7 Quick Takes-Homeschool graduation edition

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We have our first homeschool graduate!  We started homeschooling Meg for pre-K (in case I messed up I had an extra year to figure it out) and now, 14 years later, I am done as her primary teacher.  We had a simple dessert graduation party for her.  Dessert party = brilliant idea.  It was rather simple, we set up tables outdoors and strung lights up on the front patio and tree and then set out different desserts and coffee.  The main focus became visiting, which was such a great bonus.  I was so busy visiting and fetching chocolate mousse (Sky's homemade brilliance) that I forgot to get my camera out until it was too dark for good photos.  We had a really, really nice party.


It's Bible conference week, known at our church as The Summer Training. It's like a semester Bible class stuffed into one week.  This year we have 4 people from Russian staying with us (Meg gets to practice her Russian) and a bonus Texan. There's always a Texan in the bunch.... :p  Sooo, this week is really, really busy- lots of cooking of meals and whatnot.

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bonus photo of the wonder-labradoodle.  She's all kinds of awesome.


the kids and I attended an open house for a new parkour gym in our area.  We went, because Demi-Sky in particular is very enamored by the whole parkour concept.  Really, who wouldn't be?  Don't we all, deep-down inside wish we had some stealth, secret ninja moves?  Okay, if you don't know what parkour is, click over to this youtube video - I'm very familiar with this one, because my kids watch it over and over, it was my introduction to the concept of parkour

Assassin's Creed meets parkour on youtube


So yeah, we went to the open house, it was pretty cool and my Amie got very excited about the whole thing, she wants to take classes there.  It's called Firestorm Freerunning & Acrobatics.  Soo, besides the trampolines, climbing rope, obstacles, they had a section of climbing bars.  When I was in elementary school, I lived on the bars at recess time and my friends and I could do amazing and dangerous things on these bars. I happily climbed onto these bars and happily told my kids all about what I used to do and egged them on to try it.  {no, I did not try any of it, after the cartwheel incident of 2006, I learned the hard way that just because I think I can still do something, doesn't mean my body agrees}  I did try to do an underhand mount-thingy and couldn't get my legs past an horizontal with the floor position...sad. So, I egged my kids on to try different things, climbed around on the bars, swung my legs up onto them and did monkey-bar type swinging on them, in an attempt to engage my kids.  And then, for the next 3 days I was downing advil like candy...it was so very sad how sore that little bit of exercise made me!


Sky and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  We met 26 years ago at Corona del Mar beach.  For this anniversary, we went back to the beach where we met, and then had dinner at a local pizza place we used to go to all the time while we were dating in highschool.  We really had such a nice, simple evening remembering when...


I played photographer for Meg's senior photos, which is really a lot of pressure when you are not a professional.  I captured a few nice ones, I think.  Here is one- involving her favorite horse, of course...

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hope your week is a blessed one, friends!!

7 Quick Takes is hosted every Friday at Conversion Diary  :)

the wind beneath her wings

Piano recital-time is approaching.  Our piano teacher likes to add a little something extra to these performances and usually assigns some kind of neat extra, like artwork or an essay.  }I blame this on the fact that her child is not school age yet, more homework:the gift that keeps on giving for mom. So- for the recital my kids were to compose a little essay to dedicate their performance at the recital to some person, ideal or sentiment.  These will be printed up in the little program booklet and the kiddos will read it/ speak it to the audience before they perform.

Let me preface this story by saying I had no preconceived ideas about this assignment, no guesses as to what my kids would pick (my kids always amaze and surprise me with their individual ways at looking at the world/life) and no real desire to delve deeply into it besides making sure it was done and punctuated correctly.

So, I pick up Amie after her last lesson and her teacher with simmering excitement bids me to sit down, takes my hand, and tells me that she has some exciting news about little Amie's dedication....(I have to preface this by begging you to realize that I don't expect adoration, thanks, fawning, etc. from my crew, I am just happy if they follow my directions without grumbling-they are all reaching tween/teen years- we are just trying to survive at this stage.  I drive them around, teach them, direct them, sacrifice for them and figure that someday- ten years from now when as a parent they are sitting up at 2 a.m. rocking a crying child who has just puked on them, my children will each, in turn lift of a prayer of love and thanksgiving for me, beyond that...not expecting fanfare...)   So, no passing thoughts as to who they will pick- but the way the teacher was acting, the fact that she took my hand...I will admit that just for a teeny/tiny fraction of an instant- my heart leapt a little at the thought that it must be me.  Amie must be giving her dedication to me, for the time I spend taking her to lessons, finding her music book, making sure she is clean before she goes, asking her to practice... just for an instant I kind of thought this.

drum-roll please...  her teacher told me with great excitement that Amie's performance was dedicated with much love to ~

our dog, Emma.

yes, she is the wind beneath her wings.

this was the only way this story could end, really.


Mr. Chewy.com -pet food retailer {review}

I was invited to review the online pet food retailer- Mr.Chewy.com recently. I have to say that, as a  dog-mom, a homeschool-mom, being both busy and a procrastinator; the idea of ordering dog food online and having it delivered right to my door was really appealing to me.  Heck, it's an answer to prayer!  I haven't ordered dog food online before because frankly, I figured the prices  would be higher and then I'd have to pay for shipping too.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Chewy's prices to be competitive, and sometimes even lower on the many products they offer.

MrChewy.com is an online pet food retailer offering more than 70 brands of pet food, treats and supplies.

***MrChewy offers free shipping on any order over $49

***orders under $49 pay just $4.95

***offers automatic shipments - and you save 15% off your first order when you set up automatic shipment. *** you can easily cancel, pause or change any part of your order schedule.

 Emma the- wonder-labradoodle is allergic to rice.  (and I think, eggs)  Um, guess what ingredient is in almost all dog food? Rice.  I spend most of my time in pet stores reading labels.  I have found a few brands of food Emma can eat, but they are not sold in the pet store closest to me.

Ordering online is the way to go, I've seen the light!!

MrChewy.com has a very easy to use website.  They had all the familiar brands, and also the hard to find rice-less brands I can buy.  I appreciated the handy tab for each item to click for the list of ingredients.  Because of this handy tab, I was able to order a box of treats we haven't purchased before- but I knew they were safe because I could read all the ingredients right there on my screen.


I ordered two cases of canned dog food for Emma, a box of carob/peanut butter cookie treats (these are her all-time favorites now) and a chewy bone.


It was very easy to place my order online, I got a notice the next day that it had shipped- and then, 5 days later I had a package at my door.  Easy peasy.  I am now, quite the fan!


Emma was quite the fan, also.  She gets so excited when we bring something home for her, she knew this package was for her and had to sniff it.  (We gave her the bone right away)

if you want to try ordering with Mr. Chewy, you can use the discount code MARM6630 for 10% off and Mr. Chewy will donate $10 to an amazing animal charity.

 disclosure: I was given a coupon so I could order from the website and give my honest review of their service. My opinions are all my own.

strange pet tricks 2

I took Emma the Wonder-Labradoodle in for a very over-due grooming session.  Known around these parts as her "day of beauty". {whisper} I'm still waiting for my whole "day of beauty"...

 When I pick Emma up at the groomers, I am never quite sure what I will be returning with:

Here is the before:  Emma the Wonder-Labradoodle as Labradoodle.

The very first time I arrived to claim this run-way beauty, I was quite stunned...

Unfortunately, we let her grooming session lapse a few months, she was very overdue and had some matted areas. I was a bit taken back to pick this up:

and that friends, is a strange pet trick!

Happy Wordless (or word-ful) Wednesday!!