Birthdays and More ~ Collage Friday

We'll be starting school Monday.

I've been a little slack this summer with the television viewing, playing with the iTouch, etc...  I made a promise to myself not to be too on top of the kids this summer.  They are getting older and can be more in charge of their time.

One evening I saw them bringing all of the blocks down from the schoolroom.   They proceeded to build castles and other structures for the Barrel of Monkeys.    Don't you just love old fashioned toys?  


I keep a lot of simple "toys" handy so if my kids are bored they always have something to do.   

See?  I didn't ruin my kids by letting them watch tv and play on the computer.  Did I?  I have to tell you that we've all been enjoying watching back episodes of The Biggest Loser and Cake Boss this summer.    This is something we NEVER do during the school year - huge treat!  

Back to the topic at hand... Collage Friday.   

We now have an 11 year old in the house, so the week was full of birthday fun and just relaxing in general.

I have mentioned before how much she loved the Harry Potter series, and she requested Harry's 11th birthday cake.   It was so much fun to make {it's supposed to look messy, you know - Hagrid made it for Harry}.   The recipe was quite involved, but it was the MOST DELICIOUS chocolate cake I have ever made.  

She was thrilled!   We also had Butter Beer and decorated a little for Hogwarts.   Don't you love the menu she created for the "Three Broomsticks Wizarding Pub"?  

Early in the day on her birthday friends of ours invited us to go swimming and they surprised Anna with cake and ice cream... so it was a fun day for her; two chocolate cakes and two celebrations!   


Anna had been asking for a sewing machine.   Her granddaddy got her a wonderful machine that will last her a long time.    I am not a seamstress at all, so my sister-in-law (who is!) took Anna to her house Wednesday and showed her the basics of her machine and got her sewing a little.    

A couple of years ago Anna sewed a little quilt for a literature fair, so she's no stranger to the sewing machine.   She will be taking some sewing lessons this fall and is quite excited!  

It struck me as she was sewing on Wednesday night that she was fully enjoying life -- she loves to swim and hopped out of the pool to then sew.   While we haven't really started "school", I contend Anna is already in full swing!  

In other news this week, Grant has been hard at work helping me design a LEGO class I'll be teaching in this fall's co op session.  Would you believe there are 212 children registered for our co op??    The class offerings are simply amazing!   

I gave Grant a bucket of LEGO bricks (each child in the class will get their own bucket, with the same bricks) and asked him what he could make out of all the bricks.   He created three different things -- the middle one is his "Hawaiian Car".   I love it.   We are going to have fun!

Grant is also my faithful dog walker.  EVERY MORNING he takes our dog, Gizmo, out for a short walk.   Sometimes I stand at the front door and watch them and it's so cute to hear Grant "chatting" to Gizmo.   

We have also started a new devotion book in the mornings - How God Stopped the Pirates.   I love these short stories with follow up questions and Bible readings.  

I was (and still am) very sidelined by a pulled muscle in my back and shoulder.  It is so bad that I can't really lift anything with my right hand/arm.  I'm hoping it goes away... for now I'm just using a lot of heat, Biofreeze (that stuff is GREAT!) and taking it easy.    That's quite hard when you have a bunch of stuff to do for the start of school.

Did you miss a post this week?   Here's a recap:




How has your week been?  I hope you can join me for Collage Friday!  Create a post with photo collages (I use Picmonkey to make mine.) Grab the Collage Friday button and use it in your post or sidebar.  Sign the linky, and be sure to visit someone else on the list, too.