Cane corso, Collections and Obsessions, country, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Photography, Raising Montessori Kids, San Luis Obispo Sites, Throwback Thursday

American Girl Dolls

“Just don’t pretend you know more about your characters than they do, because you don’t. Stay open to them. It’s teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. It’s that simple.” Anne Lamott

It seems like yesterday my daughter packed up her 20 American Girl Dolls. We moved to the country, and she started collecting animals.

In the last five years that we have lived in the country, we have had chickens, cats, ducks, cows, goats, miniature donkeys, sheep, and dogs. She and I have stayed the night in the barn (very cold, and very uncomfortable) to make sure the baby goats make it. Got up earlier than we ever wanted to warm up bottles and go feed the babies. She has been a trooper through it all. Embracing country life like it was something that is meant for her.

She has even saved countless little lives of birds, dogs, cats, and even a deer.

We fed it some goat milk until it was strong enough to walk, and then took it to a refuge. They wrote to us to let us know that it was getting stronger, and they would release it when it was more mature.

She graduates soon, and will be heading off to college. The years of her polo playing, powder puff, and hanging out with her high school friends will be in the rearview mirror.

Some of the animals…

I know my husband and I are so happy that her high school years have been everything that she always wished. I loved teaching her how to drive, and make soap. Now, as this chapter of her life comes to close, and she is about to embark on her next chapter. I just want to say what an honor it has been to raise you into the young lady you are now!

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Musical Craft…

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school to the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” Gerald R. Ford

During our days at home with preschool at home we did so many crafts. One of the ones the kids liked were the ones that were super simple.

What are you going to need?

Paper plates (the deeper ones are the best)

Elmers glue (might want to cover the table before you begin)

Crayons and/or markers

Beans or seeds, or it could be a sound experiment. Do several of them, and fill them with different items. You will want to make it age appropriate and child appropriate. If Johnny has a tendency to put items in his mouth, you’re not going to want to do lots of little bells…we don’t want anyone to choke!

We did this one a variety of times, the bean and seeds are pretty simple, but if you’re going to the grocery store make it an opportunity to ask the kids what they think would sound neat in a rattle.

After both sides are decorated, you’re going to glue the rims together. The glue will need to set all night, so have another project ready for them so the rattle has time to dry.

The next day, you have a homemade rattle.

Other items you can use to make a rattle is an oatmeal container, plastic milk jugs, water bottles. Just glue the lid down so the children won’t be tempted to eat the items inside the ¬†containers! Also, be prepared to listen to the rattle for a couple of weeks. Sometimes their little works of art are such a joy they don’t want to part with them.

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Alphabet Fun

“New friends may be poems, but old friends are alphabets. Don’t forget the alphabets because you will need them to read the poems.” William Shakespeare

When my children were young every week we worked on a different letter of the week. The letter would be the focus for all our subjects. Cooking, Crafts, Botany, Zoology, Arts, Language and Fun were all center around one letter for each week. I started making plans for 3 years, so this would give us flexibility and would allow each week to be different.

Here is the alphabet cookie cutters we used… ¬† These are stainless steel, and can be used for cooking and crafts. A great pleasure is they come in a canister, and then you can put them away! I love that!

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Raising Montessori Kids

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world” Maria Montessori

My children are grown up now, but I stayed home with them when they were young. We had Homeschool Preschool, and I had lesson plans for everyday of the month. We had art classes, botany, science, zoology, art history, cooking, and we went on outings.

I joined a group on line with other moms and we would meet at a different park each week and take the kids on hikes or let them play. My son would often clean the slide before he would go down the slide, he was never keen on sliding.

Some of my favorite memories of the kids being young were the times we were doing projects. I know the kids feel the same way. Making their own version of play dough, doing science experiments, making crafts, making our own ice cream. They had their own stools and aprons for cooking, and cleaned up after they were done. Oh, how I love those memories. I used to even make little movies I would send from my “Logitech” camera to my family members that lived on the other side of the country.

I am grateful that my husband and I made the decision to keep our kids home during their preschool years. Giving them a treasure chest of memories of us doing and learning together. My belief is the children have strong family ties because of raising them with a family first ethics. We have always taught them family, friends, community, country, world. They were taught to give back to their community, and they are still givers.

Here is my recent graduate…IMG_9565