Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Mini Tour of the House

This will be short, because I should be packing . . . but we closed on the house on Tuesday, and have been working on stuff all week. Here's a mini-tour comprised of a few pictures I took yesterday & today :)

Walking up the sidewalk from the driveway. LOVE the nice big front porch with a SWING!!!

My view when I was sitting on the swing enjoying a break from unpacking :)

The front door goes into an entry hall. Living room is on the left, kitchen (& powder room) is straight ahead, stairs go up on the right. 

(I have pictures of the living room & kitchen on my phone, but they haven't uploaded to dropbox yet, I'll add them in (here or a new post) when I get them. Off the kitchen is a sunroom. It's functioning as a playroom for Little Bit while we're in transition. Once we get furniture moved, the big toy-stuff will be put away or move to the basement, and it will be more of a sitting space (and soaking up nature space!!! Little Bit commented "it's like being outside, but you can stay nice and cozy!" great description. The long wall is ALL windows (3 of those big ones), and each end of the room is a sliding glass door, one onto a deck, the other with a path to the garage). with some games and toys. for now Little Bit's enjoying the room to play with the tunnel . . .

 And, Lexie made her a "house" out of the box our washing machine came in, so she's having a BLAST with it :)

The only picture I took upstairs is Ashlyn's room. She (and Daddy) painted it yesterday, did touch-ups this morning, and she "moved in" this afternoon. She chose a light grayish lavender paint and a gray comforter for her bed. Bed frame still needs to come from my parents' house but we moved the mattress & boxspring in there so she could "make" her bed.  The curtains that were in there work ok, so for now she's leaving them. She'll also have a dresser, desk, night stand and book case in the room eventually but for not it's the minimalist look :) 

Lexie & Little Bit (and Daddy) painted their room today, so I'll take pictures after the tape is off. Our bedroom just has boxes stacked in it at the moment. Then there's a hall bath for the girls to share and a master bath with large jacuzzi tub, separate shower, and a huge walk-in closet. Right now those areas are all cluttered with the process of figuring out what I want where . . . :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Reformation Day GIVEAWAY!

October 31 commemorates what has become known as "Reformation Day." Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to a church door on October 31, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany, provoked a debate that resulted in what we now call the Protestant Reformation. As the “Father of the Reformation”, Martin Luther is a vital figure in Church history. His sacrifice and willingness to wage battle against the spiritual, religious, and political powers of his medieval world allowed Christians throughout time to embrace the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as explained by Scripture alone. Author Danika Cooley has written Luther's story for young people in her new book, When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther. Reformation Day Giveaway

To celebrate Reformation Day and the release of When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther, I've joined together with a team of blogger friends to host this wonderful giveaway, valued at over $500! One person will win ALL of the following: $100 Amazon Gift Card Fire 7-inch Tablet, WiFi 8GB ($49.99)  When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther (hardcover $16.99) From, a $50 Gift Certificate From Nuremberg Tourist Board, a Playmobil Martin Luther figure ($9.99) From Thinking Kids Press, a curriculum bundle from When Lightning Struck! author, Danika Cooley:
From Fortress Press, a book bundle by author, Tim Dowley:
  1. Christian Music: A Global History  ($35)
  2. Introduction to the History of Christianity: Second Edition ($55) 
  3. The Student Bible Atlas: Revised Edition  ($12.99) 
  4. Atlas of the European Reformations ($24)
From Home School Adventure Co.:
  1. Philosophy Adventure: Pre-Socratics (digital $39.95)
  2. Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal (digital $18.95)
To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below.

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Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to the Thinking Kids Press email list. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wrapping Up the Week of October 4

Ummm . . . combination of not taking any pictures last week, and being very firmly in "hurry up and wait" land with the new house . . . I have NO idea what we did last week. . . 

We had a playdate with friends on Tuesday afternoon. the kids had fun playing outside and putting on a play for us. 

My parents were here working on painting the garage roof. 

I started packing. . . I love open floor plans, but the downside is, there's no good place to stack boxes that I've packed. . . so our house is even more cluttered and chaotic feeling than usual now, but much as it doesn't look like it, I AM making progress.

We had co-op on Wednesday. Little Bit continues to enjoy it. She was singing songs from Musik Garden the rest of the week. 

Sabbath was "Jean Sabbath", when we do various projects to help others in the afternoon. We went with a group to the Boys & Girls Club downtown and did a craft with the kids and played games in the gym. The turnout was great, and the kids were well-behaved but loud (made worse by the fact that the room where we do the craft is all hard surfaces so the acoustics are horrible (or maybe they're great, however you want to look at it . . . it magnifies the sound dramatically!). Little Bit struggled some with the craft and was in tears over it, which isn't like her. Thinking about it later, I think the volume was too much for her . . . the organizers were talking about possibly splitting the group in half next time, do craft with half the kids while the other half does games in the gym, then switch. Which will help, but I think I'll also talk to her before next month and suggest that if it's too loud and overwhelming she can go up to the gym with Daddy, and we can do the craft later at home. Or, see if she'd rather pass out lunches downtown instead. Other than that minor hiccup, it was great to see such an awesome turnout and the kids seemed to have fun. 

I have to admit, by the time we got home from that, I was more than peopled out. Little Bit wanted to go for a walk in the afternoon, and the weather was GORGEOUS so we did that. I think getting out in the quiet was good for both of us :) 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wrapping Up the First Week of October

And now, fall is here! We had a wet (off and on), weird weather kind of week. The first few days, it was hot again, to the point that I grudgingly shut the windows and turned the a/c back on. And then, just like that, it went from hot to COLD! Grumble, grumble . . . I wanted more open-window time! Maybe we'll still get some, I hope!

This week was our first week of our new co-op. I have to admit, I wasn't sure how it would play out. I knew Lexie and Ashlyn would have great fun being helpers. But I wasn't sure how Little Bit would do. Our age range is 2-6, with her being the only 6 year old. Naturally, things need to be geared more toward the younger kids since she can do easier things but they can't do older-kid things. Some days she loves being the "big kid" other days, she doesn't. . . This time, at least, things went well!
The music part of our co-op is Musik Garden (similar to the Kindermusik my older girls did when they were preschoolers, but with more of a Montessori feel). Given the age span, the program she's using is the 4 year old program. Which I kind of liked getting to listen in on, since it reminded me most of the program the older girls were in :) Lexie and Ashlyn, being the awesome helpers they are, joined in as 2 of the "kids" so that the littler kids would have other kids to mimic. And Little Bit participated better than she usually does with singing in her class at church (interestingly, she also seemed to sing better in church this week, so maybe the combination will encourage participation both places, or maybe it was all a fluke, who knows . . . Later in the week she was telling my mom how much fun Musik Garden was, so it was a hit :)  (on a side note, one of the things she loves about going to Miss Sonya's house is all the baby stuff. The "baby" you see in the swing in the background of this picture is actually her (well, technically Ashlyn's, but Little Bit's kind of adopted him) doll, Marco. Whenever we're over there she happily moves him (or whichever doll(s) she brings) between the swing, pack-n-play, bouncy seat . . . ).

Then the kids had "PE" time. Lexie and Ashlyn tried to get them to play tag, but most weren't interested. The 2 year olds didn't like the wet grass (it wasn't raining, but had been earlier), and came back inside to play with toys. Little Bit and N (4) decided swinging was more fun. Ashlyn pushed them on the swings while Lexie played tag with D (4). But at least they got some wiggles out. We'll play with various ideas over the next few weeks, but I'm wondering if, at this age, they'll do better with unstructured outside time after the structure of music time. We shall see. 

Next came art/craft time. Little Bit is always happy when she gets to use paint, so she was happy as a clam, and again told Mama all about how fun it was. So the day was a success :) I'm definitely getting the easy deal out of this whole co-op thing, since Lexie and Ashlyn happily plan the PE part that is supposed to be my contribution. I got to cuddle the baby and just hang out :) 

Thursday, after much debating back and forth, and constant watching of the ever-changing weather reports, we decided to chance the rain and head to Longwood Gardens as planned.  The weather reports actually gave a very low chance of rain, but it did kind of drizzle all afternoon. Our friend Denise came with us and, in the world of tweens, Denise is much cooler than mom and grandparents, so Lexie and Ashlyn happily headed off to do their own thing with her. Which worked well, since it meant we could go at Little Bit pace. I have no idea what Denise and the big girls did, we spent most of our time inside, but Little Bit and Mama did have fun checking out the giant lily pads. 

We went out for pizza and then came back to Longwood for their lights display. By then it had stopped raining though it was still kind of drizzly. The lights display was really cool, and the bad weather meant there weren't any crowds. It made for a late night for the kiddos, but was a great day, despite the rain!

Sabbath was a busy, but fun day. In addition to all the normal stuff, I walked into church with Little Bit and a friend we hadn't seen in several years was there with her little girl we'd never met! Little Bit didn't remember her, but we had great fun surprising the big girls :) 

Sabbath afternoon a friend texted me and invited us to go geocaching. It was kind of cold, and the ground was saturated, but it was nice to get outside after all the rain. And the kids had fun finding geocaches that had stuff in them to trade :)

So a busy, fun, fall week!

In other news, things continue to move forward with the new house. In between all the fun stuff, I've been attempting to get some packing done. I have to admit, it's challenging. There are just no "corners" in this house for me to stack boxes in that they won't be completely in our way, and there's nowhere to stack boxes in the garage that won't be in Dad's way. So, I'm packing some stuff, but think to a large extent I'll just be REALLY busy once we do close on the house and I can start moving stuff straight from this house to the new house. If all goes as planned we'll be closing on it on the 20th.