Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Wonderful Weekend or Two Reasons Why I Love This City

If I haven't said it before I sure wish that I had, "I love the city that I live in." This city is so family-friendly which makes it such a delight to be raising my family here. We have a superb library system, a great park board, community theatres, minor league professional sports, universities with special events, and a host of family-friendly activities that are free to cheap. Here is an example, our local arts alliance hosts a free art day six times a year. It provides the boys an opportunity to interact with the community while exploring the arts. There are usually three activities for them to do and an art exhibition to view. I believe that I have shared photos from this event before and below are some from the latest event that took place this last Saturday.

As previously stated, our local parks are pretty cool. In our parks we have fountains to play in, pools to splash in, hiking trails, bike trails and playgrounds, free concerts and family movies. a farmers market, creeks and ponds to observe wildlife in, and a cave to explore. So on Sunday we took advantage of one of our local parks. We opted to worship our Lord and Savior in the midst of his creation. We did a devotional and went hiking. It was 'centering' and allowed us some great time to bond with Dad.

Don't ask me what Maceo is doing in this photo but it makes me laugh and allows you to see a sliver of the cave opening.

Maceo taking a breather after scaling the rock outcropping that is a steep slippery slope and has poor footing.

My handsome boy.

Dad and Bishop traveling side-by-side on their adventure.

Thank you, Lord, for family and health, for sunshine and all the miracles that are Your creation!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Adventure of Making This House Our Home a.k.a. Flea Market Fun

One of the things that I most enjoy doing is creating a home that is reflective of our family - practical, comfortable, and quirky. I find it delightfully challenging to fulfill the household's needs and wants in a way that is at least a little less than conventional. Although 'new' does have its place in our home I do have a penchant for all things vintage. My search for all things practical, comfortable, quirky and vintage usually leads me to flea markets, of which our area has an abundance of. I thought it might be fun to periodically share with you the sorts of things that I gravitate toward while out searching for unique items while on this adventure of making a home.

I love wire baskets, ephemera and most anything that is in those forties greens, reds, and yellow. That sweet little broom was only $5. In fact, everything in this picture only cost me $12.50.
These are for my outdoor living spaces. The Blue Ribbon Foods crate is from Albuquerque so, at a mere $3, it had to be mine.
These finds I hope to incorporate in my outdoors decorating. The hummingbird feeder has incorporated an old IV bottle and was only $1. The three little pots were irresistable as they were only $1 a piece as well.
I intend to fill these old frames with family photos and line my hallway with them. The large white frame with the print cost a mere $7, the one on the left with the flowers only cost $6, the frame on the right with the baby photo actually houses 3 photos and cost $5, and the empty gold one set me back 1 buck. I will pair these up with a couple of other frames that I already own and hope that together they create a stunning display. Soon I will have to face the daunting task of selecting family photos for each and matting and framing them. I sure hope that I can find an economical way to accomplish this task.
I will share pics of my home at a later date, as I know that most of you have not had the chance to visit me yet.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Welcome to the World Little Austin Ray

Two days ago a most exciting thing happened - my newest grand nephew entered the world. I am so honored to have been an attendant at his home birth. Thank you Sarah and Kevin for allowing me to be of service to you and for allowing me to be present as Austin made his grand entrance.

Being present for his birth was quite an adventure for me but it is Sarah and Kevin who are embarking on the grandest adventure of all. Congratulations to Austin's Mommy and Daddy!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Academic Year Has Come and Gone

Yet another school year has been completed. The requisite hours have been documented and counted and I am now in the process of writing a final summary of accomplishments for this year. Although this is not required by law in our state, I find it encouraging to review what we have done throughout the year. I believe that I will create a yearbook of sorts for each of the boys by picking photos from all of our activities and having them printed in book format at one of those photo developing sites. It will be exciting have a visual synopsis of the school year. Of course, this blog serves that purpose for me. I rather enjoy perusing the blog, seeing where we have been and what we have done.
As I was perusing the blog recently I came to notice just how little I had posted in 2010 and have determined to rectify that situation. I will attempt to review just a bit about what has happened between March and the end of our school year, May 31.
As the end of the school year draws near I always feel compelled to tie up what I perceive as loose ends. Such as, last summer we read the Percy Jackson series and had hoped to see The Lightning Thief movie so that we might do a comparative analysis. We missed the movie when it initially came out but were able to see it at the cheapie theater here at the end of the year.
Also, towards the beginning of the school year I introduced the boys to Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House on the Prairie. It has since been my intention to take them to the home in which Laura was living when she wrote her books, the home in which she and Almanzo raised their daughter, Rose. It is located in Mansfield, Missouri, which is not terribly far from where we live. Among many other artifacts, the museum houses Pa Ingalls fiddle that we hear so much about in her books. I wish that I had pictures of the museum to share with you but photography was prohibited within the museum. But below is the home that Rose was raised in and that Laura wrote her books in. Within the home is her writing desk which remains just as it was at her death. It was a great field trip.

It was also my intention to get the boys to the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri and this spring they periodically had reduced rates for homeschoolers allowing us to finally make this trip. It was fantastic! Prior to entering the museum they assign you a person that was actually on the Titanic and they encourage you to find information and artifacts related to your person throughout the course of the tour. At the end of the tour you discover whether or not your person survived or not. There is also an interactive portion that included a tank of water kept at the same temperature as the ocean was on the date that the liner sank. You are encouraged to place your hand in the water and time the length at which you are able to keep your hand in the water. No one in our group lasted longer then a minute and a half.

After the field trip to the Titanic museum, we were inspired to build this model that I have had sitting on a shelf for years. It is so cool!

I also took the boys to George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri. This is one of my favorite places to visit. This gentleman is so inspiring. If you don't know much about him I highly recommend learning more about him.

We also did a host of other things, such as:

Star Wars day at the library!

A trip to the nature center.

A service project - giving books to WIC families in memory of a baby that died in our church family.

And to finish out the school year we had a picnic...

...and some water play...

...and we recognized Memorial Day. We did so by going to a national cemetery. So many American wars were represented in this cemetery. It was profound and humbling.

In memory of those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

The Spanish American War.
World War II.
This is the view of the cemetery from the Vietnam War memorial.

But the cemetery began during the Civil War after the Wilson's Creek Battle and the Battle for Springfield.

Nathaniel Lyon - the first Union General to be killed during combat.

We wanted to honor those who have fought for our country in some special way. We took flowers to the cemetery and placed them on graves as we felt moved.

Some favorite photos...

My sister, Roxie, and my niece, Samantha and my grand nephew, Maddox joined me and my kiddos on this excursion. I believe that this will be a new tradition for our family.