Horseback Riding Lessons

Today’s the day… our first activity of the year started!  It was suppose to be, “the best day of my life,” according to poor Sierra.  Unfortunately, she had come into our room in the middle of the night just burning up…

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We loaded her up with Motrin and she thought she was feeling better, so we let her go to meet the horse.  Poor girl passed out and threw up and came home feeling miserable.  No horse riding for her today!

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Natalie, on the other hand, was feeling great and enjoyed her first day on the horse.

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It really is fun to watch our girls begin a new activity.  I can’t wait to watch Sierra next week!  Piano also begins this week… and so it begins!

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A Late Summer Blessing

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Right about day 13 of my husband being gone this summer, (when I was certain I would lose my mind), a friend who I haven’t seen in over a year gave me a call.  She had moved a little ways away, so we didn’t get to see each other much, but she called and invited me to go to a painting class with her last-minute since her stepmom had to cancel.  A date night with a sweet friend painting a fall scene and sipping iced coffee sounded almost too good to be true, so I quickly called a babysitter who was unavailable.  We then called Daniel’s aunt who is usually working, and surprisingly she was home and able to come!

I will forever look at my painting and be reminded of the small act of kindness of my friend — inviting me even though we hadn’t seen each other forever, and blessing me with a wonderful evening.  I will think of how God gave me a night off from putting the kids to bed when He knew I desperately needed it.  I will remember my sweet aunt, who came over last-minute and put the kids down for me.  And, I will look at this picture and smile because a fall morning is my absolute favorite!

Chores

I am embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true… Two years ago I made a chore chart for the kids.  It worked out ok, but I knew it needed some changes and updates.  Last year, (the entire year), I kept saying I was going to make a new one… but I never did!  Ugh!  How did that happen?

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(Sierra folding clothes)

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(Malachi wiping down the table)

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Well, it finally happened.  I actually got the charts made.  This is how… I decided to make it a school project and actually had the kids help me brainstorm chores and how they would like to help.  That made all the difference.  It’s been 2 weeks now, and it is working out great.  I am sure it, too, will need updates in the future.  But for now, we are thrilled with the new chart!

This weather…

Question:  What is the best way to end the first week of school?

Answer:  Enjoying the coolness of fall outside.

Now, I know this won’t last.  In fact, Monday’s forecast is over 100 again.  But a weekend where the high temperature is 82 and the mornings are crisp and chilly?  What a blessing!

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In addition to lots of time working on the yard this weekend, we’ve also enjoyed evening walks, some fun tween talks, and basketball… Anything to be outside!  I am reminded once again of the preciousness of this time in our lives.  A simple cool weekend has such a gentle way of bringing joy!

When I send my husband to the store…

The other night I sent my husband to the store for a few things for dinner.  He came home with live shrimp, an Asian vegetable, a case of coconuts, and some Chinese moon cakes for dessert.

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Ironically, I had found a recipe for some Asian onion rolls and gave them a try, so we had an entire meal that was Chinese.

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Now we have a bunch of coconuts taking up all our fridge space while Daniel’s back at work, but that’s ok… I just love being a Yeh!

First Week Finished

Day 2 of school last week was embarrassingly bad.  I felt frazzled.  I was ready to give up and send one of my kids off to school.  It was tough and sad and frustrating.  I did a lot of praying over the weekend…

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Thankfully, I can say with all honesty that this week went a million times better.  How do I forget so quickly that the beginning can be tough for all of us?  That Satan is a discourager?  That I can’t do this, but through God’s grace?  Or that things will get better… they always do!

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After a very good week, one tired kid was not happy about starting school this morning.  Rather than forcing the issue, I said, “I know!  Let’s not do math right now, but let’s head outside on this beautiful day and find something to paint!”

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Their hearts and attitudes changed immediately.  It was just what we all needed.  And I even got to have a second cup of coffee and work on some gardening on a chilly, foggy August morning!  It felt like fall.  It felt glorious and lifted all our spirits.

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I was especially impressed by the work of my one artist who usually likes to rush through her projects.  She took her time; so much time, and her picture turned out beautiful.  I was so encouraged!

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It was only our first full week, but I am headed into the weekend refreshed and encouraged.  Thank you for that new perspective, Lord!  (And for a fall-like morning to enjoy!)

Creativity vs. Messes

I don’t love the messes…

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But I do love the hours of creative play… listening to imaginary situations… not asking for videos… learning to entertain himself… and best of all, the smile!

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These boxes have been hours upon hours of fun the last few days.  Today I had to clean them up because I was starting to lose my mind, but I took a picture to remind myself just how precious (and important; even necessary!) these creative messes are for my son!  Really, they just got moved upstairs where I can handle messes for longer periods. ..But seriously, why do we need anything more than boxes for our kids?  🙂

Back to School Treats

I mentioned yesterday that a favorite tradition around here is back to school treats.  Just for fun, I looked back on all our treats so far…  In case you need some inspiration, here are some past favorites:

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2010:  “crayons” (pretzel rods, candy melts, and paper wrappers)

2011:  “Apple pops” (Oreos, candy melts, green gummies, lollipop sticks)

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2012:  Donuts and chocolate milk

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2013:  “pencils” (Rolo pack, Hershey’s Kiss, yellow paper, pink paper, aluminum foil)

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2014:  “apples” (rice krispies, tootsie rolls, green gummies)

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2015:  “Letters and apples” (sugar cookies, which I let them decorate)

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2016:  “apples”  (cupcakes, frosting, pretzels, green gummies, red sprinkles)

1st Day of School 2016

Aaaaaannnnnddd…. we’re back to school!  I am so not easy, but ever grateful for the freedom to ease back into things.  This begins our 7th year homeschooling.  (Yikes!)  AS per tradition, the kids couldn’t wait to find what “treat” would await them in the morning…

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This year I did apple cupcakes.  Though I love cupcakes from scratch, the red sprinkles were a bit too much sugar.  They turned out super cute, though!  The shape is from simply sticking a wood bead in your cupcake tins… thank you, Pinterest!  The real treat was not the cupcakes this year, though.  The real treat was…

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Papa came home!  H left at 1:00am just os he could make it back in time for the first day of school breakfast… and he did!

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The kids were beyond thrilled, (as was I!)

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Look what he brought us, Grandma… Bean Boozled with 2 new flavors; stinky socks and dead fish!  Just wait until Halloween this year!

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He also brought back some cool maps and told us about the fire…

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After breakfast, Daniel went to bed and we went to work… (sort of).  Our first school project was to make flower garden pens.

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Next up, we did a little tallest tower challenge giving the kids one marshmallow, some tape, and 20 spaghetti sticks.

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I had to include this goofy last picture.  I always get bug eyes when my kids take pictures… (especially when it takes a few minutes for them to actually snap it!)  Anyway, it feels good to have the first day under our belts.  We did a bit of Bible, a bit of math, and made our chore charts.  Really, it was like a fun family meeting.  I think I will always start school on Thursday because… tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!  And I am ready for a weekend together as a family.  Woohoo!

Almost Home…

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My husband sent this picture tonight showing where he gets to spend his last evening away.  Sadly, he won’t have a chance to enjoy it since he’ll be up early and on his way home!

Some things I should confess before you get home….

  • I still haven’t caught that rat!
  • The car smells disgusting… perhaps you can find the source?
  • The kitchen computer is showing the white screen of death.
  • The dog needs a bath!
  • We’re on our last roll of toilet paper.
  • The pool is looking pretty dirty, (though that’s not stopping the kids).  We did manage to get the scorpion out, at least.  BLAH!  Who knew we had scorpions around here?  Perhaps that’s what killed our chicken?)

Yes, we desperately love and miss you… but we also desperately need you!!!