Life lately. A taste of our homeschool.

I’ve hesitated to share much about our homeschooling. For… many reasons. One that I am still a little nervous when I so publicly proclaim We.Are.Homeschoolers. Secondly, I am such a new homeschooler that a all I can offer is what we are doing, and has worked so far, but ‘so far’ is only a year and a half. We’re babies in this! I realized my hesitation was keeping me from documenting a time that is important, will be deep and heart pulling to look back on (one of the main reasons I love to blog! my baby book! for better or worse.), and? I feel like we’re doing a pretty awesome job!


Life lately has been full, rich, and really fun. Ages 4 and 6 (nearly 7…what?) are magic feeling. They’re old enough to really communicate and have intense and deep conversations with, but their big love of play and unabashed enjoyment of imaginary adventures is very much intact. It’s amazing to be in a world beyond baby; no naps! They can understand waiting/delayed gratifications/the beginnings of empathy! (!!)



We’ve been adventuring around, playing hard, spending hours upon hours reading and dancing, story telling, and reading aloud (these past two weeks we read The Magicians Nephew and The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe). My homeschool curriculum for this year is a lot of reading, and talking, reading, and talking some more. Their ability to synthesize and grow in reading comprehension has grown exponentially since adding reading aloud to our days.

Our classes at the school program we utilize are fun and engaging, and we all adore school. N is in school for two hours, three days a week and then we spend at least another hour playing on the playground with all her buddies. Running around zooming about as witches, or playground games that are still around 25 years later (Grounders! Hot Lava!), and really deepening her friendships and social skills. My big concern, the most asked about ‘homeschooler problem’, was “will she have enough social outlet? will she develop social skills?”… that is now throughly laughable. We turn down social activities time and time (and time) again in favor of “we need a home day!”. At school she is in a classroom of her peers, and after that hour she’s playing and running, wrestling, and pretending with a wide age range of kiddos on the playground for hours.

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that there isn’t a division of age in the same way that there is in a typical classroom. Children are expected to be capable of (or learn to quickly with the help of parents) playing and communicating, sharing and watching out for, the toddlers on the playground just as much as the tweens! The same goes for their adult interactions. They are as likely to be chatting with their Mom, beloved teacher, or a peer’s grandparent who is there with a friend for the day.  Seeing the older homeschool kids in our community (around 13/14) help babies out on the slide and then go on to talk about new apps they like with their peers, and then join right in showing the primary kiddos how to really use the pogo stick is incredible! Everyone works and plays together. I value that so deeply, as that is a far more accurate representation of life after k-12. I’m rarely just with my peers, need to have the social skills to talk to many ages, and love seeing how my girls are learning to enjoy and engage with a big range of people.


Once we got through the first month of getting back into the groove, things have felt better and better. We still don’t really have ‘a groove’, we’re changing what works for each of our subjects each week sometimes. I’m seeing N meet goals and blow the “norms” out of the water, and feeling really excited by her. Some of the best activities we’ve adopted into our homeschool routine are; Tea Time (every day, but once a week it includes cooking and baking together). Recipe writing, coming up with the idea and writing their own recipes, or transcribing recipes from the internet. And bathtub science experiments (bonus! clean tub at the end!). I am planning on sharing a bit more about each of those weekly adventures, soon!


(Goldie Blox= Engineering)

We’re only in year two of homeschooling, but I feel like I am much calmer than last year, but still not quite sure what I’m doing. The best advice I can give to a brand new homeschooling family, is if you are reading a lot, talking a lot, and listening more, you’re doing just fine.

It’s been quite an adventure for us, and one I am so thankful to be on.



It’s been a hard day. But the thing that always pulls me back is thankfulness for the moments.


Independent play. Listening to her describe her dreamy world around her and talk to the drawings she creates.

10454209_10100937022516420_5635396936974717384_oA late, and needed, nap. Growing things, found things, and a tidy home. Can you spy Everbee?

10468641_10100937022501450_4003436335990859520_nAll hung up, all ready for play, all closed up for the night.

10491970_10100937023274900_8920132944018838597_nHer, and all the heart and spunk within her.

Five things on my mind. . .

1. Swim Suits. I took this picture a couple months ago and am in love with this style suit. But I need to find a way to make it more supportive (heyo nursing boobs!) and was thinking of cutting the straps to make it a halter (currently crosses in the back) but am scared of ruining it :/ But then I found this post (heyo beach body!) and now I just want to make myself a swim suit. I’m in love! Seems like a good birthday present to yourself, yeh?


And, yep, I just posted that. Because it’s my beach body, and I like it. I’m done ‘coming to terms’ with  my  body and into just liking it now.

2. SPRING TIME FOR THE MOTHER LOVE SHOW UP NOW. Okay, I’m not one to wish away the rainy months but after a snowy move, a week of sickness, and weeks of packing before that. . . we are ready to get out! explore! run! play! exercise! instead I feel like a cozy tired sloth. Looking at the photos on this blog, while I could never be a constant heat dweller, make me ache for gardens and sun soaked days. Ohhhhh come on PNW, turn up the heat!

3. Why didn’t I make an art corner sooner?! I’ll be posting more about this, because it has been amazing. Like, non stop creating and crafting and exploring and learning and WONDERFUL!


4. Dates. I want to get some writing down about marriage, marriage maintenance (doesn’t that sound romantic?) and how we do our best connecting even with the hubbub of life right now. But I always question if that is of interest to anyone or if it’s just such a personal thing that hearing about others’ experiences is pointless. Would you want to read about marriage? Or is that kinda…. drab?

5. All the hope projects. Like, they just swirl and swirl and swirl.. a bench there! a black wall there! a pink bookshelf mounted up there?! alluvit. Homeowners? Do those thoughts ever stop? I think I could think up insane DIY projects for the next fifty years, at least.

okay, one more, 6. I’m obsessed with rugs. This house has no carpeting so we want to cozy up lots of spaces. And, here are a couple I am aching for.

Sweetest Welcome Mat EVER19135359_060_f (can you even see that? I can’t stand links without a picture. But this is all I could snag!)

Swoony love for this one and this one too. Wish they came in bigger than 4×6!



Here are some peeks from my phone this past week. See lots more on my instagram, playinghousefulltime .



Are you on instagram? Find me, I want to see pictures of your cute kids too! Or… wait, what else can I take pictures of?


snap shots.


books in the cozy chair. 29611_10100373397096280_2134359992_n

a reluctant best friend. 576347_454189281312041_1146793584_n

an early, papa made, Christmas gift. 598364_10100373396821830_1854022513_n

a beautiful queen. 537553_10100373396861750_268244783_n

a reminder. 546493_10100373397036400_2139452431_n

advent, all the time. 576506_10100373396911650_1160850968_n

a little perch.


This has been a really rough season and a particularly hard week. Each day it looks a little darker. But once I retreat into that hole-of-dark I stop looking for the light. And there is a lot of light.

Today Nolie (wholly unprompted) apologized to her friend, he apologized to her and they hugged and played so well and with so much love. And it felt like All The Work that seems too unending and unrewarding… it was worth that moment. All the talking it thorough, letting her direct herself, explaining how I feel and giving her the responsibility and the time to come to her own feelings without prompting, it felt so worth that moment. That was light.

Ever holding hands with her baby friend. That was light.

Food on my front porch more times than I can count from friends who know, get it, and have been there. That was light.

Charlie holding me, answering his phone always, taking time off for sick kids, hearing me- really hearing me. That is light.

A God who lets stuff get hard but never forgets, never turns away and is here and in this moment and all the dark ones too. He is light.


interview with Nolie

Basically since she was born I have been waiting till Nolie was old enough to do this… she is

Everything out of her mouth is darling, hilarious, embarrassing and totally cracks us up. So here you have it. Miss. Noele Grace at 2 and almost a half years old.

How are you today?

ha ha, Nolie is funny.

What have you done today?

Just stayed with Papa and getting off work.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Nothing. Hop my marsupial, kangaroo- thats funny.

What is your favorite thing to sing?

Nothing. Just itsy-bitsy cider. Uppa water spout, hahah!

What have you eaten today?

ummm blue-bees! just blue-bees. and pears and apples.

How old are you?

no. 2! 2 and YOU can sit on the table with my BLUE-bee’s and sit on a potty (talking to her “dollhouse lady”)

How old is Mama?

2. 2! 2! 2 Mama!

How old is Harbor?

We will find out!! I find out!

What should we do this weekend?

Nothing. Just see Grandma and Grandpa, sooooon and maybe Friday.

What is your favorite word?

Nothing. Nothing. Just say Nolie.

Anything you want to tell people on email (what she calls all internet usage)?

No thank you, just Nolie Polie trying to climb. Hop on a plate!

Who do you love?

Ummm, Papa. Nothing else.

10 things

Ok, these are SUCH a throwback to when I used to do office work. Things got boring and I would post these on my blog or on my Facebook notes… All.the.time. (because how much work do you really do when you are a data entry worker?! answer: nada)

Mandy tagged everyone, so you should go and do it!

Post a photo of yourself, 10 random things and then answer the questions on the list…. and if you do it ? comment here so I can read it!!

1. I have, by most standards, really small feet. But in my family I have the biggest feet of all the girls so they still feel kind of behemoth. (size 6, btw)

2. Using whipped cream instead of milk or half and half will always own me and my morning french press. I will go to the extra effort of whipping the cream myself just so I can do this.

3. On the coffee front; I used to regularly put away 6-8 shots in a day and hardly feel it.

4. Last night I lay awake at night imaging how funny it would be to see a pregnant woman try to plank (I think planking is dumb, btw) and then I felt horrible because wouldn’t that just squish the baby?!

5. I am working on a post filled with pictures of full term bellies (kind of like the 3rd trimester collage post I did) and now getting excited (?) do to a postpartum belly one… would you contribute?? Start working up the courage NOW!

6. Nolie told a guy at church, an intern, that she was eating “penis candy” and Charlie and I awkwardly tried to play it off as “peanut candy” but … sadly, penis is one of her clearest words. oops.

7.  My fear of whales is kinda sorta diminishing but only because I found out about sturgeons … OHMYHOLYHORRIBLE

8. I have known Charlie since I was two and my biggest memories of him from that time are that he had really funny teeth… I am totally a “tooth girl”

9. I just started watching Mad Men and my love affair with lipstick is only growing. And I want to wear all nipped in waists like a secretary. (too bady I have no waist)

10. I woke up patting the pillow to sleep this morning. Think I was dreaming about Harbor??

Questions from Mandy:

1. have you ever met someone famous?

Kind of…if you are from the PNW. I met John Curley the host, he wore a lot of makeup and yelled at my Jr.High choir… not cool. I also met Bill Nye the Science Guy and he was as big of a jerk as we all thought he would be. Bummer.

2. what is your happiest childhood memory?

Hmm… I had an incredible childhood but I think one of the standout times is getting to hammer as hard as I wanted on a real wooden board at preschool with my middle brother there… for some reason that always sticks out as totally awesome. Maybe it was because my brother, in the height of cooler than thou, came to preschool to play with me. Maybe it was because I was getting to use a hammer and when you are four that is pretty rocking… who knows? I loved preschool and pretty much all of preschool is my favorite.

3. favorite album of all time?

Embarrasing: Abba Gold

4. are you a salty or sweet lover?

both and particularly when they are together! Heck, I even put vanilla salt on my chocolate chip cookies (DO it.)

5. what is favorite guilty pleasure tv show or movie?

Anything horrible reality. If I don’t have to think and the people are hilarious in their stupidity? I watch it.

6. describe your favorite sandwich.

Avenue Garden Delux: Sourdough, lettuce, cucumber, red onion, peppers, hummus and balsalmic vinegarette- even better when you get bacon on it!

7. what was your first pet?

Lilly- a darling and perfect little poodle. I planned to name my daughter Lilly for my entire life, until I actually got pregnant.

8. what is your biggest accomplishment thus far in life?

Working through so much junk to be in a completely incredible and satisfying marriage, fighting to be in love and respect and intimacy all the time. (I know I should say Nolie, but really she is kind of just incredible all on her own, I can’t claim her as an accomplishment because she is so much herself.)

9. what is the first blog you started reading?

My Sisters!! I thought she was crazy for putting it all out there on the internet…look at me now? Over share queen!

10. if you had to choose one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Salted Caramel Sundae!

Ok, GO! I am tagging anyone and everyone (taking a page out of Mandy’s book!). Here are your questions…

1. If you  had a day to yourself what would you do with it?

2. All time favorite thing to cook/bake?

3. How did you meet your best friend?

4. Favorite tradition?

5. If you could only wear one outfit over and over again, what would it look like?

6. Long or short hair and why??? (I need some help deciding what do to with mine!)

7. Proudest moment

8. Your biggest soapbox

9. Weirdest nicknames you have been given?

10. Tell us a secret! ( a silly unimportant one is fine)

Please comment if you do this, I would love to read your post!

a list of things you don’t care about, I promise.

geeko fondi (or was it fondy, Summer?)

1. I have a strikingly long tongue and will rarely, if ever, stick it out all the way. Fun fact: My grandma, Mom, Sister and Nieces all seem to have it too!

2. Charlie and I have known each other since we were 2 .

3. I have a fear of whales and (now) sturgeons (TERRIFYING).

4. I could probably live on brie and baguette for my whole life.

5. When I worked in a coffee shops I would regularly put away 6-8 shots of espresso in the morning. I felt totally immune to caffeine.

6. Charlie and I have not been out together alone after 9pm in over two years and we are super OK with that.

7. My favorite Champagne (and I have tasted a lot) is Martini and Rossi.

8. If it rained every day-all day and was perpetually grey I would be a happy lady.

9. I think I might be addicted to pregnancy (second trimester on only).

10. When Nolie sleeps in late I don’t know what to do with myself (case in point).


Today Nolie got into a box I haven’t looked through in ages. She pulled out all sorts of junk and envelopes, unsent thank you cards and some bobby pins but then she hit gold. Photos.

When Nolie was about four months old I did a huge photo print and chose every favorite photo from the past four months and printed them all out and plastered them all over my fridge, walls and as book marks. Somehow through our last move (not this most recent one) the photos got boxed and never made it out.

None of them are particularly great (quality wise), but they are some of my favorite photos ever. From my favorite memories.

This is when she was five days old, our first outing as a family. We got breakfast at our favorite spot and she slept through the whole thing on Charlie. This was the first day the fog of birth had lifted and I fell so hard in love with my husband in his new role. 

This is from a walk when Nolie was 8 weeks old. It was the first time we used the stroller and I had never felt more free. It was probably one of the first times I hadn’t had her on me in those 8 weeks and I won’t forget how beautiful, full and loved I felt walking on the boardwalk with my coffee and my family. This was one of the first times it hit me, I am living my dream.
This is from just before Christmas, Nolie was about three weeks old and I was exhausted. I could sleep anywhere, anytime and I did. Those naps in our warm little cave home with the christmas lights and old music playing are such a dream. 
I just don’t want to forget these pieces. I was looking through a facebook album of Nolie’s first little bit and I already have forgotten so much of the back story. I know I will never forget the floating, miracle bliss that I felt those first two weeks with her but there are a million other moments I never want to lose. I am going to post pictures every now and again with just the memory attached to it- of exactly how she is right in that moment.