Bucket List

I don’t have a bucket list, but I’m thinking I should write one.  So far, since I stopped writing on this blog, I have done a bunch of things I could mark off such list, if I had one.

Last year I went to hunter’s safety course, and passed, so I could go hunting with my boys. Hunting was quite cold and not really on my list of things to do, but I did it. One of those things I never would have thought to put on my bucket list.

hunting hunting2 hunting3

Last December Eric and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and our gift was a concert.  I had never been to a concert like that in my life. We went and saw Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s Lost Christmas Eve.  It was such an exciting and fun experience! 🙂

TSO2 TSO3 TSOticketsWinter lasted forever last year and I think this coming winter will probably do the same. It has been chilly these first days of October.  It’s a beautiful time of year though!  I love fall leaves!  Their smell, the crunch under my shoes and their beautiful colors!

Photography has been happening, though I haven’t been shooting a lot lately. :\ I did 2 photo shoots in September. One was a wedding and another was a maternity shoot.  Weddings are beautiful and I think I really love SMALL weddings! I’ve never shot a big wedding, but it’s not on my bucket list. 🙂 I get stressed out about small ones enough that a big wedding would just send me over the edge. hehe Anyway, it’s been an ok year as far as sessions go. I would definitely love more sessions.

This past July we went on vacation and had such a great time!  Vacation is NEVER long enough!  We decided to do a sight seeing trip and just enjoy the USA.  Our first stop was Colorado to visit my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Fred.  It was a visit that was too short, but we loved every minute of it!  My bucket list item from there was sitting on the summit of a mountain!  I had been to Colorado before, but never did that.  It was exciting, dizzying, and the road up the mountain was a tad scary!

DSC_0652 copyEric made a snowman in July because he could.

DSC_0496 copyDSC_0561 copy DSC_0582 copy DSC_0630 copyThe kids liked their mountain top experience ok, but Grace was a little freaked out over the heights.  Ryan experienced altitude sickness the worst out of all of us. He and Grace didn’t climb up to the summit of Mount Evans because it was freezing and scary. 🙂  Nathan came along!

We traveled through 16 states total on our trip and the kids still talk about it and what a great time vacation was this year!  I’m so glad!  It was such a fun, family time together!  I hope we can do another trip next summer and make more memories like that!

We started school in mid-August and I am enjoying the school year.  Of course, I was more excited about starting school than everyone else in the family. hehe  We are in Paths of Progress this year and are enjoying learning about different inventors this year!  Nathan is technically supposed to be a 9th grader this year, but i decided to just hold him back one more year.  I figure it’s ok if he graduates at 18.  🙂  Ryan is 7th grade and Grace is 5th grade this year.  These last few years of homeschooling have been so wonderful!  We love the Trail Guide to Learning series, and I am so thankful for them!

Maybe I’ll sit and write out a bucket list of things I’ve already done and things I would like to do in the future and make a page for it on my blog.

God is Good.


DSC_8033Grace thought my toenails needed painted.

She is quite right.  She should have painted my entire foot.

They are ugly feet.

DSC_8034 copy  She had a present wrapped for me for Christmas

and in it was the color she is applying to my toes.

DSC_8043 It’s quite the color on my oh-so-white feet.

BUT I am wearing it proudly on my feet because my daughter

thinks it looks really good. 🙂

DSC_8045Lovely toes. . .  I know you’re jealous. 😉

School Days

This school year is just moving right along!  Today we finished week 7.  Woo Hoo! 🙂  I am excited about how fast school seems to be going.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with our new curriculum and how it keeps us going every day.  I love not feeling lost and actually having a direction we are going in.  The kids are learning a lot of new things this year.  I probably have said that so many times when I write about school.

Last week we finished up our Columbus Unit in our Paths of Exploration book.  It being the 6th week, we finished up some projects and enjoyed a field trip last Thursday.  We took a field trip to the Imagination Cruise that is put on by Jennings.  We met some other homeschool friends there and had a pretty nice time . . . until it started raining so hard that we had to stay in the boat.  It was so nice cruising along the Three Rivers of Pittsburgh on top of the Empress.  Just hanging out and chatting and taking in the sites.


My friends, Liz (who is also my running buddy) and Katie and their children were all there.

While we were on the Rivers, we saw where the replicas of the Nina and Pinta were parked.  Unfortunately we did not get the chance to see them while we were in town that day.  They left on the 3rd of this month.  So that is a bummer, but at least we got to see them as we rode by on our field trip!

Last week we also learned about the phases of the moon and I found this fun idea on Pinterest.  The kids had a fun time learning out the different phases of the moon and enjoyed the tasty snack while sculpting their Oreos just so.  It made for a nice activity!

This week we started our new unit on Jamestown!  It’s been a pretty good week, though today was not so good.  To be honest, I was just glad to finish the day and have the weekend off!  We did have a field trip again this week!  This time we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo!  It was a rather sudden field trip.  My sister in law asked me Wednesday if we wanted to go Thursday since the weather was to be wonderful (oh, and it was PERFECT)!  So we did!

I love taking pictures of everything the kids do and see.  Well, almost everything.  🙂  I had to be sort of selective yesterday since I realized my battery was almost dead and I had left my charged one at home!  Thankfully I made it the whole field trip and my battery didn’t die!  Anyway, the kids had a blast with their cousin and I had a nice day chatting with my sister-in-law.  We enjoyed all the sites the zoo had to offer.  I loved seeing the baby rhino!  So cute!  🙂  The sun was in and out of the clouds all day and it was a warm 75 degrees.  I got a tiny bit pink on my nose, but I didn’t mind at all!  I figured we all could use a dose of vitamin D before the long, cold winter sets in.

We are going to start using the S.O.A.P. Bible Study method daily.  I’ve been trying to figure out what to use and what to do for Bible Study time and this is such an easy method.  I recently purchased the kids some new study Bibles and am excited for them to put them to use.  It took me a long time to find just the  right ones for them.

That’s all for now!  I’ll write more as our school year moves along!

God Bless!

Week 3 Done!

Last week and this week have been great weeks of school!  We are totally enjoying Paths of Exploration this year!  I am so thankful for the structure and a new way for my children to learn!  It is fun teaching, too!  I’ve been more excited about school than the kids are, as I may have mentioned before.  🙂

We are having fun learning about Christopher Columbus and doing all the interesting readings, projects, word studies, geography, history and all that goes with it.  I love the hands on activities and art times that are involved with the lessons.

One child still complains about how “long” school takes each day, but I remind this child that we aren’t doing anything else until our school work is done.  It doesn’t matter how LONG school takes! 🙂



Some of these activities are easy for Nathan, but I think he is enjoying school.   I just questioned him and he said “I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it is different.”  Grace said she “enjoys and loves it.”   And Ryan said “it’s great.”  They all say they like how the curriculum is going somewhere and they are learning new things.  This does my heart good!

I was drawn to this curriculum and it has been such a blessing to me and to the kids.

The kids have also done great with their math.  A couple days this week they have been up early and working on some of their schoolwork!  Oh, how I love this!  I’m pretty sure it won’t happen all year long, but I’m certainly going to enjoy it while it happens!  I’ve been bragging about them within earshot and telling them how proud of them I am.

Ryan, my struggling reader, enjoyed reading Meet Christopher Columbus so much today that he went pages beyond the read aloud assignment.  This is an excellent thing for him!

I love homeschooling this year!

Week 1 – Done!

My kiddos on the first day of school.

I know it’s a repeat picture, but I can’t help myself.

Nathan  listening as his brother reads.  He’s so serious, I know.

Really, he was listening just fine until he realized I was about to take a photo.

Ryan doing his daily read aloud.  This is during our first day of school.

I LOVE Paths of Exploration.

It’s such a different way of schooling, but a wonderful different.

Grace is here doing her copywork.  She likes to do this part.  🙂

Now, I love POE because it covers so many different topics!

We’re still trying to find our groove and figure out how to make it work for us,

but it is going wonderfully.  At least in my opinion.

Grace minced a clove of garlic for the kid’s cooking part of the lesson today.

Ryan was using kitchen shears and cutting of the gross pieces from the chicken tenderloins.


Nathan cried his way through dicing up an onion. 😥

He made sure he let everyone know he was not really crying.

I was just having fun teasing him a little about it.

This is the almost finished meal of Chicken Paella.

Sooo delicious I tell ya!

I ate a whole bowl and then a little extra.

And a little extra after that.

The kids enjoyed their time in the kitchen and it was fun helping them out!

Fridays are a nice, relaxing day where we just catch up on what wasn’t done during the week.

That’s probably one of the things I love about POE.  I also love how everyone is involved in the learning processes!

They all learn differently, but it kind of appeals to everyone.

Orange Juice

My husband wanted me to find a juicer (he’s been drinking lemon water lately). 
The only one I could find at the store was this nifty one, shown above.. 
 Well, I couldn’t buy that without
buying a huge bag of oranges!  This morning the kids made their own
orange juice while I made them some buckwheat pancakes!
They enjoyed making their own juice and it was fun watching them.

Closing This Down

I’m trying to run 3 blogs and it’s getting to be a circus, lol.  I’m going to import this blog to my Strobel’s Happenings blog and just do our homeschool updates there.  Much easier that way!  If you don’t follow me over there please join!

Thanks for reading/commenting!
I’ll be closing this site down after this weekend.

Strobel’s Happenings  
See you there! 🙂

**This IS an imported post.  I AM NOT closing this blog down.  However, I AM closing down our homeschool site after the weekend. **