Summer 2014

This summer was a good mix of relaxation, home organizing, decluttering, getting into a new routine, container gardening, and enjoying the sunshine. I worked on getting myself into a new routine by starting each morning with exercise and prayer. I had fallen away from this habit and really needed to get myself into this routine again. I spent time decluttering and organizing the house and planning our school year. The kids had the routine of a few school lessons everyday unless they had camp that week. It was a good balance of work and play. Jason took a few weeks off work so we did some fun family activities and he got some extra golf in. Here are some pictures from our summer.

Go Cart Fun!
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Annika and Zane with their children.
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Great Plains Nature Center
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Zane playing with his new snake
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Zane all ready to make Jason’s birthday cake.
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The master egg cracker at work. He never gets shells in the bowl when he cracks egg.
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The Cake.
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Excited for Jason to open their present.
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Jude and Annika off to Totus Tuus.
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Zane made this creation on his sand and water table. He enjoys getting to play with me when they are at Totus Tuus.
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4th of July. This is the first year we bought sparklers for them and they were impressed.
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I took Zane to the bathroom and Annika was being stalked by this Peacock at the Zoo, it was really funny.
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Silly Boys!
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Journal: Camp Time

Outside my window:

It rained last night and it looks like we will have a mild start to our week.

Around the house:

Laundry on Mondays.  I also have been making my way through my for sale and donate piles.  Sold some old toys last week and plan to list some more things today.  Really need to steam clean my carpet.

The kiddos:

Annika had her first day camp experience last week.  Her camps focus was on horseback riding and she loved every minute of it.  She definitely wants to go back next year.  My house was a lot quieter without my chatty girl around.

Jude is doing a Lego camp this week that is Space/Star Wars themed.  It is an afternoon camp program and he has really been looking forward to it.

Jude and Annika finished their 2 week session of swim lessons.  They both did really well.  Jude was dissappointed that he did not pass the class and Annika did.  He is really close and just has a few things to work on.

Zane has been continuing with the once a week Mom’s Day Out program, which makes him feel like he gets to do something fun of his own each week.

Our summer schedule is going really well.  It seems to be a good balance for the kids and they are doing really well at keeping the house tidy.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu: Chili, Golden Honey Chicken, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Meatsauce and Spaghetti, Pizza, and Breakfast for dinner.

Crafting:

I have done a little bit of knitting.  I did teach Annika’s friend, that is our neighbor, how to knit and she learned very quickly.  I have been seeing her knit quite a bit.  Annika goes in spurts with her knitting.  I would like to do a little sewing now that my sewing area is cleaned.

Learning:

We are on our summer lesson schedule.  Annika and Jude and both doing Math and Math Fact Drills this summer.  Jude is trialing a new spelling program and so far we are really liking it!  We are also doing some fun science experiments and reading lots of books.  Zane has been picking out different activities to do each day.  Mostly we are reading, doing puzzles, and playing games.

I made my list of curriculum that I need to purchase for our upcoming school year and now have been browsing my favorite used book resources to get some good deals.  So far so good.

Bringing me joy:

Outdoor activities with the kids, Jude’s impressive Lego creations, and seeing the kids play with each other.

Thinking about:

I have been listening to the weekly Podcasts for The Little Oratory and really enjoying these.  I did get a copy of the book last week.  Lots of good food for thought on living our faith at home.

Pictures to share:

This is what Zane picked out when we shopping, the hat and tie.  He has wanted me to buy him a tie for a long time and well the hat was really cute.  He has been wearing them a lot.  Oh and the face!

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Annika’s First Day of Camp

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From Father’s day.  We went to our local botanical gardens and enjoyed their kite festival.

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Journal: Summer Break Begins

Outside my window:

Feeling like summer!

Around the house:

Today was laundry day.  I do our laundry and most of my household chores on Monday so that I can focus on other funner things the rest of the week.  I still have a few organization projects that I am working on but it has improved a lot the past two weeks.

The kiddos:

They are enjoying summer break.  The older two start swim lessons tomorrow for the next two weeks.  I took them to the waterpark at the YMCA last week and that was lots of fun.

I took Annika to get her ears pierced over the weekend and enjoyed some mommy daughter time with her.  It is hard to believe she is growing up so much.

Our summer schedule seems to be going well.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu:  Turkey and Rice Casserole, Tacos, Garlic Chicken, Opee Sea Crunch, Pizza, and Breakfast for dinner.  Made Roasted Garlic Cauliflower for the first time a few weeks ago and oh my this is seriously yummy stuff.  This is now in our regular veggie side dish rotation.

Crafting:

I went through my yarn stash last weekend and Annika enjoyed picking out some yarns.  Now that I have everything organized hopefully I can start a few projects.

Learning:

We have been on a two week break after finishing school and are just starting our summer lessons today.  Working on spelling and math over the summer.  With some fun science and Spanish added in.  Zane is going to keep on with Reading Eggs.  All the kids are signed up at the library for their summer reading program.

Bringing me joy:

Sunshine.  Swimming with kids.  Growing my own veggies.  Taking walks with the kids.  Spending “date nights” at home with the hubby after the kids are in bed.

Thinking about:

How much the kids are growing.  Would like to put the breaks on it sometimes.

Pictures to share:

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Journal: 4th Week of Advent

Outside my window: 

Very cold and white.  The kids had fun playing in the snow yesterday!

Around the house:

Planning some cleaning and laundry today.  I want everything in good order before Christmas so I can have plenty of chilled out time with the hubby and kids.

The kiddos:

The kids are looking forward to Christmas.  They are done with all their activities for the month and we are on school break so they are looking forward to free time.

We have had a fun few weeks going to the Christmas Symphony Concert, Illuminations at Botanica, and celebrating the feasts of St. Lucy and St. Nicholas.  The kids also had their Christmas choir concert for their homeschool group.  All three kids participated in the concert.  Zane did not do a lot of actual singing but he did the actions to the songs and I was proud of him for getting up in front of everyone.  Annika did an amazing job, she really learned how to project her voice and she received lots of complements on her singing.  Jude did a very good job in his group singing and they all seemed to enjoy the experience.

Zane finally had most of his speech evaluation done last week and we have the rest of it scheduled right after school break is over. I am eager to get him started on speech services and pray that stuttering is something he can learn to manage.

In the kitchen:

On the menu:  Chili, Chicken and Noodles with gluten free homemade egg noodles, Pizza, Tacos, and Beef and Cheddar Melts.

Crafting:

I have been helping Annika with some sewing on her machine and I put together a really cute Alphabet book like this one for my Godson for Christmas.

Learning:

On school break for the next few weeks.  I always enjoy breaks it gives me a chance to reflect on how our school year is going and make plans or changes for the year.  We are definitely on a good path this year and I don’t forsee much in the way of changes.

Bringing me joy:

Seeing the kids sing in their concert, celebrating the Litugical Year,  our Christmas lights and decorations, taking time to slow down, family, getting all my present wrapping done, celebrating my 38th Birthday, and my new warm slippers!  I have also been enjoying this Advent/Christmas ebook from Catholic Culture.

Pictures to share:

St. Nicholas made a visit to our house.  The kids left him milk and an apple, they figured he was tired of all those cookies.  St. Nicholas always brings books and candies for the kids.  Jude got a Lego Brickmaster book, Zane a Ninjago book , and Annika a Garfield book.

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Our Christmas Tree. We decorated on St. Lucy’s feast day. We also made Pepparkakor cookies for our Tea Time and these were very yummy!  Annika and Zane served the cookies.

I liked this picture because it shows our cat eating our tree, which he does every year, yum fake pine needles!

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Annika in her dress and St. Lucy crown.
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Illuminations at Botanica. Lots of fun every year!
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Moments From Our Week 17

These are a few moments from our last two weeks.

A nature walk on a beautiful morning.  A few of our nature finds.

I believe this spider was carrying an egg sac.

A beautiful Kansas day.

The kids with Jason on Father’s Day.

Jude spent a whole week at a Star Wars themed day camp.  I sure missed having him around, but was very happy he had so much fun.  Here is a picture of Jedi Master Jude.

Moments from our week 14

One of the big projects we have been working on for the past month is the kid’s bedrooms.  We had decided awhile ago that when Zane turned 3 he would move into  Jude’s room and Anni would move into Zane’s room and have her own room.  So we have been busy painting and getting bed’s ready.  Last week I finally got Annika’s bed put together.  These are a few teaser pictures, I plan to do a post of before and after pictures of the rooms.  I hope to finish the rooms over the next weekend.

Annika really likes her new bed.

The trio, who moments before this picture were attacking each other, all in fun of course.

We had a fun weekend of celebrations for my neice’s high school graduation.  My sister was in town for the graduation and we got to spend time together and the kids got some fun playing time in with their cousins.

We signed up for summer activities and I have been working on our summer school schedule.  We will take next week off school and then start our summer schedule the following week.  I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on our school year as it comes to close and planning for next year.

What we have been up to…

I thought I would post about what has been going on here, since I had a little blogging break.

  • In January I posted about my hubby starting a part time accounting job, which we were excited about.  Shortly after he started the director (who hired him) resigned and there were some uncertainty about his position there, but that has worked out and he is going to be starting there full time in April.  We are very excited about this.
  • The hubby has also been busy with finishing up his last 2 classes for his Accounting degree and he finished this week.  We are so excited he is done, it has been 4 years since he returned to school to finish his degree.
  • There have been some stressful times over the past few months.  I was vanless for about a month while my van needed a major repair.  So grateful for my dad, who helped us pay for this repair.  At that time we had someone online steal my debit card number and charge a large amount of money. We had to file a fraud report with the police and are still working with the bank to get the rest of this money back, boo.
  • My sister and her family just moved to Wisconsin.  I’m going to miss her and my neices and nephews but look forward to future road trips.
  • School with the kids is moving right along.  Working with Jude sometimes make me want to pull my hair out but overall things are going great.  Recently finished reading  When Children Love To Learn:  A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosphy for Today and it was just what I needed to read right now, what a great book.
  • Jude just finished up his last class of TaeKwonDo for the winter session is taking a break until summer.  He will be ready to belt test for his yellow belt when he returns this summer.   Annika will be trying out soccer this spring and she is really excited about this.  Both Jude and Annika took swim lessons in February and will start more classes again next month.  Both kids love the water but Annika has really taken to swimming and is getting very good.
  • Zane has been transitioning out of taking an afternoon nap and this has had its ups and downs.  Zane is such an opinionated and lively little guy.  His favorite thing right now is to tell me “wrong wrong wrong” when I do something he doesn’t like.
  • I have been working on plans for the new business that I am starting and have been devoting free time to this.   I am really excited about this and will share on my blog about this soon.

That is what we have been up to.   And because I think my blog posts are better with a few pictures here are a couple from a recent zoo trip.  We are really enjoying this spring weather!