Monday, December 20, 2010

A Good Deal

I am not sure if I've mentioned this before on the blog but we recently bought a home.  It was a foreclosed home so it needed some tlc when we moved in.  Other houses needed less tlc but we really loved the location of our home, the yard, and the potential it had. 
Besides deep down cleaning here are some things we've checked off the to do list so far...
1.  Every room in the house had to be painted.  We had walls that were black, flouresent green and blue, bright yellow and blue, and other walls that just needed a fresh coat.  Not only were the walls these wild colors but we had ceilings that were yellow, black and red(which I will say was not fun to cover).  So we've painted every room, ceiling, and trim/doors. 
2. All of the carpeting had to be replaced.  Not only did it smell in some rooms but in other areas it looked like it had been chewed or scratched down to the padding.  It was also missing a big piece in the family room. In the bedrooms we installed carpet. Master bath we installed new flooring too because it was carpeted.  In the family room we installed laminate flooring.  We have intentions to replace the kitchen/dining/foyer and the hall bath floor in time.
3. We replaced/updated little odds and ends such as towel racks, tp holders, faucets, etc.
4. Appliances- refrigerator, washer, dryer, and garbage disposal.
5. Almost all of the lighting was missing in the house.  The only lights that existed were in the kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms, and the hallways.  We have installed ceiling fan/lights in all of the bedrooms , a new chandelier in the dining area, and...our newest addition... the foyer light.  This is the light that was in the foyer.
and this is the good deal.  I found this light on the clearance rack at Lowe's for $15.00.  I love it and we couldn't pass up the price.  The foyer isn't huge but I think it dresses it up and defines the space as "an entrance".  It has the pineapple design which symbolizes "hospitality and a warm welcome" which I thought was perfect for a foyer.  The color of the glass and metal(antique bronze finish) both match the dining chandelier. 
Here is a picture of the foyer.  Now I just need to hang something on the walls.  I have a nice mirror I am thinking about hanging with maybe a console table underneath.  My husband wants to wait until after Christmas before we move anymore furniture;)
I have a question for you though...
Do you think the light looks to big for the space?   

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Snowy Day

 We woke up to snow on Friday.  It continued to snow throughout the day.  When we went to bed there was about 6 inches on the ground.  It was my husband's first day off for Christmas vacation.  He was very happy not to have to drive in it.  The kids were excited that there was enough to build a snowman.  The snow was soft so we kind of sculpted a snow man out of a pile.
Then we had a fun snow ball fight. The kids against dad. I joined in after I put the camera away;) Fun!

 The kids taking shelter and getting ready behind dad's car.   

Gone are the days of making sand angels...but Little Man loved making snow angels. 
It was a fun time!
I was surprised when we woke up this morning it was all gone. Little Man was very upset to see his snowman had melted.  He carried around the carrot for a few hours.  He even took it to the store with him.  We told him he could put the carrot in the garden and maybe the bunnies would eat it.  That was the wrong thing to say.  Right away he said, "No!  A bunny can't eat my snowman's nose!" lol.  
We are enjoying the change of season and can't wait for some more snow. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Mark Twain Museum

Tom Sawyer was on Sweet Girl's literature list this year.  She really enjoyed the story.  While we were shopping in Reno a few weeks ago, there was a statue of Mark Twain at the outlet center.  She started telling us what she had learned about the author.  We decided it was a good time to go back and visit the Mark Twain Museum in Virginia City.  
The writing desk used by Mark Twain when he was a reporter and the city editor of the Territorial Enterprise in 1862.  
 The printing press used by the newspaper. 
A proof press.  Newsprint paper was placed on the type after inking.  Then the huge roller was pushed over the type to make the impression.
 Nevada's first switchboard(1901).  
 A water wheel which was used to power the printing press.
Yes, I took a pictue of a toilet .  Sweet Girl thought it was funny they had a sign on it that read "Mark Twain Sat Here".  
It was interesting to learn about the tools and history of the trade.

Nature Hike

We headed back to Fort Churchill this time with my husband for a nature hike.  This place is becoming a family favorite.  It was beautiful to see the change the season has brought.  Last time we saw about four different kinds of lizards.  We didn't see a single lizard.  However, the desert was full of rabbits.  They were running and jumping everywhere we walked.  The dogs were going crazy with all of the scents.  Roxy our boxer would point and then a rabbit would jump.  We haven't trained her to do this so it was kind of funny. 
This plant has probably seen better days. I loved the way the sun reflected off of it.  It was breathtaking. Taking this picture made me realize something about myself, why I love to take pictures.  When looking through the camera lens I am able to slow down, observe, pay attention, and appreciate these little things I find so beautiful.  
 The kids spotted this hole in a rock which looked like a pretty comfy winter home. 
 As we were walking we saw... 
 a mule deer.  She surprised us when she just popped out of the brush. Pretty neat!

It was a great hike:)

Time to Catch Up


 It has been a challenge for me over the past few weeks to find time to blog.  We have been busy with school and getting ready for Christmas.  We also recieved our storage shippment so I was getting that all put away.  I had a goal to finish A History of US book 5 before Christmas break(didn't get done).  My husband's schedule has been weird too.  He has had off various days during the week then working weekend days.  It's always tough to stay on track when dad is home;) but we love having him home with us. 
We usually spend the Christmas season baking and crafting but this year I feel like I have fallen short.  We baked a batch of yummy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies last night.  I hope to bake some more over the next week since we will be taking off.  As far as crafting we haven't made one single Christmas decoration:(  A lot of that has to do with the lack of a craft store in our town.  Next year I will have to prepare better, make a list and go into the city to shop for supplies.  I have been scrapbooking a lot though.  The kids pulled out their books and pictures too.  We also made some embelishments together using the Cricut. 
Sweet Girl finished Tom Sawyer.  We went on a field trip to the Mark Twain Museum.  It was in the dark, damp, kind of creepy basement of the once Territorial Enterprise which is where his career as a writer began.  I will post more pictures later.
History we are studying the California Gold Rush and the emigration West.  I was excited to have found a state park just south of Carson City called Mormon Station State Historic Park.  I was reading they have a replica of a trading post built in 1851 and pioneer-era artifacts.   How great!  It would fit in so perfectly with our studies.  Then I was bummed to find out they are closed until May.  It's on our to do list for spring field trips.
The kids also wrote "Mini Reports" last week. Sweet Girl chose to write about Robert Fulton. Silly Guy wrote about  The Louisianna Purchase.   We recieved our household goods shippment from Virginia a couple of weeks ago.  It was full of stuff that has been in storage for four years.  Inside was our encyclopedia's.  So the kids used them for their mini reports.  I don't know what I was thinking putting them into storage in the first place but am so happy to have them back in our home.
 Silly Guy dissected an owl pellet finishing up the bird unit in Science. 
 After dissecting the owl pellet, using the identification key, he came to the conclusion this owl had eaten a pocket gopher.  Since then he has started learning about mammals.  We borrowed a bag full of books about mammals native to Nevada from the library. He has been busy reading. 
The kids have been keeping up with the rest of their subjects too.  Math is Math.  In writing they have had some interesting assignments.  Silly Guy wrote some poetry. He also used a story starter picture to write a short story.  It was about two girls who wandered into the woods to find a mysterious house.  Inside the house they found hidden treasure. He loves the creativity of assignments like these.  I had to help him with composure because he's at an akward writing stage right now where his thoughts can't seem to come together on paper.  I get frustrated at times. My husband reminded me I went through the same thing with Sweet Girl and that it will come with maturity.
One of Sweet Girl's writing assignments was to read the compostions in Tom Sawyer(if I remember correctly Ch. 21) and determine why they were bad.  Then create her own "horrible" composition.  It sounds easy but it wasn't. I heard these words all week..."I can't...but how...what...why"  I couldn't help but smile that she was having such a difficult time writing a horrible compostion.  I can remember not that long ago....but I won't go there.  In the end it was a fun assignment and I think she learned a lot from it.  She just started working on writing a literary analysis. I found this resource useful when I had to write a literary analysis  when taking a literature class. So I using it again while teaching Sweet Girl to write one. 
We also went on a nature hike this week.  It was a beautiful day! I will share more later:)
Hope you had a wonderful week! and Merry Christmas!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Card Picture 2010

On Sunday I decided it was time to take our Christmas card picture.  It always sounds so simple. But it is so difficult to get everyone to look at the camera and smile at the same time. Every year as I go through the pictures on the computer I just giggle.  I smile as I look at the faces and how they change with each frame. I think it is funny how out of 66 pictures there is only one where everyone is looking at the same time, lol. This is how it went...
To prepare we pulled out the matching outfits(this year was kids choice-football jersey's), washed faces, brushed hair, and the camera was ready. Sixty-three pictures later I realized I was missing the secret weapon...Dad

 Picture 1 through 23: Was me trying to get Silly Guy to give me a natural smile.

 While attempting to get Silly Guy to smile I started to loose Little Man. 
Picture 24-30: Ahhh Haaa! Got him to laugh but a little too much

Picture 30-35-Little Man is now laying on the floor. Ooops!
  Picture 38-The Kids wanted to bring the dogs into the picture. We had to keep moving the dogs around so we could see everyone in the picture.  Roxy(the boxer)didn't like the fact Wally was sitting on her girls lap.
Picture 47-We found a good spot for the dogs. Roxy girl was excited to be sitting on Sweet Girl's lap she couldn't resist giving her kisses, lol.
Meanwhile...Silly Guy is hanging in there holding his smile, lol.

Picture 63- I brought in the secret weapon DAD. We are almost there...

Picture 66 I got it!! Dad was able to get the children smiling at the same time and looking at the camera. The doggies were even looking too:)YAY!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I wanted to write Happy Thanksgiving wishes a few days ago but my internet was down.  It was frustrating trying to figure it out with the operator.  I decided to wait and we'd figure it out after the holiday and it somehow fixed itself(for now).
Anywho, we had a wonderful time celebrating turkey day:  watching and playing football,  phone calls from family, cooking, baking, putting up our Christmas tree, just relaxing and enjoying time together. I was  thankful to have Sweet Girl help me in the kitchen this year.  She was totally grossed out by the turkey prep but we had some laughs and created some memories together;) 
We were a little afraid for the turkey.  My oven has had a mind of it's own lately.  Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it burns, sometimes food is undercooked ,yup a mind of it's own. At first I thought it was because we are living at high altitude now but it just seems too inconsistant.   I have to add that to my to do list"call the repairman".  Good news for Thanksgiving though it all worked out.  The bird made it and was yummy:)
I am most thankful for...
  • a wonderful husband to share my life and love with
  • three beautiful blessings who fill my heart with love and joy
  • family and friends who are always in my heart and thoughts
  • our two puppy dogs whom we love so much
  • a house to call home
  • my husband being on shore duty
  • spending quality time together
  • homeschooling our children
  • growing and learning everyday
  • all things warm...slippers, socks, sweaters, blankets, gloves, scarves, hats, etc.
  • a pantry full of food
  • having someone to laugh with
  • memories and creating new ones
  • finding beauty in the little things
Wishes of Thanksgiving and many blessings from our family to yours!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pyramid Lake Hike

About a month or so ago we went to Pyramid Lake.   

It is one of the largest natural lakes in Nevada.  It is the biggest(125,000 acres) remnant of the Ancient Lake Lahontan.  
Very peaceful and serene.   It was huge and there is much more to explore. 

Weekly Wrap Up-13!

This week we celebrated  Sweet Girl's(my oldest)13th birthday.  I can't believe she is 13!!  How time does fly!! I remember when we brought her home from the hospital I couldn't put her down.  Holding her in my arms felt so right.  I literally held her for the first two weeks of her life.  In every picture we have I am just gazing at this little baby girl with amazement.   I am so thankful God has leant her to me and made me her Mommy.    She brings such joy to our lives!! 

  My week has been busy with lesson planning.  We are about 1/3 through our school year.  I made some new timelines for the kids and notebooking pages.  The other timelines we were using worked but I wanted a timeline that had boxes.  The timelines I made have boxes with lines for writing and some empty boxes for drawing.  I will be putting them on my page at .  I also finished Silly Guy's Science notebooking pages for Christian Kids Explore Biology.   I worked on record keeping a bit but have some more to do.  I also started thinking of next year already.  I am trying to decide what to do with Sweet Girl for high school. 
This week we made(and ate)Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.  I used to have a good recipe but couldn't find it anywhere.  So I searched through some online recipes and  one at  I will post the recipe in a later post:) 

Some of our school week highlights:
Well, much of this week we seemed to be in auto drive:(  I think it was the fact Thanksgiving is coming.  The kids (and I)are looking forward to having a break to recharge the old battery. 
Little Man learned the letter B.  One thing he did was made this baby.  I just think it is so cute. 

For Science we went back yard bird watching.  Silly Guy has started the bird unit in Christian Kids Explore Biology.  Can you believe we didn't see one bird!!  It was kind of a bummer.  Then later in the day they heard a bird twittering around in the juniper in front of the house. 
 Silly Guy also made a birdhouse to put in the back yard.  We realized during the bird watch we had to make our back yard more bird friendly.  In writing he wrote a friendly letter to his friend in Hawaii. He is really hoping to get a letter back in return.   

Silly Guy's birdhouse
We started reading aloud Mocassin Trail by: Eloise Jarvis McGraw this week.  It's about a boy who ran away from home when he was 11.  After a grizzly bear attack he was adopted by an Indian tribe.  After living with the tribe for 7 years(now 19), has been contacted by his family who needs him.  It's an interesting story so far. 
Silly Guy also has been reading Freedom Train:  The Story of Harriet Tubman(History).
In Math he continues to work on fractions. 
Sweet Girl worked on study guide question's and reading in Apologia.  She finished Streams to River, River to Sea which she said is a great book.  She continues to read Tom Sawyer in Lit.  Her writing assignment this week was to take Aunt Polly's soliloquy(in chapter 1)and then translate it into modern day language. This was fun and a little challenge. 
I bought a new devotional for the family, The One Year Bible for Kids.  Until now the kids have been working on their Bible assignments in Alpha Omega's Bible Lifepacs.  These are great, but in addition I wanted something we could study together.
In History we are still reading History of US book 4.
Art-The kids finished painting the Turkey bowls. 

This week I signed the kids up for the 4H Sking and Snowboarding Club.  They meet twice a month through March and go Lake Tahoe.  They are thrilled to join!! 
Friday morning my husband called to give us the upcoming weather report-snow. We made a Walmart trip to buy snow boots, salt, and a shovel.  By Sunday, we are supposed to get around 6-8 inches of snow.  Little Man was born in HI so he's never seen snow before.  He's so excited to see snow, make a snowman, and thow a snowball. 
So that was some of our highlights.  Hop on over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers !


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