Sunday, July 29, 2012

Irish festival...and a squash

We went to an Irish Festival today!
Bagpipes, drums, and instruments that I don't know the name of...
Irish Dancers.
Vendors selling "Banger and Mash" which particularly does sound appealing on and 80+ degree day!
And lots and lots of Green! :)

Love the kilts. Makes me miss the plaid skirts I wore when I was a girl!
(Except not on an 80 degree day!)
My Mom's coworker is a member of this band! :)
His young daughter did an Irish dance also.
Miss Vivi was entranced. :)
It was very crowded though so navigating the big stroller through it all took some mad skills.

Bonus picture....and let's say, Quiz of the day.
What are these?
They are from my garden.
I planted acorn squash.
These are not acorn squash.
There is also a zucchini growing in the midst (zucchini was planted in a different row in the garden) so maybe a squash hybrid?
Just a yellow squash...sort of looks like it?
BTW: The small one was broken off the vine by squirrels otherwise I would have let it grow more.
The squirrels are HORRIBLE this year. :(

DH with a weed whacker is almost as bad...but lets not go there.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Snake soap...eek!

The girls went to a soap-making class. :)
We were the first ones there, which was great since that meant the girls had first pick of a toy to put in their soaps! They had a selection of little dinosaurs, insects, and a few animals.
They also were able to choose their colors. Shiloh chose orange and Vivian chose blue.
The girls picked the same (of course) little red snake to put in their soap.
While they were waiting for the soaps to cool and harden, they decorated little jars with colored sand.
The jars are cute....but so messy!
The girls were holding them on the car ride home and by the time we got home they were covered in sand. :-P
Vivian didn't like that at all.
She'll play with toy snakes, but she draws a line at getting sandy!
A girl has her limits!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer fun, crafts, and baking!

I took the girls to a local playground this week.
I don't do it very often, considering how close it is...I wondered why?
Then Shiloh took a flying and ungraceful dismount off the swings because "I wanted to get off all by myself..Waah!"  To top off our outing she walked into two of those looped metal handles (or whatever they are) in the picture above...
Shiloh and playgrounds are a dangerous mix and the playground always wins.

My craft of the week. :)
I was planning on doing one letter pink and one purple, but the girls wanted Rainbow style instead.
I made a cherry pie.
I've always wanted to try a cookie cutter on the top....and it looks so pretty!
But pitting cherries is the pits!
Poked my finger with the knife, it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r and my hands are a colored mess!
At least it is yummy....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Shrinky Dinks

We took the girls to a Shrinky Dink program.
It was fun!
Vivian's are on the right, Shiloh's are on the left.

The kids picked out pictures that they liked from a pretty big selection.
We traced them on the Shrinky Dink paper and let the girls color the pictures with markers and colored pencils. (We helped fill in any gaps)
They had people there that then baked them in little toaster ovens.
The girls had just about as much fun watching them bake as they did coloring the pictures because the pictures curl and twist as they bake.

About 30 kids total in this program but it was well organized....which I appreciate immensely!
It was a lot of fun and they gave us tips and suggestions if we want to try doing them at home sometime too. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ninth Anniversary

Happy 9th Anniversary to me and my DH today! :)

Our local library offers weekly prizes for readers during the Summer.
This week's prize was these adorable rubber rings.
So cute!

Shi has finished her work for the Summer, so we're just working on some things that she had a hard time carrying a number such as 12 or 13, she always switches the numbers and carries the larger number instead of the 1 so that's one of the things we're working on.

She really liked learning tally marks in her schoolwork (which also resulted in my having the
"Day-O" song impossibly stuck in my head...but on the plus side, she thought the song was pretty cool) and gets excited whenever she sees tally marks anywhere.

We went out to eat today and she had a huge chocolate chip pancake.
DH started to cut it for her and she told him "I want 1/4 of my pancake, Dada.
No, that's a half! You need to cut it into fourths! Do you know 1/4, Dada?" lol

Shi's pencils and erasers at the end of the year. (I give her a pencil of each color, and we've already replaced the red one once).
So I did a little back-to-school shopping today. I have some new pencils on hand but we needed a new ruler, new crayons, and some notebooks (the paper kind, not the laptop kind). ;-)
Still nothing like the back-to-school lists the other people shopping were carrying around and I'm thankful for that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation pics

The girls and I had a nice vacation with Grama and Grandpa. (DH had to work) :(
The girls loved the playgrounds...we visited three!
Shiloh had fun on the beach, and wrote her name in the sand.
Vivi wasn't so into that.
Shiloh at the walking bridge....I'm not sure what this pose is!
Vivian and the worms.
She was expecting a container full of gummy worms.
Live Earthworms are quite the letdown after that. She wanted us to put gummy worms on the hooks too...she was sure the fish would like those better.
We were also able to take a tour of a Coastguard boat...with a cute coastguard guide.
Vivi was ready to eat in their galley, but she's ready to eat all the time. ;-)
Fun times!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wildlife and Homeschooling

I took the girls to a presentation by a wildlife rehabilitator.
She brought in an injured Great Horned Owl which was impressive to see so closely.
When she turned him around, his back totally looked like the trunk of a tree...amazing!
The girls were hoping to see more birds, and in particular an eagle, so they got a little fidgety after awhile as it was mostly talking and a question and answer type program.
 But I was riveted. :)

I learned that the #1 animal that kills owls is nothing that you would think's porcupines!
The owl thinks they look tasty but when they swoop down to grab the porcupines they are injured/killed by all the quills.

I also learned that there are six species of owls in our area and skunk is one of their favorite foods.
(I almost wanted to ask if we could borrow one.) ;-)

Equally interesting to me was that this Rehabilitator was Homeschooled.
I had read that information in a newspaper article beforehand and the more we listened to the presentation, the more I wanted a moment to talk to her.
She is actually a Licensed Veterinary Technician who took many classes and tests to become the Rehabilitator that she is today.

So I patiently waited for a moment and told her that we enjoyed her program and asked if it was right that she was homeschooled?
She confirmed and said that she was homeschooled from 6th grade to Graduation and how much time it had given her to focus on her goal of animal rehabilitation.
I asked what curriculum she had used and she replied
"Abeka...are you familiar with it?"

Ack! yes! :) :-D
I did pry a little, (I couldn't help myself) and she said that she did not need to get her GED to further her education. She was the first in her class at that time (20+ years ago) to be homeschooled and she said how much more common and accepted by the colleges it is now.

Anyways it was quite uplifting to me.
Whenever I have doubts (or rather have doubts thrust upon me) regarding homeschooling, my main question to myself has been "Which way would God choose for you to educate the girls?"
I always know that answer but it's still awesome when God could just be "Ah..let her just learn to trust Me" but instead gives a little boost like today. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crafting with Tablecloths

I needed new dining room chair cushions...desperately!
But when I went to the stores, every cushion available was "spot clean only", and with young children that is just not practical.
I cringe to think of "spot cleaning" something that has had chocolate milk spilled on it!

So I decided to make my own cushion or cushion cover.
I found a flannel-backed tablecloth on clearance for $2.50 at Walmart.
I bought the 60" x102" size and I was able to make four chair cushions and cover three bar stools and still have extra!
I measured my old cushions and kept the natural curve of the tablecloth as a template to curve the other sides the same.
I folded it and sewed up both sides, leaving an opening to stuff, and hand-stitched ribbons into the the final seam so the cushions could be tied to the chairs.
I took apart my old cushions and used the filling to stuff the new ones.
I used the stuffing from about one and a half of the old cushions per one new cushion to make them fluffier.
Ta Da!!!
Easy-clean seat cushions!
And now the bar stools are easy to clean as well! :)
The girlies love to help me bake while perched on these seats so everything from egg to chocolate to frosting might be spilled here.

Hmm, I wonder if I can make a couch cover with one of these tablecloths...

Monday, July 09, 2012

Reading programs

A lot of places and libraries are in the midst of their Summer Reading programs right now.
I have the girls enrolled in one for the first time.
This particular program has been a lot of work for far.
Just getting them enrolled was a lot of forms!

Today I took the girls to fill out their reading charts, I didn't realize it was something to be done weekly and they can get a tiny prize each week.
They wanted us to put a sticker on the girls charts for each 1/2 hour they read.
That was my job to keep track of  and because my girls like to read and having not done the charts regularly it added up.
 33 stickers for Shiloh's chart and 21 for Vivian's!
Shiloh powered through and put all her stickers down by herself, I just had to count them to make sure she put down the correct amount.
Vivian was bored after one sticker and abandoned me to do the rest.

Their little prize this week was a temporary tattoo.
Vivian wanted the exact same one that Shiloh chose so that took a bit of searching.

Then Shiloh proved that she is certainly my daughter. lol
She thought that the tattoo was a sticker and when she heard me say "tattoo" she looked stricken and quickly put the tattoo down.
"But I don't want a tattoo, Mommy. Some grown-up peoples have drawings all over their bodies and I don't want that. I don't want a tattoo!"
So I explained how their tattoos were permanent but that this one would only last a day or two.
She was still disappointed that it wasn't a sticker, but decided to put in on her leg...then crawled around on the floor so really the "tattoo" only lasted about 30 minutes. :)

Sunday, July 08, 2012


The blueberries are ripening!
And some are huge!!
Dish of blueberries for Vivian to enjoy and a spinach (from the garden) salad for Shiloh. :)

We have netting on the blueberry bushes and boy are the birds frustrated by that!
There was a Mother bluejay with two babies following her and she was trying and trying to find a way around the netting while her offspring followed her every move.
The berries are quite sweet and delicious, so I certainly can't blame them for their efforts. :)

There is a skunk hanging around as well, though the smell (our only sign so far) has been more to the front of the house.
Our front porch was quite fragrant this morning so DH is working on sealing off all the nooks and crannies where a skunk might be getting under there.
It looks like he's leaving the garden alone at the moment.

Which is good, since it's doing so well.
We have little tiny baby ears of corn can see the tassels! ;-)
Green tomatoes showing up, and the acorn squash is doing something...squashy.
They don't look like acorn squash though so...hmm.
Strange white gourds.
It was weird though last year too.
Everything else is already busy producing and being harvested.

With this heat wave and drought, everything requires daily watering but it's thriving nonetheless.