Homeschool Co-op Wraps Up


We had another great year with our homeschool co-op. 

We meet on Wednesday mornings for 12 weeks in the fall and 12 weeks in the spring. 

We enjoyed an end-of-semester program to show parents and guests some of what the children were up to during this semester of co-op. 

My oldest son is in 8th grade and chose to take these classes: Engineering Challenge, Gym, Minecraft, and Stomp. Gym is always a favorite for him. This was his second semester of Minecraft. First semester, the students built a new scene from a historical time period each week (think Ancient Egyptian pyramid, Ancient Greek stadium, Viking ship, etc). Second semester, the theme was Bible-based and included things like the Garden of Eden, the parting of the Red Sea, houses built on sand and rock, a scene from Revelation's new heavens and new earth.

Stomp class was more of a musical challenge, involving drumming out rhythms with sticks, chairs, buckets, and bodies. This was fun to watch them perform at the program. 

Engineering Challenge was a good experience for my son, who has a tinkering mind. The challenge was to build a tennis ball launcher that would launch the ball 20 feet and land in a bucket, consistently. Bonus: use items you already have at home. My son rocked this challenge and his catapult won first place in the class, consistently getting 7 balls in to the bucket and 6 that hit the rim but didn't quite make it. We are proud of him! In this picture he is on the stage at the program along with his teacher and 2 classmates as they demosntrated their launchers in action.

My 8 year old daughter's class roster included: Rhythm and Sticks (a simpler version of Stomp), Drawing, American History, and Fruit of the Spirit. In this picture she's on stage with her Rhythm class as they perform a clapping/dancing song. 

My 6 year old son's classes this semester were: Frog & Toad, Dr Seuss, Gym, and Weather & Seasons. These classes do lots of reading and crafts, but they didn't perform anything at the program. 

Here he is with some of his K/1 classmates. 

And here's one of the crafts he made when talking about spring. Planted grass which grew on this funny face at home during the next week. 

And in Weather & Seasons, they got to meet some goats as they talked about spring babies.

My youngest son was in his last semester of Preschool. Here he was during the program with his classmates singing "Peace Like a River." Then he was given a graduation certificate and just like that, I have no more littles in the nursery or Preschool. 

He just loves Preschool.

The last day of co-op each semester is "dress crazy day." Here are my youngest three looking their silliest!

I helped with leadership this semester, so my schedule was flexible to just help fill in and meet needs as they arose.

 At the program, we honored our friends who are stepping down from leadership positions after this semester. Next semester will be different as I lead along with a new friend stepping into the co-director role alongside me.

We took one huge all-families group shot this semester (which we haven't done in the last 10 years). This is about 50 moms and about 150 children. Blessed by this co-op in so many ways!

Our First Graduate


We have a graduate! Our oldest daughter is done with high school! 

We've homeschooled all the way through, so this feels as much like our victory as it does hers! 

We participated in a homeschool graduation ceremony with 9 other graduates. It was a lovely ceremony. 

And we hosted an open house as well. We had 10 family members from Wisconsin come down for the weekend to join us. 

It was a long and busy weekend, but a lot of fun celebrating!

Congratulations, Bright Eyes! 

Family Pictures


We recently had family pictures taken. It had been almost 2 years since our last pictures. That doesn't seem like a long time, unless you have little people who change A LOT in 2 years! :-) 

We had these done by a photographer friend from our church. Very talented! 

Individual shots of each of the kids. Since we homeschool, these are the equivalent of annual school pictures. My oldest daughter had senior pictures taken during a separate photo shoot, so no individual shot of her here.

Just me and my love.

A few different groupings. This location was just perfect - an indoor conservatory with all this lush green vegetation. Great for photos taken during cold months that give the appearance of warmth!

And a random cat that was wandering about during our photo shoot. :-) NOT our cat! 

Overall a great day with excellent photos! 
We are so thankful for this family God has given us - what a gift!

Senior Pictures


My oldest daughter. A senior. Class of 2021. A beautiful young lady ready to fly!

These pictures evoke so many memories! We've homeschooled all the way through, so as much as this is her moment, her graduation, it is also my moment. To graduate my first student. To make it from kindergarten through 12th grade is no small thing. One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is learning alongside the kids. All the hours we've read books together and all the discussions generated by those books. I have grown up as I've been teaching them. It's been a beautiful process of education for them and for me too.

There's a special story behind these senior pictures. They were taken last fall as a complete surprise to me during my cancer journey. The kids were in Wisconsin staying with grandparents for the week right after my surgery. Totally unbeknownst to me, they planned this whole thing and surprised me a few weeks later with these beautiful pictures. What a great surprise and a load off my shoulders! 

Thank you to all the extended family who were a part of making this happen, including my niece Danielle who was the photographer behind the camera! 

Field Trip: Grand Rapids Public Museum


I ventured out this week with all 5 children on a day trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan. For us, this is about a 2 hour drive from home. 

Most of our time was spent at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. This was a very well done museum, with over two dozen exhibits. They were very family friendly, even in these days of COVID (encouraging hands-on engagement with many exhibits).


Some of our favorite exhibits included a huge Lego version of historical Grand Rapids...

An actual-size whale skeleton that was suspended overhead...

Also an airplane suspended from the ceiling...

An enormous clock with an open backside to see the internal operations...

The dioramas were impressive and educational...

A very well done exhibit that took you down an old-fashioned street in Grand Rapids, showing old storefronts and shops. Many of these were open to walk in and get a very realistic feel of what service was provided or what goods were sold at these stores. 

Lots of fun opportunities for photos.

The museum is located right along the river that runs through Grand Rapids, providing beautiful backdrops and a chance to take a brief walk during our visit.

Personally it felt like a new season of life. To all go together for a day trip with decent attitudes about riding 4 hours in the van... not bringing a stroller as everyone was able to walk the whole time. There's a newfound freedom in this season that allows us to be able to get out a bit more. It feels good! 

Overall a fun day spent in Grand Rapids!