Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Break

Our fall break is over now and we are back to school and work. We had a most delightful time staying here at home and catching up on house projects, enjoying being off of school, having the whole family together all day and hardly any outside commitments. Somehow the weather this fall and the colors on the leaves seemed extra lovely. But time is moving on and the corn below was harvested today.

Andrew started fall break by going to Chicago with Michael for the day!

Michael had meetings to attend but Andrew didn't mind doing some computer work and joining the men for lunch.

The focus of fall break was mainly house projects which included Michael's dream to get both cars in the garage and my dream of getting all the windows and blinds washed and the fall clothes switched over. Here is Rachel working on cleaning her room and closet.

 One afternoon we took a trip to the Lego store. A favorite for everyone!

If I was choosing a set I think it would be this VW camper van!

 While everyone was at the Lego store I snuck around the corner to Teavana to use some really nice coupons a friend had given me. I came home with this stash to enjoy on our vacation.

Homeschool Group did not have fall break so both Thursdays we went to our classes. Here is my calligraphy class:

The leaves were at their peak the first week of fall break. We live very near a reservoir and often drive over it multiple times a day. The leaves are always gorgeous!

One evening we went to my mom's place for dinner. She always cooks yummy food!

It was SO nice to have Rachel around all the time again. It was nice to see her able to spend more time with her siblings and she was also VERY helpful with all the extra chores we needed to do for our house projects.

Andrew got some pointers on perspective drawing from Grandma and went on to get an awesome grade on his perspective portfolio.

Michael emptied four or five file cases in the garage. Most of the contents he scanned. Here is what I get to sort through (of my own choice) and decide what we need to keep and what can be ditched -- most of this is correspondence from 7 years of Michael's life!

 The first Friday of break we arranged to go kayaking at a friend's house. Just as we were heading down to the boats James tripped and fell onto a large, jagged stone, putting a nasty gash into his knee. So, he and I headed to the ER for our (now traditional) family vacation ER trip. We convinced the others to keep on with the original plan and they had a beautiful paddle on the lake. (Poor Christina ended up with 2 trips to the ER that same week with her boys -- croup).

 By the time we got home 5 hours later everyone was anxiously awaiting the return of their brother.

And there was already a sign posted. Just a few more days and hopefully we can have the stitches out and the crutches removed.

Michael spent hours scanning ream after ream of papers into the computer.

 Once the windows were nearly done it was time to tackle the fall clothes. I had the boys pull everything out of their closet and put it on the floor in their room. What a mess!

Meanwhile laundry continued to get out of hand, James moved into the loft to sleep while he is injured, and Rachel took on the job of cleaning out the school closet.

We had two lovely Sundays to enjoy. One Sunday evening we joined 600 others for a combined congregation psalm sing and celebration of the 50th and 20th anniversaries for two other Reformed Presbyterian congregations in our state. The building that was rented for the occasion was beautiful and the acoustics made for incredible singing.

I haven't been able to get enough of our beautiful fall! Everywhere one looks there is beauty. Even cleaning the windows there was beauty!

The last Thursday of break was the last class for the homeschool group calligraphy class. The kids all did so well and I was so proud of their final projects!

By the end of vacation I actually got the boys' room to look like this (for a few hours).

I've been so thankful for a delayed frost this year enabling us to enjoy the garden for so much longer. I love looking out the window at the patio and the flower beds. I think tomorrow is it and Friday night we will lose just about everything.

We managed two walks at Eagle Creek during vacation.

Two hiking buddies.

And there was tea at the other end.

Enjoying the view:

And the last Saturday of vacation I even managed to make up for the lost kayaking trip by finally getting on the water myself -- something I have longed to do all year. Yay! It was the perfect day -- so warm and sunny and little wind. I can't wait to go again.

My fall mums are blooming like crazy.

The last night of our vacation Michael called everyone down to the garage to see -- he did it!!!!

Our view down the back yards of our neighbors -- that one tree is spectacular!

And now look at the same view over Eagle Creek. So much changes in two weeks.

Little Polly and I had one more walk in Eagle Creek this week while waiting on the kids for their writing class to be over.

The pink trees are "in bloom". Such a funny color for fall and yet so beautiful.

And I suppose now we head into November and the holiday season. Just 7 more weeks until we can have another 2 weeks off of school! I think I've decided I like the balanced calendar. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"Live in such a way that your life would not make sense
if God did not exist."

-- Cardinal Suhard

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


It doesn't seem possible but I suppose we are right into the very heart of fall! There are beautiful leaves all around and hiking at the park is something I can't get enough of.

It's even fun when it is wet and you need wellies!

But then comes those soccer mornings when the temperatures are in the mid-40's and it seems WAY too cold!!!!

We still seem to be receiving magnificent cloud days.

Laura got to go to the dentist. She was disappointed she couldn't take the glasses home. :(

We met Grandma at the park to check out fall picnic locations.

And we met Mr. & Mrs. Duck.

Laura is often my little shadow. Here she is making her own collages while I got ready for calligraphy class.

On Friday our friends from Michigan came down and we spent several hours at Eagle Creek. First we took a nice hike around the lake.

And I found a Fuzzy Wuzzy! I love them. They are so cute and remind me of being a child.

Laura decided to carry him around.

The trees are turning but are not yet at their peak.

Then we went to our chosen spot for lunch and Mr. & Mrs. Duck showed up!

Tracy got a nice fire going for hotdogs.

And I fired up the camp stove for hot cider and baked beans.

Oh yes! This is definitely fall fun at its best!

Finally the mothers could sit down for a little rest.

And the kids had a blast!

S'mores ended the meal.

Laura was the last one cooking.

And then we ended the week with a final soccer game. Andrew has really enjoyed this season.

And now we are on our two-week, stay-home, family vacation. A good time to take a break and some time off the internet.....I'll be back with our adventures at the end of October.