Monday, September 29, 2014

gettin' her nails did.

Samantha turned 9.
Like a month ago.

I'm obviously still in denial because it's taken me this long to blog about it.

I'm just lazy.

Not really.

She's amazing.
And that is NOT a joke.

This kid rocks our whole world daily.
She is kind.  Like, puts-us-all-to-shame-kind kind of kind.

She is faithful to the end.
With her promises, with her heart, with her all.

And she wanted to get her nails did for her party.

I am still getting used to small townness.
Did you know that all three nail salons we have in our town are CLOSED on Sundays!?

We literally drove to the bigger town 30 min's away.

Because I am that mom.
Not really, we just had the time so we did it.

These ladies are the best:

 Not having a party for her glorious....I do love a good party but the clean up from this party was dreamy, just dreamy!

 AND...then there were the unimaginable amount of dog presents and brownies.
 Not sure what she's doing here?  Hissing at the brownies?  Too funny.
Last year of single digits my darlin'.
You're gonna rock it, not even a question in my mind!

(Don't judge my oven mitts.
They are clean.  I promise.  Just stained a little. What!? Like yours AREN'T!?
Don't answer that.)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

the making of stars...

(pictures I need to make sure and go back to study right after they cat remind myself they do love each other and they do get along most of the time....usually....a lot....maybe not right this second...but most times.)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

summer school.

I'm probably ruining my kids view of school.
We'll see, I guess.

We don't really come to a complete stop in the summer.
My whole parenting philosophy and school philosophy revolve around:
#1 Jesus
#2 Their character
#3 Their love of learning
#4 Real Life

And none of those stop because it's summer, so neither do we.
I think, if I remember right, school historically stopped in the summer because it was harvest time and kids were busy working on their farms.

We don't farm.
Therefore, we don't stop.

I don't care if anyone else stops, but for us, keeping some semblance of routine just makes sense and it's still fun and because, just like all other things home school, we just can, so we do.

(That's actually my favorite answer to give people when they ask why we home school:  
Because we can!)

Now.  That doesn't mean there aren't weeks, sometimes several, that we don't do our normal school day.  I'm not that girl.  (Although sometimes I wish I had more of that girl in me!)

Two weeks of this summer were filled with camps.
Fine Arts Camp, Sports Camp.

But, to me, that is school.
They are learning something we couldn't really do at home and they are loving learning it.

Other weeks are filled with trips to Oregon, visiting family, days at the river or lake, long hikes, late nights, sleeping in, watermelon, bbq's, Six Flags, etc....

But our routine is never far from reach.
We always go back to it.
And most summers we at least slow down and spice up the routine.
Some of this summer's spice are these sweet calendar journals.
A friend (Hi Becky!) told me she did them with her kids last summer and I have been known to copy a time or two so I figured we'd just make it three and get these bad boys goin'.

I hand draw/measure the squares for the months lightly in pencil, they do everything else.  Sometimes we get a whole week behind, sometimes we are right on top of it.  

This and copying the Bible by hand have been two of my favorite things we've done as far as spice goes.
It's teaching them God's goodness and journalling and I think I'd like to be buried with these puppies I love them so much.

Our other routines we keep up:
'cause even a week or two off wipes math facts clean away, I wish my house cleaned it self the way math facts clean themselves when they are ignored!
Language Arts.
There is NO other program for me, I cannot sing this program's praises any louder.
It's very cool. We lurv it.
I'd recommend it whether you home school or not, could totally be done just as a family!
We are also continuing to hand write our way through the Bible, each person taking a book.
We just started these this summer and they are amazesauce.  Highly highly highly recommend.

They are also all in the middle of a 100 books challenge.
100 books = a fun trip with in a days drive.

("Math Mode" = since Merlin was a kitten we'd sit down to do school and he'd jump up on the table and start rubbing his face in everyone else's face.  For some reason it was always during math.
And...he just never stopped.
This is Lydia, doing math, on the deck, Merlin immediate started rubbing his face on hers.  Apparently he doesn't need the table to go into this.
Cats are so weird.)

I do love keeping up with routine.
It helps me, it helps them.
It just fits for us.

I will say though that sometimes, when Merlin goes into "Math Mode"and the sun is shining and you're sitting on the deck, it's very hard to turn mixed numbers into improper fractions!
Just ask Lydia. to do summer school!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Double Digits.

Lydia Rose
10 years old

A little bit quirky, a lot bit talkative.
A little bit perfect and a lot bit beautiful.

The child who made me 'Mommy'.
It all happened 10 years ago.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Where people go when they have a hankering for buying a small country.
Where people go to spend all their vacation money.  Who needs vacation!? Right....right?
The one store in town where all countries represent yo!  (it's almost like GOING on vacation.  almost.)
The one store in town where everyone always seems to be at at the exact same time, no matter what time or day or state or city you are in.
The store where all people's are required to leave their maneuvering brains at the front door.  It's in the card.  You wave your card to get in and your maneuvering brain zaps into the card.  BAM! You leave the store and it zaps back in!  Magic.

For reals.  Today I felt like I was playing Twister with a crowd of people just to get the dang bacon.  I'm flexible but not that flexible!  Stop standing in the way of my bacon!  Stop making me twist in unladylike positions to get my bacon!

Oh.....and today's trip was kidless.
Do. not. get me started on Costco WITH KIDS.

The store where people go to shop with their kids when they have a hankering to visit a medieval torture chamber.  "I just feel like having my spine stretched to unfathomable lengths today while my finger nails are being extracted one by one!"
The store where people go to shop with their kids when they have a long lost dream of being the circus.  Or the zoo.  Or the insane asylum.
The store where children die.
Newspaper Titles Reads:  Customer left maneuvering brain at the entrance and as a result thwacks young child with shopping cart the size of a small country.  Child dies.
Very sad.

Wait...I wasn't going to get started!

One more.

The store where people go to shop with their kids when they've forgotten what it was like LAST TIME!?
Really...are our memories that bad mothers!?

(As I'm writing this, laughing to myself, I am getting flash backs of what it was like to visit that torture chamber when the girls were all very little.  Picture this:
Two Costco Carts.
Those suckers are HUGE.
One had two kids in the front, buckled in, and a car seat in the main basket, with a twin securely strapped in place.
The other twin was strapped to me, or if it was a rough day, the other basket I pushed/pulled had another car seat in the main basket.
The groceries/small country?  In the bottom, around the car seats, in the laps of the toddlers, strapped to my back (kidding, but it felt like it!).
And I'd push one cart with one hand and pull the other cart with the other hand.

And I kid you not:
#1 - it was the easiest store for me to go to with all four of them because the baskets were big enough for us to use both as strollers AND as a grocery cart.
#2 - I think I know what it felt like to watch the Red Sea part and dry up.

It's what it feels like to go through Costco with two buggies, and four babies.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our weekend in pictures...

Last week was hard on my heart.
Lots of refining going on.

Good news.
We'd already had a weekend away to my Grandpa's wife's cabin in eastern Oregon.

Warning #1:
My words are falling short right now so pictures is what you get.
Lots and lots of pictures.

Warning #2:
No, the pictures do not do it justice.

Warning #3:
If it is out of your budget to get to Oregon RIGHT NOW, then you may not want to look at these:

THE Cabin.  Designed BY my Grandpa!

 The cabin is literally as close to the bank of this river as structurally possible! 
(It's not even legal to do that anymore but they've had the property for so long that it was grandfathered in!)

Photo credit: Lenora!

It was perfect.  The company was special and the place was magical.
We can't wait to go back!