Thirteen things that I love about my thirteen year old.

IMGP85971. She is helpful and responsible.

2. She is fun to talk to and has interesting things to say.

3. She is so very smart and such a joy to homeschool as she devours every subject with a voracious appetite for learning.

IMGP86074. She is so practical and does not get lost in frivolity.

5. Though she has entered her teens, she still sees the world with sweet innocence and curiosity.

6. She is trustworthy and honest.


7. She continues to amaze me with her artistic ability.

8. Everything she does, she does well. She strives for excellence in all things.

9. She has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh.

IMGP851510. She is so fun to watch movies with – she squeals and jumps and laughs outloud and fully enjoys every minute.

11. She makes an excellent macaroni and cheese.

12. She is careful and does not rush into things without thinking it through first.

13. She is so beautiful.

Happy Birthday to my teenager! I love you more than you’ll ever know!




These Moments – Camping

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

So, today’s This Moment picture is actually pictures, plural. Our family camp out was wonderful, and there are too many good pictures to just pick one. 

Bragging on the Bookworm

We have had such encouraging responses to our comic strip, so The Bookworm and I want to show you some of her “real” art. The comic strip is fun, but I think you will agree that her talent really shines through better in the following examples.

She has been taking art lessons for almost a year, now, and has totally blossomed into an amazing artist.

She draws the most beautiful things, and I need more walls to hang them all on.

At twelve years old, I think she is amazing!

Here is one she sketched of The Dancing Queen, who really loves posing for her.

I guess the art lessons are paying off.

She has even been featured in an art gallery already!

That’s my girl!



Dale & Dolly – His Socks Part 3

Tuesday is Comics Day at Woolandchocolate! 

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

Dale & Dolly – His Socks Part 2

Tuesday is Comics Day at Woolandchocolate! 

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  


Today I have a cute, quick knit to show you.

This is Spark’s Pony Pattern made in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. It was a birthday gift for The Bookworm who is turned 12 this week.

Let me tell you, The Bookworm was thrilled. She carries it around on her shoulder! I love when I can put smiles on my kids’ faces with a bit of wool.

Three things about this knit.

1. This pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, but I wanted something smaller so I used fingering on size one needles. It is small, but I was hoping for even smaller. I probably should have whipped out some lace-weight and my 0000 needles. Oh, well, there is always next time. I also think that next time I will try the other head option for a smaller, more normal looking noggin. I did the big one this time because that is what the kids like, but I think it looks ridiculous.

2. I got this pattern almost immediately after it was added to Raverly’s pattern database, so it was brand spankin’ new. I got the “virgin” version and I felt the pains thereof. After I was about 2/3 through, I received an email containing the revised version from the talented designer and all was well. I still can’t figure out how the legs were supposed to be sewn together, but it worked out okay in the end.

3. The pattern did not explain how to do the eyes. For that I just went back to the Etsy shop where I bought the pattern and closely examined the pictures of her finished ponies. Then I did what I could with the felt bits I had left over from my calendar. I am pretty surprised by how well they turned out.

All in all, it was a good knit and so quick that I think I could do it again. The only downside was the amount of yarn used up on hair!

Party Planning

I love planning birthday parties for my kids, so this year when The Bookworm asked for a slumber party, I got really excited. The planning is usually the best part for me, but this time was an exception. We had an absolute blast! And I had just as much fun partying as I did planning. So, just in case your daughter (or son, because most of this is gender neutral) wants a super awesome slumber party, here is the quick rundown of ours.

Decorations –

I have two words about party decorations – Dollar Store. I spent $10 and got streamers, balloons, bowls, napkins, spoons, cups, and a table cloth. Sure, they were just plain pink and yellow, but a 12 year old doesn’t need cartoon characters right? The above picture is the living room ceiling, and below is the table, which leads me to the next item –

Treats –

Instead of a cake, we did banana splits – I spent about $40 on ice-cream, banana’s, and toppings. And look at those toppings! Whoppers, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanuts, and (of course) cherries, plus chocolate, caramel and strawberry syrups.

Games – 

For game ideas, I visited the NBC website for the game show “Minute to Win It” and picked out a bunch of really fun challenges. In the above picture The Bookworm is trying to drop pennies into a baby bottle that is submerged in a gallon jar of water (it was a lot harder than it looks). We also tried to keep three balloons aloft for a whole minute, blew purple ping-pong balls off a plate while leaving the red ones on it, stacked marshmallows on our foreheads, played ping pong tic tac toe, and many other zany, laugh-inducing challenges. Once we had run through those, I sat the girls (and The Boy) all down to play Catch Phrase while I got the craft ready in the kitchen.

The Craft –

For a craft, I purchased candy melts, molds, lollipop sticks and bottles at Joann’s crafts ($35), and we made some candy. This was really fun and the girls (and The Boy) all did a really good job. We also threw in the left-over toppings from the banana splits as our creativity soared.

More Games-

We then played a few rounds of Reverse Hide and Go Seek in the dark – we turned out all the lights and one person hid, then everyone had to find and hide with the person who was “it”. As it got later and we needed to quiet down (the little girls were now in bed upstairs), we played Hide the Thimble (I talked about this game before).

Settling Down-

At about 10:00 we put on our jammies and spread out the sleeping bags for a good movie. I had three movies rented for the occassion and we held an election to see which one we would watch. “Ella Enchanted” won out over “The Muppets” and “Hugo”. At midnight we turned out the lights and went to sleep. (It is a little ironic that, while the girls all went right to sleep, my baby, who has been sleeping through the night since she was two months old, kept me up for most of the remaining hours of the night.)

Bright and Early – 

One of our guests had to be ready to go at 8:15 am, so we were up and eating breakfast at 7:30. Breakfast was scrambled eggs and cinnamon rolls. After breakfast, we all got cozy in the living room and watched “The Muppets” so that I could snooze a little longer.


For less than $100 we had a fabulous slumber party. We giggled and created and we were entertained and we were challenged.

And now my daughter is 12 years old. Wow!