Friday, May 25, 2018

This Is Forty-Two

I celebrated another trip around the sun yesterday! And since my birthday was coming I have been reflecting a lot on the past year (and life in general) lately

Forty-two is:
 ::realizing that the forties really are the best decade! Before I turned forty anyone who was older than me told me how the forties were the best decade. And at first I thought it was just one of those things that people said. You know, kinda like when you have a new baby and everyone tells you that "the years go by so fast" but you don't really believe them so you just smile sweetly and nod until they go on their way? And then, after the first year and the second and the fifth and the tenth and the twelfth fly by you realize they were right? Yeah, that's how I felt when people would tell me that their forties were their best years.Two years in though I have to agree! They really are!

::finding that I have far more confidence than I have ever had before.

::not caring more about other people's opinions of me than I do about my own opinion of me. There is such freedom in this and for that I am so grateful! 

::being in better shape (and a smaller size!) than I was when I was twenty-two! 

::proving everyone wrong about weight loss being hard after forty (see above statement). So many doctors and nurses and nutritionists told me that if I didn't loose it by the time I was forty it was mine forever. With each pound that I loose and each heavier weight that I lift I smile a little more thinking about all those people who told me that from the time I was thirty until right before I joined Fitness Asylum last September and how I have proven every. single. one. wrong! Has it been easy? No. Has it required me to give up certain foods that I love? Yes. Has it been life changing? Completely!

::finally finding the community of people I have been looking for for the last twelve years! The day I walked in to kick-off for the Fall Body Challenge last September was life changing in so many ways. We all come for a variety of reasons, but we all stay for the community.


::being named the sexy b---- on week three of the (current) spring challenge and owning that title! 

:;finally liking my body and feeling pretty!

::feeling so good about said body and so ready for the next challenge that I signed up for the Fall bikini competition team. If you had told me a year ago that I would even consider doing that I would have laughed at you. Eight months after walking in to my first body challenge kick-off I'm now looking at blinged out bikinis and getting ready to take my training to the next level. I'm both nervous and excited (and I hear that if you feel both those things simultaneously it means you should do it)! 


::progressive glasses. On one hand that made me feel old. But on the other, I am sporting some really gorgeous Tiffany frames!

::coming out of retirement and starting a new (paying) job and being surrounded by people old enough to be my children.

::appreciating those who stood by me when life was hard and I wasn't at my best.

:: finding those kindred spirits that I have been looking for for many years now. It's finding where I belong and finally feeling a sense of peace because of it. It's #lovemytribe.

::loving my family so deeply and so completely and enjoying each and every new adventure and experience that we have together.

:: noticing that our girls have our wickedly dry sense of humor and the ability to use sarcasm as beautifully as we do. 


::being thankful that we chose to walk the unconventional path of homeschooling all those years ago which has helped to make us the tight knit family are are today.

Simply put, forty-two (or maybe it's just the forties in general) is when you feel like your most authentic self. It's finally feeling comfortable in your skin, confident in your decisions and at peace with who you have become. xo

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grace's Botany Block

Though we have wrapped up lessons for the year, I wanted to share some pictures and thoughts on Grace's lovely botany block before any more time passed. This was such a wonderful block. One of our most favorites, if I do say so. I used the botany lessons from the Waldorf Essentials grade five book as our foundation and through some searching on the internet and ideas I came up with on my own (or from my classroom teaching days) the block came together beautifully. There was much that I needed to remember, or learn altogether, since botany, as a stand alone subject, was not something that I had any experience with from my school days. Plants always fell under biology, of course, and were maybe a couple of days at best. This block lasted for about eight weeks. Though we definitely could have gone longer. 
The kingdoms as a tree of life. This one was a bit hard for me to envision when I read about it in the grade five book, but with some imagination I think we made it work! 
To experience the bacteria we made our own yogurt, and to explore the fungi kingdom we made pizza dough using yeast. 
Looking at moss up close. 
It was a little too early for ferns in our yard, so instead we took to YouTube to watch some videos of them unfolding. 
Though she did not mention them in her page we did talk about the giant sequoias and watched, with amazement, this video from National Geographic. 
Creating her life cycle of the pea plant page. 
We couldn't have a botany block without some seed planting. 
Monocots and Dicots were something that I had to spend a few days understanding before I could bring it to Grace. This was not something I remembered learning, and it was only after several days of Googling that I felt I understood it enough to be able to explain it to her.
Bean sprouting. 

As it has been about five or six years since we last ordered caterpillars to watch the butterfly life cycle unfold, and with pollinators being such a big part of the botany block, I orders a cup of painted lady caterpillars. Not only was this a perfect activity for Grace's botany block, it also fit with Emma's human and animal (and pollinator) block! I love when their main lesson blocks are in sync like that! 
Because spring took so incredibly long to arrive we did not get to plant our garden. Plans have been made for it thought, and with any luck we will get the gardens cleaned and prepared tomorrow so that they can  receive seedlings on Saturday. Once the seedlings are in and growing we'll order a bucket of ladybugs to add to the garden as organic pest control, thus adding another activity to support this glorious botany block! xo

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

And That's A Wrap!

Another year of morning lessons is now in the books (and what an incredible year it was)! We had a blast diving back into the Revolution (in preparation for our trip to Williamsburg) as well as the  human and animal block that was so enjoyed last year, too. And it was absolutely lovely to get to explore the world of botany together for the first time this year too! With their last pages completed, it was decided (decreed, really)  that waffle cones from New City were needed to honor the end of lessons and to welcome the arrival of summer break!

We'll continue to read each day this summer, and there will be some cooking and baking (and a bit of math, too), but as anyone who knows us knows, summers for us are all about copious amounts of time spent outside and seeing where each day takes us. It's funny to me but each year in early May, without intentionally doing so we seem to begin to slowly shift gears and move into our summer rhythm, It's as if we all just internally know, on the same day, that it's time. Time for the winding down of lessons and activities and time for the slow and lovely days of summer to arrive. xo

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Simply Enchanting!

On Friday, Grace said to me: "Mama, I think a bird flew out of the flowers on the porch." I told her that I had noticed that too and asked her which one. She said: "From one of the side ones." I told her that I had seen a bird fly out of the one that faced the street. Curious, I grabbed the step ladder from the kitchen,climbed up to the first of the three hanging plants and peeked in....
 There was a nest, but no eggs.
So, I went on to check the second basket. 
 Once again, a nest was tucked inside but it too was empty.
Off to check the third....
 Another empty nest.

Today, while the girls were working on their final page of this lesson year I went outside to check again. And lo and behold, there, in the third basket was an egg! 


One sweet little wren egg!
We are super cruious if she will lay any more....

So, with a new egg in one of the front porch nests I went off to check the Robin's nest under the back deck. 
Mother Robin was on her nest but when she heard me she flew off, perched on the fence post and loudly announced something for all to hear. 
And when I peeked inside I was treated to the sight of three newly hatched babies!

What a truly enchating ending to a wonderful year of morning lessons! xo