Thank you letters.
Block prints from our adventure to the Grand Rapids Art Museum studio.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine.”
And baby hands.
Always baby hands.
Wallace is in this hilarious organizational phase, where he likes to line things up. Everything! Crayons, toy cars, kitchen utensils, animals, books . . . it is funny and cute and sometimes slightly irritating when he doesn’t want us to put ANYTHING away!
Ellen is working on a “curriculum” for Wallace. She is his dream teacher; she will gladly let him stay in his pajamas all day long!
A New Year’s Day hike at Gousty.
This home I so love.
Covered in a blanket of white.
Sitting deep in thought.
Writing at dusk.
Thick snow falling.
I pushed her too hard on cross-county skis.
She is nursing a strained tendon.
I must remember to take it slow.
They grow and they become so capable, but still, we must take it slow.
We’re traveling to Italy in our studies this week. Our table is covered with books about Leonardo da Vinci; Jeffrey’s beautiful sketch book from Rome; maps large and small from Florence and Rome to Sienna and Pienza; a beautiful picture book about the island of Sardinia; and amazing images of Italian buildings and works of art. And, well, then I just had to bring out some of those old love letters from Jeffrey’s year abroad 17 years ago!
If you can’t go there in real time . . . play you can!
The sweetest sleep of baby dreams.
Sister’s new old skateboard!
Busy man, up at the sink. Making a flood.
Oh, I love this.
She painting a portrait of herself from a photo I took of her, almost a year ago.
“I’ve never painted myself before,” she said.
And then she took artist liberties to change the way she looks.
Let’s go inside the greenhouse and take off our coats and reach our faces up towards the precious January sunshine!
We have a family of opossums living in a brush pile near our chicken coop. First we saw one. Then two. And then the girls discovered . . . a mama and three babies! They have been making the rounds, gathering compost scraps, chicken food, and birdseed.
Is it time to get a dog???
This is our home-away-from-homeschool one day a week.
I spend a lot of time on Wednesdays in this classroom at our homeschool partnership where I teach a Writer’s Workshop to middle schoolers and a French class to elementary-age students.
The girls take classes too and help watch Wallace while I teach!
When all the details were coming together this summer, I was excited about the “idea” of teaching. But I didn’t know how much I would like it in real time. But I sure do. I love having a space dedicated to bringing children together to learn. I love listening to all the things they say and ask — and watching their faces light up when we read and have conversations and work on projects. It is all kinds of wonderful.
In spite of a whole collection of challenges, this has been one of my very favorite weeks of homeschooling — studying Japan in all sorts of ways! We read “The Old Man Mad About Drawing,” a story about Hokusai the famous artist. We painted Japanese characters using a sumi-e ink block and learned to recognize a few symbols. We watched “My Neighbor Totoro” and a documentary about Japan. We read “The Big Wave” by Pearl S. Buck and ate sushi for dinner. Now if only we could squeeze in a little field trip to Japan . . .