Wordless Wednesday: Mini-Frog

While we were in Arkansas last week, Chipette found these super tiny frogs:

Amazed by the nature that my children attract in the treehouse,



Mama Monday: Home Fires Burning

I don't usually write about things that I have no direct experience with, but I am for this post. Today is Memorial Day, and in the United States, it is a day dedicated to honor our military men and women. While I am grateful for the soldiers and their sacrifice, I wanted to focus in my post today about the military wives.

I am pretty sure that I would not make a very good military wife. I don't have the disposition to be a single mother, not for very long anyway. But I firmly believe that women who are thrust into this calling (because their husband enlists) or choose this calling (because they marry an enlisted man) are a very special group of women.

I am privileged to have a military wife in my family. My sister-in-law's husband is in the Army. He has been sent to Afghanistan at least four times, but she rolls with the punches and keeps their family stateside going strong. I know that she depends on the other army wives and her church family to create a close knit community for support while he is away, but the nights are still lonely, I'm sure.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for her and all of the other army wives. When I think of the wives left behind, I'm reminded of the words used to describe the woman in Proverbs 31:11,

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

I have been privileged to have a glimpse into some of the communications between my brother-in-law and sister-in-law via Facebook. You can tell that he has complete trust in her when he is half a world away. He knows that anything that arises, she can handle. He knows that their two little girls are being cared for by an awesome, amazing mother who keeps "Dad" in their hearts no matter where he is located.

On this Memorial Day, I wanted to recognize these heroes behind the scenes who watch their husbands leave, who raise their children alone for months at a time, and who work at marriage and motherhood much harder than I ever will.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My niece giving her dad a hug before he is deployed to Afghanistan again.

Wishing all of the military families a very blessed Memorial Day from the treehouse,



Summary Saturday: Going Home

This Summary Saturday post is going to be a little different. We went to my parents' house this week in Arkansas. While we have our own home 12 hours away, there are some things that will always make Arkansas my "home".

Home is….The people
 Monkey, Chipette, and Magpie heading out.

Magpie and Nana (her great-grandmother, my grandma).
There are 77 years between their ages, and Nana's house is the first place we have to visit when my kids get to my parents. They love their Nana.

Chipette and Cousin A

 Daddy, Magpie, and Monkey on our hike.

Home is…The trees

We've lived in two states other than Arkansas since we were married, but the trees in the Ozarks are the best, especially in the fall. 

Home isThe food
A skillet apple pie cooking in my Mom's oven

Sunday dinner at my Grandma's house
My entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins) used to get together every Sunday at her house to eat lunch together after church. While only a few still show up now that we are all grown, it is still part of every visit home.

Home is…The mountains

 The beautiful Ozark Mountains where I grew up.
My sister walking around a rock ledge on the hike we took.

Home is…A small town

 I never want to live in a big town.
I like small towns...but close to big ones!

Home is…The flowers

 My Mom has a green thumb and a half!
These are just some of the flowers that were blooming in her yard.

Home is…My roots

 I discovered this old church on our trip home.
The best part is that it's named after my great-great-great grandfather's wife, who was the first person buried in the adjoining cemetery. My family has been in this part of the Ozarks for generations on both sides.

Home is…Heaven.
The real reason for our trip home is that my Preacher Man was doing a series of lessons at my parent's church.
As a preacher, his job is to tell people how to get to their true home...heaven. I couldn't be more proud of him.

Hoping all of you are blessed with good memories from your home like I am in the treehouse,


Moments to remember


Wordless Wednesday: A Possum with a Shell On

We're in Arkansas visiting my parents this week. Look what my husband and the girls found in the woods:

There were four of these little babies and they came right up to my girls.

Then they rolled up into balls and bounced down the side of the mountain back to their burrow under a rock ledge.

Chipette and Magpie are wanting a pet aramadillo for the treehouse now. 

The answer is "No way!" from the treehouse,


P.S. Thanks to my Papaw for inspiring the title of this post. When he first saw an armadillo in the woods while hunting, he told his friends that he'd just seen a possum in the woods with a shell on it. But no one believed him! Now they are everywhere in Arkansas.

Tasty Tuesday: Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

A friend of mine and fellow homeschooling mom posted this recipe on her blog with the title of "Best. Muffins. Ever." After making these, I have to agree with her. Eventhough I don't like pumpkin and Chipette doesn't like cinnamon, our entire family adores these muffins. I have even gotten my mom and sister hooked on these. But be forewarned...these things are more like a dessert than a breakfast food!

Here is what you need to make Pumpkin-Butterscotch Muffins:

1 stick butter, melted
1 can pumpkin
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 package (6 oz) butterscotch chips

First, mix butter, eggs, and pumpkin in a large bowl.

Add sugars and spices, then mix.

Add flour, soda, baking powder, and salt, then mix.

Add chips and mix.

Place batter in muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then enjoy these for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Thankful for Amy from Why Amy Smiles for sharing this recipe in the treehouse,



Summary Saturday: The Week of the Swan

This week all activites were put on hold for the big dance recital this Friday night. The dance studio put on the ballet, Swan Lake. We took the week off from school because life is crazy during recital week. Chipette and Magpie had rehearsals on Monday night and then Chipette had more rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday nights. All of the hard work paid off on Friday night though when the girls performed their dances.

I was backstage helping the dancers and my sister tried to record the girls' dances for me. However, we had some technical difficulties and Magpie's dance didn't get recorded, but Chipette's did. Here is her Hungarian Dance from Swan Lake:


She worked so hard and did an amazing job...especially since she's only eight!

Here are pictures of Magpie and Chipette at the end of the night when they came out to receive their flowers and gifts for being Mom, Dad, Gran, Papaw, and Aunt Fluffy's beautiful ballerinas:

And as if all of that wasn't enough, I also had a garage sale this weekend on Friday and Saturday morning since my parents were in town to watch the Tree Dwellers while I made some money for our Disney World trip in September. The garage sale was well worth it, though. I made $300!!!

I hope all of you had footloose and money making weeks as well!

Ready to go back to "homeschool" mom instead of "dance" mom (It's exhausting!) next week in the treehouse,



Wordless Wednesday: No Ugly Ducklings Here

The ballet students

My little Night Star (Magpie)

 My Hungarian Dancer (Chipette)

Odette and the Cignets



So excited for Swan Lake this Friday night in the treehouse,

Chelli , Chipette, and Magpie

Tasty Tuesday: The Easiest Cookie Recipe EVER!

Sometimes I come across a recipe that just blows my mind. I try to figure out how the recipe works without what I consider essential ingredients. One day I will go to culinary school to learn the science behind cooking, which I think sounds so interesting.

When I first saw this recipe in a magazine, I wanted to make it just to see if it tasted good (it does!) and if it was really that easy (it is!).

Here is what you need to make Peanut Butter Cookes:

1 egg
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar

Seriously, that is all you need, no flour, no butter, nothing else...I promise!

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.

Now pinch off some of the dough and roll into about a 1-inch ball.

Roll the ball on a plate sprinkled with sugar until all sides are coated. This is the step my childred beg to do!

Place the balls on a cookie sheet and gently press a criss cross design onto the top of each with a fork.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Let cool, then eat them up!

Some adjustments you can make:
  • If you like softer cookies, then don't press out the balls before baking. Bake the balls as they are for about five minutes, take them out of the oven and press the criss-cross shape on the top, then bake for five more minutes.
  • If you want to make the peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses in them, then bake the cookies as a ball for three minutes. Take out the cookie balls, press a chocolate kiss into the middle of each one, then finish baking for seven more minutes.

Nothing goes better with peanut butter cookies than some ice, cold milk in the treehouse,



Scripture Sunday and Mama Monday: Are You Mom Enough?

There was a recent Time magazine cover (in case you haven't heard of it!) that featured a mother and her child. While the picture was staged for shock value, the headline is what really got me a little angry. The headline read "Are You Mom Enough?" as if to imply that you weren't "mom enough" if you didn't make the same choices that the mothers in the article made. Basically, I'm sick of the mommy wars, and mothers judging other mothers for their choices. In light of the fact it is Mother's Day, I wanted to write a quick post about what it truly means to be "Mom Enough".

If you have ever abruptly, in the middle of a conversation with another adult, shouted out something that you could not ever imagine saying (Do not spray the cat with air freshener!)...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever hiked up your skirt, thrown off your shoes, and high hurdled obstacles like an Olympic athelete to stop your child from running into the street or parking lot...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you've taken a hands-on approach to your child's constipation . . . .

You Are Mom Enough.

If you've ever had to do loads of laundry at 2am and 5am because your kid puked on every item of bedding she owns, twice each . . . .

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever wished that just once there was someone else to make the sandwich, wash the soccer uniform, correct the math, replace the toilet paper, or find anything at all in the refrigerator...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever understood the saying that motherhood is having your heart walk around outside of your body...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever sacrificed time, energy, money or sleep for a child...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever researched all sides of an issue (breast or bottle, vaccination or not, co-sleep or cry it out, homeschool or public school or private school, early to preschool, late to Kinder, etc...) agonized over your decision, followed your heart only to be told that you are ignorant at best, dangerous at worst...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever looked at your child and felt totally inadequate to the task of parenting him or her, and then done your best...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you've managed to keep your cool through a scary ordeal so your kids wouldn't panic . . . .

You Are Mom Enough.

If you've willingly contracted every illness your kid brought home because being "careful" would have meant being less loving . . . .

You Are Mom Enough.

If you've held your child as she cried over big stuff you can't fix . . . .

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever walked the floors at night due to a colicky infant, teething baby, feverish toddler, fearful child or overdue teen...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever fallen to your knees in prayer, gritted your teeth to keep back angry words, shouted with helpless laughter, cried tears of despair or joy because of a child...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you have ever felt sticky fingers on your arm, a little whisper in your ear (Mom, I need to tell you something.), then the most wonderful words ever uttered (Mom, I love you.), and you know that you wouldn't trade those words for anything in the world...

You Are Mom Enough.

If you finally understood what Mother Bear instinct was all about when you held your child in you arms for the first time...

You Are Mom Enough.

If being a mother has finally helped you understand the agony God felt at watching his Son be crucified for the sins of the world...

You Are Mom Enough.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who are being "Mom Enough" for their children. God bless you.

Blessed by my children who have taught me to be Mom Enough in the treehouse,


P.S. Thank you to Amber in SJ and SKL from the Well-Trained Mind Forums who came up with most of these mom scenarios. You inspired this post.


Summary Saturday: The Best Laid Plans

So a while back (at the end of February!), I posted about how we were going to take a break from our regular homeschool curriculum to do a unit study on ballet. {BALLET UNIT STUDY} I had no idea when we started that Chipette would enjoy it this much. The unit study was supposed to only take six weeks, but because of rabbit trails and Chipette wanting to make her notebook perfect, we are still plugging along through the ballet unit study. And I must say that we are having a fabulous time! I've enjoyed it and learned just as much as Chipette has. Here is a picture of her ballet notebook where we learned about the history of ballet clothing: pointe shoes, tutus, leotards, and soft slippers:

This past week we learned about Tchaikovsky who wrote the music for three of the most famous ballets in the world: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty. He also wrote the Overture for the Romeo and Juliet ballet. One of the most interesting things we learned was that Tchaikovsky had horrendous stage fright. The first time he conducted an orchestra in a theater he held on to his beard the entire time because he was afraid his head would fall off because he was so afraid. After that experience he didn't conduct in public again for ten years! But eventually he began to conduct again, but always conducted with his eyes closed so he didn't see all of the people in the audience. Here is a picture of Chipette's notebooking page about the composer.

Probably the saddest thing we learned about Tchaikovsky was that his only regret in life was that he had never had the experience of a loving relationship with a wife. He was engaged once, but the woman left him for another man a week before the wedding. A second time he actually got married, but within a month his wife had asked for an annulment because she said that he didn't suit her. It was really sad thinking about this man who wrote such beautiful, romantic music, but never experienced love like that in real life. Chipette and I both got a little teary-eyed reading that part of the biography.

On a happier note, Magpie and Chipette made abstract animals pictures for art this week. Let's see if you can figure out what their animals are. Here is a picture of their masterpieces hanging in the art gallery (aka the refrigerator) with each girl standing underneath her picture:

Okay, I'll help you out! Magpie made a flamingo (the pink thing) surrounded by buildings (all of the other pieces). Chipette made a blue bird diving to the ground for a worm. They were so proud and, yes, Magpie is wearing a Supergirl costume for school that day!

Not to be outdone, Monkey painted his first masterpiece with our Do-A-Dot art markers. It was a teddy bear cowboy. I would have taken a picture of his finished work, but he immediately tore it up and threw it away. I'm thinking I have a tempermental artist on my hands! Here is a picture of him working intently on his painting:

To go along with our ballet study we've been studying the human body. This week we worked on the eye, ear, and skin. Here are Magpie and Chipette learning how the pupil expands and contracts to let more light in when it's dark and to keep light out when it's bright:

They had great fun shining the light into each others' eyes!

And last but not least, Magpie and Monkey had a lot of fun one afternoon this week when I let them fill up the kitchen sinks with bubbles and just have a good time. 

Plus my floor around the sink got a good scrubbing from all of the bubbles and water splashed over the sides!

And a sad ending to our week was that Chipette got sick with a kidney infection this morning which called for an emergency doctor's visit. And our family bike ride got put off until another day.

She's still not feeling very good, but we have antibiotics now so hopefully she will be on the mend soon.

I hope all of you had a great week!

Learning that the best laid plans are usually derailed in the treehouse,