Monday, June 30, 2014

May - lots of photos!

May happenings.  This month always feels so very full.  So many things are winding down and this year, it was some HUGE things.  This is Rebecca's last year homeschooling.  I remember starting with her when she was so very young and doing the picture books and acting them out, doing crafts and more.  She was always such a fun student as she is eager to learn - still is.  And as this piece of the journey comes to an end, there are lots of markers along the way.  

We took some photos with her dear friend Hanna.  These beautiful young ladies will be having their graduation together.  Seems fitting as they have done a lot of learning and playing and laughing together over the years too!
May is also the end of another year of school for Christopher.  He finished his third year at NC State.  I can hardly believe that he is a rising senior!  It has gone so quickly.  We were delighted to have some of his friends over for dinner and games.  I don't have a lot of pictures of this, but here are a few.

I am so thankful to be able to have this time with these wonderful young adults!  I hope we will be able to spend time with some of Rebecca's friends in this way too.  :)

We ended our year with our Five in a Row group with field events.  This is a fun tradition.  We played games like the 3-legged race.  
 The sack race.

 Broad jump

Softball throw

50 yard dash

And the egg and spoon race.

While they are competing, there is also a lot of time for laughter and fun.

Ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each event.  (By age and gender)

We also take time to honor our seniors.  We started this a few years ago when Christopher graduated.  All four of these moms have been in this spot before.  I'm not sure that it makes it any easier.  One of our friends prayed over us and I found myself with tears slipping down my face.  It just catches you off guard sometimes.  I've been doing field trips and events with this precious daughter of mine for over 18 years now.  I'm looking forward to more in the future!
 We also celebrated with cupcakes.  I made the GF strawberry ones and they were so yummy.

 Just a cute photo of my youngest - who has many more years of field trips ahead of her, but I know that those years will go quickly too.
Joshua, Isaiah and Roger went on a Civil War field trip (extended) with Roger's work and had a fabulous time.  We had fun at home while they were away too!
Once Christopher was home from taking exams, it was time to hit the beach!  I'm never sure how much time we will have to vacation together and always want to grab the time while we can.  The beach is such a fun place for all of us!  We had a delightful week there with beautiful weather and not too many people.   We enjoy playing in the sand and the ocean.  

And swimming in the pool.

Really ... all of it.  Well, maybe not the sunburn, but the rest of it.  It was Mother's Day and I wanted a picture with all of my children.  :)  

Here is one with my girls.

A round of putt putt was a fun family night!

Rebecca and some of her friends attending a homeschool dance.  
 So beautiful!  :)
 We also went to see a local theatre performance.  The musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Rebecca loves musicals and we made this a fun night out with friends.  We went out to dinner and then to the performance.  It was great and a fun evening!

Meeting some of the actors afterwards was a neat experience too.

Also in May is our state homeschool conference.  Rebecca has been attending with me for a number of years now (since I stopped being a vendor).  She really likes going to the workshops and also hanging out with her friends.  This year was no different.  Well, that part wasn't different, but there was something new.
We did not take part in the graduation at the conference, but will be having a celebration in July with family and friends.  I only have one photo of the two of us at the conference.  Its not the best one as it is at the very end and we were both worn out.  Its a photo though that captures this memory.  :)

The last event of the month was our family outing on Memorial Day.  We went to a park to hang out and have fun.  Friends met us and it was a great day.  

 Lots of games were played.  Soccer.
 Football from the Enos.

 Kan Jam


Food of course.
 More games.  Ultimate frisbee.

 And even some fishing.  Delightful day.  It was planned at the last minute and sometimes those are the best.  :)  Thankful for this time and this day.

 Eliana continued to play soccer this month.

 They learned some basics and mostly just had fun.

 The staff and teens that worked with this program are super!  Eliana enjoyed this and I hope we will be able to do more events like this in the future.

 A month that was full in many ways ... a busy calendar, but not so full that we didn't have time to laugh, play and spend time with friends.  Those are days well spent.

Will hopefully share next about one of my favorite co-ops and a field trip to go with it!  Then it will be on to June.  I'm just about caught up now!  I hope you are having a great summer.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Another gluten free menu plan

Just in case anyone wanted a peek at my menu for the week.  I know that it helps me sometimes to see what others are having when I get in a rut.  So here is what is on tap for the week.

Here are our 5 dinners.

1.  Taco pasta - This was an easy to fix meal that everyone liked.    Sides were fruit and fresh cucumbers.

2.  Baked balsamic chicken
    Roasted broccoli - maybe this recipe
    Mashed potatoes

3.  Mac and cheese - Trying a new recipe and hoping its as good as the other one.  GF mac and cheese can be very yummy!
    Salad and/or raw veggies with dip

4.  Taco Bowl - Good for a night when I have to leave early for play practice.  Everyone can fix their own dinner as they like it.  Good way to use some leftovers too.  :)
5.  Egg, polenta, salsa dish - polenta with a fried egg, black beans, sliced avocado and salsa on top.  YUM!  We may be having grits instead of polenta as I'm having a hard time finding that around here for some reason.

For breakfast we can have any of these options:

eggs and bacon
yogurt and granola

For lunch:
hot dog and fries
And look what I made tonight for the rest of the week!  :D  I'm really excited to try this out.   You can read more about salads in a jar here.

Last week, two of my boys made a restaurant for us to enjoy for lunch one day!  It was great.  Pretty tablecloth, placemats, menus - the whole works!  I am hoping to see this happen more often.  :)  We are working on cooking lessons a bit this summer at their request.  I love having children that enjoy food and cooking!

Hope you are off to a great start for your week.  I'll be posting the next couple of days some of my May catch-up and then its on to June.  I'm getting there and hope to be fully caught up soon!

Have a great week!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

B4 FIAR co-op: Play With Me

This is such a sweet story and a perfect one to read in the spring.  Its about a little girl who goes outside and is looking for someone to play with her.  She excitedly asks each animal she finds to play with her, but each animal quickly hides or goes away.  When she sits quietly by a pond (a bit sad that nobody will play with her), she then finds that all the animals return and she is delighted!

For this story, we decided to meet outside at a local park.  It was a perfect day and a fun time with our friends.  We continued with our typical format of having a devotion first.

We did the creation story.
A fun spot to sit and learn.  So many fun places to learn and being outside of definitely a big one!
Reading our story.
Playing a game of riddles to figure out the animals.  You can find that resource and others to go along with this book here at  homeschool share.
Each child was given an animal picture card to try to figure out the riddle that went with their animal.  Eliana was given a deer.
Next it was time for a snack.  Isn't this adorable?!  Can you see the butterfly with treats inside?  Too cute!
For our craft, the kids decorated egg cartons to collect treasures in.  There were stickers and foam pieces, markers and more to choose from.
Eliana really liked putting lots of stickers on hers!
Then we went on a walk around the park.
My girl ... blazing her own path ... full steam ahead!
Too tired to figure out how to change this one now.  My sweet girl stopping to observe.
I love photos like this of paths.  So many images come to mind about life and the journey that we are on.  I'm so very blessed to on this path.  So very thankful to be right where God has placed me.  Very grateful for the many friends and family with whom I travel.
The lake is a fun place to look.  And to throw things (found in nature) into the water.
We found a turtle sunning himself.  That was a sweet treat to see one of the animals from the story.
Cute kids, climbing up for a better look.
After our walk, we headed back to our original spot.  We were eating lunch and one of the children said, "I see a snake".  Another piped up, "I see one too.".  I went over to look.  They were right and it was not a little one either!  We gathered around, but not too closely to watch him.  He slithered along the ground for awhile.
And then climbed a tree.  And to think he was probably there the whole time we were doing our lessons.  :)  No worries as it was a harmless one.
As always, it was a delightful morning with our friends.  Just one more story before we finish for the summer.  I'll post more on that next week.  :)

I hope you are able to be outside and enjoying God's wonderful creation!