Friday, October 26, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 43 ~

This is gonna be super brief because we are about to start movie night and we are watching The Muppets. :) I haven't seen it yet, but we all love the muppets around here and I don't want to miss the beginning.  My photos this week are from the other day when it was absolutely gorgeous and about 80 degrees.  Today it is raining and cold.  Ohio weather is weird like that.  Here are my favorites!

 I had to make collages because I had so many.  They were having a pretty amazing leaf fight.

 I love that one that looks like she's casting a spell of leaves. Don't worry, he got her back!

My gorgeous girl.  Jumping and off to do it again.

Okay, they're calling me from the other room...

Saved my favorite for last.  Love his eyes!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 42 ~

Fall is in full swing around here.  The leaves are gorgeous!  There is this beautiful orange tree in our next door neighbor's front yard that I just love.  The only thing that makes me sad is that it keeps getting dark so early and I know that winter is just around the corner.  And we are about to make it darker even earlier when we switch the clocks in a couple weeks.  Ugh...I am not looking forward to it being dark before we even eat dinner.  Enough of my negativity.  I need to snap out of it!  On to more pleasant things, my daughter has decided to play with her American Girl doll today which totally makes me happy.  I was totally into my dolls when I was a kid.  I had this doll named Ellie (I like to think of my niece as being named after her) :) who I loved.  She was like my daughter.  I even called my mom grandma because she was Ellie's grandma.  Ironic now that she really is grandma to an Ellie!  And my brother used to steal my doll all the time and fly her around the house calling her "SUPER ELLIE!!" and making me scream that he was hurting my baby.  A couple weeks ago when I was babysitting his daughter I made her fly on my feet and called her "SUPER ELLIE!" for revenge. :)  Anyway, I always just assumed that my girl would be into dolls as much as I was, but she really isn't.  So whenever she shows an interest in her dolls I really try to encourage it.  I really think there is a lot to be said for little girls playing with dolls and pretending to be mommies.  It's such a timeless activity with real benefit beyond some of the stupid crap that kids play with nowadays.  Since she was so into playing with her doll today I decided to take some pictures.  And since the neighbors orange tree is so pretty we used it as a backdrop!

I love this!!  I think it should be in the American Girl catalog.  :)  

A portrait of my girl and her doll, Ruby.  When she got Ruby she had short hair just like her and I still think they resemble each other even though Ruby has brown eyes.

I love that she wants to dress like her doll and have me do their hair the same.

Ruby joining us for school today.  Yet another perk of homeschooling.  She had her propped up in a chair on a stack of books and I accidentally knocked her off and she 'broke her leg'.  She spent her recess time at the 'hospital' getting a cast put on.  Then we signed it. :)

Taking care of her poor leg.   I love the sweet look she is giving her doll.

Maybe another American Girl doll is in her future?  We'll see...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 41 ~

I love the beautiful fall weather, but my allergies are going crazy this week.  I am getting behind on everything because I'm so doped up on allergy meds and then I feel like just lying around and working on trying to breathe.  Breathing is good, but just not the most productive activity.  To top that off my son is acting like he's getting sick.  It's probably because I took the kids for their yearly well-child checkups and of course every time we set foot inside a doctor's office one of us ends up sick.  Ugh.  Hopefully it's nothing nasty and just maybe side effects from the flu vaccine.  But the sun is shining and the sky is blue, so I'm trying to not let that other stuff get me down.  I took the kids outside this morning with my camera and we just explored the yard a bit.  Nothing fancy, but I love these pictures.  Proof you don't need a great location and a great styled wardrobe for a great photo, just some beautiful sunlight and some people you love. :)

My girl has a tendency to overdress for the weather.  She got this new jacket that has a furry hood, so it looks like we are in the dead of winter.  She loves her scarf too so she put that on too and her earmuffs but I made her take them off for the pictures.  Seriously, it's not that cold out.  I was wearing a light jacket and I was fine.

I really love this smiling version.  I just like her face from this angle.  Probably because you can see how sweet and round her cheeks are.

We checked out the creek and of course my boy found a stick to carry around.  What is it with boys and sticks anyway?

My boy just started doing this super cheesy smile the other day.  I was doing a phonics lesson and he was supposed to listen for some certain sounds in some words I said to him.  If it had one sound he was supposed to clap and another sound he was supposed to smile.  This was the smile.  It was cracking me up!  So fake, but I love how you can see his dimple!

I love this!!  I love the sun and I even love how the camera made a rainbow flare.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

And this is a new favorite of my girl.  I just love her facial expression and the way her hair is flipping!  So perfectly her.  She was just having a conversation with me and completely ignoring the camera.  Those are usually when I get my favorites.

I've got two photo shoots this weekend.  I'm excited, I hope the weather stays this perfect!  Now if only my allergies would cooperate...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 40 ~

Another week has flown is it that we are at week 40 already?!  I cannot believe the end of another year is creeping up so quickly.  Fall is in the air around here.  It makes me feel like I'm just grasping for a few more good days knowing that winter will be here before I know it.  I do like fall, it's just so fleeting.  I wish it would stick around for more than just a few short weeks.  Because of that I've been sending the kids outside every chance I get.  No TV, no computer, no playing in the playroom...just go outside!  I feel like I've been saying that non-stop this past week.  They just don't realize how soon they will be cooped up doing those other things and wishing they could go run around and climb trees and ride their scooters or bikes.  I wish I could somehow impress this on their young minds wherein the time goes so much more slowly.  Remember when you were little how long the days were?  Man, I am getting old...  I took some photos of my girl today while she was having a recess ~ another one where I forced her outside.  Here are my favorites.

This is where I find her most of the time these days.  In our neighbor's tree just hanging out.  It's right next to our yard and our neighbor is so sweet to let the kids play there.  He's an old widower who is always out and about puttering around in his yard and he is more than happy to listen to the kids tell them their stories and he tells them all his progress on his little projects.  It's such a sweet relationship they have.  She was playing with play-doh in the tree.  She does everything up there.  She's like a monkey.  She'll read, play with her stuffed animals, talk with her friend about who knows what, climb around and just sit and relax.  Pretty much exactly what an 8 year old girl should be doing.

I got her to come down from the tree for about 30 seconds and got this shot.  Love the light and her sweet face!

I love her beautiful lashes and the way her hair looks blonde when the light hits it.

I caught one of her giant cheesy smiles.  I love her smile, but sometimes when I see it in a photo it just makes me see dollar signs thinking of all her future orthodontic work.  Does that make me sound terrible?!  Seriously, I do love her happy smile!

My monkey in action.  I love the sun hitting her hair.

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

School Room Makeover

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I've been busy being a teacher and all. :)  When we decided to homeschool (e-school) one of my biggest concerns was where we were going to do it.  I mean, obviously we were going to do it somewhere in our home, but I didn't really want to give up any of my rooms.  We had finally gotten most of our rooms the way we wanted them after living here for over 7 years.  We had a few options...we could give up our playroom which is our extra bedroom upstairs, but then I couldn't figure out where we'd put all of the toys we had in there and I really didn't like the idea of being cooped up in one little room all day.  We could convert our living room, which also doubles as my office and just add a couple more desks for one huge office type room.  Problem was I love our living room best of all the rooms in the house and I really didn't want to share it.  That left the dining room.  One of the things I liked best about the dining room was that it was almost always clean since we rarely used it.  That and I liked all my pretty things I had displayed in there as well.  But practicality won out and we decided to give it up.  It connects to the kitchen and the living room and has pretty good light, so it would work okay with the flow of our lives (I could be making lunch and still overseeing what they are doing, etc).  One of my biggest concerns was making sure that the room still matched the rest of the house.  I didn't want it to look like some afterthought that I just threw together.  And since I knew we'd be spending most of our days in there I wanted it to be beautiful and calming at the same time.  I went back and forth a million times on what I wanted to do.  My budget for this makeover was practically non-existent so I finally just had to go with what I could afford, but I must say that I am very happy with how it turned out.  I might even go as far as to call it one of my favorite rooms.  And I might even have to admit that I like it better as a school room than I did as a dining room!  Here are some before and after shots.  Enjoy!

 The dining room before.

The school room after.  I realize these are taken from completely different angles, but I forgot to take an official 'before' picture and had to go digging through the archives to even find a shot of the room before.  We kept the walls the same colors and changed out the chandelier.  I got that one online here and although I thought it was going to be much larger than it actually is, I still like it.

I was looking for affordable bookcases and I was all set to buy some cheapies at Ikea when I decided to check craigslist one last time.  I was so lucky to score these Crate and Barrel bookcases for just $15 each!  They sell for $200 a piece on the website, so as you can imagine I was just a tiny bit excited about that amazing deal. :)  We have the 4th one in our playroom turned on it's side and it looks awesome.  I can't say enough about how much I love these shelves.  I really wanted white shelves, but I actually love the way the black goes so well with our rug.  That was another thing that was originally in the dining room that I didn't change...and I love that way you can actually appreciate how pretty the rug is now since the table isn't covering up anymore.  This bookcase stores all of my daughter's supplies that were given to us by the school (minus the globe and the decorative items).

The school sent us so many supplies that I was concerned with how to store them.  I got these photo storage boxes at Michael's on sale and they work perfectly.  I like how they are plain and they all match.  It helps make the shelves look clean.

A peek inside one of the science boxes.  The school really does send you everything you could possibly need!

A peek inside another box.  The same math cubes both of my kids had in their public school classrooms, only now they have the whole set all to themselves!

 My son's side of the room.  His shelves hold all of his school supplies as well.  

I originally wanted a window seat under the window, but the register for our heat and A/C is there and the dimensions just proved too hard to fit unless we went with something custom, so I decided to throw our bean bag under the window as a reading spot.  The kids really do use it to read and I also let them sit there when I read aloud to them.  They love it!

A close up of some of his books.  I really love the curriculum sent to us.

I had these frames and I honestly have had them for over and year and could never figure out where to put them, so I decided to turn them into mini chalk boards.  All I did was buy chalkboard spray paint at Home Depot and spray the wooden board that was the back of the frame.  They turned out great and we change out the message every few days.

These are actually the same color, I apologize for the lighting issues.  This is a message my brother left when he came over one day.  If you know him, you know that this quote is completely appropriate from him.  Also, shameless plug here, I sell these frames!  They are from The Organic Bloom and they sell exclusively through professional photographers.  So if you are interested in any, just let me know!  I get compliments on them all the time.

Another peek into one of our supply boxes.

 This shelf is on the opposite side of the room from the other ones and it holds all of our books that we own that aren't from the school.  The section on the bottom right is where we keep the books we have currently checked out from our local library.  And the bottom shelf holds our printer which you can't see in this photo, but was another thing provided by the school.

My son's side of the room.  I kept that left corner the same and just added the lamp.  It works as my little teacher station where I keep my chalk and my teacher stickers. :) 

A shot of my son's bottom shelf.  When this huge box arrived from the school I had no idea what it was or how to use it, but it was impressive!  I must say that I love the phonics program so much and it is really helping my son learn to read in ways I could never have done on my own.

The chairs.  It was really important to me to have nice chairs knowing they would be sitting in them a lot.  I was so excited to find these at the Frontgate Outlet near our house for a total steal!  They are leather and they wipe off and are just so nicely made.  I just wish they had had three of them because the kids now have nicer chairs than me!  Also notice his desk which I painted black and distressed and updated the handle with a new one.  It is the same as my daughter's desk...

Only I painted hers blue!  I used leftover paint from my front door and updated her drawer pull as well.  My mom got these desks from a hotel that was next door to where she worked.  They were updating all of their furniture and were giving away/throwing away the old stuff, some of which really was in great shape still.  She got them for us thinking we could use them in the kids' rooms someday, but they are perfect for our school room!  I love how they are the same, but they look so different painted different colors.  

We love our new school room and we love homeschooling!  I really do like it so much better than I even thought I would.  I really like knowing exactly what the kids are studying and knowing if they actually understand the material and to what degree.  It also is really nice never having homework and not having to do drop off and pick ups at the school.  :)  Hopefully this gives you some inspiration if you are thinking about homeschooling!


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