What's a Mama to do when she wakes in the middle of the night not feeling well but unable to get back to sleep?
Reflect on another week of blessings and bounty, perhaps?
On little girls who demonstrate virtue and skill...
Building forts after football, a trees class and a walk in the woods is hungry work, apparently, as it inspired our Nina to request to go inside to prepare a snack for herself and her friends.
I was pleased and surprised when Nina came out carrying a fruit tray to share with everyone. She'd gone in, selected produce, sliced it, tidied up and served us all of her own accord.
Then, as the boys continued to work, Nina decided it was time for a drink, so, demonstrating continued hospitality, she came out bearing homemade raspberry juice.
Little girls who take initiative in hospitality, hard work and play certainly bring a smile to a Mama's face!
On family who offer time and talent...
Three little curly heads walk into Accentuation, and when Auntie has finished sharing her time and talent with them, this is what comes out:
Beaming babes so excited to show Grammy their new hair cuts (and to ask if they can help her pick grapes and begin a batch of homemade grape juice, a request that Grammy, of course, happily obliges.)
Simple moments with extended family are such a blessing!
On Daddy's that risk thumbs and appreciate family time...
One complaint I could never make is that my husband does not engage with his children. In fact, Daddy gets right in there with his kids, even risking his thumbs at times, as he did last Saturday when he chose accompanying the kids and me to a Home Depot workshop over catching up on some much-needed sleep.
And - bonus for me - Mike enjoyed time with the kids while I went out on a rare Mom's Night with a fellow Signature Moms blogger, where we got to try our hands at our first (free!) paint night ever. Thank you, Signature Healthcare, The Pour Artist and Mike for the fun time out!
On helpful community events...
It's hard to believe that this eight-year-old who was completely engaged by playing in a forest fire truck, moving through a "smoke house" and more this past weekend used to struggle so much with such outings.
Attending a local annual fire safety open house first started paying off for Luke a couple years ago, when sensory overload began to abate. Now, curiosity and imagination are king!
All three children engage, learn and enjoy...
While Mom and Dad smile almost as big as Jack. (But not quite. Oh, how that boy can smile!)
On girls being girls and boys being boys...
Sandwiched between boys, it can be tough for a girl to find girl time.
Yet, after coming to the end of the rope (or yarn, as the case may have been during the kids string walk at Eco Science club this week), Nina found time for girls to just be girls...
Hanging in a tree with a best bud away from the fray of her brothers for a bit...
...and setting up a "salon" on a boulder in the sunshine, where her friends and her did one another's hair before inviting Moms to come over to get their hair done, too, complete with stick combs, twisties and braids.
Meanwhile, the boys were boys... Climbing trees...
Rolling abandoned tires about...
...and exploring the trails, with the boys in the lead and Mom following a bit behind for safety and snapshots!
Life is so good when friends hang out after events to enjoy gorgeous autumn days!
On quiet family time...
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While being out often brings adventure, being home can bring fun, too, especially when you are trying out a new game like Snake Oil - Party Potion. It was so much fun this week to spend quiet time playing this game on the couch with the kids.
Of course, once we got Daddy into the game, "quiet" no longer described our time. Indeed, the children's rapt attention to Daddy's sales pitches became punctuated by raucous laughter and ridiculous groans.
I wonder if the kids will remember these simple family times when they grow up as much as they do all our adventuring...
On Self-Directed Learning
One reason we choose to homeschool is so our children can learn at their own pace, maintaining their love for learning and inquisitive natures. Part of our choice, then, becomes letting the children lead a large amount of their "schooling" activities, such as when Nina made herself a "learning center" this morning in the hallway and, then, proceeded to select word cards to build sentences with all of her own accord.
Or, when Jack takes out dry-erase cards to practice letters with on his "Montessori" rug.
Or when the science lesson of a morning comes from simply noticing what's going on inside or butterfly habitat.
The children were so excited to see our second caterpillar had gone into j-form and had begun to make a chrysalis this morning, but, then, so disappointed to admit later in the day that something had gone awry. The little guy never finished his chrysalis and seems to have passed away mid-try.
The other monarch we are fostering seems to be doing well still, though. We are hopeful that we'll have a butterfly to tag and set free soon!
We love books here, but there is just nothing like learning about life, death and cycles through real life experience.
Real life, even with headaches and sleep interruptions, is incredibly blessed. Thinking about the past week again proves that to me. At home, out and about, one-on-one or in a group, my children, my husband and me continue to know and appreciate the fullness of life.
What bounty of blessings have you experienced this week?