Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I Love About Home Schooling


On the days that the kids are home, we start our day with a morning walk. This serves several purposes--to get energetic boys outside and moving first thing, to make sure the dog gets a walk, and to make sure I do to!

We are blessed with a wonderful place to walk--around the 40 acre lake in the middle of our neighborhood. Throughout the year, we see wild turkey, bobcat, deer, moose (!), mountain lion and bear. Sadly, to me at least, we haven't actually laid eyes on a mountain lion or bear yet but our neighbors on the lake side see them frequently.

In the fall, the level of the lake is drawn down. It's a reservoir for irrigation water for those below us and this time of year means less water everywhere. Now that the lake is low, much more of the rocky shoreline is exposed. There's a little slough that is now empty of water and we like to walk down it, out the the lake. When we walked out yesterday, we discovered a few cairns or stone statues. The kids were captivated and we started to build. We probably spent an hour searching for the perfect rocks, balancing, toppling and rebuilding. I was so grateful to have the time to take this lovely detour, to have no need to rush the kids on, and to be able to sink into the joy of building and discovery with them.

A slide show of our creations is below.



video

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall

Summer has ended in Boulder--sort of. We have continued to have warm temps while the sun gets lower in the sky and the leaves turn. We had grandparents visit a few weeks ago and went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The museum building is ultra-modern and I'm curious to learn more about the design and architect.

The Kin Tut exhibit was amazing--but I was disappointed that none of the outer casing of the his mummy were there. Amazing to realize those artifacts are 4000 years old and to see the sophistication of jewelry making and tools.

I feel we would be remiss if we didn't introduce the kids to the cultural gem of King Tut by Steve Martin. Thank goodness for the internet--ha!

If you want to watch it again, here it is:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer wrap up












As usual, I lament the going of summer. I feel like I'll never be ready but then somehow when the cool of autumn does arrive, I embrace it. But I'm convinced I'll never be ready this year! Somehow the summer has slipped by too quickly and without many things done as I had imagined. What did do was: take our annual trip to the CT shore and Cape Cod. There we spent time with long-friends and family; met our newest niece at a mere 2 weeks old; swam in the sea, played in the sand and soaked up the sun to our hearts content; ready many (but never enough) books; visited on of our favorite independent bookstores, RJ Julia in Madison, CT and more.

After our New England visits, the kids and I headed south to see Grandmama and Papa
Jimbo on the farm in NC. The kids picked apples and each earned a few dollars picking up drops, a constant job even in a small orchard. My dad has about 40 remaining apples tre
es from an old orchard. They have some old varieties like one green apple they grow called an Early Transparent. The highlights there were fishing (and boy did we ever reel them in!), driving the tractor and the kids' first experience with a high dive at the local country club. Oliver promptly did a front flip off the high dive, leaving me with my heart in my throat. After a double-dog-dare, I jumped off the high dive too but nothing would make me flip off of it. Oka
y, well, maybe a million dollars. But I do still have what it takes to flip off the low dive!

The rest of our summer has been given to family and friends visiting us in Boulder, playing with Bibi and Papa Jack, who were living in Boulder for the summer, swimming and kayaking in our neighborhood lake, playing with friends, road biking for Adam, and a little hiking.

As fall and the school year approaches, we are turning our sights to what's next. The kids will both be home schooling this year, giving us a chance to do a lot of fun and interesting things together. The King Tut exhibit is at the Denver Art Museum and is high on my list of things to see. The Denver Botanical Gardens has a new children's garden. As the weather cools, I hope to do some of the hikes from our new guide, 60 Easy Hikes
in Boulder.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh boy!

What ever happened to my determination to keep my posts updated? I think I happened, thinking I had to have the "time" to really sit down and write, but that's not gotten me anywhere, now has it? So, a mid-year resolution (or "revolution," as Oliver puts it).

So . . . summer has finally arrived in Boulder after a VERY slow start. Now we are waking up to sunny, cool mornings, having warm, dry days and are back to cool at night. Ahhhh. Already lots of beach time at the lake--kayaking, jumping off the dock (kids, no me into that freezing snowmelt), picnicing with neighbors and friends.

We're off next week for our annual Clinton Beach/Cape Cod trip. We'll get to see our new niece while there. She did us the favor of arriving quite early so we could meet her! Siri Elisabeth Chung, weighing in at just under 6 lbs. Welcome, Siri!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What We've Learned Recently

Well, Oliver learned that you can indeed get cereal stuck in your nose. Levi learned that the advice to carve away from yourself is sage--he cut a flap of skin off the top of his hand, resulting in an early morning ER visit. I've learned (for the millionth time, so perhaps I haven't really learned it yet), that it's absolutely useless and futile to rush children. And that cats are truly curious creatures.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Susan Ohanian: Congress Sponsoring Disastrous Literacy Bill

Susan Ohanian: Congress Sponsoring Disastrous Literacy Bill

The above link is from the Huffington Post about yet more educational legislation--a national law dictating how children will learn to read. Take a read and see what you think. I agree with Ms. Ohanian. Arggghh!


Adam and Oliver went to the pool today and Oliver came home looking like this. Yikes! He was doing a back flip off of the diving board and bonked his chin. I'm soooooo glad I wasn't there to witness it. Adam said his blood sugar was sky high afterwards--and stress affects blood sugar levels.


We've been busy. The kids have been spending lots of time with friends, especially Levi. We had plans to go to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Monday to see the exhibit on Genghis Khan and to see the permanent exhibit on Gems and Minerals. But the kids got into a huge fight on the way out the door. I'm talking hitting, kicking and screaming to a pitch we don't usually see here. It took so long for them to cool off and work it out that we never made it to the museum. We learned something--but it wasn't what I had planned! And so goes the journey of living and learning!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lynx sighting

On Christmas eve, at about 5 pm, we were sitting in our living room with friends. I looked out the window and saw the lynx that we think lives under a vacant house across the street. Last summer we saw it briefly, stalking across the yard. About a month ago, the kids and I came home at dusk and as we turned into the driveway, I saw it on the road. It ran away from the house and toward some trees and brush so our look at it was quick. But this time, it came from the right side of the house and walked slowly all the way along the back of the house, almost up to the neighbors front porch, and then continued on to the left until we couldn't see it anymore.

Sorry, no photos. I couldn't tear myself away from the window. We've debated whether it's a lynx or a bobcat because they're look very similar with only a few distinctive markings that can be hard to see unless you're quite close. Yesterday I picked up the current issue of National
Geographic Kids magazine. On the cover is a photo of a lynx with the title this title--Lynx: The Comeback Cat. The article begins: These wild cats are back on the prowl in Colorado.

According to the article, the lynx was wiped out in this area of its range in the 1970s. A decade later, about 200 lynx were reintroduced. It looks like the reintroduction is working!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Among my New Year's "Revolutions," as Oliver calls then, is to get back to writing here more regularly--mostly for myself because it's a good place for me to capture thoughts--but also for any of you who check in on us this way. At my yoga class today, the instructor talked about making resolutions from a place of abundance rather than from a place of lack. I liked that because it focused me on building on the positive and helps me look forward to what I'd like to have in my life instead of looking backward at what I feel like I did poorly.

Our first week of Christmas vacation saw just the four of us here. We got in 2 days of skiing at nearby Eldora Ski Area. The kids played a lot and it seems Adam and I rushed around (too much!) preparing for the arrival of Santa. It was a Lego Christmas here, various Lego kits being on the top of both of the kids' lists.

The day after Christmas brought us most but not all of the Baker clan. We had thirteen of us here, including two cousins that are the boys' ages and our almost two year-old nephew/cousin, the newest Baker addition. It was fun to see the older kids play with him. As he's just starting to talk, the kids spent lots of time asking him, "Can you say . . . ?" Among the words they taught him were lightbulb, waterbottle, mountain!

We had a great time. We had a day of skiing together, walks around the lake, lots of good good (lots of good cooks!), a trip for some of the group to Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking and yoga. With thirteen of us here and three cars, one which is not very snow worthy, trips as a group almost required a flow chart and seating chart. Happily, we never left anyone behind!

Our house is VERY quiet now and we miss everyone. And I'm trying to figure out where the small ladle, kitchen shears and the vegetable peeler is.