Friday, July 31, 2009

Foto Friday - Playdates with Friends

Above: Ava Mae swinging at a friend's home.

Above: Lexi getting some help on a tire swing.

Above: Devin and his friend, Josh, take a break from bowling.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Week So Far

It just seems like the summer is hurtling at the speed of light to an end. We are savoring our last days at camp (pictured above, Lexi and Ava Mae heading off to ballet camp, Lexi is a teacher assistant this week), enjoying free days with no school work, and having fun with friends - who will be heading back to school soon or starting back to a homeschool schedule.

Officially, we do not start back until August 31st, we have lots of swim days at our pool left and a week long vacation at the beach but, our extra curricular activities will be starting up and there is Grand Slam Asheville in the mix of things.

So, as our summer break begins to draw to a close here is what we were up to this week ...

Devin and I are enjoying some time together this week while the girls are at ballet camp. This morning Devin helped me by clearing the driveway of the debris from a storm the other night.

We are pet sitting this week, Cola is giving Ava Mae a hundred kisses after she returned home from camp.

Lexi and Ava Mae broke out some new water colors and spent two hours painting pictures and themselves.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

For Today from my Simple Woman's Daybook...

Outside my window... the sun is setting on a warm July evening.
I am thinking...
what a wonderful week it was at VBS!
From our homeschool room... excitedly awaiting new curriculum for the coming school year to arrive!
I am thankful for...
finally getting a chance to get to the salon yesterday and get new highlights and a haircut. For the bouquet of sunflowers from my husband and kids after a long week.
From the kitchen...
this week I made lemon bars with blueberries for the VBS volunteers. They were a big hit!
I am wearing ... shorts, t-shirt, flip flops
I am reading... Lessons at Blackberry Inn by Karen Andreola (a great Charlotte Mason book).
I am hoping...
for a restful weekend.
I am creating...
this week - invitations to Devin's Baseball Birthday Party.
I am praying... for all the kids who attended VBS, for our new school year which begins in a month, for my husband and children.
Around the house... catching up on laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking out tonight.
One of my favorite things... going to our pool, something we have missed this last week!
A few plans for the coming week...
swimming, girls at ballet camp, working on an art project with a friend, cleaning house, pet sitting a friend's dog.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Friday, July 24, 2009


Another great VBS has come to a close. I am so tired but, it was a wonderful week!! This year I had a more behind the scenes roll, preparing snack each day for 250 kids/crew leaders, plus a snack room for our adult volunteers. I had some great helpers, who made this week just come together perfectly. I also enjoyed catching up with friends as we worked side by side.

VBS I have come to realize is a great mission opportunity in our own backyard!

Here are some highlights from our week, in pictures ... (Lexi is obviously missing from the pictures of this week, she was spending her week at ballet camp)

Above: Devin and Lexi in front of the decorations on stage for Crocodile Dock.

Above: Ava Mae and Lily rock out.

Above: Group Shot.

Above: Popsicle Day, a huge hit.

Above: Cupcake Day, another snack favorite.

Above: Figuring out the formula for mixing up Kool Aid and Lemonade.

Above: Wrapping 640 hot dogs takes many hands ...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Summer Hike

Yesterday was the perfect day for a hike, the weather was unseasonably cool for a July afternoon, so the girls and I headed over to our favorite park. We love the Chattahoochee River National Park Recreation Area - especially Sope Creek Park. With great trails, a pond and access to Sope Creek we always have plenty to explore and find something new each time we visit.

During the school year it is one of our favorite places for our Nature Hike that we do each week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today from my Simple Woman's Daybook...

Outside my window...
a beautiful cool morning, especially for July. What a gift from God!
I am thinking...
about VBS next week - serving 250 kids/crew leaders snack and seeing how God works through us.
From our homeschool room... plans are coming together for next year, organizing is beginning, new school supplies and curriculum are being purchased.
I am thankful for...
date night tonight with my hubby (dinner and a movie)!! Thankful for the Rhyne's watching our kids.
From the kitchen...
Blueberry and Peach cobbler we made this week was so yummy! I love the fruits of summer.
I am wearing... jeans, tshirt and flip flops.
I am reading...
Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer and Lessons at Blackberry Inn by Karen Andreola (a great Charlotte Mason book).
I am hoping...
for a wonderful Saturday with my husband and kids.
I am creating...
some cards to send to friends.
I am praying... for a friend who is suffering from a horrible illness and her family - that they may be strengthened, for a friend who leaves today on a Mountain Climbing Expedition - praying for God to keep her safe and that God work through her during this trip, for the children who will attend our VBS this week - that may of them would come to know Jesus, my family - my husband and children.
Around the house...
it is a day for cleaning and trying to catch up on laundry before a very busy week.
One of my favorite things... my iPhone!
A few plans for the coming week...
VBS "Crocodile Dock"
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Week of Fun Comes to a Close

This week the kids and I have done some fun excursions around Atlanta. We enjoyed blueberry picking, a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens ,and while Devin and Daune enjoyed a trip to a local deli for lunch, the girls and I went to the American Girl Doll store.

Lexi has been saving for two months to buy a Camp Out set from the American Girl Doll collection. Ava Mae has also been saving and was able to purchase a small sleepover set for her Bitty Baby Twin doll. Of course, no trip to the American Girl Doll store is complete without eating in the Bistro. We lucked out today and were able to walk in without a reservation. Just love their first course choices at the Bistro. Today we had our favorite - warm pretzel bread with cheddar cheese fondue.

It was a great ending to a fun week and, though, I love all the fun camps our kids are doing this summer there is something to be said about a week of exploring our own hometown.

Above: Lexi with one of her American Girl dolls, Kit
Above: Ava Mae with her Bitty Baby Twin in their matching outfits.

My 100th Post - Foto Friday

I can't believe I am already at my 100th post ... I began this blog last August to chronicle our daily lives as a homeschool family. It is a great way, during the school year, to keep track of all the things we do - experiments, field trips, special projects and extra curricular activities. At the end of this year, in December, we will have a full 12 months during one year chronicled. I am going to turn it into our Year End Scrapbook by having my posts all printed and bound by a company into a professional looking book.

So, the lucky 100th post today, Foto Friday - it is a picture I took while in Asheville and I think it is one of my faves of all times because of the artsy look. The picture is of my sister Cassie lifting up Ava Mae so that she could pretend she was in the movie UP and being lifted off the ground by her helium balloons. The picture was taken inside the Grove Arcade which is a beautiful building architecturally wise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Today we headed to downtown to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It was a hot day but, at least the Gardens have a great kid's area with water to splash in. It made for a much better experience when the kids began to get cranky from the heat.

We are enjoying some fun activities this week before our calendar fills up again ... next week is VBS where I am heading up the snack area - with 250 kids and crew leaders it is no longer an easy job, Lexi is in full day ballet camp next week and the following week, Ava Mae is in ballet camp and Lexi is an assistant.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blueberry Picking

Our annual trek to the blueberry farm was today. It is a July tradition for us and one we look forward to every year!
Above: Devin giving Lexi instruction on the best way to pick blueberries.

Above: It is so much more fun to eat the blueberries than to pick them ...

The weather was perfect, with a rainstorm the night before and overcast skies it kept many of the blueberry pickers away. When we arrived around 10AM there were only ten cars in the parking area, a rarity during July at this farm. With morning temps and a cool breeze it made for a longer more enjoyable berry picking day.

Above: Ava Mae with her friend, getting ready to head out and pick blueberries.

Above: The competition ... which family can pick the most blueberries - the kids take a break to tally what they have so far.

We came home with 2 1/2 pounds of blueberries that we now get to use in all kinds of recipes, and I am sure we will have a few left to freeze for the winter.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Tradition

Every Sunday, for the last year, when we are in town and not committed to another event we head to Waffle House for dinner. Our favorite waitress, Charlotte, is so sweet and always has our drinks ready almost before we even sit down.

Some Sunday nights, especially during the school year, we have the whole place to ourselves. The kids love rocking out to the music they pick on the jukebox while sharing with Charlotte what all we have done for the past week.

We always sit at the high top counter and we have spent as long as 2 hours on nights when Charlotte has no other customer, just chatting about life, our homeschool goings on, what the kids learned at church that day, and she shares with us all about her little nieces she helps take care.

It is one tradition we really have grown to love and look forward to each Sunday.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Plan for the Coming School Year

The event planner in me, my professional career before kids, loves to plan! This is probably why I love this time of year. I enjoy planning the new school year, pouring through homeschool curriculum catalogs, researching information on the internet, and talking with fellow homeschool moms, both near and far.

So after many weeks of planning ... I feel there should be a drum roll here as I announce our plans for the 2009 - 2010 school year. ;)

One choice was really hard, I was pretty set on Sonlight for the coming year but, once again, I decided a curriculum more true to our Charlotte Mason Homeschool would better suit us. So, our primary curriculum will be Winter Promise for Devin and Lexi. We are doing American History I, which we are all so excited about. So this is what our year will look like:

Devin ~ History - American History I (Winter Promise); Bible - (Winter Promise); Language - Rod & Staff; Math - Horizons (3rd - 4th grade level); Handwriting/Art Study - Queen Homeschool Art & Handwriting Book; Nature Journal

Lexi ~
History - American History I (Winter Promise); Bible - (Winter Promise); Phonics - Explode the Code; Math - Horizons (2nd grade level); Handwriting/Art Study - Queen Homeschool Art & Handwriting Book; Nature Journal

Ava Mae
~ Five In A Row; Phonics - Rod & Staff (January); Nature Journal

Extra Curricular Activities -

Lexi - ballet and tap 1 1/2 hours


Open for Now (possibly Devin in Fall/Winter Sports)

Possibly Lexi in Tennis Lessons


Devin, Lexi and Ava Mae - Choir and Missions Programs


Ava Mae - Ballet/Tap 1 hour


Devin, Lexi and Ava Mae - Full Day at Timothy
Lexi - Irish Dance at Timothy
Devin and Lexi - private piano lessons

I think our schedule is coming together quite nicely. I am trying to work in having our housekeeper come on Tuesdays, in the afternoon, so as not to disturb our school time. I really like the fact that the kids are in school on Fridays, when my husband works from home, it gives him and I some time together, alone. It also gives me time to run errands or go on appointments without all the prep work that went into having a nanny coming twice a week. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for the beauty God gives us in summer flowers ...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

American Girl Stamp Camp

Today was the final stamp camp I am teaching for this summer ... an American Girl Stamp Camp with a Birthday Theme. It sounds strange to say the last stamp camp of the summer, but with school starting back so early here in our area and with our end of the year kids' camp schedule, VBS, Grand Slam Asheville and our beach vacation I just could not fit in another camp.

So, today's camp I had a good friend join me and we were able to take 14 girls. It was so much fun and the 4 hours just flew by. We made 4 projects, had a picnic lunch and a birthday party for all the American Girl Dolls. We sang Happy Birthday to each of the dolls individually ... that was alot of "Happy Birthday To You" and the girls had some fun playtime.

Camps ... another reason I love summer!