Pages That Might or Might Not Be of Interest to You!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There's Always a Day Like Today

Today was NOT a good day.

For the kids or for me.

We were all cranky and unwilling to change the crankiness.  Isn't that sad?  But it's true.

So, instead of coming together and helping one another we fought and bickered and chose to be at odds with one another.

Not one of my proudest parenting days.

Nor is it one of my worst.

Tomorrow is a new day with new mercies and I intend to start the day with them and pass them on to my children.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Crazy Good Deal

If you read my blog then you know that I am a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine with a group called The TOS Crew.  Since I am part of The Crew I get special opportunities to participate in promoting the magazine.  This is one of those times.  While I truly love the magazine-I wouldn't promote it otherwise-I am getting a great gift for this promo.  :-)

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is filled with encouragement for this journey we are on called Home Schooling.  You can find articles on curricula, methods of schooling, ideas for projects or crafts, and so many more things that you will just have to subscribe to see them all!  I am always encouraged with every issue that I devour.  I save them as well because there are articles that I want to keep to reference back to later-or to share them with a fellow homeschooler.

Here is the info about their sale?

  Homeschooling Is a Labor of Love

We know how seriously homeschooling parents take their conviction to
homeschool. Our “Labor of Love” subscription sale is a celebration of
the commitment to homeschool, and we want everyone in your group to
know about the sale. We are offering a one-year print subscription for
just $7.95 or a one-year plus current issue print subscription for
only $12.95!

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is extending an extraordinary
subscription offer to homeschool families. Receive a one-year print
subscription for just $7.95 or a one-year plus current issue
subscription for $12.95. One-year subscriptions start with the winter
issue. The one-year plus current issue starts with the fall issue.
Only 5000 of these special subscriptions are available from August 31
through midnight on September 15. Once the 5000 are gone, they'’re gone!
Hurry and grab this crazy price today!

Want to sign up for your own subscription? Go here to find out more information and to place your order for this amazing magazine.

Don't forget to get your subscription and hurry, they only have 5,000 to offer at this amazing price.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

There are no words

We are so proud of our youngest!

Does she remind you of anyone?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

Okay, I almost forgot this today.  It has been a kind of long day around here.  But, after our family movie I suddenly remembered that I forgot to post this!  Did you follow that? I'm not sure I did. heehee

This week...

1.  I am so thankful for my homseschool group.  We had our orientation meeting on Monday and I got to visit with these wonderful women.  We ate, talked, planned, and laughed.  What a blessing that God has allowed me to be part of their lives.

2.  Do-overs.  This week hasn't been the greatest regarding school.  We have done the basics but fell short with just about everything else.  Our Tapestry studies were almost nill and we will be repeating Week 2 next week.  Hence being thankful for Do-overs.  We are going to re-do this week and not stress about it.  Because I got to snuggle, play, and hang out with four of my most favorite people in the world.  Praise God for the little joys.

3.  I love the fact that all of my girls can swim.  I can't.  Well, I can a little but probably not enough to save my life for more than thirty seconds.  :(  We have been using our neighbors pool and I am so enjoying watching them play and swim.  Especially N, our 5yo.  She taught herself to swim and is our little fish.  I think I may change her nickname from Bean to Nemo! 

4.  French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix from Aldi.  I got addicted to this stuff almost two years ago.  Seriously addicted.  Then in early June I went to buy our two cases(yes, I said two cases) and they didn't have any.  They weren't going to carry it through the summer because it is a seasonal item.  WHAT??  Coffee is seasonal?  In what world?  Certainly not mine.  I wrote headquarters and begged them to send me several cases.  I didn't hear back from them.  Then, the girls and I went to get some groceries and what did we find?  That's right, my favorite go-go juice was back in my life.  Can you say "Happy Momma?"  Sure you can, my kids did!  I will never know if they got my email and responded by sending it back to their store, but I am going to think so while I drink my liquid gold every morning. 

5.  I made it home from the dentist.  I was worried about it.  I have terrible teeth.  I always have.  But now since I am hypocalcemic and it makes it worse.  My teeth are weak and are prone to cavities.  Of which I have many.  Several of them are pretty bad.  One is in the front and has been broken for quite a while.  There is just never enough money to fix it.  It makes me sad that people notice it.  Today, however, I had to have a somewhat deep cleaning since I haven't been in, well a very long time.  I didn't cry and only flinched a few times!  I thank God for my dentist.  He is wonderful.  But I don't want to go back.  :(

I love looking back on the week and remembering God's blessings in my life.  What are your blessings this week?  If you want to participate, go to Susanne's at Living to tell the Story and link up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What was I thinking?

The weather was so beautiful on Wednesday that I thought it would be a great idea to go for a walk.  But why waste time on a meaningless walk when we had so much to do?  The answer...walk to the library to return our books and pick up more.  We could count it as a Field Trip and P.E.  


Everyone found their backpacks, loaded them up with the books that were probably late, put on our sneakers and started merrily on our way.  Now, we walk often around our neighborhood and ride our bikes to soccer practice more often than not; so this didn't seem like that big of deal.  After all, it only takes a few minutes to get to the library when we drive--how hard could it be?

We finally leave the house after much gnashing of teeth cooperation and harmony and start our trial journey.  The time: 9:20am.

After turning a few corners and leaving our neighborhood I look ahead to the first major intersection and am frightened by what I see-the light so far away.  It looks miles away.  On top of that N-our 5yo did not wear sneakers like I demanded encouraged; she wore pretty (useless) flip-flops.  Niice.

We finally made it to the corner and that's when I knew...I was in way over my head!  But, instead of admitting defeat and turning around, I lied white-washed the situation and told them that we were almost half-way there. 

With no end in sight and my load becoming heavier and heavier, I whined asked the girls to carry some of the books.  We split them up and my load was lighter; for about two blocks.  The whining started again-mine not theirs.  They are young and in shape; I am old and not in shape.  What did they have to complain about?

A lot, actually!

About this time I called my dear, sweet husband and told him what we were accomplishing attempting when he promptly told me that we were crazy a little too ambitious.  His next words were straight from the wonderful husbands handbook: "Call me if I need to come and get you."  I love that man!

We finally arrived at the next major corner and looked in the direction of the library when my youngest exclaimed, "I can't even see it!"  Yeah, I know me either.  But let's focus on the positive here, okay?  This time we really were half-way there. 


We were pretty much done.  We kept walking with the thought that we would get to the library and call Steven to come and rescue us.  That was the only thing that kept us me going.

We made it to the library at 10:30am.  Yup, you read that right.  Awful disgusting sad, isn't it? 

The library was a welcome haven until they told me how much the fines were and then I couldn't wait to get out of there.  The threat suggestion to never check out books or movies again might have been mentioned by the newly blistered momma.  But, I can't be sure because I wasn't really paying attention.  I was calling Steven and getting frustrated because he wasn't answering his phone.  What was he doing anyway, working? sheesh!

I finally decide that we have to start for home; so we set off.  It was 10:55am. Is it possible for the way home to be longer?  Well, it was.  Seriously.  We only made it a few blocks when the kids started dropping like flies sitting down in protest.

See her in the distance?  She sat down and waited for us.  You can't see it in the distance because it is too far away; but the corner is up there somewhere!
We are getting closer to her!
But another one dropped...
She was moaning and gasping for air.  I thought someone would call 911 on us!
So not happy with her momma.  ;-)
Just being silly because she was so tired.
She didn't want to go on.  Come to find out, her shoes were too small!
Pretty much done.  'Nuf said.
We trudged onward toward the intersection and the Dillons that was just on the other side of it.  We were stopping no matter what.  I had bribed promised the kids a treat for their good somewhat okay behavior and I just wanted to stop walking.  I was such a good desperate mom that I bought them all their own sodas!  AND candy.  Then I thought of ice I found some ice cream sandwiches that only had six in a box and bought them.  Turns out two of the kids didn't want any so the other three of us inhaled ate their sandwiches as well as our own. 

Ice cream, warm weather, and extreme physical distress does not equal happy tummies.  Add soda to that and you have a volatile mix!  At 11:40am we started walking limping along again.  We I wanted to quit.

But we had to keep going because we 'almost half-way there'!  As the high of sugar wore off, the complaining started again.  Mine, not theirs.

A few blocks later, the girls started falling onto the grass whenever there was a shady spot.  I was afraid if I sat down that I would never get back up!  We kept walking at a snails pace.  I know it was a snails pace because an extremely old man on an ancient bike whizzed past us like we were standing still.  :(

We finally saw 'our corner' and more than a few "Thank you, Jesus's" flew about.  We were spurred on by the sight of the road leading to our street.  It was short-lived.  The corner seemed to get farther away the more we walked.  But we finally made it.  To the corner.  And almost didn't make it up the little hill on the other side.  It was just so high!

After the corner it is three extremely long blocks to our turn.  I think I got two more blisters on that stretch of road alone. 

Our corner came into view and we were eating up the pavement at one step every minute and a half.  The 5yo asked if we were ever going to get home.  I wasn't sure.

It didn't feel like it.  And even if we made it home, would we be able to walk normally after this?

We did make it home, barely, and we all collapsed onto couches, chairs and the floor.  No one even ate.  Twenty minutes after we made it through the door, at 12:45pm, two of four were asleep and the other two were on their way. 

By the way, it was 5.2 miles and we haven't walked normally since!

TOS Crew Blog Walk 9

We are at another week in our Blog Walk!  These are some more of our fearless leaders...check them out!

1. Creative Learners
2. The Homeschool Desk
3. Ramblin' Roads
4. The Stewards Steno
5. Mama Manuscripts
6. Train Up a Child
7. We Love to Homeschool
8. Day by Day in Our World
9. Acorns - or Homeschooling Nuggets of Gold
10. The Berry Patch

I know they love comments as much as I do, so stop by and leave them some comment love! lol

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Dozen

This week I am going to participate in a new Meme.

Why you ask?

'Cause I'm crazy, that's why! lol  Actually, I am having such a great time with Friday's Fave Five that I thought I would do another.  We'll see how it goes.  :)

This one is Random Dozen and it's hosted by 2nd cup of coffee.

1. What is your favorite Mexican dish? hmm...Chicken Enchiladas? no, Chipotle burritos...

2. When you were a kid, did you get started on your homework right away after school, or did you procrastinate? There was homework?  oops

3. What is your favorite store for home furnishings?  Wal-mart? Target?  I don't really buy very many very often so I'm not sure!!

4. When you were young, did you like school lunches?  Yup!  Mainly because of the talking we could do while we were eating.  Plus, I just like food.  :)

5. Is religion a crutch? I guess for some it can be, but it's not intended to be.  I would have to argue that true Christianity is not a religion but a relationship.

6. In your region, what is the "big" (most popular in the community or state) high school sport? Depends on the school but most likely football or basketball.  Soccer is pushing up the ranks though.

7. Do you consider yourself rich?  What standard are comparing to?  The vast majority of the world?  Yes, I am.  Or are we talking about the things that really matter?  If so, then I am very rich.  I have a wonderful family and a God that loves me.  What more can I ask for?

8. Which of these would you have the best chance for success in administering:
A) CPR I'm pretty sure I could do this, should I practice?
B) Heimlich Maneuver  hmm where do I put my balled fist?
C) Changing a flat tire  Yup, this would be my pick!  Just check the lug nuts and make sure they are tight enough!!

9. Which dance would you prefer to learn & why:
A) Salsa  Sexy!  Oh yeah, I would love to do this with my hubby!!  oolala
B) Hip Hop Fun, fun, fun,!  Yup, I have done this and love it!
C) Waltz  Classy!  Romantic, too.
D) Swing  Big Band music?  Count me in!

10. What's the worst news you've ever delivered to someone? Telling my dh that we miscarried another baby.

11. Name something you learned in college that had nothing to do with classes or academics.  Life in the real world is not vastly different from High School.  There are mean people that will hate you just because they can and in the long run they don't matter either.  It is important to be comfortable with who God made you.

12. New variation on an old question: If there's a song in your head that just won't get out, what is your favorite (or most repeated) line in that song?  'Cause I got a couple dents in my fender, got a couple rips in my jeans.  Trying to fit the pieces together perfection is my enemy.  On my own I'm so clumsy, but on your shoulder I can see I'm free to be me. 

Want to participate and see what everyone else is sayin'?   Head on over to 2nd cup of Coffee and link up!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sick Days and Movies

Today we were scheduled for a regular school day...but that didn't happen.  B, my 12yo, is sick.  She has a head cold and is dragging.

She caught it from me.  :(  I have been fighting it for a while and it finally struck today.  When I move, the pressure in my head is unbearable.  If it would explode that would be a bonus!

So, what did we do today?  Well, we did Free School a day early and may do it again tomorrow.  Then I went to bed and slept all morning, so did B.  I watched Pride and Prejudice by A& E off and on; rounding off the day with The Princess Bride.

I hadn't finished The Princess Bride by the time Steven got home so after dinner we watched it together.  Gotta love that movie!

Tomorrow we will get back on track...I think!

For now, I am finishing up some books that I am reviewing for The Crew and playing with the computer program I downloaded(another review).  This program lets me take control of the kids computer!!  How cool is that?  Way too cool, let me tell you! heehee

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Flash Back

This week at Heart of the Matter they are doing a "Day in the Life" of a Homeschooler.  Instead of coming up with anything original, I thought I would reference back to a post I did just a short time ago. 

The Dream and Reality...

Check it out!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The sermon at church this weekend was on Responsibility.  It was a great sermon that caused much soul searching.  I loved how it applied to not only my life but the lives of my children and how I am raising them.  How am I doing at making them responsible for the things that they choose to do or not do?  Are they going to be responsible adults or will they try and shift blame for everything to someone else?  The Scripture reference was 2 Samuel 11 & 12 when David took Bathsheba. 

In order to take responsibility for your life you have to be willing to deal with your baggage.  We all have baggage.  Be it emotional, physical, spiritual..we all have it.  But baggage is not something that Christ wants us to carry around with us.  Our past experiences can either be a source of strength, wisdom, and compassion; or it can be a source of guilt and self-condemnation that we use as an excuse for not succeeding at things. 

What will we do, how shall we live?

Here were some questions that were on the back of a handout we were given in church.  I thought that they were appropriate to keep in mind.

1.  Do you make excuses as to why you can't be happy?
2.  Do you find yourself throwing up walls to distance yourself from people or experiences?
3.  Do you find it difficult to let go of past hurt or experiences?
4.  Do you frequently find yourself in conflict?
5.  Do you hold emotions in, in hopes of avoiding certain confrontation?
6.  Do you find yourself blaming others for past and present events happening in your life?
7.  Are there always reasons as to why you don't achieve what it is you set out to achieve?

I'm not sure where they got these questions from, but I think they are handy in attempting to figure out why we do what we do. 

In all things, we should seek Christ and follow His leading.  We can't do that if we are consistently answering yes to these questions. 

Just some thoughts...what do you think?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Counting the Cost

And I do mean it literally.  Homeschooling is a costly adventure to say the least.  Ever spring Steven begs me to come up with a list including prices of what we will need for the following year so he can plan for it.  A budget he calls it.

That is not one of my strong-suits, I'm sad to say.  I think they are wonderful ideas and am in whole-hearted agreement with them.  But, my impetuous nature and my addiction to curricula negate all attempts at saving money that I attempt on my own!

What's a person to do when they are trying to home school without breaking the bank?  Let me see if we can figure this out with the help of my wonderfully organized and well budgeted husband.

First of all, you need to be sure that you are committed to home schooling.  It is a lifestyle that involves the whole family.  There isn't one area of home life that won't be affected by schooling your kids at home.  That is one of the ways to save money as well.  Use everything you are doing to teach.  Cooking dinner?  Teach the kids about measuring, reading and following a recipe, cleaning...Life Skills.  What better way to learn than by real world experiences?  How about making a meal plan for the family.  Get the kids involved by having hem help you come up with the meals, figuring out what it would take to make them, get a grocery list together, then go shopping together.  So many skills that we need in life don't need a 'store bought curricula'.

Another way is to re-use curricula for different children.  Pass it down!  This is one time that my hubby is okay with me keeping things.  :)  I know that sounds simple and it is, but it is a true money saver.  Not all curricula will work for every kid, but sometimes when that is all you have you use it.  Don't be afraid to tweak it for the learning style of each child-make it work for you.

One of my favorite ways to save money while homeschooling is to find curricula that all of my children can do together.  Be it Unit Studies or curricula that spans several grades; I love them!  While these can be costly initially, in the long run you will save money if it is a great fit for your family because you will use it for years to come.  If I can get a subject to cover all four of my girls, bonus!

I think my most favorite money saving tip of all time is this: Share curricula with other homeschooling families.  If we have something that we aren't using because we are saving it for another year and a family needs it now, SHARE IT!  I have been blessed by this so many times that I can't count them anymore.  I am trying to do the same and find it so rewarding.  What a blessing to be able to help ease the burden to the budget by sharing what we have. 

If you want to see more tips for saving money while on this adventure Here is where you want to be!

Happy schooling!

Friday's Fave Five

This week has been so strange!  I have been recuperating from the surgery last week and find that things are just harder right now.  We are back at school full time-that has been a challenge! lol  It hasn't been a terrible week, just odd.

The week started slowly and never really progressed past that.  There were many blessings though, and I am so thankful to have a moment to look back on them and share them.

1.  A mostly quick recovery.  I am feeling pretty good at this point and really can't complain about the pain.  It is very manageable and subsiding quickly.  God has been very merciful to me.  I just get tired out quickly, which leads me to my next Fave Five.

2.  The ability to lay down and take a nap in the afternoons.  That can happen because we homeschool and can arrange our schedule to fit out needs.  And because my kiddos are fairly self-sufficient and willing to let me rest.  They carry on and even make dinner for me! Thank you, God, for kids that are willing to serve.

3.  Our family doctor.  Steven and I have been going to him for over 18 years and he is like a member of the family.  Of course, with how much we see him he pretty much is part of the family! lol  He is wonderful with our kids and is a Godly man.  He is a God-send for us.

4.  A break in the 100* weather.  It has been positively oven-like for longer than I care to think of and we finally caught a break.  It got down in the 80's!!  Seriously, though it felt downright chilly that day.  :)  Praise God for the relief and the glimpse of Fall to keep us going.

5.  Blogging!  I love to write and need an outlet for my ever-working mind.  I love learning about all the different things to do with my blog and finding new blogs to read.  I love meeting new people from all over the world and seeing what their lives are like.  It's also a great way for fellow Believers to share what God is doing in their lives and to lift one another up in prayer.   

There's my list for the week.  Do you have one that you want to share?  Pop on over to Susanne's at Living to tell the Story and add your link. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fun, Food, and Learning

Making Cookie Dough Maps of Medieval Europe
Hard at work making the British Isles

She ended up making a duck on wheels!

The Iberian Penninsula

Hard at work learning Math.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Expo To Go

I have never experienced the Expo To Go with The Old Schoolhouse, but it looks like a fantastic deal! Who doesn't love seminars and chatting with other home schoolers?

Here's your chance.

It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.

Save $5 per ticket! Register between August 16 and midnight August 22, and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free E-Books.

You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright,Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your homeschooling years.

Don't forget, MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.

Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr.
Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!

Register starting 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 16.

The theme this fall is "Celebrate Homeschooling!" We're going to celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our children's education to best meet their needs.

If you cannot make the Live event, then the October Expo To Go is just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This week only, pay just $14.95!

You can visit either of these links to get more information.

**As a member of The TOS Crew, I was given the opportunity to advertise the Expo in exchange for a tickets to the Expo.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First "Real" Day of School

B-Our Seventh Grader

S-Our Sixth Grader

H-Our Third Grader
N-Our Kindergartner

Crossroads 2010-2011

Our schedules for the week to keep us going!!

Our 'new' desk we have had in storage for forever!

Bookshelf No. 2
Bookshelf No.1

Desk No. 1

Student shelves
Bookshelf No. 3

My shelves

Supply and library shelf
Desk No. 3
Some of our Time line Characters