Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sunday School Teacher

From July through September I have the privilege of teaching the older children's Sunday school class. We have a lot of fun with games and illustrations and crafts. Also, we started a Summer Reading program with prizes for reading so many chapters of the Bible. One young man read 120 chapters in a week, because he was so excited about it.


Nana's Visit- Game Time

Sequence States and Capitals is a fun game. We had to borrow markers from another game to make it work for five players.

Once again, Mom came to visit and to watch the kids while Frank and I were in Conference.


Alex and Sabrina's New Pen-pal

Our friend, Ellen is moving out of state. Sabrina asked her to become her pen-pal. This is how Sabrina and Alex got their pen-pals, who aren't family members.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Library- Fratello Marionettes

I was very happy to find out that the Fratello Marionettes were performing at our library. We had seen them in the past under another library system. They are very talented. It was also on a Saturday, so Frank got to go too.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Homeschool Group- Movie and Pool Party

A friend opened up her lovely home to the homeschool group for a movie day and a pool party. The kids watched Tangled. Then they played games in the pool, while the moms talked. It was a lot of fun. She is planning another one next month, to which we hope to go.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Library Summer Reading Program

Of course Alex and Sabrina have participated in the Library's Summer Reading Program. They have read almost 20 hours since the first of June. So far, they have gotten a coupon for a free cookie, a gift card to Raising Cane's, a free train ride at the mall, and some trinkets. However, the best thing they have gotten is the chance to read lots of books they picked out and enjoyed. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

I hope your Independence Day was as fun and relaxing as ours has been. Frank grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, and brats for lunch. We had a feast, with enough leftovers for tonight.

After lunch we played a few board games; Apples to Apples Jr, Ticket to Ride, and Pizza Party. Ticket to Ride became very tense with four players. It was fun, but we were all hoping nobody blocked our path, which, of course happened from time to time.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing. We have church tonight. It has been a great day!


Homeschool- Children's Classics Course

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that I can take something the kids are already doing and make it into a class for them.

I got the idea for this class from Sabrina, who is devouring the Classic Starts books. She has read all of the ones laying on their side in the picture above. (Sabrina will take this course again using the unabridged versions as a freshman.)

Alex is also either reading or listening to the audio-books of the unabridged version of many of the Children's Classics. In the past few months he has listened to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He is currently reading Aesop's Fables. My goal is for him to do one or two books a month, since he is also reading other books he finds interesting.

Although our family doesn't watch many movies I decided to add in some movies based on the Children's Classic books. It is fun and we enjoy comparing them to the book, which we will have already read or listened to.

To make it into a class I found worksheets and quizzes for Classic Literature on-line. Throw in a few author bios, book reports, creative writing, vocabulary, and even an original puppet show or two and we have a course based on something the kids were doing for fun. To keep it fun, I am allowing the kids to choose which books they read or listen to from a long list.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Whitney Ranch Rec Center Indoor Pool

Today's swimming lesson, (and yesterday's, which I did not go to) was held at the indoor pool at Whitney Ranch Rec Center. The lesson came first. Both kids can now swim! They are still working on form and stamina.

After the work came the play. I played in the water with them while Frank swam laps.

Frank has been going to the pool some mornings before work to swim laps in addition to the time he takes the kids. 

Just to clarify; the lesson time does not count for Alex's P.E. It counts towards the Congressional Award. The time after the lesson counts for P.E. for him. The entire time counts towards Sabrina's P.E.


Mr. Johnny

Mr. Johnny is a wonderful friend of ours. He spoils Alex and Sabrina terribly; he almost always either gives them a couple of dollars or buys them a treat at McDonald's. At first I protested, but he shut me down with, "They are MY kids!"

We met him at Walmart, where he works, a few years ago. One day he looked sad,  so Sabrina told him a joke. After that we started looking for him to say hi. A few months later he "adopted Alex and Sabrina".  Lest you think the spoiling is one-sided; the kids have given him their drawings and thank you cards. We even found out when his birthday is and surprised him with a gift. This is the second picture I have taken of him with the kids, and he will get a copy of it.

All it takes is being friendly to make a friend out of a stranger.


P.E.- Bowling

We picked up our friend to take her bowling. It was Sabrina's first time to bowl without bumpers. None of us are very good, but we had a very good time.


Alex's Kitty


Sunday, July 1, 2018


Hospitality seems like a lost art. Many times we have had people over and though they seem to enjoy themselves and say they will have us over in return, they often don't.  Lately, even trying to have people over is hard. Frequently people cancel, by text, at the last minute, (after all the preparations have been done). People are too busy or too into their routine and comfort zone. It's rather sad. Despite that we are committed to practicing the fine art of hospitality. 

So here are the benefits of Hospitality:

  • Strengthens bonds
  • Shows that spending time with people is important
  • Builds friendships
  • Cleans the house 😉
  • Shared memories
  • Involving the kids in preparing teaches them to value others
  • Investing in people
  • Human connection 
  • Sense of belonging to a community
  • Spend time with friends 
  • It's fun!

Yesterday we invited a family over that we liked, but didn't know very well. We worked together as a team to prepare the house and food. We had never met their older son before, yet the kids did a wonderful job of making him feel welcomed and helping him to enjoy himself. Sabrina entertained their toddler almost the entire time, (and had a blast doing it). We had so much fun laughing and telling stories that we never got around to playing the games we had set out. Both families are looking forward to getting together again. 


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Homeschool Group- Dinner and Board Meeting

Last night, one of my fellow board members invited us to dinner and to hold the board meeting at his home. Families were encouraged to come as well. He grilled chicken, veggies, and had fruit and chips. It was a very delicious meal. It was also a lot of fun.

During the board meeting the kids played games, jumped on the trampoline, and had a Nerf battle. The spouses got to chat and get to know each other better.


Nursing Home

We still visit our friend, Sharon, who is in the nursing home, weekly. Her room is so bland that the kids started bringing art on blank index cards every time we go. Then they started bringing extra cards to give to her roommate. Now they give the cards to all of the residents and nurses we see. Other residents know Alex and Sabrina by name and stop to talk to them. The nurses' cart has several of their cards taped to the side. 

It is a simple thing, but it really does bring joy to those who receive one.


Friday, June 29, 2018


Sabrina and I had fun being in nursery. This time we had two toddlers and a baby. Sabrina got some hands-on learning in dealing with a child, who wanted his mom, and didn't want to be in there. After a few minutes and some distraction, he was perfectly happy. I also showed Sabrina how to change a diaper, which is something she has not yet done. 

Sabrina is great at playing with the toddlers and entertaining them. She also helps clean up.



The kids are getting better at swimming and can go for longer periods of time. Frank is also teaching them new strokes.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ronald McDonald House- Cookie Crew and Caring Cards

Today, we met our friends at the Ronald McDonald House for the Cookie Crew. We made Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. They were very good!

We also brought supplies for the kids to make Caring Cards while the cookies baked. We spent two hours there today.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Game Night- Carcassonne

We played Carcassonne twice for family game night.


Crystal Palace Skating Rink

We bought the Summer Pass from Crystal Palace, which allows us to go six times at a much cheaper rate. We have discovered that if we get there about the time they open there is hardly anyone else there. We typically stay 2-3 hours. The kids skate almost the entire time, but I only skate about half the time.