Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Currently Reading.....

"Same Kind of Different as Me". Wow. What a great book!


Some of our neighbors put sealant on their driveway over the weekend, so they blocked off their portion of the sidewalk with caution tape. Son C, in an effort to avoid the caution tape/driveway, accidentally rode his bike across a small portion of their lawn. And got yelled at. He felt badly about getting yelled at, and as we were talking it through later he made a very insightful comment:

"They don't have any kids to take care of, so they put all their attention into their grass."

Lord, help me to give careful attention to that which lasts!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happiness Is.....

A new first grade math book!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School - 2011

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you can guess what we did our first day of school....

Our traditional breakfast out! I have noticed that each year one more child orders off the adult menu..... which means the breakfasts are getting a bit more expensive, but mostly means that our children are growing up (sniff, sniff).

We came home and began our other first day of school tradition - making cookie dough maps! We are doing Tapestry of Grace Year 2 this year, which covers the middle ages through the year 1800, so we made our maps of the Byzantine Empire (for those of you who may have forgotten, that is what we now call the eastern Roman Empire which did NOT fall in 476 but continued to thrive for hundreds of years). See the pile of Twizzlers in the middle of the table?! For complete directions on how we make cookie dough maps, go here.

It was challenging to make this empire, because it spanned many different countries, all bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The Med could leave a huge hole in the middle of our cookies!

Here is how son G did it:

The other children chose to fill in the Med and sprinkle it with blue to show the water.

Son C really went to town on those Alps! :-)

Little Man.

Son C.

Son L.

Son G.

Daughter G.

I'm so thankful I can spend another year learning with my children at home!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

She's Home! She's Home!

Daughter G is home from her fabulous trip to WA!!! She looked so much older and grown up when she walked off that plane.... I couldn't believe it was her! She had a WONDERFUL time, made some incredible memories, and brought a box full of goodies to all of us. :0)

Today she is still sleeping as I type this, but when she wakes up she'll have a bit of schoolwork to do, an open house for one of her on-line classes, and then tomorrow is our official first day of school. Bless her heart, she's got to hit the ground running so to speak.

Thank you, mom and dad, and Gayle and family, for giving her such an incredible time while she was with you. I did not worry about her AT ALL (truly ~ I did much better than I thought I was going to do!) because I knew she was with you having a great time. Thank you!

I'm so glad she's home!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Progress in the Schoolroom!

This past week has been one of great progress in our schoolroom. Still not done and ready to be used, but it's farther along than it's ever been! :0)

An electrician friend from church came over one evening and helped my hubby do the initial wiring so that we could then work on the drywall. I got to pick out where I wanted all the outlets, and I wanted LOTS of them. You can never have too many outlets. We just "happened" to have an extra unused circuit in our breaker box that is now dedicated to the schoolroom. Thank you, Lord.

See the wiring running through the frame?? So exciting....

Then it was time for the insulation to go in.

Some more friends came over to help with the drywall. The two dads put the older boys to work, teaching them how to measure and cut out the rectangles for where the outlets would be. It was really neat to see the boys working alongside their dads!

Adding a couple wooden supports to screw the drywall in to (son C).

Holding up the first big sheet of drywall!

Making sure it fit snugly around the outlets.

Screwing it into place....

Little Man even helped!

We have wall!!!!

The drywall is almost completely done. Still a little bit to go. Then we mud and tape the seams, sand, and finally paint. And vacuum up the dust. And arrange furniture and organize books and papers and notebooks and STUFF. And then, we finally get to USE it. :-)

I have given myself permission not to start "everything" until the schoolroom is finished. It's simply too overwhelming and stressful to think about trying to organize our work in the construction mess. We are starting this Wed with history, but that is all. And we can read history books in the family room. So, it's all good.

It's really starting to look like a "real" room, and I am grateful to my husband for all his hard work, and to our friends for their willingness to help. Can't wait til it's done!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And oh yes, my husband had a birthday too!!

Yesterday we celebrated my husband's birthday ~ it's been quite a week of celebrating around here!

We missed our daughter, first time she was not present at a family birthday celebration, but somehow we managed to have fun anyway. We spent most of the evening at a music concert at a local park. The boys danced around, played in the fountain (got soaked), and hubby and I bounced in our chairs a bit. :-) We came home and had strawberry shortcake.

I am so thankful for this man! My life would be so much more boring without him! I love that he loves me, that he is such a great father to our children, and that he loves God with all his heart and mind. I love that we got engaged on his 29th birthday, so every birthday is also a celebration of our life together. I love loving him.

"Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of celebrating another year with my man. Thank you for bringing him into my life 20+ years ago, and for all the ways You have shown yourself through our relationship. Bless him with a good year of spiritual growth, and grant him the wisdom he needs in all the various roles he fulfills. Lavish your love on him, Lord!"

Happy Birthday!!!

The Lord brought our family a whole new family of friends this summer, and the oldest girl had a birthday this past week! She and her mom first had a date together to a pottery shop ~ they painted mugs which we get to bring home in a couple weeks after they're fired in the kiln. They looked amazing. It was a special time for the birthday girl to spend with her mom. After that we swam and played at our house for a while, and then we partied!

She blew out all her candles in a single breath ~ wishes do come true! ;-)

Bendy bracelets from her sister.

Justin Bieber CD from her mom. Happy girl!

Birthday girl with her mom. Aren't they cute in matching shirts? :-)

Her youngest sister, age 5, is already reading! She does a great job!

Happy sisters.

Birthday girl and me.

Sisterly love!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saturday Dates

Last Saturday I went on three dates.

I know!!!

The first one was a breakfast date with son C. We left the house while everyone else was still sleeping (which in our house does not necessarily mean super early). We ate breakfast at McDonald's, a first for him. We talked, and laughed, and had a great time together. He is such a fun guy to spend time with! Then we went and both got haircuts. We ended our date at Target where I bought him a special little surprise.....

walkie talkies!!

It's pretty fun when your son is so overwhelmed he is speechless and it takes several minutes before he can even say thank you. Very fun.

In the early afternoon I had a baking date with a new little friend of mine. I brought her to my house and we made chocolate chip cookies and whole wheat bread. It was her first time EVER to make cookies from scratch, and I'm pretty sure it was her first time to ever wear an apron. She was in her element, and I was blessed just seeing how much fun she was having!

She took two and a half dozen cookies home to her family, and a loaf of freshly baked bread. Yum!

In the evening I went to see the movie The Help with my good friend Emma. Oh. My. Word. GREAT, great, great movie. I can't remember the last time I have so thoroughly enjoyed a movie. It could have been the fact that I'd previously read the book. Twice. Or it could have been the amazing company I was with. Or maybe the movie was just really well made. :0)

After the movie Emma and I went to a restaurant and talked for four hours. Isn't it amazing how women never run out of things to talk about? Loved my time with her. Came home encouraged and invigorated and challenged and refreshed.

A wonderful day of dates! (and it beats cleaning house!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One more sample - I think this is it!

On the right are the two red samples I painted in the family room, and on the left are the two brown/tan colors I painted in the kitchen. Of the two brown samples, the lighter one on the right is new today. It is called "Canoe", and I really love it! I think this is the one! Going to live with it for another day and make sure, but I'm almost positive this is the one. I painted a little bit of the red I like on the wall right around the corner from the "Canoe" color (you can't see it in this picture) and they go together super well! So relieved that this decision has been (almost) made!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Paint Samples

For daughter G's benefit, who is still away on her fabulous trip to WA, here are the paint samples I put on our family room wall. G, I much prefer the one on the right, in fact I think that is the one! So I hope you like it too!

It looks orange-y in this next pic, it's true color is more like the tone above, but here is the fabric I am trying to match. This is my curtain fabric from my living room/dining room. Our downstairs is so open, my goal is to coordinate three different colors from this fabric.

Here is one of the tans/browns I am considering for our kitchen. I am not crazy about this one, and will be painting on at least two more samples soon. Whatever color I pick for the kitchen will eventually also get painted in our entryway, up our curved staircase walls, and along the upstairs hall, so we need to love it.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kindergarten and Eighth Grade Graduation

Before our daughter jetted off to WA, we finally had our FLIC co-op (Families Learning In Christ) end of the year get together, at which time we also celebrated Little Man completing kindergarten, and daughter G and our friend N completing eighth grade. Yes, it took us all summer to find a date that worked for all three families! (imagine how hard it would have been if our co-op had been bigger?)

Little Man is my last baby to graduate from kindergarten. Throughout the year as I would think about him being my last to have at this age, I would sometimes feel sad. But now that first grade is about to start, and I have the gift of hindsight, I am just really grateful that God has allowed me to take all five of our children through kindergarten at home, and I look forward to the next year with him! Not sad at all anymore, but thankful to have reached this milestone. Little Man received a graduation certificate and a big balloon.

Then we moved on to the eighth graders. The moms/teachers shared.

The dads/principals gave a charge as these two begin their high school years. (pictures in back of G and N throughout the last two years of co-op)

G received a graduation certificate and a bouquet of flowers.

N with his parents.

And the third family in our co-op, who will be moving on to another co-op this fall. How we have loved learning with them the last two years!

This family is moving on, and N is transitioning to public high school, so there are changes for all of us.

Lord, please help each of us as we adjust to the changes You have planned for us. Help us to be grateful for what is past, and to embrace what is ahead. Thank you that YOU are unchanging, the same yesterday, today, and forever!