August Means Back to School or ..

Back to School pictures, at least!

This past Monday the public schools in our area cranked up the big yellow buses, teachers decorated bulletin boards, and kiddos grabbed their backpacks full of fresh school supplies. Here with the Tribe the big red van is in the shop, the little people decorated their arms with red ink pens, and a huge dent has already been made in new school supplies.

We have chosen to homeschool year round and it has worked out well for us over the years. It is a flex and flow style that I love.  However, August is the unofficial start to a “new school year” and the perfect time for me to snap a picture or two of my children. Nothing fancy, of course. I do, however, require a clean shirt and for hair to be brushed. High standards, I know.

First up is the Younger Crew:

Ezra, two, always adds an element of fun and energy to our days. Why sit and play quietly when there can be sword fights, block demolition, and trying to climb everywhere? But if you bring out a stack of picture books, he will happily sit and listen to you read. He is a joy and delight and thankfully has quite a few more years of learning with dirt and sticks.

Martha is four and not officially starting kindergarten until later. She enjoys being my Baby Girl and is a self-proclaimed princess. When she grows up she says that she will still be a princess. The girl is focused! She is silly, sweet, and smart. Throw in a bit of sassy and that is Martha Ann.

Sam, six, is working hard on building his reading and math skills. He joins his older siblings for history readings and science but always balanced with plenty of time in the great outdoors. Sam loves to talk and talk and talk. He also enjoys read alouds and that is about the only time he is quiet. He was planning on being a movie theater owner and a bounty hunter. However, archaeology has now captured his interest and he thinks digging up fossils would be really cool.

Sarah, eight, is my right hand gal in training. She loves to be busy and loves to have a to do list to check off.  Reading has finally started clicking for her and she is taking off with her books. Math is still fun but her siblings informed her that wouldn’t last. Her future? She wants to do something that allows her to be outside. But working in a museum dusting artifacts would be cool, too. Perhaps Sam and Sarah will work together?

Hannah, ten, would happily avoid not only school but the camera. Ha! Just let her outside to enjoy a good climbing tree and all is well. Hiking in the woods, collecting cicada shells, and playing with our cats are favorite activities. She hopes to one day be a zoologist as she loves all kinds of animals. Hannah also loves to read and one days hopes to have her own library. Sounds like a great plan to me!

This younger crew keeps me laughing. These years are precious and I love watching them grow and learn so quickly. Next up? The Teens!

Finding Our New Groove

No matter how smoothly the days are running, you always reach a point when you need to find a new groove. Children mature, schedules change, and well,  life happens. We are in the midst of that transition time right now as their are shifts happening in our home.

My oldest daughter has been taking two classes at the community college and takes her finals tomorrow. She will have a couple of weeks off before summer classes began. For summer classes she opted for the online option. This is a bonus for me because now I don’t have to take her to and from class. It has really eaten a chunk of time each week that seems to throw those days off balance. Summer will fly by and that means we need to have plans lined up for her senior year. Hard for to grasp some days!

While my oldest sees the end in sight, I have another high school student preparing to take college classes in the fall. A couple of middle schoolers that need a bit more encouragement for independent work. Elementary level kiddos who just seem to soak up so much information and want more and more. Teaching my kindergarten guy to read, working with my preschooler and trying to keep up with a super active 23 month old.

Needless to say my days are full and never boring. Unfortunately they are not flowing well. They seem jumbled, messy, inefficient. So we are working on a new groove. Balancing the needs of various ages and stages. Making sure the important aspects of learning and living are not pushed aside. Finding joy in the everyday and ordinary.

So the blog has been a bit quiet. By the end of the day, I just want to curl up into bed and enjoy a chapter of a good book Books may be my one weakness, you know. I believe they are feeling sorely neglected. Hopefully when I finalize a few plans I will share here. Perhaps my new groove will encourage someone trying to find theirs.

But for now I think I will take a moment with a good book and give my brain a break from all the planning.

Book Signing with Mo and Dale

We have enjoyed reading about Mo and Dale in Three Times Lucky, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, and the latest release, The Odds of Getting Even. Sheila Turnage has created a place and a people that you can’t help but love. If you haven’t journeyed to Tupelo Landing and spent some time with the charming duo of the Desperado Detective Agency, you need to head to the nearest bookstore or library. Now!

Several days ago I learned that Sheila Turnage was going to be at a nearby Barnes and Noble for a book signing. (Love how B & N supports local authors.) How could I not grab my Lydia Lu and head to meet Sheila Turnage and hopefully learn a bit about Mo’s and Dale’s future?

This was the first book signing that Lydia has attended and for it to be one of our favorite authors was great fun. Mrs. Sheila was a delight to listen to and interact with. We were thrilled to confirm that she is definitely working on Book 4 about Mo and Dale. Considering The Odds of Getting Even was just released in October 2015, I think we might have a bit of a wait.

The Mo and Dale books are classified as middle grade fiction but they are really a treasure for anyone who enjoys a good read. At the book signing, adult fans outnumbered the kiddos. Just sayin’.

I think we could become book signing groupies. It was a fabulous way to spend the afternoon. Thanks Sheila Turnage and Barnes & Nobles!


(Note: This is just me sharing about books my children and I have enjoyed. I am in no way connected or affiliated with Sheila Turnage and Barnes & Nobles. Just a mom who loves to share great book with her kiddos and you.)