Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eating the Colors of Fall

For Thanksgiving this year we skipped the green bean casserole and tried something new.
Roasted root vegetables with fresh herbs.
Beets, parsnips, rutabegas, sweet potato and carrots drizzled with a bit o' olive oil and sprinkled with fresh rosemary and sage.
As you can see, Gabriel couldn't wait to get his hands on them.
They were YUM!
The colors reminded me of this:
Which made me smile.
Because I love fall colors.
Especially when I can eat them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Colors of Fall!

The colors of FALL!
Happy Fall Everyone!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Visit to the Zoo

Or What Homeschoolers Don't Know How To Do . . .

Yesterday was homeschool day at the zoo. It was also public school day at the zoo.
The two (homeschool and public school) groups waited in the parking lot while we were given the safety guidelines, the first thing we were asked to do was line up . . . the public schoolers lined up like little soldiers, while the homeschoolers kind of  . . . drifted around.
Lines have no beginning and no end.
Apparently neither do Homeschoolers.

Both groups were escorted into a small area for a short presentation before exporing the zoo.
We were introduced to a monkey named Zoe.
Her mom died of heart disease and she is now being raised by the Zoo Family.
And we were also introduced to Mack, an Albino Burmese Python that was left behind at a truck stop. Hence his name . . . Mack.

The two zoo ladies asked questions . . . the homeschoolers blurted out the answers while the public school kids raised their hands. Homeschoolers aren't taught to raise their hands. I like to think we're just so excited about learning, we just blurt out the answers as they come!

We did get to see rhino's . . .
how perfect is he?!
The rhino isn't too bad either. He even urinated for us. When reflecting upon such a scientific observation of normal bodily functions I quote another homeschool mom,
 "He pees like a hose."

Freakishly funny looking things. Camels are like a train wreak. I couldn't stop looking at them.
Or my beautiful girl. Whose actions often lead to train wreaks.

Another observation I observed, rather overheard was,
Oy! I had nightmares about staying with my group. But I had no idea who my group was.
I'm very thankful my kids feel free enough to go their own ways and not stay with the group.
I said it before and I'll say it again . . .


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fabulous 40!

This is what greeted me upon returning from my 40th birthday morning run . . .

And this . . .
My girl and dog . . .
and my man's bum,
but don't look at that, okay?

 I'm 40.
I'm proud.
I'm a hot mama.
Or so Todd tells me.
I love the way he lies . . .
Bubba Deux spots a rabid squirrel!

Actually the squirrels aren't rabid.
They like to feast on my garden,
so I don't hold them in high regard.

Our front porch was the place to be that day.
Homemade cards are the best.

Pineapple upside down cake is the 2nd best.
Did I mention I was 40?
Me, rocking the au natural look.
But then who cares when there's whip cream to put on pineapple upside down cake?

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.
I can't wait to see what this year brings.

Yours Truly,
The 40 Year Old Hot Mama!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy October!

I'm so excited the holiday season has finally arrived!

I mean, I've only waited TEN whole months for this.

T'was a few days before Halloween . . .
okay fine . . .
 a few weeks before Halloween
and all through the house,
the decorations are FINALLY up . . .

I got this groovy idea from Christel . . .
Christel used a painters canvas, mine is wood.
 Just thought I'd practice before trying the real thing.

I love my Halloween-y curtains!
And I found these orange shag rugs up in my attic.
Perfect for Halloween!

Mr. Pumpkin Head is filled with Halloween Oreos . . .
and he's got his eye on my caramel apple!
Death to Mr. Pumpkin!
Oh wait, that comes later. . .
We love caramel apples!
'We' being french for Cali and I.
The boys won't eat caramel apples.
Boys are weird.

I saw this on someone else's door.
So I was a copy cat and made one for ours.
Except I hung it in our family room.
Which makes me a semi-copy cat.

I took our Halloween tablecloth and gave it a new life . . .
I cut it in two and made valences for our dining room/school room windows.

My kids already hard at work with the tricks . . .
Huh! As if I wouldn't notice a big green ripper on my car seat!
Silly Rabbit!
Tricks are for . . . uh, oh yeah . . . kids.
Happy Halloween Everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom/Grandma!

Happy Birthday Grandma!
Our wish is that you have a great one!
We saved you a piece . . .
But we don't think it'll last very long.
We love you so much!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Visit to Two Civil War Battlefields

This past week we had an opportunity to visit two Civil War Battlefields here in Virginia.

Gaines's Mill and Cold Harbor.

We walked the paths where both Union and Confederate soldiers walked, fought and died.
This is Ranger Pat.
She did an amazing job at bringing history to life for our group of homeschoolers.
Ranger Pat told the story of how the Union troops were advancing on Richmond, if they could take Richmond, the Civil War would be as good as over.

The thing with Virginia is that we have a lot of trees.

The Union troops were at a pivotal point in their attack, but there were so many trees in their way, they ordered axes to chop down the trees.

The axes arrived sans the handles. Apparently in those days the ax handles came separately.

Since they forgot to order ax handles, the trees stayed intact.

Methinks someone wasn't paying attention when Uncle Bo was talking about gun safety.

That cannon belonged to the Union troops.

Ranger Pat also told us a story about a Union Soldier.

Simon O'Day was the oldest of 10 kids and came to New York from Ireland.

Simon settled down, married and had a child.

When his wife and daughter died, he joined the army.

He fought at Gaines's Mill, and when the fighting got intense, he asked his friend, if he didn't make it, to please take his watch and send it to his family back in Ireland and they'd know he didn't survive.

Simon O'Day died at Gaines's Mill, his watch was sent to his family in Ireland.

Simon's youngest sister never knew her brother, but she heard stories. When she was old enough, she traveled to Virginia to try to find Simon's grave, she was unsuccessful, but she told her kids about their brave uncle. And the story was passed on to each generation after.

Eventually Simon's family found his grave.

He is buried at Cold Harbor, approximately a mile from where he died.

I love learning about our history.


We don't need no stinkin' desks!

Because that's how we homeschoolers roll!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Families are Incredible!!

I cannot think of anything more incredible than our family.

Except for maybe Christel's chocolate sheet cake with peanut butter icing.

But families are forever and Christel's chocolate sheet cake with peanut butter icing barely lasted for the two days we were there. YUM!

Here are a few pictures of our trip, they are in no particular order, because I'm a bit lazy right now, and because of my laziness, this particular post won't show everyone we visited.

Bear and Stef!

So in love!

Thanks so much for the wonderful dinner!

Caleb and Cole!

Gabriel and Cali visiting their Colorado cousins.

That L Gabriel made with his fingers, that's for LOVE . . . not loser. . . at least that's my story and as his mother, I'm sticking to it.

I think Colorado is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Uncle Bear teaching how to BBQ!

This is moi, after nearly 10 hours of travel.

Is there anything better than holding a new baby?

I think not.

Gabriel and CalebI love how cousins can pick up where they left off,

like years haven't passed since they had last saw each other.

This is my family.

Don't'cha just love behind shots?

Especially a daddy holding his youngest son's hand.

Huge thank you to Bo who took my one and only son out shooting.

I'm not a gun person, but for some reason my son has developed a curiousity with them.

I can think of none other I'd trust more to teach my kids how to shoot than one of my brothers.
I am very grateful for that.

Grandpa and Cold Stone.

It's a tradition, not to be broken.

Stay tuned . . . there's more to come.

Love ya!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Freakishly Tall, Yet Extremely Healthy!

Gabriel and Cali had their annual well child check up today.

Beautiful kids . . . I know.

I made them myself!

Okay, Todd did help a little,

but I did most of the work myself.

Gabriel is 12 years 3 months and comes in at a whopping 5' 7" tall

and weighs 103 pounds!

Cali is 9 years 1 month, is more petite at 4' 10" tall and weighs 75 pounds.

Best of all . . . both are in optimum health.

My world is perfect.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Going Commando in California

Baby James took a road trip this weekend . . .

to visit his California Mama and canine siblings.

Here James is showing Miss Beverly and Duke how to make rumbling noises simply by blowing on his arm.
Duke was amused.

C'mon in Duke! The water's fine . . .
Is Capri Sun carbonated?
I don't think Mama Monk's home will ever be the same.

But you know what?

I don't think she'll mind one bit.

Here's to those sweet California Dreams!