Thursday, November 19, 2009


See?! You knew this would happen! You knew I'd be all enthusiastic at first...posting diligently every single day-sometimes twice a day. But then the newness would wear off and I'd start posting once a week, if at all. You knew this about me, and you let me suck you in anyway!! Shame on you
Hahah. Just kidding.
In reality I'm just experiencing the usual -too much to do and not enough time to do it- syndrome that is my life. I know I do it to myself, I KNOW I do, so just hush. Knowing something doesn't magically add more hours to a day, or give me the energy to do things I just don't want to, now does it?

On a more positive note, after tomorrow we will be on break for a week. That will give me time to (start) finish up some assignments and projects that are due very soon. It will also give me time to attempt to get my house in order for Thanksgiving and correct and plan and get in order all things homeschool related for when we start back up again. (We are doing a six week on, one week off year round schedule. We added a couple extra weeks off  here and there for Christmas and Easter and whatnot, and that still leaves us three or four weeks off during the summer! It just didn't make sense to me for kids that are homeschooled to have 6 or 8 weeks off in the summer to forget everything they'd been working on. That schedule was made for public school. Yay homeschooling!) So if you bear with me a bit longer I'll be here more consistently.

And now, some pictures!
Francesca likes to use Katie's shapes that I made for her Saxon math last year. She sorts them by shape and size and color and has a grand ol' time.

Samantha and Katie are both learning about all fifty states in Geography this year. Katie is learning the basics-state bird, flower, flag and location. Sam is going more in depth to cover things like inventions, presidents, tourism, etc. Here's a page on Massachusetts that will go in Katie's lapbook. (more info on lapbooking to come)
This is another one of Francesca's favorites. As you can see, you just put up a card and she copies the pattern.

Sam playing Halloween bingo. Such a good daughter humoring her family like that!
(the popcorn ball and candy corn prizes didn't hurt either!)

That's it for now. I feel the Christmas spirit descending and I think very soon we'll be working on lots of Christmas projects and crafts and baking. Fun, fun, fun!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Procastinating? Who, me?

Since I have a bunch of assignments due today and tomorrow and I haven't cracked a book yet, I really shouldn't be here showing you one of the pictures that got me a 95 on my latest photo shoot for my digital photography class!! The assignment was to shoot at night using different exposures. This was a long exposure. There was absolutely no wind that night, so I moved the camera a little to get this effect to make it more interesting. My professor loved it!! (Bethany!! Yay!! It was totes worth freezing our butts off for hours!! He said I nailed this shot!!)
Another thing he wanted us to try was reflections.

And before I get to work, here's a trip down memory lane

Here's Katie (sniff) at two. For those of you with babies-cherish every single second. They pass faster than you can even imagine!
Ok. I'm off to do responsible things now. Meh.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun, fun, fun

So Sam decided to share her beautiful face today. I'm sure it had nothing to do with seeing all her goofy pictures last night online!! Here she is working on history using her A History of US book. I highly recommend it for anyone with a textbook resistant teen who otherwise enjoys reading. It's made all the difference!
This isn't a great picture, but did anyone notice Sam in the newspaper a couple weeks ago? She's part of a seven week workshop at the library working on writing her own childrens book. It's very cool and a great opportunity for Sam to work with an actual author and illustrator-learning new skills and getting pointers. Since her goal is to be a writer someday, this was perfect for her!
Katie and Francesca worked on their Thanksgiving books today. Look at the concentration!
This is a page from Frankie's book. I got them at a great site I've been using for a couple of years- Enchanted Learning. They have pages you can print for free, but we paid for membership so we could print entire books. It's very reasonably priced at around $20/year. We use it often enough that it's well worth the money!
Here's Katie working on hers. The face speaks for itself.
Again with the face...
Francesca painted while Katie worked on some math and handwriting. We read the bible together,too. Lots more happened today but I'm out of time!


As you may have noticed, I've added a place to the right where I can add cool places that interest me. I have an eclectic collection of interests, and I wanted a place to share with you the sites I frequent the most. I also wanted a place to share with you things I feel passionate about, or places that someone else may find useful. It'll take me a bit to add my entire collection of blogs and websites, but you should find something new fairly frequently. As I add links to the right I will tell you about them here.

The first link I put up is to the MacDonald Family Singers website. I have the distinct privilege of living next door to this wonderful family. You can read about them at their site, but basically they are an extremely talented Christian homeschooling family who have turned their gift of music into a ministry that they take around the country to share the good news of Jesus. This family doesn't just talk the talk. They walk the walk. Every day of their lives.

But my reason for linking to them isn't just because they're my  neighbors or because they're extremely talented people who have an amazing gift to share with the world. It's much more personal than that. The wife and mom of this family helped me find the greatest gift of all-my salvation. For the rest of my life my story will be linked to her.

There was a time a couple (few?) years ago that I felt like something was wrong-like something was missing in my my heart. I had been going to this church for a long time, but had long since stopped enjoying or getting anything out of it. Going became a chore...I just went  through the motions because that's what I was supposed to do. One day Mrs. MacDonald came to see me after returning from a trip. She brought me a copy of the bible on CD and told me that while she was on tour the Lord had put a burden for me on her heart.  We'd never had any kind of relationship at that point-so it was very unusual for her to come here and tell me that. I told her how I'd been feeling-how I'd been searching for something had been missing from my life that I couldn't quite put my finger on.  That was the day I knew God had been working on both our hearts to bring us together. When she started talking to me about Jesus and salvation it was like something clicked and I finally-finally found peace. I accepted Jesus as my savior that day. I got down on my knees and praised God for giving me this amazing gift. And from that day on everything changed.

Now don't get me wrong-as hard as I try it's still a struggle everyday. Old habits die hard. Every single day is a battle between the person I want to be and who I am that day. But I'm learning. And growing. The MacDonald ladies came and had a weekly bible study with me for a while. I learned so much from them. I pray and go to church (we found a new one). I read the bible and I pray some more. I'm teaching my children from a very young age so that they don't have the same battle as adults that Donnie and I do.

But here's the bottom line: Jesus says in the bible "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."-John 14:6. Take it from me, one of the biggest sinners you'll probably ever know-there is no other way. Make no mistake about it. The life we live on earth is nothing compared to eternity. Eternity. "Believing in God" isn't enough. Praying isn't enough. Jesus is the only way.

So now you have the story of my salvation-I know it's not what you came here looking for, but I just had to get it out there. Now back to our regulary scheduled program.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Now don't go getting all spoiled and used to this amount of pictures in a post. I've got a lot to catch up on. Here are some in no particular order:
Francesca playing with linking cubes. We love these things! Katie used them last year to learn 1:1 correspondence, patterns, etc. This year Frankie uses them to do color sorting activities and all kinds of things. Here she's making a train. (I know the composition of this pic is terrible. My photography professor would be very disappointed with the laundry on the table!)

Katie working on a math page in her Singapore book

Grandma brought balloons! (YOU try keeping pants on these kids!)

We recently read "Mushroom in the Rain" Here are the girls gluing blue rice on raindrops. We got this activity idea here. This is a very cool website that has all kinds of Francesca aged lesson plans for a variety of books. The "Mushroom in the Rain" was a free lesson plan. We learned of this website here when we entered for a chance to win a years worth of lesson plans. We didn't win :( and at $20/month they're a little pricey for us, but definitely worth checking out!

What a special treat! Daddy got to teach back in September while on vacation!

Here's Samantha working at her table. (when she saw that I was uploading pictures she said "you're not going to post that one of me doing my schoolwork are you?! Yep. This might be the quickest way to ensure I get some good pics of my gorgeous girl!)

Hahah! Another example of her teenage girl affliction! This is seriously what all my pictures of her look like!

Well, that's it for now. I have many, many more to go through and resize, so check back often!

Good times.

Welcome! As many of you know, we have been homeschooling for a couple of years now. I've been toying with the idea of a homeschool blog for a while. We do so many cool things in the course of a day, I thought this would be a great way to share with our family and friends what we're up to! Aimee gave me the inspiration I needed to finally get started when I saw how cool her photosharing site is-if you know Jeremy and Aimee and want to see some great pictures of their adorable baby boy go here.

So here it is. Our site dedicated to our homeschooling adventures. I haven't figured out how frequently I'll post...ideally I'll try to update daily. Those of you who know me well know that will probably translate into once a week...or month...haha...just kidding. I've got a lot of pictures I want to sort through, so for a little while you'll probably get the current days news plus some old stuff. Eventually we'll be all chronologically organized and whatnot...

Today we worked on some math skills. Katie has been complaining about the amount of reading and writing and bookwork we've been doing, so I thought I'd give them a break and just do some fun stuff. Here is Francesca working on a cool numbers puzzle we borrowed from the library. (I looove the library! It rocks!)
Here's Katie working on some addition problems I made for her using another cool toy we borrowed from the library. I put number tiles down and she adds the wooden disks to make the problem. Notice MY math problem-8+1=9. Pretty good math for a five year old, right?
Wrong. Here's Katie after she decided she needed to make up her own math problem...

            Yep. Our Katie had to know what 19+24 equals.

She got frustrated with the big numbers-but she stuck it out and worked on it until she got it. Notice how my math problem needed one peg board?

Today-addition problems. Tomorrow-pocket protectors and black- taped glasses.

Here's Sam with that gorgeous baby Jeremy. You will see much fewer pictures of Sam here because she has that teenage girl affliction that causes her to turn her head or hide every time she sees a camera.
She's been working diligently learning about Americas beginning in history. She has read many great stories including Benedict Arnold, Indian Captive: The story of Mary Jemison, The Landing of the Pilgrims, Rip Van Winkle, Peace Child...the list goes on but I can't remember them all. We're using a great curriculum this year-Sonlight-that uses great literature in place of textbooks. Sam is really thriving using this method. We're using Sonlight for Sam's history, language arts and bible. We use Teaching Textbooks for her math and Apologia Science. We're using Sonlight for all of Katie's subjects except for math. We're using Singapore for that.

All of our curriculum is very expensive-we spent about $1500 for this school year-but we strongly believe in what we're doing and want our children to have an exceptional education. I could've done it for less, in fact I did it for much less our first year. However, the amount of time I spent hunting the internet and library and piecing together things to make lesson plans from nothing was just too much for me. The benefit of saving money just didn't outway the negatives. However, we don't do it alone.

We are very blessed to have a grandma who believes in what we're doing just as much as we do, and pays for half the books we buy every year. Without her we wouldn't be able to do it. I know we don't say it enough how much we appreciate you, and I'm sorry for that. Just know that we do. Very much. There's also an amazing auntie who never says no if we tell her the kids need something for school. We love you, and you rock! We also have others who know that we homeschool and think of us when they're out and bring us cool things that they think we can use. (Mom and John! thank you!!) Ok. That's enough of that. I feel like I was giving an award speech or something :D What I was trying to say-in my very long winded way-is that we are very blessed. Blessed in too many ways to list them all here...but having family that loves us and supports what we're doing...that's definitely at the top.
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