Friday, January 31, 2014

Keepers of the Faith-- Jan 31 meeting

We had a most productive meeting this week!  We are working on planning and getting ready for a tea party that the girls are hosting.  So much fun!

We worked on little felt projects... a give away for our tea party... and practice whip stitching!

We also started making little corsages for each of the attendees.

This will pretty much finish up our floral arrangement badge with Emily and Little Bit.

The girls had outside play... couldn't resist a pic of them "playing" Ninja.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

To be or not to be.... and learning about Shakespeare. Part 1

We decided to enter into the land of MANY WORDS..

Matt had taken a interest in Shakespeare... and Emily has not had an introduction to Shakespeare... it starts in unit 2 of TOG, but I want to go a little deeper so we started early!

We started with my book about Shakespeare's Globe by Aliki.  I have had this for years, it was one of those awesome buys from Half Price. A real treasure find!

Then we acted out a scene from Romeo and Juliet with the above book...

After we were finished being dramatic-- sorry no video--- we read Romeo and Juliet (a retelling)
by Lois Burdett

it is all in rhyme and it was fun to pause and have Emily guess what the rhymed word would be...

Then Emily colored a picture of Romeo declaring his love at Juliet's balcony...

Then we watched a Romeo and Juliet animated cartoon from the BBC found here...

I got a LOAD of printables from here.

And a LOT from Jimmies (which is an invaluable resource!!)

We will move onto another story and continue on with our Shakespeare unit study.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A stitch in time...

So on my bucket list I had knitting and crocheting listed.. But I want to learn so many other things!!!

 I have completed two American Girl scarves,

 an American girl size blank and an infinitely scarf for Kaitlin!

I am working on a wash cloth, using a pattern-- makes my brain hurt a little. :0)

I like Bamboo better than aluminum, so far!  

I plan to work on crocheting too!! But so far knitting has been an easier fit.

I want to be able to crochet this...

I also want to learn to embroidery..

Like this...

And I am going to learn how to QUILT!!!

I know big plans!  But I AM encouraged that it is only 1/29 and I am already checking multiple things off my bucket list!  It's gonna be a good year people!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day... 2014

Well Snow Day is kindof a misnomer truthfully.  We had about 12 flurries, a little sleet, there are a few icicles and rain.

Nobody worry about us.. we have food and water.  :0)

Everyone on Facebook is making fun of the "storm"  and I get that, but truthfully regardless of whether it is ICE APOCALYPSE 2014 or not.. it is NOT the norm for our neck of the woods.  So staying home and off the roads for any potential ice is really just wise.

However, most kids have the day off school and last Friday my kids did not!  Today however we did take most of the day to laze around and watch school movies.  So it was at least a break from the normal grind.

We started off with everyone sleeping in a little late-- which was nice.  I hadn't gotten TO sleep until around 4:00 and woke up at 6:30 and again at 7:00 and again at 7:30 and finally was happy to just lay there NOT sleeping but also not getting up!

We watched Francis of Assisi (1961)  It was seriously like the most boring movie ever.. I can't believe the kids even made it through. But alas they did and we know just how UN-HISTORICALLY accurate the movie was to begin with-- why make movies that are inaccurate?  I just don't get it.  If it is IMPORTANT or exciting enough to MAKE a movie about in the first place why not stick with the facts?

I digress.

Then we watched Robinhood.  Well not Emily.. she played upstairs.  I started and stopped the movie a few times to explain or discuss but overall we just watched it.

and we HAD to watch the Bryan Adams music video... of course.  :0)

Next we started the Robinhood BBC series which I watched last year and LOVED.  It is on Netflix so we will be going through it over the evening and next few days...

Overall a successful snow/ school day!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

It must be documented...

So I had Mom's Night Out at my house on Saturday.. and it was great.. Dave had taken the kids out of the house for a little while and when they got home the kids were happily falling all over themselves to tell me about the incident.

Dave for WHATEVER reason unknown to MAN... decided to race Emily.


Emily won, but don't be fooled.. she ONLY one because this happened.


followed by this...

It is a possible fracture in his hand.. we have an appointment at the ortho this week.

So this morning I found THIS on Pinterest..

He is my idiot FOREVER!!!

I am just very, very glad he was hurt WORSE!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Sum Up: Week 20-24

This has been a busy but, successful week!


We started Monday with choir as usual!

All the kids worked pretty hard, Emily had a really great day-- I will say towards the end she was in tears but it was because I inadvertently broke her heart with news that all the stories about King Arthur...were stories.  Fiction in fact. 

She was brokenhearted! In fact I handed her the story Chanticleer and the Fox the next day and she was like "is this story real because I really don't want another story that isn't real!"

I, of course told her to get over that quick but I do feel bad for her... She was really sad! :0(

Anyway.. Kaitlin started piano lessons!  Her friend Victoria who has taken for years is teaching her-- if she picks it up and enjoys it we will go from there. 

Emily finally used her Rainbow Loom!  Some of the kids at choir were doing it and I whipped hers out of my bag and said GO LEARN!  And she loved it!


Matt had her first "real" day of PT. Fun!

 I must say I am glad he is only on a stationary bike! 

We did school-- Emiky finished up some science experiments and made a lava lamp!

Later that day Kate had art and we met a friend at the farmers market-- there were so many yummy things!  I WILL not be able to go there every week!

After that Kate went to a new sign class-- ASL 1-- I am excited for her!

It makes for a long day!! 


It was a full day of school today!  Loads of work-- lots of discussion.  I LOVE these days!! I want so badly to make time for more!!

Emily finished her Saxon 5/6 book-- she had a few Investigations to finish... And has a whole week off of math!! Her prize!

It was just a good day! 


Matt had physical therapy, 

we came hone worked on school and promptly left for book club/ gym day.

After gym day we went to a friends house and after that we came home to prepare for ICE APOCALYPSE 2014!


Emily ended up having a friend over.. 

They had a blast hunting and destroying icicles... 

Matt had therapy again...

Kate and Matt worked mostly all day.

Overall it was a good day ! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kate's art

I am amazed by artists.. The ability to see a picture in their head and put ink to canvas...

I have no such skill.  Kaitlin who has been graced with MANY abilities... Does! 

I am proud of her for branching out and attempting new mediums..

She prefers pencil and sketching.. 

But has recently attempted watercolor paint and will put her hand to charcoal in an art class this semester! 

She is so very talented and I have no idea where it comes from!! She is an enigma!

She draws/ doodles/ sketches all the time!  In past years it has gotten her I trouble but at this point she appears to have established herself some boundaries!  

Although every once in a while she is caught sketching instead of schooling-- often a gentle reminder to stay on task 

because I believe that creativity allows  our brains to ebb and flow better!  But when it gets to much, we rein her in. 

Definitely talented... Can't wait to see where it takes her.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

So just keeping it real...

I have mentioned multiple times in the past month that my house is a mess.  This is not a secret!  It is really something I want to work on.  For one, it bothers ME.  For another, I know that it is incredibly bad example (testimony even) to my girls and my guests.

Why does it bother me?  

Well besides the obvious that is is messy, I cant find things etc, there is the side of it making me feel like a failure! I feel like I should be able to have it together enough that this isnt a problem.  I mean I don't have toddlers anymore!  I do not work outside the home (although the work IN the home I do does take an enormous amount of time-- no bon bons for me!).  I see other peoples homes and while they might have cluttered I rarely feel they are as cluttered as mine.  Maybe this is just me?  I don't know but regardless of the reasoning I cant change how I feel right now, I feel discouraged and defeated.

(so stop blogging and go clean something!)

Hmmm.  Sounds easy enough doesnt it?  When I start a diet it is always frustrating to be going through the motions and it take SO long to see the evidence of it, I feel the same way with the house.  I can go clean "x" but unless I clean ALL OF IT, I am still only going to see mess!

I know it is not right thinking!  And even in my dieting I can say "it was a better choice even if it wasnt the best" or "I know I am doing the right thing even if I see no evidence of it".  I CAN and SHOULD do the same thing while attempting to control the chaos that is my home.  

I also (like dieting) need to recognize the aspects that are not completely under my control-- I cannot always control why my husband does, or even my children in that sense.  At least not until after the fact sometimes.. If they make a mess I can make them clean it up, but I cannot follow them around making SURE they dont mess anything up!!  Nor do I want to!

What I can control-- at least for the most part is:

My time and how I use it.
My energy and how I use it.
My priorities and how I implement them.
My finances and how I spend them.
My parenting and how I train them!

So a plan...

and then I stop because I have no plan or I have already tried 60 jillion plans and HAVE NO HOPE LEFT.  A sweet friend said the other day, "but you are so creative, just be creative!"

Okay but I HAVE!  So now what? Be creative some more?

I am at the end of my "I want to be creative rope, and jumping over to I just wanna see some results rope!"

I dont think it is crazy to want to see results-- maybe unrealistic?  

But I go back to I don't have toddlers, I "work" from home.  THIS should be doable.

So I squared up my shoulders and took a deep breath and GOT CREATIVE. Again.

I am going to use what the good Lord gave me. 


1.  I am going to once again tie the kids chore charts to a reward system... but no more stickers or marbles or moving of clothes pins...WIFI is where it is at.  I while ago I saw this in Facebook and then again on Pinterest.

The pinterest link and they give credit to here but I cant find it.. SO disclaimer it is someone eles's brilliant idea!

This is possibly NO different than No Electronics until you are done with "x", besides that it REQUIRES the moms check in!  They will have to come to me and let me know they are done to gain access.


2. Natural Consquences

That might not be the right word but it is as simple as you ate off the plate, you clean it.  This makes LESS work for whoever the dishwasher is.  Sounds simple but seriously it is what my kids are worst AT.

You are having your teen group over-- vacuume.

Your dog tore up a toy- pick it up.

You made brownies-- clean up what you made them with.

You filled up the trash can-- TAKE IT outside.

They are all jobs that someone does on a normal basis but if the people responsible for ADDING extra work just naturally cleaned up said work.. there would be less to do!  COMMON SENSE.

The adage about "you do chores because you are a part of this family" only goes so far.  Yes, do they all need to take responsibility as members of this family?  YES.  But, we cant simply use that as our singular reason for doing chores.

My reasoning... My oil needs to be changed.  I know that Dave knows how and I know that he physically CAN do it.  I know it will cost us less if he does it so he probably SHOULD.  BUT, truthfully his time spent with ME and the KIDS is more valuable than the savings of him changing the oil.  So we outsource it.

My JOB description as the home maker includes our home and its management-- and while the kids do live here and have a responsibility to pitch in.. A lot of the chores MY kids have are basically MY JOBS outsourced- because I don't always have time.  Is it worth it to ME to outsource those jobs?  YES.  But does the oil change place work for free?  NO, I need to be willing to PAY for my oursourced work.  It does factor in that a lot of the reason I need to outsource my responsibilities is because I am busy WITH the kids stuff, but that isnt a reason not to pay them. I have the choice to stop everything and stay home all the time and I choose not too.

So my new theory is while there are certain things the kids do as PART of the FAMILY!   Anything else needs to be paid (compensated) for.

Onto compensation:  which I think can look like different things.

Cold hard cash-----  Payment for services rendered.
Bartering---- If you finish cleaning "x" then I will time to take you to "x".
Physical Reward---  If we work hard to clean the house we will get to be out all day on Saturday doing "x" as a family.
Payment but in turn not actual cash---- Yes, Kaitlin you can take piano but I will need you to help off set the cost and you can do that by doing "x".  Otherwise I would need to pay another child meaning.  Then I am paying for HER lessons AND for outsourced work

So in conclusion... Another plan.  

But what else is there. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Throw Back Thursday-- New Years 2009


Can you believe these kids!  

And yes, that is a New Years Tree, you know for fun!

Sweet girls! They were so little! They only 6 years old!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Teatime while I read...

This is my new thing..

I actually like tea!  I used to tolerate it.  I LOVE Ice tea, but hot tea.,Meh,
Well I love it!  

My favorite is Blueberry.

I love a mix from Teavana 

1 part Weight To Go Pu- erh Tea
1 part Monkey Picked Oolong 

But is so very expensive!  2 oz is like 35 dollars. Of course that lasts a long time, but it's hard to shell out up front.  The other bonus is that is a metabolism boost and appetite suppresant.  

As far as books go..

My current reads are The Giver by Lois Lowry

No Compromise (the story of Keith Green). Melanie Green and David Hazel


The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighier with Kate and Matt for school. 

Also Emily and I just started Mary Poppins.