Oak Glen 2018

They said it was a “great year” for apples… and indeed, it was!  Traditions are awesome, and picking apples is one of my favorites!  Oak Glen is just so beautiful, and we have our routine down by now.  Park, pick apples, hot dog lunch and apple cider, hike.

This year we even picked some fresh wild blackberries on our hike.  While we were picking, we passed a school group.  I heard the leader say, “Kids, don’t touch anything!”  “That’s the difference between homeschoolers and public schoolers,” I thought… The homeschool teachers, (us moms), were saying, “Find us some blackberries, too!  Go ahead and eat them!  Hey, climb that tree!  Ooh, jump over these rocks.”  Daniel even had them pet bees — something even I wouldn’t do.  But, that’s the beauty of having moms AND dads for teachers!

Until next year, Oak Glen…

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It must be a long week… I just tried to wash my face with hair gel!

Truly, this week has not gone as planned.  Life has a way of doing that to you, doesn’t it? Throwing the unexpected at you and trying to overwhelm you, I mean.  The good news is, God is close to the broken-hearted.  In my weakness, He is strong.  I have felt unsure of myself this week.  But, He is my sure foundation; the Rock on which I stand.  Even as I type these words, (the Words of Truth), God is overwhelming me with a sense of peace.  His peace passes all understanding. I am grateful for the extra time I have spent with him this week, crying out for him to help me with my situation.  I am also grateful for his grace, as I have also selfishly wasted time when  I know I should have been seeking him.

Most of all, I am thankful that his mercies are new every morning, and that he has already won the battle.  My victory is in Christ alone!

It’s a Miracle!

You may see these pictures and think… “Poor thing!  How sad!”

Yes, it is sad to see my baby wearing the “cone of shame;” (name that movie!)  But, we are actually thrilled he is alive and only required a few stitches on the back of his leg.

I walked into the house from my morning jog, expecting everyone to be asleep as usual. Natalie came to me in tears and asked, “Did you let the cat out?”  My heart dropped.  She detailed the long, blood-curdling scream she had heard, and I told her “He’s gone, Sweetie.”  We both searched, seemingly in vain, as we cried.

An hour later, guess who appeared at our back door?  He was half covered in slime from some enormous animal, and had a back leg with a cut.  Other than that, we saw nothing wrong.

We found a long, coarse hair from either a coyote or bobcat on him, confirming our suspicion that he was in a wild animal’s mouth.  How did he survive?  That is a mystery… though I am certain God had his hand in it.  The vet was baffled and confirmed that our kitty is a miracle.

Angel, we’re so glad (and shocked) that you are alive!  Praise God!!

It Is Finished…

It is finally finished… no more home inspections, no more social worker visits, and most of all no more worrying about whether we will lose him… After 446 days of living with the Yeh’s, Xavy has now officially been declared a Yeh!  And we are thrilled to celebrate this “Gotcha Day” with him!  Here is a picture recap of our morning.

Arriving…

Waiting…

Swearing in…

Answering questions…

Hearing the “official announcement…”

Celebrating with a picture…

And another…

Walking out…

A picture with our sweet social worker…

And a picture with our dear friend who drove all the way out to the courthouse early in the morning because she is precious like that!  (And, she took all our pictures!)

It is hard to believe it is over.  Court took all of 2 minutes; (a bit anti-climatic after months of classes, months of waiting to be cleared, months of waiting for a placement, and then months of fostering!)  Yet, I am grateful for the wait.  God does all things in His timing, and learning to rest in Him and enjoy the process is a challenge, but a good strengthening of character!

Xavy, long ago God put it on Papa’s heart that he was to adopt a little boy, and teach him about his heavenly father.  Xavy, you are that special little boy.  Little did we know, that you would be one to show us our Heavenly Father’s love in new and deeper ways.  Thank you.  And, welcome to the family!!

Routine

The garden doesn’t look so good right now.  I picked the last bouquet of zinnias and sunflowers yesterday as I began to prune and pull.  We still have beautiful butterflies and the air is still warm, yet there is a scent of fall that is unmistakable.   Because I love the turning of seasons so much, I actually don’t mind the ugliness of the garden.

It was so wonderful to be outside enjoying a “normal” weekend; one that comes at the end of a routine week of school.  The kids did their chores, and once again there was music in the air from piano practice and a last splash in the pool.  The hum of the wash machine sounded throughout the day.

Today Daniel made his famous quiche for breakfast, and we are now headed to church. Though we only missed one week, the kids said it feels like “forever” since we last went to church.  Today’s plans include pulling down our fall bins from the garage and decorating while munching our fall mix and making a stew for dinner.  I think I may even take a Sunday afternoon nap…

San Mateo

After Sacramento, we drove down to spend the weekend with my parents in San Mateo.  It was this little guy’s first time to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  The cooler fall weather had me all smiles.  Daniel and I planned to take them to the beach, but they preferred to go to their favorite park instead.

Uncle Nate and aunt Hilary joined us for dinner one night, and the kids were thrilled to see them.  Aunt Hilary showed up with a special fall project for the kiddos.  I think I was the most excited to see jack-o-lanterns.  (I have fall fever right now; can you tell?)

I don’t think Xavy will ever forget being chased around the house by Uncle Nate.  Personally, I won’t forget his yummy chicken!  It was a short but sweet trip.  So thankful for family… and Fall!

Sacramento

When Daniel told me he had a class up in Sacramento, (the State capitol), it occurred to me… we are studying California history this year, so bringing the whole family was a no-brainer!  I wish he was able to join us on our adventure through the capitol, but we had a great time none-the-less.  First stop:  Sutter’s Fort.  I was so excited to find we were the first ones there that day, and had the place to ourselves!

After learning so much, we were all tired and hungry.  We drove to historic downtown Sacramento for some pizza an soda to revive us before heading to the train museum…

Honestly, I wish we had a lot more time at the train museum.  The kids loved it, and I found it fascinating.  Due to our parking meter, we had to go all too soon.  Parking really was tough, so we just did a drive-by of the capitol building.  The kids were ok with that as fatigue had set in.

During our video at Sutter’s Fort, we learned that this is the most historically important building in all of California.  Naturally, when I saw it I had to have Natalie take a picture for me!

The cop on a horse was a big hit.

And, another one by Natalie… this time as proof that I really was there!  This is a statue of the man who started the Pony Express.  We also learned at Sutter’s Fort that he was one of the many people who had stayed there.  And so was our schooling for the week…

Not included in this post was all the amazing food we ate.  Joining Daniel for dinner time was the best; he found us incredible dinner and dessert spots!

Next up… San Mateo!

Whirlwind

Four weeks ago we started school… then proceeded to go on 3 (mini) trips!  (We’ll call them extended educational field trips!)  As of last night, we are now back.  Today marks the official start of our “normal” routine for the year.  Piano lessons will begin this week, we met with our ES for the first meeting of the year, testing is out of the way, and it’s time for yet another “start.”  School year, I am now ready for ya!!

School Pictures 2018

The day after Labor Day… perfect for our school picture post!  This year our kids are starting a new homeschool program where I drop them off for 3 hours once a week.  Today is their first day.  They were so excited this morning, and ready to walk out the door an hour before necessary!  How wonderful that they were so excited for school.  Personally, I am thrilled that they are in a wonderful environment and I have a few hours to myself.  It’s a win-win!!

Allison is in 8th grade this year.  (How is it possible that I will have a high schooler next year?)  She is still an avid reader and enjoys Taekwando and running.  I love having a teen in my life; specifically, this teen!

Natalie began 7th grade this year.  She is an amazing drawer and also an excellent writer.  Taekwando is also her thing!  That ever-present smile always brightens my day.

Miss Sierra is in 3rd grade this year.  She likes to work slowly and meticulously unless she is offered free time, in which case she works fast!  You can often find Sierra creatively making something for her stuffed animals, writing letters to friends, or doing gymnastics or dance in her room.  She is full of ideas and fun.

Malachi Asher Yeh.  I think these pictures say it all.  He is a happy guy who still loves Legos, construction vehicles, and Taekwando.  In school, he excels at math!  Personally, I love watching his dance moves and how sweet he is with his brother!

AND… Introducing our newest addition, Xavy!!!  You may have noticed I stopped covering his sweet little face.  That is because he is officially a Yeh now.  We couldn’t be more thrilled.  Xavy loves playing with his big brother, “reading” books, and talking on the phone with Grandma.  His big accomplishment this summer was learning to swim without floaties!  He has gone from a nervous little guy to a daredevil and I’m not sure which I like better.  🙂  We are so blessed that God has added to our family, and look forward to watching this guy grow with us!

Family Science Camp

Family Science Camp is…AWESOME!  Here are the top 10 reasons I am so thankful for family science camp and planning to return every year.

  1.  Family time!  Being all together as a family is such a gift!

2.  The playground: endless fun happened here.

3.  Animal guy:  We learned a lot and had so much fun petting the animals.

4.  The rock climbing wall/ zip line.  Seriously.  We spent many hours here.  Two kids overcame their fears and actually did it.  Two other kids challenged themselves and persevered up the medium and difficult climbs.

5.  The ropes course.  I may have fallen, but I got back up!

6.  The cool weather and beautiful trees reminding me that fall is almost here!

7.  Friends.  It was so wonderful to be with our friends!

8.  Food.  Not only was the food really good, but I didn’t have to cook it.  Hurrah!!

9.  Afternoon malts at the malt shop.  We may have treated ourselves every afternoon… After all, we had burned so many calories, we really needed  milkshakes and malts!

10.  Best of all, for a full week I never heard, “I’m bored,” or,  “Can I have a video or screen time?”

And there was so much more… ping pong, night hikes, astronomy, deer, chapel, family devotions… you can check out the camp’s video here.