Friday, August 17, 2018

A majorly memorable summer!

   I cannot say enough about what a great summer it's been! We've done more this summer I think than the last few summers combined. I believe it has something to do with Jared being just a bit older! 
  This summer, we went to the community pool, which we hadn't done the last few years, believe it or not! We went to The Science Spectrum, we went to the Christian Science Museum, we went to a family reunion in Conroe, we went to the ocean in Galveston, and we went to Palo Duro Canyon. Feeling pretty accomplished! 
  Here are just a few pictures to sum up our summer. 
At the end of this blog, I will share our plans for the school year, as it is fast approaching. I cannot believe that! 
  To begin, here are just a few pictures from a really, really great summer! 

Some of these are out of order for some reason, and I can't get them to cooperate! But...we went to the carnival this year for the Fourth. Very fun, as always, and Kaleb was super brave and rode on some scary rides with Daddy! 

We ALSO had a baby born this summer, so we had to get our toes done before her arrival! (Aunt Shelly had a baby girl!)

On our way to a family reunion to wish Papa a happy 90th birthday! (Justin's side!)

These three are snuggle buddies. 

Oma and Opa came with us on our beach vacay! They were looking out over the ocean on the ferry. It was a great ferry ride!

Mom came too! It was a really wonderful vacation. We probably would have sat like this on our beach front balcony for hours if we hadn't planned so many things...;) It was breathtakingly beautiful. 

This was our view while waiting for dinner at the Stingaree Restaurant and Marina. 

And this...

Had to get a picture of her here on our balcony. She and Jared and Kaleb spent a lot of time playing out here. 

Had to get some family photos while we were at it. 

She found a frog friend, and wouldn't let him out of her sight!

Golf cart time!

Cutest store ever! The shelves are completely packed with anything you could ever dream of for your beach getaway. 

How 'bout this cool chair?

This was our view driving on the road going into the beach area. 

Sunset one night 

Ferry time! 

Intertubes were a hit!

Oma and Opa rented their own golf cart too. 

Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe was yummy.

She found a rainbow and had to get a picture! 

Nana got everyone their own new sunglasses so we tried them on in the restaurant. 

I like the color of our golf cart the most!

Since we were in the area, we had to make a stop at Moody Gardens and see the rainforest. 

Jared is so funny about sticking that tongue out for pictures. 

Jared's "I'm mad at Nana, but I fell asleep," face.

Had to get a picture of the sunset going home. 

To top it off, when we got home, our new cousin arrived the day after! It was SUCH amazing timing, really. God worked it out, I think. Shelly never, ever goes into labor on her due date, but this time she did. And for real, my one big concern while on our trip was that she would come before we got a chance to be there! Saw God's hand all over it! 

Isn't she beauuuuutiful?!

We love Aunt Shelly.

Our first view at Palo Duro Canyon!

A storm was brewing. 

This was our first hike! 

Picnic time!

We saw the play, "Texas," while at the canyon. It was good! 

I said, "Jared, can you smile for the camera?" 

These two...:) 

This doesn't really do it justice. But this was the view we had at the amphitheater.

For some reason, these are out of order. But these are the rest of the carnival pix!

On the ferris wheel!

I guess she was tasting the air? Lol!

Daddy has a new thrill ride friend!

Just a cute one for fun!

Parade time on the Fourth!

She was talking to Aunt Shelly about her baby in her tummy. 

And then this happened that day as well...I said, "Hey, let's play on the trampoline with water..." and this is how they took it. 

Kaleb said, "They look like mud monsters."
Yep, Kaleb, they do. 

Needless to say, Brookey and Jared got baths before they continued in the Fourth of July festivities. 

Brookelynn is our artsy one. She loves to paint, draw, you name it. 

Church with the cousins is so FUN! On this particular day, I believe, David next to Brookey, was getting baptized!

Pool time!

Pool time with Auntie Sarah!

   Looking over these pix makes me just want the summer to come back...I can't emphasize how great it's been.  
    I even redecorated my bathroom with a beach theme!
  But, as wonderful of a summer it's been, I'm SO excited about this approaching school year. 

    I must say, I'm nervous too. We are starting  a new curriculum we've never used before, and, for this new homeschool momma, that's getting me a bit out of my comfort zone! 

   We have been using My Father's World the last two years, and the kids and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. 
   But, as they're getting a bit older, I feel like they need more variety in their education. My Father's World is a really great start to homeschool, don't get me wrong. But I just feel like switching to another curriculum is better for our family.      

  Therefore, we will be starting Abeka this year. I look forward to what it entails, and how much they will learn from it, as it looks like a LOT more work than we've been doing. But I feel like that'll be a good switch for us, for many reasons. 
   I've really had to do some soul searching, and a lot of praying, about what activities to be involved in this year. I think I may have narrowed it down enough, but I won't really know until we get into the groove of things what I might need to cut out or add into the schedule. 
   As it looks right now, I want to be involved in a women's bible study at First Baptist. (I've been a part of a really wonderful one this summer that I've thoroughly enjoyed, but I think it is ending when the school year starts.) Justin and I will still be leading worship and attending our current church we go to now, but my bible study will be at First Baptist. 

  Brookelynn will be starting piano, which I am so excited about! She seems interested. She will not continue her gymnastics, which she is totally fine with! She and Kaleb will be going to Mission Friends on Wednesdays, like they usually do, which is just a bible program at a local church with their cousins. And that is about it, besides school. I want to leave a lot of time for school, because I think we will need it with this curriculum I've chosen. 

   The only concern I have, mainly, about all of this, is Jared. He is just at that age (3) where he's not completely got the attention span to sit still for very long at all (He's a boy, too, which contributes to that problem!). So, I've arranged for him to have a babysitter two days out of the week while I do school with the other two, and then of course, he will have his own "school" he does alongside us, for as long as his attention span will allow (which, like I said, is NOT very long...maybe five minutes? I'm not joking!). He does have his own curriculum from Abeka that I've started with him, and he loves it. He actually will sit for longer periods of time than Kaleb would at this age, so that is awesome. And he likes his "school," and he is very smart. But, during the times his attention runs out, and there is no babysitter and the other kids need to do school, we will let him do ABCMouse on the Ipad, which he seems to like. And, of course, there is still naptime. :) I also am going to try my best to spend some good mommy time with him before I start the day with the other two. I did this last year, and it really helps him feel included. :) I have to admit though, that part of me is excited for him to get past this stage, and onto wanting to sit for longer periods of time and do school with us. But - each stage has it's advantages and disadvantages. I'm trying to enjoy each stage!

  Well, that is about it. If you've gotten to the end of this blogpost, congratulations! :) 
  I look forward to writing more about how Abeka is going next! Exciting! 

Blessings to all,