Back to school, back to life

“The giving of love is an education in itself.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Second grade and Kindergarten!

We recently kicked off the new school year and I’m still in shock that I’m officially teaching not just Ella in second grade this year, but Gavin now in kindergarten. Three years into this already and it feels like yesterday that it all began.

I jumped into homeschooling not really knowing how to swim, but I never imagined the rewarding and truly incredible experience that treading through with faith would bring from it. I just feel grateful to have the opportunity to continue another year with it.

Though it isn’t the usual hustle and bustle normally found on a first day of school, which I fondly remember. I still like to treat it specially. A few new outfits, and setting up the desk for them to discover on the first day are a couple of ways to keep a sense of excitement about the new year! Ella also wanted her first day of school hair and we had the rare apple fritter and blueberry breakfast! :)

Preschooler!!

This is a glimpse of what our school/learning area consists of. They are enjoying the shared space now but in time I see us growing out of it. For now it works though and Grant definitely wants to be a part of it. Of course this is where the ‘official’ yet unofficial work gets done when it comes to workbooks and specific lessons. Still a lot of our learning happens in the kitchen, around town, or snuggled in a bed with books, to name a few of the unique learning opportunities which are what I so love about all of this!

And really these school days are not so much about me knowing exactly what a perfect education means, or possessing all the skills as the perfect teacher. What I do know is that the love I have feeds through my desire to play the biggest role in their learning at this age. Hopefully it fosters a love of learning in them that continues throughout their entire education, no matter what direction it takes in the future!

Holy cows.. it’s fair season!!

Meet Mrs. Curly top!!

Curly top, you are adorable!

I’m supposed to tell you that it’s impossible to fall in love with a cow, but unfortunately it’s very possible!! That’s because I totally fell for this curly cutie.. I know, I know, I’m probably sounding crazy right about now, but I’m telling you there was never a cuter cow in my book. First of all cows are not supposed to be “cute!” Second of all, hand feeding a cow is the slimiest experience I can ever remember. But all that aside, I was just fascinated with Goldie Locks! Imagine the kids’ reactions when they find out that the new family pet is now going to be a cow?! Really mom?!

Lets just say I was ready to adopt!

….and I’m totally kidding….

The second stars of the cuteness show were the adorable piglets.

This Lil piggy..

Watching cute little piggies scampering about was super entertaining, and smelly. But they were adorable!!

Basically our first fair trip this year was all about the animals. The kids could not get enough of the petting area or the farm and gardens at the Orange County fair this summer. We watched a great lesson on the milking process and how the production actually goes. I guess Gavin was expecting to see an old man pull up a stool and start hand milking the cow over a glass jar. Needless to say, seeing a suction and machines expressing milk into a bucket was quite the introduction to the real-life assembly line style that is the life of a cow this day in age!

Gavin is also overcoming his apprehensive tendencies towards animals. After a good feeding session, I could hardly get him to leave!

Big sis is always great at helping Grant feel comfortable with certain things, such as the over-excited goats who are crazy about food! She was very patient during the process!

 

Vegetable gardens, and melon patches were looking mighty fine too! We liked exploring all of the delicious varieties that they had growing around there.

And no fair trip is complete without some sort of ride on a pony or a chance to play around with some drumsticks.

Drummer boy.

It was great to continue our learning adventures over the summer without even trying. The trip to this fair was one of those perfect opportunities for that head start!

We are looking forward now to the L.A. County fair coming up this September. I wonder what will be catching our eyes next time…

Still alive.

Yes, we are still fluttering around over here. It seems as though the summer has gotten away however. Between beach days and zoo trips, to visiting friends, along with a couple of vacations scattered in here and there, summertime was rich with experiences. And not much room to spare!

Filling up those little spaces in the memory banks of the youngins’ is always a treat for me.

Sunsets at the beach..

I admit, the beach was calling our name almost every week it seemed like! But we love it there and the kids could literally spend hours digging and playing in the sand. The best part is that they are all the perfect age now for me to pack us up on a whim for the beach without having to plan too much for it. I’ve been waiting for this day to come forever now!

Little diggers

Silliness

And football was a must during the fire pit night we had one evening…

Football fanatic

Might I add that beach nights are absolutely AMAZING to me!!! :)

On the flip side, there was more to these summer beach days of fun. There was the reality of life that still ran through my entire sence of self, as I escaped to sunny days in the rays. The changes and choices that still go on, no matter where I am at any given point. I haven’t felt so inclined to write about these changes yet, let alone have time to keep up with my posts this summer. So much to do, so little time right?! It’s been really great though letting go of my grip with technology, remaining present in every moment and forced to feel life without distraction or escape in that way.

The sand is to my kids what the waves are to me. But not so much for play, for thought really. Whether it’s the mesmerizing water colliding so relentless against the sand. Or the lulling crash and fading away of waves, with a force and song all its own. The vital sound could overcome anything around. Waves unceasingly abound the shore, although each in its own unique manner. Every wave comes with its own speed, size and depth.

When I watch them, I can almost fell the earth speaking. I can relate to its perpetual longing to make it to shore with each break that it makes. It’s the same consistency I find myself clinging to throughout life recently. Everyday brings something new. Whether it’s a fresh idea, inspiring thoughts from friends, soaking in moments with my kids, a new experience or just a renewed energy overall. It’s a pattern much like the uniqueness of every wave. God continually provides opportunities for growth, many times in a different way. To see each one as significant and special is what I try to acknowledge. The subconscious desire to carry on with life is always there regardless of any setbacks. I know that it’s essential to stay constant to get to the place I need to be. Constant and steady like the waves…

Loves.

I have always felt so connected and inspired when I’m at the beach. I’m sure I’m not the only person who would feel that way. How could one not feel affected by the beauty of something so magnificent? It’s energy is undeniable to me.

The beach days of summer are starting to fade to memories, as the new school year is underway. All the experiences will be safely tucked away into the minds and hearts, as we make room for new ones. And as the proverb so gently reminds me… just when parts of life start to seem undone or coming to some sort of end, it is the chance to transcend into the next beautiful chapter!

I’ll be stripping…. acceptably :)

I’m in!!

Officially signed up for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon series…Vegas style!

ODE TO VEGAS RUNS

Where you can “strip” down on the strip

Through sweat and heart beats

In sync with the feet on the street,

As the runners go with the flow of traction

Steadfast training in action

Lit up inside and most bright on the outside

Lights flashing along this ride

Either twenty-six point.two or thirteen point.one

To run without sun.

~TB (MY non-expert poetry skills in action there)

Tee hee- so I’m inspired AGAIN!! And quite excited for this run in all it’s glory. I’ll be doing the half along with both of my parents and my sis and her hubby.. Yeah, it’s a family affair! I think the coolest thing is that it’s a run at night and can anyone guess why?! Maybe just a few fancy flashing lights, but I could be wrong. ;) Well here is to the up coming training ventures that I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

Anyone else in for this?!