August 18, 2017

Last day of school/We have a name!

While the rest of the world is posting "first day of school" pictures, we're just wrapping.
  What a year it has been!

To finish off preschool, 1st grade and 4th grade, we had cinnamon rolls, played a math game and took spelling tests.  We also did a solar eclipse craft to finish up science and the best way to end the year of all; we're flying to Kansas to see the eclipse!!!

Ben took the day off work and did reading with the boys and then took all the kids out.  They came home saying, "Thank you for being our teacher!" and were each holding a gift.  I am very blessed to  have a husband who tells me daily that he appreciates my work and teaches our kids to do the same.

Ben also bought them all new underwear (packing brought it to our attention that all of the underwear in the house has fallen into that long lost abyss that random socks go does this happen?!) and let them each pick a treat for movie time.

And now for the reveal of the name of our school.

 This is the top of the report card Ben made for Alison, that she used to get her first military ID:

We have been talking for several months about naming our school.  It's something that was really important to us as we've felt stronger and stronger that this is the right path for our family.  We wanted to give our kids an answer they were proud of when people ask, "Where do you go to school?" and we want them to have something they can confidently write on their college applications and job resumes.  Our school name is Windsor Academy.  I spent a lot of time thinking about our school name and I wanted it to encompass more than just a title.  Our school is unique; year round schooling, with moves and deployments scattered throughout and little trips to explore the world around us.  The name came to me when I starting thinking about where this path began.  We were in Virginia and my heart was stirring towards homeschooling.  It was on Windsor Castle Trail that I felt an overwhelming peace and answer that I was supposed to teach our children.  I remember a smile came over my face and I was excited about this new adventure.  It was on that trail that I spent hours praying over our school and our kids.  It was a place Ben and I LOVED and would talk about life through our runs.  It was also a place where we would go to regroup as a family and go on nature walks.  It's where it all began, but more than that, it's a perfect metaphor for our school.  We are on a path; it's hilly, windy, rocky and absolutely beautiful.  There are times that running the path is challenging, but there are other days that the flowers are blooming and we soak up the beauty of it.  It's always an adventure and changes throughout the seasons, but we will work hard to complete the course.

August 10, 2017

This week

Eli had his last basketball game and did amazing!  Something in this last game really clicked and it was fun to see him get comfortable playing with the bigger kids (he's the youngest on his team).  I am so thankful for this coach and the other parents.  Though they were pretty quiet and to themselves, they were supportive and encouraging to all the kids and made it a really great experience.

That afternoon they had an end of season pool party.  Not very many people showed up and we only stayed for a little was too crazy hot and the water was warm, but Eli wanted that trophy!

Little Miss has really been into joining my workouts. 

The big even of this week was we met the White's at the Y and while Laurel and I took a Barre class (which was SO much fun) and Alison and Aline did a little weight circuit for kids.  If they could make the boys run laps to burn off all their energy it would be a perfect combination.

Ben still holds the title of "feeder of last bites".  He teases Colin that he is always going to feed him, but Colin was sure by 5 he would be done.  He was wrong.  Colin has always sat next to Ben for this reason...Ben will just nonchalantly shovel food in his mouth, without him really noticing what is happening, but it's getting in every last calorie that we can.  Last night, Eli decided to be lazy and asked daddy to shovel in his food too.  It was the first time that he double teamed feeding our kids and let's not forget that they're 5 and 7!

August 6, 2017


Poor Eli's picture didn't turn out.  He looked so cute in real life...


 It rained a few times this week!  Not very much or long, but when it did, we stopped everything and went outside.  It was nice to be outside for longer than a minute, although it was still over 100 and very humid.

The plant you see growing, is the only thing alive in our yard right now.  Ironically, it's a melon plant Ben found tossed out at Lowe's (he was picking up some leftover sod), planted it to see what would happen and off it grew.  Hopefully we get a few melons!

Eli took a cup out to measure how much rain we got and spent a lot of time collecting rocks.

August 2, 2017

Alison's 10th birthday

Happy Birthday Alison!
 Turning 10 was a big deal in this house.

The night before, Eli slept in Alison's bed because they were SO excited for her birthday.  He said he was going to help her sleep because she was convinced she wouldn't and turned on classical music for her.  It was pretty sweet.

Ben made her cake and I put up some decorations.

Eli's plan didn't work all the way, and they were up at 5:30 ready to party!  I was mean and made them stay in bed until 7...they were more excited than Christmas for this birthday.

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then she opened presents.

Happy Birthday Alison.  I hope you have a good time.  Love Eli.

The smiles on the kids' faces was the biggest when Alison opened her Dollar Tree presents from the boys.

Eli playing with Alison's new jump rope:

We did a yoga workout with Alison's new equipment and watched an episode of Little House.

Then we met the White's at Peter Piper Pizza for lunch.

We borrowed Aline for the afternoon and stopped by Target so Alison could pick out a new shirt.  She was excited to find this Harry Potter T-shirt and a matching pair of running shorts that Aline has (she also got a pair of yoga pants).

The girls played for a little bit and then everyone joined back up for cake.  Ben made this 3 layer cake from scratch and it was amazing.


We finished the day with dinner and a movie (The Lorax and hotdogs) and the kids crashed from being up so early.  It was great day celebrating one beautiful little girl.


 They were all right, the years really do fly by.  What an incredible 10 years we've had.


July 29, 2017

This week

The boys asked if I would take them to the Dollar Store to buy Alison a birthday present.  Colin grabbed one of Alison's purses, put his altoid box full of kick-knacks and a dollar in it, and was ready to go.  If you ever need a good laugh, just spend a few minutes with Colin.

They were pretty cute shopping for her and trying to think about what she might like.

 Ben actually gets the award this week for grilling in 110 weather, which called for fruit and whipped cream for dessert. 

Alison got super into "stretching" and watched several how-to-increase-your-flexibility videos on youtube.  She worked really hard and almost mastered the splits!

She asked me to join her one evening, so I sat on the floor and attempted to follow her instructions.  It was quite humbling.  I've never been flexible, but then to have my daughter chuckling at how much I wasn't moving, took it to another level.  Ben sat down with us and we quickly started laughing as we realized that maybe we should be joining Alison more.  The next morning I suggested we do a yoga workout together, thinking that would be a good compromise.  It was really fun and it challenged her some, but I fully admit that I was sore the next day.

Even the boys wanted to join in on the stretching.  Alison took this video and they could not stop laughing over the very tears rolling down their cheeks laughing each time they watch this video.

Every time I turn around, Eli is in underwear. One day I asked him why he keeps taking off his clothes and he said, "I'm just TOO hot momma."  Eli wins points for being in my non-flexible camp.

Public school starts next week, so we had our last cooking class with this group of girls.  I taught them how to make pizza dough and then they each made their own little pizza.

When class was finished, Eli asked me, "So when does my cooking class start?"  I was a little taken aback and suggested maybe daddy could take him to a woodworking class.  Nope, he made it clear that nothing gets by him anymore and Alison got a sewing and cooking class, so he was ready for his turn.  Oh boy, this could be a very entertaining year.

My favorite part of this week=Alison did a lot of writing on her own, without any prompting from me and the results were pretty hilarious.  I learned a big lesson as a teacher this week, as well.  Normally, I would be stressing about all the errors on this page, but I realized that when Alison is writing, she is focused on the content and not the grammar.  She is an amazing speller, but doesn't focus on spelling (or handwriting) when her brain is full of ideas for the page.  This is one of the things she wrote:

And if I ever lose sight of the importance of being mom, I'll just pull this up and remember that on my daughter's birthday list is seeing me first thing in the morning. 

Big Yuma news!  Sprouts opened up!  It's Yuma's first and only healthy food store, but leave it to us to buy Jelly Beans there.   To our credit, we just went to check it out and we had a sample of dragon fruit to balance it out.

Finally, nothing beats ending the day playing a little music with your dad.