Summer Is For Reading (Just Like Every Other Season)

I should have posted this post a month ago.
But I've been reading.
And I'm sure you don't really care that much about what I'm reading.
Quite frankly, I like doing these reading posts because I enjoy seeing all my books lined up nicely on the screen.
(OCD much?)
I'm just going to list the books and add a link so you can go read what they're about for yourself if you're interested.
When I finish one I'll post briefly about it.
(I've already finished 3 so look out. There are favorite quote posts heading your way...)
And for the record, this list will likely take me the year rather than the summer.
(Specifically, those 6 volumes of Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series...)
When it comes to books, I always get carried away...

(Free pdf download here.)

(Free at Ambleside Online.)

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Project Vegetable Garden

This is our first year with a real garden.
Matt's parents were kind enough to construct a garden box for us as well as provide us with all the necessary ingredients for filling it.
My little Pipe is interested and has a green thumb.
(Yay for grandparents who are happy to invest in their grandkids' education!)
Project Vegetable Garden here we come!
Ah, the excitement!
Problem is, depending on my little green thumb only goes so far.
She knows what a weed looks like about as much as I do!
(ie. No idea...)
So instead of entertaining you with a post filled with beautiful garden pictures a la Heather, I'm putting you to work!

1. Weed or plant??

2. Beet or weed??

3. Carrot or weed??

4. Thin the lettuce?
Yes or no?

5. Swiss chard ready to pick or let it grow some more??

6. Is this a bad sign for our tomato plants or normal?

7. Did I thin the cucumber enough??

I know.
You're laughing your bum off at me now.
But I am really getting into this whole gardening thing.
I might even be considered hardcore....

That's right.
I was out pulling weeds in the rain yesterday.
Hubby thought a pic in my rainy gardening attire would be fun.

And even though I don't know a whole lot about gardening, I'm enjoying learning together with my girls!
Piper was right out there pulling weeds with me.

Plus I know that these are good signs that we must be doing something right!
(And my attempt to be like Heather, my gardening hero...I can hear her comments as I type this. Hahaha! But seriously, check out her blog! It is tres cool!)

"If you plant seeds with love, love will surely grow."

27 on 27

1. I am crazy about coconut coffee.

2. I am attracted to bright colors the way a moth is attracted to light.

3. I am more concerned with comfort than style. Always.

4. I don't like to talk to people or be talked to for the first hour or so that I am awake in the morning. But I'm really good at being personable regardless.

5. Roadtrips are my favorite thing ever. And roll up the rim. Gotta have me some Timmies!

6. I think a tidy, organized house is more important than a clean one. The trick is getting my kids on board.

7. I find washing dishes relaxing. No joke.

8. I have to work really hard to not give my kids everything they ask for. You try saying no to blond haired, blue eyed, long lashed girls!

9. I love sleep. Like a lot, a lot, a lot. But I've discovered it's overrated.

10. Music keeps me calm. I have song lyrics happening in my head constantly. Like I wake up in the middle of the night with a single lyric on replay in my head...

11. When I am brushing my teeth I DO NOT like to turn the water off between rinses!

12. I despise bugs and spiders but I do an amzing job at pretending like they are the coolest thing ever. (Because they are pretty interesting if I don't have to look at them!)

13. My baby's pouty lip is so cute that I wait until she does it before I give her back her soother. Bad Mommy!...;)

14. I am the opposite of a hoarder. I get rid of things that would have come in handy the very next day.

15. The best way to fall asleep is when I'm reading a book and just can't keep my eyes open for a second longer.

16. I will not wear the color pink. I don't dislike the color, I just feel kinda gross when I'm wearing it.

17. In the winter, I'm obsessive about having a hat on when I go outside. It keeps me safe somehow.

18. The best day of the week is flyer day.

19. Keep c@lm and c@rry on was my motto long before it became a thing. Just sayin'.

20. When it comes to money, I'm a paradox - I'm REALLY good at saving it and I'm REALLY good at spending it!

21. I have never owned a cell phone and have no plans to get one anytime soon. When I use a payphone I wonder if the looks I get are the same ones the Amish do when they go riding around town in their horse and buggy.

22. If I thought it was a responsible choice (and could get my husband to agree to it...), I'd have like 15 children.

23. I dislike loud noises. I may have chosen the wrong profession...
22. If I thought it was a responsible choice (and could get my husband to agree to it...), I'd have like 15 children.

24. If all the beds are made, I feel like my house is in order and life is good.

25. I'm not the crying type but when I watch someone give birth I bawl, everytime, without fail.

26. I can handle only so much social time. Once my social tank is empty, I'm seriously done. I require a good day or two of sleep and time to myself in order to recover. So yes, I'm an introvert and I'm starting to come to terms with it.

27. My favorite movie ever is "Life Is Beautiful" because no matter what, it really is.

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Hawaii @ Home!

Once we finished up our work with Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear last week, we hopped right into a new book: Hawaii is a Rainbow!
I had already decided to do a Hawaiian theme with the girls since their Nana and Boppa had just returned from vacationing there.
The problem was finding a book featuring Hawaii!
My search lead to this one at our local library.
I wasn't over the moon about it but it did give Taitum a chance to review all the colors she's been learning!
For each color there are photos of things in Hawaii.
I did appreciate that in the back of the book they explain more thoroughly what each of the pictures are.

We began our Hawaiin study by talking about the weather there.
Because it is so warm and sunny I also pointed out the importance of wearing sunscreen and protecting your skin from the sun.
We did an experiment to go along with this - a sunscreen experiment!
The girls applied sunscreen to one side of a piece of black construction paper.
Then they taped them on the deck outside and left them there for the day.

At the end of the day, they went back to see what had happened.
 The areas with no sunscreen were quite faded while the area where the sunscreen had been applied was still black!
We talked about just how strong the sun is and that this is the reason Mommy is so adamant about applying sunscreen to them when they go outside for long periods of time!

In Hawaii is a Rainbow, we learned about lauhala - a type of leaf the Polynesians used to weave various items.
(If you look closely, you can see a photo of someone weaving with lauhala in the book beside Piper.)
So the girls did some weaving, too!
They used ribbon and this wire contraption I got for free at a yard sale!
(Any idea what it actually is??)

Tait became frustrated rather quickly with this exercise and soon scampered off but Piper thoroughly enjoyed it!
I think I need to come up with some other weaving projects for her!

And what is an Hawaiian themed week without a trip to the beach?!
We ventured off to a nearby lake and spent the morning building sandcastles, burying ourselves in the sand and splashing around in the water!

We spent a day learning about waves and surfing.
This included assembling 'wave bottles'.
The girls added water, oil, blue food dye and sparkles to their bottle.

Then they shook away creating some fun and fabulous waves!

Even our littlest student enjoyed this one!

Next I cut out surf boards for them from cardboard.
They had a great ol' time pretending to surf while watching a "Surfing in the USA" youtube video!

Finally, they painted their boards and drew pictures on them!

The girls discovered what an island is!
They colored a map of Hawaii  and found it on our world map.

Then I hauled out the playdough, had them form their own island in a container then filled it with water.
They were delighted to have a little island for their princesses!
This also really helped reinforce the idea that an island is land surrounded by water.

While playing, Piper said her island was a volcano.
I hadn't planned on doing anything about volcanos since we had just learned about them not so long ago but since they are Hawaiian and Piper was interested, I thought "Why not?!".
I hauled out the baking soda and vinegar and the girls went to work, creating one volcanic eruption after another!

Being always enthusiastic about dancing, both girls were overjoyed to learn the hula!
We watched come youtube videos together to see how its done, then practiced it ourselves!

They also colored a picture of a hula dancing girl.

We also learned about palm trees.
There were many pictures their Boppa took of palm trees in Hawaii and the girls really loved looking at them all.
We made our own using a toilet paper roll, twine, fabric, beans, pompoms and a pop bottle.
They turned out to be extremely cute!

Piper and Tait also learned that the hibiscus is the state flower for Hawaii.
They made their own with construction paper, do-a-dot markers and pipe cleaner.

To wrap the week up, we hosted a luau in honor of my Mom and Dad's 30th anniversary!
(Big cheer for 30 years!!)

Much of the girls' work was displayed on the wall for guests to see.

And there was lots of tropical goodies to be had!
(Plus some Vanilla Macadamia Nut Hawaiian coffee straight form Hawaii! Mmmm, good!)

I made some Pina Colada cupcakes for the luau.
Some were simply frosted with a 'Luau Party' cupcake topper.
Others had more of a fun twist and were assembled by Piper herself!

Unfortunately, Piper was not feeling well the evening of the luau.
It slowed her down a bit but we all had a wonderful time celebrating with the girls' Nana and Boppa!
They had leis for everyone, dresses for the girls and a slideshow of pictures for everyone to watch!

The girls' (shyly) did the hula.

And the limbo!

Learning about Hawaii was so much fun!
It was a perfect way to end our school year too!
We are taking the next 2 weeks off, then jumping back into things for a few weeks while Daddy teaches summer school!

Happy summer vacation!!

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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.


Worth more than rubies.

“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson

My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.


She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!


She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!


She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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