Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deer oh Deer, It’s Christmas

I took this picture on Christmas Day at my brother-in-law’s. 



Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in November

My mom’s side of the family celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the same weekend, but not the same day.  We experienced awesome weather so the kids were able to play outside.     As usual, this was a great photo opportunity for me. 







My niece. 



My dad and his brother, Mark. 



Sierra and my brother enjoying the go-kart.


Friday, December 09, 2011

November Field Trip to T.C. Steele Historic Site

As beautiful as this place is in the fall, I cannot wait to go back when everything including the garden is in bloom. 


This is the back of his home.


The kids spread out on each side of the tree to show just how big it is.. the limbs spread out.  It is one of the recorded largest white oak trees in Indiana and was the subject in some of his paintings.


The front of his home from below.  Beautiful hills of Brown County.


Loved this path. 


This hill did not look so big until you were about halfway up it.  I think it had 59 steps and many of those were taller than normal steps.  Quite a workout. 


Sean found this interesting pattern in some rock on the path up the hill. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Work in progress


Stairs from main floor to the upstairs.  What a mess.  The dust level is incredible after they tore out the stairs carpet. 


Going down the the family room which is at ground level on slab. 


Callie thought the green pad was the new carpet and was so excited.  She thought it was so pretty.   She apparently didn’t notice the roll of carpet laying on top of the pad. 

We painted and painted and painted the paneling.  Cannot wait to see it all finished. 

We are so going to need new linoleum in the kitchen and entry after this. 

Halloween 2011

Do not ask me what they are.   I think one was a witch.  


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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Never Leave Home…

Without making sure toilets are not running, especially if you have a kid who is OCD with toilet paper. 


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By God’s design, the books on the shelves did not have a drop of water or drywall on them.  Amazing.  The track lighting pulled the ceiling down.

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This is why we get new carpet on the stairs and in the hall upstairs.  Also, the tile in the bathroom was removed to assist in drying. 

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The ceiling in half the family room was removed.

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The view from the bathroom to the family room. 

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I think there were about six of those blowers altogether… one in the bathroom in and four or five in the family room.  They ran constantly for 2 days.  Noisy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another fun fieldtrip

This fieldtrip was to a local farm (yes, we have those in Indiana too!) and it was less than 10 minutes from our house – a plus!  

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Hay ride.

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Miniature horse cart ride.

Shireman Plantation Field Trip 147Shireman Plantation Field Trip 148She wants to trade in our lovebirds for turkeys.  I don’t think so.

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Petting Zoo

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Obstacle course.

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Crane ride… way up high.  A little too high for mom’s liking. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Same Place, Different View

Our field trip today was to our local county’s landfill.  It was a very good field trip.  There were about 40 kids who attended.  We learned about trash and about how to reduce the amount of trash.  We learned about how the Landfill works.  In connection with the local children’s museum, the kids did experiments such as testing water and dissecting owl pellets.  The latter is not what one might first think of when hearing the term “owl pellets”.  Birds of prey cannot digest all that they eat so they will spit it back up much like a cat does a hairball.  Inside the owl pellets, which are held together by dried up hair/fur,  are the remains of what they ate.  The one that I helped with was thought to be a large rodent, such as a squirrel or large chipmunk.  We found the skull, jawbone, teeth, ribs, vertebrae, leg bones, etc.  See below for some pictures.    I reminded the kids why we don’t let the guinea pigs play outside unattended.  They could become lunch. 






Monday, September 26, 2011

The Irony of the Beauty

We had a field trip today.  Joining a local homeschool group was a good idea.  The best part is going to be the field trips. 

We were all pleasantly surprised at how much fun this field trip was. 

First, I would ask if you can guess by a couple of these pictures, where the field trip was?  I will post more pictures later that will reveal where this is but just found the beauty a bit ironic. 



Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Changes

It amazes me how much different Sean looks now than he did just two years ago.  And look at how his shirt has changed. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friends come and they go

Sierra will miss her friends who are moving.  She does not have many girls to play with so this will be a noticeable loss. 

The oldest girl is only a year younger than Sierra but she’s tiny.  Her sister is three and has the brightest hair. 






Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eating Healthier or Eating Wiser?

Eating healthier does not always mean dieting to lose weight or eating salads and low fat.  What about the artificial stuff?  What about the petroleum?

How many of us have stopped and thought about that beautiful birthday cake we just ate with all those colors and realized that we just ingested or gave our kids petroleum?  Those food dyes are petroleum based. 

It is a pretty common belief that many kids get hyper when they have had a lot of sugar.  Is it really the sugar?  Could it be the petroleum?  Could it be the high fructose corn syrup? 

What about those preservatives that are often times not labeled on packages.  Or sometimes you see “BHT added to preserve freshness”  or “TBHQ added as a preservative” and this all seems good at first sight because we want our foods to be “fresh” and those labels make it sound like they did us a favor. 

I asked my husband how long it has been since he had a Mountain Dew (yellow dye).  He said it has been quite a while.  I reminded him that it’s been quite a while since he needed his inhaler too.  Coincidence?

Do you avoid the artificial sweetener aspartame for your kids such as is found in diet sodas?   Do you ever give your kids Wrigley gum?   Read the label next time. 

My teen daughter is allergic to aspartame.  It gives her headaches.  She noticed she kept getting headaches after chewing some Doublemint gum so she read the label and brought it too me to show me it had aspartame.  It’s not even sugar free gum.  I was beside myself.  We carefully avoid any diet drinks or foods because of the aspartame problem.  She had a diet drink for the first time a few years ago and passed out with a migraine.  In amounts as small as a stick of gum, she gets headaches. 

She cannot remember everything she is allergic to and sometimes will cheat to have some dairy, but she does not forget or cheat with aspartame, red #40 and Blue dyes.  These affect her so much worse than her dairy, egg, and many other allergies.  A few months ago she was complaining of shortness of breath for everything.  An inhaler didn’t help, tests were negative… she stopped drinking the blue drinks and all her breathing problems went away.  

Red #40 seriously makes her act intoxicated.  Even a small prescription capsule tinted to look barely pink will do this to her.  We thought the pills were white until she reacted. 

Of all the ingredients we are avoiding, corn is the hardest by far.   Take a peek at the corn ingredient list at http://www.livecornfree.com/2010/04/ingredients-derived-from-corn-what-to.html.  I do not think we are as sensitive as some folks are, but more than just anything with the word corn. 

In the past few months I have done things I never thought I’d do.  I bake most of our bread now and hope to get to the point of baking all of it.  Bread, hot dog and hamburger buns.  All I can say is yummy.  I made pizza from scratch.  Another yummy.  I have made gummy worms and marshmallows.  Gummies are gummies but whoa.. those marshmallows were wonderful.  The first batch tasted just like peeps.  No one complained.  The second batch I used organic powder sugar (regular powder sugar has corn starch).   Next time you see a bag of marshmallows, read the ingredients.  Many of them are made with blue dye not to mention corn syrup.   I must have missed it in art class that blue helps to make white.  I have never cooked 4 lbs. of meatballs at one time but did this recently so I could freeze a meal.  Did you know you can make meatloaf or meatballs without egg or milk and still have them turnout delicious? 

The second hardest part is not having the convenience of eating out or making something from a box.  Meals must be planned and prepared.  This takes time.  I only have one bread machine so it takes planning ahead to have bread or buns.  I bake it all in the oven but the bread machine makes a wonderful dough.   The hardest is the events that are planned around a meal.  Cookouts with others, snacks for kids’ activities, etc.  It not only can be challenging to anticipate when they will occur, but also to come up with alternatives or do without.  It is a big lifestyle change.  But it has all been worth it. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Summer Fun

We love our state fair more and more each year.  So much that we are going to have to start going a couple of days to see all we want to see and do what we enjoy.  We do not go to the Midway and we take our own food and eat in the van.  We choose $2 day so we all get in for $10.  I didn’t take my best camera and photo opportunities were not always available but here are a few. 

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Feeding goats is fun. 

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We always enjoy the DNR building. 


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Visiting Sankt Nikolaus at the Wilkommen to Germany exhibit.  Considering the kids are 4th generation Americans, this was kind of cool. 

Not only is our last name German, but all of my husband’s great grandparents except one migrated from Germany.  The other one was a 1st generation American to German parents.  So German runs strong here. 

State Fair 2011 018These piglets were out of a litter of 14.  No wonder their mommy looked tired. 

State Fair 2011 0199 piglets only 9 days old.  Sweet. 

State Fair 2011 025After a brief storm, we saw a cool rainbow that later turned into a double rainbow.