31 December 2013

Through the Door



John Piper reminded me today that dying is like entering a new year.  He also stated that we, as Christians, should embrace the new year as a time to reflect on the year past.  If my life was only what I did, thought, said, or enjoyed in 2013 would I end it tonight knowing that the Lord would say, "well done good and faithful servant."?


What a profound idea!  To give ourselves a yearly checkup on our Spiritual walk.  Every New Year's Eve becomes a gift to us to reflect on our life, see where we need to improve and make the proper adjustments.  It is like a personal ghost of Christmas past, only it is ours and not Scrooge's.  

When you walk through the door to 2014 will you be smiling and praying for another 2013 or will you be smiling because, like scrooge, you have a chance to change before the real test of death?


On a side note, I am smiling today, because three of my best Richards ladies and my husband bought me my white dishes for the farmhouse kitchen.  Doesn't the white look fantastic contrasted with the red?  It is like our sins being covered with Christ's red blood and then made white.  What a wonderful reminder of forgiveness in our everyday utensils.  

03 December 2013

Christmas Season

I am bound and determined to make Christmas relaxing and fun this year.  On the plans we have many crafts and lots of reading.  I love to read, and it is quickly becoming contagious.  To my delight, even Tyler has taken up reading.  He has been reading books on timber framing, history, and books out loud to the boys.  The boys next read with dad is Hatchet, but first every Advent Sunday we read a stave of the Christmas Carol.


Besides lots of reading for Christmas, we are also sending out christmas cards, and made an advent calendar using origami envelopes that Eli and I folded.  



Snow has started here in Maine and because of my determination to have a relaxing Christmas my boys were able to play outside in it, even during school time.  They were building snow men while I milked the goats the other morning, then after school they spent 3 plus hours turning the snowmen into a bonafide snow fort.  I even took Eli and Drew on in a snowball fight, and won!  

I am determined to look forward to the Christmas Season this year, and I hope that yours is even more relaxing than mine.

26 November 2013

Dancing Fools

Some people can dance.  Some people cannot.  Some attempt to learn, others are gifted, others are cursed.  I don't know why this happens, but it does.

Most of my boys are especially good at dancing.  Probably because we have danced with them since they were born.  Eli, for example, is a good dancer when he wants to be.  It doesn't come naturally for him, but he still can dance when he tries.  Matthias, on the other hand, is naturally a world class dancer.

Here is my proof.  Eli obviously wasn't in the mood for dancing so he defaulted to his normal craziness.  Matthias is always in the mood to dance.

video

13 November 2013

Where are You?

I am not lost.
Sometimes I feel like it
If you still read my blog then you feel it to,
but I am not lost.

Tonight, Tyler kicked me out of the kitchen so that I could stop.
Stop cleaning, putting the kids to bed, prepping for school, writing, prepping Classical Conversations.
Stop fretting, cleaning, and trying to do everything.
So I stopped.

Above me I hear
Tyler reading to my littles.
He says, "This looks like a girls book"
"It is," They say, "but it is fun"

The boys are excited
They grunt, laugh, and make baby ooup sounds
They like Norma Jean Jumping Bean
I like them

I have not forgotten you all
I will come back when I have
another night
to stop.

09 July 2013

Slow but Sure

Matthias is not much of a talker, but what he does say is so cute!  He is also entering the parrot stage which makes it all the more fun!

video

02 July 2013

Field Day!


Rainy wet weather is so incredibly depressing.  Tyler took a few days off to work on clearing some more of our field, but the field was so wet that some days were just a bust.  Never one to be down for too long Tyler looked at the wet drizzle and decided that we need a family day.  So without further ado we loaded up our monstrous bus of a vehicle and headed out to Fort Knox for a little exploring.



The canons were a huge hit with the boys.  Eli was a little sad to see that only a few were left on site, but he found it very interesting to learn that they were sent out to be recycled during the 2 world wars and the ones left were brought back to the fort after the wars were over.








I love the view of the flag through the mist. 

13 May 2013

Success

After many many many years of trying to get a halfway decent family portrait without hiring a professional photographer, but instead using the timer:  We have succeeded!  At least I think that we did a good job.  Not only did we only take 3 photos, but 2 of them are great and everyone is looking at the camera smiling.  It is a miracle I tell you.  I think that it is because we took the photo at the top of the "mountain" that we hiked on Mother's day.  My boys were really trying to please me.


Look at the 2 masterpieces that we got and please let me know which is your favorite.



P.S.  Don't forget to come to our yard sale this Friday and Saturday in Leeds at 9 AM.  

08 May 2013

Life Lessons

Learning as a part of life is what being a homeschooler is all about.  Word problems have nothing on us.  We live the problems, and solve them out of necessity.

What better way to learn to count money and give change than to do it?  So... Eli and his friend Ethan are having a yard sale.  Obviously, us moms and siblings are helping, but this is their venture.  They will label things, set them out, sell them, and give change. So, come on over to Leeds less than a mile off of Rt 202 and get some good bargains.

We will also be there representing our farm DozenAcre and will have breads, granola, cookies, and lunch and breakfast items for sale.  So please plan to come visit, eat, peruse, and see what types of crazy things we homeschoolers do!


May 17 & 18

9AM - 2 PM

Leeds, ME

comment or email me to get directions if you need.


23 April 2013

If You Died Today

What would you regret not getting to do?

That is the question that I am thinking about today.  What is it that I want to do while here on this earth?  What am I supposed to do while here?




Christians may ask what we are called to do while here on earth, but what I am finding is that my calling in life is often shown through my deepest sense of loss if I go to heaven now.  Let's face it,  if you died today and went to heaven you aren't sad.  You are having the best time in your life, and you aren't regretting what you didn't do on earth.  However,  this line of questioning is a good way to be proactive while we are here on earth and may have the chance to reduce our list of regrets.  So here is my list.  It is short and sweet, because honestly,  I don't have a huge to do list from God while I am here.  It may be never ending, but it isn't overwhelming.

1. I wouldn't be here to raise my kids
2. I wouldn't be here to grow old with my husband
3. I wouldn't be able to help share the gospel with my neighbors in Maine, Africa, and beyond.
4. I wouldn't be able to help parents redefine how they educate their children


Now,  I shall take this list, compare it to our list of goals for our family (yes, we have those, and you should too!),  and redirect my steps.

What would your list look like?




13 April 2013

Exciting TImes


Lucy & Mattie Basking in the Sunshine

We have such exciting times here at the Smith house.  I used to tell people that we were busy, but now I just say to those who inquire of our wellbeing that everything is fairly normal.  Given this week did have a birthing goat, the starting of milking, and a funeral for a much beloved grandparent.  But you know, almost every week has something different in it.  So we are always busy, always doing something, and always ready to stop everything else for a new adventure.  This week, we spent a good amount of time outside with a goat in labor.  The weather was great, the company was superb, and everything was splendid!



Matthias awaiting the birth of Millie.


Navigating the woods.  



03 April 2013

Spring is Here

In my house, Andrew has the benefit of ushering in Spring with his birthday.  So every year, we celebrate Andrew's birthday with a gusto as we all have Spring fever. 


Spring brings bike riding.  Regardless of the amount of snow.  Actually the driveway was clear, but obviously Matthias was showing off his skills by riding in the snow.


Planting some spring bulbs indoors is a wonderful way to bring Spring to Maine a little early.  I loved how these came out and hope to do them every year now.  They always brought a smile to my face and were delightful to look at.

19 March 2013

A Very Happy Boy





Each year instead of a birthday party we let the boys choose one fun activity.  We have done everything from picnics and movies to bowling and rock climbing.  This year, however, when contemplating Eli's birthday we decided that we would choose FOR him.  What does a nine year old want to do more than almost anything?  Fly in a plane.  

On Elijah's ninth birthday he went on an adventure with dad.  The day started and ended with a ride in a little cessna plane from Augusta to Boston.  Sandwiched between the flights was a day exploring the Museum of Science in the heart of Boston.  Riding the T, lunch at the cafe, and learning how exhibits work were all highlights of Eli's day.  The best of the best though?  Getting to ride in the copilot's seat all the way back to Maine.  What a ride!


Happy Birthday Elijah!

02 March 2013

Scenes From SMASH

Some of the best scenes from a Shakespeare play are direct results of the actors understanding the play so well that they add humorous elements and fun movements. All of the music in "As You Like It" is given in lyrics, but the kids had to create the music.  Not only did they do a fantastic job, but they also went above and beyond.  Here are two scenes which show you what I am talking about.

The most famous "STOMP" scene:




video





The "Forest of Arden" as a "character" in the play:

video



28 February 2013

SMASH... again

Every year we are involved in SMASH.  Southern Maine Association of Shakespearian Homeschoolers.  A mouthful, hence the acronym.  Every year,  my boys count down to rehearsals and performances.  They love SMASH.  I love that they are learning language and a love of theatre from the best.



Here is a short video of what happens "behind the scenes"  during the performances.


video

If you want to see the best rendition of "As You Like It" Ever!  Check out www.maineshakespeare.com and come see the performance this weekend!

26 January 2013

He's Walking, He's Working

Matthias just really started walking this past week.  He now walks everywhere and is so cute wobbling back and forth on his little pudgy legs. And....in this house.... If you can walk, then you can work.


video

11 January 2013

Mr. Fantastic

Look at what my husband has done...


A bookshelf filled with good books just makes me so happy





This is a 1700s colonial inspired built in bookshelf with a window seat. It adorns the wall of our living room and I could stare at the book filled shelves all day...

09 January 2013

Happy Chaos

What has happened to me?!

That is the question that I keep asking myself.  I have become not only okay with ignoring a mess during the day, but actually able to sit down and relax while it is still there.  I tell you something is seriously wrong here.  This is not me.  I like order.  Lots of nice, neat, organized, businesslike order.  Yet,  as I sit here thinking about how tired I am I realize that, for I don't know how long, my desk is once again in complete chaos.  Not only am I sitting here not caring about it, I am actually not interested in fixing it. 


Big boy legos, little boy legos, a wooden puzzle, an alphabet puzzle, will this ever end?


Is it part of being a mother that expects her children to completely destroy everything?  Even her love of order? 

My desk is forever discombobulated as of late and I don't have the energy to even have an emotion concerning the absolute wreck of a desk.  Given,  I don't sit here often, but still. I am using my schooling clipboard as a coaster for crying out loud!!!



 Just to give you a visual let me share what I am talking about here.

At my desk I have to my left:  a line of books that we use for school;  an open folder for the church finances which have needed to be organized for ,oh, ever; a large open crayon box (tote), a stack of adventures in odyssey that need to be moved to my computer (but first I need to get some free space on the hard drive, hence their new home of waiting in line); a ball of twine, the school clipboard with my coffee cup staining it; and Josiah's flashing ipod.  To my right: a pile of cables (from Siah trying to find his ipod cable), stacks of correspondence, notes about everything from design ideas for the house to deed info and finance account stats;  bank statements for the church and us; a Beth Moore dvd study set; a broken watch; and finally, receipts from my recent grocery and fuel purchases.   Utter chaos, and I was up so late last night that I think that I am going to ignore this and go sit with my boys. 


This is a weird pic of my desk because it is a mirror imagine.  Talk about being tired, I keep staring at this wondering how in the world...

If you think that your desk and house are in bad shape, please look at mine and feel better.