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Finding Stuff

March 26, 2015

(My dad comes up with the best blog post titles.)

*****Spoiler alert. Skip this post if you plan to participate in this particular geocaching event.*******

Today we went on “bentures” as Clare says. Papa has taught all the kids that adventuring is fun and always unpredictable. Today, we spent the day searching for 4 of 5 geocaches in the metro Atlanta area. Awesome. I’m thankful for a few homeschool facebook groups that alerted me to the opportunity as these are temporary caches only available until March 28th.

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Oglethorp was our first stop, and definitely our trial run with the gps geocache app. Once Papa realized that it could track our steps and direction and actually calculate how many steps away and which clock direction we should turn, we were golden.

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How fun to find this first one! It was tucked in the window cranny of this really cool Admissions building.

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Each jar contained a little piece of information about its location, a paper to sign, a stamp and ink pad to record your find, and a little gift to take with you.

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This beautiful tree was on the corner of the admissions building as we headed back to our car. I so love springtime in the south! Year after year, I think I fall in love with spring just a little more. I never tire of the colors and new life! I love these beautiful tulip trees!

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Our second stop was 25 minutes away at Georgia State. Yep. There is a reason why we live in the suburbs, but this was a fun stop! We enjoyed a picnic lunch from our van’s trunk before making our way up the street and more formally onto the “campus”. What a unique urban experience!

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Parking was tricky downtown at the university. Thank God for the double stroller and the baby bjorn, and of course Papa’s help. The big kids provided a great set of extra hands and eyes as we traipsed through the very urban Georgia campus. I considered it culture that the kids don’t see everyday, and at the end of the day they were able to see vast differences between campus life on the three separate campuses.

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This is the plaza entrance for the second geocache find.

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How fun though that there was a special interest group with fun little goodies. Clare was quite happy to jump out of the stroller and join me to check out their giveaways. The college kids were so happy to hand her a bracelet, lollipop, and noise maker along with Georgia State tatoos both for herself and Elizabeth. Cute, right and definitely true to form for college life?!

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This security officer was aware of this cache’s location and answered yes/no questions as Katie & Michael asked for hints. He was so nice and had fun helping them I think. Michael spotted this one first!

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Sadly, it appeared that this jar had been “robbed” and was missing some vital things! Bummer!

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Fernbank was our next stop. I was sort of tired of the urban life and I knew what to expect in the environment of this museum as we’ve been there many times. It’s campus is so pretty and generally quiet, and the surrounding area has so much old southern character. It’s just really beautiful and Papa had never been to this area.

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Have I mentioned how much I love spring?

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This find was actually very difficult. There was an 8′ brick wall that was blocking their access to this cache. It appeared at first sight that the buildings up above the wall were private residences. However, in fact, they weren’t and the cache was expertly hidden on a brick wall above.

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This one was actually almost empty of it’s little goodies so we scrounged around in the car and found a few rainbow loom bracelets to leave for the next finders.

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Emory was our final stop, and Katie found this one. I stayed in the car with the three youngest and we were approaching rush hour so there was no time to dally.

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Dad and I make a great adventuring team. He can navigate & read maps well, and I can drive and follow gps directions well. What a beautiful day – fantastic weather, great adventures, joyful attitudes, surprisingly docile and pleasant little ones even late in the afternoon, and the beginning of new-to-us adventures. I think Papa might be hooked. I forsee more of these opportunities in our future as Nate loves them also.

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What a fun day. I love living in the city! I wish we had time to attend the science festival this weekend. It’s a huge bummer that we won’t make it. Thanks dad for creating memories with us today!

6 month bliss

March 25, 2015

It’s so hard for me to believe that our little man is already 6 months old. Our oldest said it best, “Why does time go so fast when you start to get older?” He really is changing so much!

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Always so very happy, he brings so much joy to everyone! We can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on how his face lights up with pure joy. It’s true. He’s this way almost all the time!

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His siblings adore him. He adores them. He notices everything. He reaches, and kicks, and squeals when you come close to him. He has a certain special love for his momma! It melts my heart! His joy does great things for my soul!

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Still so very little, only 10% in weight and 25% in height, he’s our little man…the first of our children!

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Max is so very, very strong. He’s already making crawling strides, rocking on his knees and lunging forward. I caught him pulling his upper body up and over the little cradle, so two days ago we switched out the beds so he couldn’t fall out. I never imagined I’d move him because he’d fall out. I always thought he’d move because he outgrew it. Nope, not this little man. He’s so strong, already jumping and bouncing in the doorway jumper and loves to climb your body while holding him. It’s so hard to imagine life without him. He’s truly a gift to all of us!!

Liquid watercolor & lots of hot air

March 24, 2015

I’m so proud of my little artistes! This month we concentrated on showing expression in simple line drawings in cartoon style. How do you convey the most expression in very little details. THEN…just to be silly, we added hair by blowing liquid watercolors. I have not had previous experience with liquid watercolor and thus set out to do a great deal of online research via art teacher blogs and good ‘ole pinterest.

Thanks to some great teachers, I learned that plastic condiment cups with lids were great receptacles for said medium. I agree. Not only was it easy to transport, but it will surely be keep extensively in these little containers. Great deal in my book! Thank God for amazon prime and cheaper options with greater quality than what I could find locally.

I snagged some of our snack trays from the wholesale club stash in the garage and ordered a few plastic pippettes for dropping the paint onto the paper, and my artists were ready to begin.

The only rule…DON’T spill the paint. I had hoped that by keeping it in the trays in the center of the table and making a big deal about not spilling, that indeed we’d leave without a spill. Well, it was almost the truth. The only spill was actually MINE and it did remain in the tray! WIN!!!! However….good grief!!!

With a little lesson in blowing from your belly (that little muscle known as your diaphragm), the kids were ready to blow some hair patterns.

(As an aside, I love all the sibling and friend combinations below. It makes me happy that they have made some new friends, and are able to create with their siblings also.)

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For almost an hour, these 26 kids blew and blew and blew. I LOVE how their pictures turned out…each one so incredibly unique and with a great deal of expression! I love it.

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2015-03-19_023 (851x1280)2015-03-19_026 (851x1280)I can’t believe this school-year of classes are almost complete. Next month we will be experimenting with tessellations and then it’s the year-end showcase. Be sure to register early for both events! Registration can be found HERE.

I think I’ll continue to do some of my own projects with these liquid watercolors. My little girls love to paint. I love the vibrancy of these colors far more than any paint set they currently utilize. I can’t wait to see how they girls manage with this medium. I think there’s some great potential even for their little hands to create some really striking things.

It’s a REAL snow day

February 24, 2015

So the ice was nice last week, but I think it’s safe to say that EVERYONE much prefers the snow…even if it’s just an inch or so (and we know it’s going to disappear soon). Michael and Clare have been outside for the last 3 1/2 hours playing with the neighborhood kids. Gosh, that girl & boy love to play. It makes me happy! Everyone else lasted about an hour. Katie came in warmed up with a hot shower, did a little schoolwork and then headed out again to play.

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So Nate thought he was going to get out of the house before the snow fun really started. Thankfully, he took my suggestion to play for a bit before going in to the office this morning. I wonder how many dads got to start their morning like this? It makes this momma happy!

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Reilly snuck up and threw an unexpected snowball. I love that Michael has a brother in the neighborhood. I heard Michael call him “my best brother” today. Ahhh, makes this momma happy to hear it! I love both these kids!

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So much playing to be done this morning.

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So Clare threw a snowball and it hit Elizabeth in the mouth. It happened to be in the first five minutes we were outside. Oops. Elizabeth never really recovered. I guess snow isn’t so much her thing! HA.

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Thank goodness for the neighbors perfect little sledding hill. We might have to lay down some new grass pallets this spring though. Thank you Aunt Jenny for the Christmas presents. Great idea! We actually got to use them this year! They work much better than the previous years’ laundry baskets.

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This girl is hilarious!

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I guess we will leave the snow ice cream bowls out tonight also. I hear there’s a chance for more snow overnight. We will see.

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Stay warm and hopefully we will get the snow predicted for Wednesday night and there will be even more snow fun in store this week. I know some kids who wouldn’t mind this momma drying out their snow clothes for more wearing this week!

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Lent is here – My 40/40/40 has begun

February 18, 2015


You, too, can create your own 40/40/40 invitation. Check it out at Lisa’s blog:


May your lenten journey be richly blessed! Thanks Lisa from Closed Doors Open Windows for the inspiration and ease of joining you in this prayer initiative!!

Ice Storm 2015

February 18, 2015

I woke up to our larger than life Clare screaming, “Mommy. Mommy. Elsa came. Elsa came. There’s ice everywhere!”

Indeed little girl, there is ice everywhere but on the roads and sidewalks. Who would have thought? What shall we do? What shall we do? Eat king cake and indulge in a seriously sugary breakfast prepared by our sweet Katie Girl as she exercises her greatest talent and interest…food! I so love our yearly king cake. Thank you sweet girl.

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Then what? Don all the winter gear for a little playtime and a walk through the neighborhood. How beautiful!

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We are well. We have power. We are warm. We have groceries. We are watching the weather and bracing for what might be another week off school for those Atlantans not schooling at home. 6degrees overnight on Thursday and 70% chance of snow on Friday. Michael is thrilled. Katie is worried her plans for Friday night will be cancelled. Wonder on Friday how we will be celebrating Ellie’s 2nd birthday. Stay safe all.

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Pinewood Derby Days

February 1, 2015

Oh yes. It is the first for us. Michael’s first year in Cub Scouts has brought many traditions into our little house this year. The Pinewood Derby is indeed one of those time-honored traditions, right?!

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Nate’s trip to Nashville was the perfect opportunity for Papa to step in as leader and accomplice in this car building.

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Michael loved the opportunity to use the Dremel for the first time. How fun, right?!

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After watching the videos, Michael was so set on finding flame decals. I love it.

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Time to insert the weights to get the car to 5 oz.

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Bent axels and graphite were added to reduce the friction on the wheels.

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And it’s off to the races. Michael had his own little cheering squad! Fr. Neil stopped in to bless the cars and partake in some racing fun. I love it. It means a lot sistas that you came! (As an aside, thanks too for the help during Mass afterward.)

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Car #25 weighed in at exactly 5 oz. and took it’s place among the other racers.

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Drivers ready.

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On your mark.

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Get set. GO!!

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So it seems there were some definite design errors in this year’s car construction. Michael’s car struggled in all four heats. Center of gravity off? Axels bent incorrectly? Wrong graphite? Who knows for sure, but I imagine there will be a few male minds pondering it before next year’s races.

Now for the awards.

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“For Den 9, the winner was Michael Boster at an average time of 4.7 seconds.” (Almost a full second slower than the other winning competitors.)

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It seems Michael was the only from his den to compete. How? We aren’t sure, but for now, I’m so delighted his first car sits next to a trophy.

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His den (a combination of Dens 8 & 9) also received the award for the lowest average time. They get to adorn it with something and bring it back to be awarded next year. Well done boys!

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Today might have been a lesson in “just show up”, but I’m so proud of this crew of men who helped pull off this first (for our family). Next year, the trophy will be for the truly fastest car in the den.

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Max, one of these days, it will be your turn to race. Your brother will hopefully be an Eagle scout by then and able to give you some grand advice on your first Pinewood Derby races. Here’s to the promise of a continuing legacy!

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Well done you two! Thanks for a great afternoon of entertainment and success.

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