Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Break

We took a shorter spring break this year-Friday-Wednesday. But we still managed to have a bit of fun! 


Michael did this Pi Skyline project and something like this Pi Day bracelet.  

A trip to the movies to see Zootopia

A library chess tournament with some origami instruction thrown in on the side.  One of the parents was SO nice and did tons of origami with Michael in between games.  Her son and Michael are about the same age and temperament, so I think Michael has found a new friend.  

Daddy took the boys to get haircuts while Tera and I did some clothes shopping.  Michael got a new "hairdo" today.  He likes it and I love it!

Spring is finally here!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Due to JP's crazy, unpredictable work schedule, we have been visiting a local church or meeting together as a family for church.  We have had several interactive prayer times lately for our weekly worship.

Praying in Color is an idea that I found online that really appealed to me.  It's basically doodling while you pray to keep your mind active and focused in prayer.  

One Sunday, we worked through the Beatitudes as a prayer exercise praying for the various groups of people verse by verse.  

Some examples of our praying in color: 

Tera took our praying in color exercise and applied it to praying through a different Scripture passage on her own. 

Creative Family Prayer Times is a great resource for meaningful times of prayer and worship as a family.  Last week, we worshiped together as a family using the "Songs of Prayer" idea.  

We distributed hymnals to each person and we were instructed to look through the hymnal to find a song that would express our praise and worship to God.  Each person would then share their hymn (youngest to oldest) describing what made them pick that hymn.   Then, we would sing each hymn as a prayer. 

Here were our choices:  
Michael--And Can It Be?
Daniel--Amazing Grace
Tera--Just a Closer Walk With Thee
Me--In the Garden
JP--'Til the Storm Passes By

I couldn't decide between two hymns, so I went with "In the Garden" and then JP picked my other hymn without knowing it.  

Although things are anything but normal right now, I'm so thankful for these times of worship we are able to experience together and with other believers.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Green Belt

Michael is moving right along in karate.  It's amazing what a difference a year makes.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

4-H Club Achievement Day

 Random picture alert:  

Last Tuesday was our local 4-H club achievement day.  We had demonstrations, interactive displays and a baking contest.  There were some older 4-Hers that did mock demonstrations to show how it was done.  Each family had the opportunity to make a decorative holiday centerpiece.  

Tera baked three different items: cinnamon swirl bread, oatmeal raisin cookies and cornbread.  There were ribbons for entries as voted upon by judges.  Although there were not many entries, a blue ribbon is a blue ribbon.  

Michael did a demonstration on The Life Cycle of a Butterfly.  

Daniel recycled his Nikola Tesla history project from last year as an interactive exhibit in the electric project category.  He is very knowledgeable about the subject.  I thought the question and answer time was never going to be over, but kids like to hear about death rays and such.  

Michael wasn't feeling that well at the end of the day, so we scooted out pretty quickly.  Fortunately, nothing came of his tummy ache.  I was relieved since the stomach bug has been going around our area a lot lately.  

That morning I had a MRI done on my ankle to just make sure there is not something serious going on.  After our weekend trip to the chess tournament, I had some swelling and soreness while trying to wean out of the boot.  I am now back in the boot until later in the week when the doctor sees my MRI results. 

We had to fit in the MRI appointment before Daniel's flute lesson.  So, he was saying he was hungry before I dropped him off.  I didn't have time to stop for a snack and said I would pick him up something.  His teacher walked him out to the car after his lesson saying he got really pale and had to sit down.  He later explained he felt weak and a bit dizzy.  I went ahead and made his checkup appointment.  We have been watching his diet, making sure he eats more at breakfast and taking snacks with us. More than one person we know said it sounded like a low blood sugar attack.  Hopefully, he won't have any more episodes. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

22 years...

Friday, JP and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.  He had tons of surprises for me.  

First, he texted me on Thursday afternoon telling me that we had "reservations" at the Foothills Milling Company.  A casual fancy restaurant in our town.   JP is not really big on surprises (We usually discuss first), so this took me aback and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.  

On Friday, he brought home a cake for us to share with the kids while we took a stroll down memory lane with our first picture albums.  

Then, this beautiful surprise!  

One big heart for us with three tiny hearts for the kids.  

Our dinner was wonderful!  We didn't take any pictures, because our phones were put away and we didn't want to look weird.  

JP and I haven't had a lot of time to just connect lately, due to his crazy work schedule and chess season.  It meant so much to me that he made our anniversary so special.  Memories to last forever.  

22 years and we've just begun....

Going to State...

Last weekend, Tera and Daniel competed with two fellow homeschoolers from our support group in the regional team chess tournament.  We were allowed to hangout in one of the classrooms in between rounds. The high school section was on a different floor from the younger kids and it was so quiet.   Michael got in a school day's worth of work and we had a semi-comfortable (as comfortable as high school desk chairs can be) place to hang out. 

Daniel won 3.5 out of 4 points and Tera got 3 out of 4 points.  Their team did an awesome job against some of the hardest competition in the tournament.

They won second place and a chance to compete at the state chess tournament representing our region.  Two more tournaments and our scholastic chess season will come to a close.  April has been deemed music season, because of all our various rehearsals, dress rehearsals and performances.  I love our school life, but I'm ready for summer. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

What a week...

 Sweet brothers...

We hit the ground running this Monday after our 3 day chess tournament over the weekend.  I spent the day doing last minute preparations for the History Share event I facilitate for our local homeschool co-op on a yearly basis.  It is so worth it to see how excited the kids are about their projects and the event.  

History Share pictures....

Tuesday was packed with flute lesson, a CCI meeting, karate and two different music rehearsals that evening.  Wednesday, we had a consult at a specialist dentist for one of our children and it was such a positive experience.  I walked out breathing a huge sigh of relief.  Yesterday, we went to chess club and karate.  Since Tera and Daniel are in another chess tournament this Saturday, she will miss a choir festival.  We chose not to attend choir rehearsal, because they would be working on material for that festival.  It was nice to get home early for a change.  

Michael has a demonstration for 4H next Tuesday, so he and I have been working all week learning about life cycles of butterflies, making posters, practicing.  Lunchtime has crept up on me every day.  I got my haircut this morning and we are trying to clean the house up a bit before fencing.  Tera made lunches for tomorrow's tournament and is in the kitchen making baked oatmeal for breakfast.  She is such a lifesaver.   It's been one of those weeks where I feel like my husband and I are ships passing in the night.  But our anniversary is next week and we have nothing "child-related" planned for the weekend.   I'm so looking forward to it! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Wonderworks and Dollywood Resort Chess Tournament

Last weekend, the kids and I headed over to the mountains for an "adventure" gifted to us by JP's aunt and uncle at Christmas.   We started at Wonderworks.  We were able to take advantage of the homeschool days offered during the month of February.   I was amazed at how much Wonderworks was geared to older kids/teens.  Frankly, many of the things were overwhelming to Michael especially in the natural disaster room.  We just waited for Tera and Daniel to do things before we moved on. He still had a wonderful time, but it was a nice change for Tera and Daniel compared to the other museums we usually frequent.  

 Michael and I got a little impatient waiting for the two older ones to get unharnessed from the astronaut simulation ride. 

After Wonderworks, we headed over to the Dollywood Dreammore Resort for a three day chess tournament.   Tera and Daniel's first experience at this type of tournament was a great experience for them.  Our room exceeded our expectations.  The resort is comfort itself.  The rooms had all those little extras that you write in reviews..."I wish they had this..." 

There were even lifeguards at the pool...

Hanging out with friends...

The resort has kids activities throughout the day.  Michael and I roasted s'mores every night for a small fee.  He LOVED this!  All the fire pits outside were beautiful.  You could look up and just stare at the stars.  (Well, you could if you weren't trying to keep your 7 year old from burning himself on those beautiful fire pits.)

Bedtime stories read by Savannah, one of Camp DW staff. 

Another staff member, Amberley playing with the kids.  The staff was so personable that I felt like we made new friends over the weekend.  

Late nights wore this boy out!

We really missed Daddy, but it was such a lovely weekend.  Daniel won his class prize and tied for second overall in the Amateur section.  Tera tied for 3rd in her class.  We hit the ground running Monday morning and have been going ever since.  So, many things this week, thus the lateness in posting about our trip.  

Thanks again Uncle Roy and Aunt Nancy!


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