Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday Fun!

My mother-in-law and I took the boys to Jekyll Island Friday to ride bikes. They have a great bike trail there. Since the weather was a bit chilly, we stopped a lot to read signs and just pay attention to things we've always sped by on past rides. We stopped at this old oak tree. It was amazing!! It's the oldest at an estimated 350 years old!! It's limbs have grown down and into the ground and back out again! It was so relaxing just to stand under it and watch the moss blow in the wind. If only it had a hammock!!

The boys had a ball climbing. Matthew said this was the 'hugest' tree he'd ever climbed and wants one for the backyard! (we'll work on that grammar later!)

I had to boost Tanner up to get him into the tree! For those of you who know him, you know this was no small feat!!

They were also having an arts festival. I bought a small piece of pottery made by one of Jekyll's local artists. We got to tour exhibits. They had photography, paintings, quilting, beading, and much more! I can't even remember it all now! They had a small band consisting of one guitar, bongos and a vocalist who pleasantly played in the background. There was pottery you could purchase and paint and they fired it for you while you wait. I want to make a note of this date and make sure we go back next year!
What fun we had!! I can't wait to go back. We worked hard all week so we could take this day off but I think we learned more Friday than we would have learned at home!

A Must Read!

If you are homeschooling or even just considering it, I highly recommend this book! We are nearing the finishing gate of our third year homeschooling and I only wish I had read this before I started! It addresses the need we have to conform to others' expectations (a biggie for me!) as well as how our schooling methods are usually a result of how we were schooled. It stresses the importance of really studying your children and catering to their learning style. While it certainly does not encourage a 'throw caution to the wind' approach, it does explain how homeschooling can be fun and how your children can actually enjoy learning. Homeschooling does not have to even remotely resemble organized school to be done effectively.
I know that me having read this book will not make next school year perfect but I do plan on making some changes. I want to be a little more relaxed and just enjoy my boys more. I want them to enjoy learning and not dread their schooling. I haven't quite gotten all the details ironed out in my head yet but I'm already looking forward to next year!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mi Casa

I finally have pix of our house to share!
A little about our house... Mike is in the steel building business so we have a steel house. I don't think it looks much different than most houses. The best part is that I have my own hurricane shelter!! Being terrified of bad weather, I feel safer in this house than I would anyplace else. The structure of the house is steel (and way over-built according to everyone who worked on it) but from the inside you would never know. We decided to go with the steel sheeting on the outside at first for cost effectiveness, planning to do some sort of siding later. But, we both really like it so it will stay as is.
This is a picture from the front drive. The little add-on looking room to the far right is Mike's theatre room. It is not finished yet but we hope to start on it soon! I can't wait to have '24' parties!!

One of my favorite things about our house has to be the red front door. I have always loved red front doors!

When you walk into our front door, this a view from the foyer into the den. It's a little dark, probably should have turned on some lights!

From the foyer looking straight ahead you see a glimpse of my kitchen, hopefully welcoming you in!

This is my kitchen. My favorite room in the house! Take a good long look, it usually isn't this clean. Being the hub of the house, everything (and everyone) collects here!

This is my den from the kitchen/dining room. It is all very open which is perfect for entertaining. You can hardly see it, but the black upright piano to the right was my great-grandmother's. She had it delivered to her house by a mule and wagon way back when (that's about as accurate as I can get). Don't overlook Lola posing on the sofa!!

This is our master bedroom. The wardrobe to the left was a real glossy white when I bought it. It had tacky green pulls and looked like it was from the eighties. When I brought it home Mike said it was not what he thought I was wanting. I told him to give it time. I stripped the whole thing, painted the inside a light mint green just to make it look cleaner and added new pulls. In the process, I broke the full-length mirror. I sewed a 'curtain' for it from some green ticking in my scrap pile and installed it from the inside of the door and I think I actually like it better than the mirror.

Here is Lola's room. Now, let me explain! When Mike bought her for me the deal was that she was not allowed to sleep with us (Mike is really not a dog-in-the-house kind of person). So, at every previous house she has slept in our bathroom. I didn't want to close her up so we put a baby gate across the doorway. Well, Mike's closet has always been in our bathroom and when he gets up in the morning to get ready for work he has to step over the gate trying not to let her out because she will make a b-line to me and wake me up. So, when we built this house I got to thinking about what I wanted to do with the space under the stairs. I thought, why not? It opens into our room so she will be near me and Mike doesn't have to fight her off in the mornings! She doesn't even make a sound when Mike gets up. She knows she doesn't get out until I get up. Her baby gate is not even installed, we just lean it up in the doorway, she doesn't know! She can see us just getting ready fro bed and she goes to her bed. I think she likes her little space! BTW, the picture on the wall is of my mom's dog!

The entire time we were designing, building and decorating this house the primary thing I wanted to achieve in this house was for it to be comfortable. I wanted people to feel at home when they came in. I have 2 boys! It's just not practical to have a 'museum'. I want them and their friends to feel comfortable running up and down the stairs and in and out the doors. All this to say this...we had some friends from our church over Friday night for dinner. One couple had never been to our house before. As they were getting ready to leave, the husband was commenting on how much he liked the house and how open it was and then he said those magic words, "it's just so comfortable". Enough said.
(thanks Ben, you have no idea what a compliment that was for me!)