Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cold Weather Days on the Homefront

Good chilly morning to ya!
This weather has been invigorating for the residents of this house. The dogs are happily running around outside with the chickens, the kids are dressed in warm clothes and playing in front of cold windows, and eager to finish school so that they could paint. Somehow they were under the impression that cold weather equals painting, so they were set on it. It's actually a great motivator for finishing school, and cleaning up the toys.
People ask how homeschooling works with three small children. On our typical days, I usually start school with Bella, and let the two little ones play. While Bella is doing her seatwork (which is like homework), I do Grady's teaching. Lilly either keeps playing, or sits at a desk and colors, and pretends to do her own school. It works well for us. 


After her cursive work, she wanted to make a card for her friend Chloe. It might be a ploy to get out of school work for a few minutes, but I love that she so often thinks of her friends.

That's funny. I thought Goliath lost his head...

This is my favorite. It's a picture of Ms Kay and Bella. Look at their hair! I love it!

Our friend Ms. Kay came over for dinner and to hang out for a little while. The kids and Kay played games, while I got dinner ready. And I must say, one of the most helpful things a friend can do, is to have fun with my kids while I am working to get stuff done. It just allows me to move so much faster and more efficiently. Thanks so much, Ms. Kay! (And on a side note, dinner was fully cooked this time).

After dinner, we were sitting at the kitchen table, when I looked up and noticed a perfectly cool, clear sky, bringing a beautiful sunset. "Hurry, let's go watch the sunset! " I exclaimed. And we rushed to gather three reluctant kids and two dogs into the car, a drive down to the river.

When we got to the river, we couldn't see the sun. We thought we'd missed it, until we noticed that off in the distance, behind the trees we could see what looked to be the last of the sunset. We put the petal to the metal and chased that sunset... and missed it. As we disappointingly turned around and pulled onto the highway to return home, behold... a most wonderful harvest moon. We had been chasing what we thought would be great, when the most beautiful sight was right behind us. And we "oooh"ed and "ahhh"ed all the way home.

Monday, October 29, 2012


This weekend Bryan and I went to a parents only, potluck dinner for Bella's Classical Conversations school. And it was great! There was tons of delicious foods and desserts. We enjoyed the company of friends, old and new, and chatted and laughed around the fire pit. The guys played games, and the girls held babies and talked about mama stuff. I wanna go back!
My parents came over to visit and watch the kids while we were off enjoying our grown up time. We love them! My dad wrestled, and mom told stories. They fed them, made homemade popcorn, bathed and jammied them, and did the dishes. Please come back soon!
Every Sunday night, for the past four weeks, we have been meeting with friends for a picnic at the park. We either pack a lunch, or pick up pizzas, or stop at the grocery store for chicken wings (well, not me, but others- yuck!). Anyway, just like Tuesday night -burger night, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite traditions.

They are warming their hands over their fire in the picture below. A little cold weather in Florida makes a big impact on these warm weather babies!

Oh, how I love these two beautiful friends!

And this is why you should not poop in your pants at the park: You just might have to wear your brothers bathing suit, because it's all that your unprepared mother could find in the trunk. Word.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Two nights ago, we were home bound while Hurricane Sandy went past. It was windy and rainy, which is nothing new here in Florida, but we were stuck inside for a few hours that night. In contrast to our normal rain parties, we rocked a hurricane party (which was really not all that different at all, except the kids think it is extra special, because it has a different name). We played bingo, watched a movie, snuggled in blankets, lit candles, and ran outside in the drizzle every now and then to "check the rain".

And when it came time for baths, I surprised the kids with something special. I'm sure I got this idea from someone else, although I can't credit anyone, because I can't remember who... So if it was you, thanks for the great idea!

The dollar spot at Target frequently sells glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces for a buck. I've had a few tubes of them hanging around, so I busted them out for a special hurricane party bathtime surprise. This was SO fun! Turn off all of the lights, and light 'em up! Good times.

And tonight we are praying for our friends and family in the north. We completely understand the anxious feelings that go with looking out the windows, watching trees break in the wind, and seeing backyard toys go flying over the fence and across the yard. We know what it's like to stock up on water and flashlights, to hunker down in the bathroom, and listen to every word the newsman on the radio has to say. What we don't know, is how that looks, mixed with snow and very cold temperatures. And so I am praying hard tonight for all of my northern friends and family that are braving it out.

In other news, we are full speed ahead with Operation Christmas Child. Thank you to those of you that have contributed boxes, or items, or moola. It is all so very appreciated, and we will be accepting all of those things (with a smile) anytime until Sunday, November 11th.

Here's another great OCC video, from Haiti.

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


This has been a busy week. And sometimes busy is not good. Sometimes being "too busy" is destructive to relationships, or disappointing to children that want their parents attention, or hurtful to ourselves when we don't make enough time to sit down and breathe and relax a little and find something to be thankful for.
This kind of busy, the busy we've had the past few days, has not been that. This has been good busy, where every night before bed, we review the upcoming events of the next few days, and are brimming with excitement.
We have been entertaining, and planning, and playing with friends. And combined with all of the other normal things that fill our days, like school, singing and dancing around the house, playing with chickens, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and just generalized life, we've been loving this kind of busy.
Our favorite English friends came over for dinner this week. Each time they come, Mr. Keith plays the piano, and we all sing along. The kids sit on the bench beside him, and gaze up at him, so happy with his presence.
And Ms. Julie brings gifts, and while we try to teach the kids that gifts are not more important than enjoying the folks that bring the gifts, they sure do love getting some sweets!

And one of my favorite moments from the evening... (well, it wasn't when everyone was sitting down at the table and I cut the meatloaf, only to discover that it wasn't done, and then had to cook it the rest of the way in the microwave while everyone sat there waiting...sigh).

My favorite moment was when after dinner, my sweet friend Kay and Bryan and I sat around the table playing "remember when", while her parents got up from the table to play with my children. It would have been so easy for them to just sit (and stay where it was safe), but they chose to go and spend time playing and reading with my children. And that makes me smile.

Another thing that makes me smile, is the way my kids enjoy playing with them. They wrestle and play monster, and try to cover poor Mr. Keith in blankets. And after they left, the kids asked when they will come back again.

Yesterday we met at the park with some friends. One of my favorite things about homeschooling, is the ability to spend our days doing what we want, and being together. We do spend time doing school every weekday, but we chose it when it fits into our schedule. And it works for us. And I love it this way.




And in other news... we are planning a birthday party for a certain 4 year old! We've got three weeks to go, and we can.not.wait!!

 More to come tomorrow. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to sit and read my little blog. You are appreciated!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Patchin'

Today we finally made it to the pumpkin patch. I have been wanting to go since the first sign of Fall. My kids, not so much. In fact, they threw little mini fits this morning, saying (in whiny little voices) "I don't want to go to the pumpkin patch, I don't like the pumpkin patch" and many other like sounding phrases. None-the-less, I bribed them with chocolate for good smiles, and things changed a little...

As soon as we walked in, and they saw all of those pumpkins, the smiling came easy. I love this picture below.



We bought three mini pumpkins, and one pumpkin big enough to carve, and we were outta there. I have now fulfilled my motherly duty of "taking pictures of kids in a pumpkin patch", and I can go on with life.

In other news, Bella has gotten a hold of my post it notes, and they have been found all over the house.

Good to know.

She absolutely hates naked hiney on her bed, so immediately after his bath, Grady runs straight for her bed to jump on it, while she follows behind him, screeching. Tonight, he found this stuck to her bed...

She said it means "No bare hiney". Word.

And good news! If you're in the market for some deals, sister is having a yard sale. Many of my personal items have been priced to move.

Enjoy your day!