Monday, May 30, 2016


I decided it was time.

Next fall Wyatt (I hope!) will be in his last quarter of college,
Tate will be starting college, and
Gunnar will be half-time at the high school and only homeschooling half-time.
And Gunnar will be (mostly) working independently,
with me just guiding and helping.
Lord willing.

So I moved a small bookshelf upstairs and started sorting out what
Gunnar and I will still need for the next two years.
It's not a lot.

And I've been organizing and pricing most of the rest.

The school room shelves looked like this:

And my office floor looked like this...

Two Sonlight History Cores

Another Sonlight History Core, and books...
PILES of books

I started organizing the piles by subject... 

And finally put them all in tubs, by subject.
My office looked like a store!
(And why did I not get any photos of that stage?)

With Kerry out of town,
I was reluctant to use craigslist,
so I put some things on facebook,
hoping my local homeschooling friends would help spread the word.

Oh boy, did they ever!

One connected me with a local homeschool buy-sell-trade-give
closed facebook group.

Boom, baby.

We are about five hundred bucks closer to Fiddle Camp,
and all those piles of books, and shelves of things are down to this:

Three shelves of things for sale,
and the bottom shelf of freebies :D


Monday, May 23, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, May 23, 2016

Outside my window...  rain, dripping from the branches of the dogwood tree.  Oh well, cool, damp spring days make it easier to finish the school year ;D

Hearing...  a very quiet house, with Tate and Gunnar working on their schoolwork, Wyatt off at the college, and Kerry out in his office.  I like the quiet :D

Pondering...  Kerry's phone has an app that tells will give him the roof pitch (slope) - cool!  But..... how did he get the photo?

Praying...  I continue to pray that my boys (and I) all finish the year strong.  I know it's not the end of the calendar year, but we still live by the school year.  And we're all so very ready to be done!

I pray that work will continue to come in for Kerry, and that he'll persevere in doing it (not that he isn't! just that it's a big step up from being under-employed in the past).

We're praying for my dad's knee to heal (50-50 that it will heal on its own, or he'll need a new one).

Thankful...  for the internet.  I know it can be a big time-waster, but I love that I can email my friends - from a family in a remote village in the Solomon Islands, or Asia, or across America, or across town :D

Gunnar had a great time at Alaska Airlines Aviation Day!

Wearing...  layers, because this is spring in the PNW.

Creating...  piles and piles and piles.  I'm culling and sorting homeschool stuff to SELL!

Going...  to take Tate to his tech school class and stop by the grocery store.  Because we need six more gallons of milk, among other things.

Learning...  books are cheap.  You'd be amazed (or maybe you already know) how many books you can get for ONE PENNY (plus a little shipping) on Amazon.  A PENNY.  So I don't need to hoard them, like a scarce resource.

Looking forward to...  we're making progress to the end of the school year :D

Last week...

Beginning of this week...

In the kitchen...  chicken parmesan for dinner :D

In the learning rooms...  um, chaos, really.  But it's temporary :D  (The piles I referenced.)

Around the house...   Even big boys think Star Wars soup is kind of cool ;D

The Mother Load...  is all about getting things culled, organized, and priced.  I'm getting close!

Noticing that...  okay, I still think they're handsome now, but look at those cuuuuuute faces!  (I think Fall 2008)

Something to remember for later...  launching kids into public school after long years of homeschooling can be kind of nerve-wracking.  I mean, I think they're brilliant!  But how will it go in a traditional classroom setting?

Very well, apparently :D

Something fun to share...  this was awhile ago, but Gunnar had forgotten.  So to prove it to him... remember that day there was a hawk right outside the schoolroom window?  PROOF.

One of my favorite things...  crossing things off the list.  DONE!!!

A favorite quote for today... 

Our lives are His, our times in His hand.  He is Lord over what will happen, never mind what may happen... If my life is once surrendered, all is well.  Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine
Elisabeth Elliot

A thought for today...  (also a quote)

"Most teens don't take protective measures from sin ("flee youthful lusts") because they believe they are much stronger and more mature than they actually are."Paul David Tripp

They need accurate practical knowledge of their own weaknesses.
We all sin, but in different ways.
Be aware of your own.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  it's a normal week (I think!) of school, violin lesson, CAP, and jobs, but we're looking forward to Memorial Day weekend coming up.  The boys will help with Festival of Flags, a Memorial Day observance, and we're invited to BBQ with friends after :D

 A peek into my world...  just some of the piles!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Boys Will Be Boys, and Carnivores Will Be Carnivores

Gunnar's assignment was to write a (short!) story and vary the length of the sentences.
Here ya go:

One day Bill was walking down the sidewalk.  All of a sudden Bill heard the sound of screeching tires.  Crash!  Bill looked in the direction the sound had come from.  "Oh no!" Bill thought.  A car had hit a deer.  The car's hood was dented pretty badly and the windshield was broken, however the driver was okay.  The deer had snapped its neck, but otherwise was fine.  

(This last sentence threw me for a minute, but wait for it...)

Bill and the driver both had steaks for dinner.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

And Finally, The Last of the Spring Baby Quilts

I guess it doesn't always happen, but sometimes babies seem to come in clusters.
(In 2013 we had FOUR in our little chapel! A banner year!)

One of my friends from the chapel had her third in February,
so this is for little Nathan :D

Isn't he a cutie?  I love his brothers, too!
(Photo shamelessly pilfered from their mom's facebook page ;D)

His older brothers got their quilts years ago.
Number one...

... and number two...

I wanted them all to be different,
but used one or two of the same fabrics in each.

The newest one has four different batiks!
I don't remember knowing the gender of the first two,
but this one I knew was a boy :D

And I needed something quick and fun,
so chevrons fit the bill.

And a bright, vibrant backing that won't show the dirt,
so they can throw it on the ground for a picnic or whatever :D

I think this is my favorite fabric - my happy colors!

And I kept the quilting really simple, so it came together really quickly.

Congratulations, Pete and Bethany :D

Monday, May 16, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, May 16, 2016.

Outside my window...  it's a cool day, but my window is open and I hear...

Hearing...  my husband, on his cel phone.  From his office, across the driveway.  Is this a universal guy thing?  (Talking loud on the phone.)

Pondering...  the agenda for today.  Places to go, errands to run...

*  for work to continue coming in for Kerry and for him not to grow weary of doing it.  Through no fault of his own, he's been underemployed for a loooooong time.  It's an adjustment to working full time and/or overtime!  And he's doing great, he just needs to continue :D
*  for the boys to finish the school year strong... especially Wyatt.
*  for my dad's knee
*  for our friend, healing from her ruptured spleen and surgery

Thankful...  for this really fun family we had over yesterday!  Some people are just easy to be around.  Gee, it's too bad the kids weren't having any fun ;D  (Wyatt had to excuse himself to go study.)

Wearing...  gray sweats, blue t-shirt, and blue long-sleeves.  It turned cold again!  Are we headed into June-uary?  Time will tell...

All eight kids (minus Wyatt) played a very vigorous game of tag at a nearby playground!

Going...  to take it easy this evening.  Already homeschooled with Gunnar, picked up Tate from HS, made lunch, brought both boys to the Tech College so Gunnar could finish language work while Tate was in class, run by the bank, by the grocery store, and home for dinner.  Because, you know, I'm a stay-at-home-mom.

Reading...  Proverbs.  Tate and I are doing a little project :D

Looking forward to...  

When this is done, Gunnar and I are on summer break!  (The little stars are for discussion.)

In the kitchen...  filled my crockpot to the brim making taco soup for dinner - used up all kinds of leftovers (corn, chicken, beef, pork), lots of beans, and yummy seasonings.  Lots of good leftovers for evenings the boys work or Kerry's lunches :D

In the learning rooms...  the countdown begins ;D

Around the house...  all is well but the kitchen floor, which desperately needs attention.  Especially before we have little people visit later in the week! 

The Mother Load...  I'm reluctant to say that it's looking more manageable, because isn't that about when the poo-poo hits the fan?  Still, it's not overwhelming right now, and that's glorious.

The next big project:  Since Wyatt is already in college, and Tate will be graduating from homeschool soon, and Gunnar will just be part-time the next two years...  I'm going to do a big sort-cull-SALE of homeschool materials.

Then we're going to move some of the rooms upstairs.  Well, re-allocate, as opposed to remodel.

Noticing that...  Gunnar's voice... it's deeper, except when it squeaks a bit.

Something to remember for later...  how wonderfully this group of kids all got along - from age 6 to nearly 20.  Gunnar looked at Lydia, in the black sweatshirt, and said, "Mom, that's probably kind of what Naomi will look like in a couple years."  And he's right - they could pass for sisters!

One of my favorite things...  the Lindor truffles the boys got me for Mother's Day.  Ahhh, they know me well!

A devotional thought...  I've been reading Elisabeth Elliot's Keep a Quiet Heart.  She has a way of cutting right to the core of things, as well as including intriguing quotes from others.  These came from a section on yearning and unfulfilled desires.

She writes:
God's not having taken away a perfectly normal human desire does not by any means indicate that we are free to pursue its fulfillment in any way we choose.

 Then she quotes George Eliot:
You are seeking your own will, my daughter.  You are seeking some good other than the law you are bound to obey.  But how will you find good?  It is not a thing of choice; it is a river that flows from the foot of the Invisible Throne, and flows by the path of obedience. I say again, man cannot choose his duties.  You may choose to forsake your duties, and choose not to have the sorrow they bring.  But you will go forth, and what will you find, my daughter?  Sorrow without duty - bitter herbs, and no bread with them.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  normal activities (school, homeschool, CAP, violin lesson), Gunnar has an appointment with the ENT (to cauterize his nose again), and I'm getting my hair trimmed.  Oh, it's a giddy whirlwind ;D

A peek into my world...  change in the weather...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Grasshopper Days

  Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, May 9, 2016

Outside my window...  a cool, sunny spring day.  A nice breeze is blowing through the dogwood outside my window and it's like sitting in a cloud of white blossoms.

We had a "Book Shower" for this mom of three boys from our chapel!

Hearing...  robins - they always sound cheery :D

Our youngest chapel member and one of our oldest :D

Pondering...  we had an absolutely lovely Mother's Day (here!) yesterday, and I took not one photo.  I was RE-LAX-ING.  Well, and hosting fourteen for lunch.  But that's fine ;D

I love the way so many chapel ladies pitched in to help  - fun people!

Praying...  my dad is seeing a surgeon tomorrow to make a plan for his knee, Wyatt is (with our approval) quitting his job to focus more on school (that's the plan), Kerry has a ton of work (yay!) and needs to keep up the pace, and a good family friend fell and ruptured her spleen on Friday (emergency! surgery! and now recovery).  Whew!

Fun!  And slightly nutty :D

Thankful...  oh so very thankful for my family.  I don't want to take them for granted :D  It was fabulous to have everyone here for Mother's Day.  And all the cousins get along.  And not just "get along", but have fun together.  I know there was a rousing game of Apples to Apples.

More lovely chapel ladies :D

 Wearing...  capri jeans, a tank top, and a summery (turquoise! lime green! blue!) shirt - all my happy colors.

Gunnar, hanging out in the Tech College library.  We take school work to do while Tate's in class.

Going...  out to dinner tonight!  Got our tax return back.  Although it's pretty much already spent (paying off a couple of things), we're carving out enough for a good dinner at Bob's Burgers and Brew :D  (News flash: my "brew" will be tea.  Iced.)

Gunnar and I were just heading out for a walk when what to my wondering eyes should appear...

Reading...  the calendar, because apparently I read it wrong.  I thought next week was our last week of Sunday school, but - lo! - I was off by a week.  There are two more.  Which is just fine :D  Yesterday I sat down for our Sunday school opening of singing, and two of my favorite little boys ran and jumped into my lap.  Love that!

Number one...

 Looking forward to...  a Malibu chicken burger with teriyaki sauce, and - if I'm lucky - sweet potato fries :D

And number two.

In the kitchen...  lots of yummy leftover baked potatoes, taco meat, and other toppings - I made extra for yesterday.  A feast for tomorrow :D

Oh, you're close to me.  I'll look at you, but not bother to move.

In the learning rooms...  Tate has just one more chapter of Economics, and he'll finish that subject - woo-hoo!  He's doing so well in his computer class that he hardly ever has to go on Friday, as he's finished the week's work already.  Gunnar and I powered through the whole week's worth of Physical Science today, as well as today's language work, and all his history reading.  We could do each day "normally" (a little of each subject), but it's kind of fun at the end of the year to start knocking them off, one by one, and finish early :D

What.  You're in my personal space.
But neener-neener, you can't shoot me
so I'll just sit her, insolently, and mock you.

Around the house...  boys.  Always, boys :D

Love this periwinkle/purple clematis!

The Mother Load...  oh boy.  I need to FIND it.  Everything got put on hold for the shower and Mother's Day!  Time to get organized.  Again.  But OH LOOK! A pretty flower!  Let's look at that instead of the Mother Load!

Noticing that...  Gunnar and I had a giggle on our walk today.  We could hear a squirrel chittering in the tree.  Can you see him?  He's on the first branch up, on the left.  (Click on the photo to make it larger.  But it's just an ordinary squirrel. Nothing too exciting.)

He was facing away and didn't notice us, because he was relentlessly scolding two fat cats, that were sitting in the driveway below him, soaking up the morning sun.  He didn't see us approaching, but they did, and they moved away.

Oh!  Victorious triumph!  His vocalizations reached new heights as he celebrated the vanquishing of his mortal enemies!

We laughed all the way home.

Something to remember for later...  Tate's cards.  They're amazingly wonderful.  And it's not just Tate.  The other boys help too, but it's his creative genius.  Here's my Mother's Day card:

I'm the mother bird, in the nest, and my three grasshoppers are wishing me a Happy Mother's Day.  And they've brought me chocolate - see the red Lindor bag?!

They also gave me a beautiful hanging basket of fuchsias :D

A favorite quote for today...  I read this quote from Martin Luther.  Words often change over time, and I suspect the word "careful" is one of them.  He seems to be meaning something more along the lines of "weighed down with care" or anxious/worried.  Anyway...

He who believes in God is not careful for the morrow,
but labors joyfully and with a great heart.
"For He giveth His beloved, as in sleep."
They must work and watch,
yet never be careful or anxious,
but commit all to Him,
and live in serene tranquility;
and with a quiet heart,
as one who sleeps safely and quietly.

Gunnar and I love the Golden Chain trees in bloom right now.
AKA Laburnum, if you want to know.

One of my favorite things...  hearing all the cousins laughing together :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...
* Tuesday - all the boys have school (various), Gunnar has his violin lesson, Wyatt and Tate work, and Tate and Gunnar will go to CAP.  I'm meeting my friend for errands, lots of mom-talk, and probably a treat :D
* Wednesday - schooling, Tech College and work for Tate
* Thursday - schooling, Tate and Wyatt work, Gunnar babysits
* Friday - Gunnar babysits, we'll have lunch with the little guy Gunnar watches and his mom :D, Tate and Wyatt have school, Wyatt works
* Saturday - Wyatt and Tate both work
* Sunday - church, and we're having friends over for lunch - yay!

So creative!

A peek into my world...  I do love spring!