October has come

It comes every year, and every year I think it will be better, or different. It is usually different but it is never better. I can’t explain how it is different this year. I’m wondering when it will no longer devastate me. When it will be less intense. When the sorrow will stop stalking me. When, in the midst of all the memories of all that I lost, I will not feel so helpless to the emotions that always come.

“It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed. If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven’t, you cannot possibly imagine it.”
Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning

Bastille Day in Indiana??!

Why yes, yes indeed.  Complete with a beret wearing Elephant. Another fun summer day for myself and the younger girls. I am coming to love Fortville, Indiana more and more as we discover the wonderful things this community comes together to do. We will definitely be back next year.

Face Painting!

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Elephant!

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Marionettes!

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First Elephant Ear!!

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Lantern walk with friends.

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Ending the day with a laser light show. Can’t wait to go again next year!

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A hiking we will go!

One of the things that I enjoy the most in life is hiking. I love the smell of the outdoors, the sounds, the freedom and the seclusion. I feel at peace in the woods even though I am so directionally challenged that if I wandered off the path I would likely become lost.

Our state has  beautiful state parks and this summer we were able to make it to a new one as a family. Well, almost all of us. Alyssa had other plans so she didn’t join us. We took a couple of trails at Shades state park. Our second one was really a lot of fun; challenging, wet and so very beautiful. I was proud of our youngest three. There were some challenging spots for those with shorter legs. They even navigated the ladders nicely and without fear.

I hope we will get to explore more of Indiana’s state parks. We have to drive a good distance to most of them but they are worth it.

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This was the rock skipping lesson. 🙂

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Trying to photograph a butterfly that didn’t want to stay still for very long.

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Coolest tree on the whole hike!! I love this picture. It captures their personalities so well.

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One of the ladders we had to navigate as we went down the trail. Emily is already at the bottom and Ashlyn is finishing her decent. Sierra is carefully passing off her camera to Jorry. I was so worried that there would be a slip and the camera would fall to it’s death. It survived!

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It was a great day. We were tired and refreshed at the same time.

Wine at the Line

Today I joined two of my best friends for the 5k run at Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville IN. They were running. I just went for the wine. 😉

Pre race. Ready to go!

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What your friends, who aren’t running, do to pass the time. Selfie and some knitting while sitting in the warm van.

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Almost there!!! Gooooo Dana! She’s in the bright blue shirt.

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Done! Now where is the wine?

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We found it! I highly recommend the Rhubarb wine if you like sweet wine.

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I’ll be run/walking this race next year. This was a fun event!

Exciting Summer!!

So, while I was away a few  really cool things happened. My little sister Jessie graduated from high school and Emily and I got to be there.

 

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My big, little brother Josh and my awesome seester in law Jennifer welcomed their first child into the world!! This is my sweet niece Amelia. I’m pretty sure I could borrow her and no one would question if she was mine or not. 😉 We can’t wait to hold her and give her lots of love in person!!

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Then, at the beginning of September my brother in law got married and I gained another awesome sister in law! Welcome to the family Kim! You’ve been a part of it for a while, but now it’s official. 🙂

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I have been MIA from this blog for far too long. I’m working on decreasing some things in my life to make room for what I feel is important. I  started blogging as a way to have a journal of our life and I want this to be a priority.

That being said there will likely be pic heavy posts for a little bit so I can get them off my phone and recorded here.  My phone currently has over 1,000 pics on it simply because I am scared to delete anything in case I forgot to store it somewhere safe. Thanks to my new account at drop box though I am hoping to have all of those off my phone and safely stored in the giant storage cloud in the sky.

We officially started our school year on Sept. 8th and then immediately had the second week off thanks to an out of town trip to take Sierra Illinois so she and a friend could go see Ed Sheeran in concert. That week also included unexpected sickness that knocked the three youngest girls on their tiny tushes. Soooo, I got a later than I wanted to start to a unit study based on the book “Thirteen Moons On Turtle’s Back”.

My awesome friend Pam put together a unit filled with ideas for activities to do for each of the thirteen moons. She also included four form drawings for each moon.  We are not a waldorf education family however, my girls love the form drawings. Pam was nice enough to let me have a copy of the plans and we are using them in a way that works for our family.

On the first day we made turtle calendars, read the first poem in the book, did the form drawings and learned about the Northern Cheyenne tribe.

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On day two I read to the girls from the book “Children of the Tipi” edited by Michael Oren Fitzgerald. The photographs in this book are stunning. It was written for children ages 4 and up. I have enjoyed it so much that I will be adding it to our own home library. Our craft that day was to make a teepee using the template I found on this blog. The girls decorated them as I read the story of “The Great Race” it is the Cheyenne story of how they became buffalo hunters. Ashlyn was slightly concerned in the beginning of the story when it talked about how the buffalo used to eat people until the great race was planned.

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Day three we covered buffalo and how the played a huge part in the life of the plains Indians. The group of books we read can be found in the picture below. We measured and marked how tall and long a buffalo can be. They are massive creatures!!  It was interesting to learn how everything in nature works together. The buffalo would break up the ground with their hooves as they grazed, allowing the rains that fell to reach the deep roots of the grasses. As long as the grasses were healthy they held the soil together. Native Americans would periodically burn the grasses, a practice that is still used today.  It all worked beautifully until the settlers came. They over hunted the buffalo, taking away an integral piece to the health of the plains, plowed the land and planted shallow rooted crops, and instead of asking the experts of the land what would be best, they lied, cheated and stole from them. What happens when you do all of this? You get the dust bowl.  Ok, small rant over….. Our craft of the day was a buffalo. I found a great print out at LearnCreateLove. Two of the girls added brads to their buffalo so they had moving parts and one was just happy to glue them all on. We had a test run of our crayola water color pencils. They did pretty well. I’m not giving a complete review until we actually use them on watercolor paper. Our buffalo were printed on card stock.

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Day four was supposed to happen today but we didn’t get to it. There was mutiny in the ranks so I opted for some family cleaning time. Emily and I watched a couple of episodes of Liberty’s Kids, read  a bit from “Welcome to Felicity’s World” and we called it good for the day. Tomorrow we will wrap of the rest of our study that goes with  “The Moon of the Popping Trees” and play catch up on our reading lessons. Here’s hoping tomorrow is a good day!!