• Happenings

    What have the kids been up to? They have been loving puzzles lately. It started with Mcree waning to get one. He started with a 60 piece and completed it in no time. He moved up to a 100 piece and that was a bit harder with the nature scene that was mostly the same color. Our next challenge is a 500 piece puzzle. Gress came along for the challenge. He wasn’t so sure it was going to be his thing but it turned out the art of finishing it is pretty addicting!

    The majority or the kids fort is finished. While the school busses roll by between 6:15am and 7:30am, my kids are partaking in some P.E. by getting all their energy out on the swings. Rad did a great job getting this completed!

    And if you happened to walk by my house last week, you would have seen a sweet cattle dog sitting at the fence with butterfly wings on. It was so funny. Until she ripped them up and continuously rolled on them.

     

  • The Gift of Friendship

    We sure do miss our friends who just recently moved back home to Augusta. Our friendship has spanned almost 8 years just before our second boys were born. The boys have been best of friends since then. I have learned a lot from Amanda and William. I love seeing how William earnestly teaches my boys how to be the best they can be. He instills a sense of confidence in them and gives them a lot of responsibility and then backs off to see how they rise to the challenge. I have had to learn to quiet my mama bear protective ways and let him work his magic. It is truly a special gift. This labor day weekend we went to visit them and he took the two oldest boys on a dove hunt which included skinning and cleaning the doves. You know Gress LOVED this whole experience.

    No doubt it is a lot to entertain a family of 5. Amanda does it with such patience and grace. She makes you feel like everything she has is yours and her pace reminds you to slow down and savor the moments right in front of you. Her gentle spirit with her kids and husband is truly inspiring. I have a lot to learn from her. Amanda and I have spent A LOT of time over the years at the beach. She was never fond of getting in the ocean so it was so fun to get the chance to frolic in the lake with her. They took us out on the boat 2 days in a row and it was a blast. My favorite part might have been inner-tubing with her at way too high speeds thanks to William. The kids learned to knee board, had a blast inner-tubing (which they have never done) and Gress even water skied. Rad even tried to impress me with his knee boarding skills. It was quite the adventurous get away. I’m thankful for friends who share these opportunities with us.

    Even though the many hours separate us, we hope to see each other often! They truly are a gift to us!

     

  • Gathering in Nature

    This year we have FULLY embraced a certain style of homeschooling called Charlotte Mason. Part of our studies include nature study and lots of time outside to explore and observe. Sure, the kids spend lots of time playing, but to walk through a park and see all the details around you and taking time to observe a certain insect or tree and learn it’s ways is something totally different. We have been lucky enough to be involved in a Nature Study group with other families who school the same way we do. What is even more special is that the moms meet once a month to read through the Charlotte Mason books and discuss the many methods Charlotte Mason laid out. This group has been so encouraging and life giving to us all. We have made some really sweet friendships.

    This last week we met for a hike at Skidaway Island State Park. There were about 25 kids and 7 moms. The kids ran wild in the marshes and played capture the flag for hours. We hiked and searched for seeds and learned more in depths ways to journal our time in nature. The kids ran wild in the pouring rain, and the moms got lots of time to get to know each other better. It was so great for us and I can’t wait to gather with these families again.

  • How to Impress a Girl

    This was a proud moment for one pellet gun toting 11 year old. The cattle dog and him worked together to make their kill. Mabry looks unhappy but she was actually quite impressed. Life lived out on the “back island.”

  • For the Love of Neighbors

    Who has the best neighbors? WE DO! Rad convinced me that we could put these 350 lb pieces of lumber in the ground and over our heads ourselves. (Maybe he was remembering only the good parts of us raising our 300+ lb sailboat mast). But who just happened to be out working on his tractor and willing to remind us that we aren’t as young as we look? Our neighbor. He has come to our rescue more times than I can count. He usually helps us when our bodies aren’t strong enough for what is required. This fort has been in the making since after the first hurricane when we happened upon some telephone poles that were being taken down. We might have had magical plans for a fort and since then, the building process has taken a back seat. Just recently it got put to the front of the list to get her done! We are so close. Hopefully the swings will go up this week and we can work on the finish touches (staining, maybe some stairs, a rope climb, a climbing wall…..wow…..maybe we aren’t so close). Our neighbor kids have already spent hours on the swing we just put up in the front yard. We love having reasons for them all to gather.

    We also acquired some new plants from a house they are tearing down. Another neighbor and I spent hours digging and pulling and cutting fruit trees and other lovely plants from the property. After a hard days work we gathered for an impromptu dinner and lingered while the kids played well past their bedtime swinging in the front yard swing by the light of glow sticks. It often feels unreal to be surrounded by neighbors that are more like family.

    Thankful for great neighbors who love us well!

  • Be Spontaneous on a Wednesday

    It was a random Wednesday night and we decided to embrace our love of adventure and being spontaneous. We packed our dinner and headed to the beach. There ‘s something magical about being on the shore as the sun goes down around you. We might have stayed past bedtime.

     

  • Every Day is Different

    Every school day looks different for us. Mcree was begging to read the story of Marco Polo this morning but he could hardly concentrate as his curiosity was on the drilling rig and backhoe being used in the well digging going on across the street.  And because Rad loves those things too, he came home to take them all over there to have a front row seat. Some things just have to be learned by seeing it with your own eyes.

    Speaking of seeing new things, we have a huge list of field trip locations we want to visit this year. Some are closer to home and some are a few hours away. And because we wanted to start our year off right, we chose to check one off the list this last week. The kids, dogs and I ventured to one of our favorite places, Fort Pulaski. We hiked the trails and walked along the beach. We found shark teeth, huge swarms of dragonflies, and even a cow killer ant also known as the velvet ant. We have a nature table at home and added some oyster shells and a chunck of coal to our current collection. My kids have become keen observers in nature and I love seeing what sparks their interest.

    It is not only nature that has been sparking great conversation in our home. Our current literature readings have added lots of conversations to our days. After each selection, I ask the kids to narrate what they heard. Go ahead… try and narrate yourself and you will realize that it takes serious concentration to listen and reiterate what you remember. There are times when Rad is reading and after he pauses he asks the kids to narrate what they heard. I sometimes hope he doesn’t ask me to narrate because my mind has wondered off and I realize I have no idea what we just read. It’s a skill and one I am working on alongside them. Gress is really great at this skill and I have enjoyed seeing Mcree’s skills grow in this area! Gressett has some pretty tough literature this year including stories of Plutarch, so it sometimes takes both of us to to figure out what in the world we just read.

    Being with the kids and watching them learn differently really helps me to know them more deeply. I get to see their strengths and encourage them in those. And I get to cheer them on to overcome their weaknesses. I also get to learn a lot about myself in the process. They are not the only ones learning about themselves. We switched up a lot of things about how we homeschool this year and I’m very excited to see how it plays out. I can already tell the richness that it is bringing to my tribe.

     

     

     

     

  • Coastal Cattle Dog

    We didn’t know what to expect with this cattle dog and water. Come to find out she LOVES it. She chases fish, goes after crabs (although she got pinched so that might be the end of crab curiosity for her), races along the shore, loves to swim, can’t stand when her people are in the water and she isn’t, and just hangs out in the water when she’s resting. What a fun dog this little bundle of muscle is! Pretty sure she gets to now go on our boat trips for good. Meanwhile, Luna is happy to just be on land and likes to only dream about water adventures from the comfort of her dog bed.

    We undocked the boat to head out for the day, and someone forgot to tell the cattle dog the rules, so she jumped off the boat and back onto the dock, causing us to make somewhat of a scene to re-dock and yank herself back on the boat. She’s pretty smart so hopefully she learned her lesson.

  • Sail Away

    Another night of sailing in the books for Gress. Each time he leaves the dock, he gets the chance to learn more. The winds were pretty strong this night so it was probably a good idea he decided to sail the smallest boat. He hopes to get into a bigger boat soon. My dad was in town so it was special for Pop to see him sail. My dad and I also got the chance to just sit and chat for a few hours while staring at the beautiful water. This life on the coast is so very special!

     

  • My Dad

    We had the great opportunity to spend a week with Pop before we started school. We explored islands by boat, hunted shark teeth, played games, hung out, and just got to be together. It was a special time and we are so thankful for his investment in our lives! Mabry cried the night before he left saying she didn’t have a tea party with Pop so you better believe we had a poetry tea time the next morning before he left with tea and banana pancakes. Pop is a trooper to hang in there with our crazy crew.