Valentine’s Day

We got packages from Grammy and Grampy and both boys got some fun and cute goodies from us adults.
I found the best recipe ever!!!

1 can of Pumpkin puree(12 or 14 ounces)
1 box cake mix, Devils food

Spoon mixture into cupcake pan.
400 degree oven
20 minutes

There is nothing else like it in the world!!! Lucious chocolately moist nom nom cupcake!!!

Love at First Site!!!

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T.’s 11th Birthday

In April of 2010, we celebrated T.’s 11th birthday.  Today I am posting the pictures of that event. Only 5 months behind.

Since he had not many new friends since moving here we just had a very simple dinner with cake and ice cream.  We are still not managing well with being so far away from our family and friends in Mass. and NY.  It is very strange having a birthday without grammy and grampy.

T. moved in June to a residential treatment center and it has been a huge change in our lives.  We are not sure this is for the best but we do what we can and hope for the best.

Playing Catch up.

Well, many hard decisions were made and we have concluded we are moving to Cedar Rapids Iowa.  This is a huge change for us.  I have never lived outside New England, so I am more nervous than S. whom grew up not too far from our new destination.  The boys are excited for only one reason.  We will be within 4 hours of my dearest and best friend Lynnie.  We all love!!!! her, so I am excited to finally get to live near her as well.

Before I get to caught up in the now…let me back track a little and show these fine examples of our Samhain celebrations this year.  For those whom might not know, Samhain is the Pagan Sabbath, that falls upon All Hollows Eve, or Halloween!!!  It is one of my all time favorite holidays.  We invited my parents over for our Dumb Supper(eating in silence in honor of our ancestors, leaving a table setting and plate full of goodness for them, afterward leaving it outside for the animals to enjoy or wandering spirits;).  Afterward, the boys bobbed for donuts hanging from a string attached to the ceiling.  This could go on for hours and the laughter never ends!!  We held no rites this year, which felt very weird especially as we had so many recent deaths in our family, but I was able to personally take some time to remember and “talk to them” and it was incredibly uplifting for me.  Then came the onslaught of Halloween Movie Marathon!!  Our tradition.

Earlier in the week, the boys attended a fun Halloween party at our UU Church.  We carved our pumpkins early so we could enter them into the contest.  All were really great.  I loved mine the best.  It just made me laugh everytime I saw it.

Now onto the next post!

Sunday Spin Ins

For the last two Sundays the Knitting group from Ravelry that meets at B&N have met for some group spinning time.

I was very excited at ElsieDeluxe joined us this time and I was able to complete another skein of Orange Alpaca.  I am getting very close to having enough yarn for a lace pattern shawl for myself.  I do hope I can find help and a pattern so I don’t screw it up.  That would be really sad.

I brought some GFCF Cherrybrook Kitchen Brownies, which were yum!!  And had some delicious liquor with.  A big treat night for me.  I did get deathly ill that morning when I got home though.  Apparently my stomach wasn’t too happy with all the food I had during the Native American Festival and then adding these treats to it, within one day.

While our conversations went to all sorts of inappropriate  topics(the best ones in my opinion) we fell upon a couple of humorous instances.  I had to take pics!!!!

Firstly, there is BugaBoo whom can’t reach the floor while sitting in her own dining room chairs!

It may look it, but her feet really aren't touching the ground!!

It may look it, but her feet really aren't touching the ground!!

Then we had a wildly inappropriate happenstance!!  It was a good evening!!  Just so happens Yarngasm dropped her spindle and bent down to pick it up.  As she came up the alpaca fluff she was spinning stuck to her….

Too funny not to take picture and share with the whole world!!

Too funny not to take picture and share with the whole world!!

Sadly, I missed the shot of when she then stood up and walked across the room for treats and the same tuffed was stuck to another unmentionalbe body part!!!  It was a good night!!

I left around 12:30am, tired but really happy.  Not always the easiest thing to come by in my book.  I look forward to our next Spin-in.

Memorial Day Celebrations

Beginning on Saturday we were prepping for the Annual Rayne Family Memorial Day Party.  This is always a great celebration hosted by a truly fabulous family.  No matter how hard things are for them or busy they are, this party is something they grace our community with.  Putting this event together is always a large challenge and I am so thankful they put in so much effort to make it happen every year.  It very much reminds me of the family parties I attended in my youth with my family, with the exception that these folks are my homeschooling community and friends, rather than  family.

Much winter clean up happens during the week prior to this fun event and I love being apart of it.  Getting dirty is not a problem for me.  It is fun!!  Even if it means cleaning up in the process. LOL  When it is all done, everything looks so shiney and new again.  A great beginning to the growing season!  Did I mention that this event happens on a working farm!  This family raises pigs, sheep, chickens and goats.  They have pleasure horses and assorted fowl whom reside and  play in the pond.  The care of all these animals year round is a fulltime job!!  Somehow between children, the house, church, community, jobs and more they find time to run everything naturally and with gentility of Saints!  I am always in Awe and find so much inspiration from this family.

I had somehow managed to injure my wrist so wasn’t much help in prep this year, but I finally got a picture of the pig for the pig roast.  😛  You’ll see!!!  We had a great time being outside working again as we hadn’t done much of that this year yet.  I don’t even have my garden going yet.

On Sunday, S. arrived back at their home to put the pig on at 6:30am.  It was a long day for these men, but it was worth it!!  The pig was finished before guests arrived!!  It tasted delicious!  And everyone, even the hosts actually got to have fun and particpate in their own party this year, rather than cooking etc..  It was a fun filled day with several performances through out the day.  Even my son B. played a few songs on his guitar.  There was a professional band that played two sets, called Voodoo Highway.  The lead singer is a homeschooling mother from our local group.  The bassist works at BAE with S. so he was pleasantly suprised.  A Highway Poet Motor Cycle Club member that we are friends with read some of his peices for the crowd.  Great stuff!!  And, of course, our lovly local fabulous musician, Jacqui Rayne, herself blessed us with a performance.  And More!  It was just an all around good time.  Hundreds of people from all over arrived and joined in the fun.  The night fell and the bonfire was lit.  Twenty foot flames arose and the heat was blazing hot.  After it settled down, smores were to be had!!  Before it got too late, we headed out to hit the sack.  We were all a little wired still, but were soon all asleep.  I wish I could have gotten more pictures, but my camera card ran out after videotaping Jacqui and B. performing.  Maybe next year I will come prepared with an extra memory card or some such.

The next day a hair came across our butts and our own procastrinated barn cleaning needed to be done.  I walked in and checked on all the mamas and found that whilst we were playing all day prior one of our mamas had a beautiful little doe.  I checked her all over and everything was well.  Good job little Mama!  We had some serious cleaning to do and we just cranked it out.  I was very glad to be done by 3ish in the afternoon.  Now each goat mama had a stall all to her own and the bunnies stall was all cleaned out.  Our compost pile is just massive!!!!  I wish I had a bulldozer to turn it every few weeks.  My parents came over that evening and we had hamburgers, watermelon, chips, mushrooms, baked beans, and hello.  Yum, giggly Jello!  We just sat around chatting.  It was relaxing.

I hope you had a good Memorial Day and found some time in your celebrations and such to honor those whom have passed with the designation of Vetran and any other family/friends that could use some remembering.  I know I am truly thankful for all that I have and know it is only possible due to the many who are brave enough to join our armed services.  Thank you!

Happy 10th Birthday!

Out Theme: Knights

Our agenda:  Folks arrive.  As the children arrive their names are jotted down on a list in order they arrive. Children are encouraged to create their very own shield using stickers and markers.  Once all have completed their shield we proceed with the Joust!  The Joust consists of 2 Hoppity Balls and 2 Foam Floaty sticks.  Each child is paired with whomever they closest arrived at the party.  Each take two turns to gain points for a body hit or knocking each other off their “Steed” in passing.  The points are tallied and the next set joust and so on, until eliminations brings us to the winner with the most points.  Afterward it is just fun to bounce around on the hoppity balls.  The winner recieved a lovely dragons goblet.  Next we must slay the dragon(pinata), but the children found a note inside, instead of treats.  The Note read, “You may have slain me, but it is already too late.  I have hidden three dragons eggs that will soon hatch and avenge me.  Find the eggs and you will find the Kings tresaure.”  So off the children went to scavenge for three eggs.  Which upon opening they discovered weird writing they had to decode.  INT-HEDO-GHOUSE  Once they found the treasure(pinata) they broke it open and discovered it full of coins(plastic) and gemstones(real ones!).  Immediatley they received their goody bags to place their treasure in.  Inside the good bags they each received a handmade candy covered marshmallow, exploding frog soap, two knights figures, and a glow in the dark wrist band.  On to presents!  T. received some great presents which he was really thankful for.  After playing with all his new goodies, it was time to have cake and ice cream.  Mind you we are Gluten Free and Casein Free.  We had a triple layer chocolate cake(GFCF) with chocolate frosting and four different kinds of Ice Cream(coconut milk based) and it was all absolutely decedant!  Everyone played for a little while longer to burn off all the sugar, then retreated to their homes.

I took a lot of prep work for this party and it really paid off.  It went smoothly, with only T. having a breakdown in the midst of it, but we veered around that few moments.  All the kids seemed to have had a good time.  I was exhausted, but in a good way.  Enjoy the pics.  Too bad I didn’t get any pics of the cake!  Amazing!!  I am so glad it came out well.  I have never made a triple layer before so it was a first for everyone in my family.  And not one kid new any difference between my GFCF mix than regular mixes.   Same with the ice cream!  Darn that was sooo good!!  So glad we found a source for Ice cream.  I couldn’t live without that! 🙂

It’s been a while

Well, if I have any pictures of anything I might have been doing for the past week and a half, they are still on my camera, so aren’t getting put in this post anyway.  Sorry.  Just been lazy about the picture thing.  Even when I have wanted to take pictures for some event, I would forget until afterward, duh!  Slap me in the head, I know!

I haven’t been all that busy anyway, really.  I have been mostly trying to focus on getting my homeschooling groove back and helping each of the boys get what they need outta of the rest of this years school work.    Next month I am purchasing Teaching Textbook Mathematics Grade 4 for T.’s math next year and B. will be enrolled in Keystone National High or Middle School program for 8/9th grade.  T. and I have been waking to our morning circle time, which has been greatly modified thanks to the sharing from mudmama at http://brilliantstarblog.blogspot.com/ .  She brought to light some great circle time work that would really benefit T. greatly in many aspects.  I am going to purchase a couple books soon, The Extra Lesson and Take Time.  Both seem to be packed with really helpful movement exercises that address several difficulties T. presents.  After our circle time, we have managed to get quite a lot of written school work done with the work books.  Today, I actually got him to agree to fill in some of his Main Lesson Book with Titles and drawings of previously worked with Old Testament stories.  Today, he received the letter from Grandmother saying that she will be arriving in two weeks, so let the Native American Studies Commence!  I hope it is fun for him.  B., we are going crazy getting him out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.  I just really needed to go over the last few major points in the late Middles Ages and have him get it down in his Main Lesson Book, before moving on.  I am not sure what I am going to cover quite yet, but I feel we won’t be for wanting for great topics during this time period.   We are also kicking butt in our mathematics.  He really needed a kick in the butt to find the relevance and need of his studies with math.  He finally figured it out and has cranked out his fractions work and picked up Geometry, Algebra and Decimals all at once.  I hope he doesn’t burn out, cause he is really having a good time with it all.  He is loving his construction work with Geometry.  Now, I am also pushing him to create beauty in his Main  Lesson Books, which he has not understood or seen in the past.  So, I ran through lots of websites, including my favorite and local waldorf blog http://harmonyvalley.blogspot.com/  to show him other work in Main Lesson Books.  I hope it frees his mind up to being more creative with his pages.  It would be really nice to see.  B. has been appointed, Bottom, in the MidSummer Nights Dream homeschool play that will perform this summer in a few locations including!! http://www.nyfairiefest.com/.  I think this is really cool!!  A local friend of the boys, Bill Thorpe and many other folk worked together to create this ren type festival.  We are looking forward to it!!

The boys have been participating in a Gym class located in PA, every Thurs.  It will end soon for the summer, but we are definitely participating next year as well.  They get so much out of this structured fun.  B. is supposed to be obtaining his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do soon, but I am thinking of holding it off until I see more maturity in him.  I don’t think he is ready, even though he may perform the katas correctly and such, I have more value in his discipline than the belt.  So, I must speak with his Master.  I am not fond of talking to folks in general, so instructors of any kind make me even more put off.  It should be interesting to see how long I can procrastinate this discussion.

Bigger News!  T. turned 10 years old on the 21st.  He spent the morning after school work playing at our local Discovery Center.  This weekend we celebrate his birthday with a party!  The theme is knights.  We are having a joust and creating shields.  Slaying a dragon and searching for the Dragons eggs.  Hunting for the hidden treasure.  All will be fun and Gluten Free Casein Free!  It should be fun!!

And!  My dear friend Sander is visiting us from Montreal, Canada for the week!  This makes me very happy.

Must hit the sack now, so I can keep up the pace of school work around here.  Thanks to Gnome Home Radio found at http://www.alittlegardenflower.com to  help motivate me to get my shite together.