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Showing posts from August, 2014

Random 5

1. On Thursday night Brynne competed (for the third year) in the Junior Miss Septemberfest pageant in our little town. She loves this event that gives her a chance to hang up her sports equipment and dress up like a lady. We spent the afternoon getting her the Diva Package at Kyndal's cosmetology school which consisted of an updo, makeup, and nail polish. She looked absolutely beautiful and Kyndal did a fantastic job!


Each year Brynne has improved in the pageant. This year you could see so much more confidence in her, and we really worked on her interviewing skills. And it paid off! She was awarded First Runnerup! She was so thrilled and we were all so proud of her! I think the crown is hers next year!

2. My kiddos all got over a nasty virus about a week ago and now the big kids all have a different one! Kyndal, Collin, Dawson and Taylar (and several of their friends) have all had a horrible virus this week that has the same symptoms as strep throat. I hope this is not indicative…

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Back to School! {Prairie Primer: Big Woods Week 1}

I am super excited to be back to our regular school days, especially since I decided to change up our style back to the way we used to do things. We are using Prairie Primer this year and are going to completely immerse ourselves in it! The kids are thrilled to not be strapped to the dining room chairs all day but, instead, to be roaming through the house from one project to another. Our first week back was enriching and I couldn't have been happier with the results. I had happy kids who learned a lot.

Reading and Watching The first book we are reading is Little House in the Big Woods. We read the first four chapters this week. We used The World of Little House by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson which has drawn floor plans of all the houses the Ingalls lived in, so we could visualize their cabin. Everyday we are watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, starting with Season 1. I am hoping that watching the television show doesn't completely mess up…

"Schedule" is the Name of the Game - A Day in the Life

Monday we started our 5th year of homeschooling. 5th year! It hardly seems possible that what started as a response to a desperate plea from a struggling 7th grade boy to help him with social struggles has turned into a way of life. I can't imagine our life without homeschooling.

Summers and breaks are great! We relax to the max and really recharge. However, not having a schedule wrecks havoc on my ability to get anything done. Although I cherish the time off, I feel so much better physically and mentally when we have a schedule.

So here's what will typically be happening in the Taulman home on Monday through Friday ...

6:00 a.m. - Mom's alarm goes off. The dogs are more enthusiastic than I am to jump out of bed, but I do it anyway to take them potty and grab a cup of chamomile tea. The three of us climb back into bed and I spend some time in Bible study. At this time I am reading Living So That by Wendy Blight.

6:30 a.m. - I get up and get dressed in workout clothes for …

Random 5

1. Last Sunday through Wednesday we went to my parents' lake house with our best friends from Oklahoma. They are a homeschooling family with two daughters Eli and Brynne's ages. Megan and I are both using Prairie Primer as our spine curriculum this year so we did some brainstorming, shared resources, and discussed possible field trips. When we weren't planning we were watching the kids play board games or swim, reading, and drinking wine. The kids had so much fun with their friends. We miss them desperately! Over the course of the weekend I only took one picture (well, actually 2 but you will read about the other one in a minute). It was such a great weekend that really helped to get us ready to start school today.



2. While sitting on the back deck of the lake house I noticed a wasp fly up into the base of the ceiling fan above the patio table. Thinking there must be a nest up there, I grabbed the Raid and shot up into the base. I blasted the holes that the wasp crawled i…

Students 2014-2015

Our new school year officially starts on Monday, although we have been logging quality hours all summer. So, it's time to meet the students!

Kyndal This girl only has four weeks left of cosmetology school before she graduates and starts working in the real world. This has been a big year for her as she has gotten engaged, purchased a home, and secured her first job at a salon.


Dawson I already posted pictures of Dawson's first day of school. He is a senior this year at our local high school. And he is already ready for the year to be over so he can move on with his future. After school he plans to attend a nearby community college while living at home for free (both living at home and school are free ... because he earned an A+ scholarship for school ... and he gets to live at home for free because he's so darn cute) and major in Construction Technology. He plans to go part-time so that he can work as full-time as possible to save money for a house while going to school.


N, O, P ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet (Favorites Edition)

I fell behind on my Blogging Through the Alphabet posts. Vacations and tons of family activities have been my daily blogging subjects instead. So, I am going to get all caught up in one post.

N is for Naps Now that I don't drink coffee, naps have moved up as my number one favorite thing. When I was younger I had to get in comfies, under the covers with the drapes pulled, and turn on a fan to settle in for at least a two hour nap. Anything less than that just wasn't worth it. And Rick and I used to talk about how stressed I was about dying and being in Heaven because I probably wouldn't get naps if I was singing the Hallelujah Chorus all the time. Now that I am older, I don't care as much for the long naps but prefer power naps. I love to lay down on the couch for about 30 minutes in the afternoon, close my eyes, and just rest. I doze off and sleep peacefully and when I wake up I am ready to fix dinner and continue on with the evening. I don't nap every day, but I …

Clear the Dishes, It's Time for School!

We do not have a designated school room. Even if we had a room we could use, we wouldn't. We just aren't happy unless we have made a mess from one end of the house to the other. Our dining room is in the center of the house with our kitchen on one side and our living room on the other. We like to do our school work at the dining room table, on the couch, in the sitting room, or in the kitchen. Life is school and we don't like being closed off.

You have seen these pictures before because things rarely change around here. (I don't like change.) A couple of things have moved around, but that's it.

We start our day here, at the dining room table. I put our whiteboard in the corner by the windows  (not in the picture) and we do the majority of our bookwork and artwork here. We use clipboards because the tile on our table is a rough surface when writing. We just grab our supply caddy and books and get going. We usually start with a nice cup of hot tea.


My desk and shelv…

Random 5 on Friday

1. I'm not going to lie .. it's pretty great to be told by my 17 year old son that I am his best friend, that if Taylar ended up like me that he would be happy, and that he would marry me if he could (in jest, of course.) There's something awesome about your teenager actually liking you.

2. My kids are all in the phases of a rotten summer cold. Eli has a sore throat and stuffy nose (the first phase). Brynne has a stuffy nose and is coughing (the second phase). And Dawson is coughing like a maniac (hopefully the last phase). They are all feeling pretty cruddy.

3. I started playing tennis this week with three good friends. I am certainly not a natural, but I learned quick and did okay. It was a lot of fun and great exercise!! I am really looking forward to our next match!

4. Dawson started back to school this week. He is now a senior in high school. Where, oh where, has the time gone. I mean seriously. I just love how individual he is. He is quirky and fun (see the Spiderma…

Husband and Wife Time

At the end of this nutty past couple of weeks, Rick and I went away for some Husband and Wife time on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate our anniversary that was in June. I didn't realize how much we needed this time away until we were alone. It was amazing! It didn't take but just a few minutes of devoted time with him for me to remember exactly why I love him so much. It was a perfect getaway!


Rick planned the trip and wouldn't tell anybody where we were going. First we stopped and had lunch. Then we went to Kansas City, Kansas, to a hotel and spa called Chateau Avalon.


Each of the rooms were themed and we stayed in the Hemingway Room. It had a luxurious bed and furnishings, a mood-enhancing fireplace, and a separate step up bathtub/shower/spa room. It was heaven!




Once we checked in we grabbed some drinks at the bar and went out to sit in the porch swing overlooking the fountain. We just spent time together and talked and held hands.



Then we went back to our room to relax…