Saturday, December 29, 2012

Moving Right Along

One of our great neighbors came over on Chrstmas eve day to help B put new hardwood floors in the new bedroom.  Here's the scene from the morning:
The guys wanted doors open, power tools running and a VERY loud air compressor in the hallway.  So the kids and I took our leave... except Clay, who as he gets closer to the teenage mark seems to have the magical power to actually sleep through anything!
We went to one of the few places that was open on Christmas Eve day, the hands-on science museum.  It was probably only open because it is connected to a mall, and was surprisingly full of little kids (I figured it would be desolate from the holiday for some reason).  It was ZB's first time there and she LOVED it!  Reed found plenty of science experiments set up for him to explore and ZB was enchanted by the sprawling toddler areas.

Hey, hands only, miss!

 I didn't actually get many photos of Reed since I was chasing a busy toddler around, but did find Reed had been sculpting big legos and wanted to capture the creation before a toddler came along to destroy it!
And this is the lovely scene I came home to.  There were some tool malfunctions which took up some unaccounted-for hours, but they finished before nightfall.  I can't wait to get started finding furniture and making ZB's room a cozy place to be:

Friday, December 21, 2012

A New Room

I finally got the boot out of my office space!  It's time to give ZB her very own room.  Eventually B will wall off a section of our large bedroom to make a new office for me, but for now he is in full-on "New Bedroom Mode".
First, we had to clean out the office - for now all my sewing supplies and ebay inventory are piled in our bedroom.
Next, the carpet was pulled up and B repainted the trim and ceiling:
The new shade of "Sassy Lilac" is started.  As much as I love new paint, I can't stand to pick out a color!  B and the boys were happy to take this on, and I think it looks so sweet!
Even Reed lent a hand.  Actually, he *begged* to be able to help paint, and ended up painting an entire wall!
As I sit here typing, I can hear B sawing off the bottoms of the door jams, preparing to install the new hardwood floors he bought today.  This is a really fun project, and I'm also excited for it to be done so we can start getting the house organized again :)  Staying busy as always!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Busy days

Reed's Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team has started meeting at our house for the weekly 4-hr meetings.  Already my sewing/ebay room has the additions of a walker, a wheelchair, a tricycle, huge sheets of cardboard, rolls of paper and a big tub filled with miscellaneous - hot glue guns, fake greenery, drinking straws and the like.  And this is only the first week - yikes!  Hopefully before the New Year, B will be putting hardwood floors down in this room and it will eventually become ZB's bedroom:
Here the boys are gearing up for a homeschool craft day this week.  They each set up tables with their handmade goods.  Reed made snowglobes and dog treats.  Clay made PVC marshmallow shooters and little hackysack balls (balloons filled with sand).  They did really well selling items and had a great time putting them together.
ZB, of course kept busy all week - this girl is into EVERYTHING!  Reed left his iPod unattended while he left the room and this is the scene he returned to:

Here she is tonight, trying to "help" me take photos of a baby chair I am selling.  Everytime she would get off of it, I'd try to sneak the camera back out and snap a photo and she would come running to sit down and have her picture taken... well, I finally did get a shot of it, and about 10 of  ZB in it :)

 We are also holding the Connecticut families in the light tonight, that are trying to come to terms with losing their children in such a horrific way.  So sad for so many.  I hope they find some peace in their community over time.  I'm certainly giving my kids some extra hugs and kisses and I hope you'll do the same to all the sweet kids in your life!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Little Helper

Even the normal chores are taking longer as little ZB insists on helping.  But she's so darn happy to do it (literally, throwing her head back and laughing!) I just can't stop her.  And thanks to Sissa for ZB's new favorite slippers and matching PJ's - she loves them!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More Stop Motion!

Reed made his second stop-motion animation lego film - this one is a breakdancer.  Check it out!  And if you have a you tube account please leave a comment or 'like' it - it will put a big ole' smile on his face!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chico Bags for the holidays

We are selling Chico Bags to raise money for our Odyssey of the Mind team. Please take a look at their online catalog, and follow the directions for purchasing. ChicoBags donates 50% of the sale to our team, which helps us pay for renting space, materials, registration, etc.
Also, come visit us at The Hop on Merrimon this Wednesday from 6-8. We will be doing spontaneous problems, answering questions about OM, and taking orders for our fundraisers!

Asheville Homeschool Co-op OM is fundraising with ChicoBag! Support Asheville Homeschool Co-op OM by purchasing items at using the code: AHCOM12

 50% of each sale will be donated to our cause. Get orders in by 12/17/2012.  These make great and useful presents for holidays and for yourself - and there's even a 'Blossom' collection (how could anyone resist? ;)

Thank you!!
- Julie

Friday, November 9, 2012

Stop Motion Animation

Check out Reed's first Stop Motion Animation film, he made all by himself.  Extra points for having to ward off a curious toddler during the making of the project.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Harvesting the Sweet Potatoes

The cold nights and chilly days have signaled the definite end to Summer.  For the gardens it means to get Summer goodies all out of the ground and get Fall plants started.  Due to my general laziness this year and pre-occupation keeping up with a toddler, we only put in garlic and kale.  B did get in about 200 garlic plants, and I added about 50 more of a couple different varieties - yum!

Remember those sweet potato slips I started in my kitchen last Spring?  They went nuts when I planted them in the garden.  I had to prune them back out of the walkways weekly!  The leaves finally started to get brittle from the cold, so time to pull them up!

The harvest needs to cure for a minute in the shade before they are brought indoors for storage.

ZB wasn't quite ready to finish working, though...

When I finished the harvest and went in to make lunch, B surprised me with the very last garden-ripe tomato of the season - we savored it!  Oh, I'm going to miss those!  The wimpy greenhouse ones in the grocery store lack nearly any flavor, so I pretty much go without buying fresh tomatoes all Winter... boo.
I thought I'd add some other photos that were on my camera today.  This is one of the best ways I know to keep the girl still (at least long enough to change a diaper).  If I've got my camera handy, she'll grab it and turn it on, so I make sure to snap some photos of her so she'll have something to look at, and get excited saying, "Baby! Baby! Ma!"  Here ya go - cute baby very patiently waiting for me to hand the camera over to her :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Random Assortment of Halloweeness

The kids and I woke up bright and early today to help out at our Homeschool Co-op's annual Halloween Festival.  Clay helped in the Haunted House by constructing a spooky haunted forest out of an old EZ-Up, cardboard tubing and tree branches with some friends.  I made a donut-on-a-string game (no hands allowed!) which was delightfully sticky and messy, as well as an icky feely table with holes cut in cardboard boxes to feel dried up tongue (dry apricots), maggots (oily cooked rice), witches fingers (baby pickles) and more grossness.  I kept hearing shrieks of, "EWWW!" so I think it was a hit!

The boys went trick-or-trating with friends tonoght, but before they left, I did make sure to snap some photos.  Reed made his own mime costume again (boy, did our kitchen smell like permanent marker for days on end).  Clay went steampunk (google it if you don't know what this is :) this year and created a really cool costume out of lots of odds-and-ends, leather clothing from the thrift store and bronze spray paint.  And little ZB became a sweet a little forest gnome in her mama-made costume.

Mime and Gnome:
 So Gnome-y (and would not stand still!)

 Steampunk (this took about a month of planning - very cool!) :

The idea for ZB's little toadstool skirt of her gnome costume is from this cute blog I found - The Life of a Cheap Chickadee - Thank you!
Happy Halloween everyone!  I think I need to go clean off the floor in the boys room in anticipation for it soon to be covered in candy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Arthur Morgan School Fall Festival

Our day at the beautiful campus of the Arthur Morgan School in Celo, NC for their annual Fall Festival:

Reed carding wool:
ZB with a bit of face paint flair:
Clay (in blue hoodie) learning blacksmithing (one of the favorite activities of the day!)

Afterwards, we stopped in at a nearby goat farm to visit the creatures and let the kids run through the lavendar labyrinth:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beach Trip!

We finally took the beach vacation I've been wanting to do for years!  Our destination was Hunting Island, South Carolina. It was a nice, 5 hour drive to warm sunny weather, palm trees and desolate, undevoloped beaches.

Reed's thoughts from the beach:
- The mosquitos found out that Reed's blood is very very tasty.  Now everyone else does not have to worry about vampire attacks because they will go for Reed's tasty blood first.
- Raccoons are CRAZY!!!!!
- Always have bug spray handy
- I saw dolphins (a dolphin was 12 feet away from me!), and a bunch of crabs, and a giant horseshoe crab.
- I touched a shark.

Clay's thoughts from the beach:
- Boogie Boarding was fun and apparently Reed's blood tastes good
- There are way too many mosquitos
- Biking on the beach and all the roads was really fun.
- There was a really cool place on the beach where it was forest, but all the trees were dead.  When the tide came in, it looked like all the trees were coming out of the water.
- I wanted to see ghost crabs there, and I did and they were smaller than I thought
- The End

Blossom's thoughts from the beach (translated by mama):
- Who knew bike riding was so fun?
- When you camp at the beach, it means lots of naked time for baby
- Bug spray tastes terrible
- I sometimes thought I was a mermaid and tried to swim underwater, but mama wouldn't let me.

Mama's thoughts from the beach:
- I am so grateful for all the fabulous people at the Asheville Bike ReCYCLEry -they helped us get our dusty bikes road-worthy for FREE!
- I can't believe how much stuff I crammed in my little car!  Bikes, tents, bedding, backpacks, cloth diapers, food, water cooler, boogie boards, sand pail, cooking gear ... whew!  It was comical really, how loaded down our car was.  Why did I sell that minivan anyway?
- Raccoons that have been hand-fed by other campers are no fun for people who do not enjoy hanging out with them around the campfire.
- The South Carolina mosquitoes just laughed at our natural bug repellents.  I broke down and bought DEET.
- Loved camping with good friends!

Early morning shell finding:

Turtle nesting area:

Reed is taking some great photos lately with his iPod.  Here's a video he shot and some of his pics from the trip:


Turtle skeleton in State Park Nature Center:

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