Saturday, October 20, 2012

why is fall so magical...

i see my children love the outdoors just as much as they do in summer...even more...there's more to see, more to do, more to treasure...

more memories to make, fun to have

it must be so helpful for children, these seasonal changes....they learn so much about God's creation.
about each other.
about life.

it's a time of silliness despite going "back to school"
in our case, homeschooling.
a break from the grind of life.
i love seeing them appreciate His creation.

somedays are better than others, we take good with the bad...
but we have each other, and most of all,
we have HIM who holds us close, despite the changes 
around us.

THAT fact alone makes me happy.
and thankful.
lately, especially this past year, I've become more of the introvert I've always been, wanting to be with my family, at home, or wherever they are.
my ability to take on more than family and home responsibilities has shrunk.
i keep my chin up and head up to listen to His voice,
at what I should do, what I should not do.
somedays, it's hard, but I can never ever forget
that He has placed me where I am for a reason.

I will be here, on my blog, because I am avoiding Facebook for a couple months. For a variety of reasons.
I want to write more, and it's too much of a social distraction. I can talk to people I know and care about more, but really...when it comes down to it....the people that I MOST know and love ARE NOT on facebook...they are in my household.  Their names are:
Richard, Ella, Philip, and Will.
And, like always, this blog has been a treasure keeper of them, of our life together.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a very merry family of the ones Beth took...:)

*note, this one won't be coming to your house via an enlargement, MOM! I'm still keeping that one tucked close.  :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the great photoshoot swap....

recently, a friend (BETHY!!!) and I took photos of each other's families.  Well, I took her anniversary photos, and she took ones of Rich and me, and the kids.  It's been wonderful!  What a blessing to be able to accomplish such a swap!   Looking forward to doing it again.  The following photos are just a few Beth took...I want to surprise my parents with the family photos later.  :)  I must say...I'm so happy to be on the other side of the camera for once.   It was so fun.  And easier to breathe. Although, it was difficult for Buddy to submit to the whole getting your picture taken with your family thing. He had issues with things that afternoon/evening.   But, all the hard work paid off. It is neat to see my kids and us from a new it all!

THANK YOU , my dear friend, Beth!!!!!!!!! Sooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

So, here's a few more pics. But I cannot share all of them...they are surprises for a later date for certain people who read this blog. HEHE! But here are a few I think are safe....and I am sharing them because Sam asked for some more!!!!! But he'll have to wait for Christmas to see some of the others!!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

taking photos of my brother's family is such a blessing...

here are two of my favs.

and i have LOTS of favs.

but two for now.  i'm busy with photos up to my ears right now! plus homeschool! plus gearing up for National Novel Writing Month (of November)!!!

A Love Surrendered, a review

Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy has moved to Boston and is embracing the city life, with a new name and a wide-open future. When she gets involved with a fast crowd at Ocean Pier — one that includes the handsome Steven O’Connor — she is pulled deeper and deeper into a world of rule breakers and mischief makers. She finds herself drawn to Steven and the whole O’Connor family. But a secret Annie is keeping has the power to destroy her best-laid plans. Will Steven ever see her as more than a sweet country girl who needs protecting? And will he break her heart when he finds out who she really is? With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and the emotional twists and turns Julie Lessman fans have come to expect, A Love Surrendered will ignite your senses and inspire your spirit.

Julie Lessman is one writer NOT TO MISS.  Reading her novels is quite the experience- a wonderful way to delve into another world.  This is the third in a series, and I think perhaps my favorite book of the series.   I was on pins and needles, wondering what would become of Annie and her "secret."  The characters Julie creates are so entertaining and enthralling....never a flat character, and never a slow plot.   Thrilling!  And not only do you have one hero and heroine to follow, but several, and Lessman accomplishes this so well. It is not confusing, but a story that compels.  Bravo!
Thank you to Revell/ Baker Publishing for a complimentary copy of this book in return for an original review.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pippi Longstocking via Language Arts

As I planned this year out for language arts, I took the eclectic route....AGAIN.   Amidst a mental the guides from Total Language Plus.  I chose TWO for Ella this year, since I am also using materials from Veritas Press, Christian Novel Press, and Blackbird Press & Company. First up, Pippi!   After the first of the year, we will pick up again with Shiloh.


*thorough grammar, touching on everything it seems. I appreciate the preposition study, especially.
*extra "fun" activities. We didn't do many of these, but I'm tucking them in my memory for a rainy day, maybe for review.
*mostly oral comprehension questions.  Because there is SO MUCH to do, I thought this gave Ella a break from writing too much. One or two questions were written down in a notebook I required for her, however.
*unique to take a book and extract so much learning from it....very comprehensive


*slightly daunting to think of reading the same book for more than a month. whew!   that is why we skipped the last week/review.
*a lot of vocab, imo.   a LOT.
*for a fast reader, this type of study may not be the best. my Ella is a fast reader, so I had to find other books for her to read, of course, other than this and whatever else we were working on for history, etc.
*worth repeating- a week per couple chapters is A LOT to do.  I do wish the guide was only 4 weeks long, instead of 6 or 7.

Final word:

*We will be doing another study despite how long I think they are.

*Ella learned a lot, and I love the layout. I think it is a good thing to include in her LA this year.

*Worth the investment!!!!  I'd give it 4.5 stars out of 5. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

just a sneak peak- Seniors!

 *Above is a young woman whom I've known for almost 10 years....I'm thrilled to be able to share this time with her in a small way.  She is beautiful- through and through! Isn't she lovely!?

 This young man I've seen grown up as well- as he is family to my sister in law.   I had so much fun doing these photos- we went lots of places- library, tracks, and all.   His parents have to be so proud...for he is not only sporting a handsome smile but a knack for a variety of things!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Life With Lily...a review

For a child, every day is a thing of wonder. And for six-year-old Lily Lapp, every day is a new opportunity for blessings, laughter, family, and a touch of mischief. As she explores her world, goes to school, spends time with her family, and gets into a bit of trouble with her friends, Lily learns what it means to be Amish and what it means to grow up. From getting a new teacher to welcoming a new sibling, Lily's life is always full of adventure.

The first of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, Life with Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish--and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old.

 Donning my best attitude of simplicity and the freest form of contentment, I have settled down to read a sweet story- Life with Lily.   This book is a collaboration of two authors-  Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.    The insights into the Amish way of life are tender, real...and kept in my heart. I long for simpler times, and reading this takes me back to my own childhood, where I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, on the prairie, in my dreams, and even in the car. I think back on those days as I read this....Lily is adorable, and full of character.  I love seeing her live her days.   Kinsinger and Fisher have created a beautiful first tale about a beloved little girl.  Her lessons learned, her thoughts, her charms....adorable.  I love learning about "Life with Lily," and look forward to more!  

Thank you to Baker Publishing for a review copy in return for my original review.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

a few more preview pics, Kurt & Kristy....

*To see the preview wedding collage for Kurt & Kristy, please see my previous blog post and click on the photo to enlarge!