Summer Fun

Audrey is taking swim lessons for a late 10th Birthday gift.  A local homeschool family is generously letting us use their pool and another homeschool mom is providing the lessons.  Andrey is doing so well!  We’re kinda figuring out a “just right challenge” for her, which most often does not include activities specified for special needs children, rather activities designed for younger kids.  She’s in a beginners’ class with kids around 4-7 years old and it’s a great fit.  Her instructor is also phenomenal.  I don’t think she has much experience teaching special needs children, but you’d never know it.  She’s intuitive and tucks Audrey right into the fold.


And Eva is her biggest fan!  This is her brazenly yelling for Audrey even though all the other spectators are absolutely quiet.  Eva is such an excellent encourager!


Andrey’s gotten water up her nose a couple times, but other than that, she LOVES the class.


We are also taking advantage of local-ish sites.  Following an introduction to Arkansan author Charles Portis, we visited Fort Smith’s National Historic Site where Judge Parker’s court was recreated.  It was fun but the girls were exhausted from going through two stories of history.


And Daniel and I though this was hilarious.  We couldn’t find any for sale in the gift shop though.



May/June Mashup

I can’t believe it’s June.  Spring is gone already.   We’ve enjoyed having company the last four weekends and time has flown away.

In May, my parents treated us to The Sound of Music at the Walton Arts Center in downtown Fayetteville.  The girls experienced their first play, and a lovely time was had all around.  Audrey especially enjoyed the dancing (and the romance!) and Eva enjoyed the music.  Audrey was on the edge of her seat most of the play, and Eva wore herself out clapping.  At intermission, Eva eagerly ask us if the second half was going to have the fighting.


In other news, Eva developed a bruise on her right knee from using it as a fulcrum to sword fight her sister during free play.  Daniel walked by as I was telling her she had to take a break from sword fighting to let her bruise heal.  He remarked that was something he never thought to hear his wife tell his darling little girls.

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Also, Eva took 10 steps during her yearly PT evaluation-only holding her therapist’s fingers for balance!  Yay Evalena Claire Claire!


We took a Friday off and visited Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.   It was fun and educational. I learned that a Liger and LaTiger are real animals.


Aannnnnnnnnnd, after three years of therapies, surgeries, and lots of effort, Audrey is now wearing two neutral AFOs.  That means that both of her feet are in a pretty good position for walking.  Thank you, Jesus.


And lastly, because we do school year round with breaks as needed, we do a more relaxed summer schedule.  The girls have been learning about life cycles and chlorophyl and metamorphosis and energy…all that good stuff.  So of course they did a sunshine craft.  After setup, they were totally independent!  Woot!



We have a 10 year old!

Happiest of birthdays to our Audrey Mae Cat!!!

You are absolutely wonderful.  A joy.  A helper.  So smart.  Considerate.  Beautiful.  Precise.  Dedicated.  Strong.  And you have the best cackle ever.  We love you so much!


It’s Almost Mushroom Time!

Dabney Creek Farm will be a vendor this year at the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market!  We will be bringing our freshly picked, oak-grown shiitake mushrooms.  Last year during our trial run, the guys had a great time building community with other local farmers and just about sold out.

The guys have now inoculated around 150 logs, including some a few shiitake mushroom log kits that will be available for purchase this Fall.  They can be grown indoors or outdoors with very little effort and you can enjoy the harvest without all the prep work!

Daniel has also been doing a lot of work this year rehabbing a shed on the farm, in hopes of preparing a fruiting shed that will be well-shaded and safe during our spring floods.  Last year we lost several logs during the April floods.  Thanks to Daniel’s labors, our logs should be safe, shaded, and ready to grow!

The shed is a convenient distance from our house and will be set up for more ergonomic harvesting.


But first, some intense cleaning had to happen.





I think Daniel is probably the hardest working person I know.



We’re so glad it’s springtime and are looking forward to becoming a regular vendor at the Downtown Roger’s Farmers Market!  The (covered) Market opens May 5 and we’d love to see our local friends there!




The girls and I attended Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Young Birders’ Class for Homeschoolers hosted by Kelly and Donna Mulhollan and Kitty Sanders.

It was quite frigid, but we all had a lovely time.  Kelly and Donna played and sang which was a huge plus, especially for Eva who was humming their tunes even this morning.


We learned all about birds common to the Ozarks and even got to see preserved (neglected) nests.


Including a hummingbird’s nest which was fascinating.  They use plant down and spider webs to keep it together and to allow it to expand with their babies’ growth.


The girls then made their own nests from a nice supply of preferred nesting supplies: grasses, feathers, twigs, fabric strips, and wool.


They loved it!


Birds along the Buffalo with diminished numbers were also featured and honored with song.


The girls were enjoyed trying out the scopes to watch a robin building its nest.


The girls also received a take home activity where they were asked to imagine a new type of bird and describe it.  I love these activities.  Imagination time is the best.


Eva’s Bird:                                                           Audrey’s Bird:

Name: The Eva Bird (Peter Pan, anyone?)   Name: The Wasp Bird

Feathers:  Gray                                                   Feathers: Green & Purple

Habitat:  Builds its nests on top of tables      Habitat: Builds nests on rooftops

Size: As large as a heron                                  Size: As large as an elephant

Eats: other birds’ eggs                                       Eats: other birds’ nests

Behavior:  Runs a lot and is noisy                  Behavior: likes to jump and talk