Thursday, August 20, 2015

Orientation day!

Well, I guess we officially had our first day of school this week.  We had Orientation Day at 12 Stones Classical Homeschool Program.  Basically its a co-op that we will be going to once a week for various classes.  God in His goodness sent this option along at a time that we needed it.  He knew we would be moving.  He knew I'd have "morning" sickness.  He knew that there was no way I'd have time for the intense school planning that I usually spend a month or more doing every summer.  We're excited not just for the classes, but for the fellowship.  We just love the emphasis on Christian Community.  We're excited about getting to spend more time with dear friends we already know and love, and getting to know more sweet families.

After orientation I treated the kids to lunch out to celebrate.  I love that 12 Stones is located fairly close to where we live (only 20 minutes away which is CLOSE!).  That limited the kids options though since in our little town the options were Sonic or KFC/A&W (ok, we have a McD's and Culver's too, but I didn't offer those).  They were all in agreement on KFC though a couple asked why Chick-fil-a wasn't an option.....too far sweeties, too far.

Miss A slept through the whole thing.  I'd anticipated this situation, so she had been well fed before we got in the van to head out.

Mr. R and Mr. M wanted take home mugs.

This was a great way to get us all thinking about getting back into a routine and getting back on track.  We're re-establishing our skeleton schedule and looking forward to adding to it in the next few weeks as we jump into another year of homeschooling!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer plans....

Ah, our summer has not gone as planned.  After finding out I was pregnant our camping trip got canceled.  As did the trips to the living history museum, zoo, mining museum and well....anything else involving action on my part.  I was feeling bad for the poor kids and then I realized what they DID spend the summer doing.

They explored our new (5 acre) property.
Hiked/biked the horse trails behind our house.
Caught tadpoles, frogs and salamanders in a little pond they discovered close by alongside said trail.
They observed the growth and development of above mentioned critters through repeated visits.
Miss J taught herself how to ride a bike.
Boys mowed a fair bit of our property (repeatedly).

Mr. M moved a few trees that needed to be moved to provide more parking space.
Miss C got over her fear of chickens and even started caring for them; all on her own!

Kids explored interests and hobbies that they had not had time for during the school year.
Squirt gun fights.
Hours spent on the play set.

I saw books picked up that I wouldn't have expected to be read.
Some "camped" outside.
They worked in our garden and watched it grow.  They've started reaping the rewards as well!

Yea, I'm not feeling so bad about those canceled plans any more.  We've had plenty of busy, fun and exciting summers in the past.  What a blessing to see all of the fun and learning that can happen just by letting kids explore a bit.  They don't need to be scheduled and directed all the time (especially the older ones).  Now that our days are getting a bit cooler and I'm feeling a bit better its time to get back to a routine.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Happy Birthday to the birthday buddies!

Having two kids share a birthday is so much more fun than I thought it would be.  I love seeing the special bond Miss E and Mr K share through their birthday.  I love seeing her maturity and selflessness as she helps him figure out what to plan for their big day.  Despite the 11 year gap they have plenty in common and had no problem making their plans.

They had fun taking turns opening their gifts.

He wanted pancakes for breakfast and she wanted a chance to work on her pancake art.  Win!  Win!

As usual we took the birthday kids out on a date.  It's fun making this one a double date.  They both wanted Sushi.  Yep, it's a favorite for both of them.  I think Mr. K devoured more than any of us.  He was THRILLED to find that nearly everything on the table was dairy free.  He liked the rolls with shrimp in them best.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Boot Camp

We've got a little Boot Camp going on here.

She seems to be pretty excited about her new status, just like the rest of us.

Yep, come February/March there will be more laundry in the Harder house!  We're very excited because with that extra laundry comes extra love, joy, smiles and fun!

Monday, July 13, 2015

A stinky pest

Our first sign of our smelly pest was losing 5 chickens the night we brought them to the new house.   After fortifying their home our remaining 2 chickens stayed safe, but we were seeing signs of that persistent pest trying to get to them too.  Despite all of our best efforts of deterring the thing, it kept coming back.  Our poor girls were stressed.  We needed a more permanent solution.  Mr. M helped with that.

Monday, July 6, 2015

She wanted to go out...

...this morning Miss A was quite insistent that we let her go out and play.  The rest of us were playing board games downstairs on the cool grey morning and had no interest in going out yet.  We put on her socks, shoes and jacket and opened the door to see what she would do.  We expected her to go play on the play sets.  Nope, she just kept walking...

It seems she had a mission.  She wanted to pick some flowers.  Once she got those flowers she headed right back.

It soon warmed up enough for everyone to feel like heading out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hospitality to "strangers"

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Hebrews 13:2

While we sure are enjoying this house and are so glad we get to live here, we did not purchase it wholly for our own benefit.  We could have lived in our small house for years to come and our family would have done fine in it.  What we felt we were missing was hospitality.  It was hard to host families/gatherings in that house.  The layout did not lend itself to hospitality and the size was limiting especially in the winter.  We were looking specifically for a house that would allow not only for regular hospitality, but plenty of room for families (or missionaries, pastors etc.) to come and stay.
I smiled at this sight.  So many cups sitting out day after day was a sweet reminder (the few times) the house was quiet that week...all the dear souls that were staying in this home and the fellowship they represented. :) 

Very quickly the opportunity presented itself to host a family that we did not know but was in need of a place to stay for a bit.  How could we pass it up?  They joined us for dinner and family worship after church on Sunday.  We just love sharing that time of worship with other families and it tends to bring a special closeness.

The family had some sight seeing destinations planned during their stay, but it was great to see our kids enjoying some time together as well when they were here at the house.

By the time this sweet family left we were no longer strangers, but friends.  This is why we love this sort of hospitality, we are able to build up and encourage others and we are left encouraged as well.  It is the building up of the Body of Christ.