Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Week in Pictures

Sometimes a week is so beautiful that it is best shown in pictures, rather than written in word ...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nature Study - Charlotte Mason Style

With the beautiful spring weather I was once again inspired to do a Charlotte Mason style nature study. I took my two girls and a friend's two girls, and with picnic lunch in hand, headed to a wonderful park just down the street from us. {My great friend Tammy took my son and her son to the Auto Show in Atlanta today so I had her two girls.}

There were hundreds and hundreds of tadpoles. The girls had so much fun studying them and trying to scoop them up in cups. We were even able to find lots of frog eggs.
Science comes to life so much more when the kids get to experience it up close!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays {130 - 150}

130. my husband helping the kids learn all of their lines and music for "Pirates of Penzance"

131. dinner out with homeschool friends

132. listening to our kids laugh and play during dinner

133. friends to do Weight Watchers with

134. watching our golden retriever lying in the sun ... soaking in the rays

135. my sister giving birth to a healthy baby boy

136. for camera phones and texting so that I could see pictures and hear all the details as soon as my nephew was born

137. an afternoon of sitting on my friend's deck and watching our children play in her backyard

138. spring is everywhere

139. watching Devin and Lexi's astronomy presentations in their Timothy Class

140. my daughter finally catching the lizard our cat brought into the house many days ago

141. watching my son play baseball on a warm Saturday afternoon

142. wearing flip flops for the first time since last season

143. the amazing moon on Saturday night

144. our telescope

145. an impromptu astronomy lesson for the kids led by my husband

146. witnessing spontaneous baptisms at our church

147. a fun Sunday School class

148. Spiritual Gifts

149. feeling convicted about really examining my life and figuring out where God would have me use the gifts he has given me

150. being commissioned as new members at our wonderful church

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yoplait Yogurt - Product Review and GIVEAWAY

My girls and I are addicted to Yoplait Original Style Yogurt and that is a good thing because, I am always looking for ways to get more calcium in my diet. Being on Weight Watchers I try and find point friendly ways of making that happen and Yoplait Yogurt has some of my favorite flavors in 4-cup packs and easy-to-store 8-cup fridge packs in 23 delicious flavors including Strawberry, French Vanilla, Harvest Peach, and Blackberry Pomegranate and, they are only 3 points on WW.

Yoplait recently sent me an awesome prize pack for reviewing their product and I would love to send one of my readers a prize pack also. For those of you getting back into a healthy routine this is the perfect prize it includes a great workout bag, water bottle, awesome jump rope, workout towel and a coupon for free yogurt!

If you would like to be entered into the giveaway just leave me a comment telling me how you are working on becoming more healthy and getting more calcium in your diet.

I will draw a winner one week from today on Saturday, March 26th.

Disclosure: Yoplait provided me with the free product, information, and a giveaway through MyBlogSpark.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"The Pirates of Penzance"

What better way to spend St. Patrick's Day then watching our children perform as pirates in "The Pirates of Penzance". It was a short school program put on by the Atlanta Opera. The kids have been working hard on their music and lines and had a ball! Devin's first words to me after the performance were "when can I do that again?".

Devin, Lexi and Ava Mae take after their Dad ... they absolutely love performing.

Thankful for this fun opportunity for them and for the awesome homeschool group we belong to that brings the Atlanta Opera to JFBC every year!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"My Child My Princess"

I know I have said this before but, we really are blessed to be a part of an amazing ballet school. Our director is one of the most talented people I know. Her heart for all of her students is just so sweet.

This past weekend the school put on a new ballet -- an adaptation from a book by Beth Moore "My Child My Princess". Our girls performed in front of a packed audience - lots of families with their little girls dressed as princesses. Lexi and Ava Mae both performed beautifully. Lexi had three dances and Ava Mae had one - though she also got a featured part as a mouse.

I love watching Lexi's technique improve each year! We are so proud of both of our girls ... here are a few pictures from the performance.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays {111 - 129}

111. fun night at Chuck E Cheese with the kids

112. time out with homeschool friends

113. Devin teaching Ava Mae her math lesson

114. time to hug a friend I have been praying for

115. a new Cuisinart Waffle Maker for only $10

116. practicing music and lines with the kids for their upcoming performance in "Pirates of Penzance" with the Atlanta Opera

117. a beautiful Saturday for baseball and ballet

118. great season opener for Devin and his baseball team

119. Devin being the starting pitcher and nailing his first inning - 3 up 3 down

120. a beautiful ballet performance by both my girls

121. friends who came to see the girls dance

122. enjoying lunch with friends after the ballet

123. having light for longer in the evening

124. Great Horned Owls outside my bedroom window

125. said owls deciding to finally fly away so I could go back to sleep

126. beautiful signs of Spring

127. Cardinals and Bluebirds at our birdfeeder

128. fun science experiment making clouds

129. God's grace

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up - March 11th

It has been a crazy week so I am just getting around to posting a weekly wrap up for our school week. This past week it was all about the girls upcoming ballet performance with lots of ballet classes that ran late and a dress rehearsal all leading up to the Saturday performance but, I'll save all those details for another blog post.

Lexi had a great tutoring session this week and we are so happy with her reading progress. Wilson has been a good fit for us in dealing with Lexi's dyslexia.

The kids also enjoyed a fun science experiment. Lexi and Devin continue with our Apologia science at Timothy but, we enjoy doing some of the experiments at home and right now they are both working on a report that is due this coming Friday on a planet they each have chosen.

Our experiment this week involved creating a cloud. It was really simple but, the kids were amazed at the result. We filled a jar with water heated up in the microwave, then tossed a lit match into the jar and placed an ice pack on top. In no time a cloud formed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays {91 - 109}

A friend of mine just reached her 1,000th gift post ... I have really enjoyed reading all of her "gifts" over the past year and looking forward to continuing to chronicle mine.

91. my parents and three of my siblings coming to our home for a visit

92. beautiful weather for their visit

93. enjoying great food and conversation together

94. my family getting to see Lexi perform three of her ballet dances from her upcoming performance

95. fun jam session - with my sister Emily on guitar and vocals, Lexi on piano, Devin on base, Ava Mae on tambourine and vocals and my husband on guitar

96. promises of another visit with family very soon

97. praying friends!

98. my sweet friend Meredith who always calls and offers to pick Ava Mae up for ballet

99. wonderful AAA Auto Club tech who came to my home when my car would not start and instead of calling for a tow truck fixed a fuel line stoppage himself {saving me lots of time and money}

100. interesting study on the civil war in the Georgia History class I teach

101. a fun day of baking

102. getting to meet and hear a wonderful gospel message from a missionary family from Lithuania in our Sunday Bible Study Class

103. our church's heart for sending out people on short term mission trips

104. my husband making a decision our family will take a mission trip this year {still praying about where that will be}

105. watching our cats play with a ball of yarn

106. watching all three of my kids swinging on our playset

107. when an issue arose with our new ottoman having the sales person call me to let me know she had found a new one clear across the state that she was having shipped to me

108. another great Sunday evening bible study with friends

109. hearing the sweet prayer requests from the young girls in our bible study

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Great Saturday to Bake

With the weather outside rainy and cold I figured this was the perfect day to do some baking but, what recipe to bake??? I always have a list of cookbook recipes and blog recipes I really want to try. I decided on this one ... thanks so much to Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen for posting this amazing recipe for Cookie Cake Cupcakes!!

I will say that this is not a quick recipe it has several steps but, if you have time to spare - which I did today, you will not be disappointed.

First step is to whip up a cake mix - I went with Duncan Hines Devil Food. Just prepare as directed on box and set aside.

Second step is to break out a package of Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough. You could also make your own but, I was trying to simplify a little. Scoop out a small amount and flatten then place in bottom of a lined cupcake tin. You should get 24 small scoops out of your cookie dough.

Third step is to fill each cupcake tin 2/3 full with the cake batter. I just used my cookie scoop to make this a quick task.

Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until cupcake is set.

While cupcakes are cooling prepare frosting. You can choose your favorite buttercream, use a store bought or follow Kristan's recipe for Super Sweet White Frosting. This really tastes like the frosting they use on the cookie cakes you get at the Great American Cookie Company.

Next step after frosting the cupcakes was to make some chocolate chip cookies from another package of refrigerated dough. Once they cooled I sliced them in half and added them to the tops of the cupcakes.

In the end this is what the yummy goodness looked like on the inside ...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up - March 4th

Spring is always a crazy time of year for us ... baseball is in full swing, dance productions, choir productions, planning for summer camps, wrapping up our school year and planning for next school year. It's all good though ... just crazy. :) I need to remember to enjoy the quietness of January and February.

It is hard to believe just 2 1/2 months left of schooling ... we seem to be right on track with all our subjects and I am really pleased with the progress the kids have made this year.

This week's fun included ...

pajama day at Ava Mae's Kindergarten class,

teaching how important the invention of the Cotton Gin was in Georgia State History by having the kids remove seeds from cotton bolls,

an impromptu tour of our Chick Fil A when the owner/operator asked my kids how they would like to see the behind the scenes working of their restaurant,

{loved this chalkboard in the back of the Chick Fil A restaurant with a reference to a bible verse}

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Family Visit

We had a quick visit from my parents and three of my younger siblings this week ... they were only here for 24 hours but, we enjoyed some great food, fun conversation, and a late night jam session.
My family was also able to see Lexi perform three of her dances for the upcoming "My Daughter My Princess" ballet she is in. (They won't be able to make the performance as my sister is giving birth any day and they are heading to Florida)

My sister Cassie is a professional ballerina and the girls at the ballet school fell in love with her immediately. She spoke to a group of the Invitational dancers yesterday afternoon and showed them a few steps from her recent performance in the Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy.