Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Since we are taking a homeschool spring break along with the big boys I thought I could take some time to update the blog and what everyone is up to.  

Caleb:  This boy has been extremely busy with college stuff:  essays, forms, scholarship applications, etc.  He is relieved to have finally made the decision to attend Dordt College next school year.   He was pretty sure this was where he wanted to attend, but then began to waver a little when he found out he was a finalist for the Michigan Medical Scholarship at Calvin.  They contacted him regarding being in the interview stage the night before he flew out to Grand Rapids to meet the Guatemala team.  Since he knew the interviews were scheduled the weekend he was in Guatemala he assumed he would be ineligible.  While en-route to GR they called to tell us that they wanted to interview him the  next day while he was in town.  He had planned to meet with an admissions counselor and the pre-med adviser over lunch, but it turned into a full-fledged scholarship interview.  Last Monday he found out he did not receive the scholarship, so he is back with Dordt and quite pleased with that decision.   We love the fact that he will be near family next year--it will make the parting slightly less painful...maybe?

He had another great trip to Guatemala.  If you see him, ask him about the trip.  He did put together another video of the week.   You can access it here on youtube.  He missed the first few track practices while in Guatemala so was unable to participate in the first track meet (Idaho has a rule that you have to attend 10 practices before the first event).  He did run his first meet last Thursday night and seems to be off to a good start in the 800m.

It has been a blessing to watch him enjoy his senior year in a new school.  He has made some good friends here and still keeps in contact with his friends from NorthPointe--one of the wonderful things about social media today!  If fact, he was able to get together with several NP friends while he was in GR and he said they picked right up where they left off.   

Over spring break we plan to do some "senior" things:  order some senior pictures and graduation invites to graduation and plan his party.  

After working on his rat trap car for Physics all Saturday morning and still not getting the 30 feet needed to get an "A", it became a family project.  He was happy to report that it went 53 feet in the high school gym the next week.  I think we all get an "A".

Nicolas:  This boy, as I may have mentioned before, is even more social than his brother.  What we have also noticed is that he has grown just a little more sassy.  But he delivers his sass with just the cutest smile that absolutely no one can be upset with him...except his mother, of course, who is immune to his charm.  Just kidding.  He has fit into Cole Valley very well and has had many opportunities to socialize.  He still keeps busy with the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on Monday evenings, along with cello lessons.  He also has been observing at a small animal vet clinic in town which he absolutely loves.  He plans to apply for a summer job there as soon as he turns 16 (Sunday!).  We finally got the ball rolling on driver's ed here in Idaho and he just finished all his course work so can begin driving with an instructor.  I am not quite ready to have another driver, but if he gets a job, it certainly will be nice for him to toodle himself around.  Right now track has started so he is working on perfecting his 400m time.  We'll make sure to do a track blog as the season progresses.

Anna:  Anna had her braces put on last week and couldn't be cuter.  She seriously looks so sweet in them!  After a few days of discomfort she has adjusted well.  Since her teeth are not in awful shape they estimate she will only have them on about a year.  After much blood, sweat, tears, we finally talked Anna into running track for a homeschool track club through the Idaho Christian Running Club.  Lydia and Seth were excited...Anna not so much.  I even cried (to Russ) after the first few practices (we only meet on Mon and Wed afternoons and have about 5 track meets) because I knew how hard it was for her, how much she didn't want to do it, and the fact that she was doing it just to please Russ and I.   I am happy to report that she has completed several workouts and is very proud of herself.  I wouldn't go so far to say she is "enjoying" track, but she doesn't hate it either.  I was able to talk her into going out for track by saying the meets were optional.  We have our first meet tonight and she is even considering running the 200m!!   I love to see her trying something new and having some success.  She does love her piano, though.  We noticed that a girl on the track team is missing part of her middle finger, and Anna admitted to me later that she "would just die if she was missing part of a finger and couldn't play the piano."  She has really improved over this last year and I sometimes have to look to see if it is Caleb or Anna playing.

Lydia:  Lydia is like a pig in mud on the track.  She has her daddy's stamina and is just a natural runner.  I don't think I have ever really seen her breathe hard.  She is planning to run the 100m, 200m, and 400m tonight.  My only regret is that Russ will not be home to see the kids run in their first track meet.  (More on that below).  Lydia also is still working on the violin and piano, but is not as good as practicing.  She would prefer to roller blade with Seth, draw pictures in her sketchbook, or play with Anna.  

Lydia made this for Russ and I while we were in Florida.  Think she missed having her family together?

The girls made necklaces out of the shells we picked off the beach in Florida

Seth:  Not too much new on this kid.  We are glad he has an inhaler so he can participate in track.  He takes a few puffs before practice and has not had any problems.  He is planning to long jump and run the 100m and 200m tonight.  He takes everything so seriously and his running is no exception.  He concentrates hard on his form and speed and is very compliant with the coach's instructions.  Where is that child at home?!?  Since the weather has been beautiful he does spend quite a bit of time outside rollerblading with Lydia.  That is good since ice cream is his favorite food.

Russ:  Currently, my dear husband is in Washington preparing for his final two exams for ordination.  We are praying all will go well and he can be officially ordained in April.  He will be so glad to put this study behind him as the exams have been hovering over him and pulling him away from sermon preparation, visiting church members, starting a men's study group, and getting a confession of faith class off the ground.  He is looking forward to, well, moving forward.  As the kids all participate in track this spring I think he misses coaching.  Some of the boys' coaches are first-timers and have given him permission to assist and give input.  He could hardly hold himself back from giving other kids advice on their long-jumping technique at the last track meet.  "Um, they have a coach, honey."  It was just too funny.  

Me:   Last weekend I was able to earn 20 CEUs at a conference in Salt Lake City which is about 4.5-5 hrs south of Boise.  Russ and the younger three came along and explored the area while I sat in class (more on that in another post).  The older two had a track meet and school so they took care of the house and pets for us.  

We have all enjoyed our new den area.   Caleb texted us one noon hour (they can leave campus and often browse the local Goodwill) that the Goodwill had a nice, clean leather couch for sale.  Russ went to look at in while we were at BSF and ended up buying it without me even seeing it.  Pretty brave... When they got it home and I found out there was a matching love seat, we went back to buy that and a $15 end table which Caleb painted.  Caleb also turned two $1 wooden TV trays into rolling shelves/end tables (painted them black, built a shelf on the bottom, and put wheels on them).  Seth and Lydia can store their homeschool things on the bottom and we can use the tops as end tables.  We no longer have an official homeschool table, but have managed just fine.  The only problem is that the kids now insist we need a bigger TV...

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