Category Archives: Photos

Happy Anniversary – PROJECT 365

I got a new camera before the new baby was born (more on that later!!)  And I am trying to figure out how to use it, how to challenge myself in a fun no pressure way, how get better and get great shots of my kiddos…

AND SO I am going to document our 14th year of marriage… Our 13th anniversary was the 28th, we are in a new country (as of 5 months ago – Australia), we have a new baby (our 5th living)

Mixed in with my 365 days of pics, will be my GIFTS LIST.  In other words, there won’t be only one pic a day… but not every gift will be captured in a picture either.

Here is the intro pic… I didn’t actually take it either!  And quite frankly, I don’t like seeing all the extra pounds it shows… just a wee bit of pride rearing its head.

We spent the evening at the night before at Preston Beach, courtesy of my mom and dad… we mostly slept! 🙂  It was lovely to have only the 3 wk old’s interruptions and not the other four’s… 🙂


1. my husband, Bryan

2. my mom’s generosity / gift of the night at a hotel

3. beautiful sunshine, beautiful waves, beautiful sand

4. my  Moby Wrap

5. waves a little bigger than you think giving legs a sandy wash

6. wine and cheese


Outside my window…

dripping of melting snow… lovely

I am feeling…

restless… wanting the next stage (moving) the next season (SPRING) a new schedule (… but what will work?) Knowing I must live and enjoy the NOW… He is my PRESENT help… now.

I am thinking . . .

how I miss my husband and sons.  We all belong together.

I am thankful that…

I still have my little girls to keep me company

From the learning rooms…

books everywhere.  The world map is falling off the wall from getting touched so much. GREAT STUFF!

From the kitchen…

NOTHING except some dishes that need to be finished and soaking pinto beans.  Its nice not having so many to cook for.  For dinner I had the two left over pieces of pizza from lunch that my sister-in-law and MIL brought.

I am wearing…

slippers, jeans, old t-shirt and fleece hoodie.

I am creating…

nothing.  I’d really like to start being able to pout something in this spot… really!

I am going…

nowhere.  Home all weekend.  Bryan accidentally took the keys with him camping. Its nice KNOWING I can’t go anywhere.

I am reading…

Leadership Education and Thomas Jefferson Education – that’s where most of my thoughts and brain power are going lately.

I am hoping…

for a less interrupted sleep tonight.

I am hearing…

only the hum electric stuff in our house.  The silence is lovely.

Around the house…

dark and quiet, semi picked up, most of the laundry caught up, and warm enough that the windows were open a couple hours today.

One of my favorite things…


A few plans for the rest of the week:

implementing more of the Thomas Jefferson Education principles.  Drinking  more water.  Less researching and finding inspiration on the computer and more implementing what I know so far.  More quiet time to evaluate and pray, etc.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Halloween 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… I tried.  Bryan did an AWESOME job with the nunchucks!! 🙂  A friend lent us this cheerleader outfit… she took to those pom poms quite naturally!!

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the happy and cold trick or treater

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this one is not so excited about all the squash on ou r window sill.. the orange of the season… so far all food has produced this lovely gag reflex… 🙂

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and just like that, November has arrived…

overdue pictures

I love this picture.  It captures a face we see often…

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Also what we see often… Shand in her play pen… where we lay her during the day often… Shand trying to dress her!

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check out the hair!!

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Keenan back from camp… both of them so very silly excited. this is the least goofiest pic I got.

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Again… Talia determinied to sleep against all odds

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the mohawk the boys have always wanted…

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we went to the Renaissance Festival – Three Barons Fair… legos – out. swords, knights & fighting – in! Keenan cut out a mask and sticky  taped it to his face!

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Its so hard to capture a good smile… she smiles a lot but always while moving!

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Shand looking beautiful.

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last one. Talia in a deep sleep… looking just like Hewett, Keenan’s twin who passed away… its blurry, but we’ll keep it anyway… I walked past her sleeping and mt heart jumped when i saw her.

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SO there is a few pics… i so need a new camera… ours is taking more crappy pics than good.

An Independent Toddler

This may be normal… But my 20 month old just finished trying / putting on 3 pairs of pants / skirts… and swept the floor 3 times.  Filled a bag with stuff, threw it over her shoulder and called, “Mom, bye!  Bye mom!!”  Brushed her teeth for the third time this morning (10am) – this time with MY toothbrush, attempted to wash her hands for the second… Put on another CD in the boys room…

That’s what we’ve done  the last hour. 🙂  She amazes me… so smart, so independent, so… advanced ?  Probably not, but wow she seems to be moving right along in the development department.  SO much faster than my preemie boys!!

Here are some pics of her yesterday, helping herself to her very own cranberry sandwich! 🙂  complete with the top piece of bread.  She was a little frustrated when the cranberries kept falling off. LOL

Keenan’s Birthday

Wow… my big boy is NINE!  It is crazy.  We did a Scooby Doo themed party.  When we say theme, we mean it in the SIMPLEST of ways! 🙂  My mom had send some Scooby Doo party stuff, so we added a few extras, made a cake and Keenan planned the decorations… a few gravestones cut out of cardboard, green slime (?) (aka construction paper) strategically placed and bats (again, construction paper) hanging around, and one lone ghost hogging the corner.   He had so much fun planning this it was ALMOST irritating.

FIRST… my nine year old…


Can you believe this miracle?  25 week preemie… born at 1lb 12.5oz (820 grams), 12 inches long,  first 14 weeks of his life in the NICU… isn’t he just handsome?

We started the day… well, not STARTED… but had the family over for breakfast… cinnamon rolls and berries were Keenan’s choice.  Yeah for Costco stocking fresh berries from who-knows-where… the grandparents and aunt/uncle enjoyed missing the chaotic kidfest to come later.  But we still blew out candles on the cinnamon rolls.


Here’s one shot of the 30 minutes of sword fighting, shooting and wrestling that took place.  Please,  Lord, let the tenants stay and not leave…


The cake.  Graham Cracker haunted house covered in left over fondue from New Years.  By the way,  chocolate fondue on Graham Crackers?  VERY good!! Licorice trees, frosting covered cookie gravestones… nothing spectacularly innovative 🙂  but much fun, nonetheless.


The table of boys…


And Shand watching demurely from the side… if you can be demure with a blankie and pacifier…


ok, mostly I wanted you to see her outfit and cute shoes… 🙂  you can’t see them really well… but believe me… VERY cute!

After the cake and ice cream, the boys took turns giving Keenan presents… a they all crowded around to look at whatever he had opened, he’d sort of escape underneath the mass of them to a new location to open the next one.  It was very funny to watch.  He opened each present in a different chair / spot on the floor…

THEN…the Scooby Doo movie… ah… sweet relief… the quiet. 🙂  I’ve never had the kids watch a movie at a party before.  Seems kind of dumb to me.  But it was smart.  VERY smart, believe me!!  After all, you can’t send them all outside indefinitely when its minus 20 outside.

We ordered pizza instead of the requested spaghetti… I wasn’t up for cooking/cleaning up again… and opened the long-distance gifts over dinner… thanks for the phone call Nana and Puppa!

It was a good day.  Tiring but good.

Ancient Rome, gladiators and the Colosseum

So we’ve been in Rome last week, and this week, and probably next week too as we head into the catacombs.

The gladiators have DEFINITELY been the big hit.  🙂  They played this fun computer game where they have to dress their gladiator and send them into the arena to fight, and see how well you do.  It was very educational, and not gory or detailed AT ALL.  They each ended up ‘owning’ one style of gladiator.  They drew that particular gladiator… and then dressed like them to fight in their colosseum… which they were happy with not decorating. hmmmm… OK!! 🙂  They were happy with the cardboard up in a ‘circle’ (very loosely described as such) and their orops.  a Blanket for a fishing net, swords, medieval helmets and shields… 🙂




I wrote in his description of everything, then added in a different color the ‘official’ name.  I especially liked the ‘red cloth to cover his privacy’ 🙂


Keenan drew his IN the arena.  Complete with the ‘left’ on the left for the animals to come in.  And the exit on the right for the dead bodies of animals and people.  such detail… You can see the fishing net the guy is holding, his trident (pitchfork thing), dagger in his belt and shoulder guard.  He did a really good job.

Besides some maps and listening to Story of the World, we do have a couple more things planned this week.  Try a recipe I ran across with boiled eggs and a pine nut sauce… I have the ingredients so we’ll try it.  And some internet stuff with Pompeii and volcanoes.

Halloween pictures – before Christmas is upon us

So, I went earthy this year 🙂  I REALLY didn’t want anymore pirate stuff for our dress up box.  We thought about Egyptian costumes, since we have been studying that.  BUT that sounded like a lot of work, so I was very relieved they didn’t love that idea!!

Thad chose something different every day the week leading up to Halloween from the dress-up box… This was my favorite.  He wore it all day, and most of the time used the antennae to ‘write’ with 🙂 GREAT form for penmanship!!


Then I came upon some idea in some magazine, and I can’t find it so I’m not sure where it was…

BUT… juse dress your HEADS.

So the boys were grass, courtesy of some bugs, ants glued on 🙂 and a WHOLE lot of green hairspray.  (they were SUCH good sports about their showers that night… I was needlessly ready for mutiny, crying and much struggle)

And Shand… I MADE – write it in the books mom!! – I MADE her hat. 🙂  True, I used mostly glue, and just a wee bit of sewing.  And I waited until too late, forgetting glue must… DRY to stick!… so I had to put it in the oven to dry it 🙂  And it didn’t fit QUITE right, so it looked more like a white-spotted red pirate’s hat than a toadstool mushroom.  BUT still.  Isn’t she just cute?

We just did the end of the street that is a cul-de-sac, dropped by Grandma and Grandpa’s (on the way, Shand picked of 1/2 of the spots) and on to a party.  so we are done eating our candy.  That is a first!!






Great Wall, Trojan Horse and the Parthenon

Yup.  We are in the Ancient Times in our studies.  We haven’t progressed TOO far though, as we have really gotten into Greece.  Keenan and I are really enjoying all the Greek Myths and Thad is putting up with them, as long as we have some good picture books to go along with them.  Which there are some GREAT ones out there, by the way.

SO here are some pics of what we have been doing the last few weeks.





WE made one portion of the Great Wall of China.  Bryan is so sweet… as you can see here, it is THE most perfectly square kid’s project there EVER was… I had to include the pic of Shand helping… because, you know, that is what 18mth olds do best!!  And its lovely when you look back at pics and realize your kids hair wasn’t brushed, and needs to be cut, and they don’t match and they have food on their face from lunch.  Lovely.  Real life, you know?

On to Greece… we made a shoebox version of a Trjoan Horse, head drawn by Keenan while he waited for Bryan to find the perfect horse head pattern 🙂  Same with the tail!  Thaddeus working with a toy in his hand… always… Trojan Horse meets transformers…. They didn’t want to paint it… they liked the brown that it was (they apparently didn’t notice the STICKER on the top… but, OK!  no paint.  I can deal with that!!)  I was so proud of Bryan.  He didn’t even measure, God bless him!  It was just about killing him.



greece-011 I may seem a little odd that our trapdoor is on the top… but how else will the knights and soldiers get in and out, you know?  (we are fresh out of Trojan and Greek fighters…)

And finally… the Gingergread Parthenon.  You know, these projects are NOT educational.  At all!!  BUT I bet they will always remember the name of the Parthenon, as it has been said 5o million times over the last few days… “Can I have a piece of Parthenon?”



greece-037 Aren’t they just cute… I could not convince Thad to take off the police stuff.  “But mom, I”m a police!!”  ok! 🙂  GOTTA love the dirty dishes in the background and the mess and clutter… its impossible, really…

SO there we are.  our ‘stuff’ we’ve been working on.  We’ll start on Rome next week and finish that up before Christmas and take a break from History before exploring Medieval stuff in January.  Hmmm… I wonder if the boys will like that.

A little bit of Mukinbudin from Rachel’s house

Our trip up… we stopped at Brumbie’s Bakery to grab some yummies to eat on the 3 1/2 hour trip.  REALLY someone needs to open a bakery like that here!!  They are everywhere in Australia.  The scenery was beautiful.  Hope you don’t mind some scenery shots.  The fields of flowers were gorgeous!

Feel free to note the badly out-of-focus-but-beautiful wildflowers heading my blog at the moment.

We went out exploring in the bush and on big rocks… complete with a little snack of Cheezels… a childhood favorite I had to let my children experience!!

Rach and I couldn’t let THEM have all the fun!

It is fun to see the cousins together, don’t you think?  I love family!!!

And a choice piece of real estate… we could be comfortable here!! I mean, check out the view!!

Are you sick of it yet… cause i’m not done!!  next stop… the farm! 🙂