Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm still here ....

A few weeks ago I sat down one Saturday morning and drafted out my blog posts for the remainder of the year. I chose the dates, scheduled the times for (almost) daily posts and began composing the text.

Then life happened.

Both my boys have birthdays in December. Eight days apart.

We had taekwondo belt testing mid-month.

My mom came for a visit four day visit.

We had the regular Christmas stuff - presents to buy, make and wrap. Baking to be done, meals to prepare and general house upkeep.

And pictures to take. And snow to play in (sort of.) 

Something had to be neglected.

My blog was neglected. I planned to decorate my blog for Christmas. It still shows fall. I planned several birthdays in December posts. I guess I can use them next year. I planned out some Christmas posts too but again, maybe I can use them in 2011.

So here we are close to the end of the year (my kids would say New Year's Eve-Eve-Eve-Eve) We'll be starting a new year. And a new chapter in my blog. I am not going to dwell on what I didn't get done. :)

I have been on the web writing about our life since 2001. Back then it wasn't a blog. (Were they even around back then?)

I started my first family website after we moved out-of-state with Music Man just a year old at the time. It was designed to give our family and friends a way to keep up with the goings-on in our life and chronicle Music Man's milestones. Over the years it has been a place to write about my family. When I finally gave up the website (which I was still coding myself) and created a blog, I was able to afford a little more freedom in what I wrote about. It went through several changes and makeovers before we finally settled in here.

Now I am streamlining once again. I will still write about random things. I will still post recipes, decorating and my projects and such. But I am attempting to bring about some changes in my blog for the better. I hope you will join me as I embark on this new journey!

What changes are you making this year?

Friday, December 10, 2010

TOS Review: Good Morning, God

If you are familiar with Apologia, you know they produce quality homeschool materials. I first became aware of them while researching a creation-based science curriculum and was delighted to find their series of science books for elementary through high school

A few weeks ago, I found out that the TOS Crew was going to review the book Good Morning, God and was so excited when we received it! Though my boys are 11 (gasp!) and almost 7 (in just a few days) we still enjoy picture books immensely. Good Morning, God is designed for 1-8 year olds and fits in perfectly in our home. Music Man loves looking at the pictures day after day and both boys enjoy the repetition throughout the book and prayers.

Written by Davis Carmen, this book can be used as devotional material using the daily activities in the back of the book. There are open-ended questions that allow for the child to think. My boys loved working through those questions and thinking about abstract concepts such as "meeting God in the air." In the story, each day of the week focuses on worshiping God in a different way. The little boy is quite reminiscent of some of the things my own boys do and it was delightful to see how his parents taught him throughout the book. (I especially loved seeing him jumping on the bed.) Artist Alice Ratterree did an amazing job with detail with the illustrations! A short one-sentence prayer shows children that God wants us to pray from our heart. Scripture is taken from the NIV and allows for additional reading and studying through the activity section. 

So many children's books that talk about God are too cheesy for me. My kids may love them but I do not. We all throughly enjoyed this book and I am so pleased it was added to our home library!

I received Good Morning, God free of charge from Apologia for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TOS Review: Telling Time with the Master Clock

In our very digital age when penmanship is considered outdated and card catalogs are obsolete, an analog clock could also be revered as a thing of the past. Watches are digital, if worn at all. It seems America's main time telling piece is a cell phone!

Master Innovations aims to combat some of the digital age with a simple and effective way of teaching time telling concepts through The Master Clock. The Master Clock curriculum is a breath of fresh air for homeschools and classrooms competing with the digital age. The 100-page workbook is filled with worksheets for all levels of time-telling. The three geared hands are color coordinated with three clear overlays for measuring time in varied increments. And they are also fun to adjust. :)

I've said before that when Music Man came home last summer he could not read a calendar, tell time or work a simple addition problem. As we worked on the very basic of math skills, he started to thrive. Especially as we took the time he needed to grasp the concept rather than adhering to the state mandated time constraints. I began, without a curriculum, explaining little things to Music Man as we de-schooled through the summer. We did not really begin looking at time until the fall (of '09) and once he got the hang of time to the quarter-hour, his grasp of time came to somewhat of a stand-still. So we put time aside and focused on something else. When we received Master Clock to review, I was thrilled and have not been disappointed! He is able to see so much more clearly the correlation between hours, minutes and seconds through the colors and layers of the Master Clock.

Master Clock is a bargain at $14.95! Other products available include Master Ruler, Master Fractions, Master Angles. (They are all on my list for upper level math learning!) 

Want to see the Master Clock in action??

I received Master Clock free of charge from Master Innovations for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, November 29, 2010

RECIPE: Pumpkin Spice Latte Goodness (or How to Make a Latte without an Espresso Maker)

Today on the eve of the last day of November, I am craving the last bit of fall. It is looking a bit frightful outside and we have been listening to Christmas music all weekend, but I haven't really pulled out the decorations yet. This is certainly getting me ready for decorating though!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Goodness

2 cups whole milk
2  tablespoons pureed pumpkin (I use Libby's)
1-2 tablespoons sugar (I use my homemade vanilla sugar instead of sugar and vanilla and drop it to about 1 t of sugar. I don't like sweet coffee!)
1-2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Pumpkin Pie Spice (OR 1/4 t cloves and 1/2 cinnamon)
1/2 cup of freshly brewed strong coffee

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Love that whisk in there - leftover from my days as a Pampered Chef. (I'll never be without one!)

Remove from heat, stir in spice. Oh so perty!!

If using vanilla and sugar, then add the vanilla now. No imitation flavors here. Use the real thing. Artificials are bad for you. And imitation vanilla is just gross. Process in blender for about 15 seconds until you have some scrumptious foamy goodness!

Pour into a large mug or two mugs if you are in the sharing mood. Pour the coffee on top. YUM!

Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of spices if desired.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been making my own laundry detergent off and on for the past seven or eight years. I began making my detergent because I needed to downsize our budget.You will hear about some of the other reasons in a later post. :)

Originally, I used Fels Naptha but I am unable to tolerate the smell anymore. I began searching out an alternative and found that some folks use Ivory. Other soaps mentioned were Kirk's Coco Castile and Zote. I have found Kirk's at a couple of grocery stores (Kroger in the bath soap aisle and Publix in the laundry section aisle.) Homemade detergents can sometime make clothes dingy. (Mine did when I used Fels Naptha and I quit using homemade detergent for that reason.) I read recently about Mrs. Stewart's Bluing and immediately bought a bottle. You only need a few drops per load so it lasts forever. Zote has brighteners added to it, but I haven't been able to find it locally yet. I was told to try Big Lot's and looked yesterday to no avail. I'll keep looking though to keep my options open. :)
Dawn's Homemade Detergent Recipe
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup baking soda (not pictured)
1 grated bar laundry soap (Currently using Kirk's Coco Castile (It smells like Ivory so I am able to tolerate it.)
a few drops of essential oil (if desired - lavender is heavenly!) 

When I start my laundry, I turn the warm water on first, add 1 T of detergent per load (2 T for extra large loads) and then allow the washer to fill an inch or two. I then turn it the water to cold. The little bit of warm helps dissolve the detergent. If it is a hot water load I skip this step and just start it with hot from the beginning. If needed I add 1 cup plain white vinegar to the bleach dispenser and then add my clothes.Vinegar can be used to soften clothes or to cut the stink. :) It is great for toileting accidents too!

I need to warn you about  something. Your clothes will be clean but they will not smell like what you are used to. This lack of scent does not mean that they aren't clean. In fact, it means quite the opposite! I have always hated laundry detergent smells and love that my clothes are clean and smell fresh, not perfumey!!

To dry clothes in the dryer, I use small scraps of toweling dipped in fabric softener (Seventh Generation brand) and dry normally. I hang as many things as I possible can to avoid running my dryer.

This is my normal laundry routine. I have a completely different one for stinky/smelly/work clothes. That is another post (coming soon!)

Do you have a frugal laundry tip? How does your laundry routine differ?

Monday, November 15, 2010

TOS Review: Corps of Rediscovery

What little boy doesn't dream of creating his own fort a la Swiss Family Robinson? How many bows-and-arrows, guns and other weapons have been rudimentary crafted from sticks and string in a given year? Now boys everywhere have another option (which is especially good for those who don't live near woods!) The Corps of Rediscovery has a line of products designed for the little boy who wants to make his own toys. 

We recently received a Tomahawk Kit for review and had the best time crafting it. (Farm Boy adores arts and crafts of any kind and was totally psyched about this project!) We sat down one afternoon and painted it. While it was drying, we looked at some of the other items Corps of Rediscovery that we might enjoy such as the Pioneer Felt Ball Kit and the Fringe Pouch Kit. One of my favorite things was the Deer Antler Buttons! Talk about using every part of the deer! How cool would those be to embellish the Leather Vest or Headband?

Loved having a boy themed craft (though they offer a lot of girl crafts too!!) Easy directions. Great hands-on lesson!

None really. Farm Boy needed some help tying the leather strap around the stick. Nothing a little father-son bonding can't fix!

Check out Corps of Rediscovery for great Grand Reopening deals! The Tomahawk Kit is regularly priced at $7.99 but during the Grand Reopening is only $5.50! Many of these crafts would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas!

I received a Tomahawk Kit from Corps of Rediscovery for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, November 8, 2010

RECIPE: Beef Up My Stroganoff

This recipe is altered quite a bit from a Southern Living recipe book given to us in the early years of our marriage. When we first made this we were broke and could only afford, we still make it with hamburger. Fresh mushrooms are a must and the consomme, sherry and lemon give it exceptional flavor. Once we were able to afford sirloin, we preferred it with ground meat. We also double the recipe since we all love it and fight over whatever might be left over! 

Classic Beef Stroganoff from Hamburger (or as we call it Stroganoff)

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion (chop finely and the kids will never know they are in there!)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons butter (use the real thing not fake stuff)
2 tablespoons flour (can sub corn starch)
1 cup homemade beef broth
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (It does make a difference! Once you try freshly ground, you will never go back!)
8 oz sour cream

Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until browned, stirring frequently. Add hamburger and cook thoroughly.

Add flour and next four ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a boil; reduce simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Gently stir in sour cream; cook until heated thoroughly (do not boil.) Serve over warm fat ribbon pasta (like No-Yolks) and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fleecy Sheets and Undershirts

The top bunk belongs to Farm Boy. My boys do not use a flat sheet to cover with, but each have a quilt my mother made them and topped with their comforters. They always got tangled in the topsheet and they were a pain to straighten every morning.
Without HVAC it gets chilly 'round these parts. Once the temps drop below 50F at night, the boys wear undershirts under their jammies to give them an extra layer of warmth.  It also combats the whineys ("I'm coooold!!!" in the mornings when it is time to dress for the day.

I have always loved the idea of flannel sheets since I am so very cold-natured. Hubby on the other hand scoffs at the idea. I've pondered whether I could make up some fitted sheets with flannel on my side and regular material on the other, but I have gotten that ambitious yet. If we ever move north, I may have to. He is a great sport though and often warms my side of the best so I don't have to get into it and shiver until it warms up. The boys are not so lucky. One of the best things we came up with last year was having topping their fitted sheet with a fleece blanket. My sister gave them some yummy fleece blankets one year for Christmas (embroidered with their names on them 'cause she's cool like that!) They worked perfectly! 

You can see the fitted sheet peeking through. We got the bunk beds from Craigslist back in the summer. They were originally in a college dorm and they look it. But they were very inexpensive - $50 for the set!! They will be refinished in the spring.

Yummy cozyness. I'll be making them some flannel pillowcases as well.
The boys don't have to get in a blustery bed and they stay warm and cozy throughout the night.

Friday, October 29, 2010

TOS Review: Buckets O' Fun

It is almost certain that if you have boys, you anticipate dirty things, creepy-crawly things or yucky things. It is just part of their life and what makes them boys. There are exceptions to the rule, my Music Man for instance, but for the most part, moms deal with these things and just blame it on "boys will be boys."

Buckets-O-Fun makes clean yucky fun! Made from polymers, this non-toxic substance takes on several forms depending on which Yuck is being played with.

Sticky Yuck
Saucy Yuck
Snowy Yuck
Chunky Yuck

Marketed originally for youth groups, Buckets-O-Fun would be great for science class! I would have loved to try out some of the suggestions mentioned such as Saucy on a Slip N Slide or in a water balloon but being it is fall here, it was a bit too cool outside to try those. :) Other suggestions include Pirate's Treasure (hiding toys in it), Saucy on a Slip-N-Slide, Yuck Wrestling, and a Yuck Balloon Toss! Can you imagine the mess when it breaks?

My first thought when I received my samples was the sensory input. Music Man has never liked getting dirty and usually takes a while to warm up to a new texture. (The kid still hates the feel of grass or sand under his feet.) Yucks could be very useful for occupational and speech therapists who are treating kids with tactile aversions.

Want to see it in action? Check out these YouTube videos!

Buckets O' Fun
Prices range from $16-20 for one pound of Yuck
Ages 5-95

** Due to chemical allergies in my boys, I was the sole reviewer for these products. 
Music Man and Farm Boy did not actually play with the Yucks. **

I received several samples free of charge from Buckets-O-Fun for the purpose of review. 
No other compensation was received.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Join THE BLACKOUT at the Athens Area Humane Society

Come Meet Your Match during THE BLACKOUT at the Athens Area Humane Society! Black animals take much longer to adopt than their more colorful counterparts. This event is helping to find forever homes for loving black cat and dogs in the Athens, GA area.

THE BLACKOUT runs through this Sunday, October 31, 2010.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day '10

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day - October 15th. This is the ninth one that I have experienced since I had reason to know what it was. In July 2001, I lost my middle son, Samuel. Below is Sammie's Story, taken from the Remembering Your Baby website, an organization I founded to help parents experiencing the loss of a child at or before birth. 

In December 2000, my husband accepted a position as Minister to Youth and Recreation at the First Baptist Church in Belle Glade, Florida and we made preparations to move. With the holidays and moving we weren't paying much attention to my cycle dates and I got pregnant, though at the time I didn't know it. It took until early February to realize it and not too long after that, our oldest son ended up in the hospital with respiratory distress (related to low muscle tone and severe gastro reflux.) Since we resided in the hospital for most of February, I didn't get to an OB until I was 12 weeks along. At my initial appointment, we were told that my amniotic fluid was low. No one was terribly concerned knowing the schedule I had been following while living in the hospital. We blamed it on not eating right and very little sleep. The doctor told me to take better care of myself and he would see me next month. At the next appointment, there was not enough improvement so I was sent to a perinatologist (maternal specialist) who confirmed that my amniotic fluid was indeed low and that the reason was that there were cysts on the baby's kidneys. There were actually no kidney on one side and very little tissue except for cysts on the other. We were told that the prognosis was not good and that we needed to get over to the genetic counselor right away to discuss our options. My husband looked straight at the perinatologist and told him there were no options; we were not aborting regardless of outcome. I was 18 weeks pregnant at the time. The next day we saw a urologist (kidney specialist) who confirmed what we were told the day before. We were devastated beyond description. We were told I would not carry the baby to term and that the defects were incompatible with life. The actual problem was not the cystic kidneys, but the fact that a baby's lungs cannot develop in the womb without amniotic fluid. The cysts on the baby's kidneys were preventing the amniotic fluid from replenishing in my womb.
I was just over eight months pregnant with Sammie when I went into labor. He was born by cesarean section and his heart beat for about an hour. He was a beautiful, precious gift - one I wouldn't trade for anything else. He looked exactly like our oldest son, except his hair was wispy, strawberry blond and very curly, whereas his brother's was full, black and wavy. We kept him with us for several hours creating precious memories, taking pictures and just holding him.

Please join the wave of light by lighting a candle at 7:00PM in your time zone. If you are local to me, we will be at the Courthouse in Monroe.

TOS Review: Soli Deo Gloria Map Skills Unit Study

Farm Boy is a geography nut. He began studying the US map when he was a mere four years old. Now, at almost seven, he can place all the states in an unlined US map and can almost match up all the capitals. The boy loves his geography! When we received word of this review, he was stoked!

Map Skills came to me as a 31-page eBook. It is a three-week unit study that includes day-by-day lesson plans for a four-day school week for grades K-6. The overview of the unit gives Recommended Resources to use in addition to this plan. Following the lesson plans are optional activities for older students or those who want or need additional practice. 

From the overview:
The only thing you will need in addition to this unit will be your standard math curriculum and your phonics program for young learners. The above skills are taught through a variety of methods including; workbooks, hands-on activities, crafts, kinesthetic activities and map work. When you are planning your day, keep in mind that hands-on activities and crafts always take longer than you expect!

I love unit studies for this reason! It is a nice change from our day-to-day schooling to just take a break and focus fully on a particular subject. The appendix holds a reading list, four Bible worksheets related to the study and answer keys for them. A sample page from the lesson plans is available on the website and happens to be one of our favorite days. My boys got a kick out of the game variations such as using a the directional spin on Simon Says!

Soli Deo Gloria resources are created by a down-to-earth homeschool family with a heart for missions. We used Kindergarten Basics in our homeschool last year and loved it. I love the Charlotte Mason style in her resources as my boys love to create and do things rather than have me talk all the time. (Who would!?) There is a wealth of information in the Free Resources section of the website as well! Go check them out! You won't be disappointed!

As a member of the TOS Crew I received the Map Skills eBook  free of charge from Soli Deo Gloria for the purpose of review. Opinions expressed are my own and no other compensation was received.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TOS Review: Lanschool Makes School Cool

This is the coolest. I mean, really. When my boys started playing on the computer - supervised on specific websites - I worried they might accidentally click over to a website they shouldn't be on. Like some of those scary teenager games - or worse. And then it happened. They were happily playing an age-appropriate phonics games and suddenly I hear a shriek from my office where the computer is. Then there were creatures fighting and guns blasting. "Mamaaaaaaaa!!!!!" they yelled. Inadvertently they had found themselves somewhere they shouldn't be with only one click of the mouse.

Then there was the time Farm Boy asked to work on his Capitals (a map program where he places the name of the capital city on a map of the US.) He has them all learned now but is trying to beat his best time and this particular instance he got a little behind. Instead of continuing on, he decided then quit and just play chess. Not that playing chess is a bad thing. He was just supposed to be doing schoolwork and well, I don't consider chess part of school. 

If Lanschool had been on our network, I could have avoided both of these situations. Marketed as a "Classroom Management Software," I found it to be so much more! Lanschool is designed to alleviate the distractions of technology in a classroom while using that technology to teach. But knowing my kids can only go where I say they can go online or only use certain programs during schooltime is so worth the investment in and of itself.

There is a message feature where the student can ask a question of the teacher (through chat.) The boys and I loved playing with that - it was their first glimpse at true technology, not just playing a game or gathering info for a project on the web. You can also send a private message to one student or the entire class (or homeschool.) I loved the "clear screen" option where you can personalize a message that disables the student computer(s.) It really got my boys' attention! 
We had the National Geographic Kids website up and they were watching animal videos as we demo-ed the software. I loved watching what my boys were doing and how long they stayed on a particular video. You can monitor what they are doing on their computer by viewing their desktop or just looking at the history log at a later time.  You can even designate things they can't do such during schooltime such as email or IM or social networking! We aren't there yet, thank goodness. But the option was there.

Another neat feature (and one probably used most often by school districts) is being able to show the teacher's desktop to the student and teach them through it.

Now don't just take my word for it - head over and get a guided tour. Then sign up for the 30-day free trial. The cost of the software is only $99 for a home license (up to three computers) and tech support/upgrades for three years! It is invaluable for a homeschool with kids who understand how to navigate the internet. Mine do not - yet. If purchased when the kids start surfing (or using online curriculum,) it could work out to be just a few dollars per year throughout the entire school career. For me, Lanschool is peace of mind. It is a must-have for any family whose children are online either using the internet for school, research or fun.

I received a trial of Lanschool free of charge for the purpose of review, no other compensation was received.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pictures ARE Worth A Thousand Words (Or At Least 210 Words!)

I seriously wish I had had Vocabulary Cartoons as a kid. I am such a visual person that mnemonics have always been something I relied on to help me through daily life. I learned early that by making up a silly rhyme or using one already thought up would help me remember something for a test. 

Or someone's name. 

Or how to make my kids' favorite breakfast. 

Oh yes, now the truth comes out about the way I memorize recipes. Well, anyway. That's another post.

The tag line, "Kids Learn a Word a Minute and Never Forget It" is true in our house. Designed for elementary aged kids, my second-ish graders loved the book! There are 210 cute cartoons that create a visual, giving the student an edge in remembering what the word means. Definitions and pronunciation guides are also listed with a separate page dedicated to each single word.


I am a big fan of online samples. Many a time, samples are the deal maker for me purchasing a curriculum helper for our homeschool since it gives me a chance to see if something is really a good fit for us. Vocabulary Cartoon's fourteen (!!) pages of samples are straight from the book! One of my favorites is actually the first one in the book and the first one we learned. 

Farm Boy, my youngest, loved Vocabulary Cartoons so much and will still laugh about "abducting a duck!"

This book is great for independent learners who need some extra work to do or for students who struggle in vocabulary. And for public schoolteachers, there are blackline masters, PDF formatted discs, and overhead transparencies, in addition to the books. 

Still not convinced? Here is a word list in its entirety!

In short, we loved this book and cannot wait until we are ready for the SAT Prep volumes!  

The Details

Vocabulary Cartoons from New Monic Books (Love it - even the company name is a play on words!) 
$12.95 each
Age: 3rd-6th grade

I received Vocabulary Cartoons from New Monic Books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and these opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New-To-Me Living Room and Color Palette Help Needed

So you may remember a month ago when I posted my couch for sale. I bought it after we moved to GA since my beloved crushed green velvet suffered an untimely death to a cat over Christmas break before we moved. I begged hubby to let me keep the couch and recover it. I LOVED that couch. But that is another post. *sigh*

My other couch did get sold, but not before the one I wanted was also sold out from under me. Dang those Craigslist sellers! Anyway, I held out and waited. And waited. And waited. And then ....

I bought the loveseat for the same price I sold my couch for! The couch was a bonus FREE!! (It needs a little work and has a rip in the middle back cushion close to the seam which is now hidden by that pillow. But it is from Ashley Furniture and is oh so comfy!!

Please excuse those awful wrinkles. They are only stuck up over the rod and are being held in place with a safety pin or two for this pic. The curtains divide the family room from my office which is now on the other side. I will be getting some some clips to hang the drop cloths properly so have a while "wall" there where entertaining or push them back when we need circulation into my office room (where we watch Hulu!)

I had in mind to make slipcovers for them using Lazy's Girl's Guide to Slipcovers. I'm thinking of using the drop cloths like what are on my windows. My issue is this: it is going to be a good while before I have the time and energy to make the slipcovers. What should I do in the meantime? I would really like to bring lighter colors in to the living room since the paneling is so dark. I would love to find a beautiful fabric to recover the pillows and add some *umph* to the drop-cloth curtains on the other side of the room.

I have my curtains from my old house up right now just trying to decide if I want to use them. They would have to be altered the at both the top and the bottom if I used them. The have tab tops which look weird with the drop cloth tops and well, capris are not a good look for curtains! I think I have decided I don' t love them in this house since they just blend into the wall and certainly don't help with lightening it up in there.

The curio cabinet will be finding a new home (at an aunt's house.) The side table is not quite right either - would love to paint it, but we will see. The lamp is not even plugged in - shopped the house for it! It has never been used. Bought it for $5 last summer at Wally World. Love it, but it has been shadeless until now and I'm thinking it needs a bigger/longer one anyway. And I think it longs for a coat of paint! But what color? The paneling is very dark but will not be painted as this is my husband's grandparent's house - the old homestead. Since we are temporary residents I will not even ask to paint.

I have a large mirror for the spot over the loveseat and some other decorating things planned, but it is hard to get into it not having a color scheme decided on. 

On one hand I am thinking add a cooler color to help offset the overpowering warm tones in there. I want white, camel/khaki and a shade of light blue eventually. But right now I am thinking khaki with persimmon.....not sure the blue would work with the olive? The piping on the couch and loveseat is khaki so that would work nicely.

So what would you do with this room?What colors would you use?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm in Checkmate!

photo by e.phelps
Farm Boy has taking a real liking to chess. He asked his daddy to teach him since he inquired about the checkerboard table after we moved in to our current house. (In our last house, it was covered with a cloth and he didn't notice it as much.) After several inquiries, Farm Boy was able to convince his daddy to teach him. They have playing about two months now and Farm Boy is getting really good at it. He even loves to play on the computer!

Well, a few nights ago as he was getting ready for bed, Farm Boy was told to make his way to the back and brush his teeth. He, at a mere six years old, still gets uneasy in the dark and did not want to go into the back part of the house to his room.He complained a bit about the dark and I told him to go the other way (through our bedroom.) He opened the door and lamented about the dark in there as well.

"I can't go that way," he said, pointing at the dining room. "And I can't go that way, " pointing at my room. "I'm in checkmate!"

Well, that was it. Hubby and I both lost it. We consented and got up to turn a light on for him. After we composed ourselves.
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