Kenley's 9th Spa Birthday Party

Monday, April 29, 2019

For Kenley's 9th Birthday party she requested a Spa Sleepover party. She invited 3 friends and cousin Bethy. 6 girls is probably the perfect amount for a party because you can actually do activities! 

 I didn't get a picture of the inside, but she requested a Neapolitan cake. 

Marshmallow and Tootsie Roll nail polish treats...

Party Popcorn and Cheese & Crackers...

We used a kiddie pool filled with water beads to make a foot spa... 

They each got to add a bath fizzie... 

They spun the wheel to decide which nail polish color they would use and then Grammy painted their nails... 

Grammy was also there to help apply their avocado and honey face masks before bed... 

The girls also decorated pillowcases... 

In the morning we had a make your own yogurt parfait station and then the girls moms came and picked them up and we all headed to Lake Goodwin Park with our CC group to play in the water!  

Treat bags are always my favorite part! This time we filled flip sequin bins with all kinds of spa goodies... 

Nail polishes, eye masks, face masks, pedicure sets, bath bombs, hair wraps.... 

Kenley loved her spa party! 

Favorite Audio Books

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

We are kind of obsessed with audio books around here. Here are a few of our favorites:

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George starts off the 5 book Castle Glower series that we all love. We love it so much that we have listened to the entire set of books 3 times through and the girls are begging me to make it an "even four". We just love this story and the characters. I really love stories that have close sibling relationships in them. And bonus, the Glower children have a tutor so they are basically homeschooled ;). I think that the first book in this series reads as one book and the last 4 books read together as one story if that makes sense! 
Claire even chose to have a Castle Glower themed birthday party! More on that another day!

We started listening to The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood on the way home from a trip to Ocean Shores and it left us all wondering what the mysterious howling was. I even considered googling the answer because I just wanted to know so badly! This series asks a lot of questions but the answers aren't all wrapped up until the last book! MaryRose Wood's website has some fun activities like discussion guides, sheet music for "All Hail to our Founder Agatha", and a "What's Your Babushkawoo Name" creator. This is a great series for an at home book club, you can discuss the books over Black Forest cake or apple, mustard, and cheese sandwiches! 
*The narrator for the last book of the series is different because the narrator of the first 5 books passed away before the 6th book came out. The narrator for the first 5 books was amazing and the magic was burst a little bit when the narrator for the last book pronounced things such as character names differently. 

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan is a fun book about a "juvenile delinquent" who has burned all of his bridges in the public school, his parents are in jail, and his social worker has given him a last chance. That last chance is to move in with an eccentric homeschool family and begin homeschooling. The girls and I had fun discussing the differences in the way that we homeschool and the way that the Applewhites homeschool. We had a fun book club dinner about this book that I will post about later! 

Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary is just a classic. I remember getting made fun of in 4th grade for reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8 at school because the cover had a funny picture and therefore some kids made fun of me for reading it. How dumb is that? Anyway, I actually think that Ramona needs quite a bit of discipline and that her parents really drop the ball. But the girls loved listening to the all the situations  Ramona gets herself into, and have yet to complain about me asking them "Should Ramona have done that?" "What do you think about the attitude Beezus had?" "Is Ramona's behavior acceptable?" "How would you like it if your sister treated you like that?" etc. Ramona provides quite an example of character traits that we do not want to cultivate in ourselves. ;) 
Claire likes to re-listen to Ramona during our quiet reading times. 

After Ramona we moved on to the Henry Huggins audio collection which I enjoyed this series a lot more than the Ramona series. Neil Patrick Harris is an amazing narrator and very enjoyable to listen to. Kenley really enjoyed all of the stories that revolved around Ribsy because Ribsy reminds us of my Dad's dog Moxie. 

Today we finished The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. This series has a dystopian vibe to it and a bit of mystery which is always fun. The characters are very well developed and I love how they all demonstrate courage in their own ways! We are now want to learn morse code and we had fun discussing what we would keep in our buckets! Kenley is already asking to be Kate for Halloween and Claire wants to be Constance. 

Our next series will be The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. We listened to the first book in this series before we started the Mysterious Benedict Society and the girls loved listening to the summer adventures of the four Penderwick sisters and their friend Jeffery. The rest of the Penderwicks Audio CD's have finally come up on hold for us at the Library. Today we started The Penderwicks on Gardam Street and I must admit I cried while we listened to the Prologue about the Penderwick sisters saying goodbye to their mother as she died from cancer. Claire just came over to me and asked if we could "go somewhere or just sit in the car" so that we could keep listening to the Penderwicks. I said "no" and then she said "come on, you know I like listening!" :)

You may be wondering how we listen to these audiobooks. We used to have an Audible Subscription but I found that we weren't quite getting as good of a value from that as I would prefer. So we now try to check the audio books out from the library. I will put a hold on both the Audio CD's and the Audio Version available via Overdrive on my phone and that way it usually doesn't take us too long to get our requests! It should be noted that we do live in an area where our library doesn't charge overdue fees so that is quite a blessing! I also have 3 different libraries linked to my Overdrive account and put the requests in at each of those. One of the perks of having moved around a lot! 

Have you read/listened to any of these books? I get a lot of my book recommendations from the Read Aloud Revival Podcast! Based on this sampling of what we like do you have any recommendations for us? The girls are currently 8 and 9! 

Blogging Circa 2010

Friday, April 12, 2019

Do you remember when blogs were less polished, didn't have ads or sponsored posts, and the pictures were often kinda crappy but real? I want to get back to that here on this blog. 

I used to use this space as a bit of a family journal and just a bit of a what's on my mind space. Obviously our life (and our world in general) is much different than it was almost 10 years ago, but I would like to get back to posting and not worrying about if my pictures look professional (they won't) or that my grammar is correct all the time (It for sure won't be). 

So here's to a blog reset! 

Here are some snippets of our school days lately... 

Exploring Cama Beach...