Atop

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Going on a road trip always makes me feel on top of my world (along with jeans that fits just right, boots, and being on the back of a brave horse) !! My daughter shares that feeling. Right now we’re on a road trip in my favorite road trip state Nevada!

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Of course our favorite roads are not the usual highways, but rather endless dirt roads.

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This week, consider your point of view as you respond to this challenge’s theme, “Atop.” If you’re physically on top of a thing or a place — a mountain, a skyscraper — what type of scene do you want to share in your frame? Consider, too, other interpretations of “Atop” — what does it mean or look like to be on top of a soapbox? A bestseller list? The world?

Show us your best image — we look forward to seeing everyone’s takes!

What make you feel on top of your world?

Yours,

Maria

Unschooling – School – Home Schooling?

 

Cowgirl Framed Print featuring the photograph At The Ranch by Maria Jansson

 

Do you know how you learn? There are different ways of learning. Some enjoy the magic of listening to an inspiring teacher in a class room. Some love reading books. Others love to explore. While others learns best with hands on learning, learning by doing practical tasks. Did you know that some studies show that both children, and adults learn challenging subjects, like a completely new language, faster while playing football (or other sports)?

Learning, and how we learn is something I’ve spent a lot of time studying, and thinking about. I have a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education, and I worked in the field before I was blessed with a daughter.

 
Baby Framed Print featuring the photograph Discovering A Friend by Maria Jansson

 

Personally I learn best by first reading, or seeing someone do something, and then trying it myself. Hearing someone just talking about a subject doesn’t do much for me. I need to see it, either with the eyes of my mind while reading about it, or seeing a live demonstration.

I still love exploring, and learning new things, it’s one of the ultimate pleasures of life. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my daughter learns. She has always been a little explorer, enjoying the outdoors. I’m doing my best to let her indulge in her current passions, and let them become her teacher’s. I feel blessed every minute I get to spend in her presence. We have been traveling a lot together. I believe she’s seen around 40 states so far (I need to do an exact count.) I haven’t decided yet wether I am going to homeschool her completely, or send her to a public school as a compliment to our lessons. That is something I am going to decide before the end of this summer. She does get plenty of time with other children in her age every week, so she does get the social part.

 
Toddler Framed Print featuring the photograph Into The Wild by Maria Jansson

 

To make her education richer her father and I, decided to give her an iPad for Christmas. Even though we are not together anymore, we are on the same page when it comes to her education, which makes things a lot easier. We just started to use ABC Mouse learning program for preschool children. I am very pleased so far. It allows you as a parent to tweak the program to suit what your child needs to work on, while still letting the child choose the activities they want to do. My daughter loves it! I think it will be a great compliment to our hands on learning. Especially since it can be used wherever we are. This was a little different post, to share where we are right now.

If you are a parent, I’d love to hear your thoughts about how your children learn!! do they prefer hands on activities? Exploring? A combination?

Have a wonderful day!!

Yours,

Maria

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson

To begin with I would like to express my gratitude for all the kind comments, emails, recipes, inspiration, and ideas that I haven’t yet thanked you for! Thank you! This is an extremely busy season; gardening, different work projects, family, horses, and summer fun. I have not been as active on my blog, or at commenting/reading other blogs. I intend to make it a higher priority!

 
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson

The photos in today’s post is already three weeks old, from a couple road trips ago, but they are from Lassen Volcanic National Park, an incredible place. Better late than never, right?

 
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson
Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson

 

I’ve already made four visits to the park so far this year, but only made shorter hikes. They have all been wonderful. I have a longer hike planned later this fall, and I am very excited about that!! I was invited by a fellow blogger to tag along. We’re going to make a longer hike in the backcountry, three days, and two nights. I really look forward to it!

 

Lassen Volcanic National Park Framed Print featuring the photograph Lassen Volcanic National Park by Maria Jansson

 

Love,

Maria

PS. The garden is GROWING! Thank you so much for all the harvest recipes! Keep them coming! I’m collecting them all in a file, and trying them out as I go. I’m taking pictures of the dishes, and with your permission, I’ll share the recipes+photos here later (with credit to the blogger that gave me the recipe of course.)

PS 2. Ariel, our rescue horse, is doing great! She is awesome in every way!!! More about that in a up coming post.

PS3. I came back from a road trip to Cowboy Country (Nevada) yesterday. I can’t wait to share my experience with YOU! It includes a huge mountain lion, the smell of sagebrush, a Quarter Horse named Billy, desert, and some wild horses (one in particular.)

My Sunshine

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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. – John Muir

We just came back from a road trip in Northern California. We had a wonderful time exploring backroads, and a lot more. On the way back home we drove through Lassen Volcanic National Park. The road was open all the way through the park now. When we last visited the work, in April, the road was closed due to a lot of snow. I’ve never seen the park in full bloom, like I did today. It was amazing!!! More photos to come 🙂 Jut thought I’d share a little teaser!

Happy Friday!

/Maria

Busy Season in My Garden

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Pumpkins

The past few weeks have been very busy. The temperatures are in the three digits almost every day. In this valley the nights doesn’t get cold, they get a little cooler, but it’s very warm all the time.

The garden in doing wonderful, and takes a lot of my time. (I love it!) I have planted, harvested, and planted some new crops, several times this year. My watermelons, and pumpkins, still have some time left before it’s time to harvest. The watermelon should be ready by the end of July/August. The pumpkins right before Halloween. I found a really cool, short time lapse video that shows growing pumpkins from seeds, which is what we are doing. It’s three minutes long, you can watch it here. (It leads me to believe that we should of planted ours earlier..I was told to plant them in April here in California. We’ll see. Learning by doing, right?)

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Watermelon plants, with mint underneath/next to the garden beds. A natural protection against ants, and bugs.

In the meanwhile we eat strawberries every day. I recently planted some broccoli, and squash. Some of the peach/nectarine/apricot tree seedlings I planted died from the stress of being replanted, and some are thriving in our back yard.

Yesterday my daughter and I picked organic apples, in a neighboring town. It was hot! I stood high up on a ladder, and my daughter stood underneath catching the apples I throw her way, putting them in bags. We had a high of 107 Fahrenheit. My favorite temperature is between 75-90, but I discovered that I actually can handle the high temperatures pretty well. (I wear sunscreen, a hat, and drink plenty of water.)

We gave some of the apples away. When we got home I worked for many hours sorting our apples, and preparing them. I made some apple pies for the freezer. I prepared another 10 lbs of apples for future pies/canning/jam etc. I still have around 50 lbs of apples to take care of today. I enjoy filling up with good things for my family. It’s a satisfying job.

One of my long term goals is to learn as much as I can about organic gardening. It’s a little more challenging when you’re fighting bugs/weed without pesticides. Eventually I would like to grow the majority of our food myself. Here in Northern California that is doable, and not at all unrealistic. I’m making an effort to learn as much as possible from our local farmers; what crops do well here, and how to care for them. It’s  rewarding process in many ways. I try to involve my daughter as much as possible.

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Broccoli sprouts, 2 days old.

Since the days are so hot, especially in the middle of the day, there’s a lot of things that has to be done early. (Yesterday the hot temperatures lingered on until after 8pm. It was 100 degrees at 8pm when I walked the dog.) I usually start my day 3.30am during summer. After doing some chores inside, I work  little in my garden before my daughter wakes up. We have breakfast, walk the dog, train our new horse (she’s awesome,) work some more in the garden, and have lunch. After lunch we either run errands, read books (learning to read is one of my daughter’s goals for the summer,) draw/paint, or something else educational inside. This is the hottest time of the day, and it’s perfect to dedicate that to the theoretical part of my daughter’s education. Some days we work less in the garden, and go for an adventure. You have to mix it up a little bit 😉 With a garden, and animals there’s automatically some structure to the days. I don’t mind that at all. We always eat an early dinner at 5pm. After that there’s plenty of fun time. We might go to the pool, a beach, a playground, or just relax at home. Life is good!

 

Happy Summer!

/Maria

PS. The photos from the garden is a few days old. Things are happening so fast!