I won’t say I never hear these words, because I have … but they always know what my response will be;  a long list of chores that I’d love for them to accomplish for me. 😉  So, I really rarely ever hear these words …

I’m bored.

Actually, I don’t really think it is my response to that statement that keeps them from saying it … it’s them.  It’s their brothers.  We’re a week or so into  summer break with hours of free-time spread before them each day and I’ve quietly marveled at all that they are finding to do to entertain themselves.  Yes, there is still screen time and Dude Perfect videos, but there is also flint-napping, spear and walking-stick carving, Pokemon card trading, Lego building, cat-playing, reading, swinging, sandbox-playing, swimming … it is a beautiful thing.

They might bicker and not always be as compassionate toward one another as I think the term ‘brotherly love’ suggests they should be.  But then together, they hide out under a fort made of blankets for hours, laughing and making up stories.

In times like these I see that the blessing of having brothers is not lost on them.  

And the gift of that, is not lost on me.  ♥

Thank you for visiting, and happy Wednesday!  ♥

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  • Mom - Very sweet!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

We went for a walk a few weeks back and found ourselves watching a Mama & Daddy bird taking turns feeding their babies.  They were a rare-to-our-area bird, so we were even more amazed to be seeing the process.  I loved watching the boys be so mesmerized  by the birds and, sheesh…. on this beautiful little lookout, I was amazed by how the light came through the trees and hit all the tall grass so perfectly.

But … I was also disappointed because I didn’t have my camera.  😉  We were just up the hill from our house, so I could have ran down to get it but instead, I just already decided in my mind that we’d come back the next night, at the same time, and I’d capture the bird-watching then.   Strategically planned, naturally executed! :)

We’re sure to miss lots of photo opportunities either because we don’t have our camera or because the light is a hindrance, and that is really okay.  Soak up the moment for what it is and enjoy it.  But if it is something you can re-visit or plan again, go for it!   It is still life you are capturing … just life anticipated!

Happy Summer, Friends!  ♥

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  • Carol - Beautiful photos! Do you do anything in post-processing to enhance the color or was the light really that gorgeous?ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Carol! Thank you! No, I didn’t really other than use a warmer white balance than Kelvin or a CWB would tell me to. 😉 I prefer to do that with sunsets to keep the natural, vibrant warmth that is unique to that time of the evening.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - These photos are just beautiful. The setting sun making the tall grass golden…just gorgeous!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

I wonder if everyone in the greater Pacific Northwest could hear my sigh of relief on Friday when both Gage and Cooper completed their required state testing.  I wasn’t nearly as worked up about it this go around as I was when Gage took it in the 3rd Grade, though.  This time, we knew a bit more of what to expect, they both handled their practice tests well and both were pretty excited about the process.

More than that though, I knew the tests would tell me what we need to work on academically, but I already knew were we were in other areas and I was encouraged.  Mostly, I was encouraged by what I witnessed in Cooper as he neared his test.  It isn’t a secret that this boy’s mind is geared toward words, emotions, connection, and thought.  Not math.  😉  I will not say it is a weakness but I will say it doesn’t come as naturally to him as other areas.  All through the year we trudged along, some days better and brighter than others when it came to his math lessons, math comprehension and retention of what we’d covered.

Then it came time to really master the times tables.  I battled with myself about this: he understood how they work … do I really need to make him memorize them?  So many homeschoolers would say no, don’t push it!  It is the understanding that needs to be there and the memorization will come.  But I had it in my mind that this was going to be about so much more than just memorizing math facts.  This was going to be about this boy’s determination and belief that if he worked at it day after day, he could get it. I knew this was an opportunity for this lesson to be very obvious and tangible.  That, yes… this looked like a daunting task but day by day, times table by times table, he’d get there.  He needed to see that this dedication makes a difference.  And after one morning after going over the 3’s, there was a glimmer of hope.

So we continued that way.  Each morning while I got ready for the day, he’d join me in the bathroom and we’d go over the times tables, one multiple at a time.   Again, he already understood what they mean; that 4×4 is the same as 4 + 4 + 4 + 4, but committing the answer to memory was the challenge.  For words and meanings and morals of the story, this boy is a master!  Numbers present a little more of an obstacle.

I just felt so sure that if we stuck at it, though, it would come.  THAT was going to be the moral of this story…. sure, the times tables would be memorized but the accomplishment, thanks to sticking with it each day, would be so much greater!

It was difficult.  Somedays it just wouldn’t jive.  Other days, he’d ask me several times to quiz him.  And each time he’d respond with an accurate answer I could see his confidence in himself and in the process grow.  I’ve told him and his brothers countless times that their worth is not based on their accomplishments but I just so badly wanted him to see that he could do this.  With focus, and work, and repetition he could achieve what he’d previously thought was so.incredibly.hard.

And he did.  By the time his testing rolled around he felt good with his times tables.  Honestly, I was even more thrilled when he couldn’t immediately remember an answer but would then use one he did know to help him get there.  For instance, he knew 6×7=42, and would add another 7 to get 7×7.  THAT was exciting for me. :)

So he took his test on Friday, and all the kiddos finished quickly and confidently.

He’d been afraid of the times tables.  He’d been afraid of the test.  But in the end we all breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was done.  And then quickly followed it up with discussions about what we learned.  Not what academic lessons we learned like what an antecedent or preposition is … but what we learned about trying hard, focusing, and trusting that Jesus will help us when we are anxious about our situation.  Challenges build character, we are told, and I watched this boy’s character grow immensely in this process.  We haven’t gotten their test scores back yet but what really matters won’t be evaluated on it anyway.  ♥

Now, we’re into summer.  In the past, I’ve planned out lessons/reviews for the summer but for right now, we’re just going to let it be.  This post on Simple Homeschool really struck a cord with me and at least for the month of July I’m going to let our summer break replenish and restore us.  We’re finishing up baseball this week and then are looking into a fun-filled July involving lots of family and hopefully lots of sun, play, and outdoor time.  Definitely with lots of rest, reading, and rejuvenating.

Happy Summer, all … enjoy!  ♥

If you’re a homeschooler and have questions about testing, our preparation, or anything else, please let me know!  I’m happy to help in anyway I can!

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  • Mom - Ahhh…Cooper…. What a complex joy!! :) Glad the testing is finished and the boys feel good about “testing.”
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

As the school year slowly winds down and down and down more and more time is opening up for free time.  Contrary to what you might expect, I was quite thrilled to come upstairs to the boys’ room and find this strewn across their floor.  Legos.  Hours upon hours of Lego building …

Legos, I love you.  ♥  So much so that I don’t even mind the messes made with you or the many times I’ve stepped on you.  You are awesome.

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  • Mom - Great Lego photos! And such concentration….Love it!!!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Carol - Hats off to the inventor of LEGOS!!!!
    Love the photos of the boys!ReplyCancel

Sunday was our final day in Tygh Valley at the Western States Rendezvous.  After figuring out how to use our little tent-trailer heater the night before, we woke up even more rested on Sunday morning from a warm cozy night sleep.  That statement right there is enough to make me never want to traditional tent-camp ever again.  😉  I think we are all pretty much in agreement on that one!

We started off Sunday morning with cinnamon rolls that my dad made, coffee and then getting an early start on the courses.  Ready to make the most of our final day. 

Papa being generous with his arrows…

Stringing the bows …

Countless times I thought of how precious these times are for our family to be together, but mostly for these boys to be sharing in something the love with their Papa.  Receiving tips from him, praise when they succeeded and encouragement when they didn’t quite.  When one of them was having a hard time shooting, and an even harder time with his attitude, he went on a course with just Grammie and Papa and came back a new kid.  Precious, priceless times.

This little dude and his victorious fist pump, every time he’d hit the target.  😉

Meeting up and deciding which way to go and when to meet back up …

During our time hanging out at camp, I took a walk down our little road to the outhouses with Kaden.  We passed a group of guys heading toward our camp, and just as we got about 20 feet past them one hollered out, “Rattle Snake!” We knew they were around and many times Matt would remind us not to go into the tall grass or hang around downed logs and rock crops.  But did you notice how many of my images were taken in the long grass, near downed logs and rock crops??  Right.

So we walked back to where the guys were, about 15 feet from our camp and they said the Rattle Snake had been in the road crossing over toward our camp’s side.  Of course that made my skin crawl since Kaden and I had just walked right there!  The beautiful but deadly critter was coiled up too close for comfort and while I will spare you the rest of the story, I will say that I’m glad we didn’t see that bugger on the first day.  It would have seriously had me on edge the entire time … which may have been better I suppose than my lackadaisical-romping-through-the-tall-grass-for-the-sake-of-a-photo-self.

And then off onto our final course.  On which, I wore tall boots thanks to that Rattle Snake.  Attempting the beautiful Course A again, this time, me without my bow and just along for the sights.

Doot, Matt, my dad (Max), one of my brothers (Bart), and Coop.

Fishing for an arrow…

Attempting some hundred-yard shots …

I took this next shot thinking I’d save it and merge it in to make some of my blown-out skies look better but decided they looked fine enough, and it was pretty neat on its own. :)

From there we headed back to camp to start packing up which just couldn’t be easier with a pop-up trailer.  Well, I suppose it could be easier with an always-popped-up-trailer but it was unbelievable how much less stress we felt about hurrying up and packing up thanks to the trailer.  We had such a great time on this trip … shooting is always so fun and then doing it with family in such a beautiful location with such a sweet little trailer to call home just made it even better.

But, seeing that Rattle Snake made me feel pretty okay about heading home.  😉

See you in 5 years Tygh Valley!  Even though we will then be toting 16, 14, and 11-year-olds then, I imagine this place will remain exactly the same, just like it has over the past 5 years.  ♥

Thanks for revisiting our trip with us!  I hope you have a fabulous weekend!


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  • Mom - It WAS a wonderful weekend. I’m left smiling every time I look at the Tygh Valley posts…this year’s and from 5 years ago. I’m looking forward to 2021, but hoping to shoot at many targets between now and then!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Tara - The photos of this weekend make my heart glad. My dad’s passion is traditional archery, so I spent much of my childhood on similar shoots! I’ve not hunted or shot much in the last 5 years, but our first child is due any day now and I’ve often thought that we’ll get back into archery as a great family activity. Your photos are exactly what I’ve pictured! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel