Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Poll: My house is...

To take part in my new poll, look to the right of my most recent blog post.  This week, the poll title is "My house is..."

Results of last weeks poll show that 4/15 voters attend a weekly co-op and 11/15 don't attend co-op at all.  Thanks for voting!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Meandering Through the Week

We made it!  TGIF!!!  (This is something I rarely say and really mean today!)  I haven't felt well all week.  Between the cold I had and seasonal allergies, my head feels like it could explode.  But, I'm ever so grateful for Clariton-D!

Since I already wrote about the first part of our week in my post titled Too Much, I won't bore you with it again.  If you are so inclinced to read it, please do!  I did include pictures and a cute story about the lamb we sacrificed.

The rest of the week was business as usual.  We were able to finish weeks 19 & 20 in My Father's World, Creation to the Greeks, which was my goal for this week.  I'm incredibly thankful for that.  And, other than Tuesday, I didn't really feel like we rushed through it.  The Bible stories are so interesting (especially with the use of Squinkies) that it doesn't seem like we read extra.  The history of the Greeks, on the other hand, is a bit boring.  Learning about some myths and how the ancient history of Greece became known to us is interesting.  But it's nothing compared to Ancient Egypt.

Math was a bit of a challenge this week.  Katie is learning about trading and has been adding 4-digit numbers, using manipulatives.  She claims that she doesn't like the cards we're using.  They are called base-10 picture cards, and they teach students about trading.  My thought is that this was confusing to Katie in the beginning and seemed like too much work to lay out all the cards.  After today, I believe she's starting to understand it better and she didn't seem to mind using the cards as much.

Math was also a challenge for Emily.  I'm having a hard time getting her to show her work on paper.  She almost always has correct answers, so I know she knows what she's doing.  But I want to see her thought process on paper and she's having difficulty with that.  I guess she just needs more practice.

We finally moved out of Primary Language Lessons, and into Intermediate Language Lessons.  There's quite a difference in the material, in my opinion.  And I wish I had just started the second book much earlier this year.  Then again, timing is everything, and she probably wasn't ready for it earlier.  She still struggles some in reading and writing, so we take it slow.  This is only part of the beauty of homeschooling. :)

We started a project this week that involves an old picture frame, old screen, paint, eye hooks, and rope or chain.  I'll leave it at that for now and will write updates as we go.  Here are some pictures to get your imagination flowing...

Linked from Weekly Wrap-up

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Too Much

It's only Tuesday and I feel like we've completed an entire week's worth of lessons!  We did a lot today, starting early and ending late.  You know that I'm already behind and have been trying to catch up.  Combine that with not doing much at all on Monday, and we ended up with a very busy Tuesday.

Public schools were off Monday for President's Day.  I didn't want to take off, but I wasn't feeling well and Emily's neighbor friend came over at 10:00 a.m.  Whenever the public schools have a day off, this girl ends up at our house, usually after lunch time though.  When she popped over at 10:00, I just made her sit with us for our Bible History lesson.  She was fine with it.

We also sat and listened to Katie read from her Biscuit book, which she proudly finished on Monday.

I wasn't feeling well enough to enforce school all day on Monday, which is why we had to do so much on Tuesday.  Poor kids.  I'm such a slave-driver!  Ha-ha... if I really was a slave-driver, we wouldn't be behind!

So, the kids had some fun on Monday.  Katie put the American Girl helmet on our poor dog...
...which she so graciously wore without much complaining.  Maybe she thought she was cool. :)

And all the kids got to free paint...
I think that is a painting of a hamster in a wheel on the above left.

Do you see the little green frog?

I guess Monday wasn't a total loss!

Tuesday was busy, busy!  Once again, we made our Bible lesson come alive by using the Squinkies around the Tabernacle.  Any time we can sacrifice a lamb Squinkie on the Alter of Burnt Offerings makes for a more vivid learning experience!..... 

The kids used other Squinkies for Samuel, Eli, his sons, and other characters.  This really helps us to get through longer days!

I just have to add that we are half-way through the year now, having just entered week 19 of our 34-week curriculum.  We should celebrate!  (But we're not taking a day off to do it!! ha-ha)

Sunday, February 20, 2011


These are all the FREE items (after rebates) I got from Staples today!!!  ($69 worth of stuff!)
  • 2 reams of paper
  • 2 packs mailing labels (I can think of all kinds of uses for these!)
  • 2 packs photo paper
  • 1 12-pack sticky notes
  • 1 5-pack pens
Don't you just love freebies???


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Vote in my Poll

I added a poll to my blog that closes on Feb. 26.  Please take a moment to participate.  It's found just to the right of my most recent blog post.

Thanks in advance!  I look forward to seeing the results!

Weekly Wrap-Up: We Lost Our Groove

Last Sunday, Grandma took the girls to an American Girl Valentine Tea Party.  They had a blast.  The girls were encouraged to dress their dolls to match them, if possible.  Our girls have dresses with matching doll dresses that Grandma got them before Christmas.  (She actually made Katie's doll's dress to match Katie's dress as best she could.  Turned out great!)  Earlier in the week, Emily fussed over wearing a dress, but by Saturday night, she had it all laid out and was excited to go.  They ate, made a craft, had their pictures taken, and played American Girl trivia.  Since I wasn't there, I don't have any pictures to share, except for the ones they had taken at the tea party.


Even though Katie had pink eye all week, we still managed to have some good days.  We missed our Valentine party at co-op since Katie was sick.  But we had our own party at home to make up for it.  The tea party inspired the girls to involve their dolls in the making of a special treat to show our love for Daddy.

Emily made sure that the dolls had everything they needed for baking too!

The doll looked so cute, all ready to bake, that I couldn't resist taking a portrait of her!

Aren't they cute?!!

Valentine's Day without a special treat for Daddy just wouldn't be right.  So we got started...

Yes, I let Katie help even though she had the very contagious pink eye.  I figured that once the treat went into the oven, all germs would be killed, and I made sure that she washed her hands and didn't lick her fingers!

Emily loves meauring brown sugar...

The saddness felt over missing the Valentine party at co-op was lost in all this measuring and mixing...

 We decided on making a big heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie.  I took this photo before baking it just in case it lost shape while baking...

We had just enough dough left for the girls to make a smaller cookie, yet still over-sized, for them to share after lunch!  They were so kind to give Mommy a small piece of it, after they decorated it with icing. :) 

Later on, we attempted a heart-shaped taco ring for dinner...
 It's the thought that counts, right?  At least it was tastey!

The rest of the week was kind of on and off with school.  Tuesday morning was spent at the doctor's office, pharmacy, and grocery store.  By the time lunch was eaten and dishes cleaned up, it left little time for much else but reading.  So that's what we did.  We may have done some math too, I can't remember!

Wednesday through Friday really could have been just one whole school day.  Ok, so we officially lost our groove and I'm finally admitting it.  I want it back... now!  I can't function like this - always feeling like things are undone.  One thing that helped me feel some sense of accomplishment was completing my Bible study lessons.  This is a great study and I always get so wrapped up in the lessons.  I just love studying God's Word!

Friday turned into a massive cleaning day.  It happened by accident.  The girls and I lounged on my bed for a while and talked with one another, which is something we all enjoy and don't do enough.  Then, I decided that it was time to put up that new curtain rod I bought earlier in the week.  Since the old one was nice (just not quite wide enough for the living room window), I hung it in the basement.  It's kind of dark down there (as most basements are), so my idea was to hang curtains on one wall and put a couple strands of Christmas lights behind them to make it look like a window and add light.

The girls had other plans.  They had some beaded curtains that didn't work well in their rooms.  So guess what's hanging on the basement wall?  Beads!  It actually looks kind of cute.  I'm not sure if we'll leave them there though.  I'm not much of a decorator, but I have other creative ideas for these beads.  We'll see.

Once that project was done, I cleaned the bathroom and washed the mound of dishes that overtook our kitchen sink and countertop.  Anyone have those kind of days???  I went through all the mail, tossing most of it.  And I cleaned the windows since it was such a nice day.

The girls and I went for a walk at 1:00.  This is where I have to insert a Katie-story.  She couldn't wait to go on this walk.  I told her we would go at 1:00, so she placed a chair in front of the clock and perched herself on it, patiently waiting.  When she realized that she was wearing her watch, she said with excitement "Mommy, I don't have to sit and wait here, I can just use my watch!"  We gave her this watch for Christmas and she wears it almost every day!  I love that she loves it so much!  She has pretty much taught herself to tell time on a real clock.  I refuse to buy digital watches for the kids!

Katie read us a Bible story after our walk which was music to my ears.  Then, a siding guy stopped by to lend us his siding samples.  I'm so excited to be getting new siding.  Ours is so old and faded, and in really bad shape.  We may also replace our front porch with a much larger one but we're waiting on the estimate to see if it's in the budget.  Regardless, we need to do something with our porch because it's in bad shape too.  It's over 40 years old and long overdue for a facelift.  It might even fall in the category of dangerous!  Yikes!!!

By the time the siding guy left, the neighborhood kids were off the bus.  Along with our kids, they came out of their winter cages to enjoy the beautiful weather we were blessed with today.  The school week was officially over.

On a side note, Hubs and I decided it would be best to drop out of co-op.  I felt immediate relief.  Katie isn't happy about it, but she can't see the whole picture.  It was just too much for us right now.  That was a very difficult decision because the classes were great and we all enjoyed the social aspect.  Something had to give though.  If anyone is struggling with a difficult decision, trust God all the way.  He gave me so many signs, even before I registered for co-op.  But I kept ignoring them, questioning every one.  In the end, my disobedience caused even greater difficulty in dropping out.  We had already gone the first week, and I was already assigned to help out in some classes.  I felt horrible leaving the coordinator to rearrange helpers.  I learned a great lesson.

Next week, I hope to get back into a groove. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pink Eye

Katie came down with pink eye.  It started in one eye and is now in both.  We started treating both yesterday so I don't expect the second one to get as bad.  Poor thing.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Less Behind

Well, here we are with another week down.  It's Friday and I feel like my week has just begun!

This week has had me on a roller coaster of emotions and stress.  I even got a zit from it!  Can you believe that???  A zit in my late 30's... (oh, I mean 20's!).  We are still struggling with our co-op decision.  We went on Monday but may still drop out. 

We've been almost two full weeks behind in our studies and it's driving me crazy!  We are now just one week behind, thanks to all that we accomplished this week.  Praise God!  It even happened by accident!  We were so into the Ancient Bible & history lessons that we just had to know what would come next, so we kept going.  The Squinkies served as Bible characters, which really got the kids into it even more.  Emily even said "now this makes the Bible even more interesting!"  Go figure.  I suppose anytime we can "see" an event acted out, we appreciate it's reality even more.  Don't worry though, when we read that Samson's eyes were gouged out, we didn't actually gouge out the Squinkies eyes!  And there were no beheadings either.  I'm all about hands-on activities, but I do have my limits, you know.

Math is still going great.  Katie is already learning grouping and Emily is still practicing multiplication, along with some geometry.  I honestly don't know what I would do without RightStart.  We played many math games this week.  Which brings me to tell you a funny story.  We searched for one set of math game cards for almost two full days.  We couldn't find them anywhere!  A friend suggested that I just save myself time and stress by simply calling the company to order new ones.  I dialed the number and as I described the set we were missing, I found myself staring right at them!  There they sat, on the desk, in the place where they belong.  I'm thankful that I didn't have to order more, but for crying out loud, where was my mind?  This happened the day after I found my lesson plans in the trash can!  You're seeing the ups & downs now, aren't you?

Reading is getting better each week.  It's a process, just like anything else.  I just wish it would go a little quicker sometimes.  Katie loves writing & illustrating her Bible Notebook from My Father's World 1st Grade.  And she enjoys reading from the Bible Reader too.  She already knows many of her science lessons thanks to past co-op classes.  In fact, I often don't even read from the book; instead, I ask her questions to see how much she remembers.  She likes that better anyway.

Emily has put down the Pathway Reader for the time being, since she's recently declared an American Girl book as her new favorite.  Hey, I'm just happy she's reading!

This weekend is a full one for us.  Katie has basketball pictures at 8am and a game at 9am.  Emily has a gymnastics meet at 4:00 that is about 1-1/2 hours from us.  The timing couldn't have been better for us but it makes for a long day.  On Sunday, the girls are attending an American Girl Valentine tea party with their grandma.  They are excited about wearing their dresses that match their doll's dresses!  Emily wasn't so thrilled about wearing a dress at first, but we let her deal with her emotions and now she's excited about it.  We just have to make some time to shop for shoes before the tea party.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Immersed in Technology

There's a laptop seated across my legs, a new NOOKcolor next to it, a smart phone by my side, and a 40" flatscreen on the wall in front of me.  I'm totally immersed in this world of technology, yet I feel like I know so little about it.  I'm trying to learn more about the NOOK while I text with a friend about the educational downloads I just found on-line, occasionally catching a glimpse of television while I blog about all these things.  It hurts my brain just to think about all that, let alone type it out!  Oh, the multitasking capabilities of a homeschooling mother!

I'm determined to learn how to take full advantage of this NOOK.  My hubby gave it to me on my birthday last week and I wasn't sure at first if I would keep it.  But, in light of some upcoming travel opportunities (more on that later), I'm thinking that keeping it will prove to be a great benefit.  Rather than cram and hull a bunch of books in our luggage, this compact electronic device will consume much less space and serve me well just the same.  I'm very excited to start preparing files, pictures, and music to download to it.  But, it must wait until I have more time, which means I must wait until hubs is home from California tomorrow. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Some of you may get irritated with me, or maybe even confused by my seemingly constant change in backgrounds.  I can't help it!  I get bored easily, what can I say?  And I was never satisfied with the previous header and pictures.  It just seemed too busy.  So, here we go.  In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I chose a background to show my love to all those who take time out of very busy days to read about mine.  And I couldn't resist reverting back to an older picture for the header because my girls rarely (if ever) hold hands anymore!  They now show their love for each other in other ways... like yelling, screaming, arguing... Oh wait, they've always done that!  The love really is there, you just have to look a little deeper sometimes! ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Evidence of Red Sea Crossing

This is amazing and I hope that all my blogger buddies will take a few moments to view this slide show, especially those who are working through Creation to the Greeks in My Father's World.  Take a look!