Oh…forgot to mention…

Big News of the Day…

We had 1 of our students get 100% in each and every subject assigned to her today.  I’m not sure this has ever happened before – we cover a LOT of material each day and I am a tough teacher.  Congratulations, Jensen on an amazing day of learning!

Wednesday – Daddy’s Home! :)

Happy Day!  Jeff decided to come home this morning and be with us for a day before he heads back to work.  For those that don’t know, Jeff works at an ethanol plant that is located about 30  miles away from our home.  Normally, he commute is 35 minutes.  Well, thanks to the flood waters along the mighty Missouri River and the resulting road closings, his commute is now approximately 2 1/2 hours…1 way!  At the same time the roads closed, the guy he carpooled with quit.  So…now we have to shell out about 15 times the amount of gas $$$ we had to before the flooding.  OUCH!  Anyway, he job has a rental house in a neighboring town that they are letting the guys stay over in – which is super great, and we appreciate it so much, but mostly the entire situation stinks.  In order to save some $$$, Jeff is going to start just staying at the house over there on some of his days off and I was prepared for that to start this week, but he decided to come home anyway.  Man, I love that man.  Being home alone with 7 kids all day everyday is a HUGE blessing, but at the same time, it is easy to get stir crazy.  We all just miss him when he’s not with us.  So, today we celebrate the fact that he is with us. 🙂  Of course, he’s been asleep since he got home this morning, but hopefully we’ll get some quality time tomorrow. 🙂

Prepositions – Phalanges – Copper Wire…Must be Day 2

Just a quick post for today… I have said “phalanges” more today than any other time in my LIFE, thanks to grade 3 health.  I have repeated the phrase “prepositional phrases must end in a noun” somewhere in the neighborhood of a bazillion times today.  Our first high school science experiment was a total…SUCCESS!  Hooray!  Jeff wasn’t even here to supervise, but we still managed.  We broke down water molecules using copper wire a 9V battery and a baking soda/water solution.  Not high tech, but still…I’m so not a physical science stud, so this was AWESOME! 🙂  I wish I would have taken a picture at the end of the experiment – the water had turned a beautiful shade of turquoise.  Ahhhh – I find science so much more enjoyable as a homeschool mom than I ever did as a regular student.  🙂



First Day of School 2011/2012

Where or where did the summer go?  It seems like we just celebrated Easter, had a few miserable hot days, and now it is time to go back to school.  Crazy!  In any event, our first day is underway!  I woke up early (well, early for me anyway) at 6:30 so I would have some uninterrupted computer time.  Jake was up by 7 to start his fitness program on the Wii (EA Active 2) – which is apparently broken.  Ugh.  So instead, he spent some time doing the Wii Fit program.  By the time he was done and in the shower, the rest of the big kids were up.  They all settled in for breakfast and I read our daily devotion.  Then it was off for tooth brushing and hair combing.  We took updated heights & weights and first day pictures.  Now they are all diligently working in their books…well, most of them anyway.  Jeff, Jake & Jack are outside dealing with a pile of branches & limbs from a tree they cut down over the weekend.  Not sure what I will call the time invested in that activity…phys ed?  environmental science? recess?  So that brings us up to this very moment…10:30 am.  No tears…no temper tantrums…I think day 1 is pretty good so far! 🙂

Hello Tuesday AND Girls are Like Apples

It’s been a crazy week or so around here.  We spent a lot of time last week getting our ducks in a row for the beginning of our homeschool year which is set to begin next Monday, August 22.   Last Friday, my favorite great uncle passed away.  I think Dale was everybody’s favorite.  He was just that kind of guy.  Anyway, we are preparing to head down to the Branson, MO area for his funeral tomorrow.  We’ll be taking a van full – all of our household + my mom + my gram + my aunt Sherry.  So…the last few days have been busy trying to get everything necessary washed & packed & put away in addition to making arrangements for the dog and paper route (thanks again, BFF Sherry & family!).

Anyway, since I haven’t had the time to craft or create, I thought I’d share a little something I made a few weeks back.  I found this poem on Pinterest (yes, again Pinterest!) and wanted to recreate it in order to print it out sometime.  So here it is…girls are like apples

Feel free to copy it and use as you see fit.  Again, I am not the author or original creator of this poem or its format – I would like to give proper credit and would do so if I could locate the original source.  So, with that being said, please use my version for personal use and do not sell it or attempt to profit from it.  Thanks!

We are leaving about 10am tomorrow and should return sometime Friday evening.  Thanks to friends & family that are helping us by watching the pet & house. 🙂

Because I Was Asked…

I was recently asked about the curriculum we use in our homeschool.  It is basically a mish mash of various resources that I have put together over the past 10 years.  Jacob (as the oldest) tends to be my guinea pig each year if/when I decide to try something new.  There are so many wonderful Christian publishers out there, but many curricula are just so crazy expensive.   As a general rule, I look for non-consumable materials so that they can then be past down to the next kiddo.  With all that being said, here is the list of materials for we will be using this year. 🙂

Jake – Grade 9 – 2011/2012

  • Easy Grammar
  • Vocabulary Cartoons II
  • Easy Writing
  • Themes in Literature
  • Health in Christian Perspective
  • Algebra I (Abeka)
  • Life of Fred Algebra
  • Exploring Creation with Physical Science
  • World Geography in Christian Perspective
  • World History & Cultures in Christian Perspective
  • Spanish
  • Typing
  • Bible
  • Computer Basics
  • Physical Fitness

Jensen  – Grade 7 – 2011/2012

  • Easy Grammar Plus
  • Vocab/Spelling/Poetry
  • Easy Writing
  • Vocabulary Cartoons II
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Of People (Literature)
  • A Healthier You
  • Basic Math (Abeka)
  • Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Biology
  • Science Order & Reality
  • History of the World
  • Maps!
  • Spanish
  • Bible

Jackson  – Grade 5 – 2011/2012

  • Easy Grammar 4/5
  • Spectrum Spelling
  • A Reason for Handwriting
  • Spectrum Reading
  • Vocabulary Cartoons
  • Easy Writing
  • Enjoying Good Health
  • Arithmetic 5
  • Life of Fred – Fractions
  • Investigating God’s World
  • Old World History & Geography
  • Spectrum Geography
  • Spanish
  • Bible

Jaelin  – Grade 3 – 2011/2012

  • Easy Grammar 3
  • Spectrum Spelling
  • Beginning Cursive
  • Spectrum Reading
  • Explode the Code
  • Easy Writing
  • Health, Safety, & Manners
  • Arithmetic 3
  • Exploring God’s World
  • Our American Heritage
  • Bible
Jaeda  – Grade 2 – 2011/2012
  • Language Arts 2
  • Spectrum Spelling
  • A Reason for Handwriting
  • Spectrum Reading
  • Explode the Code
  • Easy Writing
  • Health, Safety, and Manners
  • Arithmetic 3 (she managed to finish grade 2 this summer) HAPPY FACE!
  • Enjoying God’s World
  • Our America
  • Bible
We have a glaring lack of arts/humanities materials this year.  I am hoping that we may be able to get ahead on the big stuff and maybe purchase a music/art appreciation course as a Christmas gift to us all and start that in January.  Otherwise, I am planning on just playing some classical music via Pandora while school is in session and hope that prompts some discussion & further research.
That’s about it for now – everything ends up being tweaked a bit as we go, so we must remain very adaptable.  Homeschooling is an incredibly difficult undertaking – especially with toddlers running around!  But I am so grateful that God has put us on and continues to direct us in this journey.  It is my prayer that, while my children may not be able to recall the dates of important Civil War battles or the annual rainfall in Tibet, they will develop a lifelong love of learning.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Can it be?

My FANTASTIC friend, Sherry, just called to share what could be a life altering recipe with me.  I don’t want to post it until I’ve had a chance to test it out, but it sounds INCREDIBLE and way, way, way too easy.  Stay Tuned! 🙂

CRAZY EZ Breakfast Sandwiches

Somethings are just so obvious and yet in my 40 years of life, would have never thought of on my own.  How’s this for BRILLIANT?  Make your eggs for breakfast sandwiches in…wait for it…a MUFFIN PAN!  I saw this on Pinterest a few weeks back and wanted to KICK myself!  Why have I never done this?  My family LOVES egg sandwiches and they take forever!  I don’t like to crowd the eggs, so I end up making 3 at a time in a skillet – with 9 mouths to feed, it takes me a LONG time to get enough eggs fried to fill everyone up.  By baking them, I can make 24 (YES…24!) at a time (2 muffin pans full) and they are healthier because they are baked and not fried.  Another plus…they are the PERFECT size for the tube refrigerator bisquits.  Here’s what I did –

Preheat oven to 350 – Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray – Crack eggs into pan (as many as you want, but these freeze really well so you might want to make a BIG batch) – season as you wish (we like salt & garlic pepper)

Bake for 20 minutes (less if you want your eggs runny, but I like the yolk to be firm).  TA DA!  You are done!

If you are only making 1 pan of eggs, you can add a pan of bisquits during the last 5-8 minutes of baking and your bisquits and eggs will be done at the same time.  Add a piece of ham or sausage or Canadian bacon and some cheese and you are set! 🙂 YUM!

Another Saturday Project

I had to take advantage of hubby being home this weekend and so I finished several projects that had been sort of stuck on the back burner for a while.  This is a favorite of mine.  

Several months ago, I discovered a couple of old windows sitting up against that back of an old shed we have in the back yard.  2 of these windows still had the glass intact!  🙂  I knew I wanted to bring them in and do something fabulous with them, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for sure.  Anyway, I brought the 2 windows inside and cleaned them up – with the help of my 2 littlest monsters who, surprisingly, weren’t much help!  I then put them back outside in the garage for safe keeping.  Yesterday was the day 1 of the windows got to come out of hiding! 🙂  I started out by cutting down some pretty scrapbook paper to act as a matte for the photos I was going to frame in the window.  I centered the 8X10 photo on the scrapbook paper with some double sided tape – I used the same tape to stick the paper & photo onto the glass, and then used some scrap cardboard on the back of the glass to keep everything snug.   Cost of the project =$9.00, but that was for the photos that I had ordered and was going to have to buy frames for.  Now they are framed in a cool, unexpected way AND the frame fits is an odd wall of the living room that really needed a nifty piece.

Now…what to do with that other window???  I’m envisioning it hanging behind the front door with a few hooks installed and being used as a place to hang my purse, diaper bag, Sunday school bag, etc.  Hmmmm…it’ll be another 2 weeks before hubby is home on the weekend.  Perhaps it can be done then. 🙂

Another Pinterest Inspired Piece

INSPIRATION –  http://pinterest.com/pin/73145672/


This piece was one of the first things I found on pinterest that I absolutely adored. It is so beautiful in its simplicity and honesty, I just had to recreate it .  Fortunately, I had everything here – so this project cost me a whopping $0.00 and about 4 hours.

I started out by asking hubby to find me a board approximately 40″ X 28″ – he found a scrap board that was about 60″ X 24″, so he cut it down to 40″ and I made due.  I used my Cricut and the Jasmine font and cut out all the letters at 3″.  I then sanded the board and painted with a blend of leftover paint (a caramel brown from the kitchen, and black from my oldest’s bedroom trim).  I did not spend any time worrying about painting it evenly or neatly – I was going for a sort of rustic/worn look.  Then came the real pain in the bootie work – measuring the board to evenly space the letters.  Pain Pain Pain – you see, I was silly and assumed that by cutting the letters out at 3″, they would all measure 3 inches and everything would be hunky dory – nope.  I didn’t take into consideration that the capital letters would be taller, as well as the tall (like “b” or “h” or “l”) or hangy-down letters (like “g” or “p”) would throw off the measurements.  In the end, I taped off 3 1/2 inch lines down the board and tried to center each row of letters within the taped lines.  I used mod podge to adhere the letters and then painted 2 coats on mod podge (matte finish) over the entire thing.  It’s far from perfect, but I still really like it. 🙂

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