One Year!

Levi is now officially a toddler-no longer my baby boy. He is a walking babbling big boy. He is FAST. I find myself running ahead of him if I need to get in the basement or bathroom so I can securely close the door behind me. He loves getting into things. I can see more and more of Lily in him each and every day. Uh oh!

We celebrated a few days early at Nonna and Papa’s house. I made him a banana smash cake in the shape of a monkey’s face. He wasn’t really into it. He was into his new ride-on toy from Nonna and Papa though!












We celebrated his actual birthday by trying our darnedest to get a decent onesie picture of him.


5 Days


One Month


Two Months


Three Months


Four Months


Five Months


Six Months


Seven Months


Eight Months


Nine Months


Ten Months


Eleven Months


Twelve Months


Happy birthday Levi! You will always be my baby though, not matter how big you get. Sorry buddy 🙂


We celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our new home. We had my parents, my sister and her two kids, and my brother and his wife over for a day of food and fun.





Because we were all together we decided to exchange a few gifts. We’ve had the same tradition since my brother was in Kindergarten: we pick names and give a homemade gift rather than a purchased one.


My sister Laura picked my sister-in-law Dawn’s name and made her these cute trays with chalkboard paint.


Jonathan picked my sister and made her a hand sewn photo book.

I picked my Dad’s name and made him this cute photo holder (thanks to Pinterest!)


My Mom made Jonathan fruitcake


My sister made shirts for my Mom with some of her favorite quotes on them.

Lily is Three!

About a month before Lily’s birthday she was easily able to tell everyone how old she was. Now she can easily tell you (and show you) that she is three.
We celebrated on her actual birthday with fudgy brownies and a few presents.
The Saturday following we celebrated with family and an Ariel cake.
Now, about this cake. Lily was very pleased with it while I thought it could be much better. I found the technique on Pinterest which basically involves coloring with frosting. I’d like to try it again with a less detailed picture and I would also think about the texture of the frosting I used to color in.
Lily, you are out little firecracker! You are funny, adventurous, strong-willed and independent. You are a force to be reckoned with 😉 Mommy and Daddy love you so much and continue to look forward to the beautiful young lady you will become.

Summer Bucket List

Now that school is officially over and we are well into summer I thought I’d share with you all our summer bucket list for 2014. I found a cute printable using Pinterest called “How to Summer”. It has a column to list places to go, things to make, things to do, and things to eat. Here are just a few things we hope to do before the summer is over:

Places to Go

  • The beach (um, yeah!)
  • Sprinkler park
  • Harbor Islands
  • Fireworks (check! and will post on this later)
  • Zoo
  • Vacation Bible School (check! and will post on this later)
  • New Jersey (check! and will post on this later)
  • Papa’s concert

Things to Make

  • Garden stepping stones
  • Bird house
  • Colored hair (using chalk)
  • Sidewalk chalk paint (check!)
  • Real lemonade
  • Kites
  • Bubbles
  • Paint the kids rooms

Things to Do

  • Get the girls library cards
  • Camp in the backyard
  • Walk downtown in our new city
  • Water fight!
  • Hike
  • Bike without training wheels

Things to Eat

  • Ice cream sundaes
  • Homemade fruit roll-ups
  • Homemade popsicles
  • Root beer floats

We’ll make not of what we check off of the list as we get to it. I’m not sure we’ll accomplish everything, but it does not hurt to try! Happy summer everyone!

Kindergarten Corner – Rock and Jewel

Rocks and jewels went together well, so I’ll cover them in one post. Unit 19 covered the letter R and rocks while Unit 20 covered the letter J and jewels. We covered these units while in the midst of packing, moving, and unpacking – so they were spread over more days than I’d like to admit!

Unit 19 – Rock

We followed the plan per the manual pretty closely. Because rocks are made up of minerals we did decide to grow crystals. We found instructions for making overnight crystals using epsom salt and water. I think ours would have turned out better if I hadn’t placed our glasses in the very back of our refrigerator as things tend to get too cold and freeze a bit. It was still fun though.




We were also scheduled to make our own volcano using clay on Day 4. We didn’t have any clay. What we did have was a ton of mixed up and old Play-Doh. This was the perfect way to use it for a last hurrah and then toss it. Sarah put two and two together once we had our eruption when she said, “But Mom, now the Play-Doh is ruined!” I reassured her that we had others she’d be able to play with later.




Unit 20 – Jewel

We stuck to this plan as well. Though, when it came time to make  our own jewels I opted out of the dough ones and instead we made paper beads. Basically I cut strips of construction paper, wrapped them around a wooden skewer, and applied glue. We then covered them in glitter for a little extra sparkle.






It amazes me (and I know it shouldn’t) just how much my girls absorb during lessons even though they don’t appear to be soaking everything in. Our Biblical concept for this unit was “Jesus is more valuable than anything else.” Sarah was having a particularly rough time on the day our Bible lesson covered Philippians 3:8 (What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” and Matthew 16:26 (“What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses his soul?…”).

Sarah wasn’t even in the room, but concluded that she was throwing her life away because Jesus wasn’t in her life. I couldn’t believe my ears. This came out of the mouth of my four year old. So be encouraged homeschoolers out there-they listen even when it doesn’t seem they are.

Kindergarten Corner-Catching Up!

Needless to say it has been quite some time since I’ve posted about our Kindergarten adventures. I thought I’d do a quick catching up post summing up any particularly fun or additional things we did for each of the following units:

Unit 14 – Horse
We pretty much stuck to the program for this unit. One thing I was looking forward to though was our biblical concept: I obey right away (hard to see why, right?). Here is a small peek into a few activities:






Unit 15 – Elephant
Our only deviation from the curriculum for this unit was on Day 4. Instead of making elephant masks, we made art work with the girls’ hand prints. Then we added our biblical concept: I will remember what God has done for me.





Unit 16 – Penguin
I enjoyed this unit. I loved telling the girls all about Emperor Penguins and how they care for their young. Plus we read nice stories to go along with the biblical concept: I show love to everyone, especially my family. The girls had fun pretending to be penguins waddling with hardboiled eggs on top of their large feet (Daddy’s slippers).

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I also couldn’t resist making these chocolate covered bananas resembling penguins.




We also did two crafts involving construction paper. Both were Pinterest finds.




Unit 17 – Kangaroo
I love how even in Kindergarten I can learn new things. I know about marsupials-how these animals carry their young in a protective pouch. But did you know that a little joey is born at the size of a jelly bean, then makes its way up to his mother’s pouch before settling in for much more growth and development? Oh, you did? Never mind. Seriously, though, God made some pretty awesome animals. Oh, and some kangaroos can travel 25 FEET in one single hop. And, they can’t really “walk”. Their feet can’t move separately.

I replaced the suggested pencil holder craft with a very fun aboriginal style dot art. I found this to be so relaxing. So much so that I didn’t blink an eye when Lily proceeded to paint herself. I printed the kangaroo, traced it on card stock, and painted it brown. That way it was dry ahead of time and the girls could just do the dots. I’ll be honest here, I found it relaxing, but Sarah got frustrated when hers didn’t turn out just the way she wanted hers to. So she opted out of this activity. I’m trying to help her enjoy this sort of thing more instead of being a perfectionist.





Unit 18 – Zebra
We really didn’t deviate in this unit. But the girls’ cousin and Lily joined us in making Zebra masks.




100th Day of School!

We made it to 100 days! It took us a bit longer than most-due mainly to sickness and having Levi. We broke away from our elephant unit (which I’ll post about later) to have fun with the number 100.

We started out by taking pictures similar to our first day of school pictures. We did nice smiles and silly faces.






Next we prepared our snack-colorful fruit ring cereal necklaces-serving size: 100 rings. I had the girls make piles of 10 so we could count by 10’s to 100.




We had fun with q-tip painting, filling diamonds with 10 dots each, to add to 100. I found a similar idea on Pinterest, I just made my own sheet. The girls got a little carried away on some of their diamonds by making 11 or 12 dots, but it was fun anyway.





While searching Pinterest for other 100th Day ideas I found a website offering a free gumball machine printable. We worked together to fill it up with 100 gumballs using do-a-dot markers.





We finished our day putting together a 100-piece puzzle, being sure to count them first using our 100-chart. We had trouble putting the pieces on neatly, so it seemed we were missing a few, but this former-auditor mommy new better (I had counted them the night before). Lily woke up from her nap at this point, so she helped out too.



We’re looking forward to continuing on in our studies. Hopefully as the weather begins to warm we’ll even get to fit in a field trip here and there. I am very proud of all the progress the girls have made. When I look back on their accomplishments it makes this whole homeschooling thing seem doable. I’m pretty sure we’ll continue on into first grade with how things have gone this year!