Odds and Ends (a.k.a. brain and memory card dump)

I have lots of tidbits floating around my head that I want to record, and lots of photos that need to get off my camera's memory card!


So I thought soccer was over.

And then...all four of the kiddos got selected for the all-star team.

We're having practices 3 times a week.  But it is just for three weeks (two more now) preparing for a tournament at the end of May.

For now.....

1.The children are loving it.

My kids with their buddy Davis, two of the Z sisters, and
their little bro Silas (the 2-year old Z boy) - who happens to be G's partner-in-crime.

All their friends they were playing against during the regular season?  They're now playing with on this all-star team.  They are having a ball out there (sorry, I couldn't help myself).

2. Jas is loving it.  He is the assistant coach, and the "team manager" in charge of the administrative details, which is totally and completely his gifting.

3. I am....well, not hating it.  I can't say I "love" it.  I do not love the time away from home.

        a.  But all seven of us are together, and

        b.  All the moms of my kids' friends who made the team?  Happen to be some of my closest girly friends.  So, we get to hang out and talk watch together during practices.  I am getting a whole lot more friend time than I normally get...which is a very nice thing!  

E with Josie-Tatum, Kayla (G's future bride), the remaining Z sister, and a new friend Mackenzie

There could easily be more of this "club team" soccer in our future.  (Matt assures us it is for LK.)  If we allow it.  We're going to have to pray hard for discernment.


Lily Kay had an appointment with her Endocrinologist.  LK's bone-age is at 10 years right now.  Given the fact that she just recently turned eight...this is not great.  But, the bone-age hadn't moved since the last bone-age study 10 months ago, so that part was good.   LK hadn't gained any height since our last appointment 4 months ago, but she had gained almost 3 pounds.  With the way all of this is such a very fine balancing act, the Endo was actually very concerned about this.  She suggested that we work on eating healthier.  ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??  (It's a good thing I love, love this doctor, or I may have lost it with her!)


Noah had two teeth extracted. N, D and LK have all been meeting every six months with an orthodontist, who says it's a matter of when, not if, they'll need braces.  Well it turns out that Noah has nice looking, straight teeth....his jaw just isn't big enough to fit all them in there!  So he had these two top teeth out, and when the corresponding two bottom teeth come in...they'll also be pulled out.  He handled it like a total trooper, and much better than I would have!


Noah is still being followed every 6 months by the ophthalmologist about possible glaucoma, as his pressures remain high (slightly above normal, but high enough that we have to keep a watch on all of it).  We went in for his Field Vision Test Wednesday:

...and we'll have a follow-up with the doctor soon to go over results.


Abby and Michael brought their new treasure down to our neck of the woods...and they graciously let us invade come visit John Hudson.  

Oh, what a sweet, sweet baby!

The two oldest boys were there too...but were too shy to hold the baby.

But all four of them agree that they are ready for Joseph to come home...so we can have a baby of our own around our house again.


I've just finished reading the three My Father's Dragon books to my kiddos.

I love those books where at the end of every reading session the children are clamoring, "more, more...pleased don't stop reading, mama!"

I originally read these to E and N several years ago as part of our school curriculum.  But D was too young to participate, and LK wasn't even home yet. We loved the books back then, and I wanted the younger two to get to experience it also.

It's a sweet and wildly imaginative story - that is also a quick read - and I'm so glad we read it together again!


We have had lots of great fieldtrips and activities with our homeschool group lately.

Our group recently toured a center that rescues and rehabilitates sea turtles.

We got to carpool with our buddies, the R family, in their new 12-passenger Mothership

We had a great time and learned tons of neat information about the center and the turtles they help.

One thing that stood out to me is that the facility uses raw honey applied topically to help their turtles heal.

Just a few days ago we went on a fascinating trip to an olive farm.

It turns out that our area is a very similar latitude to Spain, Greece and the Middle east and the soil is similar enough that we have favorable conditions for growing olives!  Who knew???

Olive trees can still produce even after 2,000 or so years.

We got to taste test some olive oil at the end.  Not everyone was a connoisseur.

They keep the olive trees pruned to a pretty small height, because the harvesting machine goes right over/around the trees.

 We saw the machines that process the olives into a paste and then spin the oil out...

...and fill the bottles:

Our group finished the tour with a picnic at a local (beautiful!) park.   

We also recently had our End-of-the-Year shindig with our group.  For the first time this year, we have yearbooks!  The 6th-12th graders, along with three (very brave and wonderful) moms worked hard all year to produce the books.  They did a **wonderful** and very professional job!  After eating together (we're always eating!)...the yearbooks were unveiled and the children had the fun of going around and signing each others yearbooks.  I'm so glad my children will have these books as keepsakes.  

Although not everyone was there to be in this picture (sorry you weren't there Vicki, Sabrina, Alison and Danielle!)...here is the wonderful group that I am so privileged to travel this homeschooling journey with:

The lone dad in the picture is the husband of my dear friend Kris...he continues to homeschool their three boys.  Phillip does a great job of putting up with us mamas, and all our "chatter" on the e-mail group!


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