Friday, January 30, 2009

Country (Romantic But Not Primitive) Master Bedroom

Today I thought I'd show you a couple of pictures of our master bedroom. I took these around Christmas time and never got around to showing them on here. So, I hope you don't mind a little Christmas decor in January (and believe me it IS only a little...our two little trees beside the loveseat).

There's not anything primitive about this room, but more what I call romantic country. We haven't worked on putting primitive touches to the bedrooms or bathrooms, although I'd like to do so in at least my guest bedroom for starters. But honestly, I've always loved our bedroom. It's a soothing, calming place to unwind. I also know blue is not "the in thing" now, but I still really do enjoy this blue. It just has a romantic feel to me.

And remember the iron wood burning stove that we got from my aunt? We use it every night and alot even during the day. She ended up giving me the iron tea kettle on top. I think that's just what it needed.

And somewhere....and I apologize but I just don't remember on which blog I read it, but there was a tag that involved looking in your sixth folder and finding the sixth picture. If you remember awhile back, I did this with the fourth folder, fourth picture and it was fun seeing what turned up. I decided to give it a go this time and this is what I found and I wanted to share it with you.

This is my brother, Richie, and his wife, Missy, on the day that he left to go to Iraq. I think this candid shot with the expressions on their faces says it all.
And for the record, he's now home safe and sound with his family after serving four months there. I'd like to say again, thank you, to all our men and women that serve in our military. And a big thank you to their families for the sacrifice they make everyday so they can. I truly admire you! Thank you!

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It Snowed! Yay!

We've been doing a little pouting around here because we wanted snow! It seems like it goes all around us and like we're in a little hole that just never gets the snow! Sometimes, we get the freezing rain or sleet, and even worse, ice, but rarely snow. We're lucky if we get one light dusting of snow a year....well I would rather say, blessed. :)

Last night it was predicted, but we've come to not put too much stock into those predictions! But I know many a public school child (yes, our local schools close down for this) that was very happy this morning! It started off as rain last night, turned to some freezing rain, then a little ice, and then we had snow on top of that this morning. Now, I know all of you that have so much snow are going to laugh at my pictures, but I assure you it made us very happy! It's a dusting of snow; However, we had accumulations in places.

Of course, we HAD to go out and play this morning...even homeschooled kids get a snow day! :) Colt opted to stay in his warm bed (he didn't have college classes either).

I thought the snow looked so pretty dusting everything! You can see here in the background where there was alot of rain first (over near my mom and dad's house):

And over at my mom and dad's house on their old lawnmower.

The trees looked so pretty too, but unfortunately, the power lines looked like this too. I'm afraid some folks a little north of us lost power. I'm thankful we didn't. As a matter of fact, our friends, Betty and Richard, in the foothills of the Ozarks, are without electricity and they're saying they may be for a couple of weeks.

Out in the fields behind the house is where we usually go 4-wheeler riding when it snows, but when Jason got home to take Joy out for a ride, the battery was dead, so they didn't get to go.

I did manage to get Joy to pose for a couple of pictures.

...but I had to put the camera away pretty quickly because she found a giant pile of snow up on my dad's pontoon and it was ON!

After this, she reasoned that there would be drifts of snow up on the pool deck, so we had to climb over the gate to get up there (the gate was frozen shut). Our snowball fight got the attention of a little furry visitor that came wandering over from next door and....well you know Joy (and I) were suckered!

I thought, "Oh no, we've just acquired another dog, but after "Jack" (so Joy called him) got his lovin', he trotted back off into the field toward the house below. The neighbors have several dogs, but I had never seen this one.

We enjoyed his little visit though and we really enjoyed our little snow. Thanks for indulging our excitement! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Giveaway, Things I Love, and Where I Blog

Crazy Ladies Primitives is having a giveaway for Valentines Day. A winner will be drawn on February 1st. Click on over and sign up! It's a really cute giveaway!

I was visiting Zaroga's blog the other night and she had a post about the letter G and things she loved that began with that letter. I'm almost always up to a writing assignment (if time permits), so I told her I'd like to play along. She assigned me the letter H. I'm supposed to name ten things that I love that begin with the letter H. It was a little more challenging than I thought, but this is what I came up with:

1) Heavenly Father - First and foremost, I love the Lord and I can't imagine living a day without his guidance in my life.

2) Husband - There's no doubt in my mind that he was created for me....I love him with all my heart and he's so good to me!

3) Home - You can probably all tell that my heart is at favorite place to be.

4) Homeschooling - I love having my kids here with me everyday and sharing in all those learning moments. I really do love it!

5) Hanging out with my family - Well you know I had to get my family in there! I love spending time with them!

6) Hugs - I love hugs....they can just make my day!

7) Holy Bible - I love having God's Word to guide me through life.

8) Heirlooms - I loved things that are passed down from the past....treasures that are sentimental.

9) History - I love history...reading about our past. It's something I never really learned in school, but am really enjoying it since we've homeschooled these 14 years!

10) Hills - Actually the mountains, but that didn't start with H! :) I love the mountains...that's my ideal dream home spot!

And here's a few more just because I'm on a roll now! lol!

11) Hoosier Cabinets - I've always loved them. I don't have one, but would love one! (I love yours Rondell!)

12) Hardwood Floors - I love my hardwood floors....and wouldn't trade them for anything (please take all my carpet!)!!!

13) Having a blog - I really love having a blog and visiting all of yours!

14) Health - I love the fact that my family is healthy and I'm so thankful for it!

So what about you want to play along? If so, just say so in your comment and I'll assign you a letter. If not, that's okay too, I still love hearing from you in the comments!

Linda showed us where she blogged (which I love by the way) and challenged us to show where we blog. Well I do have a computer nook, with a desktop, but rarely ever blog there because it's up in the loft away from the family and I prefer to be near them. So most of the time, you can find me either here:

Sitting at the dining room table (in that end chair closest to you)

Or here:

In the recliner on the right...that one is mine...Jason's is on the left!

I know it's not very interesting, but that's where I blog 99% of the time! Every once in awhile when I need to use the scanner, I do go upstairs. (I'll show you that another time.)

I hope everyone's safe and warm! As I type this (and schedule it to post), we're expected to have ice through the night and in the morning....we'll see!

Have a great Wednesday!
~ Tammy ~

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Nice Surprise in the Mail (and an Award)

I've said it before, but I've met some the nicest people online, since I first stumbled upon the Country Sampler forum, and then ventured out into blogland. It actually amazes me that there are so many good people out there, compassionate, and kind-hearted. I've seen it time and time again. I'm thankful for that.

Today, my dad stopped by after work with our mail, as he always does. I immediately saw a package in his hand. I knew I wasn't expecting anything (hadn't ordered anything), so I was anxious to see what it could be. Well it was from an online friend, Janet, that I met through my blog. She first emailed me through my profile, and we began chatting some through email. She is another prim lover. I tore into the envelope before I took a picture. And I wish I had taken a picture of it before I unwrapped the gift, because it had the prettiest red checked ribbon around it tied up so neatly! It made me happy just looking at it like that.....but it made me even happier when I opened it up and found this stitchery:

Isn't that so nice? She began stitching somewhere around the time I did my first stitchery and she has done many since. She is making up her own patterns and having fun with it and I am the lucky recipient of one of her stitcheries! Thank you so much, Janet! I love it!

And my lovely daughter gave me an award! Of course, I wanted to show it on here. If you haven't had this award, I invite you to take it and display it! Thank you, Joy!

I also want to thank all of you that have been so sweet to stop in and visit Joy's blog and leave comments too. I can't even convey how excited she is over having her own blog. She's always been very interested in watching me and reading some of your blogs along with me. Now she's working circles around me! I think she has posts scheduled for everyday this week! :) Here she is the night they were playing music upstairs (in her pjs). She was sitting nearby listening, but working earnestly on her blog post.

Thanks again for all the kindness I see and read out there! It really is uplifting! Have a great Tuesday everyone! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jammin' Session in the Loft

You see Joy alot on here, and probably wonder, what about Colt? Well, believe me when he was Joy's age, if I had a blog, he would be on it alot. He was right there with me all the time like she is now. However, these days, he's so busy with working, school and spending spare time with his girlfriend or buddies. Besides late nights, Sunday afternoons are some of those times that we do actually get to see him or spend time with him.

Last night we didn't have church services, so Colt and his girlfriend, Amber, along with her brother, Christian, came over. All three of them are involved with singing and playing instruments in church. They went upstairs to the loft which serves multi purposes. It is our library, computer nook, scrapbooking corner, and playroom. So with that said, you can imagine that it gets lots of use, and honestly it is rarely ever real tidy. So you're going to see what this may look like at any given time. I would love to have one of those organizing people come and work wonders up there! Well enough about that. Back to last night...Colt, Amber, and Christian filled the house with music. Colt and Christian both play guitar and drums, so they each had a turn at both. Amber was singing. Some of the songs we heard them do are playing on the playlist today. I really enjoy when Colt has friends over to play music. Yes, it's loud (especially being overhead), but I love music, and love hearing them! I love having him here!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Adventures of Matty and Bambi

Our cats have it made. We often pass by them lounging so leisurely on the back of the couch or on the ledge of our loft or turned upside down on the edge of the bed, and we say, "oh to have it so easy".

As it turns out, their mother (which we named Mabel) knew exactly what she was doing. June of 2007, their mother delivered them along with three other kittens in our shed. She immediately liked us (well of course we had to feed her), and carted her kittens here and there around our yard hiding them and nursing them. She hid two of them underneath my dad's truck (tucked under a fender somehow) and they ended up going to work with my dad (unknowingly) and we never knew what happened to them. The other one, Tiger, was a little too mischievious for his own good. He wandered off one day and never returned. So, we were left with the two sisters which Joy named Bambi and Matty.

Mabel was a spunky, dog-despising, gutsy little thing. She managed to get into one too many scrambles with the wrong dog and received injuries from which she never recovered. So, when she died, the two kittens were just weaned. Joy instantly became their mother. By this time it was September or October. Well, when November came around and it started getting cold, we just couldn't stand to see them at our door "wishing" to come in. They looked so pitiful. So we took them to the vet, got their shots, bathed, treated for fleas, and brought them into their new home. I'll never forget that first day. They were walking around amazed at their new pad! But of course, it didn't take them long at all to become accustomed to their new life. I often think how pleased Mabel would be to know two of her babies made well with their lives! lol!

Today I'm going to share a little bit of the "easy life" of Matty and Bambi. Matty is the black one. Bambi is the grey striped one. For the most part, they are good cats, and entertain us thoroughly.

They're never at a shortage for lovin' and they are rotten!

No opposum has anything on her....Matty will play dead. lol! Joy just flops her over on her back and there she stays.

Then there's the times that we just have to annoy them a little. We turned on our Robomaid and they weren't too sure about that.

They love to play dress up; Can't you tell? :)

Bambi especially loves Polly Pockets and all their clothes. We put them upstairs and she drags them right back downstairs and plays with them. She's a girly cat.

Apparently, Groovy Girls are more Matty's style. She's was caught lounging in the groovy girl tent.

Bambi "thinks" she can play the piano. We're trying to teach her chopsticks.

Occasionally a furry visitor makes it in from the fields around the house, and they enjoy "toying" with the poor thing. (Please disregard the dusty floors...we were putting out Christmas stuff at this time...we had boxes everywhere with lots of dust!)

After all that playing, a nap on the sunporch is nice.

Or maybe in that sunny spot in the bedroom.

Then maybe lie in the windowsill and see what's happening to the not-so-lucky creatures out in the big world.

Ah....this is the life!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A New Blog and a Favorite Homeschooling Moment

Joy has been asking for sometime now to have her own blog. She really is interested in writing and photography. We decided to let her give it a try. She will be using it to share some of her homeschooling adventures, creative writing assignments, her thoughts and interests, as well as some of her family and friends occasionally. She is asking for her own digital camera for her birthday, which is real soon, so she wants to practice on her photography skills too. With close supervision, we feel like this will be a good way for her to gain practice in many skills, including her typing and computer skills, not to mention the spelling and grammar that she will use. When you're having fun, you don't even notice you're learning! I'm sure she would love it if you would stop by and visit. She thought hard on the name, Doodlebug. She has been having fun setting everything up and taking pictures (with our cameras). She asked me to put the link on here today.

And I thought I would leave you with one of our homeschooling moments. Jason took this picture of Joy and me. This is very typical of our days, since we do ALOT of reading. You don't always find Joy right beside me...sometimes she might be lounging on the couch listening or she's even been known to be hanging upside down off the chair or couch, but when it comes to listening skills...she has them! It's amazing what a kid can hear when they can move a little! On this day, just a week or so ago, Joy was snuggled up to me....and Matty (one of our cats) was snuggled up to her. I love the moments that reading together creates. I have to say hands-down, this is my very favorite part of homeschooling!

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Best Job in the World

I have the best job in the world. It's great pay, rewarding, with wonderful benefits! The position is called "mom".

And tonight, I received a bonus! It was a really, really early birthday present! (My birthday isn't until August)! Joy evidently made this for me right after my birthday this past year and had it hidden away in her room. She was cleaning in there and found it and couldn't stand the wait. So, I opened my bonus tonight. And boy was it a good one! Wrapped in tissue paper and inside the box, I found the sweetest note and book she wrote me.

This is how the book reads:

Cover - A Wonderful Mom (with a smiley face, a picture of me with heart stickers)

Pg. 1 - A Wonderful Mom (with a heart drawn on it)

Pg. 2 - A Wonderful Mom By: Joy To: My Wonderful Mom (with a smiley face)

Pg. 3 - There once was a wonderful mom. Her name was Tammy. She had 2 kids, two cats and a lovely

Pg. 4 - husband. It was all she could ever want! Her oldest was Colt. He was 19. And her other child was Joy (otherwise known as Joy Max). She was 9. Her husband was:

Pg. 5 - I think 46 or 47. I don't really remember. Anyways, Tammy was 45. And together, they made the best, happiest family in the world (with a picture of all of us)

Pg. 6 - Tammy loved her family and her family loved her. They - as I said - were the happiest family in the whole, wide world. Anyways, they went everywhere together...they did not like to be apart.

Pg. 7 - Also they were was awesome. Anyways....that's about it....Sorry it ended so fast. Have a good summer, winter, spring, or fall.
(she drew a heart here)- Joy, the author.

Pg. 8 - I love u mom. (Drawn here was a rainbow, peace sign, star and smiley face).

On the back - Joy's wonderful mom is the star of this book. Yay!

Ah.....the perks of motherhood.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Whatcha Workin' on Wednesday

It's been awhile since I've participated in Leslie's Whatcha Workin' on Wednesday. I really haven't been up to anything crafty or especially interesting, but I decided to go ahead and bore you with something anyway! :)

Remember the desk that Jason (I mean Santa) made for Joy? Well it has been painted and finally moved into her room. We found a wall for it. Now this is just a peek at it, because it will look totally different when you see it all together. It will have a "window" above it on the wall. Actually it's framed to look like a window with each pane being a bulletin board. Then at the bottom of the window is a "window box" to hold stuff. There will also be a little added back to the desk against the wall of cubbie holes for additional stuff. But this is the basic desk. Joy is especially excited that she will have a place for the computer her brother passed down to her.

Here's a little closer look at the desk. Can you see the trim? I love this trim that Jason used! It goes in her room really well.

Probably the thing Jason and I have been working on mostly around here is our willpower, determination, and self control. Like alot of you are doing, we are trying to be healthier. We wanted to exercise everyday and drop some pounds!

So this has become a daily friend......our gazelle. I really don't mind it all. I like to think while riding it. Actually, I feel so much better when I start exercising. Jason and I are encouraging each other!

And these have become very close friends.....(I love this cinnamon pecan flavor)!

I guess you could say we're doing a combination of a Special K diet and Weight Watchers. We kind of keep up with points, but for me, it's easy to follow the Special K cereal twice a day and eat a normal meal once a day. Of course, I get a couple of breakfast bars throughout the day if I want or need them. Jason is doing the same. He, of course, gets to eat more than me!

So far, Jason has lost about 11 lbs and I have lost 10.5 lbs. And yes, that .5 is very important to me! lol! I know I only need to weigh every week, but that's hard. I tend to step on those scales everyday and I'm impatient...I want to see it go down everyday, which I know isn't supposed to happen. We've lost this amount in four weeks, so I think that's pretty normal.

Jason wants to lose about 20 lbs more. I want to lose about 10-13 pounds more. So that's what we're working on around here......lots of self discipline! :)

Be sure and check out what everyone is up to with Leslie's Watcha Workin' on Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home School Open House

For today's Homeschool Open House, I thought I'd share some of our curriculum with you.

If you want to peek in at other Homeschool Open Houses, visit Tammy's blog for the links to the others!

Our core curriculum that we use for Bible, literature, history and reading is Sonlight. I can't say enough good thngs about Sonlight! It is literature rich. Since we LOVE books, living books in particular, or books that make learning come alive, Sonlight is just wonderful! We ALWAYS look forward to our reading! This is the way I wish I could have learned. You've saw this picture on what we call our box day (the day our Sonlight books arrive at our door), but I thought I'd show you again. These are the books that we will read by the end of this school year.

This is our schedule book. It serves as a guideline for us as to what we will read and do everyday in the above subjects. Since it's very common to hear, "Mom don't stop....keep reading!", I often read two or three days worth at a time. That allows us to do the same thing in say, the history readings the next day. That's what I love about the instructors's a guide and I use it to my advantage. But I do love having the guide! It keeps us on schedule! If we go out of town, we can read ahead a few days, and accomodate our long weekend, or we just take it along and do the readings there.

For Math, we use Math-U-See. We used this with Colt when he was schooling, and we just love it! It's exactly as it claims, it uses blocks to SHOW the kids WHY we do what we do in math, and it has the teacher on DVD, so Joy and I watch it together. I especially like this in math, because although Jason is a math whiz, it's probably one of my LEAST favorite things to do! (I'd rather be reading or doing something creative).

For Handwriting, we use Handwriting Without Tears. She also gets practice on her handwriting with any copywork she does or letters she sends to friends.

For Spelling, we use Sequential Spelling. This is not set up by grades. You begin in book 1 regardless of what grade you begin and just work your way through it. We will be ready for book 3 in a few days. We do ours orally. It really is a simple, but effective way to teach spelling. It starts with shorter words and builds upon word patterns.

For Grammar, we are using Daily Grams, along with daily practice in writing. This book has short lessons focusing daily on the different categories of grammar such as sentence structure and combining, punctuation, capitalization, alphabetizing, parts of the speech, verb agreement and more...very painless grammar lessons. She also has a couple of penpals, including Tammy's daughter, Allyson. This is a natural way to learn the mechanics of writing, spelling and grammar. Besides that, it's fun!

For Science, we use the God's Design for Science Series. The book we are presently using is the God's Design for the Universe. However, we also love the Magic School Bus books and experiment books. I really like the looks of the Elementary Apologia too. We might add the Astronomy one to this to enhance our study on the universe. We used Apologia with Colt from 7th grade up.

Weaved in among these is also the use of many living books. Joy learned to type from the computer software program, Kids Typing Instructor. After she learned the basics and built a little speed, I allowed her free time to email friends and "use" what she learned. It's amazing how quickly they pick up things when it's useful and fun for them! She now wants her own blog. I think it might be a great avenue (if closely...very closely monitored by mom) for some of her creative writing assignments. We'll see.

And speaking of creative writing assignemnts, I love this little book, If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write, You've Got to Have This Book. It's packed with tips and ideas for kids to write. This was one of my favorite books to use when I taught a small co-op class when Colt was younger, and it's still one I pull out for fun writing assignments for Joy too.

As far as what we're working on now...Let's see....Our main read-aloud is Toliver's Secret (we're studying the American Revolution) and Joy is reading Martha Washington independently. We're preparing for our homeschool group's geography fair in early March. Joy chose India as her country to study and exhibit. We're presently in the read and research stage. Maybe at the next open house, her exhibit will possibly be completed or far enough along to share.

And one last thing I'll leave you with is a writing assignment Joy wrote yesterday. I gave her the words "I know" and asked her list things that would follow behind those few or as many as she would like. This is what she came up with.

I know...

1) I know multiplication.
2) I know God is real.
3) I know that nobody's perfect.
4) I know that we are in tough times.
5) I know that we wouldn't be in as much hard times if McCain had been elected.
6) I know God loves me.
7) I know that my parents love me.
8) I know taekwondo.
9) I know dance.
10) I know that I love my parents and family.
11) I know alot about reading.

Thanks for stopping by! And for those of you that aren't homeschooling your children, and you're STILL with me reading this...thank you for hanging in there! Homeschooling is another part of our daily lives that just comes natural for us and from time to time, I like to share what we're doing in that department!

Please remember to pray for our new President, all of our leaders in Congress and the Senate and for the American people in the times ahead. I urge everyone to be alert and active in the issues that lie ahead. The future of our country is at stake and we are going to have be involved and sometimes be ready to fight for our freedoms!

Have a great day! :)