The Joys of Home Educating

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall Farm Camping - wrap up

Ah fall is here!  
With only one week left of our summer school schedule we were able to sneak in a fall farm camping last weekend with our BFF's.  You might remember we have been here before (Pleasant Acres). The children have so much fun and the family who owns and runs it is so nice. 

So much to see and do. The grounds are small and cozy. It's a tight knit group of seasonal campers mostly from NJ and NY and then some weekenders like us.  

It was the campgrounds Halloween Weekend. Complete with a costume contest for children of all ages.  There were 60 kids and adults total who entered and dressed up...Yours truly won the First Prize Blue Ribbon for the adults!  (16 and up)  Proudly displaying the blue ribbon in the camper!

The weather was perfect. Jeans and long sleeve at night and early morning and shorts during the day. Bonfires, s'mores and all of the fun that goes along with camping. 

Now that camping is over, we are able to keep the camper on our own property now that we moved. 

This past week was our last week of summer relaxed school. Starting Monday we start a fresh new year with new adventures!  I can't wait!!!

Up for the weekend:

Watch on Instagram to see what unfolds...big changing happening on Saturday!

Sunday is church and our monthly BJ's trip!

Life here at the farmhouse is wonderful!  Feeling blessed for sure!

Side note:  Made these pumpkin cookies yesterday, THE BEST EVER!

Looking for an October free printable - countdown calendar!  Check this post out!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - summertime wrap up

Welcome friends and welcome fall?! 

While I swoon over all the Instagram pictures of everyone's perfect fall decor and loveliness, we are trying hard to get to cooler temps here in NY.  It tempted us for a few days but low and behold back up to the 90's midweek...sigh....

Oh well....we keep praying and know that fall will be here before you know it...

We were at Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos last week for the Not Back to School week!  OMGosh friends, over 300 homeschooling families from NY, NJ, PA and a few from Maryland were in attendance...homeschoolers TOOK OVER the lodge!   It was great having like minded people to chat with and throw ideas around. The kids were having a ball meeting new friends and exchanging ideas. 

The weather was great inside and out!  The girls and I conquered some fears. This ropes course looked easy from the ground but HOLY COW friends I had no business being up there once, let alone twice...I am the mom, caretaker, caregiver, teacher, cook, maid, taxi driver etc...what if I fell of that zip line 4 stories up?  Either way, I kept saying outside, God you are in control....and I did it!  The girls were not as afraid as I was!  

This past week we accomplished a lot!  We finished cleaning out our 10 X 10 storage unit that we had packed for almost 2 years!  The treasures we found...the kids were so excited to see their stuffed animals was excited to see no mice or mildew or anything had ruined a single thing!  But now we have a garage to clean out, again.. sigh...

We discussed 9/11 more this year than any other year. Maybe because the children are getting older and can handle bits and pieces of information. Maybe because they asked a lot more about it than every before...whatever the case may be, we talked about it as a family. 

After all the gatherings, vacations and good eating habits and work out schedule was almost non-existent...back on it now and ready to be healthy once again. We have a gym in our new house and I have zero excuses for not working out! 

Homeschool happenings:  The children have been sick on and off this past week..fevers, runny noses, yukky throats.  Not three at once, but at least two of them have been sick at the same time. We have had less school than I had hoped, easing back into our full time schedule.  

We are starting Latin this year and it makes me nervous..never learned it myself, learning right along with the children will be a challenge.  

Zachary took the standardized testing that NY state requires, this week. B.O.R.E.I.N.G. for sure..but necessary for the Education Board, I guess. 

Moving forward with unpacking still and getting the house arranged.  Since our bar area in the basement is still a dream on paper, we are using a little corner of our living room for our entertaining area. Not that we drink a lot, but we like to entertain.

It's bread and baking season!  We have gone full force on bread and homemade pizza crust. Also using my crockpot almost everyday this week - with schedules of soccer practice, martial arts and sewing classes, this mama needs her crock pot!

What's coming up:

This weekend we have soccer games in the morning, party in the afternoon...Sunday - dinner at Grammies after church...

Planning a baby shower for early November for our soon-to-be granddaughter!  

More unpacking this week and settling in...hoping the weather breaks so I can feel good about putting out fall decor..hehe..

I hope you enjoy your week and be blessed!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summertime Catch Up

So I have been real bad about posting this summer on the blog...I apologize for that....if you follow me on Instagram you know how busy we have been...I wanted to catch you up on what is happening around Woodwater...

We vacationed (not shown) in the finger lakes area early August (NASCAR) and had a great time as always. 
We moved my mom up about a mile and 1/2 from our new home (she retired July 30). Seeing her more often has been wonderful.
We are enjoying all the nature here at Woodwater and can't wait to see what Fall brings to the estate.

Of course with all these record breaking heat in NY, we have been swimming everyday.   Zachary had a pool party for his 12th birthday at the end of July. It rained most of the party but the kids got an hour or two of swimming in.
The rainbows have been frequent here and we are soaking it all in (pun intended)School has continued throughout the summer  - scattered teachings here and there. 

We have two more vacations scheduled and more overnight guests coming our way. 

While friends go back to public school shortly, we are still on our summer school schedule until October 1st, using all the great weather to our advantage.

I pray everyone is having a wonderful summer and finds some fun adventures awaiting you still.

Until next time - be blessed!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What a month it's been.....

It's been a month since I had a blog post up and with good reason.  We moved!!!    We found, what is as close as we could get without building ourselves, our dream home.  It has not been without sacrifice, hard work and lots of prayer that brought us to this place.  I give all the credit to HIM!

It's a 20 year old farmhouse that has modern twists on the inside.  I fell in love with the wrap around porch and all the character and charm of the house.  My kids feel in love with the pool and the 9.5 acres of land (including a side of a mountain).  My husband feel in love with the privacy of a private road and all the land.  

We went from 2100 sq feet to 4200 sq feet and I can tell you I have no idea how we fit all our "stuff" into the other house when I am finding it hard to find space here! 

We still have not closed on our old house yet but that is forthcoming.  We have been so busy, cleaning, unpacking along with keeping up on the kids extracurricular classes.  If you follow me on Instagram, I have been showing bits of the house here and there. Not everything, but I will do a You Tube video soon of a tour of Woodwater (the name of the estate - we did not name it, it was named before we bought it, but we kinda like it!)

We only moved 10 miles away but it's another town away and feels like another state.  You really never realize how "local" your life gets until you venture out a few miles in any direction and find new things!

What we have been loving: 

  • new pool
  • wildlife
  • the pond with 4 Koi, 10 catfish, and about 60 sunnies. 
  • the property - we have not had a chance to explore yet much but it's on our list for Fall.
  • entertaining friends
  • slower pace
  • the farmhouse porch
  • sunrises
  • sunsets
  • hummingbirds at the flowers
  • our overgrown garden - it's all weeds but two trees inside of the garden fence are producing pears!
  • Vacation Bible School
  • local creamery (ice cream is sooooo great fresh and creamy!)

Still so much more to unpack, set up, hang up but it will all get done before we move again (20 years!).  

What is coming up....

  • Slowly get back into our school routine (we have a designated school room now...SQUEEL!)
  • Zachary's 12th birthday at the end of the month - POOL PARTY!
  • My mother is retiring at the end of the month and we found her an apartment 1.6 miles away - answered prayer!
  • Camping - our annual Watkins Glen (Finger Lakes) trip for the NASCAR Race
  • Lots of friends over for swimming playdates
  • Great Wolf Lodge vacation
  • More unpacking and settling in....

Oh and did I mention...... 

We are going to be grandparents!!!!!!  My son and his wife are expecting their first at Christmas time!  Exciting times!

Can't promise I will have a weekly wrap up, but hoping for at least a few times a month...

We continue to pray for all the tragedies that have been unfolding over the last month here in the U.S. and for our country's next leader.  We also continue to pray for our unborn grandchild and many of you out there who are going thru hard times right now.

Hope you are all well and enjoying all the summer has to offer...

Linking to: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Friday, June 10, 2016

Wrapping Up the Week - Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh MY

WOW, I can't believe I got a post up this week! It's crunch time here at The Joys of Home Educating as we are nearing the end of our journey in this home.  Only 14 days until we close on our new home and 2 weeks after that we turn this home over to the new owners! 
Last Friday:  We started our Kids Bowl Free Program up again. Except for some bowling league members, we were it at the place (usually the case until public school lets out). Kids did well for their first time out this year!

Saturday:  We attended a 130th Anniversary town celebration for the local family owned hardware/lumber store.  There was a lot to see and do. The girls had a blast!

Other things:
  •  I took the kids out to lunch one day by the lake where my FIL used to live. A few towns over. It's pretty and a nice time out away from all the packing and boxes! 
  •  The stuffed dog was a "find" in a box up in the attic!  It was my oldest (soon to be 28) stuffed dog when he was very young.  
  • Sammie at martial arts!  Kicking butt!
  • We are continuing to home educate the kids even though it's not as much "book work". The kids are leading the way on a few things. 
  • OZMO (with the Ipad) is a great way to stir up some competition with the kids and get them spelling better!  
  • The picture of the twin towers - I took that picture, among others, from a cruise around Manhattan Harbor in 2000 in the summer. Never thinking it would be one of the last times I see those beauties again.  
  • I also found this new GiJoe among my sons toys from years gone by. Still in the box!

Outdoors at the house: 
  • Flowers blooming everywhere..pollen also everywhere!
  • Some visitors.  The mom (bottom) and her cub (top) strolled thru the yard on Sunday afternoon, right after some rain. You can see the size difference! 
  •  The skunk is the newest addition to the Newell Zoo!  Never seen him before and in the daytime no less. (and yes I was outside with these animals taking pictures...)

ah... soon!  A picture of our pool at the new house (closing in 14 days!)

We are soooo excited for the next chapter!  These pool pictures were taken in April when they opened the pool for inspection. It is heated but I don't think we will bother with the heater until maybe fall. I are hoping it is still clear and vacuumed!  lol   What is nice is that the pool is fenced in separate than the yard  - safety with pools is so important!

Weekend plans:

Hubby and I are furniture shopping for a new bedroom set and a lunch date together.

Church on Sunday and my mom is coming for a visit!  We were able to find her a place to live only 1.6 miles from our new house (she retires on July 29th)!

Linking to:

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Friday, June 03, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - Fashion Show and Vacation

It's been a few weeks since I have shared our world with you on the blog (Instagram is another story). It's been a BUSY few weeks!  We started our summer school schedule this week and packing is kicked into high gear. We have only 3.5 weeks until we close on our new home and two weeks after that the movers come. (we are doing some work before we move in)

Sadly the Cardinal baby and unhatched egg were gone one morning from the nest 8(  

Molly in her 1st fashion show. The designer uses the same sewing studio as Molly has lessons and they have become fast friends.  It was a night to remember for sure. 

My mother and I went to The Castle in Tarrytown, NY (quaint river town on the Hudson) It was a belated birthday present for me and afterwards we did some antique shopping. Fun afternoon!
School has been winding down and we scheduled a vacation right before the house "stuff" gets rockin and rolling. We spent better part of a week at my Aunt and Uncle's beautiful home in Virginia.  

It's a 16 acre estate that rivals many plantations in the south. The grounds are filled with gardens, animals, barns, little areas to sneak away and hide. Meadows filled with buttercups as far as you can see. It was a wonderful time away with the family and visiting with cousins. 

Never a dull moment, despite the rain that fell A LOT!

Sammie was in her glory with the mini horses. 
(Gotta love the bangs on these sweet faces)

This week we are continuing to purge, pack and talk about old times in this house.  

We had a Memorial Weekend party on Saturday and had about 50 friends over to help us celebrate our Last Hurrah!  The weather was scorching hot but the kids kept cool with water guns and water balloons.  Fun times. 

I hope all is well with you and that the summer is a time for relaxing and reflecting...

Until next blessed!

Linking to: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Squishable Baby

Friday, May 20, 2016

Patriotic Party Ideas - budget friendly!

It's been a while since I have done a party post!  Today I wanted to share some of my previous Patriotic Party ideas with you all.  This Memorial Day weekend coming up, we will host our last party in this house 8(    We have always loved entertaining and having friends and family over for fellowship!

This arrangement was as easy as filling my Ball jars with fresh water and a $ 10 bouquet from the grocery store. Adds that pop of color for the table!

I set this up for a fun breakfast for the kids one year on our deck. Nothing fancy but it was a fun surprise for the kiddos. Served watermelon and more kid friendly food. 

When we entertain, I love to have a "greeting" area. Something that sets the stage for the party. I have a table that I set up before you enter our backyard. Again with the grocery store flowers. A free printable I found on Pinterest and a picnic basket with snacks that they can grab on their way in. 

This is another entry way fun idea. Ground level. Chalkboard sign with some of the flowers I took from the porch and a few decorations. 

Dollar store flags...always a must for patriotic parties!

Easiest dessert other than Popsicles.  Marshmallows dipped in chocolate and then crumbled graham crackers. S mores on a stick!

Easy entertaining idea!  We used our wheel barrow this one year for all the cold drinks..Kids height and easy to refill and dump when we were all done!

Food does not have to be expensive or gourmet!  

I hope you get to celebrate this Memorial Day!