Monday, May 5, 2014

Christmas Service Projects

During the Christmas season Mike and I try our best to teach our kids the true Christmas spirit. So we do end up doing so many acts of service so 1) our kids can feel the spirit and 2) they aren't distracted with all the material things.

So besides our cookie making for neighbors, secret santa gifts, homeless shelter donations we wanted to try something new. 
So this year I contacted Salvation Army about bell ringing. So as a family we went bell ringing for 4 hours. To pass the time we sang Christmas carols and had a contest on who could say, "Merry Christmas", to people waking by first.
 I do have to say that taking along 4 cute kids does help with people's donations. I guess the cuteness warms their hearts even more so instead of $1 bills they are dropping in $20 bills.
 Our second big service project we did was collect food for the Bountiful Food Pantry.
 We wanted to show our kids how blessed we are to have our own pantry filled with foods. So I posted a note on my facebook page to all our neighbors that we were going to be coming around in a few days so to be ready for us. So on the big day we walked around our neighborhood for 4 hours and collected over 240lbs of food. That's amazing!!!
Our kids were smiling ear to ear when we went to the food pantry to drop this off. They were so proud of themselves and honestly Mike and I are even more proud of them.

And... if you haven't noticed Lily is such a photo bomber :) ♥

BYU Museum of Art

My dream as a mom is to instill the love of the arts into my children so yes I am one of those parents that take their kids to gallery openings. So when I heard that the BYU Museum of Art  opened their new exhibit, Sacred Gifts, I booked tickets ASAP! 

 But of course we needed to see the new Provo City Center Temple. Even though it's under construction it was still breathtaking to see.

 When we pulled up to the museum the parking lot was completely packed. (Side note: our kids were the only kids there.) Good thing we arrived 45 minutes early. We checked our coats in, did potty breaks, rented our iPad's for all those fun facts that the little art plaques can't hold and had ourselves an amazing time.

We were actually told by a random person that our kids were very well behaved. They have seen at museum and act "like children" (duh! they are kids) but she was happy to share this experience with our kids. Thanks! I'll take that compliment.

 Anyways when people exit the art showing there is a table with cards for the patrons to write a thank you note to the person or museum that loaned the BYU museum the art work. So each kiddo picked their favorite (which was harder than they thought. How can you just pick one?) and wrote their thank you notes.
  I was only able to take these few pictures since there was security everywhere and signs saying,"No photography". So I had to be extra sneaky to even get these pics. But the art work was amazing. Some pieces actually brought the spirit to our hearts. Our kids loved it that we talked about it for the next hour on our way home.
I love it when I can share my passions with my kids.

Happy Moments :)

To catch up faster I'm just going to combine this post. These are some of our happy moments that we had last year. They are out of order but still very important. :)

 I finally got my hair to be curly without being like an Afro. This didn't last long so every minute was lovely.
 Mike got transferred to a different position. He's lead of projects carpet cleaning. He's now charge of cleaning various church building. He absolutely loves it!
 Caught Lily and Ducati being nice to each other.
 This is the way Mike gets around. :)

 Lily learned to read. Very important day for her ♥
 Important and special moment... Lily smiled at me. Melt my heart♥
 Ducati enjoying some fall leaves.
 While singing, " I want Fabulous!" (high school musical)
 Date night! We've actually been on several dates but this one was really special. Our friends invited a bunch of people to their movie screening of Resistance Movement. At this screening a friend and survivor of the Holocaust spoke along with Gov. Herbert. It was just an amazing night.
 I woke up to Lily and Ducati enjoying the rain.
 Lily's tithing slip. " Give 10 to the prophet" is what it says.
 Enjoying Uncle Peter's backyard slide.

 And his amazing garden. It's a slice of paradise.
 A hike/ field trip to President Kimball's grave. This was a special moment for all of us.
 Going to homeschool group events
 where our kids made lots of friends.
Falling in love with how hilarious and goofy my kids are.

Jungle Jim's

 For the thousands of reasons why I love homeschooling there are a few con's for us.
1) I want to have more field trips than lesson time so I get side tracked really easy.
2) it can be hard to figure out a new approach on something when one of our kids are stumped. But this seldom happens since there's so many resources out in the world to help me.
3) Burned out! Just like anything that you might put 100% of your time into. So when times like this happens we just blow off the lessons for a few hours and have some fun!
 Today was one of those days. No one wanted to focus. We were getting on each other's nervous.
 So I found a super great deal on KSL for Jungle Jim's Playground. So after breakfast we headed out....without doing the dishes!
 Our kids had so much fun letting off some steam.

and screams...of joy!


  Mike and I were able to have a few moments of quiet time which was very nice.

 and after a long afternoon of laughing, joking, smiling, and having fun our entire family was happy and recharged again.

Medieval Fair

This is one of my many reasons why I love homeschooling.  I seen on-line that there was going to be a medieval fair in a couple of week at Thanksgiving Point so for those 2 weeks we focused all our attention on kings, courts, knighthood, etc so we can have a field trip to this fair.

So when we woke up that morning the weather said a 30% chance of rain so we just brushed that percentage off and went anyways. C'mon we have studied for 2 weeks leading up to his moment. So we packed up our wagon, warm coats and said a prayer that the weather will be well.

When we first got there we were able to get inside the fair using the homeschool price. Half off!!! Sweet! :)
There was a tight schedule here. Sword fights in one area, juggling and jousting in another area, story telling, music playing, magic sorcerer shows, etc. So we went everywhere.... even though that 30% chance of rain turned into 100% rain plus snow!
 When Lily seen this pirate ship we all had to stop for 20 minutes for her to play on it.

Mason challenged a giant! Poor 6 foot tall teenager. He had no way of knowing that my son would kill him during their fight
 And Mason loved every minute of this tournament to the death. See his smile for proof :)
 Distract & Destroy!
 Mason enjoying his victory into knighthood.
  Mike finally found his throne. Even snow couldn't get him off his royal seat.
 But the storm started to get to us so we decided to wait it out.... we really didn't want to leave. So we took shelter under a pavilion and enjoyed some hot chocolate.

Finally getting warm again :)
 We were deciding if we wanted to leave or not since the snow/rain slush wasn't letting up. But then a fire breather took pity on us and gave us our own private showing. That was really awesome!
Even though our trip was cut short due to weather we all had an amazing time. Our kids got to see their lessons come to life and see everything we have been studying. Mike and I got to see our kids light up with joy..... I can just gush on and on from why I love homeschooling.