An empty patio at a local ice cream shop, ten empty minutes waiting for our order, and an overhead radio playing thirties swing music – ingredients, as anyone can see, for a spontaneous dance party.
The evening was calm and quiet, as it was only ten minutes till closing. Maria, John and I started the festivities with a Jitterbug step, and it didn’t take long to draw in the younger siblings. Landon, Maria, and I have been ballroom dancing for a years, taking lessons with our homeschool group. Johnathan is much more recent learner, but already is able to hold the rhythm and spin his partner like a pro. The younger children are good imitators and the resulting scene looked like an organized dance floor. We even caught the attention of a few of the other customers-and spied few a trying to imitate our moves.
2015, have you flown by already? The older I get, I realize that a year really isn’t very long at all. Looking through all the photos the family has taken over the last year, it does seem that we fit a lot into 2015.
January I began actual nursing classes, after two years of wading through the prerequisite science and psychology classes. The one-month interim course at my school fits a whole semester’s material into three weeks , so bitter January passed quickly. The class finished with a role playing presentation that was fun to work on and present to the class:
Through February and March, both Mom and the excitement for our newest family member grew steadily:
May was filled with celebrations following one after the other. Benjamin arrived safe and sound shocking us with his head of curls. Landon graduated from homeschool life, and several members of the family received sacraments:
Maria was confirmed:
as well as Johnathan:
In June Benjamin also received his first sacrament!
In July I flew with an amazing group to Alaska on a two week mission trip through FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University students). This was my first trip away from home by myself, so it was very new and exciting experience:
The family spent August enjoying the last warm, school-free days of Summer:
And this must suffice for September, October, November, and December, as I only narrowly escaped being buried alive in homework this semester. I passed a lot of exciting nursing milestones such as first injection given, first patient cared for, and learning to understand a million different lab values.
Now, forward on to 2016!
These pictures are from the Fourth of July (was that almost a month ago already?). I’ve never been able to take pictures in such dim light before, so I was really excited about the way these turned out. The camera is a little tricky to manage at an aperture this wide open, so some of them are a bit out of focus, but the moment is captured nevertheless. Here, Dominic gets help from John to hold a flaming fire sword.
The baby chickens sure are getting a lot of attention around here! They are so cute though, so who could resist picking them up and petting their silky soft down. There are four of them, and they’ll be beauties when they grow up!
This is what they’ll look like when they are big:
A barred rock:
A speckled sussex:
A columbian wyandotte:
We’re working on naming them, since so far only the gold laced has been named (Victoria). Chickens have ended up being a really fun and rewarding project, so everyone is excited about the new additions.
Dominic thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of Halloween. Even though he didn’t get to go outside, he was kept busy watching out the window for the trick or treaters. When the approached the door, he would run to greet them as fast as he could.
Alexander, Legolas from Lord of the Rings. (complete with pointy ears)
Johnathan, a righwraith from Lord of the Rings:
Daniel as Gimli the dwarf from Lord of the Rings. Somewhere he misplaced his beard.
Before we went from house to house, I reminded the boys to say ‘thank you’ after they received some candy. from that point on, every time someone put candy in Daniel’s bucket, he said, “Thank you!” then immediately called to where I was standing on the sidewalk, ” “Pumpkin, (his nickname for me) I said thank you!” That made a lot of people laugh.
The boys’ pumpkins:
Well, the skies were perfect last night, and John, Maria, and I watched the meteors for more than an hour and a half. We were very comfortable, laying with pillows and blankets on the fort of our swing set. (We were thankful Dad never did put a tarp on the top.) It was the first year I’ve ever been comfortable watching the Perseids. Usually I can only bear to be outside for fifteen minutes before being driven inside by blood-sucking insects, but the drought this year has reduced the mosquito population to zero.
Despite the fact we were on the outskirts of a city, there were close to thirty shooting stars total, including one of the longest and brightest meteors I have ever seen! We also saw two bats fly directly overhead. The first hovered over Maria and John just moments after I had gone inside for a moment, and it scared them so much they grabbed the blankets and ran inside!
Here is the total number of meteors each of us saw last night:
Landon (only watched for fifteen minutes): 3
Mom (only watched for fifteen minutes): 3
I’m very happy we were able to get a good show, since the next few nights look like they might be cloudy.
The bird feeder has been adding vibrant splashes of color to my life, and bringing around birds I never knew even lived here. For all the ten years we’ve lived at this house, we haven’t had one cardinal in our yard, and now one visits about once or twice a week!
This is a yellow-headed blackbird, a new species no one in our family has ever seen before.
Goldfinches are always a delight with their bright color and cheerful song:
Johnathan has invented a very unique way to birdwatch. He surprised me with his patience, laying under the blanket for almost an entire hour! That is a very long stretch for a boy who barely stops moving!
Last month Maria, Johnathan and I were in our ballet studio’s production of the Nutcracker this year. We performed it eight times after practicing once a week for three months. Maria played a flower blossom, Johnathan was a toy soldier, and I was Clara. It was a very fun part to play, and I loved my costume.
Last weekend, Dad decided we should take advantage of the beautiful weather (which will end to quickly) and take a motorcycle ride to a hilly forested area with the rest of the family following behind in the van. It was lovely, with the trees beginning to turn colors, and the whole family enjoyed it immensely. I shot these pictures: