"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Reading and Watching Box?

A few years ago, we began creating a box of reading and watching materials that were themed for Winter/Christmas. That was such a hit with our family, that we added a Spring/Easter themed box the next year. That too went well, so this past fall, we added a box of fall/Thanksgiving themed materials.

Now the children are asking for a Summer/4th of July box!

I'm taking suggestions because so far my looking at the thrift store has not turned up anything. I did a quick search on Amazon the other day when I was needing to order another item and tacked on a Pete the Cat book.

 (Amazon Affiliate Link Above)

Taking suggestions for any age range book from easy reader to adult and the same for videos that have a clear summer or summer holiday theme.

We love having the boxes to switch out for each season. It is "fresh" after the children have not had access to them for a year! Because the items are already in a nice box, it's fast and easy for me to grab the correct box from the shelf and set it out. The children know how to dive in and enjoy. I try to add some magazines like  Romantic Homes or Bliss Victoria that are themed to that season as well. I enjoy flipping through them myself when I don't have time or energy to read but want something to quickly do for a break.

Standing by and taking suggestions now! ;-)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Little Catching Up

Time marches on and is not waiting for me to blog. Also, while I enjoy blogging, I am well aware of the fact that a certain sub-set has taken to watching our blog and posting "information" that is in fact not based on fact. Since I enjoy blogging, I have not stopped entirely, but instead am blogging less, and sharing less. Unfortunately that is not so nice for my readers--the majority of whom are lovely people. But I value my family far more than blogging, and I don't choose to share so much of our lives if a few rotten apples are going to post fantasy, while claiming it's facts.

* Katya had pneumonia and was a sick little gal the other week. Thanks to our fantastic Doctor's office and good meds, we pulled her through at home, and she was given a clean bill of health on her lungs today! Whoop!

* Our garden is doing well, and we are already enjoying fresh radishes from it, and some onion tops. Mmmm. Can't wait for more! A health food store also is going to start a little Farmer's Market there this summer and we hope that we will have extra produce to sell there. The two older girls are both working hard to raise extra watermelon and cantaloupe to sell in order to add some funds to their name. They both have a mission trip in mind they would like to take, so they have been looking for ways to earn the money.

* School is out for the summer for Katya. We are in the process of trying to get Katya evaluated for a possible summer program that would focus on communication and other areas that Katya needs additional expertise with. This would be an "out of district" placement so that is a little new and challenging on some fronts, but we feel it's a step in the right direction for her after touring the school and talking extensively with a Director and others. If she is accepted, it would give her access to some of the best people in the State to work with Katya's unique challenges. We feel very hopeful that this is a good step forward for Katya and her needs.

* In a huge surprise, a long time family friend  offered us a few days vacation this summer at their lake shore cottage way far up north in Michigan. The kids are so excited!!! Even Mom and Dad are getting a little excited! We will find going there during the heat of summer to be quite refreshing, I'm sure!

* Charity was excited to be given a scholarship to a week of Suzuki teacher training for violin. Since her group of students continues to increase in number this year, I'm sure the week of additional training will be good for her. It will also give her a chance to hang around a lot of other musicians. That will be a lot of fun for her! It's awesome to see the years of effort and hard work that were put into her musical learning paying off for her.

* Kristina's years and years of waiting to turn 14 so she could assist in the area's summer safety program for children ages 4 and 5 have finally ended! She has been accepted as a teen volunteer for a week. She's nervously looking forward to working with the kids. I hope that she does well and it's a very positive experience for her! She remembers attending the program when she was home a year. We had to get special permission for her to go since she was 6 by then, and older than the usual program attendees. However, her need to be there was so huge that we were ready to take on whoever we needed to to make the training happen for her. Thankfully, the program director worked with us to allow Kristina to attend at her "advanced" age. So now Kristina is "giving back" to the community in this way.

I think those are some of the bigger highlights of our lives lately.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Photo: Chad took this photo after climbing a ladder to shoot the photo.

Chad found and photographed this lovely nest.

I stole a few minutes to myself in the sun to read on this cool May day.


And Paul took Charity to practice her maneuverability in preparation for her taking her driver's test very soon, we hope! But I don't have a photo of that. However, she is doing very well and making great progress.

Our seedlings are growing and soon can go outside, and we are enjoying the hummers coming to our feeder. Chad advocated for us to get one, and we are all enjoying the results.


What is your spring looking like?!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

And He Did It!

We are very proud of Todd and how hard he has worked to get to today! It was one of those moments where as a Mom you just have to cry some tears of joy as we watched him walk across the stage! I well remember when it became apparent to me that I was going to have to do something I had never seen myself doing--homeschooling. And so I embarked on this new and some what scary venture  . . . To have Todd tell me some months ago that he did not think he would be where he is today had we not chosen to homeschool him, was meaningful for me. To see him walk across the stage today and receive his diploma was just the icing on the cake.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Personality Reveal

I love this photo by Amy. She captured 4 of my kid's personalities so well in this single photo.

Grateful for  modern photography so that we can capture a slice of life and keep it to remember . . .