The Joys of Home Educating

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 time...be 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! 






Friday, May 13, 2016

Weekly Wrap up and a sneak peek at our new home!


Hi Y'all!  I am so glad to be able to sit and put my thoughts down in a quick blog post. It's been crazy around the house these past weeks but life moves forward. I wanted to catch everyone up on what's been happening!

The weather is beautiful this week in southern New York and the children have taking full advantage of it.  


I am finally sharing a picture of our new home!  We are not moved in yet but weeks away!  Packing has been a priority along with purging - gosh how much stuff one family can accumulate in 9 and one half  years. WOWZA!  This home and property has 95% of what was on our wish list. We have worked so hard and been so faithful in our finances and making smart decisions over the last 9 plus years it's finally paying off! 

This is a "farm house look" on the outside with all the farmhouse charm and more modern inside!  There are 9.5 private acres and you betcha I will use all of them to the fullest for homeschooling! 

I can't wait to have porch chats with friends on this wrap around beauty!

More on the house later on in a separate blog post, I promise!

What's been happening....



Samantha celebrated her 7th birthday with 17 friends at the de jong. She had a dog themed party and all the children had a great time!  


  •  Samantha continues with the martial arts. Keeping her focused and learning all the time about integrity, respect and discipline.  
  • The weather finally broke this week from 7 days of straight rain!  
  • For Sammie's 7th birthday she asked guests to bring donations for our local animal shelter in lieu of gifts. People were very generous! 
  • Bike riding has happened every day this week and I am so glad because my treadmill broke a few weeks ago and I was missing my cardio. 



We have playing a lot of games lately for geography and Molly has been LOVING her Look Book that she received for a birthday present from her "Aunt" Tina.  Mark my words you will see her designs on the runway someday!




  • LEGOS, LEGOS and more LEGOS - honestly they must be a staple in most homes with children these days.  My girls are going crazy for the Lego Friends sets. 
  • Sammie has been excelling in her reading and learning her site words. 
  • We have a cardinal nest in a bush out front. So far only 1 egg has hatched and as of this writing the one little guy has defined wings and gaining feathers! 
  • Rare picture of Daddy with the birthday girl!


What's happening this weekend....

Tonight: Molly is in a fashion show tonight and then we are going out to dinner as a family to celebrate.


Saturday - my mom and I are going to The Castle in Tarrytown for lunch (belated birthday present to me) - watch for Instagram pictures Saturday afternoon - this place is AMAZING!


Sunday - after church meeting up with my 3 gal pals for brunch at a local hot spot. 

I am working on homeschool plans for June and July during the moving process. I am leaning towards more learning apps, computer time and some workbook work to keep their skills up.  Any advice on homeschooling while moving would be greatly appreciated!

Probably more packing and making my lists for vacation - we leave for Virginia late next week for a 5 day trip for some R and R before we get too busy with the move...

What have you been up to?

Linking to:  Homegrown Learners - Collage Friday
                                Squishablebaby and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

HI old friends....

WOW I can't believe a month has passed by without a blog post. It just goes to show you how busy we are with packing, everyday stuff and homeschooling. I hope you get a chance to follow my Instagram feed where you can keep up with us on a daily basis...



I hope to be back "on line" with you all soon.....Enjoy the day!