Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Homeschool Favorite

Ask any school-aged child what their favorite part of school is and you are bound to hear field trips!  When Olivia was in Kindergarten (public school) she waited, not so patiently, for an entire year to go on one field trip the last month of school.  The icing?  Riding on the big yellow bus.  So, I decided about a month ago to put my mommy armor on and brave the field trip world of homeschool.  We went on one or two trips last year, which was a failure in my dear daughters eyes.  She was 7.  The whole 1 parent, 3 kids thing a.) didn't matter to her and b.) annoyed her (details).  I am part of a great co-op that has several great leaders who plan lots of events.  I am so thankful for them and the experience I had with all three of my girls on these days.  In these moments all of the tears, hard days, and frustrations drift away and I am reminded what a wonderful journey we are on and how grateful I am to have these moments with my children.  Memories.  That is what we are doing.

Green Cedars Farm - Molino, Florida

More than a hours commute from our home, we enjoyed a beautiful drive to this sweet farm after turning off of the busy highway and turning onto a two-lane road that meandered past unpicked cotton fields drifting as far as the eye could see.  Not much traffic in those parts, and everyone throws their hand up at you when you pass.  Oh, how I could live here forever.

After all of the families arrived and plenty attention had been given to the mama sow, nursing way too many babies at once, The Farmer lined us up and the tour officially began. 

I love this.  The young and the old and the stories each tells.  How is it babies of any kind are always met with sweetness and gentleness and somehow kids of all ages just understand?  To see my sweet Allye put her small pointer finger on the top of their little heads and smooth that fur toward their still my heart.

This might have been the best surprise of the day.  This beauty came prancing out and the kids went wild.  Roaming freely...what a sight.

The kids were a little concerned about the bunny's red eyes.  Apparently that is quite normal with domesticated bunnies.  Touch and feel and ooh and aah was the order of the day.  Thankfully those were not for pets ;)

Our tour included a hay ride, pulled by The Farmer's tractor.  There wasn't a frown to be found.  This was so exciting for all of us.  He drove the entire farm and would stop and teach along the way.  First, we met his turkeys.  Unfortunately many of them are probably not living with him anymore.  Tis the season.

We had a wonderful day spent with new friends, enjoying new adventures, and learning so much.  We ended this adventure with a picnic lunch on the farm and The Farmer making silly faces to help this Mama get a picture of her girls.


Camp Victory - Samson, Alabama

We followed up our farm trip, a week later, with a visit to Camp Victory in Alabama.  Different state, really not so far.  After a long winding drive just outside of the closest town to Camp, we turned onto a dirt road where I had the photography vapors over the cutest country church ever.  It was all I could do to not pull over, unload my kids, and start capturing some memories.  I had no idea what was just around the corner.  I was most definitely rewarded for good behavior.

We arrived rather early and had ample time to take it all in and enjoy some of the surroundings that had me mentally signing up for everything they offered for the next year, just so I could come back again and again and again.  

I had to show them how this game worked.  They were totally impressed I knew how to play.  I let them think I was hip...not old...the real reason I knew how to play said game.

I love the timelessness of the tire swing.

The theme for the day was archery.  Allye insisted on meeting the targets animal visitors.  After a morning of presentations about archery and hunting, the girls got some hands on experience with the archery equipment and free reign to enjoy the additional offerings at Camp.

Swingin' as high as you can.

Paddle boats with the babes.

My big girl got her very own kayak.

Mini golf with Allye.  She has her own set of rules.
I was beyond thrilled with our time together at Camp Victory.  I am so excited to return in the Spring and enjoy this place again.  What wonderful memories we created and so many firsts.  The girls got to enjoy this day with their friends and I got to enjoy them.  It is such a blessing to be with them daily and watch them enjoying life and learning along the way.  I have no other place I would rather be.  I am so glad I showed up. I am having a ball.

---The Homeschool Mama

Friday, November 15, 2013

17 Weeks Ago

 17 weeks ago Man walked into the kitchen while I was knee deep in hungry kids and elbow deep in something they might or might not eat that night.  He informed me that his Chief (the buck stops here guy at the place he goes for solitude daily A.K.A work) told asked him about running in a marathon.  Man thought it seemed like a good idea...not that he had a lot of choice.  Yes sir, Chief.  

 Here is how this works.  I look at him with that look.  The one that says, "Uh? A marathon?"  Followed by words that went something like this, "You go for it honey.  As long as it doesn't take away from your time here at home (insert my experience with his other passion...hunting) I am all game."  So, he taped a crisp white sheet of paper to the wall and started running.  Upon closer inspection I realized this paper contained crazy numbers like 6.2 and 15.5 and 20.  Those would be miles folks.  6 out of 7 days a week. 

 Here is the part I am proud of.  In a world full of people who lay the blame for their inability to workout due to lack of time, here's why I don't buy it.  In order to not take away from our time together as a family he woke up daily at 2:30 a.m. put his running gear on and left our house.  He drove to work and ran and ran and ran.  For 16 WEEKS.  

Our first glimpse of him.
 There are many opportunities in parenting to teach your kids, but this one stands out for me in our time as parents.  I loved that our children saw him set a goal and then watched him work towards that goal.  They saw real work and hard sacrifice.  No excuses.  

He finally sees us in the crowd.
  I loved their excitement in finding out each night how far he ran that morning and encouraging him along the way.  In the moments when his body was exhausted he would fall asleep on their small couch in the playroom, in the evenings, while they were piled on him watching a cartoon.  They never woke him, but hushed each other to let him rest.  What little blessings they are.

When the big weekend arrived we packed up and spent the night in Pensacola, location of the race, the night before.  Start time was 6:30 on Sunday morning and Mama is good, but three kids up, clothed, fed and driven an hour plus walking time just might not have happened.  As fate would have it, Allye got all mixed up about the wake-up call time and gave him the 2:30 call not the 4:30 call.  As I tried desperately to quiet her and get her back to sleep, she proceeded into a full conversation with me about all things baby.  He quietly reached for her and I never knew anything else until the "appointed" wake-up time (long after he was gone).

Watching for Daddy.
Once I got us all there, and situated, the girls climbed on the railings and intently watched each passer by.  I told them it would be at least an hour but they weren't moving.  They cheered each runner and asked me a thousand times where he was.  Once I spotted him in the distance they yelled, "Daddy!" until they didn't have anything left in them.  And he ran.and ran.and ran.  And just like that, he did it.

 Our first time marathoner, our daddy, my Man.

16 Weeks

610.2 Miles of Training

One Day

26.2 Miles of Performance

Memories to Last a Lifetime

Lessons taught that will never be forgotten.

---The Marathoner's Wife


Monday, November 4, 2013

Project 365...October...Yippeee!

With the end of the birthday hub-bub and all of the thank you notes out, except for Olivia's, I can finally catch my breath.  Another great month....enjoy!

---The Picture Taking Mama
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...