wonder farm is five! sangrias all around!

wonder farm is five! sangrias all around! post image

This is me, sitting beside a rooftop pool in Sevilla, Spain, drinking a sangria and reading a very good book. (When Chris paid the bill for our room, he discovered that we had been charged 16 euros for this particular glass of sangria, but I will insist that it was worth it, to be drinking a glass of sangria beside a rooftop pool in Sevilla, Spain. Besides, there were delightful, wine-soaked sugar crystals at the bottom of the glass that crunched when I chewed them.)

We are back from Spain, and it was a lovely trip and a lovely way to celebrate our almost-25 years together. (Our actual anniversary is at the end of the month.) After years of traveling with kids, traveling just the two of us was sort of like hopping on a plane without any luggage. We ate dinner after ten, because we could, and because they do that in Spain, and we often let dinner be a few tapas here, a few tapas there, because they do that too. We walked for miles, criss-crossing Madrid, in particular, as if we were trying to get in more steps than the flamenco dancer we watched stomp and clap in Sevilla. We walked past ice cream shops and did not stop unless we wanted to–and if you have traveled with kids and know the power of Ice Cream Bribery, you understand the sheer wonder of that. (There are some photos on my flickr page, if you want a little sip of Spain.)

But there is still more to celebrate. Because today this little blog is five years old. Five! (Picture my five fingers waggling before your eyes.)

I have a new-ish reader here named wandering sue, and she has taken on the astonishing task of reading everything I’ve posted here over the past five years, as if they were chapters in a book and–get this–she comments on almost every post she reads! I am not sure if she is crazy or kind or simply extra-curious–though since I’ve gotten to know her through her many comments and have grown rather fond of her, I’m guessing she is mostly curious and kind, with a mere dash of crazy. Anyway, what’s been interesting about this, beyond the pure doggedness of sue’s undertaking, is that in order to respond to her comments, I’ve had to reread many of my old posts, and the comments that follow them.

And how good you all have been to me over the past five years! There is something special about you, especially you people who leave comments. Sometimes you are sweet and brief, but often your comments go beyond niceties. You tell stories, you wring your hands, you share triumphs, you ask questions, you get meaty, you go deep. You buoy me up when I am feeling down. You are uncommon commenters. I feel very fortunate to have you reading along.

Two years ago, writing a post marking wonder farm’s third birthday, I had an inspiration.

I asked you to leave a comment, wishing my blog a happy birthday.

“Even if you never leave comments, even if you’ve never commented before, might you try?” I pleaded. And you did it, you good people, you did it! I heard from some of you who I’d never heard from before; I heard from some who have been reading along since the beginning. I heard from others who had disappeared from the comments section altogether, but who were still silently reading along. (Those readers are like Scarecrow to my Dorothy, and I adore you.)

And when I asked you to carry on the tradition last year, you did it again!

So here we are, on wonder farm’s fifth birthday, and here I am pleading once more.

Won’t you leave a comment, wishing my blog a happy birthday? Even if you never leave comments, even if you’ve never commented before, might you try?

As much as I know the effectiveness of Ice Cream Bribery, I can’t quite pull that off in this instance. If I could afford a round of 16-euro sangrias for all who comment, I’d add it to the hotel tab! But wonder farm is five and five-year-olds like presents, so it seems that presents should be involved somehow.Β So I’m going to love up every comment you leave me, and after a week I’m going to let a random number generator decide which one of you gets a little present from me. Since I can’t finagle a glass of sangria, I’m going to send along a copy of that book I’m enjoying in the photo above,Β The Interestings by Meg Worlitzer. I finished it on the long plane ride home, and it is one good read. I’m still thinking about it, re-reading parts. It’s smart and articulate and funny and enthralling and touching–just like you readers. Plus, that stripy cover on the hardback looks so appealing peeking out of a beach bag.

So please consider leaving a birthday greeting for my blog. You may not get a book out of it, but know that I continue to be more grateful to all of you than I can express, grateful from the very sugar crystals at the bottom of my heart.

128 comments… add one
  • Alison Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:39

    Happy Birthday Wonder Farm! There’s probably at least a few of us about who’ve read all the posts (yup, me included) – but some of us need that encouragement to comment too. Thanks for the prodding.

    I’ve really enjoyed the series on essayists; I love the insights on how to encourage kids to write. Reading my way through these coincided with Junior Reader finally flexing writing muscles too – and your advice on things like accepting invented spellings etc has been really helpful.

    So happy five years, Patricia, and here’s to many more.

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:23

      Thank you so much for reading *all* the posts, Alison, and for the birthday wishes! Exciting that you have a new writer in your home!

  • Sharonnz Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:48

    Many happy returns, from New Zealand! It’s the middle of our winter so I’ll take the virtual sunshine and sangria, thanks!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:26

      Thanks so much, Sharon! I seem to have several readers from New Zealand. Love that!

  • chrissy Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:04

    Congratulations on 5 years of blogging Wonder Farm! I always look forward to your posts!
    Very Best, Chrissy

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:28

      Thank you, Chrissy! It’s always a little extra special to see people I know in real life here!

  • j meyers Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:30

    Happy birthday Wonder Farm! Such an inspirational blog. πŸ™‚

  • amanda Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:37

    i loved wintering so i believe you when you recommend the interestings.

    i think curious and kind with a little crazy thrown in for good measure are the best types of people – lucky you to have found some πŸ™‚

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:36

      When I got back from my trip and was still a bit bleary, I saw your post about Wintering, and was thrilled that you liked it! I went on a very similar Sylvia Plath jag after I read it, digging into many of the same books you did. Even read some Ted Hughes to see what he had to say. The only reason I didn’t respond on your blog was that I was trying to think of books to recommend for younger kids–which was your plea in the same post–and my jet-lagged brain fizzled out.

      Curious + kind+ (small bit) crazy = best. Yes!

  • KC Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:43

    Happy Birthday! It was fun to think you were so close to me just a little while ago. Your blog is filled with so many good things. I often get lost and wander from post to post everytime I come here!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:39

      And you even wandered to one of my earliest posts recently, didn’t you, KC? I love that.

      Yes, it was neat to know I wasn’t far from you, and to have a little “local” twitter talk. Reading about your storm today, I felt so much farther away…

      Thanks for continuing to join the conversation here!

  • Elizabeth Johnsen Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:50

    Another Happy Birthday from New Zealand! πŸ™‚

    One day I’m going to sit down and read through lots of posts too….!!

    Cheers! Elizabeth πŸ™‚

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:45

      It’s fun for me to hear where you are as you read. Thanks, Elizabeth!

  • Zane Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:54

    Happy Birthday (and almost anniversary)! I’m so glad to have found you in the blogging/homeschooling/writing world!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:51

      Thank you, Zane. And thank you for continuing to show up here in the comments!

  • Jenni Jul 18, 2013 @ 13:57

    Happy birthday Wonderfarm. Your blog and the community involved in commenting are a great inspiration to me me and refreshing to read! I love the e-book for writing workshops and have been devouring it for the weekly homeschool writing I co-host.

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:54

      Thanks, Jenni! I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed Workshops Work–and that you’re putting it to good use! If you have any workshops stories to share, or any questions, I hope you’ll post them on the book’s Community page: http://patriciazaballos.com/community/

      Enjoy your group!

  • Alanna Jul 18, 2013 @ 14:14

    Happy 5th birthday to WonderFarm! I always enjoy your posts, and as we embark on the journey of homeschool kindergarten with our daughter this fall, I am sure I will be revisiting the archives for inspiration. And I will never forget your post from last summer (“if you want to help your kids with writing, you need to write yourself”), which inspired me to take the plunge and start my novel (still in progress… but it’s coming along, and oh how I am enjoying the process). Thanks for all that you do!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:02

      Alanna, I was thrilled when you commented on that post last summer, and told me that it inspired you to start a novel. I’m even more thrilled to hear that you’re still working on it! Enjoying the process is key. Keep going!

      Thanks for the warm wishes!

  • Peggy Jul 18, 2013 @ 14:55

    Happy Birthday! I’ve been following you in FB for a while, but don’t think I’ve ever actually commented on anything. I love your writing and your advice though. πŸ™‚

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:03

      Thanks for reading, Peggy, and for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog’s birthday!

  • Karen Jul 18, 2013 @ 15:12

    Happy birthday, five year old!

    Discovering your blog has been like coming across a very dear old friend I’d long last touch with and missed very much. I feel not so alone in the world in the way I think about writing now, and best of all, I feel “accompanied” virtually on my homeschooling journey with my daughter.

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:09

      Thanks for the good wishes, Karen. And thanks for your regular comments here!

      I’m happy to accompany you virtually on your homeschooling journey. That’s what I’m trying to do!

  • Kelley Jul 18, 2013 @ 15:25

    Happy Birthday, Wonderfarm! I am a newish follower, but I love what you’re doing enough to go back and back and back through your old posts. Tons of good stuff here!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:11

      Well, Kelley, now you know that I have a soft spot for people who go back and read the old stuff…

      Thanks for reading along!

  • liv Jul 18, 2013 @ 15:26

    i happily stumbled upon your blog right in the midst of trying not to tear my hair out homeschooling my two boys this year. one is a lover of writing & the other thinks it the worst kind of torture! anyway, it has been such helpful insight here to ease the heck up on the one who doesn’t yet like writing! keep up the good work! and by the way i truly do agree curious and kind with a little bit of crazy for good measure makes the best kind of people (from one of those:)

    liv

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:17

      It’s always good to meet new curious, kind and a little bit crazy readers, Liv! I’m glad that the blog has been helpful with your boys–especially the one who doesn’t like writing. Sounds like he’s taking a different path than his brother, but I’m sure he’ll show you the way!

  • Lise Jul 18, 2013 @ 15:32

    Happy Birthday, Wonderfarm! I’m still gratefully reading along here, though not commenting much (life’s taken a difficult turn lately, so the escape of reading is all I can manage right now).

    This is the second good review I’ve read this week of The Interestings, so I’ve got to read it now!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:22

      Ah, Lise, one of my longtime, Scarecrow readers! It’s so nice to hear from you, even if only on my blog’s birthdays, and to know you are still reading along.

      I’m very sorry to hear that you’re facing difficulties. I send wishes for a better turn.

  • AmandaXC Jul 18, 2013 @ 15:54

    With the kind of wisdom I’ve found here, it’s hard to believe your site is ONLY five! I can understand reading through all five years, and I wonder if I’ve done it? I may have. I know I have read everything I could about dictation and homeschooling and writing workshops, because your writing surely resonates with me and buoys ME up! Happy birthday, wonderfarm! And many more!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:44

      Thanks for the warm wishes, Amanda, and even more, for taking the chance and starting up a writer’s workshop! I’ve so enjoyed hearing about your workshop, and your willingness to share your thoughts on the book’s Community page. Hope you continue!

  • Heather Caliri Jul 18, 2013 @ 16:04

    Happy birthday! Here’s to more years of passion and writing and sharing wisdom together!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:46

      The sharing is what it’s all about, Heather! Thank you!

  • Wendy Jul 18, 2013 @ 16:23

    Oh Wonderfarm (and Patricia), how wonderful you are! I found you a couple of years ago when I was google searching for Eric Carle art ideas and, wah lah, there you were! I must admit I am a bit like wandering sue and have read almost all you’ve written. You see, I too, was a public school teacher turned homeschooling mama, back to ps teacher and homeschooling again! Each kid needs something different, so I provide!

    I can really relate to your posts about Mr. T. My son is similar to him and goes about things in his own creative way. I love hearing about the ways in which you allow your son to learn in a way that works for him, using his interests. I try to do the same for my son.

    I have also enjoyed your book recommendations, especially Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind. That one was an eye opener. I think I discovered 826 Valencia through one of your posts. I find Dave Eggers and the whole concept of 826 Valencia inspiring and ingenious, especially the pirate supply store!

    Also, your blog inspired me to write my own! So there. Happy, happy birthday Wonderfarm!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 9:56

      Yes, you’ve been reading along and commenting for a while now, Wendy. Thank you!

      A Whole New Mind and 826 Valencia = two of my favorite resources! And how can one not be intrigued by a store that has a vat of lard and sells striped pirate socks?

      My blog inspired you to start yours? Aw, shucks–that’s fantastic.

  • Suzie Jul 18, 2013 @ 16:38

    Happy Happy Birthday, and Happy Anniversary, and congratulations on all of it, including your recent wonderful trip through Spain! And I’m not leaving a comment to win anything, but because I happened to click over and read today and was glad I did. I hope you know you’re always appreciated, even when there is silence, and even when your readers are more dippers and scanners than thoughtful, deep readers like Sue. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for all you have shared–it matters. And now I’m going to treat myself to a look at your flickr page!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:00

      Oh, thank you Suzie! It’s been fun to get to know you via Twitter. You are such a ray of sunshine! I’m hoping that we might actually get to meet during the homeschool conference next month!

  • Emily S. Jul 18, 2013 @ 16:39

    Happy Birthday!!!!
    Thank you for the wonderful glimpses into your life and the inspiration and help you give!

  • Erica Jul 18, 2013 @ 17:13

    Happy Birthday! What a lovely trip and a wonderful way to celebrate so much goodness in your life.

  • Amy Jul 18, 2013 @ 17:37

    Happy Birthday, Wonderfarm! I have been enjoying your blog for about 6 months now snd have shared your posts on creating writers with several homeschool friends that have expressed a need for encouragement. I look forward to rereading them in a year or so as my son (hopefully) begins his journey into expressing his thoughts. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences.

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:04

      Thank you for taking the time to send good wishes, Amy, and for sharing my work! That means so much to me.

  • Trace Jul 18, 2013 @ 18:08

    I followed your trip on Instagram. It looked like something I would have loved, and now I’m sure of it after reading about your days (and nights!) here.

    Happy birthday to your blog! I found you not too long ago, through Renee at FIMBY, I think, and I’ve very much enjoyed everything I’ve read since. Many posts I’ve tucked away for future reference — my oldest is just turning six, and I feel so fortunate to have found you now in these early years.

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:08

      Trace, I didn’t post as much on Instagram as I might have liked–I was having too much fun!

      Thank you for telling me how you found me. I always like to know that–and Renee is so special.

      Enjoy these early years of homeschooling, and thank you for the birthday wishes!

  • tina Jul 18, 2013 @ 18:27

    Happy Birthday Wonderfarm! I can’t believe you are 5 already. Time really flies when you are having fun. I love to lurk on your blog and read about your adventures and see your photos. Looking forward to reading your first novel!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:11

      Hello to one of my favorite lurkers! Thanks for coming out of the shadows for my blog’s birthday! I’m gearing up to dig in and really write this bigger book on writing, and I know who is throwing me my book release party when I do! πŸ˜‰

  • Cathy Jul 18, 2013 @ 18:37

    Happy Birthday, Wonder Farm! Since finding your blog, I’ve enjoyed each post. And your essayists material has inspired me to create my own list to read for 2014.

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:13

      Cathy, I’ve long noted that the folks who read my essayists posts earn a special place in my heart. I’d love to see your list!

      • Cathy Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:46

        Wow — it’s just so nice how engaged with your readers you are! Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’m borrowing some essayists from your list as I’ve long admired them — Annie Dillard and Anne Lamott for sure. I’m also going to include Wendell Berry, John McPhee, and perhaps Bill McKibben. It’s still a work in progress. Thank you for inspiring me to do this!

      • patricia Jul 23, 2013 @ 9:03

        If readers take the time to engage with me, I am only too happy to engage right back! Thanks for telling me a bit more about your plans! And oh, yes, I love Berry and McPhee too, although I haven’t read any McKibben. I hope you enjoy every minute of your project, Cathy, and that you’ll update me as you go!

  • dawn Jul 18, 2013 @ 19:14

    welcome back, glad your trip was good, and happy blogday to one of my very favorites πŸ™‚

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:15

      Thank you, Dawn! I’m honored to be a favorite!

  • amy Jul 18, 2013 @ 19:41

    happy birthday + happy anniversary as well. both achievements are worthy of pride and celebration.

  • Lori Jul 18, 2013 @ 19:44

    Happy Birthday Wonderfarm and Happy Anniversary to you and Chris! I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts and your book! Thank you for adding that little bit extra to my life, just like a good read does!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:22

      Ooh, special thanks to anyone who says they’ve enjoyed my book! Thanks so much for reading it, Lori, and for reading along here.

  • Carrie Pomeroy Jul 18, 2013 @ 20:39

    Happy birthday, Wonder Farm! Patricia, your blog has helped me in so many ways. A couple of days ago, I thought of you as I was listening to a public radio spot on the impact of technology, like social media and hand-held devices, on writing. I held my breath, wondering what kind of hand-wringing and naysaying I was going to hear. Instead, they featured a wonderful high school teacher who talked about exactly the kinds of things you’ve talked about–how computers give kids real-world chances to share their work, to collaborate, revise in response to feedback, and connect with audiences with real purpose. Woo-hoo! Your message is beginning to permeate the mainstream!

    I can’t tell you how many times I think of you during the average week and how much sustenance and inspiration I’ve drawn from your generous blog and responses to comments. THANK YOU!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:30

      Oh, Carrie, you are one of my special adore-you-like-the-Scarecrow readers! Your eloquent, in-depth insights and sharing here have been so helpful to me as I’ve tried to figure out how to help parents.

      I would love a link to that interview, if you can find it!

      Your words never fail to encourage me, Carrie. Your voice here has meant more than you know. Thank you!

  • Roxy Jul 18, 2013 @ 20:53

    happy birthday, wonderfarm! you inspire me so often and i enjoy reading your posts. so happy celebration wishes all the way from nebraska!

    • patricia Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:32

      Thanks so much, Roxy, and thanks for continuing to read along!

  • amy Jul 18, 2013 @ 21:09

    Happy Birthday! I really like the idea of going back and reading your entire blog. There is so much goodness here.

    Spain seems amazing!

    Amy

    • patricia Jul 20, 2013 @ 18:10

      Thank you for the good wishes, Amy–another one of my longtime readers!

      Spain is amazing, Amy. If you ever get tired of Paris, you should try it. πŸ˜‰

  • Tracy Jul 19, 2013 @ 4:38

    Happy Bloggie Birthday! And Happy Anniversary! From the intense heat of Chicago (not sure I want to know what today’s heat index of 108F is gonna feel like, but that photo with the sangria looks like it would help a LOT), I wish you many, many more happy milestones.

    Cheers!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:03

      Thanks for the kind wishes, Tracy! Stay cool!

  • Sisters From Another Mister Jul 19, 2013 @ 5:55

    Happy Happy to you … yes, there you are in my emails and I do my ‘silent’ reading alongside my coffee as my day begins. I still have your article on my desk from that wondrous day years and years back in Whole Food when the week I started homeschooling … there you were, telling me that I was on the right track.

    But TODAY let me shout out – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:12

      Nicole, hi! You are still reading along? I’m honored!

      I’m planning to make a shareable PDF of that article someday soon because it holds a special place in my heart. (Got permission from the wonderful artist, too.)

      Thank you for the shout out, and for sticking around!

  • Stacey Jul 19, 2013 @ 7:07

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY WONDERFARM!! You’ve been an inspiration for a long time.

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:14

      Thanks for the big wishes, Stacey, and for reading for a long time!

  • Gina Jul 19, 2013 @ 7:32

    I just wanted to thank you for writing that writing blog post about what to do if your kids do not like to write and are not excited about your suggestions. I appreciate it!

    Gina

  • Kate Edenborg Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:21

    Happy birthday wonder farm! I’m getting ready to teach my kiddo writing workshop in a few weeks. Will let you know how it goes! Thanks for your guidance.

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:21

      I’m so happy that you’re starting your workshop, Kate! Yes, please come back to the Community page and let us know how it goes! http://patriciazaballos.com/community/ I’d love to hear how it works out for a group of younger kids.

  • gretchen Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:55

    Tricia,
    Bon Anniversaire!!! So glad to see you relaxing and enjoying multi sensory pleasures!
    Your five years of postings are a wonderful journey. Looking forward to many more,
    Love, Gretchen

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:24

      Thank you for the good wishes, and for reading along, Gretchen. It means so much when the people from my “real life” take the time to follow me here. xo!

  • Nancy Inguanzo Jul 19, 2013 @ 15:07

    The average cost of a Spanish Sonador – a sweet sangria served on a Sevilla rooftop on a splendid summer day with a great book twist – is actually 20 euros. You got a deal! Happy Birthday, Wonder Farm!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:27

      Ha! Yes, you get it, Nancy Carol. (I keep waiting for my husband to comment here and point out that the sangria was actually more than 16 euros. I might have got that wrong…)

      Thanks so much for reading along, and leaving such thoughtful comments!

  • Francie Jul 19, 2013 @ 20:28

    Happy blog birthday!
    I have been interested in and actively reading about homeschooling since well before my now two-year-old came along, but I figured it would have to remain a fantasy, as my spouse was not onside and we both love our outside-the-home jobs. About two months ago, I stumbled on Wonderfarm and Lori Pickert’s Camp Creek blog simultaneously (thanks to FIMBY) and backread you both almost completely in one feverish week. I felt had found my tribe. One night over supper I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and I somehow managed to bring my guy around to see the potential of a homeschooling lifestyle for our son. Even if we don’t manage to redesign our lives in the next few years to allow for full-time homeschooling, we’re already seeing our toddler’s relentless, self-directed learning through new eyes, and we will do whatever we can to protect, prolong and even imitate it. I’ve also started carefully preparing the soil with all the grandparents.
    You’ve truly lit a fire. Thank you from the bottom of *my* heart.

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:34

      Oh, Francie, thanks so much for sharing your story. Love this: “About two months ago, I stumbled on Wonderfarm and Lori Pickert’s Camp Creek blog simultaneously (thanks to FIMBY) and backread you both almost completely in one feverish week.” I remember way back when, when I stumbled upon the notion of homeschooling, and had to convince the people I loved that it was the right decision. It was an exciting and slightly scary time.

      I *love* lighting fires. πŸ™‚ Keep blowing on those sparks!

      • wanderingsue Aug 6, 2013 @ 10:02

        This is the bit that grabs me- “I somehow managed to bring my guy around to see the potential of a homeschooling lifestyle for our son.” I’m not there yet. He’s agreed, reluctantly, for a few years of trial. Gently, gently. Wish me luck!

      • patricia Aug 7, 2013 @ 9:29

        Keep the faith, wanderingsue! Often, given time, doubters come to see how much the kids are thriving in a homeschooling environment. Wishing you the best of luck!

  • kort Jul 19, 2013 @ 21:14

    happiest of days to you Wonderfarm!

    i too have been re-reading here a lot this past year; it’s nice to have your voice in my head as i go through my day with my children.

    keep up the great work. and peace keep you.

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:37

      Thank you for the good wishes, Kort–and for re-reading!

  • Patrice O'Farrell Hinz Jul 20, 2013 @ 9:43

    Mmmmmm. Sangria. Spain! Just the two of you! Wonderful.
    Happy Birthday and anniversary!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:38

      Patrice! So nice to see you here! Thank you for the kind wishes!

  • Joanne Yoshimura Jul 20, 2013 @ 13:55

    Happy Birthday, Wonder Farm! I found you a few years ago, though I haven’t been on this site for awhile. Last year we homeschooled our older child and it was wonderful. I searched for your site just now to send to a friend who is considering homeschooling. The quote I remember most is something about every child being a genius and full of wonder if we could encourage them. The quote I remember second is that when many kids write, they need an audience that eventually will read it. Cheers, Wonder Farm!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:41

      Joanne, another local, hello! Thank you for stopping by, and for sharing my blog with your friend. I’m so glad that homeschooling has worked out for you and your family. And good job with the quotes–you’re remembering some of my most dearly-held beliefs there! Hope to see you around in the fall.

  • Kirsten Jul 20, 2013 @ 14:37

    Happy Birthday from Sunny Scotland, Wonderfarm! I’ve most loved your encouragement about phonetic spelling as my son is a prolific writer who uses a spelling system all of his own! I wish you many happy returns!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:45

      Ooh, reading along way over in Scotland? I love to know that. Oh wait, I just realized that you’re Twitter Kirsten! Thanks for coming this way and offering the good wishes!

      Keep encouraging that prolific writer! If he enjoys writing, the rest will fall into place, and he’ll learn how to handle the spelling.

  • Nancy Jul 21, 2013 @ 15:34

    oh, I want some of those wine-y sugar crystals! and happy, happy birthday!

    • patricia Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:48

      Me too, Nancy! Well, I’ll just have to settle for the memory. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Heather Jul 21, 2013 @ 18:48

    Happiest of blogging anniversaries, Patricia! And what a fantastic vacation. I agree that your drink was definitely worth it. Thank you for sharing your photos as you went. They reminded me so much of the trip dh and I took pre-children. It seems likes ages ago, but I know more travels are yet to come. Happy 25 yrs as well!

    • patricia Jul 22, 2013 @ 10:45

      Thank you, Heather! We did drive through and stop in Ronda, but it was a crazy, windy day there, so we didn’t enjoy it as much as we might have. The white hill town closest to where we stayed was called Vejer de la Frontera. We spent part of a day there and loved it. Very untouristy. Had a fantastic Moroccan lunch. Ah. Nothing like the memories of travel, huh?

  • Kelly Jul 22, 2013 @ 10:45

    Sue sounds exceptional….or perhaps a trend setter? Maybe we should ALL read and comment from the beginning πŸ™‚ how would that be as a birthday gift?

    Happy Birthday!

    • patricia Jul 22, 2013 @ 10:55

      I’m still waiting for Sue to show up to this post–I hope I didn’t scare her off!

      Nah, Kelly, I can’t imagine most people having the tenacity to read and comment from the beginning–but it’s always fun to have people comment on old posts, and to go back and respond to them. Sort of like traveling back in time to answer a previous letter…

      • wanderingsue Aug 6, 2013 @ 10:06

        πŸ™‚ Not scared off, feeling the love! Just been busy. Delving into radical unschooling. Exciting times.

  • Lisa Witz Jul 22, 2013 @ 11:14

    Having just returned from a trip to Italy with the kids in tow (ages 4, 7 and 9) I fully GET gelato-bribery. It’s amazing to me that in Europe I can eat indulgently (lots of pasta, breads, brioches, cappuccinos) yet I still feel healthy – is it all the walking? the non-GMOS? the relaxed pace of life? I want to infuse our world here with some of that!

    So wonderfarm, birthday blessings to you. Congrats Patricia on nurturing this venture!

    Lisa
    California

    • patricia Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:27

      I’ll bet you get it, Lisa! What a fantastic trip to take with your kids! When we traveled in Italy with ours, there were days when they had gelato twice. It’s one of the easiest places to travel with kids, I think, because the food is easy for them to like, and Italians love children.

      I think it must be all the walking that keeps us from piling on the pounds in Europe. Don’t you think? My husband and I walked so much in Spain that my feet cried when we finally collapsed at the end of the day.

      Glad you had a wonderful trip, and thanks for the birthday blessings!

  • Karina B. Jul 22, 2013 @ 11:58

    Happy Birthday Wonder Farm! Oh what a happy day it was that a friend of mine introduced me to you!
    My homeschool journey with my kids have began to be injected with more fun, joy and laughter ever since, and I’m sure my kiddos will agree with me πŸ˜‰ Now that I’ve dropped outcome heavy pressured approach to a more relaxed and learning to listen more, I feel so much better about it all myself.
    Looking forward to walking further into this with your blog for a good company πŸ™‚

    Karina
    Langley, BC CANADA

    • patricia Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:33

      Karina, my blog has helped your homeschooling life become more fun? Woo hoo, I’m doing something right! It’s great for me to hear that–thank you. And thanks for reading, and vowing to keep doing so!

  • Robin Jul 22, 2013 @ 13:12

    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday dear wonder farm
    Happy Birthday to you….and many more…..

    Although I haven’t followed you from the beginning (oh, how much trouble I could have been without had I) I love everything you write about. We have taken your writing tips to heart and to paper. Thanks.

    Robin aka smartypants

    • patricia Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:38

      Thanks so much for the serenade, Smartypants! I’ve enjoyed and appreciated all of your comments. It’s especially helpful for me to hear how writing plays out for older kids, so thanks right back!

  • Patty Jul 22, 2013 @ 13:19

    Happy, Happy Birthday Wonder Farm! Congratulations Patricia πŸ™‚

    • patricia Jul 23, 2013 @ 8:40

      Thanks so much, Patty! I appreciate having you reading along, and how you often share my work!

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