What child-led learning looks like at my house

This is Alexis writing at 4.5 years old.
I have never once asked her to write on her own, trace letters on any worksheet, or hold a pencil/pen/crayon/marker correctly.
She has suddenly decided she wants to write, not only that but she is also drawing and coloring.
So now she happily writes on the chalkboard, on paper, on the whiteboard, etc.,
and I am one proud Momma.


30 before 30: Month 3ish

I haven't looked at this list since the last time I wrote an update. Needless to say, I haven't been actively working on the list.

List update:

Fun run season is coming up, I haven't registered for any yet. Registration for the one we really want to do isn't open.

Camping isn't happening any time soon, the weather lately has been too crazy.

Bruce's first birthday is coming up, hoping to get family photos around then. I've been looking for the perfect shade of blue for him to wear.

Stockings, nope.

Tattoos, nope.

Photography class, just waiting for spring classes to be scheduled.

I am officially crossing sweet tea off the list.

Hot air balloon, nope.

White water rafting, nope.

Snow tubing almost happened around Christmas but then it didn't happen, so that'll have to wait until the end of the year.

Sewing machine, nope. I do have some pants that need to be turned into shorts, so that will be a good project to get start with.

Photobooks, just the two of the girls so far. Guess I should start Bruce's first year one.

Monthly dates seems so hard to accomplish, I need to work harder on this one.

I have cleared out a shirt from the closet, so a pair of sweats and a shirt. Woo.

Natural bridge, nope. Next time I go to my mom's house we'll plan to visit there.

Canning, nope.

I have started talking to my brother about visiting his house before he moves again in the fall.

There is a homeschool convention I plan to attend in August.

I'm not even sure I want to go to a blogger conference anymore since I've stopped writing on the art blog (for now).

I'm not sure why I haven't started an art journal yet...

Er, the foul language thing needs more work.

Volunteering, nope.

State parks, I have a Chimney Rock visit scheduled for April after that I'll only have Morrow Mtn and Lake James left to visit. Maybe I'll also visit Mt. Mitchell, it's just over 2 hours away.

I have been working on the gardens whenever it's nice out. I cleared out the front bed, created a bed around my mailbox and transplanted some irises, and have moved some bushes. No planting yet.

I have been consciously hugging more often.

Game night, Tuesdays sounds good. Tomorrow it is.

I finished reading Gone Girl and was so disappointed I haven't picked up another book since. I still have 10 books to go.

Mile High Bridge, nope.

I am not going to accomplish coaching youth soccer. I was planning to coach U5 but Lexi has decided she doesn't want to play and I do not have the skills to coach older children.

Finding time to go to the gym, easier said than done.

Other things:

Travis was laid off in January and got work on another site in February, he is down in SC now but we are used to him traveling for work so life goes on.

We became a vegetarian family in February, just because. I don't feel bad that people eat meat, I still like burgers and bacon, but I don't miss them.  We did try plant based dairy products, they were gross so we're not vegan.

I have been working hard with a friend to start a strictly secular group for homeschoolers in our area. I can't wait for it to grow! We have a lot of ideas for this group.

We're getting ready for Char's 3rd soccer season, she is very excited about it. Char will also be a registered homeschooler when she turns 7 so we are busy planning that. As much as I love child led learning, I do have to acknowledge required testing.

Lexi is just being Lexi and if you know Lexi then you know what that means.

And what keeps me the busiest of all is the little dude that is running around my house. He needs a bell.


30 before 30: Month 1

Last month I wrote a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. It's been one month since I've turned 29, so I wanted to update you all on my progress.

I've actually managed to finish one adult fiction book! I chose The Help and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it very much. Gone Girl is next on my eBook hold list.

I've been doing well with the sweet tea thing, haven't had a sweet tea since before my birthday. I thought I would miss it more than I do.

I was doing a six-week program at the Y but stopped because of the holidays. I need to schedule another appointment.

I finished Lexi's third year and Char's fifth year photobooks. I have several to go before I'm caught up.

I've managed to throw away one ratty pair of sweat pants I've been hanging on to for dear life; I have no idea why. One step closer to a decent wardrobe!

So far, that's what I've accomplished. Not as much as I'd like but better than nothing!

11 months to go!


30 Before 30

I realize it has been months since I've updated this blog.

I have a little baby that loves to be held and I'd rather do that than sit at the computer and blog. Though sometimes I do wish I had more time to blog, then I could keep a record of all the cute little things that baby does so when he is older I can come back to the blog and reflect.

But, this post is not about that

This post is about the fact that I recently turned 29 and I made a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30.

So here ya go (in no particular order)

Run a fun run with the family
Go camping
Get updated family photos taken
Finish Alexis and Bruce's stockings
Get Alexis and Bruce tattoos
Take a photography class
Quit drinking sweet tea
Ride in a hot air balloon
Go white water rafting at the US National Whitewater Center
Go snow tubing
Learn how to use my sewing machine
Make photobooks for each of the kids (catch up on the girls)
Go on monthly dates with Travis, Charlotte, and Alexis
Donate all my pre-kids clothes, replace with new clothes
Visit the Natural Bridge
Learn how to can food
Go to my brother's house
Attend a homeschool convention
Attend a blogger conference
Start an art journal
Cut down on the foul language
Volunteer locally
Visit all the state parks within 2 hours drive
Start a garden
Give more hugs
Start weekly game night
Read at least 12 adult fiction books
Go across Mile High Bridge
Coach a season of youth soccer
Finish a 6 week fitness program at the YMCA

I will update with posts as I cross things off the list!
I've already started the fitness program at the YMCA and haven't had a sweet tea in days (ugh)


The 2013 List

For the past couple years (2012 and 2011)  I have written about the goals I'd like to accomplish for the new year. This year I've noticed a trend. Instead of resolutions pick a word to live your whole year by.
A word of the year, that seems simple enough to do!
Since I find these two equally important, I am choosing two words.


This year I resolve to be consistent. Keep with a routine. Knowing what to expect will keep me sane (especially with a new baby) and keep my children sane. I used to be very good about keeping everyone on some sort of a routine but I just got lazy about it. Now there is a bit of chaos in the house and it's stressing me out and I know it's stressing the kids out. The hardest part will be figuring out a balance between keeping a routine and also allowing time to be spontaneous. I suppose if we make sure to eat lunch at 12 everyday we can still be spontaneous and eat our lunch as a picnic at the park.
I must be consistent! Not just with routine though, I must be consistent about allowing a set amount of screen time for all of us, what the rules of the house are,  figuring out consequences for certain actions, etc. Consistency is the key word this year.

This year I resolve to be calm. Ah, my life used to be so calm when my babies were 1 and 3, even 2 and 4! Now that they are 3 and 5 they are starting to push the limits of what they can get away with. Yes, sometimes it makes me angry. Instead of wanting to blow up at the kids I need to take a step back and breathe through things that upset me. Walking away from a situation until I can think clearly enough to come back and make a decision, remembering my children are still young, understanding that even they might not know why they did something, sometimes "because" really is the answer! I think (and hope) that when consistency comes back into our lives then calm will naturally come with it. 

So there you have it, my two words to live by for 2013. Since I told you all, I'm expecting you to hold me accountable!!!!

Are you making a list of resolutions or choosing a word to live by this year?