Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch

We made our annual visit to Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch. We bought 20 tickets for each kid, and yes, they went fast. That is fine because the kids had a great time and weren't too disappointed that we didn't stay long.

We split up since the kids wanted to do different things. Sabrina spent a long time in the goat pen, so much so that the man running it gave me a business card for b-day parties with animals. (I didn't see him give anyone else a card.) She also rode several rides one time each.

Alex spent almost all of his tickets on the slides. He had a great time and when he ran out of tickets the man running it let him go one more time- nice.

When we joined back up the kids had fun racing each other down the slide. Sabrina shared several of her tickets with her brother. It makes me quite happy that these two are such good friends.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Voluntary Simplicity

Voluntary Simplicity or Simple Living is something I am very interested in. When I think back to how my grandparents lived I realize that they weren't always buying new stuff; hardly ever, in fact. Yet they were content with what they had. When they did make upgrades, in vehicles, for example, they paid for them in cash. When I look at people my age they have nice stuff, but aren't content. They are constantly upgrading even when there is no need to do so. Most are in debt.

I am searching for my enough. I do not want to have the junky mismatched furniture of my grandparents, (because this piece of this set is still good and that piece of that set is fine) nor do I want the discontentment and debt of my generation, (my Facebook friend just got new furniture so I have to, even though nothing is wrong with what I have and I am still making payments on it).

Our old couches

Our new to us couch

When some friends upgraded their couch they offered us their old one, which was practically new, for free. We got rid of the old ones and accepted the free upgrade. When the same friends decided to sell their gorgeous table and chairs for cheap, we bought them and donated our table to the church.

If you pay attention you will notice that most of our family activities are free or cheap; game nights, family walks, park days, picnics, classes at the library, hikes, camping...  Even the classes the children take; archery, gymnastics, martial arts, Lego Robotics... are discounted at the recreation center. We are able to have lots of good times without spending lots of money.

Some other aspects of voluntary simplicity that I have embraced are; making some of my own cleaners, gardening, inviting friends over instead of dining out, and decluttering. I am also interested in learning to cook from scratch, composting, sewing...

I am not a minimalist nor do I think I will ever become one. My goal with simple living is to be debt free, content, and able to say yes to things that enrich our lives like horse riding lessons.


Homemade wool dryer balls

I made these months ago, but don't think I blogged about them. They were quite easy to make, but I did have to run them through the washer and dryer more times than the directions told me too. Some blogs claim they cut drying time in half, maybe they have more balls than I do, but I haven't found that to be the case. However, I have not had to buy dryer sheets since I made these. I also get extra frugality points for buying the wool with a 40% off coupon.

I plan to make more to see if I can cut the drying time.


Square Foot Garden

It is a baby garden. I am fully aware that we started the garden late and the some of the plants are for the other season. This is our first attempt at gardening so it is more of a learning experience than anything else, at this point. We will be thrilled with whatever food we get, but the main goal of this season is learning. Of course, next season will be a different story.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Getting to know new friends

After we left the Get Outdoors Nevada Day event, we met our new friends at their apartment's playground. We had a lot of fun getting to know each other a little better.

I bought a couple of badminton sets yesterday because I loved that game when I was a kid. After I spent a few minutes showing Alex how to play he and his friend had a good time.


Get Outdoors Nevada Day at Sunset Park

This morning, we took the kids to a free event at Sunset Park- Get Outdoors Nevada Day. It was a lot of fun. There were so many booths that we didn't get to most of them. I think it is an annual event so next year we will schedule more time. The kids got to try several new things for free.

The first thing the kids got to do was to walk on a rope bridge. They both did a great job.

Next up they got to paddle around in a kayak. (This is something I really want to do on a natural body of water...)

Also they got to shoot BB Guns. Both kids hit the target almost every shot. Alex won the biggest prize which was a coffee mug from Bass Pro Shop. We didn't realize that the target Sabrina selected was a more advanced target so she didn't win a prize even though she hit the paper every shot.

The kids got to learn about water runoff.

Finally, the kids played bean bag toss. Alex was really good at this. Sabrina threw a little too hard and hers slid off the ramp.

All in all, it was a whole lot of fun and we will schedule more time for next year's event, (and the following years).


Tea Party

We had another tea party using the fancy plates. This time we served muffins from Fresh and Easy. Since Sabrina likes doing this so much we will aim at having a tea party about once a week.


ABC Park and Boulder City Library's Lego Club

I took the kids to ABC Park, (Adams Boulevard Community Park) before meeting the Lego Club at Boulder City Library. We brought a Frisbee so Sabrina and I spent most of our time there doing that.

The kids had a good time at Lego Club- duh. The theme was vehicles and though neither kid won they were happy for the winner, a friend of Alex's. Yea! Progress! No tears or fits.


Update: The same day Frank later took the kids to Green Valley Library for their Lego Club.

Decluttering- stuffed animals

Sabrina loves stuffed animals especially the little Ty beanies. They don't cost much and she liked them so much that a few grown-ups helped her grow her collection. After a while I noticed she didn't seem to care about them any more. She would be happy to get a new one, but she didn't play with it or give it a personality like she did her first ones. My theory is that she got more than she could love; there are 50 stuffed animals in the picture.

I asked her to go through them and choose the ones she wants to get rid of. She surprised me by trying to get rid of all of them! So I went through and separated the ones she gave a personality to and the ones she didn't. About half of the stuffed animals went into the donate pile. I then put half of the remaining ones in her toy box and left half of them out.

She also mentioned that I used to play with them with her. She has a valid point, it has been a while since we played with them. That is because she mostly wants to play with her Barbies or her Lego lately. I am curious to see if she will start playing with them again.


Free Little Library

This Free Little Library is in a neighborhood near ours. I love the idea and would like to have one, but I think the neighborhood teens, who don't like us, would trash it or repeatedly take all the books. So, for now, we will just support the other one. I had some unwanted books and Sabrina walked with me to drop them off.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hemenway Park in Boulder City


We went with our friends, who also homeschool, to Hemenway Park in Boulder City to see the Bighorn Sheep. My friend, Angie, studied about bighorn sheep so she was able to teach the kids, (and me) quite a bit about them. It was fun observing them. Some had the tracking collars on, so I got to teach the kids about those as well.

We also went on a short hike. Sheldon and Tessa are leaning about bugs so we stopped at just about every ant mound they found.


Of course the kids also had fun at the playground too. They were very glad to have Cody there to push them.

It was a great morning spent with very good friends.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bible KIds Club

We held a meeting of the Bible Kids Club last night. We were happy to have people from our church come, as well as friends from another small church. I had a horrible headache and was glad to let Ms. Sharon run the whole thing. The kids had a good time.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Homeschool Group- Hidden Falls Park

We met our friends who are part of a homeschool group at a new to us park. Hidden Falls Park rivals "Awesome Park" according to the kids.  I have never seen a park set up like this.

This park has lots and lots of climbing challenges. The kids tested them all.

Sabrina loves to get dizzy. I don't understand it, but she had a blast on this thing.

We also brought a picnic. Alex was too busy playing with the other boys to join us. The blanket was made by my great grandmother. It is finally being used after sitting in a drawer for about 30 years.

Our friends just joined this homeschool group. I will at least do the 30 day trial to see if it will be a good fit for us. Both of the children had a great time playing with the other kids. The adults were friendly too. So we will just have to wait and see.


Tea (hot cocoa) Party

When Frank and I first got married we were told by an older pastor's wife that we HAD to have a china set as a pastor and his wife. So, though I was quite happy with my Corningware, (and still am) I listened. We bought four plates, dessert plates, cups, and saucers, then for some reason stopped. I guess she didn't tell us the number of place settings. We have had this china since our first year of marriage, yet we only used the plates and the dessert plates for holidays. The cups and saucers still had the price tags on them!

Sabrina LOVES tea parties (hot cocoa). We have used her little tea sets, but really they are far too small. She was absolutely delighted when I pulled out the china for a tea party last night. We will continue to use her little sets for outside tea parties, but now we finally have a use for the china that we just HAD to have.

Our tea parties are not serious, but filled with laughter and joking. We all enjoy them.


Arroyo Grande Sports Complex

For our family walk we went to nearby Arroyo Grande Sports Complex. First we walked in a big loop.

Afterwards the kids got to play at the playgrounds.

Sabrina also tried to roll down the big hill, but didn't quite make it all the way down.