Lance turns 12!

Lance is turning 12 on Friday, but fortunately we celebrated early – just before everything shut down.

This year was a Spy theme thanks to the upcoming Camp Grammy.


The activities centered on diffusing “bombs” so he had “dynamite” on his cake.

The party started with a laser maze, but I didn’t get any pictures before it was mastered and deactivated (destroyed).IMG_3581

I had just purchased an escape room app where you print out puzzles and solve for codes to type into the app and diffuse a ‘bomb.’


Team ‘Confidential’ and team ‘Top Secret’ raced against the clock and each other to solve codes the fastest and deactivate the bomb threat.


After warming up their minds with puzzles they moved on to a bomb building project.


Old computer parts and random items were available to hot glue into Altoid tins. This was a huge hit and every kid made sure they took theirs home with them.


Lastly they ‘detonated’ balloons that had gold wrapped candy inside – successfully foiling the bad guys and recovering the lost treasure.


We ate pizza and cake then released everyone to run off steam outside. Ryder was not a fan of fire and loud singing.

Looking ahead to spy camp, we gave him walkie-talkies which were quite popular and have seen a lot of use since. :-)

Life for the little guys

Life with little guys has many adventures. Here are some random happenings in the life of our two youngest:


Garrison and Ryder love going to a weekly class at Aunt Katie’s house. They are doing a unit on weather right now. Here Garrison experiments with wind power, blowing a ping pong ball along a path.


Being on the younger side of the family has it’s perks – it means you get to sit in Grammy’s lap when she reads a story to the cousins.


When the big kids learn about horses in science, you get to come along for the ride too!


Watching alligator wrestling for their reptile unit was a bit more intense.


An afternoon at the children’s museum brought loads of fun, enjoying the train table built by his Uncle.


This little guy likes trains too! Polarized magnets take a while to figure out. When he first started playing with trains, Ryder would try to hook the cars together. If the magnets repelled each other, he would toss that car aside and try another. Later he figured out how to turn it around so that every car ‘worked!’IMG_2978

For Ryder, children’s museum fun came in the form of loading as much as possible in his cart.


It’s always fun to watch a little one enjoy a new experience. Never mind we live on a farm with plenty of animals – Ryder was fascinated with the ducks and thought it quite funny when they ate the bread he threw. Ahh, timeless activities.


But his real love is for big machines! Our neighbor happily had a track hoe sitting in his yard for a few weeks. Ryder talked about it all the time and we would go and sit on it sometimes. One day he heard it in use and took the opportunity to go and watch.


He also preferred watching construction near the playground over playing on the equipment. His fascination is such that one day I took the route home that was under construction. I may have had to wait a bit, but his excitement was worth it.

That’s our two little guys for now!

S is for….

This week illness kept Garrison from his letter class with Aunt Katie, so I took a little time to do some activities that went with the letter ‘S’.

S is for….

Stuffed (animal) Stories – with Uncle Kevin.







Supper help

Stories – this time with the big kids.

Strider bike



Sweep (all those seeds!)


Supplementing home school

Ever since I had pre-schoolers, I’ve gathered other mothers in my home and engaged in activities. We started with a simple music class from a book and have gone all the way to a multi-family educational school co-op. As my family grew I had to slowly downsize until last year I just shared some activities here and there with my sister next door.This year we were accepted into a larger co-op that meets one morning a week. It’s a pretty big undertaking to get our family off bright and early but the kids are loving it!

Here are a few pictures I’ve managed to get so far:

Skye in her pre-school class. I helped in there this morning. They played with play-doh, sang a letter song and did ABC “yoga,” an art project, read a book then free play with several activities. Her choice was matching cards.

Eden and Iris go to a Spanish class – here they learn “helado” by making some ice cream! I coach 2nd-3rd grade PE but have few pictures – I’m busy corralling 22 kids!

This week I put together an obstacle course which the kids were able to run without much direction so I snapped a few photos. Here Flora goes through a ‘web’ as part of the course.

Lance and Ivy are in the older PE classes that have split into male/female groups. Ivy is having a blast playing group games and learning a bit about volleyball. You can see her standing up on the right playing a game called Submarines and Sea mines.

Lance enjoys a good game of dodge ball the first week. The next 4-5 weeks were spent learning the basic skills for flag football and then trying out those skills in a few games. He wasn’t sure if he liked football until the week he caught a pass and made a touchdown! I’m so glad he’s getting an intro to these team sports so he can feel able to join in pick-up games in the future.

The oldest four are in science – this year studying land animals. One fun experiment on camouflage involved m&m’s that were eaten at the end!

Our first unit was on the various canines. Lance shows the canine habitats we made for what will become an entire model zoo.

Ivy shares a report on a drug sniffing dog.

Flora and Eden combine their reports of sled dog and rescue dog.

Garrison and Ryder are in the nursery, but even there they must have fun because every week Garrison is pumped about going to “PEP co-op” and gets his backpack all ready.

I’m so grateful to have this opportunity for the kids to experience some new teaching styles, watch peers work on similar subjects and just get to have some fun!

Recent changes

Found this unfinished draft awaiting release, so at the risk of “overwhelming” my readers, I’ll publish two posts in one day! Enjoy :-)


When you have little people, things are always changing! Here are a few of our recent happenings:

Eden celebrated her March birthday with a trip to the Waco zoo.

In May, Skye changed from 3 to 4 with a Madeline birthday party.

Garrison is learning letters – his favorite, of course, is letter G

Our school year ended for the summer. Eden and Ivy show off their ocean box that we made as part of our science class.

Ryder is becoming more and more of a playmate for Garrison.

My sister directed the cousins in a play set in China in preparation for camp Grammy.

Ryder went from crawling….

…to walking!!

One of our goats had kids! Then another goat turned out to not be pregnant…and our third had to be put down due to a serious birth complication. With only one goat in milk (and a fence jumping trouble maker at that!) we decided it was time to move into a new line of dairy animal…

Meet Ms. Viola and little Alfred (for all you Hank the Cowdog fans). Our Jersey cow and calf.

We expected to hand milk, just like we did with our goats, but quickly realized this would not work on a daily basis, not to mention finding someone who could milk when we took a vacation.

Brian spent hours researching and experimenting with pumps and now Ivy and Eden can handle the job themselves.

So there you have some of the news and times of the Cahill Crew!

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