Chrysalides Start!

Our caterpillars start turning into chrysalides!

Everett is really attached to his Sierra. Sierra is such a little mommy to him and treats him so well. If I am ever desperate to do something without Everett around (like put raw chicken in a pan!) and he’s hanging on my leg crying I call for her to take him for five minutes and she will either hold him or go play with toys with him. Such a help and she does it so cheerfully!

Man, I had some late nights that week. Everett suddenly decided that having a bedtime before 1am wasn’t acceptable. Just hanging out with Ember on my bed while she played the iPod.

That night I finally got Everett to sleep while nursing him using the boppy. I laid him down on my bed and shoved a pillow under his legs to prop him up. I knew that if I left him there for a minute before moving the boppy away he’d stay asleep. So I took this picture and then sat there for a minute and sure enough, I safely moved away the boppy and he slept for a good 4 hours! Whew.

On August 12th

Life is absolutely insane these days. And sadly I record virtually none of it.

We need some better handwriting training this coming year. The kids used the handwriting that came with their language arts curriculums last year and it was so awful. Back to handwriting without tears for Payson! Ember’s using it this year, too!

Ember was playing with her Legos she got for her birthday.

Her birthday is in a month but I gave them to her early. The other kids all have legos and don’t share with her and she’s sad about it so I let her have them early. She’s SO easy to please on her birthday she won’t mind opening one less present.

I noticed Payson wasn’t grasping the whole “magic c” thing in his handwriting book so I brought out the chalkboard to show him (and Ember joined) on a larger scale. I demonstrated and we practiced all the letters that magic c makes.

It really helped! By the end of our little lesson both the kids were writing all the magic c letters really well!

We noticed a couple of our caterpillars hanging from the top of their cup. They were just starting to change into chrysalides!

Then we went to the store because we go to the store a lot because my kids eat so much!!

Everett fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep when I moved him to his stroller. It was a more peaceful shopping trip thanks to that.

These three got new bedding because it’s been a long time since anyone got new bedding and we were in desperate need of some!

This little boy loves bananas!

I set up a shelf and put it by the TV. We have two shelves like this for homeschool supplies and they’re full! I guess I have a lot of school stuff!

After everyone (including Allan) went to bed I was still up with a cranky Everett. He didn’t want to lay in bed with me. He wanted to be up (I believe it was 1am) and I was exhausted so I tried to “wear” him to sleep.

It didn’t work but he was happier in there while I got some extra chores done.

Kitchen Science! Egg in a Bottle

I saw this idea on this youtube page. It looked fun and we had all the supplies minus a bottle. I grabbed a kiwi watermelon Snapple at Wal-Mart on one of our grocery shopping trips (and let Allan drink it) and then rinsed and dried the bottle and our science experiment was ready to go! Oh and also, if you do this experiment with your kids, use a bigger sized bottle opening than a snapple jar. A gatorade bottle has the perfect sized opening so maybe get a gatorade (32 ounce) and hold the opening up to other glass bottles in the store to find the right size! The Snapple jar opening was just small enough that our eggs broke as they were being pushed into the bottle.

Last thing before I get to the photos is, I would recommend doing this with kids. It was so fun and easy! My kids sat there stunned for several seconds afterward when I explained what had happened. It boggled their minds that the air outside the bottle was what pushed the egg into the bottle. They’d all assumed somehow the match and hot hair and smoke had sucked the air in. They were talking about how the air, which they couldn’t even see, pushed the egg in the bottle. It was really awesome seeing them think about that with wide eyes! Learning about air temperature and effects was so fun!

I found the source of our science experiment worksheets that I used to use with the kids. It’s here, second worksheet down. I tweak mine in photoshop before printing.

Ember drew pictures on hers as well as wanting to write everything the other kids were writing. I would write the words that she wanted on the white board and she’d copy them.

Everett busied himself with unloading our homeschool supply shelf.

Here are their finished science experiment sheets. We’ll put these in page protectors in their homeschool binders once they arrive. We ordered them weeks ago but they’re not here yet. We can’t wait, though!

After that we did math and language arts. I try not to take too many pictures of homeschool just because we do it every day and I’d have a million photos to sort through. But I couldn’t resist taking this of Payson hunched over his book.

Payson still gets confused over certain math terms. I need to make a printable for him to keep on hand to refer to which words mean addition and which mean subtraction. He’s good with minus and take away and fewer but subtract still confuses him each time. Same with addition. Though he’s good with all the other additions words. Well, he still doesn’t know what sum means. Haha! I need to take a day where we do nothing but learn the math words. I did that this day and it did help him a lot. I drew a cartoon of Link on the board because if Payson is ever struggling with a math problem (which is pretty rare, he’s pretty good at math!) I just tell him a story problem using arrows and bombs on Zelda and he gets the answer in a flat second. haha

Lemon Volcanoes!!

It’s been a hot minute since we spent some good time on science experiments. I hated that my life got away from me enough to put the things I really love to do on the back burner while I was trying not to drown in the things I had to do.

I love to do science experiments (and arts and crafts) with my kids. It’s my very favorite. Well, reading them good books is probably my favorite. Then crafts. Then science experiments. And then math. And handwriting next… honestly, is there anything about homeschooling I don’t enjoy?! haha! I really do love teaching kids. I don’t enjoy teaching every kid on earth. I don’t enjoy teaching someone who has absolutely zero desire to be taught… but any child remotely interested in learning, I’m golden.

So blah, I talk way too much. Let’s move on to our science experiment!

Isn’t a white board the best thing ever? You can use it for information or just for a nice visual for your lessons or experiments or even craft time.
I got the idea and information about lemon volcanoes from this site.

I got a bag of 12 lemons. We used 8 for the experiment and then 4 for painting later in the day.

I’m too lazy to explain all the directions but basically lemon juice mixed with baking soda is going to create a reaction. It’ll foam up. Adding a drop of dish soap and some food coloring makes it better!

Payson was so cute during this. All my kids were and loved it but I about died of cuteness every time he’d say, “I LOVE this! This is the MOST fun!! This is SO fun!! This is SO cool!! This is so much fun!!” He was smiling and laughing and kept saying all these things about it. It was seriously the freaking cutest!

I’m going to try really hard this year to do as many experiments as I can. I don’t know if there’s a “thing” out there called kitchen experiments but my hope is that I can find many of these experiments that you can do with things found in your kitchen (and therefore free or cheap) or with very few or very cheap purchases to help. I love science experiments but can’t afford to spend more than a couple dollars on each one. This lemon volcano cost me $3 total for 4 kids.

I had little cups (to save money they were the old used and wrinkled up cups I gave Everett to play with weeks ago) filled with more baking soda and lemon juice near each kid so they could alternatively add more baking soda and then lemon juice and vice versa, creating more little explosions.

This next picture makes me want to cry. Look how grown up my beautiful daughter looks! My gosh I wish her childhood never had to end. I wish she could live with me forever and ever. My kids are growing up!

The next thing we did is use the last 4 lemons in the bag to make paintings.

By then Everett was cranky that mom had spent an hour and a half not holding him (the arm tattoo is because sometimes your four year old wants you to wear tattoos with her)

Payson made a big mess of himself.

Next, because I’m crazy, we also did some salt painting.

And if that’s not enough we then colored pictures of the kids I made in photoshop using this tutorial.

I put Everett down so I could clean the kitchen and a minute later we spot him over by the drying lemon paintings having the time of his life walking a toy (I think lego) horse through all the paintings!! (Side note: he ADORES that toy horse)

And then he really wanted to talk to daddy. And then he carried my phone off and I couldn’t find it for a couple hours.

This was the mess I had to attend to.

Handmade Dollhouse, Shelves, and Wonton Taco Bowls

We use an old toybox and we cut up some empty cardboard boxes and boom, Shopkins house.

We have so little furniture. Our kids don’t have dressers. I don’t have a dresser. We don’t have even close to enough shelves or storage. Our kids don’t have beds. I could go on but the point of bringing it up is I spotted these shelves at Wal-Mart (for $19) and stopped and put four of them in my cart right then and there. The kids were SUPER excited about helping me set them up since all you do is screw in the bars!

Here are two set up in Brooke’s room. Ignore how empty the bedroom is, it’s a work in progress!

I found this mini taco bowl recipe online one day and thought it looked good but needed tweaking. I googled wonton tacos and found this recipe that sounded even better. It was so good. Definitely adding it to our weekly dinner rotation! For the boys since they’re gluten free, I just mixed the inside taco stuff with some rice and filled some of the muffin tins with that. Everyone loved it. Huge hit.

One stupid thing I did was spray the muffin tins over my kitchen floor. 99.99% of the time I spray them over the sink but the sink happened to be filled with a big soaking pan. I have a tiny sink in this house so I just thought, okay- I’ll just grease this muffin tin over the floor this one time.
My floor was a mess. You can see Everett’s footprints as he was in and out of the kitchen (hanging on my legs and whining most of the time) while I cooked!

This isn’t a great picture but shows how the rice + taco meat mixture turned out when baked in a muffin tin. It was perfect! He and Payson loved this meal a lot!


Saturday morning Allan wears Everett and does the dishes. Is this what heaven is like?!

Saturday afternoon we go on a huge hunt (two stores) for church clothes. There are three people in our family with practically no church clothes (or actually none, Payson) and the rest of the kids have very few things appropriate. We are lucky and find just enough to get us all properly clothed for church. Now we just need two or three more outfits so we’re not wearing the same exact thing every week. Church clothes shopping is my very least favorite thing to do on earth. I’d honestly rather clean my bathrooms :/

Saturday evening we drive to Washington to Liberty Lake to hike.

Hiking at English Point

This was a really easy hike we went on. It was really, really beautiful there. Sometimes we go on hikes and I only take one or two pictures and sometimes we go somewhere so pretty I can’t barely make myself put my camera down! This was one of those places! I need to go there with the purpose being photography because man oh man, it was amazing!

I love it when Allan wears Everett on hikes. I really don’t like my back being destroyed all the time holding that kid. It’s so nice to just hike with no one on me!

Plus, how cute is this sight??! So. So cute.

Sierra found this cool stick so we had to take some pictures.

The light was interesting that day. It was partly cloudy so sometimes super bright through the tops of the trees and other times muted and almost dark in there. It was really humid that day, too. I think 77% humidity.

Sometimes I look back at pictures and wonder what my kids were laughing at. Here I’d give Ember a small bouqet of purple flowers thinking she’d love those. She is in an anti flower phase after being chased by a bee and then stung by a wasp, she hates being near flowers, wearing flowers, or holding flowers! She’s terrified a bee or wasp will chase or sting her.
So when I gave her the flowers she immediately tossed them on the ground. I looked down at the flowers with fake concern and hurt. She cracked up. I milked the moment by saying sadly, “I can’t believe you threw my flowers on the ground.”

After the photos I took of the girls Payson wanted some of his own. I said okay, smile. He said, “No, zombie!”
Okay then.

Eating brains, naturally.

Oh I never talked about how it had rained while we were out. It started pouring and Allan found a completely dry spot under a thick tree. We hung out under the tree keeping Everett and the camera dry while the four other kids ran around up and down the path in the rain. It was REALLY fun!

Payson plays this game with the other kids where he is King Simon and barks orders at them. He uses a rough, deep voice and takes this game very seriously. The other kids obey his orders (which is probably why he loves it, respect and obedience from his usual bully sisters?!) and Everett busts up laughing over Payson’s voice so it’s a fun game for all. A loud game (King Simon is never quiet) but fun.

Ember Plants and My Daughters Are Blind!

Ember’s plant was knocked off the windowsill and after trying my best to put it back in the greenhouse it wasn’t working. The roots had no space to grow and her plant was dying. We planted it outside. Of course it died immediately. We’ll start over with planting. The kids want to do flowers in pots and I want to do herbs. Will keep you posted.

Brooklyn likes this book series called Warrior Cats and there’s a character, JayFeather (is it one word?), who is blind. Brooke pretends to be Jayfeather all the time by closing her eyes when the kids play Warrior Cats. One day I offered to tie a scarf around her eyes instead and she loved that!! Then all the kids wanted to play blind so we did. For probably an hour (more?) they played blind. After a while of regular play I started messing with them by tickling them or putting weird things in their hands (like avocado!) and they LOVED it. We were all laughing like lunatics and having the best time. Wisely I remembered to take a picture at the end to remember the day 🙂

That night Allan was watching fishing videos on youtube. Ember was sitting on my lap and I was braiding and playing with her hair.

Cafe Rio for Lunch, Dinner at Home!

Cafe Rio is our favorite. We lost a dear part of our life coming here to Idaho, let’s have a moment of silence as we grieve Chik-fil-A.

Okay, let’s gather ourselves together and move on with our lives. We can be more thankful than ever before for the awesomeness that is Cafe Rio. We are so grateful Coeur d’Alene has one. So grateful.

Allan was slightly embarrassed that I let Ember go in public after doing her own makeup. I wasn’t embarrassed. I was impressed with how well she’d done that day! Look at the specific colors on different parts of her eyelids! Girl’s got talent.

I told her she wore makeup than I do and she was amused. We took pictures to compare our eyes on the back of the camera.

Hours later, back at home, it was dinnertime. I was making one of the easiest (and not exactly healthiest) recipes on earth, Porcupines in a Skillet.

And as much as I adore my babyest boy I wasn’t loving cooking with him at my side or on my hip so I asked Allan to take him.

And while dinner simmered on the stove I hung out outside.