Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

Photo is SOOC

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom (Wordless Wednesday).

Monday, January 30, 2012

You Capture: Body parts

I found this post in my drafts folder.  This is something I put together nearly a year ago for a photography challenge before I went in a completely different direction (you can see that post here), and I'm glad I did--that's now one of my favorite posts.  But, since I was looking through my drafts folder, I thought I'd post this one since there are some pretty cute pictures in this post. 

That's my criteria:  pretty cute pictures.


This week's You Capture theme is body parts. (Um...yeah.) Now, I'm pretty sure there are going to be some shots of dogs

Buck the beagle, who is one of the greatest escape artists in the neighborhood.  He comes to visit our kids regularly.

and a cuddly little girl

Grace--age 4

giving instructions to her toy horse

and maybe even some fairy wings.

Grace--age 4


I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who has a photo of Gutsy the Flying Fox

juggling basketballs.

The talented guest of our Upward basketball awards ceremony.

Speaking of body parts, Gutsy didn't have a tail.

Check out other You Capture entries at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Charlotte: Discovery Place

During our weekend getaway to Charlotte, NC (November 2011), we went to Discovery Place, Charlotte's children's museum.  We went on a Monday, on the day we were heading back home, because we thought we could avoid crowds that way.

(We're homeschoolers.  As a general rule, homeschoolers will do practically anything to avoid crowds.  Fellow homeschoolers, am I right?)  

Well, guess what?  When we arrived, there were a bunch of middle school kids there on a field trip.  However, we were still able to take our time looking at various things that they weren't looking at...and then they left and we went back through the portions of the hands-on museum that were previously crowded.

I think Josiah (9) and Grace (5) could have stayed at this station for hours...pulleys!

There was also the bed of nails to try out...


(In the photo above, Grace has her duct tape creation sitting on her belly.   That's another station all of them could have stayed for hours!)

I forget the purpose of this exhibit, except it had something to do with the smoke and lights.  Josiah loved it. 

Grace liked the water table.  She was able to touch starfish and other creatures I've probably still never touched.  

She also looked at her duct tape creation with a fancy microscope.  (There were slides available to use with the microscope, but why look at those things when you can look at something pink and purple?)

There was a bear exhibit that apparently just begged for a little dramatic performance...

We walked through the small aquarium exhibit...

...which wasn't anywhere near as extensive as, say, the Georgia Aquarium or (our current favorite) the Tennessee Aquarium, but was still nicely done.

The rainforest exhibit...

The next photo was particularly impressive to me, since I took the photo while standing on the observation deck of the rainforest exhibit and this little blue frog was waaaaaaaaaaaay down below me on the floor of the exhibit...and he's in focus.

The only disappointment I can remember is the rope bridge in the rainforest exhibit, which was mentioned on the website and sounded like a big deal.

Well, this was it:

It took each kid maybe 5 seconds to cross it.

But I won't complain, because my 14 year old, who started off our visit with comments like "Can we go now?  Why did we come here?" ended up laughing,


sailing boats,

playing with his brother and sister at an elaborate, kid-powered pellet-moving machine,

and making a "Tips" jar out of duct tape (which he set out in front of the pellet-moving machine while he, Josiah, and Grace were doing the "work."  Unfortunately, they didn't get any tips.)

And, yes, he zipped across the little rope bridge at least once.

 Do you have any kid-friendly, budget-friendly places you would recommend to visit?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More of North Carolina: The Museum of the Waxhaws

Here are more photos from our trip to Charlotte, North Carolina (November 2011).

We went to the Museum of the Waxhaws while we were in the area.  I wish we could have explored more of the outdoor exhibits, but it was rainy and we weren't feeling that adventurous, seeing as we were still in our church clothes for the most part.

Robert (14) sitting in a replica of a one-room schoolhouse...with his iPod.  Josiah (9) was momentarily appreciative of the relative comfort we enjoy in our kitchen table chairs during school...momentarily.

Disclaimer:  This next pose was completely voluntary...

As was this pose...

Grace (5) with the teacher's switch

The railroad that passes through Waxhaw, N.C.

The Waxhaw water tower

Here's Robert looking contemplative (and very, very tall) in the hotel.  Seriously, we could just get a hotel room and all three kids would be perfectly happy.  Jason?  No.  Me?  Probably not  (although eating out would help).  But the kids?  Yes.  Perfectly happy!

Friday, January 27, 2012


We took a quick trip over to Charlotte, North Carolina...in November 2011.  Judging from my last few blog posts, I'm trying to catch up with the last several months.  Either that, or now I'm going with a Charlotte theme...the doll and the city.  :)

These are a few of the photos I took in downtown Charlotte on the way to Discovery Place, the children's museum.

Hopefully I'll post pictures of Discovery Place, too, and not just randomly refer to it here.

And, yes, we saw "Occupy Charlotte" on the way out of town. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The torch has been passed

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you've already heard this, but it's been a few months...

So bear with me. 

In October, we took the kids to a local church's Fall Festival, and Grace dressed as Laura Ingalls, wearing the dress and bonnet my mom sewed for me for my birthday when I was that size.  Grace brought along her baby Emily, and said Emily was Charlotte (Laura's rag doll she got for Christmas during the Little House in the Big Woods time).

In a moment of madness, perhaps, we took the kids to another Fall Festival the next evening.  Because, really, do these kids look like they need more candy?
Josiah (9) dressed as "Dr. Sam," a made-up persona who has a truly hideous bedside manner, and Grace (5) dressed as Laura Ingalls in the dress and bonnet my mother made for me long ago.
Grace was again dressed as Laura. She had her baby doll Emily again, too, only this time she said Emily was dressed as Rose. I questioned Grace, for Jason's benefit, and asked, "Who is Rose?" Grace answered, "Laura's daughter." I smiled at Jason, sighed, and said, "The torch has been passed." (I used to know way more than I know now about Laura Ingalls Wilder...used to, so, really, no need to question me.)
Robert was listening and, in his typical 14-year-old fashion, began his oh-so-common series of rhetorical questions. "What torch? There's a torch? Why didn't I know about the torch?" 
I love my 14 year old.  (If you're friends with me on Facebook, you've heard this already, too...several times.)

Robert (14) dressed as...well, a Georgia voter, according to him.  He said that next year he'll dress as the Tax Man and go around taking half of every kid's candy.
Well, even if there were a literal torch to be passed, I think Grace might insist that it be a princess' tiara instead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Yellow River Game Ranch

These photos are from our trip to the Yellow River Game Ranch that we took in November 2011.

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom (Wordless Wednesday).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Overheard: Puppy Love

Josiah (age 9)

It's no secret that there is an intense campaign going on around here for a puppy.  The kids want a puppy.  (OK, Josiah and Grace want a puppy.  Robert (age 14) excludes himself whenever he is lumped together with the younger kids in this discussion, but I still think he'd be perfectly happy if one appeared.)  Jason wants a puppy.  There are lots of conversations on a daily basis that involve the topic of puppies in one way or another, and most of them start off with "It would be great if we had a dog because..."  Here is a glimpse of some of these conversations.

Grace [age 5]:   Mom! It would be good to have a dog! It could be our new Swiffer! ...But it couldn't eat dust.

Can you guess what one of Grace's chores is?

Josiah:  We could name the dog "Thunder."

Me:  Or "Swiffer."

Jason:  Or "Invisible."

Josiah didn't especially appreciate Jason's name suggestion.


A favorite book of Josiah's is one that covers most dog breeds.  He was trying to discuss the merits of a particular breed with Grace.

Josiah:  Look at this one!  It's a French bulldog.

Grace:  No, Daddy would want an English bulldog.  That way, he would know what we're saying.


So, why do we not have a dog?  Why the need for the intense campaign for a puppy?  I'm allergic to dogs.  And since I'm 99% sure the kids would want this to be an inside dog, unlike our last dog,, I'm resistant to the idea.  Therefore, the intense pleading recently shifted to an intense search for a hypoallergenic breed that, hopefully, I would not be (as) allergic to.  One of the breeds mentioned was the Portuguese water dog (It turns out that President Obama's daughter has an allergy to dogs, too).  Josiah immediately latched onto this thought and rearranged his glow-in-the-dark stars on his bedroom wall to read 


 ...as in "Portuguese Water Dogs Rule." 

I would have taken a picture to share this with you, but it's not quite enough stars to make it make sense without an enthusiastic 9 year old there to explain it to you.

If you have any suggestions of which hypoallergenic dog breeds might be a good match for our family, just pass them along to Josiah.  He'll be glad to talk with you for hours on the subject.  

Hours.  Trust me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

November Sunset

November 2011--Photo is SOOC

November.  Seems like ages ago, doesn't it?  I miss the dramatic sunsets of that month.  I've looked at my photos, and there were several colorful shots in November.  Now we're in January, and if we get a colorful sunset...well, it seems we don't get colorful sunsets in January.


We still get some pretty cute monkeys in our trees, especially on the warmer days.

Josiah, age 9

Grace, age 5

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Look who's reading!

Grace, age five ("and a half," as she always adds), reading from a storybook Bible:

Grace has been our earliest successful reader--she's already about 3/4 of the way through the Alpha-Phonics book and is highly motivated to read.  She has been reading on her own a lot lately without any prompting, and found she could read the vast majority of the words in this storybook Bible. 

She has now decided to read "the whole entire Bible" to me.  (If you've ever heard Grace say "entire," it has most certainly had "whole" immediately before it...which is quite possibly like my usage of "vast majority.")

As you can see, she is very comfortable in front of the camera.  ;)  She would have kept reading the next story if I hadn't stopped her.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Melted Snowman

A couple of weeks ago, I suddenly took a blogging break for no other reason, really, than I was crocheting a dozen scarves and otherwise preparing for Christmas.  (I'm still crocheting scarves and the occasional hat, but the Christmas tree is packed away and the house is nearly back to normal...such as that is.)  

Anyway, about that same time, I saw this cute idea that my friend Kari had seen on Pinterest where you make a snowman on your refrigerator or other large white object.  I loved the idea, and then loved the idea of putting Josiah (9) in charge of it actually doing it.  He did a great job of cutting out and taping up the pieces to make a "snowman" on a hallway door...

and then it melted.  And I didn't even get a "before" photo.  So...here is our sad, melted snowman:

The "one raised/one lowered" eyebrows were Josiah's doing.  Our snowman would have been quite the character if it weren't for the cheap masking tape we have.   ;)

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for Mom (Wordless Wednesday).
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