Friday, October 30, 2009

Little Miss Trouble's birthday

We have been very busy this past week. Grandpa made it into town for the birthday and to celebrate his 60th on the first. As a surprise, I flew my brother in last night and he and Kevin met us out to dinner. Dad was very surprised to see the Kevin's squared walk up (both my husband and brother are Kevin).

Little Miss Trouble's birthday went off without a hitch. We had some neighbors over for hamburgers, hot dogs, and cake.

Of course, we still do our traditional cupcakes for breakfast on birthday mornings. Dad is home now for the next 2.5 years, but then goes off again to sea duty so we will continue this tradition and my hips will thank me later, I'm sure.

Here's the newest photo of Tylar. She's getting to be so much fun now, actually smiling and "talking" a little bit.

I have lots of other pictures to post as we've been very busy, when it hasn't been raining-pumpkin patch and carving, sights around Seattle and visiting the pioneer cemetary in what seemed like 40mph winds in freezing temps!

Have a great day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our first six weeks is done!

We had a very successful first six weeks, if I do say so for myself. It was busy, especially with a newborn and a toddler. Did I tell you that Little Miss Trouble is an artist? Our walls are her canvas!

I introduced projects this year. TL is currently working on a lapbook of the first ten presidents; so far, he has completed four. The girls just finished a lapbook on Cycle of Life for Animals. It was very interesting. While TL finishes up his lapbook, the girls will be working first on a lapbook about deer and then butterflies-their choices. We get all of our lapbooks at Hands of a Child. You can click the link on the side and it will take you right to their website. We love them and I love that all the research is done for me and that each lapbook can be adjusted to the different age groups.

I also started Spanish this past week. We're just learning basics this year-counting, days, some phrases, and lots of vocabulary. That's going well. We only do about ten minutes a day, but its great.

The most promising thing is the Passport Club. We are so enjoying learning the different countries. The kids are doing really well and I must say that I'm enjoying learning where countries are located. How embarrassing that I can't identify most of the countries in Africa and Europe is quite a blur! With new countries, I can't seem to keep any of it straight anymore!

I'm looking forward to having this week off. My dad will be here tomorrow and the kids are so looking forward to having Grandpa buy them stuff, I mean, spend time with them. We're hopefully off for lots of sight seeing, so I'll be sure to post pictures.

On a side note, please keep my Aunt Vivian in your prayers. After her doctor telling her for weeks that she should be in pain because of her elderly age, she changed doctors. She filled with cancer, most of it is in her bones. She has deteriorated alot this past week. Right now, she's in hospice care and it could be any time. I'm so sorry that I didn't get to go home this summer like I had planned. We're losing a wonderful part of our family. She is filled with so many family stories and information. I'm thankful that I started asking questions a few years ago about our family. She has filled in many blanks and given me so much information. I encourage you to have your children interview their grandparents, great grandparents, etc and find out more about your family. In fact, I will be posting a list of questions that I'm having Trey ask his grandparents. I will be buying a digital recorder, because it will be wonderful to listen to stories years from now!!

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coupons, coupons, coupons

Kelli posted on her blog about her coupon obsession. While mine, is not quite like hers, I do strive to make some sort of sense of my coupon pile that is shoved in the "junk" drawer. I enjoy trying to see how much money I can save, although I never get over $15. This week is was $12. I tried to sneak in another $2 off coupon but the pimple faced youngster was alert enough to catch my coupon date.

We shop at the commissary. For you non-military, it is our grocery store. The great part is that we save significantly over regular super market prices. The bad part is that there isn't any coupon doubling or sales-ever. So when I see these great deals that others make, I get jealous.

I could I suppose, go through the ads in the paper and hope to find some awesome bargain sale that I could go to. Naw.....really, dragging five kids to the store to save $5 isn't my idea of a good time and I find that when they're with me, coupon shopping is very difficult. They keep dumping other items in the cart too, which racks up the total. So my charming hubby, lets me, on the weekends, run to the commissary all by myself for some adult time-with my coupons in hand and forty million people in the commissary all trying to save a buck.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


TL has always struggled with spelling. Its hard to spell words, when you're phonetically dsylexic. Writing was a chore and one that he easily gave up on. It was frustrating not to be able to put your thoughts down on paper.

This year we tried yet another spelling program. Its basically just a workbook with spelling words. Its from Evan-Moor and called Building Spelling Skills. Each day he does a worksheet to reinforce spelling skills. And I make him memorize four weeks a day for the week. He's doing very well. Last week, we didn't review the words alot and he missed five outta seventeen, however, the other weeks he's only missed one or two. I realized that all this time, I'd been trying to plug phonetic spelling into my non phonetic kid. Poor kid. This year, his writing has much improved and he's trying to sound things out when spelling them, which he NEVER did before. Yeah!

Now, we just need to keep working on the reading. He's doing well and making progress. My problem is that when he comes across a word he doesn't know, he substitutes a different word. Say he comes across the word digestion-he'll say disaster or whatever word starts with d that comes to his mind. He also refuses to ask me to help him with words. When he's doing silent reading, he has not ever asked me about a word. I'm not sure how to fix that. Any suggestions? Arby? Kellie? Anyone?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Prayer request

My great-Aunt Vivian is filled with cancer. My mom just called. I'm horribly sad for her. She's a wonderful woman and a joy to speak to. SHe's in alot of pain as the cancer has progressed into her bones. Please pray for her. She needs peace.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Camping at Jim Creek

I have finally had a few moments to download the photos from our camping trip at Jim Creek two weeks ago. Enjoy the view-it was gorgeous there.

Little Miss Trouble checking out the water at the creek (and that's crick for you silly people that think its a creek).

TL playing in Jim Creek.

View from the top.

The leaves were just starting to change two weeks ago.

Check out the moss on the trees.

Even Shadow had a playmate, even if it was a smaller one!

The girls and our neighbor having a blast camping. They did so much together and had an awesome time!

This is a shot of the Twin Lakes that are at the top of the mountain. We literally drove straight up, on a gravel road, without a barrier and a cliff on one side. I don't do heights well and was freaking out the entire drive, but the view was wonderful.

This is a another shot of Twin Lakes. You can see the marsh land really well here. They have wonderful signs describing the wild life and the purpose of marsh land.

This is a picture of Jim Creek. This was a little bit from our campsite, but very pretty indeed.

The gorgeous view from our campsite. It was so nice and relaxing there.

Bug-a-bug chopping fire wood for the camp fire, and yes, we did have s'mores.

I should have the blog finished up this weekend, I hope anyway. I have five large bags of apples to make applesauce with and can. Thank you Angel, for your apple butter recipe. And special thanks to Heather for giving me the links needed to change my blog around.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Still here

Sorry for not posting much the last few days. We've been really busy with school and our projects. TL is currently reading about and doing a lapbook on one president a week. I will update with pictures next week. The girls are learning about the Circle of Life from the lapbook from Hands of a Child. They should have that done next week or the week after. My father comes for a visit for a week, so I won't start their new project until after he leaves. They've requested to learn about deer-there are alot of black tailed deer here and they see them almost everyday. I have to be careful not to hit them.

You have probably noticed some changes in my blog. I am actually working on making it three columns to add more information. I hope to have that done later this week. Please bear with me. I also changed the picture to our resident eagle that is always flying overhead. I finally had my camera with me one day while he/she was perched on the tree down the street. I also took a picture of the nest, which is huge.

The Passport Club is going wonderfully. Last month TL learned all five levels and earned five stamps in his passport. The girls each learned two levels. I may try to up it to three for them. They seemed a little bored at the end of the month.

This is the map we use to test with and study from each month

This is the map that we use to help study with. It shows everything the kids would learn if they study all five levels each month. We also have smaller study maps (these two are about 2 feet by 3 feet) that shows on a monthly basis, what needs to be studied. The smaller maps are very helpful to me, because I can point out the general are of Tajikistan, but have no idea exactly where it is.

This is a copy of Princess' passport page from September.

TL is testing for his Taekwondo lower yellow belt tomorrow. I'm praying that he does well. He sometimes acts a little goofy, although I think during the test, he will be okay. He would definitely be the class clown if he were in school-and I would always be in the office!! :)

Bug-a-bug just received her belt from her test last week. She was very excited. She is in a lower division of taekwondo, from the big kids, called Kinderkicks.

Receiving her belt from her teacher

Proudly displaying her new belt

I have a new layout that I will be doing for the blog, hopefully this week. First, I have to find my tax returns from last year so I can apply for financial aid for school. I really need to finish my bachelor's.

I also have a ton of pictures to load from our camping trip, the views were awesome. We are also hosting six flat friends. I will only ever host two at a time from now it. Its a little more work than I wanted, but its alot of fun and the kids are really liking it. Hopefully, I can also get to that this week. Have a wonderful day and week everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Need some help

Anyone know where I can get a free blog template with three columns instead of two. I tried downloading two and they didn't work.