Saturday, December 13, 2014

Palm Trees vs. Pine Trees

A year or so before we moved to Nicaragua, Jeff and I were considering attending a veterinary continuing education conference in **Turks and Caicos (well, Jeff would attend the conference while I relaxed poolside or strolled on sandy beaches).  A tropical get-a-way seemed so luxurious and romantic.

Fast forward to today....I now live in a tropical country.  It isn't so romantic.  I am sweaty (not in the glistening kind of way). My hair is BIG even if I try to straighten it. It is too hot at times to even hold hands (so forget dancing romantically by the ocean!).  Coconut trees are dangerous (I've heard it said that more people die from falling coconuts than shark attacks). There are bugs and lizards...a lot of them (I showered with a colony of ants this morning). Did I mention how hot it is?  And the bugs?

Currently, I have NO desire to ever visit Turks and Caicos (or any other tropical island or country for that matter). Tropical vacations are forever ruined. Plus, I don't really understand the hype about sunsets over the ocean...yeah, I know...go ahead and judge along with my husband.

My new idealistic romantic get-a-way is a mountain setting. Pine trees instead of palm trees. Crisp, cool air that helps my hair stay straight and the type of 'heat' you can extinguish or turn off.

Funny how perspective changes everything. However, you all can keep idealizing that tropical vacation and I will keep naively idealizing that mountain get-a-way!

**We actually stopped planning the trip to Turks and Caicos and decided to visit Nicaragua in the Spring of 2009 as a family instead of going to that vet conference in May of 2009 as a couple! Oh, the irony!).**

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Read Alouds

One of the BEST parts of homeschooling is reading aloud to my kids. We have started a few that we never finished...but we have finished many that we greatly enjoyed.

Here is a list of those books:

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O.F. Walton
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty GG. Birney
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Currently we are reading:
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

[For those of you who are super curious, here are the books that we started and couldn't manage to finish: Pollyanna, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Wind in the Willows, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Once and Future King)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Window Wednesday: A Glimpse at Nature

I SO enjoy nature photography...especially close-up (macro) photography. Yesterday, I had a little window of time, it was relatively 'cool' out--so i decided to capture a few things in 'photo'.

Ripening Coffee Beans

The masterpiece of a colony of spiders (this is merely a small section of the larger work.)

Wild poinsettias that are growing nearby

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday's Teachable Tidbit

More than once (and I'm sure many times to come), I've had to say: "If you knew it all and knew how to do it all perfectly, then you wouldn't need to be in school."

And yet, I get frustrated at having to teach my kids how to do something.  Closer to the truth is that I am lazy and wish they could just teach themselves.

I didn't go to school to be a teacher.  I don't know how to teach.

Somehow, though, it seems hypocritical to preach "loving to learn, learning to learn, love learning" when I could teach myself to teach. I could put the effort into educating myself through the millions of resources, websites, blogs, books for homeschooling mothers on how to be a homeschooler.  So, to be practice what I preach, I can't just sit back and say "I don't know how to teach."

And I find myself back at the ugly truth that I am lazy and I'd like them to 'just know it all.' 
Which brings me back to the reason why I am homeschooling...character character development...well, all of us, really.

This is a journey we are on.  Unfortunately, I am great at packing and planning...I have yet to learn how to actually ''journey" along. So, little by little, I am learning to make a homeschool plan for the week.  Set overall goals and smaller ones. Teach myself to teach. And accept large amounts of God's grace daily.

As a family, we are in this together and we WILL learn to learn together.