Right Now I am Grateful For….

photo 1Gratitude is an ongoing practice in my life.  LIke many things there are times when I am dedicated to it and try to see all of the blessings in my life and other times it goes by the wayside and gets buried under a pile of unwashed laundry and dirty dishes.  As I put my children to bed tonight, we talked about the blessings of the day.  I walked a way smiling and wanted to share with you some of the things that we are grateful for.

photo 5

Right now Lil’C is grateful for…..

cider donuts, apple picking with friends, her new MOPS class with her good buddy, a letter from a lake friend and a special dinner play date where she got to play princesses.

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Right now Z is grateful for…..

seeing so many friends today, playing Minecraft Kingdom with his friends tonight, his new MOPS class (so much more fun for him than last year and he has his good buddy), apple picking and his stuffed penguins.


Right now I am grateful for……

a friend who interrupts her “regularly scheduled programming” to invite us over for supper and chat time, the pizza man for delivering our dinner tonight, a new intimate MOPS group with wonderful women and an incredible theme for the year, pumpkin custard, a certain CNN video and my husband who has such passion for his work, loving homeschool friends to share this journey with, fuzzy slippers, a note from a former students mother thanking me for making such an impression on her in third grade (she is now 21!!) and friends who are understanding when you have to back out of something because there is too much on your plate.

I enjoyed our little gratitude moment at bedtime and hope to make it a regular part of our routine.  What are you grateful for right now???


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Autumn has arrived…

IMG_3388 The calendar may still say SUMMER but AUTUMN moved in this past weekend.  The winds have changed, the temps have dipped and I even turned on our pellet stove to take off the chill this morning. Last week I was fighting the change of seasons.  I couldn’t imagine not diving into the lake one more time or feeling the warm sand through my toes.  Now that the air has changed, I am coming to terms with the change and may even be getting a bit excited. P1050528 I am looking forward to the slowing down that fall and winter brings, this time of RETREAT.  I am looking forward to cozy sweaters, warm fires, pumpkin muffins, apple cider and yes Mom, MUMS.  Every year I try to convince my mother to hold out until at least September to buy her mum plants, and each year she begrudgingly agrees. IMG_3390 The kids and I spent part of today creating gnomes for our Autumn nature table.  We LOVE our gnomes and are excited to have some autumn figures to add to our growing gnome collection. IMG_3398 We also made a new leaf fairy to add to our decorations and are thinking of adding a few more.  Lil’C also had me add some hair and a cape to the “Elsa” she had painted last weekend and asked that I turn one of her other peg people into “Anna”.  She LOVES them and had a good time playing with the castle that Z made her two Christmases ago. IMG_3391 Z was feeling left out so he created a Zombie from Minecraft.  He wants to make some other figures as well to add to his Zombie.  He has plans for Steve and maybe an animal or two. IMG_3397 RETREAT……It was not something I was feeling okay with last week, in fact we were swimming one week ago today.  But RETREAT sounds pretty good right about now.  I think I will go and bake some pumpkin muffins and ponder this idea….I think I may just be ready for Autumn. IMG_3389


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Last Few Moments of Summer….


I know it has been quiet here on the blog this week.  We are trying to get back into the swing of things while still enjoying every last minute of summer that we can.


Last summer swims


Steamboat week at the lake, always such a magical time!

This week has been filled with projects, schoolwork and planning for the year.  We even took school to the lake for a few days during the week.  This is one of my favorite perks of homeschooling.


Field Trip with Friends

For us the weekend is filled with house projects and prep for a very busy week next week.  Next week marks the start of our official homeschool schedule.  I hope it is not too much for us, time will tell.


The fun with Rocks and Minerals Continues

I hope that this weekend finds you healthy and that you are able to spend some time being productive, some time being lazy and some time with the people whom you love.


Sangria makes home projects a bit more fun!

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First Days


This week we started on a new adventure, an adventure where both Z and Lil’C are learning out of a formal school setting. I will be honest, I was worried about taking on both of their educations and wondered how I would find one on one time with Z. This week I learned that with a little bit of organization, a lot of prep, a bunch of patience and a lot of enthusiasm that it is doable.

IMG_3010We had a great first week!! We are loving our Rocks and Minerals unit and all three of us are totally engrossed in it. We started an online Spanish program this week, Z and I started the 4th book of Life of Fred (our math series) and we did a lot of reading and review.


Lil’C has her life set up just like at her Montessori School. She has “works” that are out only when Z and I need time together. This week she worked on counting, letter sounds, writing mail, studied rocks and played with lacing cards.  She also joined us for Handwriting, journal time and for all of our Rocks and Minerals activities.
IMG_3031Here are some of the things we did this week to kick off our Rocks and Minerals unit!!


We went on a rock walk to collect and observe rocks in the woods.

We learned all about the layers of the earth and what makes up each layer.

IMG_3042We made pet rocks!!!!

IMG_3045We learned some mineral names and how to test unknown minerals to ID them.




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Making Memories…..Relaxing at the Lake


It is no secret that the lake is one of our favorite places on earth.  During the summer it is a great place for a combination of relaxation and fun.  Our lake friends are like family and we enjoy spending time with them.   The lake is also one of the only places where all of my family congregates for long periods of time.


This August the lake was just what we needed after a crazy June and July.  We lounged, the kids played with their cousins and friends and we had fun visits from the Lennon Family, Mimi and Grandpa, Auntie Amber and our good friends Joe and Kate.  Scott and I even got to sneak away for a few dates!


Wine Tasting Date

Life slows down at the lake and for that I am grateful.  The only thing on my to-do list everyday is to get in the water (despite the weather) and finish a crossword puzzle….that is my kind of to-do list!


final swim of vacation


Here are some photos from our time at the lake.  It went by way too fast but we have a lot of great memories that will help to make us smile during the long cold winter ahead.


We found this double rainbow when I went out for my rainy swim!


Snow cones on the beach!! A real treat


Double Date for Scott’s Birthday


Great day with friends!


keeping busy on a rainy day


Love our Lake Friends!


Evening Pizza on the boat


Best Friends Jamming by the Fire


Cousins Tubing


Spending the day with Neene at Story Land


She rode the new dino coaster!!!


We had a GREAT day!


Castle in the Clouds with Mimi and GpaJ


Mini Golfing


Z tried waterskiing, wake boarding and kneeboarding this summer!


Auntie Amber came to visit!


It was a great summer!

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I Think I May be Raising a “Woo Girl”



A few weeks ago Lil’C and I were driving down to Boston with one of her friends.  Once we could see the city skyline, Lil’C said to her friend, “Oh wow, there is Boston, WOOOO!”

All I could think of in that moment was the “Woo Girl” episode of one of my all time favorite shows, How I Met Your Mother.  Since that day I have been listening for the “Woo” and I am surprised at how often I hear it.

“Yes you can have a snack Lil’C”……..”Yea a snack, WOOOO!”

As Let it Go comes on the car, “WOOOOO, I Love this song!”

When NYC came on the TV, “I love NYC….WOOOOO!”

In the episode, these girls used the “Woo” as a way to cover up their insecurities.  Now this mama likes to “Woo” on occasion but for the most part my “Woo” is one of joy and excitement.  I am now making it my mission to make sure that Lil’C’s “WOO” stays happy and enthusiastic and that she continues to grow to be confident and secure about who she is.  It is okay to “Woo” on occasion as long as you are feeling good about who you are :)

Click Here to learn more about what a “Woo Girl” is according to HIMYM.

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Mommy Can I Sew Today?


This picture is the reason why I say “Yes” sometimes to the question listed above.  I mean look how happy she is with her brand new  Elsa doll we made together.


This picture shows why I don’t say yes to this question when I hear it everyday.  And I do hear it almost everyday.  This mess and all the time and effort it takes for me to assist in these projects is why sewing is not an everyday thing in our house.


I do need to find a way to make it more regular though because she LOVES it so much.  She designed Elsa, helped me to cut her out, sewed and stuffed the arms herself, helped to sew on the embellishments on the dress and did all the stuffing.  This was the most complicated project she and I have taken on yet and we are so happy with the results.  The pattern was all Lil’C’s and she LOVES this doll.  She sleeps with it every night and was thrilled to have an Elsa doll of her very own.


She did come out pretty cute.


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Mommy and Son Time


Z and I were blessed with some time one on one, a rarity this summer.  While Lil’C was in her art class, the two of us snuck away for our own adventure.  We decided that bowling would be fun and cool on the hot summer day and we tried a brand new bowling alley (well new to us).


I hit the jackpot!

Without Lil’C in tow our bowling game was sooooo quick and so we hit the arcade.  We had so much fun spending the $10 of quarters and collected quite a few tickets.  Z decided to cash them in for prizes for both he and Lil’ C, such a thoughtful boy.


It was so nice to have this Mommy/Son time.  I need to make sure that I find more time to do one on one activities with my kids.  I have friends who give their children “dates” for Christmas (12, one for each month).  I think this might be a great way to make sure that Scott and I have one on one time with our kids!


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Sun Tea



It really is the simple things in life that make me happy.  I was never an Iced Tea drinker until this year and now I can’t get enough.  I remembered sun tea from my childhood and decided to give it a try for myself.  I “googled” how to do it and could not believe it was so simple!  Fill a jug with water and tea bags and sit in the sun for at least 3 hours, no more than 6 hours.  That is it!  My kids are always so amazed that the clear water turns brown and that mommy can brew tea outdoors.

I brew more tea about every 3 days and have only forgotten it once all summer.  It is cheap, environmentally friendly and so much more delicious brewed this way.  I highly suggest you give it a try.

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A Very Special Princess Camp


Lil’C had the honor of attending a very special princess camp last week.  It was for children ages 5 and up but they made an exception for Lil’C and her buddy J.  This AMAZING camp was the idea and work of two teenage girls.  They created a camp that compared Princesses the girls all knew to Female Saints.  This wonderful camp was a combination of prayer, crafts, games, values and so much FUN.


On Friday there was a “Crowning” ceremony for the princesses.  They started with a song and dance they had worked on all week and then each had their moment in the spotlight. During the coronation they were given a wand with a virtue.  The camp leaders said a nice bit about each princess when she was crowned and Lil’C was given the wand of “Fortitude”.  After the crowning they showed a movie with photos from the week.  It was just beautiful and I felt so blessed that Lil’C had the chance to participate in such an amazing program!


These young girls pictured above are INCREDIBLE.  This Princess Camp was their dream and with the help and support of their amazing parents, they made it a reality.  It is so nice in this crazy mixed up world, to give our girls wholesome role models to look up to and be inspired by.  These girls and the other teens that ran this camp are wonderful role models for our girls and I know that Princess Camp will be something that Lil’C will look forward to year after year!

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