Friday, December 31, 2010

Annual Homeschool Christmas Wrap

I can't believe December is almost over. Boy have we been busy! I have a lot of catching up to do here. Over the next week, before school ramps back up, I am going to try to get caught up on what we've been up to lately.

For the past few years in December our homeschool group has organized a Christmas wrap. This is where we wrap gifts for a donation. We then take the proceeds to support a needy family for Christmas.

Early in December, on a Saturday, we gathered at the church and waited for the gifts to start arriving. We were excited because we had more people sign up this year than we've ever had. We found out that the family we were going to buy Christmas for was a single mom with four young kids. I really hoped the families that signed up to let us wrap their gifts would be generous so that we could really spoil this family with lots of gifts.

Hey Seeeth!!!!!!!!!!!......

The first gifts arrived and all the kids were excited to wrap. That is once they woke up... we had our first drop off appointment at 8:30AM, but since we had to help set up we were at the church by 8AM.

I love this service project because at a time where my boys are tempted to focus on what they want, it reminds them that there are some kids that might not be getting anything for Christmas.

Some how this is the only picture of Joshua that was taken. He had just gotten back from an overnight lock-in with the church. He was exhausted! All the kids worked extremely hard, even the sleep deprived ones! I was so proud of their efforts. Wrapping presents is hard work.

Sometimes they worked together with friends.

As the day was coming to an end all the presents beautifully lined the gym walls.

Now all that was left to do was wait for our families to come pick up their presents decorated with love. We couldn't wait to see how much money we had earned.

Then out of nowhere came the unexpected... SNOW! What a great treat for the kids after a full days work. One mention of the word, snow, and they were gone!

What a special blessing. It was really starting to feel like Christmas!

Another blessing... we ended up with almost $500 to spend on our adopted family. Thank you Lord! A few days later we divided the family members amongst the group and we went shopping. The boys and I chose to buy gifts for the 3rd grade boy and a few gifts for the mom. I thought it was really sweet that the mom did not request anything for herself. But we made sure that we spoiled her too. We bought her a gift card to a clothing store, a bible, jewelry, and some awesome smelling soap. I wish we could have seen them open their gifts. This service project is one of my favorites. Can't wait til next year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Recital 2010

It's that time again... time for Seth's piano recital.

I was really looking forward to his recital. He has worked so hard perfecting his songs. Seth played Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. He changed the arrangement of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It sounded really cool.

Here is our family in front of the beautifully decorated tree at the recital. Don't mind the girl with her eyes closed... this just happen to be the only picture where we were all smiling.

Okay, without further ado here's Seth...

click here

We are so proud of Seth's hard work. Even though he messed up a tiny bit during the recital he had preformed it flawlessly a million times at home. It sounded so beautiful with his own arrangement.

Every year his teacher, Mrs Denise, gives out awards. Seth received the very special Bass Clef award. This award goes to the one student who goes above and beyond what is expected of them. Seth was shocked. He never thought he would be the one to receive that award. Needless to say, I was one proud mama!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

It's that time again! Time for Operation Christmas Child. We always look forward to November for several reasons, one of those being Operation Christmas Child. Every year our church is majorly involved in the collection of shoe boxes that later will travel across the world and be delivered to a child. In most cases this will be the only gift they receive for Christmas. More importantly than the shoebox stuffed with gifts is the little booklet they receive that tells them in their own language about Jesus and His ultimate gift.

Our home school group always picks a day during the collection week and volunteers to help collect boxes.

While we wait for people to come drop off their boxes we inspect, fill, and wrap other boxes. Here is Seth wrapping a shoebox.

Noah and Chloe finishing up a box that needed a few more goodies.

Seth is ready with the cart. They love it when someone comes with a car full of boxes. This was only the second day of collection week and you can see the mountain of boxes behind Seth.

Yea! Boxes are here. Everyone is ready to help out.

More boxes!

While we were there we decided to go ahead and finish our boxes.

The boys really enjoy picking out toys for their boxes.

Most of the time we purchase way to much stuff and end up trying to cram it all in.

Rearanging, trying to make it all fit.

Okay. I think we managed to get it all in and with the help of rubber bands manage to keep the lids on. The one thing I always like to include in our boxes is a personal letter from each of the boys. They write a short (or long in Seth's case!) letter telling their kid about themselves and asking them questions. One year we actually received a letter back and that was really special. His picture is still on our refrigerator and every time I notice it I try to stop whatever I'm doing and pray for him. I hope we get letters again from these boxes.

Seth with his finished box.

Noah and his box. It's really sweet to see the things they think of to put in their boxes. Joshua was in class so I wasn't able to get a picture of him with his box.

Oh yeah, we can't forget about the pizza. Another favorite part of Operation Christmas Child. LUNCH!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Trip - Blowing Rock

Last weekend we took a day trip to the mountains.

For lunch we ate at the Mellow Mushroom. YUM!

Some of us could hardly wait for the food. I wont name any names...


Then we went shopping... window shopping that is. There were quite a few unique shops to browse through. One of our favorites was this hat shop, which we almost got kicked out of, because we were trying on all the hats. Seth's sombrero was so massive it almost didn't fit down the aisle.

wouldn't he make a handsome matador?

Our next stop was Mystery Hill. We have heard a lot about this house where gravity supposedly defies the laws of nature. You can read more about it here.

All of these pictures are taken straight and yes they are really leaning that far.

Here is a picture of Seth standing in the doorway. Cool huh?

It was really hard to walk across the room with out falling over. I wasn't able to go all the way in the room, because of issues with my ears and equilibrium. When I first walked into the room I immediately got dizzy, so I decided to stay in the doorway and take pictures.

This was a cool shot of Joshua going down the stairs.

Seth going up...

..and then down.

This was their favorite part of the whole trip.

can you tell?

In another room there were illusion type brain games/puzzles...

... and bubbles. We stayed here a long time trying to get the bubble completely around Noah. This is the closest we got. We thoroughly enjoyed this day getaway, even though we never made it to the actual mountain!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy 12th Birthday, Seth!

Last Friday we celebrated Seth's 12th birthday.

We had a few of his friends come to celebrate with us and to stay for a sleep-over.

i know... i'm a glutton for punishment. what was i thinkin' bringin' more boys into this house!?!

First we had nachos.

Then time for the cake...

Seth was very specific about the kind of cake he wanted. Actually, he didn't want cake. What he wanted was cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon. So I tried to arrange them like a cake. I think it turned out really cute. Definitely, was a excellent idea! As you can tell he was ready to dig in.

But first he wanted to make sure I had the right number of candles on the cake. As you can see, funny-cookie-boy, wasn't taking any chances of missing out of getting his cinnamon roll.

i can never get a "normal" shot of that boy anymore...SHEESH!

He's making his birthday wish...

... and blowing out the candles!

Next, it was time to open his gifts.

Mostly, he got funny cards,...

more funny cards, and...

lots of MONEY!

Two more presents to go. This is a pad of shooting targets with squirrels on them. You can see the excitement already building in his eyes.

Then he gets his last present that goes along with the target paper...

A BOW & ARROW set. He's doing a great pose for mom.

Checking it out to see how it works...

aiming for the target... gently pulling back on the string...


seth: "that's what you get for makin' goofy faces in all my birthday pictures!"

Considering there were 7 boys running around the house til the wee hours of the night, things went very well.

i'm sure the twitching is just a short term side-effect!

I love this picture. It was taken the next night at our family reunion. Seth was so tired from the late night before that he fell asleep in the middle of everything. I saw his cute toesies and couldn't resist taking a picture of them, which woke him up, but oh well it was worth it. At least I thought so!

Happy 12th birthday Setharoonie! I can't believe how big you are getting and how you are growing into such a great young man! Your dad and I are proud of how you stand up for what you believe in, your love for Jesus and your creativity. He's got great plans for you, kiddo! Love ya!