Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday

I had a happy birthday today!  :D

First of all, my husband took a half-day vacation in order to have two new tires put on my van...and that wasn't even my birthday present!  
;o)  (I had a flat tire the day before.)

Then, he actually made a birthday plan...to take me out for supper!  And (knowing how I like my options), he gave me a choice of four great places to eat:
Copper River Grill (steak, seafood), Fatz (endless ribs!), Mythos (Greek, Italian), or Portofino's (Italian).  I chose Portofino's.  I love that restaurant, and I love their manicotti.  (Guess what I ordered for supper?!)


Afterward, I opened a card from my husband, a card from T, and a gift from T.


set of two flour sack towels...
for my apple-themed kitchen

My husband told me that he had shopped for my gift last weekend, but ended up having to order it...consequently, it won't be available for "gift-giving" until tomorrow or Friday when it arrives in the mail.  No problem; I can wait!  :D

I also received so many other nice expressions of love and friendship.  I received four birthday cards in the mail, an e-card, four e-mail messages, four telephone calls, and 25 facebook posts!  Yes 
 a happy birthday, indeed!  :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Birthday Card

I hope this isn't in poor taste to post; I received this birthday card today from my brother.


I laughed so hard I cried.  I thought it was so funny!  For 
one thing, that could be my backside (minus the tattoo!).  I gradually have put on weight (a lot of weight) over the past ten years...and right now, I own only one pair of jeans I can fit into.  I bought them at Wal-Mart...when I was in a hurry...and they're actually a size too big.  Also, they're not the style I wear typically; they're low-cut, hip-hugger type jeans.  Alas, they tend to be a little droopy...and sometimes (try hard as I might not to), I show a little too much (oops!)...which is not a fun sight, I'm sure, for anyone who happens to catch a glimpse!  I guess my brother has seen that side of me??!  hahaha.  Yep, that could be me on the front of that greeting card!

On a "happier" note, my brother wrote some sweet words to me on the inside of the card.  We were born a year and four days apart.  Yes, I'm older...and we have fun with that every year.  ;o)

So...do I have a warped sense of humor, or is that funny?  Anyway, I just wanted to share...the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I hope you don't mind?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Great Horned Owl

We took a field trip to the zoo this afternoon...to see a Great Horned Owl!


(It was difficult to get photos without the cage visible in front of the owl!)



Check out those talons!



We learned....



We saw many other birds.






Most of the animals were very "social" for a change!  As soon as we walked up to the glass, this alligator entered the water and swam over to us.



He "visited" with us for quite a while!




This orangutan was sitting at the glass, waiting for us!


We took a break from looking at the animals for some photo opportunities.  :)



Then, back to watching the animals.



Next, into the reptile house.



The small petting area had some farm animals.



We cooled off in the gift shop while we browsed.  We purchased this stuffed Great Horned Owl for T.  When squeezed in the middle, it says "Who-whoo, whoo-whoo.  Who-whoo, whoo-whoo."


This little booklet of information was attached to it.


Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owls are the heaviest owls in North America and are found throughout much of the United States, even living near people.  They live in forest or field edges and are generally nocturnal.  Weighing an average of three pounds, they are strong for their size and capable of hunting prey larger than themselves.  Skunks, rabbits, snakes, and even cats are preyed upon by Great Horned Owls.

After leaving the zoo, T wanted to play at the nearby park...so we obliged!


Linked to:
   Field Trip Friday

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Owl Sandwich

I prepared another owl-themed lunch for T today.


The owl is a snack idea that I found in this unit and lapbook....I just made a couple of changes.  It's made from a piece of bologna, a piece of cheddar cheese (a square, cut in half diagonally), two Ritz crackers, two slices of black olive, and pretzel sticks (broken into pieces).


I cut two slices of bread with a circle cutter and placed one bread circle under the bologna.  Right before T was ready to eat, we said "Bye-bye, owl!" and put the second bread circle on top to make a sandwich.


I also gave T some tortilla chips in a green bowl with an owl pick.  For the pick, I used a foam owl and embellished it with two tiny wiggle eyes...and glued a toothpick to the back.


Linked to:
   I Heart Lunch
   What's for Lunch Wednesday
   Fancy Sandwich Friday

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Baby Owls

Today, we began a unit study about owls.

This was T's lunch today...which went along with a book we read, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.


     Once there were three baby owls:  Sarah and Percy and Bill....
     The baby owls came out of their house, and they sat on the tree and waited.
          ~from Owl Babies by Martin Waddell



  • three baby owls > three owl-shaped sandwiches (white bread with sprinkles for eyes)
  • tree > pretzel sticks
  • foliage > romaine lettuce
  • full moon > ranch dressing
  • dark of night > black placemat

Linked to:
   I Heart Lunch
   Family Fun Friday

First Day

We had a terrific first day of homeschool today.  T was very eager to get started this morning!  He kept signing the word, school.


He was attentive throughout the lessons and seemed so ready to learn.  :)  When we started, he even gave up his rope at my first request...and without hesitation! —My family and Miss Bekah will understand the magnitude of that!!  ;o)

Linked to:
   iHomeschoolNetwork

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Day

We celebrated Labor Day (a day early!) with a cook-out at my parents' house.

My parents...the hosts

We spent an enjoyable afternoon with my parents, all of my siblings, and two of my nieces.


My sweet boy...
waiting patiently for lunch

My husband and my brother were the grill masters!



My dad helped, too!!


This was the spread.



We ate:


hamburgers and hot dogs...



with all the fixings,



potato salad and baked beans,



potato chips with onion dip,



and lots of fresh fruit!



For dessert, we ate brownies and ice cream.  Yum!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Beginning of Knowledge

I am really looking forward to this upcoming homeschool year!  I have many fun things planned.

These are my curriculum choices for 2014-2015:


Bible -
     Exploring God's Love (from Positive Action)
     Bible Memory Picture Cards (from A Beka Book)

Character Development -
     Character Concepts (by Marilyn Boyer)

Reading (primarily sight words) -
     MBR Beginning Reading Program (by Laura Felzer)

Reading (primarily phonics) -
     Language Development Visuals (from A Beka Book)
     Letters and Sounds (from A Beka Book)
     Letter of the Week, Book 1 (from The Education Center)
     Letter of the Week, Book 2 (from The Education Center)
     God's Creation from A to Z (from My Father's World)

Handwriting -
     Get Set for School (from Handwriting Without Tears)

Math -
     Math (from BJU Press)

Social Studies -
     Social Studies (from A Beka Book)

Science -
     God's World (from A Beka Book)

Health -
     Horizons Health (from Alpha Omega Publications)


I also have some other ideas...things we might add later in the school year.  (It always is helpful to establish our routine first!)  I will write about those choices when the time comes.


To me, it looks like plenty to keep us busy!


I want learning and our homeschool time together to be enjoyable for T.  He will learn...but for us, it is not just about the academics.  It is about the heart, too.


First of all, what is knowledge?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, knowledge is information, understanding, or skill that one gets from...education. Something I read recently explains further.


     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge:  but fools despise
     wisdom and instruction.
 Proverbs 1:7


     This is the key verse of the book of Proverbs.  The fear of the Lord is the
     beginning
(or chief part) of knowledge.  If a man wants to be wise, the
     place to begin is in reverencing God and in trusting and obeying Him.  Fools
     despise wisdom and instruction.
 Just as a wise man...is one who is
     willing and anxious to learn, a fool is one who cannot be told anything.


          ~from Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, page 792


We will begin each day with Bible study.  Through such, I believe T will learn the fear of the Lord—knowledge of God the Father, of His love and grace in Christ...holy, humble fear of God...a reverential affection for Him and devotion to Him.  This chief part of knowledge will be the cornerstone for all the academic subjects that will follow throughout our day.


So, there you have it.  I will let you know how everything goes as we move through our homeschool year.  I am planning (hoping, at least!) to be more intentional in blogging about our homeschool time and activities this year.  I will do my best!  
;o)

Linked to:
   iHomeschool Network
   Ben and Me
   Titus 2 Tuesday

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Breakfast Strata

I've been MIA for almost a month.  I've been working like a crazy person, cleaning my house (parts of it, anyway) and preparing for our new homeschool year which is scheduled to begin in just a few short weeks!

As a result, I've not been doing some of the things I normally do (such as blogging and cooking!)...but I tried a new recipe yesterday, so I thought I'd share it.


It's a crock pot recipe called...


Breakfast Strata

6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
8 ounces (2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix together eggs, milk, onion powder, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.


Layer in crock pot as follows:
   1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom
   1/2 of the cheese
   1/2 of the egg mixture


Repeat layers.


Cook on Low for 5-6 hours.


Sprinkle with bacon before serving.


Makes 4-5 servings.


The photo above is minus the crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.


Linked to:
   Try a New Recipe Tuesday
   Tasty Tuesdays
   Fun Food Friday
   Family Fun Friday
   The Gathering Spot

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

M is for Monkey

This was T's lunch for today...reminiscent of our recent trips to the zoo for his birthday.


  • two monkey-shaped sandwiches (one made with the crust...and holding a banana-shaped candy)
  • green vine (pull-apart Twizzlers)
  • "M" and "MONKEY" Scrabble Junior Cheez-It Crackers
  • pretzel balls in a paper liner with a monkey design and a monkey pick
  • homemade banana pudding — the kind where the custard is made from scratch in a double-boiler  :P
  • milk in a cup with a monkey design


T came into the kitchen while I was preparing this lunch.  He pointed to the Cheez-It Crackers and asked, "What say?"  I held up the monkey-shaped cookie cutter and replied, "/m/" as I moved my finger from left to right below the letters.  He exclaimed, "Zoo!"  Okay...so he made a connection, right??  (~Not the one I was hoping for, obviously!)  
;o)