2013: A Look Back

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 As 2013 draws to an end, I love looking back and remembering some of the things we did this year.

We’ve actually had snow a couple of times this year- something unusual for our Southern winters. This particular snow was in February. The older the kids the less time they actually stay out in the snow. This means thirty minutes of getting dressed and then thirty minutes of cleaning up wet clothes and wet shoes for about 15 minutes of actual play outside. I’m not sure it’s a good trade off.

We hosted the science fair for our science club again in March. This has become an annual event, and we’re planning it for this March also. Charles’s project was comparing french fries cooked in different ways.

Charles played basketball in the winter and enjoyed it. He decided not to play again for this year, but we did enjoy going to his games and watching.

In March, Ashlyne had a gymnastics meet in Charleston. None of the kids had been to Charleston, so we all went as a family- as well as my mom and sister. We rented a house and before the meet we toured the city.

For Easter we ate at Jason’s parents’ house and had the opportunity to take traditional Easter pictures. Of course I think we won the award for the craziest.

We had several trips to our local nature museum this year. Even though there are some younger kids things there, all of the kids still really enjoy it.

Kathryne played volleyball again this year. She really enjoys it and is improving in the sport. She’s planning on playing again this spring.

Rachel took ballet this past year, and now she and Kathryne are taking worship dance together. Dance has been right up Rachel’s alley, and both girls have enjoyed the worship dance.

Jason and I went to the Teach Them Diligently convention again in May. We had the opportunity to listen to several great homeschool speakers and to buy much of our new curriculum. I love homeschool conventions!

Kathryne was old enough to be a summer counselor for ROAR this year. She helped in three weeks of camp. It was a little outside of her comfort zone, but she ended up really liking this.

I was on the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year which meant that we got to try and review all kinds of great curricula. We stumbled upon several things that I wouldn’t have ever thought to try that we really loved.

This summer we took our annual trip to the beach to spend time with Jason’s family. We took the kids to Ripley’s Believe or Not this year. (Ripleys offers great homeschool discounts at all of their attractions!)

In May of this year, I bit the bullet and began eating gluten free. I have definitely seen help with my fibromyalgia. It isn’t gone, but I have noticed a decrease in body pain and in my ability to do more without severe pain. Thankfully I had already learned quite a bit about eating gluten free from my sister who has Celiac disease. I’ve found lots of great gluten free things I like, and I’ve learned quite a bit about gluten free baking.

We started our new school year in August. We had several changes this year. We began using My Father’s World- which I love. We changed to Life of Fred math- which has been a mixed bag, great for the younger girls, but a little difficult transition for the older kids. And Kathryne has worked independently this year. I’ve missed some of our group unit studies and lapbooks, but she has done a very good job working independently.

In October we met with our large group of homeschooling friends from church and had oral book report day. This has become something the kids look forward to- even though they don’t particularly like oral reports. Rachel was old enough to do a report this year.

I discovered a new favorite hobby this year, and Charles loves it as much as I do. Geocaching is so much fun! We went to a class at the library and learned about it, and then we’ve found quite a few caches around the city and a few on vacation.

Ashlyne is continuing on with gymnastics this year. We moved her to a different gym in March, and it’s been a good experience. She’s had a few meets so far this fall, and we have many more to come through the winter and spring.

All of the kids had parts in our church’s Walk Through Bethlehem. Rachel and Kathryne danced with their praise worship dance group. Charles was a Jewish boy in the Roman jail. And Ashlyne sang with the 4th and 5th grade choir kids.

Just a few weeks ago, Ashlyne and Rachel had another new experience. They were flower girls in the wedding of Jason’s cousin. We’ve been close to his cousin- Robert and his fiance; so we were happy to go to their wedding in Virginia.

And we celebrated another tradition this month when we went to Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge. Our best friends were along this trip again, and we all had a great time.

When this post is published, the year will be drawing to a close. It’s only memories. But we’ve had a great time with family and friends. We’ve grown- physically, emotionally, spiritually. And we’ve enjoyed each other a family.

I’m posting along with a blog carnival with my friend Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, so you can check out the blogs below for a look back at their last year.

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