2016 Summer Vacation!

Warning – this post has some 60 photos plus four videos at the end!

If you visit our home and Ruby sheds on you... just know that it's less than she would have shed on you if I hadn't done this.

If you visit our home and Ruby sheds on you… just know that it’s less than she would have shed on you if I hadn’t done this.

The rodeo had free pony rides! Look at my big girl!

The rodeo had free pony rides! Look at my big girl!

I love that Royal Ridges provides pony rides!

I love that Royal Ridges provides pony rides!

Pleased as punch to get on a horse.

Pleased as punch to get on a horse.

Time for a rodeo! So nice to spend time with family.

Time for a rodeo! So nice to spend time with family.

Maggie is not a fan of having her picture taken.

Maggie is not a fan of having her picture taken.

Carolyn and Margaret played a hat-stealing game with Pappy's hat.

Carolyn and Margaret played a hat-stealing game with Pappy’s hat.

Maggie was about to make a face at me because she noticed me trying to take her picture.

Maggie was about to make a face at me because she noticed me trying to take her picture.

Carolyn is so silly!

Carolyn is so silly!

Over the years, I've grown to love the princesses more and the actual events less.

Over the years, I’ve grown to love the princesses more and the actual events less.

Beautiful girl.

Beautiful girl.

Even Great Grandpa came! Thanks, Dad D. for picking him up!

Even Great Grandpa came! Thanks, Dad D. for picking him up!

Grammy and Anna are two peas in a pod.

Grammy and Anna are two peas in a pod.

Ruby is a big doggy!

Ruby is a big doggy!

Margaret and Carolyn put on veils to come check out how the bees are doing with me.

Margaret and Carolyn put on veils to come check out how the bees are doing with me.

Ooooooooooh.

Ooooooooooh.

Fascinating stuff!

Fascinating stuff!

Brand new comb is beautiful! (older comb is dark)

Brand new comb is beautiful! (older comb is dark)

Again - fascinating! These ladies are making a chain of their legs to guide the comb building.

Again – fascinating! These ladies are making a chain of their legs to guide the comb building.

Anna went to summer camp (day camp) for the first time this summer! It was a big hit. I recommend Royal RIdges!

Anna went to summer camp (day camp) for the first time this summer! It was a big hit. I recommend Royal RIdges!

I scored a big set of this stuff at a garage sale and it was worth every penny. The kids have been inventing lots of strange and wonderful things.

I scored a big set of this stuff at a garage sale and it was worth every penny. The kids have been inventing lots of strange and wonderful things.

I don't know what it is, but it's cool!

I don’t know what it is, but it’s cool!

And now onto camping!!! Jordan's new stroller/wheelchair was a lifesaver. He is pretty happy in it and it keeps him out of the dirt and so he can't run away when we need it.

And now onto camping!!! Jordan’s new stroller/wheelchair was a lifesaver. He is pretty happy in it and it keeps him out of the dirt and so he can’t run away when we need it.

It took me until the day we left for me to figure out how to get my little camp kitchen working, but it was ooooooh, so yummy to eat outside.

It took me until the day we left for me to figure out how to get my little camp kitchen working, but it was ooooooh, so yummy to eat outside.

Sausage and pancake delight!

Sausage and pancake delight!

The weather was cool, but not too cool with warmish afternoons and we loved it.

The weather was cool, but not too cool with warmish afternoons and we loved it.

I love taking pictures of this beautiful girl even though she doesn't like me doing it.

I love taking pictures of this beautiful girl even though she doesn’t like me doing it.

Cheese! Carolyn likes her photo taken.

Cheese! Carolyn likes her photo taken.

Jordan's all curled up in his chair and content.

Jordan’s all curled up in his chair and content.

Hey, I got in a photo!

Hey, I got in a photo!

We stayed five days (four nights) and on the fourth day, the sun warmed up and we spent most of the day in the water!!

We stayed five days (four nights) and on the fourth day, the sun warmed up and we spent most of the day in the water!!

haha

haha

Jordan played in the water too!

Jordan played in the water too!

I just love this brave little girl.

I just love this brave little girl.

And this one too!

And this one too!

A wonderful young lady named Alexis spent the week with us. It would have been much more difficult without her. Also... the intex kayak was a big hit.

A wonderful young lady named Alexis spent the week with us. It would have been much more difficult without her. Also… the intex kayak was a big hit.

I laughed that Margaret laid on her towel on the rockes!

I laughed that Margaret laid on her towel on the rockes!

Throwing dirt and rocks!

Throwing dirt and rocks!

Brian and Jordan have a shared passion...

Brian and Jordan have a shared passion…

Throwing rocks into bodies of water!

Throwing rocks into bodies of water!

Love these two boys.

Love these two boys.

There is something sacred about dirty camping faces.

There is something sacred about dirty camping faces.

If Jordan's arms can reach you, he will grab hold and climb up you like a ladder. Brian found a solution!

If Jordan’s arms can reach you, he will grab hold and climb up you like a ladder. Brian found a solution!

Home sweet home.

Home sweet home.

Beautiful day! Since we had life vests for everybody, it was low stress... even if somebody fell in on accident, they wouldn't sink.

Beautiful day! Since we had life vests for everybody, it was low stress… even if somebody fell in on accident, they wouldn’t sink.

Look at Margaret! She rowed Alexis up and down the shore.

Look at Margaret! She rowed Alexis up and down the shore.

Carolyn was quite brave the first day we swam, but too tired to be brave the second day.

Carolyn was quite brave the first day we swam, but too tired to be brave the second day.

I read Prince Caspian out loud while camping.

I read Prince Caspian out loud while camping.

Cuties.

Cuties.

Waves were bigger the second day, but the water was still pretty warm.

Waves were bigger the second day, but the water was still pretty warm.

Brian and I had a blast.

Brian and I had a blast.

It was quite deep, so I needed a life vest too if I was holding anybody.

It was quite deep, so I needed a life vest too if I was holding anybody.

The logs were lots of fun to climb on and jump off... and fall off. They kept rolling! Both Brian and I got to swim thanks to Alexis.

The logs were lots of fun to climb on and jump off… and fall off. They kept rolling! Both Brian and I got to swim thanks to Alexis.

Cutie.

Cutie.

It was a great time.

It was a great time.

Happy boy!

Happy boy!

Cold daughter.

Cold daughter.

Wrapping up.

Wrapping up.

Farewell for now!

Farewell for now!

Everybody playing in the water… Brian sinking the log:

Brian “going fishing” with Jordan:

The lady at the garage sale i bought these little tents from said they fold up easy to store. I told her after my kids were done with them, there wouldn’t be anything left to store.

Just a little bit of laid back outside time:

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A New Experience – Beans!

We are going to do something new… that is actually totally ordinary. We are going to eat just beans and rice (and things from our garden) for a week. Why? Because we want to stand in solidarity with a family we love which is doing well when they are eating beans and rice instead of just posho or nothing. I don’t think I appreciate what an abundance I am enjoying multiple times each day as I eat what is standard fare for middle class USA. Spaghetti, tacos, sandwiches, steak, salmon, eggs, toast, lasagna… We rarely eat the same meal twice in a row and the children are particular about what things they like and don’t like.

Our friend’s children are sometimes hungry. And sometimes they are so tired of posho that they would rather be hungry than eat more of it. So I guess our goal is twofold. The first is to stand in solidarity, having a similar experience as our friends. The second is to save grocery money, so that we can buy our friends some more food! :-)

Speaking of these friends… these friends are the Waisana family. Hello David and family!!! My parents became friends with them while they lived in Uganda. They have many children… some born to them and some taken in. They are caring for orphans even when they don’t have enough food to feed them all. I’m pretty proud of them. I’m proud of their faith in God that has not wilted in the heat of hunger or any number of struggles. Thank you, David, for holding onto hope in a God who is BIG. If God wills, I’ll meet you all in this life. If not, I look forward to having a party with you and your children in heaven!

Introducing the Waisana family!

Introducing the Waisana family!

Now… I need to make sure I have enough beans and rice for us… I don’t want to eat posho!

Here are a couple pictures of typical Ugandan meals. Posho is made out of a starchy corn flour and boiling water.

Posho and beans

Posho and beans

Rice, matoke (cooked green bananas), beans on my parents' table

Rice, matoke (cooked green bananas), beans on my parents’ table

Ugandan staples.

Ugandan staples.

Mom and Meddie being silly with Matoke.

Mom and Meddie being silly with Matoke.

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2016/2017 School Curriculum

I’ll be editing this blog post as I refine our plan for next school year.

2015/2016 Curriculum choices

Anna – 4th Grade

Subject : Curriculum Choice : lessons/week intended : lessons/week planned : goal for each subject

    1. Reading & workbook
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 5/week : 4/week
    Increased reading comprehension and vocabulary
    2. Math
    Teaching Textbooks Level 5 : 5/week : 4/week
    Increased math skills and confidence
    3. Science
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 5/week : 3/week
    Broader understanding of the natural world
    4. Social Studies & workbook
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 5/week : 2/week
    Cultural awareness and critical thinking skills
    5. Spelling
    Sequential Spelling Level 1 (continued from this year) : 3/week : 2/week
    Improved spelling
    6. Grammar
    Growing with Grammar Level 4 : 3/week : 2/week
    Ummm…. what is grammar for again?
    7. Writing
    Just Write Level 1 : not sure : 2/week
    Familiarity with the process of going from brainstorming to writing.
    8. Bible
    Christian Light Education Level 4 : 2-3/week : 2/week
    A deeper understanding than picture Bible stories
    9. History
    Story of the World Middle Ages on CD with activity book : 1/week : 1/week
    A general sense for the timeline of the human race
    10. Art
    Local classroom OR Christian Light Education Level 2 : 1/week : 1/week
    Craftmanship and fun

Maggie 1st/2nd Grade

    1. Reading & Workbooks
    Christian Light Education Learning to Read (starting with Primer 7) : 5/week : 4/week
    Increased reading proficiency
    2. Writing
    Just Write (Write About Me and Write About My World) : not sure : 4/week
    Learn to love writing
    3. Math
    Teaching Textbooks Level 3 : 5/week : 4/week
    Learn the next level of math
    4. Science
    Christian Light Education Level 1 : 5/week : 3/week
    An easy, general introduction to science subjects
    5. Typing
    Dance Mat Typing – not sure – 2/week
    Become able to type papers and emails
    6. Art
    Local classroom OR Christian Light Education Level 1 – 1/week – 1/week
    Craftsmanship and fun
    7. Music
    She would like me to teach her piano : 5/week : 4/week (one lesson plus practice)
    Learn to read music and find notes with either hand
    8. History w/ coloring pages
    Story of the World Middle Ages on CD with activity book : 1/week : 1/week
    A general sense for the timeline of the human race

Carolyn Preschool

1. Reading
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – often- 4/week
2. Learning to follow directions and make letter shapes
Generic Pre-K or Kindergarten workbook
3. Art
Some kind of self-led art… maybe one of those cut and paste books?

A few things that are in the wings:
Anna does not know her times tables or all her addition facts yet. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that yet.
Field Guide
Maggie: Christian Light Education I Can Write Manuscript : 2-3/week

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Beekeeping and More

Maggie and kitten Lucy

Maggie and kitten Lucy

The link for SteelTech is on the side of my blog.

Austin, owner of Steeltech,  digging out our old post to put in a new mailbox!

Austin, owner of Steeltech, digging out our old post to put in a new mailbox!

Jordan’s hip MRI showed good bone structure, so we are going to postpone surgery. Not sure how long we’ll postpone it as his hip joints are quite unstable… able to slide in and out of socket easily. I am so glad to have a break from all the medical appointments, though!

Waiting for Jordan to wake up from his hip MRI

Waiting for Jordan to wake up from his hip MRI

Grandma gave Carolyn a new dress. Awwwwwww.

Grandma gave Carolyn a new dress. Awwwwwww.

Mom D came and spent some quality time with us and the kittens too!

Mom D came and spent some quality time with us and the kittens too!

The kittens picked up on strings quickly.

The kittens picked up on strings quickly.

Maggie got her first ride in Pappy's airplane!!!!

Maggie got her first ride in Pappy’s airplane!!!!

Ready for takeoff!

Ready for takeoff!

The weather looked beautiful, but was quite bouncy…. and our little trooper threw up before landing. She gives one thumbs up for flying and one thumbs down for air sickness.

What this pale-face girly thinks of flying.

What this pale-face girly thinks of flying.

Boo hoo

Sad story here.

Sad story here.

It's funny to leave the water on.

It’s funny to leave the water on.

Unfortunately, the boys have started yowling at each other and there was poop in all the wrong places this morning. Can’t wait to take them in to get fixed and adopted! Six half-grown kittens are too much for one room!

Getting ready for bed is also kinda funny.

Getting ready for bed is also kinda funny.

Anna has a strong panic response to bees. But she came out! We got her covered up and made sure there weren’t places for bees to get trapped in her clothes. She recognized a queen cell on the frame before I did and was very helpful! One (just one out of the thousands) went all guard bee on us and hassled Brian and Anna, which was quite enough for Anna. Thankfully, there were no stings.

Anna was AWESOME and came for the bee hive inspection!

Anna was AWESOME and came for the bee hive inspection!

The boxes were quite full and they were building comb to the lid.

The boxes were quite full and they were building comb to the lid.

Brand new comb that wasn't there a couple weeks ago!

Brand new comb that wasn’t there a couple weeks ago!

Fascinated.

Fascinated.

We found each of the queens!

Brian took a picture of each side of each frame for me to look at later.

Brian took a picture of each side of each frame for me to look at later.

The smell in the hive was DELICIOUS.

Some torn comb along the top there had honey in it... can you see all those bees sticking their heads down to drink it up?

Some torn comb along the top there had honey in it… can you see all those bees sticking their heads down to drink it up?

These were delicious!

I like it when Brian sees cooking posts on facebook.

I like it when Brian sees cooking posts on facebook.

There ya go – pictures of our home highlights. Also happening is school prep for next year, trickling out the remainder of math and grammar for this year, working on reconnecting with the kids on a deeper level again instead of just being us/them and the increasing attitude issues, housework, cooking, dentist appointments, the kids collaborating to buy another cheap smart phone so that there are more computers to play with, reorganizing the craft room and Brian’s home office… etc. etc.

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Your Funny for the Day

Part 1… the giggle:

Part 2… over the top?:

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