Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My latest piece of art and.....their latest piece of art.
One day, one day, their artisitic interests will blossom into something other than covering their bodies with the ink from multiple markers.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

granola, inventions, reading, Germany, Brazil, Black Friday

>>>Home from Brazil<<<

We're happy to have John back from Brazil. Even though he was consumed with work, he traveled a bit around Brazil the last two days.

You can view some of his adventures here.

>>>Library Books<<<

There's nothing like seeing children get excited about the books mom brought home from the library.

So cute!

>>>Another one of Ethan's inventions<<<

This is Ethan's snow shoe. . .I think that's what it was supposed to be.

You've got to hand it to him - it's quite creative.

>>>Black Friday<<<

We went to Tracy Aviary on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The weather wasn't bad. The kids had fun and it felt so nice just being together as a family.

Millie is so cute walking around.

Tyra is looking at the Flamingo's. We read about how the flamingo's specialized diet is what causes their beautiful pink color...

we decided Ethan isn't a "picky" eater...he just has a "specialized diet."

We also went to the Gardens at Thanksgiving Point. It was pretty cold by this time. But we enjoyed our time anyway.

After the gardens we got some ice cream and, without expecting it, there were suddenly two reindeer right by the window where we sat.

They were selling christmas trees and had reindeer in cages next to them.

So we watched them for a while.


We have been making granola again. It's such a yummy snack to have around.

The recipe is found on this blog. (It's a blog my friend and I created where we have started posting our natural remedies and recipes.)


Tyra left to Germany with my parents yesterday (at 4 am). She was nervous and excited.

I know she'll have a good time and will be able to share much with us when she comes home.

Tyra and I spent some time together making these links to go on her countdown chain before she left. Those days flew by.

Little does she know I made a new chain, one which counts down the days for her return.

Unfortunately, I don't think those days will fly by just as quickly.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sgraffito, Kit, Raphael

Some of our favorite things have been:

Paintings by Raphael
We love the books: What makes a Raphael a Raphael? (and so on after each artists name.)

I don't buy movies ... almost ever! But this is one we'll be buying. It's our latest favorite movie - Kit Kittredge, from the American Girl's book series. (I especially love the mom's character in this movie.)

Sometime after Tyra turns eight she'll be joining a group called Liberty Girls. This is a group which has book discussions and activities about one of the American Girl books.

After watching this movie and seeing the many neat lessons and principles which we can learn (and did learn) from this story line I'm even more excited for Tyra to join Libierty Girls.

We have also been excited about all the neat (and simple, yet informative and educational) art projects we've been doing. Here's our latest. The style is called Sgraffito where you apply bottom colors which are colored over with a dark color then scratched away at until one has a peice of art one likes. This site has made art projects fun again in our home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jail, Face Painting, Gardner Village, Sleeping, Other

"You in jail." Is what Cedric was telling Millie as he was tying her to her chair with every chord he could find. She definitely wasn't going anywhere.
Face Painting craze. ..Almost every day the kids want their faces painted. Once painted they delve into their imaginary worlds and play together as they act as the animals (or superheroes) which are painted on their faces.
Gardner Village. We went to Gardner Village with some friends on probably their busiest day of the whole year. It was packed!!! The faces are extra funny if you're able to view them up close by clicking on the picture. Cedric's face probably resembles perfectly the same look I had on my face as I left that place. :) This isn't an uncommon scene in the mornings. (Although this photo was taken at night.) Ethan comes and sleeps in our room every night. We have a blanket permanently placed on the floor next to our bed just for him. But, now and then they all straggle into our room during the night for one reason or another and we end up all sleeping together in the same room.

Our current favorite movie is Mr. Holland's Opus. It's so inspiring! It increased Tyra's desire to be able to play the piano smoothly and beautifully and Ethan, once again, was inspired to sit at the piano and compose his own songs. I also found him drawing pictures of him conducting an orchestra.

For me, it helped me to remember how important it is to be passionate about the things we teach to our children. Passion transforms. Passion changes one forever.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Da Vinci Exhibit, Milcreek, Other

>>>Da Vinci Exhibit<<<

We enjoyed our visit at the Da Vinci Exhibit. We viewed some of his artwork. The Lady and the Ermine being one of them.

And we got to handle and look at displays of his inventions.

Cedric was in his right element here. Experimentation is his other middle name. And that's exactly what Leonardo da Vinci did.

Ty enjoyed herself as well. This was one of Leonardo da Vinci's water "pump" inventions.


We visited Milcreek. The trees weren't as red and orange as we hoped they'd be but it was amazingly gorgeous anyway! I actually think it was the perfect time to come.

There were so many colors to enjoy. Too bad my camera didn't do well in low light.

Here's everyone hiking up. We only had about 30 minutes of good light until it began to get dark. The kids were rather uncomfortable as dark shadows began to take place within the woods of the mountain.

But we focused on how beautiful it all was. And how the leaves on the ground were like little lights the forest was providing for us. And as Cedric became more nervous, we comforted him with the fact that Heavenly Father made this beautiful place for us to enjoy. He kept repeating, as he thought aloud, "Heavenly Father! Heavenly Father!"

Sweet little bugaboo.

The kids have been getting along so well! Pure contentment flows through our home as they get along. To explain the top photo: Tyra had 2 new pairs of pajamas and so she decided to share one set of her jammies with Ethan. As they played around they decided to mix and match the jammies. They were having SO much fun that particular night.

The bottom photo is of us going on a walk. I looked ahead and this is what I saw. I hurried and snapped a photo before they broke up.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hear the Singing?

Here is what has made my homeschooling mother's heart sing.

The other day Tyra and Ethan had a large and intelligent discussion about gemstones and what kind of gemstones Indians probably had and what they used the gemstones for.

Today Tyra and Ethan were playing so well together that when a friend rang the doorbell they got upset and said, "I just want to play with you."

Cedric was unseen and quiet for a long time so I went to check on him. What was he getting into? A book. My favorite book of all things. The Ordinary Princess. (He was gazing intently at the details of the pencil drawings within the book.)

We haven't done our German lessons for a while yet when we tried a online German course Tyra got almost all of them right the first time!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book of Mormon Party

We did it!
We finished reading the Book of Mormon together as a family. We had a Book of Mormon party with cupcakes and watermelon to celebrate.
I have loved the discussions the stories from the Book of Mormon has brought into our morning devotionals. Goodbye Book of Mormon....we'll come back to you again.
As for now, we'll be reading from the Bible.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Share 'n' Tell, Larry Arnoldsen

We hold a weekly Share 'n' Tell where our family gathers round and shares what it is we've been learning about. Here's this weeks...


Subject: Gemology

Shared with us her favorite gems: Opal and Quartz
Recognized different birthstones including most everyone in the family.


Subject: Indians

Explained the difference between sedentary and nomadic Indians. And the differences in how they ate, lived, and hunted.


Subject: Book of Poems

Pointed out his favorite details from the poems and illustrations from the book, Here's A Little Poem.


Subject: Balance

Showed us how she can now stand up by herself.


Subject: Chinese, Writing, Economy, Computer Part

Explained basic chinese grammar and character writing, supply and demand equilibrium, graphic design principles, and showed us basic components of a logic board in a Macintosh computer.


Suject: Oil Painting, Homeschooling

Discussed one rule for good composition she learned from her first oil painting class. Discussed Larry Arnoldsen's view on curriculum and how to learn.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So, here's my two first oil paintings ever! Very exciting! I'm taking painting classes from Nathan Pinnock.

Also, here's a link to a wonderful article from Dr. Larry Arnoldsen on Homeschooling.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Enjoying the last of summer...

It's still summer time and we're soaking up every last bit of it. We're enjoying being able to go with the natural flow of what feels right for our family and love that we have a few more moments of time to spend together in the warm and sunny weather.

Last monday I went with the kids one last time to Bear Lake for the day. We got up early in the morning and 12 wonderful hours later made our 3 hour drive home.

At the end of the day, as the sun was setting, we went for a walk along the empty beach. The warm sand massaged our feet on our hour journey with sounds of the small rolling waves echoing in our ears as the sky changed colors overhead with the setting sun.

We went on a little adventure through some tall weeds and, although a couple of the kids were skeptical of our safe return, we came out just fine, finding ourselves along the shore of the beach once again.

We sat and ate snacks as the air cooled and held out until the first star came out which we celebrated with shouts of joy. Then we made our long and quiet journey home.

Bear Lake came and went and with us will forever stay happy memories we found together.

That's what life is about. Growing together. Learning together. Giving eachother strength and support on our individual journey back to our Heavenly Father.

Although our summer moments aren't yet over we have been preparing for a more focused homeschooling year. By simplifying, organizing, and rearranging the things within our home. We've made it more comfortable and are now more excited to spend the colder months indoors.

So here we now are, preparing for better in depth homeschooling. We've come up with a fresh schedule that will help keep the things John and I find important for the kids ongoing. Yet, I'm keeping in mind something John Gatto has said, "I get out of the kids' way, I give them time and respect...letting themselves be the major text of their own education."

And so it will be. This will be a wonderful year full of learning, growing relationships, and individuality.

I can feel it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Garden, face painting, camping, family outings

There's been lots going on....

Our garden is growing like crazy and is ready for a few new plantings.

Face painting has been going well. My kids are often seen with their faces painted. .. them and the neighborhood kids.

We went on our yearly campout with our friends. It was a lot of fun. It was more work than fun for the parents but the kids had nothing but fun and made it worth all the work.

We made a trip to the mountains....those are always some of our favorite summer memories.

Today, in particular, was a great homeschooling day. Scripture study went well. I test read my newest book to the kids (they like it so far). Tyra wanted to learn about Bach's life. But we were interrupted because she wanted to learn about math instead. My homeschooling heart flutters when I hear sentences like the one she gave me then, "Mommy, can we finish reading about Bach after I learn about math?" Of course!!!!

Tyra and Ethan practiced on the piano...they do this at their own free will. Ethan is memorizing songs and Tyra is almost finished with the first piano lesson book. It's amazing to watch them want to learn and to see them progressing.

We also juiced and made fruit roll ups from the free apricots we picked up yesterday...all 6 bags of them! It was messy (as you can see) but it was fun. We also had the opportunity to share some of our apricot wealth with a lady I visit teach...her husband is severely disabled from scar tissue that has built up from the debilitating disease most of us have heard of -MS. She has a large load to carry so we stop by as often as we can.

Sorry to keep going but there's more that went well. Tyra and I cooked dinner together and Ty really enjoyed it today. The other kids wanted in but I told them we'll switch days. Tomorrow will be Ethan's day to cook with me, then cedric and so on.

We did turn on the TV today .... to the History channel and Ty says, " Ooooh, I love history!" There went that fluttering heart again.... :)

Then during bedtime stories the story/book Cedric wanted me to read him was my most recent story. (I took it as a compliment.)

Today really did go well.

PS Sorry Heather I realize that picture wasn't the best photo of you... I'll have to post a better one of you another time. :)