Saturday, April 8, 2017
Definitely my favorite time of year! I love the blooming flowers, the budding leaves, the green grass, and most of all, the rising temperatures. (Although it’s been unseasonably warm here since January.)
My monkeys are enjoying the spring weather too. Ty, for one, has been taking advantage of the weather and doing a lot of fishing in the creek behind our house. He’s baited up several drop hooks, and the Tool Man helped him set out a trotline. Armed with a bucket of goldfish for bait, Ty’s hoping to catch the granddaddy of all catfish. (I’d just be happy with a mess of white perch.)
Although he has caught only a handful of catfish, one weighing in around 20 pounds, Ty has hooked quite a menagerie of other aquatic creatures. Not the least of which was this slimy critter – a fresh-water eel!
This was the first time the kids and I had seen an eel in person, and let me tell you, we were totally grossed out. It was the creepiest thing I had seen in quite a while for sure.
As Ty was posing for these pictures, that eel tied itself into a knot. How strange is that!
This eel is isn’t the only odd thing Ty has caught this spring. He’s also hooked 2 more eels, two turtles, one white perch, and two gar measuring around 4 feet long! And Ty wonders why I’m not a fan of swimming in the creek.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Hello everyone! Even though January I thought I would share some pictures I took of the monkeys on our first day of school waaaay back in September.
You know, we’ve been homeschooling for eight years, and this is the first year I’ve ever thought to take a first-day-of-school picture! I’m kind of disappointed in myself for missing out on the opportunity all these years. Oh well, no time like the present to start, right?
I was so excited about how good these pictures came out. Given, it’s hard for the monkeys to take bad pictures, but I thought these photos were extra cute!
This year we officially welcomed a new student to our school table. Tacy has been working on Pre-K 3 curriculum and is doing fantastic. Some of her favorite things to do are cutting and working in her sticker books. She would breeze through an entire workbook in one day if I would let her. Honestly, I don’t know why I hold her back. I guess I’m just trying to avoid having to buy new workbooks every other week. But like the Tool Man always says, what’s money to a hog? I think I’ll let her do as much as she wants from now on.
OK. Time to be real. This school year has been
one of the toughest ever THE TOUGHEST EVER! Babies have a way of complicating things, especially babies who don’t sleep. Besides beginning this school year about a month later than we normally do, we have been moving at a snail’s pace. Honestly, we’re about 9 weeks behind where I would like to be. Yikes! That sounds bad. But, in the grand scheme of things, are 9 weeks really that big of a deal? No!!!!!! So, I’ve determined not to stress about it.
Part of the challenge of school this year is that I’ve had a hard time working in fun activities. Unfortunately, when you’re running low on time and energy, it’s usually the fun stuff that gets cut first. Nevertheless, here are a few pictures from the one poetry tea time we’ve had this year. I made some old-fashioned tea cakes for our snack, and the kids substituted actual tea with chocolate milk and Coke. Lucy set our table and lit some candles for us. Then we all sat around the table and enjoyed our cookies and poetry selections.
Ty read us a poem he had written in his literature class.
Tacy even “read” a few poems out of one of my old nursery rhyme books.
And these two lazy girls spent the entire tea time snoozing on the couch.
Now that the Christmas holidays are behind us, we are back at the books again. It looks like Tib is finally going to string together some sleep-filled nights, so I’m hoping my energy and gusto will return for the second half of our school year. I do so want to give the monkeys the best school experience!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
When it comes to introducing a whole new person on my blog, I find it a little overwhelming. So much so that I’ve avoided doing it for the past 4 months. But today I decided I would bite the bullet and share some of my favorite pictures of our newest addition with y’all.
This July we were blessed to welcome yet another beautiful baby girl into our family. Wow! I never would have guessed that I’d ever be the mom of 3 wonderful little girls, not to mention one terrific boy!
Tabitha Grace arrived safe and sound, five days ahead of her due date, at a healthy 7 pounds 6 ounces.
Of course, the monkeys were thrilled to meet their new little sister.
No discussion about Tib would be complete without a nod to her thick, dark hair. I just love it! Unfortunately, the older she gets, the more hair she rubs off.
Now this. This is the sweet spot! See all those wrinkles under that little chin? That’s Mama’s favorite kissing spot. It’s so warm and soft and sweet.
Tib could not ask for two better sisters. Lucy and Tacy love her so much. Tib is just like a real, live baby doll to them, and they really are a big help taking care of her. The only problem is that there is only one of Tib and two of them, so there is some arguing and fussing over who gets to hold her sometimes.
I always enjoy making a hanger for our hospital door. This time the Tool Man help me by cutting out a wooden angel for Tib. I added a string of battery powered lights for an extra special touch.
No one is prouder of Miss Tib than her daddy. I think I have a picture of the Tool Man with all of our babies in this pose. I really should print them out and have them framed all together.
I have hundreds more photos and stories of little Tib to share, but to avoid becoming totally overwhelmed I’ll stop here. I just recently went through older posts here on the blog and was inspired to start utilizing my camera more and blogging more. Hopefully I will be able to do so. Life is quite crazy with four monkeys running around, and blogging takes a backseat to household chores and school. But I am going to try, try, try to post more often.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
It’s hard for me to believe that my not-so-little girl turned 3 this October. This year we celebrated Tacy’s birthday at the local pumpkin patch.
We are so lucky to have this pumpkin patch nearby. It is such a fun place to visit each autumn. Since the older monkeys’ birthdays fall in the the spring and summer, we have never had the chance to host a party here, but Tacy’s October birthday is just right for a party in the patch.
I especially love that I didn’t have the task of cleaning house before the party! Instead I was able to focus on preparing a few snacks and some pink pumpkin decorations. I served apple slices with a creamy, caramel dip and some “Harvest Hash” made of various cereals, pretzels, candy corn, and Reese’s Pieces.
As a special keepsake for Tacy, I had the party guests leave thumbprint pumpkins on a canvas that I painted to look like a pumpkin patch.
This pumpkin patch was loaded with activities for the kids to enjoy. There were hayrides and corn mazes and everything in between!
Tacy’s favorite thing to play on was the horse swings. She rode this little horse quite a while.
Tacy also had fun climbing and swinging in the hay barn.
The kids were having so much fun playing that it was difficult to round everyone up for cake and presents.
I know you were probably expecting great things from me as far as cake decorating goes, but we had been in Canton, Texas the 2 days prior to Tacy’s party, so I didn’t have time to decorate a fancy cake. Tacy didn’t seem to mind, though. Her only request was that the cake was pink on the inside.
Tacy received several cute books this year. She also got a Barbie, art supplies, Kinetic Sand, a guitar, a toy puppy, a doll, a toy keyboard, Legos, and some clothes.
She even got a how-to book on babysitting grandpas.
While we were in Canton, I picked up matching T-shirts for me and Tacy.
Lucy made a couple of popsicle stick dolls and wrote the sweetest birthday note for Tacy. It almost made me cry.
Tacy really enjoyed getting to spend her birthday playing with cousins and friends.
Happy birthday, sweet Tacy Mae. We love you so much!
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Every three months or so, the Tool Man leads the monkeys to our closet to record their heights. It’s always a competition to see which monkey grew the most.
Even though I lovingly refer to Lucy as the runt of the litter (she’s a tiny, skinny mini) she really has shot up over the last year. When I see pictures of her from last year I am amazed at how much she has changed.
You might think from this picture that the monkeys were about to go for a swim, but not so. Tacy just prefers to wear bathing suits instead of real clothes.
Tacy was proud to show us that she had grown nearly 3 inches. Wow! She’s getting so big. Definitely not a baby anymore :(
And then there’s this big, ol’ boy. Ty is always comparing his height to the Tool Man. He still has about 5-6 inches to grow before catching his dad, but that doesn’t stop him from checking nearly every day! While he may have to grow a little more vertically before reaching his dad’s height, Ty has caught the Tool Man in shoe size. Ty is now wearing a size 8 1/2 in men’s shoes, and he is also shopping for clothes in the men’s department. Boy, that makes me feel old!
Like Tacy, Ty had also shot up three inches since his last measurement. His appetite certainly reflects his growth. He eats from the time he wakes until the time he goes to bed - a proverbial bottomless pit. Just recently Ty has discovered Little Debbie Nutty Bars and Oatmeal Cream Pies. He can easily plow through a box of each (plus a couple gallons of milk) in a week. That makes for a wicked grocery bill.
As it turns out, Tacy, Lucy, and Ty measured almost exactly three, four, and five feet respectively. A little stair-step of monkeys! Pretty soon baby Tib will be joining the measuring fun. “Who is Tib?” you ask. Oh, she’s just another monkey I had during my blogging break. Lol. I will introduce y’all to her soon, I promise.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Hello, y’all. Today I want to share some photos from Lucy’s 7th birthday party. This year we celebrated Lucy’s birthday a couple of weeks early because I was expecting a baby the week of her actual birthday.
Months ago Lucy decided she wanted an All-American party. That’s a terrific theme for someone whose birthday is in July. There is no shortage of red, white, and blue party supplies at that time of year.
Since I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, I recruited some help prepping for the party. Ty and Lucy were in charge of making white chocolate dipped pretzels. As you can see, Lucy couldn’t resist doing a little taste test of her work.
I made myself keep the food and decor pretty simple for this party, but I did want to give Lucy an awesome cake. It’s been quite a while (years) since I’ve done any serious cake decorating. It was nice to know that I still had it in me!
Like I mentioned earlier, I kept the decorating pretty simple – red and white table cloths, a few streamers, and some stars scattered around the tables were just about it.
Y’all know nothing says America like a hot dog feast! Along with the hot dogs, the party guests enjoyed corn on the cob, strawberries, chips, and dips.
In addition to inviting her friends to the party, Lucy asked the girls to bring along their favorite dolls. Lucy and I made some patriotic, doll-sized tutus and hats as party favors for the girls. During the party, the girls also made personalized necklaces for their dolls.
While shopping around for party decorations, I stumbled across a package of cupcake sparklers. Score! We stuck a sparkler in the top of Lucy’s cake while we sang Happy Birthday to her. It was awesome!
A few gifts Lucy received for her birthday were manicure supplies, Bath & Body Works products, a jumbo pack of gel pens with a Scripture coloring book, doll clothes and accessories, a pair of sandals, and a pretty little gray kitten. We adopted the kitten from a local shelter, and he has turned out to be the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen. Lucy named him Whiskers.
Happy birthday, sweet girl. We sure do love you!