We celebrated my Dad’s 60th Birthday this week with a party at Hershey park.  Dad, Mom, their kids, and their 8 grandkids. 


We had a blast riding the rides, but truly the best part was being together as a family and enjoying watching relationships grow. 



When you’re the oldest cousin sometimes you have to do time in the kiddy rides.  He was quite the sport… and was rewarded with roller coaster time in the evening.

DSC07547 (2)


DSC07552 (2)

DSC07553 (2)

IMG_0838 (2)

My mom prepared tons of food for lunch and dinner.  We tailgated in the parking lot for lunch before we went into the park and again in the evening with cupcakes and party horns.



IMG_0810IMG_0829 (2)


My youngest niece is def a future thrill seeker.  She had her hands in the air before the ride even took off. IMG_0841


DSC07615 (2)

Thanks Dad for sharing your special day with all of us… it was a fun day filled with sweet, sweet memories.


That’s right, today is our last day of school at the building. 


As we prepare to leap into summer… let’s take a quick peek back at day 1.


Look how much they’ve grown  just physically this year!  I can’t believe it’s our last day of Kindergarten, 1st grade, an 3rd grade.


They got to dress down for the last day of school.  (Can you tell it’s been a chilly spring?)  I am so, so, so ready for summer.  And so thankful we all survived and made it to the end of the year!


Our tutors at the tutorial were a true blessing.  They were such a source of encouragement, support, and inspiration to all 4 of us.  And I love, LOVE the community of friends that the kids and I have.  I can’t believe we’ve been a part of that community for 4 whole years now.  My how time is flying!

Field trips are an area I really don’t excel at with homeschooling.  Last year we didn’t do a single one.  It’s hard when your teaching 3 different levels, 3 different curriculums.  If you go on a field trip for one, than the other two are missing out on work. (this is why I am SO excited that next year we will all 3 be studying the same general content for history and science… just broken down into different levels for ability and age… field trips will be SO MUCH MORE REASONABLE)

I am happy to report that this year we were able to go on 3 field trips.  (huge improvement over last year!)

One was over spring break with our Kindergarteners from tutorial.  They went to California Pizza kitchen to make their own pizzas and get a behind the scenes tour of the restaurant business.  All 4 circus members enjoyed that one. 


Then in April, we spent a day in St Mary’s city learning about early colonial settlers and American Indians.  It was technically a 1st grade field trip, but we all learned tons and by doing extra work the day after, we were able to stay on top of all our studies.  IMG_2998


Today the 3rd graders went on a tour of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.  This was a great end of the year review on Roman and Greek culture.  While the 3rd graders went on a guided tour with their tutor and the art museum guide, I took the younger 3 for a very, very abridged tour of the museum and time to play in the kids play area in the basement. 




And thanks to doing a TON of extra work yesterday as well as some math and reading on the car ride there, we were all able to enjoy some down time at home when we got back before a busy evening in varied directions. 

Field trips are a lot of work.  Not only do you have to plan the excursion, but just attending is a ton of work.  St Mary’s City was a 2 hr drive one way… with a 4 hour walking tour and a 2 hr drive back.  Not to mention I had to drive over a crazy tall bridge which I was more than a little bit dreading.  Today I drove into the city of Baltimore by myself for the 2nd time ever.  I hate city and beltway driving, so this was no small feat.  Not to mention we had to be up, lunches packed and out the door, into the city by 9:45…. IMG_3363this was way more work than my usual start school by 9 am at the kitchen table with mom still having not showered.  Again, this would be why last year we didn’t go on a single field trip.  But, I am glad we went.  On all of them.  The kids love, LOVE getting out of the house and seeing new things ESPECIALLY WITH THEIR FRIENDS.   We do learn a ton by the experience.  And it’s even good for mom to stretch out of her comfort zone now and again.  I hope next year we can go on a few more field trips.  I THINK as the circus crew gets older, field trips get easier (hooray for no more strollers or diaper bags to lug around). 

May starts off with a bang with Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you) on Sat and Cinco de Mayo on Sunday.  After a literal month of passing the stomach bug back and forth and back again around the circus house, a weekend with no agenda other than having fun was JUST what this Momma needed.  photo (20)

Saturday my beloved sister in law and  nephews were in town which was PERFECT for Star Wars day.  We cranked up the Star Wars soundtrack on the speakers inside and out, donned our Star Wars tees, grabbed our light sabers and battled it out all day.  My heart was so full.  I loved, LOVED watching the kids interact with each other.  It was such a low key, relaxed day. photo (19)


photo (18)


Sunday as full with church, a youth staff luncheon, and a flag football game.  When we got home we cranked up the music on the “Cinco de Mayo Pandora station” and made enchiladas for dinner… IMG_0599

followed by this little dessert I found on Pinterest.  We ended the weekend snuggled on the couch watching “Herbie Goes Bananas.” IMG_0580

Today the festivities were over and it was time to tame that LONG ignored laundry pile in my basement.   I am thankful though for a weekend of just plain ol’ silly fun (with a side of chips and salsa).