Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Night Light

Grace (5 years old)
This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom (Wordless Wednesday), Energizer Bunnies' Mommy Reports  (Wordless Wednesday) and I Should be Folding Laundry (You Capture).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Grace (age 5) is doing very well with phonics and is about halfway through the Alpha-Phonics book I've used with each of the children.  She tries to read everything, whether it is on the refrigerator

or on Facebook.  

I don't have to wonder about her reading comprehension because she has a running commentary with everything she reads.  Here are some of the sentences she read today in Alpha-Phonics (in red) along with her comments and questions:

Dave had a date with Kate.  Is that a boy and a girl?  Are they married?  Maybe it was a friend date...or a playdate!

Jane paid ten cents [That's a dime!] at the gate.  Why did she have to pay to get in?  Did everyone have to pay ten cents?

If the train is late, Gail will take a bus.  Does the bus go to the same place?  Maybe she could walk the rest of the way.


And then the student becomes the teacher...

Grace decided to teach Josiah and me today.  One of her topics was Christmas.  She began by saying there were two parts to Christmas, and she would start with the second part and end with the first part because the first part was the most important.

So, she began talking about Christmas trees...

And then she talked about the most important part...


The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger."  (Luke 2:10-12 HCSB)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Country Roads

I have a LOT of fun taking pictures in the fall.  (OK, so it's more like year round...)  My kids have even stopped asking me, "Why are we stopping?  What are you doing?  Why are you taking a picture of that?"  They just sit and wait for me to finish taking pictures, and not a word is said. 

Well, not a word is said to me.  The younger two (9 and 5 years old) hardly ever stop talking. 

These are two of my photos from this week.  We had finished running errands and I went the long way home.  This road is just a couple of miles from our home, and looks peaceful and relaxing to me.

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom (Wordless Wednesday) and I Should be Folding Laundry (You Capture).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Peace is seeing a sunrise or a sunset and knowing Whom to thank. 


All photos are SOOC.

Fall Colors: Part Two

More photos--this time, they're all from my backyard. 

The moon rising in the late afternoon sky...

Berries on a tree just over our fence...

Beautiful fall colors all around...

 And a fiery sun setting through the trees.

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday photos.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Colors

 These are some photos I took last week on the way to our homeschool play date

 and before leaving the play date.

But this--this is my favorite shot.


Do you take lots of pictures of the leaves changing colors in the fall?

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom and My Little Drummer Boys for more Wordless Wednesday photos.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; 
where morning dawns, where evening fades, 
you call forth songs of joy. 

Grace (5) calls sunsets like these rainbow sunsets. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

My friend Elizabeth recently (OK, last month) awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thank you, Elizabeth! 

Hmmmm...Versatile Blogger.  I'll take that to mean that I blog about several different topics.  Which topics?  Good question!   I checked out my top categories, and this is what I found (with the photography-related categories combined):

Photography (292 posts) is the clear winner around this blog, with humor-through-children coming in next with the Kooky Talk (69 posts) and Overheard (59 posts) categories.  Giveaways (36 posts) are certainly fun and something I would like to do more of.  I never knew I blogged about Christmas (27 posts) so much.  My Works For Me Wednesday posts (19 posts) tend to be frugal ideas...

And that makes a wide variety of topics.

Part of accepting this award is to tell seven things about myself.  So, here goes... 

7 Random Things About Me:

  1. I eat dark chocolate every day.  Seems I've said this before, like here and here.  I think it's a good place to start any list.
  2. I have finally kicked my two decade long Diet Coke habit and now only drink unsweetened tea. 
  3. Blogging is cheap therapy.  Yes, I've said this before, too.  If I haven't blogged for a while, I'm not very focused on much of anything.  Sad, but true.  So, if you haven't seen a blog post from me in several days, you would be doing me a kindness to say, "Post something. ANYTHING." Really--because I am not thinking clearly and can't figure it out on my own.  ;)
  4. I have learned fairly recently that I like digging holes.  Wait--it's not as bizarre as it sounds. maybe it is.  But I'm preparing a garden spot for next year and I have found digging to be another form of therapy for me.  And that's a very good thing, seeing as we have really hard clay that must be dug thoroughly (read:  deeply) for anything to grow.   So far, I've dug two spots that are about 3x7 feet, with a depth of somewhere between the length of my shovel head (the first hole) and the length of my leg from the knee down (the second hole is deeper now that I have muscles). 
  5. I've also started composting, seeing as all that clay won't grow anything no matter how well it's dug, and composting is free.  Where am I putting the compost?  In the holes I've dug, of course--trench composting.  :) 
  6.  I may or may not be contemplating a very redneck expansion of my clothes line.  The "expansion" would involve turning the swing set so it is parallel to the back porch and running a new line from the (other) porch post to the (other) side of the swing set so both sides of the swing set would be used instead of just one like it is now.  Classy, I know.  And if I do this "expansion," I'll certainly take pictures of it, which will only add to the classiness.
  7.  I am perplexed as to why my younger two children (ages 9 and 5) are all of a sudden telling me rather nonsensical jokes and stories and then asking me if I "get it.", I don't.

Now, I am supposed to pass this award on to 15 (you've got to be kidding!)  a few other blogs. Check out these other versatile bloggers!  

Kari Apted (absolutely the most versatile blogger I know!)

Dawn at My Home Sweet Home 

Julie at From Inmates to Playdates 

Katie at A Southern Lady's Ramblings  (a new homeschool friend I just met) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

(Not so) Wordless Wednesday: Visiting

 We visited my aunt and uncle earlier this week and, since they live in the same neighborhood I grew up in, there is always a bit of nostalgia for me, 


with an odd mixture of the old and the new.




 For the kids, there is lots of dog-petting.  Forced dog-petting.

 Oh, I'm kidding!  But that's what it looks like, doesn't it?  In reality, it was a lot more like this:


Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday photos.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rainy days

 Ah...rainy days.  Where raindrops hang from the clothes line instead of the usual laundry

and you might see a rainbow in the sky

...or even two.
Double rainbow

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday: Magnets

Yes, magnets.

One day this week, while sitting with my 9 year old so that he would remain sitting at the table working diligently on his math assignment (ahem), I decided to make my refrigerator look a little better.

I started with making a new homemade "dry erase" surface to record leftovers, kitchen projects that need to be completed, etc.   (Here is my old one mentioned in a previous blog post.)  I found prettier paper than I had been using and covered it with some laminating paper my aunt had given us years ago.  This time, I wrote not only the days of the week along the side, but also a space to record the time I started the crock pot before I laminated the paper; the rest is erasable. I also now have prettier magnets because...

My next project was to cover some of those advertising magnets you receive from businesses.  I started with covering one magnet that I've been setting my magnetic kitchen timer on.  The refrigerator surface was getting scuffed from the constant movement of the timer (Does anyone else have kids with a fascination with timing everything?) and I had placed one of those ad magnets behind it...but it wasn't pretty.  Now, with some paper and a little glue, it is.

 Then I got a little carried away with other advertising magnets and smaller magnets...

Grace (5) was so impressed with my work that she said it looked like a company had made them.  ;)


This is something we don't use anymore, but it saved a lot of headaches and arguments for us a few years ago when we first began allowing Robert to "roam the neighborhood" on his own to visit his friends.  After he had permission to go to a friend's house and we had told him what time to return, he would write the information on a piece of paper that was held by this magnet (under "GOING TO:" and "BACK AT:" at the base of the magnet).  This was a simple solution to keep him accountable--and there was no discussion of "But I thought you said..." because he wrote it himself, and he typically wrote the time on his hand right then since he already had a pen handy.  (This was another advertising magnet that I had covered years ago.)

What works for you?

Wordless Wednesday: Baby faces

Grace (5) and her baby doll Bella sleeping

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday photos.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

 The prettiest little monkey I've ever seen...

Grace, age 5


Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday photos.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How I Lost My Imaginary Friend

"Imaginary friend" is the term Jason uses to describe people I know online through blogging.

Two weeks ago, Josiah, Grace, and I drove to meet Kathleen and her family for the first time when she was visiting family in a nearby city. I was very excited and a little nervous to meet Kathleen; Josiah spent time speculating whether or not we would actually recognize each other.  (We did.)  We met at Chick-fil-A since rain was in the forecast, and as I spotted Kathleen parking and everyone getting out of their van, it was a little surreal...I told her it was as though photos from her blog were coming to life in the parking lot.  We all enjoyed our lunch together and, since it wasn't raining after all, we decided to head over to a local zoo as we had originally planned.

The kids paused briefly for photographs

Josiah, Jacob, Audrey, and Grace
before they began racing through the zoo together. At one point, Grace came running back to tell me, so excitedly, "Feline is here!  Feline is here!"

Who is Feline?  Feline is the deer Grace becomes when she is playing the Baby Deer Game.  While she rarely crawls under a pillow to become the baby deer who has lost her mother, she still occasionally does the Baby Deer Dance. 

So, yes, I had to explain to Kathleen why Grace was so very excited to see a deer in a zoo. 

We saw a bald eagle

and he saw me when Kathleen made some noise to get him to look her way! Yikes.  What a look.


We saw a few bears

At the bear exhibit
and some really cute owls.

Audrey and Josiah

We left the zoo area and headed over to the playground.  I find it hilarious that Kathleen and I both got similar shots here


and here 


as we walked towards the pond.  (I had stopped off at our van to get Josiah's water bottle and as well as some leftover fries to feed the geese and ducks.  Everyone else went on down the trail, so Kathleen and I walked these parts separately.)


 We spent a little time feeding the geese and ducks the leftover fries


and then some grease from the fries got on my camera lens and made the rest of my photos a little blurry.  :(

The kids had fun playing together.  The girls played "house" and the boys played games of friendly but sometimes, well, painful competition. Kathleen and I chatted in the way that moms with six children around them chat.  (It would have been seven except Robert stayed with Jason that day.)

The kids rather reluctantly posed for a group shot before we said our goodbyes.

And you know what happened?  Somewhere along the way--really, early on during our visit--I lost my imaginary friend

Kathleen and me

...and found a real friend. 

I love how it wasn't awkward when we first met.  We began talking like we'd known each other for a while--which, of course, we had, just online.  I love how our kids got along so well.  I love how Grace wants to mail Audrey some of her books as soon as she got home--just because--and how Josiah has asked when he can see Michael and Jacob again. 

I'm hoping it's pretty soon, because I'm looking forward to seeing Kathleen again, too.  I have a few hundred questions to ask her now that I'm not a bit nervous.  ;)

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