Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Going Ons {March 2014}

Here's what we have been up to ...

Spring means our lives seem to get crazier and crazier ... it gets worse as the kids get older and we have more commitments. 

Wish I had more time to blog everything we do but, there are just never enough hours in the day. So a quick look into our going ons ...

Ava Mae donated 12 inches of her hair to Locks of Love ... she loves the new hairstyle and I am finally getting how to create a professional looking ballet bun with little hair to work with.

Devin got braces ... he really wanted to wait until he was old enough for Invisaligns but, we convinced him to go ahead and get it over with. He seems to be adjusting well. Two in braces ... so glad Ava Mae is still a few years off. Braces are EXPENSIVE!

Lexi is working so hard with her very good friend and dance bud, Ellie, to prepare for their duo in an upcoming dance competition. They are learning lots ... most importantly ... they are finding out the hard work and dedication that must go in to preparing for a dance competition. It is nothing like the small snippet they see on Dance Moms.

In other news, our yard is finally back to good condition - lots of clean up from the horrible storm that literally blew through a few weeks ago. The insurance adjuster finally made it out and our fence has been repaired!

Classical Conversations (our hybrid school) is finishing up and the kids are working hard on their 24 weeks of memory work. We are proofing now ... Devin is going for Memory Master and the girls are going for Jr. Memory Master. We are happy to be returning to CC again next year. Devin and Lexi will move into Challenge A. Ava Mae will continue in Foundations and I look forward to tutoring the Masters class.

And, surprise, we are wrapping up our month by heading off on an early Spring Break to Walt Disney World. {My husband's boss gave up his spot, at a conference in Disney} Looking forward to some spring like temps in Florida and spending a few days in the parks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Father Daughter Dance {2014}

Hard to believe it has been five years since the first Father Daughter Dance - Lexi and Ava Mae attended. The girls look forward to this night all year. They love getting the opportunity to dance the night away with their Dad and friends.

We started the day early at a friend's home doing hair and makeup.

Then it was off to the salon for nails. Such a fun time!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Butcher Paper Covered School Table

I don't know why I did not think of this sooner ... last fall we covered our dining room table {which for the most part doubles as our school table} with butcher paper for Ava Mae's art party. The kids loved it so much we decided to leave it in place. They loved using the butcher paper during school to work out math problems or sketch out an idea for a paper they were writing. Their friends loved doodling and writing messages to the kids when they were over. I wish I would have taken a picture of it before I removed the paper and decided to put down a new sheet of butcher paper.

So, I figure this is my big homeschool idea for the year ... not only is it protecting our dining room table {when we have a need to use the dining room table I just throw a table cloth over the butcher paper} but, I don't have lots of scrap paper laying around at the end of the school day. I may even save a section of this butcher paper when I take it off the table in a month or two. I figure it would be a nice addition to my art journal this year ... more to come on that in a separate post.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Crafting

Here are just a few of our Valentine's Day crafting projects ... I found some cute stamp sets at Papertrey Ink and I stamped the two cards featured here. The one above was just a test run for a card for my niece and nephew in Florida. All during Thanksgiving, my adorable 2 year old nephew would call Lexi "Foxy". I think it had to do with the fact that she kept singing the song "What Does the Fox Say" - over and over to my 1 year old niece. 

Pictured below is the card I stamped for my husband. With all the winter weather we have had plenty of time to work on crafting! And, I have really enjoyed stamping again.

Pictured below is the Valentine's Day "card" for Lexi's classmates at CC. Owls are so in right now and we found this adorable idea on Pinterest. It is just a cardboard toilet paper tube - covered in scrapbook paper and dressed up to look like an owl. We stuffed them with treats and sealed them up at the bottom with Washi tape. Unfortunately, school was called off due to inclement weather ... so we will look forward to distributing these next week at school.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Snow Day {2014}

Guess what ... we had snow again in Atlanta. Big surprise, right? So glad we homeschool ... can't imagine if we attended a public or private school and had missed all these days. At least with homeschooling, we can play in the snow and then when everyone is freezing - head inside to dethaw and do some work.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

Normally, the news of a possible snow storm in Atlanta makes me happy but, for some reason on Tuesday I was just not feeling it. I awoke around 3:30am to my weather radio app going off stating we were now in a Winter Storm Warning area. The night before when I had headed off to sleep the news was calling for a light dusting of snow here in our northern suburb of Atlanta ... that normally equates to a few snow flurries. Even the local weather forecasters at around 6:30am on Tuesday morning really seemed to still be downplaying any snow we were going to get. My husband headed off to work and the kids and I began our normal homeschool routine - we had no idea what was about to come.

When the snow began around 10:30am we had the typical flurries but, an hour later it was still coming down and appeared to be getting a little bit heavier. I texted with my husband - he said his office was going to release early but, still at that point later in the afternoon. I told him as long as he was on the road by 2pm I figured he would be fine. By 12:30pm when the snow began to really stick and the cars behind our home on a busy road were bumper to bumper I called my husband and told him best to get in the car and head our way. Needless to say, he never made it more than 1.5 miles from his office and even that short distance took over 3 hours. We decided his best bet was to head back to the office and wait it out or, plan to hunker down there for the night, like several of my other friends' husbands were doing at their offices. My husband was not able to actually make it back to his office by car ... he abandoned his SUV in a parking lot and hiked the rest of the way back - walking back into his office at 4:30pm.

The day went on ... my husband and I chatted several times trying to come up with a plan - he had no food, did not have any winter gear with him other than a jacket, and his office was turning off the heat (preferring people not stay there) - we found no hotel rooms within 10 miles with a vacancy - he had attempted to get food from a Publix and Costco within a block or two of his office but, both had closed. Things just seemed to go from bearable to bad quickly!

The news began reporting the horrid situation ... people were stuck everywhere ... interstates were becoming parking lots. Jackknifed semis, clogged side streets, tons of fender benders, school buses not able to get kids home.

When the kids and I sat down to an early dinner we prayed for protection for both my husband and all the people stuck in this mess.

Right after dinner I got on Facebook and found that an old friend from MOMS Club, Michelle Solictio, had begun a Facebook Group called SnowedOutAtlanta. What a miracle worker she was!! Hundreds of people at that point were offering up shelter or assistance to those trapped in the storm ... we posted offering up our home to anyone stuck on the road behind us either walking or driving. Later in the evening, we even attempted to help a man find a place for his 64 year old mother - who had been stuck for hours trying to get home. See she had remained at a local school getting all the kids on buses, so by the time she had attempted to get home it was too late. Her car had run out of gas ... her cell phone was dying ... she was on foot in East Cobb walking trying to find somewhere to go. I posted on my own personal Facebook page where she was and all of my friends in that area jumped into action offering up their homes. Thankfully, as she was walking to one of those homes her son found a friend in that area with a 4 x 4 vehicle who was able to pick her up and they decided to camp out at the Walmart just down the street.

And, then a gift from God ... a family posts on SnowedOutAtlanta they are willing to take in anyone stranded ... she describes where they are located and I realize it is just a block from my husband's office! I responded and she immediately posts her cell phone number. I call her and the first words out of this woman's mouth were "tell me what we can do". We chatted briefly and I immediately called my husband and gave him the good news ... he made contact and was off hiking to their home. This wonderful family blessed my husband more than they will ever know - they had even been through their own ordeal getting home. The husband had to abandon his own car on a major thoroughfare and hike home but, at 11:30pm they opened their door - welcomed my husband in - cooked him something to eat and gave him a guest bedroom for the night.

The next morning we used SnowedOutAtlanta to check the routes my husband could possibly take home ... the family he was staying with gave him a ride to his car and he was off, as soon as we found the roads were open. Just 24 hours after he first left the office to come home ... he walked up our street (which was still to icy to drive up)! We were so happy to see him ... so thankful to people like Michelle and the family who took him in.

I loved being on Facebook and hearing all of these similar stories ... rejoicing with families as they welcomed loved ones home ... some who had to hike 5+ miles from their abandoned cars.

Yes, there is blame to be shared and hindsight is always 20/20. We will all learn from this event - so many lessons. For now, I choose to focus on all the good that came out of that horrendous day ... and, that's all I am going to say about that!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nature Studies in Winter

In the winter this is our window to the world ... or at least, our front yard. It is a great place for us to do nature studies ... especially when it is just too cold to bundle up and head outside.

Lately, we have been fascinated by the woodpecker who has made this large hole in a branch on one of our trees .. unfortunately, he has been too fast lately going in and out for me to capture him on film. He darts in and out of this hollowed out branch pretty quickly.

We have lots of male and female cardinals that visit our yard. They are so beautiful against the winter background.

Some days we document the comings and goings of all the birds in our nature/art journals - other times we just snap lots of photographs.