Monday, April 30, 2018

Kaity's Graduation Party

Saturday we celebrated Kaity's high school graduation! It was wonderful to see so many of our friends and family.

Becky and Paige and a crowd of teenagers who didn't want to stray too far from the table!

Jason, Jeff, Cheryl and Sarah.

Opening presents! Kaity got some lovely, thoughtful gifts and she loved them all.

She was especially excited about the car stereo/CD player from Grammie and Baba. "Now I can listen to audio books while I'm driving!" (For now, she's been using her laptop on the passenger seat!)

On this half-wall, I set out Kaity's scrapbooks for people to flip through. The tree branches held "leaves" on which guests wrote book suggestions, quotes, word of wisdom, or Bible verses.

Throughout the house, I scattered quotes from various authors and books.

This interactive poster was really enjoyed by the guests. They guessed at categories like Kaity's first word (Daisy, our cat's name), her favorite movie (The Princess Bride), and her favorite Marvel character (Spider-Man, of course).

This poster got a lot of laughs (you can click the picture to see it close up):

My mom made a beautiful PowerPoint slide show featuring pictures of Kaity from babyhood up to now.

It was so sweet to look back over the memories!

And I wouldn't be me if I didn't tell you about the menu! I incorporated some of Kaity's absolute favorite flavors into six dishes - three sweet and three savory:

Espresso Macarons with Chocolate-Hazelnut Ganache; Profiteroles with Lemon Curd and Whipped Cream; Strawberry Soup.

Apple-Chicken Salad with Lemon Pepper Dressing; Spicy Cheddar Crackers; Spanakopita

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Our Joe has had a big year... Literally! He's just shy of a size 12 shoe and at 13 he's already 5'5". I fully expect him to be taller than me by the time he starts high school in the fall. He's thrilled to be taller than his big sister Kaity!

I don't have many pictures of him, because he hates having his picture taken. I occasionally catch him off-guard, though, or force him to give the camera a big, fake grin. I'll share what I have!

 In August, Joe started playing alto saxophone with the Athens Area Homeschool Band. He did so well that after a try-out, he was asked to move up from beginning band to intermediate for the second semester. He played for solo ensemble and did very well, especially for having learned the instrument only 8 months before.

For Joe's birthday this year, he requested a Star Wars party. The kids had fun in the backyard shooting Nerf guns at the Empire's fleet (balloon targets).

I can't resist a good pun!

The girls love their big brother! Joe plays Lego, chess, checkers, and Minecraft with them, and they love to ride bikes together.

New glasses! He wants contacts next time, so expect a new look come October.

He has his mother's love of puns! We cracked up at his Halloween costume ...
The Old Man and the Sea, of course!
We all got new bikes for Christmas, and we've been on family rides several times. Joe loves to take his bike off-road, often branching off and then re-joining us, just to show that he can ride circles around us!

At our homeschool co-op this year, Joe took a woodworking class. He made a toolbox in the first semester and during the second semester, he made this cutting board and six coasters. He really enjoyed it - definitely inherited his Papa's talent!

Last week we found out that a local private school has invited homeschoolers to join their marching band. Joe is pretty stoked to go to band camp this summer and to get started marching in the fall!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Our Kaity has had quite an amazing year! In May of 2017, I had my friend Kim Campbell take Kaity's senior pictures. We tried to find the best location for it, and decided on the library in Commerce, downtown, and a playground the kids loved.

Reading The Hobbit, of course!

This time it's The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.

Sketching, always sketching!

In October, Kaity went to a dance with a group of friends. Obviously, this is after she got her very long locks cut!

New glasses!

My chauffer! I took this when we went Black Friday shopping for the first time ever. We wisely waited until later in the day and all the crowds were gone. Still got a few great deals!

In early December, Kaity and Joe went to a dance at our homeschool co-op, Compass. Playing to her  audience, the DJ featured songs like The Imperial March and Bohemian Rhapsody.

A couple of Kaity's favorite Christmas presents included this t-shirt and mug, inspired by her plan to be a librarian when she grows up.

Sipping a maple breve at Jittery Joe's, despairing that spring will ever actually arrive.

In January, Kaity started her dream job - as a librarian! She absolutely loves it, and works 15-18 hours per week while juggling college, high school, acrylics/pastels class, babysitting, her Etsy shop, chores, friends, etc. She's especially looking forward to helping with the summer reading program.

And now this is happening ...

... and plans for after graduation are set! When she begins college in the Honors Program at the University of North Georgia Oconee County campus in the fall, she will have just five classes left before she starts classes for her major, Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. For that, she'll transfer to the Dahlonega campus. Following graduation from college, it's on to her master's degree in Library Science!

We couldn't be more proud of our Kaity-Kaity (as Granny calls her, because she's double sweet!). 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The More Things Change ...

When I began this blog a hundred years ago my purpose was pretty simple: to keep family and friends updated on our family. Joe was one year, 7 months old. Kaity was 5 and a half. I was 26. (!)

Jeff teases me sometimes about how I never post anymore, and I really think the fault lies with social media. Back in 2006, we didn't have Facebook. Pretty sure we didn't even have a cell phone! We had a desktop on dial-up and having a blog was an easy way to communicate with our family and friends all over the world in one spot. (Blogspot! ha!) Now, I have so many other, mostly better ways to keep in touch and I use them - Instagram, Facebook, texting, video chats, etc.

Another factor is pictures - frankly, I never know where they are anymore! It's something I'm trying to change and organize, but between my phone and my laptop, it's kind of a bother to make sure everything has been uploaded to the cloud (of which I am distinctly suspicious) or whatever nebulous system is out there.

Anyway, all that to say this: I have a few upcoming posts planned and we'll just see how it goes! It has been an absolutely jam-packed life in the last year or so that I posted! And the kids have grown a little bit since 2006. In size and number!

April 1, 2018

Monday, May 22, 2017

School Year Wrap-Up

This has to have been the longest, busiest school year we've ever had! August feels so long ago, like when people talk about the 90s as if they were only 10 years ago, only in reverse. Maybe that made more sense in my head. At any rate ... Y'all. It's been a long year. We have spent the last few weeks wrapping it all up, and it's been fun!

On the last day of Classical Conversations, I promised my class they could have a Nerf war:

They had spent the preceding two weeks working on a protective container to use in the egg drop experiment. We suprised the kids by having a fire engine come! They used the ladder truck to drop the eggs. I think the fire fighters had as much fun as the kids!

The end-of-the-year party for CC included each class doing a presentation of their choice. My kids decided to recite five history sentences covering WWI and WWII. Joe wore his Grandpa Rick's uniform coat and cover. 

Lauryn did not want to cooperate!

Selah's class sang The Presidents Song.

World War history!
 Joe also participated in the Faces of History presentation. The kids wrote papers on a chosen historical character. They then edited their papers down to a two-minute, first-person presentation. As a bonus, they got to dress up as the characters! Joe was Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor of Europe.

Charlemagne always looked to the right in his portraits.

Lauryn drew this picture of me on the chalkboard, and it pretty much sums up how I feel at the end of the school year:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Family Pictures December 2016

Waaay back on a cold, rainy Saturday in December, my friend Kim Campbell of Kcreatives Photography met us in Jeff's hometown of Duluth to take some family pictures. Despite the weather, Kim was able to capture some really great shots!