Signs of Spring

We started a notebook called ‘Signs of Spring’ and the signs were all over the place.  The air was fresh and fragrant.  Mother Nature’s rainbows were surrounding us everywhere.   One of my favorite plants on this property is the Wisteria.

It is especially striking when the Belle of Portugal roses bloom, too.

Karl suggested I point out to the boys how few leaves there were on the Black Walnut tree in the back garden.

And note how quickly it would change …

We put a light on a timer in the chicken coop so we’d start getting more eggs.  Jack recorded the eggs collected daily is his notebook and did a bar graph at the end of the week ~ a fun math lesson ~ and a good visual representation of the egg production.  Sadly, boy duck was not being nice to any of the others, so he moved to the local lake and now lives with a bunch of mallards and seagulls.  We visit him sometimes, and he seems to be doing fine.

Things picked up dramatically between winter and spring, as the days started getting longer…

And the 2 walls in the boys’ room finally got buttoned up by Karl and his helper.

The bulbs the boys planted in the fall sprouted.

I’m a sucker for red tulips ~

… and, of course, white daffodils.  Spring is here.

Our Friday Friends group made wet felted eggs with using plastic eggs and colored wool roving.  We had so much fun doing it, we came home and made more.  My friend Jennipher suggested making baby chicks for them.  Check out her awesome blog on 3rd grade and how to make these wool eggs here.

We had an Easter egg hunt here in the morning ~

I make them sit on the same bench every year for a picture I put in our calendar.  They are good sports about it.

This was last year’s shot.

We went up to Pescadero to a friend’s farm for the afternoon, with some friends and enjoyed a fun potluck and a short break in the rain …

These two are super close buddies ~ happy as clams in raincoats.

Motivated husband got a garden started along the walkway next to where we have an outdoor shower.  It has good sun and good water drainage.  Fortunately, we have some good compost dirt that worked well for the soil for the bed.  Jack learned how important soil is in successful gardening.

The kids were begging to play soccer after dinner, which made us old folks feel like we were staying in great shape …

So many changes I wanted to witness, it’s been hard to keep track.  Somewhere there is an after shot of this iris.  I’ll post it when I get there…

Jack attended an amazing Thursday Newts at Riekes Nature Awareness program.

Every week, they met at an old ranch, just north of here right out of town ~ called Wilder Ranch ~ and spent from 9-2 there exploring the area, along with a bunch of other kids around his age.  They learned animal tracking, mapping, and played awesome games with really fun teachers.  They met rain or shine, and only had to resort to the alternate plan in Bonny Doon once, when the back country was closed due to heavy rain.

Our family joined J a couple of times and what an experience!  The first day we were there they started with a game of coyote and hunters.  Everyone took turns being various animals on the food chain and the hunters.

They had a potluck and got to make fire.

Wilder is pretty spectacular place, from an original old ranch with farm animals open to the public, to amazing hikes and creeks and ponds and fields of produce and even amazing beaches!  Anyone visiting Santa Cruz has got to see this place.  Lucky Jack got to have this as his classroom one day each week!

Our good friends got baby chicks, so of course, we had to hold them in the closet-converted-into-a-coop-for-the-chicks.

Once again, our Friday Friends shared another wonderful day, this time with awesome hot cross buns.  What an honor to be sharing the same space as these amazing families.

With the new spring growth, we took a day trip to one of our favorite day hikes to the Pinnacles.

There are wonderful hikes with amazing rocks to climb and caves to explore.

Did I mention another amazing resource for Waldorf third grade ~ the book “In The Child’s World” written back in the ’20’s by Emile Poulsson?  It’s free to download online (check it out), but if you can get a hold of it, I highly recommend it.  It has great stories for a lot of the topics we covered this year.  We continued our fibers unit with the study silk.  We tried 3 times to keep silkworms, thanks to our friend, Meridith, and her family.  They just didn’t like it here, and they didn’t make it.  Well, we tried.  The boys got a chance to see real cocoons while visiting a classroom in a local school, those worms were HUGE!

I took a visit solo to visit my Mom in Spokane, and also check out the scene in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Mom and I headed over to Wallace, Idaho, to see the old mining town, also known as the silver capital of the world.  Wowza … what a crazy place!  I was intrigued just by the pure oddness of it.  A very historic town, with backyards, if not back doors, touching a tall steep mountain.  I decided it was the perfect place for an offbeat movie to be made.  And as, it turns out, several have been.

Back at home, the signs of spring continued.  Here is our bound and determined apple tree, growing sideways, bursting with buds.

The study of flax and linen inspired us to make paper.  Landen had as much fun, if not more fun than his big brother…

For his birthday, a few weeks later, Nana gave Jack a calligraphy pen.  Jack used it write a thank you to her on one of the pieces of paper.

While studying about log cabins during the shelters block, the boys worked together to make this Lincoln log cabin.  It’s so nice when things just happen, unexpectedly.

We are so fortunate to have friends who live in amazing places around here.   The boys, of course, love to play in any water body they can …

The big ninth birthday rolled around the end of April.  Can’t believe my first born baby is now nine!  He invited a bunch of his friends and their families over for a backyard BBQ and fun…

Back at school time, I tried out a game from the book ‘Games For Reading’ by Peggy Kaye for Jack.  He had fun jumping around my crazy chalk drawings, helping him learn and move simultaneously.

I took piano lessons for many years as a child.  I vowed to never force my kids to take it if they didn’t want to.  With Jack learning guitar, it felt natural to have access to a piano to show him a few things.  Oma sweetly loaned us her upright piano ~ we loaded it into the truck and hauled it down.  Never say anything is impossible.  With the help of some friends on hand, Mister ambitious got it in the house in no time.  A piano!

Landen is picking up spelling right along with Jack.  I found this one morning when they got into the math pipecleaners from my last year’s visit to the Waldorf in the Home Conference ~ it was a wealth of information.  I cannot believe how much he’s getting completely on his own.


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2 Responses to “Signs of Spring”

  1. crystal Says:

    yay amy! what an awesome post. nice to get a peek at what you guys have been up to. lucky boys 🙂
    ~blessings

  2. The Tan Family - Syrendell Says:

    Oh wow…I really love your blog! The Pinnacles looks like a magical place. Your life looks like it is full of nature, art and love. Wonderful!

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