Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April recap

This has been a very busy month for us. Just in the last 8 days alone, we have gone on four (4) field trips. In case you are wondering, that is a lot. Somehow, it just happened to work out where many venues in the area chose this week for their homeschool days. "Exhausted" doesn't even begin to describe how I felt when it was all over! :)

Thankfully, today was a quieter day, and we are back in our regular routine. 

I don't remember when these pictures were taken (other than that it was before I put away the winter clothes), but the two little girls are just too precious not to share.  

Family Bike Ride - Saturday, April 6

Tempe is home to a wonderful web of designated bike trails along the canals. All 9 of us went on an 8-mile trip that evening, followed by a picnic at the park. (Solomon is holding my bike for the picture - he is NOT the one hauling all the kids!)

It didn't occur to me until we were 6 miles into the trip, and Miriam started saying that she was getting tired, that she had never before gone on such a long bike trip by herself. Considering the size of her little bike, we were extremely impressed with how well she did!

Wildlife World Zoo - Monday, April 8

Other homeschool families from our church

 Anna with her good friend from church. These girls are always playing together! 

This wallaby actually came close enough to allow Solomon to pet it! 

Isaac loved the birds, and the birds loved him. They must have known he is our "chicken man" at home, and great at taking care of his flock. 

Boyce Thompson Arboretum - Wednesday, April 10

We went on a guided tour talking about "Plants in the Bible" - great stuff! The weather was absolutely perfect, too.

Friday, April 12 - Maricopa County Fair

Check out my cool license plate - a birthday gift from my husband! (I know what you are thinking - "What are you going to do if you have another baby?" Well, I guess we can always change the number if need be when the time comes to renew the plates.) 

These girls are so sweet!

 Fresh mozzarella and tomatoes - always a favorite picnic food. 

Monday, April 15 - Musical Instrument Museum

Not sure what Anna was upset over - probably being interrupted in her water play?

Stephen LOVED the "Experience Gallery", where kids get to try out all sorts of instruments. He would just look from one sound to the next. Of course, his favorite were the rattles - pretty universal the world over, huh? :)

One of the favorite aspects of field trips for our kids is me packing them a sack/picnic lunch. Seriously! It's fun for me, too, though I certainly would not want to do that every day of the school year.

That's it for now! I'm thinking we will lay low on field trips for a while... ;)


  1. Do you make your own dressing for the tomatoes and mozzarella? I've seen the smaller balls of mozzarella for sale but they are usually in a dressing/marinade that I don't care for.

    1. The mozzarella comes in a salt water brine, which I drain off. Then I add cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh basil - that's it. Super quick, and everyone loves it. I would add balsamic vinegar, except that everyone in the family but me hates vinegar.

  2. Thank you for all the lovely pictures! It looks like you had a wonderful time at the zoo and the fair! I just cannot get over how much they seem to grow each time you post their pictures. And I adore your new license plate, we'll be praying that you need a new one when the time is right! Is it just that she is young, or is Miss Anna left-handed? (She's holding the guitar like a left-handed player would, but this could be simply because she's young!)

    God bless you, Dad, and the seven!


    1. Very interesting observation. You have a keen eye for detail! I think she's just young, because she picks most anything up with her right hand.

      Stephen even at his age is showing extreme right hand dominance. I'm not sure if that has something to do with the fact that he is a boy, and uses a certain hemisphere of his brain more than if he were a girl, but it's very noticeable.

  3. Your kids are awesome! Love the pics!

    Field trips are exhausting, for sure! We had three last week ourselves, and I was ready to drop. You're amazing with how much you keep the gang going! :)


    1. Wasn't that Arboretum tour just fantastic? I LOVED the weather that day - it couldn't possibly have been any better.

  4. so much fun! :)

    My only concern is WHERE is your PRIVATE field trip to the SPA? You deserve it! :)

    Have a great weekend!


    1. I'm going out for dinner tomorrow night with another lady - does that count? :)

  5. Wow, you guys have been busy! Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing! :)

  6. you all look like you had so much fun. super cute pics. thanks for sharing. i miss homeschooling my oldest-he just turned 19 today and has a full time job now. those pics helped me relive some memories. thanks.

    1. I dread the day I am no longer homeschooling. My plan is to just make the rounds between all my daughters and daughters in law and help a different one each day of the week (if they'll have me, that is).

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

  7. Since I know you have pets I thought this might interest you:

    "Chemical dangers lurk in commercial pet food -
    Rendering practices aren't just gross; they're also dangerous for your pets. The chemicals used to euthanize zoo animals, dogs and cats can survive the cooking process, which means these chemicals end up in pet food, and ultimately, in your pet. Martin writes, "Euthanized cats and dogs often end up in rendering vats along with other questionable material to make meat meal, and meat and bone meal. This can be problematic because sodium pentobarbital can withstand the heat from rendering. For years, some veterinarians and animal advocates have known about the potential danger of sodium pentobarbital residue in commercial pet food, yet the danger has not been alleviated." In short, that means the poisons designed to kill pets are the same ones being fed to them."

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/012647_pet_food_dog.html

    1. There is zero integrity in the food industry for humans, so this doesn't surprise me at all. What is a good alternative for feeding dogs?

      We mix the chicken feed for our hens ourselves, from all kinds of good organic grains, seeds, and greens that we ourselves also eat. They are so spoiled it's not even funny!

    2. We have a dog cook book...and most of the time make all of our own dog food. People think its a little crazy and over the top for "just a pet"...but they do live with us and the kids are snuggling them all the time. Not to mention its a little cheaper than the "really good" dog food you can buy at farm stores near us :)

  8. R.E. Left-handedness...

    I only notice because I am a left-hander myself and in particular, that photograph shows Becky holding the guitar the way a right-handed player would, so it showed most definitely! About 8% of women and 12% of men are left-handed, and wouldn't you know, science don't know what causes it! But as you said with Mr. Stephen, they tend to show which side is dominant quite early! Perhaps you have an especially right-side dominant engineer or physician on your hands. (I know of the Duggar's 19, they have one left-handed child, Jinger.) I remember giving the preacher a big laugh as a child when I asked who sat at the left hand of God, as naturally there's talk about the right hand!

    God bless you, Dad, and the seven,



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