Saturday, December 28, 2013


I hope and pray that everyone has a very Merry And Blessed Christmas!!  I have really enjoyed making homemade sweets and gifts this year with the kids.  I hope and pray this is a tradition we will continue and they will have find memories of these times.  I know I have been extremely inspired to continue making homemade gifts throughout the year and possibly getting a jump start on next Christmas!!

One thing we made this past week was a  sugar scrub, I found the recipe on Pinterest!  We used three different scents: lavender sugar cookie and cinnamon. Not sure which I enjoy the most. 

Several years ago someone had given me some glass baby bottles. Whatever formula was in them had long expired but  I knew I would fin a use for those glass bottles one day!! They were the perfect size. I also had some small tins that are used for wedding favor candies. Got those on sale a few years ago as well. The tins came with round labels which fit perfectly on my jars. I also had white tags in my scrapbook stash.  So I inked the edges if both and stamped them with a blocked Christmas stamp. They turned out AMAZING!!  I cannot wait to hand them out tomorrow- or I guess later today!!  

Again hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and may God bless you today and throughout the coming year!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Memory Maker badge

JoAnna has been working on her Memory maker badge.  She has really enjoyed working on her own scrapbook.  Of course with all my scrapbooking supplies its like we have our own little scrapbooking store. 
I haven't done much scrapbooking since we moved 5 years ago, but maybe helping JoAnna get started will get me motivated. 
Here is a picture is JoAnna making a "thematic border". Her sense of fashion is creeping into her scrapbooking. Lol.

Christmas 2013 crafts and such

We have been so busy the last month making sweets and crafts.  Tonight JoAnna and I made some homemade sugar scrub.  So much fun and so easy!!
I hope my kids will remember the last few weeks and hopefully we will make this a family tradition every year.  We have made more crafts and sweets than all the previous years put together!  This year I just really wanted to slow down and make some memories with my children.  Memories that they will look back on fondly andante even continue with their families in the years to come. 
I have many memories of Christmas time making goodies with my family. 
I have also tried to make my children aware that there are others that are less fortunate than us. Those that don't have homes,a closet full of clothiers and toys, pantries full of food. Etc. I want them to be compassionate and want to help others around them, not just at Christmas but all year long. 
Hopefully I have planted a seed in their hearts this Christmas to not only think of themselves and to remember the true meaning of Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Angel Tree and Beautiful Feet

The daycare chose two children to sponsor from the "angel tree" at church. The children were having a contest between the boys and girls to win a pizza party.  The group that brought the most money won the pizza party. Unfortunately we only raised enough money to sponsor one child.  So I decided it was a great time for my family to participate in a more hands on way-instead of just donating money. 

So last night the kids and I went shopping for both of the children. It was so difficult for me to decide what to purchase. I wanted to be practical so I was looking for toys that didn't require batteries. The girl we had wanted an easy bake oven which I really wanted to give her but I debated back and forth about the practicality of the gift. Would she be able to get more kits after she uses the ones that come with the oven?  Would she be able to use on hand ingredients to make things in the oven?  On and on and on. Then there was the issue of clothes. What kind of clothes would they like? Need? Etc, etc. Anyway after an hour and a half of shopping we had a buggy full an came in just a few dollars over budget.

After getting the kids to bed I got busy wrapping everything. These were the first gifts for me to wrap this year. We had to have them wrapped and ready for delivery by Wednesday so I wanted to make sure I got them to the church today. 

After posting about it on FB a friend told me they pick a child every year that is the same age their child would have been. They had a miscarriage several years ago, she said they never knew the gender so they pick a boy one year and the next year they pick a girl. So next year I am going to pick a girl that is the same age Hope would have been. This year she would have been 7. For those that don't know I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks in 2006. 

Also our church volunteers at Beautiful Feet in Texas. They provide services to the community and homeless in the area.  One thing they had requested was backpacks. This summer while at Walmart they had backpacks on clearance for $1. So of course I bought 20!!!  So we brought them to the church today because a group will be leaving out Thursday to Beautiful Feet. 

One great thing about AHG is their emphasis on community service. I love it because my children are so blessed and have anything they could ever need or want and I want them to realize this is not the norm.  I want them to understand that there are children that don't know when their next meal will be, or that don't have new clothes, or that can't go to Walmart when the milk runs out. I want them to have compassion for others and want to help others.  A serving  heart is what I hope to instill in my children. 

Homeschool Christmas party 2013

We had a great time at the homeschool Christmas party today. The kids made gingerbread houses, drew pictures, had a story time, played with play dough, ate pizza and snacks. 

We had a huge turnout if families.  It was great to see everyone.  We had such a wonderful time. Really puts the pressure on me since I am in charge of planning the Valentine party!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Sweets 2013

We have been busy at my house making Christmas sweets.  We had our annual baking day the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  There were 9 of us total at different times during the day.  
My kids were at their grandmothers so I decided to bake with them over the next couple of weeks. 
JoAnna also needed to make something for her cooking badge and learn about some of the common cooking utensils.  So it was a great way to make some memories with the kids and help JoAnna along on her cooking badge. 

We also made a few ornaments.  The first one JoAnna made was with a plastic ornament. We filled it with Pledge floor was then glitter. She then doodled on it an writer her name. The second is a candle. The bible verse was Isaiah 9:2-7 and the main idea was Jesus is the light of the world. Very cute.  I found a website that has a verse and ornament for everyday leading up to Christmas. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a great thanksgiving.  We had family from Foley come up and eat with us. We don't get to see them as much as we would like so it was GREAT!  We watched football all day and visited. 

My mom, my uncle (mom's brother) and the kids. 

Jace would not cooperate for the picture.  But he sure loves his "GloGlo" (Gloria). He talks about her all the time. 

Memory Maker Badge

Yes, another badge. I knew one of the requirements for JoAnna to "graduate" from Tenderhearts will be to make a scrapbook of some of her favorite AHG activities.  So I figured we should get started now!! Hat a great way for me to teach her one of my favorite hobbies, one that I have not made time for in years.  

So we went shopping for an album. I wanted one similar to the "project life" albums where you just slip the pictures in and make small journaling pages or coordinating papers. 

We got busy making her first page. She loves it!!  I showed her how to trim photos, how to use the trimmer to trim the paper to the correct siZe, how to glue the papers together, using different corner rounders, punches, and how to ink the edges of the paper. 

I let her cut some extra paper so when we get ready to make more pages she will have paper cut to the right size. 

I am so glad she loves scrapbooking.  Maybe she can help me get caught up on the last 6 years of scrapbooking. 

Cake decorating badge

JoAnna has been working on her cake decorating badge.  We have made cupcakes, talked about different frosting a, different types of food coloring. Her last task was to make a cake with a molded cake pan and decorate it using a theme. 
We chose a gingerbread man cake pan and her theme was candy. Of course. We used one of the Betty Crocker "shake and pour" mixes.  You just add water (I discovered these when I read a blog about a family that makes birthday boxes to donate to local shelters.  They put together all the items needed to make a cake and decorate for a party- something some families may not get to experience. That way they don't need eggs, butter, milk, etc.). Anyway we baked our cake and then decorated it with the star tool. Then the fun part of putting candy on the cake. Even the boys got a chance to help. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hiking Badge

Today we worked on JoAnna's hiking badge.  We talked about what to wear and what not to wear on a hike. She had to give us a little fashion show.  We talked about things to pack for a hike, what we need in our first aid kit, talked about first aid, "leave no trace", "staying found", the buddy system, hiking safety, etc.   we packed us a little lunch, a first aid kit and left daddy a map of our hike and a time we should be back. 

We also took grocery sacks with us to pick up trash along the way.  However most of the trash we saw was in the water so we didn't get much. 

We saw an interesting structure someone had built. Not sure what the purpose was unless they were maybe trying to show someone how to build a small shelter?!  

We saw many different leaves and roses that has bloomed.  It was very cold but it was so nice.  The kids love going on hikes and seeing what all they am find. 

After our hike we stopped for an early dinner and plan to make a run to Michael's to get JoAnna a scrapbook so she can start a scrapbook.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cake Decorating Badge

JoAnna has been determined to earn her "cake decorating" badge since the night one of the girls modeled her vest. She had t least 30 badges.  The girls were so excited as she told them what each one represented- especially the cake decorating badge. 

So one of the requirements was to make cupcakes, mix food coloring to make different colors, talk about the different kinds of food coloring, talk about the color wheel, use a flower tip to decorate with icing.  I had planned on JoAnna and my 8 year old niece working together in the kitchen. However I didn't realize my brother and his family had a wedding to attend.  So JoAnna had the entire kitchen to herself.  She had so much fun. 

My mom pulled out the "Baby Cakes" maker that my sister got last year.  Its similar to a waffle maker but makes cupcakes in 5 minutes.  It was awesome!!  I will probably be stealing hers or getting JoAnna one for Christmas.  I think it would be a lot of fun with the girls at the daycare too!!!

Anyway here are a few pics from our baking session. 

Epilepsy Foundation 1st annual walk

My family and I walked in the 1st annual epilepsy walk, in honor of my dad.  I won't get into details but he started having seizures about 4 years ago. It's been very stressful for my parents and very frustrating. 

We got up this morning to 50 degree rainy weather.  JoAnna was walking to earn community service hours for American Heritage Girls.  I started off pushing the stroller with just Jace in it (I didn't realize the stroller tires were flat but luckily it still rolled just fine). It drizzled the entire time. About halfway unturned around to see JoAnna on my sisters back.  So I put her in the stroller.  90+ pounds in a drizzle was not pleasant but we made it. It was for a great cause and a great time with my family.  As soon as we crossed the finish line I loaded the kids up and went home. Once they post pictures I will post then here.  As for now here is the one I snapped of the kids before the walk. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More badge work: "Inspect A Insect A" and "living in the USA"

We completed the work for two badges within two weeks of getting her Heritage Girls handbook. 

So I decided our next challenge would be to try to earn a badge in each category. So after scanning through the ones she already tagged I realized there were two we could get done fairly quick.  We have been studying the states since we got back from our trip in September and already had a unit on MS so we had already done most of the requirements for the "Living in the USA". So we reviewed our booklet we had made, then we researched the state quarter, the tags of MS, then she had to sketch the tag. 

Next we worked on the Inspect A Insect A. Again we had already studied insects last spring.  So we just pulled out our information and reviewed.  She had to draw the life cycle of a butterfly, make an ant farm (which we had already done Oct 29th which was after joining AHG but before we got her handbook so we counted it), observe ants in the ant farm, draw and label an ant farm, watch a video on bees, and host a honey tasting party.  

Hopefully we will get a chance to work on her cake decorating badge this weekend. She has been wanting that one since she saw the badge on one of the other girl's vest. She was in a troop last year so she had several badges and they had her stand up and model the uniform and talk about some of the badges she had earned. I think all the girls were excited about the cake decorating badge. 

Then we will only have one more category left.  We are going to try to get the "Hiking" badge in the last category.  We might try for that this weekend too while my niece is on town. 

We are really enjoying learning new things and adding to some things we have already learned.  Also incorporating some of her badge work with homeschooling has been fairly easy. 

I was a Girl Scout and I have been looking forward to sharing the same experiences with JoAnna. Heritage Girls has been the perfect fit for us! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Badge work

JoAnna joined American Heritage Girls (AHG) this fall. It's similar to Girl Scouts but in my opinion it's more conservative, stresses the importance of being a good steward of Christ by helping in the community, thinking of others and is focused more on raising girls into women of God.

I was a Girl Scout and starts as a brownie so I have been looking forward to JoAnna starting Girl Scouts. However at the homeschool kick off AHG had a table set up and I was very interested. 

So fast forward 3 months. JoAnna got her handbook almost two weeks ago an she has eagerly tagged 17 of the 80+- badges.  She has already completed all the requirements for her "sign language" badge and has almost completed the requirements for her "book adventurer" badge. 

She has really enjoyed the sign language. We have checked out at least four books on sign language not including the book on Helen Keller.  We have also checked out a video, even Jace is learning from the video. Amazing!!

Anywho.  Here are a few pictures to document her earning her badges!!!

Spelling her name in sign language

Getting her library card for her book adventurer badge 

They packed operation Christmas child boxes- this counts for community service hours. For every 5 hours of CS she gets a star. She already has 5.5 hours!! We did a walk for juvenile diabetes, she helped me with the 3 year old class at church, an helped me set out equipment for after school. 

Here is her handbook. She is very ambitious!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall Festival 2013

The two younger kids and I went to the fall festival our church hosted at a local ranch. We had so much fun.  They rode horses, raced pumpkins, had a cake walk, a turkey chase (fake turkey), Jace rode a mechanical bull, hay ride and tons of fun at the outdoor play area.  We also roasted marshmallows. We had so much and I hope all the kids will be able to join us next year.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday treat

We went for ice cream yesterday. Jace initially said he didn't want anything but after they brought it to our table he changed his mind.  He was so cute the lady gave him a free dipped cone. 

Here are a few pics. 

Trunk or treat

A friend invited us to trunk or treat at her church this past weekend.  They had a cake walk, inflatable, s'mores, chili, hot dogs, hay ride and games.  They kids had so much fun.  We met a family that lives down the street from us and the kids have already been asking to go to their house to play.  We will work on that.  

We ha a lot of fun and it was great fellowship with a local church family. 

American Heritage Girls Day Camp

JoAnna had her first day camp with American Heritage girls.  They sang songs, played a few games, went on a hike and were able to play on a few inflatables.  One of the parents lived across the street and was having a company party later that evening so they invited the girls over to play for a few minutes at the end of our camps at.  It was super fun although we didn't get all of our activities done the leaders had planned for us.  We were able to see horses on our hike.  They belonged to one of the neighbors. 

JoAnna is so excited about camping.  She asked where the tents were.  I had to explain that we aren't rent camping overnight until the spring.  We are both looking forward to that!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

School work

JoAnna cannot stay still while doing her school work.  I am constantly telling her to sit on her bottom and put her feet in front of her. Jacob was the same way at that age, although I think she is much worse. I have tried taking chairs away and making her stand.  Which works usually but then she gets tired. Well today I was overly tired, I guess I didn't sleep well last night. So I did most of my teaching from the bean bag chair today.  The kids sat next to me or on the floor. JoAnna chose to sit on the floor.  She rolled all over the place but it was still better than trying to keep her still in her chair.

Her is a picture of her doing her math work. 


I have lost 11 ponds in 2.5 weeks!  Not as much as I would have liked but it's a loss.   

I have done well sticking to it so I am thankful for the will power God has given me. It's been such a struggle to stick to a strict diet because there are so many temptations everywhere- especially at work.  

I know the next thing I will need to cut out will be my diet dr pepper, but for now I am allowing myself one (or two) a day. 

I have set another goal to run a 5K in the next year.  Everyone says I should just sign up for one and that will get me busy working on that goal.  Obviously just writing it down or putting it on my blog isn't enough.  Maybe  I will get brave enough to sign up for one, maybe...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Upward Flag Football

Jacob played Upward flag football again this year.  He had a great year.  His coaches were awesome, his teammates were supportive and showed great sportsmanship.  I don't know what their record is since try don't keep score but that had lots of fun.

Jacob mostly played quarter back and did an awesome job. He is really growing into a great athlete. He throws well and doesn't get upset of he doesn't make a good throw. He also played safety which was a great position for him as well. He can read plays well and predict where the ball will be thrown or where he thinks the runner will run.  

We had a great time watching him and I cannot wait to see where God plans to use his athletic abilities.