New Puppy!

Meet Calvin, the newest addition to the Riddle menagerie:

I was trying to come up with a Quarian name from the Mass Effect series to go with Tali’Zorah but all I could think of was Kal’Reegar.  It didn’t sound right for the puppy, but it gave my husband the idea for Calvin.  We are all big Calvin & Hobbes fans so it is the perfect fit.  😀

Currently Reading: 

Prisoner’s Base by Rex Stout

Homeschool Field Trip: Amazeum

We went to the Amazeum, a hands-on learning museum, on our last homeschool field trip.

They had a note on their sign welcoming our group so I had to get a picture of the kids in front of it. 🙂  The kids loved all the different areas, especially the Nature Valley Water Amazements and the Nickelodeon Play Lab (not pictured).

Vesper also really, really loved the Canopy Climber!  Sean takes after me and does not like heights at all but he did try it a little bit.

They had fun at the Homestead Cabin & Farm, too.

And they also did some painting and building in the special exhibit area.

Today both kids keep asking to go back, I think it was a hit!  And we didn’t even make it to all the exhibits.  That just means more to explore when we go back!  🙂

Currently Reading: 

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Rearranging & Decorating Rooms

This month we have done a lot of rearranging of furniture in all the bedrooms as well as hanging up all the new posters/pictures we got for Christmas.  First, my Mom gave us one of her beautiful paintings from this past year and we added it to our picture wall in the living room.

Next, we hung up the posters that I bought for Doug for Christmas in our bedroom.

Vesper got a beautiful print of an illustration from Little House in the Big Woods for Christmas and I added it to the pictures she already has in her room.

I also rearranged some of her other pictures and posters while I was at it.


The picture in the middle below is one that she colored herself from her over-sized Christmas coloring book, she did such a good job we hung it up for her. 🙂

Sean had only one picture in his room, a drawing of Lightning McQueen by my very talented friend, Lacy.

Since Sean only had one picture I let him pick out a poster at Wal-Mart to brighten up his room a little bit.

I also have a few Hobbit posters scattered around the house, this one below is hanging next to the door we use all the time.  It seemed fitting.  🙂

This one is hanging in my sewing nook just because it is one of my favorites.


And that is it.  We are all really enjoying our “new” house now!

Sean’s Art

Another post about Sean’s art, some writing and object sculptures mixed in, too.  Disclaimer: I have not taught him any writing, he just loves numbers and letters so much that he learned to write on his own.

The monkey below is one that Sean drew using Christopher Hart’s Drawing Animals Shape by Shape drawing book.  We also have the original Shape by Shape drawing books and he especially loves drawing the pirate from that one.

Numbers and a creature:

Words written from memory with illustrations:

Robot from Sean’s imagination:

Words written from memory:

Another one drawn with a Shape by Shape book’s instructions:

Writing words with hot wheels:

Writing a number with number magnets:

Currently Reading: 

Heart’s Blood by Juliette Marillier

Lost Tooth & Lego Building

Vesper lost her fifth tooth a week ago!  She hates loosing her teeth but loves getting a little something from the tooth fairy under her pillow the next morning.  😉

This year we were able to find some large Star Wars lego sets for a good deal for the kids’ Christmas and they were very excited!  Vesper has actually been building them all by herself, which is pretty impressive.  The sets are for older age groups but she has been doing just fine on her own.  Here is the first one completed:

She has now started work on the second set and is still doing great.

Currently Reading:

The Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George


We have a new litter of kittens sprawling around on our front porch right now.  Princess only had four kittens in this litter so they are really huge this time compared to the six she had last time.  They are very friendly and fluffy so the kids are really enjoying them.

The gray tabby in the front of the picture below is Snuffles (short for Snufflupagus, yes that is a made up word).  He earned his name by sneezing snot all over my sweatshirt when I first found the kittens.  The brown tabby behind him is Bandit, Sean’s favorite kitten.  These two are also the kittens with tails, the other two don’t have any.

This gray tabby without a tail is Bobsey, for some reason both kittens without tails are bigger than the other two.  The roaming Manx tomcat that visits our house on occasion is pretty big so I guess it makes sense that this litter is bigger.

And that is the last kitten, Stubs, sticking his nose out of the box.  Stubs is so fat that when he tries to play he usually falls over. 😉 (I say “he” but I don’t know which are boys or girls yet…)

Currently Reading:

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Homeschool Field Trip: Har-Ber Village

We went on our second field trip earlier this month and had a wonderful time exploring Har-Ber Village!  Sean was posing as a tough cowboy in this picture:


And here they are posing as sheriff and prisoner, with a little help from Daddy:


Sean saw a picture of this statue on our brochure map and was really excited about it.  So of course we had to take a picture by it, you can see the old church in the background.


It was a beautiful day for walking around outside and there were a lot of interesting displays.  Doug and I could have spent a lot more time looking at them but the kids had a shorter attention span.  😉  I couldn’t resist taking pictures of some of the uniforms they had on display, too many costume ideas to pass up!


Currently Reading: 

Mass Effect comic books (in keeping with N7 day earlier this week) 😉

Last Minute Costume Mash-Up

I have been slowly but surely collecting the fabric and notions for my Commander Shepard costume but it is still solidly in the planning stage.  I did finally find boots for it, though!  But I have been way too busy sewing the kids’ costumes to even think about sewing something new for myself.  Then I thought of my box of costumes in storage and decided to see what I could do with what I have already sewn.  And after a few hours of work last night and this morning I have a new costume! 😀

I started with a dress I sewed during college for the Medieval Faire put on by one of my history classes. Then I added the belt and gauntlets I made for the Tauriel costume from a couple of years ago.


As for the alterations, I added a slit to the front of the skirt and gathered it up to about knee-height.  Then I sewed up a quick leather strap accent to cover the gathering stiches.  I’ll be wearing boots with it, again from my Tauriel costume.


The last touch was covering an elastic headband with some more leather so my hair accesory would match the rest of the outfit.  I’m excited to have something fun and new to wear without having to do much work!


Currently Reading:

Truth Seeker by Dee Henderson

Bat Princess: Finished!!

Grommet strips attached to the back of the dress and cord laced up: Check!


Cape in progress: Check!


Cape completed: Check!


Decorative trim hand sewn around the neckline: Check!


Pictures of the kids in their completed costumes: Coming soon!

Currently Reading: 

The Guardian by Dee Henderson