Thursday, September 19, 2013

Today I Went to the Fair.

Today we went to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, WA.  The girls were quite impressed.  It was fun.  I don't have huge amounts of narrative to add.  Just pictures. 

(ash wasn't too impressed with the cow pies)

(the goats were a big hit)

(we saw a really fun steam punk acrobatic show in sillyville.  unfortunately, we sat too far away to get a good pic with my phone.)

(lots of smiles today)

 (we ate lots of yummy, not so healthy, food!)

Where you able to go to a fair this year?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today I'm Going to Tell You Why I Choose to Homeschool.

Ash and I had a great day, today!  We are loosely following the Sonlight Pre-K curriculum and since I call the shots, I'll be starting her on the Kindergarten curriculum when she turns 5 in November.  Britt is doing preschool and will start Pre-K when she turns 4 early next year.  :)  Elle is just experiencing life and learning daily!  

 (ash, on the far right with her sister, Britt, and two of her aunties)

Today Ash and I did a lot of reading and she did some work pages from Developing the Early Learner, which she is almost done with.  She'd sit down and do each book in one sitting if I'd let her!

 (ash, with a mouthful of chocolate)

We read several stories and did some counting (I wanted to test her ability to match the physical number with the numeral and she did great) with chocolate chunks and an egg carton.  She was spot on!

(homemade counting activity)

We also read about what nature is and went on a nature walk.  I took pictures of everything she found and more!  

 ("baby pinecones, mom!")

Now, my reasons for why Tony and I choose to homeschool our children (not in any particular order of importance): 

  1. Curriculum Planning (seriously, so much fun!).
  2. Closer relationship/bond with my kids.
  3. More time spent with each other (goes hand in hand with #2).
  4. I get to set up the environment instead of letting virtual strangers decide.
  5. We can go as fast or as slow as we want (no conveyor belt method for us!).
  6. We can take a holiday whenever we want.
  7.  My kids get to be schooled based on how they think, learn and experience life (instead of a failing system).
  8. We can sleep in if we want (Elle definitely does NOT).
  9. Things are chill.
  10. No school shootings.
  11. Little to no bullying.
  12. Little to no peer pressure.
  13. No school lunches to pack.
  14. I'm social but very picky about the quality of our social life.
  15. No ridiculously indoctrinated teachers to deal with (I worked as one and can tell you, we were fed a load of bunk to parrot back to the parents of our students!)
  16. I make it my business to know my children and pray everyday that God will help me teach them what and how is best.  For me that means not giving them to someone else to teach and raise for the majority of the day.

 (all three-leaved and all heart-shaped)

I'm sure that you may have found some of the words I chose to be strong.  I feel strongly about this.  I feel that the traditional classroom setting isn't a natural environment for children to learn in.  I fail to see how one or two teachers can adequately help every child in their class.  I also do not agree that the public schools, in general, can offer my children an appropriate or desirable social experience.  I love spending time with my children.  Is my house immaculate?  No.  Not even remotely, but the trade off is beyond worth it.  And while I don't get a whole lot of "me time," I get enough and know that these precious babies will only be little for so long.


Please don't take offense (if you are angry, I invite you to take a day or two before commenting).  I am in no way criticizing anyone.  I am listing the main reasons I choose to homeschool my children and recognize that others are making a different choice work for them.  I also want to let any of you who might be contemplating homeschool know that while it is more labor intensive, it is also infinitely rewarding and 100% worth every minute of your time, effort and sacrifice (if you want to even call it that, which I don't usually).  If you have any questions or concerns, I'd be happy to do my best at answering.  I was homeschooled by choice, home taught most of my biological siblings (in at least one subject), studied and taught early childhood education for many years and consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on the subject of teaching, while still learning more about it everyday.  

My email address is:

The following are more nature walk pics.  :)

(there are little tree frogs right outside our front door!)



(our classroom is wherever we are!)

(sheep friends)

(garden spider - these things are everywhere!)

(tree hugger)

And just because it seems to be what most parents are concerned about, a couple more thoughts on socialization.  Look at the kids you know.  Then look at their parents.  Regardless of how/where those children are schooled, if those kids spend any time with their parents, they WILL be the same kind of social as their parents.  If their parents are awkward, the children will struggle with that.  If the parents are involved and outgoing, the children will usually follow suit.  I have yet to encounter a family that proves my observation wrong.  

I loooooove that my friends were not restricted to a class of kids all my own age and that my peers and examples weren't just a bunch of immature kids, like myself, struggling with a lot of the same things.  Blind leading the blind, maybe?  My socialization involved people of all ages, from all walks of life and from as many nationalities as my community could offer.  

Read this article from  I don't want to shorten it or paraphrase anything.  Just read it and see more of where I'm coming from (though there are certain things I don't put any value on, like prom).  

I believe that as I let our lives happen naturally and my children are involved with family, friends, and groups they love and are passionate about, they will be socialized in the best possible way. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Today I am SOOOOOOO Proud of My Husband!

He did it!  Tony graduated on Tuesday and now we are in the Seattle area.  The move was a whirlwind event that occurred right after his graduation.  And a big shout out of THANKS! to my sister Rachel for coming to help.  A life saver right there. 

 (happy man!)

Tony's graduation was nice and we skipped the first, more formal half because it was just a bunch of speeches that the girls would not have sat still for.  The second half was when all the different groups split up depending upon their major.  It was cool.  There were a handful of great speeches and the giving out of diplomas took the longest!

Tony graduated with a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.  So, if you know of any positions opening up in that field...... lemme know.  :)

Right now he's doing the required internship that all seniors have to do.  It's most likely that he will have to do at least one more internship to get into a good firm.

 (our little family at graduation)

So, we're currently homeless.  :P  We're living with Tony's parents and we all share a bedroom, which is going better than I thought it would, except for when Elle wants to get up early and I don't.  **big bags under my eyes**  We're still trying to figure out a space of our own, where that should be and whether we really need a second car or not.

Apartments (which aren't even desirable) are way out of our current price range for 3 bedroom places.  Some 2 bedroom apartment complexes won't rent to us because they only allow 2 people per bedroom.  We have 5.  And of course houses usually rent for much more than apartments.  So, our most serious thought is getting a travel trailer and living in that for a year or so. 

We'll see!  No matter what, it's awesome to be back home.  But I sure do miss my friends in Rexburg!  Wish I could have brought some people with me....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today I Let My Daughter Choose.

This is Britt, sportin' her new hair do.  I took her over to my friend's house (who also happens to be my hair dresser) and had her chop Britt's hair short.  I just think it fits the shape of her face so well, not to mention that it also goes along with her sassy personality too!

Then, today, Ash found a pic in a magazine that she must have found inspiring and decided that she wanted her hair cut too.  She talked about it for over an hour.  I have to admit that, initially, I tried everything I could think of to convince her to just leave her pretty, long hair alone!  Then I realized that I was being silly.  And controlling.  And I don't like controlling people.  And it's not like she was asking to to shave her head or put neon green streaks in it, for heaven's sake!  **deep breath**

I realized that I needed let go and act on what I believe.  I believe that we were sent to this earth by a loving Heavenly Father to learn to make choices.  And though my job IS to teach her what is right and wrong and guide her into good paths, and put my foot down when she wants to do something that hurts herself or others, I also need to let her make her own choices.  Like, the majority of the time.  How else will she learn about consequences to her own choices?  Not because I told her to or not to.  I realized that if she hates it, she'll learn to be more cautious when making snap decisions about her appearance.  And if she loves it, she'll gain self esteem because SHE made a good choice.  

Voila!  Cute little, matching English girls!


Yes, I think she's beautiful.  They both are.  Yes, I miss her long hair already.  But, hair grows.  Yes, I am so proud of her.  She's getting so big and really is a good helper with her sisters.  **tear**

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today I Took Pictures.

Hi friends!  Long time, no talk! 

Just wanted to share a current picture of Ash, Britt, and Elle.  I've been practicing shooting pictures in manual mode.  Today I was messing around with dark rooms and bumping the ISO way up.  Makes for an interesting grainy look.  Not my fave, but artsy looking anyway.

(my favorite little people) 

So, remember how I said I was gonna let this blog go dark and blog with my husband over at wordpress?  Yeah...............

He lost interest, so I lost interest, plus wordpress is SO different and I just couldn't figure it all out!

School has been a major struggle for me and I've come to the conclusion that I want to continue learning, but I also want to be able to be a good wife and mom and still have time to do other things I want to do.  So, I'm going to just take one class a semester. 

I've also been doing CrossFit, which I absolutely LOVE, but I messed up my back and hip (from a former injury), so I've got to take a break and do exercise that is less intense.  Boo!

I've been contemplating whether I should share the next bit and I think I will.  I miscarried 3 weeks ago.  I was only 5-6 weeks along and it wasn't a pregnancy that I was planning or expecting.  Still, I was sad, but also grateful that I lost the baby early instead of later, as I tend to get more and more attached as the weeks of pregnancy progress.  :(

Tony is done with school in a week.  Graduation time!!  Woohoo!  Then we will be moving back to the Seattle area.  So.  Stinkin'.  Stoked!!

How's that for a super quick update?  I seriously miss you guys.  But I'm not gonna go making blogging promises I might not keep.  It'll be what it'll be. 


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Today I Am Moving On.

I know it's been awhile since I posted.  I got lazy.  And then we got hit with the worst stomach bug I think I've ever had.   Tony and Ash got lucky and stayed yuck-free.  Elle caught it and gave it to me and Britt.  I literally wanted to die by the second day.  There is one thing for being sick.  It REALLY makes you grateful for health when it returns!!

Ok, so about the moving on part.  I recently asked my husband, Tony, if he would like to co-blog with me.  I was surprised, but he actually liked the idea!  **totally stunned, but thrilled**

So, he has set up a completely new blog for us and I will be posting there from now on.  We will continue with the "spontaneous day: what i did today" theme but you'll get to hear from both of us.  And I think I will attempt to get more guest posts too.  That is really appealing to me right now.  :D

Here is our new blog link:

Hope this doesn't throw all you bloggy friends off!  Hope you can make the switch easily! 

(elle with a candy bunny bracelet in her mouth.)

P.S.  I had several posts planned about stuff we did this past month.  I will try to play a little catch up at our new virtual place.  :)  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Today I Weaned Elle.

 (what my sweet, baby elle looked like a year ago.)

Elle has been gradually weaning herself.  She reacted badly to cow's and goat's milk.  So I've been giving her rice and coconut milk regularly since she was....11 months, I think.  Somewhere around her first birthday, anyways!

We were in a long phase where Elle would nurse first thing in the morning and then right before she went to sleep.

Last week she cut out the morning feeding.  Today I sat down with her, after she was all ready for bed to nurse her.  Keep in mind, we're talking about speed-eating.  5-7 minutes tops.

Tonight she latched on, sucked a bit (not long enough for me to let down), then looked up at me, right in my eyes, came almost all the way off and BIT ME!  Then she sat up, pushed herself up and took up running, laughing and playing.

Just like that.  We're done.  I can't even tell you how I knew.  But that is exactly what she said to me in her non-verbal language.  It was the funniest thing.  I've never had an experience quite like that.  I've never had a child tell me they were done breast feeding, for good.  It was my decision to wean with the other two.

Elle is in such an independent stage right now.  She wants to do everything herself.  She wants to feed herself, dress herself, make her own choices about what she plays, who she plays with, when she will received hugs and kisses, etc.  It's so hilarious because she just doesn't have the mastery over her body yet to dress or feed herself very well!  I've wondered if I should introduce the potty......

Anyways, so yeah!  Elle is weaned.


She hasn't tried to nurse at ALL.  She just wants rice or coconut milk!  She was for real.  Bittersweet for me, but I've served my purpose!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Today I Just Want it To Be Spring Already!

The girls and I definitely have cabin fever.  The temps around here are rising but it's still too cold for the snow to melt!  Spring is right around the corner!  Why doesn't it look like it?????

I was perusing Facebook this evening and one of my adventurous, childless, outdoorsy friends posted pics from her camping trip to The Grand Canyon.  It looked gorgeous and I felt a teensy bit jealous.  :)

I'm just done with snow.  Haha!  Looking forward to Saint Patrick's Day (did I ever tell you I'm the descendant of an Irish princess?), First Day of SPRING, Britt's birthday, and Easter!  That last two weeks of this month are gonna rock!!

Just hope Mother Nature gets into the festivities too....

(i bundled the girls up and took them outside.  they loved it, even though it was cold and they kept slipping on the ice.  and ash had a hard time riding her scooter.  i just love this pic of elle.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Today I Worked On My Biggest Order Yet.

I recently had a boutique owner from California contact me at my etsy shop and ask for 20 unicorn horns!  Yay!  So, the past couple of nights, the hubby and I have sat down to watch a movie while I work on unicorn horns.  Not the most efficient and quick way to make them, but they get pretty tedious after a while.  It's nice to have something else on which to split my attention.  Hope everyone has a great weekend! 

(fun, bright, pretty!)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today I Upcycled a T-Shirt and a Sweater.

I love the idea of re-purposing.  I would really like to get better at "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  I see all sorts of great ideas online of how to upcycle clothes so they get a second chance.  I love all the home decor posts, featuring items that are being re-used.  LOVE IT!

 (blurry, but still super cute.  especially since hugs are not always something britt enjoys giving or receiving from her big sister)

Today is my first time, that I can remember, taking two shirts that were headed for the second hand store (because they were stained) and turning them into something worth keeping. 

(elle in her sweet outfit.  remember seeing it on britt, way back when?  i do not save that many firsts anymore.)

Reason:  Elle got Britt's adorable hand-me-down Valentine's Day outfit.  But Britt and Ash had nothing.  I do not have the funds to run out and buy cute t-shirts right now, especially for a one day celebration. 

 (my 3 little sweeties.  most of the time!)

So - I dug around in a bag I have of mostly white clothes that I have been planning to try to bleach the stains out of before giving up on them.  I must admit, those clothes have been in that bag for a year.  The only two tops that worked were both too big for Britt and Ash, but better than too small, right?

(too excited!  would not make a "normal" face at all.  heehee!)

The tops were already clean.  I just ironed them, held them up to the outside light to see exactly where the stains where and then grabbed the felt and fabric glue.  For Britt's I glued the hearts first, then stitched.  I didn't glue Ash's because I wasn't sure if I wanted her felt heart to be permanent or not.  Plus, it's a chunky knit and the glue would have gone through, most likely.

(see?  so big, it's falling off her shoulders.  but stinkin' adorable regardless!)

I'm really pleased with how they turned out!
I love upcycling!

I've decided that these are not soooo valentine-y that they can only be worn one day.  I'm gonna put Britt's away for Spring or Summer (hopefully she grows a bit) and she can wear it more then.  Ash can keep wearing her sweater for the next 2 freezing cold months we have yet to get through.  Spring doesn't usually arrive on time around here. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Today I Did Valentine-y Activities.

Yesterday one of my friends texted me, asking for a play date.  :)  This means we get our kids together to play while we gab our jaws off at each other.  It's fun.  Except the part where we have to keep our 2 year olds from maiming each other.  Hoping the social skills and getting along come soon...

We thought it would be fun to plan a couple Valentine themed activities for our girls (she has 2).   So, I made sugar cookies and she made frosting.  I supplied the sprinkles (because I hoard them).  And she also brought a bunch of pretty paper strips and showed us how to make a super cute, easy hearts garland.  I found a tutorial here, if you're interested. 

(elle.  haha!  she's got cookie stuck in her nose and teeth!)
(the girls helped me make this)
Have you done anything fun and valentine-y lately? 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Today I When to Photography Class.

Have you ever taken a class where you look around at all the other students and what they are doing and realize that you are probably the only one who doesn't have any talent in that area?


I'm taking a photography class and I started after the first two classes, so not only am I the only one without, seemingly, raw talent.  I'm also extremely behind.

Our homework to take to tonight's class was all about aperture. 

This is one of the pics I took. 

 (elle's shoes)

I thought it was cute.  It was the only one I liked out of the 15+ that I took.  But that's the point of taking a class, right?  So you can get better?  And even if I don't have a photography talent, having more knowledge of how to use the camera I have is definitely a good thing.

It also helps that I'm going with a friend.  It's fun to sit in the back and whisper and giggle to each other.  Makes me feel about 15 years younger.

What classes are you taking?  Or have taken?  Were you the talented one?  Or the struggler, like me?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today I Ate Pears with Cinnamon-Cashew Sauce.

Just wanted to quickly share the yummy, healthy snack I made for the girls and myself. 

We used pears, but any orchard fruit would probably be yummy with this dipping sauce. 

Cinnamon-Cashew Sauce

Soak 1/2 cup raw cashews in 1/2 cup warm water for 30-60 minutes.  Dump everything into a blender with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp honey, and couple pinches of coarse salt.  Blend until smooth.  You can put it into the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 7 days. 

I was very dubious about this tasting good, but it really is!

I'm looking for other scrumptious, healthy snack ideas.  So, fill me in if you've got some.  They can't be too weird or my kids won't eat them.  ;P

Adapted from a recipe found in Whole Living.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today I Made a Snowman. Girl.

We live in Iceburg.  The snow has been on the ground for years, like Narnia during the rule of the White Witch.  Well, it feels like it.  And yet, this is our first snowman of the year.  A little slow, I know.  :)

(their funny, little poses crack me up)

Ash and Britt were surprisingly successful in the making of our, girl.  I asked Ash if it was a boy or a girl and she said girl.  Works out well since all of our winter accessories are pretty gender specific.

(pom-pom tasting)

Elle was not very impressed.  Her snow boots are stupid.  I'm pretty certain her feet weren't all the way down in them, even though they are two sizes two big.  The fun ended when she decided to fall face forward onto the concrete during the two seconds that I looked away from her.  **face palm**

She got a cute, heart shaped scrape on her nose from it. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today I Thought About My Dream (One of Them).

Do you have a dream?  Or several dreams?  Obviously I am the momma of a Rapunzel-obsessed preschooler because just typing out those questions hits the play button in my head and now "I've got a dream, I've got a dream, I just want to see the floating lanterns gleam!  And with every passing hour, I'm so glad I left my tower.  Like all you lovely folks, I've got a dream!" bouncing around in my brain.



Anyways, I have several dreams.  But I'm talking about one in particular.  I dream of living in a tiny house.  Yep.  You read that right.  A couple weeks ago I read, "You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too" by Tammy Strobel.  I highly recommend it.  I was immediately enlightened and realized that she was telling me about something I'd wanted for years without even knowing it. 

In her book, Tammy talks about how she pared down her possessions to only the necessities.  It was a long process, and then she and her husband built and moved into their own tiny house on wheels.  They also got rid of both of their cars, joined a car sharing service, but mostly ride their bikes.  **swoon**

Can you imagine not having car payments?  Or a huge house to clean?  Or millions of items to organize and store?  Or a ginormous mortgage?  I'm in love with the idea of minimalist living.  I'm in love with the idea of living in a tiny house.  I'm in love with the idea of not having to waste hours everyday cleaning and organizing things that ultimately don't make me or my family any happier (or feeling guilty because I didn't clean or organize said items). 

I actually got rid of over 10 garbage bags full of things, before the kids and I got sick.  And I can't even tell.  My house is not any easier to keep up.  So - I have a lot more to do.  But it feels good.  I feel great when donating items.  I feel awesome selling my stuff too, because I'm making some pocket money and still helping others out with my killer deals.  ;)


And someday, we're going to live in a tiny house (not on wheels) with a 5 foot tall, finished crawl space for food storage and seasonal items.  We'll have enough land for a garden, a couple fruit trees, and space for the girls to run and play their imaginative games.  I'll never talk Tony into giving up our car but maybe I can talk him into remaining a one vehicle family. 

That is my dream.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Today I Celebrated My Baby's Birthday.

Elle is a year!  We had a fun snowman-themed party for her with some friends.  Let the photo dump commence!  :D

(this was taken on elle's actual birthday.  we always do a candle in a muffin for breakfast and sing happy birthday, then open presents.)

(at her party. yes, i dressed her as a snowman.  her sash kept covering her button.)

(the decorations that i made.  "snow" out of pom-poms strung on thick thread and a banner out fabric and bias tape.  quick and easy.)

(we decorated little snowmen with toilet paper and winter accessories.  i had thought the older kids would like to decorate the younger kids, but the older ones wanted to be the snowmen!)

(elle was super excited about the toilet paper.  i usually take it away from her.)

(ash, the snowman)

(elle wasn't a big fan of her top hat headband.)

(i like big bows and i cannot lie.)

(we also made snowmen out of marshmallows, pretzel sticks, frosting, toothpicks, chocolate chips and orange tictacs.  the ones made with three marshmallows didn't stay standing for very long.)

(the food.  i really wanted the bagels to look like this but we ran out of time.  that snowman cake looked better in my head...)

(ash enjoying her snacks.)

(i think this was elle's first time eating pretzels.)

(she was so excited about everyone singing to her.  britt blew her candle out for her.)

(opening presents.)

(one of her presents was a hooded towel.  she loves it.)

 (i had a lot of fun putting the favors together.  i drew faces on the candy bar, lollipop, and gum.   tony made the labels for the play-doh, bubbles and tictacs.  and i glued shapes on the juice boxes to make faces.)

(seriously?  where did the time go??  it didn't feel long enough to be a year.)