Monday, February 27, 2017

100th Day of School

Nolan recently achieved his 100th day of school, so of course we had a party!  Elaine was included in some of the activities, but not all of them.  She disappointedly pointed out that Nolan got to be included in her 100th day of K5 party, so he really gets to do it twice.  Problems of being the oldest child!  I did mix up the activities a little, and thanks to Pinterest I got some great printables!
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We made pictures of what we will look like when we are 100 years old.  Fun!
Nolan loves to color, so this “Seek and Find” coloring sheet was right up his alley!
I loved Nolan’s bucket list!  Number 1 was definitely “get a wife”!  He’s got his priorities straight!  Elaine sat there and said, “I don’t know what to write!”  Nolan kept prompting her, “Don’t you want to get married?  Don’t you want some kids?”  She opted for “Go to China” and “Ride a Horse” instead!
100 Glasses
For access to my 100th Day Party ideas, a collection of printables passed on from friends, and downloads from Pinterest, and worksheets I have created, click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Play Store

Elaine is learning all about money in Math class, so to practice counting and adding up different denominations, we set up a pretend store.  I admit.. I think I had as much fun with this as she did!

Elaine's General Store
We set up the store while the little kids were napping.  Elaine prepared the price tags, and I made signs on the computer. 

Elaine's General Store
She wanted two aisles in her store, so we did that!

Elaine's General Store

Elaine's General Store Elaine's General Store
Cashier’s station, with phone, adding board, and change!  (She even stopped to answer the phone while checking out a customer!)

Elaine's General Store

Elaine's General Store  Elaine's General Store
Adding up and counting back change…

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This was a fun project!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

:: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
I haven’t followed Money Saving Mom for a few years, but this recipe for Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls makes the absolute best cinnamon rolls ever!  They are light and fluffy (thanks to the egg whites), and easy to make.  You can freeze them, or leave them in the fridge overnight and bake for breakfast.  We had them for Christmas and New Years breakfasts, and now Nolan is requesting them a lot.  One batch used to last for two breakfasts…but not anymore!

:: Prismacolor Pencils
These soft lead pencils are perfect for Bible marking!  I’m not a big “adult coloring book” person, but I have seen these pencils next to those books at Wal-Mart!  I really like the sharpener, which allows me to sharpen without getting such a long pointy tip which will easily break!  The sharpener has two different holes, so you can choose the tip on your pencil.

:: Spearmint Iced Tea
We used to drink Crystal Light peach tea…until we cut aspertame out of our diet.  When we went to Wayland, MO in 2015 on deputation, one of the ladies made fresh spearmint iced tea for VBS each day.  It was delicious!  Even unsweetened!  I don’t have a place to grow my own spearmint like she did, but I have been purchasing spearmint tea bags from the Bulk Herb Store to brew a big pitcher of iced tea every couple of days!  (By the way, 1/2 pound of tea bags goes a looooooong way!)

cq5dam.web.1280.1280:: Hershey Kisses Truffles
Have you seen this version of the kiss in the Valentine’s candy aisle?  It’s a close second favorite, right behind the Christmas Candy Cane Hugs!

:: Carbonite Backup
So, two weeks ago my laptop hard drive crashed.  Yes…with over 26,000 photos, 50+ GB of videos, and a lot of iTunes music.  Honestly, I have just been considering dropping my Carbonite Backup to save the $60 per year.  But this week, I was soooo very thankful I had everything backed up on Carbonite.  It is slow to restore (or you can pay to get your files mailed to you on an external HDD), and it has taken me 10 days to get everything back.  But do you know what I lost in my crashed hard drive?  Not a single file.  Worth the $60 to me now!

:: Panstoria Artisan and Historian
I have converted from paper scrapbooks to Chatbooks (if you use my referral code to start a Chatbook, I get one free and you do too!) and digital scrapbooking.  But I use these two programs for so much more than that!  Of my 26,000 photos, everything is encrypted and double-backed up for security, and I can find a single picture in a few seconds because of tags, dates, and file sorting.  And while I am no graphic artist, I have been able to create subway art pictures for my home, invitations for church and other events, and numerous school activities.  Artisan is very user friendly and easy to learn, and much cheaper than Photoshop!  Both products are available at

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snow Much Fun

We are living in the Hudson River Valley, nestled against Schunemunk Mountain State Park.  So, we have had our fair share of snow this year!  The driveway to the church where we are living is over a quarter mile long, so everytime the snow is plowed, there is a good pile of new snow for the kids to enjoy.  We recently had two forts, and a tunnel built!  The kids loved playing in the snow, and I loved being able to send them out unsupervised, since we are secluded away with no neighbors!

Snow fort #2, with tunnel entrance – Nolan, Elaine, Nehemiah, and Libs

Liberty exiting the tunnel, with Elaine trying to dodge Daddy’s snowball arm.

The house/church where we are staying.  We live in the little “popped up” part in the center of the top.  The kids have enjoyed roaming this area in snow and sun, on foot, sled, and bike.  It has been good for us to be here, but I am definitely ready to move on!

This storm on Feb 10-11 dumped us over a foot, to the delight of my kids!


IMG_3090Elaine enjoyed pulling the sled until Libs started filling it with snow as they went!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nothing New Here

There’s not much new going on in the Hamilton household.  We are still living in Upstate NY (Orange County, about an hour north of the Bronx) while we wait on our house purchase to be completed.  We DID make a lot of progress on that this week, and now we are just waiting for the seller’s bank to grant an approval for the short sale.  To prepare for moving, we started packing up some of the extra stuff we have accumulated while the rest of our life is in the storage unit. 


We are still plugging along in school.  I started teaching Elaine piano, though it’s been hard to be faithful in lesson and practice times.  We’re still working on that.  Smile We also enjoyed a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.  It’s one of the museums that is “suggested donation” so it’s more economical for a big family to go.  I made a scavenger hunt booklet for the kids to keep their interest.  It worked up until the end, when the fact that no naps and lots of walking caught up with the twins.

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We have had varying weather, so we enjoyed some snow play and also some warm weather.  We even had a day at the zoo with our friends the Barkers, and we didn’t wear our jackets!  That night, we got over a foot of snow.

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Adelei, Elaine, Nolan, Ethan, Lydia, Henry, Nehemiah, & Liberty

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Henry’s first time sledding…busted his lip up.  Daddy helped make the tunnel and Mommy built the fort.  We have a second fort in our yard, so if you want to hop on over for a snowball fight, we are ready!

My Grandpa turned 91 on February 7th.  We couldn’t be there this year (we had a big family shindig last year for #90), so we send a card that included 91 candles.


This year we were home to participate in the Happy Hearts Banquet at church!  I was asked to make the favors, which we also used on the tables as part of the decor.  Ben made the wood block stands from scrap wood, and I designed the verse card.  I love doing that kind of thing!  Since we rarely go out alone, and haven’t done anything much for anniversaries or Valentines Day while on deputation, Ben brought be a corsage to wear to the banquet.

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