Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Hidden Gem

Recently the Tool Man has had to assume an extra role at work.  He’s no longer responsible for just his office management work, but now he’s also out in the field managing a project. It’s no fun having him working so much, but we are thankful for the work.  While he’s away, the Lord has blessed him with a quiet, little gem of a place to stay.  It’s a small state park, not 5 miles from his jobsite. And it’s the perfect place for me and the monkeys to hang out when we tag along with Dad sometimes!

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The park is built around a manmade lake.  There’s a small, sandy beach with a swimming area, picnic tables, gazebos, and a playground.  Wide, concrete walkways and a huge, covered pavilion provide the perfect place for the monkeys to ride bikes and scooters.

So far, we’ve joined the Tool Man on a couple of trips, and we’ve stayed in one of the park’s fully furnished cabins.  Tiny, but sufficient, the two-room cabin is the just the place for us to do our school work while dad’s at work.

I’m not gonna lie, though.  That cozy, two-room cabin tends to get smaller and smaller as the day goes on.  Usually by the time the Tool Man gets home from work in the evening, I am more than ready for Dad to take over the parental duties. 

Here are some pictures I took a few weeks ago as we explored the park’s amenities.

Down by the water I got some cute shots of my sweet girl.

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While Lucy was posing, Ty was playing.  He and his dad had a blast on the playground equipment.  Their favorite was the spring-loaded see-saws.

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They pretended they were bull riding and couldn’t use their hands.

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And you know the monkeys had to climb the monkey bars!

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Look, Lucy! A grasshopper.

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Daddy wouldn’t let Lucy ride hands-free on the “bull”, so she found this springy chair instead.

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After the kids worked off some energy, we made the trek back up the hill to our little cabin in the woods.

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Ty was eager to run all the way up the stairs…

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…but Lucy decided she needed a lift.

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I’ll leave y’all with my favorite picture – my monkeys spending some quality time with their daddy.

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(Apparently Ty did not want to get his shorts wet.  Lol.)


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Down on the Farm

Wow!  It’s been quite a while since I last posted something here - a blogging break that I never intended to take.  It seems like I’ve hardly had time to breathe over the past several months.  I blame most of that on cakes! You see, I used to do things like rest and blog on the weekends, but that happens to be the time when most cakes are due.  So now most of my Fridays and Saturdays are spent decorating and delivering cakes instead of blogging. (Sad face.)

Ah well, more about that another day.  Today I come to share photos from Lucy’s recent trip to the pumpkin patch/Christmas tree farm.  Her preschool took a little field trip last week, and Ty and I were able to join the fun.

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What a gorgeous day for a field trip – simply the perfect fall weather!  Everyone enjoyed a brief hayride around the farm, a stroll through the corn maze, and an opportunity to pick a few pumpkins.  Then the kids got some free time to play around on the many activities provided by the farm – rope swings, corn piles, haystacks, slides, petting zoo, tractor tires, and a water pump game to name a few.

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By far, my kids’ favorite activity was this horse swing.  I got dizzy just watching them twist and spin round and round and round!

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Two cute little blondies in a school bus.  I don’t know what was so interesting about the ground, but these two did not want to look up for a picture.

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Who knew pumping water could be so much fun!

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Ok. So I really hope it’s not another 3 months before y’all hear from me again.  Hopefully with the holidays coming up there will be plenty of photo opportunities and lots of fun stuff for me to share with you over the next few weeks.  Can y’all believe it?  Christmas is almost here!  I can hardly wait!


Monday, September 10, 2012

First Day of Pre-K

This year the Tool Man and I made the decision to send Lucy to pre-school.  She started this past Wednesday and will be going five days a week for three hours each day.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to warm her up to the idea of going to school.  And for the longest time, it wasn’t working.  Whenever we talked about it, she always asked me if I was going to go to school with her. 

Thankfully, Lucy had a change of attitude about two days before school started.  I don’t know what happened to change her mind, but I’m glad it did!  The night before school started, there was a meet and greet gathering for the new students to meet their teacher and get familiar with the new environment.  Lucy was awfully shy going into the classroom, but I took her over to her chair, and when she saw a new can of play-dough at her seat, she brightened up.

Before going to bed that night, I helped Lucy color a self-portrait that her teacher had sent home with her.  Lucy had the best time coloring this simple little picture.  We even drew Lucy’s new school dress on the picture.   Lucy insisted on adding earrings to her portrait too.

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Once she finished her picture, Lucy kept telling us that her teacher was going to love it…  I’m sure she did!

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Lucy had to get up bright and early for her first day of school.  She’s used to sleeping ‘til 9:00 every morning, so 7:30 is way early for her.  Thankfully, she was a good sport about it.  I think she was just too excited about school to be grumpy this morning.

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This is a simple pillowcase dress I whipped up for Lucy’s first day of school.  I finally carved out a few minutes to get some sewing done.

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Big brother is not used to getting up so early either.  Ahhh…the joys of homeschool!

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Lucy walked right into her classroom just as pretty as you please.  I helped Lucy find her chair again, and once she spotted the play-dough she immediately got to work.  It sure made things a whole lot easier on me knowing that she wasn’t upset about going to school.

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When I picked her up at lunch, Lucy was full of information.  She didn’t talk much about what she did or learned during school.  She mostly talked about the red and green apples - green being the good apple, and red being the bad one.  Lucy was more than eager to tell me that she stayed on green, and she was even more eager to tell me who got on red!  (That’s right, I know who all the bad kids are!  Ha ha!)  Then she proceeded to tell me that all of the boys had to go to time out! Lucy is all about staying on that green apple!  I hope she keeps that attitude up.  I may even have to hang an apple or two on the wall at home!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome to Third Grade

Can you believe we are nearing the end of August? You know what that means.


Ty started 3rd grade here at Arrow Academy last week.  Wow!  Third grade!  That’s hard for me to believe.  So far it’s been smooth sailing.  Both teacher and student have had positive attitudes, and we have enjoyed getting back into the swing of things.

Once again, I am using the A Beka curriculum with Ty.  (More on why I chose this here)

For the most party, Ty’s lessons have been review of previously covered material:

In Arithmetic:
He’s working on addition and subtraction to the 1,000’s place with carrying and borrowing; Multiplication – the 0’s, 1’s, & 2’s tables; Labeling the parts of arithmetic problems (addends, sums, minuends, products, etc.); telling time to the nearest 5 minutes; linear measurements; and story problems.

In Language:
Definition of a sentence; Types of sentences – declarative, interrogative, exclamatory; Capitalization and Punctuation.

In Science:
The nervous system and the Senses – he’s learning the parts of the eyes and ears this week.

Review of all cursive letters – capital and lower case.  This year he’s learning to write 3/4 space.  I wondered how he was going to do with having to write so small, but I think it’s actually a bit easier for him.

One new thing we are doing this year is a calendar notebook containing materials that I downloaded from one of my favorite homeschooling websites.  Each morning Ty takes his notebook and completes calendar-related worksheets that reinforce the days of the week, months of the year, math facts, place value, color and shape words, sight words, and the fifty states – map, abbreviations, and capitals.  The last activity in his notebook is a daily doodle – it’s just a fun, random, step-by-step drawing for him to do.  Last week he drew Dr. Seuss characters.

I also ordered a supplemental art book along with his regular curriculum this year.  The book includes about 5 simple art projects to complete each month.  Today, Ty did his first art project – Pinprick Art.  Lucy joined in the fun too.  She couldn’t wait to do the “part roject,” as she called it.

First Ty had to draw a simple picture on colored paper.  He chose Angry Birds as his subject matter of course.

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Next, he had to use a push pin to poke holes all along his line drawing.

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Lucy watched big brother do it, then she gave it a try.

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She drew a “fish” and went to work poking holes.  Lucy was quite adroit at using the push pins.

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These two monkeys had a blast with this simple little project.  Ty even confessed that art was his favorite subject in school… aside from recess, of course.  They were so proud of the finished products.  They could hardly wait for Daddy to get home so they could show off their work.

Here’s the final result…

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Pretty neat! Ty squealed with delight when he saw the light shining through.  He’s easily amused.

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You may have noticed the star in the center of Ty’s forehead.  He got that for making a 100 on his first trial spelling test.  All eighteen words correct.  Way to go, Ty!  Who knew that a sticker on the forehead would be such an incentive for him.  It’s amazing the work I can get outta that boy if there’s a possibility of getting a sticker on his head!  Ha ha.  Wished I had thought of this a couple of years ago.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Party for a Pretty Princess

IMG_5973 (2) (533x800)Today I wanted to share a few pictures from Lucy’s third birthday party.  I admit, it’s getting increasingly difficult for me to carve out the time and muster up the energy to plan and prepare for birthday parties.  But I enjoy the whole creative process far too much to settle for cake and ice cream at everyone’s favorite pizza joint.

After a little deliberation this year, Lucy decided that she wanted a princess party.  And being the girly girl that she is, Lucy requested all things pink!  I was tickled (pink) with her choice, because I knew just how I wanted to decorate – lacey, ruffly, and a little bit shabby.  And not a Disney princess in sight! (Not that I have anything against Cinderella and her cohorts, I just don’t prefer to have their likenesses on my plates and napkins.)

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Most of the decorations were items that I already owned.  I just went through the house one day “shopping” for feminine looking items.

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One of my all-time favorite party decoration is tissue paper flowers.  You can make such a big impact with these things for practically pennies.  After the party, I plan to use these in Lucy’s room.

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I spruced up these simple glass candle holders with a strip of burlap, a scrap of lace trim, and an old button.  Easy, peasy.

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For some reason, Lucy decided that she had to hand Uncle Jude each gift as soon as she opened it.

Every. Single. Gift.

Straight to Uncle Jude.

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Thanks, Uncle Jude.  You did a great job!

Daddy had to help Lucy try out her dance-with-me doll…

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Time for cake!  Of course, Lucy loved it because it was pink.

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As soon as we set the cake down in front of her, Lucy went straight for the crown.  Yep, that’s my hand reaching in to rescue the crown.  We still had pictures to take!

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Crazy brother!  That Ty is such a little joker, just like his dad.

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Make a wish, sweet girl.

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Last year I bought Lucy these great Do-a-Dot paints for birthday.  This year I gave her some Do-a-Dot paint books.  She had a blast painting in the princess book. It’s amazing to see how much Lucy’s fine motor skills have progressed over the past year.  She’s growing and learning so fast.  In only a couple of weeks, Lucy will be starting PreK at our church.  She’s a little apprehensive of it now, but I know she will enjoy it once she gets used to it.

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Obviously, daddy’s don’t know much about wearing tutus.

Thanks for stopping by our party!