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Sharing Halloween 2014…better late than never

At least that is what I am telling myself;-)
Finally without further ado…before I once again forget to post….

What adorable costume did the little fella wear?
The Astronaut, monster or pumpkin costumes he asked for and insisted he WOULD wear?

Drumroll……

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This kid!!  The force is strong with this one…
Dancing to the beat of his own drum for sure.
But cute so he got away with it.  He was just hitting up the neighbors that are on our block for the most part and well…it was dark so maybe they didn’t all notice the stubborn toddler dressed as “a fox”.

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I can’t get over how small the gang is getting each year…the big kids are dropping off each year but lucky for Lucas we have a few stragglers and a few younger friends that still love to come and hang out with us every Halloween.
It’s a tradition around here!

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Haley and Afton went with “forest creatures” theme and they were VERY impressed by my headband making and Daryl’s makeup skills:-)

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So serious…ok not really….

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And Maddie has now been officially initiated into the family.  She was thrilled!

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Now I suppose you are thinking that the next post will be Thanksgiving but since we all came down with the plague this year…aka “Plagues-giving” you really wouldn’t care to see any pics from that family event.  Fortunately I didn’t take any;-)
We are supposed to hit Colonial Williamsburg this week to catch the holiday decorations (our favorite time of the year there!).
Can’t wait!
Kids off for Winter break?  Oh yes!!
Holiday shopping finished?  Yeah not so much……
Our own Holiday card created, printed and sent?  Not thinking this will be happening at this point.   I always have high hopes and it just never pans out.  Perhaps there is still hope…but not placing bets.
Countdown until Aunt Jill leaves for Ohio and Daryl gets off for the holidays?  Just days away!  Sad about Jill going excited about Daryl coming home for a break!
WOOHOO!!!!
Let the holidays begin:-)
Hoping you all are way ahead of me in preparing!

It’s wonderful to have talented friends!

Well it was about that time…
I was sick of my old logo.  I had bought it years ago off of an Etsy store.  The mama birdie…I loved.  But it just wasn’t unique to my little space here.  Anyone could purchase the same logo.
When my talented friend Russhe from Clementine Designs said she could design something for me that was original to this little corner of the internet world I said “OH YES PLEASE!!!! SIGN ME UP!”
Have to say….I love my new little mama bird and her three little babes to be.
I think Russhe is pretty much the bees needs at design!

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I just wanted something simple…not too fancy.
Kindof like me;-)
Since I can’t draw a stick figure….in my eyes she is Picasso of the logo world for sure<3
Thanks Russhe!!!  Love it!!!

P.S.  She is a girl of many talents…actually one of my “soul friends” (those friends that totally understand your fermented counter top and crafts everywhere)…she has a wonderful Etsy shop full of her artisan products!  Be sure to check her out!

 

Karen TateNovember 18, 2014 - 7:05 pm

I love it – but now I need to try to remember your previous logo! Sorry, guess I have not been following closely enough!

Also, you are just too young to know the expression you want is “bee’s knees” – Slang that originates from America in the 1920′s. Similar to today’s “cool”. It expresses a state of excellence in an item or action, but generally not a person. When bees flit from flower to flower the nectar sticks to their legs. The phrase “bee’s knees” means sweet and good, because the knees of the bee are where all the sweet, good stuff is collected. (These comments were borrowed from Urban Dictionary.)

You are absolutely right – she IS the bee’s knees in her design talents!

Blaming the “Ho hum” boredom on the season…

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Totally the season…
I am in this hibernation mode of “Do I have to leave the house for the next four months?  Do I have toooooooooo?”
I miss my garden…
I miss the sunshine…
I miss my little guy and I running barefoot in the backyard and our little adventures…
I miss the Summer.
I am simply not built for Winter.  At all…ever.
But until the day Daryl gets transferred to Costa Rica or something here we shall sit.  Hibernating the best I can through Winter.
And this one is chalking up to be a longgggg one.

But if you have stuck with this blog over the years you may have figured out I don’t do “cup half empty” very well.  I am definitly the “cup half full” girl.
So I find, each day, something to bring a little cheer.
I burn my oils in the diffuser.
I drink my coffee by the fire.
I read my books….lots of books.
I crochet…I tried my hand at knooking but that was a big old disaster…I have been quilting and that is fun but messy…I am going to try my hand at Tambour embroidery next because I must keep learning new things.  Must.
(How did I ever get through Winters without Youtube crafting videos?)
I teach the kids.  I drive the kids.  I feed the kids.  I clean the house and all the other boring thankless jobs every mother and father does.
I get bored.  I want to be outside.
BUT I HATE the cold.  Hate it.

So I take on even more projects.
The kids and I are starting on a new community service project for the Spring…building the website this week.  Should be live next week (I shall keep you posted).
I come to the conclusion that while I LOVE DoTerra oils I more than likely will never do anything with them but be my own best customer…not a bad thing at all.
(Not about to give up that LRP program just yet!  Man do we go through the oils around here!  I am picking up $30 in free stuff this month…what’s not to love?).
I had visions of making lots of home made lotions, balms etc… and I have actually created some pretty awesome stuff around here…..but I am pretty sure you need time for the mess it creates and well these days that “time” is better spent not making a huge mess in the kitchen (since I already clean it 500 times a day and there are STILL dishes in the sink…ugh).  Here is the deal though.  I refuse to let my family use crap products that are loaded with , who knows what.
Probably stems from my parents both dying young and so much cancer and disease on both sides.  If there is something I can do to get the chemicals out of my own families products or at least minimize it…well it’s a no brainer for me.

Did I happen to mention I have two addictions?  
1)  lotions, potions and skin care products.
2) MLM (multi-level marketing) products

Oh yes…feel free to laugh loudly at that last one.  I make fun of myself often!:-) After all,  there is a reason you mention you are selling an MLM product and your friends run away and hide for fear you will try and wrangle them into a party or buying stuff.
I learned a long time ago this is a very quick way to annoy everyone.  Heck I get annoyed by it myself.
So I don’t.
If folks want something they let me know.  If they want to “host a party” and earn free stuff they know where to find me;-)
I simply am a sucker for products that you can only get through MLM companies.  So when I came across Perfectly Posh it’s no wonder I fell in love….
They offer products that have, or in this case don’t have,  the things I look for.
Sure, they have a few products that have some things I would rather they didn’t but for the most part the products they create are products I am fine with my family using…did I mention Haley is makeup crazy these days.
I want to make sure she is slathering on things that won’t be so harmful.
Did I mention “soy free”…cause you know I am allergic to soy!  It was like they made it just for me.
Did I mention every product is UNDER $25 bucks…nice!
Did I mention the “Made in the USA” part…because most products are now made in China….far far away from folks who are really paying attention to what they are actually putting into a product let alone care.

So there it is…my Winter “keep my sanity” plan…
I am going to bury myself in busy work and teach my kiddos…while hopefully hibernating in front of a fire.
Make some stuff…
Plan my Spring garden…
It’s actually a plan I can quite get behind!
Possibly even look forward too.
Operation “make the Winter fly right by” may now ensue!

And to all my friends in Ohio…
Have fun in that;-) Better you than me…
But I have a feeling it will soon be me.
Try and keep that snow up there for me please <3

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At least Mina and Rowan don’t mind it one bit!  Cutie patooties!:-)

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No shame in being the “weak link”…

I grew up in Ohio which means I missed out on a few things…like sandy ocean beaches and hiking mountains.
Two things I fell madly in love with once moving to Virginia.
Seriously, love love love both.  Maybe the love affair is because my life was missing them for a couple of decades?  Maybe it is because we now live so close now?
When my homeschooling friend Maureen offered up a homeschool teen field trip I was like “HECK YA! Sign us up!”
I was so excited for two reasons.

  1. I love hiking any mountain.
  2. Maureen’s field trips have ALWAYS been my favorite.  They NEVER disappoint.  Ever.

Perhaps a bit of background on Maureen.  See she is this gal that HAS to be the toughest person I know.  She is ex-military, used to do the Eco-challenge Adventure Race (think hardcore challenges here) and still teaches Homeland defense classes at our local University.  She is quite simply a bada$$.  I tell her this often because one day I can only hope to be in as good of shape as she is.  The woman is a machine.
And she is kind, smart and well…just a great friend to have.  She will challenge you in every good way possible.
A girl needs a little push every once in a while to go outside of your comfort zone.

Old Rag mountain was the trail.
I think, in my mind at least, it was supposed to be “3-4 miles up and a bit of a rock scramble at the top”.
So I am thinking “I can do that…”
The original date was rained out and I am actually glad it was!  Going yesterday put us closer to the peak leaf change.  No better time of year to hike any mountain.
We met in the morning and caravaned up losing one of our carloads of folks to a carsick kiddo.  The problem was we also lost cell coverage so we didn’t know if they had to go home or push forward.  We decided to go ahead and start the trek up and hopefully they would catch up.

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What I loved most about this trail?  There wasn’t a place on either side of the mountain that didn’t give beautiful views!  Everywhere you looked was breath taking.
Poor Maureen and Nancy…they are both in much better shape than I am.
I may hike often but my pace is much different.  Think “weak link”.  For a few reasons…

  1. I am clearly not in bad shape but I am clearly not in marathon shape…lol!  I am totally at peace with that though;-)
  2. I am a lollygagger…daisy picker…”look!  Shiny light!” kindof hiker.  I want to stop and take in EVERYTHING around me.  I seriously am that girl that is in a constant state of wonder at the beauty that surrounds me.  I am a slow and leisurly kindof gal.  BUT I did the best I could at keeping focus and pace.  I did “so-so” with both.  LOL!

Those “rock scrambles”?  Yeah, so here is the thing they left out.  “Rock Scrambles” is code for “might possibly die every third step”.
It was a straight up, gloves would be nice, type of rock climbing.  It was definitely fun BUT not for the faint of heart at all!
Never have I been more thankful that I had purchased new sneakers plus new shoe cushion inserts the day before.  Probably saved my life…seriously.
Now my jeans?  Don’t get me started on my jeans!  I am at this crazy size where I am actually like a size 10 but only own a few pairs of 10′s purchased so far and that morning I grabbed a 12 and by mid hike I was losing them.  It was soooo annoying.  I was like “I should have bought jeans too!”  
Guess who is now going to chuck out every remaining size 12 that closet hides.  Tired of the “saggy bottom” look.  It simply is not a good look!  BAHAHAHA:-)
Back to the rocks…shall I show you?
Why yes, I should.
It was a lot of this…

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And Adam thought it was simply the best part of any hike EVER.

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And we survived…

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And then came one of my favorite parts!  We all caught back up together!  Car sick folks and all!
Which of course made the hike even more fun!:-)

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The plus for me was Adena…fellow shutter bug and daisy picker.   And Teresa who may not have had a camera but totally could get on board with daisy picking and shiny lights method of hiking.
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How about some “view from the top” pics…cell phone captures first…then back to the real camera (sadly I left the wide angle lens at home)

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And then came the long trek down…BEAUTIFUL.  The only adjective that fit.
We took “fire lane” down the mountain and if I ever go back this will be the trail I take…although if you ask Adam he will be dragging dad up the rock scramble trail.

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Dillan is playing “turtle”. Conner knows how to work the camera though.  Handsome fella:-)
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This wooly bear tells me “hard Winter…mild Winter…followed by a few more storms before Spring”…you can take the girl out of Ohio but not the Ohio out of the girl;-)
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Mountain trees always amaze me.  They fight hard to position themselves in the most beautiful spots.  They find a way to adapt.
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Our traditional “selfie”…must always have our shot with each other (sweet boy)

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At the end of the day I came away so thankful for these friends of ours.
Refreshed….it has been quite a year already for us.
As we merge into the world of homeschooling teens these woman and children have been part of our lives for years now.  It’s nice to know that we aren’t alone on our journey.
Homeschooling older children can be lonely for the mama’s.  It can be frustrating, challenging and altogether exhausting.
We have all been teaching our children together for years, supporting each other, crying or laughing (depending on the day) with each other.  One day when these kids have all left us I hope we can all keep our connection and go hiking or daisy picking often.  There is something just wonderful about sharing a unique journey, like homeschooling, with the same friends year after year.
They understand things that “normal mama’s” might not get.  They don’t look at you funny when you explain how you have three different kids doing three different curriculims each, or have put 25k miles on a car in 6 months driving kids to “extras”.
They understand when you are sad because you have been fretting about where each child “fits” best and can get their needs met as teens.   Knowing that each child in a family is so different from the other.
Granted I think all those worries and concerns that plague homeschooling mothers can be found in traditional school settings but I am not so sure the bond between the mothers getting to do things like hiking up ginourmous mountains together get to happen as often as they should.
Perhaps the gift is in the shared struggle and support of the process of helping each other up that mountain…not facing it alone but surrounded by each other cheering the other on.
We have the chance to support each other, minus judgement, often in our small little community of homeschooled older children.  I am ever so thankful for these woman, their children and the gift we have had to watch our children grow up together.  They have all turned into such amazing young adults.
Did I just say “young adults”?  How did this happen so fast?  Weren’t they just hunting fossils at fossil beach yesterday?  Oh wait that was years ago…
I don’t often talk about our homeschool life on here these days.
Often, because I feel like there are a million homeschool blogs out there with much better advice or wisdom than I could ever give.
I feel like homeschooling is one of those things I will just never have all the answers to give folks.
I am NOT a “this is the best fit for EVERYONE!” type of homeschooler.  I am the “this was the best fit for our family” type of homeschooler…who happened to luck out 6 years ago and connect with a lovely group of like minded mothers.
They will be in my heart for a lifetime.  I have no doubt.
Off to continue daisy picking.

Oh and yes…the stats…thanks to my Fitbit in case you were wondering;-)

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Sharing the planet…

Every year, without fail, I spend a great amount of time saving turtles off of roads.  We live in a high construction part of the world these days.
New subdivisions, box shops and schools are springing up all over the place.  This leaves the wild life left to try and figure it all out.
Hence the turtle adventures.
For years I have kept a “critter cage” on the front porch.  We have collected everything from snakes, turtles, butterflies etc…and put them in there so the kids can just observe for a few days before we set them free.

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Being the nature fan I am I have no issue with picking up creepy crawly critters…I have always found this to be an important part of the kids educations over the years.
I used to collect critters as a child…your not surprised I am sure;-)
When I was about 10/11  I had one stint raising four baby bunnies (mama died in a corn combine) I learned the hard way that wild animals are NEVER meant to be in captivity for long periods of time.  After I lost a bunny to disease I knew it was time to let them go.
At that point they would only  let me touch them and for several years I would go out in the field I set them free in at sunset, when they would hop out to feed, I would just lay there watching them and sometimes if I was very still they would come up and let me visit with them.
I remember those sunsets with my wild bunnies as a bit magical.
When something wild chooses to spend a bit of time with you it just IS.  Animals knows things about people.
I pass this magic and respect onto the kiddos as often as possible.  The chance to help a tiny creature and in return free them is quite rewarding.

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Since the beginning of the kiddos lives we have always practiced “one finger touch” ….
at least whenever I need to make sure they don’t break something or harm a critter;-)
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Why yes turtle…the lemon balm jungle would be my first pick for a new home as well!  Yum!  Lucas loves it too!

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Farewell!

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“Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?”  Job 35:11

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