Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Funnies

We played UNO Moo for game night.  Nate won.  Yay Nate!

"I don't wanna win!  I wanna play!"  Screaming and crying in-sued.  We have a sore winner.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Seven years ago Katherine Elizabeth took her first breath.  While in some ways it seems that it was only yesterday, in other ways it seems as if she has been a part of our family forever, instead of only half of our marriage.

To my dear Kate,

I wanted to write and tell you about you as you are turning seven.
You are full of life and energy.  

You are emotional

 and more than a little silly. 

You are a tough cookie.

You are bright

and caring.  

You are creative


 and have your own sense of style.

You like to help in the kitchen.

You love to do things for other people--buying them little gifts, reading them stories, or doing extra chores to support wonderful causes.

You are an inspiration and I am proud of you.  You challenge me.

May God guide you as you grow in wisdom and stature.  May He lead you on the path that is best for you, despite what is safe or wise to human eyes.  I pray you will listen to His guidance and find that you are never safer than when you are in His will.

I love you always,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Salt from Salt Water

Most of our science for this fall is geology based.  This sort of fits that, but is actually a part of the Five in a Row that Gabby and I were doing.  We created salt water and allowed the water to evaporate off, so we had a glaze of salt.

Salt mixed into water

What is left after about a week of evaporation

This is a fun way to learn about where we get the salt for our food.  We also talked about how the food has to be cleaned because a bug got into our salt water.

Monday, September 24, 2012


So, this weekend lacked the busyness of last, but it was a beautiful Sunday morning for pictures before church

Kate being Kate.

Pretty gal


Gabby being Gabby.

The little man


And a little Yard digging after.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Funnies

Encouraging Kate in her math: "You're quite bright."

Sourly, "No I'm not!"

Gabby: "She's as bright as a rainbow!"

Kate: "Rainbows aren't very bright"

*which reminded me of Rainbow Bright*

*     *     *     *     *

As I was working on my double wedding ring quilt that I put away for the summer, Kate walks up and sweetly says, "I'll finish that for you if you die before you get done."

I oscillate between touched and worried!  We read in Anne of the Island about a gal leaving unfinished work this week and one of the characters stated that there is always someone to carry it on.  I'm going to say it is because of that she said it and not some statement on my slow movement on the quilt or a wish of death!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


As a part of our geography semester, we've been studying erosion.  To show the difference in the wind weathering rock and dirt and the action of water we used sugar cubes.

As a part of the experimental method, I've been making up sheets for Kate to fill in.  I list the different items we need.  Then she fills in the blanks for the steps of the experiment using a word bank.  She makes a hypothesis and then she gets to check it with her findings.

For the actual experiment:

First, Kate blew on the block--we saw a few particles blow away.

Then, she used a dropper to drip water over it, which dissolved the sugar slowly and carried it off--the kids tasted the sweet water to see that it was still there.

Lastly, we turned the faucet with the water running hard., which made the sugar cube swirl around and dissolve very quickly.

It was a fun and easy experiment.  The kiddos quickly understood the fastest way to dissolve the cube was fast running water and it seems to have stuck.

Monday, September 17, 2012


We are generally homebodies on the weekend.  This weekend though, we crammed in every possible activity we could come up with!

I found out Friday morning, because evidently I live under a rock most of the time, that they were putting on Much Ado About Nothing downtown.  Actually, I think I had heard this, but it had not stayed in my head that long.  I was probably picking out curriculum or telling Nate to, "Please stop jumping the couch for the love of all that is holy."  It was the last weekend that it was running.  Much Ado is my favorite Shakespearean piece and Kate is really into Shakespeare at the moment, yes, at six.  She has memorized a fair chunk of Hamlet's "To be or not to be..." soliloquy and she loved Midsummer Night's Dream put on by the downtown library.  They set it post WWII and added musical numbers to it.  The littles loved that the actors 'hid' in the audience: running around, sitting on people's laps and blankets, and hiding behind small children during the eavesdropping scenes in the garden.  The kids really enjoyed it (as did I) and didn't get restless until almost ten (them, not me)--way, way past their bedtimes.  Even with that, they did manage to make it to the very end.  Kate is already asking about going next year, since they are putting on Midsummer Night's Dream, and also if she can act in one of their plays in the future.  She will be our little thespian!

On a side note, we have lived in the area for 2 years and never run into anyone I knew from before (we have friends, family, and family friends here, since I only grew up about an hour from the north side of town).  In two days I ran into a cousin at the park with our children and at Shakespeare in the Park we ran into a friend of my sister and cousin.  I hadn't seen either of these two people in 15 years.  Thanks to Tori for the family picture!

Saturday morning Justin took the Buick for emissions testing, for the third time.  The first time the wait was estimated at three hours, the second the gas cap evidently leaked, but this time it passed.  Whew!

Then we headed to a pioneer days festival.  We watched a blacksmith, saw an infirmary, learned about mourning customs, saw traditional cooking,

listened to traditional music, wrote with quill pens, 

the littles rode in a 'train' pulled by a tractor (Nate cried horribly when we left),

and Kate learned to dance The Virginia Reel.

The 16 year old fellow, Oscar, was very good with her, and Justin even let him live.

Her sister, who wanted to dance, but couldn't work up the courage teased her that if she danced with Oscar, then Kate must be Oscar the Grouch.  This offended Kate greatly until I laughed at it and told it was just silly.  Then she laughed too.

Saturday afternoon I had won tickets to see Last Ounce of Courage.  I never win anything and entered on a whim, never thinking I would possibly win.  We bought the littles tickets and took them along, since it was rated PG.  Justin and I can neither one completely decide what we thought of the movie.  It had some really good parts.

We spent the rest of the evening explaining to our children that actors aren't really hurt nor do they die when their characters do, that the jail wasn't real, and how they knew which key to use (not quite sure why that was suddenly a question, since we each have several keys on our key rings).  It was the first time our kids were really exposed to any sort of violence (it was very tame by today's standards), since we don't watch much in the way of TV or movies unless our Saturday morning Veggie Tales, Gumby, or Fraggle Rock and occasional episodes of The Electric Company count as much.

Sunday was church, leading children's worship, chatting with the parents/grandparents, and after seeing 'long wait' next to Aladdin in our Netflix queue for a long time, we finally got it to watch with the littles as a substitute for those Saturday morning cartoons we skipped for pioneer days.  A day of rest!

I hope your weekend was wonderful too!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Funny

As Kate is licking her fingers at the dinner table,  "Kate use your fork."

As Kate picks up her fork and begins wiping her fingers on the fork, "But the fork is messy."

"No Kate, eat with your fork so your fingers don't get messy."


Thursday, September 13, 2012


I took both gals to have their ear pierced on separate weekends lately.  It is an early birthday present.  We did Kate's so early because she will probably have surgery in December to remove the screw in her elbow.  We wanted to give her ears as long as possible to heal before then.  As I was caring for her ears, I decided it would be much easier to line them up and do them together, rather than care for Kate's for six weeks and then another six for Gabby.  Five was the age we offered to get Kate's pierced (actually I took Kate when she was five, but she backed out at the last minute).

Thankfully the girls have not had the trouble my sister and I did with ear piercing.  We both reacted to the surgical steel posts.  Every time we got them pierced we had infections that caused us to have to take the earrings out.  Finally, as teenagers we were able to get our ears pierced and use gold earrings which prevented the problems.

So, from our experiences, my gals have gold earrings and, at least so far, no problems aside from a hang up with the piercing gun with Gabby.  The poor girl had a rough time of it.  That caused the back of her ear to get caught in the earring back, which I found the first time I went to turn her earrings.  It was painful for her when I fixed it, but I was grateful that I could get it loose!  She was such a tough little cookie.  The next time I went to turn her earrings she thanked me for getting it loose for her.  I think most kids would have been really mad that someone had hurt them!

I took both of the girls to the food court for their choice of lunch after they had their ears done.  Kate picked grilled sandwiches and Gabriella picked pizza.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Funnies

Total Randomness:

"Hey Mama!  I love butter.  Can you help me put my pants on?" -Nate

"I think that the reason that butter is called butter because it came from a cow's utter" -Kate

"Do you know why they call bread, bread?"


"It's made out of Fred." -Kate

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blessings in a Leaky Roof

Our roof sprang a leak.  It rained pretty hard over the weekend and I noticed a wet smell in Nate's room and water staining on the ceiling.

The house had a new roof put on right before we moved in, but we had nothing to do with it.  We didn't know the name of the roofer and didn't have any paperwork.  Then I had a thought.  Our real estate agent was truly excellent.  (If you ever intend to move to middle TN, let me know and I'll refer you to him.  He was the best agent we have ever used, and we have bought and sold several times over the years.).  So, I emailed our excellent real estate agent.  He was able to get the name of the roofer for me.  The roof is under warranty, so they came to take a look the next day.  Nothing was found that should have been causing the leak, but he nailed down a few nails that popped up a bit and promised to return again if we had further problems.

It has been a year of these little things that have made problems, that could have been great financial burdens, be taken care of.  Justin's car died.  His parents had a spare.  My dad fixed the old one.  Kate broke her arm.  The medical expenses, huge expenses even after insurance, have been largely covered by a supplemental insurance because she was at gymnastics when it happened, instead of in our backyard.

God has been faithful to provide for us.  We are thankful.  We are blessed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Growing Crystals

We are studying geology in science this semester.  I'm trying to come up with some labs to go with at least most of the sections we cover.  For the study of rocks and minerals, we made crystals using borax.

I set up an experiment worksheet and Justin worked with Kate on the project.
The instructions are fairly simple:
Form a pipe cleaner into a fun shape.
Pour boiling water into a jar (of course an adult should do this) and add Borax by Tablespoon, stirring often until the Borax will no longer go into solution (you have undissolved Borax at the bottom of your jar).

Tie the pipe cleaner on a string, and tie the string onto a pencil, such that the pipe cleaner hangs in the middle of the solution.

Allow to sit undisturbed for a few days.

Then you'll have a pretty little shape covered in crystals.

Record you methods and findings as you go.