Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Parade 2009

Saturday night Bug & Lil' Coconut were in the lighted Christmas parade our town has. Either this is the first year they've had it, or I've just never heard of it. At any rate, both kids were thrilled. Bug got to be on his football team's float. This would, of course, be because they were undefeated 11-0. It was a trailer with hay bales that all the boys sat on, with some Christmas lights, otherwise not too decorated. It was mostly about the boys anyway. Lil' C was on our homeschool group's float. It was divided into 2 parts. The first part (where Coconut was) was mom and dad reading stories to the children by the fireplace. She had to wear her pajamas, which as you can see by the photo, didn't make her terribly happy. She was cute, though. The second half was the nativity scene, complete with a real baby playing the part of baby Jesus. He had on the cutest outfit with a bear face flap in the rear. Tee hee. Probably not what Jesus was wearing! The rest of us found a vacant curb to sit and watch the parade. It was only about 50 degrees outside, so it made for a pleasant time. Except the curb was wet, so we all got a little damp. That's okay, everybody had a great time!

Christmas Parade 2009 Pix

Homeschool Christmas Party 2009

On Friday, we had our homeschool group Christmas party. The kids had fun making all kinds of crafts from hand painted sun catcher ornaments to chocolate covered cherry mice. (YUM!) Pinky Lee had fun making stuff, but Boo Boo Bear was only interested in playing with the glitter glue and eating cookies, so he played outside most of the time. Doesn't he look so cute trying to ride that bike? The adults brought cookies and had a cookie exchange. Then Bug and Lil' C played with the Uke-A-Doodlers again. Do you see all the chocolate on Lil' C's face? I told her twice to go wash her face, but apparently that chocolate was just stubborn! Oh well. It was fun and we all had a good time.

Homeschool Christmas Party 2009 Pictures

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uke-A-Doodlers Christmas Performances

Bug and Lil' C take ukulele lessons with other children in our homeschool group. For Christmas, they performed many Christmas favorites at our court house, Wal-Mart, and the homeschool Christmas party. They were very cute!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


A wonderful, crazy thing happened here yesterday. SNOW!!! Can you believe it? Snow in south Texas? It hasn't snowed here in about 5 years, I guess. We didn't live here then, but it snowed for 2 days and stayed on the ground. They wrote 2 books about it! This time, it did snow quite a bit, but it melted as soon as it hit the ground. It was very hard to get a picture of, but DH did manage to get this one:The kids absolutely loved it! Boo and Pinky Lee have obviously never seen snow. Bug and Lil' Coconut were really young last time they saw it, so I don't know if they really remembered it. So yesterday, they were all hanging out the door trying to feel it. It was cute.
This morning, it was about 29 degrees outside & there was a covering of frost on everything. Poor DH had to use a spatula to scrape the car windows this morning! It's kind of hard to see, but I took the picture anyway. This is our ever so lovely backyard:

Thanksgiving 2009 Pix

I've tried posting the Thanksgiving slideshow several times but there seems to be something wrong with it, so I will just post a few here:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Here are some pix of the kids playing with their cousins at Grandma S. and Grandpa T.'s house. Bug, Lil' C and Pinky Lee spend several days with them, and then DH and I drove up and picked them up on Thanksgiving Day. It was a short trip for us, but nice, and the kids had a great time. I'm sure Grandma and Grandpa were glad for the silence when we left though! LOL

Superbowl 2009

These are pics from Bug's last football game. I'm calling it the "SuperBowl", but really it was just an extra game...just because. One last chance to show off how good they were. Then we went to Dairy Queen for lunch and a celebratory ice cream. Remember when I said Bug deserved the Most Improved Player award? He got one for Most Improved Defensive Player! Yea! Go Bug!

Superbowl 2009 Pix

Halloween 2009

Yes, I realize this is a month late. Yes, I realize that some people's heads have been cut off in the slideshow. However, it is now on the blog for all to view, so I'm only sort of sorry for all the problems. At least it's up!
Bug was Optimus Prime, Lil' C and Pinky Lee were "spotty dogs", and Boo Boo was Winnie the Pooh disguised as a Hunny Pot. Bug chose his costume, Boo had to endure his for the 2nd year just like all the other kiddos since Bug have had to do (mostly cuz it's too darn cute!), and the girls really didn't get a choice about their costumes. I saw a pic on Better Homes & Gardens, I think, and decided they needed to be "spotty dogs", so I whipped up some homemade costumes. The ears turned out to be too small, so they ended up looking more like spotty kittens. Pinks lost the elastic in her top & it kept falling down. Good times. LOL
We spent most of the evening at a local church that puts on an evening of food, fun, and games. Then we tried in vain to do some actual trick or treating, but nobody seemed to be home...anywhere. It was really very weird. Oh, well. We all had a great time and my kids looked super cute. As always.

Halloween 2009 Pix

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Championship 2009

Yahoo! Let me start by saying that I wanted to post for days now, but my blog was all messed up. Apparently, I messed with something in the HTML that I shouldn't have. Oh, well. It's fixed now. Yea me!

My baby is an undefeated football champion! I mean, my very grown up and mature 9 year-old son (Bug) is an undefeated football champion! His team has been kickin' butt and takin' names all season long. This Halloween day Championship game was no exception. Oh, and did I mention that Bug made TWO tackles????? He's never tackled anyone before, but he made 2 in one game!! The defensive coach was so excited that he picked him up when he came off the sideline! It was a proud mama moment to hear "Beasley on the tackle" over the loudspeakers! They finished 9-0 for the season. To quote the cheerleaders: "We are proud of you, say we are proud of you!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cheerleading Competition 2009

The day after Homecoming was Lil' C's Cheerleading Competition. Luckily, it was in town this year, so we didn't have to be up early & traveling. Interestingly enough, cheer competitions are a lot of hurry up and wait. The girls have to be there early to check in, get your hair fixed, practice, etc. The rest of the family....waiting. There's short breaks between teams, then long breaks between age groups, and then a super long wait for the awards ceremony. The good news is, when the girls are actually performing, it's good fun. All of the team's did a good job. Our girls really looked good, and I think if they received more than participation medals at this age, they would have taken first place. The older girls are especially fun to watch, because they throw in lots of gymnastics & lifts. Lil' C loves cheerleading, they performed really well, and we all had a great day!

Cheer Competition Pix

Homecoming 2009

Last Saturday was Homecoming for Bug & Lil' Coconut. The day started off chilly, but warmed up so much that we all got sunburned. It was a good game though. It started off rocky, with the other team scoring the first points, but we came back to beat them 42-19! As for the ceremonies, the cheerleaders escorted the football players by twos, and circled back around to escort more because there are only 10 cheerleaders, but 30 football players. They exchanged gifts with each other. Aren't they so cute? Bug & Lil' C had to walk together, and Bug asked one of the moms, "Do I have to touch her? She's my sister." :) Do you see the kid in the #1 jersey? When he makes the NFL in 10 years, I'll be back to shout out his name and say "See! My son played with him & my daughter escorted him at homecoming! See, see, SEE!" Seriously, though...he's that good. It's crazy. Of course, my son is also doing well. I think he deserves "Most Improved Player" because he's getting so much better. And my Lil' Coconut? She was "Cheer Diva" of the week! She got to wear the sash and be all cute. Anyway, the girls did their competition routine on the field at half time, and it was overall a very good day.

Homecoming 2009 Photos

The Field Trip That Almost Wasn't

A few weeks ago, our homeschool group took a trip 3 hours away to go to a pumpkin patch/apple orchard that had all sorts of fun things to do. Our day started out around 530am in the middle of a torrential downpour and thunderstorm. It rained for most of the trip, but just when got near the pumpkin patch, the sky cleared up a bit & the sun began to shine. We were highly disappointed to pull up and find it closed! :( We went to the little store owned by the same people & tried to sweet talk them into opening up for us since we had just driven three hours to see them, but it was a no go. I did get a couple pix of the kids playing games in the store's cafe while they waited. It was finally decided that we would drive back to San Antonio to visit the Witte Museum. Our family had never been there, although we'd gone by it on the zoo train before. The museum turned out to be great fun! There was something for everyone: dinosaurs, movies, art, live animals, and a science "treehouse" that was fun for everyone. I'd like to go back some day because we didn't get to see everything, and I think everyone would enjoy it again.

Museum Pictures

$75 Grocery Challenge Conclusion

It's over. We made it. Not on budget, but we made it. We've learned a lot, too: Living on a budget won't kill us, we need to make weekly menus & STICK to them, we eat out WAY too much, we need to learn the art of stockpiling (food...I've got everything else covered), and challenging ourselves is kind of fun. This pay period we are challenging ourselves to not eat out at all. I'm hoping this carries over through the next pay period as well, but we're taking it slow for now. My goal is to lower our spending substantially so that we can save more and pay off our sizeable debts. I'm thankful for finding Mary's website, challenge, and spendthrift wisdom.

Here's the results:
Monthly Budget: $475.00
Total Spent: $526.79
Amount Over: $50.79

Halloween Background

I created this super cute background and header with Summer Driggs FREE digital scrapbook goodies. She has tons of them & they are gorgeous! Only when I got it on here did I realize that it was too dark for the fonts. Then I couldn't figure out how to change the colors on my special fonts. So, they're all staying the way they are because it's only a few days until Halloween and I hope you can read everything. I'm sure I can design something else for next week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Great Giveaway!

I forgot to mention that Mary over at Owlhaven (the one who started this whole $75 a week thing) is giving away 3 sets of THREE copies each of her book Family Feasts for $75 a Week. I seriously want this book. I'm sure you will too, so head on over to her website to enter the contest, or just hop on over to Amazon to order one for me...I mean you. Even if you don't win, I know you'll love reading her blog!

$75 Grocery Challenge Update

We are 3 weeks into our grocery challenge. It's been thought provoking, enlightening & challenging so far. I haven't made a menu plan for last week or this one, so that hasn't helped. I'm thinking I probably should though, because we have one week to go and are down to only $50.73. This will be especially difficult considering we will be spending the majority of Saturday and Sunday at Homecoming & Cheer Competition. I'm going to have to get creative. We have already decided that we will try this again next month. We are also going to work on not eating out so much (we've spent almost as much on eating out as on groceries & household goods :0 ). I've also got to work on my menu planning and STICKING TO IT!!

Monthly Budget: $475.00
Total Spent: $424.27
Total Remaining: $50.73

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Family Pictures

A few weeks ago, we had our family pictures professionally taken for the first time in almost 3 1/2 years. Pinky Lee was 2 weeks old the last time. So it was certainly time for a new one. But seriously, why do my kids have to be so darn cute that I'm forced into buying ALL the pictures? Especially when I'm trying to spend less money? The good news is we only let the photographer take these three poses, so that cut down on the final cost. Still, we spent twice what I had budgeted for. Here they are!Aren't they adorable???
And only because the photographer forced us into it...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rah! Rah! Rah!

As promised, here are the pics of Lil' Coconut from the cheerleading photo session. Once again, I took the photos. And I wasn't alone. Most of the parents had their cameras, and we ended up doing much more than the photographers did, and if I do say so myself, a much better job. In the slideshow below, the only pose the photographers arranged was the team picture with the megaphone. All the rest were arranged by me or the parents as a whole. I chose my favorites for this layout. Golly, my kids are cute!
Also for you enjoyment(if you're a grandparent!), I have included another slideshow of the last football games.

Lil' Coconut's Cheerleading Pics

Football Game Pictures 2

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

$75 Grocery Challenge (Sort of)

To make a long story short(er), we've been spending too much money on groceries (okay, on everything) & I found this challenge on Owlhaven via a magazine article a couple of weeks ago. Technically, the challenge was for the month of September, but we started on Friday. Since we get paid every two weeks, we will base our budget on that. I had been figuring groceries & household items seperately, which is silly because I usually buy them together, so now I will combine them. Most people participating in this challenge are doing $75/week. We will be doing $237.50 for 2 weeks, which is $118.25/week. Nearly twice as much, and here's why: we do not have a garden, a fully stocked or even partially stocked pantry, we have 7 people to feed (my mother is here for awhile), and just a few weeks ago our extra freezer died leaving us with the nearly useless freezer on our side-by-side. Not to mention that we're used to spending at least twice to three times that. Yes, I am hanging my head in shame. This will be a stretch for us, but we are going to give it the old college try. I will keep you posted on how this is going, and certainly feel free to join me in my money-saving endeavor.

Monthly Budget: $475.00
Total Spent: $137.76
Total Remaining: $337.24

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are YOU ready for some football?

I LOVE fall. The cooler days, the changing color of the leaves, and football. Of course, here in Texas we only get one of the three, but it's a big one. Ever heard of Friday Night Lights? Yup, all about Texas and their obsession with football. Not being from Texas, we don't really have a college team here that we follow (Go Montana State Bobcats! Beat those Griz!!!), but both my parents attended Texas Tech, so that's usually who we root for. We don't know anybody who plays high school football, but we are always glad when they well. Professional football is a totally different story. We LOVE NFL football. I am a Dallas Cowboys fan through and through. Please do not think that I just jumped on the bandwagon when we moved to Texas. They've always been my team. I had pictures of Emmitt Smith hanging on my wall in college! DH is an Oakland Raiders fan. Please don't hold that against him. He always has been (even through the bad years), and he always will be. However, he enjoys watching the Cowboys do well, as long as its not against the Raiders and vice versa. Thanksgiving should be loads of fun at our house this year.
But for the past 2 years, we've experienced football of a different kind. Pop Warner Football. If you are unfamiliar with this, its full contact football for kids. Yes, we skipped right past nice safe flag football for our precious child and threw him right into giant shoulder pads and full-on contact. Bug loves it! We love watching him, and I'm learning more about football than I think I wanted to. LOL Last year, their team didn't do so well. This year, they've already won their first two games! Go Mitey-Mite Trojans!!
As for Lil' Coconut, she has joined the Pop Warner Cheerleading. She is, of course, really good at this. Usually the loudest, can remember cheers, and absolutely adores it. This year, she gets to be the lifted! This is both exciting & scary...for me. It's not very high, she just stands on people's legs, but still. This commitment is not for the faint of heart. The first two weeks of practice are 5 days a week, 2 hours a day. Then we switch to 3-4 days a week for 1 1/2 hours a day. Games are every Saturday. Some are at home. Some are 1 1/2 hours away. Still, they love it, and we enjoy it.
The first set of pictures is from our pep rallies and a scrimmage. Basically, the pep rallies are just for the girls to show the football players and parents new cheers and routines they've shared, and to award the cheerleaders with the spirit stick and "diva" award. The coaches decided to name the cheerleaders the "Trojan Divas" this year. As you can imagine, I am not impressed with this. There are some things I expect from letting my children participate in such secular activities, but am truly annoyed by this. Anyway, aren't they just so cute?
The next slideshow is of our first two games. Bug is #32. He usually plays nose guard. (NOT the defensive center, as I was calling him. DH corrected me. However, it IS the middle of the defensive line, so technically....) :P At both games it poured down rain. Luckily it was at the end of the first game, so the girls got to cheer, but they spent the whole time cheering down at the end of the crowd, so we didn't get any good pix. The second game it rained pretty much the whole first half, and then some. The girls didn't cheer at all, even they are supposed to, so at one point when it wasn't raining too much, Lil' C and Pinky Lee did a little cheer for us. Too cute!
The last slideshow is of Bug's "professional' pictures. I put it that way because I take them to the photo shoot, but I don't pay for their pictures. Even with my camera that is close to literally falling apart, I can take better pictures for free. FREE people! Who wants to fork out hundreds of dollars every year for pictures? Not me. So here's my version for this year. I plan on taking some of my favorites and touching them up in photoshop and then distributing them to those who want them. When we do Lil' C's I will post those.

Pep Rally & Scrimmage Pictures

First 2 Football Games

Bug's Football Pictures

Homeschool for Free!

If you are on Facebook, there is a page called "Homeschool for Free" that you can join, and they send out announcements when they find free things on the internet for homeschoolers to use. Sometimes there's some good stuff, so add them! I haven't been on Facebook for awhile :0 but today saw this link for a Christmas Lapbook. I hope this is the right link. I just copied and pasted from Facebook. I've never done a lapbook before, so I think we might use this one (or a version of it) as a break from our regular studies over Christmas break. If you've used a lapbook before, let me know what you think, and if you have any tips. Happy Lapbooking!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's only hair, right?

My precious little Boo Boo Bear has been blessed with the gift of quick growing hair that the rest of us have. Unfortunately, that means frequent hair cuts. This is not easy to do to a toddler. He's already had his hair cut 4 or 5 times at least. We'd been stalling this time though, since last time had kind of been a big ordeal. It started to get kind of long, but still like we were aiming for the style that all those boys on Disney Channel seem to have. Then, for awhile, he sort of looked like David Cassidy with the feathered hair. LOL Then it evolved to this: Not the best look for a boy. Not only did he look like a girl most of the time, he was starting to look like a neglected little girl. Oh boy. So one night, we grabbed the clippers on the the longest setting and got to work. I'm thinking there might have been something wrong with the guard, because what we ended up with was this:
It's all gone. All that beautiful hair. As you can see, he's recovered from the ordeal. I have too, mostly. We both cried a lot that night. For several days it was as though I had lost my scruffy haired, hippy boy & had him replaced with military baby. He seriously looked like a different child. What do you think?

Busy Beaz Academy: First Few Weeks & Organization

So, you're probably wondering how the heck the homeschooling is going. Well, day one and the rest of that week was disappointing, to say the least. I had worked for weeks trying to make a schedule & plan things out so that everything would get done just so. I was feeling all sorts of crazy things & made the decision to start the same day as the public schools did. This was my first mistake. We weren't ready. I watched as my perfect schedule fell apart in a matter of hours. Soooo, after a few days like that, we took a few steps backwards, re-grouped, re-thought, and relaxed. Now, it was easy to see the flaws in my plan. I rearranged the schedule so that we do little kid activities after our first group time instead of after nap. Some of the activities that I thought Bug & Lil' C could do together needed to be done individually, so I split them up. Now, each kid gets plenty of one on one time. I also realized that we just can't get an entire days worth of the written lessons done in one day right now. I had thought about breaking it up before, but couldn't figure out how. Now I've found a solution that seems to be working for us. I've had time to get more organized as well. All of that to say that things are going much better now. We've completed 3 full weeks of homeschool now, and we're starting to find our groove. We've been talking about "persistance" in our lessons, and for us, it's starting to pay off! Yea!

Here is a picture of our "school room". It's our family room that's been converted to be used as a school room too, although we alternate between the futon in the family room, the dining room table, and the kids desks. Here are Bug & Lil' C's workboxes. I made the numbers with the pre-made workbox numbers from Melissa Renfro.
These are Pinky Lee's workboxes that I made using Melissa Renfro's blank workbox templates. Cute, if I do say so myself. And, of course, I do. The workboxes are working well so far. I've been using them more and more each day, and I've created a planning sheet that I plan to use this week to really make the most of them. Any work the child can do independently is placed in a workbox. This can be anything from their daily math worksheet to a coloring book, reading assignments to crafts. They really enjoy this. So far, there have only been 2 problems with this.
1. Pinky Lee & Boo Boo Bear take great joy in pulling all the boxes out.
2. Bug & Lil' C always want me to help them while I'm working with the other one.
I didn't make the little tags for Help from Mom, where they only get 3 helps per day, but I'm probably going to have to. The pulling the boxes out? Yeah, that's going to be an ongoing process I'm afraid.
This is a picture of Bug's Schedule Strip & Schedule. The schedule strips were also made using Melissa Renfro's templates. These are wonderful, God Bless that woman. She is very talented and I'm grateful that she shared these for free, since she usually gets paid for her work. You can find more of it on her website or at Scrap Girls. I also downloaded her fabulous caterpillar file folder game, but due to a printer problem, have yet to assemble it. (But I plan to!) I hope she comes up with more great stuff for us homeschoolers!
I probably took the schedule strip thing a bit too far, but that's kind of like me. I used them to not only schedule the school day, but the ENTIRE day. I'm so tired of reminding the kids 50 times a day to make their bed, feed the dog, etc. that I'm hoping this will help. Everything they have to do each day is on their strip. When they have completed it, the take the task off & put it in the cute little envelopes I made to hold them. This way, they can see what they have done so far and what they still have to do. This is still a work in progress for all of us. We don't love schedules, so it's taking us a while to fall into this one. However, I'm pretty sure if just DO it, it will work.
This is Pinky Lee's desk. We bought it a couple years ago at a garage sale for $10. It also doubles as a high chair, but we've never used it that way. Too cute, though.
Here is my lovely, organized bookshelf. I've organized it even more since then. I love organized stuff. *sigh*
So, that's how it's going & how it looks. If you're using workboxes, schedule strips, HOD, or whatever, please feel free to leave comments or links to let me know how things are going for you as your school year begins. Or how things are going now that your kiddos are back at school!
I know this was a long post...sorry! I still have so much to catch up on, so I'm planning on making multiple posts per day to try to catch up. Keep checking back!


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