Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bring Shrinky Dinks back into your Life!

Remember Shrinky Dinks?  They are so much fun!  You can buy the Shrink plastic or event the name brand Shrinky Dinks at the craft store.  A few years ago, I made Shrinky Dink snowflakes for a scrapbook page and put the shrink paper away.  I dug it out last night and made the cutest little eggs for my Easter cards!  The kids even love Shrinky Dinks.  They can make key chains and all sorts of things.  Aren't these little eggs so cute?

I used Staz On solvent based in to stamp the egg image and Sharpie permanent markers to color them in.  Cut our and bake 3 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees and presto! I used a standard size hole punch to make some of the eggs into charms, making sure to punch the hole BEFORE baking!

What's in your Garden?

Spring has finally sprung here in North Carolina.  We are ever so thankful!  This past winter was a cold one with lots of snow (for us!).  We just prepared some of our garden containers for planting.  Mixed in compost and some new soil.  Planted seeds we collected last year, too. German pink heirloom tomatoes, eggplants and pumpkins.  Our sugar pie pumpkins were such a success last year, that we planted more this year.  I made soups, muffins and pies from their deliciously sweet flesh.

Our yard is awash with colorful blooms.  Daffodils, some tulips, the Bradford pear tree, the nectarine tree and we hope to see the cherry blossoms soon.   Ours seem to be the last cherry tree to blossom.  I think being "covered" by the hedge of Leyland Cypress trees makes it bloom a bit later.  My grape hyacinths are so cute!

We get so excited about our garden!  The blackberries are really taking off.  This is their third growing season and we hope it will be a good one.  Mint covers a large area and keeps spreading, but the smell is so delightful! Especially in the hot summer when a breeze blows the scent our way.   My lavender is also growing quickly.  I planted it two years ago and it is finally taking off!  Strawberry leaves are just starting to pop up, too.  Can't wait to see it all grow. Spring is finally here. 

The boys want to plant more of the colorful carrot seeds we grew last year.  The colors were quite different and very interesting.  We'll have to fix another container for those, though.  I am sure in teh upcoming weeks we will be planting more seeds.  We never know what will be in our garden.  We just plnt what excites us at the moment.

I can;t forget my roses!  I have already pruned them (a few months ago) and last week I sprinkled Epsm salt at their bases.  Next step is to start using the special beer fertilizer I mix up.  It is the only reasonI purchase beer!  Beer for my roses.  I could make that into a country song. 

I keep talling myself that I am going to be better about blogging our homeschool activities.  Time just slips away.  I did post some cute pictures of a few cards I made for the kids at the hospital. Check them out at: Pattie's Cards  I really love the ministry of sending cards to kids that are in the hospital and even have some help from fellow homeschoolers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Life is always Crazy!

HappySt. Patrick's Day! This is Sean's patron saint.  His middle name and the saint he has chosen as his confirmation name.  He has learned a lot about St. Patrick this past year.  Grandma and Grandpa even sent him a book.  St. Patrick is one of my favorite saints -- I was named after him.  I was only given a 10% chance of living when I was born and was baptized soon after I came into the world.  My dad forgot what I was to be named and the priest offered information about St. Patrick and thus I was named. 

Remember Henry, our rabbit? He has a lot of health issues.  Last week he ended up needing surgery again.  Joseph and I laughed when we brought him to the vet earlier for a hematoma in his ear and hte vets said, "I've seen this in dogs, I've seen this in cats, but in fifteen years, I have never seen this in a rabbit and I have seen a lot of rabbits."  Only Henry.  The vet drained his ear two days in a row thinking that it might heal.  I drianed his ear (I have all the proper tools thanks to our 'medical life')  It just got worse..... so he had surgery on Wednesday and guess what?  His ear is worse than ever!  Some days, you just have to laugh.  God has a sense of humor, that is for sure.

Sean competed at the District piano competition and received a superior rating.  He now gets to go to the state competiton in a few weeks.  He'll play the same three pieces he played at district. 

In the last few weeks, we have been trying to adjust to the new "dead fish pills" and increased in dose of other medications.  The boys levels came back and we've had to increase a few things so that we can hopefully get them in the target range. Also been trying to find an alternative to the dead fish pills... an unflavored liquid.  Of course, most pharmacies get it in cherry and the boys, well, they would prefer no flavor!  I am still learning about Mitochondrial disease.  I hope to get to a conference at some point.  I often wonder if I should just leave it and not worry about learning, but I know me and I have to know the ins and outs of it all. 

The Bone Marrow Failure Disease Symposium was great.  Dr. Harris did a great job speaking.  I had fun outside the conference, too.  Hubby's aunt brought me to a wonderful stamping store that is sure to be a "must visit" every time we are up there in the DC area.  The Queen's Ink is just so wonderful and the owner (who happens to be a Patti) is VERY nice!  We had been looking for a camel stamp for several years and could never find many to choose from, much less one that was large enough to be the centerpiece of a special card.  She looked in one of her suppliers websites and found the perfect one. 

You'd think finding a camel rubber stamp would be easy, but trust me, it just isn't.  Lions, tigers, bears, oh my .... you can find those.  Elephants are everywhere.... but camels, not so much!  Not even at Christmas. 

As we plod along in school (M will e going year-round--high school is difficult to keep up with when we travel to hospitals and have so much going on in the medical area) we are preparing for another fun Around the World Night.  Over the last 4 years, we have really come to love thsi special night with special homeschooling friends.  It is a lot of fun!  The boys have each picked a country.  Mexico, Bahamas and Brazil -- 

In a few weeks, the boys will perform in the play they have been working all year on.  The original Cheaper by the Dozen.  It is going to be a great piece of work.  They are already trying to decie what they will do next year! 

Baseball is starting soon for Sean.  He is really excited.  The ball fields won't be ready this weekend, so they have put the evals off until April sometime.  We are also working with friends to kick off a new homeschool baseball team.  Check out the Triad Blue Jays website.  We are so excited to be working with wonderful families to get this team off the ground.  Of course Dave is the driving force and real work behind it.  We just man the stations and warm the benches. Sean has been practicing when weather will allow and also using his Christmas gift of private lessons (4 total) to get ready for the upcoming High Point Pony League season in preparation for his Freshman Year of baseball!  Hard to believe that next year I will have two kids in high school.... and the following year, all three will be in high school!  OH MY!  What happened to my babies?

Each and every year has brought so many blessings and we have enjoyed homeschooling.... even with the ups and downs of daly life!