Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Look Back at July

Didn't July begin yesterday?  Seems like it. 

July was a more relaxed month in regards to formal lessons.  The kids focused on their interests and it was fun watching them expand their imaginations.  Nick drew more, played with legos more, and read more.  Sam pulled out her knitting basket and made a couple of little washcloths, she encouraged me to knit a little too.  Sam also played with her stuffies, played 'Betty Crocker Kitchens' and read.

Our well ended up on the dry side so Scott had to rig an outside water tank into the house and now all we have to do is turn a valve when the well comes back online.  Scott and the kids gather water on a weekly basis.  Actually Scott gathers the water with the help of a pump and the kids play in the little river where we get the water.  Don't worry, we don't drink this water or cook with it.

Work is well, work.  This past month has been a little stressful and I am hoping that it gets better as the year goes along. 

Health-wise we are doing pretty good.  Seasonal allergies have been on the good side this year.  I had to have a couple of teeth pulled and that was good and bad at the same time. Good because I am not in pain anymore and bad because I didn't like hearing the cracks and breaks during the procedure. 

As I say good-bye to July, I welcome August with open arms.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friends, Future, Faith

"Choose your friends with caution; 
plan your future with purpose,
and frame your life with faith."

~ Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Isn't He Adorable?

This is the same bear that I posted about a few days ago.  Isn't he absolutely adorable?

Summer Reading Program

Every summer, in the month of July, our favorite library hosts a reading program.  This year's theme was "Dream Big...Read".  Nick and Sam look forward to this every year and always enjoy the time with their friends and the librarians.  This year did not disappoint!

Each Saturday, except for today, the kids made a craft project.  The first Saturday, the kids decorated sun visors.  The second Saturday, the kids made dream catchers.  The third Saturday, the kids made moon and star mobiles.  The fourth Saturday...today...was the ice-cream party and the kids received their certificates and free books for participating. 

There were two new activities this year that the kids really enjoyed.  The first activity was a magic show that was a lot of fun and Nick even went up to the magician to get his autograph.  The second activity was a teddy bear sleep over at the library.  The kids brought their favorite stuffed animal to the library last night, participated in some activities, had story time, ate cookies and visited with their friends. 

So much fun this year!!!  Thank you Miss Amy, Miss Nancy, and Miss Judy!!!

(all pictures were taken by Stanton Selby...thank you for bringing your camera :))

Friday, July 27, 2012

W is for Work

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be working 40 hours a week outside the home and that my husband would be home with the kids during the day, I would have laughed in your face.  I had plans of being a stay-at-home mom that homeschools her children until the youngest child finished high school.  That all changed 3 years ago this September. 

Lately, the place where I work has not been that great.  There are days when I feel like throwing in the towel to be home with my children.  I keep telling my husband that it is time for him to 'pound the pavement' so that we can switch back to our original roles of me being home and him working. Don't get be wrong...I am grateful to have this job and able to work not far from home. It's just that these last couple of months have been a bit stressful and I don't like feeling this way. 

To work or not to work is a question that I struggle with from time to time.  One of these days I hope to have an answer that I can be happy with.

Come see what Marcy and others are Blogging Through the Alphabet!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms - Review

"Annie Martin loves the Plain ways of her Old Order Mennonite people, like those revered by her beloved grandfather. Retreating from a contentious relationship with her mother, Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge.

But as spring moves into Pennsylvania and Annie spends time amongst the cherry trees with the handsome Aden Zook, she wishes she could forget how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.

Can Annie and Aden find a place for their love to bloom in the midst of the brewing storm?

I have a difficult time reading books in e-book format, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  I loved how the relationship between Annie and Aden unfolded.  I think you will too.

(Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Munchin on Wild Berries

This little guy is probably 2 years old, if that.  These pictures were taken about 25 feet from our house and as you can see, he is having a good ol' time munchin on the the wild berries.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Some Friendly Neighbors

 A fawn having an early morning snack (above and below)

A family of turkeys looking for wild berries for a mid-afternoon treat

Friday, July 20, 2012

V is for Vote

Being that this is a very important election year, the kids and I are currently working on a unit study by Amanda Bennett called Elections 2012. It is a 4 week unit study, but because of the flexibility of homeschooling, this particular study will take our family a bit longer. 

So far we have learned about the three branches of government, the voting process during the beginning of our presidential history, several vocabulary words and have read many wonderful books. We have also learned a bit about Presidents George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. 

Did you know that in the early elections, the person who received the most votes became President and the person who received the 2nd most votes became the Vice President?  I found that very interesting and thought about how those results would play out today.  I don't know about my kids, but I am curious as to when the voting process...Presidential nominees chose their running mate...changed and why.

Voting is a Right and those who are qualified...age 18 and up and a Legal Citizen of the United States...need to Vote in their perspective State Primaries and in the most important election ever...this coming Presidential Election in November. 

(My own personal opinion...I feel that the current administration does not "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America" and does not deserve a 2nd term in office.  I could say more, but will keep those opinions to myself)

Come and see what Marcy and others are Blogging Through the Alphabet!

Happy 3rd Birthday Blackie!

You are the best "boo boo kitty" ever!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Taking a Break

Only from formal lessons for the week.  The kids will be participating in VBS most of the week and it is from 6pm - 8pm (the time they usually do their math and spelling). Here's to a fun-filled week :)


An Update:

I just received news that VBS is cancelled this year :(  The woman who is running it got badly injured this past Friday and no one else felt they could do a good job.  Please pray for this woman, that her injuries will heal smoothly and that her recovery will not be long.

Not sure if the kids will take a break..will have to play it by ear.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A "Yes" Activity

It is approximately 90F degrees outside and the humidity levels on the high side.  The AC is going full board and I am still recovering from Oral Surgery.  My kids have been wanting to make Teddy Bear Cookies with frosting, candies and a whole lot of mess.  Did I really want them to do this?  No. But I put my feelings aside and said "Yes, have fun!"

Now it is clean up time :)

My "A-Ha" Moment

You know that feeling you get when you figure something out and you go "A-Ha!"  I have had quite a few of those moments, but the one that stands out in my mind happened back in the summer of 1988.  The summer before I became a junior in High School. 

It was July, the month that my parents and I took a cross country trip from Utah to Washington D.C. and States in between.  We drove I-80 traveling East and I-70 traveling West. We visited many places along the way: General George Washington's Winter Headquarters in Morristown, NJ, NYC, the memorials in Washington D.C., Mount Vernon, VA, Fort Belvoir, Va (my birthplace) Hershey, PA and Gettysburg. 

The place I liked the least was NYC.  Too many tall buildings and way too busy for me.

The place I liked best and had my 'A-Ha' moment...Gettysburg, PA.

Before we visited the infamous battlefield, I really didn't know too much about the Civil War.  I just knew that the North won and that it was fought for a few years.  (reading textbooks and taking tests didn't do well for me and the information I inputted into my brain didn't stay place for long amount of time)  Anyway, back to my "a-ha" moment...

When we first arrived at the battlefield, my parents and I toured the museum and watched a little video presentation about the battlefield.  After the presentation, we did a driving tour and saw a lot of monuments throughout the vicinity of the battlefield.  After the driving tour, my parents and I decided we wanted to walk around the we walked near "Devils Den".  This is where "Big Round Top" and "Little Round Top" are located.  As I was walking on the land where men died fighting for freedom, it hit me.  Men actually died where I was standing.  A chill went down my spine as I realized that this place was real.  I could actually touch the ground, feel the spirit, smell the trees, and taste the air of a place that an event actually took place on.  This was my "A-HA" moment.  I learned more on this trip than I ever did from a history textbook. 

Because of this learning experience, I became interested in learning about the Civil War on my own.  I have a timeline book, the Ken Burns PBS special on the Civil War in book and DVD, and I own the movie "Gettysburg".  To this day, I still have an interest in the Civil War and am looking forward to sharing this interest with my children. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Looking Back on Week 7 and 8

I have to admit that I am slacking in writing up the kids weekly lessons/activities.  Life has been going on and hopefully this next week, things will get back to normal. Well, normal for our family.

MATH:  Both Nick and Sam are doing great with their math lessons. Some complaints here and there, but over all doing great.

SPELLING:  This has been rather interesting, on my part, to watch this unfold with each lesson.  In fact, the way that the curriculum is set up, the kids enjoy the lessons and are having fun.  Who would have thought that spelling would create enjoyment on a daily basis?

READING:  Nick just finished his 2nd chapter book of the school year..."Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne.  During his reading, Nick would tell me what was going on in the story.  Nick also read other books throughout the last two weeks.  Sam is working on another Magic Tree House Book as well as "Bambi" by Feliz Salten and reading numerous books throughout the last two weeks. 

UNIT STUDY:  The kids and I are currently working through a 4 week unit study called "Vote".  I figured this is a good year to delve into the subject.  I have a feeling that the 4 weeks may turn into 6 weeks or more.  I will write more about this in weeks to come.

DADDY TIME:  During the weekdays, Nick and Sam do projects with Scott and I call this "Daddy Time".  They have been to the auto parts store a few times and helped daddy with the removal of the old bed and prepping the new bed for his pick-up truck.  They also helped him place the new bed and had a great time. 

DELIGHT DIRECTED:  Nick is on a "Back To The Future" kick (again) and has drew many pictures of the delorean time machine as well as created Hill Valley with Legos.  Sam reads a lot and plays with her stuffies.  Both kids have their computer time and Sam loves to watch the "Betty Crocker" videos on creating/decorating various cakes.  Nick enjoys watching videos of, yup you guessed it, "Back to the Future" creations.

So far, with everything we have done these last 8 weeks, the kids have enjoyed the unit studies the most :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

U is for Understanding

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"  ~ Philippians 4:7

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Psalm 32:7

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Finding Our Way Home - review

From the back cover:
"When principal ballerina Sasha Davis suffers a career-ending injury at age thirty-eight, she leaves her Boston-based dance company and retreats to the home of her youth in Minnesota.  But Sasha's injuries limit her as much as her mother's recent death haunts her.  Concluding she can't recover alone, Sasha reluctantly hires a temporary live-in aide.

Enter the uber-capable Evelyn Burt. As large-boned as Sasha is delicate, Evelyn is her employer's opposite in every way.  Small town to Sasha's urban chic, outgoing to Sasha's iciness, and undaunted where Sasha is hopeless, nineteen-year-old Evelyn is newly engaged and sees the world as one big, shiny opportunity.

Evelyn soon discovers Sasha needs to heal more than bones.  Slowly, as the wounds begin to mend and the tables tilt, the two women form an unlikely alliance and discover the astounding power of even the smallest act done in the name of love.  Finding Our Way Home is a story of second chances and lavish grace."

Charlene Ann Baumbich tells a story about two women from different worlds who end up becoming unlikely friends.  Evelyn, in her free-spirited way, encourages Sasha to face her fears of living and teaches her grace in the simplest way.  To read the first chapter, please click here.

I enjoyed reading this book and loved getting to know Sasha and Evelyn.  The twist and turns  (no pun intended) kept me rooting for each character.  I highly recommend this wonderful book.

(Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)

Friday, July 6, 2012

T if for...


Not a subject I was wanting to blog about, but it just so happens that toothaches are a part of life and part of my mouth at this time and this week is the letter "T".  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  I have been on antibiotics since last Friday as well as pain-killers.  The pain-killers make me rather drowsy and I can only take them at night.  During the day I take ibuprofen.  I am tired of taking medications and I still have to wait until the 20th to have these teeth taken care of.  Not a way I planned my summer. 

If you have ever experienced a bad toothache...I now know what it feels like.  If you haven't experienced a bad toothache, you don't want to experience it.  All I can say is I would rather give birth 10 times over than experience the pain I am now enduring.

I don't mean to whine, but this is all I could think of for "T".  Hopefully next week will be a more positive post.

Come see what Marcy and others are Blogging Through the Alphabet!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Let us not forget the men who signed this document.  Let us not forget the brave men and women who have died to keep our freedoms alive. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012


"If life gets too hard to stand, kneel." ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley