Monday, April 29, 2013

Castle Rock

While Bonnie and I were at the Coffee Shop yesterday, Todd took the boys to Castle Rock.  Castle Rock is a popular climbing spot for rock climbers.  It is situated about five miles up the Tumwater Canyon heading west on hwy 2.  You can either rock climb up the face of the rock or hike up one of the trails.  You get an awesome view of  the canyon and the Wentachee River once you reach the top.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Words of Praise

After beating myself up over this school year, yesterday turned out to be a very refreshing and encouraging day.

It started with our afternoon when we came home from our morning at the church office.  Brian, my reluctant writer, began brainstorming how he should introduce his topic for his research paper without any prompting from me.  He then proceeded to sit down at the kitchen island, read through one of his books, and wrote down info that he gathered.  Can you hear my heart sing?!  There is hope for him. 

Another word of praise came from (actually about) Bonnie.  I have to admit that I am nervous for her concerning her play.  I mean, she is the lead actress in this year's musical which is scheduled to debut next Friday.  I want her to do well, but she has no voice training.  Will she stay on pitch, can she hold out the notes, will people enjoy her singing or will they cringe?  So imagine her boost of confidence (and mine) when she overheard the musical director bragging about Bonnie to another adult.  She praised Bonnie for knowing her lines better than the rest of the cast and having a beautiful voice.  Bonnie came home from practice with a smile on her face and a feeling of confidence.

All in all, my kids are doing fine.  Brian is on his last Science chapter.  Yeah!  Why did I think we were way behind in everything?  Everyone is on track to finish by mid June.  Whether or not, they are done, we are closing the books June 12 and heading off for a much needed break.  At least, a much needed break for mom. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Homeschooling isn't always easy!

Todd took the boys to school with him today.  The Christian school had a guest speaker today to talk to the students about Creation vs Evolution, and we thought it would be a good presentation for the boys to hear.  Of course, we had to make it more educational by having the boys write a one page paper on what they learned.  (That always brings a smile to my boys' faces...NOT)  Seriously, if you want to tick my boys off or make them break down into hysterics, just ask them to write a paper.  Believe me, for the last two weeks I have been prepping my boys that their next Language unit was on writing a research paper.  I have been conditioning them for this "monstrous" task that was coming their way, so yesterdays' trip to the library to research their topic was not as tragic as it could have been if I had sprung it on them. 

Regardless, it was nice to be in the office for an hour and a half by myself.  Bryce took my advice and wrote notes as he was listening to the speaker and had a nice rough draft when I picked the boys back up.  Brian was telling me all about the presentation on the ride back to our church, but still was not happy about writing it down.  I have learned, however, with Brian to let him vent his feelings but not let him get his way.  If I firmly stick to my guns, he will eventually do exactly what I asked for.  Sure enough, after brooding for a few minutes, he went off and wrote his paper.  Bryce didn't like the idea of rewriting his rough draft but eventually worked on it and completed his assignment.

Days like today try me.  It is a lot easier to let the boys have their way and just work in their books, but the reality is learning to listen to others and to communitcate through writing what they learned is a valuable and essential tool for success.  Even though today's activities may put us a day "behind" in our goal of finishing our school by June 12, I can live with it, because today's lesson was more valuable then everything else  they will learn.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


My daughter is going to prom.

That is hard for me to comprehend.  That Bonnie, my little girl, is all dressed up and going out. 

Bonnie, along with a group of friends, met up at one of the friend's house for dinner.  Everyone pitched in and brought a dish.  Bonnie made her Chicken Marsala dish.  Then they were all going to load up in one vehicle and head to the Sleeping Lady here in Leavenworth for the prom.  The theme was a masquerade ball.  So last night, Bonnie and I made a mask for her to wear.
I know she will have a lot of fun.  Her dad, on the other hand, is a nervous wreck that his little girl is growing up. 

Monday, April 8, 2013



Today was a tough one.  Not only did we start back to school after taking a week off, but we received some bad news as well.

I talked to the bank to see what we needed to do next to purchase the property.  Last word we received was that the bank liked our credit record and would approve a loan to us, but when they realized that the loan we needed was an owner-builder loan, i.e. we would be doing all of the work, the bank denied us. Too big of a risk. Talk about a real blow.  We have continued to pray for clear direction as we have walked this path of purchasing the property and building a house.  So far the doors have continued to swing open for us, but today the door slammed shut.  Even the kids shed a few tears as we all came to grips that we would not be able to build. 

We have a wonderful home to live in and it is so convenient to everything, but we are cramped here.  No place for the kids to play, no place to garden, and nothing that feels like it is ours.  Bonnie and I had so many dreams of how we were going to decorate the home with all of the odds and ends we found on the property.   sigh....

What is frustrating is that the bank would loan us money to buy a 100 year old home with no yard and barely any square footage, but won't loan us the money to purchase five acres of land and build a decent, new house for the same amount of money.  The new home on the land would be valued at twice if not three times as money when completed.  Go figure. 

So ... we wait to see how God will provide the home we need.  For now, we stay put.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Having Fun Learning

Last week, Bryce's Cub Scouts group worked on their engineering badge.  Our Cub Scout master is an architect, so she brought in house plans for a house she desigend and then had all the boys draw a lay out of their own home.  They also had to learn about how electricity works and gets to your home, how bridges are made, and how to make a catapult.  Three of us moms each took on a different part of the study but the highlight of the night was building the catapults.  In fact, when Bryce got his Cub Scout book last fall, that was the first thing he did in the book, so this lesson was kind of a review for him.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


We seem to be moving forward in more ways than one.

On Tuesday, we received word from our bank that we are approved to borrow money to buy the land and build the house.  Excitment and Fear all at once.   We are waiting on them to have  us sign the paper work.  The plans are with the architect and hopefully within a month we should be breaking ground.

Today, Bonnie took the college placement test for the local community college and passed.  All she has to do now is go to their orientation and then she is all set to register to attend college next fall.  Excitement and Fear all over again. 

The biggest fear I dealt with as a homeschool mom was whether or not I was doing a sufficient job.  This year has confirmed, in more ways than one, that, at least with Bonnie, I did.  So why do I still feel like I am not doing enough with my boys...  I guess, that is something we all deal with as we homeschool.  Watching our kids grow up, persue their interests, and advance forward helps us know that we did OK.