Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That I would love to go play tennis more. My Sweetie and I got to play yesterday and I realized what good exercise it is (by how sore I am today), and how much fun it can be.

What I'm reading: The Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp. I am excited to read about heart issues and adolescents.


What I'm listening to:
God With Us by Mercy Me. '....You know our hearts don't deserve Your glory, still you show a love we cannot afford...'

What we're learning:
This is my school planning week. We start our new school year next Tuesday and I am still missing 3 books. (Hurry up UPS....) I also need to plan for the co-op and make sure I have all our school supplies; like paper, pencils, glue and those cute little pencil sharpeners.

What I'm watching:
The 4 male rabbits lazing around doing absolutely nothing but eating my food. Truly, they are not doing me any good and since no one wants to buy them, I am probably going to give them away this week.

What's cooking:
This week I am making Artichoke, Spinach and Feta stuffed pasta shells; served with marinara and pasta, french bread and a green salad. A nice glass of Merlot rounds out the flavors.

What I'm buying:
I'm headed this week to a local homeschooling store to get one last writing book for Dasher and some flashcards. And walking into this store is like being in a candy shop, so I am really going to have to watch myself.

What I'm thankful for:
For the leadership in our church. They work very hard and sacrifice much to guide, encourage and teach the congregation.

What I'm creating: I took lots of photos yesterday at the park so I am planning to spend some time editing them.

What I'm praying:
Pleading prayers to God about the mom in our congregation who was just diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Prayers for her husband and 4 children as they make some decisions this week.

What I'm planning:
This week I have a couple reviews to write, I am spending a day doing school planning, then a friend and her daughter are going to come hang out at the pool with us one day. Next weekend we are spending up at our friend's; then a church Labor Day party on Monday.

What we did this last weekend: We had a nice day around the house on Saturday. We recently got some more Dutch Blitz cards and now 5 of us can play, so we had Dutch Blitz Wars Saturday night. Sunday we heard a great sermon on I Thes. 5:12-13 and those who labor among us, then that afternoon was our church's last summer picnic. My Sweetie, Mr. Lego and Bookworm were in a flag football game, the other girls picked blackberries and I played volleyball.

What I'm looking forward to:
I am really looking forward to school starting. I'm planning to blog about my curriculum choices soon and also a new challenge I am taking up.

A picture to share:

~Summer tomatoes

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blogging ABC's

I have seen this on a couple blogs and thought it would be fun to do it here too. I have lots of links that I visit and maybe you might find them useful as well.

So this is how this works: I am opening a new browser window on my computer. I will start with an A and see what spot my computer thinks I am going to visit. Here goes....

A-Adobe photoshop I just recently purchased Photoshop Elements and have been on their site a lot figuring out the program. So far I can say that I really like it and what it can do with my photos.

B- Blue Ball Mason Jars I was checking out the jars I recently bought to see if I could see how old they are. This is a great article.

C- ca4h.org The 4-H site, which reminds me that I still need to register the kids for this year.

D- Darth Vader Someone in my house (most likely my son) looked up Darth Vader recently. And now I remember....there is a drawing of Vader's helmet up in his room.

E- El Dorado County Fair This must have been leftover from the County fair we visited in our nearby county.....

F-Fruit Filled ice cubes This is what I looked at over the weekend as something quick and fun we could do when it got hot this week. And that was the last time I looked at this site....the week turned out busier then I thought it would. But it isn't over yet!

G- Getting gum off of carpet Self explanatory. And just in case you were wondering, the WD-40 worked the best.

H Hardest Game in the World. My kids love this game....you are a red square and you have to navigate through this maze avoiding all the circles, which move. Very addicting.

I- Identifying a Bug Yes, I like to know what I am dealing with, right down to the Genus and Species. And this site has photographs to help you figure out what is bugging you.

J-JC Penney Portraits This is where we go to get our pictures taken. I pay $39 every 2 years to be a portrait club member and then go to this site and get a coupon. I don't pay a sitting fee and if I get the package I walk out the door for $7.99. Great deal when you have 4 kids. I take each of them around their birthday, (I am behind and Nutsy hasn't gone yet) a summer picture of all 4 and then our family Christmas photo.

K- KW Cages This site has the best prices for all the things you need for your cuddly rabbit.

L-Line Rider Mr. Lego loves playing this....you create a track for your penguin using the mouse and then he goes down it and you see if he can survive without falling. Great physics lessons.

M-Math U See My favorite math curriculum of all time. And now that I have found out that they have printable worksheets on their site, I am there a lot.

N-Northern California Camping Checking out this site for good camping spots.....

O-Overstock A fun place to look for discounted stuff at cheap prices.

P-Photoshop Elements popped up first but since I already linked to that I'll pick the next one...Praetorian. I think this is left over from school research we did for history last year. And the site that comes up? Wikipedia. We love Wikipedia.

Q-Queen Anne Not sure why I was looking for this, but another Wiki entry. And I love history.

R-Rabbit Pedigree Form When I sell the rabbits I need to provide pedigree papers for the buyer and this site has a great one I can print out and fill in.

S-Sam's Club I remember looking this one up a couple weeks ago....our Sam's Club had an open house and I had never been in one since we go to Costco. It was nice, seemed just like Costco, was not as crowded, but the clincher for the kids was that there were no samples!

T- Toby Mac's Made to Love A song we listen to when we are doing our afternoon chores.

U-Using dried beans as a pie weight I needed to know if the beans I used would be edible after baking. And just so you know, they are not.

V-Veritas Magazine A friend of mine recently started writing for this neat looking online magazine.

W-What time is it in the world? I was probably answering a question about time zones or earth rotation.

X-Nothing. I have never looked up something on my computer that started with an X.

Y-Youtube. Our recent views were Abbot and Costello's Who's on First,a Japanese glass juggler and Sand Art.

Z-Zilliogames I reviewed the Mini Mountain from this site. It was a really fun one that my kids enjoy.

This was fun, wasn't too embarrassing and didn't take that long to do. I would love to see your ABC list too sometime.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That it would be fun to do some summer cooking this week in the kitchen with the girls. Like experimenting with homemade ice cream bombs, frozen pops and freezing chopped fruit in ice cubes.

What I'm reading:
I bought a Frugal Gourmet cookbook at a thrift store this last week. I love the way Jeff Smith describes his food!

What I'm listening to:
Nerf Wars going on around me. There are 6 kids here having an early morning all out war with them.

What we're learning:
We heard a great sermon yesterday about putting on faith, by looking at our own despairing depravity and then to Christ and His saving work. And I am thankful that in our church our children sit right with us and hear the same message.

What I'm watching:
We watched Apollo 13 over the weekend. And I am reminded again of the amazing wisdom God gave man to be able to travel through space and land on the moon.

What's cooking:
I am making Pesto Chicken with Linguine tonight. My basil plants have been confused all summer and have kept trying to go to seed, so this last Friday at our local Farmer's Market I found some good looking bunches to purchase.

What I'm buying:
I have one last book to buy that our co-op is using this year as the kids learn about California history.

What I'm thankful for:
My house. Even though it is small by today's standards, I love it just how it is. Smaller houses clean faster. :-)

What I'm creating:
This week the kids and I are planning to do a 1000 piece puzzle in the school room.

What I'm praying:
A mom of 4 from our church is in the hospital this morning having a biopsy done on a mass in her chest. I am praying for the doctors, God's healing and her family.

What I'm planning:
My Rainbow Resource order should be arriving this week so my school planning will naturally begin.

What we did this last weekend: We did little things around the house on Saturday, then after church we had a family over for fellowship.

What I'm looking forward to:
A quiet week with little planned. We will have temperatures in the 100's later this week so we plan to be at the pool a lot.

A picture to share:


~Taken at our church dance last week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Leap of Faith

Life is always about learning. Whether you are 2 or 92 there is always something to be learned, but when it is something about yourself that you thought you already knew it can be very humbling. And last week on our camping trip I learned a few new things about myself.

On the other side of the lake that we were visiting was a spillway. Which had a walkway over the cement part. It looked like this:


Now before you start thinking that we were endangering ourselves and our kids, the Ranger himself told us to go check it out and jump (and not because he didn't like us). And another mom there had jumped hundreds of times from this spot when she was growing up. Perfectly safe.

Yeah, right.

So the second day a lot of us went over to check it out.


Then some people, interestingly enough the young people, starting flinging themselves from the top.

Down....

Down....

Down.

Some of them even launched themselves into the air to get as high as they could.


After some of the adults saw that none of the kids had any lasting effects from the high jumping, they started taking the leap.


Yes, that is my Sweetie up there and after thinking about it for a while he did finally jump.


When I saw that he had jumped, with his fear of heights, I handed my camera to a friend and headed to the top. Now I am not scared of heights. I love being at the top of the Ferris wheel and walking across high bridges. I don't consider myself a timid person; I like adventure and but I still value my life too much to do really crazy things. And jumping off this bridge, that 12 year olds were flying off of was certainly not dangerous, right?

So I walked to the top, took off my flip flops and went over the side and onto the railing.

And froze.

My friend next to me said, "Come on, let's go." And I said, "In a minute." The next thing I hear is a splash, and she was gone. Now I wasn't scared of being that high. I wasn't even scared of the falling feeling. What was on my mind was would happen when I hit the water. Would I go 15 feet under and not be able to swim to the surface? Would I get disoriented and start swimming down instead of up? How close was the nearest Emergency room?


Yes I know I was smiling in that picture, but I was quaking inside. So I stood there, for I don't know how long, staring at the water and thinking. Big mistake. One time I let go and started leaning out, then had to catch myself on the bar. People around me were giving lots of advice and trying to count down for me; that actually really bugged me because I wanted to be in control of when I jumped.

While I was contemplating my fate, this kind of stuff was going on around me.



By now another friend was standing next to me and she suggested jumping together. During a few confusing statements like, "Are we counting down from three?"and, " Are we jumping on three or in that next second?", I resolved myself.

And jumped. Or rather stepped off the bridge.


The fall was fine, hitting the water was fine (although I had my hands out so my palms stung for a few minutes afterwards) and even though I went down what seemed like 10 feet underwater, I popped right back up to the surface. I had jumped!

The feeling of accomplishment was enormous, but I was bothered by a few things. The reaction I had when stepping out onto the ledge was not how I thought I would react. I lost all my confidence. But I have learned in life that all trials teach me something so I looked for the lesson.

Lessons Learned

1. I am not as big as I think I am. When I stepped out up there, suddenly I was 2 feet tall and not able to swim. Even my lady friends were leaping off without a second thought and here I was, frozen to the bridge. Another reminder that humility can be learned in many ways...

2. I need accountability. Having that friend up there who suggested counting off and jumping together was what clinched my decision to jump at that time. I didn't need someone telling me to jump, I needed someone to jump with me.

3. That I need to prepare beforehand. After the jump we all compared notes and the people who got up and jumped right away had all done the same thing. They had resolved themselves, while walking up to the bridge, that they would step over the railing, count to three and jump. No checking out the sights, no thinking about how it would feel or what could happen...just step up and jump. I did not do that, partly because I thought I would not feel any fear at all and just step up and jump. Not.

And this bridge jumping thing was a family affair; Mr. Lego did jump 3 times off. I never got a picture but only this:

Bookworm stood on the ledge for quite a while, then decided to save it for next year and jumped from the lower wall.


And one final thing, we all thought when we were jumping that the height of the bridge was 45 feet (that was what the Ranger said) But later that day one of the guys went out and measured the jump and from the top railing it was a measly 26 feet.

So the big question is this: Will I jump next year? Would you?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Camping 2010

We went on our church camping trip this last week. It is always an adventure and this year was no exception. The first order of business was setting up camp. Our tent was all wacky (maybe from getting wet last year when it rained on our previous camping trip?) so it was really hard to put up, one seam was tearing and the zipper would not close. Ah well, that was why I brought clothespins, right?

We had dinner with a couple other families, all sharing salads and grilled chicken. Then after our evening devotions we started with the games. A lot of the adults played Speed Scrabble for a couple hours, while the younger kids played Bluff and Mafia.

The first morning we had pancakes and sausage for breakfast. (I really love taking pictures but sometimes I need a break so I didn't touch my camera until the second day.)



Only 18 hours into the camping trip and she is filthy.



That afternoon we headed to the beach which quickly got dubbed 'Rocky Beach'. Note to self: water shoes are essential next year. My Sweetie, a friend and I swam across a part of the lake to a spot we were scoping out for the next day. What looked like a lovely, sandy beach from afar turned into a mud hole that we sunk 6 inches into each time we took a step. So back to the original spot.

Back at camp, the kids rode around and around our group site in their bikes, blades and scooters.




Dinner the second night was our BBQ night, with everyone sharing side dishes. Inside this dutch oven is marinated trip tip roasts.


Yum.




After dinner each night we would have our evening devotions. Our pastor went through John 15 and talked about Jesus being the vine and branches and what abiding in Christ means. We also sung hymns each night. Which sound so lovely echoing in the trees.




Then game night again! The second night we taught a bunch of the adults how to play Cocktails. And of course a rousing game of Speed Scrabble, where a certain friend kept her winning streak from the last three years of camping trips.



Yes, I got a bit of sun that day.

Back to the beach the next day....a bunch of people faced their fears and took a leap of faith. I'll blog more about that later but all I'll say now is that it involved a high bridge, air and water.


Here is Bookworm in one of the inflatable boats we used.



Back for our last evening of camping and Camp Taco Night.


Sweet Girlies.

Our final night we always have a talent/skit show.

Here some of the adults did a skit saying So Long, Farewell, to our camping trip.


Bookworm and her friends did a skit about a bear who snored in his sleep.



And Mr. Lego participated in a Chubby Bunny contest.

And finally, to either get you in the mood for adventure camping or cure you of your desire for spending time out in the wilderness, a sampling of the bugs and critters we saw.




There was a bear sighting, but these were not like the Tahoe bears that come right up to you and take your plate of food out from under your nose; so while we all rushed over to that side of the camp, he hightailed it back into the wilderness.

It was a fun filled 4 days, but I was very happy to get back to my clean bed, hot shower and washing machine.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That I learned a lot about myself this last week, and that deep, deep down I am wimp.

What I'm reading:
I am going to sit down and have some reading time later this week....after I do the 6 loads of laundry from the camping trip and after I do my major monthly shopping.

What I'm listening to:
A couple of little voices upstairs and breakfast sounds coming from the kitchen.

What we're learning:
We start school back up either the 30th of August or the 7th of September...it all depends on when the books I have ordered and still need to order arrive.

What I'm watching:
My son turn into a man. Seriously, this last couple weeks he looks so much older to me.

What's cooking: Tonight I am making an easy crockpot recipe called Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken. I triple the spices listed in the recipe and make Basmati rice and roasted vegetables on the side.

What I'm buying:
I'm headed to Costco, Winco, Target and Trader Joe's in the next couple days. Yup, it is monthly shopping time again.

What I'm thankful for:
For precious friends to go camping with. That no one was hurt while we were in the mountains.

What I'm creating:
Today? Clean laundry and full cupboards.

What I'm praying:
That I would become more spiritually alert and ready for Christ's coming.

What I'm planning: School lesson plans are on my brain now. I have some ideas milling around but this week I really need to sit down and plan specifics.

What we did this last weekend: We were camping on Friday and Saturday, then church on Sunday. After church a couple families went to the park with us and we played volleyball for a while.

What I'm looking forward to:
Later this week we have our summer ball at church; another rousing contra dance.

A picture to share:


~My Sweetie and I on the camping trip. I definitely felt much dirtier then I looked here....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That I love my precious babies so much. And even though my oldest is 3 inches taller than me, they are all still my babies. (Just don't tell him that.)

What I'm reading:
It's August now, right? And my 12 books in 12 months was supposed to be done this month. And since I don't think I can read 4 hefty books (one with 518 pages) in the next month, I now realize I can't make my deadline. But that doesn't mean I am quitting. I am just going to change the 12 books thinkgy on my sidebar to Books I Am Planning To Read....

What I'm listening to:
Complete silence at this very moment.....which I am sure is to change very soon. Some kids are outside taking care of the rabbits, others are upstairs being very quiet. I need to go see what is going on upstairs....

What we're learning:
This last weekend the 3 older ones recited Psalm 1 and a poem at our church's talent show. Another reminder of how much I appreciate our co-op and that our formal schooling will be starting up again soon.

What I'm watching:
My garden's harvest. We are getting a couple zucchini every few days, the tomatoes are in full harvest and I was happy to find 3 baby cuks out there over the weekend.

What's cooking:
Camping food is on my mind right now. For the dinners, all the campers pitch in and bring side dishes, but I am going to buy those not-so-good-for-you Cup of Noodles, snacks and sandwich stuff for lunches.

What I'm buying:
I need to order some school materials this week; I am buying most of my stuff from this great site.

What I'm thankful for:
The lovely weather we have been having. Seriously, the last few days it has been only in the low 90's and high 80's and yesterday we had a very nice breeze. But I am sure we have hotter temps coming soon.

What I'm creating: Pretty pictures. I am planning to edit some photos later today from the play the kids were in. I finally bought Photoshop Elements and am having fun manipulating the photos.

What I'm praying:
That I would daily be reminded of the awesome work of Christs' death; that He took God's wrath which was meant for me on Himself .

What I'm planning:
We are going on our annual church camping trip this week. So that means I have to dig out the grubby clothes for the kids, dust off all the camping stuff and go buy lots of marshmallows at the store. I don't want to run out of them like I did last year.

What we did this last weekend: The kids did a great job in the play on Friday, on Saturday we remodeled the rabbitry, then after a powerful sermon and the talent show on Sunday we spent the afternoon at a park playing soccer and volleyball with friends.

What I'm looking forward to:
Our camping trip will be fun for sure....we always have something crazy happen so we will see what it is this year.

A picture to share:

~The Matres Magistres Co-op reciting Psalm 1 and The Months.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Family Reunion 2010

Last week our family drove up into Oregon where most of my extended family lives. It was only for 4 days but we packed in a ton of fun stuff to do.The kids had fun playing in the backyard....


The bubble toys were a big hit.



That first night we had burgers for dinner. The only place where we can all eat together is in my Aunt's backyard so we set up long tables and ate al fresco.


The second day we went on the river; I didn't want to make this one massive long post so I will make another blog post about that later.


That evening we had our big BBQ, with one of my cousins'-in-law (I am so bad with genealogy relationship terms) in charge of the grilling.



The grilled spiced corn was a hit.


Then we hit the pool for some friendly volleyball.


We found that volleyball is a totally different game when played in the water.



Then we heated up the coals on the grill because we are not in California anymore and once that Oregon sun goes down it gets a bit chilly.



The next day we played a fun game; Cornhole. I guess it is totally popular in the midwest and south....basically it is a glorified bean bag toss but a ton of fun.


Then back in the pool; this time with all my little grand cousins or whatever they are called.


Bookworm, swimming with the cousins.



After dinner we had the best dessert of the weekend; vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches and just-picked raspberries on top.



Then another bonfire with marshmallows because it was even chillier then the night before.

I'm thinking that Dasher got her marshmallow a little too burned for her liking.


We finished off the night with a competitive game of Cocktails; a really fun card game. Bookworm almost won it but one of my cousins snuck up in the last round and beat her.


The last day we all went to church then we started the long drive home. We planned out both our stops and beat our old record by 10 minutes.

I am so thankful for my extended family; for the hands that made the food, the minds that did the organizing and the people who made it special!