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Monday, December 29, 2008

GINGERBREAD FUN!!


Aren't these amazing? The boys and I went to The Westin Savannah to see their annual gingerbread and Christmas tree display. It was awesome!! The picture of the large hotel like building is actually The Westin Savannah in gingerbread!! Cooper has said up until this day that he could eat the entire Westin (meaning the gingerbread Westin)!! This was the first gingerbread village that the boys have ever seen and they thought it was great. I have to admit, I did too!!
This was one of my favorite pieces in the gingerbread village. I love the bridge!! It was just too cute!!
Here are the boys on the Savannah Belles Ferry. We took the ferry from one side of the river to The Westin. They were so cute, both on their knees, looking out into the water, I had to take this picture!! They love the ferry. It is a free ride across the river and they think that it is the best thing!!
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AHOY MATEY!!


This huge ship was downtown in Savannah on River Street during Thanksgiving. We had heard from some friends that there was a ship in the river that you could tour for free, so we toured it. It was awesome!! Here are the pictures of the ship (it was huge) and the boys on the upper deck!!

Here are the two troublemakers trying to drive the ship and navigate! Lord help us if they decided to leave port!! It was a beautiful ship. The wood was polished and beautiful. I would love to really sail on it and I think the boys would too!!
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CAN YOU SAY CROQUET?


Tony bought us a croquet and bocce ball set after Thanksgiving. The boys really like bocce ball (they had played it before) and we all LOVE croquet. Tony and I are really competitive and these games are great for "friendly" competition!! It has been so warm this month that we really got a lot of great use of the games. It has been really great for us as a family. I am posting this link here because I think that knowing the rules for croquet can count as educational, right? I hope so!!
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Friday, November 28, 2008

MORE MORE FLOWERS AND FUN!

Cooper is taking some time to smell the flowers (leaf in hand again - boy they loved those leaves!!). Cooper has always done this, even when he was little. He has always loved smelling the flowers. Once again, do you see the yellow? I know, I know, you are tired about hearing about the yellow, but I truly believe that I was meant to see the yellow that day just to remind me to take time at the gardens and to enjoy the beauty that God has given us.
The sand dollar and the little bird girl were too cute. As I try to notice these beautiful things in life, I am also trying to capture them on film or video so that we can remember them later. This garden was so beautiful and had so many beautiful little additions in the gardens. Since moving to Savannah, I have been fascinated with the "Bird Girl" statues as well as the fountain at Forsyth Park. They are just real symbols of Savannah to me and when I see these symbols somewhere, I love it!!
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MORE FLOWERS AND FUN!!

No, I did not just take pictures of yellow stuff! I told you guys in the previous post, it was amazing at the yellow in that garden at that time. Aren't these roses beautiful. I was so impressed. The Chatham County Garden Center and Botanical Gardens is home to several prize winning Georgia roses and these are two of them!! What a little gem we have here in Savannah!!
Here are the two "explorers". There are several boy scout trails that wind along the garden and believe you me, we read the names of each one and traveled down each one. Here are Carter and Cooper, leaves in hand, reading the markers for one of the trails.
As I have said lately, I have felt the need to just take time and enjoy the things that I would normally rush through in my life. I am also encouraging and at times enforcing that the boys do this also. This bench overlooked a really pretty pond. I asked the boys to just sit down and look at the pond and tell me ten things that they liked or that they saw in the pond that they thought was something cool. We are going to do things like this more often in nature. Appreciate more, live more, love more and be thankful more!!
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FLOWERS AND FUN!!

The boys and I took a field trip to the Chatham County Garden Center and Botanical Gardens as to try and complete some of the requirements for the Georgia State Parks Junior Ranger Program. Here are the boys clowining around in the beautiful gardens!!
Recently, a friend of ours, Jim Maier passed away. Jim's favorite color was yellow. Tony has been wearing yellow to work a lot lately and as I was taking pictures at the gardens, I was struck at how much yellow was in the garden that day. I was taking pictures of different trees and flowers and this one just struck my fancy. Notice how vibrant the yellow is! What a great reminder to be thankful for the simple things in our lives!!
Well, if this is not the cutest kid on the block, I don't know who is. This is not a posed photo. I asked Carter to turn around and as I shot the picture, this is the shot! HOW CUTE IS HE? This leaf was collected off of the ground to keep for our Junior Ranger stuff. Notice the yellow again!!

There was a beautiful (and in bloom) Rose Garden at the back of the gardens. The picture at the left does not do it justice. It was filled with rows and rows of roses (say that three times fast). Walking around the gardens in that area, you could just smell "rose". I am not a fan of fake rose smells like in lotions and perfumes, but I love fresh roses and their smell. I also love love love the Rose Petal Ice Cream from Leopold's in Savannah! O.k., off topic, but it really is great!!
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I IS FOR . . . ICE CREAM

Cooper and I have been working on lapbooks for each letter of the alphabet as we go over them in our Kindergarten studies. So, we could not go over the letter I without making ICE CREAM!! Here you see Carter and Cooper mixing together the sugar, milk and vanilla. Even though this is Cooper's unit, Carter wanted to participate so that he could have some of the end product!!
You have to shake the ice cream mixture in the zip lock bag for about 10 minutes for it to harden. You can see that Cooper was very diligent in his mixing of the ice cream. He sat on the counter and mixed and mixed and mixed. He had the towel because his hands were really cold half way into the process!!
OOOOOO . . . . the look on his face. It's like a kid in an . . . Ice Cream Store!! Can you see how excited he was. He was ready for his hard work to pay off!!
THE FINAL PRODUCT!! Look at those swirls of goodness. The right ice cream cup has some whipped cream on it. Carter wanted to go above and beyond homemade ice cream!! He wanted the works. My kid . . . you can tell!
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BARBIE AS A MUMMY!!

O.k., so I know that Barbie is in a bit of an odd position and situation here (with no clothes on and all), but this was a great learning opportunity and I was not about to pass that up for the modesty of a doll. As you know by previous posts, we are studying Ancient Egyptians and mummies in our history and geography text, The Story of the World. Our activity book said that we should mummify a chicken, but I was really scared about the smell of that. So, I was wondering what was the closest thing we had, that looked like a person, that was in our house and that we could mummify. I came up with . . . Barbie!!
Cooper was not to sad to give up one of the two Barbie's that he owns for his educational advancement. O.k., he did not say it that way. It was more like, "We're going to make my Barbie a mummy? Awesome!". So, after rubbing Barbie with our "spice rub" to preserve her, Carter and Cooper pretended to take out her vital organs and place them in canopic jars and began wrapping Barbie in her shroud of linen (helped along by some plaster of paris).
The boys took turns and wrapped Barbie very gently, making sure to cover all of her extremeties individually. Oddly enough, her hair was the hardest part to wrap. I guess, had she been in a house full of girls, she would have had no hair by now, but lucky for her, she lived with boys. In this picture, Carter is wrapping Barbie's hair. I don't really know if the Ancient Egyptians cut off the hair or left it and wrapped over it. The boys asked this question and I have been meaning to look it up and calm their thirst for this knowledge. Well, they're not really thirsting. They asked because they wanted to cut off her hair because it would be easier and I said that I did not remember the Egyptians cutting off the hair and I wanted us to mummify Barbie as close to the "real" way as possible. HA!
Our finished mummy.
R.I.P. Barbie - she sacrificed her life for the sake of her owner's education. Barbie - the selfless doll.
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SPICE BOYS!!

As we continue to work through Story of the World for our History and Geography text, we are doing some really great activities. We are continuing to study the Ancient Egyptians and now we are moving on to mummies. The Ancient Egyptians used oil and spices to preserve the bodies of the dead. Here, Carter and Cooper are making their own "spice rub" as we have affectionately come to call it for our "mummy". Our "rub" consisted of vegetable oil, cinnamon, ginger, and basil! MMMM . . . the smell of . . . !!

Here is our final "spice rub" concoction. It really did smell very good. I don't think the boys really understood how just spices could keep a body from decomposing and smelling bad, even though the concoction smelled good. However, in December, we are going to make a pomander for Christmas and I will bring their minds back to the Ancient Egyptians and how they also used spices to preserve!! Wow . . . even oranges can link back to a discussion on Ancient Egypt!!
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HOMESCHOOL GROUP SKATE DAY!!

Here is Cooper in his awesome "trainer" skates. He was really excited to go skating. Our homeschool group, F.E.F.C. has a skate day once a month at Super Goose Sports in Savannah. The boys really love it as it gives them even more time to spend with the kids from their co-op and different homeschool activities that they go to!!
Here is the skater himself, on the rink. There were a lot of kids at the skate day, but Cooper held his own. He is growing up to be such a big boy and a cutie!!!
So, true to form, Carter was flying through the rink so fast I could not get his picture skating. I did, however, snap this shot of him laid back on a carpet roll that was sitting around the rink at Super Goose. He was a little tired, to say the least. This was the first skate day that he was able to use his new in - line skates (purchased by Uncle Timmy and Aunt Sally for his birthday - THANKS!). He really did great! He and his friends were flying through the rink!! They had an awesome time!
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HALLOWEEN FOR ONE!

O.k., so we are going to call this picture "The Halloween That Never Happened". These are Carter and Cooper's $20 & $25 Halloween costumes. I spent $20 on Cooper's Transformer "Bumble Bee" costume and I spent $25 on Carter's Obi Wan Kenobi costume. I am happy to buy Halloween costumes because I know that one day, I will no longer have to buy them and I will miss that time in my children's lives. However . . . see below.
When I have to buy a $25 Obi Wan Kenobi Halloween Costume for a child that then had his trick or treating taken away from him because he had been so disobedient, I loath spending that kind of money. I loathe spending that kind of money on an costume that was worn for these pictures only and then ended up in the dress up bin in our playroom. While we felt terrible for taking the priviledge of trick or treating away from Carter, it was the only thing that we could take away that would have been "big" enough to make up for his terrible behavior. Anyway, Carter had no trick or treating and we felt guilty the entire night. Cooper did and he had a great time doing it! Please take a good look at both of these pictures so that we can at least get a little of our money's worth on the Obi Wan Kenobi costume. THANKS!
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

IN MEMORY - JAMES RUSSELL MAIER


I recently took the pictures above as I have really been trying to appreciate the beautiful things in life and take more than a few seconds to enjoy these things of beauty. I know that this is a homeschool blog, but a terrible tragedy has happened recently in our lives and I would like to take this time to remind all of you to take a minute and appreciate those things that God has given you. Appreciate your family, appreciate your friends and appreciate life in general.

As many of you already know, Jim Maier, a friend and business associate of Tony was struck and killed on the side of I-95 on October 14, 2008. Also, as many of you know, Tony was a witness to this horrific accident. Jim's family has been going through a very hard time. Please pray for Jim's family as well as for Tony during the next few months. Please take a few minutes to read
the article written about him in the local papers.
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