Month: November 2012 (page 1 of 3)

Why are our thumbs important?

We enjoyed our science lesson today.

We had to tape our thumbs down and try picking things up without them.  (The hand on the right is actually Grace’s)
Grace was trying to open a Starburst with no thumb.
Ben trying to pick up a penny.
Grace trying to write her name.  (You can see what they wrote when they could use their thumbs.)
Ben trying to write his name.
Recording our findings in our journals.
Little scientist.
Our science board.
We had so much fun with this.  We laughed and laughed while experimenting without our thumbs. 
We are definitely glad that God gave us thumbs!
We had a good time with this, but are still really working on how to do this school thing!  (I am learning how much of a control freak I really am!  Yikes!)  I am working on realizing that “school” and “home school” are two very different beasts!  (Do I say this every post?  I hope not!)
We also enjoyed an afternoon of making our ornaments for the 25 names of Jesus advent activity we will be doing starting December 1st.  Here is a peek at our LOVELY ornaments.  
I totally burnt my thumb (ironic after our science lesson on thumbs) while hot gluing the lion onto the ornament.  I mean, REALLY, burnt it!
What name for Jesus will this represent?
And the winning ornament is…
Croissant (I mean Bread) of life!
Hope you are having a great week, and TOMORROW is FRIDAY friends!!!!!!!

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Good problem to have

If you read my blog from yesterday, then you knew I was heading to town today.  Well, I have a good problem, but I must get it figured out!  It takes one hour to get to town, but in that one hour, you could essentially be in several towns.  We are in an amazing location to MANY large cities.  So, when I go to town, I rely solely on my lovely iphone GPS to get me where I need to go.  I actually know how to get to and from the grocery store without the GPS now, but everywhere else is quite confusing for me.  I mean, there are like 5 Wal-Marts, 5 Targets, 3 Michael’s, 2 Panera Bread’s, …you get the point.

I told you this is a good problem to have, but I am going to have to find “my” shopping center soon or I am going to go crazy.  I need to be able to go into a store and actually know where things are.  You know?!  We went to Michael’s today, and I could not find anything.  The layout is totally different from “my” Michael’s in Texas.  However, if I could remember locations and visit the same store each time, I would learn where things are inside of them.  It really is quite crazy!

It has been so interesting, really.  From Escondido to Los Angeles, the cities just run up on one another.  I can honestly not tell you where one ends and the other begins.  (Escondido and Los Angeles are 3 hours apart people!)  That just doesn’t really happen in my area of Texas.  Of course, this is all the perspective of a person who has no sense of direction, distance, and no familiarity whatsoever with California!  Ha! Ha!

I will get it all figured out one day.  Come visit me in a year and I will take you to “my” stores and restaurants here in SoCal!

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Makin’ My List

When I “go to town” now, I MUST have a list.  Seeing as how the “town” is 45 minutes away, you do not want to forget anything.  Actually, I have learned that we can live without quite a bit that I thought we needed.  I love simplicity!  Really!  I do!  I am learning how to make things stretch, and it is working.

Tomorrow’s trip has a pretty long list.  It is getting time for my little advent calendar to begin, and I need all of our supplies for each day’s activity.  When we lived in town I could cheat and put activities like “go to Starbuck’s for a special Christmas treat” or “go to the park after school.”  Yep, won’t be puttin’ those things. I think I have it all figured out, but we shall see what I forget and how I figure out how to do our activities anyway.  

I am going to try to begin another “add-on” to our daily activities this year.  I found the idea on Pinterest, and I think this is possible.  I really think it will be cool to share and talk about the names of Jesus each day with the kids.  I haven’t decided if we are going to hang the ornaments on a separate tree or just the one I already have up.  I will figure that out tomorrow.  Here is a link to the 25 names of Jesus idea.

http://www.iammommahearmeroar.net/2011/11/christmas-kojo-designs.html

I love getting prepared for Christmas, even if it does require me to “make a list and check it twice,”  don’t you?!

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Climbing the mountain

The title of my blog is Climb Every Mountain, not to be confused with the web address of my blog, which is “themountainmomma.”  Just wanted to make that clear before I begin this post.  Ha! Ha!  I have never really understood the whole title versus web address thing, but, I digress.

I wanted to title my blog “Climb Every Mountain” for various reasons, one of them being that I feel like our move here was one of the biggest changes that I have made in my life up to this point.  I like to make analogies with things that happen in life.  I think it helps me process what is going on.  How about you?

Anyway, mountains are known for amazing views, beauty, awesome experiences.  However, the trip to the top of the mountain is usually filled with the struggle to get to the top.  Sometimes the road to the top of the mountain is fairly easy, long but easy.  Sometimes the road to the top is windy.  (Like our crazy mountain road.)  Other times the road to the top is treacherous, scary, and filled with painful moments.  There are also those roads that contain all of the above.  Been on any of these?

I kind of relate tough things in my life to climbing a mountain, because I don’t really like hard work or tough situations, but I really enjoy looking out from the top of a mountain.

I am babbling on and on about this, because I feel like homeschooling Grace and Ben is a major mountain that I am climbing right now.  I have NO DOUBT that I am going to look out from the top of this “home school mountain” and love the view.  However, the road is a bit treacherous.  Last night I was printing out curriculum, planning for the week, and getting very anxious about it all.  I truly feel like I am a first year teacher all over again, but this time I am teaching multiple grade levels!  I know that I can do this, but it can become very overwhelming at times. (Just keeping it real friends!)  I don’t want to give up.  I want to experience the joys of watching my children grow and learn. I want to teach them the joys of being a lifelong learner.  I just sometimes do not want to do the work that all of this will take.  I try to psych myself into thinking that driving up and down the mountain two times a day would be just fine, no big deal.  (Then I remember that Grace is carsick and this would be a disaster.)  I try to tell myself that Ben would be better off with other children.  (Then I remember that he is talking more clearly than ever and that his reading has already improved greatly.)  I think that Grace will not be well-rounded and needs more life experiences.  (Then I realize that she is not biting her fingernails and her anxiety is much less now.)

Okay, I am not going to quit!  I am going to keep trudging up this mountain, because the view from the top is going to be more beautiful than I could ever imagine.  I just need to keep my eyes focused on Christ because I can do all things through him!  Please pray for us as we journey up this mountain.

Let me know what mountain you are climbing.  I would love to pray for you and with you on your journey too!

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Busy round this place!

I tried to post about our little DIY project last week, but couldn’t find my camera card reader.  So, here are the pictures from my little “mud room” if you will.

The finished product!

Started by painting some boards that Micah found for me.
Drilled 5 holes in each board.

Put door knobs on each board.

Micah had to help with this part.  Had to screw the boards into the brick wall.

Here it is before coats.  The buckets hold our shoes.

I thought that this would be a good verse to see each time before we leave the house.

I wanted to do this because this is by our basement door that goes outside.  There is tile here, which is perfect for wet/dirty shoes and jackets.  Pretty excited to even have a simple place to call a “mud room.”
We also got busy yesterday, getting our Christmas decorations up.  We will only be here a short while during December, since we are HEADING HOME for Christmas!  Yay!
This is a tradition that we started about 5 years ago.  Each sock will contain a verse and a note that tells us something to do as a family that day.  My kids look forward to this every year, and are so excited to open the sock each day.  Nothing fancy about this, but the excitement it brings is GREAT!  (I have to thank Pamela Blair for giving me this idea years ago.  We love it!)

The tree.

The tree in the dark.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care!

Wreath to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas!

There is a picture from every single year with Santa, and the kids picture from their first Christmas.  I love looking at these each year to see how much they have grown.  (Yes, we have two fireplaces.  One upstairs and one in the basement.)

I somehow forgot to post the picture of the “Shake Shack” earthquake simulator from the Science Center  yesterday.  So, I will leave you with that tonight.

You could view the kids while they were in it.
If you can zoom in, you can read what we experienced in the “Shake Shack.”
Hope you have been busy round your place too!

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Anaheim

Micah had a conference in Anaheim last week, so the kids and I decided to join him.  We knew that we would not be going to Disneyland on this trip, since Micah had to work.  So, we found other things to entertain ourselves.

We decided to take a detour on Sunday, and head up to Big Bear.  Micah lived in Big Bear from the ages of 2-5.  He wanted to see if he would remember where his house was and the park he played in.  Well, he did!

 This is the field beside the park where Micah and his sister used to play.  No one plays there now because of the low flying aircraft.

 This is not a joke!  A plan came over, and it was SUPER low!  Scary actually!

 Those two holes in the ground are the pools that Micah swam in.  He said they were in a building when they lived there.

 Micah’s old house!
Beautiful Big Bear Lake!

There were THOUSANDS of carved bears all over Big Bear.  We decided that it must be a requirement to living there.

Another view of the lake.

The kids and I just hung out at the hotel on Monday.  Swimming, playing games, just enjoying time together.  Then on Tuesday, we headed to the Discovery Science Center for the day while Micah finished his conference.  The Science Center was GREAT!  I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in Anaheim.

Ben was a hockey goalie.

Grace was playing hockey.

Ben playing the biggest “iPAD” ever.  He loved this!

Grace playing the interactive shopping game.  This was super cool!

Experiencing winds of up to 75 mph.  

Grace’s winds were at 55.5 mph and getting stronger.

They had a Bob the Builder exhibit too.

Dino Quest – Interactive dinosaur fossil hunt

One of the dinosaurs.

This was fun!

Rock climbing wall.

Super climber!

Grace laying on a REAL bed of nails.

This is always my favorite.  A giant pin board!

There was an Indiana Jones exhibit.  This case had tons of snakes inside.

Act like you love one another!  Ha!

We also went to an area in Anaheim with fun restaurants one evening.  We ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  Micah and I have a love for that place because we ate at the first one we had ever seen in Maui on our honeymoon.

Towin’ in a winter wonderland!  Tow-Mater!

Ben looks a little disproportionate here!  Run Forest Run!

Grace Gump!

If you have been to Anaheim, you know where this is!
Disneyland is on the left.  I just thought the rows of palm trees was super cool!

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Be Thankful!

Thanksgiving Morning 2012!

Yesterday was the first Thanksgiving that Micah and I were away from our parents since we got married.  We typically go to one or the other houses (alternating each year) for Thanksgiving day.  I tried not to think about this too much coming up to the day, because even though we knew we would miss them, we had so many things to be thankful for.

Well, I woke up yesterday morning thinking of my family.  We lost my cousin, Stacey, unexpectedly this year and when you have lost someone, holidays bring memories (though good memories) and that is tough.  I thought of Josh (her son), her parents, her brother and his family.  I thought of my aunts and uncles and cousins.  I thought about how thankful I am for my amazing Christian family!  I cried a little bit (and am crying now as I write this) but it was because I realized how good God is to us!  He loves us and cares for us.  He knew that Thanksgiving would bring memories, and that we may cry.  It’s okay!  

Then, I thought about how very exciting it was that Matthew and Elathan (my brother-in-law and nephew) were here with us.  We have not seen them in 4 years!  They live in San Francisco, and drove down to be with us for three days.  That is a BLESSING!!!!  We loved having them here.

I thought about how exciting it was that Randy, Erin, Zach and Nathanael Hammond were on their way to spend our first Thanksgiving on the mountain with us!  These are our new friends, who have taken us in like family!  (I honestly think we may figure out at some point that we are long lost family in some way.)  We love them!

I thought about my very first turkey cooking in the oven with all the other fixin’s and how blessed we are to have SO MUCH!  I am THANKFUL!!!!!!!  I really am!  I hope that in whatever season or circumstances you find yourself, that you can be thankful for a God who loves us unconditionally, full of mercy and grace.  He knows every detail of every moment of our days and for that I am thankful!  He is a God of LOVE!  I am THANKFUL!!!!!!

We had an awesome day and I pray that you did too!  Here are a few pictures of our day:

Grace, Elathan, and Ben
One of these boys ALWAYS had an electronic going.  If it wasn’t Elathan, it was Ben!

Uncle Matthew!
Raking leaves before the meal.

Sweeping off the sidewalk.

Pie is ready!

My FIRST turkey!  He turned out so nice and brown.  (Sorry, I am not a food photographer!)

Yummy goodness #1!

Yummy goodness #2!
Randy and Erin said I should take a picture of the clock because everything was ready at 12:00 on the dot for my very first Thanksgiving meal that I prepared!  Yay!

After lunch, Black Friday preparations.  (Erin and I got serious with our planning!)

 The rest of the group watching us plan because we were so good at it.  Ha! Ha!
 Zack striking a pose but I don’t know “whyyyyyyyyyy?”

The boys.  (Sorry Zach, I caught you mid-look)

 Pecan pie!  (Thanks Erin.)
Pumpkin pie.
Nathanael’s got the right idea!  (Although he looks like he gained quite a few pounds on that delicious meal!  Ha! Ha!)

We had a great time, and our fun did not end until Friday morning around 4:15 am.  More to come on that tomorrow!

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The Nativity

Upon reading the title to this post, you might think that I am going to begin a super spiritual Christmas journey with this blog.  Unfortunately, the title refers to this:

We have been gone from our home since Monday, friends, and this was not on my porch when I left!  (Notice that Mary is not even lit up, poor thing!)
When you come down the drive to our home you must make a pretty sharp turn or you would drop off a hill onto our porch.  So, when we came home tonight and came to the top of the hill overlooking our house, Micah and I were quite surprised!  I am not going to say that it was in a good way either!  
Now, remember that we have not even been here for 1 month yet.  There are many “hidden rules” of Palomar Christian Conference Center that we are still learning.  We LOVE the people here, and this is where our dilemma began!  I started laughing hysterically and kept saying, that is so funny.  Micah told me to stop because someone probably gave this to us as a gift!  I kept saying, “No, who would have done that?”  He did not know, but he felt like we needed to be sensitive in case it was someone’s beloved nativity that they were passing down.  Then, I started feeling bad for laughing, and thought that maybe he was right.  We both thought that maybe it was tradition that this was always on the director’s porch!  Do you see our dilemma?!
After laughing and being dumbfounded for a while, I told him I would text Katie Harris.  She would know!  Let’s just say SHE KNEW!  OH, SHE KNEW!!!!!  She and Brenda Hall!  They got us!  Got us good!!!!!!  This, my friends, is how we know we are in the right place for the Beard family!  We love this place and all of the fun and laughter we have already had.  Can’t wait for some more!  (Watch out Katie and Brenda!  Watch out!)
Oh, and on a more sensitive note, I do love the TRUE Nativity and can’t wait to put up ours so that our hearts can focus on the true meaning of Christmas!

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Be back soon!

Gone to Anaheim!  Be back soon with lots of fun things to share!

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Totally Bummed and Random Thoughts

You know that little thing that you plug into your computer, and then place your camera’s memory card in it so that you can load pictures?  I can’t find mine and I am totally bummed!!!!!!!

Micah and I completed our little “mud room” today, and I took pictures of the entire project step by step to share.  I am so sad.  I guess I will be making a little trip to get one of those “things” soon.

On another note, this super cute girl went to town with me today to do our shopping for Thanksgiving. She was SO helpful, and I could not have done it without her!  So thankful for my daughter!

She was dancing for me while we waited in the Starbuck’s line.  By the way, most of the Starbuck’s we have come across (and if you thought Texas had a lot, you should visit California) do not have a drive thru.  We went to one that did today, and the line was CRAZY, but we weren’t in a hurry. 
Our neighbor here at camp, is a TRUE fisherman.  In fact, in the 4 weeks we have been here, he has been to two fishing tournaments and won second place in both!  He brought us two trout tonight.  He had just gone down to the pond and caught them.  His stringer was a stick!  It was pretty cool.  I had never cleaned a fish before, but tonight I tried.  Cut the head off, and began to clean it, then it got really gross and I had to call Micah!  I think I will order fish filets next time!  Ha! Ha!
Other things I am learning in Cali:
1.  These lovely people have never heard of James Avery!  What?!
2.  No Bluebell, and other brands of mint chocolate chip are not the same!
3.  Motorcycles can drive wherever they want.
4.  They have In-N-Out Buger and it is really good!  
5.  The people that we have encountered are really nice.  I have been impressed.
6.  The weather is awesome!
We are heading to Anaheim tomorrow to stay with Micah while he is an exhibitor at a conference.  The kids and I are planning to find some fun things to do.  (No Disneyland yet, but that will come soon.  Anaheim is only about 2 hours away!)  Here’s hoping I get one of those picture loading thingy’s so that I can post pics of our adventures.

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