Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This world we live in

Sometimes I get on "teaching art" kicks. With school starting back up in a matter of weeks, I'm on one of those educational artistic benders.

 When I got to the information about how much water covers our earth, I almost couldn't bring myself to paint it.
So much water. So little to drink. So many people in need. So much drought in the US right now, too. Even cities in Arkansas are having to ration water. This drought is rivaling the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Consider that and get prepared, if you haven't already.
Most of the world is made of water....but it's just not drinkable water...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Class Mascots

I would like to introduce our class pets/ mascots, Spike and Lizzie, our new bearded dragons.

As well as being a great experience for the kids, it's been an endless source of entertainment for our two kitties, who spend most of the day now, watching their "cat TV" aka lizard cage.

Bearded dragons are friendly, docile creatures. They are easy to care for, cheap to feed, clean & non-smelly. Plus, we bought them from friends, for an amazing price. All in all, a very good little investment for the coming school years!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Facebook Addict

Have you ever had something really funny happen-- maybe your kid comes out dressed in Granny's clothes and wig-- you snap a picture and laugh... and your first thought is to "facebook" the event? That's me. It's become a sickness, really.

Facebook wasn't always a lifestyle for me. It started as an occasional indulgence, a way to keep up with others, a quick opportunity to share snippets of our life with family and friends. But, like most things, feed it enough and it can take over, slowly clawing its way up the priority list. I became a "quick checker." You know, head past the computer to put clothes away, and do a "quick check." The problem, of course, is that all my "quick checks" added up to be a rather time-consuming problem.

I don't have anything against facebook itself. In fact, I just let my thirteen-year-old sign up for her own account. I've gotten back in touch with countless friends, and kept up with family members who are too far away to visit. There are some truly great things about the social network. I was simply over-using it, allowing it to take the time of other things in my life. For one, I had all but quit blogging.... and I love this here blog! It's a relaxing, more personal activity. Let's face it, though-- blogging isn't as instantaneously gratifying; There are no "likes" popping on on the posts.

Some folks relax with TV, I blog. But, seeing as how I'd "used up" my computer time during the day, I had other things to get done in the evening and, essentially, gave up my treasured relaxing time.

Now I'm back to seeking balance. Or, perhaps more accurately, I'm seeking the right things at the right time. There isn't a one-size-fits-all for time-management and priorities. I am not second-guessing anyone else's decisions; what's right for me may not be right for you. I simply know that I have become sidetracked and, frankly, I'd rather blog than shoot out numerous quips throughout the day. I've nearly facebooked away my ability to write more than a status-length paragraph!

And, so, I aim to write again. Hold me accountable (if I have a reader left in this wide world!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fresh Salad

My garden has about had it for the year, between drought and extreme heat, but I came across these pics, from a few weeks ago, when we were still gathering plenty. heh heh

Perhaps a bit too much salad dressing? Ha.

Gotta remember these hilarious faces, and show him someday,
when he has a son who is just as dramatic!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mud Picnic

These mud-encrusted toes, sun-bleached hair, talks outside at the kiddie table...
these are things I never want to forget.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

On our way home, we stopped by the Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, which is approximately 30 miles southwest of Austin, TX.

It's out in the boooooonies. Expect lots of slow driving on dirt, windy roads, and a $10 entrance fee per vehicle. But then you hike down to THIS, and it's all worth it.
You just can't tell how huge and absolutely gorgeous this is!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

If I had to choose...

We just returned from an amazing week-long vacation on Port Aransas, TX. Looooove those soft sandy, beautiful beaches. I need to write about how we managed this vacay, on our meager income, but laundry and other chores are calling my name. Soon. Very soon. 
For now, some photos... 
This beautiful child was made for the sea. She has a mermaidy quality about her, wouldn't you say?
Below, my Youngest arriving at the beach. Yeah. He was excited!

Below, My marvelous traveling crew!

 As much as I adore the beach, we all started to ache for home towards the end of the trip. Sometimes being away from all you know helps you appreciate it all the more.
My lovely Arkansas is full of rolling hills, leafy trees, caves & streams, bike paths & hiking trails.
So much of what I love.
We did a lot of talking on this trip, about what our plans would be. Would we move or stay? Where did we really want to live? What was the right timing? And, though we initially felt geared up to move to TX right away, we've realized that the climate and beauty of THIS area we're in is too great to leave behind. I don't do AR winters well, but the rest of the year here is amazing (dismiss the crazy drought we're in right now.)
To be honest, I was trying to run FROM things I have to deal with here, rather than TO any amazing plan for our family.
The solution is to deal with the issues (far harder than moving several states away!) So just keep that in your prayers. I'm sure most people can relate to a family relationship that is so strained, so stressful, that the flight reaction kicks in every time.
All that to say, we're staying put for the time being. And I am determined to make the most of my time in this amazing state, with my amazing husband and kids, in our amazing cottage, with my amazing friends. Let the good times roll. :D