This year seemed to go by really fast. I dunno, maybe it was because the kids and I were involved in more things this year. We certainly weren't bored! Here is a look back at some of what we've done:
Homeschool co-op: This is an ongoing group that meets the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month (aside from summer months). We've had so much fun with our co-op. We've done science classes, cooking classes, gym classes, a Wizardology class, the kids have had plenty of time to just hang out and chill, they've made some really funny videos. I've been able to watch all of the kids grow, not just my own. I've watch the babies go from just newborns to toddlers. I really love our group of homeschoolers. The new semester starts in a few weeks. YAY!
Earth Scouts: We got this group up and running in April. We met twice a month on Tuesdays at a local library. We've had some members leave and have gained some new members. So right now our group is staying at about 8 families. We did a lot with the Respect for Nature principle. Some things we did include: made field guides and went on a nature walk along the C&O canal; made bird feeders & nesting bags; made glass lanterns & some of us braved the cold and went on a nighttime stroll around the local park during the Christmas lighting; Trick or Treated for Unicef - the kids raised almost $200!! There were a lot more we've done since April, and it has been a blast facilitating this group.
Parties: Oh so many parties & potlucks!! In April we celebrated Earth Day with a huge potluck. We had a speaker come in from the recycling plant, the kids & parents enjoyed that. Our food spread was to be only earth friendly foods (meaning organic if possible, using the least amount of energy as possible to make it, etc); We had a park potluck for Cinco de Mayo, everyone brought lots of yummy foods; in September, we had our annual "Not Back to School" park picnic. As always TONS of food and great time being spent with each other. Then the year ended with our Geo-lunch international holiday party. There was lots of food, gift exchanges, games, and just some fun hang out time for kids and moms.
Field Trips: In March we had a trip to the local PetCo. My kids have done this before with another group, but they never pass up a chance to hang out in the pet store. It was a crazy day, we had the store totally overwhelmed with kids. The manager was a little crabby due to a misunderstanding on her part. But all in all, the kids had fun so that's what matters; April brought around a trip to a local Martin's grocery store. The kids learned about eating healthy and making good food choices; We also headed out to Philly for a day in April. We went to the Franklin Institute to see the Star Wars traveling exhibit. This was great. We all really enjoyed seeing the actual costumes and props from the movies; June brought a very impromptu field trip to Winchester to the Discovery Museum and Sonic. hehe It all started with a discussion of the Sonic drive-in's, so of course to make it educational, we went to the Discovery Museum which the kids had to themselves for the most part. Half of our group worked in the "apple orchard" business, the other half worked in the "hospital" business. LOL Of course, my kids were in the orchard. No big surprise there, since we live in one. ;) But they had a great time!; We headed back to Philly in October. Again to the Franklin, but this time to see the Pirates exhibit. It was nice, but I was pissed because we couldn't take photos. But the kids still had fun.
Geo-lunches: one of the moms in our group decided to start monthly Geo-lunches. Each month we'd have a different country, everyone would bring a dish from that area and if the kids wanted, they can share something they've learned about the area. We attended a few and had a great time. The kids were bummed we didn't get to them all. They'll be continuing in the new year, but I *think* we'll be doing the US this time around. We ended the year with an International holiday potluck/party
Losses: In June we had Amanda's cat put down. He wasn't very old but had a lot of health issues. I had really put this off for way longer than I should have. I don't think he was suffering, but he was getting worse. And it would have been way more traumatic if she found he died rather than just putting him down. And then if that wasn't enough, either on Halloween day or the day after, something killed her bunny. We are pretty sure it was a fox as we've had one stalking around all summer. But whatever it was, took the bunny. we couldn't even find any trails of fur; And not as sad & upsetting as the pets, but Amanda had her wisdom teeth removed in Sept. She did WAY better than I ever expected. So either she is really tough, or everyone else is wimpy. hehe We had planned to start back with school that week, but that was put on hold. Jake didn't mind one bit. ;)
Fun & Entertainment: I like April sometime I had won tickets from a local radio station to see John Mayer playing at Merriweather Post. So a friend and I headed off one icky day in July. Yep, it was storming something terrible on the day of the concert. We still went, in the rain. And wouldn't you know it, the rain stopped during the last song of the night. Aww, how kind of you monster nature. LOL We also saw a few movies throughout the year. Not as many as I had planned on. But oh well.
Birthdays: Amanda turned 15 in August. She just invites some kids over anymore, they hang out and chat, play Rock Band, etc. This year though they did Henna tattoos. This was fun, but stinky. lol I am glad the evening was nice and they could go out to the patio. Jake turned 13 in November. So know I have teens in the house!! He had some boys over, and of course, they played the Xbox & the Wii all day. lol Parties get easier & less expensive as the kids get older. :D
Work: Randy FINALLY got back to work in July. He was off for 2 years with a work related injury. He likes the job and it seems to be going quite well. So keep your fingers crossed for another raise next month. LOL
That's our year in a nutshell. I am sure I forgot to tell you something really exciting. But I figure this post was extremely long as it is. ;) Have a wonderful and safe New Years!! We'll be staying home as usual. I don't like going out on New Year's Eve anymore. We're ordering Chinese food for dinner tonight. YAY!