Seriously, May was fast but wonderful. It marked the beginning of spring (even though it technically began in April) and end of our homeschool year. (Finally!! Can I get an "amen", homeschool mamas and teachers everywhere?!)
Spring has officially made its home in Iowa and we experienced the return of frigid, sudden Iowa temperature drops, the ever increasing Iowa heat and humidity, as well as the marvelously refreshing rain & spring storms... Yes, sometimes even in a single 24-hour period. But there are seasons! 4 of them. And for that I will never complain. The transition months of spring and autumn are my favorites, and I'm so thankful we get to witness them firsthand.
Along with the warmer temps comes gardening season. I mentally battled for months with what to do in our own home garden this year. Usually I love it and look forward to planting a variety of nutritious, tasty herbs, fruits, and veggies in our front & back yards; however, last year's fight with pests & pitiful harvest left me a little discouraged, our beds need some intense refreshment and care, and, well, there's this baby due any day now... What to do? What to do? I decided early on to not start anything from seed this year to help ease the burden, and then my dad offered me the seedlings he wasn't going to use so I just went with that. Thanks to him, we now have several varieties of tomatoes and peppers in the ground as well as our previously planted strawberries & blueberries (which hopefully will give us a good showing of produce this year!) I let my herb garden self-seed last summer and it's growing beautifully. In fact, I think I prefer that specific spot in our yard more than any other. It's just gorgeous & so low maintenance! I wish I could set up a chair and little table in there to claim as "mine" to retreat to for tea, a book, and relaxation. Ahh, but I must settle with the mere ideal for now, I suppose.
Most of my kids love being outside, and I enjoy it very much as well as long as my swelling, pregnant ankles can tolerate it. So we are spending as much time outdoors as possible, soaking up the springtime sun and cooler mornings before sweltering summer heat invades.We've dusted off the grill & fired it up for the first of many grill-outs and hang-outs this year. And I am starting (and finishing) a few outdoor projects that need to get done before Baby's arrival!
Our last day of homeschool wrapped up on May 30th, after which I pulled out all of my kindergartener's completed work for the year, sorted it, and
|We like to begin each month with story time at our local library. Then we spend 30-60 minutes picking out our books for the month. The kids look forward to it every time!|
We discovered some brand new baby robins in a bush right outside our church! One of the kids found them when they were just eggs about to hatch, and we checked up on them every week to see how they were growing. What a neat thing! God's creation never ceases to amaze me.
We joined the Walking Club at the neighborhood zoo (literally in our neighborhood... we only live about 5 blocks away!) We try to make it once every other week. It's fun to get a peak at the animals before the zoo opens, see the workers getting things ready for the day, and get some fresh air and exercise. We're just not great morning people. :)
|I am so proud of my little reader! She finished the school year strong and is loving reading on her own. Even though I've never pushed her in reading, she gladly challenges herself with chapter books on a regular basis.|
The mecca for all things Lego: the Lego Store at the Mall of America. Ecstatic is the only word I can think of to describe how the kids reacted to their first visit here. :)
Have you ever seen the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America? It's a little pricey but well worth the experience if you don't have a good aquarium locally. (Plus, there are discounts and coupons available through their website... or you can do what we did & use the coupons that come with kids' meals at the Rainforest Cafe!)
My son is kind of obsessed with ocean animals (especially deep sea creatures) right now so we chose to go mainly for him, but it ended up being a memorable learning experience for all of us! When you live in the Midwest, it can be costly & difficult to visit the ocean with your family. Great aquariums like Sea Life bring a little of the ocean to you! And we'll take it where we can get it. :)
Who says you have to be at home to celebrate with style? We surprised our Ellie Belly on her birthday with a few decorations & presents in our hotel room.
Those are the sticky, syrupy cheeks of a two year-old!
But they're ALL cotton candy fans!
Felix pitching = Felix Day
Ok, just one more birthday shot, I promise. (Yes, technically she got to celebrate THREE times!) But I had to get the classic blowing-out-the-number-candle photo in there, didn't I? Hooray for 2!!!
Last but not least, my darling sister & brother-in-law offered to pay for a date night & watch our kids for an evening so that we could have one last "hoorah" before Baby #4 arrives. I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing that was! I love my family. :)
Hopefully the next time I post will be with a sweet baby in my arms. Just 5 more days until she's "due"! This mama is ready but I know God's still finishing her up and she won't come until the time is just right. I appreciate your prayers as we wait!
In the meantime, why don't you share how your school year ended? Maybe you have some fun summer events planned? I'd love to hear about them.