Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Month??

 Hard to believe it's been a month since I last posted! Time is FLYING around here. We are so very busy all the time and it's hard to find a minute to take a breather! I find myself very tired all the time, probably due to the constant brain power required to teach these rascals of mine!

Here is our past month in pictures!

Here are my cuties on Halloween:) We have some unidentifiable super hero on the left ($1.30 at the thrift store!), Super Man (borrowed costume!), A Princess/Fairy/Ballerina and....a very austere and thoughtful Monk. Quite a crew!

It was very chilly out on Halloween night but we were still able to score quite a bit of candy.

We also took a field trip with our science co-op to Stratton Farms which is a working farm on a forest preserve. It was a really neat place! The kids were broken up in to three different groups and I stayed with Eliana's bunch.

They got to visit the greenhouse and taste several different plants!

And they got to feed chickens:) Eliana was pretty nervous at first!

But she stuck with it and let the chicken get a few nibbles:)

Their guide also took them into the woods to teach them about plants and to listen for different sounds. Here they are putting on their "deer ears" and listening to bird calls. The kids were like putty in his hands!

And let's not forget the pigs!

We finished up with some climbing on giant hay rolls. Who's that silly kid in the background?!

Playing in the leaves before we go!

We visited a park on a nice Sunday afternoon and I got my trio riding dinosaurs:)

We celebrated both of our mom's birthday! We had a nice dinner here with Ben's mom and family and unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures! And my mom turned the big 6-0 and together, with my sisters' help from far away, I threw her a surprise party. It was lots of fun! She is looking beautiful with her "new" teeth! She got her braces off just in time for her birthday!

And I have been working on a very special project for the past month!! Don't I look very cool in these safety glasses?

I have been sawing, hammering, drilling lots of screws, sanding, staining and painting!!

All in my grandpa's very nifty workshop with my stepdad. Wanna know what we were up to??

Building a kitchen island!! We have a nice square kitchen with very little counter space. I showed my grandpa a picture of what I wanted on my phone, he drew up some plans and my stepdad and I built it!! Here is is before being sanded and painted and put together.

And here it is all finished! We just brought it home last week:) Isn't it beautiful?!

We can't believe what a difference it makes in the look of the kitchen and how much space it gives us!

And this was a peace of amazingly delicious apple pie that my mom and I made at Thanksgiving . time, Mmmm!

And here is a beautiful Plain City sunset! The sunset and sunrises are so beautiful out here! We definitely love our cute little home:)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Happy Friday!

 Even though we don't own our house, we have been told by the landlord company to make it our own! They encouraged us to paint the porchswing, so I did!

Samuel and I both reached for the paint sample at the exact same time:) Great minds think alike!

I even found a cute little person to model our "new" swing for me:) And oh, the stories I could tell you about this girl! She has turned into a terror since turning 5. The attitude and mean little spirit, oh!:( But we had some good talks about it this week and the past two days have been like night and day. Hallelujah! So thankful to see that her sweet spirit is still there:)

The handsome guy is just so...grown-up! Speaking of attitudes.....his is much better these days. He had a very rough adjustment to homeschooling but this past month has been SOOO much more enjoyable! He even said he likes it now. Woohoo!

We are so very busy these days that I am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed. I keep thinking it will pass and then we'll have some quieter weeks but it hasn't happened so far. One day at a time, is my motto.....one day at a time.

Now I am off to take an even to breathe, eat some homemade pizza and hang out with my long-lost, hard-workin' hubby!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, Eliana!

On Tuesday, our sweetest girl turned FIVE years old! She was a huge grouch the night before and was boycotting birthdays, parties and anything else we suggested but after a good night's sleep, she was on board with having a special day:)

Her brothers pooled together their money to buy her a little Lego Friends set and they were beyond excited to give it to her. I have serious suspicions that they woke her up just so they could have her open it! She didn't seem to mind too much.

We did school and other small things in the day but that evening we took her out to eat! She had such a good time, except for when they servers showed up with a candle in some cookies and yelled out a happy birthday song for the whole restaurant to hear! She was seriously mortified. I can only imagine what it would have been like if she was a teenager:) (hey, I'll have to remember that!)

Today, we finally had her birthday party! She has had her guest list set since the spring and changed the theme from Frozen, to Princess to Ballerina in the mean time. She settled on a Ballerina party and it was SO fun! I love planning a party and coming up with ideas but I am a huge procrastinator and then I dread the party. Then I love it while it's happening and after it's over. I'm weird like that!

The table was set with pink and purple (and a splash of yellow!), fitting colors for ballerinas!

I served little cups with berries, pretzels sticks, pink lemonade and homemade vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. As I am delving more and more into "cleaner eating," I am shying away from products with food dyes in them. So after a little research, I found out that blueberries make a beautiful purple color!

I just simmered a cup of blueberries and 1/2 cup of water in a pan for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Then I poured the blueberry juice through a mesh strainer and pressed the berries until all the juice was out and let it cool. I added it to my buttercream frosting and voila! So pretty!

Some of our decorations:) Ballerina snowflake/origami!

Someone was very excited to finally have guest arriving!!

She invited 5 little girls, ranging between the ages of almost 3 1/2 and 6 years old. (one of the little sisters was too shy to take part in the picture!) They all came in their best tutus and ballet outfits!

Beautiful Ballerinas!

First I did a little craft with the girls so it would have time to dry during the party. I had cut out paper leotards before hand in shades of pink and purple. We glued them on white paper and painted their hands and made handprints for tutus.

It was a big hit and turned out SO cute!

I love how each little girls' was different and beautiful!

Next, we went into the living room for a little ballerina story. I read, "Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella." (Ella Bella books are very cute for those who love ballet!)

Love those listening faces:)

We had soft Nutcracker music playing in the background and I turned it up for some ballet dancing! Eliana led the girls in some stretches first:)

Then they twirled and danced to their heart's content!

I copied off of something they do in E's ballet class and pulled out a little stuffed animal to have the girls jump over. Big hit!

Love her face:) There were LOTS of pictures taken during this time but most were blurry action shots so I'll spare you! We also played, "Ballerina Says" (instead of Simon says) which was so much fun. I started it and then some of the girls wanted to be "Ballerina" and lead the game.

Next we had cupcake time!

Love, love this picture! Isn't she precious?

Blowing the candles out! The girls munched for a little bit and then we corralled them into the living room again for presents! (not hard to do at a party!)


Another Lego Friends set!

She got lots of fun things from her friends and cousin! Then we asked all the girls to turn around so we could surprise Eliana with her big present from us, my mom and stepdad and Ben's mom.


A new play kitchen!! It was so cute to see all 6 girls crowding around having so much fun. We could hardly tear them away! Until..... Wait til you see the next part. My friend's husband happens to own and operate a very cool local business. He just happened to stop by and offered to do something special for the party....

Ah!! He set up a princess bounce house in our backyard!! (Oh, how much I love having a backyard!!!) I mean seriously, this was the icing on the cake.

We told the girls there was a special surprise in the backyard and brought them in the kitchen.

Love their faces when we opened the door! They all screamed and ran outside:)

What followed was ballerina/princess mania!

Our happy birthday girl:) I'm pretty sure we'll never top this so that means I don't have to throw another party again, right???

My friend's adorable little girl!

Say, "Ballerina!!" What a fun party. It is a joy to be surrounded with family and friends, who take the time to help you celebrate your sweet kids. We are so thankful tonight!