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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Summer begins

We've been so busy recovering from our trip that we missed our last day of school ice cream tradition.  So, we changed it a bit to the first day of summer ice cream sundaes!  

Summer is officially here, but I feel so disjointed.  Needing to plan, needing to rest and recover from last week, lots of extra activity that cannot be let go.  So, I do what I've always done--just keep breathing, putting one foot in front of the other.  I have the tendency to look at the big picture and get overwhelmed by everything all at once and then I'm stressed paralyzed. Instead of vegging out in front of the computer, I'm trying to make the most of the time.   Weeding the garden, exercising, getting dinner on the table,  plugging along with school stuff, getting everyone to their appointments, classes and rehearsals.  Sometimes life is just crazy and you have to just go with it!

One thing that is definitely saving my sanity is Michael's summer schedule!

Before you ask to get on a screen, have you: 
• Made your bed? 
• Had breakfast?
• Gotten dressed? 
• Brushed your hair and teeth? 
• Read your Bible or devotions? 

Then, you must: 
• 1 hour of reading 
• 20 minutes of writing, coloring or drawing 
• 20 minutes of practicing multiplication facts 
• 30 minutes of playing outside or other play 
• Make or build something creative 
• Clean up one area 
• Help someone 

You did it! You earned screen time for today!

Now, I don't have to hear:  "Can I get on the tablet or computer?"  fifty times in a day.  It makes saying "no" so much easier.  "Have you completed your list?"  is my response to any question regarding screen time.  It's wonderful!  

Michael has been working on learning how to do stop-motion videos.  For the small price of $2.99, we've come across something that keeps the boy busy for most of the day!  He is actually making recognizable improvement. There is definite truth in this quote I saw recently on Facebook from the author Jeannie Fulbright:  

"Homeschooling is the only environment that allows young people to become experts in their interests.”

Daniel is finishing up his Silver Winds ensemble performances this weekend.  I don't think he feels like his summer has started yet.

So, this happened today! 

Tera has been earning money and saving to purchase her electric fencing equipment for a long time.  Her two uncles made unexpected contributions to her fund and she was able to get her equipment at least a month earlier.  It's her goal to compete in fencing tournaments.  We found an extra practice venue for her nearby that will allow her to practice with her new equipment.  Watch out, she's electric!  

Not really quite the normal beginning to our summer, but we'll get there.  Summer movies, relaxing in the sun, water fights, ice cream and snow cones,  maybe a vacation thrown in there...ah, summer! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

My husband always picks the most beautiful flowers and I always say, "I love yellow flowers..." He replies, "I know you do..." 

Homemade crepes made by my beautiful daughter.

7 years ago, JP and the kids made me this bag for Mother's Day:

This year he replicated it except on a much bigger bag to fit everyone's hand prints. I love it!  

My sweet family: 

I am truly blessed! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

The French Market Creperie & Cafe

Our end-of-the-year French field trip was a visit to:

Blueberry crepe with lemon curd...

Salted caramel...

Strawberries and cream

This was a very pricey lunch for us, but we viewed it as an enjoyable rare treat to celebrate. 


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