Sunday, July 8, 2018

Salem Lake Bike Ride

Rebecca is most definitely the more motivated of the two of us. For the past couple of months, she's been taking her bike out and going on rides in different places. She kept hassling me about coming along, so this morning, I finally caved and went with her on a ride around Salem Lake.


I have to admit, it's an amazing ride. It's about 7 miles around the lake and you are rewarded over and over by views like this. Salem Lake is truly a hidden gem. (I know, it's not really "hidden" since there's a marina and a biking trail and all that, but still... until she told me about it, I had no idea it was there.)
We had fun going back and forth trying to catch selfies on the go. It's a wonder I didn't hit a tree!
I was definitely saddle sore by the time we were done, but I can't say enough about how amazing this trail is and how beautiful the lake is, especially on a day like this.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cherry Picking 2018

It's that time of year again! Of all the fruits we like to pick each year, cherries is our favorite!
Between the drive up, the ladders and the amazing views, what's not to love?!
This is definitely the one fruit when everyone want to get involved. The kids all love to eat the cherries as they pick, so if we only get one bucket, that means they picked at least two!

Even the littles take their turn climbing to the top of the trees to find the best ones!
Sometimes the ladders aren't in the right place, so our little monkeys get to climb.

The crop wasn't great this year, but we still managed to pick a full bucket. We still have a lot of them canned from last year, so these are just for eating fresh. I doubt they'll last very long!a

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Aunt B's Wedding

The kids and I were highly blessed to be able to attend the wedding of Rebecca's Aunt Bethany to her new husband Bob Beaver. Bob is a wonderful guy and we couldn't be happier for these two! Of course, the kids love the alliteration and have taken to calling them "The B's" and referring to their home as "The B Hive."
It was a beautiful ceremony held in their backyard with close friends and family. 
The kids got to spend some time with Great Grandpa, which is always a special treat.
(It's when she's dressed up like this that I realize how quickly she's growing up!)
Of course, the kids were most excited about getting out of their nice clothes and into the pool!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

AHG Camp Caraway Trip 2018

The last event of the AHG year is a trip to Camp Caraway. 
It's a great time for the girls to blow off some steam after a busy year by doing fun activites like swimming
ziplining,
staying up late,
practicing and performing songs and skits, 
eating,
and learning together. The theme for this trip was "Selfless" and they did bible studies and had talks about how to be more like Jesus and put others before ourselves.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Irene's Haircut

On the morning we were supposed to be going to our first Homeschool Conference in 4 years, Irene decided that her hair was bothering her, so she did something about it. 
Something drastic.
And very unfortunate...
She gave herself a trim.
A very large and uneven trim...
So rather than going with my idea of taking the clippers to her head and taking it all off, Rebecca ran her to Great Clips and managed to get in without a wait.
They did a great job of fixing most of the worst places, even though some of the spots were nearly to her scalp.
Of course, she's happy with her new cut... She does look adorable with short hair, tho.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Happy Birthday Irene and Ezra!

My goodness time flies! 
Ezra turned 8 this year. This kid is something else... He's active, outgoing, adventurous and passionate. Sometimes that passion, though, can go the other way. He gets so worked up when things don't work or if he fails at something. Usually, with some gentle coaxing, we can get him to calm down and try again or fix what went wrong the first time. He has a huge sense of right and wrong and gets very upset when he thinks something isn't fair. He's gotten to where he's a little taller than Gabe ("Only an inch!!" Gabe would shout), so they still wear the same clothes. They very much like twins, with Gabe being a more bookish boy while Ezra is the athletic one.
Not to be outdone in the energy department, Irene turned 5! This kid is bot the light as well as the bane of my day. She is so sweet and funny, but also so mischievous that if I'm not careful, she'll drink a full bottle of maple syrup while I'm not looking. (That's not an exaggeration. She really did drink almost a hole bottle of maple syrup...) She climbs the cabinets and counters looking for sweets, steals Emma's toys, and stays up all hours of the night gigging and laughing when she's supposed to be asleep. At the same time, she loves to snuggle and be with Mama every chance she gets.
In the past, I've been the one to make elaborate (at least for me) cakes for the various birthdays based on the whims of the child, but this year, Olivia wanted to put her cake decorating skills to the test and make cupcakes for each of them, Irene chose flowers and Ezra chose spider webs like from  Spiderman.



Speaking of Spiderman, Ezra wanted to get a Spiderman comic book, so I took him to Acme Comics and picked up the Epic Collection that had the first 18 Spiderman comics all in one. I'm thinking this is going to be the new tradition for the boys for the next few years.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Celebration Station

The Greensboro Home Educators group organized a homeschool day at Celebration Station to celebrate the end of the school year and the start of summer. For $10 each, we got to come in and go on the rides as much as we wanted for 3 hours. Seeing as how the littles are too small for any of the rides, I took the older three for the morning.
Being so warm, the first thing they all wanted to do was hit the bumper boats. If they were learning physics (which technically, Olivia is...), it would be a great study in Newton's Laws of Motion. The boats can take a bit of getting used to to operate. They found out that they don't turn as quickly as a car or speed up or slow down very easily either.
Certainly didn't stop them from enjoying them. :)
After the boats, it was on to go karts. CS has two tracks: one for bigger folks and one for younger. Gabe and Ezra weren't old enough to drive the big karts yet, but they could ride the smaller ones. Gabe tried them once and enjoyed them, but Ezra got a real kick out of driving.
I love the tongue out in concentration. 
While he drove his laps, I was recruited to drive Gabe, as well as other younger kids, around in the big karts. Because it was a Wednesday, there were hardly any other people there, so I was able to stay on the go karts and just take various younger kids as passengers.
Olivia tried out the karts since she was big enough, but she found a few friends and they all gravitated towards the boats where they could spray each other and get wet.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

AHG Spring Awards

Olivia and Emma have finished their first year in American Heritage Girls!
Emma started out in the youngest group, the Pathfinders. This is the youngest of the AHG squads. She spent this year learning about AHG's values and purpose along with the creed and oath, which basically is teaching the girls to be respectful, obedient, humble, and compassionate while being a good citizen of our country and a good steward of God's creation.
She got to participate in some outreach activities like bringing cookies to fire fighters. With Rebecca as one of her leaders, she got to do all kinds of crafts and activities geared towards setting her up for her first year as a Tenderheart, where she will have to do more work and earn badges in different categories.
We are very proud of our Emma for all her hard work!
Olivia spent year as a Pioneer, which is the next-to-highest age group in AHG. These girls do a lot of heavy lifting throughout the year! They did a lot of badge work that had all kinds of requirements and electives, some of which were hands-on and some that involved doing research on a topic and teaching it to the younger squads. They had to organize different outreach events and projects, go on overnight backpacking trips, plan campouts and lots of other things. They even took turns leading the troop opening ceremonies each week and took on various leadership roles like being the Troop Photographer, writing the weekly newsletter, and sending out the weekly squad email updates.
Olivia has one more year as a Pioneer before she moves up to be a Patriot, where she will have even more responsibility, but we know she'll be amazing at it!We could not be more proud of both girls for putting in a ton of work this year and achieving so much!