And then she turned 4

My little girl... my girly little girl... who is almost nothing like me... but who wants to be just like me... is FOUR.  

Surrounded by the love of our wonderful family and fantastic friends, we celebrated her birthday  at Bay & Bee.  (Have you been there? It's an amazing place for babies and toddlers during the week but our big kids LOVED having the place to themselves during the private party hours!)

About the dress... Lilla's amazing & custom Sofia the First dress was made by my incredibly talented sister, Amanda!  I think her motto should be "no pattern, no problem" AND...  she should go pro with her awesome costume design skills some day!  

I'm so grateful that I get to be Lilla's mama!  And also grateful to everyone who came to share their love and talents on my sweet girl's big day.

Project Homeschool - Week 2 | Jacksonville, FL

Trying to get into the swing of things around here.  Just one more week until Lilla heads off for V-PK - she insists that she wants to do this.  (I'm curious if she'll actually like going to school while Evan and I are at home.)

This week we started working on "tricky teens," had our first co-op day (which was actually a party) where we were all happy to see old friends from kindergarten, and in keeping with our reptile theme for the semester we used our chalk pastels for the first time to create iguana art.  Evan started to learn finger knitting, and Lilla showed me up with her yoga skills.

Project Homeschool - Week 1 | Jacksonville, FL

Our first official week of homeschooling began with me feeling a tad overwhelmed and under prepared and ended with me feeling sick.  But somewhere in between we had lots of fun and learned some cool things.

First day of homeschool

We're reading "Paddle to the Sea" by Holling C. Holling so we made our own canoes and named them... just like the boy in the book.  Both of the kids wanted to make people and paddles for their canoes (like in the book).  I wasn't prepared to do that with them (a.k.a. mama needs a break) so they took it upon themselves to make them anyway out of play dough and paper.  

We are studying reptiles all semester long so we took a trip to the zoo to get a look and some of the many reptiles that are there.  Evan marked the location of the different reptiles that he liked on his map and I took pictures for him.  They found a special turtle friend who seemed like he could chase the kids' fingers on the glass for hours. It made them really happy!  Of course when we went to say goodbye before leaving, he was sleeping. 

Another big focus in our homeschooling adventures is allowing for project time.  This is regular time that they have my undivided attention to help them with projects of their choosing.  They pick the project, the timeline, the activities, and the outcome.  I'm there to help find answers (like reading things they ask me to, library trips...) and provide reasonable resources, but I'm not available to solve every problem for them.  

Evan's first project will be to create his own Lego club.  We started researching ideas this week and I've loved spending this quality time with him!  He decided that it would be really fun to make instruction books for his own lego designs.. so he did!  I set the camera on a tripod and he did the work.  It wasn't easy, but he worked through some frustration and made it happen.   I'm so proud of his creativity and follow through with this vision.