Sunday, June 21, 2020

Flag Pole!

Last summer when Ella and I went over to visit Logan I commented on how much I wanted a flag pole like them. They told me about the Flag Guy they bought their's from and how he was right in town. I had been trying to find a good quality flag pole, but all the ones I could fine online were made in China and were not good quality. We live on the top of a hill and get a good amount of wind from the Puget Sound so there was no way we could go on the cheap unless we didn't mind a flag pole crashing into our house. Jen's parent live on the top of a hill too and have loads of wind and they've never had a problem with their flag so that sealed the deal for me. Off to the store we went! It was definitely not cheap....just under $500, but I love my country and I love my flag and I've wanted to have one in my yard now for years. 

We borrowed the post hole digger from Lance so Michael could do the job. 

Dig dig dig! 

Michael filled the hole with crushed rock at the bottom and then he put in the flag pole sleeve, filled around it with concrete and made sure the sleeve was level. After that we waited 2 days to make sure it was nice and set before putting the pole up. 

The thing that's nice about this flag is that it's telescoping. The flag isn't attached to a rope you raise and lower. It's attached to hooks that are attached to the actual flag pole itself. If you need to change the flag or lower it to half staff then you lower the flag pole itself and reattach the flag to the lower hooks. It's really well constructed! 

Taking out our new flag! 

I remember the Flag Guy telling me about a dedication ceremony, but I could not find the paperwork or anything about it online. I was absolutely going to do the ceremony and I was so bummed I couldn't find it. 

Waiting for the flag to be raised! 

Here it goes!!! 

Old Glory...raised at our house on April 23rd, 2020!!! 

It's so beautiful! 

I know there is a lot of unrest and division right now around our flag and I understand there is real hurt for a lot of people. I also understand that our nation as with every other nation in this world has made mistakes in the past. There are things we wish we could go back, change and make right. I don't about you, but I also feel like that about my very own life. There are choices I've made or choices that were made for me by someone else that I wish I could change or that would have been different. The thing is we can't change them, but what we can do is take one step forward and keep bettering ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward into a better tomorrow. Does that mean that I don't love my country or myself for that matter. No way! I love my country! I'm proud of my country...warts and all! I'm so grateful for the men and women of all different colors that have fought to keep America a free country. A free country that is free to make changes, free to make mistakes and free to keep trying over and over again until we get it right. Which spoiler alert won't ever happen until Jesus returns, but that's a subject for another day! :)

I love my patriotic house! I love the colors of the flag! I love that I get to fly the flag and be proud of this free nation! 

Look Upon the Flag

When I look upon the flag
I think of liberty
Of lives laid down in sacrifice
To make a nation free.

Then I look upon the flag
And think how can it be
That I could be so blessed
That someone died for me.

Again I look upon the flag
And tears come to my eyes
As I think of all the freedoms lost
And hear our soldiers' cries.

For what, they ask, do we risk it all-
So a nation can trample our blood? 
No! We serve, we die to stem the tide
Of oppression roaring as a flood.

Look upon the flag, my people
And see the freedom there
Remember what our nation was
And fall to your knees in prayer. 

May God Most High restore this land
And bring us back to Him
And may our flag humbly wave
As a banner of freedom again. 

By Janice Powell

We also bought this LED photocell light that shines up on the flag so we can fly it at night. 

Cute kids checking out the flag from the bed of the truck! I'd actually love to get a flag decal that covers the back window of the truck.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Jack's Birthday & Party!

On the morning of Jack's birthday the kids gave him his gifts. 

Zeke gave Jack $12, Owen gave him $3 and then Ella gave him card.

That morning we met Rachael and the kids at the track. Rachael's kids had cards for Jack and they each gave him a little bit of money. It was the sweetest thing!

Every year I go with the Kim and her kids to the strawberry patch in early June. Since all my kids have been in school they haven't been able to enjoy this outing. 

It worked out that Jack's birthday was the best day for us to go. It was packed at Duris Farms! I think people were just so excited to finally have somewhere to go and something to do with their kids. 

The weather was perfect! Mostly cloudy, but bright. No rain thank goodness! There was a moment there where the sun peaked through the clouds and it got hot! Thankfully it went behind another cloud shortly after that. 

The kids did such a great job picking nice ripe berries. There were probably about 10 berries that I had to throw out since they weren't all ripe. 

I think we were there less than an hour. We picked a whole box of strawberries and it cost us $25. It was so nice to get out and do something fun with the kids. After that we went back to Kim's house...they've been remodeling their bathroom so she wanted us to see the progress. It was fun for the kids to get to play together. The Storer kids gave Jack a card and sang him happy birthday as well...he was one spoiled boy that's for sure! 

Around noon we left their house to go pick up Hansi! Jack's one request for his birthday was to have Hansi spend the night. The boys have only seen each other once during this whole quarantine period and that was when we went to Tea Time to celebrate Hansi's birthday in April. 

I swear Hansi grew a ton since we last saw him! 

He gave Jack an old guitar of's a smaller guitar, but not a ukulele. Jack's been having fun writing song with Ella since he got it. Hansi also got Jack this new BeyBlade that he wanted. I'm not sure how many BeyBlades Jack now has...I need to have him lay them out again and take another picture like I did last year. 

Buddy hugs! 

For dinner Jack wanted Burger King and to go play at a park. We drove to the Burger King in downtown Kent and then went to play at West Fenwick Park. It's one of Jack's favorite parks because of the Ninja Warrior type playground and he loves the big hill you can climb. 

After dinner we came home and watched the movie Playing with Fire. 

The next day was Jack's birthday party with Pa, Papa & Ruth. Poor Ga-Ga had gotten the stomach flu earlier in the week so she wasn't able to make it. She talked with Jack the day before on his actual birthday and once he got off the phone with her he started to bawl! He was so brokenhearted that Ga-Ga was going to miss his birthday. She's never missed one and it just hurt. I honestly think it was just the last straw. The kids have had so many things canceled....School, Awanas, Summer Camp, Camping's finally just added up and he lets his emotions out. I was trying now to lose it when he was crying since I was driving the truck to pick up Hansi. I hate it when my kiddos get their hearts broken! 

Jack recovered though and he had a great party! For breakfast I got up earlier than normal on a Saturday and I made Jack's favorite....waffles with strawberries. I used the yummy fresh berries we had just picked the day before. So good! Jack wanted Costco Pizza for lunch so Pa stopped at Costco and picked that up for us. Papa & Ruth brought a salad with yummy dressing! 

Pa went around and took pictures of all the partygoers! 

Ella and her Daddy!

Pa and his princess! 

Pa & the birthday boy! 

Zeke enjoying the boys new book nook. A few days prior to this I decided to rearrange the boys room so now Zeke's bed isn't under Jack's. So far it's working great! 

Papa & Ruth! 

When it was time to open presents we video called Ga-Ga so she wouldn't miss out! 

Papa & Ruth got Jack a few things...a Whoopee Cushion, one of those whiffle ball throwing/catching can see the green mitt in the background and crafting stuff...wood glue and sticks. 

Ga-Ga & Pa got Jack more Beyblades and of course $12! 

I got Jack more than I normally would just like I did Zeke. I just figured if I wasn't spending the money on an actually birthday party why not! 

We love Game Wright games so I got Jack these two games....Jump Ship & Stowaway 52. They are choose your adventure games like those choose your adventure books that we used to read. They are super fun! 

I actually got this game way back on Black Friday. We've played normal CodeNames before, but it was hard for the kids. I figured the Disney version would be easier. Even though Jack's got his total fake cheesy smile on he does actually like all the games. He wasn't sure about CodeNames, but once we played it he enjoyed it. 

His main gift was this fun Jousting set. I always love to get Jack something that's for outside and something that requires you to play with others. He wasn't sure about this either. Let's face it if it's not a BeyBlade or money he's gonna be leery of it! 

For his cake Jack wanted a homemade chocolate cake and homemade Orange Sherbet. 

After all the partygoers left we got his Jousting Set put together. 

Ready to joust! 

Hansi's death stare! 

Balancing on those blown up platforms is what makes it hard. Since Jack has always struggled with his core muscles this was really good for him. 


I will say the Jousting set is fun, but it's also frustrating. The blown up parks on the ends of the sticks don't nestle down as far as they should so they start to come off and that's lame. We've tried to get them down to where they should be. We might need to watch a Youtube video to see if there are any other tricks we didn't try yet. Thankfully even though they come apart the kids do have a lot of fun with them. Of course they played with them in the house and broke one of my vases already. The older boys were so sorry and now for the most part the jousting set stays outside! 

That night I took Jack over to Hansi's so they had one more night/day getting to hang out! It was a great celebration of Jack even though it was different than normal! 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Homeschool & Last Day Of School!!!

The first full week in March I was sick with a tummy bug. I spent that whole week on the was not fun! This was when all the Covid talk was really amping up. I had a friend that had a friend that works at the CDC and she had said, "it's not if the schools's when" I was prepared that it was going to happen. I watched the press conference on March 12th saying school was closing and I'll admit I cried a little. I'm not sure why because I was actually excited to have my kids home with me. I love having my babies close. It was just a little tiny emotional moment and then it was over. 

During that week while I was sick I had been reading up on a bunch of stuff and I was already really upset by the new Sex Education that was being brought up in the State Legislature. I told Michael if they passed it we were removing our children from Public School. 

Side Note: I do not think it is the Public Schools job to teach my children about is my job as a parent to teach my children about those things. I understand that some parents are scared, embarrassed or don't know how and I feel sorry for their kids. Parents should not be scared or embarrassed to talk to their kids about anything. Yes...I think that school should teach about anatomy and how the reproductive system work, but that's it. The thing is you don't need to teach a child how to's is part of their inmost being...we are sinful creatures. I do not need the Public School System teaching my children about leud sex acts that go against our Biblical beliefs. 

Here are books we used to talk to our kids about sex from a Biblical standpoint. 

The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality

Changes: 7 Biblical Lessons to Make Sense of Puberty

Relationships: 11 Lessons to Give Kids a Greater Understanding of Biblical Sexuality

Steps off soap box! 

Homeschooling has been on my heart for about a year! I homeschooled Owen for Kindergarten and then when he was about to go into 1st grade we realized that he needed more than I could give. I had my 3 little ones at home and I was nanny Logan 3 - 4 days a week. It was too much. At the time we felt like it was the right move. I also got involved with Mom's in Prayer and we have seen so many answers to prayers over the years. I truly felt like being at Public School was my mission field. I loved volunteering and helping out my kids teachers. Although as they got older the amount of help the teachers needed drastically went down. During this last year I barely helped out at all. I felt like I wasn't able to have a presence in the classroom, get to know the other kids in my kids' classes or make a difference of any kind.

This last year there has also been some situations that have come up that were frankly unacceptable in my mind. My child did not have any rights to getting a good education because another child that was having issues had all the rights in the world. It was ridiculous really! I get that the schools hands are tied, but it was really disappointing. 

Owen had been asking to be homeschooled for the last year. He is so gentle and his heart literally hurts when he has to sit in a classroom of kids that swear all the time. It was breaking my heart! I wanted to homeschool, but their was always something holding me back. I think it was mainly the not knowing if it would work and what would happen if I took them out, tried it and it failed...would I have ruined my kids! 

Enter Covid-19 and school being a way it was an answer to prayer for our family. Not that people would get sick and die...heavens no, but we got to practice homeschooling. We got to try it on for size! Now I know that crisis homeschooling is not like real homschooling, but the fact that none of us killed each other during these last couple months is quite promising. 

Once we found out that school was going to be canceled for the rest of the school year I made the decision right then that we were only going to do school until the original last day of school on June 12th. Then once we went on further I decided that we were finishing up on May 29th. We were done! My kids had done great, but the tension had been building and there had been tears over zoom meetings and computers not working and I was over it. Neither me or my kids need to be unnecessarily stressed right now and I honestly felt like this was unnecessary. I conveyed this to my kids teachers and they were SO supportive of me!!! They were also excited for us in regards to leaving the school and moving forward with homeschooling. It was such a nice relief to have that off my chest and feel supported in the process! 

I told the kids that even though school wasn't ending the normal way we were still going to take last day of school pictures.

Last day of 2nd grade! 

Going on to 3rd! 

Last day of 6th grade! 

Going onto 7th!!! 

Last day of 7th grade!!! 

Being a goober...just like in his first day of school picture that he's holding! 

Going onto 8th grade! 

Last day of 3rd grade! 

Going onto 4th grade! 

My beautiful babes! 



As for homeschooling....we are doing a hybrid of sorts. I found this school online Lighthouse Christian Academy they offer a distance learning homeschool program. They use ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum. It's the same curriculum that Michael and I used at the private school we went too. The nice thing is since we are enrolled in a school per se I don't have to file paperwork with the state like I would if I homeschooled the traditional way. I don't have to take the class that shows I'm able to teach my child. I will have support from the school and we will be assigned an advisor. They will keep all the kids records and handle all the state testing. It's really the best of both worlds. 

It will cost us a good amount, but it's less to homeschool my 4 kids using the same curriculum that I used than it cost my parents to have me in private school. We are excited and thankfully so are the kids. Owen and Zeke were totally on board and complaints whatsoever. Jack and Ella were shocked and Ella does keep saying that she's sad she's not going to go to school and she doesn't want to homeschool, but I mainly thing it's because of the unknown. She's still going to see her friends it will just be outside of school and we'll have opportunities to make new friends.  Once Jackson realized that all his friends he actually hangs out with don't go to school he was fine.  

The best part about the program at LCA is they will assess the kids and see where they need to be placed. They aren't going to just assume that Owen is going into 8th grade. They will test him to be sure and if he is lagging behind in a certain area they will assign him the PACE's (workbooks) that he needs to catch up in those areas. I honestly think that Zeke should be further along than he is right now. Poor kid is bored out of his mind with Math. I would not be surprised if he is at the same level as Ella in a few subjects. 

The flexibility is really going to be nice as well. We will be able to take vacations and go places outside of the normal peak times. We will also be able to take our PACE's and go set up school at the park. The options are endless really! 

I'm still a little sad about taking my kids's all they've ever known, but I'm also so excited for what's ahead. The things they are going to get to do and see and experience while homeschooling are going to make up for anything they are going to miss at a school building. Plus I'm so excited to be able to pour into their lives even more Biblical principles and looking at things from a godly perspective. It's my job as a parent to make sure they have a solid foundation in the Lord and I take that job very seriously! 

If you are interested in checking out Lighthouse Christian Academy.