Friday Favorite Things {14}

It's Friday!
And I have a whole week of favorites to share with you!
(I think this is how it's probably going to happen on the blog this year since I'm finding it harder to find time for individual posts for everything! So if you see something you want to know more about, please - ask away!)

Our days were very full but we got so much accomplished!
One day was rather difficult.
A certain little girl just didn't want to do her lessons and it kind of threw me into a panic that I had chosen all the wrong curriculum or something!
Alas, it was simply a bad day.
My girl went on to conquer a story she had been working on, finally grasped a math concept she'd found difficult and printed the alphabet and numbers 1- 10 like a pro!
In the end, these words from my friend Heather's blog greatly encouraged me and helped me to focus on what we are aiming for: 

 "I don't want learning to be fun. I want it to be interesting and satisfying, and at times it will be exhausting, but completing difficult work is rewarding and it stretches our minds in good ways. A well written narration, a carefully drawn map, a successful Latin translation, a verse or poem recalled from memory, all of these take effort but give so much satisfaction when completed."

I have so much to learn myself when it comes to this whole homeschooling gig!
But I can honestly say that despite the struggles and difficult days, teaching my kids is so rewarding and such a blessing!

Here is a peek at the week gone by:

This is my very favorite picture from our nature walk!
Taitum yelled, "Mom, look what I found! Can I bring it home?!"
Pure excitement over a stick!


The path we took was a little rugged and full of puddles so Ren travelled in my arms - delighted to have a whole apple to munch on!


Nature walks are not always as peaceful as they sound!
Poor Piper was well loved by the mosquitos and she made sure we all knew about her misery.
Note to self: ALWAYS bring bug spray!


Our findings in a jam jar!
Golden rod and cow vetch really brighten up the kitchen!


We had leftover cake batter and icing from the girls' birthday party last Saturday so I used it to make mini cupcakes for our tea time.
(You know what they say -Waste not, want not!)
Their task was to learn how to pipe icing onto the tops.
They loved doing this!
And insisted on sprinkles to make them extra pretty.



Tea time and artist study.
This week we looked at another painting by Copley - Watson and the Shark.
This one is very captivating and a little eerie if you ask me!
It did, however, capture the girls' attention and imagination.
Piper's take on it - "Maybe the man was a mermaid but then he got turned into a person with legs and so he couldn't swim and so got attacked by the shark!"
Hmmm, remind you of anything? A particular Disney princess perhaps?
It gave me a good chuckle anyway!


Piper's art project for this week was this smiling sun!
She was pretty proud of the final product and is seriously obsessed with the Home Art Studio lessons!


 We finished our week with our co-op group at a trail that encircles a beaver pond.
(We've been there before and love it! Worth checking out if you're in the area!)
The kids had an opportunity to go 'critter dipping'!
They were provided with nets that they used to dip into the pond and haul up all kinds of different critters!
In the first picture Piper is observing a leech that the guide is showing to her.
Those things can move fast and are huge! 
We even got to see one attach to a minnow and fill its belly.
Pretty interesting stuff (but I kept my distance! Yuck!)
Piper caught some minnows herself as well as a snail and other critters.



 The guide led the group in some games to learn about the wetlands and the importance of each element found there.


A selfie of Ren and I having a grand ol' time.
I'm pretty sure her favorite part was snack!


This is my favorite picture of the trip.
Piper was so into this activity.
She would have stayed there all day, catching critters!
When we got home I had to wring the water out of their socks and turn on the heat so I could dry their boots out!
If those aren't signs of a successful field trip, I don't know what is!





On The Farm {Homeschool Co-op Adventures}

Last Friday, the girls and I set out on a new adventure.
We were invited to join a homeschool co-op this year and we eagerly accepted!
I am so excited to be a part of a community of fellow homeschoolers and for my daughters to have an opportunity to build relationships with children who are being raised in much the same way as they are.

As we travelled into the country to meet at a dairy farm, I think we all experienced those 'first day of school' feelings.
My girls, who are not the least bit accustomed to having to leave the house by a certain time in the morning, were somewhat grouchy and slow moving.
I think they really didn't know what to expect or what this was all about.
But the sun was shining, I had a coffee in hand and beautiful scenery before me.
And so, we plunged on to our newest adventure!

Our day included meeting lots of new, friendly faces, a run to warm us all up and get the blood flowing and a tour of the farm by the gracious owners!

We got to pet some cute, little calves.
One of the girls who was part of the group has a cow at home and was quite comfortable with them.
She let one of the calves suck on her fingers which my kids thought was hilarious!


We watched the milking robot milk a cow.
This was the neatest thing!
The cows come on their own to be milked when they are ready.
The whole machine was amazing!
We watched as little lasers scanned for the cow's teats and, having sensed them, latched on to efficiently milk the cow as it stood there eating.
As we were watching, one cow entered the stall where the robot is and was rejected!
Apparently, they will try to get in because they want the food but having scanned their tag, the robot knows not enough time has elapsed since their last milking!
Nice try!


Piper and Tait were right there taking it all in!
Renly got distracted by a barn cat so I missed some of the explanations but both girls seemed pretty intent on what was happening!
Before we entered the barn, Taitum was super nervous about meeting a robot!
She kept asking if it talked!
I think she was relieved to find out it was nothing like the robots she has seen in cartoons.


It was fun to meet some of the cows and give them a pet!




Renly was delighted and walked around saying, "Moo! Moo!"
Being able to bring her along to our co-op meetings is such a blessing!
All the littles are welcome and embraced.
Ren was picked up and carried around by one of the older girls and I watched as some of the girls in the group took turns holding one family's newborn baby.
I love that the mentality of including the whole family seems to be encouraged.
It was so lovely to see all the different age groups of kids interacting!


And to the girls' delight there was time for a swing at the end!



We had such a fantastic time!
We met a lot of wonderful new people and enjoyed the whole experience!
I am certain that this group is going to be something we all look forward to each week!

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Nature Study: Getting Started

Although last week went smashingly, we did not get a chance to go for a nature walk.
The kids play outside constantly but it is nice to set out together with the goal of "finding something interesting" (as Piper would say!).
Today, the weather was lovely so we nabbed the opportunity!
We're following the Handbook of Nature Study Getting Started Challenges and the very first one states: 

Charlotte Mason knew what she was talking about when it came to nature study. Somehow in our modern life we have forgotten the simple pleasures of outdoor time. For this challenge, just go for a walk. Don't worry about taking any tools or supplies with you. Enjoy the outdoors and your children and then spend some time talking about your experiences together.

So simple!
Too often I make such things more complicated and stressful than they need to be!
We set out for a nice afternoon walk down our street and then down another that leads to an open space where there are lots for sale.
Nothing too crazy or difficult but the girls made some great discoveries and had a fantastic time!

We found caterpillars.



And beetles that were too quick for me to catch with the camera!


Specific plants caught Piper's eye.
I quite liked this one too!
I'm not sure what it is yet although I have been searching...
Something in the willow family perhaps?
At the very least I think those fuzzy little things are called catkins!


Daisies are always attractive!


We came across a multitude of deer tracks!


This was pretty exciting and Piper knew that it belonged to a deer right away!


Pipe just stood here and took it all in for awhile.
Then she turned to me and said, "Mom, it's beautiful!"
I think that just may be the point of nature study...


Many items were gathered on our nature walk and added to our nature tray.
It makes for a nice centerpiece at our kitchen table and a great conversation starter!


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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.

Motherhood=Adventure

Worth more than rubies.


“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson







My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.

Piper

Piper
She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!

Taitum

Taitum
She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!

Renly

Renly
She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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