Copyright (c) 2011-2013, Chase Your Dreams

All rights reserved

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Getting Ready For Halloween

After a morning filled with learning we headed out just after lunch to the library.  We head out to the library at least once a week and return with never less than 20 books to add to everything else we are working on.

I threw into the pile two books I found about the Halloween holidays and since both are chapter books it will provide for several occasions of reading about this wildly popular holiday in the States.

After reading a few chapters from both books we all were super excited to do something Halloweenish and decided to enter the holy grail kicking off the holiday season in our home - the attics upstairs.  Every time we decide which one to open first it is always preceded with a huge debate about what items we stored away where.  Then it is followed by a five minute effort to find the right key.  Don't ask me why not any one of us have yet taken the one key that works off the bunch, but we have not and therefore we go through this ritual every time we have to unlock the attic doors.  My excuse is that it makes it just so much more exciting, doesn't it?

It's like letting them lose in a candy store. 

Fudge:  "Mom, this one has the wreaths!  Ah, I just love these soft feathers!"

Caramel:  "Is the witch in this one?"

Mom:  "No I think it is with the Christmas stuff in the other attic.  Fudge, can you please go put these jack-o-lanterns outside the front door?  And Caramel, please take the blow up Tigger dressed in his Halloween cape and set it up in the foyer!"

Fudge:  "What are these things?"  (While holding out a ball of cobweb gauze.)

Mom:  "I'll show you!"

Hanging wreaths, putting out candles, draping cobweb gauze over the mantles and lighting the rooms with twinkling witch hats and orange pumpkins the excitement level grew and grew.

Once it was done we were in such a great mood we baked an apple pie.  I lost count how many times they came around that oven to take a good whiff and ask "how much longer before it is done?"  But with cinnamon and nutmeg filling every nook and cranny in our home who can blame them?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dinner Table Conversations

Mom:  "So how was class today?"

Caramel:  "It was a little bit complicated."

Mom:  "How is that?"

Caramel:  "Well, it was not easy.  Complicated you know.  Fortunately I like complicated!  It just means I have to use my brain a little bit more!"

She might not know it, but inside I was beaming; smiling from ear to ear, because I know we all are so much more happy in life with a positive, determined attitude.  I encountered my fair share of people telling me what they think I'm able to accomplish and what not, but fortunately those statements were like fuel rejuvenating a fire.  

But I also know it is not how it always works.  Even though a large part of who and what we are were decided long before it ever gets challenged, sometimes what people say, cut to the quick.  And it hurts.  So seeing these resilient, determined spirits sprout roots makes me happy!

Monday, September 24, 2012


This year we found weeds overtaking large patches within the shrub beds surrounding our home.

The girls and I decided to tackle the front yard this weekend.

Sure, it would be much easier to hand a few hundred dollars to a landscaping firm to do this for us.  But we'll miss out on a sure fire way to help instill lifelong values in our children.  So, turn the T.V. off, close the computer and get outside to teach great virtues like hard work, responsibility and being stewards of our great mother earth.  Learning about critters, plants and "what makes a weed a weed?" along the way are thrown in for free!

Wow!  Girl power rocks!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Turtle Power

Hubby found an Eastern Box Turtle stuck in a jumble of thorny bushes.

He carried it to a safe area in the backyard and we patiently waited while the turtle slowly started rocking back and forth.

Then we saw one red eye appear nervously from the safety of it's shell.  Then another.  Very cautiously it started to focus on it's surroundings; more and more convinced that we mean him no harm.

Once his feet hit the ground he took off at top turtle speed to the leaf covered natural vegetation surrounding the oak trees towering over the backyard.

Yes, they went back to check on him quite a few times.

Learning alongside them opened my eyes.   The more we see, the more we share; the more beauty springs to life within us and settle among us.  I am profoundly glad I took this leap of faith.

To see much and ponder it: this comes next to understanding

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Handicrafts are not offered as a standard subject or as part of a standard course of study in any of our local schools.  I thought this very odd, since some of my greatest memories attending school were making things.  Like knitting an orange cat in 3rd grade complete with a tail, whiskers and eyes, or sewing my first wraparound skirt in 5th grade or baking a batch of scones in home ec!

None of these interests became a full time pursuit but most of these skills I use;  like cooking meals on a daily basis, or sewing Halloween costumes and beautiful tulle sashes for birthday parties!

We need these skills not just to get things done and to be more independent of others, but rather to fulfill a need that all humans have - to create;  to feel the great sense of satisfaction when you made something with your own two hands you can use.  Buying stuff can never replace the deep sense of satisfaction and confidence you get from making something yourself!

And as parents we see it as our privilege to teach our daughters skills that will help them experience that same sense of satisfaction and to find opportunities every single day to create, breathe and live in the moment with a sense of happiness you cannot buy with money.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Science Class

 This week's science class was all about the wheel invented in +-3,500 B.C.    I thought it so wonderfully timed since we were revisiting Mesopotamia in our social studies, learning about Sargon.

I was on a morning jog while they were in science class and once reunited they were talking over one another telling me about the "marble mouse" and the pinwheel they made.  You see this year they are learning about inventors and are inspired to be inventors themselves!

We've been reading about Leonardo Da Vinci and Archimedes and Alexander Graham Bell.  This evening they were running around the home with their pinwheels screaming "I'm free!  I'm souring!"  And that is exactly how I want them to feel learning about the world around them. Free! Free to think outside the box.  Free to try and fail.  Free to wonder "what if""!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Give A Child A Stick

With a stick in hand, the options are endless—
whether it's conducting an orchestra, painting a masterpiece, or slaying a dragon—
give a child a stick and let imagination take over. 
-A Portis 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall Is Here

I've listened and yes, the silence is noticeable.   That is always when I know the seasons have finally changed hands.  When the cicadas quiet down and you hear the crickets pipe up.

This Sunday we woke up to cool, fresh breezes blowing outside.   I came back inside and called the girls to come feel "Fall has finally arrived".  So in their summer jammies they ran outside, breakfast in hand and exclaimed "Oh yes!  You are right.  It is finally here!"  They know I love this time of year and they are looking forward to all our fall activities.  "Now we can play on the trampoline and ride our bikes and roller skate without dying of heat stroke!  Yay!!!"

Instead of swimming we went fishing this weekend!  Dad prepared the hooks and made sure the worms were properly attached.

A few times the fish managed to get the worms, but we did not catch anything; much to the disappointment of the girls.  Next time we decided to hit the nearby piers.

Hubby also raced his radio controlled boat.  The wind was strong out on the water and a few times Caramel anxiously exclaimed "It is going to tip over!"  But it raced around just fine.  They had lots of fun playing with the controls.

These are the happiest times for me.  Having fun with my family.  I already cry thinking these times are going to come to an end once they leave home to start their own life.  Well, you know what I mean!  But I'm making the most of every single little moment I get to share with them while we are together!  I love them more than words can ever express.

Sigh.  So now I will go and demand a kiss on each cheek since they are not yet grossed out by that!

Hope you had a fun weekend.