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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Williamsburg Day 1

It's been awhile since I blogged last. What has been going on? ask. The time of our life, that's what! :-) We so enjoyed our trip to Williamsburg, and to help us remember just how much fun we had, I am going to be blogging about it all week.

The car was all packed.
 An activity basket for the trip was put together...
Along with treat bags of course!
 With names on them. I will not referee whose bags of jelly beans those are!
Getting to our town house was an event all by itself. Sweet Man and I are super gifted at drawing out stuff, like a car trip. It was supposed to take us around 5 hours to get to our destination, we made it take over 7.
 :-0 Princess #2 needed to stretch her legs a bit, but became a pro at doing it while we were still driving.
 We stopped along the way to see neat things.Like this lovely statue at Tamarack.
Such a fine piece of art, of a man...smelling his armpit!! What!? 
The girls got a huge giggle out of this, as did I. ;-)

We also stopped at the local CVS to get those awesome coupons on Busch Gardens tickets. (You had to buy the tea to get the coupons.)

When we finally did arrive at what we would call home for the next week, we were not let down on just how grand it was. It was awesome! The girls went straight to organizing their clothes, and belongings, in their rooms.
I threw together a quick dinner and some smores for dessert,
Then we were off to check out the indoor pool...
And we ended the evening with a night time walk to the park.
This ended our first day in Williamsburg, and it was so much fun! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's a busy time, but a good one!

In between the birthday parties,
Community service projects,
Ceremony practice,
 And umbrella testing,
The chicken coop has been neglected just a smidge. So, today I will be donning the coveralls and muck boots, grabbing my pitchfork, and getting to work!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Williamsburg here we come!

Rumor has it that our family is going somewhere super exciting this weekend. Yep. We are going on vacation!!!!!!!!  For Christmas my parents got us a week long stay at Williamsburg, and we are scheduled to be there early Saturday morning!!! I have spent the last week calling around and getting all kinds of awesome deals for this little home school family. A call to Busch Gardens ticket office, told of a local grocery store that is giving away $15 off coupons on park tickets. So it looks like a trip to the grocery store in Virginia will be first on the itinerary. A call to the main Williamsburg office proved quite profitable, for they are giving us a home school discount to get into all of the historic attractions for half price, just because we home school. See it is so beneficial to home school. ;-) Several other deals were found for local miniature golf and a day at the beach.

Now that we are sure to not only have a blast, but do it frugally as well, I wanted to study up for this trip. A home school friend loaned us her book on Williamsburg, and we were reading fools the past two weeks.
 I wanted my princesses to know the history of this awesome town, and some neat things to be on the lookout for. There was a lot of reading to do, and since I have two princesses that physically can't sit still for that much reading, puzzles were in order. (I will let you guess which two I am talking about ;-)
They were happy to work away, all the while learning about coopers, blacksmiths and wig makers. We learned about the Boston Tea party, and even the daily chores of children their ages. So now that we studied up for our vacation, we are off to the store to by some beach supplies.

Before we head out, I thought I might give you an update on our new craw dad. You have to look really close, for he likes to hide.
What? You didn't see him? Oh yeah, that's right. He ESCAPED!!! He is crusin through this house of ours somewhere, but we don't have time to look for him. We have a trip to get ready for! :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bananafanna muffins

We didn't have to look too far to find our spontaneous day that we have been longing for. Since I am a self proclaimed muffin queen, we started our day off with muffins. Bananafanna Muffins to be exact!
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup honey (from Dad's honeybees of course)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 medium-sized ripe bananas all smashed up good and squishy like
1 egg from your backyard
1/4 cup coconut oil (you can use butter if you like)

Mix all these lovely ingredients together, and plop em in a muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for around13 minutes. I doubled this recipe for they are just that yummy!

While the muffins were baking and the girls were snoozing, I was able to watch animal planet. No. Not on TV. In my living room of course!
Stinginess abounds in every facet around here! 
The cat refuses to share her scratching box with this sweet little bunny.

After breakfast and chores, we did a few subjects in school, and then our friends popped over to borrow our portfolios. This is their first year doing one, so they wanted an example to go by. To thank us for our kind offer of our portfolios, they gave us a craw dad!
(one more critter to add to the living room ;-)
 A short visit turned into a five hour play day full of fun! There was a real life Minute to win it game show going on. Lots of neat challenges were explored by these two.
And of course there was a whole lot of cutting and gluing going on with these kiddos.

See what a good muffin can do? It can make you have a great day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rotational grazing

I have been reading a lot about rotational grazing in the farming industry, and how much better it is on the land and the animals. Our family watched the movie food inc. several years ago, and have been fans of Polyface farms ever since. I love that they are trying to produce good clean food and heal the land at the same time. It got me thinking what I could do to help bulid up the quality of our land around our house. There are just so many benefits to grazing the land, and then giving it a rest.  It cuts down on mowing and weeds. I stand in awe at one of my blogging friends, and how organized and efficient she is in this area of grazing, and I decided I wanted to give it a try.  Hmm...we sold off all of our big livestock to save time and money....but I still wanted to try this rotational grazing thing. "What to do, what to do? Oh, I know. We have a bunny!"
This might take awhile. ;-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

2010-2011 home school wrap up!

The home school year end wrap up, can be kind of hectic. 
All of the finished assignments and art projects need to be picked through, and then put into a portfolio.
 (I should have picked the bigger binders :-o)
After about a week of wading through mounds of paper, we get to visit this sweet lady, so she can evaluate how we did.
 This princess past the fourth grade!
This princess past the second grade!
This Princess was too young for a portfolio, but she is now officially a kindergarten graduate!!

I can't believe that another school year has passed already. Just when I started worrying that we might not have done enough, I put that portfolio together and was amazed at how much we accomplished in one year. Princess #1 went from hating math and barely being able to do addition facts, to loving math and soaring with her multiplication tables. Princess #2 went from sounding out letter blends, to being able to read chapter books. And Princess #3 went from letter recognition to reading short sentences.  We learned all about ants, autumn, easter and even a rare blue diamond. We focused on our character and spent time studying God's word. We learned how to love each other better and to serve others in our community. Most of all....we learned that learning should be fun!  Learning is not something that should be reserved for certain months out of the year, so we will be continuing school through the summer. No, not the boring kind that kids and moms dread. We are going to focus just a wee bit on our math and spelling, but we are going to spend the rest of the time doing all of those neat experiments and activities that we just didn't get around to doing. 

Even though we LOVE our organized activities like our co-op, pioneer club and American Heritage Girls. It will be nice to have a break from everything. Our schedules are starting to clear up, and with that comes a sense of freedom. Freedom to be spontaneous and enjoy all of the moments that the Lord sends our way. It was a great year and I am very proud of all my Princesses! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I made the crew!

I made it! I am now an official TOS product reviewer! How exciting is that?
Not only will I get free home school products for me and the princesses to enjoy, I will get to write about them too! Can you tell I am a wee bit excited? 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

32!!! How can that be?

Something was a little bit different when I woke up this morning. I was another year older. Yep. Today is my birthday and the calendar is saying that I am 32, but I just don't believe it. I still have to remind myself some days that I am not that teenager playing volleyball tournaments every weekend. I still find myself shopping in the junior section at the department stores (boy those clothes are made small), and I still migrate to the "young" crowd at different events. So how did it happen that I am now what I used to think was old? Some one from a far room in the house will call my name "Mom" and I will remember. :-)

Birthday's used to be so exciting when I was a kid. I would try to pick out just what I wanted and hope that it would be wrapped up all nice and neat for my special day...and the super great thing was the fact that it didn't come out of my bank account! ;-) They hold a different meaning for my now, one that is not quite so exciting. I myself don't mind the getting older part very much, or even the gray hair. What I do mind is knowing that my family members are getting older and I am now having to really face the fact that they will not always be here. In the past year I lost my Grandmother, came super close to loosing my dad, had one of my aunts have a heart attack and need surgery, and I have a Uncle in ICU fighting for his life.  When I was asked by my Sweet Man what I wanted for this special day of mine this year, I really couldn't think of anything that was possible for him to get me. I would love for my Dad to not have pain and to be completely healthy. For my Mom to be able to retire and enjoy life more. For Sweet Man to have the job of his dreams and I would love to have my uncle miraculously beat his cancer and have many more years to enjoy life with my aunt....I would love to not have to worry about loosing anyone that I loved.

So yeah, something was different this morning. I am older but not sure that I have reached the wiser part yet. I am thankful for another year to be with the ones I love, and I am also thankful that the Lord has laid it on my heart to truly treasure the moments we have with each other. You just never know how many more there will be.

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

So here's to another year full of life!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's day!

What do you say to the Mom that means so much to you?

What do you say to her, to show that you know just how much she sacrificed for her children when they were young. The countless sleepless nights, only to have to get up early to go to work, had to be rough. That kind of love has not gone unnoticed. The long hours at work to make it possible to send us to private school, and then have me complain how much I did not like it, had to be hard. Driving me around to all of my sporting events had to mess with your schedule, and steal away any time that you could have possibly taken for yourself. Having children of my own now, I am realizing what an awesome mom you are and have been.

So what do you say to that wonderful person you are so lucky to call mom? Well, to start with I think I'll say, Happy Mother's day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What makes one a teacher?

What makes a person a teacher? This is something that I have been mulling over in my brain for the past couple of days. As a home school mom of 3 school age children, I believe that I am a teacher.
I have a classroom complete with desks, computers, white boards and books.
I have a cute little reading nook...
All decked out with comfy pillows and inspirational posters...
A class room pet...
And students of course!
I stay up late grading papers and get up early to do research on the chosen topic of the day. I look for materials to decorate the classroom and provide a great learning environment. I read out loud, staple, cut and glue. I answer the questions that I do know, and find the answers to the ones I don't. But does all of that really make me a teacher? Well, when I got an email from the parent teacher store inviting me to come for Teacher appreciation day I was really excited. They were giving out little tokens of appreciation for all of the hard work that has been put into classrooms around our area. I went. I shopped. I got some great bulletin board displays and some new books for the summer. Upon my checking out at the register one of those tokens was placed in my bag. "Oh how nice" I thought. When she asked me where I taught, for she just knew I had to be a teacher with all of the supplies I bought for my classroom, I told her that I home schooled. Well, she just looked at me and said. "Oh, you home school"...She took that little token out of my bag and put it back on the shelf. I was offended, but tried to keep my composer as I looked at her and said "Yes, that's right, and I do believe that means I am a teacher."

Definition of TeacherTeacher 

One who teaches or instructs; one whose business or occupation is to instruct others; an instructor; a tutor.

I would love to write more...but class is getting ready to start and I have to administer a math test, spelling test and listen to three children read aloud, which will take about an eternity. ;-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy birthday to my Mom!

Happy Birthday to the best Mom ever! 
An impromptu surprise party was in order!
And a miniature herb garden.
You mean the world to all of us and we hope you know what a treasure you are to our family!
 Love you to the moon and back, Mom!!