Monday, September 29, 2008

Cracker Country!

Okay, so I've never been to Cracker Country.  Ever.  Wasn't quite sure that any of us would like it either.  But it was free (well, mostly) and we needed something to do.  Two of us got in free, the other two were only $11 total.  And we had a BLAST!  Kali wanted to move in.  It was really cool.  The kids learned a ton of things, as did Alex and I.  Kali asked better questions than most adults, and Hannah even got up close and personal with some bees without losing her mind.  Hey, progress is good!

Here are a bunch of pictures, as always.....

Here's the blacksmith's shop.  This is only 1 out of 2 buildings that were built on site.  The others are original buildings that were brought over to make the museum.  Each original building has a date on it and what part of Florida it came from.  Most were built in the late 1800's.

The "General Store" gift shop.  I loved this place!

I bought the neatest little $3.50 bread cookbook from there and made some yummy corn muffins to go with our dinner that night. 

Just a nice shot of some buildings.  :)

I could have sat under that tree all day.  Especially with a good book and a bottle of water (or two or three).

The girls were told they had to help out with the days' chores.  :)  At first they looked utterly confused, but then they realized it was all fun.  For a moment I thought Kali was going to whack Hannah instead of the rugs.

All the rugs are clean again!!

Watch out for the bees!!  There was a local honey farmer there and he was showing the girls how he collects the honey and then spins the honey off of the honeycombs.  I bought some really yummy orange blossom honey from him.  It will be great in the whole wheat bread that I make.

Kali had been munching on some rock sugar candy.  She missed some!

Chickens!  Alex and I would really love to raise some chickens for eggs.  One chicken will lay 300 eggs a year!

This guy told the girls a ton about chickens.  Did you know that a red ear lobed chicken lays brown eggs?  And a white ear lobed chicken lays.......white eggs?! 

The little school house.  So dang cute.

The girls thought this was pretty neat.  They loved the little slate boards.  I had to remind them that we have two of them at home.  :)

Think I can get a big desk like that?!  ;) 

Kali was helping this guy make butter.  It was yummy!!!  Lehman's sells a butter churn just like this, but it's a "tad" bit out of my price range.  It would be fun though.

Standing inside one of the houses.  There was a tiny, tiny bedroom off to the right, and that was it.  They cooked by the fire.  The couple that lived there had 3 boys - all in that little space.  Interesting. 

Time to wash the clothes!!  And they thought their chores were done. 

Wring 'em out, girls! 

We played "Drop the Hankie" by the post office.  There were about 10 more people that joined in the game and we were all laughing hysterically at the end. 

Time to do some weaving!  Hannah and Kali were both weaving for a bit.  Kali wanted to bring the weaving machine home with her.  Uh oh. 

The General Store.  I wish I could have taken home all those blue Ball canning jars and the cast iron cookware.  Think they'd miss it?!

Hanging out under the tree. 

Hanging out at the train station. 

This sweet man spent a ton of time with the girls.  They learned all about Morse Code and how messages were given to the trains as they went by. 

The girls had so much fun.  They want to go back NOW.  Like Kali, I was ready to move in.  There was a ton more that we saw that I never took pictures of.  Sorry!!  I was too busy studying all the stuff there and forgot to take pictures of it!  Next time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Friday!

The weather was oh-so very nice today that we decided to head off to the beach this morning.  I packed our lunch, brought a few towels, and off we went.  Of course, I took a million pictures, but I thought I'd share these with y'all.

At the Beach 1

At the Beach 2

Enjoy my crazy children playing at the beach.  We had a blast.  Tomorrow is free museum day through the Smithsonian
We're going to head off to Cracker Country.  Stop laughing.  Really.  It's all about life in the pioneer days in Florida.  Yep, not what you thought when you read "Cracker Country" right? 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random pictures from the week.

Hey all!  Here's a bunch of different things that happened over the past week here.  :)  Enjoy!!!

Sauteing apples for our big baked apple pancake.  Mmmmmmm.....yummy

And here's our yummy pancake baking.  It was sooooo good.

See how yummy it was!

And here's my new fall towel hanging up.

With a close-up of the bottom.  :)  Cute, huh?

Noodles drying for the chicken soup. 

And an apple crisp for dessert.  I had to do an extra workout for all that food.  ;)

Here's Hannah sitting at my computer and typing out her Christmas list!  She's sure getting an early start on it this year.

Okay, let me tell you about Hannah's Halloween costume.  Seems as thought my 7 year old no longer fits in child-sized costumes.  So I had to find an adult small for her.  Try to find a decent looking, non-hoochie adult costume.  Yeah.  Feel my pain?!?  Well, we found this one and she loved it.  It needs a bit of tweaking from me, but it fits her fairly well. 

Yeah.  That's what I said, too.

Are you sure she's 7?!  I'm in trouble.

Aunt Michele came to spend the night with us last weekend.  The little ones had a blast with her.  Poor Mary had to work and didn't get to spend much time with her.

Kali's Halloween costume arrived this morning.  Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!!  She loves it!

Don't you just want to eat her up???

Okay, that's my photo update for the day!!  I should get some great pictures tomorrow; we're headed off to the beach in the morning for some fun. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall y'all!

Happy first day of fall!! We're doing a bit of celebrating here today. For breakfast I made a baked German apple pancake. I have a big pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove (which I'll make some noodles for in just a bit) and some garlic herb bread rising on the counter. For dessert, the girls and I will make a (hopefully) yummy apple crisp. If only we had the cool weather to go with this!

The girls colored some fall leaf pictures for our school room this morning. I still need to cut them out and hang them up. Then we read a few stories about the autumn equinox. Of course, we still did our normal school work, too.

Okay, so it's a little later on now (I'm updating as the day goes by) and I'm pooped! The bread has been shaped into loaves and is rising once again on my counter. The noodles for the soup are done and drying happily on the other side of the counter. Mama needs a nap! I've taken some pictures and will upload them later on. Who wants to play with the girls while I snooze??? Anyone???????

While I'm contemplating a nap..........let me tell you about my weekend shopping finds. I did fairly decent at Publix and stocked up on a few things that they have on sale.
OOP: $105.00 Savings: $63.91. Percentage Saved: 38%.
Not as big of a savings as I was hoping for, but not too shabby!

Then we went to Target on Sunday. Alex was laughing at me - again. You know those cute little flameless candles that run on batteries? Oh how cute are those things?! They were $9.48, on sale for $6.99. And I had $5 off coupons. 5 of them. So I bought 5. I bought 5 for the non-sale price of one. And now my house is cute (er) and smells pretty darn good. I bought a few other things at Target, too.
OOP: 30.35. Savings (can't get an exact amount from them - their receipts won't break it down) Approx: $42.50. Savings Percentage: 58% That's much better. ;)

Later on.................

Alrighty, the soup is done, the bread is done, and dessert is in the oven. I will upload pictures later on, though more than likely it will be tomorrow.

Hey, who is as excited about the debate on Friday as I am? I'll be making some popcorn; can't wait to see how it goes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yesterday was our 8th anniversary. Eight years already!! Where the heck has the time gone? Good thing is - we haven't totally gone crazy yet. Not totally. Yet. ;)

We ended up in St. Pete at Bay Walk doing some window shopping and eating. Dinner was lovely and there we no kids arguing with each other. In fact, there we no kids anywhere in the restaurant! ;) We walked around a bit more, stopped at Starbucks for me, and then came home. It was a nice, relaxing evening.

Today Alex and Mary are off to Jacksonville for a university tour. Oh my. I think I just got another gray hair!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Oh my word, can I just say how much I love this girl? I love all of my girls, so don't yell at me. Okay, so there are times I don't like them all, but I always love them. girl that doesn't want to write surprised me with this today.....

Can you tell she loves hearts?!

And can you see how proud she is of herself?! I was over the moon when I saw this.

And Jenine, if you're reading this, these two are for you......

Okay, that's my mini-update for today.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Food, glorious food! :)

Alrighty, before I update y'all on my fabulous shopping lately, here's more food for you.

Somehow, Alex got a but up his hiney last night and decided not only to make peanut butter cookies, but oatmeal raisin cookies, too. And these aren't any ordinary oatmeal raisin cookies, either. When they're baking, the whole house smells like fall. Ahhhhhhhh.......cookies!

Here's happy Kali helping daddy mix up a batch of cookies.

Don't you just want to eat her up?!?!

Hannah's on a math kick lately and had asked me to print her up some math problems to do while they mixed up the cookies. Hey, no problem!

She only missed one. :)

And here's Alex giving me yet another goofy look. I swear he doesn't always look like that!

And now for my shopping.....can I just say how much I looooove the Grocery Game?! It took a while for me to figure it all out, but now that I get it, wow! My grocery bill is shrinking and my stockpiles are growing. I know that I could save more money if we ate differently, but there are some things that I won't change. If you want to save on your grocery bill, check it out. If you have any questions, send me an email ( ). And if you like it enough to sign up, please say that I referred you so I can get some free weeks on it.

Last week I went to Walgreens to pick up a few things that were on "the list." If I remember right, I got some razors, some cereal, some laundry detergent, some candles, hair stuff, etc., etc. I swear I had a cart full of stuff. Had I paid full price, it would have been $88.54. After sales and coupons, I paid.....drumroll please..................$14.48. Yes.

Then I stopped at Target a few days later to stock up on Electrasol (did y'all see that coupon in the paper last week?! I ended up getting 6 more papers. Yes, 6. Paid for it in just over one coupon on one item.) Anyways......Publix.
Shelf price - $49.15
OOP Price - $14.65 People were staring at me - in a good way. ;)

Stopped off at Publix yesterday (that's a whole 'nother story) for a few things.
Shelf - $62.46
OOP - $28.15

I'm rockin' the sales thing, stocking up on stuff we use, and saving a boatload of cash. Seriously. So far this month, I've save 46%, and that's with my co-op stuff. Without my co-op, my savings percentage would go way up.

Here's a few more from last week:
CVS - Shelf $19.33 OOP - $4.76, plus I have $5 in Extra Care Bucks to use off my next purchase (probably tomorrow).

SweetBay - Shelf $6.66 (oooooh!!) OOP - $0.87 Yes, 87 cents. The checker was shocked.

Sure, I run into a few more stores, but I'm out anyways and not making daily runs to the store for this. So it takes me a little time and effort. I'm saving TONS of cash. As Hannah puts it - you ought to come see the "Museum of Stuff."

Tomorrow's shopping ought to be fun!


Okay, just had to pipe up in here for a minute.  What the hell is going on with the gas supply?  Seriously.  Ike roared his ugly head through Texas, and now there is barely any gas in my little town (amongst other places).  Heck, parts of Florida and Georgia are OUT of gas.  And not only that, but when you can find gas, the price went uuuuuuuuupppp.  I swear I'm going to get a bike with baskets on it. 

Rant over - for the moment.

You know, maybe that's why I moved the blog.  Because it was a 'homeschooling' blog, I felt like I had to talk about homeschooling stuff (and food!!) but not much more.  Uh oh, y'all may be in trouble because now I'll be spouting off about random stuff.  Heck, maybe I'm the one that's in trouble and maybe I should keep my mouth shut?!

School Stuff First

Okay, first a school update. While our first week, and especially our first day, was extremely trying, things are going very well now. I'm learning to work around Kali's quirks and deal with Hannah's 'tude. And oh what 'tude my girl has!! But that a whole different story.

Kali decided yesterday that she was going to make her name out of clay. I have the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum for her, and part of it uses clay.

She had lots of fun doing this, though she wouldn't smile for me since the flash was on. Goofy girl.

For history, we're doing Story of the World. The girls learned about cuneiform writing last week, so we did our own clay tablets.

Gee, Hanny, don't look so excited.

It's hard to see what they wrote on them.

On Hannah's, the two symbols in the middle are the initials of her name.

Okay, before I post the next picture, y'all have to promise not to laugh. Well, at least don't laugh so hard that you pee in your pants. Promise? Come on.

You see, we were still in ancient Egypt studying mummies. Someone had to be the mummy, right? And who better than mommy to be the mummy. Oy. Here I am in all my wrapped-up glory....

I told you not to laugh. All in the name of education, right?!

Math is going very well for both of them. Kali's zipping right along and having a good time - finally. Hannah loves math. I normally find her at odd times of the day just writing down math facts in her notebook. Sweet! Grammar is another one of Hannah's favorites and Kali is picking it all up as we go along. It's all so very interesting to see what she learns just by hanging out with us. It just reminds me that learning goes on all day long around here. Spelling, reading, writing, and science are all going well, too. Though I do believe their favorite time of day is lunch time. They're all hooked on reruns of Home Improvement lately.

Well, that's it for my school update. I will work on the rest of my update later on! Hope you like it over here at my blog's new home.