Guinea Fowl Adventures

Well a little over a week ago we had 17 guinea fowl.

We went on vacation and came home to 9 guinea fowl.

Woke up the next day and found we had 5 guinea fowl?

Woke up this morning to 2 guinea fowl!

Mind you these birds are virtually wild and free to roam on several acres of land.

Clearly we are feeding the predator population a free meal!

So today the kids and I went on a “save the last two guinea” hunt.

After a lot of herding, chasing, and failed attempts to capture, we caught one!

Then a neighbor joined in the efforts.

More herding, chasing, failed attempts to capture, then we caught the other one.

So what do you do with two guinea fowl that have no clear coop or home to go to that is safe? Clearly you put them in the spare bathroom shower…right? Isn’t that what anyone would do? Haha!

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After spending the day in the shower, they felt that was enough! I heard a horrific crash and went to see what took place in the bathroom…

…apparently they wanted a bit more space to roam!

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Which means I need to find a solution to these birds ASAP!

Now that the kids have named the last two survivors (Shizzle and MaNizzle) we obviously must make arrangements to have these two live in peace and happily ever after! (Fingers crossed, ideally they will get along with the chickens!)

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Glass Blowing Is Amazing!

 

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Recently we had a rare opportunity to watch a glass blower create amazing artwork. Saul (the glass blowing artist) and his wife Gina were both really kind gentle people who took the time to share this incredible craft with our kids.

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He showed the kids all his supplies, how he makes the various colors, how to add colors to the clear glass, showing us all the tools and ovens used to make his creations. (Which are VERY HOT! 2000+ degrees hot!) He also crafted a gorgeous vase for the kid’s demonstration so they could see a ball of scalding hot goo turn into a masterpiece before their very eyes from start to finish.

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Saul is very humorous and entertaining for both the children and adults alike. His demonstration was so captivating, my wiggly giggly kiddos were frozen like statues watching, learning and sucking in every aspect of glass blowing like little sponges. They enjoyed every second of the experience and were in complete awe!

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When he was finished with his demonstration, he took the time to let the kids create a piece of glass work themselves. He was very patient. Words can not describe how great he was with the kids. He is exactly what you would want in a mentor. My son was actually terrified at first of being burnt, but Saul was so good with my son; he was able to conquer his fears and create his bird.

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Both of my kiddos chose to make birds. They were able to pick their colors, manipulate the glass goo ball, use his tools and literally create their very own piece of art.

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In this mother’s opinion, these two birds are priceless!

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As a home schooler, I was thrilled to find out Saul and his wife Gina home schooled their children who are now in college.

If you have the opportunity to see glass blowing I highly recommend it.

Independence Day!

I have decided to start expecting more of my children. I have run a few experiments in the past regarding their basic needs. Like for example, if I don’t supply breakfast, what will happen. Will they tell me they are hungry? Will they get something to eat? Will they ask me to make them something to eat? If I don’t remind them to get dress for the day, will they stay in jammies all day? Will they get dressed to go outside and play? At what time of day will they get dressed? Will they dress appropriately for the weather? Etc…

Well my son got dressed immediately after waking up. My daughter stayed in Jammie’s the entire day. Neither of them mentioned hunger or desire for food until 2:00 in the afternoon! And I replied to their request with, “you can get a snack off the snack tray yourself or wait for me to finish what I’m doing to get you something”…they both replied they’d wait for me to get them something to eat!

This is NOT going to do IMHO! So with the help of jet lag (earlier wake up and bedtimes) I started a new routine that I hope will stick. But the process is slow and painful for mama!

This new routine involves being dressed for the day (mama Lou included) by 7am. Fixing their own breakfast under my supervision. So far they are mastering pancakes, hard-boiled eggs, and toast. The painful part comes in watching how slooooooow the process is, when I can whip out breakfast in a flash…but they have to become more independent or their future spouses will never speak to me.

We accomplish our three Rs and if we haven’t taken too long in doing so, then I toss in another subject…if the day seems to be dragging on or the work has been tough, that’s it for sit down work. We might listen to story of the world later while driving to park day for some playtime (aka socializing!)

Then we mustn’t forget lunch…grilled cheese, peanut butter & honey or jam sandwiches are what they are mastering at the moment. And again a very slooooow process of getting the step stool, plugging in the griddle, getting the butter bell, getting the butter knife, spreading the butter…oh wait need to get the bread, get the cheese, and well you know the rest…step by step…

Cleaning up after themselves is constant as all mothers know, but we are taking it to another level which requires me to be on top of two people in different rooms sometimes making multiple messes….training them to not start a new game until the other mess is cleaned up…and not just cleaned up, but put back where it belongs the way it was when it was found, is a daunting task for someone who finds it much easier to kick the kids outside to play and tidy up in peace & quiet.

While I wait for my photos to arrive, so I can share with you a great family holiday, I’m spending my days (which used to be more relaxed and easy-going) setting up a routine and teaching some independence skills to my children. The thought is once that independence kicks in, we can go back to a more relaxed mode without having to worry that my kids will never change their underwear or eat a healthy morsel of food on their own! Haha!

Thursday – Day Four

Well first thing this morning neither child had forgotten I promised a BEN 10 episode, so they started their day off with a cartoon. When the one was over, they were hooked and wanted more, more, more…so I figured if they worked together to clean my daughter’s room (which looked like a tornado blew thru a hoarder room) Then I would agree to another Ben 10.

 A few minutes later they came out and said they were finished. I’m pretty sure this is not the case. I ask, did you really clean up her room in that short of time? And they said, OH I THOUGHT YOU JUST WANTED A NICEPATH THRU HER ROOM…ha ha! So I look, they had neatly shoved everything to the sides so one might have a lovely path threw the disaster zone.

 With a little guidance they did a beautiful job on her room and they also worked on compromise, working together to tackle a fairly large job (giant really for a kid!) I could hear them deciding who would do what. It was pretty cute!

 A few jobs needed to be accomplished before our play dates arrived today.

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 We had two separate play dates today and to be honest I got way side tracked chatting with my mama friends to document much of today. I do have photos to share, but not a lot of “homeschooling” stuff other then SOCIALIZING…today was SOCIALIZING DAY! Ha ha! 🙂

 A little dress up time:

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Breakfast time:

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 My son is researching Ben 10 alien costumes and preparing himself for HALLOWEEN already! He will most likely change his mind a billion times, so we have a rule, I will purchase ONE costume, but if you decide you want to be something else, then you have to make the costume yourself using stuff from our dress up bin….or literally MAKE IT yourself with card board or whatever you have to use.

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 Contemplating life I suppose? I wonder if school kids get much quiet time to just think their thoughts. I know when I have a busy day it takes a lot of quiet practice to come down and feel grounded and able to just think my thoughts, so I love seeing my kids pondering life or maybe Ben 10 costumes ha ha!, but just having quiet moments to think their own personal private thoughts.

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image Son: Did you know your body is complex? You can eat upside down! (as he puts a handful of popcorn in his mouth upside down…apparently one can defy gravity in some ways)

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Play time: (trying to sort out weapons, game rules, costumes…all really important stuff!)

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Lunch Time:

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 Playing after Lunch…(mama is starting to loose steam and forgetting to document…sorry!)

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 Kids came in the room where the mama chat was going on, so I have a few photos of the games they pulled out and played…

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Then back to base camp to plot some more weapons, war tactics, game rules and strategies for conquering the other team!

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 Little break to jump on the trampoline (and it is hard to see but one kiddo is up in the tree)

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These magnets are still fascinating to him. He has had three days of processing these magnets. I know more is going on up in his brain regarding the magnets then just positive negative charges…he had that mastered when he was two! I’m guessing Thomas Edison type stuff, so I’m glad there isn’t fire involved and it’s just magnets! ha ha!

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A bit later one set of friends left and another arrived…The girls were playing with the doll house and it wasn’t really my son’s gig, so he played this game by himself in more of a puzzly way.

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 This is where I failed on documentation miserably today…I was having a nice time visiting with friends and the kids happily playing. The day got away from me… 

Dinner time… 

Bath… 

I took the kids out for an ice cream. As much as I dislike them having ice cream right before bed, I had promised it to them two days ago. I figured we should just get that promise over with and hopefully the sugar crash happens in their sleep. Ha ha!

 I’m going to snuggle up with hubby and watch whatever show he’s watching then head for bed…I hope to do a better job tomorrow. 

I’ve been thinking about it, I think I will try this again in the fall/winter when we are doing more schooly things then we do during the summer. We do school year round, but we are relaxed schoolers and the month of July we are SUPER relaxed schoolers…lol…might not be the best week, oh well, hind sight is alwasy 20/20 we’ll do it again some time down the road… 

Good night!

Tuesday – Day Two

Today started off typical, I was up early and got my mama me time before the little folks were up for the day.

After a while, my daughter surfaced…she contently looked thru a bag of rocks and minerals for a long time.

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After a while my son joined us and they made themselves some breakfast.

While preparing their breakfast I over hear my son telling his sister, that when we go on vacation they will get spending money and if they save it they can buy all the junk cereal they want…my daughter replies something on the lines of; no, we only get two per year! My son replies: Yeah, that’s the deal with mom’s money, not our money! (he’s getting clever now!) 🙂

SIDE NOTE: We have a family deal, twice a year (Christmas and Birthdays) they get their choice of a box of crap cereal, you know the kind, typically have a toy in the bottom of the box and turns your poop bright turquoise blue green color! And when they get their box of cereal, they will opt for cereal breakfast, lunch and dinner until it’s gone.

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Breakfast around here is make it yourself if mom hasn’t gotten to it by the time you are hungry. Be grateful when someone serves you, but be willing to do things for yourself if you can and need to. I’d say a couple days a week they make their own breakfast and majority of the time I make it.

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After breakfast:

Son: And NOW I’m actually going to do school!
Daughter: Really?!?!
Son: Yes, I’m really going to read this book and learn something new!

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How could I interrupt that with my plans to make those darn crackers???

While reading a basher book on weather:
Son: Mom, do you remember mine craft on the ipad?
Mom: yes.
Son: Do you think I could get to outer space on mine craft? Because in creative mode you can fly and if you go above the clouds, there is a bluish orb like place. Do you think if you puncture thru the bottom of that orb you would reach the outer atmosphere? Or like the other side of the atmosphere? I really want to know what is on the other side!

Son: mom, look (showing me his book) these are the extreme weather conditions, except you really can’t have a draught and flood at the same time. Wanna know something sis – you can’t have a tornado without a thunder cloud. There is a difference between a tornado and hurricane. A hurricane does not lower itself from a thunderstorm cloud. Hurricanes come from the sea and tornados come from the sky.

He continues on, but I need to get this cracker deal going…so I stroll off to the kitchen while he has his sister’s ear now.

He comes into the kitchen to find me, apparently, he has been checking out his basher book on elements now and has stumbled across an element he can’t pronounce…and truth be known neither can mom! We have our talking dictionary give us a leg up on this one!

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Son: finally found what I was looking for! Neodymium
Mom: why?
Son: I’m kind of interested in it, that’s why

CRACKER TIME…I had to just get it over with…stuff was sitting there waiting, staring me in the face…so here we go, we are making saltine crackers from scratch! (And yes it involved washing the table cloth ha ha!)

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Daughter: can I push on it? Because then I can feel the squish substance called dough, isn’t that funny mom, and anyways it’s quicker than rolling it.

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While I put the table cloth and a load of reds in the wash, my daughter started to read a book about horses.

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a bit later, my son decided he was going to teach his little sis how to tell time by reading a baby basher book on TIME to her. I’ve mentioned before both my children enjoy being the teacher…not so much the student role model, but teacher position they thrive! Ha ha!

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Outside time! Some days I have to kick these little kiddos OUTSIDE! Today was one of those days, out out out, go get your wiggly beans OUT!

Wardrobe Change #2 – She is in one of her fancy gowns, jumping on the trampoline and announces that she thinks this dress should not be a dress but rather dress up clothes from now on. She has serious individual ideas on what is what when it comes to clothes and shoes! She has stated many times she wants to design her own clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc… From the first (and last) power struggle over shoes when she was 9 months old, I decided clothes really aren’t worth it, as long as they are content in their skin, and happy with their choices, I do not intervene when it comes to their fashion preferrences. They are free to express themselves fully. I do however, get to choose Christmas dinner and Easter Brunch outfits for both kiddos.

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Wardrobe Change #3 – Pondering life while swinging on the swings.

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Pondering life while hanging in his self made tree hammock…yes, my rug is still in the tree!

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Story time with narration and discussion afterwards

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Reading about rocks and minerals…we also made a trip today to the rock and mineral shop in town.

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Son: A hypothesis about Stonehenge is it was used to be a UFO landing site and the Easter Island rock heads are known to also be associated with aliens. And I think aliens would be awesome!
Daughter: No, people believe Stonehenge is a place where people saw the sunrise and set.
Son: Some people think Stonehenge was built as a giant calendar because the sun rises and sets in certain positions during the solstices, but I like the alien theory better.

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My Daughter making orange juice with one orange that is still not ready, but she was, so it was plucked, cut and squeezed…she’d like to sell you a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice for 50 cents at her “lemonade stand” ha ha!

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A little more piano practice

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My son is trying to build an upside down telescope.

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Which leads him to you tube for directions, but he is quickly side tracked by anti gravity toys…which leads to magnet play. Which is related to his morning interest of Neodymium…right?! I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Neodymium is used to make really powerful magnets.

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My daughter likes that the figurine bin was taken out and quickly has her own saving story going on. A goat has falling off a cliff and all the other animals are trying to save him from falling to the ground…she plays this story out in many ways and has a great time talking for each animals and is very serious with different voices for different characters.

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all animals made it safe and sound to their farm land…and no the lion is not going to eat the pig. ha ha!

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Dad’s Home….dinner time and all that jazz…

During dinner:

Son: I have a hypothesis, that cloth gets wet when you dump water on it because the water molecules latch on to the cloth molecules.
Dad: And then they use capillary action to propagate through the material.
Daughter: So if I dump a bucket of water here, the whole table cloth gets wet?
Dad: Yup, you got it.
Mom: Sooooo capillary action to propagate??? Would that be spreads out for the rest of us??? Ha ha!

Daughter: Well I have a hypothesis too about bubbles – it is I think bubbles are little air things filled with liquid.
Dad: you are close, but it’s the opposite.
Daughter: its air trapped in liquid? Hmmm…
Mom: come on kids, clear your dishes and get ready for story time in my room.

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They are now in their own beds listening to an audio book. I’m posting this, and then heading for bed myself. My editor (I mean better at spelling friend) will tell me tomorrow of any major glitches in my verbal spewing, ha ha! I’m too tired tonight!

Motivation and Compromise

My son is very goal motivated. It is not my natural style of parenting to bribe my kids with a reward, but he often will come up with his own chores and rewards haha. And it works for him, so not always does my parenting style match with his personal style. We find the happy middle ground.

Right now he is in full swing of a goal motivation phase of life. He has been waking up and asking if I have a job for him. While I think of something, he beats me to it and comes up with;

“How about I earn five coins on teach me (iPad school app), then get dressed, put all my dirty clothes in the hamper, make myself breakfast, clean up my dishes and earn an egg on reading eggs (a computer reading program) is that a good enough job for one Ben 10 episode?”

As I am waking up, sipping my tea and still in my jammie’s thinking about our day, I realize welllllll that does cover some reading, math and spelling…not to mention it will buy me time to sip my tea and relax before I have to get cracking on the day ahead. Yup, sounds good to me, go for it.

He zips around and accomplishes his chores then sits down to watch his episode of Ben 10. I’m still sipping my tea and in my jammie’s…haha!

After a while, I figure I better get moving, so I get up and get ready for the day.

Side note: Way less stressful morning, then the days when we used to race around the house in a state of chaos trying to get out the door for school, often forgetting lunches, backpacks, jackets, even shoes!

Well I’m up and ready, the episode is over and he’s hoping for another job. I hand him a spray bottle and rag, he goes spot hunting on the kitchen floor, then grabs a duster and eliminates most of the surface dust in the living room. I’m not ready yet for him to watch more tv, so I send him into his room to tidy up…to avoid child labor accusations Haha…, I send him outside to jump on the trampoline and hunt for a lizard as the final part of his job.

Television, computer games, iPad apps, audio stories, are all things my son will gravitate towards if they are options. We lump them all under the title of “tech” He would happily spend the entire day tech hopping if possible.

I don’t mind technology in our life, but I do mind too much of them, and I am extremely picky on what tech is approved. A degree of educational value needs to be involved for it to be on our list of ok technology. This is the area in our lives where I do not willy nilly give in to the nag factor.

I like to see my kids physically moving their bodies, spending time outside in nature, exercising their natural curiosity and being active creative kids. So this job situation has brought about many opportunities for compromise.

Yesterday I sent the kids outside with bowls full of seeds and their job was to plant the garden beds with these seeds. Immediately my son asks if all the seeds can go into one hole. Haha! I replied with specific directions, read directly from the seed packaging. They spent a good 45 minutes outside gardening. Which was not only a job, but also part of a lesson we have been doing on GMO crops and the bees. “Vanishing Bees” is the documentary that spurred this adventure. My children have gone from fearing the bees, to wanting a bee hive in our garden.

Another side note: take note of how all these aspects of our life are intertwined…our life incorporates learning, a job, responsibility, and yet it is all enjoyable for those involved…it’s our life not a desk or a classroom where my kids learn the most. I love the saying, we learn about the real world IN the real world, not a classroom.

I’m not sure if I have a specific point to my post, but I’m not the goal oriented one in this house haha!

I do like that even though I’m not a goal oriented person, my son is and I can embrace his needs in a way that benefits his growing mind and body. And that homeschooling or parenting doesn’t have to be torture, yelling, fighting, etc….you can find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.

Ah ha there is my point:

Find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.