Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Unorthodox Homework Position

There are lots of kids who homeschool in their pj's, but do you know any who sit like this?

January Update

Happy 2013, and praise the Lord for a great 2012!  Last year had its share of trials and difficulties like always, but those often seem to grow us, don't they?  I definitely grew!  My goal this year is to work on OCD tendencies: letting go when life isn't perfect, not stressing about whether everything is just so.  I want to rest in the Lord and remember that He's in control even when it may not seem like it.  I want to NOT assume the worst in others, to love people more, and enjoy the blessings God has given us.

Our year started busy, but things are finally slowing down to a comfortable level.  We're back in a regular school routine with two days of co-op under our belts.  I'm taking my first break from teaching in a very, very long time and . . . LOVING it!  I actually laughed when we got out of the car the first day, and there wasn't a bunch of stuff to put away.  Planning lessons, gathering and packing supplies, transporting stuff, getting it out for class, packing it back up, bringing it home, putting it all away . . . the entire process is pretty tiring, and I'm unusual in that I bring everything but the kitchen sink.  Well, not quite, but it does get ridiculous.  It'll be nice not worrying about all that for three months.  I get to chat with members, help where needed, observe classes.  With such an easy schedule, I'll probably be taking the classroom pictures for our yearbook, which I don't like doing (interrupting teachers and walking all over the place with sore feet!), but that will only require two days.  The other six should be fairly low key!

We've added voice lessons to Kylen's schooling.  He's not big into singing, but he needs to while practicing guitar.  We're hoping lessons will help him improve in that area, and the instructor is a good friend, which is a huge bonus!  At co-op, Kylen's taking basketball and continuing with Latin/Greek roots and guitar.  So he's actually practicing guitar for two different instructors: one at co-op, and one through private lessons.  He seems to be handling it well.  We are continuing with math, history, science, geography, Bible, God's World News, German, and writing stories.  I also scheduled his annual testing for later this month.

Oh!  And we're happy with how the basement is progressing!  The main areas should be finished by February.  We'll be completing the office and bath later, but those areas will be behind closed doors.  It will LOOK finished when we walk down there, and that will be amazing!

Praying all of you are having a wonderful start to your year.  I'm looking forward to another 12 months of sporadic blogging and hope you enjoy stopping by occasionally, seeing what we're up to, maybe even finding something of use or encouragement now and then.  Blessings!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Greg and Kylen spent many hours over several days scraping primer/texture/paint off the entire floor to ensure the carpet would stick when glued down.  Normally it wouldn't matter with regular carpet and padding, but we decided on commercial carpet without padding.  We wanted the floor to be hard enough to bounce balls.  After most of the scraping was done, we were told it wasn't necessary.  Oh well.  The boys got a good workout!

Here the upper "less white" portion had already been scraped while the lower area hadn't.

The carpet people came two days in a row, only staying 2 or 3 hours each time.  The first day they added cement in a spot where the floor was too low and left it to dry overnight.  The second day they installed the carpet.  We were pleased with how well it matched our paint color!

Greg's been installing outlets.  Crazy how many of them are required by law!
The boys were SOOO excited about being able to play hockey again!  They had their first game that evening on the same day it was installed.
Next step: cabinets and trim!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Our New Favorite Crock-Pot Meal

We had this at a friend's house, and it has quickly become our favorite crock-pot meal.  The gravy is absolutely fantastic!  To keep things quick and easy, you can purchase microwavable mashed potatoes.  We like Reser's Main St. Bistro Yukon Gold at Costco.  The label says it's all natural.  Comes in a two pack, and our family of three will eat both containers in one sitting if we all have seconds.  We make a mound of the potatoes in the center of the plate and ladle the stew over it.  The meat will last us two meals, so it probably serves about 6.  Add frozen corn or peas and fresh French bead with butter for a super winter day comfort meal!

Slow Cooker Manly Stew
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 (1 1/4 oz) package beef with onion soup mix
3 lbs beef stew meat

Pour soups into slow cooker and mix well.  Add beef, cover, cook on low 8 hours or high for 4 hours.  (Our crock-pot will burn food on the edges, so I stir this about 4 or 5 times.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013


We don't get icicles like this.  Taken at my parents' house.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas with My Parents

We picked up Grandma on the first and headed over to my parents' house for Christmas with them, my sister's family, and brother Ryan.

Kylen, Greg, My Parents, and a Yummy Ham Dinner Waiting
Kylen had his first guitar "recital."  He plucked two songs, and the other two were strummed as we sang.  He did great!
Playing a Game
Dad and My Sister
Their Tree
Dad Reading from the Bible Before Gifts

Kylen was really into the wrapping paper battles!
We were all reluctant to stop playing bananagrams at the end, but we had two hours of driving ahead of us.  So we packed up our stuff (way more than we brought!), said our goodbyes, and headed home.  Thus Christmas officially ended.  It was a busy holiday season but a good one!

Our Favorite Christmas Gifts

I probably wouldn't normally do a Christmas present post, but we got such nice gifts from a variety of friends and family, I wanted to share a few pics.  Plus, it gives a glimpse into some of our interests!

So cute!  Friends brought it back from their trip to CA.  Note: we removed the chocolate!
Half pound Reece's cups from Hubby from my wishlist!
Perfect combo: I'm crazy about tiny things and parties.
We'll all enjoy learning some new strategy board games!

From my friend Kris.  I love these!

Kylen's Favorite

Beautiful Chess Set from Greg's Parents

Always my favorite Christmas gift.  Kylen paints this in a class, and it gets wrapped before he brings it home.
From Melody.  Sitting next to our nativity set!

Who doesn't like gift cards?!

Then there are the super hero glasses, Kylen's LEGO calendar, Kris got crafty and made us a dry erase board with backgrounds that can be swapped out, my mom set me up to try out Chinese brush painting (always up for trying a new art!), and there were lots more things I could post about, but it's too much work!  Lol!  Thank you everyone!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Day

I can think of no way I'd rather spend Christmas Day in this crazy busy season than quietly at home, just the three of us.  Thankfully, we've managed to do that the last several years.  We cooked enough the day before to have decent left-overs for dinner and made a simple breakfast of sausage, eggs, and toast.  Slept in, relaxed, played.  Works for me!

Christmas with Greg's Parents

We always celebrate Christmas with Greg's parents by eating dinner out followed by dessert and gifts at their house: a pleasant and relaxing way to spend the evening.  :)



What's happening behind the mysterious wall of plastic this time?
BLUE!!!  Wait.  Blue??  Huh?  Why blue?
You'll see.