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Stuff we like

*Tarikua is feeling much, much better and is becoming quite adept at doing life one-handed.  She gets a new, short cast (elbow to wrist) on Monday and rumor has it that it might be waterproof. (Fingers crossed.)


*Iris loves to walk around wearing a swim cap.  It makes me laugh every time.


Oh yeah!  Girl's got style!

*We've been observing birds for homeschool.  We loved this book about backyard bird watching.  (We checked ours out from the library.)

*Have you seen the BBC Series: Planet Earth?  We've been watching (renting) the series and watching it as a family. The videography is incredible and the series is fascinating.  But be warned: there are some pretty intense scenes which show nature at its cruelest.   When Jude saw a wolf eat a baby caribou, he was incredulous.  I thought you said this was appropriate for kids?!  We did fast forward through a few scenes.

*These colored pencils are so amazing.  My kids love them and so do I!  Even my niece who's an art student commented on how smooth they are when she was staying with us back in May.  And they last f o r e v e r.

Tarikua likes to keep a colored pencil behind her ear, which I think is just about the cutest thing ever.


This book on drawing is so cute.

* We're raising four black swallowtail caterpillars.  About five year ago, a friend told me that if you plant parsley, you're nearly guaranteed black swallowtail caterpillars.  So far that's been true for us every year.  Indigo watched the mother butterfly lay an egg on the leaf and then checked daily for a caterpillar.  She brought in these four when they were so tiny they were hard to see.  It's unbelievable how roly-poly they get, and how much they eat!  (Thus this book.)



The caterpillars all formed their chrysalises, so hopefully we'll have four butterflies very soon!


  1. We have a friend who does the same thing with caterpillars in her back yard. Each year she is so kind to share a few caterpillars with us to watch their transformation!

    1. Teresa, are they black swallowtails as well? It's so much fun, isn't it? It's just as exciting every time, maybe even more so as you become more familiar with them and know what to expect. This time, the kids would say, "Look mom, they're getting into the position that means they're going to form their chrysalis soon!". Then they would eagerly check back to see if we could catch them in transformation. So far, we've always found the chrysalis in the morning.

  2. You are the 2nd one in a week to comment on those pencils...would you say they are a must w homeschooling? We draw often...regular old crayola! :) but, the other post I read raved about the prismacolor too. As for school...have you started your formal curriculum yet or are these just some extra fun projects to keep you through summer? P.s. amazon has had the complete planet earth series for 20 bucks at one was a christmas gift a few years ago! I love to use them w the kids...

    1. Hi Shannon! I guess I would say it depends on your kids and how much they enjoy coloring/drawing. Our first set came with our Oak Meadow art kit. The kit also included beeswax crayons and beewax block crayons. I personally did not like the fat beeswax crayons and they were much too big for Indigo to color with comfortably, using the detail she likes to add to her pictures. I've heard so much about beeswax crayons, but, to be honest, I was just kind of - meh! about them and Indigo didn't like them at all. Apparently, in terms of the beeswax block crayons, there is a special technique to it but we haven't learned that technique yet.
      The colored pencils, though, are another story. We liked them so much and they were so coveted that I ordered another set (the first only had 12, I believe). We all love them so much. All three of the big kids love to use them and much prefer them to crayons now. We have had crayola and melissa & doug colored pencils in the past and they never enjoyed coloring with them. I'm not much of a draw-er but I just loved these colored pencils. You can layer them over one another. Because they are pricey compared to crayola, I wanted to be sure the excitement didn't wane before recommending them here. But my kids have been using them since May (Indigo every day!) and they still love them. Also, I've had to use an electric pencil sharpener to sharpen them because I keep forgetting to pick up a hand held one and they have still lasted forever. They are not even halfway used up and, we use them every day!
      Yes, we are now almost done with 5 weeks of homeschool already. We decided to do a test run this summer being it's so hot here in Texas, it really limits what we can do outside. And we also wanted to be sure it worked for everyone before 100% committing to it. So far, it has been great and much more doable than I was expecting. And lots of fun, too! :)

  3. Replies
    1. hey rachel! we are almost done with 5 weeks of homeschool already! it has been so awesome! thank you so much for all of your help getting us started. we are so thrilled with all of our curriculum choices! they have been a great fit for our family so far!

  4. great pics, again! So glad T is getting her new cast soon. <3

  5. That picture of Iris!! Priceless!

    1. she's so funny! it's a good thing, too, because she's also a b i g handful. :)

  6. Hello! Just followed your little stitch tutorial on how to sew down a quilt border. Thank you for sharing! I am due to havey baby any day now and finishing up his/her quilt. Btw....your children are beautiful! :)

    1. congrats on your baby! i hope my tutorial worked for you! :)
      thanks for the kind words! :)


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