Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Mother's Day in Guatemala falls on May 10.  That means that most years I get to celebrate twice.  This year May 10 was on a Wednesday.  David had been away on a work trip to Mexico since the previous Saturday and would not be returning home until the following Saturday.  That meant I was  spending the week alone with the boys.  It was a fun week but I was completely exhausted by the time it was over.  It made me more thankful for David and the many little ways he makes my days run smoother.  He is a true helpmate!

The boys made me Mother's Day cards and gave them to me that morning.  That night me and the boys went out to eat at my favorite coffee shop in town.  It was a fun Mother's day date with my little guys.
celebrating on Guatemala's Mother's Day 

The boys and I went into Guatemala City to greet David at the airport when he returned on Saturday.  We stayed there overnight to celebrate Mother's Day there on Sunday.  I had a few things I wanted to do there on my special day.

me and my boys on Mother's Day Sunday morning

One of the things I wanted to do was go eat breakfast at San Martin.  It is one of my favorite restaurants but we have never been there for breakfast.  I am a big breakfast fan and cook a full breakfast almost daily.  I didn't want to have to cook that day so we went out instead.  It was a real treat for me.  

One of my gifts was a set of cup and saucers from the restaurant gift shop.  They are so pretty and springlike.  I have enjoyed using them every day.

After breakfast we went to church at Union Church.  It is an English speaking church in Guatemala City.  I always want to go if we happen to be in the City.  I was so glad it worked out for us to be there this year on Mother's Day.  What a treat that was!  They honored all the mothers during the service and each one was presented a rose.  The boys volunteered to help pass them out.  I enjoyed watching them do that.

me and the boys outside Union Church in Guatemala City on Mother's Day

We ate lunch at KFC (another favorite) before starting out on the long drive back home.  It rained almost the whole way which made for an extra stressful travel day.  Along the way we stopped for an ice cream break at Pops.  No special occasion is complete without ice cream.  At least that is our family motto.  ha

ice cream!

It was a fun day overall and I am glad for a little time to stop and celebrate the joy of experiencing motherhood.  It was something for many years I didn't think I would get to do but is something I've not stopped doing since it happened.  It is an honor to raise these two boys and I pray daily that the Lord would help me do it well. 

Here is a look at a few Mother's Day photos from the past few years-





They truly are gifts from God and I am so thankful that He chose to give these two to me.  I am passionate about being their mother.  It is a role I will always cherish.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Celebrating the Last Day of School 2017

As I mentioned in my last post, Friday was our last day of the school year.  Just like our first day of the school year I was excited about decorating and making the day extra fun for the boys.  The night before when the boys had fallen asleep I got busy hanging balloons and streamers all over the house for them to see the next morning when they woke up.   That has become a staple on special occasions in our home.

The boys running into the kitchen on Friday morning.  They were so excited!  (and moving so fast my picture was blurry)

They knew we were having banana pancakes but had no idea what they would look like.  They squealed when they saw these "race car" pancakes that went with our race car themed day.  I used nutella for the wheels.  Yummy!

We took several photos before we began our last day of class.

a look back at our first day of school 
August 4, 2016

first day of 1st grade and last day of 1st grade

first day of K4 and last day of K4

I like to do a questionnaire on the first and last day of school.  When I sat down to print one out for Friday I realized that our ink cartridge was empty.  Ugh!  Instead I just wrote the new answers on the same sheet as the first day of school.  I used a red pen for the end of the school year answers.  I was surprised to see that many of their responses had not changed.

Another thing I have them do is draw a picture on the first and last day of school.  Here are their drawings from Friday.


I also have them write their names, the alphabet, and numbers as a comparison to the first of the school year and the middle of the school year.  

For our celebration lunch they chose to eat at McDonald's.   

Later that afternoon they helped me decorate a cake.  I had planned to make green icing for grass and a gray or black road for our race car theme.  Then at the last moment I realized I was out of blue food coloring to mix those colors.  So instead we made a brown road and used green sprinkles for our grass.  Cruz said "mama, that looks like a mountain road."  I thought that was a pretty good comparison to the way the school year had felt at times.  If you have been here and rode the mountains with us you know what I mean.  ha

our end of the school year celebration cake

and we finished the day with a swim

What a fun day to end a great school year.  We had all worked hard to make the school year a success.  We are looking forward to a great summer break before we start back again in early August. I will have a 2nd grader and a kindergartner.  Where has the time gone?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Homeschool Week 36: We are done!

We did it!  We finished the 2016- 17 school year on Friday.  What a huge accomplishment that feels like.  It has been a few days now and I am still smiling big. 

We wrapped up our Bible curriculum with a wonderful study on the life of Paul.  Cruz and I were talking one afternoon and he told me "Mama, God can use one family to help spread the gospel.  That one family can tell one family and then that family can go tell another family.  Before long the gospel can reach to places like China and Africa."  I think he is starting to understand and it is a beautiful thing.  I am proud of all the things I have been able to teach them this school year but what I am most proud of is the time I have had to teach them Biblical truths. It has been my main passion for homeschooling them and if I don't get anything else right I pray I do that well.  3 John 1:4 says "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."  I pray that regularly for my boys.  

They spent the month of May learning the books of the New Testament.  We have a song we sing that helps them practice.  I am proud that Cruz learned them but even prouder that Ben can say them too.

Ben was very excited this week to have finally reached the letter Z.  His memory verse was Psalm 97:8 "Zion heard, and was glad."  His nursery rhyme was "Here is the Beehive."  I think overall he had a really good K4 year and has a great foundation to begin kindergarten in the fall. 

Letter Z!!!

singing the alphabet song using his Jolly Trolley mat

reading practice

playing alphabet bingo

Cruz finished up his two year language arts curriculum- Sing Spell Read and Write.  This year it had a race car theme that had us racing through 36 steps to reading success.  I will admit my fears as we began the program in kindergarten wondering how I would ever teach him to read.  But, I did and I am very proud of it.  It required a lot more patience than I ever thought I had but seeing the end result has me beaming with joy.    He is pretty proud of himself too.  As you can see from that big smile below.  He finished the week by taking his bookend assessment and then his 3rd achievement test of the year.  He did well on both of those.  One of the things I have enjoyed about this curriculum is the regular assessment tests you take that assures me that we are on track.  It has especially helped when I have had doubts.  I am breathing a little easier now as I think about beginning the program with Ben in the fall.  Now that I have done it one time I feel like the second time around will be much easier.

taking his last language assessment test for the school year

His last story to read was about a class who finished the raceway program too.  They had a party and were given trophies for their reading success.  I took that idea and had us a party on the last day of school and Cruz was tickled to get his own trophy.  Here I am presenting him his certificate and trophy.

What a proud moment!

We spent the week in Math reviewing and then Cruz took his final exam on Friday.  He received a certificate for completing his math level also.

This was at the end of his Math U See workbook.

hooray for another good year in math

 Ben reviewing his math facts on the Math U See website

Our week in History was spent learning about our home State of Mississippi.  The curriculum tells you to save your home state for week 36.  We spent each day watching videos and learning facts about Mississippi.  It was perfect timing before our upcoming Stateside Assignment and a great way to end a fun year in history.  I have loved our history curriculum and all the fun things it has had us doing.  It was a great choice for this school year.

We learned about the state flower, state flag, and state bird.

What do you do when you are in the middle of school and spot a beetle on the windowsill? You grab your magnifying glasses and get an up-close look.  Moments like this have been some of my favorite this school year.  I hope I am instilling in them a love of learning and exploring the world around them.

In art they drew a baby kangaroo.

Journal entries for the week-
Why I like books... "they have pictures.  You can read them.  I learn things in them.  They teach you things!!"

On summer vacation I want to... "go to the beach.  I will build sandcastles.  I will swim.  I am going to the skate park."

Tomorrow I will share about our last day of school celebration and the fun way we ended the school year.  It has been quite a journey we have been on since last August and I am thankful to have reached the finish line.  There is no way I could do this on my own.  I give all credit to the Lord for any homeschool success.  He is the one who has walked me through each and every day.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
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