Annual beach trip

This year we had our eighth family beach trip. I am amazed that we have gone to the beach together that many times. It is a trip that we all look forward to every year and this year was no different. The only thing that was different about this year’s trip was that Doug’s new wife, Erin, and her two kids joined us. They were such a great addition to our week and are a great addition to our family! The kids all played so well together, and so did the adults.

Each couple usually gets one date night at some point during the week, and this year we decided to all go out together…twice. :). We had such a fun time together playing pool, having a few drinks and laughing almost non-stop. (I wish I had taken at least one picture).

One new thing that we did was go to the Pirates Voyage show. The show has a giant pirate ship in it and the pirates do some amazing acrobatics throughout the show. The kids said that they liked it better than the Medievil Times because there was more audience participation, and they were right. Tom, Erin, Doug and I were asked to go on stage to compete in a bucket filling race. The kids were shocked to see us up there which made it even more fun.

The rest of the week was filled with fishing, swimming in the pool, boogie boarding, beer drinking, and Banana-gram playing. What more could you want!?!? Another successful beach trip.

Short school days

Summer is rapidly approaching and our school days are getting significantly shorter. All of our “out of House” activities have wrapped up for the year which is giving us so much more freedom. Until a few weeks ago, we went to two co-ops and a Thursday morning Bible study each week. It is amazing that we got any school done! Anyone who says that homeschoolers aren’t “socialized” must not know anyone who homeschools. We are rarely home.

I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the last week and half with the kids. We have played hide-and -seek, baked cookies, played board games, and listened to books on tape. My favorite activity was hide and seek. At first I was strictly the counter/seeker, but then decided that I wanted to hide too. It was so much fun. It reminded me of the stellar games of hide and seek that we used to play as children with Sidney and Tommy.

Another nice aspect of school wrapping up is the lack of pressure that I now feel. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself for fear of someone accusing my kids of being “uneducated” or “behind”. Now the kids are only doing spelling, math and reading. Phew!! What a joy homeschooling can be without all of that self-induced pressure!! I plan to remember this when school starts up again in September. :)

Taking it easy through May and June is awesome! We are all enjoying staying at home, spending time together and learning about what truly interests us!

This is the boys rubbing “war paint” on themselves….

Above is the picture of our picnic in the backyard while I read “Danny, Champion of the world”

Below is Faith baking cookies all by herself…

Doug and Erin are married!

Our family, and many others, traveled up to Ellicott City, MD to celebrate and witness the marriage between Doug and Erin. They were getting married at a big, old, funky house in Ellicott city. It was the perfect venue for a weekend together and a wedding celebration. The theme was “cinco de mayo” which meant that we drank margaritas, ate Mexican food, and danced with a flaminco hat (even though that isn’t really Mexican). Haha

We spent Friday evening setting up for the wedding, eating together and socializing until late into the evening. On Friday night, the girls all got to spend the night in the “castle”. Faith and Elise were very exited to be staying there with us. I felt honored to be involved and staying as well.

The wedding was outside on Saturday afternoon. Rain was in the forecast and it did rain off and on. Thankfully the rain held off long enough for the wedding to be done outdoors. There were umbrellas being used by some but no one seemed to be bothered by a little rain. We weren’t going to melt!

The service was beautiful. I found myself tearing up while walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid. I was so happy for Doug and Erin. I know that God has brought them together and has redeemed them and their family lives. They are great together.

It sprinkled off and on all evening it we didn’t care. The bottom of the dresses were wet and muddy but we wore them anyway. Erin’s dress was completely brown with dirt but she danced and didn’t slow down. I wish I had a picture of it! It was a great weekend and I am so excited to have Erin in our family. I know that she and I will be friends, and sisters, for many, many years.

Enjoy the Moments

I must start out this post by saying that I have become the worst blogger and documenter of our family!  I have not posted since mid-February.  Mid-February!!  That just goes to prove how fast time flies by.  I have been taking pictures of our lives and saying, “I need to make sure that I write about this.”  Sadly, however, the time just never presents itself for me to write about anything.  I have been busy homeschooling three kids, trying to keep my house somewhat clean, constantly driving kids around town, and blah, blah, blah….I am vowing, here and now, that I will post something once a week.  I may even go back in time and catch up on a few events.  (A lot of big stuff has happened this week.)

Today, however, a big event happened to me personally.  It was so impactful that I started to cry tears of joy in the kitchen.  I have been praying that I would start to enjoy my children more.  That I wouldn’t be so focused on “getting school done” that I would lose the fun of homeschooling.  Sometimes, I fear that my kids will get behind in school and I forget the whole reason that I homeschool in the first place – to enjoy my children!  Yesterday, I started to mend my relationship with Faith.  Yes, mend.  She and I have had a rough time lately and I realized that I am mostly to blame.  I don’t respond with a kind voice and patience most of the time.  I get frustrated with her and it shows.  Yesterday, I responded with kindness, even when she lied to me and messed up.  I forgave her like the Lord forgives me.  I responded with love.

Today, Miller and I had some “Mommy-Miller time”, as we like to call it.  I let him choose what we would do since we had the morning alone together.  First we played frisbee in the yard, which is always fun.  Then Miller decided that he wanted to bake cookies  Believe it or not, I followed the whole recipe and even put in a half a cup of sugar and the entire stick of butter! As we baked and had fun together, I began to cry because I realized that my prayer to enjoy my child was being answered.  I wasn’t worrying about math or spelling lists, I was having fun with Miller.  The song, “You’re a good, good Father” came on the radio and it reminded me of what a great God we have.  He gives me the patience and the guidance that I need to make good decisions and gave me the time that I needed with my son.  What a role-model I have!  The Lord loves us unconditionally, loves with patience, forgives, and doesn’t keep record of wrongs.  He delights in us!  That is how I want to treat my kids and how I want them to see me.

I am so thankful for the beautiful day that I had with my kids.  We played outside, baked cookies, swung on the swing, and did a bit of school work.  It was a day to remember and to try to achieve everyday.

Homeschool Days

(I forgot to post this one back in February)

I read an article stating that February may be the hardest month for homeschool moms, and I most definitely agree! The reason? We just came off of Christmas vacation, the kids are beginning to complain, it’s cold outside, and the thought of having 4 more months of school is down-right depressing. I have described myself as being “weary” over the past week or two. I am just plain tired. In order to combat the weariness, I decided that we would have an easy week of school this week. We did science experiments, watched some educational videos, read biographies, did our memory work, and slept in. I loved it!! I am going to try to figure out how we can do more of this each week.

No matter how tired I get, I know that I am doing the right thing. Whenever I think about putting the kids in school I get an “icky” feeling. This tells me that we are where God wants us. Yesterday I read a verse in the Bible that reaffirmed our homeschooling and encouraged me. In Galatians 6:9 it says, “Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.”

How appropriate this verse is right now!! I need to continue on, not grow weary, and not give up! There will be a reward and I know that each day I am reaping a reward already. We are growing closer as a family and I am growing as a person. I may print out this Bible verse and hang it on my wall to remind me of God’s encouragement each day.

Here are some pictures from our week…

Faith and I doing our art experiments….

Faith helping Miller with his spelling word search…..

Miller playing with his wooden marble game that we assembled together….

NCSU gymnastics

On Saturday afternoon, Faith, my dad, and I made the trek to Raleigh to see an NC State gymnastics competition. There were four teams competing at the same time, so there was a lot to watch. I really enjoyed the time with my dad and my daughter. We had a lot of great discussions in the car and we enjoyed watching the gymnastics…..we also really enjoyed the DQ ice cream on the way home! ;).

It was interesting to go back to my alma mater and do a little bit of walking around. I kind of felt like the adult that returned to her childhood home only to find that the yard is much smaller then she remembered. At State, everything seemed closer together and smaller than I remembered. It was fun to see the buildings and the places that I lived and walked daily over a half a lifetime ago. Visiting campus the other day reminded me of how young I was when I attended college and how exciting college really was. I wish I could go back now, knowing what I know, and do a few things differently. I definitely would have learned more!!

Faith enjoyed being on the college campus and we are definitely raising us some Wolfpack fans!!

Snow days!

It snowed in Charlotte! We usually only get 1-2 snow days each year, so when it happens, it is a big deal!! We were amazed and exited to get 2-3 inches of snow on Wednesday morning. The kids immediately got dressed and went out to play. Thankfully, we were able to piece together some snow outfits for them. I realized that we need snow boots and better gloves for everyone…cold hands and feet are not fun. We will need them for our ski days that are soon to come. I think that this was the first time that I didn’t go outside and play in the snow with the kids. The kids are finally old enough that they don’t need me to be out there with them so I opted to stay warm inside.

This is miller throwing a snowball at me through the glass door. :)