Sunday, June 18, 2017

Summer Catch-up

We celebrated someone passing their permit test.  It wasn't this little booger!  Tera took her written driver's test and passed with flying colors!  JP took her out for her first driving experience right after the test.  She's going to be an excellent driver, because he's an excellent teacher.  I should know--he taught me how to drive. 

Seven layer taco dip--my favorite summer recipe

Yesterday, we spent some time with our friend and magician, Scott Humston.  Michael loved the show as always!

Daniel participated in a chess tournament in memory of his chess coach that passed away recently.  Even though it's been almost a year since he last competed,  he came in 4th in his section and won his class prize. 

I'm spending some time this summer working on these beautiful creations, reading, and planning--lots of reading and lots of planning.  I plan on taking a step back this week from required reading to catch up on some new juvenile fiction I found.  And to have a bit of fun!

Tera is busy training for fencing.  She has also rediscovered her joy of baking and that thrills our whole family.  

More art from Michael

Game day--tons of snacks and Michael beating us all in Yahtzee after getting two Yahtzees!  How does he do that?

 One last picture of this crazy little kid!

Monday, June 12, 2017

VBS 2017

Michael was our  only kid to attend VBS this year.  We went every night except Tuesday (swim lesson make-ups).  I sat back in the corner of the sanctuary and was able to read a lot!   We've been attending this VBS for the last four years and the kids love it! This year, Michael hung out all week with a new buddy he met.  It was a good week for him! 

 Michael and our friend, Lauren for their annual picture.  They are both such sweeties! 

Flashback to 4 years ago:  

We attended the service on Sunday.  Michael was the Bible holder for the pledges.  The service was such a wonderful time of worship together!  

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ramblings About This and That

I spent a good deal of time organizing and cleaning this week.  From cleaning out and wiping down the food cabinets to organizing and purging the craft and school storage closets.  I've purged most of our school papers from the year.  Straightened the paper cabinet.  Organized the school supplies, since everyone seems to just throw pencils in the same drawer with scissors.  How could they?

The older kids still need to go through their school shelves and binders to get ready for next year. 

Next on my summer list of things-to-do:  Clean out the refrigerator and freezer.  Go through a big box of bills/papers to file and purge.    

My planning has slowed down a bit.  I finally finished reading Of Plymouth Plantation and I'm in the first half of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and just a little bit into The Life and Diary of Rev. David Brainerd.   I've also finished reading The Autobiography of Davy Crockett, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and the  Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.  Wow, that seems like I've accomplished a lot more than I thought.  Tera and I have decided American literature seems a bit more on the depressing side. 

I finally decided to go with my Plan B for American history.  I'm working on getting together assignments and grading for that course.  

Tera will be taking her first dual enrollment in the fall---College Algebra.  I'm relaxing a little bit more about Chemistry (for both)  and Algebra 2 (for Daniel), since I'm planning on using Virtual Home school Group for the lecture part of those. 

New activities for the next school year are being discussed.  I'm thinking I'll need to buckle up tight for this upcoming ride!  

Michael finishes up a month of Tues./Thurs. swim lessons next Tuesday.  The instructor has been really impressed with his ability and I attribute that to the foundation he received from my great friend, Tanya and her college students!  We think he will take another session in the future just to sure up his strokes.  But he's definitely a swimmer! 

As I'm typing this, my teens,  a couple of their friends and Michael are finishing up lunch while talking up a storm behind me.  It's been a long time since we've seen them.  Drawing and listening to Adventures in Odyssey is on the agenda today.  So, I will get a bit of silence in the middle of this day.  

Since Tera will not be done until mid-December with her DE class, we are taking a longer summer.  We won't start back until July 11th, but I still feel like I'm on our old schedule.  It feels like the summer is flying away.  

VBS for Michael every night next week except Tuesday.  That's when I actually get a lot of things done school planning wise.  2.5 hours every night, just me, my books and VBS music in the background.  

Allergies are kicking up, but according to my "See Your Memories" on facebook, this happens to us around this time every year.  

On Tuesday night, JP took Tera and Daniel to an open bout session at another fencing club in the nearby "big city".  Because this club has electrical capabilities, Tera was able to test out her new electrical equipment.   We definitely LOVE our local club, so this is not a change for us...only to supplement and get an opportunity to fence different people.  The coach there was surprised that Tera had never competed in a tournament and encouraged her to do that.  Since that is her goal, it was very encouraging and affirming to her!  The coach also fences the same style as Daniel, so he had a great time fencing a pro.  (I've learned there are three different types of fencing that match which sword you use:  foil, epee and saber.) 

Well, my ramblings are done for now...have a great weekend!  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Big Plans

Recently someone in passing asked me THE question:

"Got any BIG plans for the summer?"  

In my mind, this is the answer I think they expect: 

"Oh yes, we are going to Disney World for a week.  Lay around our pool (Side note: We don't have a pool.)  during the day while all the kids go to different summer camps every week for the rest of the summer.  Then, we'll finish up with a cruise to some place exotic."  

I answered:


I might have imagined a look of shock and surprise because I said this in front of my children. But they knew already.

In my heart, I walked away feeling a little less for not having big grandiose plans for the summer.  Not really my idea of big plans, but THEIR idea of big plans.  Because in fact we do have BIG plans for the summer that would sound boring and simple to the world at large.  

Our big plans:

One child is practicing their music more and learning a new instrument (or two!). 

One is studying intensely for the ACT and to get their driver's permit before the summer is over.  This child is also training like crazy in their sport, so they can compete for the first time in the fall.

One child is making stop motion Lego movies, building things, drawing spectacular pictures, taking swim lessons and making new friends in childcare at the gym.  

I'm trying to get a good start on reading through the 15+ books for American literature, reviewing chemistry, and figuring out what I'm doing for American history.

We're saving money.

The older kids are trying out new classes at the gym, because we can't always do that during the school year.   

Kayaking, catching a couple of movies and just hanging out are also on the list. 

You see my list is not what others expect, so it's best just to say..."Nope...nothing..."  and know in your heart that only YOU determine what BIG plans mean to you! 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Our little artist...

Michael has been drawing a lot lately and I'm amazed at his work! 

My little artist with his puppy!   

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Last week, I had a post all drafted about what a humdinger of a week we had.  I should only have to say that I was in the orthodontist's office THREE times and Daniel had two concerts over the weekend.  Karate belt test and all our other activities.  I felt crazed by the end of the week. 

On Monday we were home all day.  We did a 100 thing pick-up a piece.  Homemade dinner, laundry done, grass mowed.  I felt like I could breathe again!  It was just what I needed to start this week off on the right foot!

Daniel's flute choir, Silver Winds:

This cute fellow is taking swim lessons at our gym--two nights a week.  The older kids enjoy it because they can work out or swim at that same time.  

Posting this again, just because it reminds me how strong, how brave, how committed this girl is about a lot of things in her life!  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Orange Tip

Last week, Michael belt tested for his orange tip.

 It's not easy when you are the only one doing the make-up testing and you have to spar with your teacher!

Board break

Belt presentation


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