Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Top Ten

10. we voted - but we all know how that ended.
9. we partied - a seven year old, six year old, and a two year old
8. home school clubs were joined - The girls have both joined two clubs this year, Keepers and American Girl Club.
7. teeth were lost - Bella finally lost her first tooth.
6. Vegetables sprouted - We grew tons of veggies, including green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, jalapenos, and squash.  Nom Nom.
5. tubes were installed - Read had to get tubes in his ears to relieve him of his chronic ear infections.
4. Pianos were played - Both girls began piano lessons with Miss Ashley.  They have a real gift, but maybe I am biased.
3. new rides were purchased.  We outgrew our Honda accord and had to take advantage of our two car garage.  I'm now a mad mom in a minivan.
2. a one year old took his first steps.  And wow, that changed everything!
1. A baby boy was born-  On August 7th, our family grew to six.  Our sweet bundle of joy has blessed our family greatly.

Friday, December 28, 2012

homemade C-mas: woodblock picture frames

This is my favorite gift I gave, I wish I could take credit for it, but I copied it from a gift Anna gave me a few Christmases back.  I purchased a 2x8 piece of lumber, it was not as high of a grade as I used for the grandmother's wall hangings.  Ben cut the boards into 7" squares (confusion alert: why is it a 2x8, if it is only seven inches wide?)
We then painted the blocks a chocolate brown and roughed up the edges to give them an antique look.  I modge podged scrapbook paper cut into 6 3/4" squares. To do this, put a very thin layer of modge podge on the front of your woodblock, then adhere the paper square.  When it is dry add another very thin layer of modge podge.  It is key to use very little adhesive or your paper will bubble up.  
I purchased magnetic bulldog binder clips  from Office Depot and removed the magnet.  You can hot glue your binder clip, but Ben screwed my into the wood to make it last longer and so the binder would lay flat.  
I added embellishments including clear scrapbook stickers with words like miracles, Believe and Cherish.  As I asking the clerk to cut my "stringy stuff" (as described by Ben) that I found in the upholstery aisle, I noticed two coordinating pieces of Tiffany blue paisley and chevron remnants that I had her cut into 1/4 yards for me.  I cut the remnants into 1 1/2" strips and then tied the two pieces together with a small knot.  I hot glued the upholstery embellishments across the top and then hot glued the knotted fabric bow to the top.  
I loved how they turned out.  I plan to make myself a set of four to hang on the wall to easily change out pictures of my kiddos.  I may have to stash a few in my gift closet for future birthday gifts.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

homemade C-mas: Grandparent's sign

Ben made this sign for Gigi, Granny and Mimi for their C-mas presents.  I purchased a 1x10 piece of pine and Ben cut it into three equal sections of 32 inches each.  He then sanded, painted the wood with an acrylic paint, and went back and beveled the edges and roughed up the paint to give it an antique look.
I purchased the black decal at Hobby Lobby when their wall decals were half-priced.
I decorated miniature clothespins by adding tiny buttons with my glue gun.  I then attached the clothespins eight inches apart, leaving two inches outside the two outer clothes pins.  I think they turned out better than I had even imagined.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

homemade C-mas: marshmallow shooters

This Christmas I tried to go as homemade as I could with our gifts.  One, our birthday gift budget cut into our C-mas budget this year with all of the parties my socialites were invited too.  Two, with the addition of pinterest into our lives I was feeling more domesticated and three, the hustle and bustle of Christmas has my stomach turning this year and I just wanted it to mean more.  I hope everyone enjoyed their gifts b/c they are things I would have enjoyed.
First up on the list were the kids' gifts.  We made marshmallow shooters for the cousins.  Pink for the girls and blue for the boys.  Ben and I enjoyed them so much after we made them for our nephews, we knew we had to make them for the girls too.  So, our kiddos and the nieces got one too.
For a ten feet piece of 1/2" PVC pipe was $1.68, and we could get 4 guns out of a pipe.  The stoppers were 38 cents each and each gun needed two.  The T-connectors and the L-connectors came in packages of ten each and they were $2.58.  Can of spray paint was $3.58.  So for $2.40 a piece we made each kiddo a gun, add in a package of $1.50 miniature marshmallows and instant fun!

To make your own gun, you will first need to cut your PVC into 6 equal pieces of four inches and then one six inch section.  The six inch section is for the barrel of the gun.  Add your connectors according to the picture, load your mini marshmallow and AIM.  Happy Shooting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kid free weekend

On our anniversary weekend, we met my parents in San Antonio so we could celebrate our anniversary sans kiddos.  The original plan was for Ben and I to drive to New Orleans for a weekend of Cajun gluttony.  We decided to use our anniversary savings to pay off some medical bills instead.  Yes, being responsible sometimes sucks.  So, we decided to try new places instead of doing one nice anniversary meal.
We took the new toll to San Antonio which is supposed to be this enormous time saver, which it could be if they hadn't taken us half an hour to the east of town past Seguin, if you are going to northwest SA this is very, very far out of the way.  It also helps if you update your tomtom every once in a while.
Ben had Thursday and Friday off so we thought we'd go to the zoo, but it was too chilly.  Because of our detour we ran out of time and decided on ice cream cones and walking Bass Pro Shop, which the girls said was the coolest store they had ever been in.  After we met up with Mimi, Ben and I headed to Dough.  Ok, if you have not tried this place in San Antonio, run there right now.  Oh my.   It was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  I think I could have licked the plate clean.  Get the mozzarella truffle, unless you are lactose intolerant and even if you are, get it anyways it was worth every bit of pain and every calorie you will have to work off.
On Friday, we spent the day gathering supplies for all of our Christmas projects and we spent the evening in catching up on tv.  On Saturday, we decided to try another recommendation by Guy, but it did not pass our apparently snotty taste buds.  We drove to SoCo for an Austin icon, the Magnolia cafe.  Was not impressed at all.  Blah.  I had a bell pepper and red onion with a side of omelet and Ben had a pasta dish that was made with canned olives, canned artichokes and mediocre sun dried tomatoes.  If I am eating at an Austin icon, I expect fresh.  This was not.  The short stack was good, but anything drenched in syrup is going to be good.  I wanted amazing.
We had a great weekend of us time.  Looking forward to the next year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a nice warning

Thank you my darling, but in the time you took to make me this warning sign, couldn't you have just cleaned up the p**p.  -Landry

Monday, December 17, 2012

Silver Sneakers Christmas Party

On Friday night, Ben and I attended the Silver Sneakers Christmas party at the local Y.  I was so surprised when they called me to the stage to present me with a cash gift.  Tish had such nice things to say about me and the other instructors it brought me to tears.  I miss this bunch so much, but I know God is honoring my decision to put our family before my wants.
We had a great night of food, games, and caroling.  Ben and I participated in the Newlywed game, which we came in dead last.

I thought for sure we were going to win.  Some of the questions:
Ben's favorite tv show (the only question we got right) - Person of Interest
Strangest thing in my purse (I don't carry a purse) - Kristi: diapers, Ben: chapstick
2nd Honeymoon choice - Kristi: Italy, Ben: Alaska
Ben's fave meal: Kristi: jambalaya, Ben: salmon
What would Ben buy me at a convenience store: Kristi: Dr. Pepper, Ben: cheetos
Ben's #1 job on my to-do list this weekend: Kristi: make C-mas presents, Ben: find my phone
first kiss: Kristi: friend's house, Ben: my parent's house

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Santa Steve

PawPaw Claus, Uncle Herbie, and now Santa Steve.  The kids are so blessed to know three of Santa's helpers.
I am so blessed to know Jesus' helpers, Steve and Sue.  I met them last year in my aqua class at 24.  I am not sure how we became so well acquainted, but I think it was bicycling on aqua noodles, with him telling me he was a pastor at a near by church.   When I got ready to go on maternity leave Steve was the one who messaged me on FB he needed to meet with me and then surprised me with a baby shower.  Sue, his wife had not been attending classes for a while b/c of an injury and offered to watch HR for me, so I could return to my classes early (childcare is not offered until they are 6 months old).  The first time I went to pay Sue, she refused payment and told me she loved babies and she was getting the better end of the deal.  In that time, we have become fast friends, and they have become like adopted grandparents to our kids especially the boys.  We are so appreciative of all they have done for us.  It is so hard to live in a town without any family, but the Lord has blessed us so greatly by Steve and Sue, Miss Kathi and Miss Sharon this year to help any time we have needed them.  We love all four of you.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

reason for the season

With four kiddos in the house, we don't have very many "nice" things and I try to only have things out they can touch.  (Or at least things I would not be totally devastated if were broken or "messed up".)
My mom gave R2 the little price nativity (top left) last year and he enjoyed it so much we just never put it away.  My manger on the right is one I purchased the year we got married at the after C-mas clearance in downtown Fredericksburg. Mimi gave R2 the Peanuts nativity  for his birthday this year and the nativity on the bottom right is one Ben's boss at the Peach Tree gave us for our wedding.
As I look around at our Christmas decorations I see lots of wedding presents.  I guess that happens when you get married at Christmas time.  We are celebrating our anniversary this weekend while the kids are at my parents.  We enjoyed a Christmas party last night and a day of kid-free shopping and making C-mas presents.  I will post pics later of our adventures and creations.

Friday, December 14, 2012

ornaments 2012

And here is this year's keepsakes ornaments.  Every year we try to pick ornaments that represent the year to add to our tree.  Starting at top left,  Boo got a ballet ornament for her first dance lessons, Mama- diamond ring for our 14 yr anniversary (picked out by Daddy), Daddy - Slave 1 (although I forgot I had bought him this ornament last year, so we have 2), R2 - spaceship - he is is all about vehicles and I thought this one was so too cute to pass up.  Bottom left - Mama - football, b/c apparently all I like is college football according to 2 of my children, LE - piano - for her first piano lessons (Boo got the same ornament), HR - 2012 - year he joined our family.

**Sorry for missing a couple of days of the C-mas challenge, my computer has been re-installing ALL of my photos.  I went to post past pictures of Santa on Tuesday and all of my photos were gone, not in the deleted box and not in picasa.  Ben's blaming it on the 2 year old b/c we cannot find any other explanation and he seems to be the scapegoat for everything else in the house, so why not?!?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 14 years!

Wow, fourteen years.  I don't have friendships that have lasted that long, and yet I have been married for that long!

Happy Anniversary Baby!  I love you.  I cannot imagine a day without you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

big truck party cake

R2 loved his tractor and big truck cake, Mimi.  It turned out better than expected.  She did a black and yellow checkerboard design on the inside with chocolate icing.  The "dirt" was crushed oreos and the rocks were chocolate stones from a baking specialty shop.  She made cones out of orange fondant and R2 picked out trucks from Wal-Mart to add.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Read's truck and tractor birthday party

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, we celebrated R2's second birthday at PawPaw and Mimi's house.  We had a small (well, as small as our two families combined can be) party with cake and presents.  He had such a blast tearing into his cake. Unlike last year when he just cried and cried because he didn't want to get his hands dirty or even try it for that matter.  Mimi made this great chocolate cake.  I am so blessed to have a talented baker in the family.  Thank you everyone who came to make his day special.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

new tradition - 24 days of Christmas reads

I know, I know, I am a bit obsessed with ideas on pinterest.  I cannot help it, there are so many things to do and try.  Must pin all things!
I found a fun idea earlier this year, that I have been waiting to do with the kids.  We combined it with gift-wrapping practice and wrapped 24  books to read before Christmas.  I didn't think I had 24 C-mas reads, but I ended up having to leave 8 of them out, if we want to read one a day.  The girls loved wrapping the books and each day we read one during our school day.  Here is a list of our books that are hiding under the tree:
The Polar Express
Twas the Night before Christmas by Jan Brett
Reindeer Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Crippled Lamb
The Christmas Blizzard
Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear
The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy
The Candymaker's Gift (the legend of the candy cane)
Froggy's Best Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
The Wild Christmas Reindeer 
The Mouse before Christmas
Santa's Favorite Story
One Wintry Night
The Tale of Three Trees
Who is Coming to Our House
Room for a Little One
The Legend of the Candy Cane
If you Take a Mouse to the Movies
The Christmas Promise

Friday, December 07, 2012

update on Leo and Elsa

Oh my gosh, look at the pure joy on Leo's face.  I hope Elsa is just going through typical teenage required response of not wanting her picture taken.  I am so grateful for One Child Matters and their updates on our special "kiddos".
I cannot believe it has been four years since I was in Swaziland and Mozambique.  I heard it said, "Once you go to Africa you will go back every day for the rest of your life".  Going to Africa is still one of the most life changing moments that ever happened to me.  I cannot wait for the day when the Lord tells me it is my turn to go back again.  I miss these faces.
For information on sponsoring a child, you can visit One Child Matters website.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

new friends

I told you about our homeschool friends that live down the street.  Well, we have had a lot of fun with our friends lately, like every day lately.  After school they are out riding bikes, jumping on trampolines, building lego creations, building friendships and starting clubs.  I am so grateful the girls have made such great friends on our street and I kind of like their mom too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sunday morning fun

There is no better sound than the sound of your children laughing, giggling, and/or squealing together.  It makes my heart happy.

HR ran a fever all weekend, so we had to stay in this weekend to celebrate R2's.  The kids had fun making tents and tunnels in the classroom.  They literally played for hours, then R2 slept for hours.  Memories being made.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

I have a 2 year old

How is this possible?  I mean, I know how its possible, but where did the time go?  I am thirty-eight years old and I have a two year old.  Our sweet baby boy turns two today.  Please Lord, let him be the exception to the rule, and let one be the obnoxious ones, instead of the terrible twos!
This past year, you learned to walk, but didn't stop there, you ran and ran and ran.  You had to have tubes put in your ears for reoccurring earaches.  You still don't talk much, but you communicate very well.  Your favorite words are PawPaw, juice, toast, shoes, go, car, truck, Bella, Mama, Daddy, Sister, and Pillow.  Your favorite toys are balls, trucks, markers, and playing in your kitchen with Bella.  You are the biggest helper.  You enjoy cleaning up, making bigger messes, unloading the dishwasher, setting the table, making Mommy and Daddy's bed, making your bed, and the clean-up song.  You want to do everything your sisters do, and everything your baby brother gets.  You have a hard time when Mommy holds baby, but you love him so much.  Every time you see him you run to give him kisses.  You love to give out hugs, and tell everyone bye whenever you leave a room.  And you love to "go" in the "car with your "shoes".
We love you so much big brother.  We are so glad God  had bigger plans for our lives when he gave us you.  You bring so much character, joy, and love to our family.  Happy Birthday Read.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

25 days of C-mas challenge

I always take part in Erica's blogging challenge, and I am going to attempt it again this year, but cannot make any promises.  Things are down right busy here at the RFS.
Last night, we watched our C-mas favorite, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  We also read the book and enjoyed Grinch Punch.  We made it with sprite and green sherbet   I attempted to put green sugar on the rims, without much success.  Still tasted yummy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

its beginning to look...

The manger is up and ready for this year's Christmas production (she has been planning since last year's performance).  There are more kids this year, so that helps, but she is worried we are one wise man short.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, all of the grandkids kicked in and helped PawPaw put up the manger.  The play is written, now just need Christmas to hurry up and get here.
On a side note, I apparently enjoy taking and posting pictures (as if you did not know that).  I have reached my maximum storage space in picasa and on my blog.  I now have to pay a monthly fee to use blogspot.  I think it is worth it, but was a little stressed trying to figure out how to clean up the thousands of unneeded photos (mostly old photo sessions, all family pics were saved.)  All is good now.  More storage is good.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

handmade ornaments '12

This year the plan is to go as homemade for Christmas presents as possible.  I found a fun ornament on pinterest and we were able to adapt it to make it our own.  We discovered the girls each had their own special talent to add to the project.  Boo is an expert crayon unwrapper and crayon smasher; LE is an exceptional bow-tier.  I am pretty good at getting my fingers burned by a hair dryer.  
We started by peeling off the wrappers from Crayola crayons, then Bella had fun breaking the crayons into fourths and then both girls enjoyed smashing them into tiny pieces with my meat cleaver.  I think this was key for the look of the ornament. Next choose 3-4 colors to put inside your clear glass ornament.  Remove the metal hangar from the ornament and drop several pieces of crayon bits into your glass ornament.  Turn your hair dryer onto high and begin melting your crayon pieces, another important key to the look of your ornament.  Get the crayons nice and melty and THEN begin swirling the pieces around as you slowly work the crayon pieces to the open hole.  Some of the pieces will eventually work their way out of the opening, but if your crayon pieces are small, they can remain in the ornament without being visible.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Red, white and blue: the snacks

I had so much fun looking for patriotic snacks for Boo's red, white and blue party theme.  I wish I had searched earlier and experimented with flavors b/c there were tons of ideas to choose from.  The kids decorated their own red, white and blue marshmallows as part of a creative activity.  I made these cheesecake parfaits for the grown ups and these fun jello cups for the kids.  This patriotic punch looked really fun, but was not sure how it would serve up.  We opted for good ole fashioned Country Time lemonade and sweet tea for our drinks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

American Girl Party

Boo planned the majority of her party this year.  I found an American Girl Party book at HPB, which is where we came up with the idea.  She found a chocolate cake decorated with flags and fireworks, so from there she decided she wanted everything red, white and blue.  Boo and I made a special Mommy/Daughter date to the party store for supplies.  She wanted pompom-tissue flowers and that was pretty much the extent for her requests.  Two days before the party she informed the girls were supposed to bring their dolls for the tea party; OK, but what tea party?  I finally brought her back to reality and we were able to keep things simple.  We planned to play croquet and a couple of games from the post WWII era (Molly, her doll is from that time period), but the girls were having fun just playing and Moms socializing I didn't bring them out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kid's Business Fair

I love our hometown, I mean really love living in this city.  There are so many opportunities for kids and I am still amazed at the things we can find to do if we just do a little investigating.  The girls and I recently had a Mommy/Daughter Date to a local mansion for the Austin Kid's Business Fair.  It is hosted by college students and completely free for the kids to participate.  The students provide tents and the kids bring their wares.  There was so many great ideas.  We saw purses made from duct tape, food, lemonade stands, lego creations, scarves, sewn projects to a tic-tac-toe board and you had to pick which square a chicken would poop in.  My favorite idea was by a sister and brother who sewed chickens out of scrap materials.  For $10, you could purchase a  stuffed chicken lovie and they would donate money to a third world country to purchase chickens for a family in need.  Boo purchased a new cuddle bunny and LE purchased Boo's birthday present.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meet Molly

Meet Molly, Bella's newest addition to her bed time cuddle buddies.  Mimi scored a beautiful American Girl doll and books via Craigslist.  It was supposed to be a C-mas present, but when Bella decided she wanted a AG doll birthday, Mimi decided to give it to her early.
I am not sure, but I think she likes her.  Thank you, Mimi.

Friday, November 09, 2012

pancakes, nachos, and pizza

Boo's birth day plans...
I want pancakes for breakfast.
No school work.
Nachos for lunch.
Gattiland for dinner.
Chuck E. Cheese for family time.
Mommy to not work (she requested Daddy too, but could not swing it this time).


Thursday, November 08, 2012


Carl Fredericksen

Wanna know how to get a 22-month old to smile and cooperate for Halloween pictures?  Smarties, but nothing could persuade him to put the glasses back on.

the girl who invented Halloween

Custom-made costume by Bella Boo Bunny, look for her new label on a local catwalk soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Boo Bunny

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, Bella Boo Bunny.  You are such a blessing to our family and I thank God for you daily.
This year, you have grown so much.  You learned to read, you lost your first tooth, you started taking dance and piano lessons.  You began first grade.  You are such a great helper with your little brother.  There is no wonder he calls for you so often.  I am so proud of you, but would you stop getting bigger.  I need you to always stay my Boo.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Halloweenie Night

Halloween did not go off as planned.  Ben's work load has literally doubled over the past week and it has effected the house a little more than I hoped.  Of course on Halloween, when I needed to get to the grocery store during naptime, he had an hour long conference call so I could not sneak out to get supplies.  Smiles didn't want to take a nap and the girls, well they were just normal, i.e giddy, excited, and loud.  Dinner did not get on the table till after 5:30, no one could get dressed till they finished eating.  I was still in sweats when everyone was finally ready; and we had a party to attend at 6:00.  We did make it to the party, fashionably late, but only after stopping at Smiles' babysitters for some showing off.  Every year we go to our friends, Bizzaro Ben Richards' birthday. His wife is an exceptional host and we trick or treat in their neighborhood where everyone sits in their driveways to pass out candy.  The kids did score a year's worth of candy and one lady said R2 had the best costume she had seen all night.  After the sugar high, everyone was in bed by 9 and I made the mistake of drinking a dr. pepper at the party, so was not ready to sleep till way too late for a Mama who has a 5 am feeding coming up.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


I think I have decided on a nickname for the little man.  My little guy loves to smile and even with my protests he has no qualms about sharing them with others.
This past week, he began to sleep through the night.  I have been waking him up at 11 p.m. to feed him as I am climbing in to bed.  On those nights, he seems to be able to make it through the night, usually waking for a feeding between 5 - 7 a.m.  Then he goes back to sleep until around 8 - 8:30 a.m.   He really is a very happy, content baby.  He does start to get fussy and inconsolable around 8 p.m. but once we make it past that time, he sleeps and wakes refreshed in the morning.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hunt School Festival

This past weekend, we went to my parent's to celebrate Granny's birthday.  While we were there we hit up the local community school's Halloween festival.  I remember attending when I was a little girl and my mom has always wanted to take us.
The girls were most excited about the parade aka as marching from the community park up the hill to the school.  There was one couple sitting in their car waving at children, the kids didn't seem to mind as LE told me it was a dream-come-true to march in a parade.
We met several of our friends from my hometown, including one of my oldest friends (i.e known him the longest) and his wife.  His little boy had the cutest costume in my opinion (top right photo).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

homemade costumes

I love my kids' creativity.   For Halloween, Boo wanted to be a Halloween girl, LE wanted to be a spider and the boys did not have a choice, R2 was Carl Fredricksen from UP!  Boo imagined her costume herself and created it from items she had in her wardrobe already.  LE explained her ideas to us and between Mommy, Gigi and Mimi we were able to create a pretty cute spider costume, well as cute as a spider can be.
With the help of PawPaw and the local resale shop, R2's costume turned out really cute too.  He was chosen as a finalist in a local costume contest, but did not make the final cut b/c of his age.

Monday, October 29, 2012


The girls recently found a butterfly in the backyard.  They did not realize she was injured thus the reason she would not fly away and wanted to hang around for so long.
That evening, we were sitting downstairs and heard this awful wailing coming from the girls' room.  Both girls were sobbing on their beds.  Ben thought they must have collided and hit heads the way they were both carrying on.  It turns out the girls had released the butterfly in the backyard b/c I told them she would die if they kept her in the butterfly house for too long.  "We are going to miss her. She was so much fun.  She is going to die and have no one to take care of her eggs.  Sob, Sob, Sob."
When we went to the backyard, Shutterfly was right where Bella had left her, so we put her back in the butterfly house along with some flowers and grass.  Unfortunately, Shutterfly did not make it through the night, but for some reason the girls were ok with it when they found her.  I could not believe the drama.  What is life going to be like in five years?

Friday, October 26, 2012

another snaggle-tooth

The tooth fairy is working over time at our house this year.  And now, she has a second kiddo to collect teeth from.  Bella lost her first tooth recently.
Landry has now lost seven.  Landry lost a tooth one day, Bella lost hers the next.  No wonder the tooth fairy forgot to pick the tooth up one night and had to leave a note to apologize.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

American Girl - Kaya

This month was our turn to lead our American Girl club.   We chose Kaya, a Nez Perce Native American girl growing up in the 1760's.  I am so glad Kirsten had already been picked b/c we learned so much about the Native Americans through our preparations and with the help of PawPaw.
The girls had a round table discussion about the book and we discovered only a few girls had actually read the book.  PawPaw aka "Mountain Moses" taught us a lot about the Native Americans.  He taught us how to start a fire, trap beaver and how to catch a rabbit with a knife and tomahawk.
For the art projects, we made story sticks and Mimi taught us how to sew a leather bag and use beads to decorate.  We snacked on popcorn, seeds, dried fruit, jerky and apple cider.  I have gotten tons of compliments from other moms and girls in the group.  PawPaw enjoyed receiving so many hugs, he said public school kids don't usually love on him at their ages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cedar Creek Dinosaur Park

This past weekend, we cashed in another groupon find at the Cedar Creek Dinosaur Park.  There were several life-sized dinosaur exhibits and I had hoped there would be some dinosaur tracks or fossils, but they were also replicas.  I had heard about the park through homeschool field trip ideas and things to do around Austin.  I am glad we did not pay full price b/c it was only a nature walk with dinosaur facts and large replicas.  There was a scavenger hunt with 15 clues.  At the end of the trail there was a place to dig up dinosaur bones and a playscape.  It was a deal for the price we payed, but I think next time we will venture to Glen Rose to see the fossils.  If you have a dinosaur hunter in your family or are doing a study on dinosaurs it could be worth the full cost of admission.

Monday, October 22, 2012

silver sneakers day

The Y recently celebrated silver sneakers by offering classes to the public on a Friday afternoon.  Most of the regular members had already participated in the cardio class earlier that morning and did not stick around for another hour of exercise.  We offered all 3 formats yoga, cardio, and muscular strength in 20 minutes segments.  I had already committed to teaching the muscular strength class before I had to resign my position.  It was good b/c a couple who watches H for me were able to participate and they had never seen silver sneakers classes before.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tiana's beignets

I am on a Cajun cooking kick lately.  I have made jambalaya, red beans and rice, gumbo and beignets. I used Tiana's recipe for beignets, but I am discovering she is a much better cook in the movies than I am.
On the topic of Tiana, I want to go back to Disneyworld.  I mean there are ads everywhere, my friend from the gym is there now checking in on facebook with her every move.  My friend Cari was rewarded with a trip and they are in their final countdown for departure.  Ben pretty much summed it up for me during my last whining session, "chances of going to DW right now, are right along with his chances of getting a new motorcycle".  Point Taken.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bella dancerella

Boo is our little performer, whether it is singing, dancing, or putting on plays for the family.  Every day is a performance.
Recently, I found a living social deal for a month of dance lessons.  After one lesson, she is hooked.  I am on the lookout for something closer to the house and hopefully something with other homeschoolers b/c I don't like being out of the house another evening during the week.  I also don't like the gossipy Moms, are all dance moms this proud of their 4 and 5 year olds?  I have never heard so much brag in all of my life.  The pictures are taken through a one-way window which I had to lean over rubbermaid containers that was at my chin-height to see my kiddo, so my calves were on fire way before the hour and half class was over.  She had a blast, I am working on my attitude.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keepers Kick Off

This past week was our first keepers meeting of the year.  I missed the info meeting b/c of R2's tubes surgery, so when I went to sign up only one month was left.  It was OK b/c I knew what I wanted to teach, it was just a matter of getting the supplies ready.  We worked on our stamping badges and I was able to use my mad stampin' up skills from past to teach the girls "proper technique".  Bella informed me she had fun, but I talked too much.  It looks like it is going to be a much bigger group this year and the moms already  more involved than last year.
I was also asked to lead the keepers club this year.  I am not sure what all it entails since each mom teaches each month and Miss Debbie already does a fantastic job teaching Bible.  We are learning the Lord's Prayer this year.  I am excited about the possibilities.  I am also excited about the new girls and moms we have met.  You may have noticed the little girl Boo has been sitting by.  We met her last month at AG club.  Her and Boo have a terrific bond, I cannot wait to see it blossom.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Science curriculum - apologia

I have finally found a science curricula that I am excited about.  I have seen it presented it at multiple curriculum shares and several friends have highly recommended it.  Our neighbor home schools also uses this curriculum.  Kirsty loaned me her science book and even gave us the links to her lapbook to preview.  At 100 pages (per child) in color, I figured it was cheaper to purchase the science journal than print out, assemble and create lapbooks for each girl.  Kirsty's girls taught the girls the first lesson in our science book.  It was so great, hoping they will want to come to do that again soon.  We sorted our family's shoes into kingdoms, phylums, classes, orders, families, genuses, and species.  It was a great object lesson and I am hoping the rest of the year keeps our attention as well as the introduction b/c we will be learning about botany for an entire school year.

Friday, October 12, 2012