Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life is What Happens While You're Making Other Plans

Wasn't it one of the Beetles that said that? I should google it to find the source, but not now.

Anyway, I did that whole long post on our ideas for things to do and places to go in August and then life happened! My husband just got a new job as a fire watchman for a logging company that requires him to basically live on site for a while in a trailer. So the girls and I camped with him 4 days a week for the last two weeks. They had a blast playing in the dirt, seeing the logging equipment, and going to the lake. I'll post more on that later. Now we are only camping with him 2 nights a week, but it's still that much time away from home and unavailable for these projects.

To top it all off, D needs the car, so we are getting around on foot, on the bus and with rides from my parents.

Also, this week and next week the dance studio is letting people try out all of their classes for free. So we will be doing 2 classes on Monday, 2 classes on Tuesday and one class on Wednesday. E will be choosing between ballet, jazz and hip hop and L will be choosing between pre-ballet and a mommy and me class.

Of course, the learning never stops, the details just change! And some ideas (I hesitate to say plans, since they were so subject to change anyway) have stayed the same, like the hot air balloon races that we went to today (and I'll be posting more about that too.) Some things won't happen and some will be put off until next month. And so life goes!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I just read this post on meditation and it is a perfect description of just how simple meditation is. When I meditate, I just remind myself to Be Still and I remember Psalms 46:10 "Be still and know that I am Elohim," and Mark 4:39 "he said to the sea, 'Peace be still' and the wind ceased and there was great calm."

It doesn't even mean my body needs to be still (though that usually feels best for me, but I also meditate while doing yoga or walking or running sometimes). It mostly means that my Being needs to be still, in the present moment, experiencing whatever is going on right now inside me and around me. It's being completely aware, yet unattached.

I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but my energy or spirit or something feels like it's been scattered around as I rush around, and spread through dimensions as I think about the past or the future. When I meditate, it feels like this energy returns to my body and I'm whole again. I focus on my breathing and just let my thought slide by without getting attached to any of them. After a while, they quiet down.

I like to sit in a quiet dark room for 20 or 30 minutes, but that's hard to achieve with 3 little kids. So usually I meditate right in the middle of messy life. I just close my eyes and focus on a few breaths and YHWH's peace washes over me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August Learning Inspiration

Here is a list of some things we'll be doing this month, subject to changing interests. These are things I came up with by writing down the interests they express during our conversations, as well as things that I think they will enjoy that they haven't seen before. I'm putting the list here in case anyone else needs some inspiration, and please feel free to comment with the things you're doing this month too, because we all can always use more inspiration!

Places to Go:

Music in the Park
Hot Air Balloon Races
Go to community college to see the Geology class's rock collection and have the teacher identify our rocks (I haven't set this one up yet, but I'm hoping he'll go for it. The anatomy teacher did.)


Homemade fingerpaints
Make Flubber


Make a movie (We have shot the raw footage for movies about bees and Princess Diana and E has ideas for Spiderman and Rapunzel movies, now we just need to learn how to edit them. E also told me today that she wants to make a movie with clay characters like in Chicken Run).

Making wine (hehe, ok not really wine, but last week or so E and I got on the topic of making grape juice and I showed her videos of people crushing the grapes with their feet like they did back in the days before the machinery that does it now. I think it will be fun for them to get a bunch of grapes and crush them in a bowl with their feet! Then we will drink some juice and maybe try making some kind of Traditional Foods fermented drink).

Books/videos/things to look up:

Yom Kippur is coming up next month, so we will get some books and have some discussions about that in advance. We may also discuss the 9th of Av, if I can find a way to present the reality without going into too many horrible details.

Pirates have been a common play theme around here lately, so we'll get some books about real pirates. Today we found out about Ching Shih. She was a Chinese pirate who commanded 1800 ships and 80,000 pirates.

Games to play:

E has been enjoying this 3D Logic Game the last few days. She got to level 8 with only two little hints from me.

Some kind of addition and subtraction game that uses jumping or throwing or some other activity to play (let me know if you know of a good game!) I think there are some ideas on her flash cards, but I need to read them again.

Things to do:

I'm going to start taking them outside every night to see the moon and whether it is waxing or waning or full.

Use a piece of butcher paper to trace their bodies. Then we'll make drawings of life sized organs, bones and other body parts to glue to their paper "body." We'll make "blood" with food coloring and marsh mellows for blood cells. (I got this idea from a fellow homeschooling mom, and I might set it up to do as a group project with some friends).