Friday, 25 March 2011

March Was CRAZY Busy Part 1

I'm not kidding when I say we were so busy that I had no time to blog. Sometimes I had time to take pictures, sometimes I'd get a post started, but most of the time I was so busy with living life to sit down and even relax or breathe deep. Sometimes it was a good busy sometimes it was a nightmare of fevers and crying and anxiety. Anyway, I'll catch you all up this week. I don't think I have ever skipped an entire month since I began blogging!

One of the awesome things that happened was my brother was home on leave and brought his family to the farm! Bonus, my aunt traveled from Texas to meet the new babies and see my brother and she came too!

Uncle T.  and Baby Zap.

Lil'Bug's tea Part-tay.....

My aunt Deedle, my inspiration and idol. She too moved to a farm in her mid thirties with no experience and made a go at it. She is strong willed and unafraid to try new things. Currently, she owns and operates a B&B in Galveston, TX. It's pink, no less.

Aunt Deedle with Baby Zap.

Even Chad got a turn holding Z., but he had to wait. ;)

Yum yum yum, thumbs.

Seriously, EVERYONE wanted a turn holding Zap. 

It was a good visit. :) I hope there are many more.

Blueberry Girls Paints Horses

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Maple Lane

Unfortunately, we may have tapped too late. At least we'll be ready for next year!!!!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

1st Park Day of 2011!

Blueberry Girl loves the swings!
I love park day. I love that we can keep the relationships we have formed over the years, five years now, in the Des Moines homeschooling community even though we have moved an hour away. I love that it happens right after Lil'Bug's art class. I love that this park is so perfect, easily accessible, nice bathrooms, variety of play opportunities and sand (I hate mulched playgrounds; I'll take sandy pants and socks over splinters any day), and I love the freedom.

Baby Zap had never sat in the sunshine outside before. He wasn't sure what to think.
I notice that sometimes they play on the equipment, but so many more times they play in the trees and run around the grassy field.  There is room to play. If someone they are not getting along with is there, there is room to move along and play something else. There is also a variety of cultures that meet. The casual exposure creates questions and learning about how each family lives, without the pretense of show and tell.

We keep going and it has not been easy. We almost quit after a teenage bully, also a homeschooler, started targeting 6 year old girls....but we worked through that and in a way that left Lil'Bug and her friends feeling empowered and infused with a dose of empathy and kindness. It also demonstrated to Lil'Bug my trust in her, which happens in little noticed little ways everyday but when tested in a big way held up.

More playing.
It is nice to also have moral support for how we live. Homeschooling is a lifestyle and not many people outside the homeschooling circles actually get that. I have for the last 6 years so surrounded myself with people who do get it, that I forget how alien, misunderstood, misrepresented our lifestyle choice can be and what expectations are placed on us as such. Lately, that pressure has been exponential and having a safe place where people get us is really a quiet relief.

The view from the camera falling, luckily the only thing that seems broken is the UV lens.
Only one other family made it to this first, glorious park day of the year. It was unexpectedly 70 degrees, not windy, sunshine, and not terribly muddy. It's Iowa, it may not be that perfect again until May! Ha. A perfect day for Baby Zap to have his first park day, and for the girls to run off some winter blahs. At 4 pm they didn't want to load up and that's when the camera was "moved" out of the car and onto the parking. All is well though. I think.