Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trail Time

One of the tenants of  the Charlotte Mason philosophy is spending a lot of time in nature to learn.  Admittedly, nature is not my thing.  It was no surprise to me when I had to take a multiple intelligence quiz in college and it basically revealed that I do not learn through nature or music.  I could have told you those were not my strengths.  But I do want to expose my children to nature, and we are also trying to stay more active.  Couple that with the fact that we went from 107 degrees on Friday (seriously!) to 88 on Sunday, and we headed out for a nature walk!

We have a goal to check out all of the different parks and trails in our area.

Olivia wasn't too sure about a park without a playground at first, but she ended up loving it!

They both found walking sticks to use for a little while.

Because of church and lunch, we didn't get out until late afternoon.  It was still pretty hot, but not as hot as it has been.  It was nice just to be out!

checking out the water below

We ended our walk with a sit on the rocks to enjoy the pond and the breeze.  Olivia was teaching Logan how to count. :)

We can't wait to check out the other trails and parks... in the cooler temps!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cowboy Up

I've mentioned before that I really do like working at Target.  Like with any job, there are things that annoy me.  And if you know me, which you probably do since you are reading this, then you know I can be a tad passionate about things.  But overall I really like my job.  One of the things I like most are the people I get to work with and the friends I've made.  One of my favorites is my friend named Sarah.  We are a LOT alike (only she's much nicer-ha!).  We just see things the same... when it comes to life, politics, raising our  children, and running the service desk.  Her family is relatively new to Texas, and she has 3 children similar ages to ours.  We've been talking for months about getting our families together, and it finally happened!

Michael and I have been to the Ft. Worth Rodeo multiple times, and Olivia has been but she was too little to remember.  Well, the Mesquite Rodeo was doing a back to school family night.  Kids got in FREE!  And if you want to certain auto stores you could get adult tickets for half off.  Sarah's family was going, and invited us along.

We showed up about an hour before the actual rodeo began, and they had all sorts of FREE stuff for the kids to do.  We started out at the bounce house, and then made our way to the pony rides.

Olivia got to learn how to rope a cow

Love these little Texans!

Sarah and I--Target BFF's!

There first ever cotton candy

Mommy had some too :)

Olivia had a lot of fun playing with Emma, but she took a break and asked Boppa to take her up to the very top of the bleachers.

It was a fun family night out with new friends.  We're already planning our next family date!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pet Rock

Our kids like to pick up rocks (and other craziness) when we are out and about.  A few months ago I was telling Olivia about how you can paint rocks and make a "pet rock".  So I thought it would be fun to put that on our summer bucket list.

But then we didn't have any rocks.  So I finally asked Michael to get some from the pond at his work.

They didn't necessarily aim to make a certain animal or design.  They just wanted certain colors, and then went to town.

Painting in the Pride Lands ;)

Gluing the eyes on

Her new pet rock :)

We have some water balloons to play with still, but other than that we are finished with our summer bucket list.  We did everything on Olivia's list except the basketball game--because, you know, there was no game to go to!  We didn't make it to fireworks this year (long story), and we attempted to attend a Michael's craft camp but it didn't work out.  All in all, I think we had a good balance of fun at home, out and about with friends, free activities, and some that cost a little bit of money.  The kids got to swim at least once a week, but usually multiple times a week, and they loved it.

Summer was fun.  Now bring on fall!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Well, it's finally here.  Olivia has been waiting, asking, and begging for months to start.  She is super excited about being a Kindgergartner and about being homeschooled!

We had our annual "ice cream for dinner on the night before the first day" meal on Sunday night.

It's always a big hit!

I'm sure this is going to turn into a favorite tradition around here. They really never get ice cream at home, and rarely when we are out, so this is a big deal.  (You've probably seen every time they've had it, because it was likely for a reason I blogged about. LOL!)

A few people have asked why we started so early.  There are a few reasons.  First, because Olivia really wanted to.  Second, because we had our summer fun, and it's blazing hot outside.  So we are basically done with summer. :)  Third, because then I can take off a week here and a week there and still be more than on track.

He's concentrating here, but he was giddy with excitement.

Her finished product!

Her first day pictures!

I actually decided a few weeks ago that we would do our schooling in the afternoon.  Originally I was going to do mornings because that's just what you are "suppose to" do.  And I know as a teacher that kids are more focused and ready to learn first thing.  But after I started thinking about our schedule, life, and needs, I realized that it was going to be much more productive for us to do it during nap time.

Nap time is the main reason for this.  Not because I was worried about Logan bothering us.  But since he naps every day from around 1 to 3-4, it has us home bound during that time. And since I start getting dinner ready around 4/4:30 so that we can eat at 5, there is no chance that we could go anywhere after he woke up.  So that would mean if we were schooling in the morning, we would never have time to run errands, got to events, etc.  So by doing our school while he sleeps, our mornings are free to go on play dates, take classes, run errands, go to the library, etc.

So our morning was a normal one.  We ate lunch, put buddy to bed, and took our pictures before our big start.
My little beauty!

Our little corner all ready to go.  We had about 90% of that, and we just repurposed it for our use.  A few things were new, like the calendar, dry erase board, cork board, and map poster.  I'm sure our room and needs will change over the years, but for now this is perfect for us.

The truth is about 90% of what is in Kindergarten will probably be a review for her.  But I wanted to make sure she had a good foundation.  So we are going to have fun, work our way through the curriculum we have, and then add in here and there with the things that interest her.  Right now she really wants to learn how to tell time, so that is what we are working on.  I love that I can walk this journey with her and customize it to her unique personality, interests, and needs.  So far, so good!

As soon as the door shut to Logan's room on Tuesday, she turned to me and said, "So what are we going to learn today, teacher?!"  Ha ha! I love her!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Boat Babes

Our friends from life group have a boat that they take out every weekend.  They are always up for friends to join, and send out an open invite every week.  We couldn't make it for most of the summer due to scheduling conflicts, but we finally got out there this last weekend.
We had swimming lessons first, so we didn't get out there until late morning.  They were running a little late, so instead of eating our picnic on the boat, we ate at the docks.  Besides a few ant bites, it was nice.

I mean... how cute is this little guy!?!?

It was the first time out on a boat for both of the kids, and they loved it!

Fast is fun!

He just kept telling me how fun it was, that it was great, that it was awesome...

Michael took them both out on the tube, and I think their faces tell it all!

They had a pretty long ride, and then eventually we hit a pretty big wave and they went overboard.  Michael had stopped holding on the the tube, because he was trying to hold them and keep their heads from bonking.  So when we hit the bump, they went flying.  Our friends sort of freaked out a little bit, but I wasn't worried.  First, they had life jackets on (and they know how to float in them), but second I knew Michael would be all over it.  And sure enough, we turned around and he had them both still in his arms.  No worries!  And the kids were unphased by it.

We drove over to a little beach area and parked for about an hour or so.  The kids had fun playing in the sand and in the shallow water.

Michael and Lance took a crazy ride on the tube together, and then at one point Lance surfed behind the boat for a while.  He's really good, and the kids enjoyed watching him.  Then when he got back in and we were headed back, Logan decided to practice his surfing.  Love him!

Landon and Olivia

The kids wanted to sit up from.  We're all covered up, because despite multiple applications of sunscreen, we were all already burned.  And we didn't last too long out there.  August in Texas = death!  It was so stinking hot.

We had a great day, though.  It was the perfect "end" to our summer and kick off to the school year.  Next year we may try to get out there before the temps hit 3 digits, though.  And hopefully go more than once!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Life Lately

We started school this week (more on that coming soon!), so last week was our last week of summer.  We had it packed full of fun, too!

On Monday we met our friends Lamar and Elise at the {{free!!}} Prestonwood play place.  This was actually Olivia's first time, and the last time I was there with Logan he still needed some help from me.

These pictures were actually taken before our friends arrived.  As soon as they got there, the kids took off and we didn't see much of them for the next 2 hours!  Logan climbed all over, including all the way to the top.  I'm excited that we are finally reaching the stage where I don't always have to be a spotter.

 On Tuesday we met our friends Sadie and Sophie at the bowling alley.  We always sign up for the kids bowl free program, but we seem to only make it once a summer.  I'm sure that will change once they get a little older.

They didn't even have shoes small enough for Logan, so we had to ditch them after he walked right out of them a few times.  And I also had to ask for the smaller ramp, because he wanted to lift the ball himself but it was too heavy/he was too short for the regular ramp.

 But they had fun! They didn't make it through the full 2 games, but when you are only paying for shoes, that's still an pretty fun/cheap hour.

I think in the future, we'll add on the family pack so that we can all take advantage during the hot summer.

Wednesday was the only day we didn't have somewhere to be.  So I asked Olivia if she wanted to bake her cake (that was on her bucket list).  She said, "Let me check my schedule."  She had drawn her own little calendar and drew a different activity on each day.  She looked, and said "It's not today's activity, but I guess it will be alright."  Yes.  She's mine. ;)

I let her choose the size of pan, and she chose round.

Her finished product!

On Thursday we headed to our library.  We did the music and movement class first, and then chose some new books and DVD's.

You probably can't even see them... but the instrument of the day was sticks.  Always an adventure with a two year old boy!

We finally made it to an open gym on Friday.  Olivia LOVES this place, and really wants to take Michael some day.  It's only open for open play two Fridays a month, so it makes it hard to get to sometimes.

It's suppose to be $12 for the two hours, but the sweet lady at the desk always gives us the members price which is $8.  Two hours of play for $8 is fantastic!

The preschool play is for 5 and under, so we can keep going through the school year.  But they also have a Homeschool open play on Friday afternoons.  It's nice to be able to have that option in the future!

She said, "If I make it across without falling, so I get a trophy?" Ha ha!

Where's Logan?

Just chilling!

I'd say that is a pretty great week of summer!  We've been working on our last few bucket list items.  Overall, I'd say it was a success!