Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Wrinkly Toes

These are some pictures of my son's feet after he got out of the bath. They were so wrinkly! PRECIOUS! You can click the image to enlarge it.

This post is linked to 5 minutes for mom.

~Lark

Couch to 5k

I have been doing a running program called Couch to 5K (C25K) by coolrunning.com. It is a program designed to get you off the couch and jogging a 5k in 9 weeks. I am currently on week 7. This week has me jogging 25 minutes solid. It is very tough, but I am hanging in there. I am really excited to be on week 7. I started this program at the end of 2009. I had just completed week 6 when the icy/snowy weather moved in. I never made it to week 7. I am really excited that I am actually getting to do week 7 this time around. Hopefully, I will get to complete the whole program and then just jog 30 minutes or 3 miles three times per week to build up speed. So far, I am loving the program and I recommend it to anyone who is ready to start being active. This program starts you out at an easy pace and builds on itself to get you where you need to be. If you are interested in this program, you can find it here.

Happy Running!

~Lark

Friday, August 27, 2010

Caution - Nest Fluffing!!



I just wanted to let everyone know that there is some fluffing of Neagle's Nest going on. You will notice some changes taking place as my blog is being reconstructed. I want to give a BIG thanks to Tammy over at Not Just Paper and Glue for giving me a blog makeover. She has been and continues to be a big help during this process. I don't know how long the fluffing process will take, but I appreciate your patience during this time.



New Friend Fridays


~Lark

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Picnic at the Park


The weather has been nice the last couple of days, so I decided to take the kids to the park today. We packed up some sack lunches and took off to enjoy the cooler weather. The high today was only supposed to be 91 degrees and there was a great breeze blowing! Chickadee and Sparrow enjoyed it and it was nice to get out of the house for a little bit.



This nice weather is supposed to stick around for the next few days. I know I am going to take advantage of it!

~Lark

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

In Memoriam


It was today, five years ago that my beloved brother was taken from me in a fatal car accident. It seemed way too soon. I am remembering the craziness of that morning as if it were yesterday.

I know that you are in a far better place and are now part of that great cloud of witnesses. You are cheering for me to keep running this race until I reach Heaven's gates! I can still hear your laughter and your voice. You were so care-free and fun to be around. I LOVE YOU and I MISS YOU!!


Jason Todd Stone
September 29, 1985 ~ August 23, 2005


Painting was made by my friend Michelle Munger. You can find her site here. Her blog is here.


~Lark

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birthday Party Success!


I am wore out!! After today's party, I know why I have opted to have small parties in the past. Beginning with the cake above. I have been working on that cake since Thursday night! It turned out pretty good though. I got the idea from here.

Not that I regret having the company today. It was a BLAST!! We had so much fun, but I am so tired! We had a total of 17 guests show up for the party. I have been a very busy bee. Chickadee keeps saying how much she loved the party and that it was the "best one she has ever a had". Now, I think she may be exaggerating a little bit because she says that about everything. "Mama, this is the best roast I have ever had" and "Mama, this is the best cookies I have ever had" are some of her favorite sayings. I know that she is just giving me some big compliments and I love it, but I know today was not the best she has ever had nor will it be the last. I am just happy, because she is happy. Here are some picture highlights of the day:


The birthday cake with everyone singing to her.


The Playmobil dollhouse. She loved it!


Some littlest pet shop type toys.


"Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Play-Doh Cake Makin' Station.

This was definitely birthday party success!!

~Lark

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ten O'Clock

It's ten o'clock and I am reminiscing.
Eight years ago today you took your first breath.


And stole our hearts with your smile.



And before I knew it you were cooing, crawling, and learning to walk.



It seemed that in the blink of an eye, you were one!



You were growing so fast. You knew how to charm everyone you met.



Then you turned two!



You just grew and grew and grew!



How could it be? You quickly turned three!



I'm thinking about how that year we took you to the zoo!



To my surprise, four had arrived!
You started pre-k and had become a big sister two months before.



Then you turned five!



It's ten o'clock! Oh, where did the time go?
Six came way too fast, but I love watching you grow!



Seven was last year and you had a lot of fun.
Granddad, Grandma, and Aunt Paige had come!



It's ten o'clock. Today you turn eight!
It's hard to believe eight years ago you were born to me.
Happy Birthday, Baby!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bulletin Boards!

I left my one and only bulletin board at my old job back in Texas, so I had to come up with a creative way to make a couple of small ones. The one I left behind would have been too big for my kitchen anyway. I really wish I had a separate room to use for a school room, but I don't. I have such big dreams of them having individual desks, a school rug, and walls covered with maps and posters. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of space so I have to make do with the kitchen. The table is their "desks" and the walls are not plastered with posters.

I decided that cardboard would work just as well as a cork bulletin board. I cut out the size I wanted then wrapped one in balloon wrapping paper and the other in some yellow material I had lying around. They look pretty good and they will work well enough for this year. Here are some pictures.


This one has our yearly school calendar and the daily schedule on it. I allow them two 15 minute breaks. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. They also get a 1 hour 15 minute lunch break. The additional 15 minutes at lunch just gives them some extra play time after they eat. It also gives me time to make their lunches while they are finishing up any work or cleaning up the table for us to eat.


This one is a work in progress. This is our "Armor of God" board. This is our Biblical theme for this year. I have cut out the pieces to the soldier. As Sparrow and Chickadee memorize their monthly scriptures we will add a piece of armor to him. By the end of the year he should have on the whole armor of God.


They are coming along nicely. I may post more of the "Armor of God" board later when it is more complete. I want to add Ephesians 6:13-18 to the upper right hand corner of the board as well.

~Lark

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Giveaway & Look What I Found

Happily Domestic Giveaway!

Happily Domestic is giving away a set of Pfaltzgraff dinnerware. They have some really nice dinnerware to offer, so go over to Happily Domestic and enter to win!
Happily Domestic

Look What I Found!

Yesterday, while I was at Fred's Dollar Store, I found a set of Thomas Alphabet cards. They were $1.50 and perfect for Sparrow. Since he is starting Pre-K this year, these will come in handy. He already likes looking at them and trying to write the letters himself. There is only one problem! He is left-handed!! I am right-handed, so it is going to be hard to teach him how to write. This is bound to be interesting!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

King Ranch Chicken


This is a recipe that I love to make. It makes a 13x9 inch pan. You may want to half the recipe to make it for a smaller family.


Ingredients:
4 to 5 Boneless Chicken Breast or a whole chicken
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Rotel
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Onion
1 lb block of Monterrey Jack Cheese
12 Corn Tortillas

Directions:


Put your chicken on to boil. Make sure you cook it long enough to get it cooked all the way through.


After the chicken is finished, shred it. I use my Pampered Chef chopper for this step. In the meantime you can be sauteing your onion and bell pepper to get them tender.


After you finish sauteing your onion and pepper, you can add in the cans of soup, rotel, and the chicken broth. Stir well and then add the shredded or chopped chicken back into the pan. Stir and let simmer.


Put 6 corn tortillas in the bottom of the pan. I foil and non stick spray my pan. I prefer as little mess to have to clean up as possible.


Pour half of the chicken and soup mixture on top of the tortillas.

Cover with half of the Monterrey Jack cheese.
Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover casserole with foil and bake in a 250-275 degree oven for 50-55 minutes.


Enjoy!

~Lark

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Thrill of Winning

Chickadee's birthday is coming up and she gave us a small list (4 items) of things she would like to have for her birthday. This list included: box car children books, legos, a Playmobil toy, and a new game. I don't know if any of you are familiar with Playmobil, but they have some really great toys. We started buying Sparrow Playmobil last Christmas. We got him a helicopter and a fire truck. It came with some little policemen and little firemen. For his birthday back in June, we bought him a Playmobil coast guard boat. He loves them! His toys came with little pamphlets that listed some of their other toys. They had hospitals, houses, castles, and anything else you can imagine. Chickadee quickly decided that she was going to ask for one for her birthday. She would love to have the hospital, but that one is quiet expensive. The looking for a girl Playmobil toy began.


I looked at Playmobil's site and found a take-along dollhouse that came complete with furniture, mama, daddy, baby, and 2 pet cats.
Instead of just buying it outright, I went over to eBay and found one up for auction that was still in mint condition. There was only 15 minutes left on the auction. I was so nervous that we would lose the bid on it. Coot and I kept refreshing in hopes of having the winning bid.
Guess what? WE WON!! I won the dollhouse and only had to pay half the price of what it would have cost from Playmobil. It was so thrilling to win! It was a lot of fun and I got a great deal in the process.

We have not been disappointed with Playmobil's products. Target carries a few of their toys as well as specialty toy stores. Do you or your children favor a specific brand of toy? If so, what is it?

~Lark

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why I Homeschool


Why do I homeschool? That seems to be the resounding question. Because of this, I decided to make a post to try to answer that question. Not only does it give you answers, but it allows me to put my own heart felt answer into words. I have always known why I homeschool, but have had a hard time articulating those reasons. So, here it goes...

First and foremost, I would say I homeschool because I am a Christian. My children are learning everything that public school teaches, but from a Godly perspective. They will learn about creation, not evolution. They are learning to have Godly characteristics. Through the curriculum they are learning 60 character traits of Christ such as honesty, loyalty, and kindness to apply to their own lives. The curriculum keeps scripture at its core. My children are encouraged to grow and learn spiritually as well as educationally.

Second - I can rest assured they are getting a high quality education. They are getting one-on-one attention. They aren't being pushed through the system. They can work at their own pace and skill level. Which means, if they are struggling in an area, they can slow down and really master the material. They aren't being taught to "pass a test". They are actually learning the material.

Third - They are learning in a comfortable environment. They are not being subjected to peer pressure or a need to "fit in". They can admit when they don't understand something without the worry of ridicule.

Forth - FREEDOM! There is no set structure. We can take a break for an impromptu lesson. We can take an unplanned field trip without worrying about ruining our schedule. We can also sleep in and do our school work in our pajamas! Who doesn't dream about working in their pajamas??


Fifth - My children can be just that, children. They can be curious and inquisitive.
Who taught them how to talk? Who helped them roll over, crawl, and walk? We, their parents, did. Education really does begin in the home. The day they take their first breath, they look to us to teach and guide them. So, why not continue that through their school years?

Sixth - Play time!! Some schools have taken recess out of the school day. Some have even gone as far as removing PE. Children need play time. They need the opportunity to get out of their chairs and move around.

Seventh - The ability to nurture their talents. I can work around their own unique interests. If they have a love of art or music, I can encourage that area. I can help them explore that particular talent in a way that public school can't. I want them to be able to focus on their own individual talents as they grow. I think it is important for a child's talents to be encouraged.

And last but not least, they are learning skills outside of the textbooks/workbooks. They are learning how to apply what they learn as they learn it. When my daughter started fractions, I was able to show her the fractions on a measuring cup. I let her measure out flour, sugar, and butter to make some sugar cookies. Her learning skills were being applied in a hands on way. A way that she is going to remember for a life time.
Quality time spent with their family, but learning at the same time?! You can't beat that!

~Lark

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back to School


It's that time of year again. It's time to prep for going back to school. I will be starting my 4-year-old son in pre-k this year. It is going to be quite an adventure trying to homeschool two children instead of just one. I know I can do it. Now, whether or not I keep my sanity is another matter.

Chickadee's curriculum is on it's way. I use Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E). She has used A.C.E. since pre-k and has done really well with it. I will be using Christian Light for Sparrow's pre-k this year, because it is significantly cheaper than A.C.E. I will move him to A.C.E. for kindergarten. I really like the A.C.E. curriculum, because it allows them to work at their own pace and level. It also allows my daughter to work independently. Sure, I still help her quite a bit, but it doesn't require me to stand over her the entire day. That is a good thing since I am going to be spending a huge amount of my time working with Sparrow.


As soon as the curriculum arrives I will need to go buy the required school supplies. I pretty much know what Sparrow will need. He will need all the basics. Pencils, crayons, safety scissors, erasers, and a writing tablet. Chickadee, on the other hand, has most of her supplies from last year. They are still in good shape for the most part. She will need new crayons and lead for her mechanical pencils. The curriculum will let me know if she needs anything special outside of what she already has.

So, here's to a new adventure in homeschooling. I am sure I will have some fun things to post about as we look forward to another school year.

~Lark

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blueberry Jam

We were given a grocery bag full of fresh blueberries by a friend of ours. I really didn't know what to do about all those berries, so I decided to make blueberry jam. I could can it up and it could be stored in the pantry. I went out and bought the jars and a bag of sugar today. I bought Certo fruit pectin. They had recipes on a paper inside the box that I could follow to make either freezer jam or cooked jam. I don't have the freezer space for a bunch of freezer jam, so I went with the cooking method. Here are some pictures:


Taste testing. This was after we were done filling the jars, I promise. (This is not the most flattering picture.)

The boiling and removal process. I had to let them boil for 10 minutes to make sure the lids would seal. As they cool, they are supposed to pull the middle of the lids in. That's how you know they sealed properly. All of these jars did. It was a success!


I only bought 12 jars. After I filled them all, I still had some jam left, so I pulled out an old honey jar and poured the rest in it. It all fit, too. It is probably 32 to 36 ounces worth of jam. I will have to refrigerate it since the seal on it was old and wouldn't re-seal down. That's okay with me though. My son is a PB&J fan and so am I. It will all get eaten....eventually.


The grand finale!! After we let the jam cool off, Coot and I gave it a taste test. It was absolutely delicious!! The big 32 ounce jar is now in the fridge getting cold. I will definitely be having toast in the morning!

Happy Jamming!
~Lark