Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

After a busy, busy, LONG trip (2 1/2 weeks) travelling to western PA with Rodney while he worked out there, we are FINALLY home!!! I've posted some updates as we went, but here's the wrap-up of the final week or so . . .

Last Sabbath (a week ago), for our last day in Pittsburgh, we went to the Pittsburgh zoo.
It was a HOT HOT HOT day, but we still enjoyed it. The aquarium is part of the zoo, so we appreciated the air conditioning there. The picture above is the girls looking at some of the fish.

Sunday morning we left Pittsburgh and headed to Erie, PA. I was sick part of the week in Erie (see my earlier post), so didn't do as much as we'd hoped up there.
We did take advantage of the fast food restaurants near our hotel with indoor play areas. The big girls had fun pretending whatever they came up with, Little Bit's favorite part was stairs, the "little kid friendly" stairs that were a part of the play area gave her the chance to "practice" and perfect going DOWN stairs as well as up (and yes, now that we're home, she now goes DOWN our stairs here at home too, though if someone's around to carry her, she wisely choose that option LOL).

We did do some fun stuff while we were in Erie. One day we drove out on the peninsula into Lake Erie and took a boat ride tour of the bay and lake. It was hard to hear the tour guide, so the girls got bored, but I found it interesting :-)

Another day we visited the Children's Museum in Erie. Unlike the one in Pittsburgh, the one in Erie wasn't affiliated with the science museum membership we have, but it also was only $5 per person. And, as I expected, once I saw the price, it was quite abit smaller than the one in Pittsburgh. The biggest frustration (to me) was that there was no on-site parking, or nearby parking garages that I saw (or that the site mentioned). The site suggested street parking on the nearby streets, and I found an open spot very close to the museum, BUT it had a 2 hour limit. Now, if I'd had another adult with me, it wouldn't have been a big deal for one adult to go out after 2 hours and drive around the block and re-park (in the same spot or a different one), but to load all the kids into the car and change spots would have been abit more of an ordeal. So, since we'd seen the whole museum after 2 hours, we left. There WERE some neat things there. The big girls loved a huge play "grocery store" and would happily of played there all day. It had all kinds of "real" boxes and packaging for things that are easy to clean once empty. It also had plastic "produce" and meats and cheeses and such (even plastic ice cubes for the sea food display). And then there were shopping baskets and play money and real cash registers . . . the girls LOVED it. Little Bit would have wreaked havoc in there so I took her to other displays while her sisters played. She had fun for awhile (instruments, balls, etc). There was a little "Little Tykes" toddler toy with a "door" that she had fun for quite awhile going in & out of the door. But she got restless so I finally dragged the big girls away from their precious store.

Little Bit liked the rocking horse in the "antique toy" section (the big girls liked a tin doll house). She'd climb onto the horse (yes, by herself, yes it was rather tall for her) and say "coc, coc" (rock rock).

We also made copious use of the hotel pool since that was something that didn't take AS MUCH energy on my part. The pool included a 1 foot "kiddie pool" and while we were in Pittsburgh I'd gone to Ikea (it was across the street from the hotel, I "HAD" to go!) and had picked up a set of their stacking cups, thinking she might have fun building towers (or having us build towers) and knocking them down, so we took those to the pool with us each time and she got lots of practice "pouring" and such (all the other little kids seemed to enjoy the cups too). A1 had become very comfortable "swimming" underwater. It's her own adaptation of a doggie paddle, but she's able to get around and spent lots of time swimming the length of the pool. She's now comfortable going into the deeper water. A2 is also developing her own "stroke" underwater and "swims" quite abit, but prefers to stay in water she can stand in at all times (typical of their personalities).

Our last "field trip" was to go to the Maritime Museum. We were hoping to get to tour the "Niagara" a tall ship originally used in the War of 1812 that's been renovated and is now "sea worthy" (or lake worthy? LOL). Unfortunately it was off sailing somewhere, so we were disappointed. Hopefully next time we're up there, we'll be able to tour the ship.

And a final picture, Little Bit was so proud of herself to use a spoon all by herself to eat grits at Cracker Barrel on our way home.

In Homeschool news, we finished up Polished Cornerstones and officially "closed" the 09-10 school year with the end of July.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Naturally Fighting Sickness While Traveling (or not)

While we were travelling around western PA for my husband's work this month, I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold. Now, when we travel in the WINTER, I bring along at least a small selection of my favorite cold & flu fighters, but it's summer, so I didn't bother . . . sigh . . . (now I know better!). Thankfully, while I wasn't able to track down a full-fledged health food store close by, I did have access to a large grocery store with a small selection of essential oils & other natural remedies.

So, here was my multi-faceted plan of attack, that pretty much killed the cold in a matter of hours (though I continued with the remedies for awhile longer to be sure):

The thing that I think did the MOST was my homemade "thieves blend". It's something I've heard about various places for several years. Legend has it that during the Bubonic plague in England way back when, there was a group of thieves who robbed the graves of those who'd been sick, and yet they never got sick themselves. Their secret was a blend (some sources say they drank an herbal vinegar, others say they carried the ingredients in their pockets . . . it's a legend, details are sketchy . . . ) of ingredients with strong antibacterial properties. Those ingredients were Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Lemon. There's a brand of essential oils that sells a "Thieves blend", but I make my own. And generally carry a small bottle of it with me. However, somewhere along the line, at one of the museums where I knew I'd be carrying baby & backpack all day and wanted least possible weight, I must have removed it and packed it . . . somewhere, that I couldn't find, sigh. So . . . I was able to buy all but the Lemon EO from the grocery store I was at (well, actually I carry eucalyptus EO in my small travel bag of EOs that come with me on all trips, so I didn't have to buy it, but it was available if I'd needed it), and mixed a new bottle of thieves oil minus the lemon. I mix this straight, no carrier oil. I apply it "neat" (w/o diluting) to the soles of my feet and also put it in an aromatherapy necklace that I keep in my travel bag of EOs. My aromatherapy necklace is a different brand and "picture" but the same basic concept as these. I also added some of the EO blend to a small spray bottle of water & sprayed it around our hotel room every so often (much to my husband's disgust, but I figured that would help keep everyone else well in addition to helping me).

Besides that I did the following.
  • Take Vitamin D (had it with me) on any day that I wasn't outside sufficiently (I've been lax about this since it's summer and MOST days we're outside and can absorb our Vit. D naturally, but it IS necessary to get it EVERY day . . .and more so when fighting illness.
  • Take Vit C. I got chewable Vit. C and used them kind of like cough drops, if my throat was feeling scratchy, I'd pop another Vit. C.
  • Take Echinacea. If I wasn't nursing (or had thought to research before I went to the store, to see if it was truly ok while nursing) I'd have gotten my favorite Echinacea Elder Tea from Traditional Medicinals. BUT I know when I was pregnant with Little Bit and was feeling like I was getting sick, I went hunting through the ingredients and determined that while Echinacea itself is acceptable for pregnancy, something else in that tea isn't (yarrow, if I remember right), so, since I wasn't sure about it for nursing, I just got straight echinacea capsules.
  • The store I was at had a few homeopathics, including a "cold and flu" blend, so I got that and took it a time or 2.
  • I also got apple cider vinegar and organic grape juice, HOWEVER, I didn't take it right away because I wanted the juice to be cold first (we had a fridge in the room), and by the time it was cold, I was feeling enough better that I didn't bother with the vinegar.
So, in the interest of learning from my mistakes, I will make sure my travel bag includes the following, going forward:
  • My homemade thieves oil blend
  • Echinacea tea bags (and I need to double check if my normal favorite is ok for nursing)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D (which should be included in our "daily vitamins" anyway
  • A small bottle of apple cider vinegar and a couple organic grape juice juice boxes.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

Actually I think this is a 2 week wrap-up, but anyway . . .

LAST week, we had a busy week, going to Sesame Place, and getting ready for, leaving on, our trip.

I've already posted about some of our museum adventures this week. The rest of the week consisted of spending more time at the same museums (see some random pictures below):

I assume A1 was listening to some sort of recording on "Curious George's phone" but had to laugh to see my talker-kid on the phone in the middle of a museum.

My parents stopped by for a day or two on their way to Ohio, so came with us on some of our adventures, including visiting the "incline" that's taken commuters and tourists up and down a very steep hill since the 1870s.

There was a lookout at the top of the incline, where we had a great view of the city, and Little Bit was enjoying some running time, BUT it was relatively close to a street, so we put the ring sling to use as a "leash" to keep her slightly contained.

We also spent a fun, but HOT Sabbath afternoon at the zoo. It's a nice zoo, not so big as to be overwhelming, but big enough. It's fun to see Little Bit getting old enough to enjoy the animals too. But I think her favorite part was a couple places where they had "mist" spraying out for people to cool off abit. She's such a water baby! At the elephant exhibit there was a "river" dividing the elephants from the people, and she was quite annoyed that we wouldn't let her get IN the water LOL.

And in the morning, we pack up and leave Pittsburgh behind. It's been a fun week, but I'll admit, I won't be sad to see the last of our small, crowded, hotel room (with NO counter space).

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to talk about "school" in these updates too, aren't I? We DID slip in a little school while we were here, besides all the science learning that went on with museums, zoos, figuring out how the incline worked, etc. We're wrapping up Polished Cornerstones, so kept at that in the mornings, at least some days, and we're in the midst of reviewing a handwriting program (look for my review on that at the end of Aug), so we slipped that in some too. And made it more fun by practicing in the sand at the Children's Museum one day LOL.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Day of Museum Fun

Monday we went to the Carnegie Science Center. All 3 girls had great fun. We went to an "Omnimax" (like Imax) movie on Shackleton (Antarctic explorer from the early 1900s). A couple of weeks ago we listened to the Your Story Hour series on Shackleton's expedition, then a couple days after that, we spent a day on Antarctica during our world geography unit. So the Omnimax movie on his expedition was a nice wrap up to our unintended "unit study" on Shackleton. It was truly amazing to see just how rough and rugged the seas and land is down there!

There was a "little kid" area for Little Bit to play in, and while it was only for children up to age 6, it did allow "families" to accompany the young children, so the big girls could join us. Little Bit headed straight for the water table (I guess her dunking the day before didn't change her love for water in the least!). To make it even better, there were tons of little yellow "ping pong" balls floating in the water. Water AND balls, what more could a 15 mo old ask for?!?!?! She would have been perfectly happy to spend the entire day there, scooping up balls, floating them back in teh water, scooping up water and dumping it on the floor . . . she was truly in heaven!

There was also a whole area with the kind of balls they have in ball pits, that could be put on conveyor belts and moved around in wheel barrows and such, that was a big hit too!

The little kid area also had tables with a bristle blocks type blocks (only not as good as bristle blocks, IMO, they were "ridges" instead of "pegs" so only went together if you lined the ridges up. Still fun.

And there were mirrors and drums and tunnels to climb through and big foam blocks to build with and foam rocks to "dig" up with a back-hoe thing, and a "vegetable garden" to pick the vegetables and put them in a big canvas bag that you could pull up with a pulley . . . and plain wooden blocks, and a small climbing wall . . .

Another nice feature of the little kid area was the "quiet corner" which, admittedly wasn't very QUIET since it wasn't a sound proof room LOL. BUT it was painted soothing colors and was around a corner from all the chaos so at least it was "peaceful" compared to the chaos of everywhere else. There were read aloud books, and puzzles and things. I loved the sight of all 3 girls sitting there quietly (for them anyway, and there wasn't anyone else in the area, for them to be bothering) working on a puzzle.

After we moved on from the little kid area there was water play for bigger kids (with pipes to build "fountains" and such. And "games" that taught about toxic household substances. And
aquariums full of fish and a thing you could look through to see "how a fish sees things" and a big room full of all things robotic and an earthquake simulator and a table where you could build "buildings" out of various materials and then push a button and the table "shook" like an earthquake so you could see if your building would withstand an earthquake and stuff on soundwaves and tornados and flight and . . . I don't remember what all else.

There was a huge model train layout of the city of Pittsburgh that the girls walked around 3 or 4 times, trying to see EVERYTHING. That room with fewer people and the "white noise" of the model trains going around was the extra "push" Little Bit needed to give in and take a nap in the sling, ahhhh . . .

There was also a real submarine to tour through. A2 was most interested in the kitchen, and how she would cook for lots of people in such a small space.

Thanks to Little Bit's nap, we were able to stay till closing time (but still didn't see EVERYTHING). And had another great day of learning!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Museums, Art, and Unexpected Dunkings . . .

While Daddy slaves away at audits and training, the girls and I have been having great fun exploring the city of Pittsburgh, the last couple days!

Yesterday we went to the Children's Museum. It was great!

There's a section on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, with a trolly, some of the "houses" from Land of Make Believe that the kids can go in & do puppet shows in and such, etc. Of course, I think *I* enjoyed the Mr. Roger's connection, more than my kids, who've seen the show very rarely, and not for several years. They still liked putting on their own puppet shows and such though.

Then we moved on to the art area. OH MY!!! Could it BE more perfect for my kids?!?!?! They had easels set up for kids to paint (and smocks to protect their clothes), silk screening, paper weaving, clay, paper making . . . and I think a couple other stations we didn't make it to! The big girls were in HEAVEN!!

And even Little Bit got in on the fun, playing with clay and painting her own masterpiece!!!

Once we dragged ourselves away from that area, we moved on to an optical illusion room complete with a very fast slide, that required the kids to walk through a "slanted" room to get there. I took Little Bit down the slide once, but refused to brave the slanted room again, hee hee.
And then a whole Curious George room! It was a great combination for all ages. Little Bit had fun "sorting vegetables" and moving around big foam blocks (oh, and gathering up the plastic golf balls from the "mini golf course" and putting htem back in their basket). The big girls made crafts out of straws and tape and streamers, played dress up, also played with the foam block packages (and their conveyor belt) . . . and I don't remember what all else.

We moved on to the "Garage" which was very cool for the big kids, but not so toddler friendly, so we didn't spent too long there.

And so we moved on to the water play area! They did have "rain coats" for the kids to wear, as well as "boots" (fake crocs). The big girls were already wearing crocs, and I figured as hot a day as it was, some splashes on their clothes weren't a big deal. I changed Little Bit into crocs (since she was wearing leather shoes) but again, didn't bother with a rain coat. And turned them loose. Well, turned the big girls loose, and stayed with Little Bit. Amongst other things (build a fountain, a "lock", and I'm not sure what else), there was a "pool" that bigger kids could kneel beside and little ones could stand beside to play in the water (which was probably 1 1/2 to 2 ft deep). There were all kinds of buckets and boats and things to play with in the water. So that's where Little Bit & I headed. She was having great fun splashing and such, and then, as I glanced around the room to make sure the big girls were doing ok, she must have tried to reach too far out into the pool (or perhaps she tried to climb in, I'm not sure), by the time I glanced down she had "dived" into the water & was completely under water. I grabbed her out & stood her back down next to the pool, fished out the shoe that had come off while she was in the water, wiped off her face, put her crocs back on, decided to take her dress off, since it was soaked anyway . . . she never seemed the least bit phased by any of it. I think she showed the most concern about loosing her shoes, which is why putting them back on was so high on the list . . . My little water baby, sigh . . . we stayed in the water area awhile longer (I must say, I'm abit surprised that nobody working there came over to see if she was ok, I know they can't be looking everywhere every second, and she wasn't screaming and making a scene, but still . . .) and then she was acting very sleepy (even w/o her "dunking" she'd had a very short (half hr to 45 min) morning nap on the way to the museum, and it was now almost 4pm, and no afternoon nap yet. So, since her dress was still soaked anyway (if it had been earlier in the day I *did* have dry clothes in the car, but was feeling lazy) I changed her into a dry diaper and put her in the sling in the hopes that she would nurse to sleep and the big girls could play in the "Garage" a little longer before we left. No such luck, she was much too distracted by all the noises around her, and was getting fussy, so we gave up and left (it was less than an hour till closing time anyway). Needless to say, she slept on the way back to the hotel LOL.

Anyway, it was an all around fun day, despite the unexpected dunking. We didn't make it to the "nursery" area intended for younger kids, and there were other things the big girls wanted to spend more time on, so we're hoping to find time to go back, if not this trip, than next time Daddy has work in Pittsburgh area.

Travelling The World . . . Homeschool Review

As my first review with the TOS Crew, we got to review the Schoolhouse Planner June Module ebook Travel the World from the TOS Store.

The timing was PERFECT! TOS sent us this ebook to review just as we finished up our main unit for the 09-10 school year and with just enough time to use this for 2 weeks before we head off on some travels of our own.

The Schoolhouse Planner modules are stand alone unit studies on a plethora of awesome topics. There is no need to actually own the Schoolhouse Planner (though I got it a couple years ago and it's an awesome product too!!!) to use the modules.

This particular module is a world geography study. I didn't see a stated age range, but this would be a great multi-grade study for the whole family!!! From coloring pages and some cute little puzzles that preschoolers could enjoy, to a high school expansion, there's something for everyone! There is SO MUCH in this e-book. Tons of hyperlinks to information, games, etc, which makes the 56 pages seem like so much more. Wonderful integration of Bible texts throughout the unit, reminding us that God created our wonderful world. All for only $7.95.

This unit starts out with easy to understand information about reading maps and globes, that easily captured and held the attention of my 7 yr olds. Next we learned some fun "new" verse to the song "He's God the Whole World In His Hands" that helped the girls quickly and effortlessly learn the continents, and then we moved on to learning about each continent individually.

There's even a "lapbook beginnings" section., which, for us (we're far from being die-hard lapbookers, but it's fun to do one occasionally), is just the perfect amount to do a quick lapbook without getting bogged down.

Depending on your needs, this would be great to use for a couple days, or do what we did and spend a few minutes per day for a couple weeks. We spent a day or 2 learning about maps, then took a day per continent, then another day or two to review, put together our lapbooks and wrap up the loose ends.

The girls weren't sure about it, going into it . . . we tend to choose our topics based on their interests and neither had a burning desire to learn world geography right now, but once we got into it they enjoyed it. My perfectionist-child (A2), started to get bogged down when I added the rather detailed coloring pages into the mix, it was "too much coloring" and she was stressing about it (did I mention she's a perfectionist and a worry-wart?) but when I told her she didn't HAVE to color them, I'd just given them to her (and A1) in case they WANTED to color them, all was fine again.

I'm keeping the links to the online games on my computer to pull out on rainy days or this winter, since the kids don't spend alot of time in front of the computer now, while it's summer and they have lots of outside time, but I love having these games "up my sleeve" for when we need to mix things up.

All in all, this was a great product!

Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received, my opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Weekly Wrap-Up

I wrote this post on Sunday, but then forgot to actually PUBLISH it!!

It was HOT HOT HOT last week! Did I mention HOT!!!! We were very thankful for our a/c! On the other hand, the hot, dry weather was great for drying laundry outside LOL.

We enjoyed finishing our world geography study (watch for the review on that, coming in a few days!). And art, handwriting, spanish, etc.

Our big project for the week was blueberries!! Eating them and freezing them (see my last post).

And did I mention, did our best to not melt in the heat? Listening to a nice long Your Story Hour story about Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica, which timed out perfectly since we listened right before studying Antarctica in our unit study. We were even able to find the islands mentioned in the story, which was pretty cool.

And, while not school related, so as not to leave Little Bit out, I'll mention that my attempt, to cut her from 2 naps to 1 was an epic fail! She's been pushing her afternoon nap later, which in turn, pushes bedtime later, so I thought maybe it was time to switch to one mid-day nap. So I tried it on Friday. I didn't put her down for a morning nap, and left around noon to go pick up milk (which I get from a farm about half an hour away), and as I expected, she fell asleep quickly in the car and slept through me picking up the milk and coming back home. All seemed to be going well. After baths for all 3 girls, and tucking the big girls into bed, I nursed Little Bit and she fell asleep almost right away. All STILL seemed to be going well. But then, about an hour later, she woke up and apparently thought THAT had been her afternoon nap, sigh . . . she was ready to go again, and continued to happily play in the family room until a little after 1am. UGH!!!

So that was our week. It started raining during the night Fri. night, which brought some much appreciated relief from the heat!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gratituesday - Blueberries!

Apparently I can only actually get a post up for one meme per week, last wee
k I managed to get menu Monday up, this week I'm squeezing under the wire and getting Gratituesday in.

Last summer we were able to order blueberries in bulk through my husband's employer and we enjoyed those blueberries (I think we got 30 lbs) all winter long. So needless to say, we've been anxiously awaiting a chance to order blueberries in bulk again. When the information came out, we started talking about it, and first said 40lbs (this time it needed to be in 20lb increments), and then last minute, upped it to 60lbs!!!

The blueberries came in today and hubby brought them home mid-morning.

So our day was spent washing blueberries, spreading them out on towels to dry, putting them in freezer bags, and putting them in the freezer. We got 40lbs frozen and part of the 3rd box washed and laid out on towels to dry. So tomorrow will be another blueberry day.

I am SO thankful!! I am thankful for all these yummy, super healthy, blueberries that we will SO enjoy all year long, in muffins, smoothies, pancakes, on ice cream and just straight from the freezer. I am thankful for how A1 & A2 dove in and helped without complaining today. They spread the washed blueberries out on the towels, they helped put all 40 lbs into freezer bags. Such good little helpers! And this evening, A1's main question was "so when can we go pick the raspberries?" (the wild raspberries are ripening, but it's SOO hot this week I've been putting her off). And just in case you wondered, this is what 20lbs of blueberries looks like!

See other Gratituesday posts here. Pssst! As an extra, this week Laura's included a giveaway on an awesome sounding, brand new, preschool e-book, in her Gratituesday post! Check it out!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

We had a good week overall! While the first part of the week was hot, the weather was GORGEOUS the last few days (hotter today, and supposed to be HOT this next week), we've had the windows open and I'm loving falling asleep to the sound of frogs on the pond, and waking up to the sound of bird singing in the morning. Today we gave in & closed up & turned the A/C back on though.

We've been enjoying our world geography unit, this week, we've learned about North & South America and Asia, as well as how to read maps & globes, so far. We'll learn about the rest of the continents this coming week.

Have I mentioned yet that we've started working on cursive, at A1's request. Interestingly, now that we're into it, A2 seems to be more "into" it, and progressing more quickly. I think in time, being able to write cursive will cure alot of A2's dislike of copywork/writing.

For some reason, one of our flower beds this year ended up full of tomato plants (tomatoes have never been planted there, the only thing I can figure out is that one of the packets of "mixed flower" seeds that we planted in that bed was actually tomato seeds, good thing I didn't really care about the flowers LOL). So, we spent time this week transplanting a bunch of the tomato plants to another part of the garden, we'll see if they survive. I still have some in the flowerbed that I either need to just pull out or find another place for, because we ran out of room where we were moving them.

In other gardening news, the wild raspberries are ripening. Despite the extreme heat, I'm hoping we can get out & get some picking done this week, since I'm sure they'll be gone by the time we get home from our travels with Daddy. The girls have been keeping the bushes in our backyard picked. One day they took Little Bit with them (she was more than happy to help eat what they picked), all was going well until I heard a scream & A1 came running and told me that "A2 and Little Bit are covered in big black ants!!" Apparently A2, while holding Little Bit had stood or sat (she was sitting when I got there, not sure if she sat down before or after she saw the ants) on a nest of the big black ants. They were crawling ALL over both of them. Once the girls moved OFF the nest area it was just a matter of brushing all the ants off, there are a few spots on Little Bit that look like they might be bites (A2 is a bug magnet, she always has bug bites of somesort, so no telling if any of hers are ant bites), but neither seem any the worse for the experience.

Yesterday A1 & A2 told children's story at church. They'd been planning to tell a story about the cats, but then Daddy suggested a "4th of July story" so they ended up telling part of the Sybil Luddington story that's on one of our Your Story Hour CDs.

As already mentioned, last night we went to fireworks.

Today we went to a local town parade, complete with decorated bikes and strollers, so fun! We'd talked about grilling this evening but it's SO hot, think we'll do something INDOORS. Once it (hopefully) cools down later this evening, the girls have some sparklers they want to do.


Tonight we began our 4th of July celebrations by going to fireworks. A local high school does a fireworks display that conveniently can be seen well from the parking lot of the Rite Aid near our house, so, we went to Rite Aid LOL. Before we left we snapped a couple pictures of the girls in their matching 4th of July shirts & denim skirts (all 3 have matching 4th of July flip flops too, but Little Bit didn't keep hers on very well LOL).

A1 was sitting in the recliner and Little Bit climbed up beside her, so we had A2 jump into the picture too.
The big girls posing for the camera.

Watching fireworks from the Rite Aid parking lot.

Little Bit sharing candy with Daddy.

I was rather nervous about such a late night (the fireworks didn't START until 10pm) but we had the big girls at least lay down for awhile this afternoon. They insist they didn't sleep but they rested quietly in their rooms for 2 1/2 hrs, I'm pretty sure they slept!!! And let Little Bit take a later, longer-than-normal, nap too. And we chose Rite Aid's parking lot (rather than some of the other stores in the same area, because we could turn w/o having to cross traffic and take back roads home. We got there a little before 9pm, and between snacks and running around on the grassy hill, the time didn't drag too badly. The big girls did awesome about jumping right in the car when the fireworks were over and we were able to come home w/o any traffic/crowd issues, whew!

We'll continue our fun tomorrow, with a local town parade, and sparklers tomorrow evening (thanks to Miss Tami, at church who gave the girls some sparklers).

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Why yes, I *am* yelling! This is an amazing deal! One of my favorite homeschool magazines is The Old Schoolhouse Magazine! I won a subscription to it in a blog giveaway a couple years ago and have been a subscriber ever since. And then, I got this information . . .

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I just had to share this deal with all my friends!!!