It's been a great two weeks. We thought spring would never come, but it has finally arrived! Last week we had temps in the 80s and it was wonderful. The leaves are beginning to grace us with promises of the serenity of shade. We've witnessed the birth of flowers growing out of their buds. We've enjoyed the excitement of guessing what birds we hear, what tree is over there and what that wild flower might be called. God has blessed us with many birds to enjoy, a red maple tree, sweet gum tree, a pecan tree, and a couple of other tress still to be identified. We had a meadow of beautiful yellow wild-flowers that at first were mistaken for dandilions, but at closer investigation, they were found to be mountain sunflowers! Such cute, dainty little things! I'm glad we enjoyed them because they have whithered away. I wonder what else God has in store for us! One of those lovely days, we enjoyed over 7 hours outside and it was the best day we've had. Jonathan did most of his school work out there and we all had fun with a nature study. I had great plans to start a new formal science unit on seeds and growing and plants. While I was getting all of that together, Adie came running in to me yelling, "Mommy! Mommy! You have to come see what we found!" I ran out with her and they were amazed by a little snail making it's way up a rock in our back yard. It was a cute little thing and I decided at that moment to drop the unit for the day and grab their attention and excitement for this creation. We spent about 30 minutes watching him and learning about him from our field guide. Among other things, we learned that we had a ram's horn snail with a coiled shell. He's an invertebrate and a mollusk. They were excited and even now, a week later, they are talking about that day.
We've been planning a garden that we are going to plant. I'll have to admit that even I have a world to learn about this area. We are going to try carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, broccoli, parsley. We also have some flowers to plant. We'll see how it goes! Or "grows!"
As far as brids go, we have seen most of the regulars and occassionaly we are graced with a few new ones to enjoy. Jonathan identified a vulture flying over the river one day and that totally impressed me. The Yellow shafted Northern Flicker is a beautiful cousin to the woodpecker. I think I've also seen either a Red-Headed Woodpecker or a Red Bellied Woodpecker, both of which have the most red I've seen on one so far. A couple days ago, I heard a Phoebe. I'm not sure which kind it was I only heard it's very recognizable song "fi-bee!" We continue to see Cardinals, Blue Jays, Sparrows, Chickadees, Robins, and I'm pretty sure we have some Starlings. I've been watching a nest up high in one of our trees and I think a European starling has taken up residence there. I enjoy their clicks and whistles. A couple of our neighbors have some bird houses up really high and the Purple Martins have arrived and are neat to watch as well.
This week we started listening to the composer Gustav Mahler. I'm looking forward to learning more about him. His first symphony "Titan" is one that I really like so far, it's got a gentle intro. I can definitely hear a difference from Mozart. Tuesday when we were reading about him, I discovered that his inspiration for some of his symphonies came from German folk poetry, "The Youth's Magic Horn." I have yet to find anywhere I can read this or what it may be about, but I'd love to find out!
We are also studying Van Gough. Jonathan will tell you that he's his favorite, mainly for "The Starry Night." Jonathan has a link to a jigsaw puzzle of this work of art. I did it, it was very challenging, but so fun! Through some links from someone in email, I found some Van Gough pictures for the kids to color! I think they will really like that. Today is actually our art day, so I'm sure Jonathan will be very excited.
Two weekends ago, we went to a home school conference and it was fabulous! We found the math curriculum we are going to use. Right Start. We got the manipulatives and used them yesterday. For the first time EVER, Jonathan said he loves math and it is fun! Today, he asked if he could do his math first and it sounded like he was asking to go to his best friend's house! He was almost giddy about it. Yesterday, he could actually see the equations working and balancing out. He was so excited about it! I'm looking forward to using the full curriculum.
This last weekend, I went with about 15 ladies to a Christian conference called Women Walking with God. It was fantastic, I had an amazing time! My favorite session was about Child Spirituality. I've much to learn! The next one I really liked was about the sandwich generation. I had to hold back several tears in this one. They had a humorist and she was hillarious! I can't even explain. It's just great! Also, a friend of mine came with her siblings and they sang for us, they were The Herndons. They have great music. I saw so many friends from OC that I haven't seen in years and lost touch with, now I have the chance to catch up! The entire weekend was wonderful! Even the trip home was eventful. A 3 1/2 hour trip took us six! We were caught in the middle of two tornadic storms and the second one caught up with us about 15 minutes before it produced a tornado. I've never been more thankful to make it home safely! Then, as I got home, I learned that our cellar was flooded! Sunday morning we were awaken by an awful sound coming from the fan! Thankfully our land-lord did come that morning and now we have a new sump-pump.
A rainy weekend has turned into a cloudy, rainy week and the rivers are beginning to swell. This promises to be an active spring!
Speaking of rain, I'm seeing that our back yard is becoming VERY wet, please pray that we don't have too much water to contend with!