Monday, October 28, 2013


This is going to be a quick post, but I did want to say hello from beautiful Virginia! :)

We arrived last night, after a drive up that included a yummy lunch with friends in NC, and some fabulous fall colors on the trees. I can't count on two hands how many times one of us exclaimed "Oh my! Look!" and the rest of exclaimed "ahhhhh or ooooooh." Lol.

The boys enjoyed the ride too. I had gotten them this little travel game set, with several different dry erase board activities. They played road trip bingo, tic tac toe, hangman and worked on some vocabulary activities (working on syllables and sight words for Braeden).

We knew we were staying in a yurt, but we really didn't know what to expect.

This is what we checked into:

All hardwood floors, a full kitchen, two small bedrooms and a luxurious bathroom (no not kidding about the bathroom!)...all surrounded by a canvas tent-like thing. It's honestly awesome. :)

The hubs and I do have a little bit of work to do this week, here and there. I thought I might have the boys do some T4L this week, but I don't think I'm going to hold to that after all. There is SO much to see and do and learn about around here! Tons of American history. We are going to check out James Madison's Montpelier (I think there are a couple of other past presidents' homes as well). There's the Shenandoah Valley National Park. And, as we discovered upon check in, Luray Caverns (totally can throw in a rocks and minerals lesson there, lol).

We are super excited about what this week holds for us! Hopefully will have a chance to post pics throughout the week, but more than likely, I will post a few key photos as a recap next weekend. :)

Until next time, have a fantastic week!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall is HERE!

It's here for now at any rate. Here in GA, that could change real quick.

The temps are cool, the sun is shining and yesterday I was able to pull on my favorite comfy sweater for the first time this season. Things are good. ;)

The week went well. We stayed pretty busy, as usual. Wednesday, we had a birthday lunch and some play time with a friend. Thursday, after Master's, we took the kids skating. They had a great time, and I had a blast watching them. Takes me back to being Bailey's age and hanging at the skating rink all the time.

Sweet group of kids...
Bailey...he's very cautious and trying to find his footing.

Braeden...who decided "screw this, I'm getting in the middle." Haha.

Friday was homeschool park day, and yesterday we took the boys to see a friend perform in a play, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. 'Twas a fabulous production that we enjoyed very much! Following the play, we had dinner and board games with a GREAT group of people!

School is going great. We had a little bump a couple of weeks ago with both of the boys retaking quizzes they didn't score well on. I have no idea why they were doing this all of sudden; it's not like either of them is a new homeschooler, lol. Having said that, I discovered what they were doing and explained that all of the retake scores were being included in their grade average...which brings it down. They just thought it would take the highest grade from all of the them. Oops. Anyway, since I exlplained that, they are paying closer attention to the lessons and asking questions before they start on the quiz, if they are unsure about anything. So, things are going much better now.

This week, we are preparing for a fall vacation! Doesn't happen often, but we found ourselves able to spend the last week of the month in Virginia. A state that NONE of us have been before! We leave a week from today, and I want to make sure that we stay on top of school (and work!), but I also want the boys to learn a little about Va before we head out. I think I will look up some fun facts about the state, and build a word search they can work on.

As much as we are looking forward to the trip, my "oh my gosh, I have a week to pack and get ready" anxiety is kicking in. I hate that about my personality...that I get so stressed and anxoius about everything, including the happy stuff. Ah well, at least I'm used to it. :/

For now, I'm logging off to enjoy the day with my men folk. Happy Sunday Funday to me!

Happy Sunday Funday to you as well! :D

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

His Potato Has Hair!

Ok, so, not actual hair. But made ya look. ;)

The plant lesson that Braeden started a little while ago has been going well. Remember the potato head he made, and was growing grass in? Here's its progress:

This is the photo I shared last week, a day after he planted the seeds...

This is just two days after he planted the seeds...

One week after the seeds were planted...

And this is today, about 12 days after the seeds were planted...
Isn't that awesome?! He is SO proud of his little potato head. He's added a couple drops of water twice, but other than that, he's just left it alone and documented the changes every morning when he gets up.

We all had a good week last week, and this week is starting off very well. I had to spend yesterday at the tax office (nope, not tax time yet, lol) because we had some extensions to file. Bailey stayed home and got caught up on things he wanted to do, like his writing. He is not ready for SAT essay writing help yet, lol, but his creative writing is really coming along! Braeden went with me because he wanted some time with me. I know...awwwww. :D

Other than yesterday, this week is the first week in a while where we don't have to be out of the house more often than being able to stay in. I need to play catch up with some of my stuff,  and we are wrapping up soccer season. I'm going to try and stay on top of my work, and the laundry. Always with the laundry!

Until next time...Happy mid-October, errbody! :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Doing something good...

I always tell the boys that I want to do more good around us. In our community. I'm quick to donate financially when I can, and I tell myself that the money is really needed and it's a good thing to give it.

But it's easy to donate money. I'm not saying that everyone has large amounts to give, I know I don't. But's easy. You write a check, hand over some cash, click pay online, whatever. Once you've done that, it's done. You're done. You gave. Pat on the back.

It's really easy to forget that, even in our world today, there is something that we have that is worth far more to someone than our money.

Our time.

The only thing we truly own. One thing that many of us feel we never have enough of. Something that can make such a big difference to someone else.

A few months ago, I read an old friend's Facebook post. I haven't seen her in more than 20 years, but we reconnected (online at least) through FB a couple of years ago. The post was a quick explanation of her mom's battle with Alzheimer's. However, it wasn't just her mom's battle. It was about her battle. The battle that her children face. It was the pain and sadness that this horrific disease brings to everyone, not just the one who has it.  The story was accompanied by a link to donate or sign up to participate in a walk. The Walk to End Alzheimer's.

I decided right then, that I wanted to do it. I have never done a charity walk in my life, and for those that know and love me, you know walking 3 miles on a Saturday morning is never something high up on my "to-do list." :D

The boys (who, in their awesomeness decided to walk with me) and I ended up having a great morning, with some great people. We felt good physically, but we also felt really good knowing that we gave our time to a very worthy cause.

The other part of the week went well too! Bailey had his last cake decoration class. He and Z had a ton of fun with this particular course (fondant and gum paste), and they both did a fabulous job on their final project. I have to remember to download a picture that Tracy took of both of them, but here is one I snapped on my phone of Bailey's:

All told, he invested about 9-10 hours on this cake. The 50 calla lilies took the most time...about 6 hours. Pretty freaking amazing, if I do say so myself. 

The school week went fine for them as well. Wednesday they had their monthly nature science program, and we went to an arboretum to study trees. I don't really take a lot of pictures of school stuff, because I never think about it. I know, shame. I do document what they are working on, but photos elude me. This week however, I have photos!! Woot for me! ;)

Bailey isn't following a specific art curriculum, but he's improving a lot thanks to his art teacher at Master's. This is one of his current projects, studying shading and lighting and looking at an object while drawing it.

A bell at a church. This is an 18" x 24" sketch pad, so a lot bigger than it looks here.
Braeden combined art with one of his science activities. Well, kinda science. Plant science? He made a potato head. Per his words, here is what he did:

"I got a potato and I scooped out the inside. Then I put on googly eyes. Then I glued on a feather. Then I got three wet cotton balls and stuck them in the potato. Then I got a bunch of grass seeds and sprinkled them down inside there with the wet cotton balls. Now I'm waiting for the grass to grow. So my potato will have hair."

Now great is my kid? ;) 

Here is his hairless-for-the-moment potato head:

If you look closely, you can see a little sprout of grass already,  right above my thumb. And no, this isn't a cyclops potato head...the other eye is on the other side, lol.

I don't really know what this week holds yet, but I'm all right (oh oh...side note...I *just* discovered that alright isn't a correct word, grammatically. Who knew?!) with taking it as it comes. I know it will busy, but I'm trying to not let it stress me out before it even starts. 

For now, I'm enjoying some down time with my guys. The eldest is making us his homemade fettuccine alfredo for dinner, and we are getting caught up on some our TV shows. Tonight is Sleepy Hollow, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Haven! 

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stone Mountain Field Trip!

I have been wanting to take my boys to Stone Mountain for the longest time, but it never worked out. Outside of their special "homeschool day," the cost was just too great. Every time that annual homeschool day rolled around, we had problems fitting it into our schedule. Just never fell into place.

This year though, everything worked out. Aaaaand, it worked out so that we could take the niece with us, and we met up with friends for the day! Woot! :)

The weather was absolutely perfect for our field trip, and we all had so much fun. The kids did a sky hike type thing (totally counting that as know me, meeting those homeschool requirements whereever we go, lol!) to start off the morning.

Braeden first...

Bailey next...waaaaay up high!

We also rode the train around the park, and learned some interesting things about the granite from Stone Mountain. We had no idea it was spread all over the place. There is some of it in the US Capital building and the Lincoln Memorial!

After the train ride and lunch, we played a round of mini-golf that felt like it was 47 holes long, but was fun. Then we hopped on the skyride. I really had to work myself up to this because I'm afraid of everything. But once on, it was beautiful, and such a short ride. Not to mention, you get to view the carving on the mountain from the neatest angle...

Once to the top, Brandi and I followed the kids around for a bit. Then we all just sat and chilled and enjoyed the fantastic view.

The day ended with a great dinner, then the boys and Sierra and I heading to take her home and visit my parents for the weekend. Much to the annoyance of my kids, I was able to extend our field trip over the weekend, by creating a couple of grade level word lists from words associated with our trip and the things we learned there. I made them (yep, made...) use said word lists to do spelling and vocabulary. I did not make them test or anything, or but I did make them practice by playing games like hangman and sentence match. Horrible of me, I know. ;)

This week Bailey has his final cake deco class and cake presentation. He is so excited, and has been working so hard. I can't wait to post pics next week of the final project!

Until next time...