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!!

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37 in my 37th Year

I turned 37 in November. Not a big deal birthday, just one step closer to 40, and one more step further away from 30. I have enjoyed my 30s. I had planned to be finished having children by my 30th birthday. Best laid plans of mice and men or something like that….I had Emily a month after I turned 30 and then came Ashlyn and Zoe. Thirty felt grown up finally. I feel like I am finding my groove as a gentle parent. Had a rough bump this past year with our unschooling but I feel like we are coming out of that and moving along just fine. I have seen a lot of growth in my 30s and I like what I have experienced for the most part.

So, when I turned 37 I thought it would be cool to make a list of 37 things that I wanted to do in my 37th year of life. I am not a risk taker. This list will not include things like skydiving or rock climbing. It will probably look pretty boring to those on the outside. It is simply a list of things that I want to accomplish this year. So, without further ado my 37 in 37 list in no particular order.

37 thing to do in my 37th year of life

1.Run a 5k (in training now)

2.Reach my goal weight of 120lbs

3.Participate in an archaeological dig

4. Take a hip hop dance class

5. Take a photography class

6. Take a trip with Grandma Marty

7.Knit a sweater for myself

8 .Open an Etsy shop

9. Journal everyday

10. Blog daily–Starting in Jan.

11.Watch the sunset on Lake Michigan

12. Learn to knit socks 2 at a time

13. Read 1 fiction book a month

14. Hike in every state park in Indiana

15. Visit 37 different covered bridges and take pictures

16. Enter a poetry contest

17. Finish my dining room chairs

18. Take an archery class

19. Take a yoga class

20. Finish my knitting needle case

21. Learn to shoot a gun

22. Run 100 miles by my 38th birthday(11 miles done so far)

23. Visit a state I have never been to

24. No unhealthy fast food

25. Take a weekend trip with my big girls

26. Get my photos printed and organized through 2011.

27. Go geocaching

28.  Decrease my yelling

29. Say yes more

30. Try once a month cooking

31. Go to a pow wow

31. Laugh more

32. Photograph myself more

33. Get a tatoo

34. Find and participate in 37 free things in and around our city.

35. Actually participate in the Handbook of Nature Study blog http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/

36. Host a party at our house.

37. Live Out Loud