Sunday, January 28, 2018

End of January Family Update

On Monday I helped our church school library organize their new books some more. When Ram was done with class he came to pick up the boys to take them home. Except they were having so much fun with the other kids of volunteers that only Lamb 1 went home with him. I love "working" in the library and helping this school get started.

On Tuesday the Lambs had piano and art. I did a little grocery shopping before a mammogram. I already got the results and everything looks good. Our whole family attended the first Christian Wisdom class at our church. This weekly Bible study runs through Lent and we will study the book of Mark, The Small Catechism, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Our pastor titled it Luther, Lewis, and Mark. I think it will be good for everyone in our family.

On Wednesday Lamb 2 and 3 had a play date in the afternoon with some friends from church. Lamb 1 did a little shopping with me while they were there. Goodbye Christopher Robin movie was in at the library for me. I watched it and I'll blog about it soon.

On Thursday our family went to a library book sale. Ram and I didn't find much, but the Lambs did. Thursday night the furnace went out. Thankfully it was a little warmer here. We called our landlord first thing on Friday morning and the repair man came right away. I didn't take a shower until later on Friday, but other than that it wasn't too bad because it got fixed so quickly.

On Friday Lamb 2 had his second vision therapy exam. It is looking like this doctor and a second round of vision therapy will be very helpful for him. We set up a parent consultation to find out more details. We are also considering having Lamb 3 do the testing here. After he was done at the doctor we took peanut butter and jelly donated by our church members to the Seminary food bank. I was glad I had a strong Lamb to help me carry that. In the evening my parents babysat while Ram and I went to an adult only dinner at church. It was potluck this year (so much food!) and a very fun evening.

On Saturday we had to get up for confirmation class after being out too late. Our family went to the March for Life in Fort Wayne. It was rainy but not too cold. The speakers before the March were good. The March with friends from church was fun. Then we went to my parents church for cookies and hot cocoa. I think this was the first year they did that and it was a great idea to go fellowship out of the rain. We stopped at the last branch library book sale in January. Ewe and the Lambs found something, but Ram didn't. It probably would have been better to go in the morning, but we couldn't. After all that we came home and both Ram and Ewe took a nap!

Today was church and Sunday School. Then we ran a couple of errands as a family so I could come home and put my comfy clothes on and not go anywhere the rest of the day.

The calendar looks pretty light this week. It will be nice to stay home and continue to focus on homeschool and home keeping.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Year in Review-December 2017 Part 1

We took a lot of pictures in December, so I'll post a few at a time.
Photo Credit: Meghan Schultz
The Lambs favorite art class so far was the day they used clay to make boats.

Photo Credit: Meghan Schultz
I ordered a print to remember our babies. Row one is our 3 Lambs birthstones. Row two is the birthstones of our miscarried babies. I got it here. Her work is beautiful and I am so glad to have this to remember all our children. I would like to order more prints from her, but was so pleased to get this one for our family. I framed it and it is one of the few pieces of artwork on display in our rental home instead of still packed after moving.

Our city had a tour of churches night. The first 3 photos are the church where my parents got married. They did extensive remodeling recently to restore it closer to the original. It is beautiful!

This is the church where Ram and Ewe got married 16 years ago. We have so many fond memories of this church.

This is the church that we attend now. It was still Advent so we did not decorate for Christmas yet. We went to a few more churches that night, but I didn't take any more pictures.

The Lambs went to a Science Central class and dissected frogs.

Trying to identify if it is a male or female frog.

I used coupons to get 5 nice greeting cards for $1.56 total including tax.

I bought a necklace/keychain for my sister for Christmas from here. I bought myself one a few years ago. My sister's was larger than mine and it was not her favorite gift. I don't know this etsy shop owner, but I love her items made out of postage stamps and she has wonderful fast service.

This was her favorite gift. I bought it here. I bought her the set of 3 prints from the Anthems of Zion. I also used some of my birthday money to get a set for myself. It was so interesting because they are hand lettered, both sets were different. When these arrived I wrapped and finished shipping all our gifts to far away family. It was so good to have that done early this year and not worry about it near Christmas.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Third Week of January 2018

Last week was a fun, but busy week. On Sunday we went to church and Sunday School and I streamed the Seminary Epiphany service instead of going to it. That is always a beautiful service.
On Monday our church hosted a one day conference. The Lambs helped acolyte at 2 church services that day. There were sessions for adults during the day and supper and fellowship in the evening. I helped serve soup during lunch and nachos with cheese during our taco supper. We didn't know very many of the visiting attendees this year, but had a good time with our friends from church. Many schools in the area were canceled for MLK Jr. Day so the Lambs had friends to play with during the sessions. It's great to take a day with church friends.
On Tuesday the Lambs had their first piano lessons after Christmas break. Then we planned to go out to the Seminary and see if any friends were attending Symposium this year. But when we went to start the car, it wouldn't start. Ram had a doctor's appointment, his annual physical, so he called AAA and then took the minivan to the doctor. While he was gone they came and jumped the car and I let it run 25 minutes. Ram wasn't home so I turned it off to gather up my stuff and the Lambs to go to the car place. 5 minutes later it wouldn't start again.
On Wednesday a tow truck came and picked up the car. There was no charge thanks to AAA combining it with the call the day before. It was a long day of chauffeuring for me due to one car. When I picked up Ram after his class, we went over to the Seminary for a reception. Last year there were more children at this reception, this year our Lambs were the only ones. They behaved partly because there was food for them. Ram and I visited with one of my college friends and a few other people we knew. It was a nice end to a crazy day.
On Thursday we picked up the car from the shop with a new battery now. We went to a couple of library book sales and had a couple of good finds. On Thursday night our boys acolyted at our church weekly midweek service. I don't often attend that service and it was nice.
On Friday I woke up with a headache, I think sinus trouble from the weather. I was pretty worthless all day. I watched some of the March for Life coverage from D.C. online. I really want to go some year. Ram had an eye doctor appointment. He needs a slight change in prescription.
On Saturday the Lambs had confirmation class and then the church youth group went ice skating. The Lambs were not too excited about ice skating but after about an hour both Lamb 1 and 3 were pretty good at it. Lamb 2 declared that he liked roller skating better than ice skating. It was low 30s and I wonder if he would have liked it better if it was a little warmer. Maybe we'll try to go again as a family before the end of the season. Ram and Lamb 1 went to darts at church. When they got home I went over to my mom's. I am keeping some of our food in her chest freezer. I reorganized her freezer and brought some meat home for us. I had a nice visit with my parents after the freezer project.
Yesterday we went to church and Sunday School. CLHS had an open house so we went for a little bit. Lamb 1 has been accepted so we didn't have too many questions. Lamb 2 and 3 were glad for the chance to practice shooting rifles. We went to an open house for a possible house. It was nice, but not perfect for us, so we are still waiting and looking. We stopped by Barnes and Noble for a treat from the cafe while it was educator discount day. Then the Lambs were anxious to get home to watch football so we came home.
In the middle of all those activities last week, we got some homeschooling done too. This week I hope to be back to full homeschool schedule and Ram is back to full time schooling. I am glad to get back to a routine and hope for no more excitement like car problems this week!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Year in Review-November 2017

While celebrating Reformation 500, we didn't carve pumpkins until November.  Sorry for the poor picture quality. Lamb 2 and 3 each carved a jack-o-lantern, Lamb 1 thinks he is too old to carve pumpkins.

Our church celebrated their 125th anniversary. I made cake toppers and chocolate favors. This is the dessert table with my decorations and other dessert too.
Chocolate Bible favors. Idea was here. The anniversary was really a fun day with both friends that are members and some visitors that day too.
Photo Credit: CLHS Facebook Page
Lamb 1 attended Concordia Day. He wants to be in JROTC now.
Lamb 1 won a t-shirt at Concordia Day. It was perfect for him since he wants to do cross country next year.

I met my mug swap partner. Everyone that sees the necklace she made compliments it.

Only Lutheran homeschooled boys would practice a hymn for Sunday School choir during a play date.

Everyone on Facebook was doing a black and white photo post. I didn't do 7 days of posts, but I did post a photo of our mailbox at our rental house. A delivery man complimented it a few days before I took the photo.
Our public library had an author visit, Laura Numeroff. I was at the end of the line, but she stayed past library closing time and signed everyone's books that were in line. The Lambs came and listened to her talk before signing, but Ram took them home while I waited in line to get my book signed. 

I sold more books to Hyde Brothers. This one surprised me and was worth about $100.

This is the book that got me started on buying books at the library book sale. I thought it would be valuable with the prints inside. It was worth about $25.

I read this biography of Tasha Tudor before I sold it to Hyde Brothers. It is more recent but was still worth about $20. All these books I sold were 20 cents each at the library book sale.
Lamb 1 needed a new coat. I really didn't have time to shop for one and was unsure what size to buy him or where in Fort Wayne to shop for one. A friend messaged me and asked me if we could use a coat that they found when cleaning out their closet. It was Lamb 1's size AND his favorite team is the Seahawks and it was their colors. I am just amazed at when God provides for us, not only just what we need, when we need it, but also when it is absolutely perfect for us! I couldn't have gone to the store and found a more perfect coat for him. Another example of a blessing while Ram is a student!
My sister came for Thanksgiving and we remembered to take a picture in our Harvest Raise t-shirts. It didn't turn out the greatest so we'll have to try again next time she visits. I was noticing how much my sister and I look alike in this picture. I have never noticed that before, we used to be so different that I wondered if we were really sisters!

I wanted to buy Lamb 2 a dressy coat for church. When I measured him he needed a men's size M! The sleeves are a little long, but the coat is not that big on him. He loves to dress up for church and was happy to get this coat. I used several coupons to buy it and I think it will fit him for a couple of years.

The pastor asked a question in Bible class about what was on our pulpit. I sit in the front row almost every Sunday and I was drawing a blank when he asked the question. Ram went upstairs and took a picture for me to jog my memory. (John 14:6)
We went to Christmas in the Park which used to be called the Christ Child Festival. The Lambs were a little old for it so we didn't stay long. I just wanted to know what they did. I had grand plans to take a family photo for Christmas, but there was too much in the background that disqualified this photo without a lot of photo editing.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January Family Update

Lamb 1 was sick on Sunday so I took Lamb 2 and 3 to church by myself while Ram stayed home with Lamb 1 and watched our church service online. It is so different that Ram now stays home from church with sick Lambs after many years of me staying home with sick Lambs while he was the pastor.

Sunday afternoon we took our Christmas tree down and put it in storage. Monday the weather wasn't too good and my mom and our family all had chiropractor appointments so we gave her a ride, had our adjustments, and took her home.

Ram, Lamb 1, and Lamb 3 were sick at the beginning of the week. It wasn't too bad, it was mostly a frog in their throat, but not sore throats or fevers. We took lots of vitamins and ran humidifiers in the Lambs rooms. We're not completely over it, but much better. I spent more time with the Lambs going through stuff in their room and getting more stuff ready for give away. We got back to our routine of practicing piano, the Lambs did their piano theory, and we got back to a little homeschool. I did some school planning, especially planning what I want Lamb 1 to do with me this last semester before high school.

On Thursday Ram and I finally had our anniversary date. Fort Wayne has a local restaurant deal so for one price we got appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert. It was really good food. We had been given some money for Christmas for us to go out on a date and with this deal we didn't even spend all that money. The Lambs were glad to go over to my parents while we went out, it had been a while since my mom was healthy enough to watch them. I was so glad everyone was healthy and Ram and I made it out on a date before his school vacation ended.

On Friday there was ice and a couple of inches of snow so most schools in the area canceled. Lamb 2 had a vision therapy evaluation so we braved the roads in the early afternoon and by then it wasn't too bad. This was the first exam so he has an appointment for a longer exam in a few weeks. It is looking like he will need to do more VT. I'm excited for him to have a chance to work with a different doctor/therapists when he is a couple of years older. I don't regret him doing VT in ID in 2014, it just wasn't enough. His eyes are still having a lot of trouble focusing on the page to read. In ID, VT was very close to our house, here VT will be a little drive. But if he can benefit from this then we are willing to drive.

Today I will go to church and Ladies Aid while the Lambs stay home one last Saturday to hopefully get a little more healthy, but also because we will be back to full routine next week.

Next week Ram returns to class, piano lessons begin again, there is a conference at the Seminary so many friends will be in town, and we will try to get back to our full homeschool schedule. For Ram to have a month off of school for Christmas was wonderful, but it went all too quickly.

My plan is to finish the year in review posts and then attempt to blog 2-3 times a week with at least one of those being a weekly family update.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Year in Review-October 2017

We attended several Reformation services in honor of the 500th anniversary. October 1 was a service at St. Paul's, Fort Wayne. Afterwards they served a nice German meal. It was a nice time to visit with friends from several area churches.

These photos should have been posted in September, but the Lambs received their summer reading prizes from CPH. Lamb 2 won a big prize in the program, the Illuminated Catechism, which I already posted a photo. Here was his kids prize.

Lamb 1's prize.
Lamb 3's prize. It is so nice of CPH to do this for the kids! I saved the Sunday School Bible Discovery Guides from the Lambs, but it was nice to get it all in one volume here.

We began the admission process for Lamb 1 to go to high school. I will post more about this later, it was a little more complicated because he has been homeschooled, but it was not impossible.

The last cross country meet was in October. The other 8th grade moms were a little teary  after a few years together on this team. This was our first year so I was relieved that chauffeuring was done for a few months. I really hope that Lamb 1 continues cross country in high school, but it will be his choice and there are many high school activities to choose from. This was a great group of 8th graders. I look forward to cross country with Lamb 2 on this team again next year.

We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather for all the cross country meets this year.

Our church took part in one day of 40 days of Life by standing outside Planned Parenthood and praying for pregnant mothers. It was one of the first colder days and many of us were really bundled up that day. After a very mild fall no one was really ready to wear hats and gloves that day. The Lambs are "tough" boys and kept most of their winter gear in the car for most of the time we were there. It was a sad reason to be together, but a time to fellowship and pray together. Another reason I am glad that we homeschool and take our boys to times like this. Some kids came after school, but we were there at the beginning of the afternoon.

I don't have any pictures to show, but I took the Lambs to the Reformation service on October 31 at Concordia Theological Seminary. We arrived really early and waited so that we would have a seat. Unfortunately Ram had class and a Catholic college was not going to allow him to attend a Reformation service as an excuse to miss class. The service was beautiful and wonderful to sing Lutheran hymns with a packed chapel of Lutherans, hear the beautiful choirs, and hear Rev. Harrison preach again. Afterwards I took the Lambs out for ice cream. It was strange for them to not go trick-or-treating or a Halloween party, but Reformation 500 trumped Halloween! Lamb 1 was especially glad that he was able to attend instead of just watching it online. I think we gave the Lambs memories of Reformation this year that they will tell their grandchildren about. I am so glad that the Lambs are old enough where we could arrive early and they could participate for the whole service. It got to be a really long evening, but not impossible for them.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Year in Review-September 2017

We participated in a tour your own hometown day. The Lambs were not happy to spend a Sunday afternoon going to local places, but Ram and Ewe appreciated the chance to see inside buildings that we always drive by.

Usually no cellphones or cameras are allowed inside the courthouse so it was a special treat to be able to take photos inside the courthouse. I wish I would have brought a better camera as there was too much sunlight.

We took a similar picture when we toured the ID state capital, so we needed to take this one at the courthouse.

Allen County courthouse did some restoration a few years ago and it is so beautiful.

After touring the hometown, the Tincaps concessions were open for some discounted  snacks. The Lambs were disappointed to go to the field when there wasn't a game, but they liked the snacks.

Photo Credit: Redeemer Classical School
Lamb 2 and 3 began an art class. They took advantage of the nice September weather and went outside to draw.

Before we moved I gave away a castle toy that we had gotten at a thrift store and I thought that the Lambs outgrew. Almost as soon as we moved in, Lamb 3 started asking where the castle was. At first I told him we weren't finished unpacking and maybe it would turn up, thinking he would find other toys and forget about the castle. When we began studying medieval times in homeschool he really wanted his castle. We looked for something similar at several thrift stores, but you know when you are looking for something thrift stores don't have it. I finally gave in and bought him a Playmobil castle at a discount store. A few weeks after I bought this one I saw a better castle at Costco. Lamb 3 was thrilled especially because he likes Playmobil and we don't own very much.

Ram had a tour of several buildings on his college campus as part of one of his classes. I'm not posting all the pictures he took, but I thought how they hang pictures and artwork is a great idea for our future house.

Our bank had a customer appreciation day and so we ate a free junk food lunch one day. I was glad we homeschool and the Lambs could attend too.

There was a Saturday cross country meet and the weather was pretty nice. Lamb 1 got 8th place boys. The course had a hill at the end of the race, which made the finish exciting for several racers.

My sister came home for our high school homecoming because my brother-in-law had a big class reunion. I knew several people at the football game, but my sister didn't see anyone she knew besides one teacher and me. We did more that weekend, but I (gasp)  didn't take any photos. We all went out to eat that weekend to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday.

My mom's cousin visited and we had dinner at my mom's house one night.

There was a weekday cross country meet when Ram had class. I didn't plan enough time for this out of town meet and we were a little late. They had all the girls race and then all the boys race. Just before the boys race started it started pouring rain. They still raced and most parents of boys went back to their cars to sit during the race and most of the girls went home. As soon as the race was over the rain let up and this beautiful rainbow came out.

We attended an outdoor Reformation church service out in the country organized by several country churches. Rev. Harrison preached and I would estimate at least 1500 attended.  
After the service they organized a Reformation Walk. It was very well planned and educational, but it got to be a little long for the Lambs because it was after the service. 

The Lambs had to "work" in the Printer's Shop.

We didn't stay to watch the video.

By the time we got to the Marketplace, most of the Reformation merchandise was sold out. We already owned Reformation 500 shirts, so we weren't disappointed.

Martin and Katie Luther

Lamb 3's godfather has a new daughter. We went to the baptism. This is his godfather with his wife, daughter, and two of his godsons. (Lamb 3 has another godfather not pictured too.)

We put an offer on this house because we thought it just needed some good cleaning and some interior decorating. We had a house inspection and found out that in addition to a lot of other repairs it needed it had a drain held up by a Lego. After we were done laughing at the inspector's report, we got out of our offer. Ram's dad told us to run from that house and was very surprised that we got our earnest money back pretty quickly. We are still renting and still looking for that perfect house to buy.

A weekday track meet where I took the Lambs because Ram had class. Beautiful weather and a fun day.

Lamb 2's godfather was installed at a new church closer to us than he used to be. We made a road trip one Sunday arriving in time for his installation service. It was a busy day and not very many pastors attended so I was glad Ram could be there to support him.

My friend Joelle's parents attend this church. We had a nice visit after the service.
They have two adorable daughters. We hadn't met the "baby" before this day.

The Lambs had a Saturday cross country meet at Culver, IN. We left before 5am and when we arrived the campus was still dark. We had never been there before and weren't sure where to go. The weather was beautiful and they were done competing and we left around 10am. One advantage of early morning meets is you get home early! It was hot that day so we were glad they competed in the morning and we could get into the air conditioned car.

One of the other Lutherun moms was my high school classmate. If you would have told me 25 years ago that we would have boys on a team together today, I would have thought you were crazy! It was helpful to know someone (even though I had not kept in contact with her after high school) for our first year of cross country.

The CLHS team arrived after we did because high school competed later in the day. Wondering if Lamb 1 will be part of this team next year?

The military academy campus is beautiful.

I participated in a Lutheran women mug swap and this is what I sent to my mug partner.

And this is what I received from my talented and awesome mug partner. I got lots of compliments when I wore the necklace she made. (The one I sent to is different than the one than sent to me.)This year I didn't know either of the mug partners so it was fun to "meet" 2 new friends.

I presented at a Lutheran teacher conference. My session was popular and all these chairs were filled and many more sat in the back. I hadn't done anything like this for 14 years and it was so fun. Afterwards I was asked why I'm not teaching in the classroom. 

My session was about gross motor skills and I talked about what I learned from Lamb 2's vision therapy exercises. During question and answer time at the end several teachers were encouraging to other teachers to have lots of movement in the classroom and to do what I talked about. 

We participated in the last mile of Fort4Fitness together as a family.

Compared to cross country, this was very babyish and too easy for Lamb 1. They got participation medals and begged to not do this next year. We might sign Lamb 1 up for an adult race, but I think we are done with the kid races.

The last cross country meet was unbelievable weather for the end of September. I wore my sweatshirt because I was trying to prevent a sunburn. I hadn't brought sunscreen, just hats, as usually this time of year you are bundled up. Lamb 2 got pretty sunburned in his cross country tank top and the rest of us got pink that day. It was crazy for the end of September.

I don't have a picture, but the end of September we went swimming at a friend's house and then stopped for ice cream at Zesto before the season ended. Some other homeschool friends joined us that afternoon. I was glad to take the opportunity when we had a rare end of September day to go swimming. I want the Lambs to have homeschooling memories like this, especially because Lamb 1 is going to high school next year.