cloistered away | enjoying simplicity

Wednesday

8

May 2013

6

COMMENTS

spilled milk | sleep

Written by , Posted in letters

olive napping

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. 
― Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Ode

We snuggled up in my bed for an afternoon nap last week, a rare (and delightful) occurrence these days. With my eyes closed, I listened to the quieting, steady rhythm of your breath, your thumb-sucking interspersed — fast-fast-slow, fast-fast-slow.

When people wonder from where come the ideas and dreams that turn the world on its head — it is here, in casual afternoon naps, cradled in the music of breath and sleep.

——————–

{sleep} on Spilled Milk today

Monday

6

May 2013

6

COMMENTS

{preschool} at home

Written by , Posted in homeschool

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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

In every case, the remedy is to take action. Get clear about exactly what it is that you need to learn and exactly what you need to do to learn it.
- Miguel de Cervantes

When I first stumbled into homeschooling, my dear friend Amy introduced me to Handwriting Without Tears’ products and songs, something she had used for years working as an OT in local elementary schools. I’m forever grateful as it has provided a common thread for all of my children to share and has taught me how to teach my children handwriting. Naturally, I now want to pass on these tools we’ve loved so much to help other young homeschooling families on their own journeys. That said,  I know the HWT website can be difficult to sort through. So instead of just referencing the sources, I’ve shown the real products we’ve used (and enjoyed) in our home the last five years with the appropriate links for the website. In our home, I store all of the non-jarred items in the top section of the photo in that clear plastic bin (from IKEA); this makes for quick access during our mornings and easy storage when we put it away. The bin also helps make the tools more portable to grab if we’re heading out-of-town or more likely — to the backyard.

{things to note}

+ I forgot to include the I Know my Numbers booklet Blythe is coloring in the first picture. This give kids extra work with writing and understanding numbers.

+ The HWT crayons and chalk bits are not necessary, as you could use alternative ones from a store. Their tiny size and the double-sided crayon is what makes those products unique.

+ They also make Touch & Flip alphabet cards (not pictured or linked because I already had sandpaper letters).

+ The teacher’s guide has changed since I purchased my own, so the picture in the link won’t match the image above.

+ If you can’t afford to buy everything at once, start with the wood pieces, laminated wood piece cards, chalkboard, Mat Man book, and the student book. I often make copies of the student book, so they can work on a letter more than one day.

+ Pay attention to the videos on the product pages. Each one will give you a sample lesson using that particular product — so helpful if you have no experience using this curriculum.

Good luck!

Wednesday

1

May 2013

2

COMMENTS

spilled milk | experience

Written by , Posted in letters

week4_experience_bethany

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
― John Muir

I often wonder what you all will remember of your childhood. Will you recall the rich smell of the trees or the way your bare feet longed for earth and bark and limbs in the sky? Will you reminisce of climbing to the places where light and green run together and the hours you spent cradled there? Will your souls prompt you of the ways you feasted on nature like Manna — Creation experiencing Creation? I hope so.

———

{experience} shared on Spilled Milk today

Monday

29

April 2013

6

COMMENTS

inspiration no. 1

Written by , Posted in homeschool, inspiration

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swing | paper craneschalkboard wall | water colors

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we sold our home. What I didn’t mention is we are moving in with my sister (Kristen), brother-in-law (Tim), and their two children, Shepherd and Brighten. Let’s refer to it as a cohabitation experiment. In the past, we’ve had young singles live with us, but this will be a first for combining entire families. Stick around — things may get really interesting here. (Wink.)

To prepare for the move, the four adults have been busy rearranging, tearing out, building, and preparing spaces. Currently, Kristen and I are recreating what will be the play + school room for our combined six children. We began this last week with a fresh coat of white paint and a chalkboard wall. Here’s a few things inspiring our design. Happy Monday!

Sunday

28

April 2013

0

COMMENTS

on the table | simple salads edition

Written by , Posted in on the table

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I’ve always prioritized eating well and exercise, but somehow in the busyness and stress of this last year I’ve noticed a few poor eating habits sneaking into my (and the kids’) routine, the two biggest: eating more processed foods and standing/walking while we eat. The second sounds ridiculous to say aloud but the two habits partner easily. I take a handful of this and a nibble of that and keep moving. Naturally, the kids do the same. Even when they munch on quality foods (fruit/veggies), they’ll often walk around the table or kitchen or yard while they eat. Of course, I remind them to sit down at the table, and yet I continue eating my own meal standing at the counter. What is it — do what I say not what I do? Argh. The truth is eating well takes time. Time to prepare. Time to eat. Time to enjoy. In effort to slow down and enjoy simple whole foods, I’m sharing a few simple-ingredient salads showing up on our table these days, and this one took about as long to make as a PBJ sandwich. The kids added a little shredded cheddar and blue corn chips to their own.

{ingredients}

  1. tomatoes, cut in large chunks
  2. black beans, warmed
  3. sliced avocado
  4. chopped cilantro
  5. baby spinach
  6. chopped onion

Do you have any tricks or tips to help you/your family prioritize eating well (and seated)? I would love to hear.

Friday

26

April 2013

0

COMMENTS

spilled milk | mess

Written by , Posted in writing in the margins

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I’m thrilled (and honored and any other exciting adjective) to announce my invitation to collaborate on this beautiful project, Spilled Milk.  “Spilled Milk is a collaborative photography blog, featuring a collection of photographs from 19 talented mothers from around the world. We are prompted by a weekly theme reflecting some aspect of parenthood and the complexity and beauty that comes with raising our kids.”

This week we shared images of Mess, something personified in my home. It always surfaces at will, appearing in random corners of the floors or transposing onto our walls. Sometimes Mess spreads before us smothering our countertops and beds, and sometimes I find the sly Mess peaking from dresser drawers waiting to escape.

To see other images of Mess this week, hop over to Spilled Milk.

artwork: oana befort

Sunday

21

April 2013

4

COMMENTS

a hundred times before

Written by , Posted in writing in the margins

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You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it’s you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you’re sitting

-Bob Dylan, Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie

Sometimes Beauty heralds to us in vistas or delicacies, and sometimes she obscures in the everyday, beckoning us to look again. And when we take the time to see, to search for her, we’ll discover Beauty has been with us all along. Right in the space we’re standing. In the tasks and people we visit every day.