Thursday, February 5, 2015

Handy Hobbies for Mom

Besides homemaking in a luxurious manufactured home, continuing to be wife material, and child rearing three rambunctious boys to be gentlemen in tomorrow's society, there is the rare occasion I do something for me. Over the summer I started making hand-painted signs for a craft fair and *almost* started an Etsy shop. I did all the steps but never actually listed any products because the thought of someone actually wanting to buy something I made was just too scary. I didn't end up doing a craft fair or selling anything, but I did make plenty of great gifts for Christmas and birthdays and also for my own home. 
This went to my brother and sister-in-law. 

For my sister. 

I originally made this as a Christmas card holder but now use it to hold all of my long necklaces in  our bathroom. 

I kept this one for myself too ;)

Homemade laundry detergent. 
Soap On a Rope - handcrafted goats milk soap for the light hearted men in my family. 

Up above our kitchen cabinets, Sadler & Co. family name sign. 

I also picked up the camera again and took adorable pictures of my ragamuffins during the summer, our vacation, and into fall. These kids are so cute of film (I won't mention the zoo behind the lens). 

Monkeying around in Kittitas, WA.

Sandy beard in Long Beach, WA.

King of the dunes in Gearhart, OR.

Summer sun and brick walls in Ellensburg, WA. 

Family at Sunset. Olmstead State Park - WA. 

Can you see the heart, Danielle, Dylan and Lincoln. 

Because everyone has their own personality 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Home School Preschool Halfway Review

We don't have any official schedule or keep attendance for preschool but I would say we are about half way through the "school year." We have had tons of fun trying what works and learning what doesn't work for us as well. Lincoln is a much different learner that Dylan was. Lincoln is busy, has a short attention span and remembers things from when you didn't think he was even paying attention. Worksheets are part of our daily activities but they aren't the primary focus. Playing, real life situations, experiments and the basic fundamentals rule our day. 

We have a basic idea of what we want to do with our day, but rarely do we actually follow it. I actually created it last year when Lincoln was three so I will still be able to follow the same basic plan when Warner (currently two) is ready for preschool. Our schedule is simple and easy to change, broken up into 30 minute chunks for the most part. Anything longer and I completely lose the kids. Lincoln's attention span is actually closer to 15-20 minutes for each activity but 30 is round for a general idea. 
7am : Wake Up - well this is when I wake up my school aged child and most of the time they get up then too. 
8am: Breakfast and Cartoons
8:30: Circle Time - puppets, story rhymes, songs and/or music
9am: Binder and workbook pages
9:30: Building - Blocks - Puzzles
10 *snack* the best time of the day
10:30: Outside play or gross motor time, sometimes we use our theme of the week to play games
11am: Arts, Craft, or Science
11:30: Pretend Play or Sensory - Lincoln loves to play with his Imaginex "guys" and Warner jus needs to stay busy while I make lunch
Noon: Lunch Break
12:30: Reading
1-3: Rest/Playroom Play
Warner goes down for a nap. During this time Lincoln plays around on and watches videos on YouTube. He also can play with Legos, dinosaurs, more imaginex etc. Anything that is quiet-ish. 
3:00pm: Dylan gets home from school, everyone has yet another snack and they I try to get them to play outside when the weather is nice.

Science is huge in our house (unfortunately I'm not huge on the science department) so thank you internet. I found this awesome tutorial on "Walking Water" off of Pinterest and it kept the boys' interest all day!

And apparently we love experiments with water. Try this awesome trick where you stab pencils through a baggie of water and nothing leaks out, the kids will be amazed!

Write down the experiments for later research. 

Sink and Float is one of Lincoln's favorite experiments. It's almost second nature for him to grab a big bowl whenever I tell him we are going to do some science. 

At least they get along some times. 

Some times we ride bikes and poke dead snakes with a stick. 

Warner was putting playdoh leaves on a tree during the Fall. 

Lincoln used plastic vampire teeth from Halloween to pick up little balls of the doh and moved them into the plastic container.

 Lunch Time
Lincoln always asks for the same thing for lunch, every day, as long as I have it. Meat. Cheese. Mustard. Bread. Cut in a "t". Make sure you don't cut it at a diagonal and he is happy. Dylan on the other hand takes his lunch to school so I try to throw in some healthy food on the days he brings lunch with him. I love reading the 100 Days of Real Food blog, she always has great lunch ideas made with whole foods. This lunch had sugar snap peas, a power ball, apple slices, a cheese stick and carrot applesauce muffins

                                         Naked tablet time might happen during our day. 

Field Trips
We found a homeschool group founded in our little town on Facebook. We don't do a lot with them (They do have a co-op but I haven't done any of the classes) but we joined in on a field trip to the fire station last month. The boys had a blast checking it out!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Uh Oh it's 2015!

So according to my dad, I haven't blogged since April. April, as in nine months ago. We've been busy. 
Not super awesome, over the top crazy busy. Just the day to day busy with three active boys.
We got through peak at UPS during the Christmas season when Shane was leaving the house at 6am and getting home after 7pm. We made it through a pee-wee football season. We made it through officially starting homeschooling preschool with Lincoln. We made it through a traumatic injury when Lincoln's tooth went through his lip but all is well. We made it through babyhood with Warner and we are onto his troublesome era. You see that first picture below? Gold Sharpie all over his forehead and the palms of his hands (also on my new vest, but that's another story). Rubbing Alcohol on a cotton ball really does work great! Be careful by the eyes though ;)

I also had a few days where my mom too the two older boys to her house so it was just me and Warner and we had a ton of fun just hanging out and being goofy. We also got all of the Christmas decorations down and I finally figured out a way to keep him still. 

So yes we are crazy. Our ordinary, chaotic, beautifully simple life. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Little Town Field Trips

Washington Tractor showed the class how to use a swather and tractor. 

Last week all of the third grade classes in our area were invited to participate in a field trip to learn about agriculture in the Ellensburg valley. In the letter home it said parents were welcome to meet up and participate too so I took the opportunity to ask if the boys (almost 2 and 3) could come along as well. Since it was sponsored by local businesses and community groups, such as Washington Cattlewomen's Association and 4H, it was a little more relaxed and they were welcome to come along. The material was aimed at third graders so parts were a little over the boys' heads but they had a great time. 

Lincoln riding a pig statue, yeehaw.
We got there a little before the bus of students (yes one bus fit both third grade classes of about 20 some odd students and two teachers) so the boys had fun checking out the bronze pig statue at the fairgrounds.  
Huge Farm Equipment
 Warner didn't want to stand still for Q & A time so we wandered around a little and soaked up the perfect weather. 
Lincoln and Dylan listening intently during a demonstration, center of the picture.
Lincoln has grown up with all of Dylan's classmates so he just jumped right in with the group. I love watching my boys learn and show genuine interest even though I heard some other girls talking about the field trip claiming, "My sister said this is the boring field trip." Luckily only a few parts seemed to be boring to the younger boys (although I learned a lot about soil erosion and the use of PAM and the use of irrigation. They also didn't seem to care that hay is a million dollar business but 90% of hay grown in Ellensburg is shipped to Asia. 
Warner can't believe all the pokey things coming off.
Machines make the hay business much more successful. 

The boys did not want to pose with the animals but I did get an action shot. 
 I tried to get the boys and the cute baby lamb in the same picture but they kept moving around and Warner would rather dig in the dirt. The boys got to see dairy and meat cows and goats, chickens and chicks, sheep, and piglets up close and personal. 

Dylan and friend helped Lincoln (the short one in the middle) in line with the rest of the class. 

I love Dylan's small class size and amount of parent involvement. 
 The boys really take to anything outdoors involving dirt or animals so it was really exciting for them to see things, feel freshly ground wheat (and sneak a bite of it), to run their hands over the giant tread of a tractor tire, to hear the moo of a cow in "real life." Living in a small town these things are much more common but we still didn't personally have access to most of the things we learned about. Tagging along on this field trip gave the boys much more information than they needed on the subject but a nice jump start on the community and its resources. Don't worry, they will get to do it all over again in third grade too. 
Mrs. Ravet making sure Lincoln can see the demonstration on hay production
by standing him up on a hay bale. 

We all piled onto a covered wagon pulled by draft horses. 
 One of the sweetest parts of the trip was that Dylan's teacher, Mrs. Ravet, really cared about the kids learning. Not just her students but my little guys too. She would more Lincoln to the front of the crowd to see or pick him up to get a better view (Warner was in the Ergo a lot because he still isn't great at sitting or standing still). She always made sure the kids were being respectful to the speakers and even shared a bag of grapes from her own lunch with the boys sitting at her table. *Dylan did not sit with us at lunch, but he still held Lincoln's hand and hugged us goodbye so he's not completely grown up yet. She also pulled both of the boys up on her lap for the covered wagon ride. What kind of teacher does that? One that I would hope to teach my son if I am not doing it myself. Yay. I love the flexibility of homeschool preschool and the fact that we can call this a good day of learning while hanging out with brother and enjoying the weather.
Space was tight on the wagon so Mandy held both of my boys on her lap until things went south
and Warner realized I wasn't the one holding him.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just A Light Breeze

Ok so this is a picture of the Oregon coast, but it is a true picture of nature's beauty. 

Signs of Spring are all around.
Wind, oh the wind, is back. It has taken me about five years, but I have finally realized that the wind isn’t going anywhere and I just have to stop cursing it and remember to put on a hat when we go out to play. If I can keep my ears warm, it’s not that bad. I’ve learned to cherish the early mornings without the blowing of  sagebrush across our driveway or trying to keep my hair out of my lip gloss. Ellensburg in the Spring is too beautiful to let that four-letter “W” word get the best of me.
The days are getting longer. The sun is drying out the frozen ground. Soon we will be seeing colors of budding flowers and the lush green of fields of hay. Neighborhood kids are starting to stumble out of their cabin fever induced hysterics and harried mothers are ready for outside playdates, letting out a few shrieks of glee (children and moms alike!).

The Spring wind also bring along a sense of newness. A chance to rewrite the routine of our family and a new opportunity to create our beautiful mess of a life. With the changing of the season, I challenge you to embrace this persistent breeze… or at least learn how to tolerate it with grace.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Best Friends by Force

We weren't necessarily planning on having two under two initially but now that we are almost two year into it and survived the newborn stage, I can say with confidence that it is possible and we are starting to see some benefits. 
Lincoln, the two year old and my middle boy, wanted nothing to do with his baby brother Warner. He knew a baby was taking everyone's attention, including his beloved oldest brother. He admires and tries to be exactly like his older brother most of the time. Until recently the two youngest wouldn't even play together. Warner was too young to understand play. Lincoln was too busy to be bothered by a baby. When school started I was home alone with the two little boys for hours on end and they were forced to spend time digging in the sand box together, destroying each other's block fortresses, trading colds and playing tiger tag. Lincoln has been doing much more preschool with me and we always make sure to include Warner if he isn't napping. They are slowly learning to share and look out for each other. They are choosing to do similar things together. They have learned if they work together they have more power against me ha ha. 
Luckily for me, with a little time and ingenuity the two brothers have started to interact with more confidence and really love each other. They still have their moments but I think with more time they will become best friends without me forcing their hand. 

Playing at the new park in Kittitas. 

Painting on a double sided easel. Neither one likes to paint/draw/color
much but their attention spans are getting a little better every day. 

The day they gave them selves cool arm tattoos with markers.
Lincoln decided to wear arm guards over his to keep his tattoos safe. 

Warner always sleeps in his crib but lately he has become more apt to sleep
wherever he stops moving. The futon in the playroom makes a great place
 to rest for both of the boys. 

"Beautiful Hair" Bothe of them were due for a hair cut and since it was so long
they both wanted their hair to look pretty so we put it in little pony tails.
Warner couldn't stop saying beautiful. I love it.