Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness in November - Pt. 4

sculpture of two elk fighting, at Cabelas Store in Sidney

Still Counting with Ann: Gifts #394-432
Be sure to head over to her site to get your free Christmas Gift: The Jesse Tree Journey!

November 22 (continued):

  • Mother-in-Love cooked for us all.
  • Bringing lots of desserts to share
  • Seeing Great Grandma at the hospital for a nice LONG visit.
  • Seeing an aunt, uncle, and cousins we hadn't seen in a while!
  • Naps after lunch

November 23:

  • No black Friday Shopping, BLISS!
  • Getting to read the kids one of my favorite books: Ransom of Red Chief
  • Enjoying the leftover's of my Mother-in-Love's great cooking
  • Seeing lots more family: Aunt Judy and some cousins!
  • Spending the whole day with my hubby and kids
  • Getting to spend the afternoon with Great Grandma at the hospital
  • Getting to do my morning run around the lake

November 24:

  • Seeing Uncle Marlin, for whom we'd been praying (you can pray too!) about health concerns.
  • Lunch with Great Grandma at the hospital, as well as with Aunt Mary
  • Received word that my great aunt, Elsie Lee, had graduated to Glory. Bittersweet moments.
  • Some family pictures, with a few goofy poses
  • A safe drive home and a spectacular sunset!

November 25:

  • An 80th birthday celebration with the church, LOTS of good food!
  • At the nursing home, a 100th birthday party for my grandma's neighbor.
  • Spending the afternoon at the Heritage Chapel with Grandma Bettie

November 26:
  • The kids had dentist appointments: I'm so thankful for dental insurance!
  • In anticipation of seeing the dentist, and because of the x-rays showing no roots, they lost a record 3 Leggott teeth that day, all pulled themselves! (Tyler lost 2, Emma lost 1)
  • Going for my morning run, even though I didn't feel like it. Never felt like quitting so badly. But I didn't!

November 27:
  • Being able to go to an appointment with my grandma, while Ben kept the kids.
  • Caramel Cappuccino
  • Grace, even with a sick boy
  • Being able to make something beautiful with my sewing machine
  • Arranging flowers for Aunt Elsie Lee's funeral, even though the sick ones means I can't go.

November 28:
  • A friend had her baby!
  • Stay home snuggles with the sick boy
  • Pedialyte
  • Grace from church friends, as they hold together the details at AWANA

November 29th:
  • Boy seemingly feeling better
  • Morning run, weighed in *down* 6 lbs!
  • Getting to puppy-sit.
  • Made some candy wreaths for the Farmer's Market

November 30th
  • Hubby gets to go goose hunting, and got one!
  • Farm fresh eggs for breakfast each morning.
  • Kids who are getting better and more independent with their chores

...and of course, Wyatt is thankful it is DECEMBER tomorrow! He is SOOOO looking forward to Christmas. All of the other kids have really adopted the worldview of Christmas being the time for giving, for blessing, for worship. Wyatt is enamored with Santa, getting, me, me, me... This will be the year to bring him along in learning. As it is with ABC's and counting to 100, so it will be with selfless thinking, wonder and worship... Praising God for the opportunity to disciple my children! Praying for Grace...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness in November, Pt. 3


"That “God is good” is not a stale one-liner when all’s  happy but a saving lifeline when all’s hard." - Ann Voskamp

Giving Thanks because God is good:

November 15th:

  • My Grandma turned 86 today. 
  • Having the opportunity to love and be loved by my grandparents, living here in my hometown. I've been blessed to spend quality time with all 4 of them... and am enjoying the special moments with the last one living, Grandma Bettie.

November 16th:

  • Tyler shot his very first deer, and as a mom, I just got a lot older!

November 17th:

  • Farmer's Market, the first winter market of the season.
  • A baby shower for some dear friends.
  • Relationships that go deeper.

November 18th:

  • Fellowship with believers.
  • Sharing recipes with a friend.
  • Chapel with my Grandma.

November 19th:

November 20th:

  • Sharing the burden of doctor visits and appointments with my dear sister, Marcy.

November 21st:

  • Baking for Thanksgiving:

November 22: Thanksgiving Day: a day to count our blessings, not once a year, but year round.
Happy Thanksgiving dear ones!

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100 Blog Posts

It's an exciting day! Wyatt counted to 100 for the first time last weekend!
My sweet kindergartner learned it just in time, because:

This is my 100th Blog Post!

(on this blog anyway)
It's a great place to announce that I will be joining the This Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. For those who don't know what that is, it is a group of blogging families who will be trying out new and exciting homeschool products and curriculum, and writing reviews about it. That's right, I will be offering up my very own children as guinea pigs to make sure curriculum is safe and enjoyable for you. *dramatic gasp* Actually, we are all super excited to try out new things. Up until now, my ability to dabble in new curriculum has been limited to what my friends will loan/give me, or what has been donated to our local homeschool group lending library. Some of our schoolbooks were printed in the 1960's and 70's... So this is HUGE! We love homeschooling, and we have always been very "eclectic" in our curriculum, so this is a perfect fit for us.

I will not be paid for my reviews, as they will be unbiased and fair, so I will get lots of lovely things to sample. I couldn't be more excited about this, and to take my friends with me. Yes, YOU!

So, knowing there will be LOTS of homeschooling related posts coming up (and don't worry, blessings posts, Farm Life, DIY's ,and recipes won't stop), I created a facebook page for my blog. So be sure to pop over and like:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

O is for Ocean and Octopus

Today in My Father's World - Kindergarten - Wyatt is studying the letter O. "O" is for Ocean (long O) and Octopus (short o sound).  I've been having him keep a scrap-book of each lesson, so we decided to make an:

Ocean on a Scrapbook Page

To begin, you need these items:
  • 1/2 cup liquid hand soap
  • blue food coloring
  • glitter (optional)
  • 8.5x11 cardstock paper
  • foam sea creature stickers 
  • quart size storage bag
  • clear packing tape

  1. In the quart size bag, pour the liquid soap, a few shakes of glitter, and about 4-5 drops of food coloring. 
  2. Have your child create an ocean "teaming" with sea creatures on half of the cardstock sheet. (I drew a wavy line to show the half that needed filled.) 
  3. Lay the quart size bag sideways on the page, to cover the sea creatures. 
  4. Attach the bag to the page with long overlapping strips of packing tape, basically laminating it to the page.

Let heaven and earth praise Him, 

The seas and everything that moves in them.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness in November Pt. 2

Counting my blessings each day in November; posting every Wednesday this month. Blessings #338-380

November 7:
  • Awana Verses: I am LOVING joining my kids in a Scripture memory challenge. Completed Discovery 1 in my T&T book 1!
  • Finished my Secretary training at Awana, inlcuding reciting 6 verses!
  • Friends who notice/appreciate the extra mile
  • More tote bags to sew!
  • My folks arrived from PA! 
November 8:
  • Surprising Grandma this morning
  • Her appointment went well and she can hear so much better.
  • Lunch with my cousin
  • Hubby being so helpful today with the kids
  • Tyler being willing to catch up on schoolwork after supper
  • Dug up a 1/2 a bushel of potatoes!!! (With my dad's help!)
  • Enjoying watching my parents enjoy their grandkids
November 9th:
  • Home made Cabbage Burgers
  • Having grandma and cousins out to visit for the day
  • Dad and Ben being able to work on cars together
  • A nice warm home as the temperatures drop
November 10th:
  • The Husker's won!!! 
  • The beautiful snow. 
  • Jalapeno/Bacon/Cream-cheese Dip!
  • The beginning of deer season, getting up early to kiss my hunters as they head out.

November 11th:
  • Veteran's Day, spent with my favorite veteran
  • Early service
  • Frigid temps (6 degrees!), but thinking ahead to warm up the car before church
  • A nice warm barn for all our animals
  • Visiting a Sunday school class we hadn't been to, to meet a missionary visitor
  • 4-H awards night, fun with the kids
November 12th:
  • baking an angel food cake with my mom
  • a dozen very fresh eggs to make the cake with, I LOVE having my own chickens
  • a great school morning
  • an evening at home with my Emma, who had a cold, while mom and dad took the other kids to celebrate Grandma's 86th birthday a few days early. (while they were here)
  • A fun rook game with the folks and the kids

feed bags
November 13th: 
  • Bittersweet moments as mom and dad had to return to Pennsylvania
  • One very motivated boy catching up all his schoolwork
  • Getting to drop off a baby shower gift to a friend, even though sick little ones kept me from attending.
  • Free tacos at Taco Johns
  • Hearing my folks arrived safely
  • Finished a special order for a "feed" bag.

November 14th:
  • Emma's cold recovered enough to sing at the Veteran's Home concert
  • Enjoyed the children all sharing the amazing things they have learned this semester in their Patriotism class.
  • Meeting with a doula client, always fun!
  • My sweet hubby helping with the kids, so I could have coffee alone.
  • Accomplished my memorization goals for Awana tonight. 
  • Learning Scripture with my kids.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veteran's Day: Thanksgiving comes early

"I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot." -Gary Hart

This week I had the honor of spending Veteran's Day with my favorite veteran: my Dad. He and mom were here from Pennsylvania for a short visit, and it was an honor to sit with him in church on Veteran's Day.

Growing up, I always was aware of his time spent in Vietnam, and was always proud to honor him for serving. I remember his funny stories about the water there being so thick you couldn't see your hand pass behind a drinking class, or that the first thing he did after mom picked him up from the airport was eat an entire head of cabbage. I treasure the quiet somber moments when I went with him to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.

The Veterans I know are varied: a mom from our MOPS group; my brother who served in Afghanistan; my Dad, who was in Vietnam a whole year at the beginning of his married life; my brother-in-law who served in Desert Storm; my grandpa (now gone) who had flown in WWII; and so many more...

Including my cousin's husband, who deployed this week... Nick, whose son, Owen, was born only 10 days ago.  Thank you Nick!

I think what makes Veteran's Day such a wonderful day is it is a time to turn to those beside us and say "Thank You!"

  • Thank you for giving up kisses and honeymoons
  • Thank you for giving up special first moments like babies rolling over and cutting teeth
  • Thank you for giving up comforts like air-conditioning, fresh produce, clean water, and SAFETY
  • Thank you for giving it up for a time, so we don't have to, forever.
  • Thank you to God for bringing them home safely!

I think what makes it such a happy day is that we can tell them that in person! Unlike Memorial Day (the day we remember those lost in battle), this is the day we honor those veterans living among us. And may we not forget to thank their families who also sacrificed those precious moments with their loved ones. Take a moment and say a prayer for my cousin, Christina, as she begins this year of waiting... with her two little boys in her arms. And a thank you to those who support the troops and their families, such as our friends, the Scotts, serving in Germany with Cadence International.

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." -Elmer Davis

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness in November, Pt 1

Counting my blessings; new list to be posted every Wednesday this month... Gifts #326-337:

Nov. 1

  • A day of baking and making for a craft show. 
  • Thankful for the good things in our life we can share with others... like granola samples for some mom-friends!

Nov. 2

  • A trip to Denver and a wonderful time with my sister and her family, as well as my cousin, Kate, and our homeschool friends!

Nov. 3

  • A wonderful craft show, and hanging out with some of my Farmer's Market buddies.

Nov. 4

  • A morning spent in the nursery, snuggling babies
  • An afternoon with my Grandma. 
  • Writing out a birth story for a client. *warm fuzzies*

Nov. 5

  • A good meeting at the nursing home with my Grandma's wonderfully devoted caregivers. 
  • A fantastic afternoon of chatting with a friend who loves birth as much as I do. :)

Nov. 6

  • Voting freely! 
  • That God is still sovereign, no matter who our nation elects.
  • My hubby is so amazing, helped with the vacuuming, and cleaning up the yard!

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, 
to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 
Thankfulness Posts:


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Denver Art Museum: Becoming Van Gogh

Six weeks ago a homeschool-mom-friend of mine embarked to arrange group tickets for students to see the Becoming Van Gogh  Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. As a world exclusive exhibit, it was an awesome thing to have an opportunity to see. Given the long lines and the crowds we encountered, I'm amazed we got in at all. I'm so thankful for my friend arranging it! In anticipation, we ordered the Usborne Children's book of Art and worked through it daily so we would have the book finished just before we went. Tyler loved the Van Gogh painting Sunflowers, and even made a sketch of it for me. Considering how much Tyler struggles with artistic pursuits, I was seriously impressed. We really loved this book as a prep introduction to art before our big trip to the museum.

I carpooled with my dear sister (in-law) and my neices and nephew. That made it even more fun! After the 4 hour drive, we arrived in  Denver around 11 and easily found parking. We enjoyed a self guided audio tour where the kids could tune in to more audio explanations of each piece that were right on their level. As grown ups we could listen to more in-depth critiques and about Van Gogh's life as he evolved as an artist. There's an excellent write-up about the exhibit here on the Denver

I don't have any photos from the exhibit, as photography was prohibited. Honestly, I didn't want to photograph the art, but the adorable way the children were interacting with it. Imagine my 6 year old nephew, seated before The Potato Eaters, pondering the audio descriptions of how Van Gogh admired their hard-working hands. I wasn't sure how my littlest children would enjoy the exhibit, so I only took my older two, and they enjoyed it immensely. Experiencing it with them on a more one-on-two ratio was also really enjoyable for me.

After a lunch in the park across from the museum, we went back and enjoyed the rest of the Denver Art Museum, or at least what we could see in an afternoon. I must admit I was a bit jealous of the museum guards on each floor who I'm sure got to see it all much more in detail...

My cousin, Kate, who lives in Denver, met us there and served to help us find the most interesting points quickly. We moved quickly through some areas, and more slowly through others, but overall I know I could easily take a week there and not take it all in. A few highlights:
Classical Art

Modern Art
Another of my favorite parts of the trip was the architecture of the museum. The original Denver Art Museum is tall and unique, and we found the windows offered views that nearly competed as framed works of art. But the newer addition of the Duncan Pavilion and the Hamilton Building, really completed the picture going from ancient art to modern. Coming from a flat wide open prairie life, my children and I are always amazed at the city sky-line anyway.
holding up the roof on the Hamilton Building

It was well worth the visit, and when the other two are a bit older, I look forward to going again, and seeing what new and amazing exhibits will be available then. I was impressed by the collection they had brought in from around the world, and I expect great things in the future.

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