Happy 10th Anniversary to me

At about this time 10 years ago today I was getting married.  That is, if I’ve remembered the time of my wedding correctly.  I think I am.

Ticia and Chad

My brother Chad gave me away.  My Dad had died about a month earlier from cirrhosis, or as my kids call it bad roses.  It’s a little hard to explain to a 3 year old, which is when they first figured out there was no Granddad to go with Mimi.


ticia and mom in dressing room

I mostly remember everyone trying to stuff food into me as we got ready, because everyone was sure I was going to pass out from low blood sugar.  At the same time they were paranoid about anything getting on my dress or messing up my make up.  It made for some interesting attempts to eat.


TC wedding party

It was kind of funny to look at the picture of my family.  It’s changed so much since this picture.  My brother Chad and his wife had a baby boy about two months before my twins were born.  They had another boy a little after Princess (if I’m remembering the timing right).  My brother Sean just had his first baby with his wife about a month or so ago.  A boy.  Poor Princess is the only girl grandbaby on my side of the family.


Another side note.  My train is called a “cathedral length train,” Jeff says that is incorrect because it was not the entire length of the church, so it is not cathedral length.  His theory is it should have been on a runner and unrolled as I walked down the aisle.  Then we could just walk back up it.  I thought the dress I got was hard enough to walk in, never mind his idea.



We had swing dancing at our wedding.  According to my version of how Jeff and I met, we met at a swing dance our church hosted in the same gym our reception was in.  Sigh, I don’t think I’d fit in that dress now.


TC SC roses

That’s probably a good thing.  I was rather underweight from the stress of my first year teaching, and my Dad being sick, and various other stuff.  I needed to gain some weight, I’d prefer to lose 5 pounds of vanity weight now, but otherwise I’m at a much healthier weight now.


TC Jeff

My computer crashed a few years ago, so on my computer I mainly have the pictures my Mom emailed me that were her favorites that she has.  I’ve got hard copies of all of them in my wedding album, and I plan on spending some time with Jeff tonight looking through it and my honeymoon pictures.



Pretend these are pictures from our honeymoon, and not from the trip we just took to celebrate our anniversary.  Those were all on film, and are quite nicely stored in a scrapbook.  Jeff completely spoiled me and we went to London.  We saw “Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Globe (PUCK!*  A thoroughly awesome production with an awesome Puck!).  We went to the British Museum almost everyday.  We saw the Peter Pan statue.  We went to a book store that was an ENTIRE CITY BLOCK and 5 STORIES HIGH!  When we returned our suitcases were stuffed to the gills with books and clothes.  We had to bring clothes back because it would have been rather silly to leave them there.  It barely all fit in the suitcases.


** Completely unrelated story, but I’ve found my new current favorite book series that has Puck as one of its main characters.  Any time you can throw fairies into a story, you can almost guarantee it’s good.  Almost, if it’s not then Jeff gets to hear me complain for a very long time.

Like Mother, like child


My kids set up the toys for small group a few days ago.  This is what they did.  They stacked two tables on top of each other and then created these homes for their dollies.


Why did I title this “like Mother, like child?”  Because Jeff went upstairs saw this and came down saying that.


See, back when Jeff and I were dating I had a BRILLIANT idea!  I mean BRILLIANT.  I was going to take my twin sized bed, and put it on top of a bookcase, and then two pillar bookcases.  The only problem is those pillar bookcases were rather shaky MDF, and the other bookcase was some plywood, that had been through a few too many moves.  Oh, and there’s a good chance they weren’t all the same size.


But, I was still sure this was a BRILLIANT idea, until Jeff started talking.  Then he pointed out the not so brilliant parts of this.  The shakiness of the bookshelves, the likelihood of collapse and a few other things.


I guess I’m a bit more introspective with my 10 year anniversary coming up.  This makes me think of two things:


One, how much of our kids behavior is nature and how much is nurture?  As far as I know my kids never heard that story, or any of my other BRILLIANT home decoration ideas.  Yet they came up with similar ideas.  There are many things I can see of me in my kids.  Phrasing and ways they talk, but there’s some things I have no clue where it came from.  Princess actually cares about clothes, she’s very picky about them and she LIKES clothes shopping.


The other thing it got me to thinking about, is how well Jeff was designed for me.  He provides a push when I need it, which isn’t often, but mostly he is the brakes.  See I come up with a lot of BRILLIANT ideas.  A LOT.  Thankfully, Jeff is around to tell me when that isn’t the best use of my time or talents.


Some things Jeff has stopped me from doing: volunteering to sew an entire bridal party of clothes, volunteering to lead several different ministries, volunteering to watch extra kids, and volunteering to do all sorts of things.


All right, my random introspection is over, and now I’m going to work on some Sunday school stuff.

Little known secret

There’s a great hiding space in my front yard.


But grown ups can’t fit in.  Princess told me.



She told me I was too big, “but it’s very cool under there Mommy.”



Overgrown bushes means you can get shots like this.  They’re standing on top of an electrical box.  Every year of so the power company comes and rips out that front bush.  You know, the one that’s about 3 feet tall right now.  As compared to the 7 feet the rest of the bushes are.



There are multiple entrances and exits.  This makes it easier for escaping when playing hide and seek or tag.



After a successful escape you must dance.  And twirl. Don’t forget the twirling.

11 on the 11th

I actually, don’t think it’s the 11th now.  I think it’s the 13th…….  I kinda got busy hanging out with Princess and doing other stuff all day……..  Or maybe I’m gonna hit publish on the 14th……..


I have been tagged by Phyllis of All Things Beautiful…

The Rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random facts about you.
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.

4. Create 11 new questions and tag new people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged.


11 Random Facts:

1. I’m hypoglycemic, which means I really shouldn’t have too much sugar, and I NEED to eat often, and a lot more than you would think.

2.  I love cotton candy, this is a problem, see #1.  When Jeff and I were first married we went to a baseball game and I ate a whole thing of cotton candy.  I couldn’t walk straight out of there and couldn’t see straight afterwards.  I act like I’m really drunk when I eat too much sugary stuff.

3.  I love s’mores and fudge, and chocolate fondue.

4.  I lose things, a lot.  For the first several years I had glasses, it was a toss up if I could find them.

5.  I also forget if I don’t have glasses on and try to push my glasses up.  Jeff teases me about this, mainly because my Mom does the same thing about her reading glasses.

6.  I hate cleaning the bathrooms.  As soon as I think the kids will be able to, I am turning that over to them.  I will pay them well to do that job.

7.  I love to dance, especially swing dancing.  Sadly the main place to go swing dancing is on the same night as our small group for church.

8.  I’m writing a children’s Bible/Bible study right now.  I’m up to 1 Samuel.  By the end of the year I’ll probably be through 2 Chronicles.  At some point I want to publish it, but have no clue how to do this.

9.  I have gone through 4 violet Prismacolor pencils in the past year.  I accidentally colored two major characters in that color, between the two of them they are in at least 20 stories.

10.  I currently have at least 20 books in my bedroom.  Okay, I’m wrong, if you count the stash of graphic novels and comic books it’s over 100.  I think I have 30 comics in my nightstand.

11.  I love Batman comics.  I am slowly but surely collecting all the Batman trades, and am not so slowly collecting all of the Nightwing ones.  Bonus point if you know who Nightwing is without googling him.

Phyllis’s Questions

1. What is your favorite blog post you have made?

These are hard questions, and I’m only on #1.  My favorite is not the most viewed or probably one any of you remember.  I thought long and hard about this, but every time I stop to think about it, my favorite was my post about my friend Sam.  He died over 2 years ago and I still miss him.  I had a whole long list of other ones I thought about putting up, but this was the first one to come to my mind.

2. Do you have a blog post that affected you, made you think, changed you in some way? Include what blog you saw it on, and a link, if you can.

Hmmmm…….. I cheated and check out what the answer was over at Almost Unschoolers and she had a good one, but the problem is I can’t think of one.  None that I just went, that’s the one!  I’m more of a holistic person in some things, so I think I’m gonna choose these types of posts that got me thinking about Bible story telling: Godly Play Creation and Creation story box.  There was a whole slew of them in that genre about a year or so ago that got me to thinking……..

3. Have you ever met in real life anyone that you knew through their blog?

Sigh, no.  I almost have twice, but things fell through.  There’s a group of Austin bloggers who are talking about getting together in June sometime.

4. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?

History, I love history, it’s fun to make it come alive.

5. What is your least favorite subject to teach? Why?

Ironically enough, reading.  I love to read, but teaching my kids reading is like pulling teeth sometimes.

6. What type would you say your teaching style falls under? It can be more than one.

Eclectic?  Which is a cop out, because it’s a bunch in one.  I like the idea of Classical, but one of the big components of it is narration, and I’ve figured out that just doesn’t work for us.  So……….  We go through the history cycle of it and I agree with their theories on kids’ abilities to learn, but I’m very hands on.  I like to do and go, which doesn’t seem as present in classical.  I wrote a long babbling post about my teaching style a few years ago.

7. Is there some project in your homeschool that you would like to do, but haven’t been able to do it yet? Why do you want to do it and why haven’t you been able?

Hmmm………  I’m sure there is, and I’ll probably think about it as soon as I hit publish, but most things I haven’t done yet are because we haven’t covered the topic yet, or because it’s not age appropriate.  Though I do have a mystery I want to do with my kids, that I just need to clear the time for……

8. What do you consider the most important goal for your school?

To turn out kids who are life-long learners and are running hard after Christ.  I want them to be able to excel in society.  I want my boys to be leaders and gentlemen.  I want my daughter to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  I want to be that woman.

9. What is the favorite blog post (you have written) of your readers? Were you surprised?

My Phonics Reading Game, followed up by How to Make a Rapunzel Dress from scratch.  The phonics game does because It was a silly little thing, but the Rapunzel one doesn’t because it’s one of my most pinned posts.

10. What is something you have since learned that you wish you knew when you started homeschooling?

Get your hands on the curriculum and look at it in person with lots of time to look at it.  The two things I got that didn’t work for us were because I got into a “I must get this now,” and was sure it would work.  If I’d stopped and looked at them more thoroughly I would have seen where it wouldn’t have worked.  Or, I’d like to think so.  Either way, my philosophy now is to only buy things I have looked through myself.

11. Is there a blog that shows a homeschool that you are striving to be more like? What do you admire about their homeschool?

Hmmmm…….  I’d have to say Phyllis’ blog All Things Beautiful and Leah’s with Almost Unschoolers.  Both of them do a wonderful job of constantly bringing in hands on ways to teach.  I’ve used so many ideas from both of their blogs.


My Questions


1.  How did you meet your husband or fiancee (since I’m going to tag a friend who’s engaged)?

2.  What is the hardest thing about being a parent?

3.  Are any of your children just like you?  I swear at times Princess is a carbon copy and there are times Batman is really similar too. 

4.  What was your favorite subject as a kid?  If you’re homeschooling or teaching, is that your favorite subject to teach?

5.  When you travel what is the one thing you have to have or do?  I love to stop at Visitor’s Centers for different states.

6.  What one food do you absolutely love?  I must be hungry, because I swear I don’t think about food all the time.

7.  What type of books do you tend to read?

8.  What book were you required to read in school that you absolutely hated? cough Charles Dickens cough cough

9.  What is your favorite play by William Shakespeare?

10.  What book or play have you seen made into a really good movie?  Other than their butchering Puck’s monologues there was a great rendition of Midsummer Night’s Dream about 10 years ago.  I only had to be mildly restrained when they butchered it……

11.If practicality was not a problem, what kind of pet would you have?


Now who shall I tag…….  Many of the people I thought of had already been tagged and answered or are going to answer soon if they’re so inclined……….


I think I’ll tag:


Christy from Snacks and Stories

MaryAnne from Mama Smiles


And I’m honestly now drawing a blank on people who I read and comment on regularly who participate in these types of things who haven’t been tagged yet.  Oh wait, I was gonna tag my college roommate:

Dannie over at It’s You and Me Kid!


And if you like these types of things and you haven’t been tagged by someone yet, consider yourself tagged, let me know you’re answering and I’ll be sure to read it and comment with ridiculous comments.

Alabama: Last Mule of Gee Bend


I learned something with this particular book, actually there are a couple of books about Gee’s Bend by this author/illustrator, but still I learned from them.


I learned there were many ways people were affected by the Civil Rights movements and how they worked to change how life was.


In Gee’s Bend they sewed quilts to support themselves after they lost their jobs for participating in the Civil Right movement.  That was the first book in the series, but I knew my mostly boys group wouldn’t want to hear about sewing.


022So, we went with the mules from there, they became known for standing up and being stubborn and when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, those mules pulled his coffin for the funeral procession.


I wanted something 3-D, since I saw Glittering Muffins’ Sweden craft, this had been on my mind.


I did a Google search and found a picture of a donkey I liked, then mirror imaged it.  The kids happily colored it and then cut it out and glued them onto clothes pins to be able to stand, or that was the theory……..


The only one that actually happened with was the one I glued for Princess, otherwise…..

Building forts

My children have become quite the expert at building forts.  While I was laying downstairs yesterday and feeling icky and sorry for myself and burning through the book I decided to read, they were busy.


They eventually had every blanket, pillow, and dollie up in that fort.  Then they spent the remainder of the morning, when I wasn’t pulling kids to read or do school, playing in it.

The kids took over my computer

So, instead of posting about what we’ve been doing or finishing off Alabama (because I apparently only took pictures of 2 activities), I’m gonna put up some favorite pictures from my trip.


Splashing in puddles.


Making faces.


And more faces.


Now, I think I’m going to go curl up somewhere with a good book for a few minutes.  It’s one of those days where I’m gonna be running slow.

Alabama: Helen Keller

When I was growing up I was absolutely fascinated by Helen Keller.  She showed such amazing strength of character and will power.  I can probably trace my fascination with sign language back to then.  I read a biography about her in 4th grade and taught myself how to finger spell.  In high school I read her autobiography, fascinating book.


But I digress


We read the picture book of Helen Keller, which like other books in the series, gives a nice concise timeline of her life and why she is important.


Afterwards we talked about the challenges of being blind and having to have someone lead you around, and how hard it must have been to not be able to tell what you want for so long.



Then we wrote our names out in Braille, which took tremendous concentration.


One of the things that tickled me about this lesson was during our trip the kids kept trying to imitate Helen Keller and the signs she used for her parents and for bread during the trip.  I guess it made a fairly deep impact.

My kids amuse me

We’re in the process of driving back and I have a lot of pictures to go through, but I wanted to share these which cracked me up from the kids visit to a salad bar:


Superman created a salad about 6 inches high, of cheese, lettuce, and the equivalent of a can of olives.  He actually ate a fair amount of that.



Princess got exactly 3 slices of cucumbers, 3 pieces of pineapple, and 2 scoops of cheese.  It was only two because I wouldn’t let her get 3.


Batman got a fairly normal salad and then proceeded to drown it in about a cup of ranch dressing.


I love my kids, they make me laugh almost every day.