Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Watcha (need to be) Workin' on Wednesday

"Need to be" is the key phrase to today's Watcha Workin' on Wednesday for me! Yes, I will accomplish something today from these pictures....I'm committed to making over at least one of them before the day is out! (We're also really trying to get caught up with school after missing days when Joy was sick).

Here's the last few things that I hauled home from Goodwill. Last Thursday while Joy was in dance, my friend, Tonya, and I stopped in Goodwill. I'm sure that clerk must have thought I really like wooden spoons! lol! I wanted more spoons for the crock on my newly made over table. I was excited to find this bundle of them, as well as a couple of extras! And you know I can't pass up a cutting board! I also picked up another little wooden candle holder. All of these will get a prim makeover. I'll try to remember to show you when I'm finished with them!

Oh and I picked up these three books for Joy. She always asks me if I looked at the books for her when pick her up at dance and she knows I've been to Goodwill! She loves the Illustrated Classics. I think she started with Oliver Twist and is really enjoying it!

Awhile back, I couldn't pass these by in Goodwill. I picked up this big bundle of candles. I figured I would try my hand at grubbying these up. I've never tried it before. So...any pointers would be very much appreciated. I want the simplest way available! :)

The other day I when I shared some of our Homeschool Group's field trips, I told you about our trip to the Bee Farm. I mentioned the candles we bought. Well here's mine. It's a beehive candle made, of course, from beeswax. I'm not quite sure exactly where it's permanent decorating spot will be, but I'm working on it....trying it out different places!

Here's another project waiting on me. I thought first that I might like to stencil them. I don't have a stencil, however, so I'm thinking covering them with homespun fabric might be a better choice for me. Here again, any advice or tutorials would be appreciated. I know I saw Rondell's blue ones and loved them too!

Oh, and here's a mustard basket my sister-in-law, Missy, picked up for me in Alabama. It's really quite long. I'm trying to decide where to put it and what to display in it also. So many decisions and I seem to have a hard time making them these days. I think my brain has been in overload! Anyone else ever feel that way??....When everything seems to be overwhelming and hard to just make up your mind?

And last of all, I thought I'd show you what my dad brought home for me the other day. They were going to toss it at work and knowing me, he thought I'd be interested in's a really old paper cutter. I don't have a clue where I'll put it, but this little thing still works like a charm. I know I can use it with scrapbooking, but I think it's a shame to not display it somehow. I'll have to be careful though, because that blade is very sharp!

And besides all of this, there's plenty to be done outside! Jason mowed last night when he came in, trying to beat the rain expected. We've got plenty of weeding to do, not to mention getting the pool ready for pool weather soon! Yay!

And that, my friends, are some of my newest thrifty finds, and what I need to be working on this Wednesday. Wish me luck! For more Watcha Workin' on Wednesday posts, check in with Leslie. So what are you working on, or if you're like me, "need to be working on"?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
~ Tammy ~

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Mess With My Babies!!!!!

Do you remember the kildeer (we've always called them "kildee") eggs we found at the edge of our gravel driveway? (You can click on any of the pictures to view them a little closer).

We've been watching them diligently everyday. Since we weren't really sure how long Mama Kildeer and Daddy Kildeer have been sitting on the nest, we didn't want to miss the little ones' debut. The incubation period for the eggs is about 28-29 days. Mama Kildeer hasn't been real happy with me stopping by for my visits.

She immediately begins her squawkin' and fussin' at me....running off into the yard with her broken wing routine to distract me! She's so funny! Because I don't fall for it, she lies there even longer swinging that wing round and round as if saying, "Can't you see I have a broken wing here....come see"!

And then there's Daddy Kildeer overhead flying circles above us squawking and fussing at me to go away and leave his family alone! That's the way God made them to protect their family though, and they're doing a very good job at it! They're excellent parents....I can say that for them!

Friday evening, my dad (Pop) came over and told me that one of the four eggs had hatched and we had our first baby kildeer! With camera in hand, we immediately flocked to the nest. Isn't he (or she) cute?

Do you see the little beak hole in the egg beside him?

Mama and Daddy Kildeer were especially not happy with us then! Mama was scolding me!

Before we left to go out for dinner, the second baby arrived! See, she's still all wet!

Then there was a third one...

Mama must have gathered them all back together to snuggle...can you see all three? The next time I checked they were all scrunched up together snug and cozy!

And we were so blessed to actually be standing there when baby #4's little beak started breaking through first. And then little by little, she was pushing her way into the new world!

Meanwhile, Mama Kildeer was getting bolder. I guess she realized that this human was not giving up too easily. She was getting closer to me and really fussing! And then Daddy Kildeer was still flying overhead warning me to go away. After the above picture, we retired for the evening to let the parents tend to the babies. I was only hoping that the babies wouldn't be gone from the nest before we had a chance to see them, since it was overnight. They don't stay around very long!

The next morning by the time we got out there, one had already left the nest or was far enough away that he was well hidden in the grass somewhere. The others were still there. Mama was very protective on this day as if she sensed the most danger. She was becoming bolder.

First a warning....

Then she just became downright bold and approached me with this warning...."Don't mess with my babies!!!". Can you believe that sweet little bird above can make herself look like this??? Pretty impressive!

With that warning signal, I felt like she needed to be with them, so we did leave for awhile. When we did make it back out there, another baby was missing from the nest. The third one was walking around not far away. Can you see him? He blends in so well!

This baby became my model! He was so little and cute!

In this photo he seems to be saying, "Man, it's a big world out there"!

He wasn't fond of me following him around with the big black camera, but I did get a few more shots!

His long wiry legs were so wobbly! It was funny watching him walk, stumble, get up, flap his wings a little, then wobble along.

This left one more still lying in the nest. This one just wasn't ready to get up and try out her wobbly legs just yet. So, we went inside and waited. The next time, we went out there, they were all trace of them anywhere. All fragments and pieces of the eggs were gone and the only evidence that there had ever been a family of kildeer there, was a little indention in the gravel where the eggs had laid.

I think they're off somewhere trying out their lanky wobbly legs and even having trial flights with close supervision from Mama and Daddy Kildeer. Then they'll be off on their own and maybe they'll decide to make their nest here one day and....... hopefully I'll have my camera ready! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Faithful Fridays

This week for Joy's Faithful Fridays, I'm just thankful that Joy is better. Although she is still sleeping alot and tired, she is so much better. We are past the fever. Her cough is better and she's slowly returning to her more peppy self. God is so faithful to hear these prayers and see her through this sickness. You know how it is seeing your kids sick, we'd rather it just be us, as parents, as to see our kids so helplessly sick.

On another praise note, the Lord led us to Dave Ramsey's financial methods (Financial Peace University) awhile back, and although it's hard to kind of get motivated to do it and stick to it, it is amazing how a family can change their financial outlook, even if it's in baby steps. I'm thankful for that this week. If you're not familiar with Dave Ramsey, you should check it out. You'll be glad you did (well maybe not at first because it's challenging, but it's rewarding and well worth it)!

Faithful Fridays were created by Joy to share her faith in God. She invites anyone that would like to participate to do so and hopes to hear how God has been faithful to you and your family, or to share answered prayers or even prayer requests.

Enjoy your Friday evening! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Field Trip Fun!

During these days that we've been pretty much at home, I thought it would be nice to share some of the recent outings that we've enjoyed with our homeschool group.....field trips we've taken during March and April. Our group has pretty much decided that next year, we're going to try to do our field trips during the months of September, October, and November. Then again in March, April, and May. We've discovered there are so many sick ones during those winter months and it's SO cold and just more of a time of being cozy and snug in our homes. (Actually I would have never dreamed we would be dealing with the flu in April, but that's really unusual for us). Anyway, come along with me today, and I'll share some of the fun field trips we've taken lately! First of all you should know that we usually all meet up and caravan to where we're headed!

First stop......The Bible Museum. Does that sound boring? Well it wasn't in the least! As a matter of fact, it was awesome! It just made the Bible come alive. Sometimes they just seem like "stories" that we read like fairy tales. But when you can hold something in your hand that actually came from during Jesus' lifetime, there is just nothing like it! Before we went, we read the parable of the ten virgins and talked about it at home because we knew they would be discussing it there. After explaining more about how important it was during that time for the bridesmaids to keep their lamps burning so they would be welcome at the dinner party, they passed around a lamp from that time period that actually existed and was used during Jesus' lifetime.

Then they passed around the little jar that they would have carried their olive oil in to keep their lamps burning.

I love history that comes alive!

Here are the "volunteers", Bobbi and Ian. They didn't know they were volunteering to be the bride and groom for the parable! The lady telling the story was dressed in period clothing too.

Meet Pharoah Joy!

There was a hands-on room too. Actually, they sometimes have classes there. There's a huge timeline on the wall as well as a weaving loom and many more wonderful things for inquisitive minds!

The kids were able to write their names in hieroglyphics.

There were more hands-on dioramas....

As well as different hats to try on! Here's Joy, John-David, and Tranae.

And what was playing on the TV in there? Veggie Tales! We got the cutest video of all the kids hopping around singing to Veggie Tales....even the "big" kids!

This young man was an Egypt History major and boy did he love his subject! He was speaking about the Egyptian Book of the Dead and telling about how the Pharoahs prepared for their "afterlife" and what they believed supposedly happened there.

Joy and I have studied Egypt before so this was all very interesting and very rewarding to know that she knew alot of what he was saying and could relate it to our studies.

And behind Molly Grace and Joy there is a replica of the Rosetta Stone. It was so neat to see this and read about it because it was something we had discussed before.

It was a very fun time and I even stopped in at the bookstore on the way out and bought some materials to use in our homeschool. Wow...I could have bought more....lots more, but I was good! :)

Did you enjoy that one? Okay, now we're off to the Archeological Park. This is always on our list of field trips every year. These people are so good to us and you can tell they are so passionate about the history as they speak! They began with a scavenger hunt. They were given questions that they had to search the museum area for the answers. They were either paired up or in this case....tripled up! This is Joy, Molly Grace, and Tranae working diligently.

They didn't finish first...but they finished well! :)

We had celebrity guides too.......well.....they were celebrity look-alikes anyway! Here we have Mr. Tumnus from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie.....he was super funny! :) He pretty much took us on the tour of the whole place and explained everything. He showed us the Indian mounds and the one where the Chief had his house so he could overlook the entire village! He told some interesting stories!

And we have "Tom Hanks".....he had the kids in the lab where they were washing rocks and artifacts.

And by the way, both of these guys admitted to having been told numerous times that they somewhat looked like these celebrities.

Some of the kids found arrowheads and other artifacts. These are labeled and set aside for future use. You know how kids loving getting their hands dirty, so of course they all loved this....can't you tell by the smiles?

Here's the mound where the Indian chief had his house so he could overlook the village:

We also had a picnic on the grounds and then went back to the tour including a film. And they have a bookstore, but this time, I was really good! I stayed away AND I banned Joy from there! ;)

Now are you getting tired? Believe me I was tired after that one. I came home and took me a power nap in the recliner! But did Joy sleep? Nope, she had way too much energy for that....she went upstairs and played! (That's why her low energy level with this sickness had me really concerned because this girl just doesn't slow down very often...she rarely "asks" to sleep).

Okay next stop, since you're still hanging with me is the Bee Farm! This was really interesting! Our beekeeper was very passionate about his bees and was very informative. He had all the gear for the kids to try on if they wanted.

It started off cold that morning, but began to get above 50 degrees which makes the bees come out more. We only had one kid that was stung and it was handled so beautifully that I don't even think everyone knew anyone was stung at all although we did have a few bee shy kids...believe me! We learned about the queen bee, the worker bees, the life span of the bee, the way the bees communicate, etc... This is something we had also read about and studied somewhat, but this made us want to dig deeper. We're planning a more in depth unit study on bees and it's time to bring out the Magic School Bus books and hopefully we can find the episode to watch on Ms. Frizzle and the bees!

Tyler, Blake, Warren, and Joy posed for a picture! Warren is the little 4 year old boy whose picture is on Joy's bulletin board! She loves that kid and he loves her!

Then we even came home with some honey and beeswax candles! Joy wanted a butterfly candle and I got a hive one! (Hey I'm thinking prim decor here!) I'll have to show you that picture another day....I didn't have it uploaded.

Here's our group picture! Joy and I are in the black coats. I'm on the right side over there and Joy is in braids holding the baby in the middle! (Told you she loves those babies)! Remember, you can click on the picture to see it closer!

Those little white boxes are where the bee hives were:

Our beekeeper wrote this on his blog about us......I thought it was so nice: It also tells a little more about our day on the bee farm:

A group of home school students and their parents and leaders visited the bee farm today. They came out equipped with digital cameras and inquisitive minds. The group is posed in our queen evaluation yard. I explained to these students that whenever I go into this bee yard, I carry a clip board and each colony receives a “report card.” Bad behavior gets bees “expelled.” From the colonies that score the highest on traits involving bee behavior, health, and honey production, we will raise new queens. The children had many questions about how the queen bee produces the eggs to propagate the entire colony. From their home school science studies the group came in with a good background on the nature of insects, the role of pollinators, and the relationship between humans, the flowering plants, the pollinating insects, and the environment. The group also visited the honey house and the queen mating yard. It is almost impossible to fill up a digital camera or an inquisitive mind.

Thank you, Mr. Richard!

I'm laughing to myself as I finish typing this thinking how I used to worry about "socialization" in those early days! lol! Boy we do our share of socialization including many fun field trips! I hope you enjoyed your trips with us! We do have a couple of more coming up including a trip to Dinstuhl's (yes, that's the chocolate factory...need I say more?....field trip and chocolate...a nice combination)! And then a State Park where we will have a little study on bats and end with our end-of-the-year-picnic and field day! I should have more to share on these sometime in mid-May!


UPDATE - You've all been so nice with the concern and prayers for Joy. I wanted to let you know that she seems to be feeling so much better today! The Dr.'s visit Tuesday afternoon revealed that she was on the tail end of the flu and had a sinus infection on top of it. She had lost 2.5 lbs in one week. We received antibiotics and antihistamines. After a few doses of these, she's feeling much better! At least she's up and about a little more and no fever today...Yay! She is still supposed to be taking it slow and easy though. Thanks for the prayers and get well wishes!


By the way, our kildeer eggs haven't hatched yet and Mama Kildeer is not very patient with me and my camera, but I shall return twice a day to check on them! I've got to have pictures of those babies! And little Rascal didn't stop by for a visit last night, however, I did see Mama Rabbit hop by late in the afternoon. Maybe Rascal was grounded? :)

Thanks for stopping by! :)