Monday, March 28, 2016


Spring break.
Sleeping in. No lesson plans. No grading.
Yes, this homeschool mom takes a spring break when the schools do, especially since I have three in school now. But even before that we would take a break around the same time so that we could play with friends; although we would usually wait until the week after to go anywhere!
The first day of break was a Friday and I was the one who was gone all day while the kids stayed home! I had errands/shopping to do all morning and then after lunch I headed to Corvallis.
Because that is where The Basketball Games were being held. We were able to get tickets to the first and second games of the NCAA women's basketball championships! And our OSU women's team won both games! They were exciting games and fun times with my Mr and later with my girl who swims (but also enjoys basketball)
The rest of the week was a much needed rest. I took the girls shopping one day. We rarely have time to go when they are in school, and after-school sports. We spent another morning at the library, which resulted in a quiet afternoon of book-reading by the fire. (For non-Oregonians, spring break means rain. The sun comes out the day the kids go back to school.) We visited the grandparents, and we played games as a family. Some of the kids caught a cold, so they caught up on sleep that week also. We had friends over to do our once-a-decade Easter egg dying. I actually felt like doing this activity this year instead of using plastic eggs. The last time we did this was with our exchange student back in 2005! None of the kids even remembered it.
Our 'big' family trip was a one-day excursion to Wildlife Safari. It was a lot of fun, being together, and seeing the wild animals outside of the car window. (There was plenty of wildness inside the vehicle.)
This was our third trip there. On the previous visits the kids have gotten their first chance to 'drive' the car, so we kept the tradition going and let Little K have a turn at the wheel. This time with supervision. Her last attempt at driving wasn't so fun.

We capped the week off with our Easter celebration. Church in the morning and then the obligatory family photo - I finally got the kids to stand still, keep off their tiptoes, keep their hands out of each others' hair and smile.
 We went to my sister and brother-in-law's home to meet up with extended family. Cousins galore, aunts, uncles and more...
 The children under 12 got the first go at the egg hunt - the plastic eggs filled with toys or money. The girls made quite a lot of bank this year!
 And then it was time for the big kids to search. My brother hid the dyed eggs we had made; it took some hints,
 and a little helper (!) but they eventually found all the eggs.
 It also happened to be my mom's birthday the day before, so we celebrated that also.
 And finally, no family celebration would be complete without a game of some sort. I have memories of my brothers playing football out in the field of our home after Thanksgiving - or any other holiday - and my kids are keeping that tradition going along with their little cousins.
Monday morning was difficult - but the rest and memories of this spring break will keep me going until summer at least.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


So it's not officially the first day of spring, but here in Oregon it is the first day of sunshine after weeks of rain - it screams SPRING to me.
So we promptly went to the farm. (Mostly because we were out of wood and it gets kind of cold in the house when we don't run the wood stove.)
The field trip today included:
Running across the fields - they aren't planted yet, and they weren't too muddy, so the girls explored a bit today;
Cutting daffodils - one of my favorites;
Riding on the trailer while Grandpa drives the tractor. He almost let me drive one of the tractors and then decided against it. Hmmm, I wonder why that is?

Loading wood into the pickup to take home (and yes they helped unload at the end of the day too);
Helping Grandpa with the burn pile - always fun to watch;
And a peek at the beautiful snowy mountains. Mt Hood looked gorgeous today, and we saw Mt. Jefferson peeking out too.
I love going to the farm in the spring!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Time flies

Whomever decided to "change" time probably never dealt with a toddler who is used to a schedule.
I would gladly live in a state that did not observe this daylight savings time idea.
However, since that is not the case, yesterday morning I was up an hour earlier than I usually am, and  I got myself off to church to teach the six students who's parents managed to get them there on time. The rest of my family was still asleep when I left the house, but that's because none of them went to bed at their bedtime. Some of them stayed up until the wee hours of the morning. That had more to do with the events of the evening than anything else.
Saturday night was the school's annual Black Tie Dinner, and this year The Girl Who Swims went to it with a group of friends. We spent the day, (it seemed like the whole day), getting ready - first we had to buy shoes, but then my other daughter needed a haircut. So then I spent time at the salon waiting for that to happen. When I got home it was really Go Time - make-up, hair, nail polish, the dress ...

We thought we would be late but it all worked out and the Girl looked beautiful. Her father didn't want her leaving the house, but he acquiesced and I drove her to her friends house. The group met up there for pictures, and for the limo ride to the event.
Our dinner at home was a quiet affair, with only 3 young girls at home. The Boy had also gone out to a friends house to party the night away - kind of the No Tie Event instead of the Black Tie.
And so that is why the majority of the family was tired this morning. The Mr stayed up for the party-goers to get home. I knew I had to be up and alert in the morning, so I went to bed. I missed out on getting the fresh-from-the party news (it seems the kids are most talkative right after an event on the ride home; trying to get the replay later the next day isn't quite the same.)but I got caught up on most of it throughout the day Sunday.
How did my kids get to be so big? What happened to the day when I had one in a baby carrier, one in a car-seat and one in a booster, with big brother leading the pack? I didn't know then how I would miss those chaotic but cozy days of being together.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


My uncle died last year, and as what comes with death, the cleaning of house commences. My aunt and cousins are going through things, downsizing, cleaning, parceling out family items. My parents received a box of items from my dad's side of the family.
I have numerous pictures and such of the family history that I have been trying to organize for years now, so my mom passed on the box to me.
And what a treasure! I spent some time this afternoon looking at letters from my great-great uncle to my grandmother, letters written in 1921 on paper from that year. Names that I didn't recognize mingle with names I have heard of. Letters from Germany were in there, notes from family written in 1948. I took German in high school and college, but I could only make out a few words. The handwriting is exquisite in the German letters, so beautiful.
There were a few photos of unknown to me people. It made me want to dive into my family history boxes and sort more. History has always been a favorite of mine, but even more so with family information.
It just so happens that I checked out a book last week, before visiting my parents, titled "the Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw.
I know I had uncles and aunts in the WWII, and my grandfather in the WWI, but I am sure I have missed some history  there are holes in my information I need to fill.
And then I also want to collect some information of my husbands family history. It's important for my kids to know where they come from.