Hello friends! Oh, I have been so neglectful! Our Summer has been so busy and crammed with activities that I just haven't made the time to sit down and write. It is the truth, yet it still makes me feel quite guilty. I have been writing for StorkNet for a number of years now and I don't want to give that up! So I plunked myself down today and here I am.
This was the start of it all. The month began fairly smooth, but soon became . . . bumpy. We had several catering functions on the schedule (my husband and I own a catering business, Dewings Catering and Confections). Our business is just about at that point, which any small business can face, where they have too much business to not have employees, yet still not enough to pay anyone. Plus, our kitchen is in our home, which is zoned residential. So even if we could pay an employee (outside of our immediate family), we can't by law have one. We compromised and "hired" our eldest daughter to work with/for her Dad (yes, we pay her). It helped, for I can't be in there and work with him like I used to, since we've added to our family since we opened.
Malachi turned eight on the 28th. We went to a logging show for his birthday and had a nice time. He was a very happy boy when he received Lego’s from his grandparents!
We were finally able to get our driveway black topped. Wahoo!! It has been needed for quite some time now, but we just didn't have enough money to do so until last Summer. We made the appointment and sent in the half down last October, but it turned cold sooner than normal and the paving company wasn't able to do it. That was a bit disappointing, but it turned out to be quite the blessing. When we made plans for this Summer for it to be done, we had decided to add a bit more to the original dimensions. However, the company took the high road and honored the contract that we had signed with them at last year's prices. So while we did pay a bit extra for that added square footage, we ended up paying about $800 less than we would have with this year's prices. A wonderful blessing indeed!! While it was still quite painful to write that check, we are so happy that we did it. It has not only kept down on the amount of sand that comes into the house (yes!!!), it has given the children a safe and wonderful place to play. And now our boys have a basketball hoop.
If it was possible, we had even more things on the schedule for this month than we did the last month, with two weddings and various business luncheons. We were busy with double (and sometimes triple!) bookings for every week in July! I'm not sure how we did it, but we pulled it off. We had VBS during the second week, which the children enjoyed. We had a group come from Evansville, IN and they did a great job! (My husband pastors 1 of the 3 churches on two different Native American reservations. These churches are planted and maintained (personnel wise) by the Midwest Indian Mission, which my father-in-law is the director of and has been for 39 years.)
The third week of July, we had our Summer Camp for ages 7 – 12. It's a week long camp, with 3 meals a day, and yours truly is the cook. The group that came to lead camp for the week was from Annandale, VA. They are Korean (some transplants to this country, some first generation) from a Presbyterian church. And while some of them were quite difficult to understand (most of the ladies that helped in the kitchen haven't learned much English even after 20+ years of living here. Not sure why...), the week went smooth enough.
The fourth week was when the group for the other two churches came for their VBS. This was quite interesting for us, as a business, for this group decided to hire us to make and serve lunch and supper (breakfast they were on their own). I suppose it made more sense for them to do this, as opposed to traveling with or purchasing here the needed food and to have a designated cook for 50 people. This group came from Alabama and were a great group! They not only did VBS at night, but they worked tirelessly in the mornings and afternoons at the various work needed around the Mission grounds.
This was also the week that we learned our family is growing once again.
Samuel turned one on the 5th and Caleb turned 3 on the 13th. Why do children have to grow so fast?! It's not fair . . . Samuel isn't a child who enjoys getting his hands messy, so he barely touched his cupcake. Grandma was so disappointed that she didn't get a frosting-all-over picture! Caleb is completely potty trained now, thankfully. I hate potty training! I'm so glad that it's over with for another two years or so.
We had three rather large weddings during this month, yet the weekly bookings slowed down some. In a move that is quite surprising to me, I was ready for school to start (we home school) in the beginning of the month. So, I took advantage of the some-what slowness and we started the school year with an 8th grader, 6th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, 2nd grader, kindergartener, preschooler, baby/toddler and a partridge in a pear tree. This was the earliest we have ever started, usually starting after Labor Day. It was nice to begin early and have three weeks under our belt by that weekend. Most of the curriculum we are doing this year is brand new to us and we like it very much!
~ The math is the same we have been doing since the very first year with Maacah (Mastering Mathematics) and the handwriting (A Reason for Handwriting) are the same workbooks that we did last year. The exception is that Maacah and Grace work on their creative writing instead of doing handwriting workbooks.
~ For spelling, we are using Sequential Spelling, which is new to us, and it's going fairly well. All three boys are in level 1 and the girls are in level 3 (there are 7 levels in the series, but the levels are do not coincide with grade level or the student's age).
~ For our science we are using Exploring Creation through Human Anatomy and Physiology. It is 1 of 6 subjects that talks about our life and our world through the eyes of creation, using God's Word as the foundation. The children are really enjoying it! There are fun, easy experiments in the book, along with a journal that each student has (or can have. It's not a requirement to have along with the book.) to write whatever interesting facts they have learned in that chapter, there are crossword puzzles that use vocabulary words, and other crafts that pertain to the chapter topic.
~ For our history, we are learning about the Middle Ages and I bought the CD from Homeschooling In The Woods. All that is needed, the text, crafts, recipes, etc. are contained on one CD. While that makes for quite a bit of printing paper off, it keeps the initial cost down. This is a very hands on, craft oriented curriculum which the children adore! Each of them have told me how happy they are that I bought this CD!
Our schedule is much different then it ever has been, due to the fact that I have split up the boys from the girls (because of their ability to work on their own vs those who need more hands on), instead of everyone doing the same thing at the same time. I did things like that last year and I felt like I was being pulled apart with so many questions and everyone needing me at the same time! Things go much smoother now that different subjects are being done at different times (except for science and history. We do those two subjects all together, every other day).
August 8th I had an ultrasound because I hadn't started my cycle since I was 6 weeks postpartum with Samuel. Which left me with no idea of how far along I was. Baby was very small and I had to hold my breath just to get baby's heartbeat, but there s/he was! My due date is April 2nd, 2015. We have quite a bit of time until then, but chances are we will induce early again, just like we did with Samuel. (All of my babies have had meconium in the amniotic fluid when they're born, even the one who was one day after the due date. This has lead to some of our babies aspirating on the meconium, which lead to other problems. With Samuel, we decided to induce early to avoid the meconium being present. It worked!! Samuel was nice and healthy, I had a "normal" delivery and all was well. So, even though it has to be a slow inducement because of my previous c-section, more than likely we will choose to go that route again.)
Adam is quite sure that we are having a little girl and since he's been correct 7 out of our 8 babies, I'll go with it! Besides, I'm quite ready for another little girl. The nausea is starting to ease up, thankfully! I'm 11 weeks now and while time has been going a bit slowly to my taste, I know things will speed up here just as soon as I start feeling more myself. You know how it goes, time crawls when you don't feel good.
So, there you go!! Our Summer in a nut shell. I'm quite ready for the cooler weather (even though we didn't have much "Summer weather" ). There is just something about Fall, the turning of the leaves, the snuggling under quilts (I am a quilter after all!!), warm drinks, the cooler weather, . . . Ahh. Love it!
Blessings to all of you!