Garden Update

I’m obsessed. I love my garden. It is not large by any means but this tiny rectangle of goodness brings me so much joy.

The sunflowers have just started to bloom and it brings back so many good memories. I remember planting them with my mom in our backyard on Long Island when I was a kid.

I can’t wait until they all are blooming. Up against the white fence it’s going to look beautiful.

The lettuce was a fail. From far away it looks like the healthiest thing but I never pulled out the weaker links and now it’s just jam packed and covered in aphids.

The tomatoes are doing ok as long as I caterpillar pick every day. Those things are relentless but I can’t kill them. So every morning I go out and toss them over my fence into the neighbors yard. It really is hard to garden without pesticides but we are doing it. Some tomatoes have been sacrificed because of it.

My pride and joy though is these carrots! You can’t see them growing so it’s so rewarding to pull out a big orange carrot. Like every time more exciting than the next. You might say I’m a little crazy about these carrots. I am.

And they taste even better. We have so many that we let friends come over and pick their own.

My second favorite is the sweet peas. For awhile they just looked like a huge messy weed but then they started flowering and now everyday we pick 6-8 pods. My kids love it.

My cucumbers died. I am in mourning. I think the peas choked them out. And the eggplant even tho they were all planted the same day is still a small plant. I guess they just grow slower. This has been such an awesome experience for my kids. I let them take care of it from weeding the beginning gardening and planting the seeds, making the compost dirt, watering and pick off caterpillars to the harvest. They always ask me, “Are we real farmers mom?” We sure are guys.

The Last Supper

Celebrating the Last Supper with my babies and their friends is the best tradition I’ve ever started.

This is our third annual Last Supper. We get mini plastic “wine” glasses, we break bread and read the story of the Last Supper.

After we went outside with our pitcher of water. We sat in a circle, read the Bible story of the washing of the feet then we passed the pitcher around washing our friends feet. Listening to the giggles and the story come to life for them just makes my whole day.

Seeing Lydia be a part of it this year was the best. Every year builds on the year before and my kids will always know the truth of Easter. That Jesus died for their sins and that He loves them more than they will ever know.

And while we still celebrate with the bunny and the eggs, nothing is more special than the day we celebrate the last supper.

This year I tried it with just Lydia and her little friends. And you know what, they totally got it. They loved the wine glasses, the sharing of the bread and the washing of the feet. They may not know the reason behind all this but next year they might just remember a little bit of it and smile.

Butterfly World

Our spring unit ended with a trip to Butterfly World. It was a such a treat because Madeline, Max, Ben, Brynn and Jolie met us there.

The tour guide was so great. She caught several butterflies for us to see up close and we got to touch a caterpillar.

But nothing beat the Butterfly that landed on Max face!!

He looks like the poster child for Butterfly World.

They even have a big museum 🤢

We took home some milkweed plants and were lucky enough to find 2 monarch caterpillars.

Easter Celebrations

I love Easter, it’s all the Jesus minus the stress. Christmas is beautiful but Easter has a more laid back vibe. No big presents, no extreme baking and easier part… I don’t host this holiday. We go to my sisters.

Lydia’s baby class started off the holiday with a little party. We had bunny booty pancakes for snack.

I read to them One More Tickle and Biscuits Easter. They actually listened. I was stunned. I tried all kinds of things today to keep them happy. I brought bubble wrap and bubbles, an Easter egg sensory bin and stickers. I’m pretty sure this little judges were impressed and they are a hard group to please. .

The homeschool celebrations continued with a Park day that I put together with pin the tail of the bunny, bunny hop races, “egg” and spoon races and an Easter egg hunt. The kids had the best time!

Even the Easter Bunny made an appearance!

Easter with my family was so sweet. There are so many little babies. Check out this cousin crew!

They don’t even know how lucky they are. Soon we will be adding little Matilda to the group. It’s crazy in one year we’ve doubled cousins.

But where it all began… my faves of all the world!

It’s sometimes sad to realize we don’t all live in the same house anymore. We aren’t fighting o we sharing clothes or eating the last of the English muffins. We blinked and we all have our own families. But these people are my first loves. My bffs.

Sweet Memories

Tonight there was a storm and it’s been months since it’s really rained here. So we took the kids out in the yard and all laid on the futon and watched the storm roll in. I always loved doing that as a kid. We counted the seconds between thunder and lightning and I told them how when I was little my grandma told me that thunder was just the angels bowling.

There is nothing I love more about our homeschool than snuggled up reading with my kids. Right now we are reading Winnie the Pooh. It makes my day when they make a connection and retell the story to me.

My pretty little farmer girl.

Lydia loves her little rocker. Sitting on the front porch is our new nightly thing before bath.

Timmy wrote a book today. He says he’s an author now. I love his drawings..

I just love Lydia’s baby walk. It a belly first kind of a skip hop run. Like she’s bouncing along to her destination. It’s so cute.

I am starting to understand her baby talk. Yesterday she asked to to close a door and open a snack. She’s so happy that I finally can translate her language. Her new word for No is NUH UH with a head shake. Her favorite thing to eat is apples. Eats them just like a big kid.

We picked basil from the garden to add to our soup. The kids watched as I cleaned and dried it. Then came the cutting. Grace is like, “Mommmm what are you doing? We didn’t just grow it so you could kill it!”

Our first Sunrise

I love the sunrise and I really want my kids to love it too. So I woke them up at 6:30, packed us a breakfast, some baggies for shells and their paint set. It was the most beautiful sunrise ever. This time of year is a good time to go with the time change. Just add it to the list of the amazing benefits of homeschooling. I kept them in their pjs and that’s how we started our school day.

When we got home they made seashell necklaces.

St Patrick’s Day Celebrations

We had a couple parties for St Patrick’s Day. On especially for Lydia’s little buddies and one for our church group.

For Lydia’s baby party I bought green balloons, shamrock cookies, fruit loops, green grapes, green apples and decorated their tables pretty.

I love that I’m able to spend this alone time with Lydia and her friends. Sometimes I feel bad that she has to tag along with all the big kid events. But hard work??!! These babies give me a run for my money. So far the only way to their heart is food and bubbles.

For our church group we learned all about St Patrick’s life and good works. The kids love the legend that he drive out all the snakes. The shamrock really is a great way to teach the trinity. I guess St Patrick knew what he was doing.

We were lucky that Father walked in just as we were preparing to pray over our food so he said the blessing for us.

On the morning of St Patrick’s Day my kids woke up to some leprechaun magic. And by magic I mean green pee and gold glitter foot prints.

The rest of the day my kids were setting up evidence that a leprechaun was in our house. This one is a half eaten applesauce and juice box with gold pipe cleaners as “shoes” that the leprechaun left behind.

I printed some St Patricks math worksheets to go with Lucky Charms cereal. We made green pancakes and that was the end of the holiday.

March Happenings

March started off really warm. For sure we thought winter was over and summer was here. But we were wrong. Since these pictures we’ve actually had to put the pool away. I love cool weather. Every summer I beg for it but I’m ready for a little summer.

We celebrated Dr Seuss birthday in style! Our homeschool group moms really put their heart into this get together. We even had the kids dress up as book characters. Timmy was the grinch, Grace was Cindy Lou Who and Lydia was a mini cat in the hat girl. I’m so glad that my kids have all these friends. Homeschool kids may actually be more socialized than the world thinks. Sometimes I struggle more with finding time to do school work because we has so many play dates.

We went to Sea World twice in March because the weather was amazing. Mornings were in the 50’s and afternoons in the 70’s. Plus we are almost up on our season passes so we wanted to get our monies worth. We love Sea World especially the penguins. I know not everybody is a fan and I get that but as a Homeschooler I just can’t think of a better way to spark a love of learning when it comes to the ocean. I still remember seeing the Shamu show as a kid and thinking I want to save animals too! There were 2 new pilot whales there and they were so cute! Loved the kids it was like they were smiling. We took Tims parents with us to treat them for their anniversary. It was nice for Tim to spend time with his parents.

Our kids are so big. Tall enough to ride all the kid rides alone. They were so excited.

Look at Timmy with his arms around her being protective. He’s so sweet. Lydia on the other hand not a huge fan of any rides. It starts off good and well you’ll see in the photos lol.

We had lunch at the Shark Restaurant and I can’t rave about it enough. Food was amazing but the view was totally cool!

Timmy and Grace got their very first library cards. They were so excited. I gave them both their own bags to check out as many books as they can carry.when we got home they played librarian.

We made slime for the millionth time but this time was different. Grace made it into a tiara and put it in her hair. I have ptsd from the time she cut all her hair off so I panicked and threw her in the tub to wash it all out. I wasn’t sure how it was gonna go down since it’s made of glue but it was fine.

We painted little gardens.

I love seeing the way Timmy spells. He actually hates to spell on his own. He hates not being right. I was debating whether spelling should be part of our curriculum but when he cried today that he wishes he could spell it broke my heart. I’m so proud of his little sounded out word creations but I think I might have to add spelling to the Language Arts Loop.

We planted a flower garden in the front yard. Spring is definitely in the air. I love waking up to the sounds of the birds at the crack of dawn. For real I do. I love how they take their baths in our bird baths every day.I don’t know if you can see the Mama cardinal in our glass bird bath but she’s there scrub a dub dub.

We did the food coloring and white carnations experiment. Another mom gifted us this test tube holder because she awesome. Grave loves flowers so this whole spring Unit is rocking her world.

I wish I took more pictures at the end because it was amazing how dark in color they were.

We made a resurrection garden for the first time this year. What a concrete way of teaching Easter.

We ordered ladybugs for our garden and invited some friends over to help us release them. It was fun until all the kids were crawling with ladybugs.

We bought a Venus fly trap and that’s been entertaining. Blows my mind every time.

Some pretty pictures, some funny and other just look like I torture them to smile.

February in Pictures

I’m really just trying to catch up so I can start writing about what’s currently going on. Trying to remember all the detailed sweet things they say and do is hard.

I signed Timmy and Grace up for a 4 week soccer clinic and they totally loved it.

Victoria got married to Mr. Brandon!

We went for on the most amazing boat ride field trip. We saw so many dolphins and 2 manatees. It felt like vacation honestly.

We wrote out Valentines cards to hand out at the nursing home with our friends.

We went to Lion Country Safari and Lydia was obsessed with the giraffes and the big kids were big enough to ride the rides alone. And we were all obsessed with the ostrich.

Erica had a baby. Lol seriously it’s been such a crazy beginning for 2018. Sweet little Madeline came a little early and she’s just perfect.

Grace and Daddy had their annual father daughter dance. I love these memories he’s making with her.

We attended our first Valentine card exchange and we had the best time making our mailboxes.

I threw Lydia’s baby friends a Valentine party. I love that she has her own group of friends.

I took some pretty portraits because duh.

On Valentines morning I made XO pancakes and strawberry milk in their new heart cups. They were so happy. Pretty meals make my kids feel so special.

We did some candy heart school work. First we graphed then by color and then we added water to the colors to see if it would make water paint. Then Aunt Sam surprised us with the cutest Valentine gift basket. She’s the best!

We celebrated Ash Wednesday with our church friends. We practiced putting ashes on each other’s foreheads with black eyeshadow.

The kids served at the Lenten soup dinner for our church. They were a huge hit in their aprons and chef hats.

Grace really loves art. Like it’s definitely a passion for her. I love when the kids can do their art outside. Makes me feel super.

We went to visit little cousin Jackson and mmm check out this cuteness. First Lydia totally looks like a boss and Jackson is such a love. I love how their little chunky hands holding on to each other.

Timmy and Daddy had their first Cub Scout camp out. Timmy has been dreaming of this night. He is officially going to he a Tiger and Daddy is going to his den leader. I’m really so proud of my man. Who knew sexy was a man leading a Cub Scout group. Timmy wanted a picture from all sides in his new uniform.

Well is girls had a little celebration of our own complete with makeovers and a fancy bath.

Little Rosary is not so little these days. These pictures are 2 months and 4 months!

We learned about America for Presidents Day. We focused on American symbols and songs. Timmy labeled a map with the states he knew – Florida, Wyoming and Texas because of his buddy Lukas. We read so many books about the USA and even more books about bald eagles. I’m trying to follow their lead on what they’re interested in and then get a lot of books to read on what they’re seen most excited about within our units.

Some more pretty.

January Highlights

Happy New Years! This night used to mean late night partying and drinking and now it’s kid cocktails and 8 PM bedtimes. And I love it!

It rained so we were excited to try out our new umbrellas and rain boots from Christmas.

Denver turned 16!

We visited Kennedy Space Center for the first time. It was awesome! My kids really fell in love with Space that day. That trip was a great intro into our space unit.Herr are some of our space unit activities.

We made our compost bin finally. Timmy has been begging for years to go this. He’s fascinated by it.

We started our garden. We planted carrots, eggplant, basil, romaine, cucumbers, sweet peas, tomatoes and a bell pepper. I let the kids do it all. We read a book about gardening and growing your own food before we started and we all learned a lot.

Then I took them to a farmers vegetable garden to show them what ours could look like if we worked hard. This was a great day. They were covered in mud from head to toe but we had so much fun learning about what was ripe and the different types of vegetables. I loved seeing Lydia’s little fingers picking cherry tomatoes mixed with all the mud on her hands. She’s really getting so big and she’s starting to want to be part of our school time.

We visited an orange grove. They showed us everything about running a citrus farm from planting the seeds, to picking the fruit, sorting out the good the bad and the perfect and then washing them, polishing and packaging. It was a very educational trip. The kids were able to try 3 different oranges, orange juice and orange ice cream. You can see in the pictures who loved the oranges and who didn’t.

Next we learned about all things cold. We had a snow party with our friends. I bought fake snow for them to play with, we made snowmen snacks and did a 5 senses activity with snow cone ice, that’s the closest thing to snow we can get here.

Then we learned about the coldest places on Earth. Of course we studied penguins because we love them. We learned how the mom and dad take turns keeping their babies warm and off the ice. Timmy practiced with the egg since that’s the Dads job and Grace took care of the baby penguin just like a mom penguin. We learned how they stay warm because they’re feather have a wax that keeps the water rolling off. We learned a lot about polar bears, for one they have black skin so that they can absorb as much of the suns heat as they can. I taught that by having them bake chocolate cupcakes “polar bear body” and covering it with vanilla icing “fur.” And I made them polar bear hot chocolate! We did the blubber experiment with crisco and Timmy made a marshmallow hibernation den. We learned about what animals hibernate and which ones stick it out and who flies south. We watched the Frozen Planet, side note lots of animals die in that movie.

We made blessing bags for the homeless with our church friends.

And here’s some pretty portraits for this camera obsessed mama. I love these little faces!