Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Check out this wonderful post: My Life Is... what an inspiration!

Reading things like this is why I keep blogging!!! I love to be challenged, encouraged, inspired, and lifted up!

Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Sending a big thank you to all who left awesome comments about what story and chapter books you enjoy reading with/to your kids.

I wish we had more time in the day for reading because so many of the suggestions took me back to my childhood. I started looking them all up on amazon to order a bunch. Then I got smart and looked up which ones my library had and put a hold on some of them.

We picked a few up today and began reading A Bear Called Paddington. On deck are Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Children's Classics to Read Aloud.

He LOVED reading the chapters of Paddington (one yesterday and one today) and is looking forward to another installment tomorrow. So, I thank you for your suggestions and am SO excited to begin the next step in our reading adventure!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Horsing Around" Photo Contest

I couldn't resist entering this picture into the contest that Susan and Janice have playfully titled the "Horsing Around" photo contest. Sponsored by A Rocking Horse To Love there are already some fabulous entries to check out.

The story behind the photo can be found if you click here!

And if you really love it, you can go leave a comment on the contest post at 5 Minutes for Mom and let them know you like mine (Butterfly Mama!) Thanks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This post could also be titled "The ah-ha moment where I see how unschooling really does work." Oh, and if you think unschooling means unlearning or not educating think again and click on the above link for a plethora of definitions and explanations.

About a two weeks ago now my son asked me to tell him about volcanoes. I was able to put about a dozen sentences together about the topic to tell him about hot lava bursting out and cooling into rocks.

After him asking me to tell him again and again over the course of a few days we made a trip to the library last Monday where we picked out some volcano books. I now know more than I ever wanted to about volcanoes, and ash clouds, molten magma, pahoehoe (said pa-hoh-ee-hoh-ee) and 'a'a (said ah-ah) lava.

He knows more than I wanted too! One book has a section about Mt. Vesuvius. They cast the voids in the lava where the decomposed people were. Ah, yeah I didn't read that part, but he's a bit analytical and won't let me skip over any pages so he looked at the pictures and asked me, "what is that?" I said it was a concrete rock and he looked at me and said, "Mommy, it looks like someone dead." I just said "yeah, it does" while prying the page to turn it.

Long story short, he still can't get enough information about volcanoes and is just eating it up. It's really neat to teach them stuff when they want to learn it! One of the books had instructions to build our own volcano.

Of course we had to try it! What fun to teach him to gather the equipment and follow the steps of the experiment. It is more of a demonstration of the way an ash cloud works and it is proves it's point quite well. Just a bit of flour blown several times through out the day can cover an entire kitchen!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Mommy, get on top of the ball!"

This morning, I found myself at the computer, you know on Facebook, reading other blogs and random stuff.

I'm not sure how this happened, but the kids are getting along. I should have known better because a few days ago when they were getting along they made THIS mess. But they were happy. They were happy cleaning it up together too, it was an afternoon affair to remember. Seriously, miracles are happening here!

Back to this morning, I hear my son telling the baby, "follow me" and "bring the toilet paper." To this my silent alarm rings enough for me ask what they are up to. And he tells me that they opened the case of toilet paper and are distributing it to all the bathrooms. He's done this for me before, so I think nothing of it.

Yeah, you're waiting for something right? Well, here's the kicker. Apparently, they weren't just stowing the tightly wrapped new rolls under the sink for when we ran out. They helped the current roll run out all over the floor. Then my creative four year old took the old tube off and put a new roll on. In all three bathrooms!

Can I just tell you how much toilet paper we go through here? It's like the four year old has regressed to a toddler and recalled just how much fun it is to TP a house. Despite my begging him to be the good example for his sister, if she's into mischief, she's the leader and he's happy to be the accomplice!

On a tangent I'm on pace to raise the first male in history that will change a toilet paper roll, not just set it on top of the spent one. Sadly, my husband promised to have a talk with him when he's of age, lest he make the rest of the male gender look bad! :)

And to finish the above tangent. The mess eventually made into the best work table for the little ones. They sure love their gift Grandma, thanks!

Look carefully, they both still have styrofoam pieces in their hair! Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Slurp, slurp...

My son loves his Tag reading system that we got him for Christmas. He plays with is multiple times a day.

The other day, I saw the cord that downloads the books onto the pen and remembered that I could sync it up to see his progress. I did and according to them his reading comprehension is on a 1st grade level. My 4 year old.

By no means am I trying to brag or boast in my son, or what I've done with him at all but this did surprise me at first. Now that I've thought about it though it really doesn't. (Also, I don't really know what they are basing it off of either, it will ask him questions, but who knows really.)

In the reading department, my kids are polar opposites. From a young age (6 months) my son would sit on my lap for as many books as I could read, my daughter, on the other hand, has just now upped her window from about 5 seconds to maybe 3 minutes.

Usually on days we come back from the library with new books my son and I will sit and read for my daughter's entire nap 1-1.5 hours.

This week he found the Little Bill book series (he knows the tv show very well) and even though the content is a bit old for him they separate each couple pages into chapters and have more words than pictures.

I've been reading many places lately about people who read chapter books to their young children and I really want to fit this in. If anyone has any suggestions about good ones I'd love to hear them. I was think about CS Lewis but would love some other suggestions.

He just eats up reading and stories so I might as well give the sponge something to soak up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One Cold and Foggy Day

Today is like a Saturday around here, Adam has the day off and usually we are slow to get going. This morning I made coffee (not an everyday thing for me) and followed a different recipe than normal for pancakes, just to change things up.

Somehow the combination of smells combined with the relaxed atmosphere took me back to the lake.

On our yearly summer trip from NY to Central California, where most of my Mom's family lives, we'd always fit in a weekend trip to my Grandparents' cabin up at the lake, as we called it. It was filled with hot and dry days followed by cool nights and mornings. Leisurely walks down to the dock and pontoons skimming the water as we rode wrapped in wet towels. Watering young trees, hammering dried wood onto the old tree house and sampling tender, juicy barbecue.

I stood in the middle of my Idaho kitchen this morning, overwhelmed by aromas, sounds of kids and delicious pancakes. All of which became, for a fleeting moment the air conditioner humming in the cabin, my Gram in her robe and slippers sipping coffee and making pancake batter. The small stand alone pantry full of goodies that we'd only ever eat up there (like canned cheese LOL!) topped with Gramp's sunscreen, his hat there and his boots by the door waiting to be filled as he took a rare opportunity to sleep in past the sunrise.

The lazy-susan overflowing with eggs, pancakes, bacon and fruit. The dark blue drapes pulled back to reveal a view of the lake, smooth as glass, waiting for the early boaters to make the first waves. Feelings of anxiety, similar to Christmas morning, to hurry down to the dock and get to water playing!

For a minute, as I tore my daughters pancake into bite sized pieces, I was out on the deck in the silent, quickly warming air tearing leftover pancakes to feed to the birds. For a moment I was giggling with cousins on the tire swing watching my Gramp throw horseshoes down by the barbecue pit where he worked his magic nightly.

I had a glimpse of my Gram sitting with my Mom on the dock, watching all the fun we were having eating chips, making mud castles, and just being kids. My Dad out with my Gramp on the boat came around to see who wanted the next ski. In general, my Gramp was one of those men that emanated confidence and diligence to us kids, almost unapproachable. But these times at the lake, he kicked back, laughed a laugh that you could see rejuvenate his soul and had patience as if time would stand still. Especially the time I was determined to learn to single ski, he let me keep trying until I was fed up, and then he let me have another go.

Hit it! The boat would smoothly and seamlessly accelerate at my Gramp's hand as the cool water flowed over my face and past the shoulders of my life jacket. Faster and faster pulling me up out of the water slightly, as if teasing me, before slapping me back into the cold hard surface as my fingertips slip off the rope handle. Over and over, seemingly forever, as if the lake's refusal to yield it's grasp on me was stronger than my will. Finally, one last time victorious I'm up on the single ski, the warm air on my face, the water beads up on my goose fleshed skin a glorious smile on my face is mirrored in his!

It was a fleeting minute but it also held with me while I savored my breakfast and went about my day. There is this feeling of peace that I always found there that has come back to me today.

Maybe someday we'll get back there so my kids can play were we once did. Mostly, I pray for the special times with loved ones in their childhood to tuck away in the corners of themselves. Maybe on some foggy day in their adult life something will take them back and keep them warm and fuzzy.

Friday, January 09, 2009

On my way into the store today I saw a license plate that read


Good reminder!

Life just keeps plugging away around here, hopefully sometime I'll start writing about it again.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Groggy New Year!

We hadn't planned on keeping the kids out 'till midnight but it just worked out that way. We had fun playing games (can you believe I'd never played dominoes before.) Yeah, either could anyone else, now it's on my list to own!

The bigger girls played with my one year old who chose markers over her "nigh-nigh" milk. And my 4yo played and watched a movie. Before we knew it, it was 11:30pm and what's the point of leaving then!

Thankfully, (people out there must have been praying for this) they both slept in AND went to bed early last night!

He ended up sleeping until 11am!!!
I'm up Mommy, really, I am!