Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

This morning, we did something we have never done before. We decided to take the kids to our state cemetery, located about 1 1/2 hours away from where we live.

While we have always talked with our children about our country and all the freedoms we have here, we have never really explained WHY we celebrate Memorial Day and we have never fully discussed the importance of this day. I think it is safe to say that after today's experiences, they now understand what it means to be an American and what those brave soldiers have done and still do today for us.

It was absolutely amazing to see row after row after row of names, flowing through the fields. I honestly had no idea there were that many veterans there.

The horse above posing with our children was used in the ceremony today. He represented all the fallen soldiers.
Our son was particularly interested in the military vehicles there. He has several toy ones and was so excited to see the real deal today.

The ceremony ended with several patriotic songs as well as the firing of these large guns. I am so glad we took our children to this event. More than anything though, I am proud to be an American...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Veggie Picking

This week, we headed out to an organic farm with our homeschool support group. We were the first family to arrive, and they put our children right to work, gathering tools and supplies!

Once the rest of our group was there, we all headed out to the fields to taste various plants and herbs, right out of the ground. We were given mint, celery, rosemary and many others to sample.
I must admit that I am not very knowledgeable in the gardening department, and so if I were walking through a field such as the one above, I would not be able to recognize what is edible and what is not. We were taught to use not only our sense of sight, but also our sense of smell to identify the various plants.
Next, we went over to some of the vegetable rows and the children weeded the garden. Since this was an organic garden, no pesticides or chemicals are ever used.

After some weeding, the kids went over the the chicken coop and fed the chickens some of the weeds they had picked.

We then ventured into the greenhouse where the farmers taught us all about how a greenhouse works, and why it is important to start off the little plants in a greenhouse and then plant them in the ground.

The kids were able to see several samples of different types of seeds. They even were able to make their own little seed pots out of rolled up newspaper and take them home to plant in our own garden!

Next, it was over to the composting area where the children learned about composting and what materials are good or bad for a compost pile. They were able to shred some newspaper into the bin as well.
The kids were getting hungry after all the fresh air and so they went out into the lettuce field and were able to gather some lettuce to make salad for everyone to eat. The salad was absolutely delicious- so fresh and tasty!

The entire group really enjoyed this trip and we learned so much about seeds, composting, and organic gardening. Now if I could just get something, ANYTHING to grow at our house...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Keepers at Home

Today we had our weekly Keepers at Home Club meeting. The girls received award pins for the first time and were very excited about it! Many of them received awards for memorizing all the books of the Old Testament as well as their Card Making skill pin. Others completed various skills at home and were awarded pins for Insects, Pets, Witnessing, and more!
After our award ceremony, the girls completed their lessons on Compassion by creating these cute little booklets to help them remember what compassion is, and how to be compassionate towards others.
The outside cover says Compassion Is... and then you open it up and the inside is shaped like a cross, with a reminder on each portion of the cross.
The girls did a great job creating their little books. I found the idea on one of my favorite blogs called   There are all sorts of creative books you can make with your kids and the directions are very easy to follow!
Next, we worked on our Snacks and Drinks skill and the girls made a fruit tray with strawberry yogurt dip.

They really seemed to enjoy this activity and had a lot of fun talking with each other while mashing strawberries, cutting fruit, and mixing the ingredients to make the dip.

The fruit dip was absolutely delicious and really was the perfect snack for this hot, humid day! It looks like summer is already here!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun In The Sun

This morning, we headed over to a local spray park with one of the homeschool support groups we belong to. We started out with a nice picnic lunch.
Then, the kids got right into the action and had a blast spraying each other with the various water hoses and squirters, as well as going down the little slide. Even the "big kids" enjoyed the slide!

After playing for quite some time, the kids were pretty tired and so they ended up sitting out in the sun to dry out. The water was pretty chilly but it was still a great time with great friends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cross Stitch Lessons

Today at our Keepers at Home Club meeting, the girls were introduced to the skill of cross stitching. Several of them were able to catch on right away and I was very impressed by how even the youngest girls tried their best and kept at it!

As part of our continuing lessons on Compassion, the girls copied scripture from their Bibles and did a word search puzzle. I am thoroughly enjoying our weekly meetings and it has been such a blessing to be part of such a wonderful club. Not only are the girls getting to spend quality time with their moms, but each family is so unique and special and we have all made new friends.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Can Anyone Hear Me???

Do you ever find yourself repeating phrases and saying the same things over and over, yet feel as if no one is really listening? Sometimes, as I go through our day, I notice my little guy's attention seems to be everywhere but where it should be. I must have caught his attention yesterday though, because out of desperation, I asked him if he had his listening ears on. He stopped and looked at me for a second, ran to his room, and came back looking like the picture above! He said to me- "mommy, now I do have my listening ears on and they're HUGE!" What else could I do but laugh....

This time of year is hard. The weather is warm and sunny. We've been traveling along since the beginning of September and I find it hard to focus much. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for children! I am anxious to finish this year up in June and take a nice break. We did have a nice distraction last week though, when we took the kids to a local amusement park.
It was a beautiful, sunny day and the crowd was small.
We were able to get on most of the rides without any wait time! We did several water rides as well and since it was in the upper 80's, it felt great!
We still have a few more scheduled field trips including a trip to an organic farm, an art lesson at a local pottery studio, and some fun at a spray park. My girls are busy preparing for an upcoming piano recital as well, and we are anxiously awaiting the publication of our oldest daughter's book!

While I see this year coming to a close as a good thing and look forward to all the adventures and excitement of our next school year, in a way, I am sad to see it end! This next school year, our oldest will be in her last year of Middle School, our little girl will be entering the fourth grade, and our little guy will no longer be in Kindergarten. Just where does the time go???