Curtains: In which I break all the rules

Yay! I got this done this afternoon, in other words, just in time for the Pinterest Challenge over at YHL and Bowerpower.com!

I'm making a lot of progress on the master bedroom - if by progress I mean I get a project done every 3-4 months. At this rate, it will be done in 5 years. But at least it will be done, right? So when last we left off (before Jonah was born!) we had just painted the bedroom walls a light aqua-ish color that I no longer know the name of and the nghtstands got a new coat of a fun clementine-y color that I no longer remember the name of. Note to self: keep better notes of anything occuring in the last month or two of your pregnancies, newborns have mind sucking powers and no matter how much you try to convince yourself you will remember these things, you won't.

My next project was curtains.This is what we threw up when we first moved in.

And by threw up, I mean it. They are just placed into the brackets from the previous owners.

Isn't that the saddest thing! But it kept out the light - which still didn't really help Lucy sleep through the night but at least let me feel like I tried. And it's not like I knew those were great or good or even decent, I just couldn't figure out what I did want. I knew it had to be something fun. So far everything in the room was a solid and while I loved it as a base, it's a bit boring. But the layout of the room is odd. Both curtains are in the same corner and the room is very small. I was worried anything too interested would make the room seem unbalanced.

Then I stumbled upon this picture from Apartment therapy and I was in love.

 Short curtains! Crazy, I know. But I loved them with the colorblock on the end. And I could add a fun print there (which would never have been seen if I put the fun print on the bottom of full length curtains due to the layout). And the practical side of me liked the idea too. No lifting curtains to vacuum and well, the kitty box just happens to be under those curtains and long curtains + littler = gross.

The bottom fabric was a little tricky because I wanted Craig to approve and he didn't like anything I did. But finally I found this amy butler fabric that had both of our current colors plus bright green which is favorite of mine (anyone that has seen my converse sneakers or sakura bloom ring sling should know that!) as well as a couple other ones for me to use later on. And he liked it, hey mickey! The top I did in a bright white linen. We have several whites and creams going on and while I know someone people don't like that, I do!

Since I was getting nice fabric and using blackout fabric, I thougth I would go ahead and sew these the right way instead of just throwing something up there. I follow this tutorial for the basic curtain (although I did reduce the hem sizes a bit since my curtains where much shorter and I didn't hem the liner because mine was blackout fabric and that doesn't need to be hemmed) and even learned how to do a blind hem with my machine (I had the stitch this whole time but didn't know it!) from this awesome post.

And here is the finished project!

More Amy Butler Love. And I have just enough of this fabric left to make a pillow.

Now time to for the next project. And if you're lucky, you might be seeing it here in another 6 months or so.


What we've been...

listening to:

Me! I don't remember if I mentioned it or not but we've got a piano now and I'm loving it. It's taken me a little while to get back into the swing of things, seeing as how I hadn't played in almost9 years, but I'm getting there. I don't have a ton of music yet either but I found some free printable classical pieces that are fun for the kids to listen to as well (claire de lune, arabian dance from the nutcracker, Canon in D, etc)

Of course, I'm not our only source of musical entertainment and since the piano is directly above Craig's basement bed, he tends to prefer it if I refrain from playing when he's trying to sleep so we've been having a lot of fun listening to Colin Buchanan songs. They are fun bible songs with an Australian twist...God doesn't just care about lily's and birds but wombats and kangaroos too!


I've had several non-fiction books going for a while and they are good but I just can't seem to make much progress. But I picked up Her Mother's Hope and so far I'm really enjoying it. I don't normally read much christian fiction but Francine Rivers is an exception because it can actually be considered good. Our church is going to have a women's book review meet-up next month to discuss it. I don't think I've ever been to a fictional book discussion before which is shocking since it's totally my type of thing.


Not Downton Abbey. I just never got into this third season. I thought it was because I got behind and then was spoiled by the info about Sybil. I finally forced myself to get through that episode but only because I remembered it was in English so I could watch it while sorting my folders of photos. I thought maybe I'd be more willing to watch knowing that was in the past but I never felt inspired to watch another and I knew for sure I wouldn't finish the season when my reaction to the news about Matthew, one of my favorite characters, was "Eh."

I am trying to finish up three different k-dramas, (one of which I'm simulcasting or I would have finished it LONG ago). I wanted to be done before Craig switched back to day shift but I didn't quite make it.  I went ahead and made a page specifically for them, I just couldn't help myself. It's a little disconceriting seeing them all listed at once - that's a lot of time I've spent doing nothing. But I console myself with the knowledge that I'll watch a lot less this next month since I'm not filling up empty evenings.


We haven't done much home projects lately but we just started two different ones this week. Curtains for the masterbedroom and a "mother culture" board for my kitchen. Hopefully we'll have them both done next week! There is a pinterest challenge coming up on YHL, a favorite blog of mine, and I'd love to participate so that provides extra motivation to get them done!


Jonah @ 5 months!

Dear Jonah, 

You are five months old now and we've figured out where the expression "bouncy baby boy" comes from. You just never want to be still. We got out the jumper and you love it! You'd bounce for hours if I let you, but alas, I don't. 

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If you aren't bouncing in the jumper, you'll just bounce anyway. If your sitting on our laps you don't sit still but rather rock or bounce yourself and you love for us to hold your tummy so you can jump up and down on our laps. And if we put you down, you just rock yourself back and forth, on your tummy or off.  You can sit pretty well - at least until you start bouncing yourself. But if I sit with my legs behind you, you'll just sit for a little while, start to bounce, fall backwards, hit my legs then sit back up again. Or Lucy will run and get you a pillow so when you do fall, you land softly. If we can distract you from bouncing, you're just fine.

Sometimes you rock yourself right over, smiles at us like so...

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then start hollering for us to flip you over. (You've still only gone back to belly one time). It's a very specific holler too - a "you aren't doing anything to fix this problem and I don't like that" yell. It's funny - for now at least. You also love to be tossed in the air and have you feet and chin tickle. Those are pretty much guaranteed laugh inducers. 

I do still get to cuddle your somewhat still body a few times a day. You love our afternoon nursing nap while Lucy sleeps, which I'm savoring because you don't really like to snuggle once you go to bed. You also snuggle when I wear you. I love the boba since it can block out distractions and you'll rest up against me and look up at me and smile every once in a while. The ring sling is nice for at home but if there is anything interesting, you start leaning yourself out so you can see - and grab. 

You are quite the grabber now. And if you get it, it goes in your mouth and ends up covered in drool (this is not Lucy's favorite thing about you right now) You've already grabbed yourself a chocolate chip cookie. I took it away before you swallowed any but you ended up with chocolate smears all over your face. Even if I wasn't such a mean mom that's making you wait until at least another month for real food, I don't think I'd choose cookies for a first food. But you were so fast! It's almost impossible to eat dinner with you on our laps but we borrowed another jumper seat to keep in the kitchen for meal time. 

You also love people. You'll smile at anyone and everything. You see someone and light up as if your saying "Oh, look -it's a friend!" We sat in front of a mom and baby at a recent meeting and you loved looking over my shoulder and "talking" to him. You're such a friendly little guy and we love you!

And here's a few videos for those of you who just can't get enough of Jojo.

Ignore the very loud Australian bible songs...Jojo likes to bounce to music. 



There are some upsides to Craig working weekends one of which is that we don't fill up his days off during the week with outside activities quite as much as we do the weekends. But sadly, we still don't always do a good job of resting, relaxing and spending time quietly as a family. Last week we did though! We ended up going on a mini--vacation with Neighbor J's family. It was only a couple hours away so the drive with two kids was pretty easy and we didn't do much other than hang out and talk,  walk around the lake and let the kids poke the water with sticks and just relax. It was perfect. And here are some random unedited and uncaptioned pictures to prove it. Apparently, I'm still in relax mode.

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Okay, I have to talk about this one for just a second. He started pushing up! He's even better now that we are home and on a nice traction-y carpet. I got a video of him rocking that I'll try to get up soon.

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I've decided to spent the next 6 weeks learning the whole schema. That's more than 1 verse every two weeks, but I'm already fairly familiar with this passage so it shouldn't be hard. I didn't pick this because of any specific issue I'm facing but because I think it is an excellent focus passage - this is my job from God, as a mother and as a person. 

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut 6:4-9

I've read several places that if you are going to memorize a longer passage, to start it all at once instead of trying to add on verses to the end over time. Apparently, it's a brain function thing - you want your brain to connect it all from the beginning and if you keep trying to add verses, it's harder for your brain to keep that connection. I found this to be true when I looked back over some of my review memory verses and realized I'd memorized quite a bit from one chapter in Romans, not realizing the verses were connected. I tried to go back and learn it as a chapter but that was really really difficult which was frustrating - I already knew them, why couldn't I put them together!? Okay, rant over. The point is, I'll be reading and working on memorizing them as a chunk but meditating on just a few at a time. This time I'll be focusing on the verses four and five. 


Getting 'er done

I'd been wanting to make some changes/additions to the blog for a while but put it off because last time I did a big redesign, oh about 4 years ago, it was a ton of work and almost all of it had to be done my hand, digging around in code. I like the fun design photoshopping parts but I don't really like working with html/css at all. But blogger has improved a lot since then, this time it was a piece of cake. I'm still not quite done but I'm getting there. Here's my check-list:

  • Fix comment widget
  • New Header
  • New Background/Cleaner design (Background thanks to Erin Bradley Designs according to her terms of use contract, she's got some cute stuff so check it out!)
  • Make "About Us" page
  • Nag Craig to update his portion of "About Us" page
  • Add buttons/links to Pages from home
  • New Buttons 
  • Popular Posts (aka beloved banter)
  • Add Amazon affiliates (in progress. I added a carousel widget with our current reads but I'm not sure if I'll keep it. If you have an opinion either way, feel free to share it!)
  • Update Lucy's book list and finish adding links (do I have to redo links if my Amazon affiliate application is accepted? That would be annoying. I'll hold of on adding more links until I know.)
So that's what I've been up to these last few nights. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you aren't in the middle of a k-drama. 


More thoughts on k-dramas

City Hunter 5 stars

Loved it! It's everything and all at the right time. Suspenseful what it should be, funny when it wants to be, romantic enough for a rom-com watcher to be drawn in - although I watched it with Craig and he rolled his eyes a few times at the cutesy couple parts. Telling the story of a boy raised to revenge his father, it has a great batman like feel to it and has some awesome revenge/justice themes.

One note, the first episode lays down the plot for the rest of the show but barely features most of the main characters and is more violent and darker in tone that the rest of the drama so don't let that put you off. In fact, you could read a recap of the first episode and start with the second just fine. 

The writing is great. The plot twists are surprising but not out of nowhere, once you figure it out you start chastising yourself for not seeing it earlier since it is so brilliantly laid out through the whole series. The characters are awesome. Nana is the perfect sick-kick gal not the usual wimpy kinda dense superhero crush you normally find (cough cough - you can't be the same person because he's wears glasses! cough) and definitely holds her own while still being sweet and down to earth. "Bad daddy" is also a great character, scary without being cartoonish and one-dimensional.

And then there is City Hunger himself - he's pretty awesome for someone who wears pink pants and doesn't seem to own a pair of socks. I'll confess I heard a lot about Lee Min-Ho (both his acting and his cuteness) but had only seen him in Boys over Flowers and wasn't really impressed (was it the hair? maybe). But he won me over in this drama so I'll forgive him for the BOF thing because it did launch his career and all that. Great soundtrack too - that's available on spotify and is now in my k-drama playlist! 

Shut Up Flower Boy Band/Shut up and Run - 5 stars

The first k-drama I cried over. And I'll admit it, it was multiple times and in multiple episodes. This is the second of the "Oh Boy Series" and they just keep getting better (Flower Boy Ramen Shop was the first and I'm currently watching the third, Flower Boy Next Door and so far it's uber-adorable!). SUFBB is the story of six high school ruffians and the band that gives them a family. This drama is all about the bromance and oh, what a bromance it is.

The thing I love about the Oh Boy series is that they have all the basic pieces (acting, writing, directing) plus those bonuses like chemistry between the characters and very consistently stylized episodes. By that I mean that while each drama is very different from the others but they all succeed in creating their own little world. SUFBB is darker than the others, but in a realistic, not creepy, way. And I want to clarify just because I cried, doesn't mean it's a terrible sad story. It's captivatingly real and very endearing. And I love the ending. It wasn't what I was expecting but the way it played out was really perfect.

But just so you know, if you don't know anything going into it, and I didn't, keep in mind that the person you think is the main character in the first two episodes is really just an extended cameo. In other words, don't get attached. I think that was a gutsy move and I was unsure going into episode 3 how I would feel about it but it really worked out. Also has a great soundtrack but alas, not on spotify. 

Also, the drummer reminds me of my older brother - in looks more than personality. Not really relavant to you, but I thought I'd mention it nevertheless.

My girl - 3.5 stars

Another Hong Sister drama. I can't give up on them since they brought me my beloved You're Beautiful but this one was not quite all that I wanted it to be. The male lead hired the female lead to pretend to be his cousin in order to protect his ailing grandfather which of course makes for a tricky situation when the emotions come out. Main characters were great and had good chemistry and I really enjoyed a male lead that wasn't a completely jerk in the beginning. Of course, the female lead thought he was but he really wasn't which is not always the case in k-dramas (I'm looking at you, BOF!). My main issue was that the conflict dragged a bit, and part of this may just be my american interpretation because I really wished they would have just told good old Grandpa to mind his own beeswax but of course, they couldn't do that, it's a k-drama and the Korea culture really is like that.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho/nine-tailed fox - 3.75 stars

Sweet romantic comedy with a bit of a fantasy twist that's based on a Korean legend. It's ridiculously cute and similar in style/humor to You're Beautiful (probably because it's also done by the Hong Sisters) but for some reason, I just didn't get addicted to it in the same way I have for others. I really liked the way the main characters developed over the story, how the second male lead was so different from the standard, how the relationship didn't start 10 minutes before the end of the last episode and how the standard predictability that comes with the romantic comedy territory was somewhat broken by the mythical creature twist. I really didn't like the director/aunt relationship - that was weird. This is a great one for understand how much Koreans just love cuteness.

Boys over Flowers/Boys before Flowers - 3 stars

This is such a trendy drama but I wanted to know what all the fuss was about and get all the F4 references I read. F4, or Flower 4, are the 4 rich/hot/snotty bullies of the ShinWa school who supposedly get put in their place by Jan Di, our female lead. But in reality, its more like one of them annoys her until she falls in love with him and then puts up with a bunch of crap from him and others,  only to not want to marry him only to then want to marry him, even though someone else is her soul mate, but only after she stinks at her dream.

If you were able to follow that at all, you can probably tell it isn't great. And yet it somehow sucks you in much more than you would think. When I looked back on this, I was confused as to why I found it enjoyable - the bullying (if I hadn't lived in Korea in high school, I might really think all Korean high schoolers were psychopaths), kidnappings, drownings, amnesia, crazy mothers, secretive deaths, forced marriages - it's a hot mess! But an endearing one.

Although if you want to keep the volume up for SUFBB, you want it off for this one. The OST is awful, awful, awful. I take that back, you'd miss all the changes to mock it if you turn it off since it hits that so bad it's funny level. "Almost Paradise" playing during a beach scene, cheesy but okay. Almost paradise playing during a hockey fight - what? And what was that song that kept making me feel like I was getting rick-rolled? The second half is slightly better.

I think it helped that I had low expectations - all I had heard before I started it was that it was really really overrated. If I had watched it thinking it was going to be wonderful (like it's rating indicated) I probably would have been disappointed. I'm not sure I would recommend it but I'm not sad I watched it.

Stars Falling From the Sky/Wish Upon a Star/Several other names involving stars non of which really make sense  - 3.75 Stars

Pal-Kang is immature and irresponsible to the degree that it is almost painful to watch when she suddenly finds herself the caretaker of her 5 younger siblings. She struggles to rise to the challenge with a little reluctant help from two co-workers, one of which is the dashing but hard hearted Kim Ji-Hoon.

Her adopted siblings, named for the colors of the rainbow, feature prominently in the story and steal the scenes. It's like clouds of korean baby cuteness. There is a lot of babywearing too which y'all have to know I loved as well as the family/adoption theme. One of my favorite characters was the oldest boy, played by Park Ji-Bin who was one of my favorite secondary characters in BOF. I'm hoping that now that is he is older (17) he'll start to get some larger roles. (This just in, he's got one in The Incarnation of Money. From what I hear, it's a bit odd so I'm not sure if I'll be watching it, but I'm excited for Ji-Bin's sake!)

The problem with this drama is the side plot. It's a bit much with the kidnappings and murder plots, especially considering the rest of the scenes involve kids trying to sneak to the bathroom without being caught or later trying to match up the various fellows with their sister - there's just a disconnect there tone wise.


Let the Lent begin

I've got a whole lot of thoughts about Lent but I'm letting them settle in my mind instead of just blurting them out here so all I've got for you is my Lenten resolutions.

I'm giving up:

Computer time. Now, I do quite a bit of real "business" not just fun stuff so I can't give it up completely but I am taking myself off of facebook except for Sundays and will also be trying to limit my internet usage to only when the kids are asleep. It would actually be easier to say no computer at all except when kids are asleep, but we use the computer for most of our music and music is one of my best "turn the attitudes around" trick and I'm not sure my children would survive if I cut us off completely.

I'm giving:

That time to my family, my God and my intentional commitments.  I especially want my kids to see me value them and enjoy time with them without distractions  I think this is going to be really really hard because the internet is one of my biggest sources of interaction with other adults and I'm worried I'll be feeling like a recluse by Easter time BUT I will be turning to God for that and eagerly awaiting Easter which is a good thing.

Wish me luck! Are you doing any Lenten resolutions this year?


Here by design

It's  almost the "weekend" and boy do we need it around here. These last few days have been super busy. Craig gets husband of the year award though. He worked all Friday night, came home and slept 2 hours, then got up and watched Lucy so I could go to so lactation counselor training/enrichment and actually be able to focus on what was happening.

And I'm so glad he did that for me. I really learned a lot.  But it was funny sitting there listening to a doctor explain the work she did with tongue tie and watching the slides. It felt like I was back in college in one of my biomedical science classes. I hadn't really ever thought about the overlap between science and breastfeeding which is odd because it's a pretty big overlap!

I loved my major in school and loved all the classes - even the really hard ones like organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology. Okay, to be honest, I didn't love anatomy lab. My prof told me that he was surprised I was doing so well considering I spent all my lab time with a smear of vicks vapor rub under my nose and knowing exactly where the trash can was and how long it would take me to run there - I don't do weird smells, blood or guts and anatomy lab has all three!

And I liked my jobs well enough. They were interesting and mentally stimulating but I never loved them. I think what I liked best was that I was good at them and I like being good at things. And paying the bills. I like that too. But I was always counting down the days until I got to do what I really wanted to do - be a mom.

Once I became a mother I knew that I was right when I thought that was my true calling. Mothering and homemaking are where my passions really lie. But being involved with breastfeeding support allows me to help and encourage other mothers which is why I thought I liked it. And I do really like that aspect. But I also love the science part. Learning about how both the mother and babies bodies work together. Reading the research. Understanding the science behind it all. That stuff is fascinating.

Right now I still feel like a newbie. I get nervous when I get calls. Nervous that I won't know what to say or that I'll say it wrong. But I'm gaining confidence. I'm not sure how long I'll be doing this or how much more involved I'll become over the years - I'd love to become an official IBCLC someday but that just may not be practical with the lifestyle Craig and I want to have, only time will tell. But for now, it just feels like this spot was tailor made for me. I'm here by design. I guess God did know what he was doing when he guided me to BIMS in Aggieland. That's pretty cool.


The things she prays:

We've been praying with Lucy at meals and bedtimes for a while but it hasn't been until recently that she's been willing to pray herself. And it definitely adds some entertainment to bedtimes.

Here is a sampling:

Dear Jesus, thank you for all the wonderful food and thank you for all the wonderful toys and thank you for all the wonderful books. Amen

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the cookie I will have after my nap. Amen.(Note: I had not told her she was getting a cookie after nap, she just knew we had cookies and perhaps she thought I couldn't say no once she had already said thanks for it.)

Dear Jesus, How about you make us not sick. Amen.

Then to make sure you all get a balanced picture. Here's a recent conversation.

Me: Lucy, that is not acceptable. You need to change your behavior right now. 

Lucy: I do NOT need to change my behavior. I need to change my ATTITUDE!


Joyful Learning in January

We took it kinda easy in January. The first theme was winter/snow which I loved. And it was perfect timing because we had a big snowfall right at the beginning of the month on one of Craig's off days so he took her out to play while I stayed inside the nice warm house and made "just right chocolate" for us all to drink.

We had a blast...

Making maple syrup candy like they did in this book


  Talking about ways to stay warm and trying on winter clothes

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Making a quilt from felt and fabric glue. It now resides on baby's bed.

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Making a quilt fort and reading books inside. A few of our favorite winter reads are Winter Days in the Big Woods (but can't wait for her to be a little bit older so we can read the real one!), Owl Moon, The MittenWhite Snow Bright Snow, The Snowy Day and for anyone who things underwear is funny - Froggy gets Dressed.

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Playing in the snow both outside

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and in. This was the biggest hit of the month I think. She played with her bucket of snow for almost an hour and only gave up when it become slush.

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Painting with shaving cream/white glue "snow paint." She had containers to make round prints but wanted a brush and then eventually move to finger painting. The texture of shaving cream is just irresistible even for a non-mess lover like Lucy.

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Making snowball cookies. (Note: If you make the recipe from the hubbards cupard website, decrease the honey by a lot to start out with, a reduced it by a little but these were still way too sweet!)

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Having a snow ball fight with sock "snowballs"

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- and then counting how many went into each basket and figuring out which basket had the most and which had the least. 

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I don't have pictures but we made snowflakes to decorate our living room windows. I cut them out but Lucy loved watched me unfold them and then she taped them up.

The second theme was grocery store and none of the activities really appealed to me. I've got a confession to make - last week was the first time I had been to the grocery store since Jonah was born and I didn't even have Lucy with me then. I make the menu and the shopping list but Craig and Lucy have been going on his day off, it's their thing. So I skipped that theme and replaced it with some other activities we'd done before but forgot about or things I had wanted to do with her for a while but hadn't gotten around to and since we ended up getting sick and having a 4 month regresssion cranky baby week, it worked out  and we still had lots of fun.

Playing playdough with these fun printable mats (and I got to try out my laminator ). Lucy got a playdough pizza set for Christmas from grandma and grandpa L and between this mats and that, she played with playdough for over an hour at a time every day in a row. It was great!

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The salt box/tray is a classic montessori activity. I used a old hanna anderson box and lined it with a piece of construction paper for contrast. I only set out a few of the easier sandpaper letters for her to copy (i, t, o, b, l and c)

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She really loved flipping a new one over to see what it would be

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and shaking the box to start over again.

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Neighbor J and I were talking a little while ago about how the homeschool mentality can lead to pack rat behavior because you see thing and just know there would be a fun activity lurking in them somehow. This is a perfect example. I found this piece of floral styrofoam when I was sorting though boxes in my dad's garage. Knowing that he was very unlikely to do any floral arranging in the near future, I snagged it and finally threw together an activity. The hammer is from a plan ball hammering toy that she normally keeps with Eeyore (in case his tail needs re-hammering) and the golf tees were from another activity we did a while ago. The tray kept it from being too messy.

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So that's what we did this month. What about you?