Sep 23, 2016

Baptisms! (and other things)

 What a fun couple of weeks we have had!  Our nature journal time last week involved muddy slopes, hunting for snails and worms, and a good old fashioned snail race.
 Our whole family went to the Union for lunch to meet up with an old college friend and his family.  The kids hit it off right away, and it was a treat to catch up with this couple.  If they lived in the area, I think we would be great friends!
 Over the weekend we camped at our good friends' house with 4 other friends and their families.  The ladies had a great time sleeping inside while our servant-hearted husbands slept out in the tents/hammocks with all the kids.  What an incredible group of husbands we have...we are blessed!
And this week couldn't have started any better.  Malia and Josie decided that they were ready to be baptized in front of our church and share why they want to follow Jesus!  Parents and friends came just to be there to celebrate with them.  My heart felt so full.  I am grateful for God's pursuit of their hearts, and their openness to His leadership.  I pray that that would only deepen as they continue to grow up.

Malia Sapp Baptism Testimony from New Hope Church on Vimeo.

Josie Sapp Baptism Testimony from New Hope Church on Vimeo.
Lunch to celebrate with family!
AND, we got to see The Piano Guys live at McCain this week.  It was a girls' date.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the show and even Aliza sat through the 2 1/2 hour show fully engaged.
It was a good week. :)

Sep 13, 2016


a.k.a. buffalo.  For those who remember Dances with Wolves. :)

That's what we were able to see this weekend while visiting a local buffalo farm with our homeschool co-op.  Nate and a friend of ours both decided to be adventurous and feed them by holding a pellet in their mouths.  The buffalo then proceeded to reach out its long, sticky, dark tongue to retrieve it from their mouths, thus creating a sort of buffalo french kiss.  Ack!!
Nate and David attempting the buffalo kiss!
I preferred the more by hand feeding.  Actually, the throw-it-on-the-ground-and-let-them-pick-it-up feeding was all I really did.

We also enjoyed the farmer's horses, chickens, and turkeys.
 And grilled buffalo burgers for lunch!
We were thankful for gorgeous fall weather all morning!

Sep 7, 2016

Recent Adventures

On a recent trip to Bern, we decided to bring along a couple of friends along with us
 We have also been having weekly dates with friends to fill out our Nature Journals for the year.  Today we went to Pott. 2 to observe and draw animals.  There was also lots of play time. :)

Aug 29, 2016

Bugs, Fudge, and Sewing

Some happenings as of late around here:
We got some cousin time one day which turned into a impromptu slumber party.  When we met my sister-in-law the next day in Frankfort, we convened at the fudge shop.  Yum!

Nature study has been SO fun so far.  There is just so much to be fascinated by!  There are fingerprints of a brilliant designer everywhere we look.  Even our simple backyard has been a place of awe and wonder.

These yellowneck caterpillars invaded our birch tree, and even somehow made it over to our two apple trees.  Though our birch tree is not thankful, it was an awesome thing to observe and learn from.  I think there were likely over 1,000 caterpillars in our trees.
I think we had about 15 kids over today to a)collect some caterpillars to take home, or b)come play with the kitties.
 The kids have decided to collect insects in the freezer in hopes of taking the entomology project in 
4-H this year.  They are piling up, and I need to learn how to store them before they take over!
Never mind that I have dead bugs right next to meat and pie crust in my freezer....
 There has also been some serious interest in sewing and cooking going on around here from Josie.  She is just begging me to give her some freedom in these things.
I am SO excited and thankful that someone in our homeschool network was giving away this machine, and I was able to take it!  The kids having their own machine will make me feel a little better about giving them some freedom in this area!

Aug 17, 2016

Double Digits and Kittens

This girl has hit double digits!
Everything about this year's birthday was Star Wars related.  It is definitely the story that has captured her attention this last year.  All the books mulitple times, encyclopedias, character books....
...and FINALLY, what she'd been waiting for so patiently....
watching the first Star Wars movie - Episode 4.
And she was shocked at her gift from us this year: 2 kittens!!  With, of course, Star Wars names:
Padme and Maz Kanata.  These are our sweet friends who graciously shared their kittens with us!
Liza was a little upset she didn't get to hold a kitty for the picture.
 Ahhh, that's better.
 Part of Malia's gift was that she and Daddy got to do a project with wood together, to make the housing for the kittens.  Malia really loves working together on projects.  She's creative, and it's quality time.  Double the goodness.  Together (with the help of a great friend and his tools!), they made:
 Everyone's smitten!  When Nate got home from work today, the first thing he said was "I'm going to go hold the kittens."  Even he, is smitten.

Aug 16, 2016

Theme for our School Year - Nature Study!

School Year 2016-2017.
Theme for the year....Nature Study!
We have been working into school the last couple of weeks and I am LOVING our topic for the year.  Nature/God's Creation has seemingly endless fascinating elements, and the kids have been showing a lot of interest in observing, dissecting, using the microscope, and even writing about the things we've learned the past week and a half.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few hours gathering our main curriculum and supplemental texts.  The main two being: the Charlotte Mason Nature Journal and Considering God's Creation.  I then gathered some textbooks that we had inherited from my elementary school after its closing, and bought a couple of used books on  For the few of you who are interested in this sort of thing, here is the flow chart I came up with, as I attempted to coordinte the material from all the books:

Our 2016-2017 Nature Study Flow Chart.

Here are the books we're using that are mentioned in the flow chart:

Charlotte Mason's Nature Journal.  This journal was my basic guide as I planned out the semester.  It goes through all 4 seasons, revisiting the same categories of nature each time.  There are enough prompts for one entry per week.  We plan to meet up with friends weekly to fill these out and play.

Considering God's Creation (Teacher's Guide and Workbook) from Eagle's Wings.  We are loving this book.  My kids go crazy over little worksheet-type crafts and this book has lots of them.

How Nature Works by Reader's Digest.

Nature Study: A Pupil's Textbook.  This is a reprint of an old classic.  It guides in observation of different things in nature.  What I really love is that each topic is followed up by a writing assignment.  Since I make up my own language arts assignments from our theme, this is a great help for me.

Plant Life.  From the Bern School library.

Insects and Spiders.  From the Bern School library.

Plant Parts.

Usborne World of Plants.

DK Encyclopedia of Animals.

How Seeds Travel.  From the Bern School library.

Junior Science Book of Trees.  From The Bern School library. (not pictured)

Jack's Insects.  A fun fiction book that teaches about insects.