Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Again!

We got snow again yesterday. I decided last night to let the kids play outside in it. Emma has been eager to build a snowman. I’m glad I decided to let them play outside at 8:00 last night, because when I got up at 8:00 this morning all the snow is GONE! That’s the good thing about snow in TX – it doesn’t linger. I remember in Cincinnati when it snowed it would hang around for days or weeks before finally clearing off. But, for those days and weeks we were stuck looking at grey slush everywhere! Not here. If it snows, you must play in it immediately or not at all.


Emma is all bundled up and ready to go in her new hat and gloves Santa brought her. I have created a monster trained her well. Every time I pull out the camera, she strikes a pose.

Emma Snowball

Isaac My angels

My angels making angels in the snow.

Snow Angles Snowman With Snowman

The snowblob snowman…

Monday, December 28, 2009

Party Time!!

WooHoo!!  We are excited to announce that after 39 LONG months….


Logan got his braces off!!!  Would you just look at that expensive beautiful smile!!  I love him it!  We really were beginning to wonder if he would ever get them off.

When we moved to Texas last year, we weren’t sure where we would end up buying a house.  Therefore, we couldn’t look for an orthodontist.  I needed to find an ortho close to our new house.  So, Logan went without treatment (tightening, bands, etc) for a couple of months.  That couple of months extended his treatment for about 6 months since his teeth shifted during that time.  Uugghh!!  Then came the issue of him not wanting to wear his bands.  They are uncomfortable and “uncool” when your 15yo and in high school (or anywhere else I would imagine).  So, that added on a bit more time.  We thought he would get them off last Monday (his 16th birthday), but the orthodontist wanted to wait one more week.  Today he got them off!!  We were all very excited for him.  He has been smiling ever since!  

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sweet and Sassy

My girlfriend called me up the other day to tell me that Sweet and Sassy was having a sale. Sweet and Sassy? What’s that, you say? It’s a little boutique where girly-girls can go have their hair and nails done. They had a one-day where they marked down the price of their up-do’s for Christmas. We (Carol Beth and I) thought it would be fun for the girls so we headed out.

I must mention that the girls were very excited. They were excited about getting their hair and nails done. They were excited about wearing matching clothes. I happened to have a duplicate sweater vest Hannah could wear. And, they were just excited to be able to spend the day together.

Here are some pics from our day…

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Recital 2009 – Day 2

Today was even busier than yesterday. We started the day with a dress rehearsal for Emma’s competitive dance team. Then, it was time for the second day of the winter recital. Emma performed her tap routine to Polar Express. She did not like tap last year and quit after the winter recital. She decided to try it again over the summer, and found a new love for it. She did really well on stage this afternoon.

Emma and HB Tap

Here is a picture of Emma and her best friend before heading on stage to tap. There are two boys in their class, but I couldn’t get the group together for a shot.

Emma’s jazz class performed to Go Fish’s version of Joy to the World. They did a fabulous job!! This was her favorite from this recital.

Emma and Carla Emma jazz jazz class

That’s the end of our “winter” season. Next up, they will begin working toward the spring recital after Christmas. Also, Emma’s team will polish up their routine in anticipation of their first competition in February.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Recital 2009 – Day 1

I love dance!! Well, at least when Emma does it (not me!). This weekend is our winter dance recital. Each winter the studio performs The Nutcracker. Emma’s ballet class danced the Russian Divertissement. She really enjoys dancing in the “big ballet”. Not all the ballet classes perform in The Nutcracker, but hers does. Here are pics of her in her Nutcracker costume…

Em Close

Emma is ready to go onstage.

Nutcracker 2009

Emma in the dressing room ready to go on stage.


Emma and a few classmates waiting in the hall before the ballet.

Emma, Joshua, HB

Emma and her best buddy (and her buddy’s brother) after they performed in The Nutcracker.

Emma and Suzan

Emma and her ballet teacher after the recital.

Tomorrow, we have day 2. She will perform her jazz and tap routines tomorrow, as well as The Nutcracker again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We are so blessed! My family drove 12 hours from TN to TX to spend Thanksgiving with us! I was so excited. My mom, dad, sister, 3 nieces, and 2 cousins made the trip south. My mom and dad stayed with my “other” sister – who lives just down the road. My sister (from TN) and all the kids stayed with me. I had two 6yos, two 10yos, two 11yos, and two 16yos (well almost – Logan will be 16 in two weeks, but we aren’t talking thinking about that right now).

I prepared a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner for our family. I loved it! I had coloring pages for the kids on the kid table. The kids played “pin the tail on the turkey” before dessert. (I found this lovely game in the dollar bins at Target.) We did LOTS of hanging out and catching up this weekend.

Friday, we decided to not go shopping. We went to the movies instead. The kids saw Astroboy while the big girls saw New Moon! (And, what a fabulous movie it was! I’ll take sparkly vampires any day!) Hubby and Logan stayed home (actually, their movie – Blind Side – was sold out). I’m sure there was some sport-watching going on.

Saturday evening, we went downtown in our town to “A Dickens of a Christmas” – carolers, shopping, crafts, carriage rides, and FAMILY! This was a neat experience. Maybe next year, we will stay to experience it after dark (when the street lamps are lit and the carolers are caroling). This weekend, however, I was too tired to stay late.

Everyone left Sunday morning, and they all made it home safely. My house is finally back in order, and I’ve found my energy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Ultimate Field Trip

The countdown is on! To where? Disney of course!! This is the countdown to 3D Travel's "Ultimate Field Trip". Click on *UFT* for more information. You won't want to miss this incredible opportunity to join hundreds of other homeschool families for a magical week at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

TX State Fair 2009

I took my monkeys to the fair! Twice!! Friday, Emma and the dance team from our studio performed at the State Fair. They helped producers unveil a new superhero character, ZR. (You can check out for more info about him.) I was so excited to see Em on the stage. She didn't dance in the "main" performance, but the production crew wanted some kids to act as "extras" to fill the stage. So, Emma was an extra. She had a really good time.

I'm not usually a "fair" person. I think the prices are outrageous, the crowds too big, and so on. We ended up having a wonderful time. We met up with some friends and rode the DART rail to the fair. The kids thought that was a blast, and I didn't have to drive downtown! We were able to take advantage of the many free exhibits they had - the butterfly gardens, Little Hands on the Farm, and a "Pirates" dive show. Emma even lost a tooth there.

Isaac was supposed to be an extra that Friday, but he stayed home sick. He was so bummed! So, on Monday before my mother-in-law went back to MO, she took us back to the fair. We picked Logan up from school and headed back downtown. We rode the DART again, saw a dog stunt show, and rode the bumper cars. Isaac was bummed when we had to leave in time to get him to football practice. But, all in all, everyone had a good time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009

Yep, it's another reading challenge. I love to read! These challenges tend to keep me motivated. Sometimes, life gets busy, and I slow down on my reading. Can I read 10 books this fall? We'll see.

Here's what's on my bedside table:

Take Two by Karen Kingsbury
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Along Came a Cowboy by Christine Lynxwiler
A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick
Praying God's Word by Beth Moore
Fearless by Max Lucado

If I can make it through this list, I will add more. I am also setting a goal to read through and file/toss/give away my stack of magazines. They are accumulating on my countertop, and I need to move them along...

One more goal - I want to read through the Little House series with Emma at bedtime.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Serve It Up Sunday

Serve It Up Sunday

Sunday: Matt is grilling tonight!! WooHoo!! I love when it's his night to cook. We are having Cuban Mojo Grilled Porkchops. He'll also make asparagus and couscous or mashed potatoes for sides. I've got an apple chip cake in the oven for dessert.

Monday: Asian Chicken Sesame Salad with homemade breadsticks

Tuesday: whole wheat pancakes with fresh fruit

Wednesday: Meatball stew with homemade yeast rolls

Thursday: Country lemon chicken, roasted potatoes, salad

Friday: bean burritos, mexican rice, and black bean and corn salad

Saturday - We will eat left overs tonight.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Disney 2009 Day 2

Today we went to the Animal Kingdom. Mom really liked this park. She loves animals and taking pics of them. We ate lunch at Flame Tree BBQ - yummy!! It was a fun atmosphere with ducks and hornbills roaming the area. We got TONS of autographs (as shown in the pics below). We loved looking at the animals on the safari, and really enjoyed the Jammin' Jungle Parade. We tried to do the It's Tough to Be a Bug 3-D show, but both the kids were scared! So, we left midway through. Maybe next year....

Dinner at O'Hana was fabulous, as was my birthday cupcake. We ate at O'Hana last time we went to Disney, and I knew we would have to take my mom there this time. It's so good, we will probably eat there every time we go to Disney!

After dinner, we headed to Downtown Disney. I'll post those pics later.

Disney 2009 Day 1

This year, I took part in UFT (The Ultimate Field Trip)at Disney World. My good friend, Carol Beth, runs 3D Travel Company and coordinates this "homeschool" field trip every year. This year, we joined 483 other homeschool families for the best field trip ever! I took Emma and Isaac. We met Mom there, as well.

The day we arrived, I took the kids to The Magic Kingdom while we waited for Mom to arrive. It was a VERY LONG day. It started at 4:30 AM when I got up to get myself ready. I got the kids up at 5:00. We left the house at 5:30 and headed to the airport. There, we met up with our friends, the Scott's, who were on our flight. Our flight took off at 7:30 AM. By the time we got to the airport, shuttled to the hotel - Pop Century, and got to our room it was early afternoon. The kids and I headed to MK to wait for Mom (her flight didn't land until almost 4).

This year is the Year of Celebrations at Disney World. Since I celebrated my birthday that week, I received a "birthday" button. That was so much fun! Yes, I wore it every day!! I bet I heard "Happy Birthday, Tara" at least 30 times a day! It was very nice!

We watched a show at the castle. I think it was called "Wishes". Then we headed for some rides. We didn't ride many that day since we were pretty tired. We did, however, ride Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Small World (Emma's favorite).

That evening, we met with CB and her travel agents at the Grand Floridian. This was where we picked up our group itineraries (for the UFT meet-ups through out the week). Emma got a lesson in "proper Pixie-dusting", and both kids learned about pin-trading ettiquite. After the meet-up, we headed into the Grand Floridian for a pizza dinner.

Were we done yet? Not quite yet! I think by this point the kids and I were on auto-pilot!! But, Mom was finally here, and the kids wanted to take her to the park. So, off we went - very slowly!! Emma and I rode Small World again while Isaac and my mom rode The Haunted Mansion. Then, Mom and I swapped and rode the other ride. After that, we all rode Dumbo and Cinderella's Carousel. At that point, I could take no more (and the kids had become quite grouchy as well). So, we headed back to the room to hit the hay!

Here are our pics from that day...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dere Tothe Fareiy

Dere tothe fareiy
from Emma
I swolod a tothe will you give me mony.
PS. Please

While we were in Disney last week, Emma swallowed a tooth! She was very worried that the tooth fairy would not come visit her if she didn't have a tooth under the pillow. So, I suggested she write a note to leave for the tooth fairy. -see above :) - Well, the tooth fairy did visit. She left $3 under Emma's pillow. Emma was super excited!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Banana Muffins

I love muffins. I love having muffins in the freezer for breakfast and snacks. This morning I made Wheat Germ Struesel Banana Muffins. I found this recipe in the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine. The kids love these (and don't realize they are eating something healthy)!!

Here's the recipe for these wonderful muffins...
Banana Streusel Muffings

Start of the new school year...

My monkeys started school today! Sorry for the poor quality on the pics, but my good camera is a bit under the weather. :(

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My sweet boy is coming home!

My sweet boy has been in Nashville for two weeks. I can't wait for him to come home!! He is flying alone this evening, and I am a bit nervous. I can't wait for him to get home tonight!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring Recital 2009 - Snow White

Our dance studio spring recital was this weekend. The ballet students performed Snow White. Emma's class was dancing flowers in the "happy forest". They were absolutely adorable!!

**Emma came down with croup over the weekend. She felt horrible, but she did perform!**

Emma and her buddy, Hannah Beth

In the dressing room

My sweet girl!

Dress rehearsal

New Blog

I've decided to post my family info over here (separate from my homeschool blog). So, here we go...