Friday, September 28, 2007

Is it Groundhog Day?

Last time I checked, Groundhog day was in February, but we had ourselves a personal groundhog day yesterday. I was sitting out in the front yard enjoying a few moments of peace, quiet and the beautiful Virginia Fall weather. Snickers was curled up on my lap snoozing the afternoon away as I read. Suddenly she popped up and leaped out of my lap bolted across the yard toward the driveway barking her little head off. I could see that she was after something furry and had managed to trap it underneath Lee's car. She kept circling around keeping the creature hemmed in. As I approached I could hear its little teeth chattering! I bent down to look and the above pictured groundhog is what I saw. He was NOT happy at being cornered by a wiener dog. I yelled for the girls to come look and of course bring the all important camera. I let Snickers feel important for a few more minutes while we ALL laid down on our bellies in the driveway to get a good look and take a few pictures. I can just hear the neighbors now... "I knew that home school family was a bit odd!" Our encounter with this little guy led to a bit of study about groundhogs. See, we take every chance to learn something new, it's what every self respecting home school mom would insist on doing. Can you hear my children groaning?
Anyway two very important things we learned about groundhogs are as follows:
1. Groundhogs and also called Woodchucks.
2. Groundhogs hibernate ALL winter....which means that every year they have to wake poor Punxsutawney Phil from his peaceful slumber just so that we can see if Spring will be early.
If I were him I'd tell em to go turn on the weather channel!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My hat, it has 3 corners....

Home schooling here in Virginia has already proven to have some wonderful advantages. The area is SO rich in early American history that I have decided to not even use an official history curriculum but rather take advantage off all that there is to see and do all around us. We had one such opportunity just last week. Colonial Williamsburg offers homeschooling families enormously discounted tickets for 1 week twice a year. We were able to get in on the action for two days with several other homeschooling families. The girls were especially diligent to get all of their other schoolwork done so that we could devote Thursday and Friday just to our field trip. We were able to take tours of colonial buildings, watch re-enactments, do hands on activities as well as watch skilled craftsmen at work. We visited a brickmaker, a silversmith, a leather worker, a carpenter, and toured a working colonial kitchen. We also got to be involved in a mock trial at the courthouse. I was chosen to be one of the 12 magistrates. That was interesting! Caitlin was disappointed that no one got thrown in the stockade or tarred and feathered. Speaking of punishment, we toured the original jail which is famous for housing 15 of Blackbeard's crew while they awaited trial. They were made to ride to their lynchings sitting atop their coffins! Yikes!! Talk about creepy. All in all it was tons of fun. We got spend time with great friends AND learn so much more than would be possible from a book. I have attempted to tell the story of our 2 days in our Picasa Web album labeled Colonial Williamsburg. I hope you enjoy the pics, who knows; you just might learn a few things.

Saturday, September 22, 2007 cat two cat dry cat wet cat....

Ever try washing a cat? I have and I was completely unsuccessful. Therefore, ever since that moment of failure I have figured that 1. cats were not meant to be washed by people and 2. people who attempt washing cats are destined to fail miserably. Even after all of my warnings and motherly/experiential wisdom was offered, the girls decided that Fraidy and Spooky needed a bath. Worse yet, they would use the fruity/flowery scented shampoo for said bath. I decided that some lessons must be learned the hard way. In a last ditch effort to steer them toward the dog (a much more willing bath taker) I yelled " I don't want to hear you moaning and groaning when you are all covered with cat scratches!". I also figured if nothing else I could get some good pictures of the ordeal. I know, I'm the picture of compassion. HA!
Spooky went first and proved to be a mighty warrior. The girls quickly realized that this would be a "4 sister battle" so Gracie and Abbie were recruited to help. Four girls against one feisty cat. It was a fierce battle, in the end the girls won but not without their war wounds. Spooky emerged wet and humiliated but smelling quite lovely. Fraidy was a much more willing subject. The girls had armed themselves for a fight but he did not even put up a fuss. He yowled a few times and that was it. So now we have two nice smelling cats and four girls who MIGHT listen to their momma next time. All of the cat washing pictures can be viewed in our picasa web album.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is It Fall Already?

Sure does feel like it to us! There is a definite nip in the air. Today the temp never went above 75 degrees. For some that would be perfect weather but for us it feels downright COLD! After 3 years of 90 degree temps everyday, I think our blood has thinned out. We have really missed seeing the beautiful fall colors and just the general feel of Fall and all that goes with it. You know things like pumpkin patches, mums, hay rides, warm soups and stews for supper. Not to mention Friday night football. This picture on the left was taken today while we were up in Colonial Williamsburg on a field trip. I happened to notice the tree on the way up and determined to stop and take a picture of it on the way home. We literally stopped traffic for a moment or two in order to do this. Oh Well! I'm appreciative of those travelers behind us who patiently waited so that I could take a picture of the first Autumn colors I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

School of Beauty

Caitlin decided to try making Holly's long, bone straight hair as curly as her own. Holly very patiently sat through the ordeal while her sister painstakingly curled hundreds of small sections of her hair with a tiny curling iron. All of this while the two little sisters pestered them both. Caitlin then pinned every curl in place all over Holly's head. For about 30 minutes it looked very pretty. Then it slowly began to melt. About an hour later it was all as straight as ever only still pinned up on her head. Might as well get used to it girls, some of us were just born with straight hair and there is nothing we can do about it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poor Snicky

Bless her little puppy heart. Snick had to go get her teeth done today and they ended up having to pull four of them. She has already had several pulled, so pretty soon I think we will have a toothless Doxie on our hands. Evidently Doxies are prone to teeth troubles. I think Snickers has had more than her share of teeth issues. This latest episode has really caused her a lot of pain. Hopefully now we have it all taken care of and she will back to her happy tail waggin' self before long. Right now though she in a nice drug induced sleep on my lap as I type. Ever dealt with a dopey dog? It's pretty funny! At least she's feelin' no pain.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

School Days

Caitlin working on her writing skills (the easiest subject she has this year)
It's a good thing Holly has an online math teacher
UGH!! Decimals.....
The third grader blazes in to new territory... Spelling and Literature

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


They say "Home is where the heart is" . For the Brown Family we say "Home is wherever your furniture happens to be". Spoken like a true military family. We do however have a soft spot in our hearts for Middle Georgia and Central Florida, for those are the places we can refer to as home even though we do not have any furniture there. These places are home for us not because we grew up there but because we still have family and friends there. These are the places that we can go to and be loved on by people who have known us for years and are still happy to see us. For a military family who has to uproot and start over every few years, having a place to go to where you don't have to introduce yourself is very comforting. I love how my kids can just pop in at Grace Tab after a year or two absence as if they never left, and how they know where to find all the goodies in Grandma's closets because she would never dream of moving their goodies from the spots where they left them. We have just recently returned from a bit of time spent in both of these places we love so much. It was hard to leave and return back here to our new life of starting over in this new place. I have to keep telling myself to plug on and remember all that God has rewarded us with in the past. In every place we have lived, He has given us friends, most of which have been of the "life-long" variety. He has been very good to us and I have no doubt that He will continue. You never know we just may meet our new life long friends tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Meet Bella Grace

During our recent trip to Georgia the girls had the privilege of meeting their new cousin "Bella" for the first time. They were thrilled!! For 3 days it was Bella, Bella, Bella and they loved every minute of it. Miss Bella is a cute, chatty, playful, smart and determined 23 month old. Now the girls are wishing we lived closer so that we could see her every day. Be sure to check out the "Beautiful Bella" album in our Picasa Web Albums.

Whose new coffee table is it anyway?

Spooky obviously believes that the new coffee table belongs to her.
Wait just one cotton pickin' minute you silly cat!! We went through a lot of grief getting that table all the way from Guam to our Virginia living room.
She is actually laying inside the table. The piece of glass that fits on top is still wrapped in paper, propped up on the bookcase. Maybe with the glass in, Spook will not find this such an appealing nap spot.