Welcome Bella

Last year was a rough year at our house for pets.  We had three pets pass away-our turtle, our bird, and one of our cats.  So far, 2018 is going much better!  We welcomed a new pet to our family last week.  Bella is a blue heeler/border collie mix (we think).  Right now she is about nine weeks old.  We are having a blast-and sleep deprived!


Another Year Older

I have a difficult time believing it, but my little boy turned 15 last week.  He took driver’s education over spring break and will hopefully have his permit by summer.  During his 14th year, he has become quite the rock climber and sailor.  He loves his animals and the water and pretty much any adventure that you dare to put in front of him.  I look forward to seeing what this next year brings!

A Perfect Friday

The spring is on its way!  It is not completely here yet, but it is close (I will post on the signs of spring when it does!).  On Friday, we had a perfect spring day.  The weather was perfect for riding in the field.

After riding we headed to the lake to hang out. The neighborhood that the lake house is in is beautiful this time of year.  The azaleas and the dogwoods are blooming.

Then while I was working out, our newest family member arrived!  Meet Bella Puddles.  She is an eight week-old blue healer border collie mix..  We have been watching her and her sibling for the past few weeks.  Parks has fallen in love with her.


Charcoal Making

We recently began a 4H group in our area which has opened up some new opportunities for us.  One new opportunity is primitive studies. Charcoal making initiated the series.  One of the fathers of the group taught the class.  Everyone had a can filled with a various type of wood-MDF, plywood, pine, oak, black maple, cedar, cherry and cotton (not a wood, but we did make charcoal with it).  We placed them in the fire and waited…and waited…and waited.  Initially, we only saw the steam come out of the containers.

Next, the wood went through pyrolysis.

Finally, the wood turned into charcoal.

The class was absolutely fascinating.  We saw how tar is a byproduct of burning (and had a lesson on how tar can coat your lungs from a burning cigaret).  We are looking forward to using the coal to smith some iron next!!

Happy Birthday Nick!


Nick and Sharon

Today is Nick’s birthday. We celebrated with a few folks on St.Patrick’s Day to honor his Irish roots (and because it just seemed like the perfect day for a celebration).  Today, he worked from home.  Now Sawyer and he are cooking up some birthday treats in the kitchen.

What’s New?

I realize that I have gone a little MIA on the blog lately.  I guess that I am not exactly sure what to write or show.  I don’t have too many pictures, and we have just been doing the same old thing.

Parks has completed two blocks since I last wrote.  He did a block on Ancient China and a block on Ancient Greece.  He is now working on trying to get a skatepark built in our town.  He went to a town meeting.  He has contacted a few towns that have public skateparks for information, and he plans on working on that for a bit.

Sawyer completed a block on China during the Middle Ages.  As a group we read the books, The Starry River of the Sky and The Odyssey (a revised version).  Then Sawyer and I read, Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel by Adeline Yen Mah.  We both LOVED this book.  Sawyer has also been sewing up a storm.  She has made a dress and a jean skirt and experimenting with different materials.

Sims completed a block on Chinese and Russian geography.  He is also working through Biology and World History now on a daily basis.  The block system hasn’t worked as well as we had hoped for high school.

We haven’t gotten out for a hike in a while.  Hopefully, we will start back up again soon.  Parks has visited several skateparks over the past few months.  He has gained quite a few skills on the scooter and his bike.  Sims and Sawyer are both rock climbing competitively right now.  Although, Sims prefers to climb outside.  Although the blog has been quiet, our lives have been far from it.  We are staying busy.

As the year starts wrapping up, I should have a little more to post on.  We are starting an anatomy and physiology class.  The air is warming up so I know that we will be outside a good bit more.

Trip to Salt Lake City

When the kids turn 10, Nick told them that they could pick out a spot to visit.  Sims chose Puerto Rico.  Sawyer originally chose Italy, but this was not in the budget.  She got a surprise trip to the Florida Keys.  Parks turned 10 in 2016, but he didn’t know where he wanted to go.  Over the past year, he finally decided that he wanted to visit the western United States.  Thus, we headed to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Nick and I visited there 18 years ago and loved it.  We were excited to share the city with the kids.  We headed out on a Tuesday morning and arrived Tuesday evening.  After a long day in the plane, we checked into our air bnb, found a local restaurant for some dinner, and hit the grocery store.

Full Moon Super Moon

We arrived in Salt Lake City as the moon was coming up. It was a full, super, blue moon. It was amazing! (Not a great photo as it was taken in the car as we were going down the road)

While in Salt Lake, we took the kids skiing.  We had a blast watching them hit the slopes.  They have all skied since they were about 3 or 4.  However, they learned in North Carolina-a big difference from Utah!  They all rocked the slopes!  We may have ruined them forever. 🙂

We also found several skate parks in the area for Parks to play at.  He brought his scooter along.

We also headed out to the actual Great Salt Lake and learned some of the history and science of the area.

Overall, a fun and very relaxing trip.  The weather was perfect for hanging out-not great for snow fall, but there was enough snow on the mountains to enjoy the skiing.  These days are going by too fast!  It is times like these that I realize how quickly the time is going.  I love that I get the opportunity to share these memories with my kids.