Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Opportunities

Summer gives us opportunities ... it affords us a break from our normal routine and allows us to take on new challenges, new books, new schedules, etc. I had a conversation yesterday with a friend whose children go to a christian private school - she spoke about how much she loved having her kids home for the summer and did not want to share them with anyone. We both saw the irony in that I have the opposite feeling during the summer - the kids and I spend all year together around a school table and I feel like summer is our time to do our own thing.

A few of the opportunities we have this summer include ...

Devin and Lexi an opportunity to attend Winshape's Camp C3.

Ava Mae an opportunity to spend one week at gymnastics camp. (the same week Lexi and Devin are doing C3, affording me a week to myself)

Lexi an opportunity to try out being a mother's helper.

Ava Mae an opportunity to attend a week at ballet camp, with Lexi as one of the camp helpers.

Devin an opportunity to play baseball on an All Stars tournament team.

Me an opportunity to teach a 3 day American Girl Doll Camp in June and a 1 day Princess Camp in July.

The kids an opportunity to have water balloon fights, pool days, sleepovers and picnics with friends we do not get to see, as much as we'd like, during the school year.

Devin an opportunity to earn a PS3 by working his way through the whole bible using a 365 day devotional and quadrupling the number of devotions he does in one day.

Me an opportunity to read something other than books that go along with our curriculum, bible study or homeschool.

The kids and I an opportunity to volunteer during a vacation bible school at our old church.

Wow ... so many opportunities ... so little time!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May Homeschool Fieldtrip

Our last fieldtrip, for the school year, with our homeschool small group, was today. We had a picnic at a local park and then hiked to the nearby creek and old paper mill ruins for playtime. The kids had a blast!! Catching tadpoles, small toads and then snails ... Followed by lots of swimming in the creek ... I think my kids would have stayed all day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

World of Coca Cola

Today we took our first summer field trip to the World of Coca Cola. It is was a little preview of one of our history studies this Fall. We are going to study our state and create a state notebook.

I was going to wait until this Fall to take the kids there but, to celebrate their 3rd anniversary at their new location World of Coca Cola sold $3 entrance tickets for this morning only. It saved us $40!

The kids loved it! We enjoyed watching a 4D video reminiscent of some of the movies we have seen at Disney. We also enjoyed looking at old Coca Cola memorabilia. Learning who invented Coca Cola and how it all got started. Devin really liked the bottling portion of the tour. He is still talking about the cool robot named "Fizzy Bot". At the end of the tour we received a bottle of Coke that was actually bottled at the World of Coca Cola location just yesterday. I have always felt that Coca Cola tasted better in the bottle!

We all agreed that we experienced some unique tastes in the World of Coca Cola Tasting Room. We sampled versions of Coca Cola product from all over the world. Some of them good ... some of them not so good. Our favorite, hands down was the watermelon flavored drink from China.

Afterward, we spent some time at Centennial Olympic Park playing on the playground and eating lunch.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Season Comes to a Close

On Tuesday we attended the Upward Baseball Awards Night. I think it was one of the best ones they have hosted. It really got all the players and coaches involved. My husband was lucky enough to get chosen to come up on stage for a fun game. After the games we watched a fun highlight video from the season and then all the players received their award a nice backpack. My husband received his team plaque and a gift from the parents of his players.

Then, today, was Devin's last baseball game for the Spring and another season comes to a close. He had a great game and received his trophy.

The Upward program we play for has decided to put together a tournament team and Devin will try out for that on Thursday. They are only taking 12 boys out of the 100 boys who played. My husband and I have both decided it would be a blessing either way if Devin is chosen or not chosen. We had really thought we would wait one more season before Devin played on a tournament or traveling team - this would be a little soon but, it is a shorter season, only a one month commitment.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring Ballet Recital 2010

Whew ... we are done. After an intense week of practices and dress rehearsal Lexi and Ava Mae had their Spring Ballet Recital(s) yesterday.

Ava Mae had a beautiful ballet number in the first recital.

Lexi had a tap dance in both recitals and two ballet numbers. After stressing for weeks about her tap dance, which was super hard, it went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, Lexi had her first fall on stage during one of her ballet numbers. It was a costume malfunction of sorts ... her dress was really long and she stepped on it causing her front foot to completely slide out. We told Lexi that a sign of a good dancer is one that can fall on stage and get right back up and continue as if nothing happened, which she did but, you can imagine she was still mortified when she got off the stage.

One of the sweetest parts of the day was watching Lexi perform a ballet number with a part I had never seen. The girls had kept it a secret for months and it was beautiful! They performed a song in sign language and then took off their ballet slippers to place them at the feet of Jesus. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw it performed in dress rehearsal.

We were so blessed to have our dear friends the Hanback's, Lexi's best friend - Grace, and Lexi's tutor attend the performance. Ava Mae and Lexi have both worked so hard this year, especially Lexi - who was in the pre-invitational class and it is nice to share with others the gift God has given you.

"Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary ... Praise Him with tambourine and dancing ... Let everything that has breath Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalm 150

Friday, May 14, 2010

Congratulations Devin!

Last night was Devin's RA (Royal Ambassadors) Award Ceremony ... we enjoyed a great dinner and then each boy was announced and the pins, patches and medals they were receiving.

We are so proud of Devin for earning his Gold Medal for Bible Verse Memory. In the last two years Devin has memorized 75 Bible Verses. Devin also earned 2 bars, 3 stars, his advancement pin and his athletic patch. Way to go Devin!!

A big thank you goes out to Devin's RA Leaders - 3 great guys who Devin really enjoys seeing each week.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Choir and GA Awards Night

This week holds lots of baseball games, awards ceremonies, final concerts and dance recitals. All very exciting but, it is making for an exhausting week. Last night we had the kids' final choir concert, hymn awards ceremony and GA awards ceremony.

Lexi and Ava Mae both received a Hymn Award Certificate for memorizing all of their hymns this year and then, we were off to Lexi's GA (Girls in Action) awards ceremony where she was presented with the patches she earned this year as a GA.

Tonight is Devin's RA's (Royal Ambassadors) awards ceremony and then Wednesday night activities will be all wrapped up for the school year.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend 2010

Just a few glimpses into the weekend ...

Pictured top and below - Saturday morning trip to the Farmer's Market.

Pictured below some new pretties for our deck was my Mother's Day Gift.
Ava Mae wrote a song for me for Mother's Day and Devin, Lexi and my husband performed in the band.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Special Night

On Tuesday night I attended an End of the Year Tea for homeschool moms. It was a wonderful evening chatting over great tasting tea and scones. We talked about our school years, laughed and cried over stories that were shared and dreamed of the plans our summer and new school years held.

At the end of the evening we were asked to see one of the co-leaders of our group before leaving - I was given a letter I will cherish forever from my husband - sweet words of encouragement and thanks! I will keep this letter at our school table next year and pull it out whenever I am having a rough day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The End is Here

It always amazes me how quickly our school year seems to just fly by. It is like our school year begins, I blink, and it is Christmas. Then, before I know it, Spring is upon us and as May begins we are done. Yesterday I began the process of organizing and packing up all of our school work from this year. Though our year did not start off as planned I feel like we really finished well. We work hard during our school year - during the past 9 months we only took one full week off and that was for our trip to Disney. Our reward - finishing school on April 30th!

Devin tests next Monday and Tuesday at the site the kids take classes on Fridays during our school year. We are finishing up this week working through our second test prep book. I know at this point, he knows what he knows, no sense in cramming anything we did not learn throughout the school year. We reviewed a few things early on which we did not go in depth with yet in the areas of social studies and grammar but, I began to feel like anything more than that and I would be doing exactly what the public school system does "teaching for the test". So, this week, we are just focusing on test taking techniques. I will be glad to have this behind us! No worrying during the summer months about scheduling testing.

Lexi has moved into her summer schedule which Devin will begin after testing. For Lexi, her work for the summer includes a summer review book (which includes math, phonics and grammar), journaling, reading and she will continue tutoring on weeks she is not in camp or on vacation.

Ava Mae also has a summer review book but, I will not push it. She will just begin Kindergarten this Fall. Right now Ava goes in and out of periods where she wants to do school.

I am hoping by tomorrow to have a nice neat school area again ... as of today it is a mess of papers, books, and boxes - all in neat stacks. Three months from now our new school year will begin again so, for now, I will enjoy our break.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yesterday I turned 39 and began my last year of being able to say I am in my 30's. I had a great day celebrating with family and friends and received some wonderful gifts! I know that God uses days like these to remind me how blessed I am!

Some highlights from the day included - Devin dedicating his baseball game to me, dinner out with our good friends (The Ford's), and a concert performed by my husband and kids.