26 October 2009

Autumn on the Homestead

We have had our shares of heartache and joys these past few weeks; One of which has been watching the leaves turn from green to red to yellow. The tranformation of Summer into Fall is one of my favorite signs of God's ingenuity and creativity. It is simply fantastic to live in New England and enjoy the autumn season every year.

While out enjoying the view in the woods Tyler and I did some research on the maple trees that we have everywhere. We have always wanted to be able to tap maples and make our own syrup, however, in 5 years, we have yet to find a much desired sugar maple. We do possess a multitude of swamp maples, also called red maples. Upon further investigation we have discovered that we can tap these wonderfully tall and brilliantly yellow trees. We are very excited and are going to be using these next couple of months to research what we need to know to pursue this experiment.

We have a logger coming to our house once again this fall. At first I was concerned that we would be losing a lot of our beautiful foliage, but after further examination I realized that most of our colors come from the frame of our "field" and are not within the field itself.

I pray that you are all enjoying this wonderful season as much as we are. The secret to enjoying fall: Live in the present; do not think of what is to come, but what is here now.

21 October 2009

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Caleb Thomas Smith is now officially one year old!

Caleb woke me up, for the second year in a row, at 4:30 AM. I am sure he did that just to celebrate his birthday, just the two of us. We sat on the couch and he drank some milk. It was actually quite reminiscent of last year in that him and I sat on the couch all alone in a houseful of sleeping people. Anyway, back to life...

Caleb's bonfire party is on Saturday so I should have tons of new pictures to share with you post-saturday. Until then, you will have to be content with Caleb being his normal strong-willed happy screeching boy.

08 October 2009

Elijah's First Ski Trip

Elijah went skiing last Winter for the very first time. Thanks to my little gadget the videocamera I was able to record the event as a video. No thanks to my old G4, I was unable to edit, or save the event until I threw that old machine out and bought my new one. Actually, this video is not just late because it was taken last Winter, but it is also late because the day after I received my macbook I finished this video so that it was complete and ready to be presented. Unfortunately, I completely blanked on sharing with you all here. So albeit late; I hope that you enjoy the short movie I made to capture the memory of Elijah's first ski trip.


Brian S Severy - Ski Instructor Extraordinaire
Elijah B Smith - Mini Ski Student
Alex W Mendoza- Dog Sled Puller
Alan J Mendoza - Dog Sled Driver
Josiah J Smith- Peanut Gallery
Antonio S Mendoza - Lead Skier
Everyone Else- Extras


Lori Ann N Smith - Director
Debra J Severy - Ski Supervisor
Caleb T Smith - Camera Prop
Amy L Mendoza - Dog Sled Supervisor

03 October 2009

The Beginning of School Year 2009

I know, I am a bit late with an update about the start of the school year. Unlike these overzealous educational institutions; we start school after Labor Day and end before Memorial Day. In our defense, however, we do not cancel school days on a whim or have these so-called half days that are so very common. It really is quite rough being so strict on such a long summer vacation that sometimes we intermix learning with fun. Living in our family everyday becomes an opportunity to learn something and in the past Sandi and Jed have come over to do a science lesson with the boys. Here they are focusing intently on every word of the instruction from the teacher. Even Caleb loves being a part of these lessons with the "big" boys.

Our curriculum is very relaxed and comfortable. After all, Elijah is in Kindergarten which really isn't much different than a regular day as a preschooler. Our schedule this year focuses on reading and mathematics. We do a math lesson in the morning, maybe a little logic activity, and phonics review. Then after I put Drew and Caleb down for their afternoon naps Elijah will do his reading lesson with me, and then we do some reading comprehension. We started our reading comp out this year by reading the boxcar children, and now we are working on the little Pilgrim's Progress that Jed gave Eli for his birthday. The boys love reading about the adventures of little Christian.

One other aspect of our education this year was going to be learning the computer. With the purchase of a new system (finally) I thought that maybe I should invest in a good K level computer program. Alas, my search was time consuming, unfruitful, and unnecessary. As it turns out Elijah discovered the Photobooth application and has learned to use the keyboard and mouse trackpad fairly well. I may invest in a game for him later on in life, but right now I think that the drawing and photobooth apps will suffice. My goal here was to get him efficient enough to run a foreign language program, and considering his parentage, I doubt he will have trouble understanding anything harder than clicking a program icon.

Here are a few samples of Eli's artwork with the help of photobooth: