District Food Show

I don't know if you remember way back in November the kids participated in the County 4-H Food Show. Emily won as a Clover Kid. They all win and don't go on to District. This is just for the younger ones to get the general idea of how to compete. However,Brandon won first place in the intermediate level, Bread and Cereal category for his fried rice. So, this last Saturday was the District Competition in Nacogdoches. Check in was at 9 AM. Which means we got up at 5 AM so he could make his dish and put it in a tote with the gel pack that keeps it warm and was on the road by 7 AM. Those who know me, KNOW nothing but sheer love could have me up at those hours! He was through being judged fairly early. Then we waited....waited...and waited. The awards ceremony was finally held around...I want to say 3 PM. It was all worth it though because he won a third place plaque and ribbon. He is very proud and ready to win first place next time.

Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery

The award winning series of Classical Kids recordings is brought to life on stage as actors join Per Brevig and the ETSO to present Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery. The story follows the young orphan Katarina, whose encounter with Antonio Vivaldi changes her life forever. The program features over 20 works of Vivaldi interwoven with the story. It's a concert your entire family will want to experience!

Emily and I didn't get to go to this one, but Brandon went with some family friends and really enjoyed it. I knew he would because he likes going to the Nutcracker each year and loves the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Junie B. Jones

JUNIE B. JONES - The Musical

Back by popular demand! In this musical based on the books by Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones readies for the first grade having just graduated kindergarten. Only new friends, a new teacher and new glasses can be very challenging. Even for the irrepressible Junie B! Follow her adventures as she writes everything down in her "top-secret personal beeswax" journal.

I took Emily to this. It was sooo cute. Very entertaining. It had a simple set but was really fast paced, funny, and had engaging actors and songs. There was not a dull moment. The kids just sat on the edge of their seats. It had them captured from the very beginning.


Our Dogs Are Nuts....

Every three ring circus has a dog act and our household is no exception.
Here is a count down of exactly why I've decided our little pack of pooches are completely nuts.

4. Brandon's Chihuahua/Jack Russel will stand in front of you jumping 2 feet into the air repeatedly until you give in and let him in your lap.

3. My old little Terrier has spent the last 9 or so years sleeping on my legs but these last two years has taken to growling at me if I dare to move and disturb his precious sleep.

2. My daughter's Chihuahua/Min Pin ran around the house the other day screaming and yelping hysterically. I was sure it was seriously injured and would have to be rushed in to have a leg set or something. When I finally caught it come to find out it had swallowed some of Emily's hair (that it likes to chew on) and it was distressed by the dingle berry that it had caused!!!!

And the number one reason my dogs are nuts.......

1. My husband's Boston/Boxer gets startled very easily and is a tad... say....jumpy. Occasionally if she gets frightened in the back yard she'll jump up on this 6 foot fence post. Unfortunately once she is perched up on that post with all 4 feet she can't or won't jump down. So, she sits there crying until my dh misses her and goes looking for her. Now when she doesn't come in when called he automatically goes there to see if she is on the post.


Christmas was pretty much all about well...obviously Christ...but present wise for the kids it was all about American Girls and Archery supplies.

Also, Emily got a puppy. Because Yes By Golly we needed another animal around here. Both the girl and the dog are extremely high strung. It's either a match made in heaven or a friendship bound for disaster.

Look at those little faces...

Two divas and their nap.

Sugar Plum Fairy Castle

Craft kit + hot glue gun + Mom + Daughter = Sugar Plum Fairy Castle

Christmas Goings-Ons

We have been a blur of activities. Which is OK because that means the last two weeks of December should be free to shop and stay at home.

First, we went to a local area junior college's performance of the Nutcracker. The kids love this. The first year we went the talked on and on about it for weeks. We have the book too. This year I printed out some coloring pages and talked to them a little about what we were going to see the day before we went. This year all the homeschoolers got put up in the balcony which was new for the kids and slightly dizzying for me. First thing they said when we came out is that it was different from the last Nutcracker performance we'd seen. I guess they thought it would be exactly the same every year...

The performance we saw was more of a warm up for the real thing so it only cost $2.oo per person. Brandon was quite bummed to hear that if I'd take them to the "real" show he would have gotten a chance to hear a live orchestra, see the whole story not a section, and see special guest dancers. What 13 year old boy wants to see a live orchestra? A boy that has discovered the Trans Siberian Orchestra!

That evening I had a Mom's Night Out at a friend's house. We each baked 6 dozen cookies to exchange. So, we went home with a mixture of 6 dozen cookies. This is the first time the family has been all behind me going to be with my friends. They are just now finishing up all those cookies!

As for my friends and I.... we enjoyed a quite night in front of the fire with our original 5 core members of our homeschool group. The only thing that we seem to have in common on the outside is that all 5 of us is that we are all homeschooling Moms. Other than that we are each so different. I love the mixture but most of all I love that we have decided to love each other and value each other for (not despite) our differences. These ladies have become family to me and I always know I can turn to them when needed.

The next day we went to the family showing of Toyland put on by a local theater group. Some of the kids from our group were performing in it. This was such a cute musical! The story is of three sisters (the littlest of which is slightly naughty) that get taken to Toyland by the bed bugs. The bed bugs are working for the evil toy master Jack who turns out to be the littlest girl's discarded jack-in-the-box. In the end Santa saves the day! The kids work so hard practicing several times a week and did 9? performances in all. We saw it on family day (because our homeschool friends are family to us) and again the day our group went as a whole. Emily is still singing the songs from the play!

After Toyland we went to the Christmas parade. BUT not to be IN it. Brandon and Emily went to sell light up Santa hats, necklaces, braclets, teeth, etc to raise money for our 4-H group.

Sunday after church was the December American Girl Tea/Fashion Show with guest speaker. This was a really cute event. It was a "dress up" holiday tea for girls and their mothers. Girls brought their favorite dolls (American Girl or otherwise) to be part of a doll display, and the girls "walked the runway" for a fashion show. Our fashion show announcer was a proffesional belly dancer! LOL The kids got a real kick out of her. I hope she didn't over shadow our speaker too much!

Our special guest was a woman who has paved the way for others in the world of television. Joan Hallmark has appeared for over 30 years on KLTV 7 News in Tyler and her Proud of East Texas has long been an audience favorite. Joan has interviewed hundreds of news makers, including President Bush (both father and son), Nancy Reagan, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, George Foreman, Hank Aaron, Carol Burnett and many more. She told us what it is like to be a real American Girl and encouraged the girls to believe they could be any thing that they wished as long as the worked for it!

After the AG Tea we headed to meet Brandon and Friends at A Journey with the Wisemen... This was put on by an area church. I was torn between wanting pictures and not wanting to ruin the moment with camera flashes. In the end I decided to skip the pictures and enjoy the moment. They did a really nice job of setting up a Bethlehem market place with animals, sales booths and the works. The show was guided by a Wiseman that walked us through town to witness the birth of Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection. The emphasis was the true reason of Christmas. Kudos to this church and all the hard work that had to be put into building, acting, and praying for this endeavor.

We stayed the next 2 days with friends in an exercise of spending time with friends covered with the guise of saving gas money by not going home between events....

Tuesday was our group's Christmas party. We had a low turn out for us but we didn't let that stop us! We had several Christmas crafts for the kids to do, lots of good food, and a gift exchange. For the gift exchange we asked we family to bring a board game. One representative from each family stood in a circle and we read the Night before Christmas occasionally replacing a word with pass at which point they would pass the game to the right. When the story was over you got to keep what ever game your holding. Then each child got a stocking with a few presents. After the party our field trip for the month was to go to the Toyland play. We were supposed to go to our 4-H party that evening but considering that we did all the above events starting Friday to Tuesday I just wanted to GO HOME. I felt bad about missing the party. After the low attendance at our event I know how it feels when people don't show up but sheesh I was tired!

We had two days to rest...Well, almost Emily and I still had Awana on Wednesday night.

Finally, we wrapped up on Friday exactly a week from when all the action started by replacing our monthly park day with a showing of Prince Caspian in my church's youth building. Big Thanks to my youth director for setting it up just like our own private Movie Theater complete with popcorn, big screens, surround sound, cocoa and soda! Someone asked if we could do this every Friday! LOL Our youth leader Luke said no problem but I said may be next month for park day!

Brandon has a progressive dinner tonight with the youth group but other than that things our settleing down around here for the rest of December. I purposely made all our plans for early December so we wouldn't be rushing around the last two weeks building up to Christmas. I hope everyone is having a wonderful month! God Bless!

Polar Express

Mr. Don and Mrs. Lisa took Emily to ride the Polar Express in Palestine. We bought her a special pair of warm fuzzy PJ's with feet in them to keep her warm. She stayed the night with Don and Lisa so when I saw her at church the next day she was bursting with excitement! They bought her the Polar Express book and the conductor signed it, she got a ticket with an "E" cut out of it, she saw candy land?, elves and Santa, and and and she got a bell from Santa's sleigh! She wove such a colorful exciting story of all she saw I'm not even sure how much was real and how much was in her head. I do know Mr. Don and Mrs. Lisa were some tired Children's Church teachers on Sunday morning...something about her staying up late, asking for bacon at midnight and kicking so bad Mr. Don had to sleep on the couch....


What is Awana? “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.” II Timothy 2:15 AWANA is a ministry committed to reaching boys and girls with the gospel of Christ” The meetings are a mixture of games, memorizing bible verses, crafts and listening to bible stories.

Our church is offering classes for ages 3 thru 6
th grade.
Each age group has it's own curriculum and cute name. It starts with Puggles: toddlers, Cubbies: preschoolers, Sparks: K - 2nd, T&T (Truth & Training): 3rd - 6th.

This program has been really great for Emily.
She is so proud to have earned her vest!

How did I know I'd end up being Stuffing?

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.

People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.