Finding Passion- Blacksmithing

Finding Passion- Blacksmithing

Homeschooling allows children to explore their interests and experiment/tinker throughout the day.  My children change interests weekly daily-with one exception this year.  Sims sparked an interest in blacksmithing this year.  Again, I thought it would be a fleeting interest.  We went to speak with a blacksmith at a local farm.  He taught Sims how to make nails and gave him some history of blacksmithing.  Unfortunately, he was not able to mentor Sims.  Next, Sims met a farrier.  The farrier explained blacksmithing in his job.  The farrier allowed Sims to observe him for a few hours.  He is a traveling farrier so he isn’t around a whole lot.  However when he is in town, Sims can hang with him for a bit.

Sims has been itching to get his hands on some metal and to work with it.  I began the search.  I found the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing.  For his birthday, we signed Sims up for a shield making class.  In the class, he learned how to hammer metal, heat metal, twist the metal, hammer rivets and more.  He attended the class with his dad, so I didn’t get to watch him myself.  According my husband, Sims looked very comfortable and at home in the class.  In fact, the two of them are trying to figure out how to set up a forge at home!

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The boy doesn’t love school but he loves to learn. As he get older, I look forward to watching him explore his passions-even if they change daily.

TGIF!

TGIF!

TGIF!

On Tuesday, I wasn’t sure how this week was going to turn out. I hit the mom wall. I am 99% sure that all moms go through it at some point. Luckily, I have one amazing support group. I published my blog Tuesday morning and by lunch time, I had a surprise visitor. A hug and a few laughs go can go a long way. By Tuesday afternoon, I felt much more like myself.

Most of the schools around us are on spring break this week changing up our schedule a bit which was nice. The kids spent the week working through projects when we weren’t at activities. Sims and Grandad built a kayak trailer for Sims’ bike. Sims is looking forward to kayaking in a swimming hole that he found with his friend. Unfortunately, the swimming hole is a few miles into the woods, so Sims is hoping the bike trailer will make it doable.

Parks and Sawyer started a bumble bee habitat. They have been busy researching bumble bees and observing the bees in their habitat. (Yes, this is the girl who is HIGHLY allergic to bees! Thank you for immunotherapy!) They have also been busy building with their Roominate kit. The kit looks a bit girly, but it isn’t. The boys are enjoying it as well. They are building simple circuits to make cars, fans, lights, and other inventions.

The beautiful weather has also allowed for some fun outdoor activities as well. The kids began archery and brought out the water toys. Obviously, kayaking is a big hit (Sims has towed his kayak close to 10 miles since he made the trailer). We also fit in one day at the stables this week. I am glad it is Friday. We can relax today and start again next week. Hopefully, I will be in a better spot mentally and we can get back to business!

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Homeschool Mom Burnout

My oldest child inquired yesterday about my blogging or rather, lack there of rather.  I told him that I have hit a wall.  Not just a wall with writing but the homeschooling mommy wall.  We all know it, but we hate to speak of it.  No one wants to write about their woes.  No one wants to complain publicly.  Ok, maybe not everyone feels this way but I do.

The past few months have been rough around here. We do have a pretty good schedule going, and the kids are aware of the schedule.  However, I am melting under the mommy, teacher, psychologist, chauffeur, housekeeper, pet keeper…..roles that I have taken on.

  • I would like my family to pickup after themselves (clothes, projects, food, books) without me nagging.
  • I would like for everyone to treat each other with respect (I have given up on everyone being nice)without me intervening.
  • I would like for my children to understand that they have to do school work without me nagging.
  • I would like for my family to understand that I do not enjoy cooking and cleaning but that I do it anyway.
  • I would like for my family to help me with the cooking and the cleaning without me nagging them.
  • I would like to be able to be a mom who loves her kids without having to think about how I word everything (anxiety runs high in my crew and wording/tone can make or break a day).
  • I would like to be able to go work out and take care of myself without feeling guilty for leaving them or without worrying that one of them is going to injure themselves or a sibling while I am gone (ok-I don’t feel guilty much but I definitely worry about the latter).
  • I would like a meal without  arguing (check out the respect one above).
  • I would love a day without tripping over a dog or a cat or a bird pooping on me.

Can you tell that I am burned out?  We are in need of some major family bonding or counseling or maybe I just need a spring break…alone…on an island…with sun…and beach…and fun…without kids, books, pets, cooking, cleaning or teaching.  Anyone ready to join me?

Week in Review.

I took a short hiatus from blogging as I think that I have writer’s block.  I get that every once in a while.  Unfortunately for you, I still have it!  So I figured that I would just write a week in review.

We are in a good rhythm at this point in the year with most things.  We wake up, eat breakfast, feed the animals, do our chores and then hit the books.  We started our new blocks in March but we are diving into them now.  Parks is starting the Jakata and Anansi tales.  He enjoys the trickster stories but did inform me that he does not like that all of the stories make the boy the “dumb one” and the girl the “smart one.”  I hadn’t noticed this but we came up with a solution; I will change the she to he in some of the stories.  Sawyer started her second man/animal block by learning about wolves.  We also researched the different ways that wolves are viewed in different cultures based on their folk tales.  Sims picked up with the fall of Rome and began learning about the beginning of the Medieval Times.  In addition to the main lessons, the kids also do their math, spelling and grammar daily.

As far as extracurricular activities, we are in full swing.  They all continue with gymnastics and drumming.  This week, the younger two began fencing lessons.  (Our local parks and recreation departments offer some amazing classes for unbeatable prices.)  Parks continues to ride horses and now gets to teach the other two about grooming and saddling the horses since they started riding last week.  I enjoy watching him teach. He rarely has information that the other two don’t already know or have some knowledge of.  Other than classes, the kids are enjoying the warm weather.  They rebuilt Sims’ go kart, built forts, read books, and played with friends.

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Lessons Learned the Hard Way- Foraging!

I have stubborn children-children that must learn some lessons on their own (I have no idea where they get it from).  Fortunately for us-up to this point in time, no one has seriously gotten harmed.  However, we have had some close calls already this year!

Second up-Foraging!  Earlier this year, we began learning about wild herbs and edible plants.  The boys find wild edible plants exciting as they learn about survival in the outdoors.  Sawyer imagines that she is a wizard as she concocts potions out of the herbs and plants.  I enjoy learning about natural remedies and how we can use “weeds” in our everyday cooking.

The kids forage in the woods for different plants that we can eat.  Typically, they bring home mint and wild spring onions.  They know these plants well.  Thus when Parks brought home a handful of spring onions, we gladly washed them and prepped them to add to our dinner-lettuce wraps with tempeh, vegetables and peanut sauce (one of my favorites).  After dinner one of Nick’s friends dropped by for a bit.  About ten minutes into the visit, Parks popped over to me and whispered that he had just gotten sick in the sun room.  So I quickly closed up the sun room and got him into the shower to get cleaned up.

I headed back into the kitchen to clear the dishes and immediately, the feeling rushed into my body.  You know the feeling- the OMG, am I going to make it to the bathroom fast enough? How do I sneak out without being rude and without losing my dinner in the process?  Luckily, I made it to the bathroom to pray to the porcelain god.  I then got cleaned up and headed back out to the kitchen only to see Nick’s face turning a nice shade of red.  Note that at this point, Nick knows nothing except that in his mind my peanut sauce is not sitting well on his stomach (what? really?  my peanut sauce? uhm…no).  I nicely let him know that maybe he should excuse himself (because I know that it comes on fast).

With one more down, we start the investigating.  Three of five people down and out with vomiting and a splitting headache.  Since Sims and Sawyer did not get sick and they did not eat the onions, I quickly put it together.  We obviously did not eat wild spring onions.  At the time, I had no idea what we ate.  After a google search, I could only come up with death camas-luckily for us, those only grow in Western states of the US.

We all survived the night and visited with friends throughout the week.  While telling the story of our near poisoning to death,  one of my friends filled in more of the puzzle.  The morning after the dinner, I noticed a beautiful array of daffodils on my nightstand.  My friend asked if Parks found the “onions” near the daffodils.  Parks looked surprised and answered, “yes.”   Well, you guessed it.  We ate immature daffodil bulbs.  When you research are daffodils edible?- you find out that all parts of the plants are poisonous!

Fortunately for us, no ER visit this time!  However, we still learned a tough lesson!


Lessons Learned the Hardway: Fire

I have stubborn children-children that must learn some lessons on their own (I have no idea where they get it from).  Fortunately for us-up to this point in time, no one has seriously gotten harmed.  However, we have had some close calls already this year!

First up-Fire!  As many of you know, my oldest son lives for fire.  He wanted to be a fireman at the ripe old age of 2.  The feeling has intensified.  In fact, now he aspires to be a smoke jumper or an ER doctor.  He feels very confident around fire.  I am sure you have seen in previous posts pictures of him around the fire in our backyard.  He is always the first person to ask about making a fire whenever we are outside and it is a bit chilly or there are marshmallows in the house.

Recently, he and fire met for real.  We went to a friend’s house to go out for a hike.  Near their home, a controlled fire smoldered.  Of course, my fire-loving child desired to investigate further.  Cautiously, he went to look at the smoking pile. In one step, the ground under him shifted (most likely because it was recently on fire!) and his foot went down into a hole.  Luckily, he has excellent balance and he avoided a full body fall into the fire.

So we headed out on our hike.  He asked if we could stop for a second because he had something in his shoe.  Of course, we stopped while he took off his boot to shake it out.  Meanwhile, I notice a hole in his brand new socks.  I asked him if he knew what happened to his sock.  Of course, he had no idea but he did tell me the story above.  I immediately asked him to remove his sock so that we could look at his foot.

Second and third degree burn.

Second and third degree burn.

Uhm…yep.  No hike but a fun trip to the ER and a very important lesson learned.

Picture Post

I am out of words this week so I am sharing some pictures of things we have been up to!

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