Friday, June 24, 2016

Another lame update.

It feels like every couple months I get around to writing another blog....and it always starts with....where have I been? Or, I promise I'll write more...

I have no real good excuses.  Life has been so crazy-hectic-amazing these past couple months.  I last wrote in May just giving an update about life.  I had written an "Ohio Bucket List" and was working at crossing lots of things off.  I had so many amazing things on the list which I did accomplish and some that I really wish I COULD have accomplished but lacked time.  And, well - then I just took the list down and said "we've done what we could" and our days went on with other stuff.

My days are always filled with things - boring, exciting - what have you.  I guess what is boring to me could be really exciting to other people.  I get into thinking about what I'm doing and often don't want to even blog about it because (insert really big yawn) its kind of boring.  I'm often chasing five kids, making breakfast, lunch, dinner, and driving....oh, always driving.

But, we've done some other things this month!  Mostly, I've made lists of what I need to accomplish and things we need to do.  We also tried hard to see a lot of our friends before we head out to our next spot.

Ohio has been hard on me.  I'm really hoping I can kick myself into a great routine when we get to Texas....and hopefully this includes blogging more -- like, lots more.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Catching up....

Oh gosh.  Has it really been five months since I last wrote on this blog....time goes fast...and slow at the same time!

Mother's Day Flowers!

You know with the Air Force the motto is hurry up and, we wait.  This year has been all waiting.  We know we are moving but when and where -- that's the question (or it was for most of the last five months).  I've pushed to get through school, enjoy the activities and have quality time with the kids.  I've become energized and dedicated to a workout program -- because, I'm moving....and I'm going to Texas!  But, I need to look good in tank tops so my arms need a little work (or a lot ha!).

We've known since March that we'd be returning to San Antonio for yet another tour and while I know a lot of people really dislike Texas, it's home.  It isn't where I'm from and the hubby isn't from there either but its where we felt most at home.  We are so beyond excited to go HOME.  Yes, home.  We get to move back into our own home....back to our friends and'll be so good.

I've worked hard on creating a bucket list for the remaining time we have left in Ohio.  We have crossed off a few things but nothing overly exciting yet.  I'm also working on things we want to see and do while in Texas!  Over the next month or two I'm hoping to successfully cross off most of our bucket list.  If I am lucky I'll be able to keep things together and even update our fun excursions on the blog! Let's hope!

Jeni's Splendid Icecream

A lot of people have asked about's it going? What am I doing? Are we done?  Well...I started this past year using Calvert and quickly realized it was just too much busy work and not advancing the kids like our other materials had done.  We swapped to My Father's World and Christian Light (which we have used successfully in the past).  The kids are doing great.  We finished up My Father's World for the year and have been focusing on math & language arts.  I even signed Gator up for a fun class through GamED Academy. She's loving it so far!!  In a couple weeks I plan to finish up our school year with the IOWA Testing....and then enjoy the summer off!

I'll try to keep you all updated at least weekly if not more!!!  

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week in Review -- Jan and back in action!

Well, Christmas break is finally over and now things are slowly getting back into the swing of things! I had a dentist appointment Monday which made the week off to an interesting start - but all is well!  

The kids have been busy doing their schoolwork and actually adjusted back to school pretty nicely.  I've started Gator doing Time 4 Learning in addition to her other subjects.  The plan is that we'll have access to Time 4 Art next month so - I'm hopeful its as awesome as people say!  Peanut is doing well and our big focus right now is reading, math and writing.  Achoo is also working hard -- we have him doing 100 Easy Lessons for reading and the BOB books - he's loving it.  He's also doing Star Wars Math and Letters.  

We did a few little trips out last week - aside from the dentist we also had swim lessons and gymnastics.  Then, we went to this cool indoor play area that had a nature scavenger hunt! It even warmed up a little so we had a quick outside play, too! Ash got tired though so we left.  I signed the big kids up to try Chinese class but Peanut had a meltdown - it was too hard.  I thought it might be but it was free to try the first class, so we did!  Achoo had a chance to learn how to play chess and now wants to go play weekly with his friends.  Then....we had a play group on Friday for the littles and a board game day for the bigs! That was a lot of fun for everyone!!  We actually managed to do all that AND get tons of school done. 

This next week - we don't have much planned.  I'm hoping to get a few things cleaned up around the house and maybe organize some school stuff.  All of our closets and rooms need a little organization. I'm really game for doing it all BUT it'd be a lot easier if we could do it knowing where we are actually moving!!

I'll write more next week -- hop

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week in Review....December.

This is probably the third year I have thought, "Wouldn't it be awesome to take off the ENTIRE month of December?" and then, I realize it realistically would not work.  

Last year I couldn't take the time off because we were waiting for the baby to arrive in March and I KNEW I'd need time then.  The year before, I think life just got crazy and I knew it wasn't going to because I hadn't planned enough?  This year...its just not doable because we're expecting a move this summer.  I need to have everything done and more than done because a move always messes life up....just a bit!  (Where are we moving?! I want to know, too!)

so....I spent the majority of last week working out a few kinks with school.  Achoo is totally loving Reading Eggs & Math Seeds.  He has been busy working on some sight words and writing his letters and numbers.  Peanut just got a bunch of new books at the library.  She's working hard at reading and is having fun with Math, too.  Gator is working on long division, area and perimeter, among other things in Math.  She's got a collection of books from the library, too.  She's also very happy to be back to Veritas Press History.  They are currently on sale again until Dec 18. I have thought about purchasing the Bible program to go along with her history but I think we will just wait until next spring.  They go on sale several times a year!

The kids have been trying to do lots of Christmas things - last week we made edible trees and even ginger bread houses (which was a complete fail).  We did a bit of our shopping, wrapped some gifts, donated some of our stuff, and made plans for other things they'd like to do: Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt and Baking Cookies are top on their list!

On Friday, Gator went with her team down to the gymnastics meet (though, she didn't compete this time around).  I took the other four kids to the Elves and the Shoemaker!  We had a great time.  I was kind of surprised how well they did....until the end, of course Achoo kept asking when we could go to the library.  It sounded like he was really into books BUT he had a video game awaiting him!  

This past weekend Gator & Peanut even went to see the Nutcracker with Vegas!  They all said they had a good time....later that night, Peanut said she was glad she does gymnastics because ballet can be a bit boring!  Ha!  

And, just because we all need some baby cuteness...


Thursday, December 10, 2015

EDIBLE Christmas Trees!

These kids are super excited about the Christmas Season!  We have been trying to do fun "Christmas" things each month!  Normally, I buy one of those pre-made Gingerbread Houses and the kids complain when they cannot eat it.  So, I thought let's make Christmas Trees!  And...I was BEYOND excited when I saw that Target carries GLUTEN FREE sugar cones!  I was like so excited! Gluten free sugar cones, gluten free frosting, gluten free candy (although the little sugar gingerbread man is made in a factory so no gluten in product but may be cross contaminated -- doesn't matter he didn't eat it!).  I always get excited when there are fun things for ALL the kids to do! Because, gluten allergies stink and its much more fun feeling "normal" with your sisters!



It was so much fun.  We are so blessed.  And, this is now the snack they have decided they love!  Tomorrow it'll be something else!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The GO TO gift!

This totally spoils my easy gifts for the season BUT I have to share because I'm sure there are other people out there who need an amazing go to idea!  A couple weeks ago, I was flipping through Pinterest and google (I heart google) to find some great ideas for Mason Jars.  I totally loved this one idea -- fill a mason jar with someones favorite candies and then toss a gift card inside hidden amidst the candies!

I sent a couple of these out to friends this year and have even given them as birthday gifts!  Gator's friend was having a birthday and collecting monetary donations for World Vision. We hid cash (inside a paper towel roll inside the jar) and wrapped it nicely.  Gator said its her new favorite gift to make!  Super easy! And, I know it'll get used!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Weekend Recap!

I'm finally having a moment to myself where I can sit here and tell you what's been going on but the past few days have been seriously a blur!

Baby Ash has been sick with a double ear infection. We didn't catch it until her 9 month visit....and she's wanted to be held ALL DAY LONG.  I keep reminding myself she's little, she's sweet, and this will only last just so long.  I mean, look, Gator is 9....the time has come and gone faster that I knew it would.  How do I have a 9 year old?  So, there I sit with my snuggly sleepy baby.  Don't mind my crazed look -- I had just finished some 21 Day Fix Yoga!

Friday was all over busy. We ran to the store to groceries then a pit stop at the library to pick up some books.  I love our library because we can order books and they have them waiting for us when we go in.  The librarians are all friendly and kind....and thankfully you don't have to be THAT quiet.  Because, we aren't quiet.....we are loud.  We are a bunch.  That's how this family works. #loud

I've been working hard at getting lots of school accomplished because I really want to do fun things this month.  That was my plan last year, too, but it just never happened. Last year I wanted the time to take off when Ash was born...this year, I know life is going to get crazy when we move so a month off in December just isn't doable.  In the craziness of life and the fact Vegas went to work yesterday (boo), I decided to do Saturday school!  The kids were less than impressed but I managed.

Peanut has been working on cursive.  Its a hard concept to grasp especially because as a homeschooler you know there are several different kinds of cursive. I actually taught Gator cursive using Handwriting Without Tears but then this go round we're doing Calvert Script.  Its much different.

When Peanut was struggling I started writing in cursive and having her copy it but it was hard for her to copy since she couldn't see the paper...A HA moment!  I taped the papers to the window and she sat tracing it!  I even had to do it with the other kids.

Achoo is busy with Reading Eggs.  I know a lot of people love the program and I recommend it because its fun but he's so slow with it.   They even have a Math portion which he likes.  The cool thing is he thinks he's playing a video game but really...he's learning!

More later....and for the meantime a quick photo of the new shirt Gator got in the mail. I absolutely love it -- its just her style!


Thursday, December 3, 2015


I just cannot believe sweet baby Ash is 9 months old.  It seems like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant and  just yesterday she was born.  All the newborn snuggles, the baby baths and the many firsts we have already been blessed with.  But, it wasn't yesterday - it was nine months ago.  And, about 18 months ago we found out there'd be another addition to our family.  How weird is it that it feels like just yesterday but also feels like she's always been here.

This baby, like every baby, is a blessing.  I cannot even find words to describe how much joy she brings our family.  She loves her sisters and brother. She plays with them and interacts.  She's already learned how to drop food to the dogs, where to crawl to find the dog food, how to get Gator to pick her up, how to get Achoo to grab her toys...she's just so perfect in my eyes. The perfect addition, the perfect gift, and most definitely the perfect blessing.

She says Da when she wants something....and I've only heard MaMa in times of complete panic (ha!).  She stands, cruises, and crawls at lightening speed.  Her favorite food is yogurt and she also enjoys puffs and grapes (obviously cut into very small pieces).  She loves snuggling.  Her favorite toy is the Marble Castleworks.  She can actually put the ball at the top herself and watch it go down!  

Happy 9 Months, Ash!

This past week.

I start almost every blog the same way - I've been meaning to write....but....yup.  This past week I've been thinking a lot about my blog and how I need to make time for myself.  Blogging is listed under things I can't do because I have no time for myself.  Actually, the list is quite long.  I have tons to do but little time and always choose to put my kids first.  Someday they'll look back and see this time was such a gift - I hope. 

Really, I don't just think about things I should be doing...I do things I need to do, think about things we're going to do, clean up the kitchen, do the laundry, carpool...oh the list goes on.  Then, I've been thinking about LOTS of other things, too.  The world, the government, the move, what I'm going to do next year for school, meal planning. Oh gosh. I need to stop thinking so much!

Let's catch up a bit -- and hopefully, the next entry won't be far off.

I've been pretty busy with homeschooling the kids and driving them everywhere.  I have to remind myself its a season...oh, is it ever a season and when its gone I'm going to really, really miss it.  Gator has been doing 4th grade work and its definitely a step up from 3rd grade. I love her thirst for knowledge!!!  Peanut is becoming quite the reader and I enjoy sitting to read with her daily.  Achoo has a love hate relationship with school.  Thankfully, he's 5.  He doesn't want to write his name? Ok.  He wants to color and not use pencils, fine.  The instructions say "color this blue" and he realizes the colors but says, "why should the pumpkin be blue" - yup, I'm not fighting it.  He's got a strong personality. He's amazing...and he's 5.  So, while I'm doing Kindergarten with him this year and he's THRIVING I jokingly admit if I really mess up with him, he could just do it again next year since most boys these days actually start later.

At the start of this year I promised the kids we'd have fun each week.  I thought maybe we will call it FIELD TRIP AND FUN FRIDAYS -- the name stuck but the going places and doing something new got old.  We've tried very hard.  The big girls have been enjoying cooking class. It doesn't meet all the time but does meet monthly.  This last class was an Italian themed class where they learned to make their own pasta!  They love coming home with the recipes and showing me how its all done, too!

Autzee is good with ANY recipe the girls can make that involved Nutella!  And, she can do a whole lot of recipes with Nutella....her favorite includes a spoon (or heck don't even use that just her fingers) and the jar!  Let's just say most of the time the Nutella is just hers!

I've been reading this book.  And, I really feel like it touches a lot of great points.  


Speaking of books....I started a Christmas Bible challenge! And, I'm 3/3 so far on days accomplished so that's a great edge!  I haven't done a lot of other things for the month of December yet but its still early!  I'm also planning a trip to the library in the next couple days to get some more books for the kids to read!  What books have you been reading with the kids? Any good recommendations for elementary aged kids?  

This week we also baked a few fun snacks and prepped a few gifts for the holidays.  Fun snacks for the kids included pretzel candy and energy bites ... I'll be back with the recipes, later:

A photo dump of sweet baby A because everyone needs to see squishy babies.  I love this kid. She is a blessing beyond words.  I love her more than you could ever imagine.  She just is filled with love and laughter -- and she brings joy to everyone!