Friday, August 17, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: My Mother and Learning to Ride a Bike

No, my mother did not learn to ride a bike this week, and neither did I.  :)  We already know how!

But my did mother come for a visit last week.  As always, we had a great time visiting with her although I wish I had taken some pictures while she was here.  She spent a lot of time playing games with and reading books to my children.  We all enjoyed her visit.

This week we started school, here at home and with our CC campus.  I must admit that my children did not have the best attitude about their schoolwork.  Probably they were still a little tired from my mother's visit and their trip to a water park with John on Wednesday.  Being tired will make anyone a little crabby, won't it?

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • we saw the Incredibles 2 movie two weeks ago, and we all loved it.  Even Hannah sat spellbound on my lap through the whole movie.  What made it so memorable was that it was all of our children's first time to see a movie except for Sarah Beth whom I took to see Frozen several years ago.
  • I had my first parent meeting with our CC Essentials class last Monday.  It was nice spending time with the ladies whose children I will tutor.
  • after picking up my mother at the airport in Houston, we went to Half Price Books.  What a neat store!
  • on Saturday, I attended a workshop on The Lost Tools of Writing which is Sarah Beth's new writing curriculum.  I had no idea what it was all about until the workshop, so it was very helpful.  What was so impressive was that it was taught by a high school junior!  She's completed several years of CC, and I'm always impressed by these Challenge students.
  • John taught Rachel and Mary how to ride their bikes without training wheels last weekend.  They're so excited!  And I'm so proud of all of them!
  • soccer started this week.  Sarah Beth and Rachel are both playing, and it looks like they have excellent coaches this season.
  • Tuesday was our first day of CC, and we enjoyed that.  I especially enjoyed not being director! :)  There are several new families which is always fun.
  • as I mentioned before, John took our oldest four children to a waterpark on Wednesday.  They all had a great time!  They've been looking forward to it since last year.  School had started in our area, so there weren't many people there which made it that much more fun.
  • meanwhile, I was home with Hannah, and I enjoyed that!  We ran a few errands, then I got some things done at home.  It was fun only having one child for a day, and Hannah loved being an only child -- for a day.  :)
  • The Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine.  A few teenagers solve a robbery mystery that occurs in an early 1900's department store.  Although this book is written for children, I found the character development to be fairly good, and the twists and turns of the plot kept the book interesting.  I plan to read some more in this series.
  • Why My Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park.  This book tells the story of a young girl and her older brother during the decade when Korea was occupied by Japan before it was liberated after World War II.  It was an informative yet sad book to read.
We have a quiet weekend planned, and we play to savor it since soccer games start soon and with them busy weekends.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Review: I Am: The Names of God for Little Ones

I was thrilled when this book (I Am:  The Names of God for Little Ones by Diane Stortz, illustrated by Diane Le Feyer) arrived for me to review.  When I read it to  my toddler, she loved it and started calling it her "Jesus book."  You can probably tell from the title of this book that it tells a little about several names of God:  God the Father and God the Son.  It has a nice distribution of names from throughout the Bible.

However, I did find a few problems with this book:
  • Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide.  In the Bible, God reveals this name to Abraham when he almost sacrifices his son Isaac but does not because God provides a ram as a substitute.  However, in this book, the author implies that all this name means is that God will provide us with food and take care of us.  This name means so much more!  God doesn't just give us food, but He supplied us with a sacrifice to take our place so we will not be punished for our sin.  
  • Jehovah Rophe, the Lord Who heals.  The story with this one is when Naaman is healed in the Jordan River.  But the Lord revealed this name to the Israelites when He made bitter water sweet at Marah (Exodus 15).  Although the author used a different story to illustrate the name of God, I don't think it dilutes the meaning at all.
  • Rabbi, Teacher.  This pages tells about how Jesus taught about God, but Jesus is God!  It makes it seem like He isn't.  The author should have made a distinction that Jesus taught about God the Father.  
Don't get me wrong about this book, please!  I enjoyed this book, and I'm glad to have added it to our library.  The criticisms I found are fairly small, some may say nitpicky.  But I like and expect accuracy in my books about the Bible for me and for my children.  

All of the negatives about this book, which aren't many, are completely taken care of by the pages about Jesus as Savior and King of Kings.  This book clearly relates that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead.  And my favorite page of all was the last one when Jesus will return and make Heaven and Earth new.  What hope this page gives to us and our children!

I will continue to read my daughter her "Jesus book" because it is just that good.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, August 3, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Quiet Week and a Finished Blanket

Another finished blanket for our local pregnancy center.

We had a quiet week at home, almost too quiet, as we didn't always know what to do with our time.  But my mother is coming next week, and the week after that we start school again.  So I decided to appreciate our downtime this week.  :)

Here are a few specific things I enjoyed this week:
  • We met some friends at the pool and had a great time with them.  I really appreciated having someone to talk to.  :)
  • Both Sarah Beth and Rachel won their prizes for summer reading!  In our county, it's done like a raffle, and you get more tickets by reading more.  My oldest three children earned the maximum amount of tickets for their reading.
  • I always love it when I finish a blanket because I get to start something new!
  • I really appreciate our new CC director.  She is doing a great job getting things together this summer, and I have to admit that I have been enjoying not being director this year!  ;)
This morning, we have orientation for our Classical Conversations campus, and we look forward to meeting new families as our campus has grown over the summer!

We plan to see the new Incredibles movie tomorrow, but other than that, we hope to have a quiet weekend.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, July 27, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A New Refrigerator

The deliverymen were barely out of the driveway when my children started decorating the new fridge!

While I do love our new refrigerator, I do not like the reason we had to get it.  John discovered water leaking from the freezer Tuesday morning, water from the ice melting.  So we quickly moved everything worth saving into either a cooler (for the refrigerated stuff) and our deep freeze (for the frozen stuff).  Then, of course, we had to buy a new one.  Ugh!  We are fortunate to have a local appliance shop which will deliver the next day, so we were only without a fridge for a little over twenty-four hours.  I'm so thankful for that!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • going to a Honeybee Expo on Saturday with Mary and Sarah Beth.  We had so much fun tasting different kinds of honey and doing some crafts about bees.  Sweet Mary knew I wanted to go, so she volunteered to go with me.  Then Sarah Beth decided to go, too.
  • meeting friends at a museum Monday.  It is set up like a children's museum, so our children had a great time playing with the different exhibits.
  • having a slow week.
I'm hosting an Usborne Books Party tonight as a fundraiser to purchase insurance for our CC group.  Then we have a busy day tomorrow!  In the morning, the kids and I are running a race:  mine is a 5K, and theirs is shorter, for children.  Then we're going to a friends' house to swim and have supper.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why I Decided that Being (Five Minutes) Late Isn't Such a Bad Thing

I am one of those people who like to be on time, even a little bit early.  I don't like to be late, and I want to make sure that I get where I am going with plenty of time to spare in case something happens on the way. Too often, however, my children are casualties of my wanting to be on time.  I end up yelling and screaming at them to hurry up so that we can get where we are going on time.

One day I read something by Gary Thomas where he said that it makes no sense to throw my husband under the busy, so speak, in order to look good to a stranger.  On another day, I read something about not harming my children's spirits.  And God used these two different thoughts to start my contemplation of something:  what if it's more important to protect my children's hearts than it is to get somewhere on time?

I first came to this realization one day as we were eating lunch, preparing to leave for piano lessons.  What would really happen if I let my children finish their lunch in peace and get ready without my yelling at them to hurry?  We might be five minutes late.  Would five minutes be worth the damage done to my children's spirits?

I thought about this again when planning for Practicum.  What would the results be if we were five minutes late to Practicum because I didn't yell and scream at my children to hurry?  Well, my children would be a little late to their camps, but that's not a big deal.  And I would be a little late to my session, again not a big deal.

In other words, I decided that being five minutes late would not be worth damaging my children.

Do you know the peace that I had when I made that decision?  It was wonderful!

Now don't get me wrong:  I am talking about being five minutes late, not half an hour.  I still think it's rude to be late, rude to whomever is waiting.  And you have to do a good bit of planning sometimes to be on time.

However, children are children, and they don't always realize what time it is or what they should be doing so you can leave on time.  And, let's be honest, if/when we're late, it's usually my fault for not warning them adequately about when we need to leave.  When I come storming out of my room running late, it's not fair to my children to start yelling at them to hurry when they had no idea that we needed to leave any time soon.

So I decided to try to warn them better about when we needed to leave and to relax a little if they weren't quite ready when it was time to leave.

If you have a problem getting places on time, this post is not meant to make you feel better about habitually being late.  Rather, you need to figure out why you're always late and work on that.  Here and here are two posts that might help.

However, if you're always on time, but it involves yelling and screaming on your part, this post is for you.

Are you usually on time?  Does it take yelling and screaming on your part, or have you figured out how to be punctual without that?  :)

Friday, July 20, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Camp and Puzzles

Since Daniel had camp this week, we were a little busy, but not really.  We just had to load up the van to take him and then pick him back up.  Other than that, we were home the rest of the day which I enjoyed after our busy week last week.

The local college offers a children's camp every summer which has several different offerings at different times kind of like college classes.  So Daniel is taking a chess class, Math Magic, and Flying High, and he's having so much fun especially in the chess class.  Finally, he has people to play chess against, people he can't beat easily.  :)

Meanwhile, the girls and I worked on puzzles.  Several puzzles.  Five hundred piece puzzles.  One thousand piece puzzles.  Hard puzzles.  Easier puzzles.  I really enjoyed working with them solving these puzzles, but mostly I appreciated us all working together for a common goal.  Sarah Beth even picked out a 300 piece puzzle to do with Mary while Rachel and I finished up our hard puzzle.  Wasn't that sweet?

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • getting back to my Summer Learning Plan.  I have taken a few weeks off for various reasons, and it was good to get back to it!
  • staying on top of the laundry.  :)  Since Daniel had to wear the same shirt every day for camp, I had to wash it along with a load of other clothes.
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  This book is one that Sarah Beth has to read for her Challenge class this year.  I'm trying to read all of her required books so I know what's going on in her class.
We don't have much planned this weekend, and I'm enjoying every slow weekend we can get before soccer season starts back up.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Few Things I Learned at Practicum

Last week at Practicum, I received my training to tutor the Essentials class in the afternoon sessions.  There was great information shared there.  But in the morning sessions, we had a wonderful speaker Sandy James who imparted much wisdom.  She told many stories about her own children and other children whom she knows, and it was encouraging to hear that we haven't failed as parents if our children drift when they leave our houses.  My favorite analogy was that children are like baking a cake:  if you check them in the middle before they're "done," they are raw and gooey on the inside.  You have to wait to assess them after they are completely "baked."

Here are a few quotes I wrote down that spoke to me; I thought you might appreciate them as well:
  1. Isaiah 54:13.  "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."  Our speaker repeatedly brought us back to this verse, emphasizing how God will meet us and our children as we sit at the kitchen table doing school.  She also told us that the Hebrew word for "peace" is "shalom" which means nothing broken, nothing missing.  We can trust God that, when we teach our children, at the end of it all, there will be nothing missing, nothing broken; their education will be complete.  
  2. Discipline is an automatic reaction to vision.  If you have a vision for where you want to end up with your children as you homeschool, you will be disciplined to get there.  For example, when I'm training for a race, I don't mind as much getting up in the morning and running hard.  I have a vision.  When I'm just running for exercise, it's so much harder.  
  3. If you begin with the end in mind, the middle won't trip you up.  Again, if you have a clear vision of your goal, you won't get sidetracked when things get difficult before you get there.
  4. I have nothing better to do with my time than disciple my children.  This quote was my favorite, and the one I most needed to hear because I tend to forget it.  Speaking with them, discipling them, listening to them is so much more important than the book or blog I'm reading or the task I'm trying to complete.
  5. People (my children) need me when they need me, not when I am ready to be needed.  Isn't that the truth?  It seems that my children only need me when I'm busy doing something relatively important.  It's inconvenient; they're inconvenient.  But that's the way God designed things and how He can use our children to make us more like His Son.
Do any of these quotes speak to you?  Have you heard anything interesting lately?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Review: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

When Savannah's husband moves out in anticipation of a divorce, she is devastated and has no idea what to do next.  So she moves a few hours away to live in her parents' vacation home in order to sort things out and figure out what to do next.  While there, she meets her neighbors:  elderly Clarice, her nephew Brock, and his daughter Maysie.  Savannah learns how to deal with past trauma, current pain, and the possibility of reconciling with her adulterous husband as she interacts with her neighbors in her painful circumstances as well as theirs.

The story in this book is a good one, one worth telling.  The author clearly communicates the pain and hurt that Savannah feels as her husband leaves her for another woman and how hard it is for Savannah to trust him again when he wants to reconcile.  However, the writing was a little simplistic. There were too many short and incomplete sentences.  Used once in a while, they are a great tool for emphasis, but West used them too often in this book.  Tighter writing and better editing would have made this good story great.

However, I do recommend this book because it's not a typical story, but it is a redemptive one.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my kindle copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, July 13, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: CC Practicum

The only way I could get out the door on time!

Whew!  This week was busy!  We had Practicum for Classical Conversations where I receive the training I need for tutoring.  While I do that, my children have camp.  We all had a good time learning and spending time with friends, but it was exhausting.  We had to leave at 7:45 each morning, and we didn't get back home until after 5:00.  And it was an hour drive each way.  Tiring, but good!  I'm so glad that we went, and I received tons of great encouragement and new information.  But I'm so glad it's over for the summer.  :)

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • being home Thursday.  We only left the house to pick up the groceries yesterday.  Meanwhile, I caught up on laundry and other household chores that were neglected because I was too tired to deal with them when we got home.
  • friends at Practicum.  Usually, my children and I attend without anyone else from our CC campus, but this year we had several friends go with us which made it that much more fun.
  • a trip to Half-Priced Books.  There was one on the way home from Practicum, so we just had to stop in one evening especially since we hadn't been to that location before.
  • John being fine with easy suppers all week since I was too tired when we got home to cook.
I plan to run a 5K tomorrow morning although I have to admit that I don't really want to.  ;)  Other than that, we have a quiet weekend planned.

What did you enjoy this weekend?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, July 6, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Time with my Little Girls

This dress was Rachel's and she loved it.  Now it's Hannah's turn to dance around in it!

John took Sarah Beth and Daniel to hunt prairie dogs over the weekend, having left Thursday morning early and returning home Monday evening.  They had a great time even though they got too much sun.  But isn't that what usually happens when you're outside all day?

Meanwhile I stayed home with my little girls:  Rachel, Mary, and Hannah.  Since I did not want to sit around all day, bored or worse, watching tv, I tried to think of some fun things we could do that didn't cost much, if anything.  Thursday and Friday were easy since Rachel and Mary were finishing up their swimming lessons.  We took a trip to the library on Saturday.  Of course, we had church on Sunday, and I took all three swimming Monday morning.  We were busy enough so we didn't get bored, but we really were not busy at all.  I found the right balance.  Oh, and we did watch a few movies.  ;)

Here are a few other things I enjoyed:
  • John's birthday Tuesday.  Since he wasn't sure when they would get home from their hunting trip, he took Tuesday off, too.  So we had him home with us Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was wonderful to have him home for two weekdays in a row!
  • I have been doing Jen Wilkin's Bible study God of Creation through LifeWay, and it is wonderful!  She pulls together different parts of the Bible that I hadn't realized were so connected.  She also digs in deep into the first chapter of Genesis (that's as far as I've gotten) and shows the patterns that are there and why they are significant.  I have already learned a good bit.  If you're interested, LifeWay has the videos up to view for free here.  
  • I took all of the children swimming Thursday evening which they all enjoyed.  I have fun watching them have a good time, especially Hannah because she smiles the whole time.
  • my new treadmill.  Actually, I have been enjoying it for several weeks now.  When we took our tour of the Southwest, I ran on a few hotel treadmills, and they felt magical.  :)  I felt like I could run all day long, and they showed me how poor my old treadmill was, how hard it was to run on it.  So my sweet husband bought me a new one when we returned home.  While it's not as magical as the hotel treadmills, it is much, much better than my old one.
  • the rain.  It rained a couple of times this week, and we have needed it.
  • doing a puzzle with my girls.  Our library has puzzles that you can borrow, so we picked one out and have had fun figuring it out.  I especially enjoy it when all of my daughters are gathered around the table working on it.  Yes, even Hannah.  She is usually sitting on my lap putting pieces together that we take apart when she isn't looking since they don't really go together.  :)  Daniel does not enjoy puzzles.  :(
I have a busy week next week, so I will be using Saturday to get ready for that.  Hopefully, I will get most of my to-do list done so I can relax and enjoy Sunday.  

What have you enjoyed this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Birthday, John!

John returned home last night from a hunting trip with Sarah Beth and Daniel.  They drove up to New Mexico to do some prairie dog hunting which apparently is a lot like Whack-a-Mole with a gun.  :)  Hopefully, I will have some pictures for you on Friday.  

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband, John!

He's a great father...

as he helps our children negotiate their surroundings.

As you can see, they all love him very much.

He even does projects with our children.

I'm so glad that God gave me such an incredible husband! 

Hmmm.  I think I need some updated pictures!

Friday, June 29, 2018

What I've Enjoyed This Week: A 5K and a Swim Meet

Last Saturday, we were busy with a swim meet in the morning for Sarah Beth and Daniel and a 5K in the evening for me.  It was a fun day, though, as I enjoyed watching my children swim their best, cheer each other on, and improve their times from the previous meet.  Running the 5K in this Texas humidity was like running wearing a nice, warm blanket -- make that an oppressively thick blanket through which it was hard to breathe.  Ugh!  But I improved my running time, too, even in the heat and humidity which was encouraging!

This week Rachel and Mary continued their swimming lessons, and we have had a few other engagements in the afternoons.  It hasn't been as busy as last week which I appreciated.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • running the race with a friend.  Well, we didn't actually run it together since she runs faster than I do, but it was fun hanging out before and after the race.
  • doing puzzles with my daughters.  Yes, even Hannah likes to "help."  :)  Since the oldest two can put together a 500 piece puzzle in a day by themselves, I bought a 1000 piece puzzle for all of us to work on together.  It took us one day.  Maybe we need harder ones.  ;)
  • Daniel had golf camp, and he enjoyed it so much. 
  • not feeling guilty about not getting my summer learning plan done this week.  I felt like it was more important to spend that time with my daughters instead as we worked on puzzles. 
  • Parenting:  14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp.  I haven't finished this book yet, but it's wonderful!  And awfully convicting.  If you have children, you should read this book because it can transform how you view your children's misbehavior.  Instead of disobedience, Tripp shows how it is really a sin issue, one that you as a parent, are unable to fix.  Only by God's grace will our children change.   
This weekend we have no plans.  Hooray!  A quiet weekend at home!

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, June 22, 2018

What I've Enjoyed This Week:

Seeing my children reading is one of my favorite things.  :)

It rained and rained this week which we desperately needed because it hasn't rained in such a long time.  But we've been relatively homebound this week, so that wasn't much fun.  My children got stir-crazy a few times, and I couldn't send them outside to run off some energy.  Although Mary and Rachel did have fun playing in the rain one afternoon.

We were busy this week with swimming lessons for Rachel and Mary every morning, and the afternoons were full of appointments:  eye doctor and dentist.  Ugh!  I'm hoping that next week will be a little slower; if nothing else, there is only one appointment scheduled.  :)

Here are a few things I enjoyed this week:
  • The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix.  This book was so good, and I was so sad when it ended because I wanted it to continue!  The author has a wonderful way with words.  After Jessica survives the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris, she goes on a tour of France looking for antiques.  She finds a sewing box that had belonged to a Hugenot girl from the late 1600s and determines to figure out what happened to her and her family.  As she does, she begins to heal from the physical and emotional wounds from the attack.  
  • the World Cup.  We've only watched one game so far, but we enjoyed it!
  • If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock.  This book is the second in the series about Casey who has been framed for her friend's murder.  
  • lunch with a friend yesterday.  I hadn't seen her in a while, so it was really nice to catch up.  
  • since it's been raining, the swimming lessons have been at the indoor pool instead of the outdoor one.  I've enjoyed sitting inside where it is relatively cool as opposed to sweltering in the hot sun.  
Thankfully, there aren't any swimming lessons today, but I'm taking Rachel north of Houston for an appointment.  I look forward to the time with her despite the amount of time in the car.  Tomorrow will be busy:  Sarah Beth and Daniel have a swim meet in the morning, and I'm running a 5K that night.  It's going to be hot!  I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to run this race.  ;)

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, June 15, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Fun-Filled Week

I have to admit that I missed the extra time reading this week that I had last week.  It's amazing how much you can read in just half an hour.  :)

John and I tag-teamed the swim meet Saturday, having hired a babysitter for the three little girls since John had to go into work for a little while.  I enjoyed the time there, watching my kids swim and spending that time with them.  Mostly, I was pleased with their good attitudes, how they cheered each other on, and how they took responsibility for getting themselves to the right place at the right time.  The cherry on top, however, was Sarah Beth coming in third in the 50m freestyle!

I had hoped that this week would be a little slow, that we would have some good downtime since it's summer and all.  But I was wrong.  We were out of the house early (before 9:00 which isn't that early, I know, but it is summer) three mornings, and we had things the other days, too.  Remember that an ideal day for me is when we stay home all day long.  :)  But that didn't happen this week.  And that's okay.  I'm trying to have a fun-filled summer, working on my word for the year:  fun.  Without spending too much money, taking advantage of resources we already have.

Here are a few things I enjoyed this week:
  • Navajo Code Talkers by Nathan Aaseng.  I saw this book at one of the gift shops at the Grand Canyon and knew that it would make a wonderful souvenir.  Almost as soon as I finished it, John picked it up, and I know that several of my children will read it, too.  The United States Marines used Navajos to come up with a code the Japanese could not break during World War II.  
  • Heartless by Anne Elizabeth Stengl.  I'm reading this book for the second time, and it is really helping me get through my morning runs on the treadmill.  I guess I would describe it as Christian fantasy mixed with fairy tales.  Oh, so very good!
  • If I Run by Teri Blackstock.  I don't usually read thrillers, but I'm enjoying this one.  In order to escape being framed as the murderer of her friend, Casey has to flee.  Dylan is hired to find her, but some things about the case don't add up to Casey being the murderer.
  • We were supposed to meet friends at the Health Museum Tuesday morning, but things came up for them.  So we went by ourselves and had a good time.  Afterwards, we went to...
  • Costco to activate our Groupon membership and do some shopping.  I know I spent too much, stocking up, but I also know that we'll eat everything that I bought.  :)
  • I took the kids swimming Monday and Thursday evenings, and we had fun.  Hannah is getting the hang of using her puddle-jumper which means that I don't have to keep a hand on her every single second, although I do keep a very close eye on her.  
  • playing Battleship with Mary.  She's been asking me to play a game with her all week, and finally I realized that it's summer, and I want to be available for things like that.  So I said, "Yes," and enjoyed the time with her.
  • Hearts of Fire:  Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Faith.  This book reminded me how easy my life here in the United States really is.  The stories of these women were truly inspiring, and I encourage you to read this book to see what the Christian life is like in so many parts of the world.
Tomorrow I'm going to see Guys and Dolls with a friend.  This musical is one of my favorites, so I've been excited about it ever since I first heard about it.  

What did you enjoy this weekend?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Traveling with Children, Part 4: Souvenirs and Impulse Buying

When you walk into a gift shop at a national park or any other attraction, you find all kinds of wonderful things that would be lovely to own.  At least, that's what my initial impression is.  If we are not careful, however, we can spend way too much for things we realize later that we don't really want.  Here are two suggestions I came up with to help curb impulse buying.
  1. Have a budget.  It is easy to spend too much especially when you are visiting multiple gift shops.  
  2. Add to collections you already have.  As I mentioned above, there are all kinds of neat trinkets and doodads that might be nice to own.  I recommend buying things that will add to something you already own.  Daniel enjoys collecting pocket knives, so when we found one at the Grand Canyon that was really "cool," I encouraged him to buy it -- instead of something else that he wouldn't appreciate as much later.  
In case you're wondering, here are my favorite souvenir purchases:
  • Books.  Mr. Potter gave us this suggestion on our tour to DC, and what great advice it is!  Sometimes you can find amazing books at gift shops, ones you won't find anywhere else.  When we buy them, we write in the front where we purchased it.  Since books are something that everyone can use, we are all reminded of our wonderful trip when we look at the inside flap.
  • Coffee cups.  While I don't actually drink coffee, I do appreciate a cup of tea every morning.  I enjoy the visual reminder of our fun times together.  Hmmm.  I think I'm starting a collection.  :)
  • T-shirts.  John and I do like occasionally to buy ourselves t-shirts if we can find some that we really like and are not too expensive.  But we don't buy them for our children.  They're too expensive, and our children don't wear them long enough.  Although we could probably make an argument for buying one for Sarah Beth so we could pass it down to each child.  ;)
How do you handle impulse buying in gift shops?  What kinds of things do you enjoy as souvenirs?

Friday, June 8, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Getting Things Done

During Sarah Beth's and Daniel's swimming instruction this week, the little girls and I hung out in our van because Hannah really wants to go swimming, too.  It's easier to keep her happy in the van watching a DVD than trying to keep her out of the pool.  :)  While they watch a video, I've been enjoying the time to get a little extra reading done.  Sometimes, I do a little work on my summer learning plan or just do a little catch-up on texting or email reading.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • the party on Saturday.  All three little girls had a great time, and Hannah took an excellent nap. :)
  • spending time with Mary Monday and Wednesday nights when John took the older three swimming, and I needed to put Hannah to bed early because she didn't take a nap that day.  We read some books, played some games, and folded some clothes.  :)  I don't get time with any one child very often, so I try to make the most of it.
  • taking all of the kids swimming Tuesday evening.
  • sorting through my books in the library.  Yes, I'm enjoying it; I'm that much of a book nerd bibliophile.  :)  John says I have too many books, and (don't tell him I said it) I think he's right. At the very least, if I have owned a book for several years and haven't read it yet, I think it's time for it to find a new home where it will be read and appreciated.
  • working on my math for my summer learning plan.  It's hard!  But it's stretching my brain in a good way, and it's good for my children to see me struggling with a math problem.  As they see me work, rework, and work again a problem in order to get the correct answer, I hope they learn the value of persistence. 
  • watching Sarah Beth work on her own math.  Her math book for the fall came in, and she asked half jokingly if she started now, would she be able to finish her math earlier in the year.  I said, sure!  She thought about it and decided to begin this summer to get a head start.  I'm thrilled!  I'm not pushing it, though; we're aiming for three lessons a week so she doesn't get burned out too early.  
Sarah Beth and Daniel have a swim meet tomorrow to which John is taking them while I stay home with the little girls.  Other than that (which is a big deal because swim meets can take all day), we don't have any plans.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Taking a Road Trip with Children, Part 3: Three Things to Take Advantage of

When we drove into the first national park we visited, the Saguaro National Park, the park ranger asked if we had a fourth grader with us.  And we did!  She reminded us that families with children in the fourth grade get into national parks free.  We had forgotten, so we were happy for the reminder.  

Here are a few things we discovered that you might want to check into, to take advantage of, if you can. 
  1. Every Kid in a Park.  Did you know that you can get into national parks for free, if you have a fourth grader with you?  All you have to do is go to this site and put in your zip code.  It doesn't ask for a name, birthday, or any kind of identifying information.  Then you print out the paperwork and take it to a national park where they change the paper for a card.  Again, they don't ask for any information.  We figure this saved us close to $200 on our trip to the Southwest because of all of the national parks we visited.
  2. Other memberships you may already have.  When we visited Uncle Ray in Albuquerque, he suggested that we visit Explora one afternoon since it was going to be too hot to be outside.  I was thrilled when I realized that we could get in free because we have a membership to the Health Museum in Houston through a reciprocal program.  They even let Uncle Ray in free with us!
  3. Rest stops.  I know I've mentioned rest stops before, but they are the unsung heroes of road trips.  When you bring your own food, they are wonderful places to stop for lunch and/or snacks.  John and I usually ate standing up since we were tired of sitting, but it was especially nice for Hannah since she could climb on the picnic benches all she wanted instead of being stuck in a high chair at a restaurant.  
What other things should we take advantage of when we travel with our children?  If you have any suggestions, please share!

In case you missed them, here are part one about keeping children happy in the car and part two about things you might want to take but haven't thought of.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Book Review: The Better Mom by Ruth Schwenk

This little book is jam-packed with practical information on becoming a better mother but only through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Dealing with topics such as not being appreciated, having to be perfect, and dealing with the feeling that everything depends on the mother in the house, this book tackles most of the feelings that mothers deal with.  Several times, as I started a new chapter, I would find myself thinking, "This is exactly how I feel!"  Then the author gave wonderful advice on how to deal correctly with those feelings.

I enjoyed The Better Mom more than I thought I would which was a lovely surprise.  There was one thing I found terribly annoying, however:  the author used "mom" as a verb.  Other than that, I found this book to be very helpful in my role as a mother.

I want to thank Handlebar for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, June 1, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: My Summer Learning Plan

A Joshua Tree.  And my kids.  ;)

There are many things about Classical Conversations that I appreciate, and one of my favorites is that it stresses the importance of redeeming the parents' education while we teach our children.  As I educate my children, I discover things that I don't know and wish I did which gives me the opportunity to rectify the situation.  And summer provides an excellent time to work on these items since I'm not teaching my children.  Yes, I do school for myself in the summer.  :)

While some people tackle subjects like math or Latin, I didn't feel the need to dig deeply into any particular subject this year.  But I do want to spend time on several -- about an hour each day.  I came up with this plan:

  • Monday is for math via MathCounts.  I hope to start a group in the fall. 
  • Tuesday for grammar via Our Mother Tongue.  Since I'm tutoring Essentials again next year, I thought a little extra preparation over the summer would be useful. 
  • Wednesday for CC webinars.  With Sarah Beth starting Challenge next year, I would like to learn as much as I can to help with this transition.  Also, I want to do more prep work for Essentials.
  • Thursday is for Teaching the Classics.  This method looks like a wonderful way to look at literature with my children, starting with picture books.  It works with any story!
  • What about Friday?  Fridays are for my home, specifically putting things in order and decluttering.  That's not really educational, but it is therapeutic!

Here's a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • school is out for the summer!
  • Sarah Beth's birthday.  I had been given a gift card myself, and I had so much fun picking books out for myself at her store of choice Half-Price Books.
  • swimming lessons for Sarah Beth and Daniel.  They're new instructor is wonderfully knowledgeable and amazingly kind.
  • taking the kids to the pool Wednesday evening.  Mary has been wanting to go, so I made the time for it.  And Hannah enjoyed herself, too.
  • As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner.  A family moves to Philadelphia so the father can work as an undertaker a couple of months before the Spanish flu of 1918 breaks out.  The part of the book dealing with the flu is wonderfully written especially as it shows how many people were involved and what a big deal this pandemic was from the viewpoint of this particular family.  The last third of the book deals with the consequences, and they are just as hard to deal with as the initial flu.  
  • Classical Me, Classical Thee by Rebekah Merkle.  Another Essentials tutor recommended this for kids moving up into Challenge, so I bought a copy for Sarah Beth.  She hasn't read it yet (unsurprisingly), so I started it.  It's written for kids who are in junior high or high school in classical education, showing them how valuable their education really is and how they will use it when they're grown.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it!
  • doughnuts for breakfast since today is National Doughnut Day!
I'm taking the three little girls to a birthday party tomorrow.  Rachel and Mary are thrilled.  Hannah will have a wonderful time, too.  Other than that, we have a quiet weekend planned which will be nice.

Have you thought of implementing a summer learning plan for yourself?  What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Taking a Road Trip with Children, Part 2: Four Things You May Not Have Thought about Bringing But Might Want To

How do you find the balance between what you want to bring on a road trip with the room you have in your vehicle?  Honestly, I'm not sure, and that's not what this post is about anyway.  :)

As I planned for our trip touring the Southwest months ago, I started a list of things that I knew I wanted to take but that I would probably forget if I didn't write them down because they're a little unusual.  But I'm so glad that we made room for them in our van as they made our lives just that much easier.
  1. Sleeping bags.  You might have already thought of this one, or maybe your family doesn't really need them because you don't have many children.  But bringing sleeping bags on a trip makes it possible for six people to sleep in a hotel room that technically only sleeps four.  (Add in a portable crib, and you can get seven in there.  ;)
  2. Food.  You can save tons of money by bringing your own lunch food and/or snacks, especially if you have room for a cooler.  Besides, don't you get tired of eating out every single meal?  I do.  We usually eat supper out, but we like to eat our own food for lunch and some snacks.
  3. Ziptop baggies.  I took a handful of these on our trip to the Southwest, and I ran out!  I had to buy more!  They're great for dividing up family size snack packages so that your children don't fight over them.  I also appreciated having them when one of my children didn't finish part of his meal or snack so we could save it for later.  They're also handy for souvenirs with small or many parts, like a deck of cards.
  4. Handheld vacuum.  If you have room for this and already own one, you will want to bring it.  When your children start picking cactus spines out of their shoes inside your van, you'll be glad you have it.  (Ask me how I know!)  Or when your toddler drops a goldfish and another child steps on it, it can save your sanity.  :)
What unusual things do you take with you on trips?  What should I add to this list?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book Review: The Wounded Shadow by Patrick Carr

In this third and final book of the Darkwater Saga, Willet Dura keeps drawing closer and closer to the secret of the Darkwater, making him more and more of a threat to it.  His fellow Vigil members have their own tasks to perform as they work to outwit the terrible malevolence contained in the menacing forest.  Toria Deel and Fess work to help the soldiers guarding the Forest while Pellin travels to the southern continent looking for answers from the Vigil there.  Will they discover the answers they need in time to figure out what the Darkwater is and how to defeat it?

This book was a splendid and exciting conclusion to the Darkwater trilogy.  The character development is fantastic as each person has his own personality and is fully fleshed out.  The story is fast-paced while the writing is thrilling and keeps the reader coming back for more.  What's going to happen next?  What's going to happen to Willet next?  I especially appreciated the religious aspect to the book, as the characters -- the good guys -- call out for their god's help and protection.  While not overtly Christian, there is definitely a fight between good and evil just as in Tolkien's books.  I highly recommend this book with one caveat:  start at the beginning of the trilogy with the novella By Divine Right.  You won't be disappointed!

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishing for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sarah Beth's Twelfth Birthday!

This year has been a big one for Sarah Beth as she finished up six years of Foundations and three years of Essentials, getting ready for her first year of Challenge in Classical Conversations.

She enjoys doing things with her daddy:  hunting, camping, whatever.  

Don't let her fool you, though; she's got a mischievous streak!

Sarah Beth is a wonderful big sister and is a tremendous help, especially with Hannah.

She loves to learn new things, whether it's reading a book or listening to a lecture on a history tour.

I look forward to see what Sarah Beth's twelfth year holds for her!

Friday, May 25, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Lots of Activities

Daniel playing the part of an engineer at a small-scale plant.

After a relatively quiet week last week, this week felt very busy.  We were out of the house a good bit, but most of it was fun so it was worth it!  Since this is our last week of school, we also have lessons to finish up.  We're looking forward to our summer break starting next week!

Yes, I know that I said last week we had a couple of weeks left for school, but Sarah Beth and Daniel had the opportunity for swimming lessons with a world champion swimmer next week.  I wanted to take advantage of that.  Homeschooling allows you to be flexible, right?  So we're doubling up math lessons and finishing up other books this week.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • meeting friends at the park on Monday
  • meeting another family who are interested in CC on Tuesday
  • getting my teeth cleaned.  Well, that wasn't fun, but I do like having clean teeth!
  • watching Rachel have fun at her soccer skills assessment
  • attending something that John's work put on for children, teaching them a little about how a plant (manufacturing, not a flower) works along with some chemistry demonstrations
  • staying home all day yesterday; after a busy week out of the house, it was especially nice!
  • going out last night with friends; I did leave the house for that, and it was wonderful fun!
  • having cookies twice this week when it rained
This evening, our three oldest girls are participating in a short soccer clinic, and tomorrow is Sarah Beth's birthday.  She wants to go shopping at Half-Price Books, so that's our plan.  Other than that, we expect to have a quiet weekend at home.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Taking a Road Trip with Children, Part 1: Keeping Them Happy in the Car

Three of my fellow travelers.

While I do not consider myself an expert on traveling with children, I have taken four extended trips (meaning that it took longer than a day of driving to get to our destination) with my children in the past year, two of them by myself without John.  We had a wonderful trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a tour on the Civil War; a nice visit with my parents when we had to flee Hurricane Harvey; an educational and amazing tour of Washington, DC; and recently, an incredible trip through the Southwest.  With all of this traveling, I have learned a thing or two which you might find interesting, too.

The hardest thing about these trips is the time spent in the car.  There is just so much of it, and it's boring.  You're all packed in together like sardines, or at least it feels that way.  :)  So how do you keep your children happy, or at least content while also maintaining your sanity?

Here's what we've found:
  1. Audiobooks.  Admittedly, this tip has to start long before your actual trip because you have to instill a love of books.  You can usually find a great selection at your library, and I also highly recommend Heirloom Audio.  Their dramatic renditions are outstanding.  The added bonus to audiobooks that movies don't have is that the driver can enjoy them, too.
  2. Let your children pack their own bags with what they may want in the car.  I told our children they could pack one relatively small bag, but they had to keep their stuff in it when they weren't playing/using it so our van wasn't a mess.  Also, it allowed them to change seats more easily when we stopped.  Sarah Beth packed books, Mary took some toys, and Rachel took colored pencils and a coloring book.  I'm not sure what Daniel packed.  ;)
  3. Snacks.  It was amazing how my children's (and John's and my!) attitudes improved when I pulled out a snack.  It let us drive a little longer which we needed in several places in the Southwest because there just wasn't anywhere to stop.  Make your snacks something special that you don't normally have at home.
  4. Don't forget the water.  We don't usually let our children have unrestricted access to drinks while we drive because we don't want to have to stop for bathroom breaks.  But a little bit of water is necessary after eating a snack.  :)  And it was so hot and dry in the Southwest, we needed the water.  I recommend water because it's not a big deal if it spills.  
  5. Occasional quiet time.  It was nice to have some time when we weren't listening to anything, when it was quiet in the van.  However, that quiet didn't usually last long as the children got bored and started bickering.  
  6. Little ones like Hannah can be difficult.  They don't understand what's going on, why they're in the car for so long, and they cannot enjoy audiobooks.  I packed several books and toys for her along with extra snacks just for her.  (Goldfish which no one else really wanted anyway.)  She also got all of the water she wanted; wearing a diaper has its privileges!  And the child sitting next to her had to help keep her happy!
  7. Rest areas are excellent places to stop.  When you get out, you can walk around, have the kids run from here to there three times, spread out, etc.  Instead of sitting at a restaurant after sitting in the car all day, you are free to stand up and move around.  Do not neglect these fantastic places to stop, especially since the bathrooms are usually clean.  :)
Have you traveled much with your children?  If so, how do you keep them happy and content in the car?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Being Home

At the Meteor Crater.  My little geologist.  :)

After being gone for a week and a half touring the Southwest, it has been wonderful to be home!  Don't get me wrong; we loved (almost) every single bit of our trip, but as Dorothy says, "There's no place like home."

Having arrived home about lunchtime on Sunday, we were able to get the van unpacked and most of our stuff put away.  I took Monday to finish unpacking, work on laundry, and pick up groceries.  Then we started back into our regular routine, i.e. our routine without Classical Conversations which ended the week before we left.  We're also working hard to finish up our school year.  After this morning, we will only have sixteen more days of school.  Hooray!

Then I guess we will start on our crazy-busy summer.  ;)

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • eating at home.  Yes, I got tired of eating out.
  • homeschooling which allowed us to take such a wonderful trip when everyone else is still in school.  ;)  The places we visited weren't crowded at all!  
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.  What a wonderful book about the black women mathematicians who worked for NASA!  The book has more information than the movie (of course!), and it follows the lives of several women not just the three in the movie although it doesn't really read like a story.  I really enjoyed it, though, and I learned so much about these amazing women whom, by the way, the author actually knew and interviewed for the book.  
  • Agatha Christie's Murder at the Vicarage.  Nicely written murder mystery, great for vacation reading!
  • counting down the days until school ends!
  • starting swim team for Sarah Beth and Daniel.
I will have to admit that I really didn't enjoy getting back to school this week to finish out our year.  Honestly, I thought about saying, "Good enough," and starting our summer break.  But we are so close to finishing and have so few days left that I feel like we need to push through it.

We have a relatively quiet weekend planned.  Sarah Beth does have her end of the season soccer party, but that's all we have, thankfully.  

Do you have spring fever, ready to quit school even if you're not quite done?  ;)  What have you enjoyed this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Our Trip Exploring the Southwest

We left two weeks ago for a tour of the Southwest.  We had two goals:  to visit John's Aunt Alice, whom we had not seen for more than fifteen years, and to see the Grand Canyon.  While we did accomplish both goals, we also saw so much more.  

Our trip started with a stop at Saguaro Cactus National Park where we enjoyed learning about these slow-growing cacti.  

Then we drove to Joshua Tree National Park where we saw lots of Joshua Trees and...

our children enjoyed doing some rock climbing.

Our next stop was to visit Aunt Alice who lives an hour east of Los Angeles.  Even though I didn't get any pictures of our time there, we enjoyed spending time with her and John's cousin's family.  Also, we did some hiking on Mount Baldy along with a few other activities.  

Oh!  The Grand Canyon!  Words and pictures cannot describe how incredibly massive and beautiful this wonderful work of God's hand is!  All I can say is that, if you haven't had a chance to see it, you need to!

We toured the Canyon for two and a half days which was plenty of time.  We rented a house which was lovely after being in a hotel for so long.  John even took Sarah Beth and Daniel a short ways (two miles) down a trail into the Canyon.  They said that it wasn't too bad going down, but coming back up was tough!

We stopped at the Meteor Crater in Arizona which is a private enterprise and has a great museum.  It was very windy so we didn't spend too much time outside.  While it is over 500 feet deep, after being at the Grand Canyon, it didn't look very deep.  :)

The Painted Desert was our next stop, and it was beautiful in a different way.  Honestly, I was amazed at how lovely it was, all the different colors of the rock.  Pictures do not do justice to this desert, either.

 Inside the Painted Desert is the Petrified Forest.  I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the petrified trees although I don't really know why.  But we enjoyed seeing them.

We had a wonderful trip touring the Southwest for a week and a half.  There are places we weren't able to visit on this trip and places we would like to visit again.  While we haven't started planning our next trip yet and it won't be any time soon, we are already looking forward to it!

Friday, April 27, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: CC End of the Year Party!

We finished up Classical Conversations this week with our end of the year party.  Mostly, it was a party at a park with lots of delicious food, but we did have a short awards ceremony.  Sarah Beth and another child from our campus both completed the difficult task of becoming a Memory Master.  They had to memorize all of the memory work for the year and be able to recite it four different times.  It's a big deal, and I'm so proud of their hard work!

I also wanted to recognize Sarah Beth because she completed six years of Foundations and three years of Essentials, and is graduating up to Challenge next year.  It's a wonderful turning point in her education, from memorizing great information to starting to learn how to use it.  I'm very excited!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:

  • Sarah Beth scored her first soccer goal on Saturday!  Unfortunately, I wasn't there because I was at Rachel's game.
  • no piano lessons this week.  Our teacher's children were sick, so she cancelled which meant that we didn't have to rush through school and lunch to get there on time.  It also gave us time for a quick trip to the library!
  • running errands by myself yesterday afternoon.  I was able to get my hair cut and do some other things that are difficult with children in tow.
We have a busy weekend planned with a birthday party for John's mother.  Eighty years is a big deal!  

We've had a busy April, and May looks to be even busier.  I just want you to know because I may not be around in the blogosphere much.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, April 13, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Memory Masters Preparation and a Finished Blanket

This week started off dark and gloomy and cool, but it ended up warm and sunny which was a nice improvement!  We want to enjoy this warm weather before it becomes hot.

My week has been filled with Memory Master preparation and testing, or at least it feels that way.  :)  Sarah Beth and Daniel also have a research paper due next week, and we've spent a good bit of time on those, too.  Other than that, it's been a relatively normal week.

Here are some more things I appreciated this week:
  • finishing the blanket pictured above.  It's always exciting to finish one blanket and start a new one!
  • finishing up the Missional Motherhood Bible study.  We're starting Hosea by Jennifer Rothschild next week, and I'm excited about that one, too.  (Lifeway has the videos for this study online free until the end of May, if you're interested.)
  • seeing Sarah Beth work so hard on her memory work for Memory Masters.
  • having friends willing to help proof my children for Memory Masters.  They're busy, too, at this time of year, but they carved out some time in their schedules to help.
Can you tell how much Memory Masters has dominated my mind lately?  ;)  We have at least one more week, and then it will be done!

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I've got a slow, lazy day planned.  Rachel has a soccer game in the morning, first, though.  John is taking Sarah Beth and Daniel to hunter education so they can do some hunting this summer.  Tonight we're going out to eat to celebrate my birthday.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday's Quote: Are You "Just" a Mom? NO!

Upon meeting someone new, have you been asked what you do?  Have you ever responded, "I'm just a mom"?  Let me tell you something you may not know already:  you are not just a mom.  God can and does use us mothers to move the world, to shape it His way.  We have important work to do, and we need to keep that in the front of our minds because so many people tell us otherwise.  Here is Gloria Furman in Missional Motherhood:
The world says that you are just a mom and that your mothering ministry is not newsworthy.  The world says your work is mundane, but every offering and discipling moment in your life is actually unique--unprecedented in history and never to be repeated.  Your work in evangelism and discipleship done through the power of the Spirit gives Jesus praise that echoes in eternity.  And this moves heaven to notice.  (p.  198)
Does that amaze you as much as it does me?  Every time I speak to one of my children is a unique opportunity:  do I waste it with harshness and exasperation, or do I use it to bring God glory?  It also terrifies me because I think of the many times I have lashed out at my children and hurt their tender spirits.  I can never go back and "fix" that moment.  Thankfully, with the grace of God, I am learning more patience and understanding as I deal with my children, hopefully pointing them to our ever patient, ever understanding Father.

Have you ever felt like "just" a mom?  After reading this quote, do you feel like there's more to the role of motherhood than you may have thought?

Friday, April 6, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Day off from School

What is it about little girls and their mothers' high heels?!

Wednesday morning, I woke up to no lights.  The electricity was out.  Ugh!  That's never fun!  I had to figure out what to fix for breakfast and what to do with the rest of our day.  I don't know about you, but a house without power depresses me because usually it's dark outside, too.  Sarah Beth sweetly asked if we could skip school, and I told her that was fine since I wasn't feeling too studious, either.  Finally, right before lunch (right before we left to go out for lunch), the power came back on.  While being without electricity is not fun, it is a wonderful reminder of how much I appreciate having it.  And a reminder not to take it for granted.  :)

Other than that, we had another fairly normal week.  I think I've said it before, but I like normal and routine.  :)  That way I know what to expect and can plan around it.  It's the unexpected that throws me for a loop because I haven't planned for it.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • Daniel passing his first Memory Masters proof.  He has three more to go.
  • a trip to the library.  We don't have the time to go as often as we would like.
  • rain.  We received a nice rain Thursday afternoon.
  • only one soccer practice for each girl this week.
This afternoon I plan to take Sarah Beth for her first Memory Master proof.  Tomorrow I will take the girls to their soccer games while John takes Daniel to scout out a potential hunting camp to lease.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?