We had Chris home for President's Day on Monday, so we took the day off with him. It was a first to have him home (his company traditionally did not give it as a holiday in the past) so that was awesome! We LOVE it when Dad is home!
Tuesday saw us sneaking in schoolwork because we knew the rest of the week was going to be crazy! So, we hit the books and completed our regularly scheduled programming. We even doubled up in some subjects knowing that Wednesday was our out of town field trip day, Thursday was Jake's birthday and Friday was our homeschool co-op and Jake's birthday party sleepover!
A bunch of us from our homeschool co-op hit the road early to travel down to Petaluma! What fun we had with good friends! We are immensely blessed with the deep friendships we've developed in our co-op and the community that has grown within it!
So, we carpooled down to Petaluma with our first stop being Mrs. Grossman's sticker factory! We had our group split over two tours and it was so interesting! They are a very "green" company, even before being green was "in" and their factory is so cool! They can make up to 800,000 stickers per day! We got free stickers at each stop on the tour and at the end of the tour, we got more stickers to do an art project! THEN, they had a clearance section with .50 cent and .12 cent stickers! I stocked up on a bunch for our Yellowstone trip in the summer! We definitely got our money's worth of stickers with the admission price.. and then some!
Our group then headed over to The Petaluma Adobe, which is scheduled for closure due to California's dire economy. We ate lunch there and let the kids play before our tour started. This adobe was built in the 1830's by General Vallejo and was a major hub of trade and business.
Look at this tabletop! It's one piece of wood!
Look at these views! Gorgeous!
Petaluma is beautiful any time but we scored on weather and beauty this past Wednesday!
On Thursday, with mixed emotions, Chris, Josh and I woke up Jake, our youngest, to celebrate his 10th birthday! I say mixed emotions because our youngest is now in double digits! SIGH. I love this boy and his spunk, his humor, his tender heart and his curiosity and love of excitement! He has been a true blessing!
As a tradition, we always have the birthday person eat from our "You are special today!" plate and we have ALWAYS had a Hostess cupcake for our birthday morning celebration before Chris heads off to work! Silly? perhaps! A well loved tradition? Most definitely!
Since it was birthday boy's day, we went light on school, but none the less, did a bit of school work in the morning after all the presents were opened. As is our other birthday tradition, the birthday person always gets to choose a place to go out to eat for "birthday dinner". We don't eat out too often so this is a special treat! We started this tradition when the boys were really young too and now they hold us to it every year! Jake chose Fresh Choice and Big Spoon for his birthday dinner (don't get me started on this boy's love of buffets!). :)
Fridays are special and we don't do our traditional school work on these days because they are our co-op days. We have an awesome group of families that get together each week to work as a team, pitch in and help teach, encourage each other and love on each other's families. I am very humbled and very touched by the love and friendships these women have extended to me and my boys. I have some great friends that chat with me for hours (but it only feels like 15 minutes), encourages me to take a GNO and just extends encouragement. I hope I do the same for them! I love these mamas! It doesn't matter what we do, where we go, or what we learn, we LOVE doing it together with these families!!
This Friday was our "Artist of the Month" class and we all studied up on Henri Matisse! It was awesome! Kids got up and shared what they had learned, showed some work they had created on their own and then we watched a video, read a book and learned together about Matisse. We then did a group activity, one geared toward younger ages and one geared toward older aged kids. They got to create their very own Matisse masterpieces and learn what it means to "Draw with Scissors" as he did! We had a lot of fun!
Even though our co-op looks a bit differently this semester, it has proven to be AWESOME because families get to stay with ALL of their kids and help them, they are meeting other parents they didn't get to connect with in previous semesters and other kids are getting to know kids they didn't have classes with or didn't get to know very well in years past. This along with some other changes,has really breathed new life into our co-op! It's nice to change things up a bit and refresh everyone for the long haul!
I have to end my blog post with this...
Is this not adorable or what?!?! We arrived at co-op on Friday and an amazing friend made Jake a bunch of these ice cream cone cake pops for his birthday!!! He and I both were touched and thrilled! She makes THE most amazing cakes, yummies and cake pops! But here is the thing... she is a very dear friend - I'd consider one of my best. I didn't know her before our co-op began but over time both of us and our children, and families gravitated toward each other. I am so grateful for her presence - she encourages, lifts up, speaks truth as only a friend can, and makes me laugh. Her and her family bring such joy to my life... and this ice cream cone almost made me cry because of its symbolism. Of her care, attention to a friend's life and details, and her desire to pour love into others. Love, love, love her!!
Besides, who else would be willing to use her amazing chopstick skills to pick up owl pellets that we found lying on the grounds of the Petaluma Adobe?!?! I'm not going to pay a couple of bucks each from science companies when they were lying around there for FREE! LOL! THAT'S true friendship right there!
Thank you, dear friend! I love you!
I've linked up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-up
and Friday Field Trip Blog Post -