Monthly Archives: July 2009

Wesley Graduates from the 8th Grade

I have a few  pictures of the 8th grade celebration we had this past weekend.  A surprise, I know that I would post pictures. 🙂  Wesley went through the graduation ceremony for jr. high graduates our states homeschool committee puts together each year.  Since celebrating milestones in life is important to me we participated in it.

I don’t have any pictures of Wesley at the actual ceremony.  They were too dark since we were at a distance from him.  But I did get this one of Zachary and a friend.  They look very guilty, don’t you think?  They were making plans for when Wesley’s name was announced – and I caught them!  It might be safe to say we were one of the loudest sections in the building.


After the ceremony, we went back to our hotel suite where we had a little party.


About 2 hours before the ceremony we worked on getting the food put together.  It’s amazing what you can do in a small area.


This picture is for all you mom’s that feel challenged in the creativity department.  You don’t have to feel bad ever again.  Could you be any less creative than me?  I put this board together in just about 20 minutes.  For the added decorations to the board, I used Reward Stickers I had on hand. 


It was a fun time for Wesley.


We even got a little speech from him.


Russell’s dad and my parents were there.


And finally, all the family except for Seth. 


I didn’t get a picture of the dessert table but one thing I made was mini-graduation caps using candy.  I got the idea from Bakerella and they are just the cutest thing.  You can see what they look like here.



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Swimmin’ at the Crick

I have a few minutes before I need to get busy in the kitchen cooking up things for the graduation party we’re having tomorrow night, so I thought I’d post some pictures of the  swimming hole we went to yesterday. 

I love the diversity of Arizona.  Hot burning desert, sand, cactus and rocks usually come to mind when you think of Arizona but it really isn’t all that.  I think I’ve heard it’s the 3rd state in the nation for its diversity – California & Florida being #1 and #2. 

To find complete privacy we hiked about 1/2 mile. 


With it being over 100°F  we were good and hot by the time we arrived.


Isn’t it beautiful?  In a lot of areas the water was 3-4′ deep and in some areas 6′ or more.


Justus was quite scared of the water at first but mellowed out after about 4 hours awhile.  Audrey loved it and was never bothered.


The boy on the left is visiting us from Michigan.  He was our inspiration for going since we were wanting to do something away from the house while he was here.  Sometimes if you don’t have an impetus you just never do it.  So I’m glad he came to visit. 


This spot where Serenity is jumping into is 6′ or more deep. 

Aiming to land on the raft…


Looks like she’s going to nail it…


Whee! 🙂


A good day was had by all


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Staying Cool?

Oh, the lazy days of summer, no, it’s the busy, hot days of summer around here.  Today we’re off to a swimming hole and packing along a picnic lunch where we’ll get to cool off a little from this heat.

I won’t be around much this week.  Heading to our homeschool convention on Friday and so looking forward to it.  But we’re also having a celebration while we’re there.  Wesley will be graduating from the 8th grade and going through the ceremony they have at our convention.  After the graduation we’re having a get together in our hotel suite where I’ll have some good things to eat. 

My 3rd child to enter high school.  Our homeschool journey will be over before I know it.  Oh, but wait a minute.  Since I still have a 3 year old that may not be true.  Let me see (figuring it out…….) yes, I only have a mere 15 years left.  Hmmm, I wonder what picture would best describe me – big smiley face(?), sad face(?), tears running down my face while I howl(?), pulling my hair out(?).  Probably all of the above will be seen at one time or another in the next 15 years. 🙂  Today, though, I’m going to forget all the books, papers to grade and subjects that they really need to improve in and go swimming!

What are you doing during these lazy busy days of summer?

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The Final Post on our Ohio Trip – Camp Activities

This is it; the final post chronicling our trip to Ohio.

At this youth camp they have activities for all ages.  During their craft class even Audrey and Justus were able to participate.  This class made wooden paddle wheel boats one day and the next they raced them in a little swimming pool.

I promise.  I did not make Audrey go to this class.  I’m not sure what her problem was but she got over it shortly.  Looks like she’s been having a red popsicle again.

They had a cake decorating class for the girls that were interested and a sewing class and the boys had an opportunity to learn about small engine repair (using lawnmowers).  My boys didn’t do any of those things.  They stayed on the volleyball court the entire week.



Serenity’s dorm had special things going on at night before they went to bed.  This one was a skit that looks like fun.


After camp we went and stayed a few days with a couple that have been dear friends through the years.  It was like a reunion – for 2 other couples, besides my sister and her family,  stayed there as well that were chums of ours before we married.  We had a great 4th of July weekend visiting, eating delicious food, playing volleyball and another game called corn holes (I think that’s what it’s called.) which I had never heard of.

My sister and her family.  Don’t they look great in their nicely coordinating outfits.  She always has her family dressed in like colors.

Unlike her younger sister – (blush, blush)

who also got a snapshot of her family taken that Sunday morning.  We are more like a rainbow family.  🙂


Sunday afternoon we left to make the long trek back to Arizona.  We drove (actually we  did not drive  – Russell drove) for 31 hours straight and then got a hotel that night.  This is the next day and the kids are starting to look pretty happy about the thought of reaching home.


But I left a part of me in Ohio.  My Seth. (who will be staying there to work all summer)


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Sunday Inspiration

Holy Bible

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Proverbs 31:26

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Somewhere between Oklahoma & Ohio

Russell is made of a different fabric than I.  The longest I’ve driven in one stretch is 3 hours.  Russell can go all night and then some more and that’s exactly what we did.  But even he needs to rest sometimes.  I never know where we’ll end up.  This time it was in a little bitty town that must have a claim on Route 66

although that’s not the road we pulled off on. 

It looked like a fun store whose parking lot became our rest stop for the next 45 minutes.

Nothing was open since it was early enough that most people were still sleeping. 


 A little rest and he’s good to go for another 10 hours.  Amazing man my hubby is.


I thought this was quite a neat idea.  I wonder how well it works.  Maybe the predecessor to the first riding lawn mower? 🙂


Early morning entertainment for those who were not trying to snooze – watching the train and smashing pennies on the tracks. 


Have you ever woke to a turtle staring you in the face?  Some on our trip did.  Wesley’s reaction was the best; he had quite the startled look! 

Does anyone know what kind of turtle this is?  Maybe it’s a tortoise.  I have no idea.  Maybe I should educate myself on the difference.


Devotions were sometimes held in strange places – like the drive-thru of the bank.  (Hey, it was a shady spot and it was Saturday after all.)

Attentive, tired?  How would you describe them?


Maybe tired.  Uh huh.  I’d say they’re completely wiped out.  Is that Russell I see stretched out on the middle table? 

This was our lovely breakfast stop in Illinois.  The way our family travels is to stop for breakfast and eat cereal & fruit.  We go to a park (or a rest area if the other option is not available) where the kids can run around getting rid of pent up energy (and the driver can rest).  This works really well for our family.

Audrey got a little bored one day…

but managed to entertain herself

and me, too.

I’ll finish up our trip next post.  Only a few pictures to go.:)

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Trip to Ohio Had a Few Hitches

Things started out smoothly although we were  a bit behind schedule in our departure.  Nothing new about that.  We just never seem to leave at the predetermined times we set for trips.

The van was loaned to us from a sister church.  It had a few quirks – like once in a while the heater kicked in blowing out hot air.  Not a good thing when it’s 90° outside!

The real hitch in the trip was Seth’s new truck.  The transmission went out before we were half-way and all he had left of his standard transmission was 4th gear.  There were times the guys had to do this…

but that was only part of the time.  There are other ways of getting a truck to move.  One is to not come to a complete stop when you need to get to a gas station but instead,  look both ways before you turn and just keep rolling in to the gas station.  Another way is to give it a push from behind with another vehicle.  You do understand that you have to do this to keep from burning the transmission up completely and then not having even 4th gear?  We had some interesting looks. 

One man, stopped at a red light, looked at us with his mouth agape as we gave Seth a push-off with our van. 🙂  Then when we arrived at the toll booth to pay, the lady asked Seth, “Do you know that person behind you?  He’s getting quite close.”  Seth assured her that he did and explained his situation.  The gate arm that lifts after you pay your toll, raised and he was off with a push from behind from the van. 🙂

Shortly after the transmission had problems, his fuel  pump went out.  He then had no power. 😦  This was the new scenario until we reached Elk City, Oklahoma.

A nice little town, Elk City was.  At one light there was a whole gaggle of geese crossing the road going to the park.  It reminded me of the story Make Way for Ducklings.

The best thing about Elk City was this… 


where apparently we weren’t the only ones with problems.

It was a relief to get out of the van that was spewing out warm air from its vents but the heat outside was worse.  Off to W*l-Mart we went to stay cool and kill some time while the little Mazda was worked on.  Everyone was happy to see this familiar store.

We really wanted to buy something fresh since we smelled anything but and the luggage was in the luggage trailer to stay until we reached camp – but unfortunately, we didn’t find a thing.

After doing all the shopping we wanted to do, other entertainments were sought.  Aisles were blocked as we stood around chatting waiting for THE phone call that THE truck was ready.



Finally, the call was received.  Yeah, it’s all ready to go.

Wow!  They did all this in the parking lot of an Auto Z*ne?!   The fuel pump was fixed and we were good to go again in 4th gear!  The little Mazda made it all the way to camp – 700 more miles – all in 4th gear.  Thank you, Lord!

Do you have trips where you run out of gas or your car breaks down?  Do share.

Stay tuned.  More pictures to come…

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