Thursday, September 10, 2015


We had a VERY quick trip to Colorado to drop off Anna & Jacob for a week stay with Grandpa & Grandma. Aaron & I wish we could have stayed longer, but Jacob basically pushed us out the door! Ha! We had one day there, and we spent a lot of it in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a PERFECT day for it! 

 This was the only way across to continue our hike. Jacob was really scared, but he did it with a little help from Mom! :)

 She was ready to go all the way to the top!

 It's really hard to take a "selfie" with an SLR camera!! Grace enjoyed the hike as long as I kept moving!

 "I'm takin' a bweak Mom. I'm exhausted!"

Back at the house, we saw several elk come right up close to the house. Anna and I ran upstairs to go out on the balcony and get a better look at them. We saw a couple of young bucks, who later about destroyed one of the young trees in the yard rubbing their antlers.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

First Day of School 2015

Well, we've started the school year. 2 days down and it has been.......interesting! Ha.

We chose Col. 3:23 as our verse for the year. It's as much for me as it is for the kids!
I can't believe this is our 5th year to homeschool. What a journey! The Lord has really taken us on a ride!!

I cannot believe that Anna is in 5th grade this year!!!! Where has the time gone?! It seems like just yesterday that I was posting about her first day of Kindergarten...

 Now look at her! Goodness. She's a super smart girl, but she doesn't like challenges so this year might take some getting used to! She's going to grow and learn by leaps and bounds if she puts her mind to it. She's such a hard worker and is THRIVING with her checklists!! She loves a list and knowing exactly what is expected for her for the day. 

 And this one...2nd grade! Was it really 5 years ago that I posted about his first day of preschool??

My lefty. He's going to be challenged, too, and he'll do great! I'm excited for the new curriculum that we're using. I think it will greatly benefit all of us.

This guy is SO EXCITED to be doing school with the big kids this year!! Anna worked with him a little bit at the end of last year and taught him to write his name. He's going to do so great this year!

Such a silly, intense boy! He presents challenges even today for homeschooling! HA!! I remember the first year we homeschooled, Isaac was about 9 months old when we started. He was a terror! He would crawl into the school room and pull Anna's hair, take her pencil, push things off her desk. He was a pest!! Ha. Now look at him...a big almost-5-year-old doing with his very own school work to do now!

Grace. She has taken over Isaac's long-held title of "Main Pest" during school! ;) She's about the same age Isaac was when we started homeschooling 5 years ago. Crazy! She also doesn't like to nap, so things can get interesting. 

 Yesterday, she crawled to the table, stood up at Anna's chair and yanked on Anna's hair!! Poor Anna...she's had a rough time with babies, her hair, and school time! I do have to say, she has been better than Isaac at playing with her toys while I teach. Of course, we've only done two days of school, so........

 Hard at work, biting his tongue like any respectable Stinemetz would do! Hehe

 Concentrating hard on her new work.

 I found "chalkboard" contact paper at Hobby Lobby. LOVE IT!! Pair that with wet-erase markers and I am loving this "chalkboard"!

 Found this awesome map at it! It has all the state shapes, state names, mountain ranges, oceans, a compass, and icons for most of the states (like wheat for Kansas, pineapples for Hawaii, etc). The boys spent an hour putting everything on it the other day!

 My biggest obstacle is keeping up with all the chores. Summer was chaotic and I let the kids slide with not doing much of anything around the house. I listened to a podcast not long ago that talked about making kids responsible and teaching them to carry their share of the load. So we sat down and listed all the things it takes to make our house our home; to keep it neat and to be good stewards of the things with which God has blessed us. After we had that done, we discussed who was doing those chores. The kids easily admitted that Mom was doing almost all of them. They thought it was funny, but I used the analogy of a wagon: if everyone sits in the wagon and no one pulls...the wagon won't move. If one person pulls the wagon while everyone else sits, the wagon won't go very far very fast and that would be super hard work for the person pulling everyone else! BUT, if we all help pull the wagon and/or take turns pulling the wagon, it will move much quicker and much farther! They seemed to get that and were very willing to volunteer for chores!! We'll see how it goes. Anna loves having a list to check off, that's for sure!

 Silly kids!

 After a VERY rough 2nd day of school, I'm praying for strength! Haha! We had one get sick with a high fever and horrible headache (which she didn't tell me she felt bad until almost 2pm!!), and another one fell and split his eyelid open on the rocking chair (Isaac). Grace also decided to skip her morning nap and only take a quick afternoon one. *sigh* Such is life and I'm glad I get to do life all day, every day with these crazy hooligans with me!! ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Long Lost Visitor

I got to see my Grandpa for the first time in over 10 years. Before this weekend, he'd only met one of his 11 great-grandchildren. I'm so glad TJ got married so we had an excuse to make him come visit ;) No, I'm really glad Cara & Terry made the effort to make sure he made it out here to visit everyone. I'm sure he'll sleep well tonight after all the craziness of 11 kids in one house all evening!

 Isaac (4), Jacob (almost 8), Bryce (8), Anna (10), Tate (4), Grace (10 mo), Grandpa Cecil, Kaedyn (10), Rhys (3), Hudson (7), Jaxon (8 mo), Mia (almost 15! and the only one Gpa has met-when she was 2)

 We all made fun of Jeremy's shirt. Aaron said, "1980 called and they want their shirt back." He responded with, "More like 1960!" 

 Jamie couldn't make it since he works afternoon/evenings on Tuesdays, but Cassie & the boys came up.

Aunt Dona came out, too, for the evening. 
I'm glad he was able to meet all of his great-grandchilren. Not sure when we'll get to see him again!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


 I was just trying to take some cute pictures of Grace, reading her books.

 When Isaac thought it would be hilarious to jump in front of the camera!

 The little turkey had perfect timing, too!!

 She thought it was pretty funny.

 Jacob had to join in on the photo bombing, too.

Silly boys. We got some good laughs!