Saturday, August 31, 2013

Zip Line!

We have been having a great time in the mountains this week.  Since this was the week we were supposed to be in San Fran, we decided to do a few more touristy things than we normally do when we are up here. I'll post photos of our other adventures soon, but here are some from zip lining yesterday. Great operation outside of Leadville. Highly recommend them!

Friday, August 30, 2013

August Homeschool Review

I already like planning our homeschooling month to month. August plans went somewhat as planned although we did cancel our San Fran trip and a rainy week in Dallas changed some of our plans. Here's what got done...
  • Farm Camp - DONE! Big success. Jack was even pictured and quoted in a local paper
  • Overnight Camp (Kate) - DONE! Big success. Kate wants to go for a full week next year.
  • Dallas Trip - great time with friends, ended up visiting the CR Smith Air Museum. Not sure the kids got much from the physics of flight displays, but they loved the Lego exhibit. And I loved the flight simulator.
  • San Francisco Trip - CANCELLED! (too much summer travel & too many visitors - we decided to relax and stick close to home)
  • Rhino study - this has been really interesting (as are all the animal studies!). Rhinos relate to our Africa study, and I was hoping to observe the rhinos at Fossil Rim Wildlife park. Maybe on our Sept trip.
  • August reading list for each child - I had a revelation about Jack's reading this month which distracted me from assigning anything for Kate. That's okay. I'm thinking I'll just *assign* one book a month and let her choose all the rest.
  • Math (Xtra Math & IXL) - kids did this almost every day without complaint, so I'll have them keep up with that in Sept.
  • Apple 1:1 at least twice - NADA. In September.
  • Vision Therapy (Jack) - Done. But blah.
  • Sight Words (Jack - we use this app) - a little. Not every day but enough to count.
  • Test fluency for both kids to get baseline for this year - DONE. Will keep doing this every month.
  • The Story of the World - we've been doing ancient Africa (plus some modern Africa). Fun stuff.
  • Online poetry class for Kate - started this week. I think it will be good.
  • Free Piano lessons. - Didn't happen. I'm calling a teacher this week.
  • Swim team - did one week, then gone a week, then swim hiatus until next week.
  • Weather lab - will start in Sept
  • Yetti Mountain app - ADDED - Jack has been doing this to help with his sequencing
  • Audible - ADDED - Jack has been spending lots of time listening to audio books which has been great for him.
And *my* August assignments were...
  • Take Playful Learning Spaces ecourse - started. Decided to space it out for myself
  • August Reading List - never made one...
  • Put together a baking class for the kids - still in progress
  • Put together a sewing class for the kids - Going to wait until January to do this
  • Plan activities for fall (for me and kids) - in progress

Thursday, August 29, 2013

DayBook 8.29.13

Outside my window... is my mountain backyard. The green is still dripping from last night's rain, and there is just a touch of autumn in the air.

I am thinking... about life. And friends. And where to focus my energy.

I am thankful for... 
my new(ish) running shoes. They have really made a difference with the outer arch pain I was feeling in my right foot. Definitely worth the extra $40.

From the kitchen... I have not felt like (nor done) much cooking the last couple weeks. Starting to feel the urge to be back in the kitchen again. I think it is ripe peaches putting me back in a cooking mood. Night before last we had popcorn and peach crisp with ice cream for dinner (that's my kind of dinner!!). Last night I made a new-to-us chicken and barley soup (so simple, so satisfying and everyone liked it!), cheese drop biscuits, and peach crisp for a second night in a row.

I am wearing...
 jeans and a half-zip top. Easy dressing.

I am creating...
forgot my crochet project at home. Pretty much keeping up with my online quilt class. Falling a little behind this week, but I should be able to catch up this weekend.

I am going... to firm up my fall/winter travel plans today. Need to make reservations, buy tickets, etc.

I am reading... almost done with The Next Time You See Me, quickly working my way through Overcoming Dyslexia, and really excited to start The Bitter Kingdom (gotta get myself OFF these silly young adult trilogies!)

I am hoping... but it doesn't seem to be working.

I am hearing...
 Matt washing dishes, the kids talking, and beyond that, the creek rushing behind our place

Around the house... I took some of the cabinet doors off in our mountain kitchen. Planning to paint the upper cabinets (but not this week). Looking for wallpaper to line the insides of the doorless upper cabinets.

One of my favorite things... early bedtime

A few plans for the rest of the week:
the week is almost over! Ice skating, shopping, napping, tennis, a long run, maybe some zip lining... not so bad.

Here is a picture I am sharing: no time! Gotta go ice skating!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Right Now

Mountain rainbow

Edited to add: really impressive rainbow!

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Boots and the Chickens

This morning I was cleaning Boots' cage so she was wandering in the yard with the chickens. They've never been out at the same time, and I was unsure how everyone would get along.
Rocket and Henny Penny were really curious.
All of the chickens ran if Boots started towards them. And fortunately there was no pecking.
Boots was oblivious.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

To Do List

Did pretty well this week...
  1. Hem drapes in master bedroom
  2. Freakin' get my master bedroom headboard upholstered
  3. Call for an appointment for Jack
  4. Pay small stack of bills
  5. Deposit small stack of checks
  6. Clean out the tadpole habitat
  7. Clean up the homeschool room
  8. Get email inbox down to reasonable size (<10)
  9. Make a few home purchases on Matt's day off
  10. Give book to a neighbor friend
  11. Mail package to my friend Nona
  12. Mail package to my friend Elizabeth
  13. Return/Check out library books
  14. Clean out bathroom drawers
  15. Keep up with my online quilt class
And plans for this coming week...
  1. Hem drapes in master bedroom (this is NOT going to happen this week... I should just take it off this list...)
  2. Upholster master bedroom headboard (nor is this going to happen...)
  3. Get email inbox down to reasonable size (<10)
  4. Give book to a neighbor friend
  5. Mail package to my friend Nona
  6. Mail package to my friend Elizabeth
  7. Keep up with my online quilt class (this is going to be ongoing on the to do list until December!)
  8. Look into horse riding lessons for Kate
  9. Contact piano teacher
  10. Costco returns
  11. Return/Check out library books
  12. Clean/organize desk
  13. Call chicken watcher
  14. Inventory freezer
  15. Schedule donation pick up
PS My birthday is one month from today. Just in case you needed time to plan... :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Right Now

Greek festival! Ouzo! Opa!!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

To Do List

It's that time of year where I feel all inspired to get things done, set some goals for myself. Thought I'd start by going back to my old To Do list. The last one I did was over a month ago. Very pleased that most things are checked off!
  1. Deposit kids' checks from my grandma - not done but going off the list!
  2. Go through homeschool books/junk
  3. Make vet appt
  4. Make my annual doctor appt - putting off for a bit
  5. Make my annual eye doctor appt - putting off for a bit
  6. Submit Kate's standardized test scores to school district
  7. Email homeschool program about curriculum
  8. Submit homeschool form to school district
  9. Choose paint color for guest room ceiling
  10. Change guest room brown outlets to white
  11. Buy curtain rods for guest room and Kate's room (Kate's room is on hold while we figure out paint colors together)
  12. Hem drape for short guest room window
  13. Hem drapes in master bedroom
  14. Move old dresser from garage to guest room
  15. Freakin' get my master bedroom headboard upholstered
Almost a clean slate to do list. Here's what I'd really like to accomplish this week...
  1. Hem drapes in master bedroom
  2. Freakin' get my master bedroom headboard upholstered (2a Get staples for the staple gun)
  3. Call for an appointment for Jack
  4. Pay small stack of bills
  5. Deposit small stack of checks
  6. Clean out the tadpole habitat (they have all now died... but the last one lasted about a week as a frog!)
  7. Clean up the homeschool room (Egad! It's bad in there...)
  8. Get email inbox down to reasonable size (<10)
  9. Make a few home purchases (bench for master bed, full length mirror, etc) on Matt's day off
  10. Give book to a neighbor friend
  11. Mail package to my friend Nona
  12. Mail package to my friend Elizabeth
  13. Return/Check out library books
  14. Clean out bathroom drawers
  15. Keep up with my online quilt class

Friday, August 16, 2013

Right Now

Waiting for breakfast. Making lots of noise.

Daisy & Carl are the white ones my mom raised. Carl has the poof on his head.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Right Now

Tea & my pile of books at my mom & dad's house.

Kate & I flew in today. Jack has been here since last week. Kids are easily entertained by grandma or grandma's toys. My goal the next few days is to read some unfinished books...

-The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
-Suite Francaise
-Finding Beauty in a Broken World
-Your Child's Strengths

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July Miles

Already mid-way through August!

Running - 38.75 miles
Tennis - 19 hours = 76 miles
July Total - 114.75 miles
2013 Total - 844.5 miles
Rainbow on my run last week
Lowest since March. My excuses? Travel and a pulled calf muscle. With tennis season winding down (2 more weeks - I love tennis but I need a break!), my running miles should go back up. Plus with this blog post, I am publicly committing to running a half marathon with one of my running partners in October. It will be her first, and I'm giving myself no other goal than to finish (because really my goal is not the half marathon so much but to get my miles back up). There's also talk of a Texas half marathon in February... I might set myself a time goal for that one...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Patchwork Picnic Quilt

I've always wanted a big, patchwork quilt for picnics. Now I have one. And better yet, it is one that I made myself.

Patchwork Picnic Quilt

I started cutting this patchwork quilt almost 2 years ago with scraps from the quilt I made for my mom (that I gave to her for Christmas and still haven't blogged! I forgot to take photos. I'll take some the end of this week when I'm in Texas).

I gave up on perfect flowers after the 3rd or 4th one!

I finished the top long ago. The dogwood flower quilting took me some time, especially on such a big quilt (it's just shy of 75" square). Even then, I think the quilting has been done for at least 6 months!


But the real hold up? The binding! I just don't hold still long enough to get bindings sewn on. Finally finished it up on the drive to take Kate to camp.

You can see the quilting better on the back

Now we just need to order up some picnic weather! Although it is difficult to complain about all the rain we've been having, I'd like a dinner picnic soon. And an outdoor photo of the quilt.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Right Now

Big hail storm

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DayBook 8.12.13

Outside my window... it is a lovely, cool morning. Clear skies. The peaks have gotten some snow the last couple days, but it has melted already.

I am thinking... about Kate.  She is at camp, and I can't help but wonder what she is doing and how she is doing. Did she get enough sleep last night? Does she like the food? Is she having fun?

I am thankful for... child free days! Not only is Kate at camp, but Jack is at Grandma camp in Texas.

From the kitchen... going to clean out the fridge with everyone gone and eat simply. Had my favorite avocado and fried egg sandwich for breakfast. Yum.

I am wearing...
 my lightweight, wool travel pants with an old sweater. I needed something easy and comfortable to throw on this morning.

I am creating... 
finished the binding on my big picnic quilt. Finally. I think I've been working on that darn thing for almost 2 years!

I am going... to feed the chickens and then get in bed for an early nap. I was up at 4-something this morning to take my friend Nona's dog to the airport for her long trek to Hawaii.

I am reading... so much I can't keep it all straight. Just finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns this morning. Not sure what is next.

I am hoping... to enjoy both productive and non productive time the next few days.

I am hearing...
 nothing really. Had to listen really closely to catch the clock ticking and a few birds chirping outside.

Around the house... decluttering (again!) the kids' rooms while they are gone. How does that junk pile up so fast?!? Both kids have gone up a size this summer, so I'm really going to do some damage in the closets.

One of my favorite things... crushed ice.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
 tennis match tonight, camp pick up for Kate, fly to Dallas to retrieve Jack, let my mom take care of me until Sunday!

Here is a picture I am sharing: blah... I can't get my photo stream to pull up and I'm too tired to deal with it!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Right Now

Car quilting while driving Kate & a friend to camp.

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Guest Room

I've been working on our guest room for the last 6 weeks or so. This little room was originally Kate's bedroom, but has been a bit of a dumping ground since we rearranged bedrooms awhile back.

I was a little uncertain about painting the ceiling (it's BM Colorado Gray), but I love how it turned out. I especially like that drum shade light fixture. Despite a few details to work on, it was ready for its first guest this last week (my mother-in-law).

I picked out everything and did all the work (even painting the ceiling!). Such a feeling of satisfaction!

I love my old house...

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Friday, August 02, 2013

Homeschool Moment

From a couple weeks ago at the Nature and Science Center in Austin

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Thursday, August 01, 2013