Let's Go Sledding

This winter we  have watched snowstorm after snowstorm pass right over the south and literally POUTED that we weren't getting a flake.  I love how a snow sprinkle brings the south to a grinding halt and quiets our busy lives.  I LIVE for snow days.  They are my most favorite kind. 

We went to bed Wednesday night just knowing we were going to wake up to the mother load on Thursday morning.  Well... that wasn't actually what we saw when we peeked through our blinds, but we got confirmation that those who love us and live nearby did.  We could have rolled a couple of snowballs in our yard, but they had Narnia in theirs, so over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we went.

They had a winter wonderland and cousins to boot so it was a day full of fun and memories. Here are some of my favorite shots.

Watching sledding and snowball fights through this little ones eyes makes for a very happy Auntie.  I could eat her on toast!

Grandpa would rather have a snowball fight than eat when he is hungry!  He had a partner in crime.

I love how she immediately learned to hide her snowball.  There isn't a thing behind this cute little back!

Do you want to build a snowman?  

 It was a great day and these little cousins made some wonderful memories.  So grateful for the hush of a snowstorm.

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It's a Marshmallow World in the Winter

When Baby Ruth said she wanted a skating party for her birthday this year I was so excited because the Elsa in me has been dying to host a party!  Sadly, my girls are now too big for an all out Frozen party, so this was my chance to channel Elsa and all the "beautifulness" of Arendelle into an ice skating party that would be approved by a 14 year old!  Y'all come on in.

We have a great ice skating facility close to our house that our girls BEG us to go to, so that made it simple to skate first and then come back to the house to have our party.  The skating was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. 

Baby Ruth invited some friends from church and school and then her whole gaggle of cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  Again, we are so blessed to be living near family!  

Our smallest guest was the most brave.  She had no fear and it was so much fun to watch her. 

Lei Lei has this down from all of her rollerblading.  She loves zooming around and was trying to figure out her twirl before we left. 

This "ice skating walker" made it so much fun for the littles.  They could just zip around and have something to hold on to.  I would have needed that if I had been brave enough to try but somebody had to take pictures! 

So after Christmas Baby Ruth decided that she wanted to use some of her money wisely and invest in something she could use.  I went in halfs with her and we bought the new Silhouette Cameo.  I can not tell you how much we LOVE this thing.  We bought one pack of paper from Hobby Lobby, our other true love, and we were set for decorations.  Everything you see for this party was cut from this little machine and one pack of paper.  Amazing how much use this little gem has already gotten.

I forgot to take pictures once I put all the food out but here is an after shot.  My favorite thing was the tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese.  Easy appetizer and the kids thought it was a lot of fun to dip their sandwich and shoot their soup!

Mimi was "hired" to do the cake as is customary now and she and Baby Ruth planned it all out.  I made a cookie topper and we were so thrilled with how it turned out.  Not to mention that the chocolate inside was delish!

So we had a beautiful cold day that felt like "Frozen" and everyone had a lot of fun.  I can't believe that my baby girl is 14.  

I couldn't be more proud of the woman that she is growing into and I feel so blessed to be able to watch this whole process.  

I always wake them up with something yummy in bed on their birthday and she went to sleep asking what I was bringing her.  Traditions are one of the best parts of family.  Little did I realize when I started this how much they would love it and how much I would cherish just one tiny candle and the first moment of their new year. Happy 14th birthday Baby Ruth.  I love you to the moon and back.

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X Marks The Spot

When Baby Ruth came home talking about the science fair she was a bit "unimpressed" with her physical science possibilities.  Her sister was hatching chicks and in comparison everything else was BORING!  I told her to try and find something in biology she could link to physical science and from that brain storming/research quest the funniest science fair project, ever, was born!  

She found a study on the effects of the earth's magnetic field and animals.  We learned that the field is at rest only about 20% of the day, but when it is, it has a large affect on our furry, feathered and scaled friends.  She started off with the effects on herds and that led to this.

Why do dogs spin in circles before doing their business?  We have all wondered that but I never thought there was a scientific reason!  I just thought they were kind of particular about their spot! Turns out they have a strong preference for the North/South direction based on the magnetic field. Like 70 % of the time they face North/South!  She found a study from a University in Germany that dedicated 2 years and 70 dogs to this experiment and their findings were conclusive that when the field is at rest the dogs will line the axis of their body with it when doing their duty! Amazing!!  

So she recruited a bunch of pups and some very sweet friends who were willing to track their dogs details for over a week and her project was born! Here are our furry friends.

Not sure if you can see the details of that graph below very good but the red and light gray are the percentages they faced north or south.  The dark gray is east and the black is west.  Not only did she learn they like N/S she learned they have a strong dislike for E/W.  Cracks me up that Gus is really thinking about where to poop when he is doing the circling trick for 45 seconds!

This was a true labor of love and couldn't have happened without some dedicated friends, who stood with a compass over their best friend, for 10 days!  So grateful for them. Our neighbors gave us some strange looks.  Crazy homeschool family!

She and her partner took 2nd place in their grade so all her hard work was worth it!  So proud of her creativity and her willingness to think outside the box, or in this case the doghouse!