Friday, October 30, 2009


I had an awesome shopping day today. Ran into Old Navy to get Alli some jeans.....she has grown like a weed here lately & was in desperate need of some new ones.....& they had them on sale 2/$28. Michael & Jon have also grown too & they needed Ts. I had found some in Michael's size this past week at ON for $3.99.....which I thought was an ok deal....but when I paid for them it rang up as only HALF that price. So, I went back & picked him up a couple more. Today I happened to notice there were some men's sizes on sale & I was going to grab some for Jon. They were $1.99 which I thought was terrific....but then I saw the sign hanging there that said they were an EXTRA 50% off that!! WooHoo! I spent $37 & got Alli two pair of jeans...4 shirts for more for Michael & a pair of Halloween jammie pants for Ashley. Then after Old Navy....we ran into AC Moore to see if they had any Halloween goodies on sale & sure enough they did. I got all these cute goodies here for just $10....The adorable stuffed kitty to hang on a door knob, little witchy candy dish, two black/white pumpkins, 4 notepads & the tiny little Halloween cookie cutters.
And last but not's a card I made using sketch #7 from Scrap Sketch.....just love Stephanie's sketches!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What we've been learning....

Just thought I'd share some snippets of what we've been learning around here lately. First off I must share one of my most favorite UNSCHOOLING moments from this past Monday. The girls & I were in the kitchen doing some baking for our Halloween party....we were trying out a new recipe for Pumpkin Nutmeg cookies & Ashley had measured all the wet ingredients into a bowl when Alli came in asking if she could measure the dry ingredients. Well, Ashley just set about helping her read the recipe & showing her which measuring spoon/cup she needed to use. How to scoop the flour up & then level it off with the back of a butter knife & how level the baking soda off by scraping it along the side of the box. I was washing up dishes & just kind of kept my mouth shut & quietly watched the was so neat watching Ashley 'Teach' Alli what to do. Something they would never get in a class room situation. Not only the hands-on learning, but the sisterly bonding that was going on....made my heart melt. Sigh.....THIS is why I love homeschooling!!

Ashley has been studying about the Legislative branch of Government: Congress & some of her math looks like this.......


Jon was working on how to determine the sum of the numbers if he knew the average of a group of numbers & how many numbers are in the group. Michael was working on long division & we were getting so tickled at him.....he was having major brain farts today! I mean this is the child who about two years ago, beat out his brother & sister in a competition for memorizing all their multiplication facts & today he was telling me stuff like 4-3= 0! LOL!! It was one of those days!


I love this quote that I read in my online devotions this morning.....from Girlfriends in God.....

'Give up on perfection. It is meant for heaven...not earth!'
~~Mary Southerland~~

And this one too....
'The further we get from simple things, the further we get from God.'
~~Amish saying~~

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Party

We had our Homeschool Halloween party at Maw's house yesterday. Just 'Us'...Sarah, Ella, me & the girls. We had a really fun time.....lots of yummy treats, coffee & of course candy!Since we've all become such big NCIS fans, Ashley decided that she was going to dress up as Abby this year.

Alli as a gypsy & Ashley's version of 'Abby'

I love this little guy!! He's been around as long as I can remember & it just wouldn't be Halloween without him.

All the yummies....chocolate cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, candy treats, popcorn, soda pop & some coffee with several different kinds of creamers to choose from plus whipped cream to top it off. Mmmm-mmmm!

The lighting wasn't so good down in the basement but anyways.....had to get at least ONE group picture & they co-operated...for the most part. ;-)
Anna, Alli, Cori
Jesse, Daniel & Taylor

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Adventures

Well we all made it to curch this morning & guess who had a coughing spell during the service & had to get up & leave.....ME I'm so ready to be over this 'crud'!! Anyway...came home & fixed left-overs for lunch, watched an episode of NCIS with Michael & then when I came in here to the dining room I noticed that Chris had IMed me...........he went over to Maw's house to do his laundry & realized that he had locked his keys in his car! He tried to get it open with a coat hanger, but that didn't work. So I had to go take him the spare key that I keep on my key chain. I had a nice impromtu visit with Maw & Chris this afternoon. And I WILL be getting a copy of that key made to leave there at Maw's house. Don't know why we never thought about that before.....because if anything like that ever happens again, she will be alot closer by.


The kids were actually able to carve pumpkins from our own garden this year!Jon's own creation
Michael used a pattern from the little book I bought last year to carve this crazy clown face.

And this is Alli's

one of the barn pics that Ashley & I took the other day on our 'Explore'.

The old house down on Carroll Ave. where they do Scare Mare.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Scare Mare '09

Took Ashley & Jon to Scare Mare last night. We met up & went with our church's youth group...we were hoping to have at least 15 people come so we could get the group discount.......we ended up having THIRTY in our group! How awesome is that?! It had been calling for rain yesterday afternoon/evening, but we kept praying that God would just hold the rain off for us & sure enough NO rain last night. It was the perfect evening....almost hot for late October. Here is the deranged bunny rabbit....didn't get to see him actually chase anyone around the field, but he did keep popping in & out of the tents while we waited in line.

And this lovely fellow.....he kept bouncing in & out of the tents/lines too.....& I mean that very literally....he had the coolset bouncy stilt thingies on his feet.

Ashley, Molly & Logan enjoying the wait in line.
We had such an awesome, fun time! Got there about 6:45pm & even after stopping back by the church to drop kids off, we made it home by 10pm. Not bad at all for a Friday night!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


These past few days have been SO nice.....temps in the mid 70s, clear blue Autumn skies, leaves changing colors....So yesterday Ashley & I headed out, cameras in hand.....we were going to the library & Food Lion.....but along the way, we were hoping to get some nice Fall pics. We rode out to where we pay the electric sits in such a beautiful spot with the mountains (or HILLS) all around....but we were a tad disappointed....the colors weren't full-blown yet & it just didn't look picture-worthy. So, as we headed back toward the library, Ashley asked me where the little road across from Oak Ridge went...I think it's Freshwater Cove Ln....something like that. Anyway, I told her in all the years we've lived up here I've never been down that road....always wondered where it went & what was down there, so off we went on our 'Explore' (Can't you just see Pooh & Tigger off on an 'Explore'). It was SO pretty down that road.....winding our way around bends & curves in the road...up & down little hills......we saw so many cool old RED barns along the way. Took LOTS of pics! There was the cutest little sign in someone's front yard....their name was 'The Pughes'....& on either side of the sign were these two adorable little skunks. After that, we headed back to the library.....parked across the road in the very far corner of the church parking lot & got out so we could take pics of the tree in front of the's such a pretty-shaped tree & is always absolutely gorgeous this time of year! Then, just for good measure, we rode down High Peak Rd. to John Ed's house & to see Ridgley's goats along the way. Such a fun impromtu afternoon. Was talking to Maw later last night, telling her about our adventure & we are thinking about planning a 'Field Trip' to Ridgley's to see her goats. ;-) Sounds like a plan to me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just HAD to share this little excerpt from the book I'm reading right now..... "He talked about the scriptures reminding us to return to our first love. I know the verses are talking about our returning to Christ, but the counselor thought the principle could be applied to marriage as well. He reminded us of Scriptures that urged a husband & wife to find delight in each other. See, we're supposed to keep going back to our love for each other, that wonderful, heart-pounding love that drew us together. But returning isn't a onetime thing. It's a constant returning. Day after day after day. Returning to each other with a thirst that can never be met without a fresh supply of water. With that attitude, any couple could survive the hills & valleys of life together."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


....still have the sickies around here. It's like it just keeps hanging on. I feel like I didn't sleep ANY last night. First of all I stayed up watching a movie with Ashley & Jon & didn't get to bed til about 12:35....then I remember feeling like I had laid there forever & not been able to fall was 1:30 at this point....then about 2:30, Alli wakes me up & asks if she can have more meds because her throat really hurts....lay back down & hear Michael coughing....finally after about 30 mins., realizing he's not gonna get back to sleep until I give HIM some medicine.....get that done....& next thing ya know, Alli is up again saying she feels like she is going to throw up. It's just all that drainage! Before ya know it, it's 4-something & Clay's alarm clock is going off. I realized that Alli had gotten up AGAIN to go potty & Clay was settling her back into bed & putting the little trash can beside her bed for her. Thankfully after that....everyone slept. Of course, I woke up around the usual time anyway.....about 7:45 (I usually get up about I slept a whopping 15 mins. extra!) And as I speak/'s 9:25 & everyone's still snoozing. So.....we shall see how the rest of this day goes. I NEED more coffee!!! LOL

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Spooky Science Fun

Hole in Your Hand How to see a hole through your hand:
Equipment: 1 sheet of paper, your hand, your eyes
How to do it.
Roll the paper into a tube. We thought a tightly rolled paper with an opening between a quarter or fifty cent piece worked the best. Hold the tube with your right hand and look through it with your right eye. hold your left hand open on the left next to the paper. There should be a hole!
How it works:
Your right eye sees the hole in the paper tube and your hand, your left eye sees your hand, both eyes composite the images in the brain and combine them into one image. Nifty, huh?
Have fun!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spooky Science

I was browsing a friend's blog last night....she's a homeschooling mom of 2 little boys & does the most wonderful, fun learning things all the time!! They are doing all kinds of fun & spooky science experiments since it IS that time of year, ya know. Anyway, I thought these were so cool & wanted to share them here. Let me just say these aren't stictly for the younger kids......EVERYONE was in here with me last night doing all of these experiments....& that included the teen-agers & dad too. They're just fun & really, really cool!!
If you have need of a larger photo click HERE.
You can of course SEE the black ghost, but did you know a white ghost will also haunt these ruins? In order to see him you must stare fixedly at the black ghosts mouth in bright light for 1 minute. After a minute you will need to quickly look in the doorway of the castle and you should see the white ghost. :)
How it works:
When you are looking at the black ghost part of your retina is NOT exposed to the light from the black surface. The rest of your optic nerves are LIKE WHOA and dazzled by the bright paper and they tire very quickly. When you look in the doorway of the castle the tired optic nerves do not see the white of the paper to its full brightness. They see it as more grey. The rest, on the other hand, see the white tint of the paper all the more clearly now. An exchange of black and white surfaces is produced and you can now see a white ghost! Once the nerves adjust themselves the white ghost disappears.

Sicky Sunday

Well, here I sit this morning sipping my coffee (with peppermint mocha creamer...Mmmm!)We're staying in today...I debated back & forth last night about it, but Clay solved the problem for me by driving the van this morning. I know the kids are starting to 'feel' better, but they still sound terrible. Jon with his cough & a tissue stuffed up his nose because it won't quit running & the others sneezing/sniffling/snotting...I just know how I grumble about other folks who don't stay home when they should & come sharing their germs with everyone. Who wants to shake hands with someone after they've been covering their mouth/nose while sneezing/coughing. Yuck! we are. Besides it was raining this morning & the wind is blowing & it's really damp & chilly. A good day to stay cozied up by the fire. I have several projects to keep me busy.....crocheting & also some scrapping I need to get done today. Not to mention I really SHOULD start working on my Christmas cards!! I bought the cards/envies at Michaels on Friday...they were on sale 2/$5...with 25 in each pack. So, that should do me for this year. It's 10 after 9 now & the kids are all still sleeping...just going to let them rest as long as they will this morning. I'm going to hop in here in the kitchen though & whip a batch of chocolate chip muffins so they'll be ready when the kids do get up.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

'Scrap Pink'

Just thought I'd share some of my recent craftiness....these are little mini-sized Halloween cards that I made this week. Ashley & I have had fun using the vintage clip art, Poe, 'The Raven', etc. along with all our Halloweeny stamps. Got lots of cool ideas from 'The Stamper's Sampler'.Over at Cookin' Up Creations, Tammy has challenged us to a spelling challenge using the words 'Scrap Pink'. Below are two of my LOs I've completed so far for this challenge.
This one about little Gibbs uses the letters: S-sanded edges on my photos, C- cream colored card stock & P- paint

This LO of my silly Alli-girl trying on Halloween masks in Walmart includes the letters: R-rubons, A-alpha stickers & P-polka dot patterned paper.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back to our usual schedule

Enjoyed having Chris home for Fall break last week. Now, this week it's back to our regular routines again. Several loads of laundry done I have to fold about 3-4 baskets of clean clothes...but hey, at least they're clean. ;-) Book learning today consisted of math & History.....still searching for a new History book for Jon, but anyway. In math today I've done Adding whole numbers, decimal numbers & money...Subtraction algorithms...Scientific notation...Problems with Insufficient Information. History consisted of Patriotic Holidays...Miles Standish...Foundations of American Government. Ashley has finished reading Macbeth for Lit. & is now reading some Edgar Allan's that time of year, ya know. After lunch I scrapped from the LU Snowflex. Jon went hunting....didn't see anything but a bunch of squirrels. Chicken fajitas for supper. Just chilling for a while now until it's time to watch 'stories'.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I've been sitting here reading through an old journal I found....2005-06. Goodness, I need to get back to journaling more/better. It really is so cool to sit down & read back through old journals. So, I'm starting right now with a recap of my day yesterday.

Fridays are still grocery/errand days.......the girls went with me & we headed out about 9:30am. First stop, the deposit Jon & Ashley's money into our account so we could buy Winterfest tickets online........Sam's to put in our picture order...we always run in there first...put in our order & then go do our running around, come back & actually do our shopping at Sam's last before heading back to Walmart so the food stuff doesn't sit around in the van all day long, plus this way our pictures are always ready for us when we come back. Not to mention our good friends over in the photo dept that know us by name now & let us check out over there when we pick up our pics so we don't have to stand in the LONG lines up front. ;-).....met Ella & kids at CFA for lunch.....Old Navy to return Ashely's Ashley's bangs trimmed.....AC Moore, where Ashley needed a couple pieces of paper to finish the LO she's working on & I picked up a cute little fall dish towel & some yarn to make a dish cloth for a treat for my secret prayer partner at church.....Target.....then back to Sams & on to Walmart for groceries. Ran into the Dollar store to pick up some candy & a couple of flashlights to take to church for our Fall Family Fun night coming up.....After WM, we hit Food Lion for the boys' little pizzas they like (which they don't carry at WM anymore)....go figure........Clay, Jon & Michael had gone out & about to do some guy for hunting supplies & stuff for Michael's they ate while they were out. Michael twisted Clay's arm & got him to take them to Golden Corral, so they had a fun time together. Chris had stayed here to catch up on some reading he had to do for his Theology us four enjoyed a quiet evening of snacky-type supper foods while watching 'I Love Lucy'. Then later, after Clay, Michael & Alli went up to bed.....the rest of us fixed big, soft pretzels & had coffee with peppermint mocha creamer & watched an episode of NCIS. Then while they watched a second episode, I went upstairs to read....trying to finish up 'The Missing' by Beverly Lewis so then I can concentrate on 'Return' by Karen Kingsbury.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

One Hour Homeschooling

I snagged these homeschooling sites from a friend's blog......thought they were really cool & made me feel really good about the way I do our 'Book' time & 'Life Lessons' time.........

Monday, October 05, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Let's see.....I feel like it's been forever since I really posted on here. I still can't upload any pics.....not sure what's up with that, but anyway. This past Thurs. evening Ashley & I met Maw, Charlotte & Ron & went to the LU Theater to see Annie Get Your Gun. That was Ashley's first play & the first one I've been to since I was in college & we both thoroughly enjoyed it! Those kids are SO talented!! Can't wait til November's performance of Jane Eyre.

Oh & our latest unit study for school squirrel care. When the boys went to get a load of firewood the other day, they ended up cutting down a tree that had a squirrel's nest in the top of it....with 3 little baby squirrels & no mother. So they decided to bring them home & see if they couldn't take care of them. They googled & researched & found out what they needed to know. They are in one of our old hamster cages in some nice warm bedding. They also learned that they needed to give them Pedialyte until they could get the proper formula for them. So they made their own Pedialyte with the proper mixture of sugar, salt & water. Since then they have gotten the right formula & a little syringe to feed them with. And the boys have been waking up about every 3 hours during the night to feed & care for them. Kinda gives them a little insight into what is involved with taking care of an infant too. Some more life lessons along the way. ;-)

Today we had a field trip to the new Regal movie theater in L'burg. Their grand opening will be this coming weekend, but today thru Wed. they were having dollar movies/popcorn/sodas...with all the proceeds going to local charities. An advantage of homeschooling is that we could go to the first showing of Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince at 12:15pm while all the other kids are in school. The theater is really beautiful & the movie was really good! An awesome outing for sure!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

'Think Pink'

With today being World Card Making Day, and October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we at Cookin' up Creations have partnered with Pink Persimmon to bring you our 'PINK' Challenge. We challenge you to create a layout and/or card using 'PINK' as your primary color, but your creation must include some sort of stamping as well. Your card and/or layout, whichever you choose to do, must be either about a female friend, or for a female friend. Your creations must be uploaded to the 'THINK PINK' album in the gallery by October 17th, 6:00 pm EST. The winner will be announced on Sunday October 18th. Winner will receive a prize package from Pink Persimmon Stamps and a Guest Design Team Spot here at Cookin' up Creations for the month of November 2009. We look forward to seeing your creations, and remember to 'THINK PINK'!