We went thrifty this year with a storybook birthday party at home.
James and Joel and Dad organized a puppet show called ‘The Tortoise, the Hare and the Porcupine’ to entertain guests and Mom sewed the red curtain. Grandma, Grandpa, Dad and Mrs. Parker were roped into reading picture books from the library – and they did a wonderful job.
James really wanted a Star Wars party. That is really not my thing. I was hoping he might change his mind, but alas. I tried. =) We had an X-wing fighter on top of the cake and theme table setting (including the all-essential yoda napkins). The only still pictures I have are of the cake blowing moment, sorry.
A few hours ago James officially turned 6! Born just in time for church at 9:17 in the morning on Reformation Sunday (like his Mom) weighing 7 lbs and half an ounce. He has traveled a lot since then. He celebrated his first birthday in the French Alps, second in Cameroon (West Africa), third and fourth in Kenya (East Africa), and now fifth and sixth in Oregon. Our extreme devotion to trains has recently given way to a love for Star Wars, so he had an X-wing fighter on his cake this year, but party picks will come later. First, a celebration of our little engineer growing up in pictures:
A couple days ago some friends invited us to join in their annual fall tradition of hand-pressing apple cider – yum! The kids had a wonderful time at a beautiful location, and we all soaked in the last of fresh apples for a while (apples are few and far between where we are going). So follow in pictures the picking, snacking, washing, chopping, pressing and tasting!
The leaves are declaring the glory of the Lord recently – turning all sorts of gorgeous colors! This can only mean one thing: Autumn in upon us! I must give up the denial when the nights are 45 degrees! Our playgroup recently had a fun visit to the pumpkin patch. I ran out the door after rushing through a homeschool morning a bit frantically and forgot the camera (typical). Thankfully my friends were willing and very able stand in photographers – thank you Gretchen and Davina! Anna can now say ‘punkin’, but mostly wanted to sit on the big ones.
James’ was perfectly round and without blemish
(Mr. Attention to Detail / Fan of Perfectionists).
Joel’s was a slightly yellow-orange tilting a bit to the side and kind of long and thin
(Mr. Wacky / Fan of the Underdog).
Anna’s was small, round, orange, slightly marred on one side, but it’s what her Mom picked out for her (it was also close to the hay-bail wagon-tractor thing) and she’s not old enough to be picky or carry her own! =) Walking in rain boots across a bumpy field was excitement enough, I mean let’s be realistic here! Apparently, the pumpkin patch looked like a field of beanbags to her – the perfect seat!
No super exciting news. Anna continues to amaze me as she grows up faster than her brothers did. She’s decided to potty-train herself this past week, which has been fairly smooth so far. She talks lots and gives lots of ’tisses’ (her ‘k’ is ‘t’ for now). I can’t help but wonder (and pray) about how well she’ll adjust to returning to Africa – her birthplace that she remembers not. The boys at least have a few familiar favorites to look forward to. Pumpkin patch pics coming soon!
So here’s yet another picture for no special occasion – just for you Kris & Kaitlyn! (I saw that you check our blog everyday – someone in your country, and I only know you guys =)! – so I’ll do more random posting as I can. xo)
Today in language arts we read the “Gingerbread Man”, and in Science we’ve been doing body parts and senses, so our closing activity was making gingerbread cookies (with a handy low-sugar recipe). We decorated with sunflower seeds and raisins and had a great time cutting/rolling and eating! As we peeked in the oven, Joel said, “Close the door quick! Before he runs away!” Here the boys show off their men before eating them (noting James’ has a little hat).
Anna is ever the toddler wanna-be student. Pictured here decapitating her gingerbread man… and he was never seen again! =)
Joel now has the cheesy camera smile. I love it. We’ve read several versions of this story and few of them include the original ending of the gingerbread man being eaten by the fox. It is a great way to talk about how ‘pride comes before a fall’. My boys can handle the gory details. And we have extra cookies for snacktime tomorrow – yum!
So far homeschool has been lots of work and lots of fun!