Fun Friday- The Week in Review

I went to the gym this morning and on my way home I stopped by a produce stand that I’ve driven by for the last 5-ish years. I had some cash in my wallet (which is rare) so I thought I’d check out some produce and support a local business. I didn’t buy any peaches but I did buy a cantaloupe that smelled like a flower- it’s the first cantaloupe I’ve ever purchased. I’ve never been a big fan of them but it smelled too good to pass up.  My thought is that if it smells like fruit it will probably taste like fruit.

Unfortunately none of the people at the stand were very friendly. At first I thought that maybe they were just hot- that’s enough to make me grumpy. Maybe the man sitting inside didn’t feel very well or maybe he’d gotten into a fight with his wife. Maybe he’s tired of the produce business and would rather be fishing. I suppose I won’t write them off just yet. There is another stand close to the city cemetery downtown though and I think I’ll drop by there next time.

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This is my very first sunflower bloom for this year. It’s a different variety than I’ve grown before and being the forgetful one that I am, I didn’t set the flowers in the ground according to size. So, I’m not sure if it’s stunted do to the heat, if I screwed it up by starting it in a pot, or if this variety is supposed to be this short- it’s 2-3 ft tall. The next time I try something new I’ll try to have less variables. Except the forgetful thing…there’s not much I can do about that.

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We spent the Fourth at the Nashville Zoo and well, it was hot. I know you’re all surprised. It was the only day though that all of the Buttons could be there at the same time. We got there just before the gates opened hoping to beat the heat and it helped for a while. The big bonus was getting to see some animals active that I’ve only seen lying around- like the Red River Hogs.They’re still ugly but we got to see them walk around.

And I got a picture with all of my girls. It’s the first time in a long time and the little ones have grown so much. Chloe is starting to get mistaken for me sometimes. We’re starting to hear, “Girl, you look just like your mama!” She hit 11 and we’re shopping in the kids section and the Junior section. Crazy!

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And now I bid you adieu.

Have a Great Weekend!

Amy

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Spring Break!

Last week the girls and I were in Birmingham to visit my parents. Since Travis just started his job we were without the luxury of vacation time so he couldn’t go with us. It’s been such a long time since he’s been without vacation time that I had forgotten how spoiled we are by that. And since my mini van is making a funny noise, we took Trav’s car. Which meant that Daisy had to stay behind too. She’s a sweet, 55 pound, up-in-your-face, nervous-in-the-car sort of dog and doesn’t fit well in a normal car. I guess as long as we have kids and a dog I will be driving a mini van. I suppose I should give up on my dream of ever being cool again (wink).

So, Birmingham. Have you ever been there? It’s a city that I’ve visited since I was a kid because my grandparents moved there from Bradenton, FL. Which was the only time I ever lived within two hours of my grandparents. Our family was pretty spread out across the country all the way from central Florida to Seattle and several places in between. And though I hate that we’re so far away from most of our family- almost all of our relatives are in Florida- I’m thankful that my parents only live 3 hours away. Since I’m familiar with the Birmingham area I’m able to visit my favorite places on sort of a rotating basis. During this visit we visited, Bass Pro Shop in Leeds, because we always drag my Dad along on shopping trips and I like to look at the fish in the aquarium. Then we hit a new outdoor mall. Unfortunately I forgot my camera.

The big excursion for the week was to Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Try saying that 5 times fast. I’ve visited this park since I was a kid and the emphasis on the ironworks seems to be a recent development. We have always called it “Tannehill”. They’ve also started charging for their ironworks museum. It’s inexpensive but I wasn’t too keen on paying for something that used to be free. Plus, it wasn’t really something I thought was worth paying for. Once we got there though it was evident that they’d updated some things and was well worth the $4 admission fee.

This 2,000 pound hunk of brown iron ore was a new addition.

When we walked into the museum my Dad immediately went to the counter to pay-because it’s a race to the wallet when we’re together- and I was distracted. I’m not sure what he said to the lady at the counter but she let out a loud, “Well praise the Lord!” Which immediately made me smile and my Dad smirk. If you don’t know my Dad you wouldn’t know he’s a big prankster but he is. He immediately started asking her something along the lines of, “Are you one of those crazy Christian people?” So I rescued her and told her where my Dad went to church. Then she joined in the teasing. When I was a kid I was mortified by that kind of thing. I was also mortified when he would do his gorilla run through Disney World- if you’ve ever seen a gorilla run through a jungle that’s what it looked like. And also when he’d buy Bubba Teeth at a mall and then run up behind my Mom and kiss her neck and make her scream- loudly and in public. Ah, memories.

Halle loved this black and white scene. She pretended that she was about to get crushed by a horse drawn buggy.

Then she jumped out of the way!

Then she was going to be crushed by a giant log. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Chloe has hit the, “Please don’t take my picture” phase. Sad. Which would make her the complete opposite of Amanda. She never, ever hit that stage.

I got her to pose for a few photos though. Like this one in front of a saltpeter pot. She asked if there was also a pepperpeter pot. That girl is so much like her Dad.

We also found a mining car…which made us think of Mario Kart.

I was really trying to keep them interested. Unfortunately they’re just not as interested in reading everything like I am. So we headed out to the park to see everything else.  Unfortunately the train that goes around the park wasn’t running. We found an old mill and bubbling spring and saved a turtle though so the train wasn’t missed that much.

Spring water is *cold*!

 

If you’re ever in the Birmingham area and want to do something other than shop it would be worth your while to go to Tannehill. If you can’t tell, I just love this park.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting about the Upcycled Cans I’ve finished and if you’re posting about them too (since I’m too technologically challenged to set up a link party) just link up to it in the comments section.

Why I Homeschool

For every parent that decides to homeschool there has to be a why? Travis and I have 3 daughters, Amanda, Chloe, and Halle. Amanda went through traditional school, private and public, and did well. She graduated valedictorian of her class and now she’s in college. Chloe did well in kindergarten, loved her teacher and would rather have been in school than anywhere else. Then things sort of fell apart when she went into first grade. For the next 3 years she cried nearly every morning when she had to get up for school. She was stressed, she had stomach aches and she was exhausted. She never felt like her teachers were patient with her and crying in class happened a few times. As a parent it was hard to watch her struggle so much. My bubbly, outgoing girl that reminded everyone of Shirley Temple was miserable. I also wanted more time with her. She was gone for most of the day and then we spent most of the evening doing homework. She fell asleep at the table one night while “rainbow writing” her spelling words 3 times-every single letter in a different color. Our difference of opinion over creation vs. evolution was a factor that pushed us over the edge and we decided that even though Chloe was in the best school in our district, one that many a parent had applied to get their child into with dozens on a waiting list, we were going to homeschool.

I was nervous. What if I ruined her? What if I ruined, Halle who was just starting kindergarten? What if I couldn’t teach Halle to read and she was in kindergarten forever? How would I pick curriculum? Could I do this or would I end up sobbing in a corner somewhere while Travis enrolled the kids in public school?

As it turns out I did pick curriculum, Halle is reading, Chloe is happy and I never ended up sobbing in a corner or anywhere else for that matter.

How? I did a lot of reading and researching and picked a curriculum that has every day planned out for me. I knew that planning is a weakness for me so I decided to not use school as an opportunity to change that about myself. I saved myself a lot of frustration that way. I also hate math. So I found a program that would let Chloe do it on the computer rather than set us up for failure by trying to teach it myself. I also avoided chat rooms and forums because I know I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when presented with too much information. Plus I didn’t want to feel inadequate because I saw what all the other homeschool parents were doing that I wasn’t.

I also made adjustments when I realized that Chloe needed something different. Last year we homeschooled exclusively and this year Chloe is at a homeschool academy that meets two days a week. She gets instruction for all of her subjects except math and we do assigned work on the days she’s not in class. She needed to have interaction with other kids and enjoys being in a class two days a week and I enjoy not having to answer the, “do I have to do that?” question every day.

Halle is still at home full-time and loves it.

I love the sleepy-head looking through a book…we love doing school in pj’s.

Amanda comes home for breaks from school…and went with her sis to get her ears pierced.

This is my sweet, Chloe…and she’s happy…at school and because she got her ears pierced.

And now you’ve met the Button girls…except for me…hmmm…

There I am. I’m usually behind the camera rather than in front of it so I don’t have a plethora of pictures to choose from. Let’s see…did I forget anyone?

Oh, Travis….he hates having his picture taken. Why is he sitting on a fire engine? Our local station was having a Christmas with Santa event so we took the kids. It was the best.thing.ever.

He supports this whole operation and occasionally explains math concepts so that Chloe can understand them.

And who’s this?

This is Daisy. She doesn’t help me homeschool at all and sometimes she’s a big distraction. She’s cute though, with her big doggy smile, so we keep her around.

And that, in a slightly long nutshell, is why we do what we do.