Friday, February 22, 2013

Big Creek Scenic Area Hike

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We'd like to do more hiking as a family. Steven found this trail nearby and so we took the afternoon to check it out. We all had such a good time. Exploring nature, locating the perfect settings for fairy activity and following the trail map. The Big Creek Scenic Area is part of the Sam Houston National Forest. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter Family Vacation - New Mexico

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Our little family took a 1,716 mile road trip to New Mexico Feb 18-22, 2013. Our first day on the road I coined the phrase "hard core haulin' it" because that's what we did. The first day we left our home at 2 a.m. The girls were carried gently from their beds to the car and we pulled away from the house with our fingers crossed. Hoping they'd fall back to sleep and stay that way until sun up. Did it work? You bet it did! We drove for 350 miles of the trip before the girls woke up. We were pulling into Cracker Barrel five hours from home when the sun came up and the girls came too. The next 225 miles took the rest of that day! We spent one night on the road and pulled into Red River, New Mexico the next afternoon. The photo below is of Marin and me in the snow that first day.
 Here is tiny Adalyn's first SNOW experience. She never once hesitated and dove in with enthusiasm!
 Below is a shot of the crew hiking up to go sledding. We enjoy the week with close family members. 
 The trail to the sledding spot had a bridge over a river. I was amazed by the beautiful mallard ducks swimming in, what must have been, frigid water.
 Snow has the same appeal as sand for children. There is copious amounts all around and it hold hours of fun! One downfall is if mom doesn't pack waterproof mittens, your hands get cold and wet. 
 The view from the top of the sledding hill.
 I recorded Marin's comments as we drove into New Mexico and began to see snow. Here are some of my favorites: "Oh snow! I wanna FEEL it! Woooooo hooooo SNOW! Oh my goodness. Hold on tight! We made it. Moma, feel your window! Burrrr. Oh look! That was a pile.
Adalyn and Coralee need to wake up so they can see the snow!"
One of the first things she did was to plop down and make a snow angel. 
 Marin wasn't quite sure about sledding and it took her awhile to warm up.
I was so glad when she finally did. 
 We took time to do a little shopping. Here are the three cousins together outside one of many shops.
 The highlight of our trip was a day of snowshoeing at the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area. Here is Coralee getting bundled for the trip. There was so much snow, we had to be shuttled into the ski area. The wind was blowing like crazy in the parking lot and Steven and I almost chickened out, but decided that if the shuttle was willing to come and get us, we give it a go!
  I think the crew thought we were crazy for taking three little ones out, but we proved them all wrong. Theses three cuties were troopers and we had a blast! 
 My view for most of the trail. Such an amazing way to see the beauty of a winter forest. 
 Coralee was content in her pulk eating a grilled cheese with sliced apples. 
 Here we are coming back into the ski house. Marin asked to pull Coralee for a little while.
 Posing for this picture I remember thinking that anything is possible with kids. Attitude and willingness make all the difference in how things turn out. I was so happy we didn't let the possibility of this being too difficult keep us from at least trying and in the end having a blast. I look forward to many more days of snowshoeing as a family. 
 Adalyn was sooooooo relaxed that she fell asleep in her pulk. I think it must have been the warm blankets and the swishing sound of the pulk as it glided along on the snow.
 The last day I spent time with the girls just playing. Here is Marin sliding down one of many HUGE piles of snow. It was record snow fall that week with more reported coming the day after we left.
 Not only did Adalyn fall asleep in the pulk while snowshoeing, she also fell asleep in her tube while tubing! It was the funniest thing. Steven would seriously pick her up out of the tube, set her in his lap, slide down the slope get up, put her in the tube hop on the lift and out she stayed. They must have gone down five times and she slept through the entire event. 
 Here is Marin with her Paw Paw Benny. Checking out the slope.
They took the last ride down together. 
 Farewell, Red River, New Mexico. Hope to see you again soon!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kindergarten {Our Third Six Weeks}

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Our Third Six Weeks
January 7– February 15, 2013:

We took three weeks off for the Christmas/New Year Holiday to celebrate the season and spend time with Family.

On Fridays the girls listened to “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” while working on coloring pages that were associated with the theme. Themes included: Habit 1: Be Proactive. You’re in charge.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Have a Plan. Habit 3: Put Frist Things First. Work first, then play.
Habit 4: Think Win-win. Everyone Can win. Habit 5: Seek first to Understand, Then to be understood. Listen before you talk. Habit 6: Synergize. Together is Better. Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Balance Feels Best.

Bible Study for this six weeks included lessons from Marin’s Awana’s book and scripture memorization.

Calendar: In her Calendar note book Marin continued to make daily notations on a calendar and practiced writing the date in the correct form, January 7, 2013 and with numbers 01/07/2013. She continued to track the number of days of school numerically and with tally marks.  She updated a weather chart daily and we compared the most and least days of certain types of weather. We celebrated Valentine’s Day and made cards for friends.

Grab Bag: To continue to review facts and drills that I wanted her to remember, but didn’t want to become monotonous, I created a “grab bag” method. Selecting 16 items of importance she was asked to select four items from the Grab Bag each day for review. These included:
·         Say and write your phone number
·         Say the months of the year
·         Say and write your address
·         Count to 100
·         Say the pledge of Allegiance
·         Skip count by 2s to 100
·         Say the days of the weeks
·         Skip count by 5s to 100
·         Skip count by 10s
·         Is _____________ a common noun or a proper noun?
·         What is a noun?
·         Family relations quiz. For example (Your mother’s mother is your? ________)
·         Write the letters of the alphabet (Upper and lowercase)
·         Sing the vowel song
·         Write your numbers 0-20
·         Name the five senses
Marin responded positively to this method, and the results were wonderful in maintain a knowledge of these concepts without burn out.
Reading: Completed lessons 58 through 79 of “The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.” Finished the two-consonant blends and moved to introduce three-consonant beginning blends. Covered Long Vowel and Silent E words plus the hard and soft sounds of C and G. I read the book “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingles Wilder aloud to the girls. And Marin spent 15 each day reading aloud to me from an easy reader book. She kept a list and read more than 20 books. Marin was also excited to read books to her sisters at night before bed.
First Language Lessons: We completed Lessons 25 through 36 in “First Language Lessons.” We focused on common and proper nouns. Understanding the differences and identification of the two  and introduced aunts, uncles and cousins to family relations. Marin memorized the poem “Hearts are Like Doors” and “Days of the Weeks” and performed exercises in story and picture narration.

Math: Marin completed the Math.U.See Primer book and completed the first six lessons of the Alpha book. She has a firm understanding of telling time with hours and minutes within increments of five. And a basic instruction of subtraction. The first six lessons of the Alpha book reviewed place value, counting to 20, addition plus 0 and 1 and skip counting by 10s.
History: Finished the Food and Eating section of “The Usborne book of Living Long Ago.” While reading from this section of the book we built a cauldron model.  
Science: Read from  “Usborne Starting Point Science-Volume 1” and “Usborne Inside your Body.” We died flowers with food coloring to gain a better understanding of the “waterways” inside plants. We also took a nature hike on the Lone Star Hiking trail. A portion of the Big Creek Scenic Area, a part of the Sam Houston National Forest.

Music: Continued to learn the piano using “Music for Little Mozarts” We covered quarter notes, bar lines, three black keys and quarter rests. Listed to music by Mozart and Beethoven.    

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day 2013

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See these two? What a pair! The best of friends and sometimes the worst of enemies. It really is my hope that they'll be close for the rest of their lives. Maybe not always friends, but comfortable and loving toward each other. There is nothing sweeter than the love and support of a sister. 
Above are the heart puppets we made the week leading up to Valentine's Day. Below is what our table looks like OFTEN. Always covered in paper and stickers. My girls love nothing more than to create and Valentine's Day is the perfect holiday for fun paper crafts.
Below is a quick snap shot of the breakfast room set up their Daddy created for his girls. He's loving and thoughtful, everyday, but especially on Valentine's Day. His love for them, makes me love him even more.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Marvelous Master Bath {Before & After}

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Posting these before and after pictures makes this project seem so condensed and easy. Ha! Before you start getting any crazy ideas about how FAST we are, let me just tell you that this was YEARS of work and patience. It's the in between photos that really show the work and money and time. Sadly I didn't do as well as I thought documenting the between stages. And well, frankly that's just not as exciting as simply comparing before and after photos

To get an idea of how much work went into this little corner click here.
See post about the custom medicine cabinets here.
And a post about the faucets we cleaned and had re chromed here.
Here is the first post about the tub and sinks being redone. 
A post about painting the floor (the first time).
This post about the shower install.
I'm tired just looking at all the work that went into this bathroom. But goodness it's lovely and I seriously feel like I LIVE in a bed and breakfast!

Friday, February 1, 2013

You are My Sunshine Birthday Brunch

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 A friend and I created this sun made from balloons for her daughters' 1st birthday party. It was a "You are My Sunshine" themed brunch. The balloons were attached to the wall with tacks and the rays were made from yellow paper chains. The hearts were made of felt and sewn together using a sewing machine. We set it all up the night before and it still looked great the next morning.


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