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Showing posts from May, 2013

K is for Kickoff to Summer Reading

Next Monday, June 3rd is the Kickoff to our library's Summer Reading Program. We always do the summer reading programs at our local libraries. The kids are required to read 20 books by August 3rd for a Sonic coupon and a free book. As my kids are reading chapter books now, I will have to be sure and throw in some picture books each week so that they can reach their goal. I think I will set a goal of 5 chapter books and 15 picture books. Anything extra will be bonus. I'm even going to get involved in the Adult Summer Reading Program! Our goal is to read 10 books this summer. Oh, how wonderful it would be to read 10 books!! For each 10 books I can enter for a Prize Drawing. For me, however, the real prize is just getting to read!! I know that there are lots of other reading incentive programs out there, like the Scholastic Summer Challenge , Barnes and Noble Summer Reading , Pizza Hut Summer Book It . Hopefully I will be diligent in sending our reading lists in to ea

Simplified Pantry ~ Schoolhouse Review

I enjoy grocery shopping. I enjoy planning meals and making grocery lists. I enjoy finding new recipes and experiencing new foods. But sometimes I grow weary coming up with ideas! I feel like we eat the same thing every night, and we often get in a rut with our meals. I was given the opportunity to review Simplified Dinners by Mystie Winckler at  Simplified Pantry . It is a cookbook, of sorts ... a simplified cookbook. Instead of being full of hundreds of completely different recipes, this e-book gives you a system for cooking similar types of meals using, primarily, a stocked pantry. Here's an example. In my freezer was a roast. I could have made the same old roast I always make by throwing it into a crock pot with potatoes and carrots and onions and some beef broth. We are bored with that meal! But we still had a roast in the freezer that needed to be eaten! I pulled up my Simplified Dinners e-cookbook, conveniently downloaded onto my iPad, and went to the Slow C

A Note of Encouragement

Gina Suarez from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine included this note in her most recent "The Homeschool Minute" e-mail. I just wanted to share it today as a word of encouragement. I know I felt refreshed when I read it. Sometimes homeschooling slips into summer because life got in the way of hitting the books. Other times, it's a deliberate decision to keep those kids from forgetting key information or keeping the momentum with newly learned skills. The most important thing when considering your homeschool calendar is to pray about it and get your husband's advice. Here's some more advice about keeping your eyes on Jesus and letting Him direct everything you do . . . Hey Mama, just wanted to pop in and help you put your eyes on Jesus. He is still on the throne. While the world has gone mad, He is the same, unmovable, unshakable. He is our great and holy God and Savior, Jesus Christ. We get so caught up in the details of our current problems, but God has alre

Weekly Wrap-up ~ And .... We're OUT!!

In our regular life this week… It was a stressful one! In fact, it was one of those kind of weeks where I just really wanted to curl up on the couch in my jammies with a bottle of wine (or four) and not leave it. Those of you who know me might think, "isn't that what you usually do anyway?", minus the four bottles of wine, of course. No, I mean get on the couch in my jammies and not get up for ANY reason for MANY DAYS IN A ROW kind of week. I feel like we are a family who just kind of does what we are supposed to do when we are supposed to do it, not bothering anybody. And all around us are many who are not doing what they are supposed to do, trampling on everybody in their path and getting away with it. It's exhausting! And sometimes I just need a pity party .. in my jammies ... with wine. Moving on ... In our homeschool this week… We finished our last week of this school year! Well, sort of. I mean, we will be taking a week off and then starting

The Best Part About Graduation ... The Party!!

After a couple of extremely stressful days in our personal life, it's good to spend some time putting together this post about Kyndal's family graduation party. Because when it's all said and done, family is all that really matters anyway. On Saturday our family, and a few friends, celebrated Kyndal's high school graduation with a cookout and fun day at my parents' lake house. Those attending were me, Rick, Dawson, his girlfriend Taylar, Eli, Brynne, my mom and dad, my niece Rylee and her boyfriend Cade, Kyndal and her boyfriend Collin, Collin's mom Pam and brother Austin (dad Tracy was working on their deck), my uncle Jon and aunt Dixie, next door neighbors at the lake (and boys who Kyndal actually went to high school with for a time in the first town she lived in with her dad) Channin, Dalton and Dakotah. Oh, and Crusoe was there! We grilled burgers and hot dogs, had hashbrown potato casserole, pea salad, pasta salad, chips, brownies, lemon bars a

So How Did We Do? ~ An End of the Year Review

I don't know about you, but I cannot believe the school year is coming to an end! It went by SO fast! We had a few little bumps along the way, but mostly this was a very successful year and there really isn't much I would change about it. It was a transition for me to send Dawson back to public school (I have missed him and the high school subject matters a lot!) and to bring Eli home to school with Brynne. But, the kids all did well and I know that we made the right decisions. I do still wish Dawson was home and, in fact, I wish that I would have homeschooled all of my children from day one and graduated Kyndal this year from home.  (I don't care a thing about bowing down to the oppression of government institutions ... had to deal with the harsh realities of that this week!) But she has graduated and Dawson is doing fine and is where he wants to be, so I guess all is good. Speaking of graduation ... now there's an adjustment! I have a graduated child. So stra

J is for Journey to a Frog, Butterfly, Chicken

We will be schooling through the summer, with a more relaxed schedule. Our schooling will occur from 10:00 a.m. to noon, to allow for lots of afternoon playtime and swimming. We will do Bible, math, reading, and a unit study each day. Our unit study will consist of our Square Foot Garden and the life cycles (aka Journey ) of a frog, butterfly and chicken. We are starting with the Journey of a Frog . We received a bowl of tadpoles from a friend. Starting this week we will be reading about the life cycle of a frog and notebooking the changes in our tadpoles as they make their journey to full froghood. Then we will release them back into the water source from where they came. In a week or so, we will begin learning about the Journey of a Butterfly . We will be reading the book Poppy by Avi and will be growing butterflies with our Green Earth Butterfly Kit. (This is all part of a review we are doing for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.) We will also be doing lots of butterfly lif

Dating Through the Alphabet ~ Church

Well, I have to admit I have not been diligent in planning dates for Rick and I. It seems that when he is here on the weekends, our weekends are full. What that really means is that I have NOT made a date night a priority like I had intended. For that, I feel horrible. We allow his weekends here to be monopolized with time spent with the kids, family events, kids' activities and yard work. It is only my fault that I have not made that intentional effort to set aside time for just the two of us. This weekend was no exception. But, we did get away without the kids on Sunday morning as we travelled out of town with my bell choir from church to play in a little country church that had invited us. We were with other people, but we still had some fun together without the kids. After our performance, nine of us went to a local winery for lunch. It was kind of funny for all of us to show up in our United Methodist Church shirts to eat lunch and drink wine. Yes, we drank wine. We ha

Weekly Wrap-up ~ The End is Near, But There's Another Beginning

In our regular life this week… This has been another crazy, busy week. We have been away from home every night this week! Monday night we drove four hours to Tulsa, went to WWE Monday Night Raw, then drove home another four hours getting here at 3 a.m. On Tuesday night, after a late afternoon power nap, the kids wanted to go for a walk so we walked to Dairy Queen for dinner and stopped by Grandma and Papa's to eat it. On Wednesday night we walked to and from church for dinner and bell choir practice. On Thursday we spent the day in Kansas City (an hour and half drive each way) and then came home for Brynne's softball practice. Last night I needed to run some errands to get supplies for Kyndal's graduation family party at my parents' lake house, which is today. Then tomorrow morning Rick, Brynne and I are getting up bright and early to travel to a nearby church for our bell choir to perform. Afterward we are stopping at a winery for lunch with some of the group. W

Summer School

Do you school year round? In past years, we have followed the public school schedule and stopped schoolwork in the summer months. We would have an occasional unit study day (that I would count as a school day for the following year), but otherwise we would give our brains a big ol' break. But this year, I have plans to do things differently. We will have a modified schedule for summer that will involve fewer subjects. The kids are in the middle of learning their multiplication facts and I don't want to break when we are making good progress. They have also really improved on their reading skills and in their stamina with read alouds, so I want to keep reading everyday! Since we don't get to a lot of science in the school year, and since the kids are planting a Square Foot Garden, we will do Science unit studies all summer. And I came across a really neat short Bible/Culture lesson that will take us around the world. And we will also have various Schoolhouse Revie

WWE were there!

Monday night Rick and I had the time of our lives with Eli and Brynne. We attended WWE Monday Night Raw in Tulsa! Oh ... my ... gosh ... IT WAS SO FUN! Now, this is one of those things that had you told me a year ago that I would be doing it, I would have laughed in your face .. like REALLY hard! (That ranks right up there with getting a tattoo! Who am I?) But right before Eli's birthday this past year, he received some hand-me-down WWE figures and a ring from a friend and he has been hooked ever since. I mean really hooked! Which means that we, as a family, eat, sleep and breathe wrestling. It's been contagious and Brynne is almost as big a fan as Eli. When we found out they were coming close, we had to go! We had the BEST seats! We were right on the corner of the ring in the risers, 10 rows up. And we saw EVERYBODY we wanted to see (except for Rey Mysterio, Eli's favorite). Yes, it's staged and acted out, but it's like seeing any other celebrity. It