Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beach Vacation {2012}

As August draws to a close, for the last few years, we have enjoyed an escape to the beach. It is a way for us to say good-bye to summer and kick-off our school year. This year was no different, except that we were able to spend ten days and had some of our best friends along for the fun.

Ava Mae our mermaid. She really wants to live at the beach.
Ava Mae was blessed to have her best friend on vacation with her. These two are just so cute together.

We all found gorgeous shells - I actually made our kids put some back. I mean seriously, how many shells does one child really need to keep.

Ava Mae burying Devin in the sand.

Devin taking an opportunity to fish with his friend, Wesley.

Just one of the six hermit crabs we caught.
Lexi and her friend, Muriel.
Our trip on the Sea Screamer did not disappoint. Once again, we saw tons of dolphins. Loved the show they put on for us. They truly are the golden retrievers of the sea.
Having fun with the crabs they brought on board the Sea Screamer from a crab trap.

Beautiful sunset!
Rainbow on our trip out to the Gulf.

On our one day where it was a complete wash out we enjoyed a field trip to Wonder Works. Kids loved all the exhibits - we spent hours there. Wasn't quite sure what to expect but, it really had some great interactive exhibits - covering everything from science to history.

As always it seemed our vacation was coming to an end too soon. On the last day, my friend Tammy and I just sat on the beach for hours and hours. It was so beautiful! I think the calm before the storm - so lucky we headed out before Tropical Storm/Hurricane Issac made it's way up into the Gulf of Mexico.

1st Day of School {2012}

1 day done, just 179 to go ... after ten wonderful days at the beach we got home with just one day to spare before we started back to school.

So glad that the smiling faces in this photo remained for the duration of our school day. We jumped right back in to our core subjects and we will start History/Science next week. The kids have their first day at Timothy this Friday.

Praising God for a great first day back. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday, Devin!

Devin had a wonderful 11th birthday celebration ... as luck would have it, the Braves were home on his birthday so we were able to get tickets for him and three friends to attend. I packed a light dinner for the boys to enjoy on our short ride - hot dogs, chips, and a coke.

My husband and I took the boys down to Turner Field early so that they could enjoy some of the fun activities they have for kids. They took turns in the batting cage and pitching cage. And, spent the rest of the time before the game in the Braves Museum.

Though the Braves continued on with their Monday curse, which has them losing almost every game they have played all season on Monday, we still had a great time. And, even with a short rain delay we were still home by 11pm. Just in time to open some gifts and enjoy mini-cupcakes from a cupcake bakery. {Thankfully, all of Devin's friends we took with us are homeschooled - as our schools in this area are already back is session.}

Two of the boys stayed over for the night and this morning I made one of Devin's favorites - cinnamon rolls.

Happy 11th birthday Devin! The time just continues to fly by, how is it that just yesterday it seems I was holding you in my arms for the first time. We are so thankful for the wonderful young man you are growing up to be!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Not" Back to School Blog Hop 2012 : Curriculum Week

This has been the fastest summer ever for our family ... where does the time go? I am joining in this week in the annual Not Back to School Blog Hop - hosted by the iHomeschool Network. Join in on the fun by heading over there and linking back to your own blog or just reading through all the posts so far. I always enjoy reading what others are doing!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Thankfully, I had a plan in place for the 2012 - 2013 school year in May, so no need to stress about that over the fun summer months.

Here is our plan for the year ....

Bible ~ Apologia's "Who Am I and What am I Doing Here" from the What We Believe Series
History/Science ~ My Father's World - Countries and Cultures - we are trying something new this year and doing this study with another family. We will divide up the teaching between the two of us.  We will take one day a week to complete everything scheduled for that particular week in the lesson plan. I am sure there will be a learning curve as we figure out the best way to fit everything in but, I am really looking forward to this opportunity.

Devin {5th grade}
Math ~ Abeka
Language and Spelling ~ Abeka
Reading ~ Abeka
Handwriting ~ Handwriting Without Tears, Cursive Review
Weekly Journaling and Nature Study
Enrichment Classes at Timothy ~  Food Network; Movie Making; Group Guitar
Extra-Curricular ~ Fall Baseball; Wednesday Night at Church will include - choir and RA's

Lexi {4th grade}
Math ~ Abeka
Language ~ Abeka
Spelling ~ Wilson
Reading ~ Wilson along with continuing to read through the Little House series. Lexi will also continue with tutoring one day a week for dyslexia though her reading and spelling are coming along amazingly well - recently, someone even commented to me she could not believe Lexi even had dyslexia - what an answer to prayer!
Handwriting ~ Handwriting Without Tears, Cursive
Weekly Journaling and Nature Study
Art ~ ARTistic Pursuits
Enrichment Classes at Timothy ~ Food Network; Moving West - American History; Crafting with American Girls; Sewing 101
Extra-Curricular ~ Ballet; Tap; Jazz {5 hours a week}; Wednesday Night at Church will include - choir and GA's

Ava Mae {2nd grade}
Math ~ Abeka
Language ~ Serl's Primary Language Lessons
Reading/Spelling ~ First Start Reading by Memoria Press
Handwriting ~ Handwriting Without Tears, Print
Weekly Journaling and Nature Study
Art ~ ARTistic Pursuits 
Enrichment Classes at Timothy ~ Georgia Habitats; Moving West - American History; Ooey Gooey Science; Food Network
Extra-Curricular ~ Ballet; Tap; (hopefully we can also get her into Lexi's jazz class); Wednesday Night at Church will include - choir and GA's

We officially begin school on August 27th, after returning from our beach vacation. For now, we are doing some basic review of math and reading in preparation for our new school year.

Monday, August 6, 2012

22 Years and Counting ...

This weekend my husband and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary!  While we would love to plan a big trip, with no family to help out with kids it is just not in the cards, so we make the best of what we can do.  Thanks to a babysitter and great friends we were able to getaway for over 24 hours. :)

Daune planned everything and did a wonderful job. He arranged for us to stay overnight at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead {on the club floor}. From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty - it was if everyone had been told ahead of time it was our anniversary. Shortly after arriving at our room a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries arrived at our door with a card from the hotel manager wishing us a "Happy Anniversary".

We enjoyed some appetizers in the club lounge before heading out to a wonderful dinner at a very popular local steakhouse. The hotel arranged a chauffeur to take us and pick us up - another sweet touch.

After a wonderfully relaxing evening - where we watched the sunset over the city from our 19th floor room - daybreak the next morning greeted us with breakfast in bed.{We did choose to skip the $575 breakfast which included a bottle of Dom and caviar.}

Check-out at the Ritz is not until Noon which makes for a very nice morning! Then it was time to head out to the High Museum. In the last few years our only trips to the High have been with kids - how wonderful it was to wander around the museum without having to constantly answer questions or remind my children not to touch anything.

Of course, with just 24 hours away you seem to blink and the time is up. It was so great to see the kids ... they were enjoying a round of Olympics at our friends' pool when we arrived. It is amazing to me how refreshed you feel with just that short time away with your spouse. I so look forward to our anniversary every year! Thank you to my wonderful husband who blesses me everyday in so many ways ... it has been a beautiful 22 years.