Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Field Trip: Tour of the Nina & Pinta Replicas

Our homeschool co-op just had a field trip to visit replicas of the Nina and Pinta in Muskogee, OK. I can't even imagine what it would be like to spend months on the waters and never see land - gives me a whole new appreciation as to what sailors had to endure by traveling the treacherous oceans long ago, and even still today.

Here's some info on the ships and pics from our fun day...

Nina and Pinta Replica Info:

Ships Come In (MuskogeePhoenix.com)

Pics from our Field Trip:

I have also posted links and videos here if you'd like to further your research on Columbus and the three ships that made the trek to the Americas ;-)

Learning the Books of the Bible



Monday, November 28, 2011

Reminiscing About Uganda

I took my girls and one of their friends to see the Ugandan Orphans Choir at a church in Tulsa yesterday. Of course, we love anything in support of Uganda - and this was great timing because exactly one year ago today, I found myself on a plane headed for Uganda. I never thought I'd go to Africa but I'm so glad I went. I remember being scared to death and even wondered if I'd come back alive ;-) I think going to a third world country teaches you so many lessons - you can't help but come back a changed person. I was reminded of...

* How important family is,
* $$$ can't buy you happiness,
* It's better to give than to receive,
* Never take electricity, refrigeration and public sanitation for granted,
* We are majorly spoiled in America, and
* "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6)

Most of all, it challenged my faith and trust in God and reminded me that He has a plan for our lives. We can either accept it and take part in it or create a false happiness that does not bring joy or fulfillment.

Ahhh - I digress ;-) Here's a few pics and videos from the concert - such sweet voices and amazingly changed lives...

 I did leave my heart in Uganda and hope I can go back again someday ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a great time making fun memories with our family this Thanksgiving.

We had my mom over Thanksgiving Eve for a ham dinner...

Thanksgiving morning, our family did the Owasso YMCA Hog Jog. Steve ran the 1-mile run with Mackenzie and Abby ran the 5K with me. Both girls did great and had a fun time. I mostly did it so I could eat more for lunch ;-)

Then we went to Steve's parent's house for a delicious Thanksgiving lunch. It was a pretty nice day out so all the cousins had a great time playing outside and jumping in the leaves, which has become a tradition every Thanksgiving now ;-)

I didn't get to see the rest of my side of the family but I'm posting their Thanksgiving pictures anyway ;-) I'll see them in a few short weeks for Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - we have much to be thankful for ;-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christopher Columbus Links

Our homeschool co-op is taking a field trip this week to visit replicas of the Nina and Pinta in Muskogee, OK. It sounds like a great exhibit but I thought the girls and I better brush up on our knowledge of Christopher Columbus and the ships that made the voyage to North America...

Columbus Day (History Channel)


Christopher Columbus (Biography Channel)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sweet Voices, AwEsOmE Kids

Our homeschool co-op sang to the seniors at the Owasso Community Center today. Such sweet voices ;-) I just love the families in our group...


Monday, November 21, 2011

We Are Family

We recently had a family reunion of sorts as we had family come in town from Colorado, Washington, and OKC. It was so good to see everyone as it has been many, many years since we've all been together at the same time. We had lots of fun celebrating birthdays, playing games, watching dancing and piano playing performances, chatting, and of course, eating...

Piano performances by my Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Bill - sure wish I had their musical talent! Warning: our piano needs to be tuned REEEEEALLY bad!!!

My Aunt Jeanette wrote this song for her wedding many years ago. I think it is so BeAuTiFuL!

Such fun memories & reminds me how thankful I am for the family God has placed me in :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Annual Branson Trip - 'Tis the Season

We recently took our annual trip to Branson with Steve's family. We always go this time of the year and celebrate birthdays for Steve's mom and sister, my nephew, and our oldest daughter, Mackenzie. Here's a few pics of us hanging out at our condo...

One of the kid's favorite things to do is to send notes to the people staying below us. They love to keep an eye at the end of their chain and see if anyone wrote them back, which they usually do ;-)

It's also always our tradition to go to Silver Dollar City and see the Christmas lights, shows, and parade - definitely puts us in the Christmas spirit...

And before we head back home, we always have to stop off at the Grand Village Shops (a.k.a. "The Christmas Village"). We love to look around at all the Christmas trees and pick out an ornament to take home...

Let the Christmas celebrations begin!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful Banner Tutorial

I recently had a "Craft Night with Friends" and made this "thankful" banner.

I got inspiration for my banner over at the "Centsational Girl" blog. Here's a pic of her cute creation...

I recreated my version of this banner all with supplies from Hobby Lobby - and all were half-price or 40% off, mind you ;-) ...

~ Cardboard (found in the clearance section)

~ Artificial leaves (found in the Thanksgiving/Fall section. These leaves are actually quite beautiful and realistic - not the "fake", "cheap-looking" kind)

~ Scrapbook paper

~ Mod Podge

~ Foam brush

~ Jute

~ Ribbon

~ Pumpkin & leaves picks (for the end pieces of the banner)

~ Duck Tape

~ Glue

~ Scissors


1. This first step really made my brain hurt - way too much thinking involved ;-)  I do not have a die-cut machine (which I would really, really love to receive as a Christmas gift from my family - hint, hint. Just sayin'). So I found a letter font that I liked in my Print Artist software that I've been using for ages now (hint, hint - could use an updated version of scrapbooking software. Ha! Who knew I'd get in my Christmas Wish List on this post, too?!) The part that hurt my brain was figuring out the pattern to spell out "thankful" using brown & orange paper, putting 2 letters p/page to save paper, then printing it in reverse on the backside so it wouldn't show through on the colored side...

2. Whew! After that step, I cut the letters out then set them to the side.

3. I decided on a pattern for the background of the letters and cut those into panels (mine were about 7" x 10" - large enough for the letters to fit on and still have the background showing).

4. I also cut the cardboard into panels a little thinner and several inches shorter than my scrapbook paper. (You'll see why in Step # 7.)

5. With a foam brush, I put Mod Podge all over a cardboard panel then placed it on the lower part of a scrapbook paper panel. I did this to all my panels and allowed them to dry before moving on to the next step.

6. After making sure my panels were in my chosen pattern, I Mod Podged the letters in order. I did this by putting the Mod Podge on the back of the letters first, then I pressed them onto the tops of the scrapbook paper, making sure to smooth them down firmly but gently. I then top-coated it with another layer of Mod Podge.

7. After everything was completely dry, I put a thin layer of glue along the upper part of the backside of the first panel. I pulled out a long strand of jute, leaving about 8 inches at the beginning. Then I placed the jute at the point where the cardboard and paper meet (on the backside) then folded the paper over and pressed it down firmly. The glue holds the letter in place on the jute.

8. I then added my first leaf, wrapping the stem around the jute and making a little "swirly" at the end. I also added a little ribbon strip tied to the leaf stem. I repeated this process until it spelled out "thankful" - and I am always "thankful" if I can spell out a word in a craft project without misspelling it ;-)

9. I then came upon the dilemma of how to hang my creation and I chose - what else?! Duck Tape! I simply Duck Taped the ends (I left another 8 inches of jute after the last letter) to the top of shelves I have hanging over my kitchen window.

10. Last step was to tuck in the pumpkin & leaves picks on the ends and voila! My finished project...

It was really simple and fun to make and brain surgery was not even involved. You can totally make this so get out your supplies and get crafting! ;-)