Friday, August 28, 2015

School Days

I'm an educator. An elementary school teacher. I have a Master's Degree in Education and seven years of experience in the classroom. I love learning and helping others learn.

As a mom, I became committed to homeschooling. There were several reasons to support our choice then, and great things can be said about homeschooling families. In fact, I am still homeschooling our middle son, but this year our oldest is going to school!

Gary pastors a church here in Northern Idaho that has a school. There is one teacher/principal and 10 students. With a new baby on the way and a church school available, we decided that our very social first born should enroll.

Jonathan is a social boy, always talking to people, always thinking of new games and directing others to play by his rules. (His brothers call this "bossy".) At the same time, Jonathan loves structure. I knew he would like recess and being around other kids, but I didn't know how he'd react to sitting in a desk and working all day!

Well, we're at the end of the first week of school and Jonathan "loves it more than anything!" He said he loves school more than going to the lake. He has a friend who is also talkative and Jonathan complains that I pick him up too early (on time) and he doesn't have time to talk to his friend after school! Jonathan loves recess, as expected, but also likes using the computer and says he's the fastest runner in the whole school!

And the rest of us at home? We like the structure that school puts on our day. The younger boys like playing without their bossy big brother, yet they're excited to go pick him up in the afternoon too.

I know it's only been a week and nothing is hard yet. But it's a huge relief to know Jonathan likes school and is motivated to be there.

How is school going for your kids?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

6 Vegetarian Recipes We Love

Whenever I come across recipes that the whole family likes, I try to keep track of them. I recently started a new Pinterest board called Repeat Recipes so I can remember which ones we liked! I thought I'd share a few of our newest favorites here too.

Are you on the spiralizer bandwagon? I just got a small one and it's ok. I should have saved up and gotten something bigger, but oh well!

I loved this Sweet & Sour Cucumber Salad by Peas & Crayons. Very fresh and light.

Again with the spiralizer, I love zucchini noodles with pesto! I saute the noodles because I prefer the flavor, and usually I skip roasting the tomatoes and just make a bruschetta-like topping with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and balsamic vinegar. Yum! Credit for the photo and recipe idea go to A House in the Hills.

I adore curry. I cook curry frequently. But this Pioneer Woman recipe for Chickpea Curry is seriously my favorite curry ever. My kids loved it and leftovers (I made a double batch) were even better. Super easy and really good!

Don't you just adore summer produce? We moved this summer and weren't able to put in a garden, but church members have given us lots of eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. This Eggplant Caprese Salad from BHG is a great way to get a light meal and use up some of that produce!

Here's my other go-to recipe when we have lots of fresh produce! Ratatouille! I'll make a big batch of this to put with pasta as a potluck dish. It's fresh, healthy and inexpensive.

No one can fool me into thinking spaghetti squash=pasta. But it's a healthier alternative for when you're watching your carbs, and this Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein is a great meal.

There you go, six vegetarian summer dishes that are heavy on the veggies! Except the curry. That's just heavy on the deliciousness and you need to try it ASAP! Just eat a big cucumber salad for lunch and you'll be fine. What are some of your favorite meals lately?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bonner Lake

When I was a little girl my family moved a lot. New places meant new weather to experience, and it seemed as though we were always hearing about how "unusual" the weather was in our new location. The heat in Central California, the snow that stayed on the ground for weeks in Maryland, the late fall snow storm in Kansas. All were so "unusual".

Well, since moving to northern Idaho this summer we have had that term used quite frequently! It's unusually hot for this time of year. We're unusually dry. This heat isn't typical. It's not usually like this.


Our favorite escape on an unusually hot afternoon is the lake. Our favorite is Bonner Lake, just twelve miles from our house. It's quiet, small, warm and we are sometimes the only ones there, even in the summer!

Bonner Lake is quite small. We've rowed across it in less than an hour in a big raft with one paddle while fishing and taking in the scenery.

There is a boat dock for public use and several private docks around the lake. We're pretty sure an osprey has a nest in a tree on the far side of the lake.

We've loaded the boys up with floaties, rafts, goggles and snorkels and we can spend several hours out there with no one getting bored or too cold.

My favorite place to be is in the raft, either with Gary and the kids exploring the middle of the lake or soaking up the sun near the boat dock while the boys play and Gary fishes.

Gary likes to paddle his kayak out to the far end of the lake where the water is deeper and fish.

It's not a bad way to escape the unusual heat! We're grateful for beautiful, quiet, free places to be in nature while we swim, relax, fish and play.

 Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Project #walk365 {July}

I'm still walking! In fact in July I started walking two miles a day at least six days a week. I was on a trip for a few days to see family, but other than that, I stuck to my goal and walked a total of 44 miles in July!

We live next to a busy highway in a rural area, so I don't have many options as to where I can walk. I try to capture a different picture every day but it's proving more challenging as time passes! 

1. Just a quick mile this morning before it got hot. I walk a little bit down this highway to get to the pretty, quiet streets. Both of them.
2. I walked right by this barn today and didn't realize I was being watched!
3. My boys and I walked in 90* at 9 AM in Walla Walla, WA, so they enjoyed a refreshing dash thru a sprinkler.
4. I envy the birds this cherry tree.
5. I love this garden with the sunflowers! Not the fence-deer and moose are a real problem in northern Idaho.
6. I saw turkeys and horses on my walk today.
7. Isn't this little garden shed adorable?
8. It was a cool morning walk. Say hi to my wild turkey friends!
9. Hay!

1. 20 weeks!
2. I can't get over how pretty Idaho is!
3. The whole family walked to Snow Creek Falls with new friends from church. It was beautiful and cool in the shade of the forest! The best part for me was NOT feeling like I was going to die on the walk back up to the cars.
4. We walked around Roman Nose Lakes checking out camp sites. We can't wait to go...except for the bear warnings.
5. I felt really energetic on my walk today. Idaho is pretty up close too!
6. Cloudy, breezy and 65! So nice to walk without being overly hot.

1. (Includes barn, view of pasture, and mailbox.) Every time I pass this barn the horse is standing there watching. Do you see his nose peeking out of the barn? The tree is an apple, the view is amazing and the name on the mailbox? MacDonald.
2. It's a deer. It's a bear. It's a boat! What do you see when you walk in the woods?
3. We live near an airport. Today I walked a path paralleling the highway and discovered the airport is one mile away.
4. I tried a new route today as my two standby routes are getting old. Not sure I'll repeat it, but for today it was a good change.
5. A few clouds can sure change the look of a place!
6. Another two miles done! #babybumpphotobomb
7. Can you see the purple in this alfalfa field?

If you want to follow along on my adventures every day, you can find me on Instagram. I'm gibsongirl726 and I use the hashtags #walk365 and #runwalkhike. Thanks for reading! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Another Living Room

Over the years if you've been following my blog, you've seen several versions of our living room as we've moved quite frequently. Our current home is no different; mostly the same stuff just arranged to fit a new living room. We did get new couches though!

Our current home is a rental and as such, there are things we can't change. So please ignore the brown carpet, awful (and non-functioning) vertical blinds and all of that brown paneling!

We're thrilled with our new couch and loveseat. We have never had new furniture in our home, so this is a big deal to us! The couches are kid friendly, quite comfortable, and compliment Gary's leather recliner. I like how neutral they are without being a light color and think they will hold up well.

Our TV cabinet is now home to our fish tank. I think it's pretty, Gary enjoys the hobby, and the boys like watching the fish. Besides, the tank's pump sounds a lot like a waterfall!

We inherited Gary's dad's piano. I'm looking forward to teaching the boys a thing or two about how to play!

Wouldn't that paneling look so much better in white?

I loved this crib spring display above our dining table in our last house but dressed it up a little for the living room. The banner was from Gary's graduation and you can write on it with chalk, but I like it plain for now. I've displayed the newest pictures of our boys, some favorite snapshots, and of course the ultrasound images of our baby girl!

This is the main entrance to the house. I might switch Gary's chair and the loveseat, but I really like this table in the entrance. Across from it is this dresser and mirror with a small bin for shoes. The door leads to what will be the baby's room. See a glimpse of pink?

Thanks for visiting our home!


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