Sunday, January 29, 2012

Around the Home

I love to see the sunshine during these long Winter months, even though the wind chill is still cold for me! We spent the day at home catching up on and starting new projects... Tried out a new whole wheat sandwich bread recipe... yum!
While I was kneading bread, ZB was playing underfoot, and then crawled out of the kitchen to explore. Once I noticed it had been quiet in the house for a little too long, I went to investigate. This is what the newly 10-month-old was up to...

After we tidied up the bathroom, we let the bread rise and went to see what the guys were up to. Turns out B was supporting cheap child labor and hired the kids to help him work on the poultry pen :)

After all that work (well, the boys work!), it seemed a good time to test out our new ice cream maker. I scored this beauty at the thrift in new condition, even with the box and instructions for $2! We used to use a hand crank, but man, you really had to work for that ice cream - the kids were BEGGING for a plug-in ice cream maker, and I just wasn't willing to spend the $10 that most thrifts price theirs at. This one was priced so cheap because it has a quarter-sized hole on the back of the motor casing. So, as long as you aren't prone to putting your finger into a running motor, this was a good buy :)
And not long after we figured it out, we had delicious mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, made by the kids! Even for someone like me who doesn't really like ice cream, I'll admit, it is pretty good!
Here's Reed's photo for the day. I used to dress up my cat when I was little, so I can't really blame him - and Bear is a good sport, too... haha!

Stay warm everyone!
~ Julie

Friday, January 27, 2012


We thought ZB was done with the johnny jump-up, so it's been at a baby friends house for several months now. When it was returned, ZB realized she loves it again! She loves it so much she doesn't even want to leave it when she falls asleep :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fancy Livin

I'm not a particularly high-needs kinda gal - I'm fine with old furniture, knowing that kids will destroy it sooner or later... I keep the house a comfortable level of messiness - a controlled chaos of sorts. One day I'll pay more attention to it all, but for now it just doesn't bother me...

B, on the other hand just discovered Craigslist. He bought his first computer not long ago, and now is discovering all it's wonders! Now that hes figured out all the great deals on craigslist, he's getting all *fancy* in our house! He had some gift money burning a hole in his pocket. First he bought this cute breakfast table - it fits perfectly in the kitchen and reminds me of the sweet table and bench we had in my childhood house. The benches even have underseat storage for homeschool books and art supplies - I love it!

Then, he started clearing out the living room of a sagging sleeper sofa I picked up from Freecycle several years ago, and a well-loved, hand-me-down rocking chair. He then freshened up some of the paint:
And found a great deal on a furniture set and table set - look who's fancy now!

Good thing B likes doing this sort of thing - I'm terrible at picking out furniture and arranging it. Now on to the other million projects on the list...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh, my sweet kids!

I love these sweet kids in my house! The boys made dinner tonight from a new cookbook from the thrift called "Super Sandwiches" (highly recommended for folks from older kid/tween ages through adult - yummy stuff and great photos!). In honor of our friend Joe visiting, they made Sloppy Joes. Super delicious, indeed quite sloppy and not any left in the pot!

After dinner, the kids are all happily entertaining themselves, so I decided to open a pumpkin homebrew (oh yes, they're delicious!!) and finish my book...

I did end up finishing the book, but not without stopping to videotape the cuteness of the baby noises (oh, the silly things I can be convinced to put on video!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012


We love TCMU (The Children's Museum of the Upstate)! This is a pretty, 1-hr drive south of us, in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. It is a huge museum, and there's no way to explore it all in one day, but we keep trying :)

This was ZB's first trip to TCMU, and she loved it of course. We met up with a few homeschool friends there, and even got to enjoy a picnic lunch on the lawn in the warm sunshine...

The most popular exhibit with my kids, this trip, was the science of motion area. They got to explore wind tunnels... both small -

And large!

They also could design paper airplanes and fly them through hoops, play in race car simulators and build their own miniature race cars, then race them on tracks that also let you experiment with friction on the course. Here's 2 of the boys working hard to design the fastest (or sometimes just coolest) racecar:

The families all re-united on the lawn for a picnic lunch and ZB had a nice distraction in an adorable puupy that one family brought:

We then went downstairs and while the big kids built dams in a model of the Reedy River...

While ZB had a blast in the lilypad table!

The music room kept everyone entertained for quite a while:

And then they were captivated by the stop-motion animation area

We had a short stop in the toddler area, and the kids had a blast helping ZB particpate there:

We were all nearly ready to go, when the kids realized they hadn't checked out the kids grocery store! By far, this was ZB's favorite - even the older kids LOVED it! The cash registers & scanners really worked, the store was very intereactive even with a bakery that you could decorate the cakes. ZB didn't notice any of that because she had her work cut out for her by pushing a little shopping cart around the level. I thought she'd give up after a few minutes, but she wheeled it non-stop for at least 20 minutes! It did the trick to tire her out, and she slept the whole way home :)

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