Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas decorations

Usually I like to break out all the decorations out over Thanksgiving weekend. I had no desire to do so this last weekend. Mainly because I was sick, but also a little because of all the work. Well, today I decided we should take a day and just do it. I'm still a little sick, but we had no where to be today, so it meant we could make as many trips to the storage as needed. We took some items to the storage, picked up the Christmas boxes, took home the Christmas boxes, decorated, then took back the (mostly) empty boxes. It was quite the process, but I'm glad to have it done, and the house looks so festive and beautiful now. We get to enjoy it while we go about all our many Christmas activities coming up in December. I'm amazed at how much the calendar is already filling up!

Alex was so excited about it all. He didn't miss a beat. He even made a "Christmas" fort, and played Christmas for a couple hours. It was fun to watch him. I never did get a picture of his fort.

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Sitting at the couch this is what I get to see. I used to love to just sit on the couch as a little girl and dream about Christmas. I think I still love to sit at the couch and just remember and dream.

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After the tree was all decorated...

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Remember those ornaments we made with the Kwik Stix? I couldn't find the vinyl letters I wanted, so I decided to just pick up some stickers to put their names on them, and  they went up on the tree too!

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The kids enjoyed seeing their creations get put up on the tree (at least the little ones anyway). Don't know about the big ones.

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All the nativities are out. Aaron did a count, and he says I have 13 total this year. I think I beleive him! It's fun to see the different ones I've collected over the years. Maybe I'll have to do a post on just those!  This of course is the free play one...

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 The cat had his fun today too. He full on attacked the first decoartion we had out, it was the Charlie Brown tree. I was worried at that point that we were doomed to have broken Christmas everything, but thankfully he chilled out as we got the tree up.

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I put some ribbon on his cat tree, he played with that for a while.

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 It looks so fun and festive.

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Remember how I said I used to love to sit and stare at the lights, this picture of Alex looking at his lights in bed is what reminded me of that. A little Christmas fun in their little space is just what he needed. He asked if there would be presents under the tree tomorrow. We had to have a conversation about how many days there are until Christmas. He counted to 25 and said that was a lot of nights until Christmas! I guess to a little guy, that's forever.

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 Time for the countdown!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Life around here lately: robots, outside, grammar, and much more!

I was thinking I didn't have much to post about, but then I started going through the pictures from the last week or so, and realized that I had a lot! So... it's long, and I'm sorry, but this is just some of the life that has been happening around here lately. 

We've had some pretty amazing weather this Fall. There have been days where it has been just amazingly warm, dry and sunny. This day I just had to get the kids out of the house and moving! We went to Centennial park, took whatever wheeled contraption they picked, and walked a few loops before April's piano lesson. I'll have to remember to keep better track of the time because it made us almost 10 minutes late. Oops! It was just so nice, I wanted to stay all afternoon.

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Just WOW!
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 Aric was working on prepositions one day, so we pulled out this Word fun book I got last year with curriculum. It's a great way to explain grammar concepts, and it even has a fun game after each section.

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I love how it uses real life scenarios, and colorful pictures.

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 There are plenty examples of what prepositions are. I even found it helpful to refresh my memory!

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 I think I finally found a kid that likes worksheets! Alex worked on a few dice rolling games, and even asked for more. I love that he likes this kind of stuff.

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Alex also discovered how to draw trains. He has been drawing train after train. They are all Thomas of course. He has really taken to coloring and drawing lately.

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April had her Young Women in Excellence program at church with her young women group. She had the value Faith, and got to display how she is helping her faith grow. The color of faith is white so she found a few things to display that were white along with her display.

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Aric decided he wanted to take notes while reading his science this week. I couldn't believe it. This is the boy who hates writing, but on his own he willingly took his own notes. His writing is in need of improvement, and I've got to figure out how to get him to stop flipping letters. But, this made my homeschool Mom heart happy.

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We made it to OMSI last week.  I took this picture, that was it. The end.

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I have this amazing little girl that I teach at church. She's in my class of about 5 children. Actually, all of them are amazing, but this one in particular is so sweet and giving. She makes these little notes and pictures for me almost every week. Melts my heart.

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There was a full moon last week. In the morning when I took April to early morning seminary, it was so big and beautiful and visible. This picture hardly caught the "wowness" of it. It was amazing to look at, and felt so close because of how big it looked.

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Last Friday at the homeschool group time we had the opportunity to try out the new library robots. The children's librarian had just received these as a gift to the library, and wanted to try them out on our group first to get a feel for how they would work with the general public.

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The robots are called Dash and Dot.

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 They were able to play with the robots in groups, and taking turns.

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After the group time we go downstairs as usual to play games, and look for books. There was some pretty intense Jenga building going on apparently.

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Speaking of games I finally printed a Minecraft multiplication game to play one morning from Royalbaloo. I've got some Minecraft crazy boys, so I thought it'd be a fun start to our day.Great multiplication practice for sure!

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 Okay, finally done. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

52 lists: Thanksgiving menu (week 46)

With it being my birthday ON Thanksgiving day this year, I suggested that we go out!  Nobody really jumped at that idea, and really I enjoy just being at home, so I will be cooking for some family at our house. It's not a big gathering, just 3 extra people in addition to our family, so it will be pretty low key. I'm pretty happy to host, especially since it has been a few years since we were just home!

Our Thanksgiving menu:

Appetizers and snacks
  • Pretzels and cheese dip
  • Veggie tray
  • Possibly deviled eggs
Main dinner

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes and Turkey gravy
  • Stuffing (from the box, nothing special)
  • Rolls
  • Green bean casserole (Pioneer Woman's looks pretty good)
  • Apple cranberry slaw (from pinterest)
  • Sparkling apple cider to drink
Dessert

  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Birthday cake (Happy Birthday to me!)
52 lists with Chasing Slow

Monday, November 14, 2016

52 Lists: Gratitude List (week 45)

gratitude

This week's list is things we are grateful for, and I've got a lot!

I'm thankful for...
  • Being a mother
  • My husband
  • My children
  • My warm home
  • Life's experiences
  • The ocean
  • Food to eat
  • Service projects and cub scouts
  • A lovely birthday lunch out with my family
  • My carpet cleaner
  • Friends
  • Game nights
  • Temple Trips and the Temple itself
  • Prayer
  • Peaceful feelings
  • The fun of looking at new cars
  • Homeschooling
  • Freedom
  • Knowledge
  • Books and libraries
I think I will stop there. These are all things I have been grateful for in the last few weeks specifically. These lists are so fun to make! But can be challenging too. I am linking up with:

52 lists with Chasing Slow

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A new wreath

Remember this red, white, and blue wreath I made over the summer? The ladies at church had a 4th of July "craft night" where we  were able to choose a few themed crafts to make. I chose to make this wreath. I just loved how it turned out, and while we were painting all those clothes pins someone had the idea to just paint new clothes pins to change it up for each season/holiday of choice. I thought that was a brilliant idea. Some other ladies didn't like it. The idea of taking all those clothes pins off and on was a little bit much for them, but not for me. I love not having to store a wreath for each season, I just have to keep the metal ring that the clothes pins are attached to, and change it as I make new ones. A pack of clothes pins at Walmart is a few dollars, and a can of spray paint is a few dollars, done!

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To paint all the clothes pins I just laid them out, gave them 2 coats of spray paint, flipped them over to do the same on the other side.

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 This batch was easy because I didn't do 3 different colors, just brown.

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This is the most tedious part, I think. Flipping them over. 

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I had to bring them inside since the rain was coming. They dried beautifully.

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I had planned to use little wooden cut outs of leaves, like I did for the stars on the red white and blue one, but I couldn't really find any. So, I found these cloth ones at the craft store. I wasn't sure how it would work when I picked them up, but when I laid them out it was nice. I am happy to have repurposed a wreath to use for more than one season.

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Looking forward to making a Christmas one next. I might do 2 colors for that one! Or, maybe just white. What do you think I should do for the Christmas one?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Outdoor time: A hike with the family

I sure love this family of mine. I love it even more when we are all doing something together, and when it's outdoors that's like the cherry on top.

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We decided to go hiking a few weeks ago. But, not just a walk, and not somewhere we usually go. We picked something really out in the woods, over an hour away. A place where there are hollowed out logs, and you wonder how could it be?

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A place where the trees are so tall that you look up in amazement, and wonder how long they've been growing there.

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A place where everyone was just slightly grumpy upon arrival, but they can't help to enjoy it once they step out of the car and behold the beauty around them.

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A place where you find all kinds of interesting fungi growing out of logs and on the forest floor.

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A place where you find cute little mushrooms and wonder just who lives there.

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A place where the edges of the trail are very steep, and make certain family members who are afraid of heights feel just a little bit woozy. But, only a little, and soon they are over it, and just enjoying the view, and trying not to look down too much:)

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A place where there are very narrow bridges that are also pretty high up, so certain boys run across very fast and don't look down.

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And, then on the way back he's totally fine.

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Yes, this is a place where even the tiniest of curiosities is left untouched to grow in its own unusual way.

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A place where the green is a beautiful backdrop for all the browns, and oranges, and reds.

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Yes, a place where Dad just might have to go back to get that awesome picture that he just had to have but forgot to take on the way back.

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 This was a beautiful place, and I'm so thankful to have places like this all around us where we live.
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