Friday, May 18, 2018

April and May Highlights

Including track, which will get a post all by itself, we have had a busy April and May.  Besides his regular church study/visitation and track coaching, Russ also officiated two funerals.  I kept busy carting kids to track practice, music lessons, library, etc.  Lydia also had testing and interviews at Cole Valley for her high school enrollment for next year.  (She did great and is officially enrolled for next year!)

One Saturday morning in April the youth group hosted a pancake breakfast fundraiser for RYS convention at Dordt this summer.  We have a great bunch of kids and had tons of fun working in the kitchen with them!

Seth came down with strep throat twice in about three weeks.  He also broke out in the "scarlet fever" rash both times which was absolutely miserable for him.  This called for lots of ibuprofen, Benadryl, and antibiotics.

What do you do when your spring days get a little warm--close to 90 degrees?  You take a break from school work and go to the Boise River. It is flowing pretty good this time of year with freezing cold snow melt!

While at the river, you also enjoy the wildlife:  osprey, snake, and heron.

We also enjoyed some of the music opportunities Boise had to offer.  I took the kids to a free concert put on by the Piatigorsky Foundation.  The fact that it was held in an old Jewish synagogue in downtown Boise was almost as cool as the concert itself.  An amazing tenor was accompanied by an extremely talented pianist.  The pianist had recently given a concert featuring all of Scott Joplin's music and treated us to the "Maple Leaf Rag".   Later in the month Seth's cello teacher, who plays for the Boise Philharmonic, gave us tickets to their concert that featured a cello soloist.  We stayed for a short interview with Mr. Bailey after the concert and realized by some of the things he said that he was the same cellist that Nicolas saw in Sioux City for a master cello class last fall!  Just this week, I picked Anna up from school and drove her downtown for an organ concert.  Every year Boise Music Week sponsors organ concerts over the noon hour at old churches that have pretty amazing pipe organs.  We briefly chatted with the organist after the concert.  He was thrilled that Anna was taking organ lessons and offered that she was more than welcome to arrange to play on the pipe organ.  He said the organists in the churches downtown love to encourage aspiring organists!

We are working super hard in homeschool so we can finish up with Iowa Tests of Basic Skills the week before Memorial Day--the same week Anna has finals.  Seth's curriculum this semester included a study of astronomy, so we had fun building a Mars colony, especially after watching The Martian (ClearPlay version 😉).

In all his free time (?), Russ built me new garden boxes.  They are currently all planted and seem to be doing great!

Seth and boredom do not mix well.  He has kept busy doing some painting outside for us, helping Russ with the garden boxes, mowing the lawn, and another one of his loves...baking.  He checks recipe books out from the library all the time.  One of the latest featured all kinds of breads.  I thought, "Yeah, right, he will never attempt to make yeast bread.  That book will never get looked at."  He proved me wrong by making these yummy rolls.  He only asked me to look at the dough to make sure it was the right consistency or if it had risen enough.  Otherwise, it was completely his project.  I'm thinking of handing the kitchen over to him...

Our busyness became even more complicated when the same week that our Ford Expedition died, Anna was rear-ended on Eagle Road on the way to school, totaling our Ford Fusion.  I hate that phone call in the morning. "Mom, I was in a car crash."  Thankfully, it was close to home and Russ was there within minutes.  That day Anna never cried; she spoke to the police like a trooper and insisted on getting to school quickly so she could still take her English and chemistry quizzes.  The next day, however, she was incredibly weepy and had a knot in her stomach.  Cole Valley had a special spiritual emphasis day that day so we let her stay home.  Incredibly, she never had stiffness or pain.  I'm pretty sure the car absorbed most of the impact.  Anyway, we went from three cars down to one.  We were able to juggle schedules with one car for a few days before we agreed to borrow two vehicles from church members who offered them to us.  We are currently looking for two used vehicles to replace those we lost.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break

Two weeks ago Anna had spring break at CVCS, so the homeschool kiddos also took a break (and mom too!).  We didn't travel or do too much out of the ordinary; we just enjoyed being home without an agenda.  Here are a few things we did do:

  •       All the kiddos still had their music lessons and practiced diligently all week.  Fun, I know.  
  •       Anna completed an assignment with her friend, Jackie (interviewing a Mormon for her Comparative Religions class) and then spent the day with her watching old movies.  
  •        Went to the dollar theater and watched "The Last Jedi."  I really like saying, "Five for The Last Jedi," and handing out a $5 bill instead of a $50. 
  •        The homeschool kids had their first track meet on Tuesday night.  Seth and Lydia each ran the 100m and the 400m.  We ditched the 200m because it was running late, we were tired, and it was  FREEZING.
  •        The homeschool kids still had track practice on Mon and Wed afternoon and Russ had optional track practice for the CVCS kids on  MWF mornings.  (Is it optional for Anna if your dad is the track coach?)
  •        I made kolaches as a treat for the kids while they were all gone for piano lessons Wed morning.  These are always a spring break treat, and we ate them in honor of Nicolas' nineteenth birthday which was on Thursday. Good thing he has an awesome Grandma who made some in Iowa for him!
  •  We walked the Boise River as a family one morning.
  • We hiked Table Rock with a friend and her kids on Good Friday afternoon and went out for ice cream afterwards.  Delsa's Ice Cream has a delicious German Chocolate Cake ice cream!
  • Russ and I went out to eat with a couple from church to a Basque restaurant.
  •   The family enjoyed fellowship with another family from church Saturday night at their home for supper.
  • We were blessed with a worshipful Good Friday service.  The choir sang RC Sproul's "Worthy is the Lamb" and sounded amazing!
  • Celebrated Resurrection Day with two wonderful sermons and fellowship at our table with a family from church as well as a widow lady and another older single woman who was headed to McDonalds for her Easter meal.

While we enjoyed a mostly quiet spring break at home, the college boys both traveled for their spring break which was a couple weeks earlier than ours.

Nicolas drove to Arizona with friends to spend time at one of the friend's homes near Phoenix.  From there they drove to San Diego and spent a couple nights at another friend's condo on the beach before heading back to Dordt.

They were even put to work for some spending money in San Diego!

View off the back deck of the condo in San Diego

Caleb drove with friends to Denver where one of the friends lived.  From there they flew to Los Angeles where that same friend has a home on Venice Beach in Santa Monica. 
 It sounded as though both had relaxing, fun-filled weeks making lots of memories with friends.

Not sure if this was a staged picture😊, but if taken at face value it looks as if some MCAT review was done over spring break!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Homeschool Senior Luncheon

Last year our homeschool co-op hosted a Valentine's luncheon for the more senior members of our church.  This year we pushed it back a few weeks and had a spring luncheon instead.  The menu remained the same:  salad, soups, rolls, and pie and ice cream.  Some of the kids participated in a little program and some of the kids brought things for the "project" table.  We had a little history trivia quiz at each place for everyone to work on as well as conversation starters underneath everyone's plate.  The afternoon was a huge success and the moms just enjoyed watching the generations mingle.

The invitations the kids helped me make.  Idea from this website.
The program
Working on trivia together

We have a talented artist in our co-op!

First time playing the cello in front of people!

I took Anna's place in their little trio

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Ligonier Conference

As mentioned in a previous post, Russ and I attended the Ligonier conference in Orlando early in March.  When he graduated from seminary four years ago this coming May, he and his three amigos--Ian, Stan, and David--decided that they would meet up in three/four years at the Ligonier conference.   Unfortunately, David's wife was unable to make the trip, and Stan and Juliet cancelled at the last minute because Juliet had fallen and broken her wrist which required surgery that week.  So our group was a little smaller, but we enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship.

The theme of the conference this year was "Awakening" and the topics considered the idea of "awakening" in the areas of the power of God's Word, through suffering, as seen in Scripture, in hospitality, through church history, through the Holy Spirit, in evangelism, in prayer, in personal holiness, and to the glory of God.  We had a wonderful time of refreshment with good friends and great teaching.

The one reason I like to fly United in the morning😋😋

Merritt Island Nature Preserve

Canaveral National Seashore

Joni Eareckson Tada speaking on suffering.

Spending time with sweet little Julia was so much fun!