Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Books, Please - poetry in the morning

After listening to some great talks from Andrew Pudewa (homeschool dad extraordinaire), and reading this wonderful article (especially the part about the importance of listening in order to learn correct sentence structure and grammar), I have really made an effort to give our home more of a reading atmosphere. 

Now, I’ve always been an avid reader, and M was born with the love for a good story… books are one thing we could not do without.  But, still it doesn’t hurt to add in a bit more where we can, or to be intentional about more reading than what happens here and there throughout the day.

I want to share, in a few posts, how we are adding more reading into our days.  I’ve created a sort of routine of reading for our day – stuck neatly where it fits within with our normal schedule.

Breakfast:  We read a daily reading from the Bible, or from one of our Saint Books: image(these stories are awesome, but out of print, by the way). 

Then I read some poetry to M.  I think it’s important to develop a love of poetry – which can be a difficult thing to do.  It’s a different style of writing (many different styles, I suppose), has to be read a certain way in order to really “get” what is being said, and is full of a sort of dancing around the subject… do you know what I mean?  You have to be able to read between the lines in poetry… it’s always alluding to something, but never coming right out in good old plain prose and just saying it. :)

It’s good to do this at breakfast, when he is held captive not distracted by anything other than eating.  Some wonderful introductions to poetry are Shel Silverstein’s books, Where the Sidewalk Ends:

And A Light in the Attic:So many of the poems in these books are easy to understand and downright funny and appealing to a child. 

We also enjoy A.A. Milne’s books, When We Were Very Young:

and Now We Are Six:

Yes, he is the writer of Winnie the Pooh, and if you love Pooh, you will love the poetry in these books (they are not all about Pooh, by the way – in fact, most are simply about childhood itself – don’t let the illustrations fool you!). 

Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verse: is also well-loved, but many of the poems are a bit over M’s head right now.  I want him to LOVE poetry, not feel bored by it, so we won’t read from that one again for a while longer.

I try to find one or two very funny poems to read first, then something that needs a bit more digging to understand.  No more than 3 or 4 poems each morning keeps him wanting more and gives him something to chew on without being overwhelmed.  It also makes these books last a long time!

I was recently rewarded with M’s first “real” poetry (as opposed to nursery rhyme) reference … he saw a frost-covered window one morning, and said in a sing-song sort of voice, “It looks like Jack Frost was here last night.  I think somebody must have been dreaming about ________!” (I can’t for the life of me remember what he thought it looked like, darn it).  This was a reference to the beautiful poem, Jack Frost, by Gabriel Setoun, in which Jack creeps into your room while your sleeping and draws pictures of your dreams on the windows. :)  It’s one of my favorites, and it was such a special feeling to share that little moment with M.

I’ll write more about our other reading routines soon!

Do you have any favorite children’s poetry books you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about them!

Have a beautiful day! :)

P.S.  Thank you all SO much for your kind and warm words in response to my little announcement yesterday.  :)  I’m so thankful to have “met” so many wonderful people in the blogging world!

Monday, January 30, 2012


There is one tiny little bit of news I didn’t share with you in my most recent post. I thought it deserved a post of its own. ;)

Are you ready??

baby ultrasound

This little person is due in August, and M is hoping SHE will be born on his birthday. :)  Clarification:  we do not know if baby is a boy or a girl, but M is definitely hoping for a girl.  Me?  My current weak stomach is having trouble dealing with visions of Polly Pockets, Barbie Dolls, and an ocean of pink… so I’m focusing on trucks and all things blue, hee hee.  Of course we’ll be thrilled no matter what!!  We’ll find out when baby is born (more surprises!), not before.

Is it not crazy that I started 2011 with prayers for a baby and we found out mid-December that I was pregnant.  It came on the heels of a 2-week flu bug, and threw me for a loop, for sure.  I had recently truly made peace with the idea of never having another baby, and… well… just so crazy.  I can honestly say the emotions that go with having a surprise like this are very different than the ones that go with planning and hoping… I’m thankful that I’ve been able to experience both.  And I am simply not thinking about my age. ;)  Or my husband’s age. ;)

I have been feeling… awful.  Barely making it through the days kind of awful.  Which of course helps explain my frustration with not being able to get anything done.  I am hoping that as I progress into the 2nd trimester this gets much much better.  

We are keeping an eye on my progesterone levels, which dip distressingly low… I’m getting 4 injections per week (from my husband!  Who is not a nurse, and if he were, might just be the world’s worst.) to keep my levels up – this is because of our previous miscarriages due to low progesterone.  After some worry a week or so ago, we had the above ultrasound.  Baby was waving arms and legs, practically bouncing, and had a wonderfully strong heartbeat. :)

I am so thankful.

Joyfully yours,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Too Much To Do (or a lazy mom whines)


“I used to think that we can have almost anything we want from life, that it’s just a question of organization.  But now I’m beginning to think that we have to make a choice more often than we’d like.  The important thing is to make sure that it’s our choice, no one else’s, and that we make it honestly.”
- Adam Dalgliesh in Death of an Expert Witness, by P.D. James

I just can. not. fit it all in. 

After being sick most of December and having some set backs in January, I have been feeling overwhelmed with the daily stuff that life is made of.  I want to blog… but then when it comes down to it, I’d rather read a good book, soak in the tub, or stare at a blank wall. 

I keep thinking I need to write in my journal for M – all these things I want to remember – things I want him to remember – words of wisdom… that sort of thing.  But well, when it comes down to it… it just hasn’t been happening.  (I hope that doesn’t make me a bad mother, because I’m afraid this is just the way it’s going to be for a while.)

I’m trying to organize some trouble spots in our home, our time, and the two pack rats I live with.  Or trying to at least live with them without going crazy.  Ok, more honestly, trying to figure out how to throw things away without them noticing. ;)

I’ve been rediscovering my passion for sewing and crocheting and creating beautiful things with my hands.  I’ve even taken up loom-knitting.  I am a crocheter through and through, but I do understand that a knitted something-or-other is nice to have sometimes too. ;)

I’m trying to work out the struggle inside that I’m having with facing these final months of small-childhood for M… the last of our days completely together; this time when I can see so clearly into his heart and mind. 

I’m in the process of opening an Etsy store (don’t hold me to this, I’m only mentioning it in the hopes that it will actually make me work on it), revamping my blog, and creating a new site to house the free printables I offer.  I’m working on an Easter e-book with a friend, and creating some reading helps for M’s “school time”.  I’m putting together a space unit and an ocean unit, and thinking about plans for learning about how the human body works.

I think there are some reviews I’m supposed to be working on too.

And then there are friends, family, daily housekeeping, raising a small boy who wants my every minute, errands, and social events.

Sheesh.  But seriously, how do you make choices to not do some of these things?   They all seem so necessary… or else are things I really enjoy!  I’ve realized that I’m so busy trying to organize everything into something manageable that I’m losing peace and joy in the struggle.  Sometimes choices have to be made! 

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?  How do you cut back, or even choose the areas in which to cut back?

There are so many interesting things I want to share with you, so I’m going to try to get back into blogging.  I’m hoping to share the basics of  the reading program we are going through, and our arts and crafts activities a couple of times a month.  I want to write about all the amazingly good books we’ve been reading and how we are fitting more books than ever into our days, our new chore system (new as in started 6 months ago, but just not written about yet), and lots of other things… look for some good announcements soon about a few of the things I’m working on. :)

Thanks for reading, and letting me vent (I am amazed to see that my readership has gone up over the past few months instead of down – you are all so appreciated!). 

Here’s to getting back into the swing of things!

Have a beautiful day! :)


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