Thursday, January 29, 2015

Almost Back to School!

Here in Australia we school January through December.  The public school went back yesterday, but I'm holding off just a bit longer.  We will start Monday, February 2.  In the next few weeks I'll share exactly what curriculum we'll be using, back to school photos, our schedule, our learning space, and more as I join a "Not Back to School" blog hop.
Our Worldwide Classroom
In the meantime, I'm planning, organising, and setting goals for our 2015 school year.  I want to make realistic goals, not crazy, unachievable goals.  I'm excited to get started, but I have a few more little things to finish up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our Trip to America ~ Part 7 (Grand Finale!)

7 seems like a fitting number!  Before we left my dad hosted a going-away party for us. 
These are all our "last" photos with everyone. 
Cody with Uncle Jason and Uncle Josh
Autumn with Uncle Josh and Uncle Jason
Feel the love!
My turn!
My dad and his selfies!
Dad, Craig, me, and Jeff
Uncle Rick, Aunt Joann, and my dad
With Jeff and my mom
Jeff and his girlfriend
Jeff sneaking a hug.
Me and Uncle Rick
And now here are some odds and ends.
(Sorry, if I throw in a double.)
Patrick's last Dunkin Donuts
From the time we left my dad's house to the time we arrived at our home was 40 hours.
We were gone for 6 weeks, which may seem long, but it flew by.
I'm so thankful we had this trip.  It was relaxing, refreshing, and encouraging.
Hello, Darwin!
Then a 3 hour drive home!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Our Trip to America ~ Part 6

I wasn't planning on our trip taking so many posts, but I've enjoyed looking back through all my photos.  We are so blessed!
Now for Christmas Eve! 
We joined my dad for lunch at the Chinese Buffet.
This was Cody's favourite restaurant.
Not because of the Chinese food, but because of the buffet.
He loved getting his own food, and as much as he wanted!

The last few years we were in America, we had the tradition of going to my mom's for Christmas Eve.  My brothers kept that up, so we went to my mom's on Christmas Eve again.
Mom's Christmas tree
We got mom a Keruig Machine.
Always read the instructions before assembly!
Another Christmas Eve tradition was to go see the live nativity
at the Mennonite Church.  Our focus on Christmas is celebrating Christ's birth.
This is good for us to stop and remember to thank God for the greatest Gift ever given.
They have live animals that the kids enjoyed petting.
After the live nativity we went inside the church where they were singing Christmas carols,
and had hot chocolate and other snacks to enjoy.
Then we went to my grandmother's (on my mom's side)
and then to my great aunt's house.  It was a late night!
Christmas Morning.
Autumn reading from Luke 2.
Dad and Wanda's Christmas tree
The kids got a new bow and arrows for Christmas.
I love this photo (besides my dad's goofy face!),
but it was so special for me to be with my family on Christmas.
I'm glad I have this photo to remember it.
That afternoon, we went to Patrick's brother's house to celebrate Christmas with them.
Patrick, his mom, and brother
Playing Mario Kart together.
Patrick loved hanging out his niece.
On Sunday, my dad's family had their Straley Thanksgiving.
I love the Straley family!
My aunt always has a creative Christmas tree!
My aunt has a stocking for every member of our family.
I have one last post that will have our going away party.
Thanks for joining me!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Our Trip to America ~ Part 5

Our fun in America continues!
I was so happy we were able to spend more time with the Ricker's.  Julie and I have been friends for 15 years (wow! has it really been that long?!!), and our daughters have been friends since birth (they were born 7 months apart).  We were able to go to Koziar's Christmas Village. This is one of my favourite Christmas places.  Patrick and I went here the night he proposed.  Anyway, here are some photos from our trip there...
Then Patrick and I were able to get away for 2 days.
We went to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
It's such a beautiful city.
I love quaint bookstores!
This factory in the town kind of looks like it could be in a Tim Burton film!
We were able to be in our home church - First Baptist Church in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
It was so good to be there, and we received such a warm welcome.
I'm still overwhelmed when I see these photos.
These were some guys that were in the youth group
we helped in, then in Patrick's College and Career class.
It was so good to see them.
I'm so thankful for good friends!
Speaking of good friends.
This is Laura, and we've been friends since Bible College.
Then we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Where they have Hershey Kisses for streetlights!!
We enjoyed Hershey's Chocolate World,
and the free chocolate afterwards!
My next post will be all about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!