"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Friday, April 30, 2010


Ok, I let an entire week go by without posting..not to mention I haven't yet sent out the giveaway package to the winner! (I promise I have NOT forgotten that!) See, the beginning of spring and summer are the busiest times in northern Indiana. Why? Because we're finally able to get outside and do all those things that need to get done and enjoy some fresh air..FINALLY.

Today I actually turned the AC on. I can't believe it. I turned the AC on. In April. But after months and months of sub-zero and slowly inching up weather, well, 70 degrees is pretty hot. (Yes, I know I'm a shame to all my southern family members and friends now and I do promise I'm really still a southerner...it's just, well I now have thick northern blood running through my veins!)

That is about all the time I have to post since I desperately need to do dishes and get going on some other projects. Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This has been a super busy week for us! I've neglected blogging because Reagan and I have had tons to do..picking out flowers and vegetables for the garden, getting a new patio set, making our first pass through the house to completely declutter it, school, cleaning out the garage..etc., etc., etc.

I've also been spending all of my free time revewing curriculum choices for next year so I can be prepared for the local homeschooling fair and get my order in. I want time to review it to make sure that I'm picking the best program before we start it.

Oh...and I'm finally reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia series. Can you believe I never read it as a child? I absolutely love it and am just in awe of how C.S. Lewis encouraged children to explore God's love in a way that they can easily understand.

I really hope I can find a unit study on the series...I would love to delve deeper into it with Reagan one day!

Hope everyone has a good weekend! Oh, the giveaway--we had ONE entry!! So the winner is Lu of Hyperactive Lu! Email me with your address and I'll send your package out! If I don't hear from you in the next few days I'll get it from Jana and send it to you!! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reagan's Big Weekend at Purdue!

A tradition in the making

--For the past three years we've made plans to attend Purdue's Spring Game (which is really a scrimmage) and the Bug Bowl and all the other fun events they host, for Josh's birthday. Reagan loves it...and we've actually made it twice now (the first year, when Reagan had just turned one, we ALL came down with the stomach flu!)

This year Reagan was so excited to see (and hold) the tarantulas...they are all she's been talking about for months. There were tons of other fun things to do...milking cows (which we passed on this time!), holding farm animals, making rockets, participating in contests, learning about local ecology, entomology and all the species of plants and tree growth that live in this area. Not to mention tons of great food, horses to ride and craft projects galore for the kids--that introduced them to chemistry, biology and more! Purdue does an EXCELLENT job with this family event. Really...if you live ANYWHERE near there...GO to next year's event!

Here are some photos of us at this year's Spring Fest!

Reagan riding a pony at the Cowboys for Cancer Booth!

Reagan holding a millipede!

Reagan holding a hissing cockroach! (We went back the next day and the roaches were VERY stressed out about being held a couple of thousand times so he really did hiss at her...she wasn't daunted in the least!)

I forget what this little guy is called..."horn" comes to mind, but we do know that he eventually turns into a moth! He reminds me of chewed up gum!

Purdue has a GORGEOUS campus...all brick and impeccable landscaping!

Josh and Reagan after the game, with her autographed football. (They were both a little awe-struck!)

I love this face Reagan is making!

Ok is he not adorable!?? This poor baby calf was soooo exhausted from the people oohing and awwing over him, that he needed help just to get up and reposition! He looks like swiss mocha!

Reagan showing off her coyote footprint cast--she thought it was so neat to actually get to see bones and stuffed (as in REAL stuffed) animals as well as make casts of their footprints.

Reagan hanging out with one of the many fun creatures roaming around this weekend (a huge KUDOS to Purdue students and faculty AGAIN!)

This little guy was in love with Reagan. He kept cheeping at her and even gave her a peck on her mouth (YUCK!) and tried to run away when the students tried to take him back. He eventually nuzzled right up on her neck and kept closing his eyes, trying to sleep on her shoulder! SOO SWEET!

And finally, here are two days worth of photos of Reagan and her beloved tarantula. There are actually TWO tarantulas here...the last photo is of a "baby" tarantula (only five years old) who had rarely been handled before the first day of the event (Reagan held this one on the second day of the event). The poor student that was handling the "baby" (Rosie is the spider's name) was shaking like a leaf and very nervous about Reagan holding Rosie...little he did realize Reagan is a pro at this type of thing now!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't Look Now Optimus....

Every child of the 80s desperately wanted their own Transformer to come to life. I personally loved Optimus. The fight between good and evil..cool cars transforming into even cooler robots...robots that LOVED us? ...Yeah, transformers were COOL.

And now, a new generation of Transformer loving kids abound, thanks in part to the enthusiasm 1980s-geeks have had in transforming our big, bad, aluminium part kicking pals to the big screen. My own daughter fell in a BIG way for Bumblebee.

Last July, in fact, she was running around playing with her very own imaginary friend--Bumblebee. This is when I stepped in and found a plush Bumblebee for her to sleep with...a retro Bumblebee if you will. Old-school. He turns inside out to make a car and then changes into bumper-kicking alien Bumblebee. Reagan loves him.

He did fall by the wayside for a few months a while back, but Bumblebee is back in full force..in a brand new way. This time, Reagan is the one in charge---and Bumblebee, poor, poor Bumblebee---gets to be her baby. Sorry, Michael Bay. Even you can't top this one!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A little too southern!

Most southerners drop parts of their words. I do it. My family back home does it. And even Reagan, who is one part southern, does it. I posted a while back about how she would drop the "a" on adult....making it sound more like "dolt" (which is, admittedly, sometimes correct!)

The other day I realized I needed to pay much more attention to our speech patterns as this was the conversation that occurred as we were leaving the park:

Mommy: What way do we go now Reagan?
Reagan: To the right!
Mommy: Very good! I'm so proud of you for learning all this!
Reagan: Mommy, I can drive now.
Mommy: Oh really?
Reagan: Yep, I can drive because now I know all my 'irections! (And if you read that properly without the "d" sound...you'll realize EXACTLY what she said!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The other day I found Reagan under the sink examining the pipes and explaining to me the similiar parts the bathroom and kitchen sinks shared and the ones they didn't....keep in mind this is the same girl that took apart a pen to see what kind of parts were in it and the same girl that also took apart our back yard screen door to see how it worked. Oy vey!


Reagan and I were painting our fingernails one afternoon. I did hers, then she wanted to do mine. I made the mistake of touching one and messing it up. Big HUGE sigh from Reagan: "MOOOOOOMMMMYYYY--you messed it up. That's ok, I'll just redo it." (She was actually doing a terrific job, which I made the mistake of telling her...) Then I noticed one of her fingernails needed to be redone....her comment "No, mommy, *I'LL* redo it. I'm VERY GOOD at painting fingernails." And the she proceeded to meticulously redo every single nail on both of our fingers as if disgusted by my inability to do something so mundane.

I'm not even sure she qualifies as a kid anymore...she's a little adult.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hi Company Girls!

We've had gorgeous weather..which means exhaustion in the finest form--play dates, picnics, HOURS collecting bugs and flowers and a nice pink complexion for Reagan. And later today we're off for a weekend of football and.....wait for it..more bugs! Purdue hosts their spring game (scrimmage) this weekend and their entomology department goes all out with a host of events for the little ones including a bug bowl! Reagan loves it!

If you live anywhere close, I highly recommend this weekend as a family event! And speaking of family events, my best friend is due back home from Italy sometime in the next year. She desperately needs a break and we haven't seen each other in a while..so we're planning a relaxing vacation just for the two of us. We're thinking about an antiquing/junking trip. Any suggestions?

Have a GREAT weekend and enter my giveaway if you'd like...see post below or link on the side!

A Thank You! And a Giveaway!

I've said before that this blog is just a bunch of my ramblings, ideas, crafts, bargain shopping...a huge mix of stuff that matters to no one else but me. But apparently it does matter to someone, because lately I've had quite a few subscribers and followers join up! And you have no idea (or maybe you do) how exciting that is...to know that others actually care what you have to say!

As a thank you for hanging out with me and listening to my rants and raves and bragging, I decided I would host a giveaway. Feel free to share with others so they can enter, or don't, since this giveaway is mostly for those of you that stick with me!

Here is what's up for grabs:
Garden Gourmet Lemon Tea by Debbie Mumm (I bought a ton of these on clearance at a cute little gift shop and haven't tried it yet but it sounds sooo good!)
Gooseberry Patch Breakfast and Bunch Recipe Booklet
Gooseberry Patch Family Favorite Recipes Booklet
Orange Photo Album with Billowy-Butterfly Ribbon! (I've made a ton of these in various colors for craft shows and they are available for sale for $7.50 each if anyone is interested just email me at lovegrowsbest@yahoo.com)

And here's how you win:

1. Leave a comment telling me what your favorite post has been.
2. If you're a subscriber or a friend leave a SECOND post letting me know that.
3. If you blog about the giveaway, link back to this post and give yourself another entry!

I'll choose a winner on April 22nd at 12:00 pm (yes, lunchtime!) (And don't worry if your comment doesn't show..I'll be unable to moderate comments til Sunday evening..everything should show up then!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dino party

I don't think I ever shared pictures of Reagan's third birthday party--here are a few!

Reagan looking less than enthused with the outfit I made for her!

The dino-plates that warned not to put them in the microwave or they would catch fire!

The Dino-Dig! (We hid bones in sand for the kids to dig up!)


The volcano cake! (If anyone is interested in how I made this, let me know and I'll piece together a tutorial!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I found this video clip at Homeschool Creations and insantly knew I wanted to feature it here.

(NOTE: I wept for despair when Obama was voted in....but that's another story)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

11 years....

My oldest furbaby is 11 today...isn't she beautiful!? (Sidenote: Fix Red Eye does not work for eye-shine!)

(This picture is of Reagan and Pritsha in Reagan's "cave" after playing "shiny", Pritsha's favorite game)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Reagan: I bleed the fish, then I guttered them and washed them!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Happy birthday to my sweetie, Josh! It's his big 3-0 birthday today! Love you!!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reagan's first ever poem and first self-portrait

...catching fish is a wonderful time
why do they call it fishin' time?..
spoken by her on 4-7-10!

The same day she also drew a picture of herself...complete with a head, eyes, nose, mouth and body!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party!!

I completely forgot to write my UBP until just now! That figures..I'm always running behind.

So let me start by introducing myself...I'm Leah and I've been blogging since December 2007. My little family consists of me, my husband Josh, and our very smart and absolutely beautiful (no, I'm not biased in the least!) daughter, Reagan, who is three. We also have two furbabies...one will be turning 11 this month and the second will be turning 10 in June.

My blog is dedicated to my ramblings, bragging about my family, our new adventures in homeschooling (started a blog for that but haven't started posting anything there yet!) and my ranting and raving over the current state of our country. I warn you, if you're not a conservative, you won't like what I have to say. BUT if you're a liberal and have thick skin and an open mind, well, you just mind find some interesting things here.

I love crafts, decorating, sleeping :) (what mom doesn't!?), saving money (I'm a SAHM after all!) and trying to stay warm (why is it always so cold here!?!?). I'm a Christian and have been virtually my whole life, but I'm trying to deepen my relationship with God because lately it's been feeling very shallow. You might find posts about any of these things on my blog. I also had a very difficult pregnancy and delivery with my daughter and one of the big problems I suffered was Post Partum Depression and OCD--you'll even find posts about those trials (and hopefully they'll help someone at some point!)

At any rate, welcome and enjoy looking around and thanks for stopping by! (Check out more great UBP by clicking on the link to the right!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thanks to my friend Jana for posting this because I haven't been over to 5 Minutes for Mom in a while! They're hosting a blog party and you can join. Click on the banner to head over!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's been a while...

I have been swamped the last few days with everything that needed to be done around here...and I'm not even close to finishing what I need to do. We're working our way through the Under the Sea Unit Study and Reagan really is enjoying it!

Her science lab kit and her science textbook arrived this week, although I haven't had a chance to sit down and scope it out! Reagan wanted her hair cut short and so I cut it for her...she looks a few years older, but more little girl-ish if that makes sense!

In other news, Josh's birthday is this weekend and I haven't planned ANYTHING for that yet...all he wants to do is go fishing, but Reagan is determined to bake a cake for him. Next week is his TRUE birthday present--we'll be spending two nights at Purdue to watch the Spring Game (a scrimmage) and participate in all the events they have lined up for families--including Bug Bowl! Reagan is sooo excited about seeing a tarantula and petting it...she keeps asking when we're leaving!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son, So That Whosoever Believeth In Him Shall Not Perish But Have Everlasting Life. -John 3:16

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Ocean and It's Animals--A Unit Study

We're going to be starting on our first unit study next week and I'm bombarded with ideas. So far, this is what I have down on our lesson plan (freaking out a little that I'm not even half way close to being done..guess I'll be up most of the night--thank goodness "SUNRISE" service is at 8!!)

Aquatic Sea Animals Lesson Plans:

Tuesday-Zoo Tots Under the Sea Program Field Trip
Saturday-Watch NEMO for family movie night, with goldfish and popcorn snack mix!

Crafts: Aquatic Fish Bowl, Fishing Game
Music: Sing Ocean songs in lapbook
Alphabet: “F” for fish; “J” for jellyfish-review of the letter “J”; “O” is for ocean; “S” is for shell
Numbers: 5 for the 5 Oceans: #1 Pacific, #2 Atlantic, #3 Indian, #4 Southern,
#5 Arctic
Bible: Jesus said He would make the disciples fishers of men; feeding the 5,000; talk about when God created the fish and when he created the oceans (refer to our earlier creation lesson)
Science: make a wave bottle with blue tinted water, oil and shells and sand
Reading: Various Ocean books from library and home
Tactile: Find shells in sand and pick them up with the tongs; sensory tubs: fill three tubs with water, cooked spinach and sand so she can feel water, sand and seaweed; make sea-scented play dough:
3. Sea Scented Play-doh Recipe:
3 cups of flour
1.5 ounces cream of tartar
¾ cup salt
3 tbsp. cooking oil
3 cups water
1 tbsp. coconut extract
Yellow food coloring
Gold glitter
Combine the first five ingredients in a large pot. Whisk together until free of lumps. Stir in the coconut extract and yellow food coloring. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until it pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a large ball. Knead the ball lightly on a flour board until the dough is smooth. (Be careful it is hot.) Knead in the desired amount of glitter. After cooled, store in airtight container.
Computer: Let Reagan explore this website: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/efc/exhibits.asp
Food: Have tunafish sandwiches for lunch one day; edible aquarium-make blue jello in a plastic bowl or cups and add in shark fruit chews; go to Kroger and have Reagan pick out fresh fish for dinner one night; ocean snack: let her ‘catch’ goldfish using pretzel rods dipped in peanut butter

Any other suggestions?
(By the way, I have do have a ton of information in our lapbook and tons of books and a concept kit from the library--Camping at the SeaShore)

Friday, April 2, 2010

I am, hands down, the world's worst mother...

My first and only child....and I cannot remember, nor can I find where I wrote down (apparently I DIDN'T write it down) her first word. Yes.....I think I'm going to turn her college fund into a therapy fund.

Ugh. I am SO disgusted with myself. I didn't do progressive age pictures. Didn't write down her first word. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I know she talked super early. And I'm pretty sure she said Momma. I know she laughed a full belly laugh at two weeks. I recorded her first step on this very blog..but talking....???????? UGH. SO DISGUSTED WITH MYSELF.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm Pissed!

Yes, I'm linking up to another Another Black Conservative post and YES, I'm ANGRY!!!!!

This is a post from The Jawa Report at Infowars posted yesterday:

On April 15th thousands of right-wingers will attend rallies in cities and towns across the United States. The organizers of this nationwide day of protest call it a tea party. This tea party movement that emerged only a year ago is a coalition of conservatives, anti-Semites, fascists, libertarians, racists, constitutionalists, militia men, gun freaks, homophobes, Ron Paul supporters, Alex Jones conspiracy types and American flag wavers. If the tea party movement continues to grow in size and strength there is a big chance they will dominate this country in the near future. If the tea party movement takes over this country they will really hurt poor people by getting rid of social programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, student aid, free health care, etc. The tea party movement will say these programs must be gotten rid of because hard-working taxpayers cannot afford to pay for these things especially when the economy is in a depression. There are three options we have with the tea party movement:

1. Organize counter-protests against the tea party demonstrations, same time, same place. This is probably the best option. We need to get in the streets on April 15th and show the tea party movement that there are lots of people out there who oppose their agenda.

2. Get individual tea party protesters to leave the right-wing and move to the left politically. That would involve passing out stuff like this at the tea party demonstrations: http://www.anarchist-studies.org/node/299

3. Ignore the tea party movement. This is the worst option because without anyone opposing them they could easily gain power.


I'm beyond pissed at THIS statement:
This tea party movement that emerged only a year ago is a coalition of conservatives, anti-Semites, fascists, libertarians, racists, constitutionalists, militia men, gun freaks, homophobes, Ron Paul supporters, Alex Jones conspiracy types and American flag wavers.

FIRST, WHEN did it become a bad thing to be an American flag waver!??!?!!??!?! Umm, we ARE AMERICANS!!! And I, for one, AM VERY PROUD OF THAT FACT!!!!

Secondly (but NO less important) ANTI-SEMITIC!??!?!?! REALLY!?!?!?!? Oh my Heavens, these people have seriously got to do more research before they open their mouths and make complete idiots of themselves. Do the research people: Most conservatives are BEGGING the government to stand behind Israel and the Jewish people. Obama is barely tolerating our alliance with Israel and has been threatening to to end our support of them in favor of supporting militant Muslims...not only that, but here's several photos from a liberal protest. (Scroll down to photos of liberal protest in LA 3/20/10) Need I say more about which side of the fence is anti-Semitic?

And racist????? Oh yeah, because I didn't vote for Obama, I'm a racist. I forgot. Let's forget for a minute that I absolutely would have voted for Condi Rice in a heartbeat..she doesn't count. She's a woman and a conservative..that must cancel out her racial heritage. Oh yeah, and I guess all the photos out there (just google 'minorities at Tea Parties') of minorities at Tea Parties don't count either. And what about all the strong conservative black leaders out there that are garnering huge amounts of support from *GASP* Caucasians???? Can the left STOP playing the race card for a MOMENT please!

And fascists? Let's just define that for a moment please. "A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)"....Most Tea Partiers are for less government last time I checked and no, we don't want absolute rule..we want democracy..and the government to listen to the majority. The majority (libs and cons) didn't want government ran health care. And sorry, again, Tea Partiers are not for a class system. Check out your facts there, again, bub. But we are absolutely not for a redistribution of wealth. You work hard, you move forward or you don't..but you are responsible for where you are in life.

At this point I'm just getting exhausted responding to this ludicrous piece of garbage. But I will say this. Conservatives don't believe in gay marriage (or most of us don't) but that doesn't mean we are homophobes. We just believe that God authorizes marriage and it's between a man and a woman...certainly gay couples deserve any and all benefits from a legal union..but don't call it marriage. Gun Freaks?? Since when is believing in the Second Amendment make you a gun freak? Oh wait, we're also not supposed to believe in the Constitution apparently.

What liberals really want is America not to BE America. But I refuse to give up my country.
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