Oak Glen 2017

I’m not sure how many years we’ve been going to Oak Glen in the fall for apples, but I do know that this was year 5 with our dear friends!  It was the first time we didn’t actually pick apples ourselves, but no one seemed to mind; it’s more about the play time, hiking, hot dog picnic lunch, and other traditions…

I love traditions…

I love apples…

I love fall…

I love our friends…

I’ll stop now…

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LA County Fair 2017

Last month we did our annual trip to the LA County Fair.  This time felt much different than in the past.  For one thing, it was the first time my husband missed it — and so did Natalie, due to not feeling well.  It was also a first for X-man!  To top it off, the weather was actually chilly.   I don’t know if I’ve ever been to the Fair when it was below 100, much less cool.  Different.  People missed.  But, good.

We ran into friends right of the bat.  That always seems to be the case at the Fair!

X-man’s favorite was the bubbles…. by far!

The traditional chocolate milk picture!

Until next year, Fair!

To Blog or Not To Blog…

(Top)

(Bottom)

First things first… Isn’t that butterfly AMAZING?  The kids spotted it in our backyard, and when I noticed it wasn’t moving I ran to grab my camera.  Apparently, I didn’t need to run; it stayed there a few hours!  Natalie was the first to notice that the backside was totally different from the top.  Then Sierra had a picture of this exact butterfly in her math book that day.  Crazy.

And now, onto the question… You see, blogging has become a lot more difficult as my children have gotten older.  We’ve had later bed times, and I have been more tired.  Then there’s my photo editor I use.  I always loved Picmonkey, but after all these years they’ve decided to charge for their service!  Finally, just as I was starting to blog a few weeks back, my computer had issues downloading pictures.  It seems all these things have made it very difficult to blog, and I’m left wondering if I should…

I still have pictures from our summer vacation… plus several from the last few weeks.  My hope is to continue on.  I love this journey of documenting the joy in our days, (as well as the trials that seem easier to handle through a camera lens!)  I love going back, and re-living the memories and praising God for His faithfulness.  I will continue to pray and post as I can.  So, I guess that is my answer.  We shall see!!!

Outdoor Evenings

It wasn’t that long ago… He was gone helping with Hurricane Harvey and we were here in the miserable heat wave.  Then he was back, and brought with him some cooler weather…

We’ve spent many evenings this past week enjoying the cooler temps after dinner.  Biking, basketball, bunnies, rainbows… and best of all family time!  It was especially fun on evenings when our Papa was home!  We missed him so much when he was in Texas helping with hurricane Harvey.  However, shortly after returning, he was called to go to Irma.  Just 2 hours before his flight, they cancelled him coming.  (MUCH to our delight!)  Our joy at having him home was short-lived.  He is now in Montana helping with the wildfires… and so it continues!  Thankfully, the cooler evening temps are still in the forecast.  So, if you need us after 6pm, you know where to find us… we’ll be out enjoying fall!

Changes

Anyone who homeschools their children knows that no two years are very much alike.  For one thing, the kids are older and have different needs.  At the same time, it seems we are always switching things up a bit, figuring out what works, keeping certain traditions and losing some others that we’ve outgrown.  It’s bittersweet, really.

Our 2017-2018 school year has started off no differently; things are not the same as last year.  But, for the first time, it has felt really different.  For one thing, I have a daughter in Jr. High.  Yikes!  And, we’ve added a foster toddler who requires weekly appointments.  Then there’s my husband’s schedule, which has been pretty crazy so far.       Kids with braces… a new school building for our weekly co-op… I could go on and on!

One of our biggest (and most difficult) changes was to say no to AWANA this year.  It has been such a wonderful organization to be a part of over the last 5 years, but something had to give in our schedule.  In all honesty, having a non-rushed Sunday night has been incredible.  We loved our date night while it lasted… smd the kids loved AWANA… but having a Sunday night family dinner has felt great.  Perhaps we’ll go back again next year.  Who knows?!?!

Tonight we pulled out our fall dinnerware, (which is really Halloween!)  We ate stuffed squash and had Sierra do another of her famous berry galettes.  (Mostly.  Mom had to intervene when little brother accidentally looked at said galette, and someone decided she didn’t want to make it anymore.  Sheesh!)  Even a little grumpiness couldn’t ruin the joyous fall feeling of a decorated home, the smell of home baked goodies, and the cooler weather outside… and especially our whole family together on a non-rushed Sunday night!

Day 10

Today marks day 10 of my husband being gone.  He is in Texas helping FEMA with the relief effort from Hurricane Harvey.  Scenes like this have been pretty common.  I wish you could see the adorable expression on his face.  It says something like, “What?”

In addition to scenes like this, we’ve had sick kids, 9 straight days of 3 digit temps, both ant and fly invasions into our home, cat vomit, and daily messes…

At the same time, we’ve had swimming dates with friends, dinners at Chick-Fil-A, school work that has gone fairly smoothly, movies, games, and great attitudes by the littles despite missing their Papa.  I can’t complain!!

The countdown is now on.  We plan on finishing this school week strong, getting the whole house cleaned up, and possibly decorating for fall before his return next weekend. #lofty goals!

We miss you, Mr. Yeh!!!

Back to School 2017

We survived… that’s about the best I can give you!  By bedtime, the kids said they had a “fun” day… so that is what I hope they hold onto.  But, the day was not without tears and complaints; and it was only day one!

One child, in particular, was too excited to sleep.  I called it.  Last night I told my husband she would be overly tired and have a rough day, despite her excitement.  It happened.  Thankfully, she recognized it and apologized; (a couple hours into her fussing!)  Aaaah, the joys…

This starts our 8th year of homeschooling.  What a journey it’s been!  Despite the challenges… despite the messes and difficulties, I would honestly have it no other way.  There’s much good to be had, too.  We loved our morning time, both at breakfast and then around the dining room table.  We read from the Bible, had a discussion, read our new book, and talked about the upcoming year.  Then it was off for pictures!

We even squeezed in a game…

It is so tempting to dread school starting.  I was dreading it.  But, now that we have our first day under our belts, (and we are VERY slowly easing our way back in), I am starting to feel the joy and excitement.  I am also trying to be thankful for all the parts I love such as hearing music throughout the house, good reading and discussions with the kids, looking forward to the change of seasons, and truly getting more done… because if you give me a summer of freedom, I tend to relax more and accomplish nothing.  But, give me a full schedule, and my priorities get changed and I may actually get something done!  Crazy how that works…

Thank you, Jesus, for another year to pour into my children.  May they grow ever closer to You!

Silverwood

Here it is the night before school starts, and I’m blogging about our vacation!  Priorities.  Well, technically the kids are still awake, so I can’t exactly make their first day of school treats yet.  And, we’re waiting for the sun to go down for our final summer treat — s’more’s.  (The first of the summer, I believe — how did that happen?)

With no further ado, here was our trip to Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho.

Theme parks in Idaho are simply not the same as in California.  The sun is not as intense.  The foliage is much more lush.  The crowds are not as bad.  The price is not as high.  In general, it is actually a very pleasant experience!  We were thankful to have a kid in a stroller again to hold all our water bottles and such.

We had to laugh, as our X-man screamed bloody murder on the carousel.  Thankfully, he warmed up to the rides throughout the day; a little!

I think our favorite was this rafting ride.  We ended up riding it twice, despite getting soaked!

Natalie is my “big coaster” girl.  This ride was so fun, though I definitely feel my age these days.

On the ride home, we enjoyed a wildfire-inspired sunset.  I couldn’t believe the color of the sun.  I snapped this picture out the window.  We arrived back at the hotel exhausted, but went back the next day to enjoy the other side of the park[ the water park.  We decided not to bring along the camera, (because, water!) but it was a spectacular park and another fun day.  We decided we will be back to Silverwood before long.