Friday, May 27, 2016

Knott's Berry Farm

We went on our last field trip of this school year this week and it was a blast!  I had not been to Knott's Berry Farm for over 20 years! The boys had a great time and Josiah even went on some bigger, badder roller coasters. Nathan on the other hand stuck to the conservative rides.  We would definitely return to Knott's in the future. It was definitely worth it.
The boys had so much fun on these swings.
The best part was hanging out with all our friends...we actually stuck to the group the whole time! So much fun.

Jon even took a day off!

The train ride was a lot of fun. Here's Jojo with his little friend.

I love Snoopy!

Nathan and his bestie. These two are so cute together.                   

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Awards Night

It is so strange at times watching my boys do the same exact things I used to do as a child. Last night was the AWANA awards night at church and it brought back some great memories of the years I got to be a part of this great program. Don't tell my boys this but by 6th grade I had not even passed all 4 of my books! I think I only passed 2! I even remember my 6th grade AWARDS night and a boy named Michael making fun of me because I didn't get the Timothy award like he did. He grabbed whatever award I did win and took off running with it while I chased him all through the grounds of the church. I'm pretty sure that was a dumb way of him letting me know he liked me.

Thankfully last night my boys weren't grabbing other girls' awards! We did have a great night though and let me just say how proud I am of them both. Considering we have been in AWANA for 3 years now since returning from Russia I'm especially thankful that Josiah passed 3 books. Memorizing for him is not easy and I won't lie there were many tears shed on both parts these past 3 years just trying to finish the books. Last year he didn't even pass his 2nd book but this year he worked extra hard and was able to finish his 2nd book and his 3rd book only by the grace of God.

Nathan on the other hand can memorize anything in a short amount of time with little effort on his end. It's amazing how different they both are but I'm thankful for those differences. Nathan did a great job and finished book 1. He's hoping to work harder next year to finish his 2nd book early and start working on his silver star as soon as he can.

Nonetheless we are just thankful that the boys are memorizing scripture. To this day I still remember so many of the verses I memorized in AWANA. It was a real blessing in my life and our church does an amazing job of running the program. I'm even praying this summer about being an AWANA leader in the fall. I was a leader when I was single and I think it would be fun to try it again!

Jojo with his Excellence and Challenge award.

Nathan with his Alpha award.

Jojo with his AWANA leader Mr. Eickmeyer!

Jon and the boys.

Nathan with his AWANA leader Mr. Sanders.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pinterest Project #1- Death Star Pastel Art

Our summer officially began yesterday! YAY! It's still not warm enough to spend all day at the pool and I'm also trying to clean house before my mother-in-law arrives next week so this means the boys have to be creative and play well. But as you can imagine I think that only lasted for about an hour on our first day of summer break.

I have a gazillion pins on Pinterest that I haven't tried yet so I thought this summer we would work our way through several of them...actually 30 of them. That's my goal.

This project is from the blogger Hodgepodge and was pretty easy. She calls for chalk pastel but I don't have any so we used oil pastels which worked real well and I think are probably a lot less messy! I also didn't have black construction paper but I had black poster board so we used that.

The boys enjoyed this project and Nathan even got creative with his spaceship. Jojo didn't want to add a spaceship at all.

You can find the project here : Death Star Pastel Art

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Grace To You Tour

Often times I hear how believers came to know Christ through the ministry of Grace to You. It's then that I realize how privileged I am to be sitting under such amazing teaching Sunday after Sunday. Our homeschool group recently had a field trip at Grace to You where we had a special tour of the ministry there. Grace to You is the radio program broadcast daily of John MacArthur's sermons. If you've never heard MacArthur or haven't had a listen to the broadcast you can go here and check it out!

Our first stop was the recording studio where John MacArthur comes in once in a while to record the openings or question and answer times on the radio program. Jojo is on the other side screaming his head off with another student but none of us in the sound proof studio could hear a single thing.

In the mail sorting room...

The picture above was taken in MacArthur's office. He has a real nice office but I don't think he is there very often. His desk is spotless!

The volunteer room which is a huge part of the Grace to You ministry.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Homeschool Fair

The annual homeschool fair with our PSP group was earlier this month and the boys did real well! It's one of their favorite activities.

This year Nathan entered the table decorating category...I encouraged him to do it but to put a masculine twist on it. Thankfully he ran with it and I think he did a great job. I simply showed him tables settings on Pinterest and he told me what he wanted to do.

He actually won 1st place!

Josiah wanted to bake this year! I showed him a few of my favorite cookie recipes and he settled on Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints.....he won 1st place. He baked them all by himself even though the experience wasn't without kitchen was a mess afterwards but that's all a part of the fun!

He also entered the hanging art category and got 3rd place for his entry entitled "The Union".

Way to go, Jojo!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Whale Watching

We got to go whale watching at the end of February and it was absolutely fabulous! We went last year in mid-April and we did not see one single whale. Scientists say though because of El Nino the migration patterns of the gray whale and humpback whale have been thrown off a little causing the whales to cross migration paths. There's also more food in the water closer to the shoreline bringing whales closer and closer.
We started off from the Channel Islands Harbor.

It was a gorgeous day in California.
Lots of beautiful sunshine.

Our first encounter were gray whales.... 
in total we saw 5 gray whales.
We then headed off to the Anacapa Islands...
and we happened to see a couple of humpback whales.

We saw a ton of dolphins...i mean a ton!

It was such a lovely day. We were all so amazed by God's beautiful creation. We also saw seals basking in the sun on the Anacapa Islands, a "sunfish", and different varieties of birds. We highly recommend Channel Islands Whale Watching company in Oxnard.

Look who took a day off and joined us!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

History and Homeschooling: Part 3 Civil War Re-enactment :

 One thing I learned at this event is that these "musical bands"...can't remember the proper name... played during battles on the sidelines.  They had special songs they played according to what was happening in the battle.  Also different drums would tell their side where the enemy was positioned. It was a gentleman's rule that you didn't shoot them but sometimes men weren't gentlemen.

After the Battle of Gettysburg the soldiers marched to hear Lincoln address the Union.  

Lincoln giving his Gettysburg address.
The defeated Rebels.
One of Jojo's Sunday School teachers, Mr. Kaya, is a re-enactor!