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Tagged With: summer

Foto Finish: Friendly Prairie Dog

I’ve been away from Foto Finish for awhile, but I’m ready to get back at it and I hope that you are too!!


Today, I just had to post this cute little prairie dog that we saw.  My parents were here visiting and we couldn’t miss an opportunity to head out to the Wildlife Refuge.  As we were leaving, I stopped to get some photos of some geese that were nearby.  However, this friendly little prairie dog spotted my dad watching him out the window and he couldn’t help but to pose for us.  

Friendly Prairie Dog - Commotion2014

Isn’t he just adorable!?!?  We had so much fun getting shots of him and my dad couldn’t resist talking to him and getting the little guy to show off.

I’m also linking up with….

CameraCritters1  Weekly-Top-Shot-Full-Size-125

If you’d like to read more about Foto Finish, please click here to read all about it.  Next week’s optional theme will be YELLOW.  If you’d like to join in Foto Finish, just link up below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 I hope that you link up!!  I’d really love to come visit and see what you’re sharing this week!!



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Categories: Blogging, Family, General, Home, Life, Memes, Memories/Experiences, Photograhy, Photos-Pictures, the Home, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


So kiddo and I went out yesterday and did a little shopping and took care of some errands.  When we got home, there was a message on the answering machine from my Dad.  I couldn’t figure out why since I’d just talked to him early in the morning.  So, I call them right away to see what’s up.


Low and behold, they inform me that they’ve decided to come see us THIS weekend!!  My mom has declared this a little mini-vacation.  She’s determined that she’s not going anyplace or do anything the whole time that she’s here.  YAY!!  I’m so happy and excited.  I love my parents so much and I love it when they do little things like this.  It’s a different schedule than usual though because Mom has to be back to work on Monday instead of them leaving as usual on Monday.  But, they’re also arriving a day earlier than usual!

I’m so looking forward to some special family time.  To top it all off, we’re supposed to have a cool down and possibly get a little much needed rain.  It should make for a wonderful weekend and for some enjoyable time together.  Now, it’s time to plan my menu!!

What do you have going on??  Any surprises in your life??



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Categories: Blogging, Celebrations, Daily Life, Family, Friends, General, Home, Life, the Home, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Commotion

So I know, you’re wondering just where I’ve been.  Well, I’ve not been sitting idle, that’s for sure!!

Kiddo has taken a “break” from her volunteering at the animal shelter.  The schedule of working with Doc has changed and it just doesn’t work with us homeschooling through summer.  We’re enjoying having a little more time on our hands though.  Then again, it’s not in our hands….it’s spent in the books!!

Homeschool is going well.  So far summer has mostly been spent on Geometry.  We also have some science labs planned, but we’ll handle those after Miss K’s last summer visit to see my parents.  She’s also working on Latin, but I’m just not much help.  I know teaching her, I should be, but I never liked foreign language.  All’s not lost though because my Dad happens to be great at Latin, so she gets a lot of work in then!!

My weight has been stable for going on 2 years now.  I’m still walking when I can.  It should be more often, but it is what it is.  At least I’m getting some activity in!!  I’m very happy with where I’m at and I know those final 10 pounds will come when it’s time.  The one thing that I haven’t done much of is photography and I’m really looking forward to getting behind the camera again.  I miss it and just haven’t taken as many opportunities as I should to get photos.  

I’m happy to say that my shops are doing alright.  I’m trying to keep them stocked with new printables.  Don’t forget if you’re in need of educational or Christian printables, be sure to check out my stores (the buttons are in the left-hand column)!!

So what else can I tell you!?!?  Other than that, life is just busy.  We’re always doing something and trying not to let things slip through the schedule.  Unfortunately, my blog does seem to suffer a bit.  It always picks up once school starts, and that’s just not far off any more.  RE is just around the corner.  Can you believe it’s July already??  I’m thrilled though because the heat is on!!

How’s your summer been??  What have you been up to??



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Categories: "K", Blogging, Daily Life, Family, Friends, General, Home, Homeschool, Life, Religious Education, the Home, the Schoolhouse, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy 4th of July

I want to wish all my family, friends, and readers a very….

4th of July

So proud to be an American where I can think what I want, despite the disagreement of the others.  

Home of the free because of the brave!!

God Bless the USA!!



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Categories: Army, Blogging, Celebrations, Daily Life, Family, Friends, General, Holidays, Home, Life, the Home | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calling All D3 Secret Agents!!

  First, I have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed my little break from blogging.  I accomplished a lot and feel really good about everything that I’ve done.  This set of materials for VBS is no exception and I’m very proud of how it turned out.  I hope all of you are as well and will be using it this summer….or in the future!!


This year, I made 10 different things to go with the “Agency D3” them for LifeWay’s VBS this year.  They’re all secret agent related….and I think quite fun!!  Any printable that has the Bible verse use is the NIV (New International Version).  If you need a different version, please contact me and I’ll see if I can change it (no promises though).

AgencyD3 byElaine SAMPLE

Clipart © LifeWay and is used with permission.  Some clipart from the internet is believed to be public domain and is used for educational purposes and without profit.

Here’s a list of this years materials and suggested uses….

1.  Scanner Handprint Craft – Use paint or stamp pad to put each child’s handprint on this scanner.  It includes the Bible verse and is a fun simple craft.

2.  Agent D3 Badge – Fold where indicated and let the kids have fun with this secret agent ID badge.

3.  Secret Agent Card – You can place each child’s photo on the card or leave the “secret agent” image.  Print the daily symbols on sticker paper and place on the card each day the child is in VBS.  Plain paper could be used as well and then glued on each day or at the completion of VBS.

4.  Evidence Tag – Students can note what they learned (evidence) or it has many other uses as well.

3.  Evidence Report – Child can fill this out after each lesson/activity for what they learned.  An area at the bottom for the teacher/parent/counselor to fill out for “grading”.  This also has many other uses.

6.  Fingerprint Card – Use paint or ink and place each students fingerprints on this card.  They can then look at them under a magnifying glass to see how each one is different (God made us special and unique).  There’s other uses as well.

7.  Entrance Sign – Place this on the wall/door for kids to “scan to enter” their hand each day as they arrive or to enter each activity/room as they enter (if they move around during the day).

8.  Secret Agent Pass – Use these for students as they move from room to room or activity to activity.  Can also be used a snack/lunch pass, bathroom pass, and so on.

9.  Secret Agent Notepad (blank pages) – This comes with a “leather” cover and blank lined pages to take notes, copy Bible verse, draw, or many other things.  The lines are different types and sizes to use to suit the needs of the ages/grades of kids.  Also, there’s one blank page for drawing.

10.  Secret Agent Notepad (activities) – This comes with a “sleuth” cover.  All the pages inside have a variety of activities including a word search, daily maze, Bible verse games, and more.  There’s also a couple blank pages and note pages.

AgencyD3 SecretAgent Notepad byElaine SAMPLE

The covers for the notepads can be used for whichever notepad you want.  I just wanted to put one cover per notepad.  Also, the pages in the notepads can be combined and used as wanted or needed.  You might want the leather cover with 3 lined pages and 1 activity or 4 activities and 1 lined page.  Just fold the pages and staple for a complete notepad of your choice!!

To download any of these printable activities, just click the link in the title or description of each item.  I hope that you can use them and that the kids get tons of enjoyment from them.  Please share some photos of your children with the activities and I love your comments, so leave one on this post or use the “contact” button in the right hand column….thanks!!


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All activities, games, information, etc. on this blog are provided for free.  However they are ONLY to be used for classroom and personal use.  They may NOT be published on any websites/blogs or other electronic media, distributed in any manner, uploaded to any file sharing service/storage, or sold for profit.  If you know someone who would benefit from these materials, please refer them to this blog.  Do NOT share the materials that you download with them.  Copyright © 2008-Present.  All rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.  This means that unless it is specified otherwise, all content within this blog and downloads are the private property of Elaine, Commotion from the Ocean of Life, and The Schoolhouse.  All materials on this blog and downloads are copyright (© Elaine, © The Schoolhouse, and © Commotion) and misuse or abuse is subject to legal action.

Categories: Activity, Blogging, Christian, Church, Craft, Daily Life, Education, Free Printable, General, Home, Homeschool, Lesson Plan, Life, Printable, Religion, Religious Education, Religious Education, the Home, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Moving Right Along

Things around here are moving right along.  I really can’t believe how fast summer is going!!

Miss K and I got our hair cut today.  It feels great to have it in shape and more comfortable for the hot weather.  Other than my hair thinning even more, it really looks good.  There’s just really no way to cover the “bald patch” any more.  Not only did I inherit it, but hair loss is a side effect of bariatric surgery.  Big old double whammy for me!!

I lost 0.6 lb today.  Same thing that I lost last week.  I know I’m not gaining, but this is slow!!  I figure as much as I work my butt off with big chores around the house and exercising every day, the weight should be coming off faster.  This plateau is lasting just way too long for ME!!  I think when I go for my appointment in a couple weeks, I’m going to tell the doc to do at least 0.5 cc, if not a full cc.  I haven’t decided yet and some of it will be up to him.  And no, I’m really not eating any more or snacking between meals.  I just think that tightening up the lap-band will help kick the weight loss in gear again.  I just don’t want to take it to the puking stage!!  HAHA  Once for that was enough.

I’ve cleaned out the hall closet.  There’s actually room in there!!  I put our coats and sweaters all on matching hangers and it’s so much more organized that way.  There’s no extra hangers either to get caught on when you’re trying to put something away.  They all take up less room this way too!!  I also have better access to the spare bathroom rugs, the suitcases are in the back out of the way and the vacuum can easily be pulled out and used.  I can’t believe how much I got rid of!!

Last Friday, kiddo and I served the meal after a funeral at church.  It was a great experience and I’d definitely do it again.  I was asked by my DRE if I’d help her out and I usually love stepping up to things like that, so I told her that Miss K and I would do it.  It’s great to be there for a family during that time.

After we were done with that, we took 4 garbage bags of stuff to the church thrift store.  Most of it was my old clothes.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to get rid of all that stuff.  I’ve battled my weight so long, that despite having some thinner moments, I had clothes that were 15-20 years old!!  Yes, they really were that old.  I got rid of stuff that I got at Lane Bryant when we were stationed in GA.  That was the early 1990’s!!  HAHA  I even got rid of some shoes, but they were quickly replaced!!  I’ve gotten some really great shoes lately.  Best of all, they were all on some sort of sale.  Some of them, there was even a sale on the sale.  Now a girl with a shoe thing can’t beat that!!

It’s been so hot outside, that I really haven’t been taking any new photos.  I have plenty to post, but I haven’t even done that.  I guess I really should get back on my photo memes, but I don’t want to get burned out or bore people with them.  I must say though, I can’t wait to meet the local photography group.  I think it’ll be fun and I might learn lots of new stuff!!  Best of all, I might not be so critical of my photos.

Miss K is still working on Algebra I when we’re not busy with appointments and such.  She really is liking it.  I know that’s odd for a kid to like math, but she does.  When she gets started, she flies through several lessons at a time.  She says she’ll be ready for Geometry when the new homeschool year starts.  I just hope that I am!!  HAHA  Oye….high school!!

That’s about it for now.  What’s going on in your world??



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Categories: "K", Blogging, Daily Life, Family, Friends, General, Homeschool, Memories/Experiences, the Home, the Schoolhouse, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Macro Monday: Moth on Leaf at Night

I haven’t participated in Macro Monday in so long.  It really feels good to be posting my photos and being active in the meme’s again!!

For this Macro Monday, I chose a photo that I took last summer.  It’s a month on a leaf and I tried different distances and lights.  I ended up liking it the best with the dark background.  This was taken when the sun hadn’t quite set yet and the light highlighted the moth, but showed nothing behind it. 

I hope that you like this shot as much as I do!!  Click to enlarge….

I hope that you enjoy my Macro Monday!! If you do, please check out this week’s Macro Monday participants for more great photography!!



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Categories: Blogging, Daily Life, Family, General, Memories/Experiences, Photos-Pictures, the Home, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Busy But Good

I’m sure that some of you might have noticed that I’ve been absent most of the week from blogging.  It’s crazy busy around our house right now, but we’re having a good time!!  To start, my parents arrived last Wednesday and stayed with us until Sunday.  We had such an awesome visit with them.  The men did a little work trimming some trees and the rest of the time, we relaxed and watched movies.  Oh, and we all ate far too much, but it was oh so delish!!  It was hard to see them leave after such a good time.

Monday, started the ball rolling for our busy week.  Miss K began classes at the local vo-tech.  Her classes are every afternoon this week.  She’s taking Teacher in Training.  She wasn’t excited about this class, as it was my choice.  Next week, she’s also taking a class that she picked…..Cool Culinary Creations.  The first day she walked out all excited and started telling me about the kids she met and her great teacher.  K also told me about everything she had to squeeze into her week and how excited she was.  First off, she had to pick a grade and subject she wanted to “teach”.  She picked 3rd grade Geography.  Her specific topic was latitude and longitude, so she had to create a lesson plan for it.  She also had to do a grade book for 15 students.  The main project was to create a bulletin board for her subject of choice.  Miss K’s bulletin board was “The World of 3rd Grade”.  Everyday, we were updated on the progress.  Today was the final day and she got a certificate of completion for her class and got to bring her bulletin board home.  Here’s her with her display (click to enlarge)….

Having her in class meant that I got a few hours to myself every day.  Boy, was that nice!!  I felt so productive and got my lesson plans for our upcoming homeschool year almost complete.  I have a few of our minor classes to enter yet.  I think it’s going to be a great year and I think K will like what we’re studying.  Social Studies is all about America this year!!  The one rather large glitch is that I got the wrong curriculum for math.  Miss K is a year ahead, so I was looking for the BJU Press curriculum at the store for 9th grade.  Geometry was marked as such.  So I work on all these lesson plans and I decided that I had better get my order in for the teacher’s edition of her Social Studies because that’s the only thing that I don’t have yet.  While on the site, she sees vocabulary, so I put that in the shopping car too.  I decided to browse the curriculum by grade, so I look at 9th grade for math.  Low and behold, it says Algebra I.  I’m confused, so I look at 10th grade, and there’s Geometry.  EEK!!  Need-less-to-say, I threw that Algebra I in the shopping cart too and went down and bought a new lesson plan book today.  All weekend, I’ll be rewriting our lessons!!  It’s a good thing though and I can’t complain….I have one full subject of curriculum bought for next year!!  HAHA

Also, of major news, I have a doc appointment on Monday.  Those of you who know me, know that I’ve battled diabetes since Miss K was 5 and with that, I fight with my weight.  My biggest issue is that I don’t eat.  I have 1 meal a day and that’s dinner.  It’s not good for diabetes or weight control.  For a month now, I’ve prayed and discussed getting a lap band with my family and God.  I talked to my best friend who’s a nurse and who’s had a gastric bypass.  She’s gave me so much to think about and she’s just always there for me…..I know I can trust her.  After all this, I’ve decided to get the lap band surgery done.  When I called to get the referral, they insisted that I get a doc appointment first because I’ve never seen this doc.  Yes, I have yet another doc.  (Gotta love military life….NOT!!)  He gets to decide on Monday if HE THINKS that I should have the surgery or not.  I have to believe that he’s going to be with me on this because it really is the best for my health and for my family.  If it was my old doc, I wouldn’t be worried as he’s talked to me about this for about 3 years now.  I just don’t know how the new one will handle it or how controlling he is. 

So, life is good….it’s just busy!!  We’re about 40 days strait of 100+ degree temperatures now.  I like hot, but this is HOT!!  Lean Green is hanging in there and I’m happy every night when he comes home.  God has blessed me and I try never to forget that.  I do ask that if you pray, to please pray for my doc to have wisdom and compassion and understanding for my health and reasoning for the surgery.  Also, pray for rain, as we desperately need it.

Have a great one!!


Categories: "K", Blogging, Celebrations, Daily Life, Family, Friends, General, Homeschool, Lesson Plan, Photos-Pictures, the Army, the Home, the Schoolhouse, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Still Here

Yes, I’m still here.  I’ve just been enjoying some time away from the computer.  Well, you can almost call it that!!  HAHA

We had a great Father’s Day together.  It’s one of the only one’s we’ve had where there was no work or schedule to keep.  It was really a good day.  It started with Miss K being the only alter server and Father praising her for how good she did.  It’s tough to do alone and she did it without batting an eye.  The Deacon was of some help and told her she did good also.  In fact, she had to ring the bell, which she’d never done before!!  We had a nice dinner of chili dogs at home because we’d already taken him out for his special dinner Saturday night.

I’m also still working on these landmark and monument cards.  They’re a chore!!  I ended up with 20 pages and there’s 10 cards on each page.  The pictures was the easy part, now I’m working on the backs.  I’m putting where it’s located and then a brief description about it.  Let me tell you, it’s hard to condense a page of info into a 2 x 3 card!!  SHEESH  It was stressing me out so bad that hubby said I was only allowed to do a couple cards a day.  It’s going to take forever, but it’s been good.  I don’t feel so stressed.

I haven’t really felt the need to blog because I’m getting very few comments.  I know people are reading, but I don’t know who they are or what they’re reading.  It sort of sucks when there’s no comments.  I must say, Debbie always comments on every post when she’s doing her catching up though.  Personally, without the comments, it’s like why write if nobody cares….if they cared, they’d comment.  I know I don’t comment every time I read a blog, but I try to comment every now and then so they know I’ve been there. 

Other than, just enjoying each other and the a/c.  It’s been hot and it’s only getting hotter.  Summer is here!!  We still have the turtle.  He’s a bit spoiled and he just loves strawberries.  I still think that’s funny.  He’ll eat them first!!  He goes for a walk either in the house or outside a couple times a week.  I think we average about 3 times.  At least once is always outside.  We love watching him plow through the grass and seeing the dogs follow him.  If we can’t find him, Big Boy will sniff him out for us!!  HAHA

Alright, I’m caught up now.  Ya’ll take care and drop me a note sometime!!  I’d love to know who’s reading and what they’re reading!!


Categories: "K", Blogging, Daily Life, Family, General, Religion, the Home, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Man, It’s HOT!!

“Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”

Do you remember that line from the movie Biloxi Blues??  It’s one of the most famous lines from Matthew Broderick in that movie.  It stands true for the land of Okies today as well.  We’ve hit our summer “peek” and let me tell you, it’s HOT!!  I kept an eye on my Weather Pixie yesterday and she peeked at 107 degrees.  The forecast is for the same thing for the next 5-7 days.  In fact, our forecast for today is 105 degrees.  That just means that we’ll probably be hotter.  Yes, hotter!!  Our “coolest” days are supposed to be tomorrow and Sunday with a high of only 100 degrees.  SHEESH  Oh yes, you just have to love the “dog days of summer”!!  We have a burn ban, heat advisory and the mold count is high.  That sure makes for a miserable day for anyone outside. 

Oh yes, did I mention that lean green is outside in this!?!?  Everyday this week, he’s taking the poopies (privates) to the range.  FULL gear!!  Let me tell you, if this week doesn’t prepare these boys for Iraq, nothing will.  Last time hubby was there, he saw 120 degrees.  HA!!  Let me just state, that was 120 degrees in the shade!!  I just can’t help but to worry about him though.  He’s too old for this crap.  He’s so busy taking care of the poopies that he forgets to take care of himself.  He’ll walk them over to the water buffalo and keep them hydrated, but that crazy man will walk away and not even think of himself.  I’ve had to keep talking to him and reminding him that he’s on his last leg.  He’s done his time and it’s alright to pass the reigns over to someone else.  But no, he’s still in charge!!  I love him for that, but it just drives me nuts!!  (And trust me when I say, I don’t have far to go!!)  Anyone want to wager a bet that he just comes home tonight, kicks his boots off and crashes where he is??

By the way, I just want to mention that this picture was taken in my backyard just for this post.  I was looking and looking for pictures of the hot sun, but nothing struck my fancy.  I said to myself, “well, why don’t you just go out there and get exactly what you do want”.  (See, I told you I didn’t have far to go.  Now I’m talking to myself!!)  I did just that!!  I might go out and try to take some more, but I was struggling.  I didn’t have sun glasses on and my eyes were watering and the glare was terrible.  I happen to think it turned out rather well though!!  HEHE

If you want to keep track of just how hot it is in Oklahoma, just keep track of my Weather Pixie on the right hand side of the page.  She updates regularly!!  So tell me, how’s the weather where you are??  Just how hot is it??  Leave a comment and let me know what the weather is like around the world!! 


Categories: Daily Life, General, In the News, the Army, the Home | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Moving Along

Today is going to be an absolutely beautiful day!!  The sun is already out and it’s warming up.  Still gets cool at night though.  Oh how I love spring!!

I think these are pretty good days for all of us right now.  That darned Geography/Social Studies Fair project is out of the way.  We enjoyed a busy but very good leave.  Now we just have 6 weeks of school left to go.  I’ll be really glad when classroom presentations and judging are over.  I know “K” is slightly stressing over it.  I think she’s going to do just fine though.  However, I understand her frustration.  Although we had plenty of time to create this in-depth project, the homework has never slowed, much less stopped.  Right up to turning it in, there were 2 tests everyday last week.  This week when they probably should be taking a breath and practicing the presentation, the homework and tests continue.  Even going through this before, it’s hard on a 4th grader.

I was taken out last night to get my birthday present.  I got a new chair for sitting at my desk.  I had gotten one last week, but absolutely hated it after we put it together.  It was hard and the back wasn’t high enough.  “K” was determined that I’d get the right one for my birthday, so they took me out last night to try chairs on for butt size!!  Office Depot sucks!!  That’s where I got that hard chair from and couldn’t find anything else suitable and affordable.  Staple’s strikes again!!  I found one that fit both qualifications there.  The is the first “leather” chair I’ve ever had.  It’s comfortable, no doubt, but we’ll see how it is when it’s warm in here during the summer or cool in the winter.  That shall be the true test!!  HAHA

Well, I tried to take it easy yesterday and somewhat recover from last week.  Unfortunately, that left me with many undone chores.  With that, I’m off to take care of that right now!!

Happy day, ya’ll!!

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