Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fletcher at 6 Years

Yesterday was Fletcher's birthday.
 He officially turned 6 years old, which is almost unbelievable to me. So much has happened over the last 6 years.
6 years ago we were still mourning the death of my dad, who had died 5 days previously, and yet we were also celebrating life with the birth of Fletcher.

This year we are just a couple of weeks away from celebrating another baby. My dad would have loved being here for all of the excitement.

Because of Devin's ER schedule, we celebrated Fletchers birthday a week ago with a family trip to the local jump park.

The entire family loves the jump park, and on Monday evenings they offer a family special. The entire family gets in for a grand total of $35. I missed being able to jump with everyone, but enjoyed watching from the sidelines.

After jumping we grabbed a few pizzas and an ice cream cake and came home to open gifts.
Fletcher loves Blues Clues so Willow crafted a "notebook" for him. She did a great job and it has actually been his most favorite gift. Hand made wins every time.

He was also gifted lots of play dough, and who doesn't love that stuff? The boys have played with it every day and I have swept the floor of dried play dough every evening.

 When we were at the beach and celebrated Zeb's birthday I discovered that Publix had some nice ice-cream cakes. The oreo one is a favorite, so that is what we had for Fletcher too.

It was a simple celebration. It was a family birthday party. It was perfect.

Happy birthday Fletcher Pike!

Today will be a busy day with school and a mid wife appointment. I am hoping Devin and I can squeeze a movie in this evening too. The Magnificent Seven is out and I really would love to see it!

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Bugs! It's all about bugs with this kid.
When I started combing through books for the school year I knew I wanted to include some sort of junior entomology curriculum.
That was a long and fruitless search.

Most of what I found was geared for very young students and comprised of a coloring page and a chart of butterfly metamorphosis. This kid is ready for more.

I ended up buying an entomology intro book, several color books, a thick insect identifying book, and  a box of file folders to create lap books.
I spent an entire day taking notes from reading the entomology books and created a list of general bug knowledge and specific bugs, along with their traits.

I also decided to include Rose and Fletcher, so that the three youngest all have some insect knowledge.

Lap books, if you are new to them, are a way to create an individual book on a topic. It gives kids a chance to cut and paste and create. This first book covered the topic of entomology and what it includes.

Next week, we will move on to specific insects, and they will each get their own lap book.

I also decided that some insects are worthy of several weeks of study. Honey bees will be studied in more depth this spring, and I plan to order a couple of bee packages. I have the bee suits for kids, so the boys can help install the bees into new hives.

To go along with the new apiary we will set up, I ordered several blueberry bushes. The biggest struggle with bushes here are the cows. Cows love blueberry bushes. Devin spent a full day getting me an area prepped and the bushes planted and mulched. Later next month he will add some fencing around the entire area to keep my ladies out. He will also add space for bee hives in the spring.

I also decided to dust off an old and empty worm farm. I have worms on order and plan to let the children get the farm up and running. They can learn about composting with worms and by spring they will have ample bait for some fishing in the back yard creek.

Zeb has been busy collecting caterpillars and watching them transform into beautiful butterflies. There is no shortage of the critters around here lately.
He has been able to look them all up in his identifier book and then turn them free.
So the learning has come natural for him and I am simply trying to fill in some details.

3 more weeks until this new baby should makes his entrance. I have been trying my best to organize the house and yet relax too. Sleep has been difficult at night and afternoon naps have become necessary. I can live with that.

Today is the first day of autumn, although the 90 degree temp outside says summer is still very much here.

We have not been swimming quite as much, but we do still find some time to cool off. Journee's pup Kid enjoys the water very much and it helps to burn some of her high energy.

Here's wishing everyone a fun and productive week!

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