September 14, 2016

Back to School.

We started back to school 2 weeks ago.  I can't believe it has been two whole weeks already but here is our 1st day back pic.  Patrick--8th grade, Nicholas--2nd grade, Elizabeth--4th grade, Caroline--PreK, Peter--K, Jacob--6th grade.  We were missing Nathan for our first official day back, he was at work and didn't start until the next week.  Nathan is in 10th grade this year.  Crazy!  I look at this picture and I think they all look so old! 

Mom tries to make school fun but apparently, I'm not succeeding.

Mainly, it has been going well.  With a couple tweaks here and there, I think we are off to a good start.  We have a couple who are reluctant to do anything (as usual) and a couple who want to do it all in one day (hello, Peter....we know you love your math book, but....).  If anyone has been doing the most complaining about schoolwork, it has been MOM.  Mom just wants to have fun.  But, alas, someone has gotta steer this ship and I guess Mom is just the person to do it.  ;)

Now peruse the pictures of idyllic homeschool life.  Ah, the rare moments we capture on screen because they are just that...rare.  And the pictures are much quieter, haha.

August 30, 2016


Happy birthday, Patrick!  It is so hard to believe that you are fourteen already.  

Patrick wanted to go for a hike on his birthday, so we did.  Even though it was one of the hottest days of the year (with a heat index of 105 or more).  We had fun reminiscing about this spot on this trail.  And teasing Patrick about how he'd fallen in here when he was two.

There was some discussion about when he actually fell in.  I remember it being this day in 2004.  Though Patrick and Nathan are adorable here, I think that maybe everyone else is right and that it was a cold day.  
It was good that we got a "before" shot at the trail head because we were so sweaty after this hike it was ridiculous!

The girls still gave it two thumbs up!

 We had intended to do another trail, then the paved loop on scooters.  But everyone voted to go straight to scooters (with a wonderful 3 minutes in the car and air conditioning in between--we are wimps I guess!).  This was a lot of fun and we followed up with a trip to Dairy Queen for a birthday lunch.

 Happy happy birthday dear Patrick!  You bless us with your creativity and your joy.  May you have a blessed year!

August 16, 2016

July Supplemental.

July was a busy month!  It was a doozy in all the good kind of ways.

July always starts off with a bang! Fun and fireworks and celebrating Independence.  Thankful that the weather cooperated for the firework show.

Then there was a wedding!  A beautiful, wonderful wedding...all that a wedding should be: the wonderful union of two beautiful souls.  The first nephew to get married!  Truly an exciting time and we loved witnessing it.

This could really apply to May, June or July.  Nathan has been doing landscaping for his dad's work this summer.  Ideal job for a 15 year old!

 My mom's birthday -66- with her grandchildren.
Ken's mom's birthday! 71! It is always a joy to celebrate the grandparents birthdays.  And funny that the two grandmothers days are less than a week apart.

The blackberries came in and get eaten almost as fast as they are picked.

 Watermelon was enjoyed by all.  And by all I mean even the dog.  She loves the rinds!  She'll also steal yours if you aren't watching.
 There were smores by the full moon..  Peter offered to make one for mom--how could I ever say no to that?  Good think I like my marshmallows burnt.
 There's always pool time.  As much as we can squeeze in.  These three are good swimming buds.
I jumped out of my comfort zone and agreed to go tubing on the river.  I almost didn't.  I'm such a nervous nelly these days and I hadn't done anything like this since I've been married.  Ken is usually the fun guy but this day, I was fun mom.  And I loved it!  I'm so glad I went and I would love to go again.

 Raccoons in trees.  We don't really like that.  Mae hung out watching this one for days.  He finally made his escape when she lost interest.
 July makes for lots of country driving. With views like this, I don't mind a bit.  It feels good to stretch the eyes and take in all of the vivid colors.

 I was really proud of us this year.  With the help of the kids--my garden did NOT turn into a weed infested jungle during fair week.  And we were rewarded.   I only planted cucumbers, tomatos, beans, zucchini and pumpkins.  I haven't found a zucchini yet (which is weird if you know zucchini!) and the pumpkins got ran over by a four wheeler and the remaining vines were getting infested with squash bugs so I ripped them out.

BUT!  The other three things have been in abundance.  Lots and lots of pickles being made.  Yum!

 The end of July brings Lawn and Garden Tractor regionals.  It's an all-day affair and about an hour drive to get there.

 Nathan only came in 6th place which I know he was disappointed about.  However, I really love this photo of him.  If nothing else, we had a great day hanging out together and even playing a little Pokemon Go... ha!
 Last but not least.... we finally celebrated Peter's baptismal birthday.  It falls the week before fair (this year in the height of project turn in) and we just didn't squeeze it in.  Better late than never!  :)

That's a wrap!  At least, for July.

August 10, 2016

Random Fun.

This is sorta the last post concerning the fair.

Fun with the animals.  Thankfully the ones that aren't ours.  It is always a breath of relief when the official "work" is done and no one is scrambling for something.

 Fun with friends on rides and attractions.  None of my kids would go up in the balloon.  We just enjoyed watching it.

 Fun at the tractor pull.  Carrie's first year.  Also a winner for the first time ever!  Nicholas came in 3rd place in the 7yo age group and won an awesome trophy!
Fun hitting up all the booths for the free stuff.  There aren't that many booths but they were all nice enough to let the kids come every night...multiple times.  We were all really thankful for the free water/popcorn/popsicles/cotton candy!
 And then before you know it, you are having the last makeshift breakfast at the fairgrounds before you have to pack up and head home.  It is always bittersweet-- fair week is a blessed week with fun and memories.  Time that you get to spend all hours with friends and your family and cheering one another on.  We are thankful to have such a great 4H community!