Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Climbing back up again

Well yest was one of those days that really does show how much I am still struggling to get things together over here. Basically nothing was accomplished and the day sort of slipped away with nothing to show but rest. GD fell asleep at about 2:30 in the afternoon and stayed asleep until this morning. ME fell asleep on the floor in the office about 1.5 hours before her usual bedtime and I barely did much of anything besides pass time resting and rubbing GD's ear while he slept (his request). I should have gotten up and did stuff around here, but I didnt. I was really tired and had hit a wall where I just couldnt do anything but take it easy for a day. I have been having issues with sleep for about four nights in a row, I fall asleep for about two hours and then wake up WIDE awake and cant go back to sleep for hours. Or even worse when I cant fall asleep until after 1am. So anyway the need for rest was obvious and while I am bummed to have let the day slip by us, I do feel better today and the kids seem well. GM is still asleep though, which is really odd for him. Both GD and ME woke up with a strong cough, but it has decreased since they have been awake and playing with their animal friends.

But enough about why yest was a wash and on to why today will be a great day!!! I am going to post my plan for the day and check in as I get things done. This motivates me and just sort of helps me to organize my thoughts and continue moving through the day. Accountability! Wow, there is a concept! LOL

So here goes...

  • Coffee and computer (now)
  • water the gardens and porch plants
  • tend the chickens, feed the doves, change the water in the frog's house etc....
  • make breakfast for the kids
  • clean up from breakfast
  • start some laundry
  • run the dishwasher
  • Help the kids with their morning chores (waking up their room)

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood
  • yoga
  • movement (introduce a new section today)
  • music
  • journals
  • reading independent
  • Storytime with me

  • Lunch
  • outdoor play with parachute and chalk
  • baking (bread if I can find a recipe that has the ingredients I have in my pantry, otherwise something else gluten-free)
  • quiet time
  • afternoon pick-up
  • baths
  • Great Grandma's for dinner

  • Home
  • Family game time (battleship has been a big hit lately)
  • evening chores
  • Storytime with Dad (they started another of the My Father's Dragon Books and will read two more chapters of it tonight)
  • Bedtime

  • My evening chores
  • Prepare for tomorrow (lessons and craft)

So that is what I would like my day to look like. The morning and evening rhythms are working really well, its the mid day that suffers a bit sometimes. We'll see. Today will be a good day I hope; as long as GM doesnt wake up sick or anything.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Holiday Weekend

We had a really busy weekend which included trying to clean out the garage which will eventually be a part of the addition we are putting on our house. We have to get it empty so we can finalize our designs for permitting. We want to have a plumber come out and advise us on the least expensive location for the new bathroom so we can then alter the plans around that. So that basically consumed our weekend with the very nice exception of the Los Poblanos Harvest Dinner on Sunday afternoon. My MIL was kind enough to watch the kids so we could go to the first Harvest Dinner at Season's Rest. It was very cool. The food was delicious and the speakers were informative. We will be ordering some meat from one of the guys we met who raises black angus cattle on year round grass in the NE part of New Mexico. He was a nice guy and the meat was really good. Of course my husband is thrilled by the idea of having beef in our freezer all the time. I am not a big red meat eater so I could take it or leave it, however if we are going to buy it, and eat it, I would rather get if from Dennis. is his site and they sell both wild salmon he catches in Alaska and the beef at the Los Ranchos Farmers Market each weekend.

As for today, well I need a day to get things together, we brought a lot of stuff in from the garage which now needs to find a space inside. I want to integrate it now before it feeds the chaos monster and takes over my entire house and sucks the energy right out of me and the kids. So today will be all about getting things settled inside. We do have drama this afternoon and of course it is veggie pick-up day at the farm, so we will get a few outings later in the day.

Tonight will be all about crab cakes! My grandma Alice sent us a box of chesapeake bay crab cakes so I can close my eyes and dream of summer back east. We will do some corn on the grill, along with whatever yummy veggie Monte has in the box this week and enjoy sitting on our porch tasting a bit of summer.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Well yest was completely unproductive and non-rhythmic. We had one of those days where we all just sort of do our own thing. Putted around here and basically attempted nor accomplished anything. It was nice though. the kids enjoyed just playing and getting into their little worlds and I enjoyed the breathing room and relaxation. I would however, have liked some more of our regular rhythm to have been present in the morning. the evening went pretty well. The kids had gotten tired really early (playing hard) and so at 7:30 they wanted to play some games. We played Blokus as teams and then it was off to pjs, teeth and book time. The kids and Dad finished My Father's Dragon last night. So that was an accomplishment!! They enjoyed it and will consider the sequel for their next book. We'll see.

Today is Friday and so we will be doing some yard work, and cleaning the house for the weekend. We have company coming to dinner tonight so the kids are looking forward to that and to playing with their kids.

Okay, Im off to tend the animals and water the gardens. :-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How our Wednesday Unfolded...

Overall it was a really nice day. I tried to balance between allowing it to unfold naturally, and guiding us towards our rhythm. some days that works some days it doesnt. The kids are falling into the morning rhythm really well. Even I am beginning to be able to move through it without feeling like I am conciously doing this or that. I like that. I dont like feeling like I am always trying to get this or that done. I have had to re-train myself by using the rhythm models from Enki and other resources and I am feeling more and more comfortable with it. I hope it holds for a while.

One interesting aspect is that I have been able to feed myself in the rhythm too. Feding the birds in the morning, checking on the chickens and watering the garden are all things that make me feel really good inside. It centers me and somehow fills me back up with positive energy. Also the walk does the same thing. I watch the kids exploring on the walk and I get that whole "I love homeschooling" feeling. You know the one, the one where your just so happy you are a homeschooler and that your kids get to explore the world this way. So then I get to come back in the house and actually do our lessons. I really can feel the importance of having these types of Mommy nurturing moments within our morning rhythm. I need to find more opportunities that do the same for me throughout the day.

Okay so breakfast has gotten a bit frustrating. Only because of the level of goofiness that goes on during it. They are taking a looong time to eat and arent listening when I nudge them along with it. So today i had to get angry and basically lose it a bit in order to get their attention. I really hate it when I lose it, but I am human and it happens. so that put a bit of ugly into our morning. However we quickly recovered and moved on with things. They knew they had gotten outofhand so being yelled at was no surprise. Therefore it was easy for us to bounce right back into our morning.

Doing the chores at night was great for our morning and we were out the door pretty fast for our walk. Yoga and movement were a lot of fun and lessons rolled through. The kids all had a good time playing with the tangram puzzles and making their dragonflies for the front window.

We all enjoyed a nice long quiet afternoon. The kids went outside for about an hour before getting too hot and coming in to draw some pictures and hang out doing their own things.

We did make it to Grandma's which was, of course, nice.

The kids are putting their room to bed and getting ready for their storytime with Dad. We didnt get game time tonight because of going to Grandma's house. They play games there all night with cousins and family, so I feel okay about that.

Im looking forward to tomorrow because we will be home all day and can really feel our way through things. I want to find more ways to refuel myself and I want to be sure they have a good amount of time to play freely. They are all three getting along so well right now and the play is really good. I want to give it the space and respect it deserves.

Wednesday around these parts...

Okay, finally it is Wednesday May 24th!!! Why is that so exciting?? Well today is the first day of the no more running around portion of our year. Science Coop is finished for the year, the Science classes we did are also complete and breaking for the summer. So now all we have is three weeks of drama (which is so easy in the afternoons) and the rest of the time is just ours to be at home or to pick up and go on whimsical trips to the zoo or a museum or just play in the dirt in our yard all afternoon! I love it! I am SUCH a home body!!! I can stay home for weeks on end and be beyond happy. I do have a bit of a computer addiction, which ties me to the outside world. I have my ipod and netflix for entertainment and enough reading to catch up on to keep me held up here for at least two years (Im a slow reader). :-) I love days on end where shoes are not necessary and a lot of snuggling takes place. Although our walks have put a damper on the shoe thing, it is still minimal shoe wearing so Im okay with that. :-)
My children CRAVE home time. Home for us is the base of everything, it is where our hearts are and while we love adventures out, we always love returning home and having extended time where we can just be here, doing our own thing. I love having music playing and walking through the house spotting kids playing in their own imaginations. GM building LEGOS and making sound effects from his room, GD and ME using their "animal voices" and having grand adventures. I remember being a kid, an only child, and having the most incredible time all alone in my room playing with my Barbies. I would make up the most insane story lines that would play out like a movie. Often times it would take me hours and hours just to get everything set up to even begin the playing part. I loved it!!! I would be annoyed when I had to come out and actually eat something. I know it isnt good all the time, but I really dont think kids get enough time to just get lost inside themselves for extended periods of time anymore. Play has become a filler for taking up time between planned activities. Play, and even more so, extended playtime is really important to me and now that we dont have so much running to do each week.... Let the playing begin!!!!!!!!

Well soon I will interrupt their play and get them started on our day. LOL!! Well hey, there will be a lot of playtime around the bend.

Today's Plan:

Coffee/computer (now)
Tend the animals
Water the gardens
Make breakfast (waffles and honeydew melon with milk)
Clean up breakfast, and finish waking up the house

Morning Walk
Movement (continue with horses and strange family with additional midline activities)

Journal writing
Language Arts GM do some comprehension
GD begin again the letter story from Christopherus

Storytime (Jack and the Beanstalk)
Math games
Craft (finish the dragonflies for the front window)

Free play/quiet time

If Maggie is feeling okay (she has a low fever and is grumpy) we will go to Grandma's for dinner.

I really want to start to pull our evening rhythm together. I am happy with the mornings and would love that same sense of flow in the evenings. Last night my husband was not home so I did the evening by myself and was able to feel it out more in my head. Here is what I would like it to be like....

About 7:30 or so (not a time thing really) get the kids to start to put their room to bed; pick up the days toys, pull the curtains, put the animals on the beanbag to sleep for the night, get their pjs on and brush their teeth. After that we can play a family game of some sort, likely it will be bingo because all five of us love it . Then after a bit of playing and being together get in bed for storytime (read by Dad). I can then head off to my reading and preparing myself for the next day's stuff. This is ideal for me. Of course it is in theory right now, so I will have to adjust it a bit. It probably wont be games every night, due to late Daddy or grumpy Mommy or whatever. But I would like it to be a goal that we do something together again at the end of the day. Maybe even just hanging out together coloring, or doing puzzles, who knows??

So tonight I am going to try to get this going. I did it last night and it was great. We didnt do the game though. We are now half way through with My Father's Dragon and will likely read the Seven Year Wonder Book or the Book of Fairy Princes after it. I will let the kids and Dad decide.

Okay, well Im off to feed the animals and water the gardens. :-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Extending the leash...

Having your first child have special needs may hinder ones ability to view potential or limitations in a manner that is realistic. I realize this and I try to be mindful of it and to hold it in my thoughts when I am in the midst of one of my reactions to one thing or another. As a younger child GM required an enormous amount of guidance. His "bumpers" didnt work. Most kids have some boundaries that they recognize (not all, but most) especially regarding social scenarios and cue reading. I had developed a habit of guiding these things with him and have basically been running on auto pilot. Serving as his bumpers, bouncing him back into play so he might knock down a few pins here and there. what I am wondering is has this become a self fulfilling scenario. Has the time when he needed it and the time when he could have branched out on his own somehow passed me by? Does he not have these skills partially because I dont give him the room to make the mistakes that teach these skills? Did I miss the window?

Now it needs to be said that he has huge amounts of freedom when in our home and when playing with friends. However in a setting such as walking with another family and the boys all run really far ahead. How far would he go before his bumper would make him stop to check for where I was and wait up. I dont know!! I even tried it one day, and let him run so far ahead that I couldnt see him. I was about to burst wanting to call out to him and finally just did. He is nine years old after all, but he does have real needs too. I am really trying and exploring this idea and hoping that I can get back to a place of equilibrium, where I feel that my guidance is balanced and necessary. This will be something for me to work on this summer. Im not for kids running wild all over the place, here and there. But I do need to loosen the reigns and give his instincts room to kick in.

It is important to say that I may be wrong all around, he may not have these types of instincts developed at this time. But I feel I need to test this out a bit. In my effort to be a mother who recognizes my son's needs, I dont want to smother him or squash his potential.

Tuesday Update

Our day started off a bit slower than I hoped, but it flowed really well and no one felt hurried or pressured. I like that! Even thought I got up early, I dilly-dallied around too long and before I knew it I was running about an hour behind what I had thought.

We tended the animals, GM washed out the chickens water feeder, we need a bigger one that they cant get so dirty. We watered the gardens and tended a few wounded plants. We also tried to resuscitate some sad little seedlings which burned up in our greenhouse. :-( I think we saved the tomatoes from Tomatosphere, but the others seem hopeless. We will replant more this week.

I made the kids homemade waffles with some applesauce on the side, I am out of fruit, and need to go to the coop tonight. While they ate I cleaned up the kitchen and got dressed. They did their morning chores and we headed out the door for our morning walk.

During our walk I have them play some games to help them wake up their systems. We balance on the curbs and skip over the cracks. They love to do this and will do it the entire way if I let them. One road is a bit busy so I dont let them do it on that one. They are really enjoying the walking, and so am I. I can really see how much it helps them to get started on a good foot. We use this as our gathering time in what would be a circle if we were in a school. The essence of a circle is to come together and work as a unit, all making contributions and feeling that sense of community. For us that begins with our morning walk. We all chit chat and discover things, we play games and come together as a family. When we get home we put our shoes away, have some water and meet up in the living room for yoga. Today I took pictures of the kis doing their yoga. I know Im a nerd, but they are so cute and doing so well. It is fun to record these little things that are in the day to day.

I followed up yoga with some additional movement. We did Horses for the first time and followed it with Strange Family and some skip counting midline exercises. They laugh a lot during this, so it is a great time for all of us. Even ME joins in with us and thinks it is so much fun.

From there we headed up into the office and did some music practice before our verse and seated work. Today we only did our Journals and some comprehension. GD needed to write a play for his drama class today, and had been telling me his ideas all morning. So we finally sat and typed them up. He is so cute and has such terrific stories to share. He has expressed an interest in being a storyteller one day. I really think he could do a great job with it, his imagination is sooooo limitless!!

After we got our shoes and gathered up some water and snacks we headed out the door to meet some friends in the Bosque to see an area to do a Rio Grande roots & Shoots event we have coming up on the Summer Solstice. We hiked around a bit and the kids explored while the Moms talked. We are coordinating an event called One for the River; it has happened each year on the summer solstice for about five years now. People meet in the bosque and bring water from their homes to share back into the Rio Grande. It is a way of saying thank you to the river and the community it has supported here in the desert. The river is an incredibly treasured part of where we live. It is really cherished and this is an opportunity for people to just come out and say thanks. A native american inspired band comes and plays their flutes while people share stories of the river, or just enjoy a day in the bosque. We are looking forward to it.

Once we figured out the logistics for One for the River, the kids and I headed over to Sol Arts for GD's drama class. He was excited to share his play and to be the squirrel (one of the parts in his play). While he was playing in drama GM, ME and I headed out for some ice cream and some exploring through downtown. We are always admiring the many murals around town and decided to hunt around to take pictures of some of our favorites. ME was yelling out "there's one, theres one". It was fun, and passed the time while they ate their ice cream. Once back at the drama house, we stayed in the car and GD did his reading from Fee Fi Fo Fum. He read the Five Brothers from China. It was a bit long, but he did terrific. He read it outloud to me, and didnt need any help.

>We came home at about 4pm and were all ready for some quiet time. The kids are each doing their own thing while I am typing on the computer and having some tea. Ahhhhhhh

Our movement choices...

Okay I spent the good part of Friday figuring this out for us. I sat with the video and both the K and grade 1 movement guides and tried to find things that "fit" for us and that met my goals for stimulation. This is what I came up with for a goal by fall. We will learn them over the summer and hopefully be up to full work by early August.

  • Calling Song : Round and Round (This begins our morning walk)

  • Opening/Body Engagement
    Yoga time after our walk

  • 1-2 midline Activities
    Horses (k & 1 Guide)
    (we do additional midline work in the academic portion of our movement)

  • 1-2 Academic
    Strange Family (with additional midline skip counting afterwards)
    Number Qualities

  • Base Sense Activity
    Spinning inward and low to upward and tall

  • Beanbag
    Johnny Jump Up

  • Spiral
    Owl (from first grade closing spirals section)

    The portions in green are things we are already doing, I will add in things one at a time from each section beginning with midline.

    These cover most of the areas including work in Vestibular, Proprioceptive, Balance, Tactile, Auditory and Visual work, midlines (including lateral, horizontal and forward/back) and fine motor.

Tuesday and our plan...

Well I am up at 6:30 which is good because I have a chance to gather myself before the boys get up. They went to bed by 9pm last night, which is our usual time, but sometimes storytime and silliness extend it to closer to 10pm. They are listening to My Father's Dragon at night with Dad. I have put a side a few books like that that I would like for them to get through this summer. this first one is a relatively short book, with simple chapters of about 8 pages, with the occasional picture. The first night they read two chapters, but last night they only wanted one. Im not sure if they arent enjoying it or if they were too wound up from playing with Dad before book time. I guess we'll see.

So this morning we will get up and get our day rolling pretty quickly. I want to make them waffles and do some morning chores before our walk. We have to meet a friend in the Bosque today to talk about an upcoming event we are doing for Roots & Shoots on the Summer Solstice. After that it is drama, so we have to be moving at a steady pace by then.

Here is the plan....

Coffee/computer (now)
Make my bed
Tend the animals
Water the gardens
Morning Chores (wake up the house)
Make Waffles and clean up
Everyone get dressed

Take a walk
Comprehension activities
Storytime (Jack and theBeanstalk)
Math practice
GM: Rhythm games and an activity sheet
GD: Pattern Puzzles and Bug Math
GM: Fee Fi Fo Fum Reader
GD: Book of choice from the shelf

Pack some water and some snacks
Leave for the Bosque meeting
GD's drama class this afternoon

Read Nandanar and Lord Shiva to GM
Quiet Time
Get ready for dinner (cooking)

Games with the kids (Balloon Lagoon or a bingo game of choice)
Bed time routine
Put the house to bed (evening chores)
Storytime (More of My Fathers Dragon)

This is my big plan for today. Im hoping we can transition smoothly from the outing back to home. Sometimes that can be touchy!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wild Weekend!

We had a very full weekend this week. Our Saturday began with GM and I working our shift at the Naturalist Center, followed by the big family birthday party at Great-Grandma's house. It was a lot of fun and pretty mellow, which was great. One of the cousins brought a pinata so the kids really had a good time with that and were able to play with their gifts and enjoy the company of their Aunts and Uncles, as well as Grandma and Great-Grandma. This also wrapped up the birthday celebrations (thank goodness).

After the family party we actually had another birthday party to go to for a friend of ours who turned four. It was really very nice. I was nervous that it would proove too much for the kids to handle, but they did great. No drama, tears or even grumpiness. So we stayed and visited there until almost bedtime. It was a VERY long day!!!

Sunday we got up and had our coffee on the porch before starting to clean the house. I really wanted to start off our week with the house in a good place. So we cleaned almost all the rooms before bed. The boys took Grandma to the movies in the early afternoon, and ME actually took a nap so that helped us to get more done.

Today was our final Science Coop meeting and it was really good. the families who seem to really care about the group all came and the kids played games (which GM LOVED). We talked about how the year went and reviewed the surveys that went out last month. Some changes were made to how new families can join and some ideas were exchanged about how to best fold new families into the coop so that they feel they can contribute and we feel we arent burning out. Overall it was really good.

Friday, May 19, 2006

So what happened to our day...

The kids are really involved in playing together this morning. So I am letting them roll with it while everyone is happy and playing nicely. GM is building some LEGOS and ME and GD are involved in some imaginary play involving their animal friends (stuffed animals) and the doll house. So its peaceful around here.

I have spent my morning watching the movement video and matching the activities to the ones in the binders. Putting checks next to movements I want to incorporate as soon as possible and trying to learn the teps, songs, poems, whatever. From there (if the kids are still happy) I will do some more reading and research. I want to read the math lesson idea book I just got and thumb through the Family Math book for ideas for GD, and additional ideas for GM and his multiplication. He is doing very well with it and loves the games so I want to build on that right now. I also want to come up with some new ideas for GM and his reading comprehension. I will look through my Christopherus books for ideas and again through my Enki first grade guide.

I had written most of GMs curriculum for third grade, but I want to now incorporate more of these math ideas to see if we can move away from the Saxon more. We will still do it, but it is so flat and I want to use GMs enthusiasm for math as a gateway to expanding other skills. Mainly movement, integration and a more developed thought. Rather than rote math, which is a good skill too, I want to help him develop a greater depth to his thoughts when it comes to things we learn in a lesson format.

So until the kids start getting antsy I am going to continue this impromptu study session I am having and when they start to require more structure to their morning we will make our dragonflies for the front window. :-)

Topics from the comments section...

Ive been having a great conversation with a friend in the comments section of oneof the entries from a few days ago and I thought, hey, maybe other peoplehave some ideas or maybe they could use a few of the ones I have learned lately...


This is my weakness, as those who read this regularly know. I do not come by housework naturally. My mother, (love ya mom) is a neat freak and so it was easier for her to just do it herself than to have to redo what ever I did. So now I stand somewhere between a complete slack-@## and a neat freak! Interesting I know!! So in order for me to make my bed, I have to make it perfectly. I cant just sort of make it. In order for me to clean up my kitchen I have to wipe down everything on the counters and have all my glasses facing a certain way. So what ends up happening is that I dont do it at all, unless I can do it perfectly. Im getting MUCH better though. sloooooooooooooooowly but surely. So I am always looking for that great system, sort of like people who diet, alwyas looking for that magic combination that will suddenly make all the fat disappear; accept with me, its the mess and the beast I call "Chaos" who resides with me no matter how often I move. On thing that has helped has been an email challenge I do with my friend in VA. We email each other our goals for the day and email back as we check them off our lists. The best way is to send photos! Yes, sending a photo of my disgusting kitchen is very motivating because sending the nice clean kitchen picture is so satisfying. :-) So that has been helpful, but my friend and I are both equally laid back, so while we understand one anothers messes, we can be pretty lame on the whole, get off your butt aspect! So on to my newest thing. Treating the house like a member of the family. I am trying to give back to the house a bit of what it gives to us. Treating cleaning like more of an act of respect rather than a chore. I know it is just a psychological shift, but hey, that is what this is all about right??? So now in the morning the kids and I "wake up the house". We go around and open the windows, make the beds and sweep the floors. We pick up any miscellaneous items that may have not found their place the day before and I wipe down the bathrooms. We gather all the laundry and put it in the machine. No I dont seperate colors, because then I will never do it. I do have one load of whites a week which is my duvet cover and the rug from my main bathroom and any lucky socks that make their way into the load. I dont use bleach because Im allergic and because its toxic. So anyway, we fill the machine and I start it. I clean up the kitchen after making breakfast and then we are done. We are trying to put things away as we use them. When I say trying, I mean TRYING, in its true definition, we have to remember, and follow through, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is quite challenging!! So then in the evening we "put the house to bed" we close the curtains, my dh does the kitchen, I turn off the fans and the lights from unused rooms and pick up the office in preparation for the next day. So that is it. Im trying to go for neat and tidy over perfect or trashed. I will keep you posted and PLEASE sendme any and all suggestions! Yes Ive tried Flylady and absolutely hated it! LOL I felt like a failure for not wanting to wear shoes or a bra all the time!

Well this is another area I am trying to improve on and I am quite proud of the progress I am making. We are getting GM off of gluten and eventually maybe Cassein. So I am making a nice breakfast (warm more often than cold). Trying for homemade waffles some fruit and milk, or eggs with cheese and fruit. For lunch Im doing a simple pb&j with some corn chips. The peanut butter is fresh all natural and I mix it with flax seed oil, and local honey for allergies. I mix it in my mixer, put it in a jar and keep it refrigerated. The jelly is Cascadian and is sugar free, organic. The bread too is organic and in GM's case Gluten free. I feel pretty good about that peanut butter and jelly, heckI should eat so well. :-) Snacks are fresh fruit, Cliff bars, sometimes granola bars, although now that they like the Cliff bars so much we are phasing those out, and cheeses. They have open range on these things so it isnt another chore for me. We dring a lot of water here and they have their own access to getting themselves a cup of cold filtered water. Even ME does this on her own. Although I need some ideas on not having them use about 20 cups a day. I dont use paper, so the dishes add up quick! Any thoughts???
dinners I am SUPER LAME about! I get so tired by this time of day that I will admit we dont eat good dinners. Im trying though. I realy am. Any suggestions on this?? I have to make GM a special dinner because he doesnt eat what we do, and so that is an added chore; but Im okay with it. I have a friend who is the crock-pot guru, she makes most dinners in the morning. Maybe I could make some soups or something. I liked it when my husband and I were doing our Budokon and we ate just large salads at night. Also it is worth noting I dont like to eat a big meal in the evening, it makes me really not feel well and very tired! So I need ideas on dinners. Any thoughts on this too?????

Okay a few years ago I set up an "idiot account" so that I would not have to constantly be keeping due dates or bill issues in my head. Here is how it works...
I opened up a second checking account at my credit union. I then made it so that on a set day a transfer from one account to the next occured after payday. So twice a month. This also prevented the flat tire pay thing, where one check is almost all mortgage and the other all bills. So anyway, I figured out the average for my bills and set it up so a regular payment went to each debtor each month. Some months it is over some months it is under but it averages out and with some they will even let you set up your account to pay an average each month. So I did that. So then all my bills were paid and we were then left with our family allowance in the main account. This is our spending money, for gas, groceries, fun etc... We never overspend and we dont use checks unless absolutely necessary. They mess us up. So then, we also dont use credit cards. Cash (well debit) or nothing! We also dont use the ATM unless necessary. When we do we end up getting out and spending more than we need to. The Debit/credit card works great because you only spend what you need, and basically everywhere takes it and you are on the same timing cycle. ATM's and checks are not on that same timing cycle so you may think you have money you actually dont. Now this was important for us in VA where our expenses were much greater, but here it is more relaxed, although I still do it this way. It has been wonderful for us, so we still use it. Anything left in the billpayer account gets transferred to our savings every couple of months. I also check on things from time to time, but only when I want to, not because we are behind or messing anything up. Nothing is ever late, and most importantly I am not sitting here everyweek balancing things, remembering dates, and worrying about money when Im at a store. If its in my account I can spend it because the bills go out of a different one.

So those are the main things I was thinking about and thought I would share. :-)

Hmm Friday again....

Well Im feeling a little adventurous today, I would love a visit to the zoo or something like that, but I think I may force myself to stay home since we have such a full weekend coming up. We have the Naturalist Center and two parties to go to tomorrow and GD asked Grandma on a date for Sunday night and the kids have Dharma for Kids on Sunday morning, so it is a full weekend for us.

We will do a mini lesson today, and probably something artsy, a craft or some painting outside on the porch. The kids have done well this week and although I have some things prepared I want them to get outside today and enjoy what a nice day it is. So here goes....

Coffee (now)
Breakfast for the kids
Morning Chores
Take a walk
journal writing
Craft project: Making dragonflies for our front window

Order a cake for tomorrow (family party at Grandma's house)
Gift shopping for both parties tomorrow
Get some plastic tree plants for Phillip the Frog

I think that will help us maintain our rhythm without feeling like we have a full day on our laps. Then we can play outside a bit and have some fun. I still have a lot of garden work to take care of and Im determined to get to some of it today as well. We have a SEVERE harvester ant issue in our yard, so if they come out the kids wont be able to play outside in our yard too much today. UGH!!! I want to get rid of them, but we have tried all the non-chemical, environmentally safe ways we can. I hate to go this far, but we have to do something, they are very dangerous bugs, they bite and sting so bad a grown man would scream and cry. I cant have them taking over our yard to the point that our kids cant go outside. I think I will research some more solutions today. When they were just a problem, I was okay with just having the kids stay away from them, but this is severe, they are everywhere to the point that it looks like the ground is moving. Its really terrible. On our walks we noticed they are all over the neighborhood, so Im getting really worried.

May 18th Update

*Photos to come...

Wow did I do some slacking this morning. Actually I never stopped doing anything, but I was in slow motion. Everything seemed to take forever and we got a very late start. We paid the price though, it was so hot on our walk that we all agreed we needed to get a much faster start to our day.

So, as I wrote earlier, we did some garden work in the yard. I then made some fresh waffles, and cooked up some sausage for GD, I am NOT a fan, and can barely cook it, but he and ME love it and gobbled it all up as quick as they could. GM was with me on that one, and just had a full waffle and milk. We then turned our attention to the house and our chores, we have been doing well with pulling it together, it isnt really "clean" but it is tidy and straight, to that is good, I vaccumed the office and my bedroom and did a load of laundry.

Dad came by with a pinkie mouse for Oreo, so that was a big "to-do" and we had to make him a different enclosure to eat in, so we took care of that, and he never ate it. So we thought, but it turns out when we went on our walk he escaped from the feeding box and was found later wandering around the kitchen floor. Lucky for him our dog is so lazy he didnt even see him. :-) So we wrangled him back into his real house and tried to give him the mouse, which he ate almost immediately. WOOHOO!! So we are taking that as a sign that he is a happy fella. Our White's tree frog has me worried though, he doesnt move at all and hasnt eaten. He only moves around when you hold him. From our research it seems it isnt too uncommon, but apparently they love to eat, so that part I am concerned about. We'll see!!

Once Dad left I started to sing my song and all be darned if they didnt get their shoes on and head to the door. GM even likes it. He was the one I thought would hate it, but no!! So off we went. We just went a different route through the neighborhood and found some graffitti that we need to call the city about. GM gets REALLY disturbed when people destroy things like that, it really annoys him, and me. ME saw a bunny rabbit in it's bunny house and was quite excited about that. GD took his new Aslan with us, so he was busy in his imaginary world talking to Aslan about this and that.

We then did our yoga, and our movement. The same as yesterday with the Enki movements and the one's I made up (much advised by the Enki books and tape). From there to music, I again did the rhythm with the skip counting, they really like that part. From there it was...

Candle lighting and verse
journal writing
GM comprehension
GD Silly Rhymes Puzzles
GM 5 times table practice sheet
GM Rabia of Basra entry into MLB
GD Akimba and His Magic Cow entry into his MLB
GD read part of his Narnia storybook to ME, and used a bookmark to save his place until tomorrow
GM and I did our multiplication hand clapping thing (I need a name for that) with 5s and 2s
GD did a number practice sheet from a workbook he found on the shelf (his request)

Everyone then went off to spend some time doing their own thing. ME and GD played together with their animal friends and GM colored for a bit in a coloring book (not like him, but hey) and then helped me put Oreo back in his main house. We then just had some quiet time before getting ready for dinner. I did my sample page for Nandanar and the Lord Shiva for GMs lessons tomorrow, and read a bit. Once all were happy I was able to slip away for a quick Sex and the City episode I had taped on my DVR. :-)

We went out to dinner (I know, Im a slacker) but the margaritas were calling my name. It was nice to sit outside at the restaurant, just the five of us together. We laughed and told stories about some of our favorite memories over the past ten years.
* Birth of each of the kids
* Our three week camping/NASA trip through the Southeast US
* Moving to Albuquerque
*GD falling in the creek at Tuma and Tupa's house
* Bike riding
* the birthday parites
and on and on....

Once we came home we were all pooped and so off to bed we went. :-)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ten years!!!

Well, I have been very excited about our ten year anniversary. We dont really celebrate anniversaries so it is weird that Im so happy about this day. We arent doing anything, but I do get to walk around and smile every now and again because I get that little tummy flip, like "Wow, ten years"!!! Its awesome and Im a very lucky gal that I married so well. I really understand how lucky I am, and I know that I should be very grateful, and believe me I am. We are the best of friends, we have a lot of fun together and we have a good shared vision for our family, and that has been such an anchor for us. Anyway, Im happy today, and I think I might even cook him a nice dinner tonight! Wow, his lucky day!!! :-)

So on to the everyday....

This has been a nice morning so far, although ME has already poured Q-tips all over the bedroom, dumped one of her brother's games on the floor and stepped on a basil plant, but that is about par for her having been awake for three hours now. :-) She is a busy, busy gal. But a doll and her curiosity really is just a part of her desire to absorb EVERYTHING around her, she has a hunger for it and it is not something Im interested in quashing. So I get to try to help her not do it in a destructive way, but Mommy can't, and isnt interested in policing her every move either, so messes occur!

We tended the chickens, they loved the left over watermelon and washed out their water holder. We then watered the garden and transplanted more plants from the greenhouse, today was more basil (genovese) and a variety of chili peppers. I want to do our direct sow plants today, I should have done them weeks ago!!

So the plan for today is as follows....

Make breakfast
Morning Chores (some are done, but finish up)
Take a walk
Journal writing
comprehension for GM
Silly Rhymes puzzle for GD
MLB entry about Akimba and the magic cow (GM)
MLB entry about Rabia of Basra (GM)
Math practice


feed Oreo
find the seeds to sow and plant them
Read the story of Nandanar and Lord Shiva to GM
Outdoor play

Dinner (either I will cook, or we will go out as a family to our favorite rest)
Play a game as a family

So Im hoping we can get most of this to come together today. We have had a great week so far. It has helped me a lot to post our plan for the day here, I guess it motivates me somehow. I know, WIERDO!!! :-)

By the way, GD was so happy to have a message on the phone from Tupa in VA he feels so special!!! He even got a box in the mail (special delivery) from Tucson. The postman was terrific and sang him happy birthday with a great duck voice. He LOVED it!!!! Here is a pic of what he found inside the box. :-)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 17th Update...

Our day has moved along at a slow but comfortable pace. We spent the morning in the yard playing and working in the garden. We transplanted opal basil, some pumpkins and some more tomatoes from the greenhouse and into the raised beds. GD enjoyed a phone call from my Mom in Tucson, and the exciting news that a box is coming in the mail just for him!!

I made a nice breakfast of gluten-free homemade waffles (yes Im proud) fresh watermelon, and fresh grapes with a glass of milk. The kids all three ate really well and until the end when ME threw hers in the chicken scrap bin, it was almost like a storybook. :-)

After our breakfast we did our morning chores, which took far longer than it should have. I got involved in vaccuming and having the boys get their room back to a good point. I dont know how it got so out of hand when we were so busy yesterday, but apparently the chaos lives here even when we arent home!! So that gave us a later start than usual (like a few hours) but it is okay, we headed out for our walk and all was good. The walk is working really well to recenter them (and me) and get us mentally ready to start our morning lessons. Today we took a different route through the neighborhood. The kids all really enjoyed it and found lots of fun things, ME made friends with a rock, GM found some fun and pretty sticks, and GD found a log shaped like a running cat.

Home again and we went directly into our yoga, after taking off our shoes and having a drink of water. They both did MUCH better today, and showed much longer focus. After yoga we did our movement activities, I did the Strange Family (pg 135 grade one movement: Enki) and then I did a midline exercise where we touched our opposite feet and hands (with bent knee bringing foot up) while counting out our numbers, and skip counting by 2, 3, & 4. At the end of doing it twice we did it as fast as we could and we all laughed really hard. They thought it was so funny.

Then we came into the office where we did our music practice. We first did our closed eye rhythm following exercise, but today I used the counting from movement to bring it to them from another direction. They caught on right away, tapping their sticks at every "one" count but only saying out loud the skip counting numbers. I was happy with that and I think I will do it again tommorow.

We lit our candle, said our verse and began our journal writing. This is becoming a silly time, and I am thinking of ways to help with that. GD is so imaginative that he will draw and write for ever and he wants to share everything he does with GM who is very easily distracted and finds GD to be hilarious. I love the GD is so imaginative and that he loves this time so much, but I worry about how long to allow it to distract GM....

On to comprehension activities, I think GDs are getting too difficult and I may take a break on it for a bit, he reads it very well, but some of the question protions are just really long and getting into grammatical topics we havent covered yet. I think I will reintroduce it when we have covered that material. I will come up with a substiture activity to continue his practicing this skill, but the particular book we are using just is reaching a bit beyond for now.

GM did his reading for the day from his reader, a one page poem, so he was happy. :-) After he finished that we practiced our math facts and did our hand game from yesterday, he did TERRIFIC!!! We went all the way to 100 doing our five facts and he was awesome, when I commented on how great he was doing, in my mind thinking of how effective having him sleep on it was, he told me he had been practicing in the bathroom! LOL well, hey, at least my nine year old son is practicing multiplication in the bathroom. How funny, Im glad he liked it so much.
We retold the story from yesterday and the boys laughed again at the funny parts. They both did a good job of adding details here and there and between the three of us we told a pretty fun tale.

They then got a nice break for a bit in the afternoon to watch the movie of GD's choice. He chose to watch "The Iron Giant" which is a family favorite. While he watched that I gave ME and GM some craft materials and some construction paper and they worked on making GD some nice cards outside on the porch. I made them a fresh shake for a snack; flax seed oil, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, two eggs and vanilla ice cream. That should hold them over until dinner at Grandma's which is an early dinner, more like a supper I suppose.

During this quiet time I read through some books I got in the mail, one is Dorothy Harrer's Math Lessons for Elementary Grades and the other is a book called Active Arithmetic; Movement and mathematics teaching in the Lower Grades. Perfect timing really with all the fun math/movement activities we have been enjoying. I will browse through them more in bed tonight, but it was nice to be able to thumb through the pages and get an idea of how they are set up. They are both much longer than I thought they were when I ordered them. In fact I thought the Harrer was more of a booklet than a book, but it is a full on book.


Dinner at Great-Grandma's was nice although GD was very upset to find out that the play he wants so desperately to be in requires him to sing. He doesnt want to sing in front of people, and so I thought it best to not audition for the part. I am not a big fan of the whole thing, but it has been years now that he has been asking to get to be in a "real play" with a stage, good costumes etc. He wants to be in a play like all the ones we go to at Popejoy Hall. I finally got him involved in a drama class to let him get a feel for it. He loves it and he leaves there feeling really happy and good about himself. So that was a bit of a sad note for today, but he did get over it eventually and later said he was okay with not doing it, that the singing would have been just too scary. So in the end it is okay. I will keep my ears open for another smaller production that will better suit his strengths. I dont see this desire to be involved in theatre going away anytime soon.

After dinner it was off to the coffee house to meet up with Tata and my brother and sister-in-law for some yummy treats to celebrate the big day. It's just up the road so it is a nice way to come back around to the neighborhood and get to see more family. All the kids had a great time and GD received a wonderful gift of a large penguin. He has been penguin crazy for a long time now, since he was just a tiny guy.

When we got home we played a family game of Bird Bingo which was nice and the little kids got ready for bed while GM took care of his chickens and tended to spraying the frog and the snake with some water for moisture.

Im off to bed to read some of my new books and to get some much needed rest! Im pooped! Plus I get to getup tomorrow and start all over again! :-) Thank goodness!!!!

Happy Birthday GD!!!

A big day today! Our little guy is turning seven, and we are very excited about it. Last night he chose to go to Peter Piper Pizza for his last night of being six celebration, and they loved it. They ran around and played until they closed the place down. GD was so cute, playing with ME the entire time, showing her how to climb the play structures and putting her on little riding things and using his tokens to make it go for her. I told him that it was nice to see him having so much fun with her, and he said, "Well yeah, I AM her big brother!" It was great! GM was a bit sad at one point when he said he had to give his tokens away to someone (smart Mommy only gives them about 4-5 at a time) I thought someone bullied him out of it, but he said no, it was a little girl and she said "please". He is just too nice sometimes, but I was happy to hear it wasnt a bad thing, but rather a generous one. We gave him more tokens and sent him off to play. He had a good time trying to get tickets and playing Galaga with Dad. I took my camera and tried to take some pictures only to realize that I had removed the memory card to upload pictures from our walk yest. :-( I will use it today though to help capture some of GD's special day.

Today's agenda...

Morning Coffee (right now)
morning chores
garden care
tend the animals
breakfast (more waffles left over from yest)
take a walk around the neighborhood

movement (still working this in from Enki)
music practice
journal writing
comprehension activities
retelling the story of Akimba and the Magic Cow
math practice
math hand games with GM (practicing multiplication using "say say my playmate" style clapping games)


Plant seeds in the garden (corn, squash, beans, carrots, transplant tomatoes, basil, peppers)
Pet store for a "pinkie" for Oreo (baby king snake)
Great Grandma's house for family dinner night
Dessert coffeehouse for dessert and visiting more family for GD's big day


Evening Chores

So that is the plan, I hope we do well with it today, but my main goal is for GD to have a lovely relaxing day and to go to bed feeling like he had a day that made him feel special.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Afternoon Update...

Well I did get three out of four of us bathed before we had to run out to drama. Also while GD was there (they wont let Mommy's watch) I ran to the farm with ME and GM to pick up our veggies and have some junk food (milk shakes). While we were waiting for GD to finish up GM wrote out all his thank you cards from his birthday! WooHoo!!! Now that was a victory!!!!

On the way home I stopped at a store a neighbor mentioned to me on a walk one day called the Dimestore Cowboy. It was really cool and I finally got a nice Mexican Sugar Mold I have been wanting for our table on the porch. They are great for putting candles and flowers in and they are just a fun little thing.

Now we are home and the kids are going out back to play, although probably not for long because it is quite hot out right now. I am going to cut up a nice watermelon I have and let them snack on that, although GM wont touch it, the other two will be thrilled.

GM and I just finished reading "Rabia of Basra" from Donna's Saints and Heroes book (Christopherus Homeschooling see links section to the left) and he is now building his LEGOs and having some quiet time while ME and GD are playing in her room with her doll house. I LOVE quiet time!!!!

Today's morning update...

Well so far we have had a good day. I got up, had my coffee, did our morning chores (making the beds, gathering the laundry, watering the garden, tending the animals). I made breakfast, and it was really yummy. The kids had gluten-free waffles I made with my new waffle maker, I changed the recipe for the batter and added an extra egg, more cinnamon, and a tad more oil. they were topped with some maple syrup and a bit of butter. GD also had a hard boiled egg. In order to try and get over my mid day fatigue, I ate a breakfast too. I made some left over potatoes with egg and jalapenos. It was good but made me feel sluggish (I cant eat in the morning). We'll see how that goes.

We then decided to add a walk into our morning before yoga. I thought this would help us transition into yoga better. The kids had gotten involvedin play and pulling them away from that directly into yoga seemed like a battle I wasnt up for having, so the walk really helped them come back to focus. I did sing a song to gather them, and felt like such a nerd, but I really want to try this out. I am very interested in how this works for families who have kids who dont transition well. I am intrigued by how it speaks to them on an unconcious level and calms them. I know that when GD was younger and having a lot of health issues, if I sang a particular song to him it really soothed him, including through having a spinal tap. So there must be something to it. :-)

Our walk was really nice, it is a cool morning and a lot of flowers are blooming. I took along the camera and let the kids ooint out to me the things that told us it is spring in our neighborhood. It was fun, they played around balancing on the curbs and jumping over ant hills etc...

Yoga was a bit difficult today. They did it, but GD was wound up and enjoying just being silly. At first it really distracted and sucked GM in, but eventually he was able to relax and focus. Music was nice, we havent done it in a while and GM asked if we could please start it up again. So we practiced listening to rhythms with our eyes closed and playing our tapping sticks along with it. I set the rhythm and they followed along, changing pace as needed. Then we practiced (briefly) on our lap harps. They both did well, and the rest time from it did them both some good. Their confidence with the instrument shows.

We lit our candle for lessons and they recited their verse. GM loves this and had even added it into his journal. He likes it close by him during lessons. I dont know exactly what about it speaks to him, but it works so I do it. :-)

Journals went well, GD was still in a bit of a hypedup mood, making it difficult, but we got through it. He is just enthusiastic and young, so he doesnt contain himself at this point. He wrote about Phillup (his spelling) the frog, and GM did two sentences about Oreo (the snake) without requiring prompting; this is a good step for him, as he struggles with original thoughts when he has to narrow it down and make a choice of what to write.

On to comprehension. I know it is silly that I do this, but I do think it is important for them to begin to work on their comprehension. GM tends to read in a manner that is equal to reading a list, so these little reading comprehension things help me guage his progress with his reading ability. They both fly through them so it isnt a big thing for me to add into our morning lessons.

I was going to read a Jakata Tale today but instead I chose and African Folk Tale called Akimba and the Magic Cow from our Multiculturalism book. The kids enjoyed it and laughed at the ending when Bumba was attacked by the magic stick.

Math was mainly refresher and practice. GM did two practice sheets and one lesson page, and GD did one lesson page that was probably a bit wrong for him. I think I will set that aside until fall and just have him continue to play with his blocks, and work on patterns, tangrams and puzzles.

Reading today is story 2 from GM's reader (The Three Billy Goats Gruff) and GD chose to read "Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?" a paperback picture book.

Overall focus was a struggle today, Im sure it will improve as we adjust to getting back into our rhythm. It's usually a bit of a struggle at first, not tears and anger type struggle, just a lot of nudging to stay on focus and to move through things smoothly. Overall Im happy with our morning and Im hoping the afternoon will go as well!!

Im off to make lunch, and to gather things to take along with us to GD's drama class this afternoon. I also want to get them bathed before we leave, yeah right! Wish me luck!!!

Still in the middle of May-hem...

Well May is quite the eventful month for our family. We have both of the boy's birthday's and their combined party, plus our wedding anniversary (not that we usually do much for that) Mother's day, the real kick-in of the warm weather and all the changes in the environment, and my Mother's birthday. It is a fun month but it often seems to fly by and in the end you just feel a bit dizzy from all the excitement and hoopla.

Im trying to have us finish up the things that I have planned for our lessons and to keep up with the things we are finishing up for the year (science club, etc..). So today I am up a bit earlier than the kids, and I am hoping to get my own thoughts and rhythm rolling so I can more easily fold them into it when they wake up, rather than having them wander about until I get enough coffee in me. :-)

Today's plan...

have my coffee
gather my materials for today's lessons
straighten up the front office (where we do our lesson work)
make breakfast for the kids (gluten-free waffles, and hard boiled eggs)
help them to get their morning chores done (making their bed and gathering up their toys and laundtry)
start some laundry
feed the animals and water the garden

begin our yoga
incorporate some more movement from my Enki books (just a little, I need to sit and really plan that part out more)
music practice (lap harps)
journal writing
comprehension practice book
story time (Jakata Tail)
math practice
independent reading

play a game of bird bingo

in the afternoon..

take GD to his drama class
read the story of Rabia and Basra to GM
pick up our veggies from the farm

free play outside
quiet time

dinner out tonight to celebrate GD's last night of being 6 yo.

So that is my plan, I will check back in to report how we did as well as to update you on the fun things we have done this month. It has been a really nice time to be out exploring around New Mexico.

stay tuned.....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

GM turns NINE!!

As I was saying we are all in a bit of transition right now. GM turned nine years old yesterday and we had a full day of celebrations with family and friends.

Before I begin I wanted to mention that we do a special dinner the night before to celebrate the last evening of being eight, or whichever age it is. We laugh about the year and about the things we did and learned. GM chose to go out for dinner at Olive Garden. This was a nice choice because they have those big round tables. We had a nice evening, and GM didnt mind the people singing to him. He was a good sport all around.

As for the next day, we began with showers and dressing, as well as packing lunches, water and snacks for our big day out. Then we headed to the panaderia for some home made treats to share with our friends. We have been going so much lately that I didnt get to bake for this, but we will be baking for the party which is coming up in a few more weeks.

After we got two dozen big cookies (chocolate chip and peanut butter) we headed over to the UNM campus to meet up with friends for a tour of the Maxwell Museum. It was sort of wild going there as an adult after having done the same thing in college at the U of A and now here I am in the campus Anthropology Museum with my own children. Initially this was WAY too much for GM or GD to handle, all the anticipation of the day and the excitement were proving making focussing way too hard, but after some touching base with me they got on track and completed the tour nicely. We then went outside and found a lady and her son making Indian Tacos and demonstrating how they bake bread in an horno (large outdoor adobe oven). We went ahead and had our lunch on the grass outside the museum and let all the kids play a bit before heading over to the big duck pond in the middle of the campus. Thankfully noone fell in and they kids had a nice time. We said our goodbyes and went to the student union for some ice cream before heading home. I was suprised to find that it was already after 3pm and we only had time to go by the house for a quick clean up and a 30 minute rest time before heading out to Grandma's house for dinner.

We went to Great Grandma's house and had a nice dinner and enjoyed her flowers in her yard while the kids all played together with their cousins and aunts and uncles. Great Grandma knows how much GM loves her oreo pie and made a special one just for him. He was THRILLED!!!
Note we are on quite a bit of sugar by now.... :-) when leaving there GM mentioned that he felt wierd about having everyone be so nice and giving him so much, like Grandma making the pie. I tried to explain to him that it isnt selfish to accept gifts from people who love you and that it made them equally happy to be able to see how happy he was.

From Great Grandma's house we headed directly over to a local coffee and desert house to meet up with my husband's brother and wife, as well as Tata,
my husband's father. Here we had.... more sweets! So at this point in the day my children'sheads were about to start spinning, but they did have a terrific time!!!

All in all, it was a great day, filled with well wishes from friends, both far and near and family from all over the country. GM is thrilled to be nine and is also feeling very grateful for all the love he is receiving. Im exhausted, but it was great for the kids to get to have such a fun filled day.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Our family is in the middle of a strange time where all three children are right in the midst of a transitional time in their lives. Our oldest GM turned nine today ( I will post more on it later) He has already started some of his nine year change and is dancing between being a young child and being a young boy. He is discovering himself and the "I" in his world, he is beginning to see that his future may differ from his past and that he will eventually be an individual with a home and family of his own. Our next son GD just lost his first tooth this week. This is so exciting for him and he is filled with so much pride about it. He has been so dreamy it will be interesting to see how this transitional time irons out. He will be seven in two weeks time. Then our daughter, ME is three and a half, she gave up her ba-ba about 8 weeks ago and is now no longer napping. Her speech has gone through the roof and she is right in the throws of her mid three-year declaration of independence.

These are interesting times around our home. Not to even mention the house being in transition and our just wrapping up our first year living in a new state. Its been a wild ride and Im trying to hold on, yet I also want to enjoy it. Some days I want to throw my arms up and just free fall, but other days I am exhausted by all the change and the unexpected behaviors going on in my home. Its like meeting all new perspectives of these personalities Ive always known so well.

Not all the changes are negative, in fact they are all amazing and I am embracing them, although the journey can be rocky at times. One incredible little development occured last night when GM came into my room and was telling me about how he was just so excited to be nine. He is lying there and says (and this is verbatim) "Mom, you know my personality will change a lot in my life.... but you know one thing that will never change"? "What is that" I ask, "How much I love you". I started to cry immediately. It was such a mature and thoughtful thing to say. I had to ask my husband if he told him to say it, I was blown away. Little discoveries like this are happening all over the house lately. Its such an incredible time. On the flip side, he is so emotional, so wound up and so exhausted lately, the middle one is doing okay and his listening is slightly improving but the little one is keeping me VERY busy with her defiance (something the boys rarely did) and her mischief. She is testing her balance at any opportunity and always likes to push it right to the point of a bad fall, she is using words to make her brothers laugh that just make Mommy angry and throwing things like a pitcher for the Yankees. Its crazy!! I dont know why people always think the boys are the hard ones, my little girl is much more challenging than they ever were. She is also amazing, mind you, but WOW she is a pistol!! :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Tooth Fairy is Coming!

Big News!! Big News!! GD lost his very first tooth earlier this week. What a big event it was too. He was so filled with excitement when he discovered it was loose a few weeks ago, and wanted to share the news with everyone. I just cant believe he is starting to loose his teeth. He is such a young soul and his energy is still so dreamy and soft. I hope he retains that as he grows, it is such a delight to be around and it is such a big part of who he is. He also has started to climb trees more and more, and is so happy with his new found abilities. He has always had very weak arms and legs (since birth) and so this is a big deal to him. He climbed up the tree outside of where our little Science Club meets and proclaimed from the higher branches, "Look at me Mom, Im really almost seven now". :-)

First Shift at the Naturalist Center

Well, we had our first shift at the Naturalist Center and it was great. We even had the support of some great family who came by to let GM know how proud they were of him and to see a bit of what he does there. It was great to have all their support. You could tell it really made him feel good and he was so excited to show them his favorite animal or part of the museum.
We did get Albie the King Snake out for a bit as well as Crunch and Tommie, the Western Box Turtles. They were a lot of fun, and the kids really got excited about Crunch. GM wants to bring his friends there for his birthday celebration and then back here for cake and such. Im thinking it sounds like a good idea.

Stopping by to say hi and lend support we had, Tata, Dad, Sister, and Brother, Grandma and one of our little cousins. That is quite the support team! :-)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Roots & Shoots

Our group, the Rio Grande Roots& Shoots Club, has had a wonderfully active April. It seemed that the weather and the opportunities just came together to create a lot of fun for our kids. We are learning about Organic Gardening, and making potted plants for the localFamily Shelter as a service project. We also had our first Bosque Clean Up Day in early April, as I wrote about a while ago. Let in the month we were able to have a tour of Los Poblanos Organics, our local CSA and friendly neighborhood farm were nice enough to take the kids around and share with them the many cool things that happen on a farm like this. It is a beautiful place, and also where we get our vegetables for our family.
We then celebrated Wildlife Awareness Week with two educational tours of local wildlife and the people who care for them. First we went to Wildlife West Nature Park and Refuge to learn about the local animals and what the refuge does to care for them. It is a nice little hike around a beautiful desert property. Most of the animals there were rescued or donated by people who foolishly thought they would make good pets???

Next we went for a tour of the International Rattlesnake Museum in Old Town Albuquerque. It was awesome and the gentleman who owns the museum was there and shared a picture of himself with Dr. Goodall. He seemed really happy with the kids and their interest in animals and especially in the snakes. The kids all loved it, and were really inspired by the girl giving the tour and by Mr. Bob's enthusiasm for the snakes.
We love our R & S group and have so much fun learning about things and doing service projects with the other families. It has been a great way to meet people and to learn a lot about the local environment, the river and the community.