Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter Arrived!

After a very mild winter we finally started to get some winter weather... the last week in February.  Well, at least it came.  The kids were so excited to see snow!  We dug out the winter coats (or what we have as winter coats) and the socks, since we can't seem to keep enough gloves around... and went out to play in the snow!

It was not a huge snow storm.  Actually, it was a sleet storm, but at this rate it seemed like snow to us!  The kids had a great time playing!

Mhari, Sandra, Grant, Talmage, Clark and Lorna!

Lorna's hands were cold!

Sleet angels!?  Sandra

Grant made a snowman

Clark with is "snowball"

Mhari climbed on top of the shed... I was a bit nervous and had her come down!

Sandra's snowman!

Talmage's snowman!

We even got to go to the park in our neighborhood and play with our friends.  Snow soccer was pretty entertaining.  The kids fell down a lot when they went to kick the ball!

Oh, and the girls made this cute little snowman baby. They had a sled that they would drag him around on.  At one point the baby fell off the sled.  Sandra was heartbroken!  Sandra had to be sure she fixed him before we could head back home.  Silly girls!

By that afternoon the snow was all but gone.  It was hard to imagine it had actually snowed that morning!

Only our melting snow creatures reminded us of our fun in the sleet!

Talmage's snowman looking pretty leafy!
It sure was fun while it lasted!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

First Camp out!

Grant had his first camp out as an 11 year old Scout!  They were invited to join the older scouts!  That meant that Jeff got to go on the camp out with Talmage and Grant!  Jeff doesn't love camping, but he will go for his boys!  I love that they are building these memories together.  It was also a shooting camp out.  Both boys had a chance to shoot some clay pigeons and shoot at a target.  

Jeff helping Grant get ready

Grant shooting

He's got good aim!

 Hanging out with his friend Jeremiah!

Talmage and Jeremiah

The boys climbing up into the deer blind. 

I love that they are so close in age that they get to share these experiences!  I'm sure they will have lots of great camping memories by the time they are finished with Scouts :)

Friday, February 20, 2015


After all of these years our children still LOVE animals!  They love their stuffed animals, they love real animals, they love books about animals, they love researching animals, and even these animal cards!  I kind of figured it might die down as they got older, but it seems to have intensified.  Grant has researched all about all of the different types of foxes.  He thinks the nook dictionary is amazing ;).  

One day I was walking downstairs and came across the kids at the dining table.  They had all of the animal cards out and were organizing them and trying to play a game.  

I can't say I know exactly what they were doing, but I know that they were really working well together and it was about the animals ;)
I love these kids and all of the creative things they do with the things they really love!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Wii Recess!

With the weather being cold the kids tend to stay inside for recess.  We have Kid's Just Dance and they take turns picking songs.  It is fun to see how well they are at it too :). 
I love how well the kids do with each other.  Jeff and I looked down at them the other day and the younger two were getting piggy back rides so they could "dance" too!  They usually have the little ones pick a song to dance to.  Their favorites are "Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" and "Gummy Bears".  We have some great kids and it's great to see them sharing this time with each other! 

Derby Time!

Grant had his last Pinewood Derby at the end of January.  He has moved onto 11 year old scouts, but since the cubs adjusted their schedule of when they were holding the Pinewood Derby Grant, and any scout that missed out because of the date switch, was welcomed back to still participate.  He designed the car, Jeff cut it out and Grant painted it.  Jeff helped get the wheels on and the weights too :). 

He had a great time racing and overall it was a great Derby!

He was really close to winning a place in his den.  One of the lanes ran a little faster than the other and they only ran so many times against each other.  By the time he was done he was out of the winners round.  That's OK, he did great! 

Here he is with his participate ribbon :)
One of Grant's races.  He's on the left lane :)

The boys always love Pinewood Derby.  Jeff has gotten to help out with 6 cars or rockets over the last several years.  It will be nice now to have a few years off before Clark joins Cub Scouts.  It's been fun, but we are on to bigger and crazier things as Boy Scouts :).

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Family Fun!

Our co-op does fun days during the year.  The kids really enjoy dressing up and getting to do some of the fun things they miss from public school.  We did do a family pajama day once in January though so I guess it's not like we couldn't do more of our own.  I would just be afraid that we never get dressed again so in general we always get dressed for school and ready for a new day :).
Anyways, there was dress like your favorite character from a book day recently.  Talmage dressed up like a tree ent from Lord of the Rings, Grant dressed up like Michael Vey (normal clothes, totally easy), Mhari was a girl from Spirit Animals, and Sandra dressed up like Hermione from Harry Potter.  She is on the second book and loving it!  It is so great to see her turning into such a little reader like her brothers :).  She also has a great look to pull off Hermione.  I borrowed the cloak and tie from a friend and we were all set!  After that day she wanted her hair like Hermione for church that next Sunday too!  Such a silly girl!

One Saturday we were busy with a merit badge college for the boys (just working out rides and such) and then talking and what not... I totally forgot to get Lorna down for a nap.  By about 3 in the afternoon she was worn out.  She just sat up on me and fell right to sleep!  I couldn't help, but cuddle with her and enjoy that moment.  I didn't really sleep, although I totally could have! 
Lorna is growing up so fast!  It's strange to think that our baby is going to be 3 this year!
After the Lorna nap we headed out for dinner at Braums!  While waiting for them to make our burgers we enjoyed some yummy ice cream cones.  It was a total dessert for dinner night!  We took our burgers home to enjoy and watch a movie together as a family too!  It was a much needed relaxing night enjoying our family!
We are in the stage of having a son who gets to go to the youth activities.  I know I'm still adjusting to having a 12 year old, but I guess there's no looking back now ;).  We have a teen homeschool group that did an awesome swim party in January.  The family has a heated pool so they invited everyone over!  The kids roasted marshmallows and swam and watched a movie. 

Can you spot Talmage?  He's standing on the left side with the green towel around his neck ;).  Talmage had a fun time and I'm sure we will be doing more of these teen activities in our future ;).
We love having fun together and enjoying our family!  Sometimes I have to pause and really enjoy these moments because they really are going by too fast!

Piggy Pigs!

We have wanted to get land and have a place to take care of animals so our kids can have that experience.  Well, we still haven't bought land, our kids are growing up, and we figured we were done waiting to get the animals.  Instead of a real pig, which is what Clark wanted, we got guinea pigs instead... the closest thing to a pig we can have at our home ;). 

After going to 2 pet stores and talking to the people who worked there about the guinea pigs we came home with 2 cute little girls.  I think guinea pigs are more high maintenance than our bunny, but other than that they have been really great.  We were supposed to leave them alone for the first 2 days to give them a chance to adjust to us.  That was really hard for the kids, but they did it. 

Once we were allowed to hold them it seemed like there wasn't enough guinea pigs to go around.  I guess that's a common problem when we have 6 kids ;). 

I figured they wouldn't want to be held, but boy was I wrong.  They do so well being held!  They just sit there for the most part! 

Now, naming the guinea pigs has been tricky.  We have a lot of opinions and there hasn't been a consensus on what the official names are. 
Here is the list:  The dark ones names are Agnes, Thunder Cloud, Brownie, and Truffle.
The lighter brown one's names are:  Hermione, Nugget, and Marshmallow.

Here are the kids loving holding our new pets!
Mhari with Agnes:

Sandra, Mhari, Clark, Grant and Talmage

Lorna with Hermione

Clark with the two guinea pigs... the dark one blends into his clothing!

Grant and Talmage

The cutest thing about the guinea pigs is how Lorna says guinea pigs.  She can't quite say it so she says "piggy pigs".  That is the new name for them in our house.  Oh, and Lorna is also really good at saying Hermione too.  That's her favorite piggy pig! 
It has been so fun to see them love our new pets.  They tend to be a distraction during school because the cage is in the school room, but overall they are so fun!

Photo Shoot!

Tiffany is going to her writers conference in a couple of weeks.  She was asked to take the pictures of the authors for their book jackets (if they signed up for the photo package).  Well, Tiffany wanted to get some photo practice in before the trip so that meant we did our own little photo shoot! 

There were lots of different poses to try out.  By the time we were done there were over 100 pictures!  Kind of crazy to think that I now have 100 pictures of myself ;).  She took some of Jeff too, but those aren't included.

Here are my favorites :).

My favorite!

Kind of fun in black and white!

I may get to help Tiffany edit the pictures when she gets back from the conference.  I love working with photos so it sounds like another fun time together! 

Back to the Zoo!

It's our first trip to the zoo this year!  It was nice a cool with no crowds!  We love having the zoo to ourselves!  We hung out with Tiffany and the cousins too.  It's always great to go with friends :).  The kids also had money from grandparents for Christmas so they even got to buy a new animal from the gift shop.  That may have been their favorite part of the whole trip! 
I didn't have my camera, but I took a few shots with my phone ;).  We have tons of animal pictures so I'm not so motivated to take zoo pictures anymore. 
The thing the kids loved the most was this alligator statue!  It is fun to see their imagination at work!
It was also really tempting to buy fudge.  This sign was good advertisement ;)
Lorna had a great time.  She really wanted to ride in the stroller, which I left at home :(.  She survived, but I did carry her more than I wanted to. 

The best part was her on this kangaroo statue.  Oh, and also that she loves her cousins and they love helping out with Lorna!  Bree and Ella are great to have around!
This bird was really cool.  He was right at eye level with the kids.  I wish I got the photo where they were staring close to the bird! 

Yay for the zoo!  Our kids sure love animals so the zoo is always a treat!

Fun at Home!

It feels  like it took forever to get cold this year.  Well, now that it's cold it has stayed pretty cold.  I guess that's pretty normal for winter, but nothing is ever normal in Texas!  That means we stay inside most of the day and do recess on the wii!  The kids love it and we have plenty of space so it works out fine.  It does mean that my slippers get to come out more often too!

One day Jeff was working and came out of the office for a break.  It was pretty handy because Clark and Lorna were playing nearby and got to hang out with Daddy!  Daddy is always fun to play with!

Lorna and Daddy!

Clark's turn!

So high!
 Upside down!

The older kids took advantage of the break and had some fun being silly!  Here is what we do for the camera!


Clark giving Grant bunny ears!

Talmage hiding behind Grant


We love our time at home with our family!  It is even better when Daddy gets to share time with us when he can take a few minutes away from work :)