Field Trip: Air Zoo

5/11/2018


Recently our entire family traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan to the Air Zoo. This was part of a field trip coordinated by our homeschool co-op, so we enjoyed the day's attractions with many other friends.


After the front desk to pay, you walk "through the clouds" into the museum.



My oldest daughter loved the painted mural that surrounds the main room. 


Beautiful and so detailed!


And imaginative!


My little girl loved the rides. 
These were like carnival/fair rides, but inside. 


This was an individual ride. Still fun. 


My oldest daughter rode too. Silly!


My son liked the military planes and paraphernalia.


There was an exhibit on NASA and space exploration too.


Daddy showing the little boys the big planes.


There were models of hundreds of planes and real-sized replicas of a few dozen. You could spend hours looking at each one and studying the details.


One of the big planes painted so fancy. 


I was glad that the museum was kid-friendly. They had an activity area for the little ones to get some energy out. More beautiful sky-themed murals throughout that area also.


My baby boy sat with me at the gate of the rides, watching the older kids enjoying it all.


And everyone was exhausted at the end of the day.

Thumbs up for the Air Zoo!

PS: Our family visited the Air Zoo 7 years ago. It's fun to look back at the pictures of the kids. Here is my blog post about that visit.

My Boy Turns 10 Months

5/2/2018

This little boy is already 10 months old!


He sits. He crawls. He has 7 teeth.


He gets into our kitchen cabinets and explores.


And Grandma's cabinets too!

And he likes to explore boxes too.


He regularly sleeps 12 hours at night and takes 1 daytime nap. He eats like a champ, taking lots of table food and baby food purees. 


He has lots of fun now with his brothers. Wherever they go, he's gonna go!


Never a dull moment with 4 older siblings to constantly watch or follow!

He's a happy guy now that he's spending more time outside too. Loves that spring has sprung!

Happy 10 months, Mr. Man!

Farm Adventure Field Trip

5/1/2018



Recently we went on a Farm Adventure field trip. 




The children had a blast walking among the chickens and feeding them bread and corn.


My older daughter enjoyed having a little chick in her hand... very similar to her life at home with our tamed parakeet in her hand/on her shoulder.

We had a campfire with a lunch of hot dogs and smores. 
We also scrambled up fresh eggs to eat. 
There was a playground and sandbox that the little ones enjoyed immensely in the warm summer sun. 

Having grown up on a farm, I now forget that my children don't have all of the animal experiences that were so common for me. 
Yeehaw for a farm field trip!

Homeschool Co-op Semester Wraps Up

4/30/2018

Our homeschool co-op has wrapped up another 12-week semester. We meet on Wednesday mornings from 9 to 12:30. 


My oldest daughter took Cake Decorating, World War 1, Story Mapping and Math Enrichment (like a math-focused study hall to work on any problem areas in the math we do at home throughout the week). She hasn't been enjoying co-op as much as she used to, partly because she has to get up earlier on co-op days than any other day of the week.


Here is the display table with all the final projects for the Cake Decorating class. Such creativity!

My oldest son took Gym (his favorite class, always), 3D Building, Team Building and Math Games.


Here he is with a Lego maze built in his Team Building class.


And here are some good friends, Ben and Josh, working together with my son on a 3D building project. They worked well together and had a fun time!

My youngest girl was in PreSchool and loved it. She loves her teachers and always has a lot to talk about after co-op, filling us in on what crafts they did, what games they played, what snack they ate, etc. 

My two littlest boys were in the nursery, which is also where I spent most of my morning.


 Here's my littlest guy loving the jumperoo.


And a few other littles from the nursery at co-op that I snapped shots of. This little girl was talking on her toy phone for at least 10 minutes, while relaxing in this chair. 


And this little one consistently fell asleep in the jumperoo, bouncing herself to sleep!

I was again in the role of Treasurer for our group, making me very popular on co-op mornings as folks needed to pay fees for registration and field trips or to turn in receipts for reimbursement. 


As a group, we memorized Ephesians 6:10-18 (the armor of God passage). At our final program, the entire group of about 130 kids takes the stage to recite the verse together.

We are thankful for this group of like-minded families. 
We are thankful for great classes that were taught. 
We are thankful for friendships that were strengthened. 
We are thankful for the freedom to homeschool. 
We are thankful for a co-op that glorifies God.

Discipleship and Disciple-Making

4/23/2018

Discipleship. It's been on my mind a lot over this last year. 


I think it's normal for everyone to go through seasons of life when they feel dry, spiritually. It feels like winter. And then there are other seasons when one feels more spiritually awake, in tune, fresh and more spring-like.

It would be abnormal to be stuck in one season for a prolonged amount of time. That is not a sign of good health or life. 

And so it is with my spiritual life, that I can look back over years and see different seasons. 
Seasons of dryness. 
Seasons of zeal. 
Seasons of growth. 
Seasons of hunkering down to survive harsh conditions.
Seasons of new growth. 

I am thankful for a women's Bible study I've been a part of throughout this year. We've studied some excellent material together. 


We did a study on the Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. 


We also went through a very thought-provoking book by Mary Kassian called Knowing God By Name.

We've been taught how to study the Bible on our own, using a variety of methods to dig deeper into the text. And I've learned new tools for growing my prayer life, which has been very exciting for me. (One "hack" we were taught was to use PRAY as an acronym, to stand for Praise, Repent, Ask and Yield. We've also learned how to wrap our requests in the Scriptures we're already reading. This has truly revolutionized my prayer life in the last 6 months or so). 

Our small groups are committed to discipleship. The goal is to see each member growing in their faith, in their relationship with God, in their spiritual life. 

And the next step is disciple-making. This has always been hard for me, as I am an introvert and am generally quiet. Boldness is not my thing. Speaking up is not my thing. 
Not rocking the boat is my thing! 
So this area too is one where I am growing in my understanding of what is disciple-making all about. I'm seeing my role in my home as more of a disciple-maker than ever before. Jesus had 12 disciples and was with them for about 3 years, pouring into their lives all they needed to know and see lived out. I have 5 little disciples who are learning from me! What a challenge as I consider what I am modeling for them and what I am teaching them during these years. 

So I am appreciative of this current season of new growth, of greater zeal and faith that feels fresh again. 

I am thankful that our Father never gives up on us but is constantly shaping us, molding us more into the image of His Son. 

We wish for instantaneous transformation. 
Instead it's minute-by-minute sanctification. 

Trusting in God's perfect timing and perfect plans. 
Thankful for all He is and all He continues to do...
in us and through us and with us. 

Baby Boy's 9 Month Portraits

4/13/2018


Earlier this month, this little one had his 9 month portraits taken. 


He loves to clap, clap, clap!


Baby in a bucket!


This one looks like he's driving a race car! Zoom!


Ready to crawl right to you. He's so very mobile now, though he inch-worms his way around most of the time rather than a true belly-off-the-ground crawl. 


So handsome in a hat.

9 months always makes me think about pregnancy being 9 months long too. So now he's been outside of me for the same amount of time he was inside of me! So much growth happens in these early months, I am always amazed at God's design of child development. Crawling, babbling, eating solid foods, recognizing his own name and familiar faces... there is so much that his little brain has already learned in just 9 months time!

Happy 9 months, little man! 


Little Guy turns 9 Months

4/2/2018

This little man is already 9 months old!


It's a challenge now to capture him in a still shot, as he's very mobile! He's crawling and rolling to get where he wants to go.


He is eating like a champ! Started this month taking 2 jars of baby food per day and is now up to 4 jars per day plus as much table food as we'll allow him. He kind of attacks any food we're holding in hands, near to him. 

He got 4 new teeth this month - all 4 on top! 


He remains a happy, content child. He does well when I leave him in the church nursery for an hour. He just loves anyone who will give him attention. He smiles easily. 

You're a delight, Little Mister! We love you!

Cubes, Cakes and Worms

3/26/2018

My oldest daughter has a myriad of interests. 


She's been into the Rubik's cube for a year or more now. She can solve that easy-peasy. Then she moved on to the 5x5 cube and the Megamix. I wrote about those cubes here. Now when I see the cubes laying around the house, they are "solved" into awesome patterns, like this one. 
So fun.


She's taking a cake decorating class at our homeschool co-op this semester. So over the weekend she made and decorated this beautiful cake. Way to go!


Here is a cookie she decorated a few weeks ago for class.


Some of the frosting flowers she's created.



And now this daughter of mine is taking Biology as part of her freshman year. We recently had to dissect a worm. Ewww! 


But she did great - had a good attitude about it and ended up enjoying it at least a little bit. She did intestine surgery on the little worm in the end. :-)

She's a fun girl to be around these days! 
So dynamic and witty, so interesting and unique!
I'm so glad she's my daughter!