I think after our trip back west I needed some extra time to recover. That doesn’t mean that things have slowed down, just that I haven’t found time to post anything here. We have been making some big changes here. Some of them are well planned and thought through, while others are last minute game changing ideas (my signature style) that make me question my sanity in hindsight.

Be sure to refresh the page to see the pictures!

I decided on a whim to rearrange the furniture in our entire downstairs. Usually not a big deal, except that all of our furniture is massive and heavy. I accomplished all but the piano by myself (some small help from the boys). We had to have the elders over for dinner before we got the piano moved. I think I’ll keep things like this for a while. It seems to be more functional and spacious.

20130911-164710.jpg Since we now have a new living room arrangement, I had an idea to make an area rug. I had a friend come over and help me cut and assemble the many carpet pieces I picked out at the store with Greta a few weeks before. It was a lot of work, but a fun project. It has been a nice addition to our living room.

There was and “Outdoor Adventure” day on post open to the entire community. It was a beautiful, sunny day and hardly anyone went to this cool event. 20130911-164725.jpg The boys got to shoot arrows and pellets, watch chainsaws and two-man saws, taste dutch oven cooking, hold snakes, rock climb and make arrowhead necklaces. They did decline to watch the live skinning of a dead beaver (Bryce’s favorite animal). Andy went and brought back some nasty photos.20130911-164735.jpg

A few weeks later the boys and I headed back to Clayton for the event dubbed “Ride the River” at the Antique Boat Museum. 20130911-164746.jpgIt is by far our favorite MWR sponsored event at Ft. Drum. The museum is very nice with lots of beautiful boats to see and ride. The boys even got to take turns rowing a skiff (epic fail). We dressed Greta as a pirate and debated putting a temporary tattoo on her. We got to tour a luxury houseboat called Le Duchess. Bryce was interested in living there for the rest of his life.20130911-164758.jpg

Back on the home front, I made the decision to homeschool the boys instead of send them back to the Catholic school this year. It was a hard decision that we stewed over for several weeks and I didn’t decide until the day before school was to start to officially keep them home. I’m sure they would have been just fine going back to school, but I’m just not a fan of government control and national curriculum standards (which our private school unfortunately follows). I also felt like Bryce wasn’t surrounded by the best option for social interaction and neither of our boys was learning or working up to their potential. I was just tired of them performing mediocrity and not having the resources at the parochial school to do more. The school was willing to work with us, almost bend over backwards, but in the end, I felt like it was best to keep them home and try to ignite the love for learning that had been extinguished since both boys left Kindergarten. And, I never thought I would say this, but I just didn’t feel ready to send them back to school. I’ve NEVER felt like that before, so it was a very strange realization. We are slowly easing into school work, with a curriculum that will be more hands-on and fun than I would have ever considered, even when I was homeschooling before. If I could be home-schooled, I would wish for a classical education, but I have to work hard not to project my personal preferences on to the boys. They are not me, thank goodness. That would cause big problems.

20130911-164813.jpgLast week Bryce turned 12. He celebrated with his friends at Yo Johnny’s frozen yogurt shop and I made him a big cake. We waited for Grandpa and Grandma to come from Colorado before we sang and ate it the next day. Grandpa and Grandma also brought Rosie to stay with us and we have been enjoying the newest addition to our family….again.

Grandma Jackie and Kelly also came in over the weekend and we all went to see Singer Castle on Dark Island. It was very cool and included a system of secret passageways. The castle is for nightly rent at a rate of approximately $700 per couple. Gus said it was definitely worth the cost and told us he would rather stay at that castle than take a cruise to the Bahamas.20130911-164834.jpg

The highlight of the last week is that Bryce was ordained a Deacon and received the Priesthood. He also graduated from Primary at church, which is probably his favorite part so far about being 12. (No more singing time!) He is really a good boy and we are lucky to have him in our family.100_3241

Greta turned 10 months old this week. She is trying to crawl and cut some teeth. She loves the dogs, and her daddy and brothers. She has really started to take eating seriously and prefers to feed herself! We are all still enamored with her and looking forward to her talking, even though she is destined to be sassy and spoiled.


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