Elf Awesomeness

Family Time

***Note*** No idea what's going on with my pics.  They're uploading weird.  :/

We're on our last night of our mini-vaca.  It has been so nice and relaxing.  We really should do this more often.  :)

We started our morning yesterday with a visit to a local coffee shop for breakfast followed by a walk around downtown Helen.  We visited some cool little shops and checked out the river.  Afterwards we went on our first trip horseback riding.  The weather was perfect!  The view was amazing!  I was so proud of Audrey.  She has been asking to ride for a long time.  She's usually pretty timid about trying new things, but she hopped right up on the horse by herself.  She rode the entire trail by herself.  She was definitely in her element!

Afterwards, we went to a local festival where we rode a horse drawn carriage, ate BBQ, saw lambs, played with a pig, and pet more horses.  Then we went back to the cabin so the girls could play in the stream.  We watched Captain America and turned in early.  Ahhhh....  There is a flowing stream right outside the bedroom window so it constantly sounds like rain.  That is the most relaxing way to sleep - ever!!

Window shopping down town
Audrey with our guide, Lloyd.
Our family after horseback riding.
The girls enjoying the stream at the cabin.

Today we went out to the Cabbage Patch Babyland General Hospital.  We had been to the old facility when I was pregnant with Maddie.  We went there in preparation for the new baby and Audrey got to adopt a baby of her own.  It was a great experience!  Today we went to the new facility.  It was less "museum" like and more super store, but we really enjoyed it.  And, yes, each girl got to adopt a baby - and we still came out half of what we paid the first trip.  The first time we went, I didn't ask how much it cost because I figured it was just the cost of a baby doll.  Um... no. We did the whole adoption out of the cabbage patch with a "delivery nurse" and the whole experience.  Imagine my surprise when we went to pay and it was $200!  I promise you, we did not do that this time.  I knew better.  Hahaha!!  And, the girls enjoyed it just the same by picking their own baby from the patch.  ;)

After the Cabbage Patch, we went to some local shops and antique stores.  We came in early so the girls could play in the stream & rocks.  We've been playing games and watching movies ever since. I'm looking forward to a great night of sleep - with an extra hour to boot!

So, it's back to reality tomorrow.  It's gonna be another crazy week filled with rehearsals, school, competition, etc.  I'm so grateful for the great weekend of rest.  I'm recharged and ready to hit the new week head on!

My Vote

I have to have at least one political post before this monumental election.  I have become quite passionate about politics in recent years.  My apologies if I've annoyed you - not my intent.   I've tried to stay up to date on the issues and educate myself.  It is my responsibility to use my best judgement by educating myself, using my vote, and standing up for what I truly believe is right.

I was excited and revived last week through our Restoring America Conference.  We were blessed with some amazing, motivating speakers like Matt Staver, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee.    They are great men that I admire!  God is using them in a mighty way and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to hear them speak.  Not one of them preached hate.  They all spoke of love, equality, and true Patriotism.  They all shared the same general message of hope for America.  

Politics and choosing sides is a very personal choice.  There's no perfect candidate, but I have to go with the one that best supports the issues most important to me.  In general, I am socially and economically conservative.  I have voted both Democratic and Republican before, but over the years I have become much more conservative in my beliefs and convictions.  So, let's jump right into some issues.  =)

I've heard some rants from people who won't vote for Romney because he's a Mormon.  We may not be on the same page as far as religion goes, but if you know anything about Mormons, they are hard working people that strive to do their best in everything - at least all the ones I know.  Yes, this is a subjective opinion, but it is what it is!  What I do not tolerate is the hate preached by Obama's (former) pastor?  Yes, he denounced him publicly during the first election (he'd be crazy not to), but for 20+ years prior to running for office, he seemed to be ok with it.  Here's one of many articles:  


I don’t want an America that looks like Europe: one that can’t generate enough jobs for its younger workforce, whose immigration policies have created many social ills and whose government-controlled socialized medicine results in less availability of care for all.  This is America, not Europe.

ObamaCare is an impending disaster that threatens our quality and availability of health care.  Do I believe that our current system is great?  No, but I don't believe ObamaCare is the answer.  I've read my share of reports on the math of OC and it is going to be costly.  OC eliminates freedom of choice.  There are just too many issues that need to be fixed before I jump aboard the OC train.  And, why lie about the health plan not being a tax to the people, but pass it through as such?  I have a huge issue with this plan using our money to pay for someone else's abortion.  It goes against my religion and personal convictions.  And, that is unconstitutional!   As a side note, a friend recently put it in pretty simple English that made great sense in regards to the Pre Existing Condition argument.  Is it ok to have no car insurance, have a wreck, and then go purchase insurance to cover it?  What's going to happen next?  You're probably going to get your wreck taken care of and drop the policy shortly thereafter leaving the bill with insurance company.  This is precisely what can happen with ObamaCare.  How's the math working there?  Great for the one that zips out of their responsibility.  Not so great for the rest of us when the insurance continues to rise to make up for everyone else.  Just sayin'!


I feel more secure knowing that my country is safe.  I don't believe we need to cut our defenses.  I understand that Obama would like to see a nuclear weapons free world.  Wouldn't we all?  But, we cannot reduce our defenses if our enemies are not doing the same.  There are a lot of people in this world that don't like us and I'm grateful for our fine military that work so diligently to protect us.  I have a very serious issue with the way the Libya issue was handled, by the way.   http://factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

Even if I don't homeschool my children for their entire education, I do now.  And, I fully support the parents' right to do so.  I know that both Romney & Ryan are big proponents for home education.  Obama, although he has not (to my knowledge) spoken yay or nay for homeschooling, his actions lead me to believe he's not a supporter.  His support of the ratification of the UN. Convention of the Rights of the Child would limit parental rights in the United States, giving the government more control over children and in particular, their education.  I strongly believe that parents know their child(ren) better than any government official or educator.  I absolutely have my child's best interest at heart and I do not appreciate the government trying to tell me other wise!

There are some issues I just can't budge on.  Anyone that supports abortion can count me out.  It is not about a woman's right to choose.  It's about a child's right to live.  That child living inside her body is not her own.  He has his own genetic make up unique to any other living being.  Her body is simply a vessel in which the child temporarily lives.  Someone has to have a voice for the baby.  It is our basic right - the right to life and the pursuit of happiness.  I met a lady last year that worked for Planned Parenthood (an organization that Obama DOES support) for 27 years.  She was a "salesperson".  Her job was not to provide information so that the women could make informed decisions.  She was there to get repeat customers and encourage women to use abortion as their method of birth control.  The more repeat customers she had, the more money they made.  What she did not tell them were the natural consequences that usually took place - such as the increased chances of Breast Cancer in repeat abortions.  Or, the emotional turmoil that so many women go through for years after they abort.  This information came straight from the woman who played a part in the industry.  It's a sad truth about our society today.

I am not insensitive to those in need, but why are there 46 million people on food stamps, 12+ million with government cell phones, and so many without jobs? What is the incentive to go back to work?  I have a friend that was having a hard time making ends meet, so she had to go on government assistance.  She couldn't afford to go out and get a part time job because it wasn't enough to live on and she'd make too much to get assistance.  She chose to stay home and live off the government.  The system is so broken.  And, the whole redistribution of wealth Robin Hood mentality infuriates me.

I truly believe if the people of this country held to Biblical truths and morals, we would be in a far greater place right now.  As it is, the family unit is being destroyed.  Babies are being murdered by their own mothers in the womb.  Children are being born out of wedlock and many are without a father figure.  Families are being broken up because the sanctity of marriage is not being upheld.  People who work hard to educate themselves and improve their way of life are being penalized, while those that do little to nothing are encouraged to do just that.  God has laid out a pretty simple plan.  Our country held tight to these truths for many years and we prospered because of it.  (Psalm 33:12  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.) Until we turn back to our Biblical roots, we are going to continue to struggle.

And, as a side note - All those that think the church should be taxed - seriously?!  Where is the first place people turn to when they're in need?  Our church feeds tens of thousands of people.  We have doctors and nurses that give prenatal care and deliver babies for those that can't afford it (and soooo much more than that).  We have staff that are on call 24/7 for those in need.  We couldn't do that if the government took the church's money.  Leave it alone!  If you don't like what they have to say from the pulpit, don't listen.  If we start taxing the church, we're going to have to tax social agencies, as well.  And, that is not helping anyone - at least not the ones that truly need the help.

The bottom line is:  I do not want more government control.  I do not want the government dictating how I raise my children and spend my money.  I love my country and I want a positive change in another direction.  

Art Fun

Audrey and I had a great time studying Jackson Pollock's art and recreating our own version of Number 6.  We had fun attempting to duplicate his method of painting.  Audrey really enjoyed "dancing" and painting.  She was so cute.  I thought I'd post a few pics I took.

She danced all around the canvas.  =)

Good thing it's washable paint - the back patio is nice & colorful.

The finished product with our sample.

And colorful feet

Adventures in Hiking

The weight loss journey is going well.  I've consistently lost a little each week since I started.  I'm down about 12 pounds in 6 weeks.  Slow and steady wins the race!  Right now I'm mostly doing the Points Plus program through Weight Watchers, but I'm beginning to add in some exercise.  I walked a couple of days last week, as well as an intense hike.  If you want to follow the Weekly Weigh Ins on Mondays, the link is here:   http://lovinglosingliving.blogspot.com/p/weight-loss.html

So, about that hike.... If you know my husband well, you know he is an outdoors man.  He enjoys camping, biking, and hiking.  He's been hiking the Appalachian Trail once a month with a group of friends from church.  They're over halfway through the Georgia portion.  He really wants us to hike as a family, so we thought it would be a great idea to go Saturday.  The four of us hiked Blood Mountain, the highest point of the AT in GA.  It was a beautiful day!  The hike was really nice, but it totally kicked my hiney! I had to stop a couple of times because it was so steep.  I was definitely out of my comfort zone!  The girls did awesome!!  They had their little backpacks on and never once asked to go back.  They were both very excited to make it to the top.

Although the hike went really well, the day was not without "adventure".  My wonderful husband grossly underestimated how long the hike would take us - especially with such little legs trying to keep up!  We got a late start anyway because the girls and I had cheer practice that morning.  Derek *may* have thought the hike was just over a mile up.  Um, the hike was more like 2.5 miles up.  Big difference when you're walking straight up mountain rocks!  So, what I thought was going to be a leisurely 2 hour hike turned into an intense 4 1/2 hour hike!  What we didn't bank on was losing sunlight before we made it to the end.  The last 30 minutes or so was rough as we completely lost sight.  But, when we got to water's edge, I think we both got a little worried.  We lost the trail and had come to water - with no flashlight.  No fear - God was totally looking out for us!  In the nearby woods we could see a campfire going.  Derek went over and got help.  We were led by flashlight to the parking area.  We were saved!  I don't doubt that we would have made it there eventually; I'm just not sure how long it would have taken us to find our way.  I'm very grateful there were campers so close, especially since they were the only people we had seen in a long time.

Once we got to the van, took off our boots, got a snack, and tucked the girls in their seats - another  adventure started.  The trail is about an hour and twenty minute drive from our house - forty of which are winding down and around a mountain.  I truly enjoy my husband's adventurous spirit and scenic routes he likes to take, but my body apparently does not.  Add my exhaustion with some motion sickness and you have the perfect makings of a panic attack.  I did not anticipate that happening.  I haven't had anything like that in 12+ years.  But, it is the only explanation I have for what happened on the ride home.  I was struggling to breath.  I lost feeling in my face and lips.  My hands drew up and went numb.  And, my stomach tightened up.  We pulled over about 4 times for me to catch my breath and not get sick.  It was a very frightening experience to say the least.

Despite the mishaps, I say it was a great day!  I look forward to the next time.  Until then, enjoy some pics:

Maddie loved the hike! 

Audrey was such a big girl!


Silly girls!

One of MANY, MANY rock steps.

Are we there yet?

Weekend Update

We just got back from a great weekend celebrating the marriage of my brother and his new bride, Jennifer.  It was a sweet wedding in an adorable little church in the mountains of middle TN.  Of course, it was on the Vols off weekend, but everything was decked out in orange and white.  Maddie did a fabulous job as Flower Girl.  Audrey handed out the programs and bubbles.  Derek was an usher. It was a great time.  I'll share a few pictures from the day.

Daddy's Girls

The sweetest flower girl lovingly watching her Uncle Kyle.

The new Mr. & Mrs.

The girls and their aunt & uncle

Love my family!

We're down to 19 days until our first cheer competition.  I'm not freaking out yet, but we do have a lot of work ahead of us.  But, I'm so proud of how far they've come.  And, they are so stinkin' cute!!

It's Monday, which means it's weigh in day.  Today was another small loss of .6 pounds.  I'm very slowly, but steadily losing.  I will have to be more diligent because I'm ready for a big loss.  My total is 8.5 pounds in 5 weeks.  If I were working harder, I'd have bigger numbers.  That is my goal this week.  I ate under my points today, as well as added in 40 minutes of exercise.  We'll also be hiking this weekend (instead of eating wedding cake!).  Although I'm not seeing the numbers that I want, I know I'm making smarter choices and I feel great about that!

I also want to encourage anyone that is on a weight loss journey to find a friend or group of friends to do it with you.  I know that internal motivation is essential (D!), but some people (like myself) need external motivation and accountability.  I'm incredibly grateful for the group of friends that I have that are on this journey with me.  I'm also very thankful for my sweet husband who is cooking some awesome meals that are healthy and low in points.  =)

Good Times

I haven't posted too much about school lately - though we're moving right along smoothly.  We've had so much fun recently that I wanted to share a few highlights and photos.

First of all, my sweet little cheerleaders are doing fantastic!  I'm really proud of the progress they've made.  We still have a LONG way to go - and I'm a little nervous with our first competition only 26 days away (yikes!).  But, I feel so much better having had a little visit from our choreographer last night as she passed through on her way back to Florida.  She was very impressed with their progress.  Yay!!

I think I've shared that Derek is finishing his PhD in May.  We had to take a less than 24 hours round trip to Knoxville and back last week.  (Sorry, Allie!!!)  We had planned on just the two of us going, but at the very last minute decided the beautiful weather called for a little camping trip.  :)  The girls were beyond excited and had a blast!  On the way home, we took one of Derek's infamous "scenic routes" through Dragon Tail and Fontana Dam.  Here are a few photos from our trip:

Trying to beat the sun going down and get everything put up before dark.

WooHoo!  Which bedroom does Audrey want?

Ballet on a picnic table in the dark?  Well, of course!

Our humble abode for the evening.  Great weather.  Great company!

Fontana Dam - it was beautiful.

Me & the girls

Saturday evening was filled fun, surprises, & a throwback to the 80's.  We helped throw a surprise party - a murder mystery based around a high school reunion.  We used the same school, graduation year, and colors as the birthday girl's high school.  It was amazing!  Hope you get a great laugh with these pics!

Chosen - in all their 80's glory!

Have I told you how much I love my CriCut?  Whipped up this banner myself!

Uh, oh!  David is dead!

That's right... Derek is rocking a mullet.  And, I look like a street walker from 1980.
Too bad I didn't take the pic before the party instead of after - my hair was way higher.  LOL
Oh, no!  Another murder!!  Why does her husband look so happy?  Hmmmm...

The mayor and his wife... the former prom queen & football star.  Look suspicious, don't they?

And, how about the class rock stars?!

And, last but not least.  I'm down a total of 7.8 pounds.  I'm losing very slowly, but at least I'm losing consistently.  I'll take it!!  My goal is to lose 11 more pounds by Thanksgiving.  I can do it!!

Weekend Wrap Up

I've been so busy I really don't know which way is up.  Between the day to day activities with school, chauffeuring the girls between activities, and church commitments - I feel like I'm barely treading water.  Last week we threw a few doctor visits on top of our schedule.  Audrey is having some allergy issues.  She also had her 7 year check up.  She's in the 80th percentile for height and 75th for weight.  I'm also still waiting for my test results.  I had fasting blood work done to check my B12, sugar, and cholesterol.  I also still need to schedule my sleep study.  In the meantime, I'm finishing up my 3rd week on Weight Watchers.  Tomorrow is weigh in day.  I've lost 6.6 pounds so far.  =)

We have a super busy week ahead.  Monday is weight watchers, school, and ballet.  Tuesday is school and cheer.  Wednesday is school and church.  This Thursday Derek & I have to make a quick trip to Knoxville to fill out some paperwork & meet with Derek's PhD professor.  Saturday is a birthday dinner.  And, Sunday is a church celebration and cheer.  

Somewhere in there I'll fit some sleep in.  LOL  

I also want to give a shout out to my amazing husband!  We met on a blind date 9 years ago this week.  Time is flying by!  I'm so proud of the wonderful man he is.  He doesn't just talk the talk, he really walks the walk.  I know that he would never advertise this, but I just have to share what kind of person he is.  He met a family in need last week - they had both lost their jobs, were hungry, and living in a motel (but had been locked out because they had no more money).  Derek filled their car with gas, bought them food, and paid for 2 more nights in their motel.  More importantly than that, he sat and prayed & talked with them.  He encouraged them.  God really used him to minister to this family.  Also, this week, Derek took off a day of work to help me with the girls.  We just had so much extra stuff going on and I really needed the help.  What a great man.  I am truly blessed!  Here's to many, many more wonderful years!

The girls stretching before ballet class.

Derek grinding the pork that went in his home made cannelloni we took to supper club last night.  DELICIOUS!  Seriously, he ground the meat, made the sauce from scratch, and made the pasta from scratch.  He's pretty amazing!


Hard to believe it has been 11 years since America was forever changed by violent acts of terrorism.  I still remember vividly watching everything unfold on my television at home.  It was a scary time.  Every year I replay it through watching videos and documentaries.  It's incredibly sad, but I never want to forget.  I am so grateful for the amazing men and women that have fought so hard to protect us.

Today I decided I would share with Audrey what happened.  We watched a little bit on TV and a couple of videos online.  We talked about it.  We hugged and cried together.  It was emotional.  I'm sure she doesn't fully understand, but she definitely was effected by the events.  She asked several questions.  My intent was not to scare her, but to inform her.  I believe she handled it very well.

I did watch an interesting documentary today on the History channel on how all of the airplanes in the air were grounded so quickly and efficiently - without a real plan in place.  One of the things pointed out, that I had not realized previously, was the weather.  There were no major storms anywhere across the US where the planes had to land.  That could have been tragic to their efforts in bringing in all the planes.  I see this as one of the "God things".  No one controls the weather, but Him.  Although we may question why He allowed something like this to happen, I have to say that He gives man the freedom to make their own choices.  And, I find comfort in this verse:  Genesis 50:20 -- As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.  We may not even see it until we get to Heaven ourselves, but there is peace in knowing that God can make good from the mistakes men make.  I personally know of salvations that came about because of these tragic events.  People were pulled together that never would have otherwise known each other.  The country, as a whole, joined together in ways that it had not done in decades.  Goodness did come out of a horrible situation.

So, what can we do to honor the heroes and victims of this tragedy?  We've been given another day, in part, to the amazing efforts of the men and women in uniform.  We can enjoy our freedoms and live each day to its fullest. We do what we can to help others and show love and compassion whenever and wherever we can.  Talk is cheap.  We have to "do".  And, that is exactly what we try to do.  What are you doing to live your life to honor theirs?

Weigh In and Dance

I shared with you last week that I joined Weight Watchers again -- with a group of friends this time.    We joined last Tuesday (because of Labor Day) and will be weighing in on Mondays.  So, in my first 6 days, I'm happy to report that I lost 2.8 pounds.  :)  Collectively, our group dropped 16 pounds.  That's a great start!!  I'm already noticing how much more aware I am of what I eat.  I went to the Greenway while Audrey was in class today and walked a 5k.  I'm feeling good!

The girls started their first ballet/jazz class today.  I'm sooo excited to have both girls in dance!!  Audrey took two years off and this is Maddie's first time.  They're both in the same class.  It's at a different studio than where Audrey started.  I loved that studio, but it was really far away from us.  This new studio has been around for awhile, but just moved to a new location over the weekend - 7 minutes from my house.  We have 3 neighbors taking dance there, so we went to the Open House Saturday.  I was very impressed with what I saw.  On a side note, there was a Backstreet Boy there for the ribbon cutting ceremony.  He lives nearby and his son attends the studio.  That speaks volumes!

Week 3 Wrap Up

We're wrapping up our third week of school.  Things are continuing to go pretty well.  We're still working on some "attitude adjustments", but we're way ahead of last year.  Progress, right?!  We did take Labor Day off and spent time with family.  Yay!  I also had a sweet treat last weekend by spending time with a high school friend at the Auburn/Clemson.  Had a great time!

I wanted to share some highlights of homeschooling from our week.  Audrey has a strong interest in Art.  She takes a supplemental class outside of home.  And, we are introducing Art this year at home.  Right now I am using a fabulous set of Usborne Art flashcards.  We're going through them each week and focusing on one at a time to recreate.  As we were at Hobby Lobby over the weekend, Audrey walked by some frames and got soooo excited when she found one of the paintings we've been studying.  Then we had to go through all of the unframed artwork to see which ones she recognized.  Fun times!!  I love that she is learning and the excitement she gets when she does.  =)  Another selfish plus from homeschooling is that Mama is learning, too.  =)  We have so much fun with our art projects.  And, I'm reading books that I never read as a kid. Admittedly, I've never read Charlotte's Web.  (Gasp!) No worries though - Audrey & I are reading it together!

Our oil pastels of "Nafea Faaipoipo" by Gauguin

Ya'll know I'm all for creative discipline and I've had to try some out this week, thanks to a blog post I found on Pinterest.  Occasionally, Audrey shows her anger by stomping her feet.  This time after stomping her feet all the way upstairs when something didn't go her way, she was sent outside on the front porch to stomp her feet for 5 minutes.  The next infraction will result in 10 minutes and will be increased by 5 minutes each time there after.  So far, no more issues!  =)  Now to work on that overly dramatic screaming at her sister.  (Always something, right?)

Here we go again, friends.  I joined Weight Watchers this week.  It worked once before when I went on my own.  Now I have a group for accountability so we're going to go all.the.way!  We had our first weigh in Tuesday (blah).  We'll actually be attending a Monday morning session, so  I'll start posting my weekly weight loss on Mondays.

On a final note, my hubby has FINALLY started his own blog.  Right now he's sharing some tutorials on DIY hammock making (for all of you who loved our school room hammocks).  Check him out here.

Checking In - August

Checking in!  The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  That and my computer's battery charger DIED.  I was without my computer 3 days.  I thought I was going to have a break down.  LOL  Seriously... how does anybody function without technology these days?  I felt so disconnected.

Anyhoo... here's the 411 on our happenings.  First of all, I had a fantastic trip with Chosen to Mississippi.  It was truly awesome!  I tell ya, if you do not have a relationship with Jesus, you are missing out!  There was some praising going on.  We spent a lot of time on the road and I enjoyed every  minute of it.  I know I may annoy you sometimes saying things over and over, but really - I'm so grateful for this group of ladies.  They are the best friends a gal could ask for.  They're fun to be with.  And, I'm just so blessed to sing with them.  It's fun "going on the road" with them.  =) I will never forget these times.

We're now finishing up our second week of homeschool for 2nd grade.  Audrey is doing really well.  We haven't had a lot of blow ups (yet).  She is catching on very quickly and getting work done (shew!). This child is so smart.  Really.  I know children are like sponges, but her level of comprehension sometimes amazes me.  What a joy it is to be able to share in her education and see all the "ah ha" moments.  Today before we started school, we had breakfast together and then walked a couple of miles on the Greenway.  I love spending one on one time with her and just talking to her.  She really is a great kid!

Maddie started Pre-K yesterday.  No, we do not homeschool Maddie - yet.  We do send her to a private Christian preschool 4 mornings a week because we feel that is the best thing for her right now (she goes from 9-1:00).  We will, more than likely, start her at home for kindergarten next year.  She is enjoying it - though is a little sad that none of her friends from last year are in her class.  :(  But, she said she did get to see some of them on the playground and that helps.  She feels like such a big girl because she's now in the "carpool" lane.  =)

My sweet girl on her first day of PreK!

Cheerleading is going very well.  It is the hardest thing I've ever done, but one of the most rewarding.  I love those little girls!  They are so darn cute.  And, what is being asked of them is huge.  The expectations are very high.  But, I have no doubt they'll come through.  I'm so honored to be part of such a high quality program.  It can be quite intimidating, but God would not have put me in this position if He didn't think we could do it!  On a sidenote, I'm incredibly thankful for the other moms He has put in place to help guide these girls.  They are amazing!  They are so knowledgeable and fantastic with the girls.  They're also becoming great friends of mine.  A gal can't have too many friends! 

The girls at the end of a very hard choreography week with our fantastic choreographer from Florida.  
I went to the doctor this week for a check up.  I accidentally let my prescription run out - which was not cool!  I'm almost back on track now.  (Note to self: Do NOT let that happen again!)  The doctor wants me to do another fasting blood work next month.  My sugar was too high and good cholesterol too low (which I knew).  Apparently my blood pressure was high yesterday, too.  She says I have to have a Sleep Study done.  I'm pretty sure the Apnea is back.  She looked in my throat and said that something (don't remember the term) was too big and the air wasn't getting through properly which is probably why I'm not sleeping well and snoring.  Blah!  Can I just whine and tell you how much I do NOT want to do a sleep study or have to wear a CPAP?!  :(  I know... lose the weight, stop complaining.  Anyway, I also had my foot checked out.  It has bothered me for months (actually since I trained for the 3-Day a couple of years ago).  Every time I walk for extended amounts of time or start working out, my foot bothers me for days.  She's afraid I have some torn tendons.  :(  It is possible there's an old stress fracture so she took an x-ray - but I haven't received results yet.  She gave me an inflammatory, told me to ice twice a day, and giving me physical therapy.  She wants to try this first because she's pretty sure if she sends me to the Orthopedist, they'll put me straight in a boot.  I do not have time for that!  LOL

All of the other activities start back next week.  I'll be teaching 2nd Grade choir again at church.  Both of my girls will be in choir, as well as a Awana.  We also start back our weekly Chosen rehearsals.  The following week we'll start our weekly Bible Studies back up.  It's a busy time of year!

So, that's our update.  I'll keep checking in!  Thanks for sticking around.  

First Day of 2nd Grade

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This week on the Not Back to School Blog Hop is Student Photos/First Day of School.  Thanks for joining our family on this exciting day!!  If you missed our previous posts in the hop, check out our classroom here and our curriculum here.

Today was our first official day of 2nd Grade.  She has been to two weeks of her Science & Art classes she takes at a local homeschool supplemental class.  This was our first day of class at home.  (Do I seriously have a second grader already?!)  Here she is... Audrey!

8/22/12 - First day at home.

8/13/12 - First day going to her supplemental classes -
Science & Art at NGHE.

If every day of school goes as smoothly as today did, I will be a very happy Mama!  We started out our day with breakfast with everyone.  (We LOVE having Daddy working from home.  What a blessing!)  She was too excited to wait until we started class to open the Little Passports package that came in the mail.  It sat on the steps for a week before she realized it had her name on it.  LOL  We opened at the breakfast table and went through all the cute contents.  Then we headed down to our new classroom to start on our Bible readings.  We cuddled on the couch and started Charlotte's Web. Afterwards it was time for the dreaded copywork.  (My child despises handwriting.)  We had to take a break early on to help a friend out with her doggies.  After lunch we were back to it!  She had to rewrite her copywork - and actually did so without too much complaint.  Then it was off to work on compound words, math, Latin, and art.  Here are a few highlights from our day:

Working on her Accelerated Math program

Enjoying some reading time in the the hammock.

Audrey & Mommy's water color interpretations of  Scream

Helping little sister with her artist smock while she paints.

Maddie had some of her own "homework".

WARNING: Busy Week Ahead

I'll be participating in an Usborne event this weekend.  If you're local, be sure to come out to First Redeemer Church THIS Saturday from 9-4:00 for the Big Creek Arts & Crafts Festival.  (More info here.)  Admission is free.  There are over 100 vendors (and door prizes).  Lots of silent auction items & raffles.  I love to share my love of books with others.  It's A LOT of work, but I sooo enjoy these festivals.  I get to see friends that I love and meet tons of new people.  So much fun!!  (Did I mention, A LOT of work?!  LOL)  I also have to put myself on a budget because I want to do a little too much shopping at others' booths.  Guess it's a great time to get started on Christmas!  I'll try to get some pictures of my booth to share this weekend.

Then Sunday after church & cheer practice, I'll be traveling with Chosen to Mississippi for a singing event.  We'll be driving through the wee hours of the morning since we can't leave until 7pm.  Yikes!  We'll sing Monday night and leave out again very early Tuesday morning.  It will be awesome though.  I LOVE traveling with these ladies!!  God has blessed me beyond measure with these friends and sharing the gift of music.

Wednesday we start our new home school year!!  The room has been ready for awhile.  All of the materials and curriculum are in.  Today I am working on lesson plans.  I'm ready to jump in and get this year started!!  Woot!  Woot!

So, that's it!  Those are the plans and I'm sticking to 'em!  Have a great weekend!  OH, if you do come to the festival, my booth is suppose to be located through the glass doors on the left when you enter the student center (not the gym doors).  HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
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