Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017...a look back

The thing I love most about blogging is the looking back. It reminds me of all the special memories we have had throughout the year.

2017--A look back in time.


Our first snow of the year and then a week later sitting around our new fire pit in short sleeves and sandals--#campfirelife


February is always a full month for us.  Valentine's Day is sandwiched between two birthdays.  We (mostly Tera) surprised Michael with a Star Wars themed birthday and had another mild weekend for sitting around the fire pit and hiking


There was fencing, field trips, "Pi" Day and Tai Chi.


April was a roller coaster month.  Looking back to my writing, it was a month filled with loneliness and reminders that  God is our refuge and strength as He always has been.  We celebrated the Passover and Easter together.   Michael tested for his yellow belt in the beginner class. 


Parole was denied!  Spending time with family, catching up with old friends and summer break beginning.  Swim lessons, concerts and new fencing gear. 


More swim lessons, game days, VBS and Father's Day.



July found us painting and hunting for rocks!  Blueberry picking and visiting with great friends!   Michael moved on up to his orange belt and I hit #43!  



Clash of Clans is a big thing around here as evident by a certain person's 15th birthday!   Tera participated in her first fencing tournament.  Total eclipse of the sun!  I embarked on a house wide cleaning/de-cluttering project! 


Tera was in the middle of a dual enrollment math class (which she aced), while Michael and I spent three days a week walking the track and doing car-schooling.  JP and I started having weekly date nights--the highlight of my week!   A week off from school to get some things done with fun mixed in!  Daniel joined the local community band.  Green tip...


A birthday, a wedding and Halloween!  



November was filled with thanksgiving!  Lots of concerts, field trips, friends and fun! Tera, Daniel and I performed in a Veteran's Day concert.  Daniel attended the Smoky Mountain Flute Invitational.  


My favorite month of the year.  I've enjoyed this Christmas season more than I have in many years.  We tried to scale back on what we did outside our family circle and focus more time on the simple things.  But there were more concerts, parades and candlelight tours.  Green belts, Advent and fun Christmas art projects.  Grinchy floats and caroling to friends.  ACT tests, tree lightings and final exams.   Date nights and remembering why we celebrate Christmas in the first place!   And that blessed week after Christmas that JP has off from work! 

There were ups and downs for us this year.  We had difficulties and stresses just like everyone else.  Looking back and trying to put it all into perspective.  No year is good or bad--it's life and we live it one day at a time.  

But the one thing I love most about this year and every year is that I get to spend my life with these people!  


The 52 Hike Challenge was posted in a homeschool hiking group and I thought it was perfect for us to attempt this year!   Originally, we had wanted to take a New Year's Day hike.  But with the arctic blast we are experiencing right now, we started a couple of days early!  

Hike #1:  Fort Loudoun State Park
Trail:  Ridgetop and Meadow Loop Trails approximately 4 miles
Time:  a bit over 2 hours
Elevation:   almost 1000 feet

We started on the  Ridgetop trail and continued onto the Meadow Loop Trail diverting back to the car where the two trails meet at the end.  The temperatures were in the mid-30's.  We made sure to layer our clothes and bring gloves/hats just in case. 

We are looking forward to this challenge with the hopes of meeting many friends--old and new on the trails throughout the year. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Family Paint

For Christmas I got the supplies for a family paint project as a gift for the whole family.   We chose to do this step-by-step Cherry Blossom Tree with Moon Project.  It took about two hours to complete the projects.  Michael (8) decided to stop after completing his moon.   This was the first time JP and I have ever painted a project with the kids. 

 Everyone with their paintings:

Final products!  

I'm looking forward to finding a spot to  display our cherry blossom trees together.  What a fun afternoon together! 


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