Monday, September 27, 2010

Nature Blog Journal

I love insects, spiders, animals, birds, trees, flowers, plants, pretty much everything nature related! The other day the kids and I saw a huge spider climbing up towards Brittany's room.  It went really fast and I didn't get any pictures. Today the big girl came down to visit.  In fact, she repeatedly went up and down her web. It was like she was coming down to have her picture taken.  I got some good ones.

After researching, I think I have determined she is a Labyrinthe Orb Weaver Spider. She was about the size of a 50 cent piece. Yes, HUGE!!  She was just in the beginning of making her web, so I wasn't able to check it out.  Apparently they usually spin their web overnight.  I think this is true because we have seen several of these critters early in the morning in elaborate webs. We used to have one right outside our back door.

Last week Emily came running to me to tell me that a bug was stuck in the screen of the back door. I asked her what kind and she asked for my phone to take a picture.  Here is what she brought me:

Can you guess what it is? My favorite insect!! The praying mantis! Our screen on the back door already had a large hole in it so I used scissors and cut it off and got the poor mantis out of there. I took him over to a tree but he didn't want to get off on the first one. After I took him to another tree he jumped right onto it and then flew off. Yes, he flew. My mom didn't know Praying Mantis's could fly but I researched it and they do fly. This one was also brown, rather than green. I had never seen a brown praying mantis. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of him once he was free.

The day after we saw the praying mantis, we found a katydid while geocaching. Brittany got a picture of it and then we took it to a tree so it wasn't stuck in the middle of a business complex anymore.

Soon after that, on the same geocaching trip, we saw the smallest butterfly we had ever seen!

It was a pretty red and yellow!

In Tahlequah Ethan found a turtle on the ground.  He loves turtles and was so much more interested in the turtle than the waterfall!

If I can figure out a way to keep a turtle away from Freckles, our dog, I would get Ethan one! My parents have a ton of turtles....they have been raising them for over 25 years. They are lots of fun and I would love to have one! (I think I would have a zoo if Michael would let me! Good thing God put us together)

The kids found this huge caterpillar outside our door one morning. We enjoyed checking him out and taking pictures of him before he went on his merry way.

As much as I love nature and creatures, it is amazing that we don't all have beautiful nature journals. Alas, I am not good on keeping up on them or getting the kids to keep on them. That is something I want to work on.  A friend of mine just posted this link to the Handbook of Nature Study Blog which I will definitely be checking out! I have the Handbook of Nature Study along with several other wonderful Nature Journal books. I need to pull them all out and get inspired!

As a partially unrelated sidenote, but it's awfully funny, here is a Kaedra story for you:
We call Brittany "Bug" as one of her nicknames.  The other day Kaedra told her "I will not call you Bug because that would make you a creature." Then she walked out of the room and said "goodbye."  It cracked Brittany and I completely up!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We have been geocaching a lot since we moved home. For one thing, I was teaching a class at our co-op to the teenagers about geocaching. It was a lot of fun seeing the kids get excited about geocaching, especially when I was worried they wouldn't enjoy it.

Here are the kids after the first cache they found. It was a "ghost cache" and was a piece of the 9-11 towers.

While I enjoy any kind of geocache, Brittany enjoys the ones inside the city a little more. One afternoon we went and searched for 5 in Broken Arrow. We found 4 out of the 5.

The second time we were out with the teens, we found a cache that was actually a bus in the woods! I think it was the coolest find we have made, even if it did have a bit of poison ivy involved.

I even got one of my friends really interested in geocaching and she has taken to geocaching without even having a gps! We plan to go together soon. 

Looking forward to many more geocaching experiences to come!
If you are interested in knowing more about geocaching, check out
Enhanced by Zemanta

The sweetest heart I have ever known

I am blessed by all of my children. They are all unique and wonderful and a treasure to my heart. They each have such different traits and strengths. It is amazing to me to see how each of these little blessings has been created in a specific and wondrous way with a particular and peculiar plan, just for them.

My oldest, Brittany, has the sweetest heart I have ever known. She has such a heart for God and her family. She always thinks of others first and helps everyone she meets. She is such an inspiration to watch and to be with. I love being around her and learning from her. It is wonderful to see her growing up to be a beautiful young lady. I can't wait to see everything God has in store for her!

Going to a sweet 16 birthday of her friend

At Switch Youth Group with her friends

At a picnic with more friends

At the Illinois river in Tahlequah with Emily. Her siblings all adore her and fight to cuddle with her. She gets hugs and kisses and "I love yous" all day long.

Thank you, Lord, for such a precious gift!!

Michael news

Since I've been sick all week, you would think we had an uneventful week.  Well, we did as far as me and the kids. However, Michael decided to go and have some excitement.  Wednesday night he called from work and said that he was having heart problems.  He wasn't ready to go to the hospital, but wasn't really up to working either. He came home, took his nitro and went to bed.  The next day he called his cardiologist in the morning and got in asap. Although his cardiologist was gone for a family emergency, his PA confirmed he was having some sort of heart problems, probably a blockage. He was already scheduled to have a stress test on the next Wednesday and the PA thought that Michael should wait for the cardiologist to come back to assist any surgery (if his body would cooperate and wait) so he gave Michael two meds to help him get through the week....a nitro to take on a regular basis and some medicine that helps infuse his blood with oxygen so it can travel better. 

The plan right now is to have Michael take the stress test on Wednesday and have a heart cath either the same day or Thursday.  Last time they went in for a heart cath, he ended up having a triple bypass.  Obviously we are praying he doesn't have to have anything done this time!  I ask for you all to join me in praying for Michael and his heart.  Thank you!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I've been sick for 6 days straight as of today.  I haven't gotten out of the house and haven't felt like doing much either.  I knew I needed to eat nutritious and vitamin-full foods.  While talking to my mom, she suggested I make a carrot soup.  Being the obedient daughter I am (haha) I talked the girls into chopping me up some carrots, onions and garlic and boiling them in chicken broth.  When it was all soft, they blended it in our Vitamix with some milk.  It was delicious, but I added some curry to make it even better. :-)  Simple, quick, nutritious and cleared my sinuses!

Today I wanted to have soup again, but wanted to use some fresh spinach.  I microwaved two potatoes until soft, cut them into chunks, threw them in the vitamix with broth, milk, onions, garlic and fresh spinach and pureed it all until smooth.  Just added some salt and lots of pepper and it was delicious.

I have also made a very yummy mushroom soup in the vitamix, as well.  I am really liking fresh soups lately.  Very odd for me, who is not usually a big soup fan.  Looks like I will be making lots of cream of  "insert fresh vegetable here" soups this winter. :-) 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick Overview

Here is a quick overview of the last 6 weeks:

  • Moved back to Broken Arrow
  • Went back to Yukon to clean /repair the house
  • Unboxed the kitchen and bathroom with some friends
  • Went to a movie premiere for our homeschool group
  • Went to the doctor got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia
  • slowly unboxed
  • Took Emily to the dr where she got diagnosed with a bladder infection
  • started Prairie Primer co-op for the younger two girls (weekly on Friday afternoons)
  • started Biology co-op for Brittany (weekly on Friday afternoons)
  • started Kaedra having speech therapy appointments, to learn to eat, twice a week
  • Went to two homeschool parent meetings
  • Went on a nature hike to Oxley
  • Had our former nurse over to visit
  • Brittany started attending a youth group with her friends
  • tried out two churches, decided to stay with one of them (Connection Church)
  • started attending (and teaching) a co-op on Friday mornings
  • started abbreviated school with the kids
  • got my school room unpacked and organized
  • My niece got married
  • family had a week-long sickness
  • Went to a cook out at the new church
  • forgot grandparent's day
  • went to a cook out for our homeschool group
  • forgot my parent's anniversary
  • went on a date with Michael
  • had a week off with Michael
  • unboxed the play room and got is set up
  • went to Tahlequah with the family
  • went geocaching many, many times including every Friday, with my class
  • went to my niece's wedding reception
  • Started full time school with the kids
  • went to a Campfire USA club meeting for the family
  • I got a head cold again and another Fibromyalgia flare-up
For the rest of this week:
  • Campfire meeting tomorrow at Tulsa Historical Society
  • Brittany's youth group
  • Taking Emily back to the doctor because her bladder infection isn't gone
  • Kaedra's appt with speech therapist
  • two co-ops on Friday
  • Bunco on Saturday
  • church on Sunday 
  • another campfire meeting on Monday
  • appointment with rheumatologist on Tuesday to deal with my Fibromyalgia
Is my head spinning around yet? Because I really feel like it is.  I really do. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Photo of the Day

Kaedra enjoying school!!
sent from my Project 365 app

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Introducing Mr. And Mrs. Alberto Alfaro

Yes, my beloved niece Sherria married her beloved Alberto last evening.  They (so sweetly) waited for us to move back up here so we could be part of the festivities.  After the wedding we all went to Olive Garden to have dinner. It was a lovely wedding and we loved being there!  We are so happy to have Alberto as part of the family now and know that these two will have a blessed marriage!

Hipstamatic kids

Turning disappointment into joy: SURFice dog Ricochet

Kaedra showing her lapbook to Ethan