Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy 20th, 18th, and 17th birthdays!

Welp, our oldest child is no longer a teenager.  HOW did that happen?!

We celebrated her a few days before her birthday, when she was home from college for the weekend.  Unfortunately, not all of her siblings were also home that same weekend, but we held up a picture of the missing boy so that we were all "together!"  We are in that stage of life where there are just a lot of comings and goings.

One week later, this boy turned 18!!

Son G's birthday fell during tech week right before the play, so I took a cake to play practice and all his drama friends sang to him during rehearsal.

He and son L's play performances were wonderful!!  They performed in Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility", and Little Man also acted in the play for the very first time.

Then today, son L turned 17!!

And in between there was senior prom for son G,

new laptop for him, as he prepares to graduate and head off to college,

senior "pinning" for daughter H,

the end of semester art show for daughter G, and then bringing her home after successfully completing her sophomore year of college,

and copious amounts of yard work, as we prepare for a double graduation party.

Love each milestone and each moment with these precious kiddos.

Happy birthday daughter G, son G, and son L!

Monday, March 20, 2017


7:00 a.m. indoor soccer game.  Check.

Attended bridal shower.  Check.

Big grocery shopping done and food put away.  Check.

Three haircuts given to three sons.  Check.

Drove two teens to/from work.  Check.

Dinner made.  Check.

Two loads of laundry done.  Check.

Sat with my feet up and watched some Netflix in the evening.  Check!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our Week in Review

This week in history we learned about the writing of the Constitution.  Honestly, the fact that so many different delegates, from different states, with very different ideas about how to run a government, agreed on such a detailed, wide ranging set of rules for our new country, in only three months, is absolutely miraculous!

For eight years we had been governed by the Articles of Confederation, and it provided only for a rather powerless Congress (which could make laws but had no power to enforce them), with no executive or judicial branches.  It made the federal government so weak, our founders were rightly concerned about a "hostile takeover" from any of the big European powers.  So they convened the Constitutional Conventions to work on a replacement document.

They argued fiercely over the issue of states rights versus the power of the federal government.  What issues would each body be allowed to manage?  And they argued over whether new states added to the Union would enter as slave states or as free.  The issue producing the greatest deadlock was over representation ~ would states be represented according to their population, or by a one-state one-vote rule?  It was only after Benjamin Franklin suggested that prayer be offered every morning before deliberation began, that a breakthrough was made. Roger Sherman, a delegate from Connecticut, suggested that both forms of representation be used, and his suggestion saved the day!

Here is a part of Benjamin Franklin's resolution to add prayer to the daily agenda:

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?" 

Isn't that marvelous?

We read and studied the Constitution in its entirety.  It is an amazing document!  It seems that our founding fathers thought of virtually everything in their quest to ensure checks and balances.  Several delegates were concerned about individual liberties, but the Bill of Rights was intentionally tackled later, to make the ratification process go more smoothly.  We will be studying the Bill of Rights next week!

In other subjects, son L did two physics experiments this week involving electricity.

One of them called for the making of an electroscope, which can detect the presence of electricity. When the balloon, rubbed on his hair to create static electricity, was held close to the blue glass, the strips of foil hanging on the inside would move, indicating the presence of electricity.  He did it several times and it was pretty cool to watch!

Making some type of game that could actually be played was the challenge in Little Man's lego class at co-op this week.  It warmed my heart to see son  C voluntarily helping him!  His original plan was to make a lego "bop it," but that proved rather challenging, so he changed it to hockey.  He made a tiny little puck, two sticks, and two goals.  It was enthusiastically played by several kids in his lego class.

The week ended with a wonderful date night - hubby and I went with some friends to a Matthew West concert!!  It was fantastic!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday's Thankful Things

A ride in the country with my hubby!

God's unfailing Word.

Daughter G being home from college for a whole week!

The Holy Spirit.

Wisdom and courage for parenting and for adulting.

A new denim jacket that I think makes me look hip!

A family portrait session planned for this weekend (that I bought said denim jacket for).

Two more pounds lost on my sugar fast.  The weight loss is S-L-O-W this time, but steady.  I'll take that.

A great college visit this week with son G, and another one planned for next week.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Our Week in Review

In recent years the ratio of amount of school work done for classes at home versus the amount of work done for classes elsewhere has shifted.  Our high schoolers do about half or more of their work for classes they are taking at our co-op, so they are turning in work and reporting to other teachers.  I love keeping my hands in a few choice subjects at home, but also appreciate the accountability our children must learn by being responsible to teachers other than me.

Son C is taking biology at co-op, and he had an assignment to make a cell model of any kind of cell.  He chose to make an edible eukaryotic cell.  He used marshmallows for the cell membrane, and red twizzlers for the cyto-skeleton.  Into this he poured jello (for the cytoplasm), a truffle (for the nucleus), gob-stoppers (for the vesicles and vacuoles), and gummy worms (for the mitocondria).

Believe it or not, he ate this after class! (at least parts of it!)

We took a week off our curriculum-assigned reading for history, and just read tons of library books about the Revolutionary War.  It was wonderful!  We read this gem of a book about one of the three delegates to the Second Continental Congress from Delaware, Caesar Rodney.  Are you familiar with his story?  I had not ever heard it before.  The delegates believed that the decision to break away from Britain needed to be unanimous.  That meant for the Declaration of Independence to be signed and sent to Britain, each of the 13 Colonies needed to vote in the affirmative, or abstain from voting.   Delaware was a "swing" colony, meaning that one delegate intended to vote yes, and one intended to vote no.  The third delegate was Caesar Rodney.  He was called to his home in Dover, Delaware, 80 miles away from Philadelphia, the day before the vote was to be taken.  A courier was sent after him with an urgent message to return to Philadelphia for the vote.  He set out in a small buggy from his home, with rain threatening, and rode as fast as possible toward Philadelphia.

The rain began falling and before long the roads were so muddy they prevented Rodney's buggy from traveling any further.  He left the buggy behind and continued on horseback.  He rode through a terrible rain, thunder, and lightning storm, all day and ALL NIGHT LONG, reaching Philadelphia in the afternoon of the next day, July 2, 1776.  Still wearing his riding boots and spurs, he strode into the State House just in time for the vote!  Caesar Rodney voted for independence, putting his colony of Delaware in the "yay" column.  Twelve of the colonies voted for independence, with New York abstaining (New York later cast its support behind the resolution).  It was unanimous!

One more amazing substory in the incredible history of the making of our country!

We also read about David Bushnell and the first ever submarine that he invented (used in the war, but not responsible for the sinking of any Britian warships), Polish engineers Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski who made victories at Saratoga and West Point possible with their brilliant ideas for fortifications and defenses, such as a "great chain" strung across the Hudson River to prevent British ships from sailing up it, the determined Henry Knox who transported 59 cannons 300 miles from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, finally routing the entrenched British soldiers from that beleaguered city, and the brave Nathan Hale, who was captured in New York as a Patriot spy, and famously said as he was about to be hung by the British, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

These people were made of strong stuff!

It was a good week, and I am looking forward to next week's in depth look at the making of the Constitution.  So timely for my boys right now!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday's Thankful Things

I am so thankful for God's Word!  I am reading through the Gospel of John in these weeks leading up to Easter with an online group of women, and after only two days it has already been so rich.  I am not part of a church tradition that typically "gives up" something for Lent in order to replace it with more time spent in  God's Word and in prayer, but any time I can be challenged to spend time in God's Word is a good time.

If you would like to join me, here is the schedule.

I am also so very thankful for the gift of music, and thankful that five of our six children play an instrument or sing on a regular basis!  Son C was asked to play special music during the communion portion of a recent worship service, and he practiced at home for literally hours and hours.  Each time he would sit down to begin practicing that song, I felt like he led me into worship wherever I was in the house.  I filmed him during practice, and in case the embedded video doesn't work down below, here is the link to view his song on you tube.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday to me!

I had a fun and wonderful celebration of my birthday over the weekend.  It started with me getting to pick the Friday night movie.  I picked "Return to Me," which is a heart-wrenching, sweet, funny love story about a man whose first wife died in an accident, falling in love with the woman who had received his wife's heart.  The new girlfriend's grandpa and his old cronie friends bring comic relief to the movie, and another married friend with 5 children brings friendship perspective, healthy married love, and a fair bit of swearing to the movie.  It brought up some great topics for conversation.

Then on Saturday my beloved took me out for dinner while all of our children were otherwise occupied away from the house.  A wonderful date!

And on Sunday our college girl came home for the afternoon to celebrate with me!  My hubby spend the entire afternoon cooking a fabulous birthday dinner, and then we all went to the cheap theater to see the animated movie, "Sing," which we thoroughly enjoyed.

I broke my sugar fast for a small piece of cake and one scoop of ice cream.  Back to it today!

Senior discounts, here I come!!! :)