Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Another School Year Ends

School is officially over for the Herman family!  We finished our curriculum two weeks ago and had standardized testing last week.  So Monday of this week was our first day of summer vacation.  I always feel a little lost that first week of summer break since my day usually revolves around homeschooling, but I am finding plenty to keep me busy, especially those things that are usually put off for a later time.  I am grieving a little at the thought of Anna moving on to Cole Valley next year.  I am excited for her, but packing up her homeschool books/supplies was bittersweet.

A few pictures of our last homeschool units:  Australia and Coral Reefs and Antarctica.  

Anna shaped her clay coral reef in the shape of Australia and Tasmania.

Grandpa and Grandma were here to enjoy our Australian "kangaroo" pies with pavlova for dessert.

There is not as much to study in Antarctica, but we enjoyed studying Shackleton's adventures via DVD and designed a flag for the continent.

The older boys were both blessed to find jobs this summer.  Caleb is "mannying" for a family in church four days a week, stripping wallpaper and painting for another family, and also doing some painting at church.  This past weekend he drove to McCall to babysit for a church family who was attending a "location" wedding.  Nicolas is working at a milk testing lab 5-6 days a week.  He will also try to attend football camp when it does not interfere with his work hours this week and next week.   He has been asked to play cello for a wedding in a couple of weeks so he is trying to fit in some cello practice as well.  A couple weeks ago he auditioned for the BPYO again and found out he and his cello will play in the orchestra another year. (I think mom was more pleased than he was:). Towards the end of the school year he ran for student council president and was voted into office after a very effective campaign:).  This position requires him to attend a retreat in McCall the last week of June with the other council members and class representatives to plan for the next school year.  The only problem we have is how to get everybody where they need to be with four drivers and only two cars.  A family from church loaned us their suburban until we found a reliable used vehicle in our price range.

The newest addition to the family, 1999 Mazda 626, 140,000 miles with basically one owner.  

The other kids will be typical summer kids...library reading program, swimming lessons (Seth), a few art/science lessons at the Boise Watershed, piano/viola practicing, a little math/Khan Academy, playing outside, and doing chores for mom.  Like most parents I am trying to find creative ways to limit screen time.  Russ also has some book cataloging for Anna to do for him at his church office. She loves to organize and help in the church library too, so not a hardship at all for her.  Seth performed in his very first piano recital while Grandpa and Grandma were here, and Lydia her first viola recital the following weekend.  Since most of the string students are beginners, Lydia's viola instructor (and formerly Caleb's) asked if Caleb would be willing to play a piece.  This gives all those beginners (and their parents) a little bit of an idea of what they are working towards!  I had not heard Caleb play his Dordt recital piece and was impressed at his progress on the viola.

As for Russ and I...we fly out on Thursday for Grand Rapids.  The URC Synod is meeting next week, but we are going early to spend some time together and with our seminary and Grand Rapids friends before Synod actually begins.  I will fly back to Boise on Monday and Russ will stay for the meetings and fly home on Saturday.  While in Boise this summer, Russ will continue with his Mark sermon series on Sunday mornings and will preach a series on Ezra at the evening service.   Every Wednesday night we are offering the Bible Study, Behold Your God, at church. Since I have watched the videos twice, and my kids have also watched them, we volunteered our services in entertaining younger kids so both parents could attend.   Last Wednesday was our first session and was it was very well attended.  The kids and I played competitive games of kickball, ultimate frisbee, Bocce, and croquet.  Since it will be about 20 degrees warmer this week, we did come up with a few craft options for those who would prefer to stay indoors in air conditioning (like me!!).

All in all, I think the summer will go by quickly, so we will just enjoy each day as God gives them to us!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Grandpa and Grandma Visit

I wanted to post a few pictures from Grandpa and Grandma Bleeker's visit early in May.  Zoe was so excited when they arrived.  Not only did two of her favorite people come to visit, Caleb (another much loved human) was with them!  Okay, so maybe I was just as excited to see those three drive up on that Saturday evening.  It is just so good to hug those you love after only talking on the phone or through FaceTime for so many months. 

While they were here we made a trip to Edwards Greenhouse for garden plants and flowers, took in a the district track meet, walked the Boise River in Eagle, visited the MK Nature Center, drove to Stanley for a day outing, enjoyed street tacos and ice cream at the Village, worked in the garden and landscaping, attended a piano recital, did a little shopping, and best of all, just enjoyed visiting face to face!

Our trip to Stanley was a little chilly, even beginning to rain at our destination, Redfish Lake, but we enjoyed the hot springs on the trip back.  No trip to Stanley is complete without a stop at the Lowman Ranger Station for a bathroom break and a Krispy Kreme doughnut!

Getting our feet wet in the hot springs.  Some hot springs are up in the parking lot, but for the bigger pools you need to hike down by the river.  The Payette River was a little high this spring making it a little more of a challenge.

Helping Grandpa plant a new rose. 

 Watching the rainbow trout and sturgeon at the MK Nature Center.

Waiting for ice cream at the Village!

On our walk along the Boise River.