26 February 2010

And a pair of old Greek shoes.

We approached the week with green hair.

And moved on with our study of ancient Greece. This statue of Athena is the largest indoor statue in North America, and it is, well, big. It is hideous, in my opinion, but something to see, none the less. The Parthenon itself IS impressive, and we experienced the architecture and myths to the fullest.

We have a fantastic and diverse group of homeschoolers in our co-op, and we are lucky to have hooked up with them. I dare not show you pictures of their faces, but they are beautiful, smart, and inquisitive.
Huge doors- movable by design be even to the littlest Rayburn.

Handsome boys
They also have a replica of this machine, but asked that I not photo it..
Happy sunshine and swinging afterward.

23 February 2010

Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon,

Homeschool wrap up for the past week: We've included plenty of science (density pictured above) and started our new science journal.

A fantastic activity led at co-op by a friend wherein each child said why they liked each other.
So kind.

And, Homeschool show and tell at the library. The hit: A bow and handmade arrows that a unschooled 9 year old let everyone shoot.

We've done tons more great things, like study Purim and geocentrism, but I've been a slacker picture taker.

17 February 2010

But even the president of the United States Sometimes must have To stand naked.

So, for President's Day, we read these books that I highly recommend. My children are fascinated with such things, and the books were great reads.
The Kid who Ran for President
The US Presidency
Vice President

14 February 2010

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a rolling hoop

So, now, all of a sudden we live with a six year old.
We are blessed with great friends.
We had a party on Thursday, and were surrounded with love and fun.
Ollie's best bud, made a shirt for him, pictured above.
He also received a hand-made hula hoop, art kits, a handmade robot necklace, airplane kits, science books, and he was just generally showered with wonderful, personal, handmade thoughtfulness.
Thank you, friends.
Vegan-from scratch cupcakes were a hit!

His new books and favorite crown of royal colors
We spent Wednesday at the Symphony, bowling, and taking the boy to dinner..Thursday partying with friends, and Friday- Sunday letting the Rayburns love on him in Indiana.
So serious and mature....

11 February 2010

she violently knits

So, I am slowly, slowly knitting myself a set of dishcloths and they are both beautiful (to me) and useful. I like them more than any dishcloth that I have ever used before.
If I make a mistake, it's okay because it is for me..

09 February 2010

Meat shakin' on your bones

So, back to my 10 week plan for a better me.

I have been keeping up with all of my goals, except jogging or bike riding.
I hate this weather. It is bringing me down, man, and I've used that as an excuse..

Last week, the goal was to buy no meat unless it came from a great local source. Due to price and availability, this cuts our meat consumption considerably. We normally only eat it once or twice a week tops, and during our co-op were able to eat local easily. During the winter, we bought Laura's and "natural" chicken. But, I realize that we could easily do more. So for now, we are vegetarians. I am looking for local meat that is in our budget, and when we find some, it will be our special treat-which will be much healthier for us anyway.

We are also working on outreach. I found a great volunteer opportunity for myself and the children. We are working at our church's food bank, and the kids absolutely love it. They get to shelve food, load grocery bags, and enjoy people. It has really been a blessing to us.

This week I have made an attempt to cut our dairy intake by half. This has been the toughest so far. I love cheese so very much, and without meat, I use it as an easy part of lunches and dinners. We use our local dairy for milk and I often substitute soy milk in recipes. We long ago quit buying creamy condiments. Likewise, I can fool the family with recipes that require eggs, but the cheese! My beloved cheese. I tried to simply skip it at the grocery store, and made a trip back to the store for some today - it is only Tuesday.

I guess the nice thing about making your own goals, is that they are yours to repeat, retry, be reminded of, and generally just own. I will continue to try on this cheese thing or at least seek healthier, more sustainable options.

My spiritual goal for the week puts an emphasis on church attendance. I find so much comfort and value in being part of a community of love and kindness ---this family of God's that accepts everyone and binds together to discuss eternity and outreach and love. I surround myself socially with like minded individuals, and my church attendance helps remind me that we are all so very different, but often can have the same heart, the same hurts, concerns, and joys.

I put all of these goals here, for no other reason than to help keep me accountable. I will eat meat and cheese if I come to your home and you are cooking it up. For any of our lifestyle choices here at home, I never, never want to make a host feel uncomfortable. We like the taste after all, but are rather taking small steps here to lead healthier lives and be more responsible consumers.

06 February 2010

See the craters and the canyons where the waterfalls run

This week in a gray cloud of winter blahs, we went to the Opryland Hotel to revel in horticulture. Ollie was also transfixed by architecture. We loved seeing our friends and the energy of all of the life around us WAS rejuvenating.

Look closely above. That is a woodpecker in our tree out front.


And plenty of time for quiet contemplation by man made waterfalls..