Thursday, February 28, 2013

First Day of School

After Flying L, we had a couple of intense training days for me as the homeschool teacher, followed by a “Meet the Teacher night” at Summit…
Chance with his teacher, Mrs. Easley.
Charlie with his teacher, Ms. Bleser. 
Alas, the time came. This year, there was much less weeping (especially on my part) since we were not to be separated as much.  Homeschooling 3 days a week really takes the bite out of the first-day-sadness.
The big boys were excited, and maybe a little nervous/jittery.
Chance, the confident. (Or good actor, take your pick).
Walking in to class on the first day.  Rolling backpacks, uniforms, and so much more, were our new norm.
We had a brief chapel, with parents and even grandparents there, to send the kids off towards a great year.
Granny came, too!
Then we ventured outside to take photos of the whole school.
This was the other side – the papa and mamarazzis.
A couple of weeks later, it was this guy’s turn:
He was excited to be in the Monkey class, having the same teacher Charlie had 4 years ago.
This is our beloved Mrs. Campbell. Smile

Monday, February 25, 2013

Flying L

We continued what is becoming our yearly tradition of staying for a weekend at Flying L ranch before school started.  It is so fun to get away just the five of us, and enjoy each other before the crazy school schedule takes over.


This time we had a fun discovery!, Just outside our room, there were bushes truly covered in caterpillars and cocoons! It was awe-inspiring.


This is what 3 boys look like when you tell them it’s time to stop swimming because the water park is closing for the day.


A little ping pong cheered them up, though.


Sunburned and enjoying smores. The epitome of summer!



Can you guess who managed to walk around in the water with 5 tubes?


Hint: He managed to sit on top of 2 at a time.P8063868

Chandler mastered the big slide by himself!



Chance preferred making tents to handle the big bucket of water.P8063942P8063951

I don’t have many photos of Charlie because he’s reached the age of freedom in the waterpark, therefore he is constantly on the move…

My favorite part of the day is s’more time, when we gather around a fire (despite the 100+ degree Texas heat), and listen to Buck Shannon play cowboy songs.  There’s something so relaxing, yet community-building, about it.



Here’s a sample:

We also enjoyed some time walking down the main street of Bandera.  And eating Blue Bell!



I am so grateful for these opportunities to enjoy these boys to the fullest!  What a blessing they are!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


It’s an interesting contrast, putting our big church vacation Bible school beside our outreach’s.  This year we began working with a ministry called Christian Hope Resource Center. They offer food, clothing, counseling and support to people going through hard times.  The kids help me with the kids’ classes, which is where the children go while the parents are getting what they need.  Chuck helps with parking.  We worked a vacation Bible school there, just the kids and I, and we loved it.  We even did the same story (Daniel) with the kids.  It’s a beautiful thing to see their faces light up as they understand how much God loves them.

This is Mrs. Margaret, teaching the story.  She is a hero to me. She’s been teaching faithfully, every Saturday, for the past twelve years.


Chan enjoying some play time.


My precious class.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Anna Visits

Also in July of last year, my sister Anna came into town with her family. We really had a great time, and got to play tourists as we all checked out the Ripley’s Wax Museum.


This is my brother-in-law Charlie, as the fourth “Stooge.”P7277939

The Thier boys loved seeing Indiana Jones. I don’t know that they’d dig it as much if there wasn’t a Lego Indiana Jones video game. Winking smile


Disney and the “11” dwarves.


Anna, Charlie and William with the Wooly Mammoth


The World’s largest tire, with Charlie thrown in for scale.



World’s tallest man. I wonder what his shoe size was?!P7277971

Our whole group…


And then we went to Chris Madrid’s…Charlie approved.


Charlie was in town for a bowling tournament.  Meanwhile, Anna and I met up with Granny for some fun at the Point. The Point is a food-truck “restaurant” and we LOVE it.


My neice Maddie, trying out a deep fried oreo.


Thanks, Annie, for coming to play with us!! Love you!

Bibletimes Marketplace

One of my favorite things at our church is Bibletimes Marketplace. It is such a big production that we only do it every other year.  But they convert the whole church building into a first-century AD or in this case, an Old Testament Babylon, in the 500’s BC.  No one is allowed in without a costume!

This is Charlie and Chance with their friend William.


Even the babies are in costume!




They gather in small groups in tents. This is their tribe/family. Their group travels to the different areas throughout their time together.


On the final night, they invite the families of the kids to come and see the final performance.


We even sang Hebrew songs!


A few men acting out one of the stories. I think this is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago and the fiery furnace.


I’m so grateful for our church making the Bible come alive to our kids!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The summer was a time of transition for us.  After our great family vacation to California over Spring Break, I realized how much our boys needed us around more often.  There was an emotional wall that went up, especially with Charlie, when school started and I would have to break it down at the end of each school year. Charlie also had some academic issues with writing that needed more work.  And we were all tired of running the treadmill of the school schedule.  So I finally looked into a couple of university-model schools, which is where the boys would homeschool three days a week, and go to school the other two.  University Model Schools started about 20 years ago, but they’re fairly new (4-5 years) to our area. I went to information meetings for both, and decided on Summit in Boerne for various reasons.  We set up a family interview for May, but got cold-feet and canceled.  But after a month or two of thinking about it, we decided to pursue it!  A couple of things that helped us ease in was an Ice Cream Social at one of the family’s homes, so we could meet the whole school (staff and sutdents/families), and then a meet-up of some of the third grade boys so they would know each other going into the school year.

On the day of the Social, it was raining, so we stayed inside and got cozy with everyone.
This is Charlie, probably saying, “I’ll have a little bit of everything.” That child LOVES ice cream.

The meet-up. We met out at a ranch, and it made me want to live on one.  It was a boy's paradise!

A few of the third grade boys.

Checking out their targets.

How do you cool off on a July day?  Swim!

And I have to include this because I want to remember it. See this pergola?! I want one attached to my house – doesn’t it look so inviting?!  There’s a good use for Cedar!
And then another round of bb’s – as we check out a nearby creek. Despite my fears of ricochets, the kids tried to hunt minnows.
And then Chandler found a snake skin. Oh dear. Maybe I’m not quite ready for a boy’s paradise!

All of this helped settle us in to the new school.  Many thanks to my friends Sarah Jones and Stacia Crafton for patiently answering my borage of questions over the past few years!