Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Nitty Gritty . . .A Master Plan

I have been spending some time, this summer, studying more of the things taught through the Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd). The hubby and I finally sat down and made our Master Plan. It was not easy. I will not sugar coat it for you, we sat down and started going over each of the elements for a great Master Plan and for some of them, we were stumped.

In the book, A Thomas Jefferson Education: Home Companion, there is a wonderful explanation of what a Master Plan is and what it includes. Here is just a tidbit:

Nine Key Elements of an Effective Master Plan

1. Classics: Your List
2. Cultural Literacy, Breadth & Depth
3. Academic Programs
4. Adult Skills
5. Organizational Programs
6. Experience
7. God
8. Family Relationships
9. Places to go

In truth, I think we were so fine with living in the here and now that it was a little difficult to think about our children and family in future terms. As we went through each of the Nine Elements, I soon realized that we did not need to have something for every topic and that we could have general things that would involve everyone. I think that over the years, we will add things to the plan as well as take things away.

What I found was this gave me a sense of a path to follow towards the dreams and goals we have for our children. It also aids in keeping your learning more organized. I am excited to use the elements in our learning and continue on in this journey. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sew, Mama, Sew! Contest . . .

This is AMAZING! The folks over at Sew, Mama, Sew! are doing an amazing giveaway for a new Husqvarna Viking s21 Serger , valued at $1199. Not a miss print! Follow the link below to take a chance.


We would love to have this amazing machine in our home for many reasons. First, I own NO SERGER!!!! Ok, I said it. With all the sewing I do, I use my trusty little machine to do all the work for me, and it does a great job. I do however find myself dreaming of an easier time, a glorious ease of stitching the perfect seam. Second, my daughters are getting old enough to sew and they LOVE to do it! This machine would open all kinds of new doors!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grandparents . . .

We love our grandparents! We feel so lucky that we live close enough to our families that our kids can see their grandparents regularly. I remember visiting my grandparents on their ranch and some of my most vivid memories are of times that I was learning and gleaning from them. I remember my Granny teaching me weaving and stitching. She had a passion and uncanny ability to make something out of nothing. Her eclectic dinners and this and that toys that were always so much more fun than any toy I remember. Grandpa was so good to let us watch him in the shed work on the tractors, sharing with us the names of the tools and parts of the equipment.

I don't know if they purposely did this to teach us something or if they just instinctively passed this knowledge along because that is the way their parents taught them. They were both raised through the depression on farms and ranches. It is a wealth of knowledge and experience I will never forget.
Chatting with Grandpa while camping!

I was deep in thoughts of gratitude for grandparents the other day because one of our Grandmas took the time to send our resident artist, Bugaloo, a series of copies of sketches from the sketchbook of a local artist that she met. She sealed them in a manila envelope and dropped them in the mail. When Bugaloo got the mail (don't all kids just LOVE mail), she was so excited that she promptly showed all in attendance the beautiful works of art. Simple, beautiful, personal sketches. It made the day of our brown eyed beauty and made my heart especially grateful for grandparents and their inate ability to encourage and teach their grandchildren.Christmas tree hunting with Grandma!

Hiking with Grandma!

Another great example of this, another Grandma and Grandpa returned recently from an extended trip to visit family. We were lucky enough to pick them up from the airport and after getting settled for the drive home, they promptly began handing out small gifts to the kids. They brought a wonderful book all about ocean life from an aquarium they visited. The girls were so excited! They hovered over that book for the next week non stop! Anytime there was family time, dinner, prayer, etc., they would share with us all the fun facts they have been learning.Fishing with Grandpa!

Not only has it enriched their learning but ours! So to our Grandmas and Grandpas and to all Grandparents our there, thanks for the love, support and generosity you show. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful journey of their lives by helping them learn, grow, and love. You are all an integral part of their lives. Enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August . . .

I know. It seems strange that I would title this post the way I did. Why? Because August is just beginning? Because as the eighth month of the year, it sometimes gets a little forgotten? Because for some, August means a beginning?

As much as I would like to say that we kept up our normal routine of life and learning throughout the summer, I can not. With the hustle and bustle of cousins, reunions, swimming lessons, camping, recovering from all the before stated, this, that and the other, our "routine" was quietly and swiftly thrown out the window. It makes me sad to admit that, because I so wanted to do everything the same and keep a normal schedule. Well, I have come to find that this simply can not happen; Not for us anyway.

So, with the start of a new month (August) and things settling down, my thoughts turn to our life and learning and wanting to get back to "routine". I have two main goals for August. The first is to attempt to get life, home, and learning back in order and back on track. The second, to train like a mad woman so I can RUN the entire length on my 5k at the first of September. Sadly, I have not done so great with the latter over the summer. Well, I guess it is a good thing that our routine wasn't the only thing that kind of . . . fell by the wayside.

Frankly, I think I need a vacation from my "summer vacation". I felt like we were so "busy", maybe that's not the right word, . . . I' don't know . . . anyway, it's seems as though there was no "break" involved. Is it a bad sign to feel like this at the end of summer?

August, truly, I welcome you! Enjoy!