Well There Went That Semester

Maybe trying to keep up on two blogs wasn’t such a good idea.  I was trying to separate the theology stuff from all the homeschool stuff but in the end the theology stuff won out.  The Godmadeknown blog got lots of attention and you poor folks over here at Of Skies and Seas trying to learn a thing or two about birds and fishes were neglected quite badly.  So now I’m just going to dump a bunch of pictures on you from a series of field trips we took award the end of the semester and hope for some improvement in the semester to come.

We left our cabin in the woods under a blanket of  snow on Thanksgiving and made our way down the unplowed mountain road to Opa’s house where Titus and Joel served up a Thanksgiving feast of all the quail they had harvested that season, complete with Joel’s famous sweet potatoes and Ty’s scratch biscuits with homemade jam from hand foraged wild mountain berries, which he also turned into some amazing pies.  Opa loved feasting on the fruits of their labors and Oma would have been awfully proud of her grandsons’ culinary skills.

Early Saturday morning we continued south down the coast to the San Diego area where we met up with some friends for an overnight camp out and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  This is an experience of a lifetime and I would recommend this splurge over something like Disneyland any day.  Not only does the zoo feed you and house you in canvas tents overlooking the range of roaming animals, they give you a behind the scenes night tour and morning tour as well.

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We went to sleep with the rhinos right below our tent, listened to the lions roaring all night and then woke up to a herd of giraffes that had moved in.  The new tiger exhibit and the duck-billed platypus were highlights of the morning tour but the best part was spending time with Tom’s old room mate Dan, his sweet wife Angela and their 3 kids.

The next day Tom took the four older boys and the other Sam out deep sea fishing on the boat another friend of ours works on.  Josh Merrill’s tips proved trusty and the boys brought in about 100 fish of various sizes, shapes and scents.

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Next up was Sea World, which is the closest our family will ever get to a theme park.  If you have to get free tickets to an amusement park, get them to a Sea World.  The one in San Diego was exceptionally clean, patriotic, focused on nature, not just rides, and seemed to be frequented by normal, upstanding citizens such as we aspire to be.

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And of course we had to squeeze in a little time just hanging out on the beach.


We took a detour on the way home to visit some friends that we had made through Hartland’s Homeschool Family Camp.  The DeCoste family is as hospitable as they come (homemade tamales? are you kidding me?) and our boys were in heaven riding horses and golf carts all around their little plot of high desert paradise.

Our final stop was the dinner show, Medieval Times.  That was just a riotous good time.  Can’t go wrong taking a bunch of boys to a place where they can eat “baby dragon” with their hands while yelling for blood at the jousters.

And yes, I just realized I wasn’t in any of those pictures since I’m always behind the camera so here’s one of me and my “sweets” at Portos Cuban Bakery which was across the street.  We picked up a cake for Titus’s 16th birthday while we were there and brought it home to share with the other Opa.  Grandpas are definitely the best way to begin and end a trip.

4 thoughts on “Well There Went That Semester

  1. Oh, Julie, You are becoming one of my favorite writers! As I told some of my daughters and daughters-in-law, “She get it said!’

    I have been searching your blogs for the article you wrote about hymns. Could you direct me to the correct post, please? Naomi wants to read it.

    I have sent your “Resolved” essay to several mothers of multiple or young children (mostly both) and have had hearty expressions of gratitude. I am going to include an email I received tonight from one mother I sent it to. I will not mention the writer’s name because I did not ask her if I could share it, and I changed her daughter’s name for the same reason.


    Thank you for listening to the Nudge to send this to me. I needed to read it. In this season of life, I have felt so much like I will miss something if I don’t figure out where to squeeze in my “quiet time.” I tried the 5am wakeup thing, but honestly? It created a tired mom who was desperate for sleep. I really need 8-9 hours and have my whole life. And, with a husband who needs “me” after the kids go to bed, as well as the computer work that can only be done once they’re asleep, going to bed before 10 is a near impossibility.

    And so, I’ve pivoted. I now do “my Bible” time with Rose Hope next to me. For ten minutes. And we set the timer. I still read quietly, and she “reads” her books next to me and drinks her “coffee” (milk) while I drink mine. It has become such a gift to us. And it doubles as a training opportunity to teach her to sit quietly on a blanket for ten minutes 😉

    But ten minutes is all I get. Hardly enough time to journal or spend much time in prayer. I can usually read, just read, one chapter.

    This essay is validation for me—that what I’m doing is exactly what I can and need to do, right now.

    And this morning, for the first time ever, Rose looked up at me and said “Rose’s Bible?” which meant “I’d like a Bible to read, too.” 😭 Pretty amazing—in all these days of her reading books next to me, she somehow figured out that I was reading my BIBLE and now wants to read one too, instead of her books.

    Anyway, thank you for thinking of and encouraging me.

    I feel free tonight. ”
    Julie, your mama was one of my best friends and I know that if you and I lived closer we would find much in common and have a good friendship (and great fellowship), as well.

    Much love to you,

    1. Your kind words were such a blessing to me today. I know you said I didn’t have to post the whole thing but I think there are so many young mothers out there who feel exactly like your friend. I think what she is teaching and experiencing with her daughter is sooo beautiful and lasting. I hope others can be encouraged by her testimony.

  2. This entire post, from one Grandpa to the other , is a delight. Thank you for the recommendations, should we ever be in the areas you mentioned. It is good to see your daddy’s delight in the quail and other tasty treats on his plate!

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