Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In the 'Hood...

Summer is working itself out nicely in our neighborhood. The cool mornings give way to hot afternoons. Afternoons where we laze around, nap and read because we have swam out all of our energy. Then usually back to the pool we go for swim team practice or for relaxation where we pretend  we are on vacation. Just when I think one season is my favorite, then here comes another. Summer has been no dissapointment!

On the days where we haven't gotten up the energy to mosey up to the pool, the action is on our cul-de-sac.


Mainly our porch. It is nice and inviting and begs to be sat upon. It is surprising to me that the subject of our porch hasn't been the focus of most of our blog posts as so much of our time is spent here. One day I gave Kylie my camera and so we will go about an afternoon of fun in our front yard.

It all starts by usually just one child. One kid running outside and then all the others "know" and soon leave the confines of their homes. A doorbell ring here and there and then soon there is a full blown playdate happening before you know it. On any given day Mom's and Dad's gather just to chat as their kids play about them. Today it just happened to be a few of us moms.

I am thinking up some cute project where I can sew some stair pillows because after a few hours of sitting on those things, your rear begins to really feel it. Or not feel it if you know what I mean!

Usually the boys battle and have some game where they fight eachother.

Some days they fight on the same team against the girls, and sometimes they fight against eachother. Today I think they were wanting to fight with Kylie and show her their moves.

But I am sure if you asked Gabe, he would say he was fighting a fierce dragon in this picture.

Don't mess with this boy!

If they are not fighting, then most likely they can be found chilling on the porch.

Or reading...

Or eating...

Or walking Lumpy through the drainage water... (don't ask.)
(I don't even want to think about how many balls are down in that drain!)

Or just hanging out with friends.

It is interesting getting to see things from another perspective. To view these pictures through my daughters eyes has shown me how much our friends mean to us. They are people we see on a daily basis. We have laughed, cried and borrowed a lot of food from eachother! I like our little community.

And then there is Kylie... My little photographer.

She has shown me a bit of her own creativity and humor.

and her cute feet.

She is strong and steady too when she wants to be.

Kylie has taught me something new everyday and I am so thankful that she is my firstborn. 

If you peek, you can see me on my perch on the right hand side of this photo. There was a picture of us Mom's on my porch but I am afraid I would be ousted by my friends if it was posted! ;-) How I love our time spent outside! Especially from Kylie's perspective.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grass Sandals - week 1

This year I am making a lot of new changes. For one, I have never done very well at lapbooking or notebooking so one day I had an epiphany! Why not use a binder, page protectors and cardstock to blend the two together! And binders were born...

We are rowing Grass Sandals and what a fun book it has been so far! Here is Kylie's title page in her notebook.

And in the inside, they can glue all of their flap books and things onto their cardstock.

Monday we learned about Japan, the geography and the Japanese lifestyle.

Cutting their work.

Tuesday we learned new vocabulary words, what a biography was and poetry. The kids had a fun time writing Haiku. 

Luke's:  red roses smell great
                    the sun blazes hot on them
                  helping them grow strong

Kylie's:  walking the seashore
                 birds circling around me
                  food I throw hitting them

I was surprised to see how well they did with this. Haiku uses 17 syllables (5 on the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third line) and they did these all on their own!

On Wednesday, we headed out to the Weatherspoon Museum to check out Japanese artwork.

They had a really interesting sculpture garden out front where we spent a lot of time before we even went inside! And every-so-often, there would be sounds of crickets chirping, giants eating over us and other things that the kids loved! 

This mirrored sculpture held their attention for a long time.

But here is what we came for.

The kids had a good time learning about Kabuki theater, you know the men dressed as women? And they had a fun time picking out all of the samurai warriors and their crossed eyes. We learned about the process of wood blocking and a good time was had by all.

Kylie acting goofy and saying "wow! This is my favorite painting of all! And it even moves!"

The inside of the museum had some interesting sources of natural light.

Outside we had a snack and enjoyed the outdoors by this really fun wall. The kids had an enjoyable time climbing and posing.

Later on in the week we studied about the frog. We learned about the lifecycle and assorted other amphibian facts.

Then they made up this little frog game using their sticky tongues. 

We had such a fun time this week with our Five in a Row studies. Join us again next week for week 2!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Run for the Hills!

When days get a little crazy here, and they often do, I have a saying that I tend to use... And when my kids hear it, they know something is abrewin'.

Since we have been at the pool every day this summer, my bathroom looks like this...

And because we have been in and out with a quickness, my living room looks like this...

So when I yell around the house... "run for the hills!" My kids know that Momma has had it and an adventure is about to begin!

We all run around and throw on clothes, brush hair, find shoes and buckle up.

And some get more tuckered out from the preadventure, they need to rest up for the real deal!

But once there, Jake was happy to jump out and head out in his stroller. (Finally got to wear Luke's Disney Crocs!)

(Kylie was totally freaking out that Jake was up there! I just had to hurry up and get the shot!)

When all things are crazy, somehow getting outside just does something to me. To all of us... The ease of exploring, looking at things growing and living just makes us feel part of the creation around us. Maybe it puts us into perspective, that we aren't the only things that matter... We are a part of a bigger plan around us, and I like that.

I love it that since we have been going to the gardens for so long now, my kids have found a natural rhythm of their visit. The boards usually have some new information that my kids are happy to read about. On our trip this time, they pointed out each willow tree that they saw along the path. Luke is looking at a spider id poster. They weren't too keen on IDing any spiders on our walk...

Of course no walk through the garden could occur without walking on the giant wall.

And a few "Mom! Take a picture of me here! And here!"

The kids insisted on getting Jake out so off they went to explore. I love the little secret paths in the gardens that make it so much fun for kids to wander around.

Another "Mom! Take our picture!"

Did we explore... We had nowhere to be so we just took our time...

Funny how Jake has just fit perfectly into our family. Kylie wanted to read the map and Jake just wanted to press on and walk. She doesn't even flinch that he is annoying the mess out of her! She just keeps her cool and grips tighter.

He loves keeping up with them.

Side note: My husband said that Kylie looks so "homeschool" in her skirt! She loves that thing and she would probably wear it every day if she was able! Gotta love stereotypes...

See this sign folks? Heed the sign!! These geese are crazy and are used to being fed. But being the newbie to North Carolina, and the type of person who still gets excited that she sees Canadian Geese in her everyday life, we had to check them out a little closer.

Jake enjoyed quacking at the ducks but a little behind the scenes video, you would hear Kylie in the background, "RUN! The geese are coming!"

But to wild man Jake, that means, "get closer! The geese are coming!"

By now, the kids are giving play by play reports as to the geeses location and laughing hysterically at me trying to take a picture and rescue my son at the same time. Jake just wanted to go chase the poor ducks and then even the geese had to get in on the loud ruckus. They ended up fighting just two feet away!

Jake didn't give up without a fight... And I will skip the not so nice moments of me trying to lug his torso back up on the boardwalk without hurting his skin, and the shrieks and the yells from the kids while the geese got closer and closer... But I will share with you this. After the whole tussle, Jake dropped his shoe and I swear the goose wanted it. See him eyeing that shoe?

Yep, ya didn't get it buddy.

He was sad that he was leaving his friend but sheesh, doesn't he know that the goose would have pecked his arm off?

On our way back we met some ducks who must have gone to the same begging school as the geese.

The kids got a bit goofy and were scared off by them.

And then most of them gave up except this one. Who wielded a lot of power if you ask me!

Thankfully, brother swings a big stick and kept sister safe.

Lesson learned for today: Sometimes you just have to get out of dodge... hit the reset button and enjoy the day. A little outside therapy does wonders!

Hope you enjoyed your walk with us!