Sunday, November 30, 2008

Elf Yourself

I wanted to share a fun site that you will love doing with your family. It is We did it last year and my niece made one for us and sent it to us for this year. You will crack up laughing and the kids will love it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Playing Outside....Only in Arizona

It was finally a cold rainy day. We haven't had any rain since August. So the kids thought it was "freezing" outside and then ran back in to get jackets and hats. I was doing stuff in the kitchen and when I checked on them this is what I saw!!! Hats and jackets with shorts and make sure you notice Joshua's shoes!!! I was laughing and I just had to take a picture. I think they were just excited to finally wear jackets. They are too funny!

Friday, November 28, 2008


We ended up having a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year.  We were supposed to go over to my sister's house but they got strep throat and we wanted no part of that after just getting over the stomach flu!  We began our day by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, it is our tradition.  We called Anastasia to make sure she was watching it too.  Then everyone helpd prepare dinner.  We had enough food for an army; turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade bread, corn pudding, green beans, cranberry jello salad and sweet yams.  For dessert we made two pies, apple and pumpkin.

Joshua helped with the pumpkin pie.  It is his favorite!

I had to get out the aprons.  My Grandma Phillips made the apron that Savannah is wearing for me when I was little.

 I had the girls put together the relish tray. Even though it was just us I had to have one it is tradition.  My grandma Carson always made one for everyone to nibble on while waiting for dinner.  This tray in fact was my grandmas and it brings back such good memories of Thanksgivings past.  What special memories do you have?


Our table.. We have so much to be thankful for!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs # 15

I love Thanksgiving. Not only for the great food we prepare but the fellowship with family we have! This year my Grandma Starr will be having Thanksgiving with us - the first time in over 10yrs, I think - and that is definitely something to be thankful for! Amanda, Rachel, and I had a wonderful time making up the menu list for everything we’ll be preparing tomorrow. I always get up and want to make all the food in a hurry so we can “get on” with the day, but preparing the food with your family is part of the tradition, isn’t it?


This week, you guessed it, is going to be about having a thankful heart! Yes, of course, we should always be thankful for everything we’re blessed with, but it’s not too often we actually sit and ponder what. This week please join me in writing 27 things you’re thankful (There’s got to be at least 27things!). I picked 27 because this year Thanksgiving is on the 27th of November.

Also, share a Scripture verse for this week!

1.  Jesus as my Savior

2.  My family

3.  My kids boundless energy --even when I am dragging

4.  Being able to homeschool my children

5.  My husband's desire for me to stay home

6.  Our new library

7.  Our backyard that the kids love to play in.

8.  Computers

9.  Close friends

10.  Coffee

11.  A God who always provides

12,  Internet

13,  Rain

14.  My sister

15.  My parents

16,  A comfy bed

17.  My children's laughter

18.  Good night kisses

19.  My brother

20.  My husbands family

21.  My favorite purple blanket

22.  time to blog

23.  Dinner with my family each night

24.  A God who is in control

25.  My suburban

26.  Being able to read my Bible freely

27.  God's grace

This is our Thankful tree all full now!

"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord"   Joshua 24:15

Zoo Lights

Another tradition of ours is to go to Zoo Lights each year.  "When the sun goes down and the animals go to sleep, the Phoenix Zoo transforms into one of the largest holiday lighting events in the southwest with 2.5 million lights and more than 400 light sculptures from small stars to life size giraffe, elephants and orangutans." (quoted from the zoo web site)  The funny story is how this tradition got started.... Jay and I met in December 15 years ago and he thought it would be a quiet, romantic date to go see the zoo lights.  Well it was one of the first years for the lights and while it was fun it was anything but quiet and romantic.  There were so many people we were herded through like cattle!!!  This year we joked that with 4 of our kids we brought our own crowd along!   

I really enjoyed this year as we have a membership and were able to go on a special preview night.  So we chose the night before Thanksgiving, hoping everyone else would be home cooking.  It was crowded but not bad.  The kids had a great time and even got to ride the carousel for free!!

 This section is really cool the lights flash to the music and it puts on a great show.

This is Jenga the talking Giraffe.  She will even call out the kids names.  The kids couldn't believe she was talking to them.

Watching the tree display.

Along came a spider and sat down beside her...


Treasures of the Southwest Saguaro Cactus and a scorpion






Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Activities

As we have been recovering from the flu we have been working on Thanksgiving activities.  Anastasia is gone this week so Joshua and Savannah have been working on Thanksgiving books we created from  They have been learning about the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Indians.  We have been reading Thanksgiving books and learning silly songs.  Today they each decorated their own turkey.

Yes, Savannah dresses up all the time to do school!!

Gobble! Gobble!


These two things above Savannah made at co-op

The next pictures below are of the Turkey Collages they decorated today.

The following song was their favorite one this week:

Five Fat Turkeys

Five fat turkeys are we.

We spent all night in a tree.

When the cook came around,

We were no where to be found

And that's why we're here you see!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Polar Express

 I am finally getting to post about our trip to Williams to ride the Polar Express.  It was a wonderfully, magical time.  The kids loved it.  We drove up on Friday afternoon and the temperature changed over 30' it was great.  The kids were so excited that they were going to get to stay at a hotel and ride a train to the North Pole to see Santa Claus.  We checked into the hotel, changed into our jammies and went to get on the train.  We were riding the 8:00pm train.  As soon as we got on the train the magic began.  The chef and elf served us hot chocolate and cookies then we had a read aloud of the book and soon we arrived at the North Pole and as we looked out the window, Santa was standing in his sleigh waving at us.  We had a breif stop so Santa could get on the train.  He visited through all the train cars and gave each child a bell.  While we were waiting we sang Christmas carols all the way back.  It was a delightful way to start the holiday season.  (BTW we went early because this trip books quick every year and when we went to book it this was the only weekend left.)  We stayed the night in the hotel which also thrilled the kids as they have been asking to stay in one since our trip to SD this summer.  We drove back home Saturday morning and dropped Anastasia off at her grandparents so she could then ride with them to San Diego.

Flu Bug

 I will spare you all the details but we hopefully are over the flu bug and will all be well for the holidays.  Let's just say I am done cleaning sheets and towels and floors!!!!  Thankfully we were all well to go on our Polar Express trip which I will post about soon.  All the kids took turns having the stomach flu from last Monday night till Thursday, everyone was well Friday and Saturday and then I had it all day yesterday and part of today.  SO FLU BE GONE!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs # 14


This week I want to invite you to nominate your family to their correct categories as well has have others nominate them. While my two sisters are listed under Best Teen and Best Design, those definitely are NOT the best traits they have nor the funniest.

This is how you do it…. you post the category that best describes each of your family members and write something about why you nominated them in that category, and you’re welcome to post photos. You can see mine below for an example.

Check out my Christmas Blog

I have decided to start a blog for just Christmas things.  This will still be my main blog but on the new one I will be posting everything Christmas from traditions, activities, crafts and everything in between.  I am just getting started but come on over and visit and be sure to keep checking back.  Feel free to share some of your favorite traditions and maybe you will be inspired to try some new ones.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blogger Friend School Assignment #110

Intro: Computers Help People Help People(Marketing credit: IBM)

There are many ways computers help us.  It is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family far away, “meet” other christian women around the globe, and it can be such a blessing with homeschooling.


Share some of your favorite homeschooling sites.  The only “rule” for this assignment is that you have to list at least one “free” site.  Many homeschooling families have made the choice to live on very little income to do what they believe is best for their children and I want everyone to be able to benefit from this assignment.  If you have other sites that are “paid” sites, feel free to include these also as it might be something someone would really appreciate.  If you feel led, share your curriculum choices with us.  I always love to learn what is out there that I don’t already know about.  Please make sure to include links to the sites you share.

Wow, where to begin!  I use so many different sites...I will list some free ones first and then others:  -  This is a great site that you can sign up for free and it is a paperback book exchange.  I have found lots of great books here.  If you do sign up for this please put down my email address as a referal.  I would appreciate it.  -Great site for free lapbooks and resources    DLTK's Crafts for Kids features a variety of fun, printable children's crafts, coloring pages and more including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of our children's favorite cartoon characters.  - (I copied this description from their site.)   Great site for worksheets on basic themes and complete curriculum for some unit studies    This is a great site for forms and charts.

Other sites that I love but have a cost or sell a product are:   This is one of my favorite sites.  I own a lot of thier lapbooks (You can see pics of a completed one below).  They offer one free lapbook per quarter.  They sell "ebook" curriculum and each week they offer a free download  I love notbooking pages and she creates some really nice ones.

Of course two favorites that have a memebership but well worth it are : and

I could go on but there are others listed on the right side of my blog that you can click on as well.

For pictures here is the Explorer Lapbook that Anastasia just finished.  It is from Hands of a Child.

For this lapbook we had a lot of activities so we made a double lapbook with 2 file folders.  The front cover, above, Anastasia designed in publisher from clip art and printed out.




Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This weekend

This weekend was just spent at home hanging out. Saturday Anastasia had the play again and then we ran some errands and what not. Sunday we went to church and then I went grocery shopping ( I enjoyed some alone time with my hazel nut coffee from McDondalds (medium only 4pts. )and I just have to share I was so excited. I went to Frys (Krogers) they are having great sales right now and I had some coupons, just from this weeks paper. Guess what?! I spent $126. and saved $147!!!!! I was quite impressed. With budgets being tight and trying to save where ever I can and this excited me. What a deal.

Here are just some cute pictures of Natasha that I wanted to share. She is getting so big so fast!