Showing posts with label Stamps Academy of Art and Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stamps Academy of Art and Science. Show all posts

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Good King Wenceslas


 Lily has been taking piano lessons since late August. She's doing great. Reading music, memorising songs, and practising every day, well, playing every day at least. She really likes her piano teacher too. This was her first public recital and she was really nervous. We took her for a haircut, lunch, and treated her as special as we could to help her feel at ease.

It went great. Just great. :)



Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Full of Wonders




The world is so big. I used to think this was a childhood thing. That the world was as wide and as big as all I could see from my highest tree swing. It's bigger. So much bigger. It gets bigger everyday.

We spent the day at the Science Center exploring. The girls know what to expect, go right to their favourites, but Isaac.....it is all pretty new to him. We avoided it mostly when he was little because of germs and vaccination season (shedding), and flu season. Now, I think, we can navigate the place on a not busy weekday and also he's over the whole licking things phase (I think/hope).

We spent the day runnning full speed ahead through life and everything. CAVES! SNAKES! STARS! OOOOOOH LEGOS! ROCKET SHIP! Everything was good and better and wonderful.

Pretty much. That's our life these days.

Friday, 1 August 2014

A Healthy Ecology



Live the life you are in, not the life you wish you had? This idea popped in my head this week, as I looked in the mirror for the first time at my whole self and realised that I love the body I wish I had and not the one I live in, and maybe I'd have more fun dressing up if I would remember that when buying clothes.

This idea echoed through my week too. I let the kids swim in the pond. It is probably one of the cleanest bodies of water around, but full of algae and leaches and crawfish and turtles and fish......all which point to it being a healthy ecology. Huh. The kids get sick when they go to the "clean" public pool, but not when they swim here at home. I need to get over my weirdness about the algae making them all look like swamp things. It is good water and good fun. Swim in the water we have.......and you know, this summer the water and the pond are gorgeous.

My kids are gorgeous too and smart and funny. This summer is one for the books for sure.

Writing is also going well for me and photography. We have a great friend arriving fair week to stay with us and I am giddy about it! I feel actually calm for the first time a very long time, like, knock on wood, we have our footing now and the ground is solid and there are no more werebeasts in the woods going all awesome crazy nuts- or maybe there are but we are too busy to notice?

Speaking of wood beasts.....I am researching Iowa folklore and finding very few monsters. Lots of ghosts but just two monsters and one of them may as well be Minnesotan. I feel like I must be looking in the wrong places? If you know of a local swamp creature or giant demon bat thing or other historical beast whose lore is rooted in Iowa, speak up!

Other than our orange coloured pygmy rhinos or puddle sized pond dwelling octopuses, of course.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Calm Between Adventures


This summer has been unusually cool and the wind has been calm as well. There are very few ticks or mosquitoes, and the humidity is just about perfect.

We have not yet needed our AC turned on, a good thing since it is broken. *Note to self, remember to get a call in about that or bug Chad before winter gets here. **I'll forget anyway. Ha.

Isaac loves it. He loves sitting outside eating apples and cuddling chickens and chasing his sisters and counting clouds....one, two, three, four, five.....

Holly has been taking crayons outside and today I found her masterpiece, in crayon wax, on the front porch floor. It is pretty amazing actually.

Lily, ever the farm girl, has been taking care of her chores and heading out to the woods for explores. They stay out late, until bedtime, negotiating meals (ONLY COMING IN IF SOUP IS FOR DINNER!) Soup. Huh. I can do soup.

Chad and I have been taking walks in the late afternoon and evenings and dreaming pretty big about things. Lots of things. Finding thornless honey locust on our farm is pretty cool. Snacking on mulberries is lovely too. We talked about what time I need to do my job that is with the college and what I need to keep going with my freelance work. I have a list of places to submit work about farm life that I am researching. I have ideas for travel pieces.

The air feels too cool for July though. Winter teasing us. We bought this winter's hay and had it delivered today. Next up, chop and stack firewood. Try for enough for winter. Find a better place to stack and store it.

I have been furiously scribbling in my notebooks, learning formal verse form, then trashing it and wrecking all the rules. That's kind of my signature style, rule breaking. My intentions are to study the form and then dance around the edges, tearing at the border with my heals and tempo. Wild with pulpiness and red lines and life.

When I am done, good and worn out, I sway on the porch swing, sweet tea nearby, one ear out for duckings and another on the humming of children plotting their own way, book of verse in hand, reading poems about house fires in Tennessee, marsh whores in Florida, and urban schoolteachers falling in love.

This is my summer. This is my view. This is the calm between adventures.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Science Center Day!

My kids love the Science Centre. They could and have spent entire days there, playing and exploring. Just the idea of maybe going gets them on their best chore getting done behaviour. They ask for a chance to go when offered a treat. LOVE.

So, stuck in town one day this week, we ended up there. It was a blast. Actually a blast since Isaac discovered the rocket air launch and his rocket could really fly! We did that for about 45 minutes- build, launch, run, find, run back, launch, run, find, run back, over and over. He was really proud of his IZ rocket too.

This was our first time with Isaac in the star theatre too. Holly used to freak out as a baby, grew out of it just in time for Isaac to freak out as a baby. The last time we went Holly fell and got nursemaid's elbow. Not a great track record. This time though? They all three ran in and flopped to the floor, oooohing and aaaaaahing over the spinning star images, the solar flares, and the whirling outer planets. It was lovely.

That was our day, pretty much. Lovely.

Friday, 11 July 2014

VBS Snapshots










Issac still won't participate in the workshops and crafts, but the social and music time he really gets into. He is such a ham too. Holly is fine tuning her own personal style and that is more and more evident this summer. Lily is in the throws of pre teen angst. That's ok, I'll love her through it. Though, hearing, "All you really care about is XYZ and not me!" about 100 times a day is wearing me thin.

I need to remember to accept help when it is offered. Too many times this week, I said no when I should have said yes. Saying yes would have built on relationships. Saying no left me stuck. This was on my mind this morning as I contemplated how I was going to deal with the kids disappointment that the truck was broken again and they would miss the last day of VBS after missing the first three days. It rained and operation distract the kids with a boat ride in princess costumes was thwarted. Just as I was moving to plan B, my phone made a noise. A FB message from a family at church offering to drive the kids there and back today.

Remember to say YES more when offered help. So I said yes.

And the day was saved. Girls were dressed, hair brushed, shoes on in 90 seconds. They had a great time today and I am filled with gratitude. I need to say yes more. It is outside my comfort zone. I'll work on that.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Shearing, Spring 2014 - Meet Millie and Addie


Addie and Millie are two Jacobs ewes (that's what you call a female breeding sheep) that we adopted last week. The fiber is glorious, even I can tell that. Lily was the official photographer and most of these pictures are hers (except the ones of her, I took those).

Ray is the guy who does our shearing. He's awesome and wonderful and knows a lot of farming wisdom. We look forward every year to his visits.

The bottom right picture is one of the sheep after and one about to be sheared, so we can see the difference that the shearing makes. These ladies are also way happier nekked. No worries, grows back quickly.

These two won't be kept with the rest of the flock just yet. They are going to work for us eating and fertilizing the lawn and public areas of the farm. 

Tiny Dancer


Each year we let each kid choose an activity to do for the year. When I had more income and we lived in the city, they could do as many and as often as they each wanted. Now we have three kids and gas prices doubled and my income is a fifth of what it was, so now they each get one.

Holly's chosen art is ballet. She was a shy, timid girl until the day she stepped into Miss Anna's studio. She just lit up from the inside! She has continued to blossom at this studio. Two of the principles at this studio are modesty and respect. This extends to the music and body and developementaly appropriate dance moves. These are children who are growing and teaching them a physical sport like dance can be tricky if the instructor is not educated in physiology. Holly has joint issues and her shoulder and elbows dislocate really easily. Grace Ballet was the only studio that would have a conversation with me about my concerns regarding Holly's safety.

Holly worked hard this year. She practiced. She did meditations on concentration and focus, because she was worried about paying attention enough in class. She was worried about stage fright. She was worried about falling off the stage at the end bow.

She did great. She shined! She sparkled! That's my tiny dancer!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Just a Peek at a Work Day






Meet Millie and Addie, our two new ewes. They are Jacobs, a primitive goat looking sheep. They can also run fast and jump really high. Fences? They bah at them.

Lily and Holly worked hard to get them home, get buckets and cars washed, and then helped get ready for shearing day. Life on the farm.

I will have more pictures up later that Lily took of shearing, but I cannot find my card reader.