Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1st Day of School ~ 2016 ~

It's Thanksgiving in 2 days so of course I'm just now blogging about the 1st day of school!  That sounds about right with how busy we are!  I remember when they were babies and toddlers I used to think that when they were big kids I'd get a break.  I was so wrong.  It's just a totally different kind of busy.  And it requires more brain power on my part too so for some reason that just seems to make it more draining.  Now I can't just take them outside to play and put some random toys out and they'll keep themselves busy.  Now I have to plan social outings and be responsible for all of their schooling (homeschooling is hard work!) and they no longer are content to just take a walk with mom and play with toys.  Now they need friends, and games, and electronics (constantly trying to negotiate on time limits too) and they need to go to this event and this youth group thing and this co-op thing and school is hard now.  They have to think and write and math has fractions and decimals and word problems that take more than 2 steps and oh my gosh, the drama.  Sorry for that tangent, but yes, school started a while ago now and for all my complaining it's actually going quite well!  We still love homeschooling and the kids are busier than ever.  I cannot believe they are in 5th and 7th grade! 7th grade!  Just let that sink in.  I only have like 5 years left until my sweet girl will be graduating.  I can't even think about it right now.  It's insane.  

School this year consists of our homeschool co-op on Mondays where the kids take fun classes like Acrylic Art, Let's Vote!, Creative Dance and Ark Encounter.  It's momma's day off from teaching too so it's great for all of us.  My girl has discovered a love for dance and she's also taking a ballroom dance class on Saturdays.  I can't wait to see her recitals, both are coming up soon!  The rest of the week we do our homeschooling and they are both doing great.  They really are getting quite independent and that does make things easier for me.  We also pared down our classes this year and are focusing more on the basics.  I think last year we tried to cram a little too many extracurricular type subjects in and it ultimately just led to burnout and made our school days way too long.  I know all too well that high school is coming quickly so we are trying to enjoy our easier days and really get all of the fundamentals down before that time comes.  I'm so thankful to have lots of homeschool moms whose kids are just older than mine to go to for advice about things.  They've assured me I should not stress about high school quite yet, but enjoy these middle school years with time for field trips and reading for fun and time outdoors.   

I took some photos of the kids on their first day of school.  I remember that my girl was so not in the mood for photos and was acting the perfect part of a seventh grade girl that day.  I still got lots of good shots though and actually waiting to post them has made me appreciate them more.  Here are my favorites!  

He's got the smolder down. :)

She had been begging to dye her hair blue for the longest time and our sweet friend came over and helped me do it the day before these photos were taken.  It looked very cool and was a bunch of different shades of blue and purple.  It washed out so quickly though!  

She was really not in the mood for the 7 fingers shot.  And I really wanted a pic of the 2 of them together so they had to be ridiculous and all I got were silly ones.  Oh well, it's the real them!

By the end of our little shoot everyone was in a good mood.  I love this shot of her eyes!  They are such a pretty blue!

My favorite part of every first day of school post...the collages!  How cute was she?!

She's changed so much yet she's still the same. :)

Oh, my sweet boy, he was so little! I like seeing how his teeth have changed. 

He's looking so grown up too!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Summer Days

Although I felt like half of our summer was taken up with travelling, we were still able to cram in lots of fun days, and lots of lazy days.  It helps that we homeschool and I refused to start back to school at the beginning of August which is when the schools were starting around here. I'm old fashioned and we started the day after Labor Day, which is when we started when I was a kid.  We did a lot of the usual summer things like beach days (still kinda weird that that's our normal!), thunderstorm days spent in our jammies watching movies, and running errands, and just enjoying less stress without all of our normal school year commitments.  We made a summer bucket list at the beginning of the summer and while we didn't even come close to checking off everything, we did do a few fun things from the list like going to see Finding Dory, eating macarons, riding Cobra's Curse and painting my girl's desk.  We will have to make a list next summer and see if we can do any better!  I hardly took my big camera out at all this summer after our travels, so I'm really thankful for my iPhone even though I hate it at times because it's so addicting and I'm always threatening to get rid of it for an old school flip phone! I do appreciate the ease of taking photos when I'm out and about though.  I'm still figuring out how I'd deal with my Instagram addiction if I didn't have a smart phone.  Anyway, we had a pretty great summer and I took a bunch of photos to remember it by, so here you go! 

When we got back from Ohio, my little sister was in town to visit with my adorable niece.  We had some fun beach days with her.  She loved the sand!

She adores my girl and wants to do everything she does.  She was copying her and reading a book while my girl read a book.  And I just love that they are 9 years apart which is exactly how far apart my sisters and I are.  It is so fun to watch them together and think that was just how we were!

No, we didn't get a hamster, but we did pet sit for our friends while they were on vacation.  It was so fun having little Pinchki in our house for the week!  My kids both adored her, and I'm not gonna lie, I kinda liked her too.  Taking her picture was so hard because she's so twitchy and fast!  

Another beach day when we were chased away by storms.  I love the wind blowing her hair.

You could see a bunch of different rain clouds out over the water.  It was very cool. I took this panoramic shot and love how I got them all in one shot!

We went to this crazy art installation at Amalie Arena (where the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team plays) called The Beach.  It was basically millions of little plastic balls you could swim in and they made it look like a modern all white beach with a pier.  It was fun!

We spent an evening at the driving range brushing up on our swings.  We haven't gotten the kids back into lessons, but my boy is still a golf lover so maybe this spring we will.

My girl got some new reading glasses and she spent most of her free time this summer reading.  We both read the Miss Peregrine's book and so we went to the see the movie together with friends.  The book is always better though, and it was true of that story as well!  The bottom right photo is the first day of their homeschool co-op.  It did start in August, but we didn't officially start our school until after Labor Day.

I'm sad that summer is over but I'm glad we live in Florida where it is eternal summer!  I can enjoy my favorite season all year, but too bad we can't have no school all year!


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