Sunday, December 28, 2008

Old Home Place

More ice.

Iowa Ice

From Michigan, we ventured through icy roads and sore tempers to Iowa. We barely made it. The morning we left, i took this picture. It was beautiful.
We had a lovely time with our family ice skating, playing Settlers, and eating Dutch pastries Mom made. My Dad put a dead hog in the field so we could watch the eagles feast, but a Canadian scared them away. I do not have pictures to prove it.

Michigan Snow

I dropped the kids off in Iowa with my mom and drove to Grand Rapids to visit with my brother Eric. They received a whole lot of snow. (3 feet in the last 2 weeks!!) It was beautiful and Stella couldn't stop rolling in it. She is made for the snow.
This is me in Holland on the lake shore. It was crazy cold and icy.

Friday, December 12, 2008


We went a conservation class at Forest Park today to learn about animal tracks.

We mixed sawdust, flour, and water to make the material to shove into rubber molds.
This is a picture of Jasper's beaver and Tullaia's red fox.

Have you ever tried to walk like a raccoon? It's pretty hard.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunshine By Tullaia

Tullaia was feeling inspired yesterday.
We were driving in the car when she wrote this poem. She says it reminds her of Hafiz.

Rainy day.
Cloudy day.
Litle slits
of blue between the clouds.
What is that?
Clouds part.
The color of a little girl's eyes.

This is a picture of Iowa sky.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bale Hopping in Iowa

The Way Things Work

The kids and I were supposed to leave this week for Iowa. We were hoping to go up with Aunt April and Cousin Opal and visit with family on the farm. Justin was hoping to get some projects done around the house.
But the transmission went out on our van and we found out Wednesday afternoon that it would not be ready.
Aunt April offered to take the big kids with her so they left Friday morning.
On Friday afternoon, i took Avery to the Doctor. He had an ear infection.
It seemed inconvenient that things happened the way they did. But it worked out the best way. No one would have enjoyed much with a screaming Bavery around. The kids are having a snowy good time. Justin and I worked together on projects and didn't argue.
Just another reminder of God's goodness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dogwood bloom

After coffee with a friend I was reminded of this poem that another Hafiz fan friend gave me. Lovely...

on my shoes,
Boiling water,
toasting bread,
Buttering the sky;
That should be enough contact
with God in one day
to make anyone

Art Show

Tullaia had her final class and art show a few weeks back. Her interpretation of Van Gogh is the piece that was framed. Jasper's favorite part was eating oranges and chex mix.


Originally uploaded by
This was the perfect fall day for leaf burrowing. The smell of fall is wonderful and seemingly universal. Even Stella was getting into the piles of leaves and jumping about. This picture was taken before the time change. I always feel a bit uneasy about early darkness, cold, dreary nights. But alas, we have made it through the transition, and that always seems to be the hardest part for me.

Dia De Los Muertos/Halloween

A friend of ours made sugar skulls for us to decorate at Spanish club. We had fun celebrating the Spanish and English interpretation of this holiday. Avery dressed up as a clown. Jasper was el leon, and Tullaia was a princess cat.
It didn't take long for Avery to figure out how to get candy. He looked scary after his face paint started to run with snot and chocolate.

Moss Holler

We spent a lovely day on Darryl's property in the Ozark Mountains.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Tullaia takes art history with a neat lady in Soulard. For instance, the first class was on prehistoric art. The children ground up berries and used twigs to paint on rock. They listened to drums playing in the background and ate fruity pebbles for a snack. I am super-jealous, but the boys and i have a good time exploring Soulard each week. These are pictures of the community garden. It is huge!

Lemonade and Cookie Stand

Tullaia spends a fair amount of time making items to sell. She has sold a few items to neighbors and friends, but most of the crafts have been bought by brother Jasper. We got together with Isabella and her sisters a few weeks back to sell lemonade and cookies. If you notice the fine print. It says, "'ll warm you up on a cold winter day."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why Do We Homeschool?

This is a question we are often asked. Here are some of our thoughts...

  • Time is a huge reason. Life is so busy and we always have so much to do. I understand that sad reality. But, I also want the kids to practice being still and quiet. We don't spend as much time in "school" because we have less students. It frees up time for other things, like dance class, swim lessons, playdates, and contemplation. I want to encourage them to be still and hear God in the midst of life. I feel i am giving them this opportunity.
  • I enjoy teaching the kids. (Most days...) I wasted high school and never went to college. Learning with kids is fun because they are little sponges.
  • We have so many valuable and free resources in STL and this allows us to connect the dots between books and real life. For example, we can study trees in our textbook, visit the Botanical gardens to see a tree exhibit, and then we can head over to Forest Park to locate them on our own.
  • I can tailor their education in a way that a teacher cannot. We can speed up on some subjects and slow down on others. We avoid spending time with discipline issues for 20 kids.
  • I can teach holistically. They have the opportunity to learn how to do laundry, garden, wash dishes, cook, care for pets/babies, help neighbors, clean. And all the while, we can incorporate math, science, home economics, social studies, language, history, music and P.E.
  • We have the flexibilty to be spontaneous. We can go for a mid-morning bike ride on a cool fall day. We can break in the afternoon for a metro-link ride. We can walk to the zoo and spend a wintery day in the warm, fragrant, and tropical butterfly house.

We will homeschool as long as we are able. I may be useless to Tullaia pretty soon. But that is where the virtual school will be helpful.

An Afternoon Zoo Walk

Jasper and Tullaia rode their bikes over. After going to the zoo for 6 years of her life, several times a week, Tullaia said she didn't want to go. What a lovely thing to have the option of denying!
But, it was a gorgeous day and it is worth going if only to see the plants. They do a wonderful job keeping everything beautiful. Here is hibiscus at the entrance.
Here is Avery right before he crawled into the giraffes home. He crawled under the fence over and over and over and over. We finally had to leave. Please note how filthy he is. This is him after bath number 2 for the day.

Friday, September 5, 2008


We camped at Hawn State Park this weekend.
Poor crawdads never had a chance for peace! The kids (and adults) had buckets of them, made homes for them, and held them like puppies.

Litzinger Ecology Center

Today, we spent a cool, misty morning on a field trip with Tower Grove Homeschool.
The Ecology Center is a secretive parcel of land in the middle of Ladue.
It is part of the Botanical Gardens, but not open to the public.
We had a lovely time discovering new things, most especially Jelly Ear Fungus!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When He Grows Up.....

Tonite Jasper told me he wants to be "a person who kills endangered animals" when he grows up.

Here is a picture of him at his Water Warrior Birthday Party.


We are studying scientists.
So we practiced by trekking through the wetlands in Forest Park. (One of our favorite excursions.) The kids are learning the calls and looks of several birds.
Forest Park is a 1,371 acre park in our front yard and in the middle of the city. It is lovely...
Here are the birds we recently saw in one visit:
Of course, Starlings, Robins, Grackle, House Sparrow, Pigeon, Geese.
And then birds i am a bit happier to see,
Red-winged Blackbird, Cardinal, Nighthawk, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Wood Duck, Mallard, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Mockingbird, Green Heron, Goldfinch, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, American Crow, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Chimney Swift.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I feel refreshed by a new rhythm. Avery is moving to one nap, friends are starting school, we are learning new things.
If it doesn't become a burden, i hope to jot down a bit of what we are doing. Enjoy...
Oh, and we are not part of a Hispanic street gang.