Monday, April 30, 2012

Just Play....Library, Park, Vegan Dinner

Spring Break for the kids...a little late compared to everyone else I know...the countdown begins...3 weeks left of public school- I'm giddy!!! :) And I can tell the kids are getting excited too....

Today we went out to breakfast with hubbie and Grandpa then worked on family chores- animals and laundry and packed some snacks and headed to the Library and Park before dinner....Dinner time then a family movie before bed and some bedtime stories to top off our day together. 

Awesome Moments of the Day...

*Big hugs from my pre-teen girlie and a 'thank you' for helping her with her animals
*A wonderful fix it husband who saved my morning and made my coffee maker work!!
*As I 'pretended' with my son on the playground and we made stories how we were on a ship out at sea and as I climbed through the tunnels my daughter rolled those big eyes at me saying 'Mom' (you know the tone)....then 5 minutes later she put down the book she was reading and joined in telling her little brother she was riding a swimming guinea pig in the she laughed running towards us!! See even pre-teens can have fun and play!
*And I got big belly laughs from both the kids when instead of saying it was time to go home after the park...I told them we needed to quickly swim off and get into the silver submarine and navigate it home! No eye rolls this time!
*Library trips are always awesome! New seeing the kids get excited over what new things they come across.
*Getting my work done all before the kids even woke up...felt accomplished to start the day and relax!
*Our kids both telling each other over dinner what they are 'really' interested in....daughter stating animals, ballet, american girl dolls and reading....our son stating math, reading, 'anything living' and sea creatures.

Dinner! Zucchini Lemon Pasta....well it was Chicken when we ate meat but now being Vegan, it's Zucchini! Dunked the Zucchini in homemade apple/pear sauce then breaded in flour/salt/pepper/garlic and cooked them...added lemon juice, vegetable broth and capers, some pasta and we were ready to eat! This is our little guy's favorite meal!

Trip to the Library...Here is what Mom is reading:
And what our 7 yr old is reading:
And what our 11yr old is reading:
And finally what hubbie is reading:
Can't play everyday...but we can sure try!! Today was awesome, I had the day off- tomorrow and the next day I work all day so the kids will be having fun with hubbie during his time off then I get them towards the end of the week again! Spring Break we plan on getting a ton of time outdoors- enjoying the water and parks as well as spending some time at home doing some 'spring' cleaning and taking one step at a time going through stuff so it will be easier to move come the end of summer!

It was a great day! Thankful for all the special moments I have with my family.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Veggies, Horses & Ice Cream...Homeschooling

Weekend Review:
We love our co-op for fresh fruits and veggies! It's always fun to see what we get then to plan our weekly meals around the items. Looking forward as it gets warmer to see a change in our items! We currently attempt to order organic each week- unless we order late and they are out then we opt for a regular basket.
 We steamed the Swiss Chard and made a Lentil/Chard Soup with it for dinner. Loving the color of the big leaves!
Other meals in store for the week include: 
Lemon Zucchini Pasta
Baked Potatoes, Beans, Broccoli & Corn Bread
Tortellini with Spinach & Salad

It was such great weather we ventured to our 4H groups horse competition to support them and hang out with friends! Then headed off to the feed store and pet store to shop for more bunny supplies...
Splurged and let the kids pick out ice cream while grocery shopping...I can't even remember the last time we bought treats! Italian ice- dairy free :) with special flavored loved them!
Then spent the day at the river made sand castles and floated while hubby and I read books, chatted and enjoyed the relaxation time watching the kids play. Some lunch, an afternoon movie as we all vegged out on the couches was the perfect peaceful day together!

On the homeschooling front....
Our daughter is helping me put together a book list of books we'd love to get for our family home library. We plan on thrifting when we vaca this summer and hunt down some new additions for our shelves!
Our son is more and more interested in reading and growing with more confidence with every book. He's also been really into audio books.  We are 'listening' to the Magic Tree House on CD in the car and both kids love the stories.
Our daughter continues to pursue designing and sewing doll clothes and her own clothing and has now begun her first outfit for her guinea pig.
We have begun discussions about me, Mom teaching the kids piano- We have a full size keyboard but I'd love a real piano :) We are just waiting for public school to let out and give us the freedom for more activities.
Our family work is really beginning to show signs of joy rather than disgust. The children are both more helpful. Our son has even asked for extra jobs on several occasions. Working along side each other has given my daughter and I more moments for meaningful conversations.

Monday, April 23, 2012

River, Prescott, AZ & Blue Dutch

Weekend Review: What a whirlwind!
Saturday our daughter went to a friends house to go swim for the day and it was just me and my boy. He seemed to not know what to do with himself without his sister around! It's not like we haven't had days alone before...I took him to the river to play at the playground and the water then we picked up some fresh veggies at the farm stand and headed home. He did find a few other kids to play with but mentioned several times his sister would really have had fun if she came :) He does love her!

 Meatless Meals: Asparagus / Tomatoes over Pasta - yumm Asparagus has got to be my favorite veggie!
 And then Cauliflower Fritters with Corn on the Cob and Tator Tots for a quick meal.
It's funny when you catch your kids in a great moment...I was chatting with my mom on the phone and heard an immense burst of laughter- real, great laughter coming from the backyard...they were sitting on a table giggling as they took turns 'misting' each other in the face - too cute.

So, ownership papers are due for our daughter for 4H...which means if she's going to get a new rabbit, she has to now otherwise no new animals for the remainder of the year and unfortunately with the passing of her Netherland, she doesn't have a showmanship we searched high and low in our area and came up empty handed until we ran across a Blue Dutch Rabbit for sale in Prescott...I mapped it...oh my 3 1/2 hours away. Do-able but long. So after chatting with hubbie about it...we were on our way!
Road Trip to Prescott!
Flinn Park- big grassy area, nice playground, swings and peaceful!
A little Subway picnic for lunch!
 Relax and Swing!
 My girl anxious to go get bunny!
 Better than the play structure! They found a log!
 Beautiful and Peaceful...could have spent all day there!

Off to Downtown!
AZ flags lining the walkway to the courthouse...there was an awesome painted 'timeline' of AZ on the ground...the kids thought it was awesome and were telling daddy 'facts' when we got home! They said they want to go back...I smell homeschool road trip in our future? :)

Watson Lake
Sail Boats, Great rock formations...wanting to go hiking around next time!

And lastly before heading home...we picked up 'Zeke' the newest addition to our family. 
He is a Blue Dutch, just turned 3 years old and so sweet, mellow and cuddly. 
My boy just had to snuggle him up when we got home!

A whirlwind of fun this weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rest In Peace...Trophy the Rabbit

We had quite the emotional weekend- completely draining.

Our daughters Netherland Dwarf rabbit wasn't looking so hot- not as active and didn't appear to have eaten or drank anything the previous night. We decided the next course of action was to clean the cage out and with a newly cleaned cage be able to tell better if he was going to the bathroom. During the whole day we checked on him, took him out of his cage to access him, made phone calls to other knowledgeable rabbit owners in 4H and researched online at vet websites, bunny sites and forums for any clues. We tried several things the remainder of the day and overnight that we gathered from our 4H friends and recommended websites- he didn't go to the bathroom all day. We syringe fed him so that he wouldn't become dehydrated. We read about GI issues, blockages, hair balls, just all kinds of tummy troubles- we were up every 1 1/2 hours during the night to check his stats, rub his belly and syringe feed him. At 4am, he passed away in my arms with our daughter by my side. We both cried together.

The thing we kept coming back to in reading so much information was that rabbits are animals of prey and hide 'hurting' or something 'wrong' very well....and when you finally do see the signs...most of the time its too late.  In this case I truly feel like it was literally about 24 hours time from the time we saw something was wrong to his death. 

My daughter and I prayed together as she stroked his belly telling him he was a good boy then I picked him up to put him back into his cage and as I sat there for a moment he passed away in my arms.

When we got him he was a year old and had not been worked with or gotten very much attention- Our daughter worked with him everyday, caring for him, giving him the love and attention he deserved and practicing her 4H showmanship with him. She loved this rabbit. She wanted him to be buried but unfortunately we are in a rental so a dear friend told us about one of her friends doing a 'garden memorial'. What a great idea. We had a wonderful talk with both our children about the cycle of Trophy's body will rest in peace and help plants grow and our daughter will forever have a happy memorial for him and the best part she said was that when we move, he can come with us.

Rest In Peace Trophy the Rabbit, you brought much joy and happiness to our girl!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! 4H & 'Private' Library

Easter Weekend- We spent Saturday going with our 4H group to a nursing home and handing out Easter Baskets the kids in the group made.  The boys stayed home, so it was just my daughter and I with the group. I truly get emotional when I see how wonderfully she is growing up- I get a glimpse in between all the pre-teen crazyness of that grown girl she is going to be- so kind and caring with a big heart and so very smart and loving. Just seeing her touch the lives of others with her sweet conversations and care made me be so thankful- this is really what its all about- at the end of the day, its not about how clean her room is or if her laundry got folded and put away- its about the way she cares for others, helps her friends, family and community- I am so very proud of her.
I spent some time putting together mini-sewing boxes for the kids- they both love crafts and art projects. Slowly we are getting more organized to have everything available to them for our journey into homeschooling/unschooling- life. We also worked on our 'Private' Library our daughter calls it- getting our books grouped by Animals, History, Science, Classics- the kids both had fun with this organization- and what did they do right after we were done?? Sat on the couch with a big pile of books and read! Melts my heart to see them immersed in a story!
 A dress my daughter sewed for her American Girl doll.
 Library in's coming along...
And our own Easter Celebration...egg dying...easter basket fun and of course later a nice meal of cheesy potatoes and yummy veggies and rolls - no ham this year with our meatless journey but we are looking forward to some awesome potatoes and vegetables!!  My sweet husband brought me home my favorite flower in a beautiful purple color! So sweet!

Happy Easter! Blessings to Everyone!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Library trip, Veggie Subs & Pokemon

Feels like summer already- warm,  breezy- makes you want to spend the entire weekend outside! We took a trip to the Library and came home with books on CD, movies, cartoons and more books- I didn't count how many we had in all but the Librarian was kind enough to remind me that the limit is 50 items! I seriously doubt I could check out 50 items....okay maybe! :) But not all on my own!

Here is what our 7yr old son is reading right now...and he checked out math games for the Leapster! The audio books is his new favorite so we may explore 'listening' to a book as a family soon...
 Here is what our 11yr old daughter is reading...she's a girly girl with a love of animals..can you tell!?
 Her and I are both reading Horse Riding- and the last book is for me- I usually also check out recipe books or craft books- but my son choose the craft book this time- for egg carton ideas!
After the Library we went to the near by son was anxious to scooter while my daughter was anxious to start reading her new books- 

I've been so terrible at taking 'meal' pics and usually it's our son who reminds me with 'wait we can't eat we need a picture!' This week included meals like:
Veggie Fried Rice w/Egg Rolls
Spaghetti and Salad
Rice Noodles with Long Green Beans and Mushrooms
Rice and Bean Taco's
and Grilled Cheese (Vegan) w/Tomato Soup
and lastly the one we did take a pic of...Make your own Veggie Sub Sandwich & Sweet Pot/Reg Pot Chips

And lastly our weekend craft time included the kids being so excited about the new little pokemon card books they got, they wanted to make their own favorite card character and this is how they turned out...not too bad! and they had so much fun too!

Yup it was a pretty fun family weekend! 
AND I feel accomplished that I made a huge dent in cleaning out the garage while the kids played and scootered in the driveway this afternoon- Work and Play- the perfect balance!