Thursday, May 31, 2012

weaving practice

For Christmas, LE got a weaving loom and we have tried multiple times to weave, but it is not an easy task for little hands.  Mimi suggested the girls should get a pot holder loom.  That was the missing link.  They are now working on turning their potholders into a purse by sewing the two together.
We are going to a family reunion this weekend and the girls want to make potholders to sell in the family auction.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten - home school must haves

I cannot limit this list to 10!!

1. books - We cannot go a day without a read-aloud, quiet reading time, Bible reading, and Daddy reading Hank the Cow Dog before bed.
2. computer/internet - I am always searching pinterest for new ideas for the classroom, lesson plans, organization, recipes and now home ideas.
3. map pencils - the girls preferred medium for drawing, which is a daily activity in our home.
4. our classroom space (I have no idea how people hs at their kitchen table)
5. library card - we use the library card for our history and science read-alouds.  Our present science regimend is to read a non-fiction science book, dictate about what we read and then illustrate a picture.  For this age, it has been working very well.  I have not found a science curriculum that has appealed to me yet.
6. lesson plans- Ben helped me to create a spreadsheet that I print out each week with the girls plans for each day.  There is no way I could stay on track without those plans.
7. daily checklist - Ben also created the girl's daily checklist for every day of the week.  They have become so self-sufficient in many of their subjects.  I can give them a check list before I head to class and come back and they have completed several of their assignments without anyone having to remind them.  I fill the checklist out at the beginning of the week with all of their assignments and they mark off their lists when they complete it.
8. Weekly folders - I found pocket folders which are spiral-ringed together.  At the beginning of the week I place all of their assignments along with their daily checklists in each day's pockets.  No last minute running upstairs to scan and print pages and everything is gathered for them to work on at their own pace and in whatever order they want to do their work.
9. Antique school desk - I love the girl's desk, it is still my favorite part of the classroom.
10. trampoline - Any time the girls get fidgety or I need 10 minutes I send them to the backyard to jump.  I am so grateful to a friend who called us when her neighbor was getting rid of theirs.
honorable mentions- easel and dry erase markers - Without fail, Bella draws us a picture every morning and a daily message, R2's naptime - no explanation needed, finished basket - where finished work is placed for me to look over, support of Daddy Richards and his ability to work from home.
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

a boy and his dog

Monday, May 28, 2012

garden zucchini

If you are on pinterest, you have seen all of my recent pins on zucchini.  We have one zucchini plant and I already cannot keep up with how much it is producing.
This weekend, we made what I shall call OMG zucchini bread.  It was the best bread I have ever made. I used coconut oil for oil and I am not sure if that changed the flavor any.  I think next time I will try honey to replace the white sugar.
For lunch, I made zucchini cakes.  I would compare them to crab cakes.  Ben, Bella and I really liked them, LE made herself a pb and j sandwich.  She has at least tried everything I have made if it comes from the garden.  I served the cakes with ranch dressing, but I was wondering if they would be good with marinara sauce.  I also substituted Italian bread crumbs for the panko crumbs, just b/c that was what I had on hand.  I think the Italian flavor probably changed the flavor considerably.
I made recipes with this one zucchini.
Cucumbers and the cherry tomatoes are ready to picked and it is crazy how much more flavor a home-grown tomato has than the store bought.  LE will eat them from the garden, but will not touch the store bought ones.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pocahontas and Belle on a wild adventure

OK, so its just the backyard, under a trampoline, but an adventure is what you make of it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I made Erica's Moo Goo Gai Pan this past week.  I thought I would spice dinner up a bit by letting the girls eat with chopsticks.  LE had it (she doesn't eat rice), but Bella ended up with a spoon (she loves rice).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

room of his own

On Mother's Day weekend, Ben tackled a couple of my honey-do wishes.  I have been wanting to move the guest bed out of R2's room and into the office.  He recently moved my uber-computer that I use for blogging into the classroom and I no longer have use of my office desk (trying to sell BTW).  This freed up some space in the office for the bed, now we can have guests come stay with us and R2 not have to sleep in the pack and play in our room.  I wish we had done it sooner. He loves the floor space.  
It was also a wish of the girls.  R2 loves to play in their room and they complain that he makes messes that he doesn't clean up (true) and their toys are too small and he puts them in his mouth (not true, but I guess it only takes once).  We took the kitchen out of their room and put it in his room b/c that is his fave thing to play with. Now I catch the girls playing in his room, which he loves.

Monday, May 21, 2012

field day 2012

Guess what two girls were on the winning team for our home school field day?  Yep, the dynamo-duo.  I could not believe it; there team was made up of some of the smallest/youngest kids in the entire group (up to age 12).
It also made me so proud when the team Mom told me she was impressed with how the girls cheered on their fellow teammates and participated so whole-heartedly.  Way to go, Yellow Team!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

field day festivities

The girls participated in the homeschool group's field day at a local park.  The games included carrying a wet sponge above your head 50 yards across a field to fill another bucket.  Yep, yellow team took 1st place!
Game 2- obstacle course - yellow team - first place!
Game 3 - moving marbles from one bucket to the next using monkey toes, you guessed it, yellow team 1st place (4 teams total).
After the competitive games, the younger kids raced each other in a 3-legged race and an egg race (but used golf balls).   After the games we had a pot luck and then to a neighboring water park.   Mimi and Daddy joined us for the festivities, R2 enjoyed the spoiling.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mommy Daughter Date x2

How can two kids so close in age be so opposite?  Bella's choice for our date?  Chuck E. Cheese.  I convinced her into playing at Chuck E.'s and then we could eat somewhere else, we agreed on Gattiland (it was her date, not mine).  Afterwards, it was Tutti Fruiti again and then home for some game time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

big girls girls night out

LE and I recently had our turn at Mommy-Daughter Date Night.  I gave her several options and she picked dinner at a fancy restaurant.  We did Maggiano's and shared Mom's lasagna.  She was so grown up; placing her napkin in her lap, keeping her elbows off the table, and not talking with food in her mouth.  These are all things she pointed out to me during the evening so I knew she was using manners.
We also made a stop at Sam Moon (and they are not as cheap as I remember!), Marshalls's for a new pair of summer sandals, Tutti Fruiti for dessert and HEB for a bottle of nail polish; color of her choice - sparkly gold.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

decorating the car

LE got to help "decorate" (also known as detail) my car as part of my Mother's Day wish list.  I cannot believe how responsible and dependable she is getting.  I am not ready for this.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day

The girls planned a tea party breakfast for my Mother's Day.  They let me sleep in (one of my gifts) and made my favorite muffins and pancakes for breakfast.  I also got a special easel drawing by Bella.  That is Daddy and I kissing on the left, LE drawing in the middle and Bella greeting me in her dress-up clothes, not sure where R2 is.  My other gift from the girls was that I could take as many naps as I wanted and they would not bother me (this is a huge gift for this preggo Mama).  Daddy got me a new camera bag, so I don't have to lug all of my equipment for family outings.  I am too spoiled on my camera and will not use the point and shoot he got me for the diaper bag, the girls use it.      Daddy made hamburgers for lunch and I made skillet brownies on Saturday night.  I did not cash in my nap free card, maybe they will let me use it tomorrow.   

Friday, May 11, 2012

big boy at the sprinkler park

I know I have said it before, but man, what a difference a year makes.  This kid loves the sprinkler park.  We have a new one near our home and it is very small and not a lot of older kids.  He had a blast.  Our fam was the hit of the park b/c we have acquired quite a collection of buckets over the years.  Another dad commented how awesome Ben was b/c every kid, ours or not was chasing him and pouring water on him.  He had the same reaction no matter who it was.  I really did a good job picking a Daddy for my kids.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

around our house

Bella came in from the garden with tears in her eyes "The cracker barrels got my strawberries" loosely translated - the grackles got her strawberries.
LE asked me to put a plastic dress on a 6 inch Polly Pocket doll, struggling I said I was not sure I could get it on her.  Bella asked if my muscles were broken.
These past week, we were sitting on the back porch watching the girls jump on the trampoline and allowed them to stay up later than usual.  We sent them to bed without being tucked in and hung out a little longer.  After a while Ben and I tried going in, but discovered the girls had locked us out (not intentionally).  I pounded on the door with no avail.  Ben had his work phone and tried calling our cells b/c the girls will usually bring them to us when they hear them ringing, nope.  After a while he thought to go ring the door bell over and over.  The girls did hear that and came to the back to get us that someone was playing with the door bell.  Thankfully R2 slept through all of it and they were not asleep yet.  I have no idea who we would have called for help.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Keepers end of the year ceremony

The time finally came, the girls had their year end ceremony for keepers.  They earned 15 badges for their hard work this past year.  Mimi made them a sash for their badges and Mommy and Daddy surprised them with their Keepers t-shirts they have been wanting all year.
They earned:
  • ABC's
  • Bible Reading: Daniel and Jonah
  • Bible Memory: Armor of God- Ephesians 6:10-18
  • Birds
  • Card Making
  • Cookie Baking
  • Cooking
  • Croquet
  • Gardening
  • Jesus loves Me
  • Pets
  • Puzzles
  • Rubber Stamping
  • Table Setting

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Sunday afternoon fun

This past Sunday, we cashed in one of our groupons for the Pioneer Farms near our home.  They have expanded since we were there last fall.  They had a new house filled with period carriages, even including one ridden in by Theodore Roosevelt (Bella's fave president).  We had almost the entire farm to our selves, only 6 cars in the entire parking lot.  We had so much fun feeding the chickens and donkeys.  We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it in the Tankawa Indian Camp.
The girls packed their cameras and were took pictures of Texas wildflowers for their keeper's badge.  We got lots of other interesting pics that I will share over the next few days.
LE has almost finished her American Girls series (6 chapter) books on Kirsten.  Kirsten is the pioneer girl from the AGS.  LE enjoyed finding items around the farm that she has been reading about in the books.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

fruits of our labor

We found more strawberries, green beans, a squash, and tomatoes over the weekend.