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beating the February blehs

Everybody talks about the February homeschooling blahs, but never more than in a leap year. That extra day throws us all for a loop. This year, however, we refused to wallow. Instead, we worked hard to combat them by . . . 
--feeding calves. Each week, the big boys walk to the dairy with walkie-talkie in hand and spend a couple of hours helping feed calves. What started with the five-year-old in tears because he was getting tossed around by animals bigger than him has ended in begging to go every day. As a mom, I'm thankful for this opportunity for the boys to learn to work alongside men, learn patience and the ability to keep with a task even when it's hard, and find ways to work with animals calmly and genuinely helpfully. 
--science experiments. We are currently tumbling rocks and growing crystals. Time is marked, not by the calendar, but by what day the rock tumbler can be opened and when the crystals will be finished. So fun!
--catching up with friends. From last minute Sunday night meals together to meeting up with out-of-state friends passing through during lunch time at CC, we tried to make it a month of saying "yes" to as many outings with friends and family as we could. 
--baking. We baked and decorated valentine cookies to make little care packages for all our friends at the dairy. I even sneaked a little handwriting practice in by making the kids write everyone's names on their bag of goodies. The kids loved it, the guys loved it, and I love that my kiddos have opportunities to show gratefulness and care to others. 
--more, ummmm, baking. I started making sourdough to conquer my fear of bread. Now my kids look forward to slathering it with my mom's strawberry rhubarb jelly any opportunity they get. My dad's contention that "Bread is just a carrier for jelly" lives on in our house on a weekly basis.
--celebrating Valentine's Day. Each day in February leading up to Valentine's Day, I wrote down one thing I loved about each child on a paper heart and taped it to their door before I went to bed. They thought it was so fun to wake up each morning and find the new heart. And my reluctant reader enjoyed it so much, he helped read the hearts for his little brothers. They've left them all on their doors for the whole month, and it's a good reminder to me in hard moments what a gift and joy they truly are. On the actual day, we made homemade PopTarts and dipped bananas in Nutella and smothered them in sprinkles and enjoyed cookies from Aunt Cookie WITH Aunt Cookie. A lovely day all around!
And just that quickly, February is almost over, and the blahs will soon be behind us. Flowers are blooming, Holy Week and Easter are coming, spring is so close we can feel it. March, we're here for you!



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