Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Joy of Getting Older

Recently I started leading a small group bible study for moms, who are either thinking about homeschooling or are new to homeschooling. The study "Home Education 101" by: Vicki Bentley is a tool to encourage and equip new homeschoolers to "fish" for themselves. (statement taken from cover)

I think this would be a great study to offer every summer to new homeschoolers in our area. We have only gotten through the first lesson and already "I" have learned something.

One of the first things the author encourages you to do is to take the time to set goals for your child. She suggest you set Intellectual goals, Physical goals, Spiritual goals and Social goals for each child. I took quite some time going through each of these main goals for the three boys. Under each main goal I came up with three smaller goals.

While at our first class, I noticed that several of the moms had included their child in on this assignment. I thought that was a great idea and wondered why I hadn't thought about doing that too. So anyway I started over and this time I asked the boys for their input. I specifically asked them what they thought they needed to work on for each main goal.

Seth offered the most input. One of the very first things he said was that he wanted to learn to mow. I thought that was a great idea!

So today was his day! He was really excited to start learning this new skill. And since one of Joshua's goals is working on being able to teach others (his brothers), with patience,... he was able to give Seth his first mowing lesson.

He only mowed a few rows, but it was a great start. We are excited about his enthusiasm for work and desire to learn new things.

We are proud of you, Seth!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mrs. Hanes' Cookie Factory

This past week we went to Mrs. Hanes' Cookie Factory with our home school group. I have to say this has been the YUMMIEST fieldtrip yet!

Mrs. Hanes' cookies company is one of the last Moravian cookie companies that still roll and cut their cookies by hand.

Here is one of the ladies rolling out the cookie dough. You can see the cookie cutter sitting there on the table. They make around 100,000 pounds of cookies in a year. There are at least 100 cookies in a pound sooo that would be somewhere around 10 MILLION cookies!

We got lots of samples along our tour.

It's really amazing how thin those cookies are.

This guy operates the huge mixer. I can't remember exactly how much dough it holds, but trust me when I say it's a lot!

See the guy in the blue shirt... his job is to crack eggs. He cracks more eggs in a day then I crack in a year!!!... and we eat a lot of eggs!

This barrel is full of molasses.

We got to see some of the original baking pieces that were used long ago before the company was in existence. I'm not sure what this pot was used for. I liked it because it was rustic.

One of the original mixing bowls used to make the cookies.

And the oven! The tour guide pointed out that there are no windows on this oven. Mrs. Hanes mother would know the cookies were done because of their smell.

yeah... my cookies sometimes have a unique smell too... burnt!

Our tour guide showed us several inventions the owners came up with to make packaging the cookies easier. They are all packaged by hand as well.

This is another tool they invented to help with packaging.

Here is where they package the tins.

Boys will be Boys!

Outside the factory they had a flower garden along the walkway.

The sunflowers were beautiful!

I don't know what kind of sunflowers these are, but I really want some like these in my backyard. They are so happy!!!

We had a neat time learning about how these cookies are made. Joshua is going to hate he missed this one. He's at camp this week. He is greatly missed!

especially by seth and noah, cause they have to do his chores while he's gone!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My All-Star

A lot has been going on here the last few months... baseball, camp, ministry opportunities, birthdays, vacation, writing opportunities and the list goes on. The most important thing that has happened recently has been the Lord speaking to me about what I've been focused on.

The past few months my life has been kinda like this picture. You can see what's important, but it's not the focus. You can't see clearly what's important when you are focused on the wrong thing or too many things at one time.

His burden, which is suppose to be light (Matt 11:30), suddenly becomes heavy and bothersome. All of the things we are doing may be good, but only one thing is needed... (Luke 10:38-41)... and that is to focus on Jesus and He will show us what's really important in this life.

I've spent a lot of time lately cleaning house and getting rid of the unnecessary stuff that I had allowed to creep in. I asked some tough questions and let go of some things that are close to my heart, but in the end I know I wont regret choosing to focus on my family. I only have a short few years before my boys are grown and I don't want to look back and see that I was so busy ministering to others that I missed the opportunities under my own roof. God has entrusted me with raising three boys who will hopefully grow to be great warriors for Him.


I am also focusing on my role as wife, homeschool mom, and writer. Later this week I will share how the Lord spoke to me and the process I went through to narrow down what I am suppose to be focused on.

Now on to the good stuff!

Noah played spring ball for the first time this year. He loves baseball! He had a great season and after it was over he was asked to be on the All-Star team. He was so excited!

Noah knew right away he wanted to try out for pitcher.

So we called a friend and asked them to help teach Noah to pitch since he had never pitched before.

thanks lucas and levi!!!

Noah ended up being 1 of 4 pitchers. He did really well considering it was his first time pitching.

The three hour practices everyday for two weeks were challenging.

They played a total of 4 games...

... and lost a total of 4 games, but through all of this he learned a lot about perseverance and commitment. He had lots of fun, made new friends, and discovered a new passion.

i have never been big into sports, but I can't wait for fall ball!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 4th celebration

For the Fourth of July, we usually celebrate by going to a local golf course with friends or family and watching the fire works. This year we were in VA visiting mom and dad. A local church, which overlooked the valley, was having a Fourth of July festival. It was fun. They had several of those blow-up, bounce house games for the kids.

One of them was this boxing ring. It was hilarious watching Seth and Noah trying to pick up those humongous boxing gloves! Noah could barely pick it up... it was like watching him in slow motion every time he tried to hit Seth.

This is not a very clear picture, but I liked this picture of Seth with the back-drop of the valley and mountains off in the distance.

i really would like a better camera. hinthint

Here is Seth jousting. Those things are a lot harder to do than they look.

Joshua patiently waiting his turn.

All the boys had fun!

After playing a few games and eating hot-dogs and hamburgers it was time to get a good seat for the fireworks. While we were waiting for the big show we had sparklers of our own.

which, as it turns out, we weren't suppose to have on the church property!... now c'mon do we really look like a rowdy bunch to you?

ahem, i mean, "luv ya dad!!!"

Anyway, back to the fireworks...

It was really cool to see the fireworks off in the distance. We could see about 4 or 5 different towns shooting off their fireworks.

I tried to get some good shots of the fireworks, but even with the fireworks setting on my camera they all turned out like this...

They do look kinda cool, though.

i would still loooove a new camera... hinthint... hinthint!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Noah!

I can't believe my baby turned 9 yrs old on the 5th of July. Noah got to invite some friends to come play baseball and then stay for a sleepover.

We started the celebration by going to Walmart to pick out a cake. I usually make their cakes, but with things being kinda crazy around here we needed to go with plan B.

just to tell ya in case you didn't already know... cakes at Walmart are expensive!!! you bet i'll be makin' the next one!

At least it looked really cool!

Once the boys arrived we left for the fields to play some ball and eat pizza. Then we headed home to have that expensive cake and open presents.

Noah had plenty of help opening his gifts...

not like he needed any help... well, help with opening presents i should say... that boy always needs help!!!

Here Michael and Noah are opening the gift from Corbin with their teeth!

that boy cracks me up!

Ahhhhhh... SILLY BANDS!!!

After all the presents were opened there was still one more surprise. I had gotten some poppers, confetti poppers, and glow necklaces for some in the dark fun. When all the poppers were gone they played capture the flag in the dark with their glow necklaces on so they could see each other.

Then they played video games until midnight, when I just couldn't stay up any longer. About a half hour later we heard Michael yell, "Ya'll better stop rubbin' my head!!!"

Happy 9th Birthday, Noah!