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Monday, May 31, 2010

Birds in our Yard

Well I have been bird watching again. I usually spend my mornings drinking coffee watching the birds at the feeder and trying to listen to the different songs. I have the bird song book. It has a picture of the bird and a couple of examples of it's song is recorded.

Lexi loves listening to all the different loon sounds. One really sounds sort of like a coyote. They are pretty spooky. Especially when she plays them in the daytime.

This is a song sparrow, we have a male and female couple that are usually in the front yard
around the tree with the feeder. They usually eat off the ground and seem to be living in
our Holly Tree.
This is the female, she usually stays better hidden in the grass.

The male is less fearful and usually ventures out in the open more.
The male song sparrow. Well have to think up some names for them, since
these are around every day.
Here are a couple of our birds that are often in our yard. They are the female and male Brown Thrasher. (It looks like she is really considering making her nest right out here in the open.)
As soon as she left, we went and stepped around and tried to spread some human sent there, to disuade her from doing so. (Being in the open would be sure heartache for her, especially with all the crows we have around in the back.) I'm trying to find a way to get rid of them. But my neighbors vegetable garden is pretty tempting for the crows.

These are also seen eating on the ground, not in feeders in the trees.

New Fridge Continued

I had a few other comments about my previous post about my new Samsung refrigerator.
It is very quiet in operation compared to my old Frigidaire. (When the old compressor kicked on it was very noisy.) This new one just has a slight hum. It is a little noisy when it has to fill the ice trays. You can hear the water spraying into the icemaker. You can also hear the ice maker dump. I know the ice dumping is normal to hear in any machine.

Another great perk of this fridge is that the shelves can be pulled out. So if you are trying to reach something on the back of the shelf you gain easier access.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homeschool Update

Well I wish I could say we are on summer break. But the kids still have
4 more math lessons to finish up.

We are not doing any more unit studies until fall.
We will continue some T4L LA and Math through the summer.
Just a little each day. I haven't figured out exactly how much yet.
I think we may do LA MWF and Math T, and Th.

And when we have guests in town we will take off from all schooling.
We may take 2 weeks off in June and July, so they will actually have 4 whole weeks off
with no work. They aren't real happy about it. But I think they still need to read
and do a little math over the summer months.

With Lexi I plan to do alot of MUS review. Go back and watch some of the videos
again with her, and work on some concepts. Especially borrowing in subtraction.

Peyton doesn't really need any remedial work, he just needs to stay on pace.

At the Dam

I captured this a couple weeks back, taken at the Dam. It was a nice evening for a walk.
Lexi age 8.

Playing around and a little yard work too.

These pictures were taken today and yesterday. The kids were playing football in the yard. (Well Gary was throwing the ball to Peyton, and Lexi was trying to intercept or
keep Peyton from getting it.)

He did a good job of catching this one.

He caught it and is now running.
Another good catch.
Now time to clean up some extra branches we cut off. Dixie is eager to help.
She is running away with the branch. She is supposed to put it in the wagon.
Not much help, but she is having fun.
She wore herself down, she should sleep really well tonight.

Our refrigerator compressor went out. (Time for a new fridge.)

Okay now I am sure everyone must think this is a really boring post. But, well things like this pretty much excite me. (Getting a new fridge that is.) And of course I just want to include in this post that you might want to pass on a Frigidaire if you are ever in the market for a new refrigerator. Our first compressor went out under warranty (thankfully) just less than 3 years after getting it. (Over $200.00 worth of food ruined.)

So I must say I was surprised when I opened the freezer Saturday morning and water was dripping out of the ice maker. I realized most of the food had thawed over night. (Same story, 3 years later.) I am wondering if the compressor has an automatic go out switch around the three year mark.

We decided that we were not putting any money into this 6 year old machine. And actually right before this occurred my husband and I were discussing over coffee that we were not planning any other major purchases this year. In the last 90 days we have had to replace an AC unit,
A van alternator, a dishwasher that bit the dust, a new sink, we also just put in a rock garden around our deck and bought patio furniture for it. (And of course we needed a new grill.)
We have 3 new doors on order for the house as well.) So we were done with spending for this year. (Well, 15 minutes later we were facing another $$$ crisis.) Ugh.

So we spent literally all day Saturday researching refrigerators. We narrowed it down to LG and Samsung. The LG model we looked at had a 10 year compressor warranty. (Which we liked, but it only covered parts.) The Samsung warranty was 5 years for parts and labor. (As a standard warranty.) Thankfully our local Lowes had it in stock. We were able to drive about 4 miles down the road to look, see and touch the exact one we would be purchasing. And another great thing,
they had a Memorial Day Weekend Sale of 20% off. We explained our dilema to the gentleman assisting us. (And told him, our food was currently on ice in coolers.) Even though we had lost quite a bit. But again, thankfully our deep freeze had most of our frozen meats etc.

To our surprise they were able to deliver it first thing this morning.

Our old side by side Frigidaire. With the handles off.
The inside of the old Frigidaire
The new Samsung (rated #1 in customer satisfaction. Twin Cooling System.
French Door with pull out drawer freezer at bottom.
And shiny too!

Storage in Door for milk, easy access for kids. No more reaching for the top shelf for them.

Inside Food Pantry drawer with it's own temp controls.
I have it set on chill setting for meats and cheeses.
(I noticed we eat way to much cheese!)

Inside view, I love the cool blue LED Lights.
This was after a shopping trip to replace some items we lost.
Also the vegetable and fruit crispers have their own humidity controls.

Above-Close up view of bottom shelf, crispers and deli drawer.

Full view of inside of fridge before I went and bought more groceries. (This was just the stuff
we managed to save on ice over the last 24 hours.

This is the bottom freezer drawer. There is a deep bin below another pull out drawer,
for frequently used items. This has 2 large tubs of Ice Cream stacked.
On the right is a divider for frozen vegetables or whatever you choose.

Where the ice packs are (The smiley face, and cold compress, this is actually a lift drawer
to store 16" pizzas. But we don't eat frozen pizzas so it worked well for our ice packs and
other frozen smaller items.

The drawer above is the top freezer drawer inside the big pull out drawer. As
you can see the ice maker is on the left. Which can be turned off for additional storage.
But like I said we like alot of ice. And we often fill coolers with ice, or have company, so
the extra ice is really nice. Waffles and pancakes are easily accessible for the kids.

Anyway, I have been very pleased thus far with it. (I am very happy with Lowes as well.)
I added in another post about the shelves that pull out and how quiet it runs.
You can read it here.

A visit from friends.

We recently had friends from Texas come for a visit. Debbie and I both love to scrapbook.
So we went to the Super Scrapbook store in Sevierville, and next door to that is a big discount scrapbook store. Lexi went along with us, so she wouldn't be stuck with the guys. We went out to eat for lunch and then drove through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to show Debbie a quick tour.
Friday night we went to my normal monthly scrap night with friends and enjoyed some fellowship and food with other scrappers.

Gus and Gary spent their time fishing, night after night. We also took a trip to Bass Pro Shops, went into the edge of the Smokies, but unfortunately the road to Grotto Falls was closed.

We headed back home and stopped at the Apple Shack for a candied apple.

Debbie and Gus really enjoyed the beauty, rolling hills and mountains here in Tn. They loved the view from our front porch and back decks. We sat outside most of the time they were here.

Gus and Gary drinking coffee on the front porch. (After a long night fishing.)

Gus and Debbie at Bass Pro Shops
Gus and Us at BPS
Gus and Peyton sampling the Peach Cobbler made in a Dutch Oven over a campfire.
Gary and I wishing.....

The Apple Shack, Sevierville Tn.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another sewing project

This is the last sewing project I did. I made a dress, a bandanna and a matching purse for Lexi.
Well actually 2 matching purses.

There was an adorable ruffle at the bottom of the dress that is no longer there after the first washing. It is called flounce. It just raveled and came apart. Next time I will think about finding clearance material.

Wildlife Conference by TWRA

Teneessee Wildlife Resource Association put on a Wildlife conference for the local homeschool community. We were fortunate to be able to attend this last Friday.

The first person we saw and heard from was Lynn. Lynn is a local lady that does Wildlife Rehab. She takes in injured animals and then hopes to nurse them back to health so they can return to the wild. Those that cannot return to the wild stay with her.

Baby opossums. She said many times a mom opossum might
get hit by a car, but she may have babies in the pouch that can survive.
If someone checks they can bring the babies in to her.

A hawk.
A Barred Owl

A Screech Owl.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adding in the pea gravel.

We decided to use pea gravel for the rock. Dh brought home 2 scoops today and we put it out. We figure another 2 scoops should finish up this rock area.

It was alot of hard work raking and shoveling it out.
Luckily, we could scrap it off and then push it down hill.

Down the hill.
Trying to spread it around and under the deck too.

Hopefully we will finish putting the rock out this week. 
And then get to painting the deck.

By the way, I did help. I was covered in dirt and dust.
I didn't just hold the camera.

We really need a good rain to come and wash the rock.
And I ordered my patio table for the top today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A work in progress

We have been working on this for a while now. We added onto the deck and covered the bottom area. This area always got dirty underneath and so we hardly ever used it. Then we needed to do something around and under the deck to make it more attractive. So this is the beginning of adding a rock border. We plan to fill it with large pea gravel hopefully later this week. (If I can manage to move after yesterday's work.)

Peyton pretending to help with weeding.
I did it myself.

He did help pick up rocks and dirt clods that needed to be removed.

Lexi likes to help, and tries to pick up the dirt bucket.
The french drain had to be re-dug so it wouldn't stick up above the ground.

The rock.

Laying the fabric and rock border
 Adding rocks inside .
We will fill it later with smaller rock.

Alot of rocks were heavy. So we were pretty tired when we got done.
I know it is going to look really nice once we get it done.

So we need to fill it, then paint the deck. Then we have another 
flower bed to tear out and do the same thing.