Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Visiting our College Girl

During her first week of college, daughter G jumped right in to dorm life and began making solid, deep friendships with many of the girls on her floor.  Just as we hoped she would!  She also began to realize what having a 10' by 15' room be her bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen actually meant, and made a list of things she wished she had brought with her on move in day.  After six days of separation, we made a quick afternoon trip to visit her, show her dorm room to her brothers (who hadn't seen it yet) and take her the things on her list.  I have to say, it was wonderful for this mama to check in on her girl and made my heart feel so happy to see her settling in so well!

The brothers loved that she has Netflix in her room. :)

 Sibling love!

 We helped her hang these boards ~ the last bit of "decorating" she had left to do.

Then her brothers took the camera and shot all these pics of her in modeling poses. ;)

I love how goofy siblings can be together!

We took her out to dinner off campus - first time she'd been off campus all week - and got a few more school supplies that she needed.  It was a WONDERFUL afternoon. Made us all happy.  Probably me the most. :)

My heart is at peace.

First Day of School ~ 2015

If you have read my blog for more than a year, you know that our first day of school tradition is to go out for breakfast and then make cookie dough maps of the part of the world we will be studying in history.  It's a tradition!  So out to breakfast we went (forgot to take picture).  When we got home we began working on our cookie dough maps of the Byzantine Empire.  We are studying Year 2 of Tapestry of Grace this year, which begins with the fall of the Roman Empire and goes to the 1800's ~ quite a span of time to study in one year!  For detailed directions on how to make cookie dough maps, please go here.

After much prayer and deliberation we allowed daughter H to attend public high school this year (she longed for it), so at home school this year I am now in boy world!  We have a junior, a sophomore, an eighth grader, and a fifth grader.

Figuring out how to make a cookie map of the large, spread-around-the-Mediterranean-Sea Byzantine Empire presented a bit of a challenge.

But the cookie dough maps are always a huge hit.  This year the boys spent a good two hours on them.

They did create "mountains" (loaded with chocolate chips) where none are in real life, but I gave them some latitude on that. ;)

Baking does cause the dough to spread out some, so the distinct lines, borders, and geologic features are harder to see after baking.  So all the boys wanted a "before" picture and an "after" picture.  Here is son C's map:  (The Byzantine Empire is everything inside the red border)

Son L's:

Son G's:

And last but not least, Little Man's:

After that we did a bit of math, and called it a good day.

So thankful for the privilege and responsibility of teaching my children at home!


Wiping my kitchen counter with a dish cloth that I MADE MYSELF!!!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Hobby!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you.....four rows of crocheted dish rag! The first project of my new hobby.  It is easy, wonderfully relaxing, and provides instant gratification.  If I get good enough/fast enough, this may be what you are all getting for Christmas!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Off to college!

I was looking forward to this day (and slightly dreading it) all summer, and no matter how much I thought about it and prayed about it, I don't think a parent can ever really be fully prepared for what it feels like to send their baby off to college.  Fortunately, it was a very busy day, so there wasn't time to let the emotions take over until it came time to say goodbye.  But the other children had to say goodbye the night before....we had them all stay overnight with friends and just hubby and I took our girl to school the next morning.

Loaded up and ready to go!

When we got there we discovered that her room-mate's family had already spent a considerable amount of time figuring out the best configuration for the furniture.  Daughter G approved, and so unpacking and decorating could commence immediately!  Dad tested the bed to make sure it was good enough for his girl. :)

They have a lot of closet space!


With a fridge, couch, and TV, they may end up being the party room. ;)

After unpacking, it was time for the prayer of dedication and farewell ceremony on the college square.  All the freshmen are placed in small groups that they eat with during orientation, do activities with, and even have one class together fall semester.  Here daughter G was finding her group for the first time (she has since begun making solid friendships with several girls in her group!  Yay!).

The freshmen stood in a big circle with their parents behind them, and participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Each freshman got a piece of this ribbon.  When they graduate they will do the same thing with a long string of ivy, and each graduate will get a piece of the ivy.  A really nice "book end" tradition.

Then it was time to say goodbye.  :(

Such an odd assortment of emotions for us as parents....excitement for our girl... gratitude that she is at the college God has chosen for her, and that God is making a way for us to afford it...sorrow at not being able to see her every day...regret that the years of hands on parenting are over (did we do enough?  did we teach her everything she needs to know?)...acknowledgement of the fact that we are moving into a new phase of parenting where we have much less that she has owned her faith and can move confidently into this next stage of her life.....

Personally, I cried as much for the release of these emotions as I did just for saying goodbye.  It was a bit overwhelming!

After being there two days she called.  We talked for a long time. :)  She is doing GREAT and had so much to share about her experiences during freshman orientation so far.  I am a happy mama!