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Growing up in the Dallas area as a kid, we always had at least one or two ice storms each year.  Usually, they came on the weekends, but occasionally, we got a free pass out of school for the day.  While schools shut down, business generally carried on as normal.  The entire city was not brought to it’s knees for a light sheeting of ice on the roads.  Usually, everything just started a couple hours behind schedule.

Fast forward a few years, and move a few hours south, and we have a completely different situation on our hands.  These ice storms might happen once every two or three years.  When they do, the whole world shuts down.  

So, in honor of today’s world stoppage brought to our little corner of Texas, I thought I’d illuminate (for the rest of the world) why we Texans have such a hard time with ice and snow.

1. We just don’t see it very often.

For many of us here in central Texas, it has been years since we have seen that magical white stuff fall from the sky.  It brings back memories of childhood hope and wonder…and deprivation.  No child who grew up in Texas (panhandle region excluded, of course) ever got to play in the snow 2 years in a row (unless their family went skiing for Christmas every year).  When someone walks into a crowded room and says, it’s snowing outside, you can bet that everyone (no matter their age) is going to excitedly jump up and run outside to see…invariably running over at least 3 other people and leaving their jackets behind.  Should you happen to drive by at that very moment, you will see a bunch of grown people standing outside in shorts and flip flops (because they didn’t watch the weather report this morning…it was 70 degrees at 8 am) shivering and staring up at the sky in wide-eyed wonder.

Often, the mere suggestion of freezing weather is enough to make adults in Texas do rather silly things.  I once had a roommate (from South Texas) who, upon confirmation that the air temperature was below freezing, would climb the tree in the front yard with the sprinkler to “make snow”.  Of course, he knew better, but he just couldn’t help himself…he had to try!

2. We don’t know how to deal with it.

In this part of Texas (west Texas and the panhandle are excluded from today’s tirade), snow days and ice events are really rare.  So, we just don’t know how to deal with them.  We’re pretty sure that we have an ice scraper for our windshield somewhere, but we haven’t seen it since the last time we had to buy a new one 3 years ago (when we couldn’t find the previous new one we’d bought 3 years before that).  

So, we’re left with with a couple options:

  1. Pour water over the windshield to thaw the ice.  Whatever you may have been told, this is a terrible idea.  Don’t do it!  If you get the water too warm, it can break the glass.  Too cold, and it just makes the problem worse.
  2. Run the defroster in the car until you either:
    • Run out of gas and can’t go where you needed to anyway.
    • The ice gets thin enough to scrape it off with a credit card (be sure to call the bank tomorrow morning to get a replacement card for the one you bent trying to scrape before the ice was thin enough).

That’s all before we actually get in the car!  I won’t even discuss what happens once we get behind the wheel!  We Texans can be a pretty independent lot, but ice just isn’t our thing.  We’ll still get the job done, though, no matter how many cars we have to smash in the process!

3. Our community leaders are paranoid.

School administrators and business leaders would rather cancel everything ahead of an ice storm than watch the rest of us play “smash-em-up” on the highway.  I have to admit, however, that I’m still amazed that they feel the need to cancel life more than 48 hours before an anticipated storm.  The weatherman hasn’t even decided yet if it’s actually going to happen.  But, you can bet that the school closure reports will already be rolling in!  Perhaps they’re worried that if it snows and they haven’t given enough notice that someone will round up a posse and make them personally dump sand on all the bridges.

There have been occasions where all the school systems in the area have cancelled classes two days ahead of time, only to have no significant weather actually materialize.  There’s another little lesson about Texas…being a weatherman here is a dangerous line of work.  People expect you to predict the future, and do nutty things based on your suggestions.  There are so many different parameters at work in the atmosphere here that predicting the weather more than about 4 hours ahead of time is really a fool’s errand.  But, we do like our 7 day outlooks!  Just don’t bet the family farm on them!


So, to the rest of the world, trying to do business with Texans during an ice storm, try to have a little patience with us…the end of the world is nigh!

Welcome!  It’s been cold here (for a Texan, anyway), and it’s supposed to be colder tomorrow.  They even say we may have some ice accumulation on the roads.  Which, of course, means that everything will be closed down by the time you are reading this!  Ha!  We sure don’t know how to deal with cold, wintry weather.  We’re trying our best to keep everything from freezing on our little farm.  The chickens are cold, the hogs are cold, the children are cold…and one of our cows is starting to think it looks like good calving weather (I don’t know why they pick the worst weather of the year to have their calves, but at least one does this every year!).  We’re all cold, but our home is warm.  Pull up a chair and a blanket, stay a while!!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to week#3 of the January “You’re the Star” Blog Hop!

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WELCOME to FAMILY feature week of the
January “You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your FAMILY week Host & Cohost 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarFamily_zpsmife1ehc.jpg

This week is FAMILY feature week
Swing by the Family hosting team’s blogs:

Miranda @ The Myrabev Life

Linda @ Country Loving Mom

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg



(These features were chosen from the December “You’re the STAR” blog hop)

 

76 Fun Winter Activities for your Family by Magical Mama

15 Fun Ideas For Charlotte’s Web by Not In Jersey

9d82f70ccf61abc8b2de469af1519b09

Making An Easy Advent Calendar with Felt by Just Measuring Up


How to Make an Advent Calendar out of Felt

 


Andes Mint Christmas Bark by Marilyns Treats
Mint Christmas Bark. The definition of cozy. Hot cocoa, pj's, a crackling fire, a good movie and this! #andes #mint #bark

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************

We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

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Brr!  What a cold week!  We certainly aren’t used to temperatures that stay below freezing for so long here.  My kids have been a little stir crazy, too.  I hope you’ve been staying warm.  Snuggle up and find yourself a good read!

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

Welcome to the second week of the January blog hop called “You’re the Star!

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the January You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your CREATIVE week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarCreative_zpsqpqqlxbv.jpg

This week is CREATIVE feature week
Swing by the Creative hosting Team’s blogs:

Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic


Darlene @ Let It Shine

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#2 CREATIVE – arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, yarn work, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, painting, computer art, fashion etc – anything creative while remaining family friendly)


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(These features were chosen from the December “You’re the Star” blog hop)

2018 Printable Calendar by Keeping It Real
2018 Calendar - free printable
Free Printable Gift Tags by This Autoimmune Life

Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags
Snowy Windows & Mirrors by Chas’ Crazy Creations

Snowy Windows and Mirrors (and more) 

My Favorite Pillow Covers & De Stash Challenge by Stone Cottage Adventures

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Welcome to an Extra Feature week of the You’re the Star Blog Hop!  I’m a little late posting because I was just so busy with all of the Christmas activities here on the farm.  My parents came to visit, and we had a great Christmas Day!  My husband has taken the entire week off of work, and won’t go back until next Tuesday.  So, that means I have him around to help out with lots of extra projects, and he still has time to finish up the second bookcase for the living room.  We’re really looking forward to having that in and loaded up.  It’s going to make a huge difference!  On to the party!


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the December You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


I don’t have much to share this week, but here it is…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

From the Family Farm


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WELCOME to EXTRA feature week of the December You’re the STAR” blog hop!
(Sometimes we will have 5 Mondays in a month – these 5th special Mondays are called “EXTRA feature” days)
Meet all of your STAR Hosts 

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories (except for this special EXTRA day – we will be featuring 2 extra).  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  while remaining family friendly),
WEEK#2 CREATIVE – arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, computer art, fashion etc – anything creative while remaining family friendly)
WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly)
WEEK#4 HOME – recipes, home décor, antique/DIY &/or travel (this can include anything about your home – even history posts – all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(All features were chosen from the November “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie by Mrs. Kringle’s Kitchen
 

How We Save Over $10,000 a Year! by Grandma’s House DIY
How we save over $10,000 per year on insurance, electric bill, cigarettes, smoking, cheap, save money, frugal tips, car maintenance, household products

When God Says “Yes” by Living Our Days

DIY Hazel’s Turned Leg Coffee Table by
H & G Designs
turned leg coffee table social media image free plans

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )



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How Life of Fred Saved Math: An In-depth Review

Before Life of Fred

Math has long been the bane of my existence!  We started our long-term feud way back in the 5th grade.  After many, many years of struggling, I was relieved to finish my last math class during my freshman year in college.  Imagine my chagrin when I changed my major a year and a half later and found that I now had to suffer through not one, but two semesters of calculus!  This is the stuff nightmares are made of!  To this day, I still do not understand why Genetics majors (yes, I have a B.S. in Genetics) had to take two semesters of Engineering Calculus.

Suffer through, I did.  I won’t admit how many times I had to try, but I finally managed it.  I passed two calculus classes…barely.  Then, an hour later, it was gone.  I brain-dumped calculus…all of it!  I would NEVER have to worry about math again.  That era of my life was over!  Whoop!

Then one day, I woke up and realized I was homeschooling.  How did that happen?  Well, that’s a totally different story…but now, I would have to not only deal with dreaded math again, somehow I was supposed to help my dear, sweet, unsuspecting daughter understand something that I couldn’t explain.  

Once again, math became the bane of my existence.  I desperately wanted to save my daughter from the wounds of life-long battle with that undefeatable enemy, Math.  But I knew I couldn’t do it by myself.  I began painstakingly perusing every homeschool website I could find to help me decide which of the myriad of options would be the silver bullet in my battle with my arch nemesis. 

We didn’t want a never-ending parade of workbooks.  We needed something that would be re-usable.  After all, we had more kids coming up behind.  It’s really easy to start spending money hand over fist when you use consumable curricula for a bunch of kids.  Bear was my only one of school age at the time, but that was no reason not to think ahead!  When you rule out workbooks, you’re left with a much smaller pool of options.

After consulting at length with my husband, we finally made a choice.

…and it was wrong.

But I wasn’t going to let that stop me!  I was going to stick it out.  This was the material we had chosen, and it would work, come Hell or high water!

Bear was miserable.  She was falling further and further behind.  Math was becoming her arch nemesis too, and I was just making it worse.  Math became a fight every. single. day.  As soon as I brought out the math book, she would just shut down.  I could see it, and it broke my heart.  By this time, Lizard was starting school too.  She started pretty strong, but then noticed all of Bear’s protestation.  She started saying that she hated math, and she had barely begun!  Something had to give.

So I started experimenting, curriculum-hopping, really.  As we all know, that can be a big problem with math in particular.  But I just knew that eventually, we’d find the right solution.  We had started with Strayer-Upton’s Practical Arithmetics, we tried a little Math Mammoth, and some Miquon Math, then Math Lessons for a Living Education (which is a workbook, by the way!).  Every one had their strong points, but they were far outweighed by problems for us.

Fred to the rescue

During all of my searching, I had run across the Life of Fred books several times.  I wrote them off as a fun little supplement for kids who really enjoyed math.  I figured the story line either overshadowed any math content, or that it was so contrived that it would be miserable to read.

But one day, in my desperation, for some reason, I opened a sample.  It wasn’t tortuous to read…it was actually pretty funny.  It was definitely outlandish, but entertaining.  Bear would enjoy the story, of that I was certain. 

Perhaps even more surprising, however was the amount of information contained in the brief little sample chapter I had downloaded.  There was actually math (and a lot of other stuff) there!

So, I headed over to review site after review site; forum after forum.  I really wanted to finally get things right and defeat Math once and for all.  It turns out, the reviews for the Life of Fred series are actually quite mixed.  Some said there wasn’t enough practice, others said there was just enough.  A few folks claimed that the series couldn’t stand as a complete curriculum, others said it was complete and added elements from across all the subjects.  Nearly everyone agreed, however, that their kids enjoyed Life of Fred.  

I knew Bear was an avid reader.  I thought a literature-based approach to math might be just the thing to finally make math manageable.  So, I went to Educents, and I ordered.  I started out with the first 4 books in the Elementary Series.  A few weeks later, I ordered the rest of the series, plus the Intermediate Series, and Fractions and Decimals and Percents.

About Life of Fred

I’ll get back to my story in just a second.  First, I want to pause and tell you a little bit more about Life of Fred.

The names of these books are enough to make you giggle a little before you ever learn anything else!  The elementary books are named alphabetically.  So, the first book starts with A, the second with B, and so on.  There are no grade-level designations on the books themselves.  The author recommends these elementary and intermediate books for Kindergarten through 4th grade.  The names are:

Next up is the Intermediate Series:

After that, the names get much less creative (for 5th grade right up through college):

Life of Fred is a whole series of books for elementary, clear up through college level math.  There is also a series of early readers and grammar books, for those interested.  So far, we have used the elementary series.  I have the intermediate series waiting on my shelf along with Fractions, and Decimals and Percents.  I also have the first set of early readers on order for my boys.

The Life of Fred stories follow a five year old genius named Fred who is a math professor at KITTENS University in Kansas.  He gets himself into all sorts or ridiculous situations.  After all, while he is a math genius, he’s still a five year old boy, with no one but his doll, Kingie to look out for him.  He uses math in all kinds of ways to help himself or others.  Sometimes, he just enjoys playing with numbers.  

At the end of each chapter is a “You’re Turn to Play” section where students have around 3 to 5 problems to work out.  Word problems will not phase a student who is accustomed to working with Fred!  These short little problems are jam-packed with material.  Not only does the author test understanding of the skills already presented with these sections, he also uses them to illustrate methods to solve new types of problems.  Starting in Cats, there are also useful “Rows of Practice” in most chapters.  These rows are very helpful for practicing and learning math facts.

I also really like that the author brings all kinds of other lessons into the story as well.  Aside from math, Fred learns about Archimedes, star clusters in the Orion constellation, and a little about homonyms all in the first few books.  The stories and practice questions are also a fairly good barometer for reading comprehension.

Now for just a few cons for these books…after all, life can’t be all sunshine and fluffy bunnies!

First off, there isn’t a whole lot of paper and pencil practice with this course.  For us, this was actually a selling point, but for many, it may be a liability.  I’ve been using games and Times Tales to take the place of extra worksheets and drill.  Plus, there is no shortage of extra math material in this house.  If we need extra practice on a concept, we can find it!

Second, some of the subject material that enters into the story may be a little offensive for some families.  So far, I have not had a problem with any of it, but I use some of the situations as teaching points about the fallen nature of man.  There is a recurring character, C.C. Coalback, who is constantly taking advantage of Fred.  After all, Fred may be a well-read math genius, but at the end of the day, he’s still a naive five year old with no one but his doll to look after him.

Additionally, Fred never eats.  Whenever he gets food, he puts it in his pocket “for later”.  Now, I have 5 voracious eaters at home, so they find this part of the story particularly amusing.  However, if you have a little one who doesn’t eat so well, you may find this problematic.  

Lastly, the answers for the “You’re Turn to Play” questions are right on the next page of the book.  So, it’s not hard for students to take a peek at the answers before trying to solve them on their own.  However, if this becomes a problem for your student, there are a number of ways to fix it, if you get creative.

The Rest of Our Life of Fred Story

Now that we’ve found Life of Fred, math time looks a little different at our house.  Bear has started doing 5 chapters a day.  Now, eventually, she is going to have to slow down.  But, right now, she’s still working below her skill level.  The author of Life of Fred suggests that all elementary aged students, in fourth grade and below, begin with Apples.  That was a ton of review for Bear…which was a really good thing for her!  Right now, she’s about to finish Goldfish.  I’ve been reading along a book or two ahead of her, and I have a feeling our pace will slow significantly within the next couple books.

Lizard had been working through Miquon Math, but has recently requested to go to working just with Fred, just like Bear.  She has already worked through Apples and Butterflies, so she’s ready to move on to Cats.  She does not move through the books nearly as quickly, since she has pretty much caught up with her level already.

We do use some math games to practice our facts, as I mentioned earlier.  We also use some notebooking pages so that I can make sure everyone is understanding the things they read.

Bear is already carrying over a lot of the information she learns into her everyday life.  She will often make mention of some random pattern that she finds as she goes about her day.  She tells me all about it, and then says, “I can play with numbers, too…just like Fred!”  It’s music to a homeschooling momma’s ears!

I can also see how public or privately schooled students could really benefit from the Life of Fred series as a supplement to their math work from school, or possibly to keep up their skills during the summer.  There is no shortage of problem-solving practice in these books!

I know we are still at the beginning of our journey with the Life of Fred, but, I really do have to wonder, “Where were these books when I was learning math?”  Perhaps if I had been able to travel with Fred, my math skills might be a whole lot better!  Who knows, maybe Fred will even be able to teach this old momma a few new math tricks.

If you are interested in trying out the Life of Fred series, I’d really appreciate it if you would use my affiliate link for Educents

Click Here to go to the Life of Fred storefront  

Educents has fantastic prices on the Life of Fred books, from Apples all the way up to Five Days.  They also carry Times Tales, which I mentioned as a supplement for this program.  I do get a bonus if you make a purchase using this link.  However, I have not been paid or compensated in any way for writing this review.  All of the opinions given are my own!

How Life of Fred Saved Math: An In-depth Review

 


Well, the countdown to Christmas has begun here.  I have 4 kids who are about to burst with excitement, and one baby who is still wondering why Daddy just dragged a tree inside!  So, in keeping with the holiday exuberance…on with the party!

 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the December You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


My big girl,

Time passes so quickly. It was only yesterday that we were bringing you home from the hospital. But, now, here we are, 7 years later. You were the first baby we brought home to this house. We still lived in town when your older sister was born. I know you often get frustrated because Bear gets “all” the new things first. But you have that distinction…the first baby in this house.

You have grown up so much this past year! Last year, you were still barely reading. You could do it…when you wanted to. But, most of the time you didn’t want to. This morning, as you read to me from your school reading comprehension book, my eyes teared up a little. You’re reading fluently now, and hardly need me at all.

You’ve learned to add and subtract, multiply and divide this year as well. You fight with math quite a bit, too. But secretly, you know you’re really good at it. You’ve picked up near-instant recall of most of your addition facts without any prompting from me. You did it by yourself.

But enough with the academics.  You are so much more than phonics and multiplication tables!  Your energy and enthusiasm for life are infectious.  I have to laugh sometimes as I watch you play with other kids.  You can march right into a crowd of kids and take charge, handing out parts in your imaginary games like a casting director.  Those kids never knew what hit them!  Most of the time, they even think it was their idea.

But, when things don’t go your way, you do have a bit of dramatic flair.  How many times have I heard, “Momma!  Monkey won’t be a fairy.  I’m NEVER going to be able to play my game!”

You should see the annoyance painted on your face at my typical sing-song response, “Never ever ever in a hundred million years!”  You know then that I won’t play the drama game today.  Most of the time, you walk off in a huff…and then promptly figure out how to play nice with your brother.  

You always want us to tell you stories.  You can hardly get enough, and it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve already heard it, either.  You like to ask for stories about Trinity, my old dog who now lives only in our memories.  You want to know about Trinity getting run over by the horse, or Trinity and the squirrel, or maybe the story of how I got Trinity.

But you don’t just like animal stories.  Some of your other favorites are the one where G-Pop dropped a brick on his brother’s head (for those concerned, everyone was ok!), and the story of Granddad getting his tongue stuck to a railroad track.  Of course, we won’t leave out the story of you or one of your siblings “getting born”.  You’ve heard all of those at least a hundred times. 

You’ll hear them a hundred more, if you can get us to keep telling them.

You seem to need that connection to the past.  You’ve told me that you’re afraid you’ll forget Trinity and Granddad…that’s why you want to hear the stories so much.  So, I’ll keep telling, as long as you’ll listen.  Even when you correct me when I don’t tell it right!

Most of the time, if I want to find you, I can go look in your room, amidst the costume wreckage that you’ve thrown about your room, looking for the perfect outfit to be a princess, or a fairy, or a mermaid.  You are so full of imagination.  You make me smile when you come prancing by wearing your “heel shoes” and a glittery dress, dripping in “jewels”.  I know the magic will someday fade.  But today, you’re the queen, with a brand new baby-doll princess.  I’m glad that you’re still little, time is growing short.

I love you, my sweet little princess.  Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Laura

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WELCOME to HOME feature week of the December You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your HOME week Hosts

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHome_zpsvjqg4aib.jpg

This week is HOME feature week
Swing by the Home Hosts’ Blogs:

Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn

Heidi @ Heidi’s Wanderings

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#4 HOME – recipes, home décor, antique/DIY &/or travel (this can include anything about your home – even history posts – all while remaining family friendly)


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(All features were chosen from the November “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Victorian Romance in the Dining Room by Debbie-Dabble Blog

DIY Faux Shiplap Walls by Junque Cottage
behr marquee cameo white
Deer Art For the Holidays by Comfort Spring

Sweet Potato Crisp Casserole by The Blended Blog






If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:
You're a STAR

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We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).  For HOME feature week we  need 2 more Cohosts.
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.

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All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )




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My big girl,

Time passes so quickly. It was only yesterday that we were bringing you home from the hospital. But, now, here we are, 7 years later. You were the first baby we brought home to this house. We still lived in town when your older sister was born. I know you often get frustrated because Bear gets “all” the new things first. But you have that distinction…the first baby in this house.

You have grown up so much this past year! Last year, you were still barely reading. You could do it…when you wanted to. But, most of the time you didn’t want to. This morning, as you read to me from your school reading comprehension book, my eyes teared up a little. You’re reading fluently now, and hardly need me at all.

You’ve learned to add and subtract, multiply and divide this year as well. You fight with math quite a bit, too. But secretly, you know you’re really good at it. You’ve picked up near-instant recall of most of your addition facts without any prompting from me. You did it by yourself.

But enough with the academics.  You are so much more than phonics and multiplication tables!  Your energy and enthusiasm for life are infectious.  I have to laugh sometimes as I watch you play with other kids.  You can march right into a crowd of kids and take charge, handing out parts in your imaginary games like a casting director.  Those kids never knew what hit them!  Most of the time, they even think it was their idea.

But, when things don’t go your way, you do have a bit of dramatic flair.  How many times have I heard, “Momma!  Monkey won’t be a fairy.  I’m NEVER going to be able to play my game!”

You should see the annoyance painted on your face at my typical sing-song response, “Never ever ever in a hundred million years!”  You know then that I won’t play the drama game today.  Most of the time, you walk off in a huff…and then promptly figure out how to play nice with your brother.  

You always want us to tell you stories.  You can hardly get enough, and it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve already heard it, either.  You like to ask for stories about Trinity, my old dog who now lives only in our memories.  You want to know about Trinity getting run over by the horse, or Trinity and the squirrel, or maybe the story of how I got Trinity.

But you don’t just like animal stories.  Some of your other favorites are the one where G-Pop dropped a brick on his brother’s head (for those concerned, everyone was ok!), and the story of Granddad getting his tongue stuck to a railroad track.  Of course, we won’t leave out the story of you or one of your siblings “getting born”.  You’ve heard all of those at least a hundred times. 

You’ll hear them a hundred more, if you can get us to keep telling them.

You seem to need that connection to the past.  You’ve told me that you’re afraid you’ll forget Trinity and Granddad…that’s why you want to hear the stories so much.  So, I’ll keep telling, as long as you’ll listen.  Even when you correct me when I don’t tell it right!

Most of the time, if I want to find you, I can go look in your room, amidst the costume wreckage that you’ve thrown about your room, looking for the perfect outfit to be a princess, or a fairy, or a mermaid.  You are so full of imagination.  You make me smile when you come prancing by wearing your “heel shoes” and a glittery dress, dripping in “jewels”.  I know the magic will someday fade.  But today, you’re the queen, with a brand new baby-doll princess.  I’m glad that you’re still little, time is growing short.

I love you, my sweet little princess.  Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Laura


Happy Monday everyone!  I know things have been a bit slow around the blog here lately, I appreciate your patience!  Baby has been keeping me a little tied down with her newest milestones.  We are in full-on, “I can’t let Mommy out of sight for an instant!” phase.  It’s exhausting, but I suppose it’s nice to be needed!

On to the party!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

 

Welcome to week#3 of the December “You’re the Star” Blog Hop!

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WELCOME to FAMILY feature week of the
December “You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your FAMILY week Host & Cohost 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarFamily_zps6gnkp7zk.jpg

This week is FAMILY feature week
Swing by the Family hosting team’s blogs:

Miranda @ The Myrabev Life

Linda @ Country Loving Mom

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!
There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly)

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg



(These features were chosen from the November “You’re the STAR” blog hop)

 

10 Ways to Improve Your Christmas Right Now by Mrs. Kringle’s Kitchen

 

Finding My Center (in Two Ways) by Life In Spandex

20 Minute Home Core Workout

8 Organization Mistakes That You Are Making & How To Fix Them by Just Measuring Up


How to Organize Your Home for Good


4 Top Saving Tips You Need To Know For Christmas by Intentional Home Life
Getting Christmas done on a budget can seem impossible! I've got four frugal money-saving tips to help you stay in the black without being a Scrooge!

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

*******************************************************

We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

___________________________________________________________________

It’s been another busy week here on the farm.  Baby was sick this week, so I didn’t do much except sit and try to make my poor fussy one feel a little better!  ‘Tis the season for germ swaps!  Thankfully, she’s feeling better now.  On to the party:

___________________________________________________________________by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

Welcome to the second week of the December blog hop called “You’re the Star!

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WELCOME to CREATIVE feature week of the December You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your CREATIVE week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarCreative_zpsumokaegr.jpg

This week is CREATIVE feature week
Swing by the Creative hosting Team’s blogs:

Colleen @ Butterfly in the Attic


Darlene @ Let It Shine

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#2 CREATIVE – arts & crafts, music, writing &/or dramatic arts (this can include sewing, yarn work, dance, art history, handmade jewelry, painting, computer art, fashion etc – anything creative while remaining family friendly)


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(These features were chosen from the November “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Camila Fingerless Mitts Knitting Pattern by Lilia Craft Party

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments by Magical Mama
magical mama blog christmas tree cinnamon applesauce ornaments

Decorating Pumpkins With Non-traditional Colors by Purple Hues and Me

Fall Herbal Centerpiece by Gwin Gal’s Inside and Out Adventures



If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts). 
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.

*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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