Sunday, December 18, 2016

Blossom's Little Things

The boys flew off to California this week to spend Christmas break with their Dad.  It is very weird not having them home - so quiet, so little food being eaten, you get the picture!  We really do miss them a lot, and I know they're having a fabulous vacation!
At the airport at 6:00 am:

Here at home, Blossom is pretty much non-stop with the silly cuteness!  She made this concoction and placed it on the kitchen counter with a straw in it, where it's sat for a couple days now.
But beware!  It's actually a trap for robbers!!  If you do get confused and think about drinking it, Blossom has made a precautionary sign to place next to it:
Today, Bobby hard-boiled a bunch of eggs, and asked her to make a little mark on each of them so we we know they are hard-boiled.  This is what she returned to him:

Love it!

The holidays are keeping me busy with childcare in the home, and Blossom is thrilled to have friends over so often!  I just hit a deer with my van, so the car-repair costs keep coming at me, and I'm grateful for this extra holiday work right now with so much childcare.
This week has found us doing a lot of simple crafts for the season, like salt dough ornaments (and play cookies, as they ended up becoming)...

Love to all, hope you have a fun holiday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween 2016

Happy Fall!

As always Fall time finds Blossom constantly changing her mind about Halloween costume choice.  After she described the dress she wanted me to make for her (fur-lined, no less), and I looked at my busy October calendar, we decided to google "easy homemade costumes" and she quickly found an idea she loved.
And she could help make it herself!  I bought a dress and leggings from (so that they can be reused for regular clothes after the holiday).  Blossom was excited to sew the leaf sleeves by herself.  We hot-glued a headband together and voila!  Presenting the "Hot Pink Azalea Blossom":
Here she is with her trick-or-treat crew ready to hit the streets:
This was the first year she was really into Halloween.  She ran up to each house, remembering very well all of her trick-or-treating manners :)

We had our annual homeschool Halloween party, and unfortunately, Blossom got sick about 10 minutes before it was time to leave, so stayed home with Dad.  Reed did go and had a blast, though!
Reed also had a much more complicated costume in mind, but he was out of town this month and couldn't find enough time to make it happen, so he created this Shy Guy costume (a character from Mario video game) from a nightgown and hoodie from Goodwill, and a paper plate and fabric scraps.  Turned out pretty great for a last-minute costume!
And here's Reed with his whole crew before they hit the streets!  This may be his last Halloween of Trick-or-treating, I'm glad he's still doing it ... I love these kids!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Nantahala Gorge

Before Summer is officially over, we stole away to the mountains for a weekend.  I have called Bryson City, NC home before, and it was great to go back for a visit! 

We got a great cabin in the woods, right on a creek outside of Bryson City.  I could have easily hung out just at the cabin the entire weekend!
The cabin area had lots of little fun things to poke around and explore.

We did go have some adventures, though! 
We went hiking at Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It was the perfect weekend to go as Labor Day had past, but "leaf" season hasn't started yet.  The weather was still perfectly summer-like, but we weren't surrounded by other visitors!

The boys and I rented inflatable kayaks and boated down the Nantahala River in the Nantahala Gorge.  No photos of that, as the camera surely would have been soaked over that 3 hour ride!

On the last day, we had planned to go back to Deep Creek and go tubing, but the kids were worn out!  Instead, we drove back down into the Gorge and just relaxed in the river, watching boaters and rafters float by, while we enjoyed locally-made ice cream sandwiches - yum!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Delicious Summer!

I'm so glad Summer is here - it's my favorite season.  I'll take the heat, bugs and humidity when it also means swimming, gardens, minimal clothing, ice cream, berry picking, sleeping with the windows open ... I love it!

The boys are both back from California now.  Reed turned 13 right when he came home! 
Bobby bought his a pool pass for his birthday, so now he has started riding the 2 miles on his bike to the pool nearly every day!  It's exhausting for him now, but I'm sure by the end of the Summer he'll be a pro at the ride.

I'm doing childcare nearly every day of the week, and we have so many sweet kids that come over to play.  On a recent walk we took, I led the kids into an empty lot to see if any blackberries were ripe - oh they were!
The girls filled their skirts with the ripe berries that were weighing down the branches.
They picked and explored for quite a while before they decided they were tired of getting scratches from the brambles!

Stained hands and bellies full of berries made for another wonderful Summer day!

Thursday, June 16, 2016


We are finally settling back into regular life after the Iowa trip!
Right when we came home, it was Clay's 16th birthday!  He hung out with friends all day and went to the skate park.  He and his friends did stop by the house for a minute to open presents and have some cake.

The very next day, both boys left for California.  Clay is spending 2 weeks there with his Dad, Reed is spending a whole month!!  That is definitely the longest that Reed has been away from home.  He's very excited!  He'll come home just in time for his 13th birthday.

Blossom did a ballet camp the following week which she loved.  She can't wait to start real lessons next month.  In the mean time, she's doing weekly swim lessons at a local gym.
Here she is at the little "recital" for parents on the last day:

We met up with some homeschool co-op friends to do a fun hike to the lake!

And now that things have settled down, I started having kids over to the house again for childcare... messy art projects and all!
Finally getting settled into Summer!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


We had a fun trip to Iowa.  The kids took 4th place at World Finals!!  So impressive!
 (waiting to go on)
They were all feeling under the weather on the morning of the performance, but pushed through and did great!  Here is their vehicle they designed, using a swing as the propulsion system:
Grandma, her new husband Bob and my brother David all came from Omaha to watch the kids perform.

On our way to Iowa, we stayed a night in Chicago.  We spent most of our time in Millenium Park, admiring all the art installations, playing the in water features and the boys checking out the skate park.

We meandered along the lakefront.
We wandered to Buckingham Fountain and saw Pat Sajack and Vanna White filming for Wheel of Fortune (I was so excited that I actually *knew* who celebrities where - it's rare!)
Blossom made new friends as always:
We even got a great group photo before leaving to find Chicago deep dish pizza (mission was successful!)

Iowa was of course filled with all sorts of cute moments.  Reed loved having the mix of teen activity and family time and of course new travel adventures!  Blossom soaked up all the attention from being the only little one there!

The return trip took us through St. Louis where we explored City Museum, which is basically a super fun big kid/adult playground.  Giant slides and ferris wheel on the roof, even!
Blossom was not a big fan of all the walkways and climbing paths that were made of welded metal - she didn't want to be able to see through them!
But she did dig the castle!  Everything behind her in the photo is part of the museum, so many tunnels and things to explore - and this was just the outdoor part!
While in St. Louis, we walked to the arch, of course!

It's so fun taking a trip with a kid who is so easy-going and finds the beauty even in the empty field next to the hotel!

I'm so proud of the teens for going out in style.  This was their last year doing OM, and they won first place at States plus a Renatra Fusca award for extreme creativity.  Then went on to rock out the World Competition and come in 4th!  A good way to kick off the Summer as well :)

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