Monday, April 27, 2015

Wrapping Up the Week of April 19

We started our week with a great day at the ballpark! We went to our local city's baseball game with a bunch of friends from church. Instead of normal seats, our tickets were in an area with picnic tables and an included buffet. Definitely the way for this non-sports-person (and her equally non-sports-daughters) to enjoy a baseball game! We all had a blast, visiting with friends and cheering when the home team did something exciting :)

For the most part we had a pretty quiet week. I like quiet weeks.

After a few weeks' "break" from our weekly small group Bible study it was nice to get back into it. The kids had great fun making up a play about Samson and performing it for us at the end of Bible study (it had nothing to do with our actual Bible study, they declared the story of Jesus healing the blind men to not have enough exciting action, so they hunted up their own Bible story to perform).

For some reason spring had decided to go back into hiding and we've had COLD weather, so less outside time, but still trying to grab little bits of it.

The big girls and I are all doing some extra thinking and discussion on school plans for next year, since the homeschool convention is coming up in May.

We wrapped up our final week of Bible Road Trip, Year 2. . . after some contemplation, I decided to go ahead and dive straight into Year 3, which should put us finishing it well before the end of next school year. I think what we'll do is evaluate how much time we have and then choose something else to do for Bible for the rest of that year, starting over with Year 1 at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Nice to feel "ahead of the game" when usually we take forever to finish anything.  I have a really long list of Bible resources that I'd like to try, so I'm going to set aside my "must plan everything out NOW" tendency and just wait until we're most of the way through Year 3 and I have a feel for how much time we'll have, and where Little Bit is developmentally at that point.

Ashlyn informed me this week that she doesn't want to continue using Life of Fred for math. She's become increasingly frustrated that it just doesn't go into enough details on WHY things work the way they work and she feels like it doesn't give enough practice on new concepts for her to really internalize them. So, we spent some time looking at other options. I think we're leaning toward Teaching Textbooks. We have friends who use it, who we'll be seeing right before homeschool convention so she's planning to talk to them and make sure it's what she wants to use.

We wrapped up our week with abit of fun. Our neighbors got a new puppy on Friday, so after lunch on Sabbath we went over to visit. She's an itty bitty (relatively speaking) 8 week old standard poodle. Still such a baby, the kids would take her outside for a little while to play, and then she'd be tired again and happily curled up on laps and slept while we talked, and the younger kids played.

And that was our nice quiet week :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wrapping Up the Week of April 12-18

We had a very zoo-ish week this week LOL.

I already hinted at that with my "then and now" post.

This might all have something to do with the fact that we currently have a zoo membership that will run out at the end of April. So in our typical, unorganized way, with just days left . . . we're "getting our money's worth" so to speak.

I knew we wanted to make it to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore because . . . they have giraffes . . . and Little Bit LOVES LOVES LOVES giraffes right now.

So on Monday, the girls and I met my parents at Maryland Zoo. It is such a great zoo, though I was disappointed to discover (before we went, but not before I'd promised Little Bit we were going) that they now only offer a 50% discount on reciprocal members, they used to be free :( Still it made it much more reasonably priced, and we had a great day. The weather was great, Lexie and Ashlyn enjoyed "introducing" Little Bit to a zoo they remembered from when they were little, it was fun.

We also enjoyed the new penguin exhibit (though honestly, I really liked the OLD penguin exhibit at that zoo, in some ways, I liked it better . . .). It WAS really cool when one of the penguins came RIGHT UP to the glass for the girls to see.

The rest of the week was pretty low-key. The week before, when we burned brush, there must have been some dry poison ivy vines in the mix, and it gave me one of the worst cases of poison ivy I've ever had. I don't know if it was because it was smoke, or what, but it was a rather slow-moving, in stages, kind of poison ivy. So I had poison ivy, but bearable poison ivy the first weekend, by Monday at the zoo, I was starting to be miserable . . . by Tuesday, I was thoroughly miserable. I pretty much spent Tues and Wed sitting in the recliner trying not to scratch. (side note, the remedy we found that worked really well was to blend raw honey, fresh aloe vera (the goo from the inside of a spear of the plant), and dandelion leaves into a paste. The only problem was it was really sticky and my patches of poison ivy were too big for even the biggest bandaids. We tried using gauze but the sticky soaked through, so after applying it I had to just kind of sit and "meditate" while it worked it's magic). Then, to add insult to injury, Wed evening I tripped and jammed my big toe pretty badly. . . Thankfully by the next morning I could walk on it with only some pain, and drive.

Thursday was music lessons. The weather was beautiful! After music lessons we stopped at a nearby playground and ate our lunches there, and the kids played for awhile.

When we were ready to leave the car battery was dead. I'd been charging my phone, but doesn't seem like that should've killed the car battery. So . . . the kids went back to the playground while I tracked Rodney down and asked him to come rescue us. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous, and there were a couple other little girls at the playground who were thrilled to have big girls willing to push them on the merry ground, and generally make the playground more fun.  When we finally left the women who were there with the little girls came over and complimented us on how lovely our daughters are :)

Sabbath after church we headed to ANOTHER ZOO! In researching the reciprocal agreement with Baltimore's zoo, I had seen that there's a zoo about an hour from us that also has reciprocal benefits with our membership, so, with practically perfect weather, we decided to check it out. While I found it overpriced if you had to pay for admission (with the reciprocal membership we got in free), it was a very nice little zoo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Maryland Zoo . . . Then and Now . . .

Monday we visited Maryland Zoo in Baltimore . . . We had a great visit in general, but part of the fun was taking pictures of the girls doing some of the same things they did when we visited the same zoo in 2007. Here's our fun comparisons :)





Wrapping Up the Last Few Weeks . . .

Wow! I haven't been keeping up well, have I?

Let's see . . . I think we need to go back to the last week of March.

I honestly have no recollection of what we did Sun-Tues of that week. I think we were just getting settled back in after being gone, and getting ready for birthdays . . .

Wednesday and Thursday were both pretty filled with Little Bit's Birthday

Friday was probably errands and such, and Sabbath started with Lexie and Ashlyn's Birthday, and finished with my grandmother's memorial.

Sunday we spent time at my parents' house with extended family who were still there. When I was a young adult, I gave each of my grandparents a blank journal and a jar of questions about their life. Over the next few years they answered the questions in the journals, leaving us with books that tell stories from their lives. My mom had the books out getting information for the memorial service so Lexie and Aunt Darla spent Sunday afternoon reading through part of Grandpa's book together.

We were planning to head home that afternoon, but Rodney met a client first, and that took longer than expected, so we ended up heading home Monday morning.

That week was spent with Lexie, Ashlyn, and me fighting colds (Little Bit had it over the weekend, then we got it), and getting food and house ready for Passover AND a belated birthday celebration with the grandparents.

Friday night marked the beginning of Passover with our Seder. I somehow didn't think to get any pictures, but it was fun to see Lina getting into it abit more. . .

Sabbath was potluck.

Sunday was our birthday celebration with the grandparents. That morning Lexie and Little Bit decorated Little Bit's cake. They put green (grass) and blue (water) frosting on it, with cookie crumb "sand" in between and then Little Bit carefully placed plastic animals in just the right pattern.

Lexie finally got to try a "recipe" she's been wanting to use for a long time . . . a pasta salad bar. Where she set out cold pasta and all different "fixings" and dressings for pasta salad and let everyone mix their own. It was an AWESOME idea! A wonderful, easy, adaptable to all different likes/dislikes meal.

Monday was GORGEOUS weather, and we got tons done outside, clearing out weeds and getting a start on raised beds for a garden this summer. SO nice to be outside finally!

Later in the week was rainy. I pulled out a recipe for "goop" to give Little Bit a fun change of pace . . . she wasn't so sure about it . . . ewww . . .this is gross!!! But she played with it off and on all day LOL.
We wrapped up our week with "Jeans Sabbath", including helping kids at the Boys and Girls Club do crafts, then playing outside, and in the gym with them.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but those are at least a few highlights from the last few weeks :) 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Today I'm blogging over at the SDA Homeschool Blog about teamwork and competition. Come check it out!