Back to School: Homeschool Edition
Let's just say after a week of being gone and just moving back in last night, everyone was a little bit tired this morning.
Haha, I really did make them get dressed after breakfast. We try to save jammies for snow days when they have to still do school.
First day back called for egg in a basket and cinnamon toast rounds, after this, its up to them to get up and make and clean up their own.
Here are our REAL back to school photos:
We have a 3rd, 5th, 7th grader & Junior this year!
A little real life science was happening on our porch last night, watching this spider weave her web. We are excited to observe her! Check out her web this am.
Dale has been our main teacher for the past 2 years, but I am hoping this year to be able to come down and help regularly if I can stay ahead with work. He does a wonderful job and I am so so blessed to have him home with us! God is so good!
This is our 6th year of homeschool and loving it as much as the first.
I was so scared to begin our HS journey with a 3yo, 5yo, 6yo & 10yo, & so perplexed why, unlike other years, the Lord shut the door on the finances to continue to go to the local Christian school we loved.
But He knew what was to come a year later....selling our 30 acres & hitting the road fulltime in our RV. He knew I needed that year of adjustment before the bigger one to come! Praise His name!
How cool that our Father knows the details & cares for each of us enough to prepare & equip us for what's ahead. I am so very grateful!❤
We celebrated a successful first day with snow cones, final ones of the season.
The next day we went and helped Nana finish moving in to her new home.
Easy dinners that can be repurposed as lunch, are a MUST during back to school. I have to fix them 3 meals a day and right on time so school can go on! Just call me the lunch lady! haha :)
Chili Sauce for Everything
Well, that's all I have for you today.
The year is off to a wonderful start! I love to watch them learn. :)
These kids make life so fun....probably because they are giant goofballs a lot of the time! ;)
Wrapping Up Summer
Lazy days, lunch at the pool with friends, day camp, Bible camp, summer camp staffing, oil classes each month at the library......we had a GREAT summer!
Our good friend, Miss Elaine, asked the kids to help take care of the horse, cats and dogs while she was gone. To pay them for their services, she treated us all to lunch and a day of swimming at the country club. It was wonderful!
Paxton got to go to Kamp Kanakuk for day camp all week. 8:40-4pm everyday. They bring in ziplines and bungee trampolines, archery and MORE. The kids have a counselor that they go around with all week from station to station, as well as high energy singing, praising and learning about the Lord.
He was SO TIRED each evening - it was adorable!
We packed lunch all week for him and he came up to me and sweetly said, Momma, remember how last year you wrote me notes each day and left me a treat? Can you do that again??
Awww! Good thing sister had some candy left from her party, I bet we can make it happen.
The parents were invited in the last day to observe the crazy high energy worship sess and hear words of affirmation and awards from the kids counselors. It was really special!
We finally got to take a spin on Dale's new fishing boat. It was all fun and games until a big Kansas storm rolled in & the lighting started! We high tailed it out of there, but got an hour of cruising and swimming in, so it was a nice break from the heat.
We went back out to our new land a few times. We officially close on it this Friday!
Check out these treasures the boys found. Any guesses? Locals say badger, or baby coyote.
We ran errands like nobody's business, started phase one of my moms move and then hit the road for a week in Michigan.
Destiny had some back to school events she wanted to stay behind for, so we had her move in with Nana for the week. The kids took back to the RV like ducks to water, and just as if no time had passed, found a good travel routine and rhythm.
I left for TWO SECONDS to get a photo of the kids. Total CHAIR HOG!
After a second day of travel, we got to our location......
We found the COOLEST RV Park called Hidden Ridge Rv Resort in Hopkins, MI. We got all set up for the week and went to enjoy the pool then explore the park.
Check out the beautiful club house anyone could use! WOW! In addition to this they had a pavilion with fun activities like Bingo, movies for the kids. Bouncy pillow was a hit as well as the yummy little ice cream shop and fresh fruit juice icy's on site!
Sweet Dale set his alarm one morning & drove an hour into Indiana for some Rise N Roll famous fluffy caramel donuts with cinnamon powdered sugar. He said, hey, we won't be closer than this anytime soon. Haha! BROWNIE POINTS....er, DONUT points for him?!
This was about when the photos from Nana & Destiny started coming in. They were having an amazing time together!
Back to School paint night and coffee on the porch with Gigi each am.
I taught 3 different classes at the most beautiful community center in Byron City! Lots of new excited oilers there now. Of course, I didn't get a photo of any of it, I was up front teaching! Haha, I told Dale too, but he forgot! ;)
He took me out for a nice sushi date after our morning class: Simple Fish. Oh my word! It is my new favorite in all the USA! Everything was absolutely wonderful and the staff was a blast. Talk about your hidden treasure! It's a MUST if you are in the Grand Rapids area.
The last night, we enjoyed an evening of fellowship & business strategizing with our new friends. So excited to see all the Lord has in store for them with doTERRA.
We pulled out early Saturday morning in order to get home in time for BACK TO SCHOOL on Monday!
It also happened to be a special someone's 9th birthday!!!!! KING OF THE DAY!
We knew it was going to be a LOOONG 16 hour travel day, but we tried to make it a special day anyhow....
He even had a fun surprise waiting for him in his room from Grandma Eileen!
Paxton is our miracle baby and we always like to use his birthday to give glory to God and the miracle He performed!
For 6 & 1/2 months, I lay on our couch on bed rest, trying to care for a 6, 2 & 1 yo, praying and crying out to the Father for a miracle. Asking Him to give you the nourishment and oxygen my body could not.
And boy did He! Not only did you make it past your due date, but came into the world with a hearty cry and at a whopping 10 pounds. No under weight, low oxygen, baby here! Praise you Jesus!
From the start your sparkly brown eyes, infectious grin and mischevious looks always made us wonder what you were up to......and boy, were you up to no good as a toddler! (and I have the blog posts to prove it)
Now your zest for tackling life is an encouragement to us all!🥰 I love how you love to make us smile or laugh. You are such a little gentleman, holding doors for people, unloading the car and helping out at every turn.
Until Heaven, we will never grasp the full extent of the care the Father gave you before you came into the world, but know He as a special calling on your life and we are so excited to see all He has in store for you.🎁
Happy 9th birthday to my baby boy! You are so loved!!!
When you travel on your birthday.... you open amazon and mail packages instead of wrapped when you arrive home. He didn't want to wait for me to open and wrap them. Haha! Ok that works. :)
Tomorrow is BACK TO SCHOOL! I *think* we are ready?!
A Little Slice of Heaven
Sooo, we did a thing.
We love our little home sweet hub so much!
BUT we all miss the country life and the wide open spaces acreage brings.
We also grossly undershot on how much room a 45 ft RV would take up in the shop. Let's just say I am tired of lifting up my butt cheeks over the chest freezer to slide over to the upright one. ;)
We absolutely love travel life, and plan to continue. When we are pulling through home, we want to have some acreage to enjoy. Sounds like the kids want to come home each summer for camp and long for some longer periods of home.
If our kids need ROOTS to have WINGS, I am happy to comply.
These stirrings have been months in the processing, so we have been praying for a long time whether to buy a home here, or in Florida, build here, or just sell it all and only keep the RV.
The Lord has been putting all the pieces together and nudging our hearts in ways I couldn't even express, including a trip to a farmhouse in Ohio with a family that travels to and from their home, wintering in Florida, but circling back between trips. This kind of travel sounded just like what we had been rolling over in our minds.
God is so good! When we got back home, we started looking for land to just feel things out.
We looked & we prayed.....
We prayed & we looked.....
And when we found our dream acerage, we made an offer.
The land owners countered back and forth with us a while before we walked away......they were just a little higher on price than we were comfortable spending.
I will be honest, I cried.
I felt so SO sure this property was meant to be ours.
It just FELT so magical, so right, when we were out there. You can feel the presence of the Lord so keenly in this space.
But I trust the Lord, and His plan for us, I know He knows what I need more than I do.
So I let it go and crawled to bed, disappointed, but at peace.
The VERY next morning, we heard from our realtor -
THE LAND WAS OURS.
All 40 acres of it. They said YES!
Guys, this place checks ALL THE BOXES!
It is off pavement for the RV.
It has a beautiful forest.
It has open pasture.
It has a pond and a windmill.
It has a long, tucked back, dreamy, winding lane.
It has a view that takes my breath away.
Everything we could've dreamed up and MORE.....
We couldn't WAIT to show the kids. (Destiny is working at camp) We spent HOURS out there just exploring and playing,
God is SO good to hear the desires of our hearts, and move on our behalf to help make them happen. EVEN with a test of faith along the way to be sure we are willing and obedient!
It's going to be a process. Picking the right shop design, finding a home plan we all like, the actual building. Doing all the finish work we can, bringing in the pros for the rest.
Ooo but I LOVE me a good floor plan hunt. ;)
Someday, hopefully soon, we can call this beautiful place our Home Sweet Hub.
Our Shoresh Shed.
Shoresh is hebrew for "Roots" and the Lord began whispering this to me months ago already.
I am watching for glimpses of what He has in store, but plan to enjoy the ride as we put down some deeper roots here in this beautiful space.
In the meantime, people have already been calling and asking to come tour our Home Sweet Hub! They are super intrigued by our bright and cheerful shed home and are interested in making it their own....
Orange fridge doesn't stay, and the kitchen is nicely white and grey without it, for any taste pallet!
But the brand new stove stays! Wahoo! It's such a dream to cook on.
It makes my heart happy to know that someone new will enjoy the beautiful forest views from large living room window.
And enjoy lots of visitors through the back yard: deer, birds, squirrel and a family of turkey that pass through each day. So peaceful and zero road noise!
It is such a beautiful, happy space!! We are so excited to see who the Lord calls to make this their home sweet home! :)
Happy Birthday, Avery!
We have a lot of summer birthday's here at the Ferguson house. Destiny is July 17, Avery & I share August 1 and Paxton is August 17th. Being home this year, in the summer, Avery begged for a sleepover with her new camp friends for her special day.
We planned it a weekend early, on a quieter weekend than most, and hoped for the best. Most of the girls could come, miracle of miracles, so on we went.
Avery is quite the planner and had decor, a clipboard to do list and a to buy snack list for us to accomplish in short order.
The girls would be coming over after church to eat cake, hang out and would be sleeping in the RV like their own little apartment for the night!
Little did she know, I had ordered her a cake and some crafts to make it a REAL BIRTHDAY PARTY. She was blown away!
Avery didn't know she was getting a cake, so she made her usual, Watermelon Bombe' ice cream dessert. It's so fresh and yummy!
You just saran wrap a large bowl and start layering soft lime, pineapple and raspberry sorbet. Invert bowl, let ice cream come out, cut in watermelon wedges and press mini chocolate chips into the raspberry part.
One of the girls attending had an ACTUAL birthday on the day we celebrated, so we were sure to add her name to the cake and sing to her too. I am so glad her parents still shared her with us! :)
The girls enjoyed their dessert and dug right into the bracelet making project we had planned. I have never tied so many bracelets in my life! Hahah but it was super fun and they did such a great job.
We had snack supper all laid out and the girls spent the evening playing games, doing makeovers, watching a movie and getting all snuggled into bed for talk time.
They must have slept ok because they were up at a nice time and enjoying the hammocks and trampoline before it got too hot.
We fed them a nice big breakfast and then it was time to pry them away from each other and start running girlies home. They played wonderfully together and I think they would've continued the rest of the day but alas, Monday must go on.
Thursday came quickly and with it, Avery and my official shared birthday! We had already celebrated Avery's day and I was planning to go on a date with Dale Sunday, so we were going to lay low and just hang at home.
Nana had other ideas! She invited us to lunch at our favorite Sushi place and then go see the Lion King! How FUN!
When we got home, daddy made us a nice dinner and had us put our feet up. Being the birthday girls can be so exhausting! ;)
He made us Tijuana Torte and for dessert, my favorite, angel food cake, fresh strawberries and homemade vanilla whipped cream. YUM!
Tijauna Torte Recipe is found HERE
Just a few small things to open, party was the main gift. Press on nails from the salon and a new big girl Bible!
Happiest of birthdays to my BEST birthday gift EVER, Miss Avery Lyn!
Avery, you rocked our world with a giant 10+ pound entrance, on the evening of my birthday date with your daddy. He made the nurses get another scale, because he was sure it was broken.
You couldn't fit in any of the tiny cute newborn clothes I packed you, and your 3 day old photo looks like a 5 month old. What a giant personality you had from the get go!
It wasn't long, before you threw your first fit at 6 months old and went limp as a noodle in protest of the highchair I was attempting to place you in.
You shocked us to the core of this thing called parenting we thought we had all figured out....You were sweet as peach tea one moment and as spicy as a red hot chili pepper the next.
It wasn't long until you earned the name lil' Peanut for your tiny stature.
You brought so much sunny happy/stormy clouds into each and every day, and continually kept us rolling with your teeny tiny voice and antics.
Like the day you sashayed through the kitchen as a toddler, butt naked, while I was making lunch...... I must have looked at you in complete shock.
"What?" you said, still walking by. And with a shrug, proclaimed in your tiny little high voice - "I need to be naked!"
Or the time you told us, "I not a baby, momma. I am a toddler who pees her pants!"
Your very favorite day was planning your "Birfday Pouty!" And I think it still is.....
Walking around with a clipboard list. Making decor to hang around the house and grocery lists galore for some kind of homemade goodies.
Sister, you are quite the party planner!
I love how you love to be in the kitchen! Your kind, sweet spirit and helpful heart blesses me every day. I love how you do life big and sparkly and with such vibrance!
Jesus shines through the twinkle in your eyes and I am so glad and so excited to see all He has in store for His small but MIGHTY lil' Peanut.
Hope your birthday was as special as you are!
Beating the Heat In Colorado
Destiny got to pick what she wanted for her 16th birthday....a concert, hotel weekend with friends, just about anything within reason.
She picked to go to Cuchara, Colorado, the sweetest little quaint mountain town you ever did see.
So on the morning of her Sweet 16, we opened a few little gifts and packed the car.
Yes, I said loaded the CAR, not the RV. Some of our dearest friends have a family cabin there that they offered to let us join them at.
Here goes nothing. 7-8 hours ahead of us! Let's see if we still remember how to do this.....
The kids are older now apparently, and shocked me with how well they did. They read, slept, listened to Adventures in Odyssey CD, watched the scenery go by and only watched one movie!
Western Kansas, aka Feedlot Alley was an um, aromatic experience. And talk about flat lands, there is nothing out there and into Colorado! The temperature steadily climbed until it reached 106 at one point.
Are we going the wrong way?
Nope, there is the mountains! PHEW!
I was worried about altitude sickness as we climbed to 9,000 plus feet so I had the kids drink a lot of water.
Dale was less than impressed that someone had to pee every hour and 20 minutes. Haha! Hey hydration is important!
Alas, we finally made it to Colorado.
YAY! We made it. Hi friends!
I wish you could SMELL these photos. Oh the pine filled, cool crisp air was HEAVENLY!
A special surprise awaited Destiny inside. SO sweet!!!! Mena, age 11 made this AMAZING CAKE.
We had a visitor the first night and almost every night after.....a momma bear and her 2 cubs!
The next day some of our kids were up with the sun. They decided to try their hand at some hummingbird whispering. Apparently if you hold still enough, they come land on your finger! Paxton tried over half an hour but no luck.
We packed up a picnic lunch and headed to Bear Lake for a day of fishing, hiking and relaxing by the water. It was gorgeous!
We were up at 13,000 feet. (Brutal on the way down which equaled some bad headaches all around)
I am pretty sure this is the definition of DOG TIRED. She was dead weight on my leg on the way down the mountain! Hee hee
No one felt like cooking, so we walked down to town for some Dog Bar food....this cool outdoor restaurant where dogs are welcome to join their owners.
We left sleepy Sophie at home but still enjoyed ourselves!
The kids spent the next day playing games, hanging out around the cabin and seeing the sites.
Poor buddy Paxton, must have had some altitude sickness or a bug, because he threw up during the night and spent the day sleeping and oiling up.
I took the girls down the mountain to town so we could get a snow cone and do some souvenir shopping!
Paxton was awake when we got home and feeling more like himself.
We cooked chicken tikka masala and garlic naan bread for the crowd and enjoyed an evening drive all over the valley. IT WAS GORGEOUS and I totally want a cabin there!
Pax man was as good as new the next morning, so we walked down the mountain to the darling little putt putt golf place to have some fun!
It was all fun and games until it started HAILING ON US and pouring rain! Haha, kids quick finished the last holes with hoods up. The moms waited it out under the awning before playing the last holes and then we all dashed up the road to the Dog Bar to feed our hungry golfers some snacks.
We ate INSIDE the Dog Bar this time (along with the entire town it seemed) so poor Summer the big white dog had to sit outside under the porch awning and watch us from the window. She loved the attention!
We enjoyed the PRETTIEST nature walk! This town is D R E A M Y!
We drove around looking at cabins and daydreaming.....
And just like that, it was time to load the car and head back home....but first, our traditional stair step pic!
Back to Kansas we go.......