Monday, February 27, 2012

Vote for Our Kids!

The kids just put together a couple of videos for the Uncle Ben's "Ben's Beginners Contest." You can go check out their videos and vote for them. There is a $20,000 first prize, which also includes an appearance on the Rachel Ray show. Also, they are offering a cafeteria makeover for the winning child's school. Since we homeschool will they remodel our kitchen? Hmmm . . .

Anyway, you can vote starting today and can vote once a day for each video until March 11. Check out their videos! Thanks!

Thing 1
Thing 2

(I know we're biased, but we have cute, great kids!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kids are blogging . . .

Just a heads up --
they've been updating their Revue blog as well as their personal blogs . . .
and some of their recent reviews are so much fun!

They've recently reviewed the book The Phantom Tollbooth as well as several movies including
"Mary Poppins," "The Sound of Music," and "My Fair Lady."

They are GREAT reviews -- check them out.
I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!

(And thank you so much).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Valentine's Meme

Saw it and couldn't resist. Some girls shop. I blog. Nerd.

1. Relationship status - Very happily married.
2. What I want for Valentine's Day - A simple, thoughtful reminder of how much I am loved - I got it.
3. Who has my heart - Mark, my children, and Scout
4. Am I the jealous type - Not at all.
5. Favorite food - Sushi
6. Last time I cried - Almost 3 weeks ago. And I teared up yesterday watching "The Miracle Worker" with the kids.
7. Favorite song - Oh, so many. Um, "Your Song" by Elton John?
8. Something(s) I hate - Divisiveness, Contention, Drama . . .
9. Longest relationship - We're coming up on 20 years and counting!
10. Who I miss - Do you ever feel like you miss something you don't have? That.
11. Best guy friends - Mark. Outside of that, Dave. And an online shout out for Jimmy.
12. Best girl friend - I can't pick any one. I have several -- the one I've had for over 25 years, the one I vent to, the one I write with, the one who thinks like I do, the one who does not think like I do, the one who I catch up with now and then, the one I meet for lunch sometimes, the one I hang out with at the coffeehouse, the one I laugh with . . .
13. Last person I texted - Linda.
14. Addiction - My family, friends, and learning. I know it sounds nerdy, but it's true.
15. Something I love - Hanging out as a family, spending time with friends, eating out. Oh, and more recently, Big Bang Theory! Funny, funny show.
16. Favorite thing I have - My family.
17. Eye color - Hazel
18. How tall am I - 5'2" (Shut up).
19. Do I believe in love - Without a doubt.
20. 5 things in this room - A smurf figurine, Dr. Seuss pins, a picture of a seashell, birthday coupons, a friendship plaque (all things given to me by friends and family that I put around my computer area).
21. Favorite holiday - I like the week between Christmas and New Year's.
22. Birthday - March 3rd
23. Have I ever fallen in love - Big time -- again and again.
24. Boy I trust - Mark; my son
25. Girl I trust - My daughter
26. Last thing I yelled - "I love you!"
27. Last person I punched - I don't punch people.
28. Person I trust the most? Mark
29. Cutest couple I know? - Us, duh.

Okay you read all about me, so now it's time to learn something new about you. Tag. You're it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thing 1's Big Concert

(I'm behind on a few recent events, so here's my first installment in catching up.)

Well, it's the first of a couple of big concerts. Thing 1 has been diligently practicing violin with a group called the Festival Strings. It is a group of Junior High School-aged kids who play in an orchestra. They have somewhat infrequent, but insanely long rehearsals in preparation for a big concert this month. It is directed by the Conductor of the Hershey Symphony, and her special interest happens to be arranging orchestral music for this age group, so they spend a lot of time doing her arrangements.

As part of their overall experience, the group got to play a few numbers in the Hershey Symphony Christmas Concert. The kids sat right in with the symphony members and played with them. It was very cool to see Thing 1 next to the "regulars," getting to play in such a beautiful theater like the Hershey Theatre.

Thing 1 in the "catacombs" beneath the theater

She had to wait for me to be done with chaperoning duties to join the family upstairs. I can't believe how much she's growing up!

Thing 1 is in the middle, wearing the white headband. Another one of Stacy's brilliant ideas!

The family after the show

Carol of the Bells
(The actual video was too big to upload but this recording was made at the concert.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Exciting News for our Book Club!

Our book club is being featured in a book!

The authors of the book found our book club website/blog and contacted us. After numerous emails back and forth between them and members of our book club, they chose one of our book selections (Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls, the same author of The Glass Castle), some of our recipes, and several quotes from members of our group, and included us in a section of their book!

The book comes out March 1st and is FULL of wonderful recipes for SO many good books!! You can pre-order it now!

I've already got a copy, as do other members of our book club -- that SUPER fun surprise came in the mail this past Friday even though the book isn't available yet!! I had no idea they'd send us a free copy! It was SUCH a great surprise.

Our book club is in its 8th year -- I wrote about our group several years ago. We have a mix of people -- men and women -- and we meet monthly and discuss good books and eat fantastic food that goes along with the books. We love it!

If you like good books and good food, I definitely encourage you to GET THIS BOOK.

A little back story: One of the members of our club bought me the original Book Club Cook Book as a birthday present for me several years ago, so when the authors contacted me, I was able to say, "I have your book!"

And now, we're included in the new edition! Fun! Anyway, just wanted to share our fun news. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1st

December was busy with the normal December "stuff." On top of that, Thing 1 is part of an amazing group of string players that got to play with the Hershey Symphony for their Holiday Concert. It was AMAZING! She worked so hard and did such a great job and really enjoyed playing in a large group doing parts, etc.

Her rehearsals are intense -- they are very strict and often quite long, but they're led by the director of the symphony and the learning and practice are through the roof! She continues to attend many hours of practices as they gear up for their own February concert.

Thing 1 working on a submission
for an art contest

We spent most of January sick. Sometimes, a bunch of us were sick at once. Other times, we took turns. But it seems like most of January was spent with someone not feeling well. I think it's at least partly because the weather simply hasn't been that cold this winter, so I figure the germs aren't getting easily killed off.

In the backyard today with Scout

Today, for example, it's 60 degrees and the kids are outside playing baseball in the backyard with Scout. The 10-day forecast shows every day being well over 40 degrees. I'm loving the warmer winter (after the tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tropical storms, I figure we can enjoy this!!), but I do wonder if it's contributing to the colds and bugs that seem to be hanging on. Thing 2 is excited that baseball sign ups are this weekend -- he really enjoys playing and is excited to move up to the next group this spring!


Tummy rubs!

Mark is working a 12-day stretch. He's been working a lot and the clinic has picked up like it always does at this time of year. We've been super busy with business stuff, but all in a good way. We're in our 5th year and thinking of new things to add, ways to expand, etc. All that being said, we are grateful for and value the business we have and the flexibility it gives us. Sure, it can be tricky to take several days and weeks off at a time, but our days themselves have flexibility and togetherness in them, even when we're working, and that allows for a lot of creativity and self determination. I especially like that we can eat all our meals together daily.

I'll post soon, too, about Thing 2's awesome birthday party we had this past weekend. It had been postponed due to busyness, sickness, and weather, but it turned out great! Thanks to everyone who came and made it so special for him.

Yesterday, we took the kids to a neat class offered by the library called "Needle Felting" -- it's a VERY easy (though slightly dangerous -- it uses very sharp, barbed needles) and creative craft and there's so much you can do with it. We're going to get more roving and make mini Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings figures. The library had been hesitant about having kids at the class (reference the extremely sharp needles), but when it was over, they complimented both Thing 1 and Thing 2 on doing so well and being so mature.

So, since December and January have been busy and full (and sniffly), I'm glad it's February. I feel like we're getting into a really good rhythm with school and life in general.

What our coffee table looked like
after a good morning of learning

We have a little tradition of having a "board game day" for the first of every month, so we've been playing games in addition to some good school stuff today. We do character-building stuff and grammar while we eat breakfast and we do history while we eat lunch (we're studying fascism, Hitler, and WWII right now). In between, we've been reading The Phantom Tollbooth together and playing games like "Lego Heroica" and "10 Days in Europe."

With the weather being so nice, the kids also played outside and we took Scout for a walk. We did some light housework, worked on a cool history collage for the 1930s, and the kids worked on their submissions for an art contest. It's been a really nice day. The sunshine certainly doesn't hurt. :)

Scout likes to steal the ball
from the kids while they play

Now, let's just hope Puxatawny Phil doesn't see his shadow tomorrow. I'm ready for spring!