The Hobbit book club meeting

This past week we had our book club get together to discuss The Hobbit. The general plan was to have the kids dress up if they wanted, have each child prepare a project based on their favorite part of the book, have each child tell everyone their favorite quote, and then move on to a Hobbit tea and discussion of the literary elements of the book.


First we had to set the stage. A quick quote on the chalkboard by the front door, excuse the sloppy writing, and The Hobbit soundtrack on Pandora.


Jack did some perler bead projects.  Bilbo's sword, the dragon's eye, Smaug, and a hobbit door. He also made a hobbit sign which I didn't get a picture of.


Here is sampling of projects from a few of the other kids.


A sample of the food for tea.  There was a lot more than this and like true hobbits they ate it all.


For our last book club, we introduced a simple plot map, for this one we introduced the hero's journey and talked about how it correlated with the plot map.  I know, why would we introduce the hero's journey to kids so young?  Because it's awesome and we think they can understand it if it is explained and we take the time to make sure they understand it.  And I think they all did learn something from it, even if it was only "without the trials and tests the book would have been boring and Bilbo wouldn't have changed" which was what they said when I asked them about taking out the middle part of the hero's journey.

After the discussion, the boy who made dragon's head also brought a bow and arrow to shoot it with, so they all took turns with that.


As everyone left, I gave them a small little treat bag with a ring pop, gold coins and a blue glow stick.


The outside of the treat bags.  The kids all loved the treats.

We also took a vote to decide our next book. The Black Stallion won.  I wonder what activities we will think up for that one.


We had a wonderful time with our homeschool group today visiting the dinosaur tracks and hunting for fossils. The weather ended up being perfect for a day in the desert.


We found this little guy right on the trail to the dinosaur tracks.


One of the tracks.


One of the best fossils we found. We found a lot of partial negative fossils.

It was a great day with great friends.  The kids easily spent an hour sliding down a sand hill. Then all the boys young and old set up rock targets and then tried to throw rocks and knock them over. We look forward to doing it again soon!



Where have we been?

We've been here. Yes, we have been busy.  We have been having fun. I haven't had the time, or made the time, for the blog.   So here I am a couple of weeks later trying to ease my way back into it.  Pictures do a good job of that, right? 

Water wars at park.

18th birthday party and silly string wars.  I didn't get near enough pictures for this.

Learning about Matisse.


The farm with friends.

The mountains with friends.



TEDed videos.

Creating art with nature.

Celebrating 8!



Birthday party.

Birthday cake.

Art class for me!

Which means lots of new jewelry.

It's been a very full two weeks!


trying not to make excuses

I've been slacking on the blog. 


I've missed this space.  It seems every day when I sit down to blog I either have no pictures,  or can't find the words to express what I want to share.  Because there is a lot I want  to share here.  The good news is I want to share so much because life has been so full and it takes me a while to process. 


First up, we had our first garden club meeting. It went so well. Like it kind of blew our minds it went so well.  We set out with the intention to create a network of sustainability by sharing and helping each other through kindness.   We are working towards that by sharing knowledge, trading food and services and getting to know each other better.

I honestly thought it would be great if we could get 10 people here. Imagine our delight to have 17+ show up to our first meeting! We had some send their regrets saying they would join us next time, and some who could only stop by for a quick minute to say yes they wanted to participate.  I told them our basic plan and we sat and shared ideas and tips for two hours. 

We have lived here going on five years now and this is the first time some of our neighbors have seen our backyard, or said more than a quick hello to us.  We aren't part of the local religion and it can be very hard to feel like a part of the community when the religion is the main lifeline.  That is what we are trying to do, we are trying to build a community outside of religion.  I was happy that a couple of our other neighbors who also aren't part of the local church also made it to the meeting, but we are hoping for more.  We would really like to see all of our neighbors who don't go to the local church feel welcome and participate. I have the feeling they want to, but they have lived here longer and I have no idea what has happened in the past. All I can say is I hope we can help heal some of it and help people get together. 

My favorite thing was having so many of them tell them they had been praying/hoping/wanting something like this for so long.  All it took was one person going out of their comfort zone for a few minutes, instead of making excuses, to bring it to life.  It's made me start looking around to see what else we can do and see what other excuses I have been making.


Saturday, after our meeting I found these abundance flags at a local store.  They seemed very fitting for what I was feeling.


We are now working on the next step and planning a potluck dinner for everyone. We are encouraging people to bring something they grew, or something homemade and hopefully the recipe to go along with it. We don't want this to lose momentum before it has a chance to get off the ground. 

Since Saturday I have been filled with an abundance of peace and also a sense of restlessness. I suppose I am just trying to explore those and figure out where I am suppose to go from here.


the garden




Today we:

  • had phone call about our online school plans for next year- more about those to come.
  • watered the gardens
  • practiced playing baseball
  • played with a friend
  • tried new foods
  • had dessert
  • bought solar eclipse glasses
  • ran long overdue errands
  • did lots of laundry
  • did a light homeschool day
  • made necklaces
  • went for a walk
  • cooked  a new dinner
  • enjoyed the views.



Scenes from last week

I did not mean to disappear for a week. Life happened. Life was full. We were trying to soak it all up. I think we did our best.

Here is last week in pics, at least from Thursday on:


We went to the indoor trampoline place with our friends. Loved this. It totally wore him out.

He mostly played dodge ball, which is the only explanation I have for his facial expression.



Another morning we spent some time at the park.


Do you see that look on his face. Priceless.



Some of our favorites at the street painting festival.





On the list for this week:

  • soaking up some more time with our friends before they leave.
  • dance classes
  • practices
  • getting a baseball jersey
  • fun and fitness
  • planning for a birthday next week!
  • science fair prep
  • back to a light school schedule
  • park day

What's on your list?


Scenes from the weekend- the visitor edition


Jack's face upon opening the door and seeing his best buddy that he hasn't seen since they moved six months ago.

We had an awesome weekend. Our very dear friends, who moved six months ago, came to visit and stay with us.  We had a blast. I haven't laughed that hard in ages. My face still hurts from it. So good to see them again.

When I asked Jack if it was a big surprise, he said "Too big of a surprise."



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Jack Jazzy's 1:13


Talisa and Alex at Jazzy's 1:13



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I don't know why this pic won't post right, but it's kind of funny sideways too. :)

Lax 1:15

This weekend: Battle of the bands in support of our favorite guitarist-- they did awesome! Recovering from a looooong week with very little sleep. Baseball and lacrosse at the park.  Staying up too late again, running errands, driving class with the teens, birthday parties, and cleaning.


On the list this week:

  • rugby
  • lacrosse
  • dance
  • park
  • Zac is off.
  • no dentist- always a good start
  • project life-- every time I try to start I find I am missing one thing. I vow to get it started this week.
  • homeschool- make paper and penguins are on the list this week
  • movement- I lagged at the end of last week between being busy and no sleep. Won't let that happen again.
  • Lacrosse tournament- tis the season
  • rugby meeting
  • Guitar lesson
  • I'm thinking some kind of surprise field trip is in order one afternoon this week.

What is on your list?

scenes from Christmas 12/26

So busy. So much fun. And so much to be thankful for.


Friday we rang the bell for  the Salvation Army.  This was such a neat experience. It is on the list already for next year. 



Jack taking a break for bell-ringing, singing and dancing.


The big kids got a big suprise on Christmas Eve. I love the pics of their faces.


It's not often we can pull a big surprise on them.


Jack decorated some gingerbread men for Santa.



Christmas morning.

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We hope you all had a wonderful holiday. :)

scenes from the weekend 12/04


The only pic I took this weekend. Sigh. I know.

This weekend was filled with: sleeping in, cleaning up, errands, computer work, more transferring of files,  homework, a birthday party, more sleeping in :),  errands, meal planning, more cleaning, a movie with the family- Hugo, and friends.

This week is a lot lighter than normal thank goodness. Maybe I can catch up on life.

On the list for this week:

  • St. Nicholas day
  • guitar lessons
  • talent show and pizza party
  • rugby
  • lacrosse
  • park
  • family in town- dinner and visiting
  • transfer the rest of the files
  • finish Christmas shopping


And that is all I have written down! Seems really light. I probably forgot something. :)If not then we'll hit some Christmas fun big time and do some crafting.

What's on your list?

The readin list.

Forgive the slow week on the blog. I have come to the conclusion that I deal with events in my  life by taking on projects and apparently having the bff's move away means painting the interior of the house we are renting. Ahh.. yes. We have wanted to do it from the day we moved in, it needed it badly.  Today I did a bathroom, the easiest room, and it looks great. Can I just say I hate flat paint. I have been living with it for 4 years and it's time for it to go.  Flat paint+kids= walls that never come clean.   Now to figure out the logistics of doing all the big rooms. 

Maybe I'll just stick with the bathrooms. :) Now on with my post.


My nightstand reading stack. Can you tel what is on my mind? Rhythm, parenting, seasons, learning.  It must be fall. :) Some I have read before and just want a refresher. Like Simplicity Parenting. I've read it before, and I'll read it again.  I find myself constantly turning to it to remind myself of one thing or another.  The "oh yeah, that is why I always thought this was a good idea" kind of reminder. I love that book. 

What's on your reading list?




scenes from the weekend 9/11

An old school map we picked up this weekend. I have no idea what I am going to do with it. It's huge adn we have a serious lack of wall space already. But we love maps and it was a steal.

The microscope. I have been searching for months for a used one at an affordable price. We saw this at a yard sale this weekend and I took one look at the price and started walking away. My dear husband, knowing how badly I wanted one, offered them half. They took it. I was so excited.  The boys played with it all day yesterday. So cool. Now to order some slides.



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A work in progress.


A $5 find that has been entertaining someone all weekend. 

We had a fun, busy weekend. We found a new to us, amazing resturant. My new favortie words are "red wine reduction sauce". Oh my goodness. We've had no internet yesterday which threw off my weekly planning and I actually had to go old school in order to do it. :)  We also enjoyed a refreshing thunderstorm. I think fall is finally here.

On the list for this week:

  • yoga
  • nursery for fall seeds and a terrarium plant.
  • learning: Israel, water cycle,  and a new to us science co-op, Signing Time, building a terrarium.
  • library
  • internet fixing- our computer ahs been having some issues the past week and we have someone coming out to hopefully fix it once and for all.
  • Saying goodbye to dear friends. Sigh. :( 
  • fall decorating
  • Soup, banana bread and homemade bread.

And whatever other fun things we can fit in there. :) 

What's on your list?

scenes from the weekend 9/04




Lasagna ready for the oven.

Lawn Twister.




What a fun weekend! We had a party for our dear friends who are moving away and were able to spend an evening laughing way too hard and eating way too much. 

On the list for this week:

  • Finishing up our studies on India and electricity with some fun projects.
  • Starting to decorate for fall.
  • Enjoying a short week at school
  • Trying to catch up on sleep. :) 
  • park day
  • Checking out a hip-hip dance class for Jack.
  • Hopefully getting the ast pieces of our homeschool curriculum
  • starting our Spanish language studies.
  • enjoying some cooer weather and a light schedule this week.

scenes from the weekend 8/21

My latest thrift find.


Homeschool planning.

This weekend was a bust. After a long, drama filled week, it seemed only fitting to spend the weekend sick. Saturday morning my eyelid was a little swollen and sore. Zac and I set out on our usual morning coffee date. My head started to hurt and before you knew it he was pulling the car over to let me puke. Yep, I said puke.  So Saturday I spent in bed with a full blown migraine. Yay stress!!  This morning my eyelid was swollen even more and red so we went in to the doctors.  A couple of antibiotic scripts later I was back home trying to salvage my weekend and accomplish enough planning to start homeschooling tomorrow.  I have an infected eyelid. Not contagious, thank goodness.

I was able to plan and file our first 9 weeks with what materials I have already.  Zac finished my chalboard project for me and everything is pretty much straightened and ready to go tomorrow.

So on the list this week:

  • Take the van into the shop. Yep you heard right.
  • start our homeschool year.
  • yoga
  • moms night out, if I can due to the eyelid.
  • tennis
  • swimming, once again if I can
  • park day
  • library
  • coffee date
  • freezer cooking- looking to do some breakfast food.
  • A friends birthday-no I wouldn't forget. :) 
  • A lighter schedule and expectations. :)

What's on your list?


scenes from the weekend 8/07

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Temperature at 9pm.

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Garden tomatoes.

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This weekend was filled with: good deals, laughter, lots of talking, late nights, early mornings, an unheard of nap, school shopping, cooking, baking, lots of cuddles, cleaning, having my phone off almost all weekend,  and lot of coffee.

On the list for this week:

  • more cooking, freezing and processing tomatoes.
  • a doctor appointment for Steve
  • a counselor appointment for Alex
  • more school shopping
  • the county fair and chicken show
  • yoga
  • a not-back-to-school party with the homeschool group.
  • ordering the rest of our homeschool supplies
  • making a chalkboard
  • finish decorating our school space with Jack
  • helping the kids fit as much as they possibly can into the last week before school starts.
  • getting up earlier in prep for school starting-yuck.

What is on your list?


cooling off

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Today we went with our homeschool friends to one of our favorite pools to spend the day.

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Jack was so excited to go. He bought diving sticks and then slept with them this week. Today we were out running errands before he woke up, when we came home he came running out holding his swimsuit and shirt. Ready to go.

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It was a really nice, reasonably cool day!


Happy 4th of July!


Jack and his first sparkler. Ever. Don't ask me why that is, but it's the truth. He had a ton of fun with them, until he got a little burn.


All we had in our stash was smoke bombs (I have teens) and sparklers.


But our neighbors all had fireworks and shared. They are so awesome.



Aren't they cute?



After the show out front we headed out back to start a fire and have some smores. All the while wondering if we should have headed downtown to the big show.


Fortunately for us, the firework laws have changed for our area and the neighbors were celebrating big time. In fact tonight was running a close second to the Halloween.  So we pulled out our charis and settled in. Most of the fireowrks ended up right over our backyard.


And yes I was practicing the whole photgraphing fireworks thing.


And the fire... mesmerizing.



Can't wait until next year.


Hope you all had a happy 4th of July. Aren't we all so blessed?


Yesterday was my 37th birthday. Time flies! I had a wonderful day filled with friends, family and fun.


I feel so blessed by all the wonderful friends and family in my life.


And yesterday I spent most of the day basking in thankfulness for them all. Something I need to do more often.


Because it is truly a miracle to find people who really get you.


And it's sometimes hard for me to show those people how much I truly care for them.



But I do. I really, truly do.


This last pic is a gift I bought for myself. It goes along with Soul Restoration 2. It has been quite a journey the past few weeks and when I read Melody's poem, I knew I had to have this bracelet.

Today is day one.


Doesn't he look mischievious?  He was really just trying to hide from the camera.  Time for the paparazzi to take a break.

I learned a new game today. Look at Talisa in the picture above, any guesses?

It's called toilet tag. If the person who is it tags you, you have to freeze like a toilet. Then someone else has to come along and...

flush you to unfreeze you.


I never knew about this game. Honestly. The things you learn from your kids.