Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer Wrap Up?

With school starting next week, I guess I could call this a summer wrap up. Although the weather outside says summer is here to stay. We have been enduring 100 degree temps for what seems like forever. Hiding in the air conditioned house is getting a little old. So it was nice to come across some more photos from earlier this summer to remind me we haven't been cooped up here forever.

I love this little boy of mine. He is a mama's boy through and through.

Oh... and this big boy! I am truly a blessed mama!

My hunky husband (and in the background, another sandy blessing).

Dance recital was a very busy day this year. Emma was in two different shows on one day. She did great, and it was the first year I got to be in the audience instead of back stage with her.

We took a field trip to Gilman Ranch and learned all sorts of new things. Here's Emma making rope. Luke decided he would plop right down in the dirt and watch.

They also got to try their hand at roping.

We found the BEST swimming lessons. The kids have taken swim lessons from the city for the last several years, but this year we took them from Mr. Tim who teaches in his pool. It was amazing. We got to do four weeks and I'm proud to say all three kids are swimmers now. Well, Zach and Emma are completely independent, but even Luke was kicking to the side of the pool and grabbing the edge by himself.

My big fish!

Summer wouldn't be complete without a few beach visits with the von der Lindens. We LOVE these boys and are so blessed to have them and their parents in our lives.

Ahhh... so the whole summer has not been spent held up in our house. It's not really a terrible place to be. It's filled with three loud, but cute voices all day long. The man of my dreams walks in every night happy to see us. And the air conditioning works :-).

Nope, not a bad place at all.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Our little girl rocks my world - every day. Being witness to her growing up is amazing. She has such a caring heart for those she loves. She is such a lover and such a girly girl. Don't get me wrong, she can hang with her brothers - both younger and older. She lights up her little brothers face like no one else can. She is such a second mommy to him and wants to teach him everything she knows. And her older brother just doesn't take everything so seriously when he spends time with her. She makes him comfortable enough to just be himself. She turns her daddy into goo. He is head over heals in love with his baby girl. And me... well, she softens my heart in the very best way. She makes me slow down and enjoy life more. She reminds me what life is all about.

And some how six years have slipped by since she so quickly arrived in our lives. Six beautiful years. I love you my Emma Dawn!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Math Review

We have not started the official school year yet, but Zach has been doing math, english, and spelling through his few weeks off. I recently used a gift certificate I got a year ago to a teacher's resource store on some math manipulatives. We love Singapore math, and it is working great for both student and teacher, but as we start learning multiplication and division I am finding that 'fingers' are not all we need. I found these Unifix cubes (great fun for my Lego loving boy) and got them out today to explain dividing by twos. Talk about seeing the light bulb go on! He is having so much fun "showing" me each problem on his worksheet.

I also got a pair of dice which we used to make an addition worksheet. Throw the dice and add up the numbers. I think I will be getting a few more dice next time I am there.

The other game I got was a "war" card game with addition and subtraction problems on the cards. We had so much fun playing with those last week. I am going to have to keep an eye out for multiplication and division ones too.

Math was not a subject I enjoyed in school. I wonder if that is because I got in my head that I just wasn't good at it? Looking at it now, I love to solve things, and solving number problems shouldn't be that different.

So... here's to breaking that mold and trying the best I can to make even math fun for my kiddos. Did I just say 'math' and 'fun' in the same sentence? Yes... I think I did ;-)

More Summer Highlights

My parents decided to travel cross country this summer and so it was up to us to keep their house company ;). It just so happens their house is a few blocks walk to the beach (yes, I know what you're thinking, "poor us!"). We spent several weekends and a couple weeks down there and really enjoyed some great beach weather and a slower pace of life. Someday....

Anyway, here are some of the highlights:

Sunset walks on the pier

Sunset ukulele sessions on the patio.

Happy kids on the beach.

Happy boy on the beach.

Happy feet on the beach.

Yes, we enjoyed the beach, the house, and the time away from the 100+ temps at home, but if Nana and Papa leave for that long again they have to take a couple grandkids with them ;).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Highlights

Since School is right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to highlight some of our summer fun this year.

Our family has spread out a bit around the country over the past few years, and so it is so special when we are together. We enjoyed a visit from my brother and his family very early this summer. It was so fun to have the cousins together for a couple days. My parents treated us to a trip to the Scripps Aquarium.

I love this photo of Papa and Luke together. Luke has quite a thing for his Papa, which I think is not only very cute, but very good for both of their hearts.

Just after we said goodbye to my brother, my sister came for a visit. (Next time some better planning needs to go into timing!!) Dawny tries to make it out twice a year for a couple weeks at a time, and we sure enjoy it. This year our parents treated us to a very special long weekend on a houseboat on Lake Havasu! Such a treat! It was so fun to all be together all weekend long. We all had a great time in the water and on the boat. Papa was Captain and Chef (and did a wonderful job at both!). Mom rented a 2 person kayak and two stand up paddle boards for us to play around on. We found a lovely little beach in a cove and beached the boat there for the weekend.

Co-Captain Emma on the top deck

Zach enjoying a lazy float

Danny getting lucky

Mom and Dad relaxing on the top deck

Lukey loving on Aunt Dawny

Perhaps my favorite photo of the weekend. From mom's camera. Enjoying the sunset.

Yes, great summer memories!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Harvest Crusade

Tonight we attended the Harvest Crusade at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. I have been wanting to go to one for years and never made it. Last night I was able to watch it live on-line for awhile, but it was nothing like being there. The music was great, the message was awesome, but nothing compared to watching thousands of people fill the ball field and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

God is Awesome!

It's Summertime

We are celebrating a bit of summer these days. Zachary just wrapped up his 2nd grade curriculum, and Emma is almost done. Zach asked to start ECC as soon as he closed the last book on Adventures, but I told him a couple weeks off is in order. It's really been too hot to play outside, and unfortunately we've had some sick days too. I really think we are all looking forward to getting back to school again. There is something about the rhythm of the school days that are just comfortable for us. I know I am more than a little nervous to start this year. 3rd grade seems like a huge jump in work from 2nd. Add to that a 1st grader that is learning to read, and a toddler that has a 20 second attention span. Yes, it is going to be an interesting year. As far as extra curricular activities this year... by the grace of God Emma's two dance classes ended up being back to back on the same day. We have Zach signed up for an astronomy class on Monday afternoons. I hope to take the younger two to the library while he is in class. Everything looks great on paper. I think it's about time to give it a go.

Well... maybe one more week off ;-). There is a bit more organizing I would like to do around the house and we have a very special family coming to visit later this week. A few more "summer memories" before we dive into another great year of learning together.