Collage Friday - The Week of the Only Child

I wouldn't trade homeschooling for anything, but I have to admit that having my children with me all day every day is sometimes taxing.

When they were younger it wasn't quite as hard as it has been recently. Having a preteen in the house is at times difficult. Mood swings, a developing sense of independence, and all that this age entails is challenging. I would be lying if I told you it was easy.

This week has been such a welcome and needed break for me. It has also been such a faith forming and needed adventure for Anna. She is on a mission trip in Tennessee with the middle school youth from our church.  It's been very quiet at our house. Grant has been going to a baseball camp locally, so from 9-12 each morning I have had some free time. Each day after camp Grant has either played at a friend's house, had a friend over, or gone somewhere fun with a friend.  He has had a blast!  

The only one suffering is our dog. The poor guy is so attached to Anna. He sits at her bedroom door each night and cries. He hasn't eaten as much as usual and he's just dejected.  Poor thing.

I've had a chance to just relax, get a few projects done around the house, read, and yes -- DO NOTHING. 

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Youth on a Mission

Last Sunday was a fun day. We had a brunch for our fathers at church and then sent 8 of our middle schoolers off to Tennessee. 

The youth designed their mission trip t-shirts, which say "You Only Live Once" and "Jesus Allows Me To Live Again" (per Romans 6:5).

I love the picture above of Anna and her little friend at church, Leland. This little guy is so cute and my children just love him. After the service he had to come up and give Anna a hug. It was so sweet. 

Our pastor texted the parents a picture of the kids at Lookout Mountain. I've only heard bits and pieces about their trip, but they have been sleeping on the floor, cleaning bathrooms, cooking meals, and serving children and the elderly in the roughest areas of Chattanooga. 

It's a good time for Anna to explore her faith, her independence, and form some lasting bonds with friends from church. I am SO thankful for our church. Helping form this church truly has been God's perfect timing in our lives.

Baseball - and More Baseball 

It's no secret that Grant loves baseball. This week he has gone to a baseball day camp at a local facility, Home Plate. 

I love dropping him off each morning (where all of the boys are gathered in front of the television watching the baseball recaps on ESPN) and then hearing from him at the end of the morning all about the fun he's had. 

He continues to love reading his new baseball series - The Ballpark Mysteries. This week he finished The LA Dodger

He came home Monday (after my husband had taken the day off to take down the swingset in our back yard - sniff....) and looked at the empty back yard. He said that if we just knock down the neighbor's fence we could create a big baseball diamond for all of the neighborhood kids. We could also put up a big concrete wall so everyone could play Wall Ball.

This kid thinks BIG. I like that.

Moms Shouldn't Cream the Kids

We met friends one afternoon for bowling.

The other mom (my friend Kim) asked me if I was going to bowl.  I said, "Of course! I love bowling!"

Well, I am a tad competitive. At first I was bowling horribly and the kids were laughing at me, but after a few frames I got into my groove, and then the kids didn't like it that I was throwing some strikes.

In fact, I wound up winning the game - with three strikes in a row at the end.

When we started the second game I told the kids I would sit out that game and they were all relieved!  

I just love spending time with cool kids. There is nothing better in my book. Some days I really miss being a classroom teacher.

We had so much fun bowling - we went back to the bowling alley (just my husband, Grant and I) on Thursday night to bowl again. 

Kids bowl free in the summertime! 

Making The Very Best Cookies for Friends

Without going into a lot of detail, we have homeschooling friends here that are in the fight of their lives.

Please pray for our friend Greg, who is undergoing biochemotherapy for Stage 4 Melanoma. Knowing this family has blessed our family in numerous ways. I wish I could take away this nasty disease, but through my friend Sandra (Greg's wife) I am witnessing a faithful, loving, and strong woman who is praising God despite some seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

I love to bake and cook (when I have the time), so we made a dinner for our friends. Of course we had to include my mom's famous Crunchy Jumble Cookies.  I also made Meatless Manicotti, which is one of our family's favorite meals. 

Blog Happenings

I'm working on a few reviews here (for a fun car we drove last week and also a online typing program that is quite good) and also want to put up a patriotic SQUILT lesson on the blog next week.

I've also used some time this week to continue working on SQUILT Volume 2: Classical Composers. The response to Volume 1 has been great - it will be at the introductory price of $7.99 for just one more week, so grab it now! That makes it just $.79/lesson, which is a good deal when you consider I have done ALL of the work for you. 

Visit the SQUILT site to find out more! You can also like the page on Facebook to stay updated.

Did you see the Digital Curriculum Deals I shared earlier in the week? There are some great products out there made by homeschool moms that are inexpensive right now! 


Please join me for Collage Friday! Share your photo collages from your homeschool week. I will delete any links that do not contain photo collages.

Grab a button from my sidebar, or text link back to this post in some way. 

Visit other bloggers in the link-up to gain ideas and offer support. Our community is a wonderful way to make friends, educate ourselves, and see we are not alone in our struggles!