Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Day in the Life

Someday I'll want to look back on our life, on these new homeschool adventures, and remember it all. Especially those small moments.
My life with my family, with friends, our projects and activities, their interests and hobbies, the balancing act of work and play, the ways they make me smile, even those things that don't work out as expected. All of it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jonah's Foodie 13th Birthday Party

As much as I love themed birthday parties, I've learned that a 13 year-old boy doesn't particularly care so long as there's fun, good food, and friends & family. So this party for our new teenager was vibrant, colorful and festive. And he loved it.  =)

Jonah is often in the kitchen with me because he loves to cook and bake yummy things. And eat them of course!
 It didn't surprise me at all when he began requesting special things like gourmet vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting and decadent chocolate cake with fudge frosting. He loved all the treats at his birthday party last year, which honestly, I kind of wish I'd saved until this year for his big 13th, but I guess you live and learn.
So here are some pictures of his gourmet birthday treats. They were so, so good!

Hands down The Best Vanilla Cupcake I have ever eaten. Ever.
I adapted the recipe ever so slightly from a baking blog...I'll have to share.
The whipped frosting was equally fantastic - I could have eaten it straight from the bowl!

I really don't think a fun and great looking birthday party needs to be expensive. There are tons of clever little things you can do to add color and festiveness, and I always have balloons. Balloons just add so much!

The birthday boy also requested my special salsa, so we had that and some dips with tortilla chips and pretzels. Easy, cheap and yummy!

I loved making labels for the water at Caleb's Spy Party, so I did that for this party as well. They looked great.

These are very similar to the birthday signs I made for Ethan's 13th birthday party - they're so colorful and add a nice touch, and super easy to make a bunch. I just taped the signs to pieces of colorful card stock, then taped those to the walls and doors.

And of course another staple at our guys' birthday parties are making messes and/or exploding things.
Here are good ol' Mentos and Coke. Classic.
And it never disappoints, ha

It was a great day! I know he felt celebrated and special, and since that was the whole point, it was a success! 

I really wanted to get a picture of the birthday boy with each of his friends and relatives...but there is always such commotion that it just never happened.

Happy 13th Birthday, Jonah Gabriel!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vacation Week & A Certain Someone's Tango With a Porcupine

This has been a brutally cold winter here in NH, and here we are knocking on April's door with continued threats of snow and more freezing temps. I think I'm getting too old for this.  ;)

I can hardly believe that Caleb has been home with me for a whole month now. I truly love having him around, the special moments we get at random times throughout the day to reconnect, share a joke, have him read me a story, bake cookies together- I love it all! We had school vacation right after his last official week - we didn't venture very far (we'd been waiting on three different potential adoptive matches, each due around that time, which obviously means that we were not chosen) but we sure had fun.

One of our very limited nicer days this year- off to a new trail in Candia. We soon discovered that this is mostly a snowmobiling trail, but they had actually packed it down quite nicely so it was easier to walk on than slushy, shifty snow.

How did this boy get so big?

Impossible to capture the amazing depth and height of this area - sure made us feel small!

This is just so typical of everyone doing their own thing.  =)

And then this.
Poor, poor baby.
After several frantic phone calls to our vet, local ER places (because we were out of town), we settled on one in Manchester, and they were great. All things considered. Thankfully, no quills inside the mouth or in his eye.

After a very long 4+ hour wait (which may have included an impromptu pizza picnic in the waiting room while we watched the Olympics), we were finally on our way home, with a very groggy, confused little pup. Ethan had to carry him to the car because he kept bumping into walls and tripping over his own feet. If it weren't so sad it would be kind of funny. Okay, so it was a little funny.

We watched the Lego movie at Smitty's with Slushies and nachos in hand...

We had yummy snacks at Panera. FYI, their hot cocoa is different now, and it is fully loaded. HA Soooo good. Of course my children prefer the watery packaged stuff, but hey. I tried.

We painted and played games and read stories...

Ha, you can tell the bitter cold has returned! I don't think I mentioned that Caleb's Christmas fish, Captain Jack Sparrow, sadly left us. Meet Hulk, the new fish that took us a zillion hours to decide upon. Watching your fish slowly, and what looks to be rather uncomfortably, perish is really, really awful. At one point I considered secretly flushing the poor guy to end our his misery, but the eternal optimist in me that was convinced he just might turn the corner wouldn't allow it. He hung on for days and days and I was relieved to see the little guy finally at peace. Yeah, I know, it's a fish. But I'll tell you, he mattered to Caleb and so he mattered to me, and we both cried real tears for that fish.

Cuddling up with my little ninja snowboarder at Pat's Peak one afternoon. We braved the winds and took everyone boarding and tubing- it never ceases to amaze me at how truly excited I become when watching one of my children master something. They did great, and listening to them laugh as they sped down the hill on tubes was so much fun!

Just look at this adorable snow bunny! Can't even stand it.

So this is kind of random but I always want to remember the fun they have had in our backyard here - we never had anything like this at our old home. Many, many afternoons out there, and I love watching them and hearing their laughter. From the inside with my hot cup of tea, that is.  =)

Ok, so two last things: I have actually included some iphone pics! That is totally high-tech crazy for me, folks. I'm so proud.

And secondly, Hulk is still with us. He has a fun little personality and loves to eat, so this one might actually stand a chance!

Oh wait, a third thing: Ryder has completely recovered and is his usual happy self. 

Have a great day!
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