August 24, 2012

Friday Favorites

Good morning, folks.

Happy Friday.

It's been a super busy week and it's only getting busier today. Tomorrow we leave for the beach for a week.  Going to the beach to my kinda folk is a major big you need plane tickets.  But here, to these NC folk, it's not a biggie at all. You can go to the beach for a weekend if you your car.  So we're ending summer with a bang on the Outer Banks.  We're even going with friends, which makes it real special.  So today I'm packing. Packing wilst watching a total of 6 kids. They might think they're going to play, but I'm really just going to make them empty trash and clean my refridge all day. Take that, kids!

This week was so good! I had lots of favorites, but here's just a few...

I won a giveaway over at Sasha's last week and it came this week. It's all from Ironstone Nest and it's all cool. All of it!  Go visit this's the perfect mix of old and new, but made to look old. Great stuff!

I saw these, the price was right, do I did. I love them. I love sissy's little feet in them.

Almost all the kids' activities started back up this week. The boys started scouts, which is just about the cutest thing ever. They've got a fall full of popcorn sales and camping and Sophie is just about the cutest ballerina ever. She got her same teacher from last year who is so good.  Fun kinda busy.

Thank you SO MUCH for the birthday love.  I had such a great day!! If you follow me on instagram you probably saw my fun-filled day.  But if you didn't...Jarrod had the entire day planned.  It started with breakfast in bed. Then a morning massage at a spa in Biltmore Village. (If you ever visit here, hang out in Biltmore Village for the fun!) Then we had lunch at one of my favorite Asheville restaurants. (there are a lot of them!) After that, antiquing at my favorite shop and a dinner with just the two of us, where I opened a "little blue box," which has been a little girl fantasy of mine forever.  Call me materialistic...don't care. I love my new silver horseshoe necklace.  Best 30th birthday ever!

And there was cake.
Seeeee ya later...

friday favorite things | finding joy

August 22, 2012

Dear Me...You're 30,

{a note to self about myself}

I know you've been tripped up about this birthday. I know you've dug in your heels and refused to advance to the next decade. There's something freaky about 30's, and I get that.  You're afraid of gray hair (yes, Katy, they're there.), $100 hair appointments, slowing metabolism, and mom jeans.  You're  afraid, just plain...afraid!

But listen here, girl, turning thirty doesn't mean you can't be cool...what ever made you think you were in the first place? You can still hang with Brandi when she's in town and listen to Mumford and Sons. Things don't have to change now...get out of your funk.

Just think...maybe all those friends that tell you "life only gets better in your 30's" are right. Maybe they're not just trying to make you feel good. Maybe it does get better.  I know there's just something about 20's that makes you feel fearless and alive, but who knows...maybe 30's will feel like that only with better jobs and more money.'s possible.  Just this year alone has held oodles of adventure and new experiences...maybe 30 will blow your doors off. 

Just trust yourself.  Trust the knowledge you've gained in 30 years.  Reread some of your old journals today and see how less dumb you are now than when you were 21.  Sure, there might be some gray hairs up there, but each one came with wisdom, I'd like to think.  Also, if you keep pulling them out I hear 3 more grow back...just sayin'.

Your laugh lines mean something. Your 10 gray hairs...that crease between your eyebrows.  You've lived life up in here.  You've made a home for Jarrod and three kids....hell, you carried three kids.  That's 27 months of carrying around babies in there...that's worth at least one wrinkle.

Here's my conclusion to all this.  Aging, though it might seems scary on a big birthday, means something.  It's worth it. If you can look behind 29 years and see friendships, memories, traditions, meaningful moments, emotion...that makes it worth it.

Chin up,'re gonna kick your 30's derrière.

Your Logical Self

August 20, 2012

old friend, new friend

Our recent trip to South Dakota, was a whirlwind of coffees and lunches with friends. I left some really good friends in Aberdeen. When you move, you think you'll never find friends like your old friends...or at the very least, if you do find them, it will take years.  It takes a lot of time to get close to invest in someone.  You have to find that common ground. You have to put yourself out there.

Gina and I have been running buddies for a long time...years even.  As soon as I moved she found out she was having her second baby. We had about a 3 hour coffee one morning about a week before that little guy made his appearance. We laughed and cried together. I love this girl so much. She is so like me and so different from me at the same time. She's a diva...I am not. And I love that about Gina. I miss her.

I had a coffee with a college girl in, she's in college and I'm way NOT in college so she makes me feel young. Love that about Jessica. She's a sweet girl. She holds her own.  She's strong with a big ol' heart. I'm so glad we got to catch up.

Christiana is my friend, Robin's, daughter. She is just about the sweetest thing that ever lived. She used to babysit for my kids sometimes and she was always around for Robin and my endless projects.  Right after I went back home to NC, Christiana took a giant leap of faith and headed to school in Arkansas.  I'm so proud of her for taking a chance like that.

I also got to spend a lot of time with Elise, Robin's oldest daughter. She is so fun! We decorated for a friend's wedding together and she just makes everything more fun. Miss you, Elise!!

Robin....oh, Robin and I go way back. We met at the Aberdeen airport of all places. She was picking up family and so was I.  We found out we were in the same bible study and the rest is history.  We've seen each other through moves, babies, heartbreak, heartache, life eruptions, and approximately 57 Beth Moore studies. We've mentored each other and held each other up. She's like an older sister I never had. I love her.

Nick and Lindsey are some of our besties. We've got a lot of history. Nick just got back from Iraq for the second time...which made me cry to see him in real life.  We bid him goodbye last June, have been communicating through letters and facebook for a year, and to finally see him for reals was so good.  Especially since we threw a wrench in things by moving while he was gone...sorry, Nick.  Jarrod was his Best Man and they are disc golf partners for life.  He was lucky enough to find the best girl ever a couple years ago.  We kept telling him if he messed this up, we'd have to kick his butt...he listened.  Good choice ;)

There were lots of others I would have loved to see, but there just wasn't enough time. The kids wanted to see more of their friends too, but with a birthday party, a wedding, and a camping trip there wasn't a lot of time.

When you move away, you realize all the people you had in your life because all the sudden you don't have any.  I do have great blogging friends that I love dearly.  They are awesome because they all live far away anyway and your friendship relies greatly on the phone. I love my blog friends.

Making friends was not high on my expectation list when I moved here to Asheville. I just kinda didn't think I would have many for a while...and while I wouldn't say I have developed this great big network of friends, I have met some pretty fabulous people. Between living in a commune-type thingy, a huge friendly homeschool group, and a fabulous church I have met a lot of wonderful people I can call friends.

I can say, though, that I have met one bestie that will be a friend for probably ever if I have anything to say about it.  Carissa appeared on my doorstep the day after we moved here.  The day after we thought we may have possibly made a giant mistake and/or forgot our pitchforks and bib overalls in order to fit in. We have since learned that not all the people here are pitchforky...just some ;) And have since gotten used to mountain folk. But that initial day, we were having some culture shock.

Carissa showed up that day with pumpkin cookies and we've been friends ever since. She saved me some of those first days with Jarrod working in Charlotte all week and me, not knowing a single thing about anything.  Our kids are besties and our husbands hang out too. They are such a blessing...and an unexpected one too.

Saturday, Carissa treated me to pedis at a spa downtown and lunch at one of my favorite places in Asheville for an early birthday celebration. We shopped and laughed and had heart-to-hearts. After less than a year, I can't really believe I have that here.  

So on my 30th birthday week, I can't help feeling my heart bursting a little bit. I look at these relationships and thank Jesus He's blessed me so much. Through moving and blogging I have friends all over the US...that is amazing to me.  Even though I won't technically be with all these great women when I turn 30, I can look back at 30 years and see the people that have made a difference to me...and that makes getting older worth it to me.

The gray hairs I see poking up? No...that sucks.  These great relationships? Yes, now that's worth the laugh lines.

August 16, 2012

3 Parties

If Jack had turned a year older for every party he had for his 7th birthday, he would now be 10.  Sometimes the middle child needs a little extra love...and sometimes we're visiting SD 3 days before his birthday and it just seems natural to have a party right then.

Party 1: South Dakota friends and Family

Perfectly informal...cake, shirts optional, ladderball, Angry Birds game, pool. All good party additions.

Party 2: Family Day

We got home Thursday the 9th...the real bday was Friday the 10th.  Jarrod usually tries to take the kids' birthdays off, so we all hopped in the car for a day trip. We went to the children's museum, went to toy shops, ate good food and opened gifts....then back home for ice cream cake.

Jack got his very own DS this year...he was so very excited. Car trips and weekends only, he's been loving this :) I'm not a big fan of the games...they drive me nuts really. But he loved it.

Party 3: NC Friends

Saturday night we had some good friends over for blue cheese burgers and leftover cake. You'd think he would be birthday'd out...not so. He has no front teeth, so everything's a lisp. His quote of the day Saturday: "Turning theven is the betht becauthe you get three partieth."

Yes Jack, if only we could all be so lucky.

We love you, cuddle bug :)

Yes, we are in the garage here...the parties got less and less formal.  At this point we just want to cake to be gone so we're not tempted. Hoorah for turning 7!!

August 13, 2012

Carousel City

We are home. 

 You read my blog and we know each other...but you've probably never seen where I grew up and you'll never guess what it's nickname is; that's right, The Carousel City.

What does that mean?

Well, it means there's a ding dang carousel smack dab in the middle of town...that's what it means.

These are my people.
This is where I'm from.

We ride on carousels and go the the movie theater that has one screen...yes, they still have those.

 {This is my sister...ya, I know. That is her beau, Kasey...a darling sweet guy with a million tattoos. That is my girl, Robin, on a horse...on the carousel.}

We can walk to the grocer's, the post office, the bank, and the courthouse and back home in 45 minutes tops.

We take photos of the big old courthouse that reminds us of To Kill a Mockingbird.

We ride in the back of pick-ups and we don't wear bike helmets.

We climb the trees we see, because there might not be another one for miles.

We grow corn and wheat and soybeans.

We buy Claritin because of the above.

We go to the local gas station to learn the news of the day.

We ride law mowers down the street.

We know whose dog belongs to who.

We wave.

Every street in town reminds me of something.
This is where I spent hours perfecting my free throw.
That is the place my backpack strap got stuck in my spoke and I fell.
That is the corner I wiped out on the loose gravel.
There is the library I spent hours of my childhood.

Where you're from is part of who you are.

For some, it's the in the big city.
Faulkton...the Carousel City is not that kind of city.
It's small, with a big fat heart...and a carousel smack dab in it's middle.

My history. My first home.

And now we're back to our Asheville home. We missed our love, Daddy, Mister. Eleven days is a long time to be apart, but we so enjoyed our time...more to come.


August 3, 2012

Our Curriculum 2012-2013

I get asked all the time what we use for this subject or that subject..and I want to know what others are using too. So here's the low down for this year. We're adding in a whole lot of new stuff, which is always refreshing.

Noah (5th Grade):
Bible: Awana scriptures & Kay Arthur studies
Math: Teaching Textbooks (new to us this year)
Language Arts:
     Spelling: Spelling Workout
     Grammar: Editor in Chief
     Vocabulary: English from the Roots Up
     Writing: Daily 6-Trait Writing
Geography: Daily Geography

Jack (1st Grade):
Bible: Awana scriptures and Jesus Story Book
Math: Saxon 2
Language Arts:
     Spelling: All About Spelling
     Phonics: Hooked on Phonics and Explode the Code
     Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting
     Vocab: English from the Roots Up
     Language: Language Lessons for the Very Young
     Writing: Daily 6-Trait Writing
Logic: Critical & Creative Thinking

Sophie (PreK):
My Father's World Kindergarten

Subjects we do together:
We will be studying US history from the Civil War to present using this book as our guide. We don't cover every single chapter just because this is the story of the WORLD and we're only focusing on the US right now...we do cover some world stuff, but mostly US.

Again, I'm choosing chapters from this book to create unit studies. We'll use a ton of extra books for these units too. The Apologia book is our spine for this year.

Art History:

We will be doing this once a month and using 13 Art Mysteries Children Should Know. This is a whole series and if it works, we'll do more from it throughout the year.

I have a couple things I'm going to order when I get home:
Expedition Earth. I've heard great things about this geography we'll be using that too.
And the Child Training Bible...I'm planning on ordering this too and incorporating it into our bible time.

I would LOVE to answer any questions you have about our curriculum this year! Please make sure your name is linked with your user name so I can email you back. I get lots of questions from people without their names linked and it's impossible to return their comment. Under settings you can change it...

I'm gaining confidence with this homeschool thing. Every year seems easier and easier. I used to be all freaked out if I bought something and it didn't work for us.  But now I know that's ok. If we don't finish something, nobody's gonna die. I love this time of year...gearing up for the new school year.

What's your favorite new curriculum this year if you homeschool?
When are you starting?

August 2, 2012

Making Math Easy

In the Spring, I made myself a 6-week plan.  A master plan to smash 8 weeks of school into 6 before my family came for a visit.  Our school year was full of moving and moving again and getting used to a new place and it was just crazy.  There were things that got over looked or skipped because it was just a stressful year.

I knew there were some areas we needed to firm up a bit, specifically multiplication for Noah and addition for Jack.  For those last six weeks we brought our A-game. Not only did we finish our regular math program strong, we added on a supplement called Addition or Multiplication Made Easy. This supplement was a great way to end out our school year.

Addition and Multiplication Made Easy is an all-inclusive book. It includes flash cards, lesson plans for the teacher, the lessons, and review tests to check progress.  Everyday is different...there's no just plain fact sheets (which my kids can't stand).  It's coloring, cutting, puzzles, and more. The boys started referring to it as "their fun math." This I found comical because math is just not considered "fun" by my's just not.

The premise of this program is meant to supplement a regular math program while solidifying those basic addition or multiplication facts.  And it works! Gloria's (the author) goal is to teach kids to add and multiply without using their fingers in a way that will last.  The student will take a pretest at the beginning of the six weeks, you time them and see how many they get done.  You give them the same test at the end of the six weeks and you can see how much they've improved. 

Jack showed the biggest improvement. This program introduced addition facts we hadn't even touched yet and by the end of it he could rattle off facts like nobody's business.  That's pretty cool.

I loved this book.  It was simple and easy to use and my kids loved doing complaining...not once. That's pretty good ;)  It's a terrific supplement to your regular math program, especially if your kids are needing a little brushing up on their math facts. It only takes about 10 minutes and it's super fun for the kids...a great change-up to their regular math.

I would recommend ordering this for your first 6-weeks of school when your kids may have forgotten some of those important facts over the summer months.

If you have questions about this book, you can either visit their website or you can email Gloria directly at: You can also find them on facebook HERE.

I was given this product for review, but all the opinions are mine...I loved it!
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