Thursday, June 6, 2019

2018/2019 School Year:::


We started the school year off with our bags packed and ready for adventure. We escaped to the Catskill mountains in New York with Sam Gribley (Far side of the mountain series) We learned to live with whatever the land gifted to us to survive. We made friends with nature and the animals. 
We saved our money in a jar with Billy to fulfill our dreams of being a coon hunter in the Ozarks. We learned of self confidence, faith and gratitude to God, and doing hard things through Him. (Where the Red Fern grows) We crashed a plane onto an unknown location in the Northwoods and had to learn how to survive with nothing but a hatchet, little hope and many memories and dreams from the life before the crash and the world around us. (The Hatchet) 
We took a couple pit stops to Hogwarts with Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione. We traveled to the Moors with Maleficent as she told her story of heartache and pain,love and vengeance.  We were reminded that everybody has a story and that forgiveness can be hard, but needed. 
We traveled and journeyed with Bilbo Baggins (The hobbit - read with dad) and took a field trip to the Children's Theater)
We learned to ride horses with confidence and stride in Littleton, Colorado (Little Britches) 
We ate chocolate bars and even won a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory! 
We made friends with Charlotte and Wilbur in Charlotte's web and learned that friendship can be life changing and can make an impact in who we are able to become. 
We were new to the seas as harpooners working for a mad man as captain in Moby Dick. 
We made our ways through 18th century Paris in Les Miserables (childrens edition- edited by Matt Larsen) and learned of repentace, life choices, sacrifice and love. This was probably our favorite book of the year. We still refer to Jean Valjean daily. 
We suffered in the prisons with Edmund Dantes. We learned alongside him from the mad priest and made plans of our escape to get our life back in the Count of Monte Cristo. 
We hid in the underground lair of an opera house from The phantom of the Opera. We talked about love and how to give love and be loved  (and! how NOT to be loved-- ie; dragging people into your underground dungeon is not a way to be loved ;) we listened to the music, sang along and look forward to seeing it on stage in November.
We even went rogue at the library and picked a book off the shelf that looked "interesting" and learned of the spirit world. (The curious tale of the in between)-- suitable for middle aged children. I edited this as I read aloud and we had many discussions on faith and the life here and life after. 
Marshall is currently reading The Lord of the Rings with the boys right now and they are eating it up.

This is only some of the learning that we were able to devour this school year. We learned of history, science, nature and the outdoors, math- so much math, money, budgets, planned expenses and savings- even buyers remorse (on Ezra's part/impulses)  cooking, cleaning and relationships and our faith and living good and worthy of spiritual blessings and giving gratitude for them.

Our school doesn't look like worksheets and projects, our school is personal, intimate and taught with connection to our lives and the books that we are reading. Our schooling is knowledge we obtain from the stories we read, what is understood-- and then how we can apply it with confidence, the wisdom my children receive is the "grade" 

We feel so fortunate to be able to learn at home together, our lives are filled with so much wonder and inside our walls, it is bursting with interesting information, ideas, realizations and conversations from everyone here. 

We continue on with our "school" thtoughout the summer because this is a lifestyle, a culure for us. It is easier to keep momentum if we keep the connections rolling.

Here is to another school year filled with joy and story.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Oliver is 4!!!!




Oliver- You are someone that I can't imagine not having in my life. You have boundless energy, the goofiest personality and the most unassuming willingness to help and take direction.

You demand attention of anyone in the room. You speak through touch. You love through touch, whether it is a kind touch or a knockout, drag out touch. You always nestle into someones lap or arms almost without them even being aware. You love a good snuggle session or wrestling session.

You sleep best when put down with your very own song.

"My name is Oliver, I love my brothers... I love my mom and daddy, too..
sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am sad...
sometimes I am grumpy and sometimes I am bad...

My name is Oliver and I'm so tired... 
So I close my eyes to sleeeeeeEEEEEP."

You eat off anyone and every ones plate when they aren't looking, you drink out of anyone's cup that has been left behind and you will even eat off the floor but for some reason, you won't ever want to eat a fresh meal on your own plate placed in front of you.

You love to run free and you need to. You love to play with your brothers, especially Eli. You love to be asked to help with anything and always do exactly what is asked and your daddy can always count on you to help him.

You know exactly how to pester your brothers. You also know exactly where to go for a time out.

Oliver, you are a spitfire. You have been my rough and tumble, wild child and you are exhausting. I love so much about you and can't wait for you to discover all that you are capable of in this life, because you LOVE life. 

Happy Birthday, Oliver.  We love you.


Monday, March 18, 2019

January. February. March...

Image may contain: 5 people, including Kristy 'Solheim' Abrahamson, people smiling, people standing, tree, sky, snow, outdoor and nature
Since January first my intentions were to be more focused and purposeful in (most things) but really in my relationships- especially within my own home. My thoughts have been geared more towards the time I spend with my children and things we can learn and experience together, even if small and simple than documenting and photographing. These are basically the only photos that I took with my real camera. Every other photo in the post was taken impromptu with our phones- which I am happy were taken at all. This year has already started rolling and already feel behind!

With the cold and all the snow we have had this year, you will find us huddled together under blankets in our home reading. We have read SO many books already this year and have been so overwhelmed by the character of these characters and their stories that when we have finished the book, we grieve for a few days. That's normal though, right? I think so.

Marshall has been so good about getting the boys out in the snow whenever he could. Right before the polar vortex hit, we hit up a neighborhood hill and took ALL the boys sledding. Isaac and I made it a full 5-10 minutes tops until we ran back to the car, the rest toughed it out for another 30 minutes or so. They are troopers and we usually have to drag them to the car.
Image may contain: 4 people, including Marshall A., people smiling, people standing, child, tree, sky, snow and outdoor

Swim season has recently wrapped up and I was pulling out all the tricks to keep these boys busy before bedtime. Something that we found that we all enjoy is listening to QUEEN and cleaning together. I have a jar of simple chores (on popsicle sticks) that the boys get to randomly choose and we out on aprons and grabbed our supplies and got to work. We all have a fun time jamming out and cleaning together.  (We call it Queen and clean time)
New years games were a hit, and isn't it weird how natural this face looks on Oliver?

Ezra loved this game, it is so fun that my boys are old enough to play some real games now.
My side of the Mountain, Far side of the mountain and Frightful's Mountain were all read quickly from January- February. We have had such an awesome "wild frontier" type schooling this year. These romantic ideas of running off into the wilderness to live of the land with nothing BUT the land and it's resources has been so inspiring and confidence building in my boys. These books alone have basically been the best science curriculum I could have offered my children this year. We loved learning, growing and exploring with Sam Gribley in the Catskill mountains. We found ourselves eager to see how he would survive uncertain weather conditions, how we would manage a meal or bed for a surprise guest or whether or not he would get away with living alone for as long as he intended. Ezra has a bag packed by the door to run away and live of the land (When it warms up :)
Oliver is such a funny kid. We are so excited that he is turning 4 in the beginning of April.
Math. Math. Math. When we aren't hitting the books for it, we make it part of our daily routine. Ezra is a math whiz and I love watching him figure out the answers. I actually never know he figures it out, but he has taught himself the most wild tricks and his answers are almost always correct.


          Oliver had a play date and he told me that they were married now.


  When they are all clean and wearing clean clothes, I needed a photo.



Ezra and Eli attend a home school co-op every Thursday, leaving these two with me for the afternoon. I love when they have just each other to spend time with. They are so sweet together and tons of fun. Oliver really loves being the big brother to Isaac (While his big brothers are gone)



 This is Isaac's first time standing in winter boots in the snow. He immediately sat down next (Without snow pants on) I am sure it won't be the last time he does this. It's almost instinctual for little boys, they can't help themselves.

This might be abuse, I am not sure, but Oliver can eat an entire box of kraft mac and cheese completely by himself. 


Eli's love for pigs, still going strong. Charlotte's web is still being read, and we all love the classic story of friendship and love.

Marshall and I have managed to get out a time or two alone. Always needed, and always nice.


Sunday afternoon naps. We go to church at 9am, home before noon and we all crash after lunch. We can't help it. We are looking forward to the weather getting nicer and we can swap naps for walks outdoors.

Another lunch of mussels for the boys, am I the only one surprised that my kids slurp these down with no problem? They LOVE these! 
Did I mention that months ago they happened to find mussels near a bridge on walk, and brought them home (we later learned together that you shouldn't take mussels (live especially) from where you found them. We learned how they are farmed, where they can be found and how they can be eaten and the proper way to eat them and since then, they boys have almost a sweet relationship with this meal) 

Ezra teaching Oliver the basics.

Ezra's first pinewood derby! We were all so excited for him to be apart of this (Seems monumental almost in a scouts life) He designed and made this car all on his own (maybe a little help from Marshall, but he really let Ezra do all of it)

He named his car "Shadow Ray"


And, he placed 5th! I loved to see how proud he was of his car and in himself. My face hurt from smiling so much for him. You can even see Eli shaking him, he was so happy, too.


Oliver in the kitchen. Keeping him busy this winter has been my biggest challenge so I have learned to involve him in anything I can so he doesn't bother his brothers or get into trouble.


Ezra has been building some wonderful friendships. I have loved watching him socialize and create memories and bonds with other like-minded kids. 



They boys are all so sweet with Isaac, even if he is interrupting their piano practice time by jamming out to his own tune.



When a language arts lesson becomes an art lesson.



I mentioned Queen earlier, and I have to mention it again. The boys love Freddy Mercury's voice and lyrics so much so that they requested copies of his lyrics. Ezra read,studied and memorized them and can perform them! I am so proud! :)


No real plans for Valentines day, I wasn't sad though, I had a candlelight dinner with these hunks.


 Went out with bunch of girls one weekend, had a great time!



I love that when I leave my mom with my kids, she can read to them the entire time I am away and they are completely cool with it. She read this entire biography to the boys and they narrated the book in it's entirety to me when I got home. I have to admit, I was a little sad that I didn't get to read it.



Poetry tea time is still on the regular loop these days! 



Marshall took the boys to a blue and gold banquet for Ezra and scouts. They had a fantastic time and even slept in their face paint. I love how excited they were to be in character.

  

Eli is the best at entertaining and learning on his own. He grabs all the things he needs to keep him busy and quietly sets himself up. Here is an anatomy lesson.



The boys were feeling mighty brave one "warmer" day and got their winter gear on and headed to the backyard where it was almost entirely ice. Eli took a nasty spill and we actually haven't gotten him to play back there really since. He is now pretty hesitant about any icy situation. I don't blame him! His poor face! I called Marshall immediately in hysterics, I thought Eli had a concussion and that I was going to have a panic attack.




You know what makes almost everything better? Popcorn!  


Ezra and Isaac- best buddies. I love that Ezra doesn't mind that I bring Isaac around to all his things.



Ezra got his very own library card, which has been very exciting for him. We go to the library weekly and something that we have been getting into lately has been origami and how to draw books. This last trip, the boys got the coolest how to draw books which has inspired all of us, including me to get to drawing. Eli loves when we pretend that he can transform into different mythical creatures and he asked me to draw him part werewolf.



Isaac is mostly always happy and loves having his photo taken, even with his eczema flare up on his face.


OR even a bloody nose.


Eli recently got new glasses, and I cannot handle how grown up he is looking. There was a buy one get one deal, so he picked out a pair and I picked out a pair. He calls the pair that I picked, the "fancy" glasses. We made a deal that he has to wear the "fancy" glasses to church, family pictures and maybe family outings- and he can wear the "hulk" pair that he picked to everything else. I really don't mind either way, he is so cute in both. 





I had a mini miracle happen. In november, I had a voice wake me in the night say to me, "Kristy, you have ovarian cancer" I immediately thought I was crazy and couldn't get back to sleep. I was up in the night googling all the symptoms and knew that I had none of the symptoms and chalked it up to just being tired. When I woke the next morning, I called my clinic to see my doctor as it has been since having Isaac that I had seen her. It was probably time anyways. I couldn't get in to see her until February- which was a long wait for me knowing I felt that I had received a warning. In that time waiting, I had two more dreams of things growing in my belly-I could literally feel them in my dreams! By the time I saw my doctor, I felt like whatever was going on was out of my hands, but knew I needed to address it. I explained to her what I had experienced and asked her to run any tests that she felt would be necessary in seeing if there was anything to be concerned about.  My blood tests came back great and normal, but with the ultrasounds done, there were "many cysts" on both of my ovaries. I have never in my life had cysts on my ovaries, and this is completely new to me. None of the cysts are cancerous (yet) and I am so glad that I received the warning when I did to take care of myself and to be checked.  This way, we know that they are there and that they can and need to be checked often.  I am feeling really blessed that it is nothing too serious and that I am in good hands with the doctor that I have.  My advice to you all, if you receive warnings, thoughts, impressions of any kind, ACT on it. IMMEDIATELY. Even if it seems crazy or impossible to do.


In happier news, my baby sister is expecting her first baby in August and to say we are excited, is a total understatement. I am so happy for her and her little family. As a mini celebration, Kelly and I had a stay-cation get away last weekend. We had massages, dinner at Bar La Grassa, dessert at Edwards, stayed at the Hewing hotel (so cool) and had breakfast at Red Cow. I felt completely spoiled and had such a fantastic time away from home with my sister.


The next things to celebrate are that swim season is over and Marshall can be home with us more! Oliver and Marshall's Birthdays are soon and Easter, of course. I am looking forward to the snow melting and warmer temps. We all need the fresh air and I need these boys outside to RUN!!!