Week in Review: November 23 – December 6

I don’t know how it’s already been WEEKS since my last post.  I have got to get back into some kind of schedule at some point, but doubt it will happen this month.  Maybe I’ll try to get myself organized by January.  Ha.

Mom and dad were here for Thanksgiving, along with my sisters family, so we had a full house.  The cousins had a blast (always), we had lots of good food and games and conversation, and we took mom with us on our yearly Black Friday adventure.  It was pretty awesome having them here.  I didn’t take many photos, but I’ll post the few that I did manage to snap in between cooking sessions. :)

Being able to reach this tree was a huge milestone for our girls as we took family walks through our neighborhood.  Now all of the cousins can reach, too (except Rebekah).

Being able to reach this tree was a huge milestone for our girls as we took family walks through our neighborhood. Now all of the cousins can reach, too (except Rebekah).

Susannah, the trend-setter

Susannah, the trend-setter

the adorable Alisa

the adorable Alisa

sweet little Hannah

sweet little Hannah

the mischeivous Madeline

the mischeivous Madeline

sweet cousin love

sweet cousin love

The fearless leaders

The fearless leaders

The kids love doing a yearly neighborhood scavenger hunt.  This year, we even found the family playing football in the yard!

The kids love doing an annual neighborhood scavenger hunt. This year, we even found the family playing football in the yard!

so sweet

so sweet

It was so nice having my parents here for a while; I don’t get to see them often enough.

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I had to take this photo cause my dad is an officer for the North Pole police department.  He has a green patrol car and a white beard.  Funny, right?  If I didn’t hate inflatable yard stuff I would have to get this bad boy in honor of him. Thanksgiving - Santa Dad

 

The girls have been roaring through a bunch of school in preparation of having three weeks off for the holidays.  I haven’t had the time to take photos and/or record a lot of what we’ve done, but they did make “jade” bead necklaces out of clay this week while we were studying about China in the Middle Ages.  They turned out quite pretty and the girls have worn them non-stop ever since.

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We also studies volcanoes, but since we built our own not too long ago, we opted to try the Mentos/Coke trick instead. We even got Jerm in on the action (of course).  Here’s a short video showing the reaction (the girls were obviously verrrrrrry interested).

Vocalpoint sent these cool InStyler hair tools to try out.  Fun, right?

InStyler

The girls and I have been working on advent art journals this month (courtesy of the Handcrafted Story).  It’s been really fun and they look forward to working on it every day.  Here are the first few pages:

Day 1 - Gabriel appears to Mary. I adore Susannah's angel (right).

Day 1 – Gabriel appears to Mary.
I adore Susannah’s angel (right).

Day 2 - The angel tells Mary not to be afraid.  Loving Mad's interpretation of fear in this one (left)

Day 2 – The angel tells Mary not to be afraid.
Loving Mad’s interpretation of fear in this one (left)

Day 3 - Gabriel tells Mary her baby will be king  Susannah is getting very into the thought bubbles (it's a crown in this one). Mad was desperate to try watercolors so I let her at them here - also, I don't know if you can see her angels arms, but she's taken to drawing "sleeves" on everything/everyone and all Jerm and I can see are armpits when she does it. So hard not to laugh at her stuff...

Day 3 – Gabriel tells Mary her baby will be king
Susannah is getting very into the thought bubbles (it’s a crown in this one).
Mad was desperate to try watercolors so I let her at them here – also, I don’t know if you can see her angels arms, but she’s taken to drawing “sleeves” on everything/everyone and all Jerm and I can see are armpits when she does it. So hard not to laugh at her stuff…

Day 4 - Mary rejoices in the news and the angel leaves. Susannah's progression is so cute, I was never creative when I was a kid. It makes her so mad when her sister copies her stuff

Day 4 – Mary rejoices in the news and the angel leaves.
Susannah’s progression is so cute, I was never creative when I was a kid. Also, it makes her so mad when her sister copies her stuff

Day 5 - Mary goes to visit Elizabeth Seriously, their stuff is killing me. This is such a fun project to work on every day.

Day 5 – Mary goes to visit Elizabeth
Seriously, their stuff is killing me. This is such a fun project to work on every day.

We’re just getting our tree and holiday decor put up so maybe we’ll have some photos of that next week.

I’ll leave you with a pretty photo I took on the way to the in-laws tonight.  Texas is so nice this time of year. But I’d still like some snow for Christmas.

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Week(s) in Review: November 9-22

Man, where does the time go? I swear, I blink and another week has gone by.  This year is just OVER, people.  No really, by the time I hit publish, it probably will be!)

Here’s what we’ve been doing with our time:

Making edible oasis during our studies of the Arabian Penninsula (also, reading about Sinbad – the girls love his stories).

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Since mom and dad have been in and out this past week we stuck to science, history, and reading, along with some practical stuff like baking a welcome cake and getting guest rooms ready.  Hey – that’s something we need to learn too, right?  We studies fossils and attempted to make a few of our own.

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We went to New Orleans last weekend, which I’ve already shared about here in case you missed it.

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We are recording our daily gratitude with our version of a thankful tree. Please excuse the extremely poor lighting in these photos. (We are using these tags, courtesy of Jones Design Company.) photo (16) photo 1

 

My parents are in town for a visit, but I have no photos yet.  Sad!

Susannah got her first letter from her new pen pal and is beyond thrilled to make a new friend. It makes my heart happy to think of my girl and Amber’s girl getting to know each other. If life was fair we would all live close by each other.

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Finally, I had hoped to share a separate review of my November Ipsy bag, but I need to face the fact that it just isn’t going to happen this month.  The next week is going to be full of family and food and thanksgiving and I want to enjoy every moment.

Here’s what I received this month:

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I haven’t even had a chance to try everything yet, but I already know that by far and away my favorite products are the under-eye concealer (works awesomely well!) and the eye base.  I’m not a fan of all the lip products I keep receiving but I will be sure to try them all out in case I don’t know what I’m missing out on.  And the hairspray I may or may not use, but was happy to receive because I was considering buying a small can to have on hand anyway.  The Temptu highlighter I’m just not really sure what to do with.  Anybody have any tips to share?

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

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New Orleans

I love travelling and seeing new places so I jumped at the chance to visit Louisiana for the first time when Jerm offered to take me down for the weekend.

And now I’ve been to Louisiana and never feel the need to go again.  We had a good time, the food was amazing, and we were glad to go home.  We spent a lot of our time wandering, trying to find places, and operating on vague ideas (like, “hey, let’s go find some authentic cajun food. We’ll just head towards the middle of town…” Uh…okay.  Maybe not the best plan.)

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There were lots and lots and LOTS of bridges.  We went over them all, I think.

The food was fantastic.  We paid $20 for parking to get that authentic cajun food and stood in line forever for fresh beignets. We also stopped for Pinkberry, which was very un-Cajun of us. But it’s good, too.

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We wandered around the French Market and saw all the sights (which felt much safer by daylight), and tried fried peanuts, shell and all (verdict: ick). photo 1 (2) photo 1 photo 3 (2) photo 3 (3)edit photo 3 photo 4 (2) photo 4 (3)edit

We took selfies and Jerm considered leaping over this fence just to see if he could.

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I tried new things: po boy’s (super delish), cappuccino (don’t judge), and the already-mentioned peanuts and Pinkberry. We tried to sample our first taste of Indian food but when we got to the restaurant it looked a little dicey, so we opted to not tempt fate right before a 9-hour drive back home.  We’ll have to save that for adventure for another day.

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Adios, New Orleans.  Adios, Louisiana.

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Week in Review: November 2-8

I think autumn has finally arrived in Texas. I’m happy.  Also, cold.

It’s been a rough few weeks in school.  Lots of crying (on the girls part) and wondering what we’re doing wrong (on my part). Hopefully we will move out of this phase pretty soon, cause it’s wearing me down.

Because of our struggles, we focused mainly on math, reading, and science this week.  First, we studied some basic weather patterns and did the following experiment to demonstrate how rain clouds work.

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We moved on to study about big storms.  The girls are fascinated by tornadoes (several years ago we had one just a block away, which they remember) so we read several books about what causes them, what they do, and instructions on safety measures to take if your’e caught in one (probably valuable information to share considering where we live).

We conducted another super simple experiment: the tornado in a jar, which has endlessly entertained them for the past several days.

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I listed the playhouse on a local Facebook sale page and within ten minutes had dozens of people clamoring for it.  I was a little surprised at how quickly it sold.  But not as surprised at how little the girls used it…I really thought they’d love it, but they prefer the sandbox and trampoline.

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And for the big news of the week, this kitten showed up at our door on Tuesday and never left.  I tried multiple times to take it to the local animal shelter, but they were never open and never sent a truck to pick it up, despite promising they would.  Nobody has come looking for it either, so after watching Mad cry every time she thought the cat had disappeared, Jerm took pity on the child and said she could keep it (unless, of course, someone comes looking for it). She’s out of her mind in love with the little fuzzball and has barely let it leave her arms  to eat or drink. She even sat with it for hours on the cold, rainy days earlier this week. Thankfully it’s pretty patient with her. I’ve never seen a kid so adoring of animals.

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That’s it for this week. The holidays are coming up fast and I’m not prepared in the least.  How about you?

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Trying New Things: Day 31

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Day 31: Gallery Wall

Better late than never, right?  This particular project took me a little longer than I anticipated.  I finished it a few days ago but it’s been so stormy here I wasn’t able to get any decent photos until today (and they’re still not that great).

I’ve got plans for several gallery walls, but wanted to start with the girls bedroom.  Since moving them into the same room I had to take most of the stuff I’d made for Susannah down so the walls were totally bare. I’ve been collecting frames for a while, so I started by giving them all a coat of spray paint.

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After everything was painted I taped a couple of pieces of wax paper together in the length/width of the wall I wanted to hang them on to make a template.

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Once I had my dimensions I rearranged everything to my satisfaction (thanks for the help, Ang!), used a Sharpie to mark the outlines of everything, and then marked exactly where I wanted the nails to go.

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This was by far the easiest method I’ve ever used to hang things on the wall.  The paper easily ripped away around the nails.

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I’m probably going to have to re-paint the purple walls at some point, but wasn’t up for that much work this month.  Shhh…don’t tell Jerm.

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I used a combination of free printables (I’ll have to search to find the original sources, but I’ll try to link them at the bottom soon),  a few store-bought pieces (the canvas in the middle is from Hobby Lobby and the one on the far right is from Walmart), and a lot of DIY stuff.

This canvas is Instagram photos of the girls.

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The little love canvas was a cheap 6×6 from the dollar spot.  Just added some chipboard letters and painted over the whole thing. photo 3 (7)

I glued on a laser cut frame to add some interest to this boring frame.  I love how it turned out. photo 4 (5)

Out of everything on the wall, I was most hesitant to add this.  I made it from magazine clippings (took forever to gather them), and I love it, but don’t know what I think about it with this grouping.  Ang said to keep it, so I did. photo 4 (6)

 

 

Why did all of these photos turn out so grainy?  I don’t know what I did. photo 3

And my favorite piece: this drawing of our family by Susannah.  I had her draw us on a piece of fabric, then stuck it in an embroidery hoop.  I adore it. (Idea credit is here.)

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Now I just need to work on a gallery wall for my bedroom and the living area. I can’t wait to get started…or maybe I can.  January sounds good.

New to my 31 Day Blogging Challenge?  You can catch up on all the posts here.

 

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Month in Review: October

I always have it in my head that I can do something huge like blog for 31 days straight about a single topic and still manage to keep up with my normal posting schedule.  And then by Day 1 I’m already behind and I come crashing back down to reality.  So this is a monthly recap because it hasn’t happened even once since I started the blogging challenge.

First up, here are the promised photos of my children, the barbarian horde.  Madeline was the very angry part of the horde. Susannah does role play very well.  She insisted on gooping up her hair and loading on the blue war paint, because, HELLO, that’s what the Celts did.

barbarians Suannah the barbarian

I took the girls to a local pumpkin patch and petting zoo where we saw the fattest pig ever and a goat harrassed Susannah and tried to eat her shirt.  Poor kid…animals really aren’t her thing. She gets it from me.

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I got my first Ipsy box this month…check out what I got to try.  I wasn’t fond of the lip gloss, but I’m really not a lip gloss sort of girl, so that wasn’t surprising. The rest I liked, especially the eyeliner since I was about to have to buy a new one. I also really liked the hand cream…super nice.

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We spent a week in Temple with my grandma and Heather.  We always have a good time and I love that the cousins get to play together. Check out the cuteness.

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In typical Susannah fashion she presented us with a list of exactly what she wanted to accomplish for the day.

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The night we came home we took the girls to their first Casting Crowns concert and they loved it. Madeline especially.

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I’m probably forgetting a few things, but if so I’ll catch them next week. Welcome to November, everybody.

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Trying New Things: Day 30

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Day 30: Failure

Actually, failing isn’t a new thing for me.  I knew at the onset of this final week that I was going to have a hard time catching up, because everything left on my list was time-consuming or required me to go hunting for items (I wanted to put together an outfit based on something from my Pinterest boards) and with a sick kid, a bunch of church things happening, and school, most of it didn’t happen.

I have, however, been working on a big project that I am HOPING to finish up tomorrow so I won’t end the month on a total fail. Fingers crossed, but tomorrow’s going to be a busy day so it may not happen.  I was thinking that since there are several things on my list I didn’t get around to that maybe I’ll work in the things I missed as time allows.  Because seriously, I need to learn to use the serger that was given to me and every time I tried to pull it out this month I got overwhelmed with something else. And that’s just not cool.

So for today, a quick update on a few of the ongoing things I started earlier in the month. First up, the book I started way back on day two of this crazy challenge.  You may remember that I randomly chose A Game of Thrones since I’m pretty clueless when it comes to fantasy novels, but after a few people mentioned that I probably wouldn’t like it I switched over to Here, There Be Dragons. I’m about 7/8 of the way through, read entirely on my grandmas exercise bike last week.  It’s an easy read and interesting enough, but to be completely honest, I don’t have much motivation to finish it. Turns out that fantasy just isn’t my genre.

The cleaning schedule was going really well up until this week.  I’ve barely given it a thought since I’ve been home so I need to make an effort to get back to working on the scheduled daily tasks.

And the happy mail project went off without a hitch.  At least something did, right?

Send some positive thoughts my way that I’ll get my last project finished tomorrow!

New to my 31 Day Blogging Challenge?  You can catch up on all the posts here.

 

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