Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Choir Concerts and Piano Recitals, Oh My!

  Well, it's that time of year....

AnnaClaire has been singing in a city wide home school choir this year.  There are 300+ children from grades 1-12 that sing in the choir.  They are broken up into smaller choirs by age.  AnnaClaire has been singing with the Music Makers, who are boys and girls from 6-8 years old.  They perform 2 concerts each year~ in the spring and fall, as well as sing at a local nursing home twice a year.  Here are photos from the spring concert.


AnnaClaire has learned SO much about music and composers, and more this year through her participation.  We are looking forward to next year, when Kate will be old enough to join the  Music Makers!
And on to the piano recital, which was held earlier this week~
AnnaClaire was the first to play.  Here she is anxiously walking to the piano.

 She played America the Beautiful and performed perfectly!

Next up was Grace
Our girls had a patriotic theme going, as Grace played The Stars and Stripes Forever. She also played her song through perfectly.

 Both girls worked hard, and we couldn't be prouder of them!

And here they are with their piano teacher.  She is SO patient and encouraging.  AND she comes to our house!  We couldn't love her more!

Nice job, girls!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tiny Dancer~

  Saturday was Kate's dance recital.  It's just so happened that each year her class has done a ballet dance as opposed to a tap routine. Which suits Kate just fine!  This year she danced to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from Lion King. 

Kate's class is such a sweet group of girls.

 It's such a joy to watch Kate dance.  She's SO graceful and expressive, and she always has a smile on her face.  She LOVES to be on stage.  And of course, she loves wearing tutus!
Afterwards, she received flowers from her Daddy!

Next year, Kate will be moving to a new level in dance.  She'll have separate classes  for both tap/jazz and ballet instead of one combined class.  At first Kate said she just wanted to do ballet.  UNTIL she learned that if she took 2 classes, she'd be in TWO recital dances and wear TWO recital costumes.  And that sealed the deal for her.  Ballet AND tap it will be!

I am not a "dance mom" type at all.  But this is something Kate LOVES (and does WELL with) so we're allowing her to do it.  We're very blessed to have found a God honoring dance studio where costumes are modest and the music (a mix of Christian and other) and dance routines bring glory to Christ.  Before the performance, prayers were said that the dancers would use their gifts and talents for the glory of God and to bless others. There are no competitive teams in our studio, and the owner works classes around her homeschooling schedule.  LOVE that! It's just perfect for us!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day~

Oh, how blessed I am!
We spent Mother's Day at the Carl Sandburg home, which just so happens to be a National Park! And you know what that means....more Jr. Ranger badges!
Since Emily was with, I've got plenty of pictures to post! 

We arrived at lunch time and enjoyed a picnic  by the creek.  The kids enjoyed playing by the creek a little bit, while Emily took some photos. We also saw 3 water snakes, which the children LOVED watching!

Mrs. Sandburg kept goats and had a thriving goat milk business, and ancestors of her goats are still on the farm.  There were quite a few baby goats, too, which was fun for the kids, though we didn't end up with any photos of them.

The kids loved the goats (all except for Ellie) and they were very tame, so we stayed for quite a while.  The children were able to help feed the goats in the barn and also watch a goat being milked.

I had to include this because I LOVE old barns~  and the sky was so blue!

Bill, working with AnnaClaire on her ranger badge requirements.

And I LOVE stone walls....especially with cute little girls walking on them!

So happy to have spent such a beautiful day with my youngest 6!  And the boys both happened to call while we were there, so I felt like we were all together for part of the time.

The kids showing off their ranger badges in front of the house.

It's hard to tell from this photo, but the house sits up high on a hill, overlooking 245 acres of beautiful property, including a small lake. We toured the home, and the inside has all the original furnishings and household items left in place as they were on the day of Sandburg's death. The home inside is very lived in and unpretentious and of course it is just FILLED with books.  Every single room had floor to ceiling bookshelves.  And I just LOVE a book filled home!

Littlest girl is such a trooper~ she was happy all day!  She wasn't a fan of the goats, though, hence no goat photos of Ellie!


If you look closely toward the right, you can see a glimpse of the house on the hill, overlooking this beautiful lake.

 It's so much more  fun to ride on Gracie than in the stroller at the end of the day! 

As you can see from the photos, the weather was beautiful, and this was the perfect place to spend Mother's Day TOGETHER, which is just what I had wanted! 


Of course Carl Sandburg is best known for his books on Lincoln, but here's a shout out to this silly story, which is a favorite of my kids and also by Sandburg. We had checked it out from the library so often, that we now own our own copy. 

Yep, that "one click" button again! 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

My New Toys~

So, last weekend at the Teach Them Diligently conference, I walked away with very little "curriculum" and lots of bread making supplies! I am so excited!  I've been thinking about this for the past couple of years, and after attending a bread making session at the convention, I decided that NOW was the time! 

I will admit to being a bit intimidated by the whole thing, so I'm easing into it all gradually.  Thanks to my online friend (hey, Jeanette) who managed to give me some long distance advice and hand holding, I did pull the NutriMill out of the box this morning, and ground a little bit of wheat..... 
And that would be a Bosch in the background! It has yet to come out of the box.

The ground wheat was used in these whole wheat, banana pancakes that Emily whipped up this morning.  Both healthy and yummy!

If anyone has any pointers or yummy recipes using whole wheat flour, send them my way!  I'll be needing all the help I can get. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

SO Nice~

Well, I must say, I'm REALLY enjoying having Emily home.  It's only for a brief time, as she heads away next week already, to begin her summer internship at an Atlanta area church.  And part of that time will be spent on a mission trip to Kenya, where she'll be doing some lovin' on orphans, along with others from that church.  Emily is super excited, and I'm excited for her!
So, the time while she's been home, she's been spoiling her mama a bit!
Each morning, I've given her a list of errands that I've been putting off for forever that need running, and my girl has done them all.  WITH a certain 3 year old on her hip!  Ahhh, it's amazing how smoothly our homeschool mornings go without said 3 year old underfoot hanging out with us!  
Emily also enjoys cooking (not the kitchen cleaning part, mind you, just the cooking) and she treated us to this scrumptious dessert tonight!

Ahhh, the blessing of an older daughter.....


Monday, May 6, 2013


Our sweet Ellie turned 3 on Saturday!

It was a struggle getting those 3 fingers up, but there they are!

She is MOST definitely a spicey kind of girl!
She's full of smiles, but don't let that fool you, because she's also full of naughtiness.  Oh, yes she is!  It's just a good thing she's cute! 

Her cake is not homemade because her mama was at the Teach Them Diligently Conference over the weekend.  And arrived home right at Ellie's bed time on Saturday.  But Ellie didn't seem to mind.  In fact, we celebrated her day on Sunday, a day late.  And Ellie didn't mind that either!  So glad she's such a go with the flow girl.  Well, go with the flow, as long as she gets her way.  And it's not pretty when she doesn't. She might be just a tad stubborn.  But, she is cute.
She chose Mexican food for lunch.  With maybe a little persuading from the rest of us.

We sang, and she blew!

Even Sissy was home to celebrate!  We were all in jammies by cake time.  Because even though we live in the south, it was in the 50's and rainy, and it was just a jammie kind of day, especially since mama has already switched the closets over to the summer clothes, and had packed away the cool weather clothes.

Happy Birthday, Dear Ellie!

You are LOVED!