Saturday, February 28, 2009

Doggie Clothing

Do you dress your dog? I have friends who dress their dogs. They buy them clothing and hair accessories (I mean fur). Now, don't think I'm judging those of you who do but I don't see myself ever getting into this hobby. I have my reasons.

1. I don't have a lot of extra money to indulge in buying pet clothing. Any extra cash here goes for the all important java runs - Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons.

2. I have very little fashion sense for myself. How would I know what to put on a dog? Do you match their eyes, their season? Someone tell me.

3. My husband would think I had lost my mind.

4. My dog is a redneck.

I have to admit that for one week when Savvy was young we did put clothing on her. It was the time we had her fixed. We needed something to keep her redneck teeth from getting to that incision site. So, practical fashion diva that I am, I came up with this.

The hand-me-down Hanes t-shirt!! Like how I added the hair tie to hold the outfit together? Actually, my redneck dog looked kind of cute. I think the outfit matched her eyes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Treasure Hunting!!

Have you ever seen the 1985 movie The Goonies? The one where the kids find the treasure map and head out on an adventure? I always wanted to be one of those kids......And for the past two years I have lived my dream!!! Well, sort of. I am a letterboxer!!!

Letterboxing gives you all of the "thrill of the hunt" fun that was present in the movie without any of the danger and kid quirkiness. Well, maybe some of the quirkiness depending on who you take letterboxing with you!!

Letterboxes are hidden all over the world and you can find their "clues" on various websites. My favorite is Clues lead you to a box filled with a stamp and a logbook. Once found you put the stamp mark in your logbook and you place your signature stamp in the logbook that is hidden. Understand? Pretty easy and pretty much a great time! This is a picture of the letterboxing stuff - clue, stamp books, my stamp (in the shape of Ohio), Anna' stamp and the hidden stamp. My stamp is hand carved by my super talented husband!!!

Yesterday, we found "The Grabby Ghost of Promont" box in Milford, Ohio. The Promont is a beautiful Victorian house built in 1865. Tours are given and apparently there is a bit of a ghost story told about the house. So the stamp inside the letterbox was related to this story. Very cool.

Anna Leigh took all of the pics. My favorite is the one below of the front doors. Through the front doors you can see all the way through to the back wall of the house. An amazing stained glass window is on that back wall and Anna was able to capture it. Lots of fun!!!

The educational benefits of letterboxing have been super. Letterboxing allows us to visit interesting places in our own city that we may not even know about. It has also been great when traveling - finding new and fun places to visit some with historical significance. And following the clues given are great for critical thinking skills!! A great hobby with great benefits!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Virginia Beach

A big plus in our gymnastic travels is making mini vacations out of the trips. Our most recent meet was in Virginia Beach. Normally, we would not vacation in Virginia Beach in February. My kind of beach weather is 85 degrees and sunny. Wind chill of 20 degrees, to me, does not make a beach trip enjoyable. However, we knew this would be the scenario this trip, so we found other nautical enjoyment in the area. The Virginia Beach Aquarium.

Even though this aquarium was tinier than we expected we did manage to have a great time. I think I need to realize that not all aquariums can measure up to "the ultimate Shedd Aquarium in Chicago".

The best, by far, at this little place was the stingray petting pool. These little guys would come up to the edge of the tank like little puppies!! Anna was thrilled!! I think she would have brought one home if allowed!!

This aquarium was undergoing some remodeling but we were able to see some other neat exhibits. The otters and baby seahorses were favorites of ours.
We ended the visit with taking in the 3D movie "Under the Sea". Freaky at times but overall an amazing video!! I admit I did have to take my glasses off when the shark came at my head!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Preparations

Anna has been busy this week. Seems when a holiday roles around (even a minor one) she is busily crafting or baking or both. Notice her valentine Chinese lantern. We found the lantern at Michael's for $1!!! She cut tissue paper hearts and painted over them with a little glue/water mixture. I thought this simple craft turned out terrific!! Simple enough that even I could do it!!! Possibly.
On Wednesday Bethany came home from college for an evening visit. We won't be seeing her this weekend so Anna made her some muffins to take back to school with her. The recipe was from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. They were carrot/peanut butter and were mighty tasty!! Unfortunately, the ones I made (cauliflower/peanut butter) were just - smelly!!!
Here are the cookies she made for friends at the gym and Christian. Dark chocolate chip - yum! She also made peanut butter. Her little table decoration is a wooden painted box with button heart holding a construction paper heart flower. This kid is crafty - I tell you.

Finally, a shot of her at work. She got into the valentine spirit by wearing red and pink. Actually, I don't even think she realized her color combination. A hoodie and sweatpants is what she hangs out in most days at home!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

School - How We Roll!

A new friend asked me the other day if we were a homeschooling family. I guess she read my post on Christian being out of school a couple of weeks ago and was just wondering if we had quit! So, I'll explain our educational journey for all of those inquiring minds!!!

When Bethany was a little over 4yo Bill and I were all of a sudden put into the position of thinking about school. Beth had never been to preschool but kindergarten was approaching and we needed to, basically, start thinking about sending her somewhere. Instead of posting about the whole investigating process, I will skip ahead in the story and just flat out say that we really felt that God was leading us to try homeschooling.

Just like families have felt God leading them in various life choices - jobs, church, finances, relocation - we just knew God wanted us to at least begin this adventure. Funny thing is I think out of all of our decisions made in response to God's leading - this one - has received the most questions!!

So we began the journey with Bethany at age five. She graduated from homeschooling and is now a junior nursing major at Xavier U.

Christian, Mr. Social Butterfly, was home schooled through the 9th grade. In 10th grade he entered school part time - played football and baseball at CCS. Now he is a full time senior - loves school - loves his friends - and loves his baseball team and is looking forward to this season!!

Finally, Anna Leigh. She is our last home schooler. Still at home. Still happy,curious, comfortable, smart and enjoying homeschooling. Right now she is in 6th grade. We'll see where God leads us for the next six years.

Did I ever question God throughout this whole process. You bet!! Bill and I knew we were following His leading but where were we going to be once that first child graduated? This was a 13 year following. I mean, we saw the many blessings throughout the years, but the thought of one of our children being graduated from homeschooling and being ready and accepted in the college community was at times - worrisome!!

Graduating Bethany was a huge, huge blessing for me personally. I saw, over a 13 year period, how God was faithful to our family for following His leading way back when Bethany was 4.

We are Grateful that we are a homeschooling family.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Snow Days!!

Over the past week we got about 10 inches of snow! Our almost 3 acres was beautiful especially with the ice covering the trees!

Anna Leigh, Bill and Savvy enjoyed it the most. Bill and Anna Leigh went sledding about 3 times and Anna Leigh and her sidekick, Savvy, enjoyed the park next door.
We let Savvy off of her leash at the park and she ran like a crazy dog!!
Her favorite thing to do was to run up the ramp of the playground equipment and slide down the slide! She would do this over and over again! Here is a pic of her waiting at the bottom to greet Anna Leigh!!

One of my new favorite activities was night hiking over to the park with Bill, Anna Leigh, and Savvy. The snow and ice covered park looked amazing in the moonlight! Great memories!!!