Friday, May 28, 2010

Sky Watch Friday!

It has been a very long time since I've participated in a Sky Watch Friday; however, on Wednesday night I saw a beautiful sunset and it made me want to take a picture! :) These were taken as we were leaving the church Wednesday night. I happened to have my camera with me, so my husband pulled into the parking lot across from the church and I snapped a few pictures. Unfortunately, there were unavoidable power lines in my way, but I still thought they turned out pretty. Hope you enjoy them! To see more beautiful sky shots, hop on over to Sky Watch Friday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Endings and New Beginnings

Some Endings:

The 2009/2010 school year at the Dogwood Academy is coming to a close! Tomorrow is the last day of school! WooHoo!!! The pool opens on Saturday and we have at least 2 1/2 months to enjoy the summer vacation!

The school year went well this year. We stayed on track better than any other year so far! It was a very encouraging year as a teacher, and I believe the kids felt good about it, too. It was a very difficult year for Beth...her first year of high school; however, she did an outstanding job and I'm very proud of her hard work!

Ben finished 6th grade and is now moving on to "middle school." I can't believe my youngest child is going to be a teenager this year! Time sure does fly by! Ben finished Awana last night. Awana is a program at our church for ages preschool-6th grade. Ben received the Timothy Award last night, which is the highest award a 6th grader can receive for completing all of the Bible memory books. I'm so proud of him!

Some New Beginnings:

My best friend's daughter, Heather, is getting married next weekend (June 5th). She asked me to make her wedding cake and she picked out a beautiful cherry blossom cake. I haven't made a wedding cake in about 13 years, so I hope I can do a good job. I practiced a bit and here is my practice cake:

The real cake will be 4 tiers and the icing will be much smoother! I was really practicing on the "tree" part of the design. I'm so glad I practiced because it taught me a lot of things not to do! For example, I will use a smaller tip for the border, and I will use a bigger cake pan for the 2nd cake. I'll be using 6", 10", 12" and 14" cake pans.

New Beginning #2: Chickens!

This is our chicken coop! It was a tree house that belonged to Neal's sister (she's 24 now) and we had it taken down and placed on blocks in our yard. This was before we did anything to it. (by the way, do you see my "Amish Man" in the pic?!!)

This is what it looks like right now. We still have to put another coat of paint on it and paint the trim an Eggplant color.

The chicks arrived on Thursday, May 20th in this box! 21 chicks were inside (we ordered six for some friends and we kept 15)

This is their new home for a couple of weeks.

The chicks started drinking the water right away.

Two of the cutest chicks! We bought 5 Delaware chicks, 5 Welsummer's, and 5 Blue Andallusion's.

Our dog, Suzi, is very protective of the chicks. She growls anytime the cat gets near them!

This picture was taken yesterday. One of the Blue Andallusion's flew up on top of the water dish. We had to put some chicken wire over the crate so they wouldn't fly out!

Also, taken yesterday...this is one of the Delaware chicks. You can see the wings growing and the feather's coming in!

Last weekend, both of Neal's sisters came in for a visit. We had a big dinner on Saturday night, talked and played games. It was great spending time with Neal's family!

We played Pit!

The color is off on some of these pictures, but this is Neal and his mom, Betty.

Neal and his grandfather, Randolph.

Some of us sitting outside on a nice, cool evening!

A couple of weeks ago, Neal and I went out with some friends for supper. On the way we stopped by this pretty field and took some pictures. This is down the road from our house, and that is red clover growing in the field!

We had our end of year homeschool banquet last week. This is Ben receiving his certificate. Each year we choose something in particular we want to honor our children for. This year Ben's certificate was for "New Endeavors -- Construction and Child Care." He's been helping his daddy with the chicken coop and he's been helping me with childcare and he'll be working with kids this summer at church.

Beth received her award for "New Horizons -- Guitar, Dissections, Counseling and College Courses". She started learning the guitar this year, she did four dissections (worm, frog, fish and crayfish) in Biology, she'll be working as a camp counselor this summer, and she is taking three Bible classes (I'm taking them too, at a local Bible institute) for college credit.

This was Beth's photography project at the end of year banquet. She is very good with a camera and would like to start doing more with her photography. Right now she is taking pictures of some of our friends for practice, and they are getting very nice pictures out of the deal!

Well, that's the latest for us here in Virginia! More later...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Around the House

Lots going on this spring around our house!

We're winding up our school year. Only three weeks left after this week! Woo Hoo! We're all excited for summer break! This has been one of our best school years yet. I'm really looking forward to next year though and trying some new things with the kids. Beth is going to be getting into reading classics more next year, and she's very excited about that. We're also going to be doing an Astronomy unit study as a family. It will last about a year and we will learn a lot about God's creation in the sky...sun, moon and stars!

I'm preparing to make a wedding cake for my best friend's daughter, Heather. She's getting married June 5th and I get the privilege of making her a cherry blossom wedding cake. It has been almost 14 years since I've made a wedding cake, so I'm quite nervous. I made several of Heather's birthday cakes throughout her life, so it will be fun to make a cake for such an exciting milestone!

We're getting chickens! We're in the process of fixing up the chicken coop (I'll have to post pictures later) and they are supposed to ship the chicks out on my birthday, May 19th. We're getting 15 chicks -- 5 Welsummers, 5 Delawares and 5 Blue Andalusians. It will take several months, but I'm looking forward to our first eggs!

Bread baking is still a constant in our house. I've been grinding my own wheat and baking my own bread for three years now. It has been such a positive addition to our family's menu. I make sandwich rolls and blueberry muffins every week. Additionally, I make a loaf of bread here and there and other types of muffins. Sandwich roll and blueberry muffins are a staple in our house though. :)

Beth and I are winding up our first semester in the Bible Institute we're attending. We started in January and are really enjoying it. In total, it includes 6 semesters of Old Testament, New Testament and Theology. At the end of the three years, we will receive a diploma and will have 18 college credits that will transfer to our local university. If Beth decides to go there, she will have most, if not all, of her Bible classes that she needs. I'm learning so much and have truly enjoyed this new adventure!

We're planning a trip to Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky this summer. My brother, Darrell, will be turning 50, and we will be there to help celebrate! We'll also be able to visit my other brother Robert, and his family, my aunt Alberta, and hopefully some friends. Then we'll go to Kentucky for a family reunion. I'm looking forward to seeing cousins I haven't seen in years!

Ben is playing soccer this spring. He is having lots of fun and learning a lot. So far they've won both of their games.

The garden is producing already! We've eaten fresh spinach, asparagus and strawberries. There is nothing like grilled asparagus! We eat it like french fries. It's sooo good!

Cinco de Mayo is today! To celebrate, in our non-Mexican home, we will be eating chicken enchiladas tonight with guacamole, chips and salsa. Yum!

Well, that's some of what's going on around here. I'm hoping to be a bit more faithful to my blog now. :)
Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."