Friday, January 29, 2016

Free Geography Curriculum!!!!

Just a quick post to let you know that TODAY!!!  Homeschool Giveaways is giving away a FREE US History curriculum! I haven't had time to look it over to see if it will be something that will work for us, but since it's only free today, I wanted to let you know about it while there's time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


As you probably know, we, along with most of the mid-Atlantic, got a little bit of snow in the past day or so!

The snow started Friday evening and stopped last night. I have no idea how anyone is measuring snow because it was so windy, there are patches where I can see the grass (or, at least at some point yesterday, the pavement on the driveway) and places where it's up to the windows. I think one report says we got around 2 feet. . .

Anyway, thought I'd share a few pictures. All pictures are taken through the windows because I had no interest in going out in the cold! And it was so windy that I saw no point in shoveling if the wind was just going to move the snow right back where I'd shoveled. TODAY I don't have that excuse, so guess I'll be getting some good exercise today LOL.

The (covered) front porch has a rather impressive drift on it.

This was relatively early in the day. Looking out the sliding glass door along the back of the garage. Pretty sure we won't be using that back door for a day or two! 

Little Bit convinced Lexie to take her out to play. It was too deep to walk, too deep to sled. Too powdery to build things . . . but they were out for a little while, came in frozen solid and very happy that Ashlyn was making hot chocolate!

The cats and I preferred to sit in the sunroom and watch the snow. Though at one point when I was in the laundry room Moccasin was acting like he wanted me to let him out, so I opened the door (that would be the door in the above picture) he looked rather confusedly at the snow blocking the door, then a piece fell and hit him square in the face. He jumped, glared at me, and stalked away LOL.

Later in the day Lexie convinced Ashlyn to go out with them too. They dug a fort of sorts and were out there for quite awhile. I burst out laughing when they came in. Ashlyn's white hat, well encrusted with snow, makes her look like she's turning into a snowman! 

The birdbath gives you an idea how deep the snow is at least right there.

This is the door I opened for Moccasin (though it wasn't that high yet when I opened it for him). That is all snow! 

Looking out the dining room window. I love how the wind caked the snow on some of ht windows, making it look like a Christmas card with snow framing the edges :) 

The sliding door in the sunroom. I think it's even higher now.

Little Bit was "torturing" Daddy last night :)

God woke me up early this morning to have my quiet time with Him. The snow and wind have stopped and now it's all so beautiful and peaceful and perfect! Much as I'm not a morning person, I'm glad I was awake to watch the sun rise this morning!

And while taking pictures of the sunrise, I noticed that, now that it's not snowing and blowing, I can actually see the "fort" the girls made yesterday, so took a picture of it too :) 

God is good! I was nervous about losing power since we have electric heat, and haven't gotten the wood stove working yet, but it never even blinked. While I feel that everything we do at our church is important, and what He wants us to be doing right now, I was feeling burned out by it all. The snow storm came Friday night, giving us a wonderful, peaceful, RESTFUL Sabbath day! We snuggled under blankets and read and watched Drive Thru History and cooked and ate yummy food and the kids played outside. It was just what I needed!

And now, we are still rather thoroughly snowed in and plan to enjoy it while it lasts :)  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Wrap-up - Christmas, New Years . . .

Sigh, I'm behind again . . .

The Sunday before Christmas Rodney's sister came over for the afternoon. It was so good to see them, and Aunt Lynette managed to convince my children to pose by the Christmas tree for pictures. At that point we were also dog-sitting Jakey, so he joined the pictures.

Little Bit had been begging to make gingerbread houses since before Thanksgiving, when she saw the houses her friends, D & K had made with their grandparents.  So somewhere near Christmas, we got out the (graham cracker) gingerbread house making stuff and Little Bit got busy. Lexie was quite sure that Mommy wouldn't know how to do it, and that Little Bit would have more fun with her, so she joined in the fun.

To continue our month of dog-sitting, we watched another friend's yellow lab, Maggie over Christmas. Our Christmas present to her was spoiling her rotten. She took turns sleeping with Ashlyn and Lexie, and tried to sleep in our bed. I think Rodney would have been all for it, but since she was taking up MY side of the bed, I vetoed the idea LOL.

Oh and she and Ashlyn spent countless hours snuggled on the sofa. 

Christmas Eve was our normal family traditions of pizza, new nightgowns, and presents of games, books and videos.

Lexie started reading her new book right away.

But Ashlyn and Little Bit did convince her to stop reading long enough to play their new game before everyone settled down to watch a video :)

And Little Bit was just slightly excited to find that Mama had made her nightgown this year out of FROZEN fabric!!!!

Christmas morning was stockings and monkey bread and patiently(ish) waiting for grandparents to get here.

Once grandparents started arriving there was introducing Maggie, and more presents and catching up on what everyone had been doing lately . . . so pretty much our normal chaotic fun :)

Little Bit's Christmas included a though "Frozen-izing" of her bedroom, much to Lexie's annoyance, since they share a room (but I think we did a good job of giving Little Bit the Frozen decor she wanted without encroaching on Lexie's side of the room).  We put the big, Frozen Fever wall decal on the wall under Little Bit's loft. It fits perfectly and looks adorable, and is very much in Little Bit's "space".  
Little Bit also got a lighted Frozen "Canvas". I had been struggling a bit with how to give her enough of a night light up on the loft bed once Christmas was over and we took the Christmas lights off the railing of the loft bed. This works perfectly! We hung it above her bed and she can turn it on at night and it gives just the right bit of light! She also got a "projection" nightlight (fun, but honestly doesn't give much light), and a Frozen comforter. So her part of the room is well decorated!

Sunday we got in some final cuddles with Maggie before she went back to her family.

Since Christmas we have been getting back to "normal" and not doing much of any interest. Still working on unpacking and organizing. The girls have rediscovered their Legos, and Little Bit got Frozen Legos (of course) for Christmas to add to the general collection, so we are working on setting up a Lego area in the basement (waiting for Papa to help us finish it).

Also in the unpacking, Lexie showed Little Bit her American Girl stuff and humored Little Bit by setting it all up in her closet so they can play with it. We've also been reading American Girl books for Little Bit's bedtime stories, so she is well on her way to her own AG obsession :)

We've fluctuated between unseasonably warm temperatures (we had windows open on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, it was almost hot! and bitterly cold! Thankfully, while we've had lots of precipitation it's always come with the unseasonably warm, so we've had lots of rain, but no snow yet. I can live with that.

We're getting back into our normal school routines and Little Bit is asking for more school. She has asked Ashlyn to give her "sketching lessons" which is working well except when she is bitterly disappointed because Ashlyn doesn't have time for another lesson. While she still claims she can't read, I can definitely see progress in the learning to read without having to learn to read approach. She recognizes many words when I point them out to her and figures many more out by context.

To add to her on-going animal obsession, when I organized all our books on the basement shelves, I grouped most of our animal books (some of the "field guides" are in a basket on the dining room windowsill for easy access) on one shelf and she has claimed that as her shelf and has been "reading" animal books to her hearts' content.

And finally, the cats. Other than rather resenting all the dogs who've visited over the last month, they have settled well into life in our new house. As I expected, they love the wide windowsills, and all the windows of the sunroom.  Moccasin took over a laundry basket in our closet as a safe(ish) hiding place from the various dogs and continues to consider it his. I finally gave up and replaced the clothes that were in it with an old towel, officially making it his bed. They have all accepted the cat door as an acceptable way of getting to their food and litter boxes and they consider the pile of storage tubs (that are waiting for me to unpack) to be their personal castle, They will be very disappointed if I ever get through all of those bins and they go away :) On the unseasonably warm days I open the garage door a crack, so the cats can come and go as they please and they seem to like that, beyond that, they seem pretty content to stay in the house here though, definitely not going outside as much as they did at the old house.