Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flying By


Littlest one is having a slow morning playing with her little people and sporting some seriously skinned knees. There has been LOTS of bike riding when the weather has cooperated and this kid is FAST. Don't tell her she can't keep up with her big sisters. : )

You can definitely tell that last week was spring break ... I have had very little extra time on the computer this week and thus blogging has fallen by the wayside. We have forty days of school left which still takes us in to mid-May, but forty means the end is in sight. I'm also working on school plans for next year ... brainstorming things that I want to do with the girls this summer and writing down each and every curriculum idea that I have for the fall ... which will then be whittled down to what is actually doable. : )

One question I have for those that homeschool out there ... how do you set your school calendar? Do you follow (even loosely) the local school system? Is it set by the co-op or tutorial you are part of? I'm thinking through how I want to plan next year since I will be on my own. I know I do better if I have breaks every so often so I'm trying to decide if I should lay out out our work so that we break every 8 weeks, do a 4-day week and take Fridays off (or make them 1/2 days), etc. Do you have a system that has worked for you? I'd love to hear them!

More soon ... : )

Friday, March 25, 2011

Foodie Friday


Twice this week I have needed to have a dessert prepared for something - definitely not the norm. I typically don't have lots of desserts around the house besides the ever-present ingredients for chocolate chip cookies because (a) I am a salty person and would rather dive into a bowl of popcorn or bowl of chex mix and (b) if there is dessert then I eat it. : )

That said, I remembered this recipe that I had been given and dug it out. Super easy and super quick.


You will want to make sure and lick the leftover drizzled coconut milk out of the bottom of the pan after eating the cake. Yummmmm. : )

I'm working on a project to organize my recipes and I think a little Friday blogging project called Foodie Friday may be born out of it to help me keep up with it. If you want to snag the recipe card above for personal use, feel free!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Read-Aloud Thursdays: The Saturdays

The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet)We finished up our latest chapter book last week - The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. This book is the first in a series of four about the Melendy children - Mona, Rush, Miranda, and Oliver. Set in the mid-1900's (around the beginning of WWII) this book chronicles that Saturday adventures of this creative and adventurous four-some. On a rainy dreary Saturday, the children were bemoaning the fact that there was nothing to do. Randy, in a fit of inspiration, came up with the idea that if they pooled their allowances (giving them a grand total of $1.60!), they could each, in turn, have a Saturday adventure of their choosing. The choices are as varied as the personality of the children. Rush (the musical one) chose a concert, Randy visited an art exhibit, and Oliver went to the circus (with a few mishaps along the way).

As we have read these books from several decades ago, I am always amazed at the amount of freedom that the children had. They go into the "city", ride buses and subways, feeling perfectly safe and confident on their outings. Much different than today!

We enjoyed this story so much that we voted to continue on to book two in the series, The Four Story Mistake, and we'll hopefully report back on it in the near future.

This post is linked up to Amy's Read Aloud Thursday over at Hope is the Word!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


A few recent favorites:


Pilot Liquid Ink Pens ... I used to be able to find these at Office Depot. Now, I can only find them on Jet Pens website. Love these for scrapbooking. They write like a ballpoint but are acid free.


I love all these banners that I see everywhere now. Apparently this is the latest in decorating and scrapbooking and I love how something so simple can be so versatile. I'm thinking that I need to make me a few notecards and notesheets with some banners across the top. These are from Crystal Wilkerson's latest kit releases here.


I think this Japanese tape is so fun! I have a couple rolls of it, and it's pretty addictive to use. The tape above is from this etsy shop.


I have mentioned before how much I love Crystal Wilkerson's digital designs. She has made a few some digital scrapbooking elements and kits to help a friend who's daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For as little as a dollar (although you can definitely give more!) you can visit the blog of One Happy Mama and download some of Crystal's handiwork and help a family.


My Dad bought us a Keurig coffee maker as a "new house goodie" and I am a little smitten with it. The machine and I have a standing date around 3:30 in the afternoon when I'm in a serious slump in focus and energy and I don't see us splitting up anytime soon. : ) Totally not something that was a need, but we have thoroughly enjoy it. Thanks, Dad. : )

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Nightstand

Now that the business if moving is behind us and we are enjoying a gorgeous week of weather for spring break, I am just itching to do some reading. But, alas, finding the time has been the issue of late! However, that doesn't mean that I don't have a to-read list percolating. :)

On my want-to read list right now is:
:: The Strong Willed Child by Dobson (A-hem.)
:: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - it's taking me way to long to finish this and not because it's not excellent!
:: The Moffats by Eleanor Estes - want to preread this for girls.
:: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan - I recently finished the Percy Jackson series and am still on the fence on these books. There's no denying that they are hard to put down but at what age would I let a child read it. (Probably not as early as a lot of kids do read them). I think these could be a fun addition to a study on Greek mythology for a middle schooler if discussed.
:: The Mysterious Benedict Society - I am leaning towards reading the first book in this series with N1 this summer. I can buy the whole series on my Kindle right now for only $9.99 which is a killer deal since I only have the first book. It's calling to me. :)

Well, that's enough to keep me busy for a while now if I can find me a chunk of time to read! Any recommendations that I should add to my list?

Linked up to Five Minutes for Books monthly Nightstand carnival!

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Weekends are For

Lots of this going on around here this weekend. N1 figured out how to ride her bike as a two-wheeler last weekend. Just hopped on the neighbor's and took off so off went the training wheels! At our old house the only place that the girls had to ride their bikes were in the backyard so I'm guessing the introduction of sidewalks, driveway and cul-de-sac has helped with stability so she could make the switch.


First time hanging out in the yard with the girls. I was amazed at how fast he could spin around on his tummy and creep himself over to get at the grass. Ai-yi-yi. Not really ready for him to be quite that mobile yet.


The first grass on our toes. He loved it and kept trying to reach it.



Riding the neighbor's Barbie Jeep out in the backyard / common area. These two were in some state of bliss wheeling around out there.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Cleaning a few pictures off my phone before we make a Saturday morning Walmart run.

Today is the first official day of our spring break and I am thrilled that we have no set plans looming ahead of us for the next week except for a much needed haircut for me. : ) I'm hoping to do some cleaning on the little girls' clothes and weed out a ton of stuff (the stuff that should have been cleaning out for some time, but I decided to just pack and move rather than sort pre-move). Excited to get that project done!

Anyway, today's agenda includes the aforementioned Walmart, some housecleaning that needs to be done, going by and taking a drink to T who is over working at our old house (prepping it for painting next week). He has been working a ton getting our old place fixed up since we moved out. Pulling up the carpet to get it replaced, patching a few things, and just generally working a lot of extra hours on top of work. I so appreciate him for all his hard work!

Saturday breakfast - pumpkin muffins by request. Also, I don't think I am yet tired of loading or unloading the dishwasher. I know it will wear off eventually, but after not having one since before the girls were born this is a luxury! : )


Also on today's agenda - a little planning and dreaming about next year's schooling. One of my favorite things. : )

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weeks 18 - 23

Layout heavy post. The latest pages for the boy's weekly album as I have snuck a moment here and there to catch it up. This digital layout system for his first year has been working really well for me. On the other hand, a couple little girls have asked why they have so few pages in their baby books. I may have a summer project on my hands. : )

All pages are uploaded in Flickr if you would like to look at them closer.

 18 weeks

All supplies from Crystal Wilkerson's Vintage Cupcake Valetine's Day collection
Template: Crystal Wilkerson's Rounded Corner Templates
Font: American Typewriter

19 weeks

Grey and yellow paper: Carina Gardiner's Daisy - little uniform
Cream paper - Crystal Wilkerson's Neutrals Pack
Graph paper & red circle - Crystal Wilkerson's Office Supplies
Template: Crystal Wilkerson's Rounded Corner Templates
Font: American Typewriter

20 weeks

Template: Crystal Wilkerson's rounded corner templates
From her new Spring/Summer 2011 collection:
-distressed solid (green and light brown)
-small polka dot paper
Elements: lion graphic from Me and My {BABY} Brother
Font: American Typewriter

21 Weeks

Template: Jessica Sprague
Papers and Graphics all from Echo Park's Little Boy collection
Font: American Typewriter


Template: Crystal Wilkerson's rounded corner templates
From her new Spring/Summer 2011 collection:
-distressed solid green
-small green polka dot paper
From Office Supplies collection: graph paper
Font: American Typewriter


Template: Crystal Wilkerson's rounded corner templates
From her new Spring/Summer 2011 collection:
-distressed solid red and brown
Font: American Typewriter

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I love the story of St. Patrick - the missionary who went to Ireland to tell them about Jesus using the simple things in nature that he found (the clover). We don't have any major plans for today, but I'm hoping to sneak in a few St. Patrick's day things:
  • reading a few good books
  • making (attempting) some Irish soda bread for dinner. Bread and I don't have a great history, but now that I have all this couner space in my kitchen, I'm determined to conquer it.
  • homemade Shamrock shakes are also on the agenda if we make it to the store for ice cream
Other than that, it's schooling as normal and hopefully a trip to the library. We haven't been in over a month (and returned most of our library books before the move to prevent them from getting lost) so we are well-overdue a visit!

PS. I was featured yesterday over at Monika's blog, i love it all, with my take on her gratitude album. Very fun.

PPS. We went on our first neighborhood walk yesterday. Love the sidewalks where little girls can ride their bikes and I can wheel the stroller. The boy loved the outing and first real ride sitting up like a big kid.


PPPS. A new favorite picture. We LOVE our toes.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Project Life

Still doing Project Life.

Mostly caught up although last week I had to catch up quite a bit from the move. Fancy that. : )

Still loving this project.

Some overall shots this time around instead of the picture by picture format. This is the week before the move:


Pictures below include a shot from a girl scout event with N1, packing, a new to me snack, and the official signing of the paperwork on the new house.


Included are some new (empty) house pics like first picnic in the new house (one in which B set off the security alarm and about scared us all to death as we didn't know how to turn it off), playing with some of the big mirrors in our school room, and a picture of N2 & Daddy at the church's Valentine's banquet.


This is the first week in the new house:


Fourth slot in the middle row you can see a picture that B drew that I scanned and printed with a little description of what the picture is.



Happy Project Life Tuesday. : )

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Tour

As requested ... a little photo tour of the new house! We are still getting used to it and you will see some pretty bare walls as we haven't decided where pictures are to go yet, but it's a start. (And, let me know if you have any questions or what a closer look at something ... I might do an up-close tour of the schoolroom if anyone is interested.) : )

When you come to our front door, you would see this - and there would most likely be a girl (or three) there to greet you:

Immediately to the left of the front door, as you head down the hallway is Travis' office. It's the only room in the house that has dark walls so it makes the room seem a little on the small side, but it is working for him and his gear.

He has three bookshelves in there with book, music equipment and all our computer network hardware. There are guitars hanging on the wall to the right (I guess I could have taken a picture of that). : )

Coming back out of his office and heading down the hall, you will pass a guest bathroom on the left and a hall closet on the right. Then you reach the kitchen:

Happy happy kitchen. : ) Love having all this counter space and when it's just me and the kids home during the day, I do all the girls' meals on the barstools at the counter. Love that. (Monika, note your poster hanging on the right in this picture!) At the bottom right of the picture you can see the corner of a small round table where you can eat as well. Here's another picture standing a little further back:

Now, turning around in this doorway, you see our dining room:

... which is pretty empty looking. : ) We actually eat most of our family meals in here because we can all fit around the table, and when my family has Sunday lunch together, this is where that happens. Through the doorway on the right, you come to the living room which is our catch-all room right now. : )

We don't have any furniture to go in here other than the piano and a few bookshelves, but we're going slowly on putting the house together. you can see all our pictures on the floor as we decide where they are going to go. Then we are back to the staircase and we've done a complete circle of the first floor.

There is one more room on the first floor on the other side of the kitchen and that's our family room. The TV is in here, and it's where we visit with company or family when they are over.

And that's the downstairs! When you go up to the top of the staircase, the first room to the right is the master bedroom.


We feel a little lost in there. : )

Master bath:


Now heading back out of the master and down the hall to the kids' rooms:

N1's room (and the eventual guest room when we have visitors). View from the doorway.


View from the bathroom door across the room:


Across the hall from N1 is Ethan's room:


Next door to him (which I didn't photograph) is the laundry room. I love that it's on the 2nd floor because when we are upstairs schooling and hanging out during the day, the laundry is right there and I'm not making a ton of trips up and down the stairs to switch it (or more likely forgetting about it!)

The little girls' room:


And lastly, across from the little girls' room is the school/play room. The view from the door:


The view from the other side of the room. I'm not sure what is up with the full length mirrors on the wall. It's a little odd catching a glimpse of yourself as you work and walk around the room, but it's definitely fun for playing. : )


Whew. : ) Hope I didn't overload anyone on pictures, but let me know if you have a question. : ) Off to switch that laundry I just mentioned and get some housework done while N1 is at her tutorial today!