Tag Archives: homeschool

The Move

7 Sep

The past three months I’ve been fixated on The Move. Our move last year was apparently just a mini-move taste to prepare us for this crazy move we call Asheville.

We came because of this (and a job with Blossman Services):

IMG_20170629_182549591 (1)The view from our property. The stargazing is amazing here on a clear night when the moon isn’t full.

And this:

IMG_20170904_221542_01The Craggy Garden Mountains are a 30 minute drive and a beautiful, short hike from our house. The winding mountain roads are pretty scary though! We were amazed at the bicyclists we saw going up the Blue Ridge Parkway.

 

But most of the time I’ve felt like this:

IMG_20170730_192732234_HDRDespite my wild eyes, these boys have been stellar through all this craziness — we’ve driven to and from Atlanta ~25 times over the last several months. This picture in particular was taken about an hour before I crashed after putting the boys to bed around 8pm.

This has not been the easiest few months of my life. Dave started his job about a month before I was able to move up with the boys and the animals. Once we were back together again our lives were consumed by unpacking and organizing our house. We also were going back to Atlanta every weekend for various goodbye parties and wrapping up loose ends. Now that we’re on the tail end of our move, I’m ramping up homeschool and other kiddo activities so we won’t be hermits (even though I just want to hibernate like a bear right now until I’m not so weary).

Relocating can be tough, but hey, the high is 70° today, and it’s only early September. Watch out Asheville weather, I may fall in love!

IMG_20170817_195651_960Serendipitous.

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Round 2

10 Feb

This time pretty much couldn’t be more different than the first time, except it’s still a story of Mama Johnston having a little boy. I am definitely more prepared, having gone through it before, but having my husband stay home for three weeks made all the difference in the world. We also had lots of grandparent help. So while I was busy getting my physical footing again after the marathon months of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, we were all getting looked after. And as it turns out, I didn’t need to be scared about how Rex would fit in to our family. He, and we, transitioned like he was always meant to be with us, was always with us.

And I’m so glad he is here.

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Taking the boys to the playground when he’s six days old. With Walter I had a hard time making it to our front porch the first couple months.

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Everyone needed their hairs trimmed, and we even made it on time! When I had Walter, Laura made a house call for the first trim I needed postpartum.

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First sushi in 9 months at Ra with Dave’s coworkers.

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Walter is the best big brother. He loves soothing Rex when the baby cries and singing him songs to make him happy.

And then David went back to work. I was scared. I cried the morning he left, missing him more than I’d ever missed him before. Those three weeks with him at home were the best three weeks of my life.

But I forced myself to get out of the house (thank goodness for W), and we got to storytime at our local library. I even cleaned the house when we got home.

img_20170130_112402555Homeschooling benefits me as much as Walt!

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Walter also started a computer class – this month’s theme is Lego robotics – that first week Dave was back at work. I swear this kid turned into a teenager when we were busy blinking.

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Rex even came with us to Couples Book Club. Here he is meeting Uncle Luke.

img_20170209_140314042We haven’t slowed down at all — thank goodness Rex is a fairly good sleeper already (though I still haven’t gotten more than four hours straight in a month). Having so many activities scheduled is a bit difficult, but I get to meet up with friends too, which is very important for new mommy sanity.

I feel a little drained, and I wish with all my heart that David could still be at home with us, but we’re more than surviving. We’re having a blast.

Science Experimenting

16 Sep

Walter’s most frequent request since we started homeschooling is, “Can we do another science experiment?” I bought a kit online that shows you how to do 11 different things, usually involving changing colors with acids and bases and making things fizzle. Yesterday we did a really fun one that I had never experienced before. I’m pretty sure no science teacher has ever talked to me about non-Newtonian liquids — or if they did they never showed me this really simple experiment that would make it stick in my mind.

I suggest even adults should do this one night if you haven’t already. Or if you are talking to your child about solids and liquids, this is something fun to play with.

In a bowl:

Take 1/8 cup of water (add a couple drops of food coloring if you want. We didn’t have any and it was fine without it).
Mix in 5 tbs of cornstarch.

Now, as you play with it and squeeze it and drop it and softly touch it and knock on it and try to stir it with a spoon, ask yourself, is that a solid or a liquid?

Apparently even scientists don’t know yet why it does what it does!

newton5Homeschool is cool for everyone.

What do you mean summer is over?

13 Aug

It’s still hot as the dickens out there. It’s only mid August. I’m just getting into the summer swing of things… and yet school has started all over Atlanta and apparently summer is over? I’m not ready! I thought summer was at least supposed to be three months long!

Luckily we decided to homeschool Walter this year, so we can really do whatever we want. Since we moved and many of his friends just posted their “back-to-school” photos, it’s a new ballgame (thank goodness baseball isn’t over yet). We’ve got to find a new groove. I signed us up for Atlanta History Center’s first Homeschool Day of the year on Monday in hopes of not just learning a bit about Georgia’s history, but finding some new friends we can play with during the week and who can teach us a bit more about what homeschool looks like in GA.

Meanwhile, we have lots of fun on our own and with the friends that aren’t quite school age yet or are not in daycare. Despite the hole in W’s tongue, this week we went to LegoLand, swimming at Mimi and Pops, and on two big hikes.

IMG_20160810_144304466This kid was so happy and excited to be at Legoland, it really warmed my mommy heart.

IMG_20160812_140654603We finally tried out Lullwater Park and after getting lost for a bit in very hot weather, we found the waterfall. We took off our shoes to climb around in the water but I was a bit dismayed at all the broken beer bottle glass Emory students leave behind.

IMG_20160813_125431888Sope Creek, my new favorite place in Atlanta, especially since we’ve gotten the hiking bug. There were several other people there swimming and playing in the creek, and some guys had trapped a bright orange snake under some rocks. David freed him even though we couldn’t figure out if he was poisonous or not. And then we left!

IMG_20160813_134332750After a short hike to the creek, the Paper Mill ruins are quite a climb but so cool to explore. If you know to avoid the poison ivy, which is everywhere.

IMG_20160813_134523670_HDRSo. Much. Love

The Fence

23 Mar

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Spring is here!

There might be other people that were more excited over getting a fence than I was, but they weren’t me, so to me it felt like the most exciting fence experience ever. I love when big things happen at the house. Like three years ago when we took down the giant, dying oak tree in the front yard. I sat on the porch with a beer and watched the whole thing. We used our wedding money to do that, so you know it was a big deal.

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Hollow from the ants. This guy was amazing up there.

Through a neighbor referral I found First Fence and hired them to do the “backyard”. I say that because it is really our side yard because we face the incorrect way for our street address/plot. 50% of people get majorly lost trying to find our house because there is an identical address over near Cheshire Bridge, which is 30 minutes away. Basically everything in Atlanta is 30 minutes away from us, unless you live on the East side of town. Then it is always 15 minutes.

So the fence guys were 30 minutes late, making me stress, before my very first WebEx meeting, that they would be installing forever the incorrect fence. Of course that didn’t happen, and they did a fantastic job. I’m just not used to working. I watch children. It’s what I’ve done since I was a child myself, at 12 years old. The only job I’ve steadily had. I’ve always done other jobs along the way, like the scrapbook store, frame shop, publishing, trucking compliance… I’m really a trade kind of gal who also happens to be a history, psychology, and doula scholar. Voracious fiction reader. If I stayed planted anywhere I might get pretty good at something, but I never have before.

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Yes!

Now Walter and Duggy (and even Petra) can go play in the yard without me constantly worrying about the street (and Duggy is a good dog but he occasionally runs away — who can blame him?). This fence is the best thing to happen to me since Walter was born! The first three days after we got it were beautiful and we played outside so much that Walt asked to go back inside — ha!

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Now we can really enjoy because mommy can relax!

My boy shines as bright as the sun.