Sunday, January 29, 2012


That seems to be our theme recently... BATTLES.  Battles with illness, battles with clutter, and battles in our curriculum.  This last one is a two-part battle of which I'll share last.


At least one person in our family has been sick since Christmas.  Hubs had it bad in the respiratory system for a while, and he rarely gets sick.  I hurt my back months ago and it's finally significantly better.  Then, Katie came down with bronchitis and strep throat last Friday.  She ever so kindly shared her germs with me, so now I have strep throat and a terrible cold.  Emily is a bit congested and coughing, too.

Clutter Control...

Somewhere in the middle of treating, feeding, and cleaning up after everyone (before I got sick), I decided it was time to take control of the household pharmacy.  I completely emptied the closet that contains mostly medicines, bath & body products, and towels.  As if that wasn't enough, I decided to throw in the bathroom cabinet as well.  Why not?

There it all was, sprawled out all over the hallway floors, bathroom counter, and my bed.  Oh dear!  I wondered how all that stuff fit into such tiny spaces.  My plan to have it all cleaned up and organized by the time Hubs got home from work didn't pan out, by a long shot!  It took hours to clean up that mess.  Hours!  But I got it done and feel so good about it.

In the process, I found enought hotel products to fill a pretty good size box, with some overflow in a smaller basket.  The small basket now sits on a shelf in the closet, making it easy to quickly grab what's needed and will be refilled until the supply is gone.  I truly felt like a hoarder!  Determined to use it all, I'm not buying any shampoo or conditioner until this is all gone, unless there is an incredible deal.  And I do mean indredible. 

Old stuff was tossed out, unwanted stuff went into a donation bag and the rest was neatly organized.  Extra items like soap and bandades went into clear boxes that are clearly marked and placed on shelves.  I elimated a plastic 3 drawer unit that was 2 feet wide which opened up a perfect spot for a dirty clothes basket.  What a job!


Finally, the two-fold topic of today's post.  Battles in the curriculum.  We are learning about Ancient Rome... kings, emperors, and gladiator's in the games.  Fighting, fighting, fighting.  Blood, beheading, persecution...  It was such a dark time.  For me, it's informative.  I'm reading things with the kids in much greater detail than I ever remember reading it before.  Maybe it's my age.  Maybe I've never read it in that great of detail.  Maybe I blocked it out in the same way my kids do at times.  Reading about all fighting does give a greater appreciation for the death and reserrection of Jesus Christ and the hope that we have as His followers.  But, it sometimes causes my kids to worry and for lack of better explanation, it grosses them out!  To hear, day after day, how Christians were (and still are) persecuted for their faith, often dying a violent death, is scary enough for an adult let alone an 8 and 11 year old. 

So this brings me to part two of the curriculum battle.  This is the one going on in my mind.  The thoughts swirling around - Do I continue?  Do I stop?  Do I skim over and summarize?  And what about next year?  Do I stick with the same curriculum company?  I realize that history is history.  Bad things happened.  People were killed and brutally beaten, both for power and for game.  But at my kids' ages, how much is enough?  How much detail do they need right now?  These questions all beg for answers.  I'm not confident at all in finding answers myself.  My confidence lies in the Lord alone to lead me to the answers.  To help me through this internal battle.  To give me wisdom and discernment.  And I will, of course, continue reading homeschool blogs for ideas, inspiration, and encouragement.

Linked up to Weekly Wrap-up

Saturday, January 14, 2012

100th Celebration

Not days, years... my grandma will turn 100 on Monday!  So, guess who's going to see her?  Yep, here's to another 350+ mile trip!  Hubs can't go, so it's just us girls.  Since her birthday is on Monday, we are staying until Tuesday.

It's hard to believe my grandma has lived for an entire century!  She is an amazing woman who was nearly three months old when the Titanic sank.

World War I began just months after she turned two and ended when she was six.

The very first radio broadcast aired when she was eight.

When she was 15, Charles Lindbergh made the first trans-Atlantic flight.

At the age of 16, she married my grandpa.

When she was 17, The Saint Valentine Day massacre went down in Chicago, and later that same year, the Great Depression began.  She also gave birth to the first of 12 children, a daughter.

The Empire State building opened when she was 19.  This year marked the birth of her second child, another daughter.

Amelia Erheart flew across the Atlantic Ocean when she was 20.

Just two days after her 22nd birthday, she had her third child, another girl.  That same year, John Dillinger was killed and the Dust Bowl began, also known as the "Dirty Thirties" which was a period when severe dust storms caused major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prarie lands from 1930 to 1936 (to 1940 in some areas).

At 23, she had her fourth child, yet another girl!

The Social Security Act was established when she was 23 and the Hindenburg Disaster occorred when she was 25.  That same year, she had her fifth child - finally a boy!
When she was 27, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began.

Shortly after turning 28, she gave birth to another boy, her sixth child.

Pearl Harbor was attacked when she was 29 and the U.S. entered World War II.

Her seventh child, a girl, was born when she was 30.

Nearly three years later, when she was 32, General Dwight D. Eisenhower called a crusade on the beaches in Normandy on what we know as D-Day, to defeat Hitler.  The Battle of the Bulge occurred that same year and she had her eighth child, a boy.

When she was 33, The U.S. took Okinawa, the U.S. joined the United Nations, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki and Germany & Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

The following year, when she was 34, the Cold War began between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

At 35, she had another son, my dad, her ninth child.

The Nuremberg Trials began when she was 36 and the Berlin Blockade began.

NATO was formed when she was 37, which was the same year that Germany divided into East and West.

When she was 38, Joseph McCarthy started Communist witch hunts and the Korean War began.  That same year, she gave birth to her tenth child, the last boy she would have.

At 40, she had a baby girl, her eleventh child.  And at 43, she gave birth to her last child, another daughter.

When she was 45, in 1957 the Russians launch Sputnik and NASA was formed the following year.

The Cuban Revolution began when she was 47.

In 1960, when she was 48, Hawaii became the 50th state.

When she was 49, the Vietnam War began and OPEC was formed.

The Cuban Missle Crisis occurred when she was 50.

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated when she was 51 and Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I have a dream" speech during the March on Washington.

When she was 57, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

When she was 60, the Watergate Burglary occurred.

The U.S. pulled out of Vietnam when she was 61, ending the war.  This same year, Watergate broke and Skylab launched the first space station.

When she was 62, President Nixon resigned over Watergate.

There was an assassination attempt on President Ronald Regan's life when she was 69.

At the age of 73, her husband met Jesus in Heaven.

The Space Shuttle Challenger accident happened when she was 74.

When she was 78, the Hubble Space Telescope was place in orbit.  Iraq invaded Kuwait which led to the Gulf War the following year, when she was 79.

Hurricane Andrew plowed through Florida and Louisiana when she was 80, causing great devastation.

Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred in 2001 when she was 89.

At 92, she lost a daughter to cancer.

Hurricane Katrina devasted the Gulf Coast when she was 93.

In her lifetime, she has lived under the presidency of 18 men, was united in one marriage, and birthed 12 children, 11 of which were residentially born.  She has over 30 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.  There's so much more I could include in this timeline to honor the 100 years of her life.  But isn't it amazing to see these events that have taken place during her life?   As I said, she is amazing!  And I love her and wish her a happy, happy 100th birthday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simple Tuesday

Outside my window...the almost full moon shines bright in the night sky.

I am thankful for...having a semi-clean house.

From the kitchen...the smell of fried chicken cutlets lingering from dinner.

I am pants & a t-shirt - my favorite attire!

I am creating...nothing yet, but I've got some Valentine project ideas in my head.

I am bed soon.

I am reading...What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. 

I am hoping...that the trip to the doctor's office tomorrow won't be too dramatic.  Emily needs shots. :(

I am hearing... -it's actually pretty quiet right now.

Around the a bunch of unfinished projects.

One of my favorite things...vanilla ice cream in a glass of chocolate milk.

My Child has a JOB!

My mom "hired" Emily to insert photos into photo albums.  No, I'm not kidding!  This task will likely take the entire year to complete, if not longer.  Most of my mom's pictures are stored in a cardboard box.  Some are in albums - you know, the old albums with sticky pages that caused all the pictures to turn yellow.  Some are still in their envelopes and many are all mixed together.

Today, my mom brought a group of pictures over with a couple of albums she bought.  The albums are not archival quality and have the sticky pages.  Gasp!  Emily is anxious to get started on her money-making project, but knowing that I will one day inherit these albums and don't want the pictures to yellow, I'm on a hunt for archival quality plastic pages for a reasonable price.  Any ideas?

I just cringe at the thought of Emily putting these pictures on those sticky pages!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gingerbread Houses & Cookies

Considering that last week was a short one, I feel like we accomplished enough.  I enjoyed our time off so much that I was slow to get started again.  But once we started, it was fairly smooth going.

We made a miniature gingerbread village.

I know, I know, Christmas is over.  But, we had the kit and wanted to make them.  I admit that I was being somewhat of a scrooge about it at first, mainly because I'm tired of cleaning up messes.  But once we got started on them, I was fine and we had a lot of fun.

I contacted My Father's World about what to do with Katie, since she finished the core of her first grade book.  All that is left is to finish reading her Bible Reader, which she notebooks.  She writes a summary of each story and illustrates it.  Since this is her second grade year, I wanted to know if we should skip the rest of the Bible Reader and notebooking so that we can move on to her second grade books.  They told me they do not recommend that because the reading practice and notebooking are great skills to build on.  I agree with them and I can hardly stand to leave something unfinihsed.  But I also would love to move on.  I don't think it will take much longer to finish though and she really does need the reading practice.  I just have to be patient!  That's not always easy.

We read about Esther this week and made Hamantaschen Cookies to celebrate Purim.

This was yet another project that I was hesitant to do because of the mess.  Are you seeing a theme here?  Christmas clean-up did me in!  Anyway, the cookies were yummy.  We used apricot jam and Craisins for the filling.  That's what we had and it was good.  That's something that I'm learning - sometimes it's 'good enough' and doesn't need to be perfect!

Linked up with Weekly Wrap-Up

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I did it!!!

Thank you all who helped me through my blogging issues!  I'm happy to report that after reading your comments and an awesome tutorial, I centered my header within 5 minutes.  Now, I can somewhat rest. :)

If only I can figure out why my background looks hazy...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blog Design

I know I should be more content and just leave the template alone.  But, I wasn't content and I messed with (again) and can't seem to figure things out.  My header will not center across the page.  I took  the picture banner off to see if that made a difference.  It did not.  So, I'm in the process of creating a new banner.  But how do I get it to be centered across the page?

Also, the background is not as vivid as it should be.  I used the advanced template settings and made all the backgrounds transparent so that the template I'm using will show.  But, it's not showing bright like it should. 

Any suggestions to help me are certainly welcome!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Simple Tuesday

Outside my window...there is still a little snow left on the ground, and the sun is shining. This, I am thankful for. 

I am thinking...I need to take a shower, make a meal & grocery list, and finish lesson planning for the week.

I am thankful for...the time we had off during the holidays, to just enjoy each other.

From the silence. 

I am wearing...still in my pajamas!

I am creating...a list of outdoor winter activities, wondering if or how many we will actually do.

I am the bank today to pay off a loan (after I shower, of course).

I am reading...What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.  I'm just at the beginning of it and already loving it.

I am hoping...that Katie's cough soon subsides so we can all rest peacefully at night.  Waking up at 5am is not my cup of tea!

I am hearing...Katie coughing. :(

Around the a bunch of clutter, much of which I need to purge.

One of my favorite things...curling up under a warm quilt while I drink a cup of hot cocoa.

Here is a picture I am sharing...from Jan. 22, 2011 - hoping we'll see a good snowfall soon.