Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Costume week

Looking for more? The blog can now be found here.

Me, for the past few months: Girls do you want to be Elsa & Anna for Halloween & Clay, you can be Olaf? (He LOVED Olaf)

Clay: YEAH!!!!

Girls: I don't want to be Anna, I want to be Elsa!

So, we planned for two Elsa's & an Olaf. Well, we mentioned it once in awhile & I'd push it to the back of my mind because Halloween was *so* far away.

Less than two weeks out from Halloween & I made the trip to buy fabric for the Elsa's. The week before Halloween Clay decided he wanted to wear his Spiderman costume instead.

Finally, with four days to go until Halloween, I began to measure, cut fabric & sew the Elsa dresses. Who doesn't work best under pressure? Where's the challenge if you give yourself enough time to do a perfect job?

Our school room made a very nice place to sew during the evening & still be cleaned up for school the next day. (I love this room!!!)

I also really enjoy creative projects, but, they're more of a luxury at this time in my life so it was fun to get to work on something creative for the week. (even if ALL of my spare time was dedicated to it - and it meant working through dinner & the kids bedtime!) It was so cheap to buy all of the fabric, too - all of the fabric for two Elsa dresses was less than $16!

On Wednesday I double-checked with Clay: Are you sure you want to be Spiderman or do you want to be Olaf?


That's what I thought. I did some quick online research & found a cute homemade costume I liked & used for inspiration. Thank you to all those amazing people who provide detailed tutorials - with pictures! - for people like me.

I made Clay's costume on Thursday & he was ecstatic when I completed it. He wore it at night right until he went to bed. That alone made the time spent making it worth it.

With the whole Frozen theme going on I thought it would be fun to dress-up Jackson in a super SUPER simple Sven costume (I took a onesie he had & glued some ribbon & fur on it) & to use clothing that Ray & I already owned to turn into Anna & Kristoff. 

I took one of my old tank tops & used fabric paint that I've stashed away unused for years. Nothing fancy, just enough to get the idea across. 

For Ray's costume I turned one of his black t-shirts from a past VBS inside-out & glued some ribbon & fur on it. His sash was a scarf that McGraw-Hill handed out at the Today Show in NYC when we went & watched it 12 years ago - FINALLY came in handy, thank you McGraw-Hill!

I didn't tell the kids that Ray & I were dressing up, we just came out of our room when it was time to trick-or-treat with the costumes on. The kids were delighted!

Anna, Kristoff & Sven

Our little munchkins, aren't they adorable?

The Elsa's with their pal Olaf. Because I was going to make their costumes I asked the girls what they most desired from their Elsa dresses. Here were the requests:

1. A skirt that covers their feet
2. A slit on the side (like Elsa)
3. A really long cape 

These two!

Frozen Family

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Looking for more? The blog has moved here.

Our homeschool room is (mostly) finished!!! 

 so happy to have this done! It was all Ray's doing really - I most
likely would have left this as the guest room and continued using the
kitchen as our classroom. I don't know why I would have done that
because it drove me crazy having the school supplies that would fit in
the kitchen, the rest of the supplies scattered around the house &
the table constantly in use.

We still have some organizing to do & little things to finish, but, I'd say it's about 90% complete.

 must mention the table. A LARGE table for only $30!!! Certainly not my
first choice in style or color but it's solid & big enough for us.
I'm so happy with it!

Our Classical Conversations Memory Work whiteboards are directly across from the double doors. 

 boards were $7 each at Target and the timeline cards are in page
protectors with sticky velcro on the back of the page protector. The
other velcro sticker is on the wall so I can easily take page protectors
 off of the wall.

 makes me so happy to have a place for all common items to go together.
This is so much more efficient & helps me be so much more
productive. Hiding on one of those shelves I have 10 copies of "Climbing
 Parnassus" to give away - anyone want a copy?

 got this idea from Briana - a place to put all of the crafty items
where they are organized but too high for tiny hands to reach them! This
 is another unit that came from IKEA & I purchased the chalkboard
stickers for the front of the containers.

 awesome craigslist find! I really wanted the Expedit 5 cuve by 5 cube
but IKEA was crazy & DISCONTINUED THE ITEM!!! I found this one on
craigslist for only $100 - a bargain compared to the original price
& it was still in great condition!

 paper chain on the wall is our school day count - at the end of the
school day we add another link to the chain. Florida doesn't require us
to keep track of our school days so I'm only doing this for my own
benefit & accountability.

 wall opposite the shelves holds two maps - one of the U.S. & one of
 the world. I bought these a few years ago (it was either 2009 or 2011)
at the Target Dollar Spot! Once the baby is past the stage of ripping
things off the wall I'll probably position these one on top of the

 we lost our guest room we gained a much more functional space for our
family. Also, we purposed made sure the kids rooms are able to hold more
 people than kids we have & this table is easily moved to add an air
 mattress. In other words, please come visit, we still have space for

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Web Address Change

I've moved my blog with it's content & layout to a new web address:

Sometimes the address "legaladdictivestimulants" was confusing to those who didn't realize it was referring to coffee!

Why Classical Conversations Works For Us

Looking for more? The blog has moved here.

The other day the kids pulled out some blocks while waiting for breakfast. Kate said, "I'm building the Eiffel Tower!"

I remembered that I have a little fold out book about the Eiffel tower, as well as a small replica that was brought back for me from Paris.

On a whim, I decided to do a quick study with the kids on the Eiffel tower. We discussed some of it's history, location, materials used to make it, weight, size, etc.


At lunch time, we revisited the Eiffel Tower with some flashcards I have from the Target dollar spot. One set is on landmarks around the world & another contains flags of different countries.

As I was reading about the history of the Eiffel Tower again & telling the kids that it was built to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution in 1789, Kate yelled out, "I KNOW THAT!!!"

She then quoted to me about the French Revolution beginning in 1789, storming the Bastille, the reign of terror & aristocrats. 

This past year we had a history sentence that we memorized about the very topic. I just loved seeing how it added depth to our studies! It also corresponded with geography that we had memorized as well as mathematical conversions.

 also really love the flexibility that the classical conversations program provides. First, it's mission "To know God & make Him known" is at the forefront of the program & next is that it makes it easy to follow a classical method of learning while also providing a community of support & accountability.

Something that is also REALLY important to me is that I can keep curriculum flexibility. Classical Conversations is an excellent skeleton on which to build your curriculum. Our Eiffel Tower study was a prime example! We were able to include history, geography, science & math just from a simple statement my five-year-old made in the morning, without stressing out because I deviated from set school lessons. How great that the kids can all learn this together & each go to greater depths with the material depending on their own capabilities?? I love that we're not bound by set grade curriculum so that each child is learning something completely different - rather, the same material is made more difficult as the child gets older.

We finished up our impromptu addition to our school day by each of the kids replicating the French flag.

 Even I had fun with this study!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dinner with Michael Farris AKA Homeschooler Geek Out

I've fallen so far behind on blogging that I never mentioned an awesome event I was at a couple of weeks ago.

A couple of the families that I know through my Classical Conversations group hosted a reception for Dr. Michael Farris one evening & he shared a message entitled: "The Challenge to American Liberty: Short-term Battles & Long-term Solutions." He also shared with us about Patrick Henry College & the Convention of States.

Who is Dr. Farris? He is the founding president of The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) & the founding president of Patrick Henry College. He's a constitutional attorney & is spearheading  the Convention of States. What is the Convention of States? Read more about it here. (if you're libertarian, you'll love it)

Anyway, he's been around since I was a homeschooled child so I was really excited to be there & meet him!

The event was absolutely lovely. We all mingled & had hors d'oeuvres (the event was catered by Bailey's - AMAZING!) before moving to the outdoor tent.


We sat outside while Dr. Farris spoke. I learned a lot & was certainly encouraged!

After he spoke we had the most amazing dinner outside! Lollipop lamb chops, beef tenderloin, shrimp & grits - among other things! I had an empty seat next to me (Ray was watching the kids for the night) & Dr. Farris came & sat next to me for dinner. I was totally excited! (like I said, total homeschool grad turned homeschool mom geeky evening)

It was a wonderful event & I'm excited to get to see Dr. Farris speak again tomorrow at the FPEA Homeschool convention in Orlando!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Almost Dead

My blog, that is. I feel I've entered the era where people who used to blog all of the time pull back to every few weeks, then months & before you know it, two years have gone by without a post.

I'm going to make a solid effort (really!) not to let that happen here!

However, it's not looking good as I started this post 3 days ago (just the title) & am only just now writing anything.

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Day In Pictures

The other day I found
 my post from a few years ago when I chronicled my day in pictures & I was inspired to do it again.

6:26am: I overslept my almost an hour. I didn't get up until just before 6:30. A few minutes after I got up I heard Jackson making noise in his crib so I got him up. While nursing him I did my devotions. Right now I'm doing a wonderful study on spiritual gifts with some of my co-workers (fellow support managers with Classical Conversations)!

A few minutes after that, while still nursing Jackson, Addison woke up & came & laid down next to me on the sofa.

Ray left for work late so he was still at home at this point. He was able to see the two kids who were awake before he left. Jackson practiced his standing at the coffee table.

I quickly checked some things on the computer, including getting some work e-mails out of the way.

Clay woke up at some point in here. I gave breakfast to he & Addison & Kate woke up. She decided to lay on the floor with Jackson & had no interest in getting up for breakfast.

I quickly ate some leftovers for breakfast while standing at the kitchen island.

Kate asked me to cuddle with her for a bit.

I remembered that Jackson needed a diaper change!

I also realized that the kids needed their nails trimmed. I was able to do the fingernails on both boys & Kate.

We all joined together at the kitchen table for our morning Bible time, which is what we usually do during breakfast together. Right now we're studying different character qualities using "The Blessing Chart." (same charts my mom had when we were kids!)

This week we were discussing reverence in church. This is when we also work on our Bible memorization & read a story from a kids Bible story picture book.

Next, we did a bit of school.

Jackson also tried some of his siblings leftover yogurt. He was tired so I went ahead & put him down for a nap.

Clay loves to do work, too!

While walking around the table I bumped into the file holder on the wall. One of the screws was already coming out of the wall & my bump sent the whole thing crashing down.

9:00am: I had a two-hour online webinar scheduled. Netflix time for the kids! (Still hijacking my moms' account) Ray's dad bought us a Wii two Christmases ago...we use it for netflix.

I quickly made a cup of coffee.

I secluded myself in my bedroom for the webinar.

Our chapel Sunday School picnic was scheduled for the next day & on a whim I decided to come up with an activity for the kids. In between taking notes I put together this tape candy ball for the picnic.

It only took about 20 minutes to wrap. That thing was heavy! (The kids sat in a circle & while one person rolls two die trying to get doubles another person gets to unroll as much of the tape as they can & keep all of the candy they come across until the person gets doubles. Then, the die & ball are passed. Thank you, pinterest!)

My meeting ended 45 MINUTES EARLY! That almost never happens! It was my 4th webinar of the week & the first one went 15 minutes over time.

I used the extra time for a few minutes of fun Internet time (the kids were still in the family room watching tv) & showering. After my shower Kate asked me to paint her nails. In a pattern. Pink, purple, green, pink, purple, green.

Time to get Jackson up & feed & change him again!

I remember that there was a load of laundry in the wash from the night before.

Time for lunch & reading. Right now I'm reading the Chronicles of Narnia series to the kids.

1:00 is rest time in our house! The kids go to play in the rooms & I work and/or do house work. Jackson seemed sleepy so I put him to bed again.

Time for more coffee!

Another lady & I made jars of fun food to guess the number of for our picnic. With the picnic a day away, it was time for me to count my items. I picked chocolate covered espresso beans & little pickles. 

Clay came out from rest time & told me that Kate painted his nails. Whoops, I forgot to put that away.

I see that Kate & Clay have taken over my room for rest time. This includes finding as many blankets as they can & piling them on the floor.

I finish counting my items & move onto ironing some of Ray's dress shirts while catching up on hulu.

Turns out this guy wasn't as tired as I'd thought. He joined me in the living room. 

I finished the ironing & moved onto folding laundry. Jackson had an explosive diaper. Always fun. NOW it was time for him to nap.

3:00. Rest time is over & the kids are asking for peanut butter & jelly for a snack.

I got distracted by my bedroom. I made the kids put their blankets away & then I tidied up my room. I finally made my bed, too.

Addison need to find her soccer shorts for her game that night. She goes to look in the van - that backseat had just been cleaned out the week before!

I got distracted by the messy van & began to clean it out. On one of my trips inside I discovered Jackson sitting in the living room. I guess he woke up so Addison got him out of bed.

I don't understand how the kids sneak so much into the backseat of the van so quickly.

A pre-game snack for the kids.

Dishes & a very messy kitchen for me to clean.

5:45: Not enough time to get everything clean, but, daddy made it home in time for soccer! We left for the games & here they were yelling, "Soccer!"

Clay's game was first. He's really good at dribbling the ball!

I stayed for a few minutes & then went to Target. I was so thankful that I had a gift card so that I could treat myself to coffee!

I glanced at the nail polish, I'm really wanting to get a new color!

I also needed new shorts so I found a pair to try on. Jackson loved the 3-way mirror!

I picked up a gluten free brownie mix to make for the church picnic the next day. While walking through the store I went by the athletic clothes. Just looking at them makes me feel so fit & sporty. That's the reason I bought my yoga pants earlier this year, thinking they would inspire me to work out more. Turns out they're actually comfy lounge wear for around the house.

I went back to the soccer fields & made it as the girls were starting their game. Ray's mom & grandmother came to watch for the first time that night, too.

I set Jackson in the grass for the first time. He saw this as an opportunity to try to eat the grass.

8:30Home from the games; it was time to eat again.

Ray got the kids ready for bed.

I was on a mission to finish the dishes (didn't happen) & pick up the house (mission accomplished).

Time for more laundry.

The kitchen floor was in desperate need of being swept.

10:04pm: I sat down to work, pay bills & watch some tv.

Sending off W-9s to some of my workers!

Looking for a new liability insurance policy for CC. Two years ago I paid $120 for the year. Last year I paid $180. This year they want to charge me $325!!! I hope to find someone less expensive.

11:40. I'm exhausted & crash on the sofa, but, not before setting my alarm. I fall asleep watching tv, something I don't usually do, but, hey, it was the weekend! (Ray fell asleep on the sofa before 11:00)


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