Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fantasy Draft: Year 2

It's football time again! 
Over the weekend, Eli held his Fantasy Football draft for the 2017/2018 football season. This is his second year as commissioner.  He decided last year to take it over from his uncle who was ready to pass the torch. Eli has inherited his father, uncle, and grandfather's love for football. So he formed the "League of Champions" last year and on Saturday he held the draft for this years league. 

He was short one team, to which I told him that if I "HAD" to I would make a team, but I would prefer just being hostess. Thankfully my nephew was able to come and get in on all the football fun and make a team of his own. 

So I was able to focus on the fun of making food for everyone.
We had queso dip, buffalo chicken dip, pizza, veggie tray, peanuts, rice krispy treats and a football shaped cookie cake. The food was a hit and the guys had a big day of drafting their team. 
There was a NFL soundtrack playing off of youtube in the background. 

Well played my son! You amaze me all the time with your ability and I am proud of you! 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The First Field Trip of the year

Last week we started back to our homeschool lessons full-time, and I would never plan an outing that soon into the year, but sometimes you just have to go with it.  I learned on Thursday that a little tea room in Chattanooga that I visited once before with Carlie was closing down for good. I was surprised, because it is such a neat little place. I was a little worried too, because Carlie had received a $30 gift certificate to the tea room that we had yet to redeem! I kept saying, "I'll save this for a special day and then we will go..." 
Well, this mom had to get to planning quickly or that was not going to happen. 
So early Friday morning, I got up and got cleaned up and got the children up early as well. I told them to shower and dress decent because we were going somewhere. 
You have no idea what kind of nonsense happened thereafter. 
Questions by the hundreds... 
"Where are we going?"
"What are we doing?" 
"Are we having a 'homeschool day' somewhere?"
"Is it homeschool day at the aquarium?"
"Is it homeschool day at the zoo?"
"Are we going to meet friends somewhere?"
The questions lasted most all morning til we left.
I told them we were going to go into Chattanooga and visit the Library book sale, Hobby Lobby, and then go to the tea room. 
I believe their hopes may have been more exciting than what they found out. But I was determined that we would have a good time. I wanted us to leave early, because I felt sure that the tea room would be very busy with that being the last day.... everyone who ever loved going there might want to get in just 'one more time.'
It opened at 11, so we showed up around 10:25 am after running our other errands. 
It was pretty funny because although my boys THOROUGHLY enjoy tea time at home, when they got a look at the place they were a bit unsure of going in and having tea at a place that looked so feminine. I told them that many men have tea, and just because the place looked beautiful and feminine that their masculinity was not being questioned at all. 

Like I said, we got there early so we sat at the little cafe table outside. Even that was adorable. I love mosaics. 

We were happy that we got their early because within another 10 minutes there was a line being formed around the block.

It was just as lovely as Carlie and I remembered. 
Carlie enjoyed herself very, very much and was so thankful to be able to come back one more time. 
We all shared the "Victorian Tea" which had two traditional English scones, finger sandwiches, 'biscuits', cheese, etc. There was just enough for everyone to get a little bite or two of each item. Thankfully we had that gift certificate, because it was certainly out of our price range, which made me remember why we had not been back in a while. It HAD to be a special occasion for us.
And thankfully this was.
There were people lined up though, out the door, around the block, standing and waiting for their special occasion. 

I'm so glad we had one more opportunity to visit and that the boys got to go this time. After we finished they both said, "That food was great! It really made up for the place looking so girly! And, Mom... do you think you could learn to make some scones like those?"
Always about the food with my boys. haha

Do you have a great traditional scone recipe? Would you mind sharing with me? Please leave me a comment or email me at joyfullychas@gmail.com

Have a wonderful day friends, and make sure to make those special moments happen with your loved ones!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Keeping flowers a little longer...

A few weeks ago, I bought myself a dozen roses that were on the clearance aisle at the supermarket. Rarely I buy fresh flowers, but I had a pretty nice bouquet of wildflowers I had picked from my cutting garden and I thought about how pretty the roses would be in the mix. So I did it. I bought the $6 roses and brought them home. 
I had this enamelware bean pot that was fairly short and wide and I thought it would make a beautiful centerpiece filled with fresh flowers... but it would take a TON of flowers to fill that pot. So I have a little trick for you. I took some regular ole scotch tape and made a grid across the pot. Stretching the tape from one side to another and then running the tape across the opposite direction. 

That gave me a great template to which I could arrange my bouquet. 

The bouquet lasted all week and was such a sweet sight on my kitchen table.  But by the next Saturday, a week later, I had several flowers beginning to droop. 

So I found a couple of smaller vessels for smaller arrangements, used the scotch tape method again, (you can see the beginnings of that below) and filled a couple of the smaller vases with what flowers still had a bit of spunk in them. 
This turquoise teapot was given to me when I participated in a secret sister swap between bloggers. It was so much fun! It was many years ago, but I still love this teapot. I believe my secret friends name was Renee. 

Here's another tip! I also took any zinnias that were lifeless and lopped the dead head off and put it into a baggie to keep for next year. They can be rubbed between your hands and let the seeds fall and it is a super easy way of planting. 
These flowers look almost as beautiful going on week 2 as they did when I first arranged them week 1. There just isn't anything like fresh flowers on your table. 
Have a wonderful day.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sprucing up the Homeschool Room

Over the years we have collected things we find in nature that are fascinating and unusual, but in the past few months that collection has really started to grow. After getting some ideas on how to showcase these treasures I began searching out 'print trays' or curiosity or knick-knack shelves and with the help of some dear friends, our nature shelf has really taken off. 
Our very first find was a really unique and interesting fossil that Carlie found while she and the boys were out on a little hike. Another was the geode that Abram found one year while we were on Constructors for Christ in Kentucky. We have had friends bring us seashells, or sand dollars. We have found dead butterflies, shark teeth, moss, and what not. We have also participated in nature swaps with people from across the country, those were so fun to see what another family from another state would send! 
Anyhow, as you can see, we have been adding to our shelf and it is looking marvelous. 

I also try and straighten up the piano in preparation for lessons to begin again. Giving happy, encouraging  quotes and scriptures as we begin our new year. 
I printed out a couple of nature prints from this etsy shop, one with a Charlotte Mason quote about nature that I thought was very fitting. (I also believe twigandmoth is having a back to school sale in her shop still. 25% code "SCHOOL25")

The view of this area as I come in from the kitchen is a sight that makes me smile. :)
I thought this quote was a great one for the classroom area. 
That's a goal. To make our home an atmosphere that encourages learning. 

This little shelf now houses our most current lesson books. We will use it to swap in and out when we finish with a book and add a new one to our daily/weekly use. 
Just a quick little tour of how I've tried to spruce up the area before we started school this week. I love a fresh, tidy space. It always helps me be more motivated.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lighting up the Night

I love where I live. I love my home town. Most people know one another, if not directly then at least by association. Most are friendly, and courteous.... there is still a lot of "yes, ma'am, no ma'am" answers, there are waves when you pass by on the road, doors will often be held, a "how are you doing?" or a hug around the neck is often accompanied with a greeting, it's a sweet place and I love it. One thing that makes it so great is the way we can and will always come together when there is a need.
And there is a need.
 There is a little boy in our area that is having a very difficult time. He has cancer. He has had several surgeries, and he's still fighting a very hard battle.

Someone posted on Facebook about throwing a parade for him. His name is Emerson. 
Emerson loves Disney and their "light up the night" parades. So in just a few short days, the word spread and the town prepared. 
Some, like me, were not able to get a float prepped, so my family and I and hundreds of others showed up to support this brave little guy and his parents.

We left our home 40 minutes before the parade was supposed to kick off, feeling that surely we would be able to secure a good spot from which to watch the parade.... When we got to the stretch of road that it was supposed to go on, there were people as far as the eye could see. It seemed the whole town had shown up in one way or another.
My mouth dropped at the sight.
I was amazed.

The parade was Disney themed, and most everything had lights! 
Floats, cars, firetrucks, dump trucks, jeeps, and more going down our  #11 for 45 minutes showing their support! The crowd was asked to wear purple... so we tried our best, even sharing shirts that didn't necessarily fit, just so we had on purple, per the towns request.

I was moved to tears through the parade. It was absolutely precious. 

We were able to take Ace with us and he LOVED it! He loved the lights and the floats and especially the suckers they were throwing from the floats. ;)

Although... he wasn't too sure about this guy. He put his little arms behind his back and started easing back when this minion walked up to greet him. It was so funny! 
I'll say it again,  I love this town and I am so proud to call it my home. 

God bless you, Emerson. We are praying for you!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse Fun

Our Monday first day of homeschool/solar eclipse party was a GREAT success! 

We read and calculated and created and more!!!

 One of my favorite instagram accounts was offering a 25% off coupon, so I ran over and printed up this Constellation chart that she offers on her etsy shop. She draws and designs these cards and sheets herself and they are a wonderful addition to our homeschool room. They are really beautiful. 
I already had her moon phase cards, we used those in some of our activities as well!  

Ace wasn't interested in making a moon phase... so he just ate the "moon" whole. ;)
The kids enjoyed the constellation making out of pretzel sticks and mini marshmallows. Especially my Abe. After everyone else was moving on to other things, he was still in there building more. 

The cookie monster!!!




We also had cookies and chocolate frosting to cover. They made different phases of the moon with these items. 

Carlie's Waning Quarter

And Abe's... he decided to use marshmallows as well!

For lunch we had croissants or as we say "crescent rolls" and all kinds of yummy sandwich making supplies. Sun chips and cucumber slices with ranch. 
After lunch we cleaned up, worked a little longer on lessons and made our way outside... Abe set up some chairs for us and I worked on making Ace a special set of glasses.
He wasn't a fan of the glasses at. all. 
But thankfully I was able to get at least one picture of him with them on. 

Watching and waiting
We were all pretty awe-struck at the sight! I wanted to be able to get a picture, but my camera didn't cooperate. Thankfully though there will be another in April of 2024! So maybe then I will be able to get a good picture. ;)
As I sat there and watched this marvelous event with my children, I was filled with awe and joy. For one, the God who we love and serve made the sun, moon, stars, planets, and everything in them. Including me and you. He loves us and He made us for a reason... a purpose. We have meaning. 
Two... I was able to experience this with most of my kids. Thankfully Cameo and I were able to talk afterwards and she was able to get a little bit of a glimpse of it at work.
Making the choice to stay home with my children has never been the 'easy road' but it has been the 'right road' for us. We have to make sacrifices and there are days when things are difficult... but being able to experience life and events like this alongside my children are so worth it. There's no job in the world I would rather do, no place I would rather be, than here with my family.

Have a wonderful day, friends.