Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy 13th Birthday, Daniel!

Our son....

13 years ago, you came into this world as a baby.  Crying...screaming...helpless.   You survived toddlerhood and all those character shaping elementary school years. 

Now, you're no longer a little boy.  You're a young man!  

A young man that:

asks questions about the world we can't always answer
has matured so much in this last year

always can make us laugh
is a great friend
loves an adventure 


sometimes makes up want to pull out our hair at the roots
loves quantum physics and chess


plays the flute beautifully
has made us so proud
we love more than anything!

We are so proud of you and love you more than words could say!

Happy Birthday, Daniel!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Curriculum and Extra-curricular choices for 2015-2016

9th Grade:

Math- Saxon Algebra 2
World Geography-  Trail Guide to World Geography,  Glencoe World Geography and Cooking up World History
English 9-  Easy Grammar:  The Ultimate Series-Grade 9; Spelling Power; Sharon Watson's Jump In!  Writing Program; Literature Selections- Billy Budd, Sailor; Christy; Teyve's Daughters; King Lear; Watership Down; Jane Eyre; The Scarlet Pimpernel; Collection of short stories (and 2 more selections yet to be determined)

PE- Fencing, swimming and daily exercise
Chess- Chess club attendance, daily chess practice through and Chess Magnet School, various books and videos, and tournaments
Music Appreciation- Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, Enrichment Studies Composer Study packets, Music Theory, Cindy Downes' Music Appreciation Unit Choir and concert attendance

Highlander Chorale and Community Choir
Chess club
Community service

8th Grade:

Math- Saxon Algebra 1/2 and Algebra 1
History- History of US Volumes 8-10 with John Hopkins University Student Guide; Documentaries
Science- The Brain, Carbon Chemistry and The Elements units from Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop; Science bowl topics
English 8- Daily Grams 8; Spelling Power; Sharon Watson's Jump In!  Literature Selections- The Wizard of Oz, Off on a Comet (more selections yet to be determined)

Flute lessons
Science bowl
Chess club

1st Grade:

Math-  Saxon Math 1 and 2; Easy Peasy Math 1
Language Arts-  30 minutes of reading per day; Read alouds; 
Spelling Power; Handwriting practice
History- Easy Peasy Level 1 and Lesson Pathways
Science- Easy Peasy Level 1 and R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Life Science
Music and Art- various lessons

Chess club
4-H Cloverbuds
Swim lessons

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fun weekend

It was a busy weekend for us!  Tera and I were invited to attend a ladies' night out at a friend's church.  It was a blast from the past.  I will go on record saying that I totally rocked the 80s television show quiz.  Tera is always a willing participant in any kind of game/group activity.  So, it's fun when we get to go out together!  

Saturday morning found us at a library chess tournament.  Tera came in first and Daniel was second in a 4 person tournament.  

Sunday was open house at DENSO.  JP has worked there since 2007 and we've never actually seen his working conditions.  It was wonderful to get a tour and see where Daddy works...and ice cream.  Oh yeah, ice cream is awesome! 

After our tour, we headed out to Townsend to meet with our friends.  It's becoming an annual tradition to meet for 3 of the kids' birthdays.  These kids have grown up so much!  

Here's some pictures to compare:


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Random Thoughts

We start back all our extra-curricular activities in the next week.  I have to be honest that if I think too much about it all, it's a bit overwhelming.  Finding balance is a hard thing to do, especially with three kids.  My two older children have really begun to focus on what they want to do as a career.  We encourage them to pray for God's guidance and we pray for that, too.  

When both are interested in music (whether as a major or a minor), there is a great variety of skills they need to acquire before college.  Other majors start with a pretty level playing field...not so with music.  I do not want them to be at a disadvantage for the lack of musical training. 

Exploring skills and options is fun, but definitely time consuming. Choirs, practicing, instrument lessons, piano.... I'm really starting to understand why parents are so ready for their kids to begin driving themselves places.

I need to get on a better schedule.  I'm still struggling to get in bed at night and definitely not getting enough sleep.  It's not like I'm doing anything worthwhile staying up later.  Zoning out in front of a screen isn't a very good reason to stay up late, but yet, I'm doing it.  I know to be the kind of mom I want to be is impossible on my own.  I need to stay connected to God through daily Bible reading, devotions and prayer.  To be honest, I haven't been consistent lately...but I'll never give up trying!

I've had lots of reasons to feel good about how this school year is going.  Daniel's doing extra math lessons every day to finish pre-algebra early.  Tera's struggled to stay caught up especially in literature, but finally has gotten into a good rhythm.  Michael is loving math and wants to do it all the time.  Just like any mom, I struggle with the other things--never getting to the read-alouds, never being able to wake up before my early-rising kids, not being overwhelmed by the big picture...

Our gardening is basically done for now.  I spent last week pulling up all the dead plants and putting out mulch to prepare our beds for either a small, fall garden or the spring.  My body hurt so bad after three morning work sessions.  

This was not a great year for gardening.  Between our vacation that coincided with planting, the weird heat in June and JP's busy schedule at work, the garden didn't get the kind of attention it needed.  We were able to have enough vegetables to share with others, but just not as long of a growing season we've experienced in the past.  That's okay...

Our last movie day of the summer....

Sunday, August 2, 2015



What a crazy couple of weeks!  Thankfully, things are starting to settle down for us.  I had some stress-related illness that seems to have worked itself out.  Whether I realize it or not, death and funerals bring up a lot of emotion for me. 

We've got 4 weeks completed in school now!  There are always some tweaking of schedule and courses, but if I waited until everything was perfect...we'd never have school!  Tera has adjusted to high school with ease.  Daniel is working hard to get ahead in math, tolerating history and exuberant over science.  Michael has done well with having a daily assignment sheet.  We are still working on getting in science and history into the routine, but at this age I don't stress out that much about it.  

Daniel had his first flute recital last week.  We were so proud of his performance! 

Our summer garden is winding down.  We are tired of cucumbers, but ready to pull things up for a clean slate.  I'm hoping to get some lettuces and other cool weather vegetables in soon.  

Tera has been an awesome help to me lately!  If we have someone coming over, she'll go the extra mile to help with clean up.  Last night, she even cleaned up after our sick dog without waking anyone up.  To say this girl is awesome is truly an understatement!  

 Our weekend was relaxing, but I still feel sleep-deprived.  Hopefully, we'll catch up soon! 


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