“So Take The Photographs and Still Frames In Your Mind”

 

 

The Green Day song, “Time of Your Life/Good Riddance” came out while I was in high school…it’s amazing how much the brain can retain after all these years.

Anyway, that song came to my mind when I looked through these photos of my son taken at my parent’s house.

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I love capturing happy memories. It helps us remember all the good in life.

Look at the cute duck roaming around.
Look at the cute duck roaming around the yard with six dogs.

My older brother Keegan was visiting mom and dad’s the same weekend.

Keegan is really good with Wiley and when they go outside on adventures, that means Wiley has the best. day. ever. and I get some extra duty laundry to do.

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I always think a little mud and what not on an outfit is worth the joy that came from putting it there.

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The other half of the day’s fun comes when it’s time to wash the greater part of the mud from the shoes and hands.

Awe, quality time with his uncles.
Awe, quality time with two of his uncles.

I can’t keep up with cleaning his finger nails of dirt…he digs in every day.

DSC_0814There is no greater play ground than mother nature – the earth, wildlife…

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not only a play ground, but a classroom!!

Uncle Keeg is getting some practice in what being a dad is like.
Uncle Keeg is getting some practice in what being a dad is like. And that dirty butt? Nothing a little Oxyclean can’t take out.

Two nights ago, Wiley woke up earlier than usual and Dan brought him into our bed.

After a while, Wiley would push the lambs away saying, "shoo, shoo!"
After a while, Wiley would push the lambs away saying, “shoo, shoo!”

I was having trouble getting Wiley to settle down to sleep again.

Hey Guy!
Hey Guy! Those blue eyes! and muddy face. So kissable!

He got quiet and for a minute I thought It was okay for me to go back to sleep.

Those pesky lambs wouldn't leave him alone.
Those pesky lambs wouldn’t leave him alone.

After several quiet minutes, in a very awake voice, Wiley says, “mooooooo” [pause] “cow.”

FInally got him cleaned up - boy did he cry when I brought him in the house.
FInally got him cleaned up – boy did he cry when I brought him in the house.

You can read kids books with pictures, but it makes such a bigger impression to have them actually see and interact with life!!

 

Education In Our House Lately

I have been worried about making sure that Wiley grows up to be intelligent. As a mom, am I doing everything I need to, to ensure his future education, by exposing him to the learning he needs??

A little morning music, with a Russian influence. He's watching Anastasia.
A little morning music, with a Russian influence. He’s watching Anastasia.

I’ve seen these really cool things on Pinterest for helping your child develop his motor skills, increase brain function – blah, blah, blah.

Those things are really important, but sewing ten different zippers onto a piece of fabric is just, like, way too much effort for me.

He loves music - most types - I tried to keep him well rounded.
He loves music – most types – I try to keep him well rounded.

See, I just let my son open all the zipper pockets in my diaper bag (which happens to be the Blowfish model of a Camelbak – and it has lots of zippers) multiple times a day.

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He pulls everything out of the pockets, eats four sticks of gum and spits them out, unscrews all my lip glass and lotion tubes, opens all the zip lock baggies of snacks and I don’t mind…mostly.

Motor skills, he's getting really good.
Motor skills, he’s getting really good.

I really try to discourage (confiscate) the gum chewing and eating of toothpaste (yes, I keep a small tube of toothpaste with me at all times!! along with dental floss).

Take out the CD/DVD, put them back. Take them out, put them back.
Take out the CD/DVD, put them back. Take them out, put them back.

Last week, he found some essential oils, inside the diaper bag, inside a pocket, inside another small bag.

Ah, another song is on.
Ah, another song is on.

He opened five bottles of essential oils – dumped two out almost entirely on my bedding – rubbed some on his face and put some in his mouth. (NONE were toxic or harmful to his body)

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What a clever, clever little guy.

He also knows how to find markers of the permanent sort.

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No need to build a “sensory” play bucket for him to play with…this kid always has dirt under his finger nails from digging in the dirt and spends enough time in the bath for water play.

I figure, he’ll turn out all right, we read books together…

 

Photo Journal: A Clinic For Lambs

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Some new lambs were born last week and two needed to come into the house for extra care. Here my mom is checking baby lamb’s vitals and fed her some powdered colostrum.
Midwives Don't Just Help PEOPLE Out
Midwives Don’t Just Help PEOPLE Out
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The baby lamb seemed to smile after awhile, she loved being warmed and petted.
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My baby seemed to think this baby lamb was marvelous!
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My baby was less concerned about what he wanted when he saw this baby lamb needed attention.
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This is the second lamb who was brought in during the course of one day – this lamb was not attacked, but was one in a set of triplets and seemed to need extra help in surviving the wet, cold first day of her life.
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She needed to rest inside all day before she regained the proper strength to stand or “baaaa.”
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Eventually that little lamb was up and around in the basement peeing on the floor in no time!
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DSC_0599 She met my dog Boy, and he seemed to think she was cute too.
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“CAN WE KEEP HER?!”
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We kept her in every night to make sure she stayed warm. My fifteen year old brother woke every three hours to bottle feed her milk.
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Although my mother and brothers did all they could in taking care of this lamb and the other …they both, sadly, passed away within a week. But, as we are all creatures of our God and King, He knows of them – just as He knows of us.

Friday is here again – I’m going to party it up like usual (shaking head no) – the baby, husband and I are planning a camping trip with my family next week. If all goes well, I will have an adventure to tell you about next week.

Wash your hands, keep your hands out of your mouth and don’t use public toilets because they are gross.

Flamingo And Cadillac Put Together Gives You…

The name of the Admiral on base while we lived in Pennsylvania sounded to me like a combination of the words “Flamingo” and “Cadillac” it was fun to say.

I’ll let you imagine what his last name sounded like.

Dad has said that because of my mom and me, his Admiral always liked him.
Dad has said that because of my mom and me, his Admiral always liked him. See my grin, yeah the boss man is my buddy.

The admiral pretty much scared the other kids that lived near by, but I called him my friend. Admiral F., who is retired now, had a large plot right next to my mom in the naval officer’s community garden. Home school for us sometimes required helping mom work in the garden harvesting massive zucchinis that only mom ate. Occasionally, Admiral was in his garden at the same time as mom and the kids and that is how we met. He would ask mom why her husband didn’t help her with the garden and she would tell him dad was still at work (makes dad look good to the boss man), Admiral F. would offer me green beans from his plot to snack on.

Those MonGO zucchinis only mom ate...and dad because he loves her.
Those MonGO zucchinis only mom ate…and dad because he loves her.

Admiral’s house was near the garden plots and was a wonderful maze of trees and shrubs that I used to play make-believe in after school. One day, during some game, I touched the sun dial in his yard and my friend about died from fright thinking he was going to catch us….silly girl, silly silly girl.

Gratefully we grew other veggies too - besides all that zucchini.
Gratefully we grew other veggies too – besides all that zucchini.

I looked forward to playing outside as soon as morning school was over.

We all took turns practicing the piano and the family downstairs really appreciated that...er, sort of...not really.
We all took turns practicing the piano and the family downstairs really appreciated that…er, sort of…not really.

Morning school consisted of: song, prayer, journal writing, World history, American history, read a few chapters from a book (Animal Farm, When Hell Was In Session, etc..), work on Math, practice the piano…. you get the picture?

My two younger sisters, to this day, "The Little Girls."
My two younger sisters, to this day, “The Little Girls.”

My mom taught our lessons as if we were all intelligences. I loved George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and to have her describe the Bolshevik Revolution in terms of animals on a farm was brilliant. I do remember struggling to comprehend the stock market crash of the 1920’s.

“How does money disappear? How are people rich and then poor? How did banks crash if they were full of cash?”

Mom explained investing as best she could to a fourth grader, but it wasn’t till I was older that her explanation made sense. But I remember what she taught.

WIth school concentrated in the mornings and the occasional lesson later in the day, there was more free time for creativity and exploring.

My oldest sister - I'm positive this photo was taken on a Sunday, because she is wearing a dress. By you can imagine by looking in the back ground how beautiful the grounds were.
My oldest sister swinging – I’m positive this photo was taken on a Sunday, because she is wearing a dress. But this was the best photo I could find that might capture the area. The community garden lay over the hill beyond the far right corner of the photo.

Exploring usually led somewhere near the community garden where I would eat fresh green beans out of the Admiral’s plot of vegetables, just because I knew I could.

Homeschool Isn’t Always Done In The Home

The majority of my three years (3rd – 5th grade) in homeschool were spent in and around the home. My mother introduced me to David Copperfield and Atticus Finch. It was my mother who taught me the joys of reading. Before being brought home to be schooled, reading felt like work to me. Until my mother read aloud books that resonated with me, I could never understand why anyone would enjoy reading.

Field trip to Washington D.C.
Field trip to Washington D.C., one of many – because there is so much to see. Also (sadly) full of homeless men and women….trees strung with sleeping bags.

Then my mother, with her education in nursing, helped me appreciate the human body – it’s function, intricate design and purpose. I drew the outline of my tiny ten year old frame and proceeded to draw the entire nervous system.

Museum Of National History, Washington D.C.
Museum Of National History, Washington D.C.

My mom wanted to learn as much as she wanted her children to learn – so it only worked out too well, that she brought us to some of the most interesting places within a days drive to our home.

Baltimore Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland.
Baltimore Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland.

We lived in Pennsylvania at the time, so visits to Lancaster to see and mingle with the Amish, Philadelphia to see the historic place where our Nation’s government was framed, Washington, D.C. our Nation’s capital full of museums and other historical sites, Baltimore, Maryland and it’s aquarium (love, love), and nearby Harrisburg to see our state capital. We even made the trip to New York to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Touching pool
Touching pool at the Baltimore Aquarium

The summer before sixth grade, my mom asked me if I wanted to continue home school or return to public school. I love adventure and new things, so of course I jumped at the chance to start something new.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Capital Building.Circa 1992, love the clothes? I didn't design jeans with pleats, I just had to wear them!
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Capital Building.
Circa 1992, love the clothes? I didn’t design jeans with pleats, I just had to wear them!

I had to ride the bus – the only time in my life I had to ride a bus – the longest semester of my life. I saw vulgar things on the bus, things I know any good parent would die knowing existed and the few children on the bus who had been taught manners – seemed to congregate with one another. Gratefully, my brother’s friend Lisbon, always made me feel safe on the ride to and from school.

Meeting the State Representative from our district.
Meeting the State Representative from our district. I think we’re all thrilled to be up so early in the morning….NOT. Isn’t my mom a cutie?

I ended up staying in public school the rest of my education, until I attended university and graduated from a private school.

With all of my education and experience in life, I may homeschool my children too.

Homeschool Rememebered

Math is math... you love it or hate it.This photo was taken 7 or 8 years ago.
Math is math… you love it or hate it.  I’ll let you guess how my youngest brother feels.
This photo was taken 7 or 8 years ago, he feels the same to this day.

This morning as I passed through the living room, where my mother sat in the leather wing backed chair in her flannel night gown (royal Stewart in white) home-schooling my two younger brothers.

They were talking about the Civil War – I know because she was talking about General Longstreet and General Jeb Stuart – so, barring some distant relatives I’m unaware of, I’m assuming they were discussing the Civil War.

Learning technical skills as well. (taken 2 years ago).
Learning technical skills in homeschool, from General Longstreet? (taken 2 years ago). What kind of recess is this?!
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This is the kind of recess I’m talking about! (taken 4 or 5 years ago).

Mom stops to mention, “oh, that was the year my Great Grandmother….” making history personal for her sons by talking about relatives who lived through the nightmare of the 1860’s in America.

Why does this feel special to me?

I was home schooled third, fourth and fifth grade. NOW, you know why I am a terrible speller. No, not true – I attribute my terrible spelling to my Kindergarden teacher in San Diego who was teaching twenty years past retirement.

First trip to England - March 1993. I'm on the far left in all black.
First trip to England – March 1993. I’m on the far left in all black.  Home School “Field Trip.”

Do I think there are Pros and Cons to both Home Schooling and Public Schooling?

Absolutely, but you’re going to have to wait till tomorrow because I need to scan more old photos from my home schooled days.

There is a big ice storm coming through and I may or may not have internet. If that’s the case, I’ll just have to busy my mind from books off the shelf over my internet reading. I’m am forever home schooling myself.