The First Week – A Homeschool High

I promise I will go back to blogging about stuff other than homeschooling very soon, but this week, it has pretty much been all-homeschool-all-the-time in my brain, so I’m needing to tell everyone how we did. Ready?


Ahem. We crushed it.

The week was fantastic.

The curriculum was very easy to follow and implement.

The girls loved the workbox system.


They are crazy about the Star Wars workbooks that I work into their workboxes in between their “real” work.

(When proofreading, I realized how many times I used the word “work” in that ^^ sentence. I started to edit, but then decided I enjoy the fact that it is used four times in there, with four different meanings. I’m leaving it.)

We did a science experiment.

We did an art project.



I let my kids use Sharpies, and we all made it out unscathed (including our clothes and furniture).


We learned about Mother Teresa (her feast day is tomorrow).

Miss developed an intense interest in Japan.

We read and discussed the Gospel for this Sunday, as well as most of them from the Mass readings for the week.

We memorized a Bible verse (Psalm 1:1). They did much better at this than I did. Even Sis has it down.

It was so fun.

We even named our little school after our patron saints. I had the idea the night before our first day that I was going to ask the girls to choose a patron saint for our school for the year. I worried a bit that introducing this might be a big disaster. I suspected they would fight over which saint we should choose. To my surprise, they came to an agreement almost immediately. When I first asked whom we should choose, Sis said, “Saint Joseph.” Miss said, “That’s exactly what I was just going to say!” Lass said, “Mary.” I said, “How about the Holy Family?” They said, “Yeah!”

So we are now Holy Family Academy.

I’m kind of feeling like Super Homeschool Mom. I’m having an “I need a cape” moment (these are few and far between, so I’m making the most of it).


Of course, it wasn’t perfect, by any stretch. There were a few tense moments. Even a few tears, because Lass has a hard time understanding that she isn’t supposed to do things perfectly when she is learning them, like cutting an oval shape. I repeated many times things like: “You don’t have to be perfect, you’re just learning,” and “It takes practice to get good at new skills,” and “In our school it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s how we learn.” And so on and so on. She still had a meltdown over the fact that her ovals were a bit angular.


I also need to streamline my process for prepping the next day’s work in the evenings and filling the girls’ workboxes. I think I spent at least an hour each night doing this, and that’s just not sustainable. I’m working on making it smoother, doing some of the prep work for the next day as the girls are finishing up their current day activities, and finding other ways to be more efficient. I’m hoping this will get faster as I get more familiar with the curriculum and once we are in a more user-friendly space after we move.

And speaking of user-friendly spaces, I learned that, although I really like having individual desks for the girls, I also like having the big table in the middle to use when we’re doing work together at the start of the day and when we do experiments and art projects. So we’ll probably be making room for the big table in our school room (we inherited a new dining room table from my in-laws).


So much packed into the first week.

Do you want to know my favorite part about the whole thing? I could watch my girls growing closer to each other through our work together and their helping each other.


I know that sounds crazy after just one week, but I swear they’re kinder to and closer to each other today than they were last Friday. They’re complimenting each other, they’re helping each other, they’re playing Star Wars together so nicely!

I’m feeling more connected with them too.

The house is a mess and my meal planning has gone to heck, but today it all feels so worth it.

Five Favorites – Grandma and Grandpa’s House

Life is always good when I’m at my parents’ house. My girls are happy to be with Grandma and Grandpa. My husband is happy because he’s fishing. My parents are happy because they get to spend time with my girls. And I’m just happy about all of it. Everyone wins.

Today, I’ve got five of my favorite things at my parents’ house:

1. This stove.


My husband and I are building a new house, and we’ve looked at a lot of stoves over the past year or two. I have never in my life seen anything like this one anywhere else. This stove is older than I am, but check it out. It has double ovens. It has a little shelf at the back, and the stove top slides forward if you need to use more than the front two burners. It’s yellow, for pete’s sake. I have many happy memories associated with this stove. I love it.

2. And along with the stove, my Dad’s cooking.


Don’t be fooled by that look. He likes cooking (though perhaps not having his photo taken). He was a firefighter and cooked at the firehouse for many years and got good at it. He spoils us by cooking for us all week when we’re here.

3. This bed:


My Dad made it for me when I was little. This trip is the first time any of my girls has used it. Both of the bigger girls sleep in double beds in the same room, and this one was the last bed available for little Sis. She’s almost too big for it, but I’m savoring her in it for now.

I’m also (mostly) loving that my girls are all sleeping in the same room, which is a big treat for them. As I’m typing this, I can hear them laughing and talking and playing in their room, though they’re supposed to be winding down for sleep. They’re all exhausted, but it makes me happy that they’re having so much fun together.

4. The weather.



Unless it’s the middle of summer, the weather here is always better than it is at our house.

5. The time.

Time together as a family. Time with Grandma and Grandpa.




Time for me and my husband to go on an overnight date in Nashville. Time for me to be with my Mom.


^ Her first ever selfie when we went antiquing this afternoon ^

 Being here makes my heart feel so full.


Head over to Call Her Happy to see what things other folks are favoriting right now.

So Big, and Yet So Small – The First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday morning, when I went in to wake Miss up for her first full day of kindergarten away from home, I stood and gazed at her for a second before rousing her. I brushed her hair back from her sleeping face, and as I looked at her in profile, I saw her, right then, as a two-year-old. In sleep, her big-girl face took on the baby-like qualities from when she was smaller, and it almost took my breath.


^ In the upper left-hand corner of that photo is Miss at about 18 months.

I almost didn’t want to wake her. I wanted to just stand and look at her. She looked so little and so big, at the same time.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about today. I knew it would be hard/weird to send her to somewhere else for a full day. I knew it would feel strange to know that my little girl is big enough for kindergarten, even though next week she’ll be back home with me, and we’ll be doing school at home most of the time. I knew I would be nervous and excited for her.

She was certainly excited.

DSC_0139 DSC_0141 DSC_0144

So, did I cry when I dropped her off?


No. I didn’t. I felt the throat tightening, eyes burning feeling for just a moment when she first started to walk away with her class. But it passed pretty quickly.

However, it was certainly a strange, and in some ways difficult, day. I kept feeling like a part of me was missing. At lunch, sitting with just my two youngers, I noticed how odd it felt to not have Miss there. That was the hardest part. That’s when I almost cried.

Sis: (to Lass) “You be Pincess Pesto, and I be Affa Pig, and Mama, you be Supa Why!”

Me: “Okay! Too bad your sister isn’t here. She could be Wonder Red.”

Sis: (looking sadly at Miss’s seat) “We need to go get her!!”

That moment, that little-sister-missing-big-sister moment, is when I started laugh-crying, as I said something like, “We can’t yet. She’s at school.” I almost spiraled into all-out bawling, feeling acutely the void left by Miss’s absence right then. But I pulled it together and rallied with more Super Why! pretending. It helps when you know all the words. . .

For most of the day, I kept looking at the clock and wondering where Miss was and what she was doing right then. “11:07, I wonder if she’s having lunch yet?”  Super Friend kindly texted me a photo of her grinning from ear to ear on the playground at recess and let me know that she seemed fine at lunch.


By 1pm I was checking my watch every five minutes or so, to see if it was time to go get her yet. I missed her.

At pick up, I realized how much fun she had had, and how grown up it made her feel to have had a full day at school, away from Mom and sisters.


She and her sisters played with other kids on the playground for a bit after dismissal. Miss kept following Sis around, helping her on the relatively large play structure. She came to me and told me that I didn’t have to watch Sis, because she would take care of it.

The whole day, I was struck over and over by the juxtaposition of so grown up with so teeny tiny. She was acting so responsibly, and so big with her little sister. Yet the older kids careening around her dwarfed her.

Her uniform clothes were so grown up.


But in them, she looked so teeny tiny.


I guess that’s one of the tough things about the start of kindergarten. Our little ones are so big and so small at the same time. This makes it hard to let go. At least for me.

I must say, I am quite relieved she will be back at home with me next week. I think I’ll be able to handle this for one and a half days per week.

Really Quick Takes – Seven of Them

Linking up with Conversion Diary again. This is going to be extra short(ish), because I really need to be packing…

1. I just learned about the blog A Knotted Life yesterday. I love finding new blogs to read, and this one is very good. In addition to being a good read, Bonnie, who writes the blog, sponsors the Sheenazing Awards for (mostly Catholic) bloggers in several categories. Her post has a long list of new blogs to check out and I have been sucked into some sort of internet vortex looking through them.

2. I voted for some of my favorite blogs in several categories, including Conversion Diary, Camp Patton, Amongst Lovely Things, and Shower of Roses. But I also found (or re-found) several other blogs to read, like Clan Donaldson, Moxie Wife, Mama Knows, Honeychild, Like Mother, Like Daughter, and Catholic All Year. I know I will be checking out many more (I pinned the list so I can refer to it whenever I have a few minutes to look at a new one).

3. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is how close my kids are with each other. They miss each other when apart, since they are used to being together so much.

DSC_0578Our Golden Age (during which both of the older girls were able to be in the same gymnastics and swimming classes) is over. Miss has now moved up to the 5-year-old gymnastics class. I was able to find one time slot where both the 3-4-year-old and 5-year-old classes are held at the same time, so I don’t have to spend more time at the gymnastics center than what is absolutely necessary.

Since their classes are often going on very near each other, Miss constantly points out Lass to her teacher and classmates, “Look! That’s my sister over there!” This week when they were close to each other, Miss even ran over and gave her sister a quick hug. At the end of their classes they always hug each other and exclaim, “I missed you!” Then Baby Sis hugs both of them and says, “I luh loo!” I could just die from the cuteness.


4. Baby Sis is a climber. I know this. But I can still be surprised by some of the things she does. The other day she was in the kitchen with me. I walked away for a minute and then heard, “Mama! Down!” I rushed back into the kitchen to find her standing in the drawer next to our Learning Tower.


Heart attack. She’s not even two, and she’s trying to give me a heart attack.

5. Goldie Blox. My girls each got a set for Christmas. We love them.

DSC_0597 DSC_0598

I have to admit that I can’t stand Legos. But these are fun.

DSC_0601 DSC_0603 DSC_0604 DSC_0607


6. I made muffins this morning. It never fails that when I make muffins I always think I have too much batter to fill the muffin cups only “two-thirds full.” Every time, I fill the first row about the right amount. Then I get to the middle and start filling them too full because I just know I won’t be able to fit all the batter into 12 cups. Then I get to the last two cups, and I end up having to dip from the too-full ones to have enough.



They always come out well in the end, but I found myself wondering, after doing this again this morning, why don’t I ever remember that this always happens and just trust the amount? Maybe it’s because I only bake every six months or so.

7. Speaking of bone-headed moves on my part, a few weeks ago, I bought a new external flash for my camera. I was so excited to use it, I got it out of the box right away and hooked it up to my camera. It didn’t come with any instructions, but getting it hooked up was pretty straightforward. Except that I couldn’t get it to turn on. I looked for a charger and a plug and didn’t find one. I looked for something in the box to tell me how to get it going and there really wasn’t anything. Just a paper that said, “Press the On/Off switch…” Well I did that, repeatedly, and it didn’t work.

Finally, I got frustrated, deemed the thing defective, and put it back in the store bag with the receipt so I could return it at the first opportunity. I then had company one day and put the bag into a random cupboard to get it out of sight (you do this too, right?), which naturally led to it being out of mind. I forgot about it until yesterday and pulled it out, thinking I’d try to take it back today. I decided I would pull it out and try it one more time, just in case I missed something the last time.

As I was getting it out I happened to glance at that one piece of paper again. In addition to the brief comments about how to turn it on, it included a diagram with all of the parts labeled. One part, which I totally missed last time I tried it but was clearly labeled on the diagram was the “Battery compartment door.” *Sigh* Maybe I should start going to bed a little earlier.

For more quick takes, go here.

Happy weekend!

Some Thrilling Stuff Here – 7 Quick Takes Friday

I’m late to the party tonight, but linking up with Conversion Diary.

Seven Quick Takes:

1. Lass is fascinated by dead trees. She excitedly points out any dead or dying tree she sees, wherever we go, ever since the girls saw a huge dead cottonwood that had fallen over at the farm in the summer.


This is so consistent with her quirky little personality.


Lately, around here she’s been in heaven.

Driving down the road:

“Look! A dead tree!”

Ten seconds later:

“Anudda dead tree!”

No matter how many times I tell her the leaves have fallen off because it’s fall and the trees are dormant, not dead, she still gets all fired up every time she sees a tree without leaves. It might be an interesting winter.

2. I still have no idea what my kids are going to be for Halloween. Miss said she wanted to be Cinderella when I showed her some options from a Zulily sale one day (someone please save me from Zulily!). Then she decided that Rapunzel is “actually” her favorite princess, so she wants to be Rapunzel. And then other times she says she’s going to be St. Therese of Lisieux. I ordered her the Cinderella dress when that was what she wanted to be, so I think that’s what she’ll be going with. She at least knows I won’t be buying her another costume…

Lass has alternately said she wants to be an emu, a flying fish, a flying-fish unicorn, and now Pocahontas.

And I haven’t even put any thought toward Baby Sis yet. I’ll probably just put her in one of the dress-up outfits we already have, maybe Snow White or Tinker Bell or a chef or doctor. Batman maybe? Would that be wrong?

3. Speaking of Baby Sis, she is all kinds of funny and cute right about now. I have found myself enjoying this 18-ish months stage with her so much. More so probably that I did with my first two. She is just so stinking cute! And funny!

IMG_2762 DSC_0486

Super Friend pointed out that she had the same experience with her third child at this phase. Both of us agree that our third children probably aren’t actually any cuter or funnier than their older sibs were at the same age. But she reminded me that when our older two (four?) were at this stage, we were in the throes of new-baby shock. Oh yeah.

Of course Miss and Lass were just as adorable and hilarious. I just couldn’t appreciate it quite as much when in the midst of newborn-induced sleep deprivation and constant feeding. Either that or I appreciated it just as much but don’t remember it. Whichever, I’m loving 18 months right now.


4. I am also in a glorious golden phase with my older two. It’s a small window in time, but one that I am savoring wholeheartedly. The Both-Girls-in-the-Same-Class phase.

IMG_2748IMG_2746Insert contented *sigh* here.

Not just for swimming, but also gymnastics, both Miss and Lass are in the same class. It’s a beautiful thing, which I know will only last until January when Miss will need to move to the next level of gymnastics. I’ll miss these days.

5. I was slightly disturbed this morning to find that I was jealous of my 18-month-old’s bed-head hairdo.

DSC_0516 DSC_0517

Is it just me or does that look like some super cute short cut that I could never in a million years get my hair to do? I should probably get a hair cut.

6. I have had about five RCIA classes so far. I love it. Just wanted to give an update on the Catholic Conversion front.

7. I don’t really have anything for this one. Some thoughts that popped into my head were, “My husband is working this weekend,” “I might take the kids to church by myself on Sunday,” and “I want ice cream.” Blah, blah, blah. Oh! Here’s something! I had acupuncture today. It was kind of cool. Didn’t hurt (much). I’ll let you know if it works.


Have a great weekend.

Quirks and Updates

One of the most fun things about having kids is watching their little personalities emerge.

I have yet to see how Baby Sis’s personality will develop, but she is already showing that she’s content, and cuddly, and funny.  DSC_0492

Her older sisters are so different from each other.

Most of the time, Miss is my serious girl. She’s very intense and somewhat perfectionistic. She wants things just so, and can get very upset when things don’t happen the way she envisions them. She is stubborn and persistent and smart and funny. She enjoys school time and loves art and music. She’s not a big snuggler, though when she is in the mood, she can give the best hugs anywhere. Today she climbed up in my rocker with me while I was rocking Sis, and she just kissed and hugged her baby sister over and over. It was precious to watch them love on each other.

Lass on the other hand is a bit more of a free spirit. She isn’t terribly particular about most things. She’s more of a pleaser, both with my husband and me, and with her big sister. She is quite sensitive, and when she’s scolded, she often begins to cry and says, “You hurt my feelings!” She is my snuggly, lovey girl. She gives lots of spontaneous hugs and kisses. At least once a day she walks up to me, gives me a sweet little hug, and says, “I love you Mommy.” She cries when my husband leaves for work, saying, “But I love my Daddy! I don’t want you to go Daddy.” She yanks on my heartstrings all day long, that girl does.


My big girls have their funny quirks too.

Though I just described Lass as the free spirited girl who isn’t particular about things and Miss as my perfectionist, when it comes to their bedrooms, they are totally the opposite.

Lass is super picky about her bedroom when she goes to bed. She doesn’t take any toys to bed with her and she will not go to bed if her toys are not on her bookshelf in a certain way, if her Froggy isn’t sitting correctly in her chair, and if there is anything out of place on her floor.

DSC_0544 DSC_0546

Miss on the other hand is a total slob in her room. She goes to bed with at least half of her bed covered with various toys and books.

DSC_0551 DSC_0553

She often leaves toys all over her floor. I have to prompt her regularly to pick them up and put them where they belong. And she isn’t too particular about how her things get put away.


They are so different, but they are the best of friends. And Sis is playing with them more and more.


Much of the time during the day I stay near them and secretly watch and listen to them play together.

They are so imaginative. They seem so in sync as they make up games and stories together. They are so chatty with each other. They each have funny ways they pronounce words, which never fail to make me smile.

Miss says, “lasterday” instead of “yesterday,” “with-about” instead of “without,” and “breakthist” instead of “breakfast.” She is starting now to begin pronouncing these words correctly sometimes, and it makes me kind of sad. I love “lasterday.”

Lass has a hard time with some letter sounds and combinations of letters, as is common for her age of course. She can’t quite pronounce her “Rs” and “Ls” and has difficulty with the “SK” sound combination. So the word “squirrel” comes out sounding like “swoyo” and “scared” is “swared.” Like her sister, she is already starting to correct these mispronunciations on her own.

Baby Sis is starting to talk too. She signs “all done” and “milk,” and also uses the “milk” sign to mean “more.” She says “Meh-Meh” for milk, “Da-Da,” and “Mama.” She often tries to imitate other words we say. And the biggest news about my littlest girl is that she is walking!

DSC_0483 DSC_0484

And falling.


But walking!! Such a big girl.

One of the reasons I write this blog is to record the moments of my girls’ lives and their milestones and quirks. The funny little things they do and say. I don’t ever want to forget “lasterday” and “swoyo” and Sis signing “milk” for “more.”

I think one of my most important duties as a mom is keeping record of my girls’ moments. Our family. Our history.

These things make up my life. They form my happy place.




On Sharing

Yesterday I read an article called “Why I Don’t Make My Son Share.”

It was an interesting read. For the most part, I like what this mom had to say. I agree with a lot of her points. In a nutshell, she talks about her son’s school’s “sharing policy” in which kids are not required to share an item while they are still playing with it. If a kid wants a toy that someone is playing with, he or she has to wait until the playing kid is done. Makes sense. I’ve never really thought of myself as having a “sharing policy,” but I do typically use this rule with my kids (except for the few hot items that we only have one of that they occasionally both want to play with NOW, then we have to take turns).


Reading the article got me to thinking about sharing. The author of the article mostly wrote about the disservice to children if we give them the idea that they “can have something that someone else has, simply because [they] want it,” and the title says she doesn’t make her son share.

As I said, I mostly agree with what she says about not making kids give a toy that they are actively playing with to another child just because that child wants it. But there’s so much more to sharing that I want to teach my kids.


If I was using something, say my sunglasses on a really sunny day, I would find it odd if another adult came up to me and randomly asked me to wear them. And in many instances I probably wouldn’t give them up, particularly to a stranger. But, sometimes I have an extra pair in my bag or car. I’d happily lend those to someone else who forgot a pair. In fact, I’d probably offer them without even being asked if I saw that someone needed them. That’s sharing. If I decided to put on a baseball cap (which I never do, it’s just not a good look for me, but for the sake of example…) and didn’t need my glasses anymore, I’d surely let someone else use them. Thats sharing. And if, for some reason, another person needed my sunglasses more than me, I’d most likely give them up. I always offer my sunglasses to my husband when he’s driving my car and he’s forgotten his. He never takes me up on the offer. I can’t imagine why.



But even so, that’s sharing.

To me, teaching my girls about sharing doesn’t mean that I tell them that they have to give a toy that they’re actively playing with to another child on demand. It means that I teach them about the basic concepts of “this is mine, but I’m not using it right now, so you can play with it,” and “let’s play together,” and “here’s one for me and one for you.” It’s helping them to see that other people have feelings and wants and needs, and learning ways that we can share what we have with others. It’s learning to not being greedy and selfish and self-centered, which is kind of hard for them right now because they’re naturally egocentric at this age.


I think sharing is a big part of what helps my girls to play so well together much of the time. Not that I have the answer to sibling harmony, because we certainly have our fair share of fights here.


But I think not forcing them to give their toys to each other arbitrarily helps to minimize resentment. In addition to not making them give each other the things that they are playing with at the moment, when they buy something with their own money or receive it as a gift, they are allowed to think of that thing as their own and to decide whether or not to let others play with it. Miss saved her allowance money and bought a Snow White dress last summer that Lass loved. At first when Lass asked to wear it, Miss said “no.” I didn’t force her to let her sister wear it, but the same rule applied to Lass’s Cinderella dress she had gotten for her birthday. After a very short while, Miss began allowing Lass to wear her dress, and vice versa, and it ceased being something to fight over. It’s not a big deal at all now, and I think this is partly because they were allowed to make the decisions for themselves that they would share their dresses with each other (that and the fact that the dresses aren’t the hot new items anymore).


At the same time, encouraging inclusive play, the idea of “some for me and some for you,” and empathy  helps them to have good feelings towards each other. And when sharing is a point of contention between them (or whenever they’re arguing), I try to stay out of it and let them figure it out themselves to the extent this is possible. Sometimes if I just wait a minute, they come up with a solution without my “help.” Letting them decide when and how to share with each other helps them to feel good about it and about each other.


Tonight we went out for dinner and ice cream. Miss chose to have her usual chocolate ice cream flavor. The guy scooped it out for her and then Lass chose something different – chocolate ice cream with a raspberry swirl. Miss nearly had a fit and wanted to change her order. Of course I told her that she couldn’t this time, but that she could ask her sister for a taste of hers and maybe order it for herself next time if she liked it. So she did, and at first Lass said, “no.” No one said anything in response to her refusal to share. A few minutes later she said, “Here, you can have a taste of mine,” and held out a spoonful of her ice cream to her sister. She enjoyed sharing it so much, she gave her several bites and offered some to my husband and me too.


I do sometimes “make” my girls share. Almost never in the sense of making them give up a toy they’re playing with, but sometimes they need encouragement to let other kids play with their stuff even if they’re not actively using it. Sometimes my kids need a reminder that sharing is an act of kindness and we want to be kind to people whenever we can. Sometimes I have to set a limit when one of my girls lets out a blood curdling scream because her sister (or friend) picked up a toy that she was no longer playing with, and then tries to snatch it away. I try my best to do this without being too pushy or authoritarian. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I try.

I think parents can get quite anxious about wanting to demonstrate that we have taught our kids to share and have manners and be empathic and all the other qualities that are socially desirable in adults. In fact, I have never had the experience of seeing another mom pushing my kids to share with hers (as in the examples from the article I linked to above). Usually I see parents bending over backwards to try to make sure their own children are sharing. And then there are the times when I see other parents standing by and watching, not doing a thing, while their kid forcefully takes something from mine, but that’s a whole different post…

Anyway, I’m kind of rambling now. What was my point? Sharing is good? Let’s teach kids to share without forcing them to be doormats? Don’t let your kid be a bully? Something like that. I don’t have a terribly coherent take-home message, I guess. I just got to thinking after reading that article, so I thought I’d share my thoughts here.

Sorry 🙂



Someday Sisters

We had some serious dress up playing today. Serious as in, they really had to get into character so they took their regular clothes off to be more authentic in their dresses.

Lass was Rapunzel and Miss was Flynn Rider. Miss was directing the play. She selected the dresses for Lass and helped her into each one. Then they’d have a dance, run around through the “kingdom,” and do it all over again.

DSC_0585 DSC_0586

Apparently in their version of Rapunzel, Flynn doesn’t wear a shirt.

DSC_0612 DSC_0614

They were so fun to watch.


My favorite part was watching Miss help Lass get into her dresses.


They are such good friends. I couldn’t help but picture them someday helping each other get ready for big dances, dates, or job interviews, doing each other’s hair, and helping to pick outfits and accessories. All the things sisters do in my imagination. Perhaps they’re more likely to fight over who gets to drive the car and the fact that one is wearing the other’s shirt without asking. I’m sure there will be both of these types of moments, especially when they’re teenagers. I know they will bicker and fight. I hope, and I believe, that they will also be the best and truest of friends. They already are.

DSC_0606 DSC_0607 DSC_0582

(Even Sis got in on the action a little bit.)



The last dress Miss had Lass change into was her “wedding dress.” I’d be lying if I said this didn’t bring a tear to my eye.


Look at her, helping to adjust her sister in her “wedding dress.”


Someday my girls will be helping each other get ready for big moments like weddings and babies. I don’t have a sister, so I’m totally in awe of this relationship. I am truly thankful that they have each other and that they show their love for each other so much every day. Of course they bicker, they argue over toys, they don’t like to take turns. But I see such tenderness and thoughtfulness between them every day as well.

They’re playing dress up. They’re playing Rapunzel and Flynn (in today’s scenario they got married to each other).

But they’re also practicing being good sisters. Every day, they are honing their skills of love and support for each other that they will carry on throughout their lives.

Maybe someday I’ll get these photos out and show them on Lass’s real wedding day. *Sniff*

Rudolph on Repeat

The holiday spirit is in full swing around here. Last night Daddy (aka Santa) helped me wrap the rest of the presents and get them under the tree. The girls inspected them closely this morning and eagerly asked about each one. They are excited about Santa coming tomorrow night.

Today was a day for playing Christmas music and making treats in the kitchen. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was on repeat, at Lass’s request, and we made cookies for Santa.

As Rudolph played in the background (for quite a while Lass was insistent we listen to nothing but that, but after a while I snuck in some Charlie Brown Christmas and we were all able to move on), the girls got warmed up with the rolling pin.

DSC_0359 DSC_0368

They had fun spreading out the flour and then got down to business.

DSC_0383 DSC_0385 DSC_0386 DSC_0390 DSC_0393 DSC_0395 DSC_0396

After a few rounds they really got into trying to pound the dough flat before rolling it.

DSC_0399 DSC_0400 DSC_0409 DSC_0411 DSC_0414

Santa is going to be very pleased. Especially since Miss says we need to leave chocolate milk for him to have with his cookies.


And speaking of Santa being pleased, he was very happy, as were we all, with the fresh (and huge) ham he cooked for our dinner tonight. He cooked the other ham from our hog at my parent’s house last week and was a bit disappointed by how it turned out. The flavor was wonderful, but the meat was dry.

Today he nailed it.

DSC_0417 DSC_0422

The house was filled with mouth-watering smells all day and the finished product did not disappoint.

DSC_0428 DSC_0436

We’ll be eating ham for Christmas dinner, and I have plans to use the bone to make a yummy ham and vegetable soup later in the week. I’m happy that we won’t need to be in the kitchen all day to make dinner on Christmas. I’ll cook some Brussels sprouts with bacon and sauté some fennel bulb and the meal will be complete.

We can spend Christmas day as it should be spent. Snuggling and laughing and playing sister games (though I will spend a little bit of time in the kitchen in the morning, after opening presents, cooking our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of creamed eggs).

DSC_0333 DSC_0334 DSC_0338 DSC_0337

DSC_0350 DSC_0334 DSC_0338


We’ll probably play Rudolph a few more times too.

Merry Christmas.



Move Over Katniss

This girl is fierce.

She has always been into shooting the bow with her Daddy. Now, thanks to a friend of my Dad’s who thoughtfully made this little bow for her, she has one of her own.

Watch out world.

From the bow to the camo pants, Miss is her Daddy’s girl, through and through.

I think this one is going to be able to take care of herself.

Both of my older girls had fun tonight hunting the “bear” – Grandpa – while he was cooking dinner.

Daddy provided instruction.

Lass was a bit less ferocious about it.

In fact, when the girls decided that I was another bear and began to “shoot” at me, Lass seemed a bit uncomfortable with my feigned injury at being shot with an arrow.

While her sister walked up and pretended to yank the arrow out of my belly, Lass said, “It’s okay Bear, it’s a good owie” and “Don’t worry Bear, I kiss you owie. Now you all bettah.”

It’s hard to predict, but my middle girl might be a little bit less interested in hunting with her Dad in years to come.