September Update

I’m close to caught up! How about a recap of our September?

We started September with a bang when the pest company found termites on our property. No activity on the house, but they were closer to the house than I would like and we could see some of their handywork on stray paper bags and other things. So, I gave them all our money to put out a bunch of bait traps around the perimeter of the house. Being an adult is expensive! πŸ™‚


Isaac started STEM scouts. Now he gets to look awesome and adorable in a lab coat and do fun science stuff every week. It’s his thing and it’s fun for him to has his own thing. He also had his speech classes start again. He goes and does this every Friday afternoon.

Ethan got braces! Did I mention that? Only 29 more months to go until he is done!I’ve invested in special threading floss so he can get it in around the braces and I also bought those little brushes to fit in all the little grooves. We also got a special flouride prescription. It’s a whole big ordeal to do tooth care now. It will be worth it, though!

Our church had an on-site women’s retreat the last weekend of the month. It was a fun concept. Friday night was a social/game night. Then we went home to sleep in our own beds and came back on Saturday morning for breakfast and to listen to a couple different speakers. I met some people and I came away feeling really encouraged and grateful.

Nathan is a part of men’s group that is meeting on Tuesday nights online. He doesn’t even have to leave the house. It’s led by our pastor and Nathan is really enjoying it.

Audrey turned 11! I almost forgot to mention that. To celebrate her birthday, Audrey and a friend of hers and I went together and took a trail ride. I have to be honest and say that I was nervous on that big horse, but it went fine and Audrey loved it! I also made a bunch of cookies for Audrey to bring to hand out to all her classmates at tutorial. She had a great birthday.


Happy Anniversary To Us!


14 years! I’m so glad I get to share my life with Nathan and so thankful for our kids. I couldn’t have dreamed up what our life looks like now. It’s so much better!

August Update

August was jam-packed with starting up our regular school schedule.

Ethan started going to school that is not in our house and that really changed up the entire feel of how we start our day. I realize now how spoiled I have been. I guess people get used to whatever their “normal” is. For our family, “normal” is having all the kids at home with me. “Normal” is being able to have everyone get up at 7:00 and not really have to worry about getting dressed that quickly or prepared to leave the house because most days weΒ  don’t have anything to be at in the morning.

Tutorial started up again also. We drop off Ethan at 7:45 and then we head to the church where our tutorial meets. We check in and have a short devotional and announcement time for everyone and then we are all off to our classes. Audrey has PE, Drama, Science, Writing, and Civics. Isaac has Inventors and Explorers, Lego Story Starters, PE, Math games, and Science. I have 2 hours of 1st grade Galloping and Globe and 2 hours of 2nd grade Cantering the Country. We finish up at 2:00 and then we waste a little time before we need to pick up Ethan at 3:00. Thursdays are the day when I come home, sit down and then don’t get up again πŸ™‚

At the end of the month, Ethan got braces! He looks like a teenager now. He was very resistant to the idea and I was feeling guilty about how much he was dreading it, but he has adjusted well. We’ll be back on Nov 1 to get them adjusted. I guess we’ll see then, how well Ethan is taking care of his teeth! The dentist said this will be about a 30 month process. I did the math on that and realized that if each of the kids has 30 months in braces and they all start at the same time, we’ll be in braces at this house for quite a while!

Ethan had an eclipse party at school. They all had the special glasses and they had several practice sessions to make sure they were safe πŸ™‚ I was still a little nervous about having the kids stare at the sun for a long time. At home, Audrey, Isaac, and I used boxes that Nathan cut a pin hole into and face away from the sun and look at the reflection. We learned that there is a huge difference between our area of 98% totality and the areas just north of us that 100% totality. Still, very cool to experience!

The other big update is that we decided to make the move to attend a church that is in our community. We’re enjoying being able to be at church with people in our city. It still feels a little awkward to be new, but time will fix that!

2 Months Of Catching Up

I think I left off with Ethan heading off to school and promises of photos. I’m going to attempt to catch up on the last two months.

It’s going to take more than one blog post though πŸ™‚

Ethan is doing really well at his new school! We had our back to school night meeting for the parents and I got to meet Ethan’s teachers. One of them I already knew and that went a long way to reassure me about this school year.

Here’s our first day of school photo. It’s not great because something is not working right with the photo editor I have installed here. I’ll have to figure that out later.



Ethan wasn’t super excited about this change. He didn’t like the idea of needing to get up and be out the door early in the morning. (Relatively early– ha! We’re used to slow mornings at home) He also wanted to be done with school stuff earlier in the day than the kids who go “off to school”. Two months into the year, when I ask Ethan if he had to choose home school or this school, he says he can’t decide. That’s good progress.

I couldn’t be more pleased with how it has gone. Academically and socially he is doing really well. He’s learning things, he gets along really well with his classmates and his teachers are enjoying having him. In two weeks, the first quarter will be finished.

On a personal note, I have a 7th grader? One of Ethan’s classmates is almost 6 feet tall. This growing up thing is getting real!

(Stay tuned. . . next post will cover family updates from August)

Farewell, Summer Break

This past week, we have been easing into school. Ethan hasn’t had to do any school work because his school doesn’t start until Thursday this week. Audrey and Isaac worked on Math & Language Arts/Reading.

I think we’ll do “Back To School” photos on Thursday when the kids start tutorial and Ethan has his first day. You’ll get to see Ethan all fancy in his school uniform πŸ™‚ Audrey has a new haircut. She had 3 inches cut off the other day. It’s still to her shoulders, but it’s more manageable.

I kind of want to rewind and have one more week of vacation. We had a summer that was packed full of fun things, but it was exhausting. I need a week of nothing!


Here’s what we did this summer:

Trip to MN for Henning Reunion.

Ethan went to Milligan College for a Bible Bowl tournament.


Visit from Jean and Ralph.

Ethan went to CIY trip.

Kids Trip to Georgia.

Nathan and I drove to GA for the weekend to hang with Justin and Kylene and bring the kids home.

Isaac went to Horton Haven Camp.

Audrey went to horse camp.

Trip to Illinois for Fritz reunion.

I’m making notes about how to make next summer be more restful and streamlined. We’ll see how that goes!





Horse Camp Wrap-up

It was, in fact, the hottest week of the year. We’ve had heat indexes of 100-106. I’m going to try to keep that in mind for next year’s schedule! πŸ™‚

I tagged along with Audrey for a while instead of dropping off Audrey and leaving right away on Friday. I wanted to capture some photos of her riding. I was lucky enough that their schedule started off with them spending time on the horses.

First of all, Audrey got to help groom Hamilton.





I am sad that I had to use my phone camera. It wasn’t cooperating well, but the other one wasn’t charged when it was time to go πŸ™ At least I got some photos, even though they aren’t perfect.

After leading Hamilton out to the arena, Audrey joined her horse that she rode for the week. That horse is named Bella. Audrey can tell you all about Bella. Audrey could probably tell you all about most of the horses there πŸ™‚ I took some photos of Audrey and Bella as they were getting ready to go for a trail ride.



And then she rode off to the trail.



It was a great week!

Horse camp

It’s Audrey’s favorite time of the year!


Just like last year, I seem to have chosen the hottest week of the year for this. It’s been in the 90’s and with the heat index it has felt like it’s over 100 outside in the sun. So hot!


All of last week, Audrey kept telling us how many days there were until horse camp. I worried that there was no way this could live up to her expectations. She loves horses more than anything! Thankfully, she has not been disappointed. It’s been a lot of fun even though it’s been hotter than blazes outside.



I look at that sweet face and see so much joy! It sure is fun to see her enjoy this so much.

Day Camp For Isaac

Friday was a day of driving to Georgia (by way of South Carolina because we went to Kylene and Justin’s old house first. Oops).

Saturday was a day at the ocean that included getting to see dolphins!!!!

Sunday we drove home.

And now it’s Day Camp week for Isaac. He does all the fun camp stuff during the day and then comes home at night πŸ™‚


I tried to get him to give me a decent smile. This is very difficult with Isaac πŸ™‚ He’s the most handsome, adorable child, but his eyes are never looking at the camera when he smiles. He points his smile toward me and his eyes are busy looking around at other things. So, I asked for a silly photo.

We’ve split the camp driving duties with some friends. My friend does the drop off in the morning and I pick them up in the afternoon. I like that part because I get to hear all the stories! Yesterday’s fun included time in the pool. Isaac told me he passed the swim test by swimming across the deep end! Way to go, Isaac! I’m not completely surprised because this is the child who doesn’t want a life jacket in the ocean because he wants to swim through the waves and not float on top of them! (Don’t worry, he was supervised and safe)

It’s fun to see Isaac try out new things!


The kids have been with Kylene and Justin. Yesterday was their surprise day.




It wasn’t just the kids who were surprised! When Kylene sent this photo, I did a double take πŸ™‚ The kids were dumbfounded, I guess!

The other part of the surprise was that they went camping.

Today, in about an hour, we’ll be pulling out of town and heading to meet up with all of them. We’re excited to hear about all of their adventures.

It’s Really Quiet Here

Not just here on the blog.


We went to the pool last week and hardly anyone was there for the first hour. Β It was awesome!



The thing that’s really quiet right now is our house. The kids are with Justin and Kylene. This means it’s so quiet it’s scary.

We dropped off the kids in Atlanta on Saturday. On the way home, we had to pull off the interstate and hang out at a gas station and wait for a storm to pass through. It was raining so hard. The south has rain storms that are ridiculous. That was at the halfway point in Chattanooga. The storm passed and then we made it the rest of the way with no problems.

On Sunday, we went to church. We only have two more Sundays with our interim pastor. He’s been great. He reminds us of Gary Benedict.





He’s actually a college professor who has taught preaching for many years. He’s leaving because we’re getting a new pastor! We’re really looking forward having him. So, it’s a good reason the interim is moving on.

I’ve spent the last several days reading and writing. I’m working through Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s all about what makes things spread or become popular. How was Paul Revere able to spread the news of the British coming, but we’ve never heard of the other guy that went and spread the news in another direction (his mission wasn’t as successful)? What made the crime suddenly plummet in NY? Why did Hush Puppy shoes become popular after no one cared about them for so long? What is it about Blues Clues that makes kids love it?

You’ve probably never wondered, but there is a science to this and it’s really interesting.

You might consider these things too if your house was suddenly empty and you had time on your hands. πŸ™‚

Another recent excitement was that Max got stung by a hornet. Nathan was dispatched to avenge this wrong. He emptied almost an entire can of wasp spray on the nest πŸ™‚


Two more days until we get to drive down to get the kids!