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Showing posts from July, 2014

Hewitt Homeschooling - My First Report (Schoolhouse Review)

We recently had the opportunity to review My First Report: Middle United States from Hewitt Homeschooling. There were 10 different topics from which to choose and we chose Middle United States because we live in Missouri and this school year we will be studying the Little House on the Prairie books so we wanted to learn and write reports on Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas. My First Reports are intended for grades 1-4.

What We Received We received the product in a paperback format, without hard cover, that is designed to be punched and placed into a binder. In order to do the research on the states, we were required to obtain our own books and/or videos from the library and to have internet access. We own a video series on all of the states, a former curriculum based on all of the states of the United States, and we checked out various books from the library.

How We Used the Product We followed the same process on all four state reports we wrote. I will take you through how we wrote o…

Random 5

Joining Miranda at Random 5 on Friday again this week.


1. We are all packed for our 10 day trip to California, and we are soooo excited! We have a lot planned, but I am most looking forward to just seeing the kids experience places they have dreamed about for so long. Must-sees are Hoover Dam, Legoland, San Diego Zoo, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pink Ladies, and the real house that was used as the house front for Full House.

2. The little kids and I went for our eye appointments yesterday. Thankfully neither kid needs glasses! Eli does have the same lazy eye that I have that will require him to wear glasses for reading when he is older, but nothing now. Brynne had perfect vision. I was pleased to learn that I can put off bifocals for another few years! Dawson went for his exam on Tuesday and he has astigmatism and needed a new prescription for his glasses.

3. Project Runway started again last night! Yay! It's my absolute favorite show. Speaking of favorite shows .... my beloved S…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

In my effort to blog more, I thought this week I would join in on Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond. Seems kind of fun! Here are the questions and my answers for this week.


When I look at the sky I feel .... peaceful. I am immediately taken to the back patio at my parents' house in Florida, sitting and reading  a book, looking up and hearing the birds sing with the sun's warmth on my face. Ahhhh.....

If you had to run for political office, which one would you run for? Do you have any real desire to do this? Go big or go home, right .. I'd just go ahead and run for President. I mean surely I could do a better job than Obama. Any real desire? Absolutely not! I wouldn't even consider running for mayor of our little town or city council or the school board. I would not do well dealing with the arguments of ignorant people. (I didn't say stupid, I said ignorant.)

What scent makes you think of home? The smell of fresh tar. As a kid the city was always s…

Blogging Through the Alphabet (Favorites Edition) - M is for My Fitness Pal

We all need an accountability partner when it comes to eating healthier, exercising, and/or trying to lose weight. I have my mom, daughters, husband. But all they can do is encourage me and, occasionally, get in on some exercise with me.

Enter My Fitness Pal.


I love this program! Before I got a smart phone I just had it on my computer. I logged each meal I ate, with the quantities, and it pulled from its database of thousands of foods to tell me exactly how many calories I was consuming. Not only that but it registered all of the nutritional values, as well.

I have lost about 10 pounds in the past using My Fitness Pal. It's so easy to use!

Now that I have an iPhone, it's even easier! The phone app has a barcode feature that allows me to just scan the barcode of what I am eating and it pulls it up. The searching has been eliminated! You can't get any easier than that!


When you first sign up with My Fitness Pal it has you enter your current weight and goals. It computes for…

Random 5 on Friday (except it's Saturday)

Rick confronted me this week about my quiet blog, and my Uncle John (who is an avid follower) also expressed a desire that I get back to posting more. As with many other bloggers I have found myself doing much more reading, unplugging from the computer, and just living life instead of blogging about it. But blogging is my place to record our lives and our schooling .... our Journey, so to speak. So, I will try to put in a little more effort.

Which leads me to Miranda's Random 5 on Friday. Many times during the week I have random thoughts that just don't qualify as a full post. Here I can share some of those thoughts.

1. I find that I spend as much time worrying and thinking about Kyndal and Dawson's significant others (Collin and Taylar) as I do my own kids. This week they have both been challenged on the job front and I find myself thinking a lot about it and praying for them several times a day.

2. I love my dogs to pieces but they are driving me crazy with their sheddi…

Weekly Wrap-up ~ An Epiphany About Curriculum Choices

I have been doing a lot of reflecting about our past couple of years of schooling ... the goods and the bads. Although we have accomplished so much in the past two years, I have noticed that we haven't had the fun that I desire for us to have. We spend the majority of our day on language arts and math and when we get to our unit study, we are rushed for time so just cram in what's easiest. We haven't put our full hearts into our unit studies which we desire to be the core of our studies. Somewhere along the way we have drifted away from it. I think it's probably because unit studies take a lot of work and planning, and regular ol' workbooks, dvd and online lessons are "easier". But I am bored. I haven't had my usual excitement to start school, and it's coming up in just a short month. And that has kind of worried me.

I have had a full-year unit study planned for us for this upcoming school year. But I realized that with everything else we have pl…

Blogging Through the Alphabet (Favorites Edition) - L is for Living in a Small Town

I didn't realize how much I missed living in a small town until we moved back to Missouri. There are certainly disadvantages, but the advantages far outweigh them. Plus, it's just easy, peaceful, and relaxing.

There are things like deciding we need some Red Diamond Sweet Tea at 8:30 p.m. and walking with Dawson and Crusoe to the grocery store to get it.


Speaking of the grocery store .... it may not have a lot of variety and the prices might be higher at times, but the lack of variety actually causes me to spend less in the end. Plus they have advertised specials that the box stores just don't have.



And there's something kind of sweet about bumping into my dad while I'm in there.

There are very few restaurants in town, but who needs them when you've got the Dairy Queen? Hamburgers, foot long hot dogs, ice cream cones and Mister Misty's (that's what we called them in the day ... now they are the Arctic Rush??) are all we need for lunch or dinner if we ar…

The Past Several Days

We have had a very busy week! I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately. But I guess that is to be expected with summer activities.

We crammed in as much time with Tim, Shawna and Bell before they headed back to their home in Portland, Oregon.




Brynne participated in a volleyball camp at a nearby university last week. I loved sitting and watching her play (and sneaking in several hours of reading time!).


She finished her softball season on Thursday night. She and I agreed that we are glad that we have a break from sports for a few weeks. We are exhausted!


On Saturday the little kids and I headed back to Oklahoma to attend the wedding of our only nephew. Tommy and Jenn had a beautiful, albeit hot, outdoor wedding.


Afterward we went back to my brother and sister in law's house, where Rick lives during the week, to spend time with Rick's whole family. This was the first time all of his siblings and spouses were together in many, many years. We had such a good time hanging …

Blogging Through the Alphabet (Favorites Edition) - K is for Keeping my Nose in a Book

I love to read and find myself not making it enough of a priority. I recently wrote about my Florida state of mind and how when I am there for a week I usually read about three books. I come back home after that week vowing to continue reading as much as possible to find myself just getting right back into a routine that involves anything but reading.

A few weeks ago I made a goal for myself to read one book per week for the rest of the summer. I have done well and read some great books so far this summer. I have starred each of the books I would recommend.

A Woman's Place by Lynn Austin

*Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman

*The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

*Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Now reading:
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Reading Next:
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Join Beth at Thinking of Teaching for her It's the Summer ... and I'll Read if I Want to! linky.


I am also linking up with Marcy at Ben …

Moving Beyond the Page - Unit Study Full Packages (Schoolhouse Review)

Moving Beyond the Page has the best unit studies, in my opinion. Period.

We reviewed two of their products last summer and I was waiting (not so) patiently for this summer's chance to review more of their products. I knew exactly what I wanted to review, made the request, and was chosen. Yes! The kids and I reviewed the Language Arts Package - Sarah, Plain and Tall and the Science Package - The Land.

One of the cool features of Moving Beyond the Page is that you can purchase an entire curriculum or can choose individual unit studies. This allows you to do a little delight-directed learning. They have unit studies for literature, social studies, and science, and many of their unit studies have a recommended (but not required) corresponding social studies or science study. Last year we reviewed the book Poppy by Avi and the Life Cycles science study. The two studies could have been done separately, but together they complimented each other perfectly. Thus was the case this year betw…