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Hello!

Thanks for checking in on us. I know it's been awhile.

Since I last wrote, we founded Martin Family Homeschool (!) est. August 2016,

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spent two nights at Children's Hospital + a few months recovering (Grace is good as new!),

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said goodbye to a one-of-a-kind kitty,

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hung on for dear life while Russ traveled a bunch for work,

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and got lots more practice being a family of six.

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Healing and loss layered over our transition into homeschool has made for an emotional and reflective season for our family.

We welcome the holidays in good health and better spirits, mostly grateful to have each other!

Plunging head first into homeschool has challenged and delighted us beyond what we could have imagined.

I can't quite compare the experience to what it's like teaching in public school—our days look very different. There's no bell schedule, lots more interruptions, the option to declare every Wednesday "pajama day," and the awesome truth that the world is now our classroom. We're usually having fun, often flying by the seat of our pants, sometimes very frustrated, and occasionally catching glimpses of magic.

Learning alongside your kids is a fascinating thing. The thoughtful questions, their eager spirits, that little grin when they realize they're doing something they couldn't do before...it's the best. 

Unfortunately, that stuff makes up approximately 8% of my day.  

I spend the other 92% attempting to homeschool while keeping house, cooking, nursing a baby, doing laundry, tending boo-boo's, refereeing sibling wars, and just being mommy. And when we're together all day, imagine the opportunities for whining, disrespect, apathy, and general shenanigans!

When the kids push my buttons and/or the juggling act gets out of control you'll find me

resisting,
rushing,
consuming,
retreating inward,
or hollering 'til my voice is hoarse. 

When instead I could be

letting go,
slowing down,
counting my blessings,
sharing my feelings,
and pausing before I speak. 

Last night Russ commented that "we're trying to grow into the people who can do what needs to be done." Some days we have to dig deep, and it feels really uncomfortable. But the attitude we choose when we're under construction will determine much of our success and happiness.

I choose to give myself a big high five and say "keep it up, Kim!" 

So our school plan for the year with regards to curriculum, routines, etc. really deserves its own post, which I'd like to share here at some point. For now, I'll say we're aiming to

find a simpler, slower pace,

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remember how fun it is to be curious,

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create an enriched environment,

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share great literature and practice committing it to memory, 

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and trust that play time is not wasted time; play time is when children learn. 

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While I am humbled by the responsibility, I am thankful to be a teacher to my children, and honored that they would place their confidence in me.

Regarding my presence in this space (or lack thereof), it's tricky to carve out time to write these days. Imagine that! Remember you can find us on Instagram here and there if you're wondering what we're up to. 

Until next time, take care and be well. May your holiday season be joyful and bright!  

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10 on 10

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1. Grace finally convinced me it was time to try these "Magic Rocks" she got for her birthday. Mildly stressed about a project whose instructions read: DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGERS INTO THE SOLUTION! This is 7:32am.

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2. Magic rocks, 7:41am

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3. "Just working, Mommy."

4. Amy offered to share snacks with the neighbors while they played out back

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5. Magic rocks, 9:14am

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6. He finally discovered his toes!

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7. Megan Martin takes home the gold.

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8. Magic rocks, 1:12pm

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9. The balloons were cool but the "fart sound" was cooler.

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10. Fun ! Fantastic ! Free !

Breakfast for busy people

Russell rides the train to SF and leaves the house around 6am, bless his heart! He's one who can appreciate a good breakfast, but he doesn't have time to sit down to eat before running out the door. There are plenty of coffee shops and breakfast spots just downstairs from his office, but anyone with a Starbucks habit knows how quickly those receipts add up.

An equally convenient (and more economical) routine for Russ is to wake up, brew a pot of coffee, and grab a banana + yogurt + breakfast sandwich from the fridge. I'm happy to spend 20 minutes on Sunday making a batch of egg sandwiches, if it means Russ will have some good fuel for his morning. And we're both happy to be saving close to $20 each week!

I've been at this for awhile and no, it's not rocket science. Start by figuring out how to cook bacon in the oven—this article is worth a read, Ree will show you the way! As for the eggs, our favorite style is fried with a runny yolk. But I don't like hovering over the stove any longer than I have to. So here's my trick for assembling a bunch sandwiches with no fuss and way less mess: bake the eggs!

Egg sandwiches

Makes 6 sandwiches

Ingredients:

6 english muffins
6 eggs
2 T butter
salt + pepper
sliced or shredded cheese
optional: 6 slices of bacon, cooked

oven safe, nonstick frying pan (I use this one
wax paper

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Set a medium-sized, oven safe, nonstick frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 T butter and while it melts, whisk the eggs in a bowl and season with s + p. 

3. Once the butter is foamy, pour the eggs into the pan and allow to set for 1-2 minutes. Then pop the whole pan into the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes more. You'll know the eggs are done when you shake the pan and the center doesn't wiggle (make sure to use a hot pad or oven mitt, I've burned myself more than once when I space out and try to grab that hot pan handle). Set aside to cool.

4. While the eggs are baking, organize your assembly line—I use a baking sheet lined with wax paper for easy cleanup. Open the english muffins and lay them across the baking sheet. Have your cheese and bacon ready to grab.

5. Use a plastic knife or spatula to slice the eggs into six wedges (don't ruin your nonstick pan with a metal knife, so sad). Assemble the sandwiches with a slice of egg, cheese, and bacon, if using. 

6. Wrap each sandwich individually in wax paper. Store them in the fridge in a large resealable bag or plastic container. These will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for about a month. 

7. To reheat, microwave one sandwich in its wax paper wrapper for 1-2 minutes on 50% power. If frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat as usual.

*Note: This recipe uses less than $10 of ingredients and about 20 minutes of your time. You'd spend nearly $25 on this same quantity at Starbucks, not including your coffee!