Tuesday, December 17, 2013


This post is linked to 5 Minutes for MomIn the Moment with Sarah Halstead, and Teresa at NanaHood for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

The scavenger hunt themes for this week were

  • The Weather Today
  • R is for...
  • Green
  • Joy
  • Drink

The weather today is cold [relatively speaking] and clear

which is a welcome change from the weather we had most of last week...


A leaf with frost on it that Grace found for me


and generally dreary-looking.

R is for...reading, of course!

Josiah (11) and Grace (7) reading on our new sofa

Josiah and Grace reading in the dark in the van

Here is Grace peeking around the green Christmas tree before a skit during this morning's worship service.  I may be a little biased, but she was the prettiest of the "wise men."  

Joy has much less to do with this

No, this is not my house.

or this

Yes, this is in my house...from December 2010.

and everything to do with this.

For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
    over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
    and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
    beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will do all this. 

I don't have a photo for drink, so why not another sky shot?  This was on Friday at our homeschool group meeting.  I spotted a sun dog in the sky as we were packing up to leave.

 Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WFMW: Sorting (Some) Laundry

I have two boys, and although they are ages 16 and 11, they wear the same size of socks as my husband and, without careful inspection (looking at the size on the tag) pretty much the same size of underwear, too.  Who wants to look at each of the tags?!?  Not me...especially now that it requires using my reading glasses...so this is what I do.

I used a Sharpie laundry marker to make a couple of dots on my oldest son's underwear inside the waistband.  I accidentally put two dots on the very first pair (I think I thought I was holding a smaller size...I really meant to have only one dot in his, but I messed up) so all of his underwear have two dots.  I put three dots on my youngest son's underwear.  When my oldest son outgrows his, I just add a dot and they are passed down to my youngest son.

Socks are a little easier to sort for my guys.  One wears only solid colored athletic socks (we won't comment on why...or who...), so his are easy to sort out from the pile of laundry.  My husband and other son, however, wear the exact same kinds of athletic socks.  I put one dot on the underside of the toes of my son's socks (both inside and outside, because I don't turn socks the "right" way as I fold) so I can easily tell which ones are his.

Really, there's no rhyme or reason to the number of dots on articles of clothing around here.  Maybe later...but not now.  

(Alternatively, I've heard of a couple of families who dump all the guys' (athletic) socks in one centrally located drawer/box for everyone to use.  This wouldn't work for our Mr. Only-Solid-Colors...or my husband, since there is also a young Mr. Looks-Like-He-Runs-Through-Mud-Without-Shoes in the mix.)
When life gets really hectic, I put each person's socks, unsorted, in a pile and they can either match them or dump them "as is" in the sock drawer.  Also, I usually buy the same kinds of socks over and over again (and we usually stick to only white socks), so when one sock gets a hole in it or goes missing, it's no big deal; there will be a match for it soon enough.  

And that works for me!   What works for you?  Share a tip of any kind or link to your blog post in the comments, and I'll check it out!   Click over to We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

The view from my backyard...

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for MomIn the Moment with Sarah Halstead, and Teresa at NanaHood for Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

The photography prompts for this week's scavenger hunt were:

  1. Where I stood
  2. Silver
  3. Tiny
  4. In the cupboard (which I skipped entirely)
  5. Shadows
From where I stood in the kitchen earlier this week, I looked out our window to see the last remaining bit of color on our trees in the front yard.  The window was open because of much warmer temperatures that we had for a few days.

A friend braved the rain to take us both to our church's "Secret Sister" party one night.  The raindrops on the windshield looked like gold and silver droplets with the house and Christmas lights behind them.  (Yes, I know it's a stretch.)

Saturday was the Christmas parade in the square.  I have a confession to make:  in the 14 years we have lived here, this was the first time we ever made it to the Christmas parade.  Most  years we planned to go but something came up (other plans or obligations, illness, etc.) and some years it just never made it on our radar.  We went this year, and it was wonderful!

There was a (relatively) tiny and impressive replica of the clock tower and court house as one of the floats.

And this is the real thing:

The clock tower is enveloped in shadows in the next shot.

But these two shot, from my archives and from a time when Grace was 6, are my favorite shadow photos.

June 2012

October 2012

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Venus

 The speck in the upper left corner of the photo is Venus...

Another shot, zooming in, which completely changed the look of the sky:

This post is linked to 5 Minutes for MomIn the Moment with Sarah Halstead, and Teresa at NanaHood for Wordless Wednesday.

WFMW: Homemade Bingo Games for Learning

Today I made a Bingo game for my kids to help them memorize the most common prepositions (which is how Easy Grammar Plus, a multi-grade level grammar curriculum we recently began using, starts out).  My oldest two (11th and 6th grades) are the ones who will need to memorize the prepositions right now, but I figured it wouldn't hurt for my youngest (2nd grade) to play along, too.  (The challenge will be getting my 11th grade son to play the game with us...but if he does, he will learn the most common prepositions the easiest way.)  

I looked online and found a list of prepositions that matched the list that Easy Grammar uses, and it already had each word in small blocks...perfect for the calling cards for a Bingo game.  I used Microsoft Publisher to create very simple Bingo cards with randomly placed prepositions, printed them on brightly colored (and already used on one side) paper, and this is how it all turned out:

When a player gets BINGO, he/she tells the other players a sentence using each of the prepositions in the row correctly.  Also, when I drew the prepositions from the pile of calling cards, I used each preposition in a sentence.  

Previously I made a Bingo game for learning how to tell time to five minutes using templates a teacher friend gave me:

Since the Time Bingo game was meant for a younger crowd, I printed the Bingo cards and calling cards on (already used on one side) card stock for durability.

Here's a close-up of one of the Bingo cards so you can see that each column has all the times that belong to either the 12, 3, 6, 8, or 10 o'clock hour.  I put Grace to work gluing on the small, randomly placed (except for the hour) clocks in each of the squares on each of the cards.

Many years ago, before I was so fancy with printing out Bingo cards on the computer, I made them by hand using cereal boxes for the cards and construction paper for the calling cards.  This set of cards is for number recognition--11 through 20--that I used when my oldest was little.  I drew a couple of "sample" calling cards on the envelope so I knew which set they belonged to.  (If I had it to do over again, I would have done 11-19 instead, assuming that 10 is readily recognized by the child.)

Here's the next set of cards I made way back when...for number recognition of the 20s.   I drew a couple of "sample" calling cards on the envelope so I knew which set they belonged to, too.  I didn't make a set for the 30s because by the time we played the 20s set, my son had the hang of number recognition.

These are the BINGO chips I made way back when...and still use now.  They are just pieces of construction paper and I keep them in an envelope.  If one (or a dozen) get lost, it's no big deal.

I keep all Bingo card sets together in one manila envelope so I only have to keep up with one set of Bingo chips.  Plus, I've found that sometimes one game of Bingo leads to wanting to play other Bingo games, so this keeps it all together for an easy transition.

And that works for me!  Click over to We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

Perhaps the best part of today was a few hours after I had played the preposition Bingo game for the first time with my youngest two children (6th and 2nd grades).  I had Josiah, my 6th grader, write down as many prepositions as he could remember; he remembered 16 today.  I thought I, too, would write down as many as I remembered; I remembered 20 today.  Grace, my 2nd grader, walked in the room, and I asked her if she remembered any prepositions from playing the game...she remembered 19. NINETEEN...and this was after possibly never having heard the term "preposition" before today.  She was tickled with these results, and I was, too.  :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week's scavenger hunt items are:
  1. Pattern
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Round
  4. Looking in
  5. Crunchy


This was an awesome pattern to see tonight at our church:  Operation Christmas Child boxes ready to be filled at the packing party.

The boxes looked even better filled...

(So far, our church has collected at least 120 boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  November 25th is the deadline for dropping off boxes--It's not too late to put together a box that will make a difference in the life of a child!  Click over for more information on drop off locations, or make a donation to help cover shipping costs.  You can find a video of Si Robertson packing an OCC box at that link, too.)


Here's Grace (7) sporting her sunglasses...


Poor Bono has had the cone of shame for the last couple of weeks because of a wound he caused on his hip.  He gets around well with it now, and actually stands still when it has had to be put back on because of him chewing at the site again, but it was quite an adjustment for him at first.  (Think:  Large puppy...smallish house...lots of furniture.)

Looking in

Grace received her very own Bible after memorizing the books of the Bible last week!  (Yes, all of them--Old and New Testaments!)

Now she is "looking in" God's word.


It's crunchy leaves, of course...

Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday again!  Here are my interpretations for this week's photography prompts.


This photo is from July 2012, when Bono was 4 months old and would sometimes sleep with his head underneath a chair at the kitchen table.  He can't do this anymore...he's too big!

Bono the Bouvier des Flanders

I decided to use a photo from archives, because otherwise this is all I have for "table":   pretty much my favorite thing to see on my kitchen table!  

Grace (7) has said for a while, "They spell it wrong on the label!"  I asked her what she meant, and she said it should read "Mom's Favorite Cookie."

I collect

I don't really collect anything in particular, but I do like snow globes.  In particular, I like the snow globes that my husband finds for me, like this one that is from Italy.  (There's a movie reference here...While You Were Sleeping.)


We have a resident guitar player (Robert, 16) who not only plays guitar but draws 'em, too.

He also has sheets of musical things posted on his wall for reference.


When I saw my friend Nancy's Facebook post, saying "YES!" with the image she posted, I knew I had found my photo for this prompt.

Someone I miss

I didn't want to take a picture of a picture, so here's a doll that was my mom's.  It was probably the last doll she received, and she had picked it out as a gift from her father when they went to a festival/craft fair together several years before her death.  (She passed away when my oldest, Robert, now 16, was 9 months old.)  Also, the record behind the doll was my grandfather's (her father).

Click on the link below to see others' photographs or to join in on the fun!  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

High Falls State Park...Up Close

Here are a few more photos of our recent trip to High Falls...

up close...

Click here to see the rest of my photos from this trip to High Falls.
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