Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Can you believe it? Already?

Our Christmas dinner table.

The girls on Christmas morning with their Webkinz that Santa brought them.

Our visit to "Storybook Land" this year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas from our House to Yours

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

The year has been for the most part, a great one for us, with the exception of the passing of Bryan’s beloved Mother, Phyllis in June.

2008 has nearly come to a close, with the children (sans Jessica, who is too “old”) performing in the church Christmas musical “Donkey Tales”. Hannah was one of the 4 lead characters and a soloist. Abby had a couple stints as a dancer. Melissa was the house seamstress.

A few of our highlights:

In April, Bryan had his second shoulder surgery, which will now limit his chances of making the next Olympic gymnastics team (age could be a factor as well!).

Summer was filled with several camping trips. Hiking, biking, fishing and family and friends.

Our Shih Tzu “Mocha” wanted a dog, so we adopted a blonde Shih Tzu “Tia”. Now if we can just get him to clean up after her!

Melissa continues to homeschool the children while Bryan instructs them in music.

Hannah and Abby participated in a week long “Safety Camp” sponsored by the local police & fire departments in July.

Jessica and Hannah attended a 3-day overnight 4-H outdoor school camp in September.

Melissa attended the annual Women’s Weekend sponsored by our church.

The girls and Melissa took part in the Salvation Army bell ringing on the day after Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Cactus

Here's a picture of my Thanksgiving Cacti. For whatever reason they bloom at this time each year. Why they can't hold off until Christmas, I don't know.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Princess Tia

Tia is the newest addition to our household. She's a sweetheart although Mocha is not sure about her.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Values-Driven giveaway

My friends over at Values-Driven Family are having a HUGE yard sale this weekend, but I saved aside a few of my very favorite resources that I want to GIVE AWAY to one of you!

I'm hoping to keep you all better updated on things via our blog (my posting lately has been rather non-existent), so if you will visit our blog and leave a comment on any of the posts written between today (October 7) and Friday (October 10th), I'll enter you to win ALL of these great resources:

"The Wise Woman's Guide to Blessing Her Husband's Vision" Vision Forum 2-CD set by Doug Phillips (listened to once or twice, still in fine condition from what I can tell)

3 gently used books by Emilie Barnes: "The Creative Home Organizer," "More Hours in my Day," and "15 Minute Home and Family Organizer."

3 like-new books by Elizabeth George: "Life Management for BusyWomen," "A Woman after God's Own Heart," and "Beautiful in God's Eyes"
New (with some shelf dust) "Mom" Bible study: "Finding Joy in All You Are" by Jean Syswerda, AND

Some NEW resources from Doorposts: The Blessings Chart, The Brother-Offended Checklist, "Go to the Ant" chart, and a gently used "Checklist for Parents: Questions and Scripture for Self-Examination."

If you post about the giveaway on your blog, I will enter your name THREE times! Just link directly to my blog post and mention in your comment that you did so, leaving a link back to your blog entry.

In other news, I am new to Facebook. Find me and add me as a friend so we can get to know each other better online! :)

Finally, we are participating in a benefit for Hopeful Farm, a retreat for homeschool families with children with special needs. It's going on until November 27th, if you'd like to check it out--you will get tons of excellent e-products from Christian publishers like Cindy Rushton, Jill Novak, and more. Visit for more information.

See you again in a couple of weeks--don't forget to stop by the blog for your chance to win a bunch of great stuff!


Cindy Carrier

Values-Driven, 929 S. Waggoner Rd., Paragon IN 46166

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Our stairs are almost finished. This is looking from the living room to the entrance of the staircase.

Here's looking down the staircase.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another camping trip

This time in Florence. The girls & the dog had a great time on the sand dunes. I don't remember them being so tall and steep!!!!!!!! I thought I was going to die trying to climb them. The ocean was beautiful as always. Of course it was foggy, windy and cold.

Here we are after climbing the dunes. Wondering how I'm going to get down. The girls rolled down. Look like fun but decided at my age I may hurt myself.

The girls are looking for newts. They actually found one and Jessica almost dove into the water to catch it.

(don't know why my people can't understand that. "I'm bred to be cute, not camp!") And look at this ridiculous 'sweater' mom made me. I look like like underdog. (It did keep me warm, though)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

So what's new?

You may be asking. Well, we (Mom and the girls) went camping for 5 days with a friend and her 3 children in the middle of July where Jessica caught her first trout (11 1/4").

The last week of July, Jessica and Mom volunteered, teaching 5th grade crafts, for a week during VBS at church while Abby and Hannah participated in their grade level classes.

We have at least one more camping trip scheduled before school starts, a wedding to go to the next weekend and a wedding reception to attend the next. Then there is Labor Day. I have school scheduled to start on the 15th of September

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy 14th Anniversary!!!

Can you believe it has been 14 years already? This one is Ivory. Bryan got me an ivory colored microfleece blanket for couch snuggling and an ivory rose. Beautiful. I got him a memory foam pillow, ivory colored of course.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


The Lea family on another camping trip. This time at Cascadia and the weather was beautiful, warm but not too hot, no rain, didn't freeze at night. Bryan took the girls fishing for the very first time. They didn't catch anything but fun was had by all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gramma Phyllis

We planted a living memorial to Bryan's mom, Phyllis, who passed away June 17th after a short battle with colon cancer.

Phyllis Faye Lea

Phyllis F. Lea passed away Tuesday afternoon, June 17, 2008 after brief illness. Her husband was a tender rock for her and an inspiration to all of us during her illness. She and Dick are long time residents of Billings. She was born in Stevensville, Montana to George T. Wickham and Violet Wickham in 1929. After living in Hamilton for a couple of years, the family returned to Stevensville. Phyllis graduated high school in Stevensville and attended college in Dillon. She eloped with Dick in 1948 much to the chagrin of her father. They started a family while Dick attended the University of Montana in Missoula on the G.I. bill. Eventually they made their home in Missoula. Her passion always was to have children. Her devotion to her family was her greatest commitment and accomplishment. She was a constant foundational presence in the lives of her children and will remain so in death. (She was a particular stickler for grammar and table manners in our formative years!) We could always make her laugh. She had a life long love of reading and music which she passed on to her children. In her later years she was a painter and avid golfer. For years she was a daily fixture at the gym. She learned yoga, worked with weights and treadmill and loved socializing. She was in her element meeting new people. We always said she could talk to a lamp pole. She loved her organ. She enjoyed peaceful evenings in the sanctuary of her garden and yard. Dick added many elements to that sanctuary which delighted her. She even took an occasional turn on the big swing in the yard. Saturday was her shopping day and she always stopped for a latte, bantering with the staff, before coming home. She had a great affection for animals of all kinds, She enthusiastically mothered several small dogs throughout the years. She left us just a few months shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. Our wife and mother pushed through life's many challenges with grit and unyielding perseverance. We are her living legacies. We hope we've made you proud, mama.

Phyllis is survived by her beloved husband, Richard H. (Dick) Lea, three children, Peggy Bargmeyer, Tucson, Arizona, Dan Lea, Belgrade, Bryan Lea, Albany, Oregon; seven grandchildren, Paula Flatt, Livingston, Jesse Lea, Belgrade, Amy Olson, Butte, Zack Lea, Belgrade, Jessica, Hannah and Abby, Albany; and four great-grandchildren, Jacob and Ashley, Butte and Haylee and Piper, Belgrade. She is also survived by her much loved sister, Patti Hellman, Lakeside and two nieces, Susan and Jill. Adoring and adored by every single one. We are honored to call ourselves her family.

There will be no public service. The family will gather to celebrate her life at a later time. Memorial tributes may be made to the Humane Society. Cremation will take place. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel. Memories and condolences may be made to the family at .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A day at the Oregon Coast

Aquarium, that is. We took a trip to Newport today. The girls and I really enjoyed the new exhibits at the aquarium. As always, we had to take the picture of the girls on the playground. I need to dig out the others from the past 7 years.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Camping in the rain.

There's really nothing like it and I prefer not to do it. However, seems like every time we go I choose the weekend it rains! This is us Memorial Day weekend making 'smores in the rain.

Here's a big slug the girls found on our hike. The girls found a newt.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Finally warm.

Wow. It has finally warmed up around here. I spent most of the day yesterday planting flowers, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini. Here's a picture of me and the girls with my yellow Rhodie, Tulips and Mother's Day rose bush.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tase of Home Entertaining - Spring Celebration Party FREE COOKBOOK

I’m hosting a party with Taste of Home Entertaining and would love to have you there to celebrate with me! The exclusive line of high quality products will inspire your entertaining, and give you great tools and serving pieces to help you prepare and present meals with style and ease.

Every customer can get a free Celebrations Cookbook with your purchase of $29.96 or more!!!

You can preview the Spring catalog here.

Your Consultant: Therese Davis

Check out Thereses Monthly Newsletter Here

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

15 years ago . . .

on May 5, 1993 I met my wonderful husband. We've now been married almost 14 years. I thank God every day for bringing this man into my life. Here's a picture of us at our meeting place and favorite restaurant, Mazatlan, in Pendleton. I think this was taken before we were married.

Monday, April 07, 2008

HSS contest

It is that time of year again. Homeschool Share is holding their annual Back to School Blast (a curriculum drive in the form of a contest)! Click on the above button to go to their website and check out their contest.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Oregon drawings

The girls have drawn some pictures to enter the OSU Agriculture in the Classroom calendar contest.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flowers, flowers, flowers

We've got some beautiful flowers in bloom and I've rediscovered I'm allergic to an awful lot of them. Especially Lilies and Daffodils.

My 41st birthday came and went with little fanfare but I had a wonderful day with my family.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our next project . . .

Spring is almost here. The flowers and trees are blooming, my allergies are wreaking havoc, and the bugs are coming out of hibernation. It is also time to embark on our next learning project. What is it going to be? Not sure yet. We'll do a short Easter project then move into another unit study. I think the girls would enjoy the American Girls unit I just purchased. Maybe a science study. Maybe birds. Maybe bees. Maybe veterinary science. One thing's for sure, we best hop to it if we're going to get this school year finished!!!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Iditarod, again

We've been watching the Iditarod for 11 days (9 officially) and we now have several finishers. Lance Mackey was the first into Nome, again. We've been keeping an eye on the webcam and have caught glimpses of teams coming in, as the webcam takes still pictures that refresh every minute. It would be great to have live-action streaming video but we didn't want to spring for the insider membership.

We've learned more than we set out to learn through these past 6 weeks. The girls have put together a 'lapbook' on Sled Dogs, the Iditarod and our musher, Rachael Scdoris and her dog team. They are plugging along, staying healthy and having a great time.

We've got a couple more days until the last team comes in. They are awarded a "Red Lantern". (A red lantern is awarded to the last musher to finish. The longest time for a Red Lantern was 32 days, 15 hours, nine minutes and one second by John Schultz in 1973. The quickest Red Lantern musher was David Straub with a time of 14 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes and 12 seconds.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


We've been preparing to follow the race for about a month. The girls decided to make their own 'dog sled team' out of their webkinz. They have a bear from Hawaii in the 'sled'. I bet he's cold.

The musher we are following is from Bend, OR and is legally blind and has a past winner as her 'visual interpreter'. She's plugging along and doing great. Go, Rachel, go!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Flowers in bloom!!!

We had sunshine today, enough for me to get outside and clear some flower beds. The crocuses are blooming and the tulips and daffodils are up.

Unfortunately my shoes were wet and I slipped and fell down the front steps and hit my head. I'm a klutz normally but this is ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mush! Gee! Haw!

Our school has joined the eIditarod 2008 project. We will be learning about dog sledding and following our chosen musher, Rachael Scdoris and her team throughout the race. We chose her because she is from Bend, Oregon, is only 22 years old, and is legally blind. We'll be tracking her team at each checkpoint from Willow to Nome, Alaska. Above is our wall map we'll be using throughout this virtual journey.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Homeschool your child for free....

Good morning, all! I've come down with a miserable cold that has settled in my chest. I think the girls have it, too.

Anyway, to the topic at hand. If you are interested in "Homeschooling Your Child for Free", Dori over at Oakes Academy of Excellence has a wonderful website full of school stuff. She works very hard putting things together so we don't have to spend an arm and a leg to teach our children. Go on over and check out her site.

God bless you all and we'll try to have a great adventure today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When did this happen?

OK! It just hit me today (I'm a little slow on the uptake), I have not 1, not 2, but 3 tween girls!!!

Life is going to get real exciting at our house!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

We Are Those Freaky Homeschoolers

OK, ok, ok!!! I've finally come across a blog (thank you Suzanne) in which I can truly relate to. Over at Barefoot Meandering's blog there is a post called "We Are Those Freaky Homeschoolers". It is great. You gotta check it out.

Happy New Year!!!

Here's a picture of the New Year's spread
we put together today. Just taking the day off
and getting ready for the new year. (That's Diet Pepsi in the glass)

CurrClick Newest Items

CurrClick Hottest Items

Visit Thereses new website and discover her Taste of Home Entertaining's stylish, elegant, and casual products.

Knowledge Box Central

Homeschool Math

Generate free worksheets at Homeschool Math Randomly generated and very customizable worksheets for basic operations with whole numbers, integers, decimals, fractions, and percents.