Friday, September 26, 2014

Family Fun

What we do without a television...

And while we practice archery, we make apple crisp in a Dutch oven. :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We Love Big Band

We took the family to listen to some live big band music and practice our dance moves. That silly boy of mine insisted on wearing a suit in 90-degree weather.

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An elderly gentleman tried to photobomb our selfie; too bad we didn't capture him in the picture.

But the star of the show today was Ro. He impressed the ladies with his smooth moves. And I accidentally deleted the video of him dancing with me. Bah.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kids' First Karate Camp

We did a lot of playing…

We made new friends…

And we learned cool stuff.

I think we’ll make this a yearly event.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our New Learning Room

After years of using our dining room for our homeschool, I decided to turn our den into a “learning room.”

What prompted the move was the fact that our old dinosaur t.v. (which was only being used for playing on the Wii, dvds, and Netflix) finally gave up the ghost. I had planned on moving that ancient, outdated entertainment center, along with some of the other den furniture, into the land of Yardsale.

Until I looked around at the price of (the cheapest) desks times…five kids? Oh, my.
Then I looked harder at that entertainment center. And the end tables. And what else did I have hanging around that I could use?

I started taking off doors, pulling out boards, grabbed a can of cheap paint, and…voila. The old entertainment center and end tables become new desks and cubbies.

The kids even talked me into painting the closet doors blue with the leftover paint. And then I decided to clean out the closet and use it to store our homeschooling books/materials that aren’t being used this year, musical instruments (we have, I dunno, more than ten), and karate bags and uniforms.IMG_1680IMG_1612
There’s a space for the little ones. (Pants are not required at our pre-K.)
The older ones now have a place to put their things out of reach of the babies. They don’t have to sit within reach of each other or look at each other. Maybe this will cut down on arguments? 
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These old broken chairs from Greg’s grandma’s set, which were being stored in our shed, got a makeover. One of these days, maybe the whole set will get restored back to their original condition, but until then, I picked the two that were in the worst shape to be put to use now.
Altogether, with the paint, fabric, corkboards, and little plastic chairs for the tots, I spent maybe $45 on this project.

I appreciate being able to see our fenced in side yard from our learning room. I also appreciate being able to sit down and get a little practice while watching the kids play in the sprinkler!IMG_1632

I also appreciate having all the “creative overflow” contained in one room. Now when visitors knock on our front door, my house has the illusion of cleanliness. (Ha!)
And our dining room table is for eating as a family again.

I have more ideas for our learning room, and of course, I will be posting pictures as I go.

Finally Finished Our Family Dojo

I posted this on my other blog, but I’ll share it here, too, since it’s a family thing and all.
Two years ago, we finally got around to cleaning out our shed and hanging our bag and makiwara so we could work out at home. This year, I got the bright idea to spruce it up a little more. Since my husband and three of our children are now also practicing martial arts, I thought a little decorating would encourage the kids to practice at home more.

I used paint that was left over from a couple years ago, and I found different items around the shed that I repurposed. For example, some old straw mats made neat curtains, and some old white folding doors became a partition (Hubby and I agreed to split the shed—half for my dojo and half for his tools and stuff.)
Anyway, I thought these old white doors would look cool painted black and red.
We finally got a weight bench. I put up some cork boards for whatever weights or drills we are currently working on. The Wavemaster (and the Everlast bag below) were given to me by my former instructor when he closed down the old dojo. The Everlast bag was meant to hold water, but the plastic bladder inside had holes. I duct taped it, filled it with 75lbs of sand, and I’ve been using it that way for the last two years. He also gave me the big pad and muay thai pads on the shelf.

We had bought a dorm refrigerator a couple years ago for our oldest daughter, but since she is still living at home with us, it holds water bottles. (And beer.)

I made this Bruce Lee collage for my son. He loves it. OK, maybe I like it a little bit, too.

This week, we finally put down some floor pads, thanks to the money I had in paypal from my Pact app. (Yes, this app really does work, and you really can get paid for exercising and logging your meals on MyFitnessPal. I use the money I earn to buy fitness-related goodies. Next, I’ll buy some more weights for the barbell.)
Anyway, the floor pads make it much more comfortable to do push-ups and planks.
It is great to have a space that we can all enjoy!
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mojo’s Sherlock-Themed Birthday Party

Mojo turned 13 today! Isn’t she beautiful?

I am working mainly weekends now, but I was able to get my nights switched to Thur & Fri this week so I could be home tonight for her birthday. Even so, after working the past couple nights and sleeping  today, we just planned for her to have a few friends over to enjoy some burgers and cake and maybe movies or something.

In typical Mojo fashion, a couple days before her birthday, she issued a challenge. (Remember the Star Trek party?)
“You know what would be really cool, Mom? A Sherlock-themed party.”
Oooooh. That really would be cool. The possibilities for a Sherlock-themed party are great, and I couldn’t really do it justice with such a limited budget and time.  But I couldn’t resist playing with it. I planned and schemed last night in between caring for my patients, woke up at 1:30pm, made a mad rush to the grocery store for food and supplies while my oldest daughter googled and printed and made a phone call to her law-enforcement Grandpa, and we started the party around 5pm. Here’s what we managed in that amount of time.

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We changed our address to 221B Baker Street, and our house became a crime scene. Thanks, Papaw Bob, for letting us borrow the police tape! As I was unloading the truck from my shopping trip, I noticed a police cruiser in front of our next-door neighbor’s house, and the officer was speaking to our neighbors. He walked over to our yard to inquire about the police tape, and I explained about the party. And then I updated my Facebook status so that our local friends wouldn’t be wondering. Word travels fast in a small town.  hehehe

I saw a few ideas online for some Sherlock-themed games, but Mojo said “I’m 13, Mom. We’re too old for party games.” Well, alright. But I would’ve gotten a game of Clue if I could’ve found it on my hurried shopping trip. I did print out and laminate Sherlock’s wall so that we could shoot at it with Caveman’s nerf gun.
Other than that, we put out a few simple decorations…
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(Folding our black napkins into origami lotus flowers was a fail, but I did make a neat rose. 
And I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say “We can’t giggle—it’s a crime scene!”)

…served tea & biscuits and fish & chips…
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…decorated cupcakes with Sherlock images…

…and watched the Sherlock Holmes movies and the BBC Sherlock episodes.

(We rarely buy store-bought birthday cards anymore. They are more fun to personalize.)

Yeah, this was probably more fun that just plain ol’ burgers and cake. I may revisit it in the future with more planning. Petri dishes with jello in them? A skull on the mantel? Scones to go with our tea and maybe some meat pasties or cottage pie for dinner? A good ol’ murder mystery to solve? Some Bach violin music playing in the background? Lots of fun possibilities!