Thursday, July 30, 2009

This & That Thursday

  • Outside my window… a stunningly beautiful day. The weather is perfect, the sun is out. Just gorgeous.
  • I am thinking… about an insane email from our neighbors, trying to tell me that we were mistaken in thinking their labs were in our yard again when in fact it was just racoons. lol
  • I am thankful for… so many things. Awesome family, work for Jay that provides what we need. More blessings than I can count.
  • From the kitchen… rice and veggies are stir-frying for the girls’ lunch.
  • I am wearing…  chocolate brown skirt, golden brown tee, birks, wedding band.
  • I am creating… a list of geocaches in various areas we sometimes visit.
  • I am going… to get all of the bedding washed today while the sun is out because I just *love* the smell of line dried sheets and blankets.
  • I am reading… What your 3rd Grader Needs to Know
  • I am praying… for our utterly lost neighbors.
  • I am hearing…the washing machine spinning, a few goldfinches flitting about in the woods behind the house, giggling upstairs.
  • Around the house… Luna and Kaya are playing in their bedroom while lunch is almost done.  After lunch, we’ll go out for a walk and to play ball, I’ll have them help me hang up laundry, then they’ll come inside for rest time.
  • One of my favorite things… is the particular smell of my children after a day of playing out in the fresh air and sunshine.
  • A few plans for the rest of the week… Nico comes back home tomorrow. Saturday is my birthday but Jay has an excavator scheduled to be here this weekend, so the girls and I may do something while he moves dirt around.  On Monday, we will celebrate my birthday by going to Seabreeze amusement park.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Geocaching Fun

As I wrote a few posts ago, my sister took us geocaching for the first time over the weekend.  I had heard about it before but didn’t think it was possible to do it without a GPS unit. If you don’t know what geocaching is, it is sort of like a treasure hunt.  You can go to www.geocaching.com and find the coordinates for caches in your area. Then you set off in search for the cache which can be as small as a thimble or as big as a bucket.  Inside you find a log book where you sign your name and the date.  Some caches also have trinkets inside that you can trade for.  We love it because it combines hiking and spending time out in nature with the thrill of a treasure hunt.

We found out that it is possible to geocache without a GPS unit by entering the coordinates in bing.com, zooming in on the map and following the clues.  Yesterday we found two out of the three hunts we attempted. I found the first one and Nico found the second one.

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I am very excited because my Mom is helping me get a Garmin Etrex GPS unit for my birthday so we will be able to go and find some of the more complicated caches in our area.

On the homeschooling front, thanks to a suggestion from another homeschooling friend, I recently started teaching Kaya and Nico some Greek and Latin root words.  They were even more interested than I thought they’d be and I was happy that both girls were making connections with the root words and words they use day to day.  When I taught them the root “ped” for foot, Nico was happy that she’d now be able to remember that a “pedal” on a bike was spelled with “ped”, when she used to get caught up in spelling it like “petal”.  I plan to teach a few new root words every week and I think it will be very rewarding.

Photo Contest Entry

iHeartFaces is having a contest for beach photos so I am entering this one I snapped of Luna at the beach a few weeks ago.

 

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Monday, July 27, 2009

A Fun Weekend

On Saturday, my family came over for a fun get-together.  My sister and brother in law, along with some of their kids, set up tents in the yard and camped out.  My Mom roughed it on the couch. lol  We went geocaching, had a cook out, and shared some laughs around the fire. We found out that Jiffy Pop is flammable. (:snicker:)

Here are a few pictures from our weekend.

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Nico leads the way on our first try at geocaching.

 

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Kaya finds a tiny microcache.

 

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Trying to avoid “muggles” when finding a cache right in town.

 

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Last cache of the day.  We are now officially addicted to geocaching, what fun!

 

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A tuckered out Luna finds some snuggle time with Uncle Joel.

 

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Hanging out around the fire *before* the flaming JiffyPop catastrophe.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Morning Update

I spent much of the latter part of this week getting organized and gearing up for “next year’s” adventures in learning.  While we essentially do learning year round, I light up the load during the summer so everyone can enjoy the nice weather. (If you can call it that, it has been a record cold July for this part of NY with only a handful of days even making it into the 80’s, but I digress….)  So when I say “next year’s” I refer to the fact that the older girls are technically starting their 6th and 3rd grade  years of homeschooling.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am thrifty, sometimes to a fault.  In the past, I had always purchased the cheapest folders and notebooks and binders to suit our needs. This year, on a whim, I decided to let the girls pick out their own binder, folders and notebooks.  For the small amount of supplies we need, it really didn’t add up to too much more, but the thrill and excitement it gave the girls was so worth it. For Kaya, it was as if I gave her a Christmas present in July, she was bubbly with happiness and eager to organize and set up her learning materials.

So, back to organizing… Homeschooling while co-parenting a child can be especially challenging if everyone isn’t on the same page and things are not organized and planned well. In the 5-6 years we’ve been homeschooling Nico in two households, we’ve come up with a good rhythm and method that works well for the most part. I went through the drawers that the girls use to house their learning materials and pulled out anything extraneous and not needed.  I made a list of what things were to travel back and forth with Nico while she went from our house to her Mother’s. I got together a “game plan” for what we’re going to cover this month as well as a new method for building vocabulary.

All in all, it feels SO good to have things set and in order, ready to tackle the next learning experiences.

On another note, today my family is coming over to hang out and then camp out.  I’ll have the camera close by and will post pictures of our visit tomorrow!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Snapshot

I was trying to find a recent family picture to send to our Compassion sponsor child and two correspondence children that we will be assigned to soon.  I realized it had been a *long* time since we’ve had a group shot so I gathered the fams out by a flower bed and used the timer function on the camera.. 

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All in all, not a bad shot.  I need to remember to do this more often though.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Flashback Friday

Featuring our Nico Sage.

nico1 A grainy, scanned pic from when Jay and I first got together.

jniOur first day-trip with Nico ~ Strong Museum with my nephew, Isaac.

nico2 Proud big sister holding Kaya.

nico3Age 4 ~ taken just a few weeks before she gave herself a mullet.

mnk Mullet grew out pretty fast, thankfully.

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Visiting Jay on the jobsite.

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8th birthday.

HPIM0394 Big sis holding Luna for the first time.

b4lol Before cutting hair for Locks of Love on 9th birthday.

HPIM1016 And after ~ birthday at Grandma and Grandpa’s in Florida.

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HPIM129211 already and growin’ up TOO fast.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Li’l Bit of This & That

  • Outside my window… bright sun, blue skies, fluffy clouds, lush, green leaves in the trees.
  • I am thinking… about what I’d like to have Nico and Kaya do for learning today.
  • I am thankful for… the many blessings we have been given. A sturdy, warm house, a working vehicle, work for Jay, good health, food in the cupboards, everything we *need* and much of what we *want*.
  • From the kitchen… the smell of cinnamon rolls is wafting through the air along with the scent of my hazelnut coffee.
  • I am wearing…  brown cargo capris,  green fitted tee, birks, carnelian necklace, wedding band.
  • I am creating… a list of art projects for the upcoming year at our homeschool co-op.
  • I am going… to try to get it finished up by Sunday.
  • I am reading… The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas,  Using Color in your Art,  Art for Fun Projects,   Awesome Art Activities Around the Year.
  • I am praying… mostly for Nico’s mom to find peace in her life, or to be broken enough to let down her barriers and open the doors enough to let God into her life.
  • I am hearing… wind through the trees, orioles singing, hummingbirds twittering, Kaya and Luna laughing outside.
  • Around the house…
    Nico is still asleep, Jay is working down in the woodshop, Kaya and Luna are out playing, widows are all open and letting a fresh breeze through the house.
  • One of my favorite things… is watching a toddler spend an hour completely focused on the task of moving sand from place to place.
  • A few plans for the rest of the week… getting Nico ready to take her year end assessment test. (Was supposed to take it at her Mom’s but that fell through)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Introducing our Compassion Sponsor Child

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Beautiful little Precious lives in Ghana with her grandmother and two other siblings. She just turned six last month. Her grandmother is sometimes employed as a farmer. The average family in Ghana survives on about $10 a month, though I assume that with just one older adult as caretaker, this family gets by on less.

Through Compassion, we are allowed to send the family direct donations twice a year which go towards fulfilling the family’s most pressing needs. We hope to send our first family gift within the next few weeks and would be glad to pass along any funds that friends, family or faithful readers wish to donate. I will accept donations through Paypal, just tag the payment with the word “Precious” and I will be sure that 100% goes directly to this family when we send our gift. I added a donation button over on the left sidebar.

We, as a nation, are so blessed. If you can spare even a dollar, it will go a long way. Thanks!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

A Nice, Little Staycation

Jay has been working on a cottage on Keuka Lake for a while now and with that project and a few others keeping him busy, we haven’t had as much time with Jay as we would like.  We were given the opportunity to spend a few days at the cottage while Jay did some random work there.  It was a really nice time.  The weather was pretty good for us, while many others in the area had a lot of rain and storms.  Nico, Kaya and Luna had so much fun.  To have the lake right outside the back door was a dream for them.

I ended up taking about 90 pictures but will spare you and just repost a few of my faves.

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Kaya and Luna wasted *no* time in getting their feet into the water, just minutes after we arrived.

 

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Luna and Jay

 

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He likes it.  See, he’s smiling…

 

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Relaxing after a swim.

 

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This may appear to be an ordinary float, but I am told it is Mermaid Island (and is invite only).

 

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First cruise on the boat.

 

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Boating with friends.

 

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Ah, this is the life…..

 

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Beautiful Beach Bums

 

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Kaya Jade

 

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Nico Sage

 

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Nico finding time to read by the water

 

 

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Nico tries out the tube.

 

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She convinced Kaya to try it.

 

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It was truly a lovely time and we feel so blessed to take a little vacation, just 15 minutes from home.