Friday Five: the Homeschool Shenanigans Edtition

Well, wouldn’t you know it, despite all my good intentions, another three weeks has sped by without a single word posted. I’m sure by this point no one even checks anymore, but for those loyal few who do, here are a few things we’ve been up to in the great homeschooling adventure lately.

  • First up, I’m just going to admit that last year totally overwhelmed me and I spent the last half of the year pretty much in panic mode until I finally had to cut back on anything but the bare basics. Piano, projects, art – they all had to stop for a few months while I searched for my sanity. Thankfully I seem to be a little more in control of our schedule this year (so far) and we’ve been able to get back into the fun stuff a bit. (Although, let’s be honest, teaching piano will never be a fun thing for me. Ever.) I even added in a few new goals, like teaching cooking and sewing on a semi-regular basis and the girls are loving it. Here’s Susannah’s first creation. Behold, the monster cookie:¬† IMG_3961 edit IMG_3962edit They were cute and fun and bright and colorful, just like her.


  • I saw a similar cake on Pinterest a while back and Mad and I had fun re-creating it. This kid loves anything that roars. She’s SO LOUD. Don’t let the innocent face deceive you. She’s an instigator, always ruffling everyone’s feathers. I don’t know where she gets that from. ūüėČ IMG_4034 IMG_4048


  • A couple of history related projects:We learned the difference between fools gold and the real thing and experimented a little by testing it’s malleability. IMG_4044 IMG_4045 ¬†We also¬†attempted¬†to dig for gold without collapsing our flour¬†mines on top of the poor Incan¬†slaves (imaginary, of course, although Madeline wanted¬†to put her Prince Hans figurine in there…!!!). IMG_3918 IMG_3920


  • We took the girls to a musical production of Fancy Nancy and let them dress as fancy as they pleased. As you can see, they aren’t girly at all. It was a lot of fun and Susannah made sure to meet and get everyones signatures, but Mad said it was too embarrassing. She’s the least shy, least embarrassed kid I’ve ever met, so I have no idea what that was about. IMG_3981edit IMG_4001edit IMG_3994 Susannah’s favorite, surprisingly, was Bree. IMG_4002edit


  • And finally, a question. What are some good field trips to take kids on? I really want to plan some out so they actually happen this year and we have just about anything you can dream up somewhere in the the DFW area. Suggestions, please!


July/August Goals Update

You guys, no joke, September has flown by faster than any other month of my life. I keep thinking it’s still August, but next week we’ll be into October. OCTOBER. (I blame the still-high-90’s weather.)

Annnyway…accountability really seems to keep me motivated¬†so here’s the latest update of my yearly goals.

Creativity Goals:

  • Complete one sewing project each month – I made two small zip pouches in July and put together my first quilt in years in August (it’s all done except the binding). Done!
  • Document each month in my Project Life album – Total fail. I haven’t done this even once this year.
  • Made weekly entries in my Documented Faith journal – I got a little behind on this over the summer, but I’ve been steadily working on it and I’m within a week of being caught up now. Done!
  • I’ve also still been working in my art journal every now and then although I gave up trying to follow the weekly Documented Life Project prompts. Sometimes things just don’t end up being what we think they’ll be, right? So even though that wasn’t a good fit for me, I’ve still been experimenting and having fun trying new things so I’m not going to call this one a total fail.
  • The girls art and piano lessons are just now starting back up after taking the summer off so there’s not much new to report on that. Done!
  • The serger is actually unpacked and has it’s own place now. I’ve spent a bit of time recently trying to rearrange and purge my craft nook so hopefully now that it’s out and in my face all the time I’ll get the courage up to try to thread it and see what it can do. Progress.

Personal Goals:

  • Keeping in touch with friends via email/phone/etc. – I’ve done better about this for sure this year, but I still have a ways to go. I actually managed to corner my sister into a regular weekly call time recently, so I’m going to call this a success. Done!
  • This next one is such a bummer to me, but through no fault of our own our 5K isn’t going to happen this year. I signed up way back in January for the Color Fun Fest run and they’ve now rescheduled it three times, changed the venue, and refused to refund us our money after we got fed up with the changes. It’s a very sore subject with me, so I just wanted to warn anyone out there that may be thinking about signing up with them – don’t! Definitely find another color run to participate in, as this seems to be a common issue with this particular organization. Blech. Fail.
  • I’ve completed all of my travel goals this year except for our anniversary trip, which will happen in December/January. I explored Austin in July and visited grandma for a week in August, which was super fun and awesome (always – I have the best grandma ever). Done!
  • Working on the master bedroom – I’ve made a tiny bit of progress here, but still have a lot to do. Still, the fact that I’ve even made any attempt is better than what I’ve done in the last…you know, ten years. Done-ish.

Reading Goals:

  • Read 50 books in 2015 – Honestly, I’ve already read waaay more than 50 books this year. A bunch of them have been really lame (why is it hard to find good books?) but even counting just the ones I’ve at least semi-enjoyed I’m on track. Unfortunately another part of that goal was to read at least 12 of the books on my own to-be-read shelf, and I haven’t done quite as well with that goal. Maybe when I finish my current stack from the library I’ll force myself to only read my own books for the rest of the year… (Good luck to myself on that one.)¬† IMG_3928 51H8x07Fd7L

A couple I’ve read recently are The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which I’ve heard zillions of people rave about in the past few months. I usually enjoy decluttering books and this one was pretty good, although I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about and some of it was just plain weird. Thanking your socks for doing a good job? Um, okay… ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†The idea of only keeping items that truly bring you joy is a good one, but not really new, although I did like her instruction to physically pick up each item before deciding whether to keep or toss it. All in all, I would recommend it, but not rave about it or anything.

Go Ahead and Like It¬†by Jacqueline Suskin is a book I received from Blogging for Books to review a few months ago and have been kind of putting it off because the book is just so strange. From the description I thought it would be a book about list-making (which, hello, I’m a total sucker for), but it ended up being mostly a weird compilation of the authors own lists of likes without much else included. She did have a few suggestions, like using your time in traffic to make a list of likes, but mainly it was just really odd photos and lists that kind of grossed me out, including things like bruises and disorders. What can you even say to that? Definitely would not recommend this book unless you like to collect very odd, pointless books.

  • Read 12 books aloud to the girls: I think we’re one book behind on this goal, but we’re almost through with Treasure Island and have really been enjoying reading together lately. I’m fairly confident that we’ll catch up by the end of the year. Progress.

I think that about covers it. I’m feeling highly motivated right now so hopefully I’ll push through some of these final goals by the end of the year. How are your goals coming along? I’d love to hear!




Friday Five

It’s sad that it’s been so long that I’m actually rusty at writing, right? Wow, awkward sentence. But anyway, thought I’d crank out a Friday Five to share what’s been happening around here lately. We’re still digging the year-round school schedule so we’re just now heaiding into new grades, which brings us to…

#1 – 2015-2016 School Year ¬† Susannah’s going into 3rd grade and is very nervous about learning multiplication and very excited about art and piano. ūüėČ Madeline is starting 2nd and is excited about nothing. Ooooh well, sister.

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#2 – Rosie turned 1 and the girls insisted on celebrating with a party. They planned everything, did all the decorations (the streamer cat was awesome and they spent an entire afternoon making confetti by shredding paper into tiny pieces), picked out the gifts, made the cupcakes, etc. ¬†It was pretty much the party of the year. ūüėČ Rosie didn’t quite know what to make of all the attention, though.

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#3 – We’ve seen a couple of really big snakes lately. I think they’re kind of cool. You know, as long as I don’t have to touch them. Madeline obviously thinks they’re ADORABLE. (I don’t know, you guys. She doesn’t get it from me.)

#4 – Susannah and I have been doing some sewing together. She’s been dying to learn and is almost finished with her first project (an apron featuring Olaf). I’ll be sure to take a photo when it’s complete. She’s always so excited to learn new things, I hope she’s never loses her enthusiasm.

#5 – Jerm’s uncle Rob and aunt Flo visited from Denver last week, which was pretty awesome. They’re super fun and everyone loved getting to visit with them. I’m lame so I didn’t get a single photo, though. Bad me.

Hopefully I can get back to posting regularly because this whole rusty thing isn’t fun. ūüėČ





Friday Five: the Austin edition

I’ve wanted to explore Austin for a while now, so we took a trip down last weekend to see what we could see. Following is my list of five things we saw, ate, or experienced while we were there.

#1 – The capitol
So this was the obligatory stop, but it was actually pretty cool. The girls even really enjoyed it (mainly because there were a lot of stairs, which is always a bonus in their opinion) and neither Jerm or I had ever been. The capitol building was huuuuuge. I guess everything really is bigger in Texas.


He wanted to point out the republic part...

He wanted to point out the republic part…


The staircases were very Gone with the Wind grand.

The staircases were very Gone with the Wind grand.




The Samson pose.

The Samson pose.



#2 – The bats

So I read about how there are millions of bats that emerge from the Congress Bridge every night at dusk, which seemed pretty cool. I knew Jerm and Mad would both really enjoy seeing them, so we planned our evening around it. Except, we waited for over two hours and they never came out. We could see some of them circling under the bridge, but it was pretty much a bust. The girls were totally over it by the time we left and I’m not sure seeing the bats would have even mattered at that point.

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#3 – The view

We stopped at Mt Bonnell on the way into town because it was supposed to have a killer view of the area. And seriously, it really did. Even though it was hot out, this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It wasn’t a hard or serious hike, but it was nice to walk a little after being in the car all morning and the views were beautiful.

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You can see Austin behind us. We're pretty much the worst at selfies,ever.

You can see Austin behind us. We’re pretty much the worst at selfies,ever.


#4 – The weirdness

No doubt about it, Austin is a little different. It actually reminded me of Portland – kind of hippie. For whatever reason, street art is a big deal there, so we stopped at a park to check some of it out. Graffiti really isn’t my thing, and in retrospect, I would rather have picked one of the other sites (more painting, less graffiti), but oh well.

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I took this photo for Phil.

I took this photo for Phil.


#5 РThe chow

Austin is known for it’s BBQ and it’s food trucks, so we tried a little of both. Personally, not a giant fan of BBQ, although southern stuff is so much better than anything I tried growing up. Still, Jerm and I weren’t too impressed, but I think it’s just not our preference.


Monte Cristo from Hey! You Gonna Eat or What food truck. (Apparently it's won awards.)

Monte Cristo from Hey! You Gonna Eat or What food truck. (Apparently it’s won awards.)








We did a few other things, too, and had a great time. Have you ever been to Austin? What did you enjoy? I love exploring new places.


Friday Five

Wow, second week in and I’m already behind. I started this on Friday morning and then Jerm came home and we suddenly had all these places to go and didn’t get home to eat dinner until almost 10, then we were gone again by 7:30 and out all day Saturday and I was too tired to remember to finish this bad boy up. ¬†So it’s the Friday five on a Sunday (and just barely at that).

#1 – We had a fun 4th with the family (excluding the Papa Bear, who was sorely missed). The girls were especially excited to see the fireworks since we were in Fairbanks last year and it was too light out to shoot any off. They loved Alaska and talk about it frequently and fondly, but they are APPALLED that there were no fireworks. They kind of wonder how the people up there survive without them in July. (Special thanks to uncle Josh and aunt Michelle for supplying the fireworks this year.)

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#2 – We killed it on school this week and only have a few more weeks left until all of the work is completed¬†for the current grades. I can’t believe I’m about to have a 2nd and 3rd grader. I distinctly remember being in third grade. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago. (Okay, it does. Whatev.) Anyway, I’m busy making lists and getting ready to order curriculum for the next year. And I swear this school year I am going to make it to one of the homeschool conventions. I’ve been trying for three years now and I’m always out of town when the one I’m interested in is in Dallas. Boo.

#3 – I’ve been reading Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster to the girls and I’d forgotten just how adorable this story is. If you haven’t read it, it’s free for Kindle on Amazon. Get it, you won’t regret it. And if you don’t have a Kindle, get it from the library.


#4 – Okay, peoples, I don’t know what the deal is, but I feel like we’re spending all of our lives in the doctors offices and/or emergency room. Mad tripped on our daily walk on Thursday night and she’s been walking around like she has a broken wing ever since ¬†so I’ll be back in the doctor tomorrow (or as soon as they can get me in) to have her wrist x-rayed. Her wrists are so tiny that we didn’t even realize it was swollen until Friday evening. Poor kid…I’m hoping it’s just a bad sprain and nothing is broken. (I should probably clarify that we did have Jerm’s aunt, who is a nurse, look at it and she recommended that we take her to her dr’s office ¬†instead of the ER. She isn’t in constant pain or anything, just so nobody thinks we’re torturing our kids.) I woke up early Friday morning with my second helping of¬†kidney stones (that’s always fun), so back to the hospital we went.¬†We just can’t get enough, I guess.

#5 – I don’t have a photo yet, but I got the best-ever fabric haul at an estate sale this weekend. It was an amazing deal, and I’ll def. take a picture and share next week.


Under the Sea Party

Susannah’s under-the-sea theme was so much fun. Probably my favorite party so far. I can’t believe the girl is 8 already.

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I think the octopus (jellyfish?) cupcakes were my favorite part. I mean, I wouldn’t have eaten one for $20 (marshmallows…blech), but they were so dang cute. Under the Sea Party 1

Jerm especially enjoyed eating the claws off of the lobster candies. Under the Sea Party 2 Under the Sea Party 3 Under the Sea Party 6

Susannah loved the hanging jellyfish so much that she had me hang them up in the playroom after the party.  Under the Sea Party 7 Under the Sea Party 8

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The kids loved the jello. I meant to add crushed graham crackers on the top for sand but I forgot to buy them…oops. Under the Sea Party 14

I had a treasure hunt planned for the kids to search out their favor chests but it rained so much the day before the party that I had to nix that idea. It wasn’t worth them squishing around in the backyard bog we’ve had all summer. Under the Sea Party 15

Oyster cookies. Under the Sea Party 16

My weirdly disproportionate crab plates. Oh well, they worked.  Under the Sea Party 17

I made these out of salt dough and planned to hang them as a garland but they were so heavy that I ended up scattering them on the table instead. Under the Sea Party 18

I’ve never had Sonic’s ocean water, but whipped up a batch for the party and Susannah LOVED it. Weird, because she’s not a coconut fan, but I think she drank about half of it herself. Under the Sea Party 19

The birthday girl. Under the Sea Party 20 Under the Sea Party 21 Under the Sea Party 22 Under the Sea Party 23

The girls with their mermaid tails. Poor Audrey got last pick and hers was way too short. Little girls are so cute. They’re fun to sew for, too. Under the Sea Party 24 Under the Sea Party 25 Under the Sea Party 26 Under the Sea Party 28

Happy Birthday, girlie.

(Linking here.)

Friday Five

Instead of doing my week in review, I’m going to try to pick 5 things from the week to highlight. Maybe it will make posting easier for me. (Fingers crossed.)

#1 – We started back to school this week, but it was a short one due to the holiday. We took advantage of having Jerm here for several extra days and went to one of the local aquariums. We were disappointed that the octopus was asleep, but enjoyed the rays, sharks, and jellyfish. (Excuse the extremely poor picture quality. I think I was the only one in the entire place who obeyed the no flash signs posted everywhere. Although I doubt flash would have made them better.)

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#2 – Susannah’s been very much enjoying getting gifts and cards in the mail this week. She thinks birthdays are awesome. (I hope to post about her party soon!)



#3 – The girls have already completed enough summer reading to earn a free book from Barnes & Noble, so we took them to pick out their prize yesterday. Susannah also had a giftcard from grammie and poppy and she wants me to inform everyone that she picked out:
a) a princess sticker book where she can create royal outfits (this is what was on her list to find)
b) a joke book (crucial to 8 year olds everwhere)
c) The Little Princess (my suggestion)

Bookstores are a dangerous place for me; I always find myself scribbling notes and taking photos and in general, coveting. Because even though I already own a copy of Little Women, that cover.



#4 – Jerm’s dad¬†(aka Papa Bear) is doing so much better. It’s a for real, honest-to-goodness miracle. They moved him to a rehab place this week and he’s working on building some strength back up, but it’s just amazing that he’s himself, you know? No photos, because I’m fairly certain¬†that he doesn’t want pictures¬†floating around of him in a hospital gown, but the difference is remarkable.

#5 – Susannah came up with this little melody on her own. Now if only I could get her to practice what she’s supposed to be learning…