Every night as I am cleaning up from dinner (or after if I forget!) I pack the girls’ lunches.

Yes, we homeschool, and my kids use lunchboxes every day.

This has been a lifesaver.  We often go out in the mornings after Patrick’s brief micro nap, and invariably the laundry needs moved along, Patrick needs to nurse, and dozen other things need doing, too, as soon as we remove our multiple layers and sodden boots.  So now, lunch preparation is one less thing in that rush.

Basically, the girls now eat the lunch, and I generally pick it.  I will ask them if they would like this kind of sandwich or that kind of sandwich, or do they want this stew for leftovers or not, or do they want carrots or peas for a vegetable, etc.  And sometimes, it’s a complete surprise when they open their lunchboxes!  I even include the necessary silverware.

Because we DO homeschool, and we DO eat at home, I DO make allowances.  As in, I will, upon polite request, dump out the noodles and cheese and heat those up.

This has been a game changer for us!

Now the hardest part is finding space in the fridge for two lunch boxes amidst the cauliflowers, yogurts, and leftover stew, which is what Patrick and I will have for lunch.  The girls elected to have cheese slices and pretzels tomorrow.  And I snuck in some carrot sticks.


Camping: the ultimate Nature Walk

At the beginning of the summer, and thus the beginning of camping season, Rachel told me, “Mommy! The most fun thing about camping is s’mores.  And the other most fun thing about camping is that you get to spend ALL DAY OUTSIDE!!!!”

We managed probably…10 separate camping trips, for a total of maybe…18 nights camping this summer.  I think.  I didn’t keep track.  But I did make sure to take lots of pictures of our last camping trip.  Our go-to campground at Ft. Abercrombie was closed for the season, so we headed to Buskin River instead.

Flaming yellow cottonwood leaves; dark green spruce needles; crisp blue skies and crisp autumn air!  Family, hugs, winter coats, grumbling at mommy’s “just one more try for a picture!”  S’mores, dollies, bicycles, and fairy houses. Followed by a chilly hike at Near Island, before home.  Now we get to let our trailer hibernate for the winter!

A day…

Not every Kindergartener gets to hold their baby brother during morning circle time.

Or wear a princess dress for handwriting (while mommy folds laundry and sister builds magnatiles).

And not many Kindergarteners get to go barefoot at recess.  Or pick enormous dandelions.  Or identify toadstools.  Or parade around the neighborhood with dolls and parasols.

(Not pictured: a huge fight about who was going to carry home the parasols, strollers, and dolls from barefoot, sunlight delight recess.  Hint: it ended up being the same person who folded laundry during handwriting).

September 2016 Nature Table

This is our Nature Table for September, complete with St. Michael and the dragon.

2016-09-29 18.46.45.jpg

We often collect things on our Nature Walks and add them to our Nature Table.  Sea glass, spruce cones, sticks, bundles of dried grass, rose hips, leaves, seeds, bark, and interesting rocks (and uninteresting rocks) have all been carefully placed on our display scene at one time or another.  Also included in our little tableau are things that I have sewn, crafted, or collected, such as the toadstools, pumpkins, apples, and little figures here.  I have also started painting Catholic Saint peg dolls, and put these up to correspond with that saint’s feast day.  At the end of every month, I unceremoniously dump the found natural items in the yard and switch out any others that need replaced with the next month’s treasures.