Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let's Play Tag!

Carrie at Live, Learn, and Love Together recently tagged me in a fun little game of bloggy tag. I get to answer the 8 questions that she asked me, then tag 8 of my blogger friends and ask them 8 questions.  Let's get this party started, um, I mean game.  Anyway . . .

 1. What is your favorite Bible verse? How did it become your favorite? (If you don’t have a single favorite, please share one of your faves.)

         I have so many, but here is one:

Zephaniah 3:17 (New International Version)

17 The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

HE will rejoice over ME?  Do what?  What an amazing thought!

2. What is currently on your nightstand? Are you reading a good book? Are you into Sudoku or crosswords? Do tell!

          My nightstand is super full right now!  I've got my Bible, my Beth Moore Revelation Bible Study- Here and Now, There and Then (which is really really good!), Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Crazy Loveand The Ultimate Gift.  The Ultimate Gift is our book club book for the month and I have no idea if it is good or not because I haven't even started.  Yes, I know that book club meets this Thursday!  No worries - I will have it read by then! *Um, edit - since I started working on this post Monday and today is actually Thursday, I have read this book and it is a good book!  Easy read!

3. If you have a Saturday where there is nothing on the calendar (Yeah, I know you’re laughing right now!!), how would you most like to spend the day? Are you a homebody? Are you a compulsive cleaner? Would you go shopping? Meet a friend for lunch?

         This is a hard one for me because it all depends on the day!  I think my ideal would be some kind of combination.  Let's see. . . sleep late, drink coffee while reading great book, lounge around for a while, meet friend for lunch and shopping, and then head back home to just chill out a little bit more!

4. I’ve recently finished Dr. Kevin Leman’s book The Firstborn Advantage. Do you think there is anything to “Birth Order?” Do you see any birth order characteristics in you, your hubs, and/or your kids?

          I think so.  I think that I definitely have some of those first born characteristics and I see some "birth order characteristics" with my kiddos.

5. Do you plan to grow old gracefully or fight it every step of the way (within reason – i.e. age-fighting moisturizers, covering gray hair, etc.)?

          Maybe a little bit of both.  I mean, I don't want to be one of those ladies that is 60 and trying to look 16; however, I don't want to just be like, "Oh well!"  I'm all for age fight moisturizers and covering gray hair (I mean, I cover brown hair right now). 

6. Do you like Starbucks? And are you a fan of their seasonal coffees?

         Is this some kind of trick question?  Of course I like Starbucks!  Just thinking about some Starbucks coffee makes me happy!  I'm not a very daring person so I usually just stick to what I know I like.  I have tried the pumpkin spice before and it was good.  But, you can never go wrong with a grande white chocolate mocha - nonfat, but keep the whip (because seriously, we've got to live a little!).

7. How do you decorate and/or prepare for fall?

        I don't really.  That's kinda sad isn't it - especially since fall is my absolute favorite season.  I do love lighting all of my "fall smelling" candles.  Maybe I need to go and get some fall decorations. 

8. What is your favorite fall recipe?

         I don't really know that I would call it my favorite, but I came across it last fall, made it twice and both times it was a big hit.  Also, it's really simple and I am all about that!

Apple Dumplings

1 - 8oz. can crescent rolls (or 2 small cans)
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. of cinnamon
1/2 cup orange juice
ice cream or whipped cream (optional - but seriously, ice cream should never be optional - always required!)

1.  Separate crescent roll dough into 4 rectangles being sure to seal seams well.  Place about 1/2 cup chopped apple in the center and pull corners to rectangle over apple.  Pinch dough together, sealing all seams.

2.  Place in lightly greased 9" square baking dish and brush with melted butter.  (You can also drizzle.)

3.  Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dumplings.  Pour orange juice into dish; cover with foil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  Serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Serves 4.  You could also make this with peaches or add pecans to the filling!

Okay, so here are my 8 questions:

1.  Do you have a favorite candle that you like to burn?  If so, what is the scent and where did you get it? (Not because I might run out and get one for myself or anything like that!)

2.  If you are married, how did you meet your spouse?  Was it love at first sight, or did y'all, you know "grow" to love one another?

3.  Since, I love to read - What is the last book that you read that you couldn't wait to tell people about?  In other words, what is the last book that you read that I absolutely have to read?

4.  Can you go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink?

5.  Do you have any OCD tendencies that you are willing to confess um, share?

6.  What is your favorite vacation spot? 

7.  Do you have a favorite holiday?  If so, what do you do to decorate/celebrate, etc.?

8.  (Totally copying this from Carrie)  What is your favorite fall recipe?

Tag!  You're it!
Rebecca @ A Southern Boy and a City Girl

Lori @ My Thoughts

Theresa @ Our Life in Words

Crystal @ Hollyhand House

Courtney @ Tidmore Times

Kimberly @ The Phillips Family

Demetria @ Natural Homeschool Mama

Jenn @ Home is Where You Start From

Even if I didn't tag you - Come on and join in the fun!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fieldtrips, Darts, and Rocks - Just Another Week in Homeschool Land

We started our week off with a bang!  We headed to Birmingham for a field trip with some of our friends.  We were all meeting up at 7:30 a.m. so that we could caravan and carpool up to Birmingham.  Our first tour was scheduled to begin at 9:00 and although the trip usually only takes about an hour, we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time.  So anyway, 7:30!  Wow!  Seriously - wow!  We were driving to meet everyone and the traffic was pretty bad and one of mine said from the back seat, "Why are there so many cars on the road this early?"  Bahahaha.  I was like, "Well, honey, people have to go to school and to work."   Ha!  You know you're a homeschooler when you have to be somewhere at 7:30 and that just seems really really early!  So back to the fieldtrips.  We started off with a tour of Bud's Best Cookies.  It was a really neat tour.  We all got to ride on a little train around the factory and the leader was fantastic.  He did a great job of pointing out how every single job at the factory was important and that the cookies couldn't get made, packaged, shipped, delivered, and sold if every single person didn't do his/her job.  They wouldn't allow any pictures inside the factory, but here we are outside by the sign!

We headed straight from Bud's Best Cookies over to Golden Flake Potato Chip Factory.  This was also really cool and informative.  I have never seen so many potatoes and potato chips in one place!  Golden Flake did allow pictures inside!  *Sidenote*  Blogger is acting some kind of funky for me and it is incredibly difficult to arrange my pictures.  I apologize for the very chaotic arrangement!

The lady giving our tour said, "Moms - You know how when you boil potatoes you get that white milky liquid.  We do too.  Just a lot more."  Um, I'd say so.

After we left Golden Flake we went to a park for a picnic and playtime p.e.  They had such a great time running around and playing freeze tag!

Okay, so that was all on Monday!  The rest of the week was spent at home doing our regular school stuff.  However, I heard loud cheers, followed by the name of a state and it's capital coming from the playroom one afternoon.  Apparently, my boys developed a new geography game.  It's called "Nerf Geography."  It's really simple, actually.  You take your Nerf gun and aim it at the wall map of the United States.  You have to name the state (and it's capital) that your dart lands on!  Boys will be boys!
Tuesday night, my stepmother came to watch little man play baseball.  She came bearing gifts.  Okay, so maybe she was cleaning out her attic and found some old stuff of my dad's that she wanted to get rid of.  Same difference - at least to my kiddos!  She brought rock and mineral samples from our state.  The boys could not wait to open the box and see.  I made them wait until the next morning!  It even came with a map of Alabama telling where each of the rocks and minerals were found within our state.  They were so excited.  I think I see a salt dough map in our near future!


On a side note, I finally heard back from the speech and hearing people about getting an evaluation for Dalton.  He used to receive speech therapy when he was younger, but has since "tested out."  However, I am just not convinced that his speech is that of a normal 8 year old, so I called about getting him reevaluated.  Apparently, this is more difficult than I had expected.  Anyway, finally heard back and I will have to pay $93.00 for the evaluation and then if he needs therapy they will let me know the cost of those services. 

Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and see what everybody else has been up to this week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

We have had one of those weeks where you actually get a lot done! I love those weeks and they seem to come far and few between around here. It seems that I always feel that there is/was more that I needed to get accomplished. Not this week! We have been busy and productive and (for the most part) in really good spirits! In the last weekly wrap up that I did, I had to admit that I had been slacking on science. Well, not this week! On a side note, I finally decided to go ahead and order the Alpha Omega LifePac for D and D. We jumped ahead to Life Pac #5 because we were already studying matter before I decided to order the curriculum so we just kept on with what we were talking about.   We started the week off with a simple experiment about physical changes.  Like all good scientists, we started off by reading our directions!

Next, we labeled our cups (little brother did "c"), and put the ice cubes in the cups (one had cold water, one had hot water, the other three had no water, but one of those went in the freezer, one in the refrigerator, and the other on the counter).  We did our observations and filled in our chart.  We learned that, in this experiment, water was still water even though it might have changed its form.  Physcial change - woohoo!

Later on in the week, we talked about chemical changes.  This was a really "cool" experiment (at least that's what my kiddos said).  We started out by measuring some baking soda and putting it in an empty water bottle.  Then we measured the vinegar and used a funnel to pour it into a balloon.  As soon as we placed the balloon on the top of the water bottle, it began to inflate.  You see, we had taken two different types of matter and mixed them together to create a totally new matter.  Chemical change - woohoo!

Yes, I know they are wearing the same shirts as the earlier pictures.  I've already addressed this little issue before.  I enjoy doing laundry.  I do it frequently.  Apparently too frequently, and so my kids basically wear the same clothes everyday.  It doesn't matter if I put the shirts in the very bottom of their drawer, they will dig them out.  Anyway, moving on . . .

We also read a great book about matter called What is the World Made Of?  All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases.

In math, the boys are just trucking along!  Little man is a little over half way through with his first grade book even though he is only in kindergarten.  He is not some kind of math genius or anything, it is just that the curriculum we use makes this totally doable.  The older boys are on schedule to finish their 3rd grade book and move on the to 4th grade book before we break for Christmas.  However, I might slow down a bit and just start the new book right after the break.  We will see. 

In History, we finished up the Aztecs and Incas and are still discussing the Mayans.  Our read-aloud book has been The Sign of the Beaver, and all of the boys are really enjoying this one.  Our last read aloud, um, not so much.  So it's nice to really be enjoying this one!  The bigger boys finished up reading Pocahontas and the Strangers and are now reading Squanto, Friend of the PilgrimsTo be perfectly honest, they have enjoyed the book about Squanto a little bit more than Pocahontas.  I think it is just because they are full fledged in this whole "we don't like girls or anything at all that has to do with girls" stage right now.

Little man was super excited because he read his first "real' book this week.  He has enjoyed his Abeka and Sonlight readers, but I could tell he was getting a little bored.  So, I pulled out an oldie but goodie and he was so excited.  I could tell that he felt so grown to be reading a "real" book.  We've started another "real" book, Put Me In The Zoo, but when we finish it we will go back to our readers for a little while.  He was so proud of himself (oh, okay, so was I) that I had to take his picture with his first "real" book.

I guess that about sums up our week for the most part.  Oh yeah, we also did four different baseball games and two different football practices!  Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what everybody else has been up to this week!

Friday, September 10, 2010


"A brother shares childhood memories and grown up dreams."
~ Author Unknown

"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a super hero."
~Marc Brown

"When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life."

Football Fan

Have I ever mentioned that we love Alabama football around here?  Well, we do.  Alot.  Alot -alot.  When I was little, my mother told me that it was a state law that children couldn't start kindergarten until they could sing the Alabama fight song from memory.  I wanted to go to school so bad that I memorized that song during the summer.  I mean, we love Alabama football.  And I am glad to announce that my children are right there with us. 

This is what I saw the other night when I went to put some clothes away in Dalton's room.  I loved it.  I ran downstairs to get my camera.  One proud mama (or is it momma)?  Who knows, but you get the point!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

What a week we have had!  We only did four days this week and 3 of them were great.  Only one not so great day

Let's see . . . Little man's reading is really coming along!  I am so proud of him and just love when he snuggles up next to me during reading time.  Somedays he still wants to use the pictures to just guess at the words, but we are working on that!  Math is still his favorite and he just about never complains when it is math time.  I have been working with him so that he can do his Explode the Code fairly independently, and he can most days.  Some pages that require a good bit of reading can overwhelm him and so I'll help him out with those.

What else . . .  The two bigger boys seem to really be enjoying the Trail Guide to US Geography.  Also, they are doing GREAT with cursive handwriting.  I am really enjoying the  Handwriting without Tears program.  We used A Reason for Handwriting last year, and it was also really good, but I am really digging our handwriting selection for this year.  Here is my one concern: Is this book supposed to last us one whole year?  It may, but I just don't think that it will.  I already copy some pages so that they get extra practice and we still seem to really be moving through the book.  Anybody out there use HWT?

Science:  Okay, I'll admit it.  Science has been sporadic around here this week.  I vow to be better about that next week!

History:  This is one thing that has not been sporadic this week.  We are talking about the Aztecs and my kids are loving it!  We are reading through the book Incans, Aztecs, Mayans and although it can be a little graphic (think human sacrifices) my kids find it truly interesting.  (Boys would - wouldn't they?!)

Since we spent a good deal of time talking about the Aztecs and the importance of the sun in their civilization, we did a little craft with the sun.  The kids worked on theirs while I did our read aloud for the day.

The plan is to paint them one day during next weeks read aloud time.  I have found that my kids do better if I give them something to do while I read aloud because some days the read aloud can be pretty long.  I was worried about comprehension at first, but it doesn't seem to be a problem at all!

I hope that you have all had a great week!  I am headed out of town to visit with some fantastic friends, celebrate Labor Day, and more importantly watch some ALABAMA FOOTBALL!  ROLL TIDE ROLL!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The First Rotten Day of the Year

Anybody, and I do mean ANYBODY, that tells you that they love every single minute of homeschooling their kids, that their days go by blissfully, that their children do as asked the first time - everytime, that school days are nothing but a walk in the rose garden -- is a, make sure you get this, BIG FAT LIAR.  As in, liar, liar pants on fire!!!!  Did you hear me?

Now, let me insert clause: "I understand that homeschooling is my choice.  I understand that I do not have to homeschool my children.  (Although it is something that I feel led by my God to do, and I don't really dig arguing with Him since he created the whole world and everything but that is besides the point) So, if you feel that I have no right to vent or complain about a negative homeschool day, then please read no more of this post.  I am pretty sure that everybody has bad days at whatever it is that they do.  It doesn't mean that whatever you are doing is wrong and should be changed.  It just means it was a bad day."  With that said, here is how our day went today:

"Why do we have to do school everyday? 
I don't want to read that. 
I already know how to write "g's!"  Why do I have to write more of them? 
Math again?  Are you serious?"

(You did read that in your whiniest voice - right?  If you didn't go back and read it whiny like because that is how it was said and that is how I wrote it!)

You get the picture - right?

Don't forget to insert the deliberate lack of effort, glazed over eyes, and even tears during spelling.  Yes, actual tears times two children! 

There.  I feel better.  Today was day 23 and our first truly rough one.  I'm thinking that's not so bad!  To be honest, alot of it probably had to do with my attitude from the get go. I had a lot of things to do today and I just really wanted to "get school done."  That's usually when my kiddos don't really want to just "get school done."  They want to lallygag (speaking of spelling - I want to spell this lollygag but spell check and dictionary tell me it is lallygag) and goof off and just be, you know, kids.  The spelling issue though is a constant.  My kids really, really, really dislike spelling.  I don't know if it is spelling itself or the curriculum.  I'm thinking that I might give Sequential Spelling a try.  They have a free sample that you can download.  I wonder if my kids will like it's format better - I don't know.  I might end up going back to All About Spelling, but I'm trying to find something without all the bells and whistles of AAS.  They don't need all that.  Okay.  Finished.

On another note, my sweet middle child has had a rough week.  We had our eye dr. check up and things weren't so great.  His vision in his left eye had gotten worse.  Quite a bit worse.  So, bless him, he has to wear a patch over his right eye for four consecutive hours a day for two months and then we will reevaluate.  Homeschooling is truly a blessing during this time.  Socially it won't be an issue and since I am his teacher, I can move subjects around so that it is a little easier on him.  He's being a real champ about it and made it for 3 straight hours for our first day.  Not bad, I thought.  I love his eye dr.  He said, "Now hear me say this.  This is a war that you have to win, but that doesn't mean that you have to win every battle."  Thanks Dr. Sputh!

Next, my middle man is my only child not playing baseball.  He wanted to play football.  Not just any football, tackle football.  I haven't been to any of his practices.  I honestly don't know if I can take it.  I mean, he is only eight!!!!!  But, with that said, he loves it.  Loves it.  Loves it.  He talks about it all the time!  I had to take a picture of his first bruise from football.  (There are probably more on arms, legs, etc. but he is at that age where there is no way is going to let me check him over!!!!!)

Bless him!


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