Saturday, September 20, 2008

Genuine Seal Skin Mittens

We have been studying the Inuits of North America. So of course we had to sew our own genuine seal-skin and polar bear fur mittens that the Inuits would have worn in Alaska. The boys were concerned about hunting seals so we shopped for our furs at the local Joann's. Ours came as polar fleece. Much easier to obtain and less messy. The kids sewed their own taking turns at the sewing machine. I only had to use the seam ripper on Kaleb's 3 times. Three times a charm. Where in Arizona are these children going to wear them you may ask? In the freezer section of the grocery store of course. Or maybe that "one" day in Phoenix that it gets cold. They make great dust mits. Either way it was fun to do and made a great learning experience.

Ride 'em Cowboy

This cowboy costume was Jared's about ten years ago. It has resurfaced and has been worn by Cowboy Kaleb and now by the infamous Tori girl and her faithful stead Juna-Juna. (Don't ask) She explained how to brand cattle with a branding iron as she was holding a tube with a "X" stand. I think it is actually a stand for a flag or something. She did a good job telling me how they put the end in the fire and then poke the cow as she pokes the refrigerator with the end. Smart kiddo.

A Friendly Visitor

This little gecko snuck through the door last night and ran up the wall onto the clock. They hang out over our doorways outside. One fell onto my shoulder once. Anyway, we had a heck of a time catching this little guy. I was standing on a chair being brave, it is only a lizard after all. The crazy thing jumped onto my hand...I jumped onto the floor...Victoria and Kaleb screamed...the lizard dissappeared under the table. It took 15 minutes and 3 flashlights under the table to find this little guy. Daphne to the rescue. This time Kirk caught him. No screaming there. He is now safe back outside catching bugs over our door way once again.


Murphy is the largest dog we know. He is a huge Goldendoodle. Kelly's family adopted him when he was a little smaller. The girls still think that they can ride him like a pony. When he lays on the floor there isn't much space left. He is only two years old too. Imagine a bundle of energy running through the house at his size. He is great though. We all love him. He has been known to eat items of clothing too. Large items of clothing. And he loves cotton balls. He and Henry rough house when they are together. We can only get them together when the weather is cooler though because they play so hard we don't want them to get over heated. It is quite a scene with him being so big though. Henry will jump up and push off of Murphy's chest then roll down between his legs. Murphy reminds me of Clifford the big red dog.

Little People Co-op

We had our first Little People Co-op on Mon. My friend Kelly and I are on round two of our co-op days. The first co-op we used to do involved our older kids. But now that she has graduated one out of High School and her next and Daphne are Sophmores it is harder working the schedules. So last year we started over with our younger ones. The Little People. The theme was Hermit Crabs. Here is a picture of Rusty whom we borrowed from my mother. Long story as to how she acquired two hermit crabs. Anyway, they were a great asset to our unit study on Hermit Crabs. They enjoyed walking among the crayons and pencils and paper. They didn't like glue sticks though. Must have smelled too strong.
They made these cute lobsters out of canned pears and peaches. Kelly is really good at creating something out of food. Our children have been blessed over the years with making creations out of edible supplies. The table cloth makes it look like we are at a clam bake.

Toby Cat

Toby is a huge cat. He is 12 now but even when he was a kitten he was huge. He and Jared were buddies growing up. There was one time Jared was teasing him. He was about 10 months old at the time. He was crawling after Toby bugging him. All of a sudden he comes crawling back into the room really fast with Toby riding on his back. Nails and all. I wish I had a picture. It was priceless. Anyway, Toby always has this look on his face. He always looks so tough and he is the biggest fraidy cat we have ever known.

The Cooking Show

Victoria loves the Cooking Show. I think she likes the whole idea of mixing and stirring all the ingredients together. When she plays the Cooking Show she will even talk like Rachel Ray or Sara Lee. I am really hoping that as she continues to grow I may be able to hand over the wooden spoon and have her cook our meals. I's hopeful. It is okay to wish for these things. Anyway...I was making dinner and Daphne came into the kitchen and said "You might want to see what Victoria is doing in the living room". That is always cause for concern. This is what I found her doing. She was sitting at the coffee table dressed in her nurse in training scrubs watching Rachel Ray. She emptied half a bottle of salad dressing into a bowl with carrots. She was mixing(of course) and spooning the coated carrots into another bowl. When I asked her what she was up to she said with a huge smile on her face..."I'm doin the cookin show...I'm doin it with her!" I have to admit, she wasn't making a mess. It was all well contained. It could have been worse. Now she did empty half a bottle of salad the livingroom! I picked my battle and told her that she needs to do that stuff in the kitchen and not waste food. She said "okay".

Friday, September 5, 2008

Crazy Quilt

I love to quilt when I have time. This was on my list this summer to complete a project. I have had this US panel for 8 years in the bottom drawer of Kirk's dresser. I just never had the nerve to do anything with it thinking that I would mess it up and it wouldn't turn out. I finally came up with an idea to do these Crazy Roman Pillars. I asked the boys if they were interested in helping. They made quite a few squares. Kaleb was really getting into it. It only took about a week to assemble the face and then maybe another weeks work to quilt it. It is amazeing how much you can do in 15 min. increments. I like how the water quilting turned out. Plus it was fun to do. I guess I will have to wait until next summer to do another one. Those are Daphne's toesies at the bottom.


The kids are always game for trying to get certain pictures for fun. I love having a digital camera because you can take a hundred pictures just to possibly get the one you were trying to get. We mostly like to experiment. Anyways, I was just standing in the water and the boys were swimming up to me underwater. It was really neat watching the bubbles as they were surfacing. So I managed to get this one of Jared. The one of Victoria was completely unexpected. She had just been screaming about not wanting to get her face wet until Poppa sat down to watch them swim. All of a sudden she started dunking underwater to show Poppa how she can hold her breath. I don't think he realized how privelaged he was for such an occasion. The sparkles in the water looks like fairy dust.

Silly Sugar

We have been blessed with swimming at Nana and Poppa's house this summer. My Mom was helping Victoria swim using the noodle and Sugar, who loves to swim, swam right up and hung on the noodle with Victoria. First she swam across my Mom's arms and rested there. When she came around again she swam right up and grabbed onto the noodle and was kicking her hind legs just like Victoria was. Sugar is really cute but she is wierd too. She is a little Psycho. Atleast she is good around the kids. She really likes Victoria . I think because she is small. She keeps my parents entertained.

Roller Queen

Victoria and Daddy found these cute Barbie roller skates at the thrift store for $4. Of course she had to try them out. Kirk was thinking that he was going to have to hold her up but she put them on and started skating around the store looking for me. Daddy and I were very impressed. I am really the only one who can roller skate in our house. I think they got all of their Dad's genes when it comes to skating. I am very excited to have someone know how to skate. So anyway, every time we turn around, Victoria has these skates on. She eats breakfast in them, she did school in them... Notice the frilly socks turned up. She claims that they "go with everything". Which I guess gives her the excuse to be constantly wearing them.

First Day of School's time to start school again. Summer just wasn't long enough. The kids were ready but Mom could have had another month...or so. This was Kaleb's idea to stand in order. We take pictures every year in the same place. The kids really enjoy seeing how much they grow year to year. Victoria is a little taller in the picture. She is wearing roller skates. Daphne is 10th grade, Jared is 7th grade, Kaleb is 3rd grade, Victoria is very proud to be a Preschooler and Mom is on the leading edge of being a master-mind of the fine art of Multi-tasking. Whew!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Alexander

Our oldest child! Look who's 20!! Alex was hatched 20 years ago. He was a wee flat pancake of a tortoise living in an aquarium. Look at him now. He is quite the social guy. He comes out of his house when the kids come out to play or if you have to dig a hole for irrigation he will surely inspect it. When he was a baby he became most active when I vacuumed the carpet. And he always seems to know where I am standing in a group of feet. He will seek my toes out and then settle at my feet. He has also been known to settle next to you if you are laying on a blanket in the yard and even crawl over your back. He has been known to come right in the back door with splayed legs on the wood floor since he can't get any traction. The most annoying thing he does is get in the way when we are trying to mow the lawn. We have to put him on our little side yard which then he gets himself wedged inside the shed in the most remote place that he could possibly find. No use scolding him. He is so cute, don't you think so too?

The Whole Neighborhood

I know it looked like we had the whole neighborhood at our house but it was really only one family. My high school friend Maryanne and her whole family, totalling 8, came for dinner on Sunday. I just noticed that I missed getting a picture of her youngest Brendan, who is 2 and her husband Pat. The kids cooled off on our water slide which barely fits in our backyard.
Daphne and Mary are the same age and have known each other since they were babies. Of course they hung out doing girl,talk,talk.
Isn't she pretty? Maryanne and I have alot of history together at Friday night football games, chatting every morning during home room, to kids, husbands, homeschooling... We just pick up where we left off. I love her. We have always wanted to live in the same neighborhood but always knew that we probably wouldn't get anything done if we did. It was fun having them over.

Visiting Friends

We drove down to Queen Creek to visit with Pastor Phil and Abby. This is their little granddaughter Madeline. She is adorable and the same age as Victoria . So we always have something in common to talk about. They are awesome Grandparents and wonderful friends. They always are interested in what the kids are doing. We love visiting with them and always seem to run out of time when we see them. I am bummed that I didn't get a picture with them in it. Oh well, I guess it will give us an excuse to visit with them again.

I thought these two pictures were cute. I did try to take some of the boys but they were always under water. Daphne looks like a pretty mermaid with beautiful straight teeth might I add. I can't help but look, I gotta see where our money is going!