• 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.

  • First Day of School

    Yes, I could post a beautiful picture of my kids listening and behaving well while standing nicely next to each other to show you how our year will go. Or I could be real and show you how I really expect this year to look. I expect lots of big messes, moments of asking forgiveness, imperfect writing and wondering if any learning is taking place. My heart for these three is that they will grow their love of learning. That their curious minds will take them further into exploring all the things around them. That they will crave adventure and the stories we read will make them want to wander further away from what’s comfortable. I pray that their hearts will be bigger for each other and those around them. I hope that I get to see more of who they will one day become. And let’s be real, I hope we finish many of our books.

    So here we go. Let the new school year begin!

  • Finally!

    We acquired this chalkboard (unframed) from a photo shoot Rad and I worked on before we ever had kids. We have toted this thing around to every house we have lived in and FINALLY, it has a permanent home, framed on the wall! I’m in love with it! It’s the little things!