet Baby Cakes!