Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet Summertime

Cub Scout camp
Ethan's really struggled with some health issues lately,
but despite extreme heat that week and having to miss some of the camp,
he hung in there and was able to still enjoy most if it.

This is Bella's version of water skiing

Father's Day


We decided to buy our own fireworks this year. I'd been given some extra money
as a gift and decided that it was a good way to spend it. We had a great time
setting them off and enjoying the neighbors' as well.

Anna Kate went to Little House on the Prairie camp.
She picked blueberries and peaches, made a corncob doll,
cooked, fed farm animals, made friends,
and came home every day just bubbling over with delight,
and saying that she wished she could just live there on the farm. :^)

Monday, July 19, 2010

In Honor Of Our 13th Anniversary - Quotes About Us

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. ~Emily Bronte

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows.
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.
And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.
I carry your heart.
I carry it in my heart.”
~E. E. Cummings

Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day. ~Gene Perret

It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short. ~Andre Maurois

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. ~Dr. Seuss

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more; that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds .... That's what you've given me and that's what I hope to give to you forever.
-- From the movie,"The Notebook"

I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine... ~Song of Solomon 6:3

If ever two were one, then surely we.If ever man were loved by wife, then thee. ~Anne Bradstreet

Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts. ~ William Shakespeare, King Henry the Sixth

Love is when you look into someone's eyes and suddenly you go all the way inside their soul and you both know it. ~Unknown

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend. ~Song of Solomon 5:16

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Natural Car Air Fresheners

How To Make Your Own Natural Car Air Freshener - Planet Green

I was looking for ways to make Brian's longish commute more relaxing. Even on the days that he feels pretty good, after 35-50 minutes in the heat/car/traffic, he usually feels pretty awful. I'm thinking that a cute air freshener with lavender essential oil is a step in the right direction.

Ask Megafilter users also suggested:

Coffee beans in a cup in a cup holder

Cotton ball dipped in vanilla in an unused ash tray

A pomander

Rosemary sachets

Eucalyptus branches

Cedar balls

Yay! Now I can't wait to smell up my van too. :^)

Rosie's Fifth Birthday Letter

Dear Rosie,

I'm a couple of days late with this - but it's not nearly as late as Bella's. I was sick on her birthday and we slept at Gran's on yours because our water had to be turned off, so neither was written on the birthday night as planned. But what a birthday you had!

You couldn't wait to be five. The night before your birthday, curlers in your hair, you prayed, "Dear God, please make it my birthday now!" You woke up giddy to the balloon streamers hanging from your doorway and the presents on the piano bench, and your siblings we're nearly as excited as you. You dressed all up in your favorite foofy pink dress with lace overlay, new headband with big pink flower, new rose jewelry with sparkly stones and new "sparkly" pink flip-flops to head to church. And then the Little Mermaid party with the sand castle cake...but that's another story.

You are the sweetest thing (99% of the time at least :^). We still sit and just watch you or listen to you because you're so sweet and so cute. A few letters still lisp, but you're definitely growing up. You love to learn and are really turning into a good reader - you're so smart!

You love to dance. Your ballet recital was a red letter day this year again, and you love all of your friends. You love your friends at church too. Switching churches was a little hard for you, you were sad to leave your friends there, but I know that you'll have bunches of new ones soon.

You love to draw and write. You can pretty much take spelled dictation, and enjoy writing both your first and last names.

You love your Barbies and silly bands and Polly Pockets and all of your colored teddy bears that you sleep with - red Jella, green Jello, purple Blueberry, and what's the pink one's name?

You love to dress up and be girly. We haven't seen as many princess dresses from the dress up box (mostly because they're too scratchy, I think), but you like to dress beautifully and accessorize. You love to get into make-up too - but you're too little for that!! But you do a great job of putting in your own ponytails and choosing matching headbands and inventing elaborate hair-dos for yourself.

You love your Bella to death, but almost literally sometimes. I've spent all year telling you to put her down, but you love each other. You love to do things with the big kids and had to have your own version of whatever they did this year from math to writing to lapbooks. I'm glad you're going to an official student this year.

Anna Kate was baptized this year and you immediately wanted to know when you could be baptized because you believed too - and you were so excited when it was your turn.

You have a stubborn streak and a temper that's been peaking out some this year - we're gonna nip those in the bud. :^) Because, and I know I've said this already, but, really, you are the sweetest thing.

You are a great snuggler and the one who always lobbies for a bedtime book - even when it's too late. And it needs to have pictures. And it needs to be one that you've never read before. You finally get to get your own library card (you've been using an extra of Daddy's for a couple of years now), and I know you're going to be thrilled. You enjoy picking out your own books. Even if they are Christmas books in July.

You've been a big performer this year. It started with Taylor Swifts wonderful Love Story video and continued with dance and ballet performances and Hannah Montana imitiations (we've managed to "forget" all about watching her anymore - whew!) The funniest imitation you did was singing a Taylor Swift song and hanging you head down, then flipping you hair back just like she does - you had me in stitches. But you and Anna Kate were always having to do a show this year.

You've joined the dog lobby, I'm beginning to think I might lose this fight. A sweet dog wandered into our yard for a day, and you were smitten. You rescued a tree frog and let him loose at the neighbor's little garden pond.

And while you still love your PBJ and chocolate milk, you really are getting much less picky. The food wars are calming down and you eat a lot more things, as long as they're not too "spicy." Your favorite meal is those frozen barbecue pork riblets. Funny girl.

I'm falling asleep writing this late night letter. I could go on forever about you. You are my favorite Rose. From the moment they said you were a girl, I have been so glad that you were my girl. I am so blessed to be your mommy. You are so special and so very precious to me.

All my love,


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Rosie's ready

Rosie is ready for school. The real question is, is she ready for kindergarten or is she ready for first grade?

She is my best preschool reader. All of my kids have learned to do basic reading before kindergarten, but Ethan and Anna were still relatively slow readers. I've learned that Anna Kate is probably best classified as an auditory learner, and Ethan is very visual, but in a picture sense, not a test sense. He wants lots of illustrations or photos - and they better be well done. He does not tolerate poor artwork. Won't read a book that contains it. But there's more to his learning style that I'm still working on. Rosie, however, is my kind of visual learner. The marginally photographic memory variety. She sees a word, learns it, and rarely forgets it. She usually doesn't sound out the same word twice in the same book. (Ethan at her age could sound out the same word ten times and still not know what he was saying while Anna Kate would sit in the background telling him what the word was.)

And numbers. The girl has got them down. She like to solve simple addition and some subtraction problems. She loves to write numbers and letters. She counted thirteen fairy wands in her knew activity book and accurately wrote the number 13 yesterday. Today she had a treasure map book ready for her daddy when he got home, complete with numbered pages and arrows pointing in different directions to lead them to her "treasure."

And I didn't really teach her this stuff very consistently - she picked a lot of it up.

Oh, and I can't forget geography. It had been a long time since we reviewed the states that we learned a couple of years ago. Today Rosie got out the U.S. place mats. She still knew right where Hannah Montana and Eloisiana was.

Even if she did get it a bit confused with her great aunt's name. :^)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Book Club

I'm gearing up for starting a Nature Club and Book Club for this year. I've wanted to do something like this for sometime, but this year I finally got in gear before school took over.

We visited a co-op in May and loved it, but I really didn't want to be away from Bella for most of a day every week. I hope that that is something we'll do in a couple more years when she can thoroughly enjoy her own classes. The children really enjoyed it and were sad that we didn't sign up for this year.

So I put out a message on my facebook and church homeschool loop and got a huge response in just a couple of days. I want to have the book club in my home, so that is going to have to be limited in size. If more people want to have the same club in their homes I will provide the themes for them if they want them, along with links to activities and treats to match the theme.

So I thought - why not here too?

I want the book club to work well for homeschool families with children in multiple age groups, so rather than choosing a book, I'm choosing a theme. Each child can then choose a book in that theme and present a "Reading Rainbow" style oral book report at the club meeting. We'll then enjoy some kind of related activity and snack.

So here are our 2010 themes:

July - Favorite Summer Reading
August - I Can Be a Missionary (biography)
September - Long Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away (science fiction/fantasy)
October - A Day on the Farm (nonfiction/fiction)
November - Westward Ho! (American West/Pioneer fiction or nonfiction)
December - TBA - if there are smaller groups, we will find a place to meet together this month
January - Extra! Extra! Read All About It! -(current events)
February - An American President (biography)
March - Irish for a Day (historical fiction)
April - Not So Secret Gardens (non-fiction/fiction)
May - Man's Best Friend (non-fiction/fiction)
June - Poetry Slam (poetry recitation and ice cream social at a nursing home/large group meeting)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

What do you think of the new background?

Blogger has added lots of choices and tools - I could even resize things - woohoo! I have several that I like, but I think that this one is my favorite. For now.

Fun and Yummy Watermelon

My kids love watermelon. These ideas were so cute - I love the watermelon snowcone! More here. Don't miss the Watermelon Cupcakes.

From my archives, some more fun ways to serve watermelon.

And while we're on a roll, a watermelon Fourth of July coloring page.

And of course, crafts:

A twist on the traditional paper plate craft for the littles

And for another twist on the old, a watermelon napkin holder