Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hines Family High Point, North Carolina

March 29, 2011
Today is the day we have been waiting for, the arrival of our flat from NC! Sierra was kind enough to send us her beautiful bunny for a fun filled adventure and let me tell you, shes been having fun! Plus, I am so glad that she's bundled up and in layers, you just never know in Texas what the weather will be like ;)
Princess and her best friend Sara
 Already bunny has been introduced to our family and some of my kids best friends, Sara and Heather. She has also been initiated by each cat, something they feel they must do! She got to jump around on the beds, get introduced to the homeschooling room and the maps, but.....

Drizzle Fizzle, Princess and Heather (friend)
She also had to fight off the boy cats Butterscotch (white) and Yogi (orange/white) early on...These two think EVERYTHING is a play toy, so Bunny is going to have to sleep up high, the sting is too tempting for the boys :)
Yogi and Butterscotch arguing over who gets to play 1st
I hope your little bunny is ready to recite some bible verses because tonight is AWANA at our church, Centerpoint! We LOVE AWANA, the verses, building positive relationships that glorify God, the games, great snacks, better company and its bring a friend night! So you had perfect timing arriving! Tomorrow you get to go and help me register my eldest son, Munchkin, at the community college for dual enrollment!
Can't wait to show you off around town this month!

Academy4Education: Sierra's First Swap

Academy4Education: Sierra's First Swap: "Sierra has received her flat traveler swap from Mesquite, TX. Princess Bella has already become an adopted family member here at the ..."

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Kieffner Family, Hampton, NH


You got introduced to our other flat as well, sine we are a girl and hes a boy...kids thought it was hysterical.

With Butterscotch, who always sleeps

Princess, My nephew, Kristian and Drizzle Fizzle in that order..drake got cut out
Drizzle Fizzle and you on arrival!
Well today is the grand day that we received your princess Lizzy in the mail and the kids are already showing her around. You got introduced to our cats already, Bella, Yogi and Butterscotch and you met the dog, Jack! He's a boxer and never sits still long enough to get a pic of him, sorry :( You have not been here for more than half the day and already you went swimming, played yard darts, play basketball, voted on our tennis match ( we agree to disagree on who won...but it was me ;) ) and you got to barbecue dinner with us. Whew...all that in half a day...oh yea and you watched the kids play Wii with the cats. Something that happens EVERYDAY! We are so glad you have come to visit us and you could not have picked a better week. We are going to the Botanical Gardens, the Dallas Zoo, the Aquarium, downtown Dallas to see the Kennedy Building, and we are going fishing this week, plus to top it off its Munchkin's  16th Birthday this Sunday and we are going to PARTY!!!! Your little buddy will have a blast!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Civil War Reenactment

Well this coming week, my daughter, Princess and I are beginning a 14 week unit study on the civil war. We will be going over all aspects of the war including the Dred Scott decision, The Missouri Compromise, Brother v Brothers, amputations, Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, the underground railroad, abolitionist, slavery, Mason Dixon line...I think you get the idea! So, I figured what better way to start our study off than to go see a live reenactment of the Civil War. As luck would have it there was one taking place not too awfully far from us out at Beaumont Ranch in Grandview, TX, which is about a 2 hour drive or so. The ranch itself is beautiful and is actually located in the historic Chisholm Trail. They have even built a little village called Chisholm Fork in between were the two rivers ran. Its a beautiful ranch house on gorgeous grounds. We even got to stay in one of there hotels!  I took my daughter, youngest son and her best friend, Amber for the weekend.

The weekend was packed full of action and started out with a town raid in Chisholm Fork.We saw a good ol' fashion shoot out, a looting, a mobbing,  and so many other things. It was very exciting to see all the people dressed in authentic garments carrying their black riffle guns around, riding on horses and acting threatening. My kids had a blast, but despite anything I told my 4 year old, he did not grasp why everyone was killing each other and got scared on a few occasions. We had to actually stick around till the raid was completely over and people started clearing out so he could see the actors get up and that they were all ok.

After the raid we were allowed to go wonder around all the town shops and make purchases if we wanted anything. I took home a couple of civil war maps (for our lapbooking) and some post cards that described the different units of the military (infantry, artillery, cavalry, etc). The shops had lots of great things from uniforms, swords, news papers, coins, money etc that any great war fan would appreciate.

Once we did all our "shopping" and ate lunch we made our way to the battle grounds. The battle was pretty good. I have never been to a live reenactment so I didn't really know what to expect, but in my opinion, it was a little disorganized. As I suppose wars are :) Anyway, once we found a spot we hoped the action would go down in, we hunkered in and waited. Then came the wonderful sound of cannons bursting through the air and men yelling and screaming orders at different military men, the horses, the gun fights, the swords fight and at last the surrender of the South! Now from our vantage point it was hard to make out the surrender, but I assured it happened nonetheless.

Overall, the experience was ok. I would have liked to have been given an itinerary of what was taking place where, and were you could and could not wonder off too. Maybe that is just me and my anal retentive self, wanting to have all my p's and q's in order. I would have wished that the actors stayed in character more, though. You could see people laughing and cutting up and in my humble opinion, making a mockery out of the war and the people who did actually lose their lives fighting. As far as live history goes, it was rememberable and I would recommend it for those who can live with the little quirks I mentioned. At the very least it gave my daughter a little back drop to the war and how battles were conducted back in the good ol' days.

Now I put video on here, but it was INCREDIBLY windy and my camera is not that great!

one of the many canons they had set up

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Red Chair Press book giveaway

The Homeschool Post (@hsbapost) is giving away a SET of children’s #books by Red Chair Press : http://bit.ly/g4c9wv
You guys should really check this out. The books look awesome and they have some fantastic illustrators! What have you got to loose? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Civil War Reenactment

I cannot wait till this weekend. I am taking the family, and our flat travelers, to the Civil War Reenactment at the Beaumont Ranch out in Grandview, TX. I have spent the week studying with the kids on the Civil War just to prepare them a little bit for this big event. I know they are excited and so I am. I have never been to a live history event and I cannot wait to see it all go down right before my eyes. Here is a link to the event:

I have been diligently working on a unit study, but sadly it looks like we wont get to start it till AFTER the reenactment, which in some ways may be better. This way they will have mental images and emotions to draw from instead of just reading and text book and biographies. I will have to wait and see how it all unfolds.

The Civil War

The United States Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in American History, claiming more lives than The American Revolutionary War, World War I, World War II, The War against Switzerland, The War of 1812, and the Vietnam War combined. From the time the Civil War started, in ______, to the time it ended, in 1845, over ____________ soldiers were killed.
The war began as the result of a dispute between certain southern states and certain northern slates regarding slavery and the taxation of cotton exports. President ______________________ tried his best to keep the states united, but failed when both sides rejected a peace treaty that became known as "The Pickwick Papers." Instead of choosing peace, the states chose sides: the south became known as "The _______________," and the north known as "The ________________." Union states included Delaware, Oregon, New York, Alaska, and Tennessee. Confederate states included Florida, California, and Kansas.
The first shot of the civil war was fired from a battleship named "____________." When the ship's missile struck the heart of Manasses, Vermont, the bloody Battle of Manasses began. Eventually, led by General Robert E. Lee, the Union Army won the battle. Unfortunately for General Lee, Manassess was just the beginning. Then there came the battles of Vicksburg, Charlaton, Spurious Springs, and Sarasett--all overwhelming victories for _________________________. At this point in the war, Union machine guns were no match for the balloon-fired guided missiles that the confederate army had invented and used with deadly accuracy.
At the halfway point of the Civil War, in the winter of 1841, things began to change. The Southern Army fell under the supervision of _____________________, a maniac and drunkard. General _______________, on several different occasions, arrived with his troups at the wrong battlefield. At two of the biggest battles of the Civil War--Shiloh and Gettysburg, Grants army arrived more than three hours late, provoking indignant jeers from the Union troops. When President ________________addressed the crowd assembled to watch the battle at Gettysburg, in fact, he was so upset about being made to wait by the confederates, that he spoke directly to the _______________ fans only.
Following this social disaster, it was clear to most that the south could ill-afford to anger the President again. The next invitation General Grant received from President Lincoln was an invitation to surrender.
On June 15, ______________, President Lincoln flew to Camp David where General Lee and General Grant were both waiting inside a modest tent to sign the "______________________________________," which brought an official end to the Civil War.

What, if anything, did the Civil War accomplish?
1.    First of all, America's slaves were immediately set free.
2.    Secondly, the cotton farmers of New England were required to pay a twelve percent duty on all exported cotton balls, swabs, and dungarees.
What were the consequences of the Civil War?
3.    Millions of Americans gave their lives
4.    Others were left maimed;
5.    Many with serious rope burns, others with severed thumbs, swamp rot, turf toe, or a variety of other ailments related to the consumption of Johnny Cake.
6.    The price tag for these small social changes was enormous. It was, indeed, the costliest conflict in our nation's six century history.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


So excited today, I get to take my fingerprints downtown at the FBI officer for my volunteer job as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Tarrant County!!! Whoot Whoot! This is what I went to school for, for all those long, long years and it is nice to be seeing the payoff finally. Once I take my fingerprints, than I submit my application and get to start working! hours unknown, pay-nothing, drive-very long, but well worth it knowing at the end of my journey I get my Probation Officer Certification and I don't have to pay for it, or drive to Austin to take the test! God is good, life is good and I am so blessed in so many different avenues of my life its unreal and humbling. I got a great church with wonderful ladies who have so graciously volunteered to keep my kids so I dont have to pay extra daycare expenses to do this! God bless them all. So excited that all my hard work is paying off and all the sacrifices my family had to make for me to get my degree is cumming to a head and becoming our reality!

Arenas Family-El Monte, California

enjoying his seat

Well, this week has been kinda of a slow week, regarding going out and doing things. We barbecued Thursday at home, swam and played in the sprinklers  at home on Friday and Sat we went to the Dallas Children's Theater to see the Frog Prince. I had State/Federal Survey in my office at work, so I was pretty worn out when I got home, than we still had school work to do, therefore, we stayed in most of this week :(. Rest assure that your little buddy did have fun. I took pics of him swimming, helping out with the cooking (not a bad cook either) and watching the puppet show. BYW the puppet show was a black light puppet show, originating from Czechoslovakia. Here is a little history....Black light puppet - A form of puppetry where the puppets are operated on a stage lit only with ultraviolet lighting, which both hides the puppeteer and accentuates the colors of the puppet. The puppeteers perform dressed in black against a black background, with the background and costume normally made of black velvet. The puppeteers manipulate the puppets cheese the light, while they position themselves unseen against the black unlit background. Controlling what the audience sees is a major responsibility of any puppeteer, and blacklight lighting provides a new way of accomplishing this. Puppets of all sizes and types are able to be used, and glow in a powerful and magical way. The original concept of this form of puppetry can be traced to Bunraku puppetry. I got the info from this site, that also lists all the different types of puppets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppet
The puppet show was amazing and the barbecues food was not that bad either! All in all your buddy had a good week. At least he didn't have to defend himself against anymore giraffes!


Today we went to the Ft. Worth zoo and met all sorts of wild and crazy animals. I still love the Dallas Zoo better, but hey, we all have our preferences. The Ft. Worth zoo does have my White Bengal Tiger that I LOVE so much. The kids love the kangaroos, elephant and cheetahs so we spend alot of time there, no matter what zoo we go to. Now I have to let you know one small little thing and please don't be too mad. Your little buddy got a little too close to the giraffes and got his cape taken off, but we did get it back. OK the zoo keeper got it back, she didn't like us trying to grab it back out of his/her mouth. Its intake and I will try to end him up before he comes back to you. I didn't realize your buddy would have to fight for his life with a Giraffe of all creators, but let me tell you he sure can hold his own! We did get lots of great pics and video with much better sound so I hope you guys really enjoy.

This is the view from the top of Beaumont Ranch were the Civil War took place
Drizzle Fizzle at the Fish Fry, eating cereal and apricots

The Town Raid
The Civil War
Well I have to say that your buddy has had an incredibly busy last few days. He went with us to see the Dallas Stars v. Flyers on the 9th at American Airlines Center. The game was fabulous, but we lost :(, but we lost in a shoot out of all things, so I dont count it as a grand victory for the Flyers, just my opinion. Then on the 10th we went out to eat for my moms B-Day. I wont tell you how old she is, she'll get all kinds of mad. Lets just say we are planning the funeral! just joking, seriously, I love my mom. Friday, we set sail for our venture into the past to see a reenactment of the Civil War out at Beaumont Ranch. First, we hit up a fish fry, with all you can eat catfish (we are vegetarian, so that was a loss on us), all you can eat soup and salad bar, a bounce house, bucking bronco, live music and good ol fashion conversation. It was alot of fun and we stayed till we couldn't keep our eyes open then went and crashed back in our room. The next day was the Civil War. It started with a town raid and ended with the reenactment of the war. The raid was my kids favorite part, I think mainly because they got see someone die right in front of them. lol I hope you like the pics and video I send to you. You cannot hear the sound that well because it was incredibly windy. One little historical fact about Beaumont Ranch is it sits on Chisholm Trail, just thought that was kinda neat.

Today was a good day.Today was the day your flying flat traveler arrived at our home! The kids were so excited and loved his little cape, especially my youngest, Drizzle Fizzle. He took him flying around the house and than out to see our dog, Jack. hes a boxer and wanted very much to play with you when you arrived. You got to go play some basketball with Drizzle Fizzle who has been having a hard week filled with dental surgery and hospital visits, so he was very happy to have someone to play with.
Mesquite Convention center with Princess and Drizzle Fizzle

MY birthday cake and card. very yummy
Drizzle Fizzle and you playing basketball:
Drizzle Fizzle loves the Wii, especially Wipe Out
Showing off his Wii games
At the Mesquite Rodeo
The front door to our church
You got to do all sorts of things today. Play basketball with Drizzle Fizzle, which is one of his favorite things in the world. He freaked when he got to see the Harlem Globetrotters last month.  You also got to watch Drizzle Fizzle play wipe out on the Wii. That's one of his favorite shows to watch and play.  You guys had alot of great conversations about what was happening, so you must have enjoyed it. The kids took you on a tour of Mesquite as well. You got to see the Blue Bell Ice cream creamery, our church-Centerpoint, The Mesquite Rodeo, The Mesquite Opera House, The Mesquite Convention Center and also you wen to eat with us at Spaghetti Warehouse for my B-Day. Then you came back home and ate ice cream and played hang man on the wii with the family, following up with Space Chimps the movie before we all passed out for the night! Great first day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthday Celebration

Well today is my birthday ( I wont say which one, :) but its not my 21st) and I cannot think of a better way to spend it than with my family! I woke this morning to my little one, Drizzle Fizzle, telling me "happy birthday mommy." I loved it. Then the rest jumped in and started singing a song. Life is so good and I am so blessed by the Lord in ways I cannot even express. Then I get to work and my teenage son wants me to pick him up for lunch to have time alone with his mom...my heart melts, but I cant show it or he'll change his mind of course...teenagers. Then I get back to work and my boss and co-workers went out and bought me a Italian Creme cake and  birthday card! I love my job, great people, great friends and all Godly people to make it even better. See how blessed I am truly. I also get the job offer Ive been waiting for...Juvenile Probation Officer!!!!!! This is what I went to school for, this is what I will do with my life and I am so super psyched I cant form it into words. (happy dance, happy dance).
Now I get to go home and play games with my kids tonight (yes, we love board games and the wii) and go to the park to eat dinner and come back and watch Night at the Museum and Monster Inc-all time favorite family movie. FANTASTIC BIRTHDAY!! I love my family so much! (fluttery hearts all around me)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Science Curriculum Giveaway

Science Curriculum Giveaway

A creative in-depth encounter with natural science from a biblical perspective.
This is a great science curriculum. It is choc full of activities and makes learning really good fun.

I love this manual because it is written to cover grades 2 – 7.
The giveaway will be for one lucky family to receive the Considering God's Creation set.
This consists of:
Teacher Manual - All preparation is clearly outlined for each lesson and includes Bible references, suggested experiments/activities, a scripted lesson (with questions and answers), notebook activities and tips/suggestions for further study.

Student Book - This makes up the notebook section and is reproducible. I absolutely adore the detective pages (covering solar system, rocks, clouds, flowers, trees, insects, animals etc) where with careful observation and questioning you can correctly identify an object – a great tool for teaching scientific observation.

Song CD – fun way to learn scientific facts – lyrics included

Giveaway information:
  • This giveaway will close 20th March 22:00 GMT and the winner will be announced on Mon 21st March. 
  • You are allowed a maximum of 2 entries. You can enter as follows: 
  1. Become a follower and leave a comment on this giveaway (existing followers just need to leave a comment)
  2. Subscribe via email and leave a comment on this giveaway (existing subscribers just need to leave a comment)
  3. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment to let me know
  4. Place my button on your blog and leave a comment to let me know
  • Winner will be chosen by random.org
  • Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you in your entry.
  • This is a world wide giveaway

James 3:1-12 ~ Taming The Tongue

James 3:1-12 ~ Taming The Tongue

Surgery-Drizzle Fizzle

My poor little man had to go into Children's hospital early this am for his scheduled oral surgery. My poor little guy had to have 3 teeth extracted, 7 capped and a loop and band with spacers put in.:( All this from his little evil canevil (spelled wrong I am sure) act of jumping off a playground set and landing face first.This resulted in his first two teeth getting busted and pushing the rest back, which pushed two teeth half way out of his mouth. Needless to say, he is miserable, crying, in pain and vomiting off and on. The surgery was a success. Children's Hospital has a wonderful staff with caring people who took marvelous care of my Drizzle-Fizzle. They even gave him a game to take home to play on the pc (bejeweled). Its been about 4 hours since we got home and I wish I could make his pain go away,I hate seeing my little guy suffer so much. He did however have so many caring and wonderful people call and check on him, including his teacher and fellow students at daycare. Big shout out to the Apple Seed Academy in Mesquite, TX..you guys are the best. I am so thankful the Lord watched over him and all the doctors that took care of him and made him comfortable and eased his fears.

The Hines Family-Cincinnati, Ohio

Received our first flat today from the Hines family, Nick, Brendan and Faith..so excited. They made this adorable little helicopter flat with their pics on it..too cute! I cannot wait to show it around town and send back lots of wonderful pictures, and rich Texas history along with it! As you can tell, our cat, Yogi, also feels like he needs to get in on the action. What is up with cats and purses, plastic and leather anyway?

Well, your little buddy seems to be getting a view of all the local hospitals in the area! My son, Drizzle Fizzle, had to go back to the hospital this am from 5-12, but he is fine now. Luckily he remembered your helicopter and since we had some time to kill, we took a few pics.

Tonight however, he is going out on the town. We are off to the North Texas Irish Festival and we plan to have a blast! Cant wait to send you some pics tomorrow!


Had a fabulous time at the North Texas Irish Festival. Got to see tons of men/women in authentic Irish clothes, lots of HUGE Irish Wolfhounds and ate wonderfully fattening foods all night. Drizzle Fizzle and your buddy rode some rides, went into the petting zoo, ate hot dogs (yes, even as vegetarians we eat meat sometimes-were not completely reformed yet-were more 75/25 currently :0) We got to see some fabulous Irish Folk dancing and hear some stories being told from the good ol'days! We did lots of paining, drawing, coloring and looking around at all the wonderful shops. Fabulous shops that sold kilts, swords, dresses, antiques, FOOD, lotions, art work, so many things its unbelievable.  We also went to the Hall of State which has lots of rich Texas history, statues, art etc. We also stopped by a small reenactment of the WWII and got invited to a large scale Civil War reenactment later this month that we plan to go to! Will be lots of fun I am sure.


Today we headed out to the Dallas Zoo with Princess and Drizzle Fizzle and their friends Amber and Rose Maria H. These are the kids best friends and they have known them since Pre-K so they do alot with us. We loved the monkey KoKo who kept walking up to the kids and putting his hand out like he was saying hi. Very cute. I actually got that recorded and will send it to you! But as you can tell your little buddy had to fight for his LIFE while at the zoo. The poor little guy had to fly away from the giraffe who thought he looked yummy I guess! To top it off the New Zeland rabbits also kept trying to eat him as well. They must have smelt the pancakes and yogurt on him from this mornings breakfast.

We also went to Union Station, The Red Museum with Jack Ruby was assassinated, we say were Kennedy was assassinated, went to Reunion Ball (but it was closed on Sunday :( . We also made our way to the 6th floor museum, but you cannot take pics inside :(...I know two bummers back to back, sorry.

We tried to get into Wolf Gang Puck's restaurant, but we were not allowed with no reservations. So I got to hear from Princess (my chef in the making) how when she gets her restaurant you wont need reservations because its not fair to kids!


Today we celebrated my birthday! The kids and I took your buddy on a small tour of Mesquite. We went and say the Mesquite Rodeo, our church-Centerpoint, the Mesquite Opera House, the ice cream factory- Blue Bell and lastly we went and say the Mesquite tourism building. I hope you will like the pics when they reach you. We went out The Spaghetti Warehouse to eat diner and than came back home for cake, games and movies. We had a great time playing hangman on the Wii and we watched Space Chimps together to close out the night. Your little guy was exhausted by the time it was all said and done and so were we!

Tonight you get to travel with me and Princess to get my fingerprints done at the FBI Unit in DT Dallas. I cant take pics inside, but I will try to snag one of the outside for you! I have to get my fingerprints for my job as a Juvenile Probation Officer every year to make sure I am staying out of trouble and eligible to continue volunteer work. I work FT in home health care, but volunteer as a prob. officer in Tarrant County till I get my certificate as a Prob Officer, but you have to have a job offer BEFORE you take the class here in Texas and you must have your Bachelors Degree! So if you are thinking of a job in the CJ field, study hard and stay out of trouble!! You will love going to AWANA tonight with the kids, they have a blast learning about the Lord, playing games and fellow-shipping. Plus you get a snack, so you cant go wrong!

 This weekend we drove out to Beaumont Ranch in Grandview, TX  to see the Civil War Reenactment. Had a fabulous time and got to watch town raids, grand speeches, religious debates, murders and the final grand battle between the north and the south over slavery and cotton taxes! It was a great time and your buddy was so excited to be there, but I think he got a little scared with all the canons and guns going crazy. At the end of the weekend he got to go watch people zip line on the largest zip line in Texas! It was a lot of fun. I put some pics up on the Civil War trip on my blog page and I will print them off for you! 


The Ft Worth Zoo called our name today. It was a little crowded, but hey we got to see the kangaroos this time, so we were psyched. We went and saw a nature film about the importance of recycling and learning about weather. We got to see a white tiger and the bald eagle. So many great animals in one place and so much to learn from them!


Today we barbecued. Not great fun, I know, but your buddy really did like getting out there on the grill and showing us what he was made of. Who knew helicopters were such excellent chefs? Go figure. Well we enjoyed grilled veggies and fruit kabobs nonetheless. They were fantastic. We had to do something to kinds cheer me up from the long week at dealing with our State/Federal surveyors in my office. So we really didnt get out much this week, with my job and the kids schooling so we vegged all weekend:) 


Today we spent the afternoon in the backyard. We played games;soccer, yard darts, basketball, then followed it up with some pool time and sprinklers. It was a great way to spend a day and we had so much fun. 

some of the different puppets they use for shows
Today we decided to go out. We have seasons tickets to the Dallas Children's Theater so we went and saw the Frog Prince today. The Frog Prince was a black light puppet style show. Black light puppeteering actually got its start in Czechoslovakia. Black light puppet - A form of puppetry where the puppets are operated on a stage lit only with ultraviolet lighting, which both hides the puppeteer and accentuates the colours of the puppet. The puppeteers perform dressed in black against a black background, with the background and costume normally made of black velvet. The puppeteers manipulate the puppets cheese the light, while they position themselves unseen against the black unlit background. Controlling what the audience sees is a major responsibility of any puppeteer, and blacklight lighting provides a new way of accomplishing this. Puppets of all sizes and types are able to be used, and glow in a powerful and magical way. The original concept of this form of puppetry can be traced to Bunraku puppetry. It was a great production. Needless to say we had a most excellent time!

Drizzle Fizzle, James and Bassie heading to Bass Pro Shop
After the theater we went to Bass Pro Shop and had to set our bassie free :( We were all very upset, but my budget cannot afford our predator our youngest caught anymore.We have had bassie (a large mouth bass) for about 8 months and he has grown in size from about a finger to over the size of your hand and than some. Being the lovely predator he is we had to feed him goldfish, but I was spending close to $20 a week  in goldfish for him, so we decided to release him at Bass Pro Shop so he wouldnt be hunted and ate! As you can tell, Drizzle Fizzle was not to happy to have to get rid of his Bassie, but we cheered him up a bit by letting him know we could visit.


today was my sons birthday, Munchkin, so we went to Legoland for the day. It was the grand opening out at Grapevine Mills Mall and we had a blast. Who knew so many cool things could be made from legos! There were zoo animals, robots, parks, and the whole Dallas Skyline. Not to mention Cowboy Stadium! We followed up our day with a nice lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe. Very awesome! Today was an excellent day!

HS Swap

About two weeks ago our family started gathering information together to take part of a geographical box swap. This is basically were you gather information about your state that you find interesting and send it to another family, in a different state. The kids gathered all sorts of things from post cards, brochures, maps, travel guides, menues from our favorite restaurants, coloring books etc. I put together a unit study of Texas to send along as well as some coloring pages of our state flag, bird, insect, etc. We cant wait to get our boxes from other states and countries to learn about them and the influence they each have on America and the World as we know it today. We have started using this to also study geography, do mapping projects and creative art projects as well. My daughter found a large US map and a world map so we can use push pins to track every place we send and receive the geo boxes. This has really helped prick her interest in other places and made learning about different places, states, cultures etc so much easier and alot more fun! I am so thankful we signed up for the homeschooling swap on facebook. Now every month my kids get to look forward to receiving a package in the mail and learning about someplace new and mystical to them!

To top it off, and make it that much more exciting, we are also doing a birthday card swap as well each month. We are having a blast with this one too. This is the first month, so the kids kinda went traditional and each got to pick out a card from the store to mail to each child. Next month, though, they plan to create their own (since they now feel this will be more exciting to the child receiving the card). They really seem to be enjoying spreading Christ's love through something so simple as a birthday card and it has been nice to see them laugh together and share in this experience, without arguing and complaining. Music to my ears!!

There in just one more great thing happening in our family right now and that is the Flat Stanley exchange. Our family did this once before, and the results were bad! :( We didnt get any of our flats returned to us and spent so much time with the other families flats. The kids were disappointed and let down and I was frustrated and a little angry. Needless to say, they wanted to give it another Irish shot, so why not. We made the travelers books, visa's and of course the Traveler it self. All together we ended up with 5. Eli, the elephant; Bones, a skeleton; a gold coin with Sacajawea on it(since we are studying Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea); a girl named Princess (of course) and a boy named Drizzle Fizzle(since his sister got to name hers after her, he felt it was only fair to name his after him-go figure). That way we covered one for each child and a stow away in case one gets lost and ends up MIA! When you go travel the world, sometimes its hard to return! We are also tracking all these little guys travels using a different color push pin and doing compare and contrast charts between our state and the state we send a traveler to.

We plan to use this blog to add pictures of the materials we receive from all these wonderful adventures and also post our pics up as we are hosting new travelers every month. Obviously, I am pretty new to the blogging thing and my site is relatively empty (ok it is empty, who are we kidding) but I soon hope to change that. Besides, give a girl a break, I am a single mother of 3 and I work FT, HS and do volunteer work. I dont have a lot of blogging down time ;)

I am so looking forward to getting our first package in the mail...until then