A Texas History Bow Hunt

Now that school is in session around here let’s talk about ridiculous homework.

Last year my son studied Texas History in 7th grade. It’s not really a topic that thrills him which is surprising because he is such a history buff. Give him US History or World History and he is set. But Texas History for a whole year can be a bit much.

At  some point when studying Texas History one must cover the Indians. When my son got to this part in the curriculum his teacher gave the class the assignment, “How to Make a Bow and Arrow.”

Sounds kind of cool.

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But some of the specifics of this assignment are kind of crazy. Below it says, “Choose a piece of wood for the bow. Find a piece of dry, dead hardwood – oak, hickory, yew, black locust, or teak.”

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Now teak wood is found in Indonesia and Myanmar while there are several types of yew wood some of which are found in Europe, Pacific, Canada, China, Japan, Florida, and the Himalayas.

What the assignment should have said was find a piece of wood at your neighborhood park.

We did just that.

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The directions above say that the wood should be free of knots, twists, or limbs.

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The next step in bow making comes in selecting a bow string.

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Yep, you read that right. Just go back outside and grab some strands of silk from your caterpillars.

We used string. Good ol’2015 string on our bow and arrow.

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Next you need to make your arrows. “You can straighten the arrow by gently heating the shaft over hot coals – be careful not to scorch or burn the wood.”

I feel like there’s a lawsuit just waiting to happen with this assignment.

We skipped the hot coals part.

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The results…

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The arrow ended up flying about 5 feet.

At  school the teacher had set up a large paper buffalo on a string. The idea was that the buffalo was pulled back and forth so the kids could try and hit it.

My son did not hit the buffalo with his wooden bow and arrows.

Guess which kids hit the buffalo.

The ones who used PVC pipe for the bow and proper arrows.

Man oh man was my son angry when he found out they got the same 100 that he did for the assignment.

I did have to point out to him that he too kind of broke the rules when building his bow and arrows – no wood from the Himalayas, no hot coals were used, and certainly no caterpillar silk.

Can’t wait for homework in US History this year.

Maybe he’ll get to practice medicine on his brother using only tools that were available during the Civil War or perhaps he’ll get to brew his own beer while studying Prohibition.

Posted in Alex, husbands, parenting, school | 4 Comments

National Waffle Day…First Day of School

Today is National Waffle Day (August 24th) and the 1st day of school for us!

To celebrate both events we had waffles this morning.

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This year we have a kindergartner, a 4th grader, and an 8th grader!

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Pretty good start to the school year as we only had one kid who forgot their lunch…the 8th grader of course.

Can’t wait to ask them after school what they did all day and for them to respond with, “I don’t know. Nothing much.”

Ahhhhhhhh! Tell me something!

*By the way, tomorrow, August 25th, is National Banana Split Day!

Posted in Alex, Andrew, caroline, school | 1 Comment

The Night Before Kindergarten…

My little one is going to kindergarten and I couldn’t be more excited for her. She’s grown so much and come such a long way it’s time for her to go. But I will admit I will miss spending Fridays with her.  Whether we were sewing together, playing board games, reading books, or just hanging out at the mall she was always by my side.

I changed up “The Night Before Christmas” for all those mommas out there who are sending their little ones to kindergarten this year. Enjoy!

*And for the record, I don’t plan to get into golfing. It was late and that’s all that rhymed to me at the time :)

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Twas the night before kindergarten when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The backpacks were hung by the front door with care.

In hopes that the morning rush would not cause momma to swear.

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The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of crayons and markers danced in their heads.

And momma in her jammies and dad in his shorts,

Had just settled down to watch the TV report.

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When all of a sudden Momma shouted out so,

“She’s so little I just don’t think I can let her go!”

Dad tried to reassure Momma that little one would be fine,

He consoled her and reminded her that it was time.

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“She knows her letters, her sounds, her numbers, and more,

It’s time to let her move on and go through that school’s front door.

There will be PE, music, art, and recess too,

Think of the fun she’ll have with her playground crew.”

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Momma said, “I know that she’ll love school and her friends too,

It’s just that I’ll miss her and everything that we do.”

“Don’t worry,” said Daddy, “Little one is now big and ready to go,”

“And now you will have time to become a serious golf pro.”

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So with those words of encouragement in her heart,

Momma knew now she would not fall apart.

She gathered her covers, fluffed her pillow, and grabbed a good book,

Rolled over and read all about eagles, chip shots, and those awful duck hooks.*

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The next morning the whole family got up and had breakfast together,

Brushed their teeth and hair and looked up the weather.

Shoes were put on and backpacks grabbed from their hooks,

And off they all went, little one without a second look.

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She arrived at the school front door a little nervous and shy,

But daddy told momma, “Your eyes must stay dry.”

Down the hallway and into the classroom the family all went,

Dad taking photos to mark this momentous event.

IMG_0383So as the clock struck eight, it marked the time for parents to leave,

Momma kissed her little one good bye and just had to believe.

Little one gave a quick hug and right then Momma knew she’d be okay,

“I’ll see you at three big girl, I can’t wait to hear all about your wonderful first day.”

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“Happy Kindergarten to all, and to all a good-year!”

 

Love you sweet girl! I know you will have a wonderful kindergarten year!

 

*Duck Hook: A shot that flies sharply from right to left for right-handed players. It is usually hit unintentionally, since it is difficult to control.

Posted in caroline, observations, parenting, school | 4 Comments

Water Slide Persepctive

The other day I took my kids to a local swim center. This facility is awesome since it has an outside section with a lazy river, two areas which have small water slides, water guns, buckets, a pool, and an inside section as well.

This year the pool added big water slides – you  know the kind – where you have to be 48 inches tall to slide down. They looked really awesome and my boys had a great time going down them for hours.

I, meanwhile, hung with my six year old who will, unfortunately, probably be 17 before she hits the 48 inches mark. Thankfully, she didn’t mind since she was having a wonderful time on the smaller water slides and the lazy river.

At one point my 10 year old came over to me and said, “Mom you should go on the water slides. They are so much fun.”

“Yes, they do look fun but I don’t think I can go down today.”

Here was what I was thinking when I said no to the slides:

  • 1. I have a strapless suit on and I really don’t want my top to slide down.
  • 2. Caroline is not tall enough to go down the slide so I don’t want to leave her.

Let me tell you what wasn’t my concern but what my 10 year old must have thought as to why I turned down this water slide opportunity.

“Mom, you can go. I looked and the weight limit says 300 pounds so you should be able to go.”

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“Well thank you for checking on that son but my answer is still no today.”

I mean, really.

Posted in activities, Andrew, observations, swimming | 4 Comments

Friday Favorites…August 14 Edition

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my recent favorite things here today. It’s totally random but I think a lot of fun.

It’s August, 99 degrees outside, and I just bought some Christmas fabric. Is that wrong?

I don’t know what came over me. I was purchasing some fabric for a DIY project in the boys room and all of a sudden I saw this fabric and knew it would be great for Christmas time. I love the modern colors – let’s face it, red and green are nice but sometimes something different is great too.

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So I guess the etsy shop where I found this fabric is one of my new favorite places too. Head on over to FRESH MODERN FABRIC for some sewing inspiration.

iusb_760x100.14678346_sg1wisla_280x280.15846855_rv4pf6p6Last summer our entire family got into watching America’s Got Talent on NBC. Yes, I admit with Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel as judges things can get a little spicy but most of it goes over the little kids heads. We really enjoy sitting down all together and watching the talent – both good and bad. Right now they are in the final stages of the competition where we get to vote from home. The kids love it and can’t wait for the next episode. The way my 10 year old talks you would think he is running the actual show and personally knows half the cast. Since the show is long, two hours, we always record it and then watch it commercial free.

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The Goodwill Box a.k.a We are cleaning and discarding like crazy over here. Right now we are decorating the boys room, decorating another room, and cleaning out the garage. Because we have moved around multiple pieces of furniture I have gone through almost every nook and cranny in this house. I have a cardboard box in the garage and every time I come across something we don’t need I place it in there. When the box is full I drive it to Goodwill and start a new box. Love the feeling of getting organized – although that’s still a ways a way since not one of the rooms is done.

Sausage, Pepper, and Mushroom Hash – My husband made this meal last week and it was absolutely delicious – the only part we skipped was the egg at the end. I was so glad to finally have a wonderfully filling meal. We tried one of those home meal delivery services and disliked 2 out of 3 of the meals they sent. I signed us up for the vegetarian meal option (mistake with a capital M) and it was quite awful. The one meal we both enjoyed had orzo pasta, tomatoes, avocado, and chickpeas in it. Next time I would make it without the chickpeas because I really dislike anything made with chickpeas – do not offer me your special hummus recipe, it is like all the others out there – tasteless and gross. So I’ve gotten slightly off topic, sorry chickpeas will do that to you. Anyway, the sausage & pepper hash was wonderful. Actually every recipe we’ve tried from Iowa Girl Eats is great.

Elle King’s song Ex’s and Oh’s – Love this song! That’s a good thing since it’s on the radio practically every hour.

This LEGO clock: BEST PRESENT EVER from my sister. My boys have this in there room and get themselves up everyday for school. It is so much easier to get them up with the sound of “beep beep,” than my voice singing, “good morning my loves.” Imagine that. Seriously, they get up and start the day all on their own.

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I am loving these Tucker + Tate ‘Marin’ Canvas Slip-On Sneakers for little girls. During our tax free weekend I picked up a pair for Caroline to wear to school on non PE days. She picked out the green pair in the store even though I was campaigning for the pink.

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Okay those are some of my recent favorites.

I’d love to know what you are loving right now!

Posted in family, favorite, observations | 1 Comment

She Works Hard for Her Money…Chart for Saving Money for Kids

I took my 6 year old to the mall the other day and she had a serious case of the “I wants.” After telling her for the millionth time, “Okay, let’s add that to your birthday list,” she said, “But I want it now.” Actually it was more like, “But I want it nooooooowwwwwwwwwww.”

It was like walking the mall with Veruca Salt.

Just the other day she was disheartened to learn that she is not technically six and a half yet. She was absolutely convinced that she was 6.5 and the fact that she is almost there did nothing to relieve her stress. She understands that her birthday is still far off so she wasn’t buying the whole, “put it on your birthday list,” routine I gave her.

When we walked into Build-A-Bear it’s as if the heavens opened up for her. She looked around and promptly decided that she just had to have Risa.

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And then she was going to buy Viv and Teegan, the other rocker girls. And then something from the LEGO store. And then…it went on and on.

I told her that she was welcome to save her money and spend it however she liked.

She went home and promptly counted out (with help) the $3.23 she had in her piggy bank.

Risa costs $30 so I told her she had to keep saving.

“So what can I do for money?”

I offered up unloading the dishwasher and folding the towels (bath towels, kitchen towels, washcloths). She quickly accepted and earned $1.00. I pay 50 cents a job.

She’s been working on this dream of hers for close to two weeks and she’s saved $14.73 – we run the dishwasher here a lot as well as go through tons of towels.

After 3 days of her asking me if she had saved enough yet I knew we needed a chart to help her track her savings.

This is what I came up with.

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And here is her chart which is posted on the side of our refrigerator:

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“I am working hard and saving my money for a bunny stuffed animal. It costs 30 dollars.”

Caroline keeps her money in a coin purse with a ziploc. Any change that doesn’t equal up to a 100 (a dollar) is kept in the ziploc until she can make a full dollar. Every time she counts up to 100 she gets to transfer that money to the change purse and mark off a dollar bill on her chart.

This has provided for lots of practice with coin names, counting by 10’s and 5’s, how many more until & how many already questions, and understanding equalities (2 nickels = 1 dime).

I’d say she is a good two weeks away from reaching her goal of $30. There are some days she is more motivated than others and that’s just fine with me…although I am enjoying not unloading the dishwasher quite a bit.

 

Posted in budget, caroline, forms, parenting | 3 Comments

It’s a Little Warm Here in Texas

Here’s our 10 day forecast.

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The heat index is supposed to be between 105 and 110 degrees.

There really are no words except that it will be ridiculously hot.

Our weather has been hovering right at 98, 99, or 100 for the past 2 weeks. One day our weather man predicted we would be having a cool front coming in. I’m not going to lie, I got extremely excited when he said that. Five seconds later I was crushed when I realized that meant our temperatures “would only” reach 95 that day.

Cool front = 95 degrees in these neck of the woods.

Posted in observations | 2 Comments

Easy Bathroom Shelves

You know when you walk around the house and all of a sudden you can think of nothing else but getting a project done. I actually got one of those kind of projects done last week.

Our master bathroom area has the toilet in a separate little room. Despite this little room being in our bathroom my six year old comes into my bathroom on a daily basis and tries to talk to me through the door while shaking the door handle desperately. When I finally emerge she asks, “What were you doing in there?” Seriously. It seems to be a mystery to her.

Anyway….we were trying to find a way to get some of our bathroom supplies up away from the ground since they are normally stored under our sink area.

I walked past our little room and instantly thought, “We could put shelves up in here!”

So before I could change my mind, the kids and I went off to Home Depot, bought the wood and had them cut the piece in half and bought some shelf brackets (total $42).

I then came home, poured 3 quarts of left over paint (2 light gray and 1 white) in a plastic container and starting painting the little room. The painting part of this project was unnecessary but it makes me happy and it was free.

Here is the end result:

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Sort of looks like a before photo until you  see the before photo and then realize, “Ahhh, yes..the after is better.”

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My boys were very excited to help with this project. While we were walking up and down the aisles of Home Depot I heard my 13 year old tell the 10 year old, “Well when you stain you have to go with the grain.” I mean, seriously, my heart sang when I heard that.

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My husband and our boys sanded the wood and then stained it using a stain we already had at the house.

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So in the course of 2 days we got a project DONE!

Any areas of your house you just want to tackle right now?

Posted in bathroom, house projects, husbands | 2 Comments

Summer Fun List 2015

Here’s our summer fun list for 2015:

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This summer is just flying by…I’m hoping it slows down soon because none of us want to talk about the “starts with sch-, ends with -ool word” yet!

Posted in activities, Alex, Andrew, caroline, summer | 1 Comment

Easy Lazy Day Art Project for Kids & Adults

Here’s a fun art project I discovered when cruising around the web…Glue & Salt Painting!

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Here are the directions:

1. Make an interesting design with some glue on your paper – we went abstract but you could easily makes a butterfly, house, car, fish, etc.

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2) Generously pour salt over the glue.

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3. Shake off the excess salt carefully.

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4. Use watercolors to paint the salt. The more liquid the paint the better.

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5. The salt will just absorb the paint right up.

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6. Have fun!

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I even got in on the art action with my creation below.

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My younger two and I had a really nice time painting on a rainy day. We sat at the table for about an hour making several pieces a piece. We listened to Radio Disney while we painted and just talked about all sorts of topics.

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I could have used the time to clean the dishes or fold some laundry but I’m really glad I just sat and spent some time with my kids.

*Sidenote – this is art that will be thrown away after a day since the salt makes it virtually impossible to hang up*

Posted in activities, Andrew, art work, caroline, crafts, paper craft | 1 Comment