Missing Eggs – We Found Some!

We have chickens and the past few weeks we have seen a decline in eggs in their coop.  We haven’t been able to figure out where they are all going!  Some days (like today) we only had 2 in the coop and other days only 6-8 over a couple of days and we should have more!  We know we are missing our Easter Egg layer’s eggs because she is the only one that lays the blue-green eggs.  The rest of the bird lay brown eggs.  We have solved part of the mystery!  My husband found some tonight in a bucket close to where their food is.

IMG_7119

These are the eggs of either multiple birds for a few days or one bird for almost two weeks.  We are not sure which.  Thankfully the bird hasn’t pecked at their eggs if it is only one bird’s stash of eggs.  No Easter Eggs in that bunch so we are still not sure where she is laying.  Hopefully, we will find them soon!

Have a blessed evening!

Super Surprise! – Part 3

This is Part 3 of my weekend retreat.  If you have missed the first two here is Part 1 & Part 2.

After the wonderful fellowship at the craft bazaar we went back to the hangout villa for dinner.  More yummy food and sadly I have no pictures the food.  😦

We had the famous bonfire and prayer time.  It is a special time that has become a tradition for the group.  We did run into some hiccups when things for the bonfire were supposed to be there but were not.  That didn’t damper anything as it gave us some extra special bonding time while waiting for Callaway Gardens to bring the supplies.  In post 2 I mentioned I found my camera mounts for my tripod recently so I brought the tripod with me to the bonfire.  I am so glad that I did because we were able to take a group shot with everyone in it!  I was also able to get some photos of the group fellowshipping while we were waiting!  By the time we were done with prayer time it was close to midnight and everyone was ready to head back to the villas!

The next morning was a bit sad because the first people were leaving to return home.

A group of us went back over to Callaway Gardens.  A few people wanted to go on Callaway Gardens Treetop Adventure.  I went to help with the baby (one of my friends cutie pies) but I got delayed getting there and so I wound up taking some photos and videos and cheering the ladies on instead!  It looked fun and I texted David telling him that he and I should go there sometime and do that!  🙂  For those who don’t know me that is usually not my cup of tea!  The ladies went on the short course which takes about 40 minutes.  There were 5 zip lines and about 20ish other challenges.

After the ladies were done we went over to the Discovery Center to their gift shop.  I found it!  I found my secret sister’s ornament!  I don’t have my secret sister yet but I have her ornament!  🙂  I looked through the ornaments that they had out but nothing said “that’s the one”.  I asked the lady who was working at the counter if they had any ornaments.  She said that they didn’t have their Christmas stuff out yet but showed me the ones that they had out, including a couple of Callaway Gardens Ornaments.  I briefly explained that I was looking for a special ornament for my secret sister.  She said hold on a minute.  She explained that she wasn’t supposed to do this but she brought out a couple of ornaments that will be coming out when they set up their Christmas merchandise.  One of the ornaments that she brought out was it!  I pray that she doesn’t get into trouble for selling a couple of ornaments early (someone else bought the other ornament that she brought out).  I did also buy one of the Callaway Gardens ornaments that was already out for my family.

We then spent some time just chatting while we were waiting to catch up with some others from our group.  On our way to lunch we stopped by the Sibley Horticultural Center.  They had a Collegiate Football Topiary Display,

 

IMG_2641

IMG_2646

IMG_2647

IMG_2648

IMG_2649

IMG_2653IMG_2650

They had a football field display and had Albert (UF’s mascot) and the LSU topiary on the field.

After we were finished we went to lunch at small littler diner.  Sorry no pictures either.  😦  For someone who loves to take pictures I realize how many photos I didn’t take this whole trip!  I stayed a lot longer than planned (since I had a long drive home) but it was well worth getting to spend more time with new friends!

The ride home was uneventful until the road was closed down to one lane and the backup was a mile long. 🙂  It added about an extra long hour to my trip.  The next day my 2 year old was glued to my hip even more than she usually was.

If you are part of the group and are reading this if you have never gone on the weekend retreat you won’t regret going!!

Have a blessed night!

Super Surprise! – Part 2

Part 2 of my super surprise!  Part 1 can be read here.

For dinner we had a salad bar and baked potatoes. There were a few different kids of tea to drink.  Yummy!!

IMG_6981

We spent more time fellowshipping and getting to know one another.  After dinner everyone who has gone to a prior retreat shares one of their favorite memories for the years past.  I really enjoyed getting to hear some of the stories!  Next year I will have a few to share.  🙂

We were given our room assignments.  A special card and a beautiful homemade item was made for everyone.  My homemade item was a beautiful gingerbread ornament.  Yay!  A sister ornament and it is not even secret sister time! (I will eventually have a Secret Sister post because it is almost that season!!)

IMG_6983

My roommates were “D” and “J”.  “D” was one of my secret sisters in the group.  The room was larger than a standard hotel room.  I never thought about taking pictures of our room.  There were two queen bed with a sitting area that had a desk, a big closet, and a couple of dressers.  The bathroom was huge!  It had a small walk-in closet, two sinks with a good size counter top, and then the shower and toilet was in its own little room.  Our villa was a two story, 4 bedroom villa.  Two of the rooms were upstairs and two were downstairs.  There was a kitchen and a living room downstairs too.  I also never thought about taking pictures in the villa.  The nice thing about the two bedrooms downstairs was that they also had outside access from the room.

I cannot remember what time we all woke up Saturday morning, I am going to guess sometime around 8 AM.  We went over to the hangout villa for breakfast and more fellowship.  We had a delicious egg casseroles, baked oatmeal, and other goodies.

After breakfast we were left to do what we wanted to do.  There was going to Callaway Gardens, horseback riding, and a high ropes course as some of the available options.

A group of us went over to Callaway Gardens to see their birds of prey show and see the butterfly gardens.  When we first went in there was a local wood work artist.  He and his wife created bowls our of wood.  They also had made handles for cork screws out of the same wood.  Amazing!  I didn’t think about asking if I could take a picture so I don’t have any pictures of it.  Next, we ran over to the main gift shop.  I was looking to see if I could find an ornament for my secret sister this year and what else they had.  They had a few ornaments and nothing stood out although I saw an ornament that could be a possibility for my family.  Their Christmas items were not out yet.

Next, we saw the birds of prey show.  They brought out a few of their birds and they did fly overs.  It was so cool.  My two year old would have loved watching the show!

IMG_2342

IMG_2344

IMG_2388

After the show we walked over to the butterfly center.

IMG_2392

IMG_2393

At the butterfly center I was asked if I was talking promotional photographs.  🙂   Just day or two before I left on my trip I found my camera mounts for my tripod so I decided to bring it along with me on my trip!   Best decision ever!  It came in handy for a group shot later that evening and also taking some night photos (more about all of that later!)!  It made it nice having it with me at the butterfly gardens.  I bought some seeds for flowers that are supposed to attract butterflies so the older girls and I can plant some flowers in our front yard.

IMG_2424

IMG_2415

We got back to the villas and ate a quick lunch as the afternoon event had already started.  They had a craft bazaar for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  Some of the ladies who have their own business or are a consultant for a company brought things to sell!  I will end Part 2 of this post with links of some of the ladies who had tables there.  I do not receive any money or items from these links I just want to share them!!  Please check them out!

Borne Again Gifts & Treasures
Jamberry – Beth Gleason
Mary Kay – Michelle Deckard

Super Surprise! – Part 1

My hubby had a super surprise for me at the end of last week!

One of the homeschool groups that I am a member does an annual retreat every year.  I was planning on going until the Lord revealed that the money should be saved for something that we are saving for instead of being spent on going to the retreat.  I was fine with the decision but I didn’t anticipate how hard it would hit me.  Everyone was posting about packing, shopping, and traveling that week.  I did a lot of crying on Thursday and even doubting that I shouldn’t have changed my mind.

Thursday night David came home to a very upset wife.  I didn’t have dinner ready, I was upset, and he could tell that I had been crying.  The tears were more than just not being able to go.  Some were due to that but the majority was due to another decision I made a while ago and still suffer the consequences of my actions.  Take my word and when the Lord tells you to do something or not do something listen to Him!!  I am so thankful for His grace and forgiveness!

We talked and then the surprise came.  He asked me if we had the money would I still go.  I said if I had the money for both then yes I would go but I wasn’t going to take away money that the Lord told me to specifically use for something else.  He told me he had the majority of the money for both but I would have to wait a few more days for entire amount!!  Then the waterworks started again!

I made some quick calls and sent some messages.  My mom said I could still borrow her car for the weekend and she would watch the kids on Friday because David had to work.  I contacted my friend “T” at 8:30 Thursday night to see if there was space and she said, “Come!!!!!”.  She also said not to tell anyone and I could surprise them. 🙂

I quickly packed so I would be ready to go first thing in the morning.  In the morning, I dropped the kids off at my parent’s house.  They were thrilled to spend the day at grandma’s house and also see their aunt who is staying there while my brother is out of town for work.  The car ride was very long and driving by myself was not fun.

I keep my friend “T” in the loop of where I was at during the drive and despite GPS directions from the place that we were staying drove me to a spot in the middle of the woods with no roads near by.  🙂  I drove a little bit further and found the entrance to the park and then figured out where I needed to go.  It was quite interesting because “T” wasn’t at the villas when I arrived and no one knew that I was coming.  I sat outside for about 5 minutes figuring out if I was in the right place because nothing like going up to a door with a room full of people and it being the wrong door.  Also, I had never met any of these ladies in real life.  We have been talking for a few years on-line but it never worked out to meet any of the face to face.  “J” was the first lady that I met.  She was walking out to her car when I rolled down the window.  I introduced myself and she introduced herself and she said go on in.  It gave me the courage to get out of the car.

When I walked in the door I was quickly welcomed by a bunch of wonderful ladies who I had only seen pictures of!  They were very surprised because they knew I wasn’t planning on going!  Even though I had never met them in person before that night and most of them had met at least one other person in the room before that night you couldn’t tell!  They took the time to get to know everyone and make everyone feel welcomed!

Friday evening I was expecting them to have already eaten dinner by the time I got there.  I left 1.5 hours later than planned and then traffic and other stops added extra time to the trip.  It was around 7:30 by the time I got there and found the villa where everyone was hanging out in.  It helped tremendously that they hadn’t eaten dinner yet.  We were able to start bonding with each other over the meal.

– More Coming Later –

A, E, I, O, U Los Vocales en Español

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

My kids love La Clase Divertida Level 1!  My three year old even gets excited when it comes on either on DVD or the practice CD.  I have heard my two year old say a couple of the vowels using the Spanish pronunciation!  They don’t always sit in during the time we watch the lessons (we do the bulk of our schoolwork during their naptimes) but sometimes they do.

I first heard about them at our local homeschool convention in 2014.  I wasn’t quite ready to purchase it then but after learning more about them and reading reviews by the time the convention in 2015 rolled around I knew that would be one of our purchases!  Señor Gamache spoke with us for a while.  By the time we are done with all three of the elementary levels our kids will be ready for high school Spanish!  WOW!  That impressed me!

They have recently (as of Spring 2015) updated the container the curriculum came in.  It used to be a box and now it is a very durable zippered pouch, with a handle.  They are color coded by year and since we are in year 1 our bag is yellow.

Level 1 came with:

  • Durable zippered pouch to store all materials
  • 2 DVDs with a total of 15 lessons
  • Practice CD
  • 2 Student packs, including materials for the crafts.

Additional Student packs can be purchased for very reasonable prices!  $15 for each student pack, without the practice CD and $25 for each student pack with a practice CD (for co-ops and classes with students from multiple families).

The only thing you need to have on hand are items that you need for the cooking segments, items for the piñata in lesson 14, and some other common items like glue, colored pencils, crayons, glue, etc.  The entire list is listed at the top on page V of the teacher’s manual.  Most items you should have around the house and if you don’t they are very inexpensive.

They have a suggested two week plan on page V of the teacher’s manual.  You watch one lesson three times a week for two weeks (6 times) and listen to the practice CD in between and in the car.   I find for our family that works out perfect!  I also don’t stress if we only watch it 5 times instead of 6 because I know they will get review in the following lessons.  Our practice CD stays in the car and my kids will ask to listen to it.

It is suggested that you wait to complete the workbook activities after you have watched the lesson at least twice.  I split up the pages.  I do have of the activities on Friday of week 1 and the other half at the end of week 2.  I have found that the majority of the workbook pages are geared towards older kids.  I wish there were some more activities for younger kids or a separate activity book for younger kids.  There is a lot of writing and I find it is too much for my little girls.  I fill in some of the pages and for the others I will ask them what the answer is and I will help them write the answers in.

Of the lessons we have done my girls can verbally answer any questions.  My 7 year old will ask me how to say other words in Spanish.  Since I took Spanish in high school and college thankfully I can answer her questions.  🙂  My three year old will repeat some words and will participate while we sing ‘Los Vocales en Español’.  He gets excited when he hears the intro music that plays before every lesson.  He will scream “A, O, U!” at the top of his lungs!  He will also repeat any Spanish words my 7 year old asks him to say.

They have a sample of their program on the page for level 1 found here.

Have a blessed day!

*None of the links on this post are affiliate links.  I do not make any money by someone clicking on the said links.  I purchased this curricula with my own money.

Favorite Resources

Here are some of my favorite resources, including curriculum.  This is not a full list and none of these links are affiliate links.

All About Reading
All About Spelling
Answers in Genesis
Apologia
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Here to Help Learning
IEW
La Clase Divertida
Making Math Meaningful
Teaching Textbooks

Christian Book
Currclick
Homeschool Resource Roadmap
LessonTrek
The Old Schoolhouse
Rainbow Resource Center
Schoolhouse Review Crew

Neighborhood Friends & the park

My husband works all over the area.  He installs cabinets for a few companies and contractors.  Sometimes we will bring him things or get lunch for him.  Usually only when he is working close.  This particular day he was working on the other side of the county and he needed us to bring him lunch.  When we got to the house that he was working at we saw these birds.  I was surprised with how close they stayed to us.  Some of these photos were taken by my 7 year old.

IMG_1863IMG_1864IMG_1878

Afterwards, I took the kids to the park and we invited my mom to join us.

IMG_1936

IMG_1939

IMG_1970

IMG_2007

IMG_2009

Have a blessed day!