end of last school year and beginning of this one catch-up post.

So I've been in a fog of denial lately. But when October arrived, it hit me. Time to face it, chalk up how very much I've missed, and move on. I missed the last day of school pictures for last year. I missed the first day of school pictures for this year. But that's just the way I suppose it's going to go for now. Because homeschooling nine kids is no joke. Yep, that's right. Now all my school-aged kiddos are officially schooling at home. We had planned to maybe wait a year or so to bring Jude and Shepherd home to school with the other kids, but by … [Read more...]

a mama’s gotta do…

School's out. Which means I have all of my babies, from the littlest to the biggest, home. As must as I wish it were otherwise, this is rare. Due to Zach's college schedule, sometimes this phenomenon only occurs twice a year. Which leaves a mama with only one thing to do. Insist on taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Thankfully, I knew a place we could go where the kids can actually have fun in the process. Even better, it's free. And we picked a day that had a questionable forecast, in order to miss the crowds, and arrived just … [Read more...]

it’s official.

He's a teenager. To be completely honest, he's been a teenager since December. But we got home with Clementine 8 days before he turned 13. I'm just glad he actually had a cake. And presents. Because mama was jet-lagging. Bad. So bad, I'm not 100% sure I remember everything that was actually going on at his party. Other than cake and ice cream (so grateful I took pictures), cards, presents and the usual birthday chaos. As you can see, my travel-partner was feeling the jet lag pain, too. But Miss Clementine? Not so much. Regardless of my and … [Read more...]

christmas 2014

It was noisy. It was chaotic. It was wonderful. And the best part? Having this little one home. Be still my heart. To have her here, with us this year, was the greatest gift we could have ever imagined. But the kids wanted toys, too For some crazy reason. Tallula got a Frozen snuggle-thing. Whose one-size-fits-all sizing is evidently for much larger kids. But with Elsa's face on the front, does it really matter? Vivienne got the Bright Eyes Kitty. There were 3 Bright Eyes designs and 4 of my girls wanted one. Lula lost. Thankfully Lula is easy-going and … [Read more...]

homeschooling: 2014-2015

I shared a post similar to this a little over a year ago, with all our curriculum choices for the year. And I posted a follow-up at the end of the year, with our thoughts on all of Dalton and Asher's curriculum. (Thoughts on Isabelle's 3rd grade curriculum choices is here.) Let's just say, we didn't end the year the same way we began. But in homeschooling, that can be a really beautiful thing. .................................... Here is precious Vivienne. Six years old and technically in first grade, but she might still have one foot in kindergarden. School … [Read more...]

out and about

It's summer. And all my babies are home. My most favorite time of year. And there is so much I want to squeeze into the time we are all together - all fun stuff, of course. But the truth is, we just don't get out a whole lot. For several reasons. 1) I am a homebody 2) "We" is a whole lot of people 3) For this mama to get this crew rolling, it has be good. And it has to be affordable So when we found out that this much-talked-about, National Historic Landmark, 20th century blast furnace was open to the public, (and free!) we were all … [Read more...]

it’s summer, continued again.

About this time last year, I posted about the curriculum I'd purchased for the 2013-2014 school year. So, as we close out the year with pictures and an end-of-the-year interview, I figured I'd toss in a quick review of the curriculum choices we made. Because I am nothing if not opinionated. But first, the year-end interview. Here is my sweet D, as he finishes up his 6th grade year - which was his first official year to be homeschooled. Let's see what he thought of it. Dalton is 5' 1" and 118 pounds. That’s up 2 inches, and 13 pounds since last … [Read more...]

a pleasant surprise

I had a photography assignment to do. One I had kinda-sorta been putting off. Because the assignment was to get a picture of me. *yeah* So, since I don't own a tripod nor a remote, I figured I'd have one of my kiddos snap the picture... you know, once I'd determined the location, chosen the settings on my camera, taken a few practice shots, given them detailed instructions on composition and then switched places with them. Simple enough, right? I gathered up the kiddos who were willing to join me on my photo-adventure, and we were off. Out to the … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: 14 from 2013

I did it last year. The year before. And even the year before that. It's sort of a thing, I suppose. And, since 2013 doesn't want to be left out, here are my favorites from the last year. Not necessarily technically my favorites, from a photography standpoint. Just from a mama's standpoint. 1. Princess Vivienne. 2. My incredibly silly pony. 3. My brave and beautiful Velvet, just days before she passed away. 4. Isabelle... being Isabelle. 5. Tallula, home one wonderful year. 6. My babies. Every one of 'em. 7. My biggest boy, the … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: ice, baby.

I've got a lazy bone. And even though I'd promised my kids I'd take them ice skating, the lazy mama in me was so not looking forward to it. Because I knew. I knew taking 6 kids - 4 of whom have never donned ice skates before - was going to be painful. Thankfully, my tickets had an expiration date. Because, even more than I am lazy, I am frugal. So we ventured out, our first official homeschool field trip this year. The girls were ecstatic. Despite the fact that they could barely let go of the side, and their feet got sore, and they were cold, … [Read more...]