Thank you Julie!!!  Julie has been reading my blog since spring of 2010~~~wow~~~
Her beautiful Christian heart hurt for AJ, after reading about his experience turning 16.
He was so upset that he will never get to drive, so Julie bought him a car that he CAN drive, and he has driven it every day since =)

Emmi has been up to some creative thinking, as usual.  Guess what those buttons are for?
She had this coil from her Teaching Textbooks book, and wanted to do something with it.

She created a dog, descendant of "slinky dog" not doubt.

You know those teak rocking chairs from Sam's?  They sell for $199.  I got two in 2003 for $79 each.
Let me tell you; they are worth it!!!  After 16 years, DH is re-doing them.  He took it totally apart, sanded, stained, poly-d, and put back together.   About half of their life has been out in the weather, and the other half under porches. 
It looks fantastic, and is very sturdy!  He has now started on the second one.

Ya'll remember Grace, our Elf on a Shelf, so to speak..........Emmi makes sure that Grace goes on errands with me often.  This week I had to get new key fobs for my car.
She jumped out of the car and ran into the shop.  I heard that she ran straight for the tire rack and was rolling tires everywhere.  The nice guys at Capital Toyota grabbed her, made her clean up the mess, and got her back to me.

July is Birthday month

 We have 4 birthdays in July, and Wes's just a week before.  Avery turned 14 on my birthday.

AJ is 16!!!  And let me point out something here, that you would think is obvious.
If you are at church, Target, etc., and a person with obvious special needs tells you he just turned 16; DO NOT say "wow, you can drive now", or anything to that effect.
 Doing so may ruin his day when his mom has to explain the comment to him, and that no, he cannot drive---ever.
                                        Jake was not here for his birthday, but turned 26. =0
                             This sweet neighbor had a birthday, and Emmi made her a cow.
Other than that, we have visited friends, swam, and been hot.

Here are 4 of the kids with our friends who came all the way from Cullman, AL for a visit.
Oh---and why is our house for sale?????  I'll give you the quick version:
*We miss our pool.
*The neighbor was supposed to build a 1 level house, but had to change to a 2 story because of an aging parent coming to live with them.......this means we have windows and a screened porch looking down into our back yard.  We even paid for additional concrete and hot tub pre-wiring in the back yard before the neighbors house was started.  Now, if we put in the hot tub, we could converse with them on their porch--no thanks.  Lesson learned:  If you pick your lot based on neighboring floor plans, get it in writing.
*We miss out pool.
*DH has decided a triple garage is not big enough for us and his future woodworking shop.
*We miss our pool.


Our builder put a row of blah bushes across the front of the house, I removed them all.  They also laid sod everywhere else, and not just put it where I wanted it, so we pulled lots of sod up too.
Here is a Chinese Fringe Tree, Guara, Rosemary and Lantana.
 This part of the patio is pre-wired for a future hot tub.  I planted Lantana, Dwarf Gardenia, Vinca, a Butterfly bush on the far right,which is right outside my bedroom window, and a Camellia beyond it.
 Above is one of the areas that we removed the sod from.  We added all of the extra sod to the back of the property, gaining about 10' extra grass going up the hill.

                                                  Here's the view from the top of that hill.  In the section next to the covered patio, there are Patio Plums, Rosemary, Lavender, and a Snowball bush.
                               Kristen gave me the birdhouse and feeder for Mother's Day. 
                                     The cow feed bucket holder is from the farm, of course, I have 2 of them.
 View down the street.  I can see the same rock face from the bench in the back yard.
 The big boulder "park" is a few houses down from us.  It has 5+ huge boulders, gravel path, and benches.  Kids can climb up and sit on the boulders.
 Back to the corner of the yard; there is a Burning Bush, Crepe Myrtle, Knock Out Rose, 4-Apple tree, Lilac, and Lantana.
                           Another view of hot tub area, I have a Knock Out Rose in there too.
                                                           All of the rock edging is what was leftover from the house.                         
 Plum trees, Cherry bushes, and Ceder Trees are across the back.  The  property line is just past the trees, you can see the "free" junipers past that; that I ripped up from the front yard.
On one side of the house I have "free" golden junipers that my neighbor didn't want.  On the other side I have several Hydrangea.
 Across the front from the entrance to the bench, I put a small shrub that I have never used before, Vintage Jade, and Coral Drift Knock Out Rose in front of them.  There are 2 Camellia's behind the bench.  AND, you're probably noticing the for sale sign.......stay tuned.


                             The kids den is upstairs, along with their 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.
                                Emmi's room.  She wanted  a large plastic table in her room to use while                                                        crocheting, so it doubles as her school space.
                                            Girl's bath...yes, same decor, different wall color.

                                                                    Boy's room. 

                                                      Avery and Jenna's room.

                                                                Boy's bath.

Since we started homeschooling in 2001, this is the first house without a dedicated school room.
Since we only have a few years left, I found other spaces to use instead of a dedicated room.
 Waid is under in the closet under the stairs.  We had outlets and extra lighting put in all the closets.  The black bookshelf to the right houses the "group use" books, dictionaries, etc.
                               Wes does his school work in the larger-than-normal coat closet.
                                                Emmi's workspace is in her room.
 Jenna and Avery have a large walk in closet, so we made it double as their school space.
                                  The door with towels goes to the attic.

                                            And AJ uses the desk in the butler's pantry.
While it may seem odd to stick kids in closets, it is working out wonderfully.  I also find that they have fewer distractions since they are separated.  They put all of their completed work in a basket at my kitchen desk.